DOT Secretary LaHood: California’s high-speed rail approval is “terrific news”

posted at 1:21 pm on July 10, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood is just all-around winning — and when I say “winning,” I mean that like how President Obama uses it to dress up his many misadventures in big-government “investment.” From enjoying a little on-the-side vigilante traffic patrol on the weekends (woah, carbon-emissions alert!) to admitting to his envy for the dictatorial ease enjoyed by China’s atrocious human rights-abusing communist government, Secretary LaHood has his unwelcome bureaucratic quirks — but this is just straight-up cheering impracticality, inefficiency, and government waste.

In cahoots with the federal government, California’s ambitious pipedream to bring high-speed rail to their state has been plagued by that little ol’ nuisance known as reality – as Ed has meticulously pointed out, the evolving saga has only gone from bad to worse, on both the monetary and infrastructural fronts, but California voted last week to forge onward with the poorly-conceived project anyways. Both our federal government and California are saddled with monstrous amounts of debt, but they positively insist on sending more money down the tubes in their doomed-from-the-start attempts to engineer the public-transit-using populace of their wildest green fantasies.

Should the fact that this public project is going to put California and the United States billions more dollars in the hole faze Secretary LaHood? Not in the slightest, apparently:

“I congratulate the Legislature on taking this action, which will create thousands of jobs and strengthen the California economy,” he wrote. “In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

By agreeing to appropriate the funding for the high-speed railway, California state lawmakers provided validation to a project the Obama administration has contributed more than $3 billion.

The approval provided a contrast with other states that won high-speed rail money from the Obama administration in the 2009 economic stimulus, which included $8 billion for rail proposals. Republican governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida all turned down the money after being in elected in 2010. …

“Californians know they need a new option for inter-city travel,” he wrote Monday. “The governor knows it; California’s mayors know it. And now, the state legislature has signaled that they know it, too.”

In the name of all that is holy, enough with this, “let’s burn money, because it’s fun!” big-government attitude. The governors in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida were wise to turn down that “free” high-speed rail money, knowing they’d have to drain their own coffers completing a project that the profit-seeking free market doesn’t deem worthwhile.

Man, oh man: When it comes to staffing his gigantic, profligate bureaucracy, President Obama really knows how to pick ‘em.


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Cabinet members have to take an IQ test before they’re picked.

a capella on July 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Somebody check the vendors list for all the foreign components and another campaign ad writes itself…

DanMan on July 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

California Deficit – $16 Billion

High Speed Rail Project – $100 Billion

$$$ Saved if Rail Money used to pay off Debt – $84 Billion

Chances of common sense letting it happen – Zero

Smart Power.

BlaxPac on July 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Train to nowhere…real fast…

PatriotRider on July 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Aren’t they going to miss the deadline for funding because Moonbeam had to give up fast tracking approval by the eniro-nazis that is required before they can get the money from Obama’s stash?

Or did the Emperor’s minion, Ray TheHood just wave a magic order and it’s all going through?

wildcat72 on July 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

wow, 7 millions???…that’s where they put the numbers of CA new illegals at? or that would be their children reaching the legal driving age?…is it true that La Hood is a republican, seriously???

jimver on July 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

LaHood and Obama are also big Liars.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Maybe Brown will replace LaHood or Biden.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Let them build it. Once (or if) they declare bankruptcy, they can re-order Cali into a better state (or eject them from the union entirely).

nobar on July 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

DOT Secretary LaHood: California’s high-speed rail approval is “terrific news”

…JugEars whole Cucking Fabinet is nucking futs!

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents.

So the train signs will all have to be in Spanish?

Bishop on July 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Cabinet members have to take an IQ test before they’re picked.

a capella on July 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

they take one, and apparently their score is relatively high, it’s only that they measure their collective IQ level :-)

jimver on July 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

It’s a wonder that companies with white collar, high-salaried knowledge workers stay in California. Why on Earth would any CEO remain in a state where Democrats, environmentalists, illegals and PEUs are entitled to pick your pockets every election cycle?

VastRightWingConspirator on July 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Cabinet members have to take an IQ test before they’re picked.

a capella on July 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

People get the leadership they deserve.

pedestrian on July 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Isn’t this the same idiot that LOVES China’s political structure?

Just too many darn people involved in the important decisions.

O’Butthead has assembled quite the crew of misfits and “czars”, eh?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM

….in what alternate universe?

Well if you’re a PROGRESSIVE and you think everything should be run by the Government/State, and that they are the advocates for all goodness and purity of intent…

…then whatever it takes to make everything equal and depending on unions (Transportation workers) it’s like falling down on the floor and throwing up your legs in quivering ecstasy.


…..it’s very very good.

PappyD61 on July 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Yes, I remember this guy. The one Token Republican in
this Administration. Oh, and he’s from Illinois….

ToddPA on July 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Obama’s socialist goons are absolutely insane.

rplat on July 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

At long last, the crucial Bakersfield-to-Madera Corridor will no longer be primarily dependent on hitchhiking to supply its transportation needs.

Cicero43 on July 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Maybe LaHood secretly wants to destroy HSR by allowing California to run it into the ground.

fiatboomer on July 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Train to nowhere…real fast…

PatriotRider on July 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Not if you live in the metropoli of Stockton, Tulare or North Haverbrook!

Chuck Schick on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Wouldn’t it be way cheaper and more ecologically sound to just build some extra runways, or even whole new airports? Or are trains always “greener” than airplanes, no matter what?

ZenDraken on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

“Californians know they need a new option for inter-city travel,” [Secretary LaHood] wrote Monday.

I mean, we were desperate for that 130 mile Madera to Bakersfield Central Valley line! What are migrant farm workers supposed to do? Take the bus?

The silliest thing about this is that the HSR would only ever connect with major metro areas via… freeways and local metro rails in what supporters are now calling “a blended approach” to HSR construction. You’ll have to take the slow local train to reach the fast train. To get to Madera.

“Californians know they need a new option for inter-city travel,” he wrote Monday. “The governor knows it; California’s mayors know it… ”

Actually, some of the towns along the route are suing to stop it, along with a lot of farmers. Hey, if environmentalists can shut down San Joaquin Valley agriculture over a minnow, maybe farmers can stop a train. Gov. Brown was hoping to forestall some of this by having the legislature exempt the HSR project from California’s draconian environmental regulations, but had to back off. So those suits are coming, too.

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I’ve become convinced that Ray LaHood is trying to get the “Peter Principle” renamed the “LaHood Principle.” He is just plain stupid. He’s also dangerous because he is so easily duped by smarter, more ambitious sorts like Lisa Jackson (yes, I think she is smart, but not in a good way) and Big Boss Obama. Of course, Obama is going after the “Peter Principle” himself, so Ray’s probably out of luck.

BillyWilly on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The R party is so stupid. LaHood was put up and elected in an Illinois district which voted 70/30 R. Why could they not get someone better?

This azz was/is/will be an Illinois D thug, with a R by his name for the district.

Also, spare me the Obama or any other bipartisanship. The more they do nothing, the better. The founding fathers wanted it that way.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

So, where is Boehner calling a vote to defund the circus? We have no money to give CA to build, if they want to build they should do it via their own money or private funds.

Boeher, when will you put liberals on notice that funding will only be available for programs that bring in money.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I’m not sure who is going to use this once built. The tickets won’t be cheap and there is still getting to the station. It will always be cheaper to drive or fly.

When I lived in Berkeley, I would see two charter buses really early early in the morning. People who worked for government but wouldn’t be caught dead living in Sacramento would lease them to go to their jobs every day. At least they paid for them though I suspect they still got a taxpayer subsidy.

Blake on July 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

……..which will create thousands of jobs………

…..for illegal aliens living in sanctuary cities like San Francisco!

As for anyone else out of work and seeking employment, take a number and get in line!

pilamaye on July 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

So the train signs will all have to be in Spanish?

Bishop on July 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Northern edge of the corridor is rapidly turning into India West, so yes, Spanish, then Hindu, then maybe English or some variant of it.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Evidently LaHood is from the same Bizarro World as DWS.

apostic on July 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

At least on the southern end, the CA HSR will extend to Palmdale. This is the “Los Angeles” end of the route. It will take residents of Orange County, the South Bay, East L.A., the San Fernando Valley and every other roughly equidistant area the same amount of time to drive to Burbank, John Wayne or LAX to fly to SF as it will to drive out to Palmdale to take the HSR.

Even allowing for the extra time for TSA to slurp the beverage you’re taking on the flight, it will be faster to fly. And cost about the same.

This thing is going to blow through billions… and never be built.

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Everybody knows this high speed rail project will never be completed. This is just a ploy to funnel a bunch of Federal money to California state employee unions and various union contractors while Obama is still in office.

tommyboy on July 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

“I congratulate the Legislature on taking this action, which will create thousands of jobs and strengthen the California economy,”

Lies, lies, lies. Does anyone believe these tyrants?

PattyJ on July 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Wouldn’t it be way cheaper and more ecologically sound to just build some extra runways, or even whole new airports? Or are trains always “greener” than airplanes, no matter what?

ZenDraken on July 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The Central Valley would be a whole lot greener if they built DAMS to catch mountain snowmelt in the spring, then used the water to irrigate in the summer. It would also give jobs to the burgeoning Mexican population, picking the fruit.

Besides, Madera is the Spanish word for “wood”, and wood needs water, right?

Steve Z on July 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

California expects more than 7 million additional residents

Double that, if the “anti Arizona” bill passes. (Or did it already? I just can’t keep up with all of our self-destructive legislation.)

LASue on July 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

When will a branch be built out to Modesto, the creative capitol of the entire nation?

Bishop on July 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents.”

And that will still leave the number of riders for this boondoggle at 0.

talkingpoints on July 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Traines to Starnesvilles…it’s the Obama way. He loves the destruction.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

These types of massive government projects are what the throwback modern Left salivates over. Merits of this particular project aside, what is so funny is that the project will probably be (ahem) derailed by the Leftist Greenies.

Would somebody please stop this Left-on-Left hate?

visions on July 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM

When will a branch be built out to Modesto, the creative capitol of the entire nation?

Bishop on July 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

The capital of the entire nation is now Chicago.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

From enjoying a little on-the-side vigilante traffic patrol on the weekends

Can’t wait till one of those drivers slams on the brakes.

MadisonConservative on July 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

“The approval provided a contrast with other states that won high-speed rail money from the Obama administration in the 2009 economic stimulus”

“Won” the money.

Breathtaking……………..

Opposite Day on July 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Everybody knows this high speed rail project will never be completed. This is just a ploy to funnel a bunch of Federal money to California state employee unions and various union contractors while Obama is still in office.

tommyboy on July 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Are you actually saying that Dem leaders are taking advantage of low information, aliterate Dem voters? I’m shocked.

visions on July 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Everybody knows this high speed rail project will never be completed. This is just a ploy to funnel a bunch of Federal money to California state employee unions and various union contractors while Obama is still in office.

tommyboy on July 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Yup. And those in the know bought up a lot of land in Palmdale to sell to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. As was done up and down the (proposed) line. Look, California legislators are term-limited. How’s a servant of the people supposed to make an honest buck anymore?

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

It would be a laugh to see the variables in that equation given that the state has net negative emigration for the first time since records began.

Gambling on a lot more aliens coming and having a lot more alien babies?

(Aliens as in Lahh-teee-noes…not L. Ron Hubbard’s extra-terrestrial family)

CorporatePiggy on July 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

High-Speed Taxus/Spendus!

canopfor on July 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Emigration Immigration.

People are gittin’ ghost.

CorporatePiggy on July 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

On the back of this…

… Gov. Moonbeam has tax increases on the November ballot.

All of the illegals have been told to vote for it because only the gringos will be taxed…

… and you all wonder why I like Hot Air Drinking Games.

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

People must keep in mind that it’s not just O’Zero up for re-election this year it’s also:

This imbicile

Geitner-(or is he quitting)
Sebelius
Chu
Jarret
Holder
etc….This whole gang of lying, whackbag looters has got to go.

BigWyo on July 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Driving that train, high on cocaine…

Mr. Arrogant on July 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

We could have built Newt’s Moon Base with this same expenditure! And have something to show for it.

Now that Obama has converted NASA to a Muslim Self-Esteem Program, maybe LaHood will propose a high speed rail to the moon.

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I mean, we were desperate for that 130 mile Madera to Bakersfield Central Valley line! What are migrant farm workers supposed to do? Take the bus?

If the high-speed rail line is only 130 miles long, it probably doesn’t save much time over conventional trains.

The French TGV has a cruising speed of 300 km/hour, or about 180 mph, but it takes two hours to travel the 280 miles between Paris and Lyon. Meaning that it cruises at 180 mph for 1 hour 20 minutes, covering 240 miles, and takes 20 minutes to accelerate to that speed, and 20 minutes to decelerate at the other end, covering 40 miles in the process.

Apply that to a 130-mile trip, and the train covers 40 miles in 40 minutes accelerating and braking, and at 180 mph covers the remaining 90 miles in 30 minutes. So the 130-mile trip takes 70 minutes, at an average speed of 111 mph.

The average Joe or Jane could drive 65 mph on a freeway and get there in two hours, and have the car available to drive anywhere else in greater Bakersfield or greater Madera, instead of having to stop to buy a train ticket at one end and rent a car at the other end, in order to save 50 minutes. If the car gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway, those 5.2 gallons of gas might cost $20 or so, probably MUCH less than the train ticket!

Given this choice, how many Californians will be lining up to ride Robbin’ LaHood’s magic choo-choo?

Steve Z on July 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

The eyesore rail is an “ivestment” like throwing money off a cliff is an investment. You have to consider the financial worthiness of CA when deciding on whether to embark on this wild spending spree. What quite conceivably will happen is that after spending untold billions of both federal and state funds, CA will simply run out of money, plead bankruptcy or the equivalent, and abandon any more spending on the way over budget project. The construction will just become an ugly rotting twisted pile of metal stretching as far as the eye can see, with no budget for cleanup. Not pretty.

anotherJoe on July 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Now we see why obama appointed him to his cabinet. Socialist with an R next to his name.

Hard Right on July 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets/0/152/198/c4dbf24b-9227-4f43-bc51-2dd1a94a31b4.pdf

Even with their estimates they need a lot of fudging to pretend this makes any money…

Passenger revenue (real money) through 2050:
$33,718 (millions of dollars, in 2008 dollars).

Operating costs and interest/capital payments through 2050:
$53,058 (millions of dollars, in 2008 dollars).

Net? LOSS 20 BILLION DOLLARS… so that’s how you “strengthen” an economy?

Oh I forgot, airline passenger will have lower delays; which will “save” $1,969 (same as above) for passengers and $1,750 for airlines… because airlines will love having fewer people flying; it’ll SAVE them money… by having fewer customers.

And the money people save; doesn’t really = government money; which still loses 20 BILLION dollars. more if they don’t have the riders they project.

Their other “benefits”… congestion reduction; which is worth 42 BILLION in their minds. Anyone think that this number is made up? Just wait; there’s another 14 Billion or so in decreased “accidents and pollution”.

Sorry… that’s nonsense. Especially the “fewer airline riders = monetary benefit to airlines who want fewer customers” idiocy; but shortly followed by the rest.

Any realistic cost/benefit analysis starts with “The project and the State Government lose at least 20 BILLION DOLLARS BY 2050″. If you think that this will “strengthen” you economic situation; you might look for a job with the Obama Administration.

gekkobear on July 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

It’s like a big toy set for this clown. It’s not his money, it’s ours.

Hummer53 on July 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

What’s the matter with you people?? Everyone needs to be a good little communist, give up your cars, empty the suburbs and move to the inner city so that a high speed rail will be practical. Otherwise, nobody will ride the thing. So get on it, now, Californians.

The Rogue Tomato on July 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

“California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

But, we couldn’t build more roads and runways now, could we?? While more effective and efficient at addressing our congested roads and airports, to the zealous greens that promotes cars and planes, and a *shudder* independent populace that can come and go as they please…and not be forced to live in high-density “live-work” housing along “transit corridors” and all that.

EasyEight on July 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Train to nowhere…real fast…

PatriotRider on July 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

In the end it won’t be much faster than driving your car to the city of Pelosi.

chemman on July 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

“California expects more than 7 million additional residents.

Is NYC and Chicago going to empty out or is that new immigrants from south of the border?

chemman on July 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The average Joe or Jane could drive 65 mph on a freeway and get there in two hours, and have the car available to drive anywhere else in greater Bakersfield or greater Madera, instead of having to stop to buy a train ticket at one end and rent a car at the other end, in order to save 50 minutes. If the car gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway, those 5.2 gallons of gas might cost $20 or so, probably MUCH less than the train ticket!

Given this choice, how many Californians will be lining up to ride Robbin’ LaHood’s magic choo-choo?

Steve Z on July 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Actually, I drive a lot along that proposed HSR corridor, even cops tell you that as long as you drive at no more than 80MPH they won’t stop you. Average speed along 5 is 75MPH and many a time I was passed even going 90+. I average ~80MPH on 5 and do not have to spend the time to get to/from train station as well as rent a car once I get to LA area. And I’ve delivered 15-20 cases of wine to my accounts many a time driving, how is the train going to allow me to do that?

Have no idea how this boondoggle can ever beat car or air travel between North and South.

If anything, CA should have added 2 lanes each to North/South I5, that would do wonders for drivers and truckers, entire state lives on truck deliveries.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

All I can say is sorry…
There are many reasons to live in Ca, government and/or politics are not one of them. When Ca is Bankrupt, I appologise to the rest of the country. We conservatives in Ca are so outnumbered that it is hardly worth voting, but I do… However the one bright spot; most everyone I talk with (Northern Ca) they are very much anti-odumbo.

DustInCa on July 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Approval of the so-called high speed rail project is good, in the sense that anything hastening the collapse of the corrupt Ponzi scheme that is California state government is good.

novaculus on July 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Approval of the so-called high speed rail project is good, in the sense that anything hastening the collapse of the corrupt Ponzi scheme that is California state government is good.

novaculus on July 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

In a sad, sick sense I agree with you nova.

itsspideyman on July 10, 2012 at 3:00 PM

The capital of the entire nation is now Chicago.

Schadenfreude on July 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Nothing a good neutron bomb wouldn’t cure (metaphorically speaking).

chemman on July 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Approval of the so-called high speed rail project is good, in the sense that anything hastening the collapse of the corrupt Ponzi scheme that is California state government is good.

novaculus on July 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Except that it will have infusion of Federal funds into it, thus the early vote to beat July deadline for Federal funds to the tune of more than $3 BILLION. For now. How much more in the future?

Boehner should call a vote and say No funds available, build on your own.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Makes me wonder if Obama & Co. are just a little nervous about CA come November. Crazy, I know, but with this they just firmed up a few thousand votes.

If Obama were to lose CA Carter’s smile would bust open a lip.

sdbatboy on July 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

However the one bright spot; most everyone I talk with (Northern Ca) they are very much anti-odumbo.

DustInCa on July 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

My bright spot: Somewhat involved in local politics in Southern California, in a Democrat stronghold surrounded by Democrat strongholds. The kind of place where too many Republicans defected en masse to Obama in 2008. Now they’re abandoning him.

And quite a few agree with novaculus at 2:56 PM. Probably no other way to begin to restore sanity to this state– as long as Congress doesn’t bail it out.

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

Really? People are FLEEING this state! And it’s the metro areas that are congested.

Hopefully, lawsuits will bring an end to this farce.

GarandFan on July 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

So, where is Boehner calling a vote to defund the circus? We have no money to give CA to build, if they want to build they should do it via their own money or private funds.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

My thoughts too… but then since we haven’t passed a budget in 3+ years, I don’t suppose this would fall under the PAY-GO rules.

Hill60 on July 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Probably no other way to begin to restore sanity to this state– as long as Congress doesn’t bail it out.

de rigueur on July 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

California or one of the other Democrat utopias going bankrupt will also give the rest of the country an example of what lies ahead unless our fiscal houses are put in order.

Here in Hoosiertopia we are in good shape, but across the line in Noiserland (IL) the Democrats aren’t just steering the state’s finances toward the cliff, they are accelerating, even as Chicago is on the verge of disaster. You know they are in deep, deep trouble when Mayor Ballerina is taking on the PEUs.

novaculus on July 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

“In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents. But, as the state’s residents know all too well, the highways between California cities are already congested, and short-haul takeoff and landing slots at Golden State airports are at a premium.”

Really? People are FLEEING this state! And it’s the metro areas that are congested.

Hopefully, lawsuits will bring an end to this farce.

GarandFan on July 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Tax payers are fleeing CA, nothing in the statement above about 7 million new residents said they will be tax paying.

We left GULAG in January this year, looking to move the business out as well.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

My thoughts too… but then since we haven’t passed a budget in 3+ years, I don’t suppose this would fall under the PAY-GO rules.

Hill60 on July 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Even better, then. Ryan keeps talking about cutting spending, this should be prime example since they can clearly point out to tax payers in states outside GULAG they are paying for this pipe dream. Easiest vote in House from where I see it.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Makes me wonder if Obama & Co. are just a little nervous about CA come November. Crazy, I know, but with this they just firmed up a few thousand votes.

If Obama were to lose CA Carter’s smile would bust open a lip.

sdbatboy on July 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Let’s not kid ourselves. Roughly 30% of ALL welfare recipients now reside in GULAG. Add in roughly 11 Million of illegals, a good number of whom WILL VOTE one way or another with fake driver’s licenses as ID, then add in rabid liberal conclaves of SF Bay Area and LA Basin. These morons won’t vote for an R any time soon.

The only way to deal with this is to cut any and all federal bail out money, but the the very unfortunate side effect of that will be mass migration of these rabid liberals to other states, same way they already changed demographics in NV, CO and AZ in recent years as well as TX.

So, I don’t see a “win” under any solutions so far.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

…this is just straight-up cheering impracticality, inefficiency, and government waste.

Ordinarily, this is no surprise when it comes from a socialist Democrat. It is expected, in fact.

But in his former job as an elected official LaHood called himself a Republican.

Now you know what a real RINO looks like. LaHood is the real deal — basically a stealth Democrat who has always called himself a Republican, who ran as a Republican, was elected as a Republican, and held office as a Republican.

farsighted on July 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Forget the high speed rail line in California. The fastest AMTRACK ticket from Atlanta to Charleston, SC is around 24 hours. And, it costs more than a round trip airline ticket between the two cities.

SC.Charlie on July 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Good News? From a bankrupt state that cannot pay its bills it wants to build a system that it does not need for more money than it can afford. Stupidity thy name is California.

logicman_1998 on July 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Did anyone in the “bright” GULAG admin ever take census on cars traveling the I5 corridor? I rarely see solo drivers and more times than not 3 riders in a car. Cost benefit analysis, for 3 people to travel from SF area to LA, by car, is roughly 5 hours and 1 tank of gas at current day fuel economy for a mid size car (Camry easily goes 400+ miles on one tank at highway speeds).

Even at $4 per gallon, for roughly 16 gallons consumed, that makes it $64 per CAR travel, or $32 per person travel for 2 riders and $22 for 3. And one doesn’t need to then rent a car once at the destination nor spend time doing so.

Way more efficient than air travel and almost as fast when everything is calculated: trip to/from airport, TSA anal exam, boarding wait and actual flight time, roughly 4 hours and probably way more depending on delays. Plus you get to breath that virus enhanced recirculated air to boot as a bonus.

HSR travel cost? Pretty constant no matter how many travel and one needs to rent a car once there. Time? Way worse than car and air travel with absolutely no savings.

Last time I took Acela from Boston to NY, the “high speed” one, I paid almost double the regular speed Acela ticket price ($130?) and arrived in NY whopping 20 minutes faster. Feeling a fool to believe “faster” claim and paying almost double for it? Priceless.

The whole thing is nothing but a scam, similar to TARP I and II, with funds “vanishing” into thin air.

BTW, there is a similar project being pushed by Harry Reid and Co. to connect LA traffic to Las Vegas. Never mind that one needs to make it out of LA in the first place to the middle of nowhere (Victoryville?), then park the car and take a train to Las Vegas where you need to take a bus to arrive at a hotel. No time savings, no cost savings and no one explains what happens if you miss a train, how long does one have to spend at “Victoryville”, not just time but money? As one can imagine, residents of Victoryville are all for it as are all the NV politicos who will make all the money via bribes and contracts, same as with HSR, but on a smaller scale. They are talking “only” $6 Billion for this boondoggle and I am sure the cost will change, drastically, if construction is approved.

And we think Russia and others are corrupt? If one takes amount of money spent on TARP I and II and now on this GULAG HSR project, we easily beat the rest of the world, combined, a few times over, when it comes to funds evaporation magic.

riddick on July 10, 2012 at 6:22 PM

The good news is that the tax hikes on the ballot in November will be DOA, according to polling just before the rail boondoggle vote..

The bad news is that California is still run by imbecilic cretins.

ConservativeLA on July 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

LaHood was my congressman here in Illinois. He was a pretty solid conservative. I just can’t figure out what happened to him. Must be something in the water there in the beltway.

iceman1960 on July 10, 2012 at 7:28 PM

If the high-speed rail line is only 130 miles long, it probably doesn’t save much time over conventional trains.

The French TGV has a cruising speed of 300 km/hour, or about 180 mph, but it takes two hours to travel the 280 miles between Paris and Lyon. Meaning that it cruises at 180 mph for 1 hour 20 minutes, covering 240 miles, and takes 20 minutes to accelerate to that speed, and 20 minutes to decelerate at the other end, covering 40 miles in the process.

Apply that to a 130-mile trip, and the train covers 40 miles in 40 minutes accelerating and braking, and at 180 mph covers the remaining 90 miles in 30 minutes. So the 130-mile trip takes 70 minutes, at an average speed of 111 mph.

The average Joe or Jane could drive 65 mph on a freeway and get there in two hours, and have the car available to drive anywhere else in greater Bakersfield or greater Madera, instead of having to stop to buy a train ticket at one end and rent a car at the other end, in order to save 50 minutes. If the car gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway, those 5.2 gallons of gas might cost $20 or so, probably MUCH less than the train ticket!

Given this choice, how many Californians will be lining up to ride Robbin’ LaHood’s magic choo-choo?

Steve Z on July 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Sounds like a question on the Professional Engineering exam (civil).
Don’t expect LaHood to know anything about the concept. His Bach. degree is in education/sociology. Engineering economics (or any kind of economics) is not relevant to this administration.

Acceleration/deceleration and station dwell time wreck the average travel speed of high-speed rail. How many intermediate stations are planned on this line anyway?

J-Paul00 on July 10, 2012 at 9:11 PM

If it hasn’t been suggested already: music to train by….

Kraken on July 10, 2012 at 9:47 PM

In the next 20 years, California expects more than 7 million additional residents illegal aliens.

Fixed it.

bw222 on July 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Meaning that it cruises at 180 mph for 1 hour 20 minutes, covering 240 miles, and takes 20 minutes to accelerate to that speed, and 20 minutes to decelerate at the other end, covering 40 miles in the process.

Steve Z on July 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

60 miles in the process (30 to accelerate, 30 to decelerate).
D = 1/2 at^2

Don’t try to fool a civil engineer!!!

J-Paul00 on July 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM