Chad Mayes/Rocky Chavez—With “Arnold” Lead Democrat Effort to Take Over Republican Party

Assembly members Chad Mayes and Rocky Chavez voted to raise your gas taxes by up to 72 cents a gallon, starting January 1, 2020—in the infamous cap and trade bill.  Where do THEY want the money to go—roads, streets, freeways?  Nope upwards of $500 million a year to the choo choo to nowhere.  Now there have joined with Arnold Schwarzenegger—who supported Hilary Clinton for President and with AB 32 killed California jobs and raised the cost of living in the former Golden State, to destroy what is left of the Republican Party in California.

““We are here because the soul of our great Republican Party that inspired each and every single one of us is worth fighting for,” said former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the keynote speaker in east L.A. at the first meeting of New Way California.

The last Republican elected to California’s top office has long called for the party to moderate its tone and reach out to the state’s diverse pool of voters, who have increasingly turned away from the GOP over the past two decades.

“Today we are the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, but before the last bit of the ship submerged,” Schwarzenegger said, drawing chuckles. “But unlike the Titanic, we might be able to save Leonardo DiCaprio before he goes under.”

Mayes, Rocky and Arnold are doing the work of the Democrat Party, while claiming to be Republicans.  Too bad their morality and ethics do not allow them to be truthfully about their goals—to defeat Republicans in the November election.  Question, if re-elected will Mayes stay in the Republican Party?  If elected to Congress, will Chavez register as a Democrat?

Chad Mayes2

Inside the fight for the ‘soul’ of the California GOP

By Ben Bradford, Capital Public Radio, 4/19/18

With the June primary approaching, there is a fight underway for the identity of the California Republican Party.

“We need bold ideas,” President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, told cheering GOP activists at the state party convention last fall. “Ideas like Donald Trump ran on, like build the wall, right? Protect our southern border. Reduce legal immigration.”

Six months later, and 25 miles north, Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes led a smaller gathering to offer an opposite message.

“For us to be able to grow and expand, we have to move beyond this nationalist model,” said Mayes, elected in 2014 to represent parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “We’ve got to start having conversations with folks of all different colors, creeds, sexual orientation. We have to go to folks who we don’t traditionally go to.”

Bannon gave the convention’s keynote address in a plush hotel ballroom room in Anaheim. Mayes organized his event at a youth center in Boyle Heights, a low-income, largely-Latino neighborhood just east of downtown Los Angeles. About 200 people sat on folding chairs laid out across the center’s basketball court, their backs to the tattered ropes of a boxing ring.

The contrasting scenes featured contrasting solutions to the same problem.

Behind Bannon, the convention’s backdrop read, “Electing Republicans in a Blue State” — a testament to how much ground the GOP has lost to Democrats in California over the past two decades.

While state party officials and activists have aligned themselves with President Trump’s brand of conservatism to tap the enthusiasm of their base, Mayes wants to broaden the party’s appeal leftward, by taking stances that run counter to Trump’s and Bannon’s. Advocates for the two approaches are at odds.

Some want to change the tune

“We are here because the soul of our great Republican Party that inspired each and every single one of us is worth fighting for,” said former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the keynote speaker in east L.A. at the first meeting of New Way California.

The last Republican elected to California’s top office has long called for the party to moderate its tone and reach out to the state’s diverse pool of voters, who have increasingly turned away from the GOP over the past two decades.

“Today we are the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, but before the last bit of the ship submerged,” Schwarzenegger said, drawing chuckles. “But unlike the Titanic, we might be able to save Leonardo DiCaprio before he goes under.”

Republicans have not won a statewide election since 2010 and their share of registered voters has fallen to about 25 percent. Only 16 percent of Latinos, the state’s largest racial or ethnic demographic, are registered Republicans, according to a 2017 study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Mayes says appealing to those groups requires finding compromises with Democrats — rather than operating as an opposition party — and moving away from divisive social debates over illegal immigration, affirmative action and same-sex marriage, which have coincided with an erosion in support from Latino, Asian and LGBT voters over the past two decades.

“We tried for so long the yelling and screaming and telling people that don’t agree with us 100 percent of the time that they’re taking this country down the road to hell,” Mayes said. “And it seemed as Republicans were doing that that our numbers were getting worse and worse and worse.”

Instead, he wants to focus on poverty and the state’s record income inequality, making the case that taxes and regulations are to blame for California’s high cost of living.

That pitch found traction with Ruben Guerra, CEO of the Latin Business Association in Los Angeles and a Democrat who voted for Schwarzenegger.

“Some of these regulations and some of these laws, even I say c’mon guys, really? Wake up,” Guerra said. “I’ve been a Democrat all my life, but now I’m not loyal to that anymore.”

But Democratic and Republican party officials downplay the ability of New Way to catch on.

“I think this is kind of ridiculous,” said Eric Bauman, the chairman of the California Democratic Party. “Do I think it’s the right way to go if I was the chair of the Republican Party? Sure. But the people who are the activists in the Republican Party and the people who are the elected officials in the Republican Party, this is not where they are.”

Ideologies collide

Mayes and his party have already clashed heads over their competing approaches and platforms. Last year, when Mayes was the leader of Republicans in the state Assembly, he struck a deal with Gov. Jerry Brown. He and six other assemblymembers provided key votes to pass an extension of the climate change program, cap-and-trade.

Mayes describes it as a practical vote, which gave Republicans leverage to negotiate other tax cuts and credits in the deal, and allows businesses, manufacturers and oil companies to cut emissions in their preferred manner. Those industries all supported the deal.

He joined Brown for a celebratory press conference after the vote. That infuriated party activists, who argue the vote raised costs on consumers, especially fuel prices.

“I think the coup de grâce for Chad’s standing in the party was the open embrace of the governor at the press conference,” says Harmeet Dhillon, the Republican National Committeewoman from California. “And I think that really caused the rift in the party. He didn’t see it. He thought it was his own party to do with it what he wanted even though his view was a minority view.”

Dhillon led the successful effort to oust Mayes as Assembly Republican leader — he stepped down a month after the vote.

This election, Mayes faces two Republican primary challengers from his right, both challenging him due to the cap-and-trade vote. A local activist group, the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, has endorsed one of them, Andrew Kotyuk, a San Jacinto councilman, while urging the other, retired Palm Springs police chief Gary Jeandron, to drop out.

The local Republican Party committees in his district and the state party also voted for Mayes’s resignation as party leader.

Now, Dhillon describes the New Way group as “Democrats-lite,” who are diverging from the values of the party. “We have to hold onto the seats that we have, but with a certain branding,” Dhillon said.

Rather than compromise with Democrats, she says state lawmakers should heighten their opposition.

“I think the tone of all of our legislators in Sacramento is very measured and frankly too tame,” Dhillon said. “I would make their tone more strident if anything on what the Democrats are doing to destroy the state.”

GOP seats up for grabs

The old and New Way approaches will face off in the June primary elections. Democrats are targeting long-held Republican congressional seats in Orange County and northern San Diego County.

One race, in particular, will be demonstrative. Long-time Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who funded the recall that led to Schwarzenegger’s election as governor and hounded President Obama as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, faces poor polling numbers and is retiring from a seat that was once solidly the GOP’s. The race to replace him includes several well-funded Democrats, including environmental attorney Mike Levin, former nonprofit CEO Sara Jacob and retired Marine colonel Doug Applegate, who lost to Issa in the last general election by a mere 1,600 votes.

On the Republican side, Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey has endorsements from the area’s prominent conservative, including Issa and the county Republican parties,while San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar is another prominent, conservative Republican who entered the race late.

Straddling the middle is Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, one of New Way’s founding members.

It could be an early test of which kind of Republican remains viable with California voters, if any.

Evil Christians Oppress Secular New Yorkers With Delicious Chicken Sandwiches

The New Yorker magazine has declared that Chick-fil-A can not be in Manhattan, because it is Christian and being Christian is “creepy”.  Imagine them saying that about Muslims and see how fast they need to go into witness protection.

“The opening of several Chick-fil-A locations throughout the city confirmed New Yorkers’ worst fears, that Christians had begun a brutal offensive consisting primarily of offering tasty chicken sandwiches to hungry citizens who would like to eat them.

“This is a Christian-fueled hate crime on par with the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, and the Crusades,” one author wrote in The New Yorker. “These Christian crusaders must be stopped, before everyone in New York City gets a quality meal with excellent service at a decent price. Think of the children!”

Some of this is satire—the words from the New Yorker magazine are true, bigoted and hate filled.

Photos_NewYork1_032

Evil Christians Oppress Secular New Yorkers With Delicious Chicken Sandwiches

Babylon Bee,  4/16/18

 

NEW YORK, NY—Horrifying reports out of New York City indicated that oppressive Christians have begun an all-out assault on secular New York citizens, by attacking them with delicious Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches.

The opening of several Chick-fil-A locations throughout the city confirmed New Yorkers’ worst fears, that Christians had begun a brutal offensive consisting primarily of offering tasty chicken sandwiches to hungry citizens who would like to eat them.

“This is a Christian-fueled hate crime on par with the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, and the Crusades,” one author wrote in The New Yorker. “These Christian crusaders must be stopped, before everyone in New York City gets a quality meal with excellent service at a decent price. Think of the children!”

At publishing time, Christian cultural war strategists had announced plans to open a new front in the culture war by launching a new Hobby Lobby location in Manhattan.

 

Feds Spend $270,000 to RECREATE Alcoholics Anonymous

Native Americans have a tradition of “passing the stick” to show who has the floor to speak.  Alcoholics Anonymous have a tradition of being in a room and talking about a problem with alcohol.  The Federal government has a tradition—to waste tax dollars on items already in the free market.

“The National Institutes of Health is spending over a quarter of a million dollars creating “talking circles” to fight alcoholism.

Washington State University received the funding earlier this year for a study of the Native American practice of people sitting in a circle, listening “with their heart,” and using a talking stick to speak.

The project, entitled “Randomized Clinical Trial of Harm Reduction Talking Circles for Urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with Alcohol Use Disorders,” will not ask alcoholic participants to drink less but will “accept people where they’re at.”

Native American have been doing this for hundreds of years—no government ot tax dollars have been needed.  Looks like a payoff to me.

masseto wine

Feds Spend $269,947 Creating ‘Talking Circles’ to Fight Alcoholism

Study will use ‘talking sticks’ for alcoholics to ‘speak from the heart’

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon,  4/20/18

The National Institutes of Health is spending over a quarter of a million dollars creating “talking circles” to fight alcoholism.

Washington State University received the funding earlier this year for a study of the Native American practice of people sitting in a circle, listening “with their heart,” and using a talking stick to speak.

The project, entitled “Randomized Clinical Trial of Harm Reduction Talking Circles for Urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with Alcohol Use Disorders,” will not ask alcoholic participants to drink less but will “accept people where they’re at.”

“Alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) are a serious public health issue for urban American Indians and Alaska Natives,” according to the grant for the study. “They have twice the levels of AUDs and alcohol problems of urban non-Hispanic whites. Unfortunately, the most widely available treatment option—abstinence-based treatment—is generally ineffective in engaging and successfully treating this underserved population.”

Instead, the study proposes using talking circles as a “non-abstinence-based harm-reduction approach with Native cultural practices” to get Native Americans to drink less.

“A talking circle is a gathering of people with a common concern who respectfully share their perspectives and ‘listen with their heart’ while each individual speaks,” the grant explains. “Traditionally, talking circles have been used to address community problems, heal individuals from trauma, and bring about community harmony.”

The study will involve at least 280 patients in Seattle with “lived experience” of alcohol use disorder. The project, which began in February, has received $269,947 from taxpayers so far.

The researchers say the study is “cost-effective.”

“We expect that [Harm Reduction Talking Circles] HaRTC participants will show greater improvements on alcohol outcomes and quality of life compared to control participants and that the intervention will be cost-effective and sustainable,” according to the grant. “We also expect HaRTC participants will show increased engagement in AI/AN cultural practices and community events, which will be evaluated as a potential mediator of the HaRTC effect.”

A talking circle is a “very effective way to remove barriers and to allow people to express themselves with complete freedom,” according to Mi’kmaw Spirituality.

“The symbolism of the circle, with no beginning and with nobody in a position of prominence, serves to encourage people to speak freely and honestly about things that are on their minds,” the Mi’kmaw website states.

The leader of the circle will use a feather or a “special talking stick” that signifies when it is a person’s turn to speak. Rules include “speak from the heart” and “what is said in the circle stays in the circle.”

The study’s lead researcher Lonnie Nelson, a descendent of the Eastern Band Cherokee (Ani-Kituwa) and assistant professor at Washington State University, provided the Washington Free Beacon the grant application submitted to the NIH. The application explains the project is “innovative” because sitting together talking about personal problems with alcohol has never been tried.

Participants in the study aimed at reducing drinking do not need to attempt to drink less, as the talking circle is intended to be “compassionate, nonjudgmental, and culturally sensitive.”

“The umbrella term ‘harm reduction’ comprises a set of evidence-based, patient-centered approaches that might suit the treatment preferences of urban AI/ANs with AUDs,” the grant application states. “Harm reduction entails a compassionate, nonjudgmental provider stance that affords people respect and the autonomy needed to forge their own paths toward minimizing alcohol-related harm and improving [quality of life] QoL.”

“It focuses on ‘accepting people where they’re at’ and avoids pathologizing or placing moral value on alcohol use,” the application states.

In addition, “talking circle leaders,” or “circle keepers,” will use a “compassionate, nonjudgmental, and culturally sensitive style.”

“In accordance with community input and harm reduction principles, neither drinking reduction nor abstinence is required,” the application says. “In the talking circle tradition, circle keepers introduce harm-reduction topics for discussion, and participants are encouraged to withhold judgment and support each other by ‘listening with their hearts’ while they take turns speaking in the circle on their personal experience with the topic.”

 

New air pollution report: California is the worst. So, don’t come here

California government and policies have cost tens of billions of dollars, tens of billions in taxes, fees and permits, we have lost jobs and businesses, raised the cost of housing and daily life—and we did not even get a lousy t-shirt for the effort.  Instead, we got nothing.

“The American Lung Association has released its annual report on ozone pollution. And would you believe, eight of the worst places in the country for ozone pollution are in California?

So, you definitely wouldn’t want to move here from outside the state. No, sir.

In fact, if you’re already among the 39.5 million folks who try to exist here, you probably want to load up both cars, get on I-15 or I-10 and head out for cleaner air. Get out of here while the getting is good.

Word is, according to the new report, you can find the cleanest air in Casper, Wyoming if you can find it. Or Wilmington, N.C., Bellingham, Wash. or Melbourne, Florida. Burlington, Vermont is a possibility too, though they talk funny there. Grand places all. Less traffic, cheaper housing, cleaner air.”

The Confederate State of California has the highest taxes, highest rate of poverty, highest housing costs, the worst roads and streets—now we have the worst air—the more we spend and control, the worse it gets.

arnold schwarzenegger

New air pollution report: California is the worst. So, don’t come here

Andrew Malcolm, HotAir,  4/19/18

 

Good news for those of us who think the nation’s most populous state should be a little less populous. Or a lot less.

The American Lung Association has released its annual report on ozone pollution. And would you believe, eight of the worst places in the country for ozone pollution are in California?

So, you definitely wouldn’t want to move here from outside the state. No, sir.

In fact, if you’re already among the 39.5 million folks who try to exist here, you probably want to load up both cars, get on I-15 or I-10 and head out for cleaner air. Get out of here while the getting is good.

Word is, according to the new report, you can find the cleanest air in Casper, Wyoming if you can find it. Or Wilmington, N.C., Bellingham, Wash. or Melbourne, Florida. Burlington, Vermont is a possibility too, though they talk funny there. Grand places all. Less traffic, cheaper housing, cleaner air.

Oh, sure, you won’t have as much time to read in traffic. Fewer freeway police chases monitored from dueling news choppers. And you will have to do without California’s one party state rule and 10 percent sales tax. But the sacrifices are worth it.

Also on the plus side, the snow is free up north. And the air, oh, the air is not to die for.

Of course, the association warns that the city you will most want to flee or avoid is Los Angeles, where I happen to drive. I agree. LA traffic is so bad that half the drivers are trying to get somewhere, while the other half have given up and are trying to get home.

Not one additional person should want to come here. Also Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento and San Diego. Terrible places for ozone. So, stay the hell out, people.

California is known for its strict environmental laws and regulations. It’s killing off coal power plants, clamping down on exhaust emissions and supporting the smog-check industry by requiring one every year. Wait, so if California is so strict about the environment, how come it’s the worst place for air pollution?

The association says, well, yes, that’s kinda true. But, see, it would be so much worse without all the government rules.

So, there’s really only one answer to air pollution: More government.

Dana Rohrabacher: ‘Never Trumpers’ and GOP ‘Country Club Set’ Oppose Anyone Fighting Illegal Immigration

In California you can look at the “registered” Republicans that love high taxes, illegal aliens, and big government—Arnold, Chad Mayes, Rocky Chavez and you also find those claiming to be Republicans that are Never Trumpers.  These folks pretend to be Republican but are working closely with Democrats to destroy the Republican Party and assure we lose in November.  Why?  They hate Donald Trump who supports low taxes, limited government and believes borders mean something.

“Rohrabacher pointed linked Never Trumpers with Republicans supportive of amnesty for illegal immigrants. He replied, “I hate to tell you this, but we have the Never Trumpers, and they have a lot of influence on our party, and then we have people who always were opposing anyone who was trying to fight against illegal immigration. These people actually supported amnesty within the Republican Party because you have the country club set who wants cheap labor. … Several people in the Republican Party — the Never Trumpers — bear some of this blame themselves.”

Could it be that the issue of illegal aliens—and the Trump tax cut bill will be the cause of a Republican revival in California?

FILE - In this July 17, 2007 file photo, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Judiciary hearing on the prosecution of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, two former Border Patrol agents imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler in the backside as he sprinted toward Mexico. Rohrabacher's suggestion Friday, June 10, 2011, during a trip to Baghdad, that Iraq repay the United States for the money it has spent in the country has stirred anger, with an Iraqi lawmaker ridiculing the idea as "stupid" and others saying Iraqis should be compensated for the hardships they've endured.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Exclusive – Dana Rohrabacher: ‘Never Trumpers’ and GOP ‘Country Club Set’ Oppose Anyone Fighting Illegal Immigration

by Robert Kraychik, Breitbart CA,  4/20/18

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) told SiriusXM hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel on Wednesday evening’s edition of Breitbart News Tonight that the Republican Party’s Never Trump faction opposes measures to combat illegal immigration.

Mansour asked Rohrabacher if Republicans should bring more national attention to the issue of illegal immigration. She asked, “Do you think that this is an issue that the national GOP can pick up? It seems like a winning issue for everyone. It’s a simple thing that ordinary Americans can attach to. This is what Donald Trump got elected on.”

Rohrabacher pointed linked Never Trumpers with Republicans supportive of amnesty for illegal immigrants. He replied, “I hate to tell you this, but we have the Never Trumpers, and they have a lot of influence on our party, and then we have people who always were opposing anyone who was trying to fight against illegal immigration. These people actually supported amnesty within the Republican Party because you have the country club set who wants cheap labor. … Several people in the Republican Party — the Never Trumpers — bear some of this blame themselves.”

Rohrabacher assessed a political shift within California over the issue of illegal immigration. He said, “I believe there’s a mobilization going on because we’ve finally broken through the liberal media, the ones who just want to say we’re against immigrants rather than the illegal immigrants. There’s going to be a shift in California politics, right now, because of this issue.”

Rohrabacher highlighted the killing of Kate Steinle in 2015 by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times — and the subsequent acquittal of her killer on charges including murder — as a flashpoint in what he described a changing tide of popular opinion among Californians regarding illegal immigration.

Rohrabacher said of the acquittal of Steinle’s killer by a San Francisco jury, “The injustice of that, the stupidity of that, has finally captured the attention of well-meaning Democrats who’d gone along with this far-left liberal clique that runs their party.”

Rohrabacher added, “It’s clear to everybody that it’s bringing down out quality of life in California. The education levels are just going right through the floor. Our neighborhoods aren’t safe. The healthcare that our people use, you go into an emergency room and you have to wait hours because there are bunch of people who don’t speak English. It’s dawning on people that this is really bad. Put the fact that we’re not even allowing the criminals to be deported on top of all of that. I think we’ve reached the tipping point. It’s going our way now and I think it will continue to go our way.”

 

California’s Transportation Future, Part One – The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece

I am too old to be subtle.  The High Speed Rail is yesterday transportation.  The Hyperloop is the transportation of tomorrow.  The train will get you to San Fran from L.A. in about five hours.  The Hyperloop, 43 minutes.  The train will cost taxpayers $200 billion—plus the cost of operation.  The Hyperloop is the free market approach.

“The fatally flawed centerpiece of California’s transportation future, the “Bullet Train,” unfairly dominates California’s transportation conversation. Unfair not only because it represents a prodigious waste of public resources and an epic failure of public policy, but because in spite of the Bullet Train fiasco, California’s private sector is designing and building a transportation future for the world at dazzling speed. But before surveying the excellent progress being made elsewhere in the Golden State, it is necessary, yet again, to tick through the reasons why the Bullet Train is the wrong solution, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Fifty years ago, before air travel became affordable to nearly anyone, before you could fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles for less money than it would cost in gasoline to drive there in your car, rail travel might have made sense. But today, airfare is only about twice the cost of bus fare, with total air travel time a minute fraction of what the same trip would take on a bus.

Poor Jerry Brown, he thinks it is still 1975, when he first entered the Governors office.  Someone, quick.  Show him a calendar.

Hyperloop

California’s Transportation Future, Part One – The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece

by Edward Ring, California Policy Center,  4/18/18

California’s transportation future is bright. In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way. Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California from the aerospace hub surrounding LAX to the Mojave desert, heavily funded consortiums experiment with everything from passenger drones to hyperloop technologies to hypersonic transports. It’s all happening here. It’s wondrous.

Meanwhile, instead of preparing the roads for smart cars, or designing hubs that integrate buses and cars-on-demand with aerial drones and hyperloop systems, the centerpiece of California’s transportation future is a train that isn’t very fast, being built at what is probably the highest cost-per-mile in the history of transportation, which hardly anyone will ever ride.

There is a stark contrast between California’s private entrepreneurial culture, as reflected in the marvels of transportation engineering they are developing, and California’s political culture, as reflected in their ongoing commitment to “high speed rail,” in all of its stupefying expense, its useless grandeur, its jobs for nothing, its monumental initial waste, situated miles from nowhere. Exploring that stark contrast, its origins, the players, the projects, the problems and the solutions, will be the topic of this and subsequent reports.

HIGH SPEED RAIL – THE FATALLY FLAWED CENTERPIECE

The fatally flawed centerpiece of California’s transportation future, the “Bullet Train,” unfairly dominates California’s transportation conversation. Unfair not only because it represents a prodigious waste of public resources and an epic failure of public policy, but because in spite of the Bullet Train fiasco, California’s private sector is designing and building a transportation future for the world at dazzling speed. But before surveying the excellent progress being made elsewhere in the Golden State, it is necessary, yet again, to tick through the reasons why the Bullet Train is the wrong solution, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Fifty years ago, before air travel became affordable to nearly anyone, before you could fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles for less money than it would cost in gasoline to drive there in your car, rail travel might have made sense. But today, airfare is only about twice the cost of bus fare, with total air travel time a minute fraction of what the same trip would take on a bus.

Fifty years ago, before land values and environmentalist lawsuits rendered any capital project prohibitively expensive, building a high-speed rail corridor between San Francisco and Los Angeles might have made sense. But today, the latest cost estimates for the SF/LA route exceed $100 billion.

Unrealistic Projections

High speed rail makes sense for intercity applications in megapolises. For example, a high speed rail line connects three of Japan’s largest cities, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Nearly all of this 300 mile corridor is urbanized – in all, over 70 million Japanese live in this region of Japan.

By contrast, just phase one of the California high speed rail project, linking San Francisco with Los Angeles, will be 520 miles long, connecting about 24 million people. This doesn’t pass the density test. Compared to a successful high speed rail system – which the Tokyo/Osaka system certainly is – the San Francisco/Los Angeles system would be nearly twice as long, and serve only about one third as many people.

Put another way, there are 233,000 Japanese, per mile, living along the Tokyo/Osaka route, whereas there are 46,000 Californians, per mile, living along the proposed San Francisco/Los Angeles route. That means there are five times as many potential riders on Japan’s centerpiece bullet train as there might be on California’s.

Low ridership isn’t just a consequence of insufficient population density, although that is a critical precondition. Low ridership also stems from impracticality. The California High Speed Rail Authority’s 2018 “business plan” is disingenuous on this topic. They claim that travel to and from the airport chews up time, yet ignore travel time to and from a high-speed rail station. Travel time to these stations, air vs. rail, are entirely offsetting. Then they claim time that boarding high speed rail is quicker than boarding an airplane. Why? A frequent air traveler has TSA Pre, and typically sails through check-in and security. And won’t security be in place for high speed rail? Of course it will. Boarding time – also entirely offsetting. Which brings us to the actual travel time.

The current projection according to the CA HSR 2018 business plan (ref. page 7) is three hours for nonstop service from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This is definitely a best-case estimate. As reported on March 18th in the Los Angeles Times, “Of the roughly 434 miles of track between Los Angeles and San Francisco, 136 miles — nearly one-third of the total — could have at least some speed restrictions.” This would include tunnels, sharp curves, all transits through urban areas, and, incredibly, shared track and shared right-of-way with conventional rail carriers.

It is going to take twice as long to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles via high speed rail vs. an airplane. Let’s not forget there are three major airports in the San Francisco Bay Area – SJC, OAK, and SFO. Five major airports serve the Los Angeles area – LAX, ONT, BUR, LGB and SNA. And flights connect all of them to each other, all day, every day.

Perpetual Financial Drain

Even if you accept the official projections for California’s high speed rail, the financial projections are unlikely to attract private capital. The table depicted below uses baseline projections from the CA HSR 2018 business plan (numbers directly taken from the business plan are highlighted in yellow, with numbers in intermediate years, which were not disclosed in the business plan, arrived at by extrapolation) to construct a cash flow for the “Phase One” portion of the project, those segments connecting San Francisco to Bakersfield. All of the variables are taken from that document. Several generous assumptions are necessary to accept these projections. They are:

(1) The entire capital cost for construction of the Phase One system linking San Francisco to Bakersfield is $40.1 billion (ref. page 32, exhibit 3.2 “Summary of Cost Estimates by Phase and by Range”). This is crazy. It will probably cost half that just to bore a tunnel under the Pacheco Pass.

(2) Ridership on this segment will grow to 31.9 million fares per year by 2035. Assuming primarily commuter traffic, this assumes over 120,000 riders per day (ref. page 90, exhibit 7.1 “Ridership: Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line through Phase 1,” “Medium Ridership”).

(3) Incredibly, fare revenue will hit $1.86 billion by 2035. This assumes an average ticket price, in 2017 dollars, of $60. This, in turn, infers that the average commuter will be spending $1,220 per month to ride the bullet train (ref. page 90, exhibit 7.3 “Farebox Revenue: Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line through Phase 1,” “Medium Revenue”). This is perhaps the most far fetched of all assumptions made in the entire business plan. Imagine over 120,000 regular commuters spending $1,200 per month to ride this train, noting the fact that this sum would not include the additional costs virtually all commuters would incur to travel from their home to the HSR station, and then from the HSR station to their workplace, on both their outbound and inbound commute, day after day.

(4) Operations and maintenance for the train will be a mere $1.4 billion in 2035, then, after adjusting for 3% inflation, will only increase 11% by 2060 even though ridership is projected to rise from 31.9 million passengers in 2035 to 51.2 million by 2060 (ref. page 91, exhibit 7.5 “O&M Costs: Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line through Phase 1,” “Medium Cost Estimate”). This defies credulity. How will ridership increase by 61% between 2035 and 2060 while O&M costs only increase 11%?

(5) “Lifecycle Costs,” the capital reinvestment necessary to replace worn out rolling stock and other fixed assets, i.e. “capital rehabilitation and replacement costs for the infrastructure and assets of the future high-speed rail system,” as near as can be determined from the 2018 business plan, is estimated to only total around $5 billion between commencement of operations in 2029 and 2060, over 30 years (ref. page 91, exhibit 7.6 “Lifecycle Costs: Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line through Phase 1,” “Medium Lifecycle Cost”).

(6) In the analysis below, loan payments are deferred for up to ten years until rail operations begin in 2029. In reality, of course, payments begin as soon as the money is loaned. Notwithstanding that, the annual loan payments are calculated based on loan of $40.1 billion, a 30 year term, and 5% interest.

CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL
CASH FLOW USING 2018 BUSINESS PLAN’S “BASELINE” PROJECTIONS, $=M

Taking into account these are – for the six reasons just stated – very optimistic projections, there remain problems with these numbers that would give any investor pause. For starters, there is a cumulative negative cash flow of $14 billion, representing the period up until 2039 when the system is projected to become cash-positive. This represents over 20 years of negative cash flow. Where will this $14 billion come from? Bear in mind it will be more than $14 billion, since payments on the loans commence when the monies are loaned, not when the system begins operations. Maybe some of it will come from “cap and trade” proceeds, although if so, it would consume nearly all of them. Would private investors step up?

The problem with that is if you review this best-case scenario, you can see that selling the future positive cash flow to finance the initial negative cash flow would yield an internal rate of return of 4.7%. While that’s not an impossibly low rate for a municipal financing, it is exceedingly low for a private financing subject to this level of risk. And what about the risk?

High Speed Rail Cash Flow Using Conservative Assumptions

The next chart shows a cash flow scenario for high speed rail, phase one, with key assumptions changed. Instead of costing $40.1 billion, it costs $49 billion, the “High” range of cost estimates as disclosed on the HSR 2018 business plan, page 32. Instead of an average ticket price of $60, a more affordable $30 price is used, based on the assumption that the average commuter will not be willing to spend more than $600 per month on train fare. As ridership grows by 60% between 2035 and 2060, operations and maintenance costs are escalated by 30% instead of only 11%. And instead of spending a mere $5 billion on ongoing capital investments between 2029 and 2060, that is doubled to a still paltry $10 billion. What happens?

CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL
CASH FLOW USING ALTERNATIVE (CONSERVATIVE) PROJECTIONS, $=M

As can be seen on this alternative analysis, if ridership revenue is significantly lower than projected, and if – one might argue – realistic operations and capital budgets are projected, and, if one merely uses the HSR Authority’s own high estimate of capital costs, there is no financial viability whatsoever to this project. The internal rate of return formula basically blows up, which is what happens when you burn through $91 billion before having your first break-even year in 2059. The question instead becomes, what else might Californians have done with $50 billion? The other question raised by this more conservative financial scenario, more disturbing, is what if high speed rail never makes money? How many additional tens of billions will be required to subsidize its operation?

The problem with dismissing these more bleak financial scenarios is simple: this is the sort of analysis that any savvy investment banker would start with. Then they would ask questions. WHY do you think 120,000 people are going to be willing to spend $1,200 per month in train fares to commute, not even including their costs to get to and from the train station? WHY do you think you can increase ridership by 60%, but only increase operations costs by 11%? WHY do you think you can operate a $50 billion railroad, and only expect to reinvest ten percent of that amount in capital equipment over thirty years?

The “Monte Carlo” Method of What-If Analysis

Instead of confronting these questions in plain English, the high speed rail authority did what-ifs using a “Monte Carlo” analysis. Here’s how they describe this (ref. page 93):

“Breakeven forecasts measure the likelihood that farebox revenue is equal to or greater than operations and maintenance costs in a given operating year. The analysis works as though there are two large bags full of marbles, one with thousands of marbles each representing a potential operations and maintenance cost, with more of the marbles having values around the median cost estimate than around the extreme (high or low) values. The second bag of marbles contains potential revenue outcomes, again with more marbles with values around the median than the high or low outliers.

The breakeven Monte Carlo analysis simply “picks” one marble at random from the revenue bag and one marble at random from the cost bag, subtracts the number written on the cost marble from the one written on the revenue marble and records the value. The analysis then puts the marbles back into their respective bags and repeats the process thousands more times which builds a distribution of potential results and generates a degree of confidence (or confidence interval, expressed as a percentage) as to the likelihood of project breakeven.”

If anyone wonders why projects in California cost far more than they should, please consider the role of consultants. The variables governing success or failure for California’s high speed rail project are tangible. They require urgent debate by practical people. How much will it cost to bore a tunnel through the Pacheco Pass? How likely is it that Union Pacific will share their right-of-ways with high speed rail, and if so, how much will that reduce costs, and how much will that reduce the speed of the train along those segments, and why? What is the real cost of the many engineering and environmental studies, and how many of them are necessary? Why is it that so many other nations, from socialist Europe to fascist China, manage to build these systems for a fraction of what Californians must expect to pay?

These are the questions that require answers. Counting metaphorical marbles does not add value to the process, nor does it add credibility to the financial projections. These qualitative questions regarding California’s high speed rail project have not been answered, because perhaps they cannot be answered. But the reasons California’s high speed rail system is so staggeringly, prohibitively expensive, are not problems that are confined to the high speed rail project. They infect every infrastructure program in the United States, and especially in California. Identifying the reasons infrastructure projects cost far more than they should, along with exploring tantalizing alternatives to high speed rail, will be the topic of future reports.

*   *   *

Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming (Audition for Comedy Store)

Paul Ehlich said in the 1960’s that by the 1980’s the world would be in a war for food, famine everywhere—he made lots of money giving speeches and selling books, like “The Population Bomb”.  Rachel Carson in the 1950’s book “Silent Spring” said by the 70’s the environment would kill off the people on Earth—she made lots of money giving speeches and selling books.  Both should be classified as the P.T. Barnums of public life.  Add the old and confused Jerry Brown to the P.T. Barnum hall of fame.

““When you pick up the paper or turn on cable news, you’d think it’s another planet. It’s all about the nonsense of Washington, and carbon emissions are growing, and we’ve got to radically turn that around, or the migrations you’re seeing now are going to be child’s play,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they’re not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 27:  California Governor Jerry Brown announces his public employee pension reform plan October 27, 2011 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.  Gov. Brown proposed 12 major reforms for state and local pension systems that he claims would end abuses and reduce taypayer costs by billions of dollars.  (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming

By Melanie Arter, cnsnews,  4/19/18

(CNSNews.com) – California Gov. Jerry Brown predicted that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced, billions of people will die from “heat events,” and one billion will be subjected to vector diseases.

“When you pick up the paper or turn on cable news, you’d think it’s another planet. It’s all about the nonsense of Washington, and carbon emissions are growing, and we’ve got to radically turn that around, or the migrations you’re seeing now are going to be child’s play,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they’re not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”

Brown was among a number of governors who established an alliance to reduce climate change in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

When asked what states can reasonably do about climate change, Brown said, “California has adopted an extension of this cap and trade program, which will give us 20 percent of our greenhouse gas reduction. That’s a very important measure that would have gone out of existence in 2020, and that measure was voted by Republicans. It wouldn’t have passed without Republican support.”

“So we’ve done that. We’re revising our building standards. We have a scoping plan for our entire greenhouse gas emission strategy that’s going forward. Other states, I think New Jersey is considering significant changes, so there’s a lot of possibilities going on in different states and different provinces around the world,” he said.

“We have an Under Two Coalition – keep the temperature under two degrees Centigrade from growing, and we have over 200 signatories that represent more than a third of the world’s wealth. Is it enough? No. Is the world on the right track? No. Does disaster loom? Yes, and I’m doing what I can to motivate people. People are asleep,” Brown said.

“This is a horror, and that’s why I spend so much time working on climate change even though it is not a big, hot political issue – not in California, certainly not in Washington, and unfortunately, not in a number of other countries, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big problem. It’s a huge problem, and there’s just two big topics,” the governor said.

“I don’t see any evidence in the paper. One is the risk of nuclear destruction or incident. William Perry wrote a book, ‘My Journey at the Nuclear Brink,’ which I reviewed. He said we’re more in danger now than we were at the height of the Cold War. That’s been repeated by other people. That’s a serious matter, and yet we have very little discussion going on with Russia with climate change – a serious matter, what’s going on,” he said.

Santa Barbara’s Commuter Train Brings Solid Ridership and Timely Service–With Sky High Costs

Read the article carefully—it is only a few words.  Santa Barbara has created a new commuter train—that averages 183 people a day.  Note the article is proud of that number, by implication, costs do not matter.

What the article leaves out is the cost of the train and the cost of subsidies for the 183 to use the train each day.  This is a massive tax loss and the folks in Santa Barbara are too economically illiterate to know they are being taken.  Why does it cost so much to live in this community?  They spend money as if it does not matter.  Thought you should be aware of the problem.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image16568012

Santa Barbara’s Commuter Train Brings Solid Ridership and Timely Service

More Than 180 Daily Riders in Opening Weeks

By Jean Yamamura, Independent,  4/19/18

Results are in for the first two weeks of Santa Barbara’s new morning train. Jennifer Bergener, who directs the Pacific Surfliner agency, LOSSAN, said the first week saw an average of 189.6 riders, and the second week had 186.4. The highest number of people rode the maiden voyage on April 2 — 248 passengers. The next highest was 242 riders on April 11. The lowest was Friday the 13th, with 96 riders. The times were trending toward on time to Santa Barbara and early to Goleta by the end of the second week.

 

Elias: Biggest California investor puts money over lives

The Left does not get it.  The role of a trustee of a pension plan is to maximize returns on investment—not to use the plan as a social warrior.  In fact, CalPers has billions tied up in money losing green investments—that means tax payers will have to use money meant for roads, libraries and public safety will be used to finance the socialist inspired losses of the system.

“Voting about the same time when millions of teenagers and their adult supporters staged massive pro-gun control marches in cities across the state and nation, California’s largest stock investor chose to hang onto those holdings despite pleas from Democratic state Treasurer John Chiang that it divest from companies selling assault rifles.

The state’s leading retirement board rejected Chiang’s appeal on grounds stated by board member Bill Slaton, an appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown who is also president of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, second-largest municipal utility in the state.

Why is CalPERS collapsing?  Mismanagement, corruption and socialist theory.  When will the workers revolt against this?

SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 21:   A sign stands in front of California Public Employees' Retirement System building July 21, 2009 in Sacramento, California. CalPERS, the state's public employees retirement fund, reported a loss of 23.4%, its largest annual loss. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Thomas Elias: Biggest California investor puts money over lives

Thomas Elias, California Focus, The Union,  4/13/18

 

No one at last month’s meeting of the Board of Administrators of the California Public Employees Retirement System ever said money counts for more than lives, but there were serious questions about priorities after that board voted 9-3 to hang onto its stash of stocks in gun retailers.

Voting about the same time when millions of teenagers and their adult supporters staged massive pro-gun control marches in cities across the state and nation, California’s largest stock investor chose to hang onto those holdings despite pleas from Democratic state Treasurer John Chiang that it divest from companies selling assault rifles.

The state’s leading retirement board rejected Chiang’s appeal on grounds stated by board member Bill Slaton, an appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown who is also president of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, second-largest municipal utility in the state.

“We obviously have a significant (assault weapon) problem in this country,” said Slaton. “We have found engagement is a better alternative in order for us to accomplish something in this area.”

Despite pleas, California’s largest stock investor chose to hang onto holdings in assault gun sellers.

Translation: the pension board believes its prime job is to maximize investment returns rather than attempting tactics that might save lives.

This is clear from CalPERS’ persistence in owning stock in companies like Walmart, one of its 10 largest holdings. Walmart sold guns like the AR-15 assault weapon used in the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre which spurred the so-called “March for Our Lives.” That nationwide protest brought a larger turnout than President Trump’s inauguration to the federal Mall in Washington, D.C. Only after Parkland did Walmart stop selling automatic rifles.

Slaton appeared to credit supposed pressure from CalPERS for the Walmart decision, when there’s no evidence of any pressure at all from the retirement system. Walmart never halted such sales after earlier school shootings in places like Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and CalPERS never moved to divest. Neither Walmart nor CalPERS acted after the San Bernardino County massacre of 2015, which left 14 dead and 22 other persons seriously wounded.

In fact, there’s no evidence CalPERS or any other investors ever influenced gun retailers to stop or restrict assault rifle sales.

So Slaton’s claim looks empty.

Chiang, running third among Democrats in the current campaign to be California’s next governor, used his anti-gun pitch to the CalPERS board in a campaign mailer, saying he would push the retirement fund and other institutional investors to dump holdings in companies that sell mIn an official statement, he again urged CalPERS and America’s other big institutional investors — outfits like BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard mutual funds, PIMCO and the Allstate and State Farm insurance companies — to divest from gun dealers.

There have been no results yet.

The CalPERS board specifically ignored divestment appeals from relatives of San Bernardino victims. One such plea came from Arlen Vandehyou, whose wife was killed in that onslaught. “Do everything possible to put a dent in gun violence,” he begged. But CalPERS did nothing.

Chiang heard that appeal, but made no promises to change things at the retirement system if he becomes governor. By contrast, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, running first in the campaign, implied at a March for Our Lives rally in Orange County that he would.

“We will be the example (for the rest of America),” he said. “Gun control saves lives.”

Chiang, a CalPERS board member because of his position, was more specific. “If we don’t take action, nobody is going to take us seriously on this,” he said. “Today, California public employees are inextricably tied to the gun trade through their pension accounts. But…we can build the pressure needed for the nation’s largest pension funds and investors to cut ties to companies that sell assault-style weapons.”

Only after the San Bernardino shootings did Californians pass Proposition 63, which puts mild restrictions on ammunition sales. Maybe Parkland, combined with the killings of three therapists at the Yountville Veterans Home by a former patient using a semi-automatic rifle, can spur tougher action, including stock dumps by both CalPERS and the state’s teachers’ pension system.

But it won’t happen soon. That was the signal sent by CalPERS in its late March anti-divestment vote.

 

Prof. Called Racist for Trying Not to be Racist

To the Left everybody is a racist.  If you hate black people you are a racist.  If you love black people, you are a racist.  What the Left does not understand is that THEY are the racist.  They openly hate white people.  They hate straight people.  They hate Americans. They are haters and they are always looking in the mirror, to assure themselves, everyone is a racist.

“In an incident of public shaming, an anonymous student working on a theatre production for Pomona College’s Theatre and Dance Department posted several posters on buildings throughout the campus accusing a faculty member—Pomona College theatre lecturer Rose Portillo—of being “racist” by asking the student to not include songs with the word “nigga” in them for an upcoming production.

The posters—which were also posted on the theatre—were titled as “PSA [Public Service Announcements].” The content of the poster includes Portillo’s photos and the student’s accusation:”

Pomona seemed to be the epicenter of racist, bigotry and hate—the Claremont colleges are not happy with white people.  Scripps College tried to hold a pool party, barring white people from participating.  Maybe the smog is getting to them—Leftists need therapy, for their own protection and that of society.

farrakhan

Prof. Called Racist for Trying Not to be Racist

by Will Gu, Claremont Independent,  4/19/18

In an incident of public shaming, an anonymous student working on a theatre production for Pomona College’s Theatre and Dance Department posted several posters on buildings throughout the campus accusing a faculty member—Pomona College theatre lecturer Rose Portillo—of being “racist” by asking the student to not include songs with the word “nigga” in them for an upcoming production.

The posters—which were also posted on the theatre—were titled as “PSA [Public Service Announcements].” The content of the poster includes Portillo’s photos and the student’s accusation:

“On Tuesday, April 17th, I was organizing song cues for one of Pomona College’ Theatre Department’s upcoming productions. My professor Rose Portillo [emphasis original] walked up to me in class and said: ‘Nothing with nigga in it.’ I said ‘don’t say that.’ She replied ‘I’m saying it.’” The student concludes the poster by stating “That’s racist.”

According to a dictionary’s usage alert of “nigga,” the term is “taken to be extremely offensive when used by outsiders,” but is “also common in rap music.” The word is an “alteration” of “nigger,” a derogatory term referring to persons of African descent that is contentious enough to warrant debate on whether the word should be printed out in media. The poster does not clarify how asking a student to not include music with “nigga” in it is racist.

Students often work on theatre productions alongside faculty for the department, with many positions in cast and crew, including production managers. The department puts on several productions each academic year, with the latest production being a rendition of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The mission statement of the theatre department states that “[the department] embodies the liberal arts education…In an atmosphere of freedom, discipline and passion, students, faculty, and staff approach intellectual and artistically great creations of the human spirit, both in the classroom and in production.”

The Independent has reached out to Portillo asking for a response to the accusations, but has not received one at the time of publication.

This story is developing and the Independent will provide any available updates.