AG’s bullet-train appeal: Judges should know their place. LOL!

AG’s bullet-train appeal: Judges should know their place. LOL!

Kamala+Harris+Governor+Brown+Signs+California+lMtfUp4NkC3lAfter rereading Attorney General Kamala Harris’ court filings from October and last week regarding the bullet train, I’m more convinced than ever that what we’re seeing from Harris and Gov. Jerry Brown is an elaborate charade to mask the fact that the governor no longer wants to fight for the bullet train. Why has Jerry given up? These factors all probably are part of his decision:

1. Legal obstacles created by Prop. 1A’s ban on subsidies and requirement that the initial segment have all funding and enviro reviews completed before construction begins.

2. The extreme unlikelihood of further federal funding. It’s not just because of House Republicans. It’s because discretionary domestic spending is going to be squeezed in perpetuity because of rising entitlement costs. It’s because of the silliness of the idea that the other 49 states would fund high-speed rail for one state and one state only.

3. The growing likelihood that the bullet train is going to be left far, far behind by other technologies that cost less but help the environment much more. The mass advent of driverless cars is now seen as inevitable by 2035 or 2040. What is the average Californian going to want to use: His cheap personal hybrid mini limo? Or a train, no matter how fancy or fast?

The high-speed rail end game: Clever? Try farcical.

So how do Jerry and Kamala wind this down?

First the AG produces an astounding response to Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny’s initial Aug. 16 ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority didn’t have a legal business plan that identified funding sources for the first 300-mile segment or sufficient environmental reviews for that segment.

The response, filed in October, didn’t disagree. The AG’s office by this omission CONCEDED the state had an illegal business plan. It said, however, that the rail authority could continue for now, using federal funds only.

Then, last week, Harris completely reversed field with an appeal that claims that not only was Kenny completely wrong but that the whole idea that a court could get in the way of California’s executive branch is offensive. Here’s how AP reported this:

“A petition filed late Friday seeks an expedited review and asks the court to overturn two decisions that prevented the state from selling $8.6 billion in voter-approved bonds. The lower-court rulings also require the high-speed rail authority to write a new financing plan.

“The governor, the rail authority and the state treasurer argue that the rulings prevent California from quickly starting construction on the $68 billion project. They also say it could hurt California’s ability to finance other voter-approved projects.”

This is from the Sacramento Bee:

“The administration said in a request for expedited review that ‘the trial court’s approach to these issues cripples government’s ability to function’ and could have implications for other infrastructure projects.

“The state argues the normal appeals process could take years to resolve and is ‘not a real choice.’”

AG asks justices to accept diminished role for judiciary

This is a massive “bleep you” to the judicial branch of the California government. It argues that if courts can impede government projects or initiatives, whatever the circumstances, that is a bad thing. It argues that courts playing their standard watchdog role “cripples government’s ability to function.”

And it makes this argument to the CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT!

This is an appeal that’s designed to fail. Yeah, surrrrrrre, the justices will endorse this putdown and repudiate judicial authority by siding with Harris’ appeal.

I’m really enjoying this farce. And it’s only going to get better.

Hey, Sacramento beat reporters: When will any of y’all get around to asking Kamala Harris about the shocking change in her POV from October to last week?

Probably never.

If they can ignore the original lie of the bullet train — the evidence from 2008 that the rail authority never for a minute believed it could craft a legal business plan under Prop 1A — they can ignore anything.

8 comments

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  1. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 28 January, 2014, 07:17

    Oh my!

    Reply this comment
  2. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 28 January, 2014, 09:08

    I guess Jeff Morales is shopping resumes around northern Virginia and K street about now. This fiasco is the latest chapter in the sad tale of government by activism, which California has a lot of. Too many one dimensional people chasing their one dimensional dream, with no interest or ability to think through the real world consequences of what they’re doing. A ‘March to the sea’ as it were, burning everything in front of them in the name of fairness, equality, the environment, you name it.

    Bullet trains for some reason are major wet dreams for politicians and transportation utopians. So sleek, so futuristic, so technological. Yet even in Japan, home to the sleekest network of wiz-bang techno-narcissist bullet trains, they cannot pay for themselves, and require massive subsidies.

    More passenger rail transport for California would be a good thing, but to be viable it needs to be more of a rail version of the chicken buses of central america. Or the steam and diesel trains of southern India. Super cheap, ultra-reliable daily passenger rail throughout the state would go a long way toward insulating the California economy from gas price shocks, and extend real mobility to those who lack the means or the inclination to drive. When gas is north of $5 many Californians will finally get out from behind the wheel.

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 28 January, 2014, 09:19

    Driverless cars??? lol. That would certainly solve Justin Bieber’s problems, wouldn’t it? Total control over human freedom. A sanitized society. No more doing 40 in a 35 zone. Smoke inside your car and the electical charge gets cut off to the engine. The driverless cars will stop at only government approved locations. BF Skinner would salivate over this stuff.

    By 2040 toilet paper will be outlawed in the interest of the environment and all California businesses and residents will be mandated by the State to install bidet toilets. Since we are a compassionate society and cannot discriminate based on economic class all will be warm spray bidets. Everyone must be treated equally.

    All producers will be mandated and assigned by law to support 2 poor families in addition to their own. And one family must be of a different ethnic origin than the payor to promote ethnic unity. Support means pay for their housing, food, education, medical care and other incidentals. And the state will not discriminate against illegal foreigners in this regard. For they are people too with needs. The program will be called ‘Freedom by Compassion’.

    Those making over $50,000 will be prohibited from leaving the State without permission from the governor. All California producers will be considered lifelong residents. Fleeing the State for purposes of evading civic responsibility will be punishable as a Felony under the CA Penal Code 1070.

    Those are my predictions.

    And I thank the Lord in advance for calling me home before it all comes to pass.

    Reply this comment
  4. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 28 January, 2014, 11:26

    “This is a massive “bleep you” to the judicial branch of the California government. It argues that if courts can impede government projects or initiatives, whatever the circumstances, that is a bad thing. It argues that courts playing their standard watchdog role “cripples government’s ability to function.” ”

    Gee, I thought Republicans were against “judicial activism.” They don’t seem to have a problem with the courts playing “watchdog” on issues they oppose, and they certainly have not complained about the massive judicial activism of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. As usual, hypocrisy reigns supreme.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 28 January, 2014, 11:33

    Interesting take on the Browndoggle, Chris. So you really think that the Jerry/Kamala tag team have thrown in the towel? I’m not so sure myself. There are some very powerful and influential special interests behind this scam like construction trade unions, international engineering & construction firms, environmental fanatics, stimulus peddling Keynesian con artists and public finance “experts”, urban planners, etc.

    These kinds of large scale infrastructure projects are much beloved by the Corporate Fascist Party that runs the country these days. So much ego gratification at the expense of the taxpayer-chump class. They won’t give up the fight with this much filthy lucre at stake and Jerry-Harris can’t afford to piss them off either.

    I like the picture that accompanies the article. It’s nice how The Attorney Gerbil is bathed in the light reflected off Jerry’s chrome dome. I wonder if the photographer spot metered Jerry’s head?

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 28 January, 2014, 12:45

      Kamala should be wearing a pair of shaded Foster-Grants to protect her eyes from that head glare.

      And I agree that believing the train to nowhere will never leave the station is idealistic and prematurely optimistic.

      There is WAY TOO MUCH money on the table for the proponents to walk away without pulling strings and ‘influencing’ the decision makers to change their minds.

      And, as with ObamaCare, once the decision is made there is NO TURNING BACK, even if the decision was made based on the pack of lies. Once the train leaves the station, even if the project ends up costing $200B, it will continue to completion at taxpayer expense – doesn’t matter if you can catch a flight from LAX to SFO for RT $120 and get there in an hour as opposed paying RT $275 on the bullet train which would take minimum 5 hours with stopovers.

      This is more insanity. Which is the very reason I still think it has a good chance of eventually getting the green light.

      Reply this comment
  6. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 28 January, 2014, 13:07

    Ghris— Thanks so much for the “LOL” in the headline!!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 28 January, 2014, 21:11

    We need a faster train for transportation flexibility and to keep shipping rates competitive.

    Doomers gotta love the desert stops in Palmdale area…doomers love desolate places ….you know!

    Honorable Governor Brown is moving down the right track.

    Win Win

    Reply this comment

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