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Weird News Dump | Main | Saturday Gardening Thread: Pickle-O [KT]
January 20, 2018

Thread before the Gardening Thread: State of Unreality [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

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New California?

Happy Saturday from the prospective state of New California! This week, Ace had his own twist on the proposed secession of New California from the old, progressive, coastal part of California. But the original proposal means that the poor part of California wants to separate from the rich part of California. Out of desperation.

Think about that.

Meanwhile, J.J. Sefton picked up a piece on California's AG Threatening to prosecute private citizens, mostly small employers, who cooperated with ICE in enforcing federal law. Lots of small employers in New California.

HSR

Meanwhile, MORE cost over-runs on the initial phase of California's (not so) High Speed Rail have been announced. Note that the Central Valley phase of the project is entirely within New California, which would rather spend the money on Pat Brown's water storage plans than on his son's high speed rail boondoggle. The initial construction packages are especially useless to well-heeled commuters.


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Via Maggie's Farm, Rick Moran has a couple of interesting observations.

The sobering news about the cost increases was long forewarned, though rail authority Chairman Dan Richard has consistently rejected those warnings. About a year ago, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a secret risk analysis that said costs were rising sharply and could hit $9.5 to $10 billion.

When The Times disclosed the warning, Richard downplayed the analysis. In 2012, WSP briefed a cost analysis for the 2014 business plan, showing sharply higher costs in the Central Valley. The cost estimates were not adopted in the 2014 business plan. Richard was not available for an interview.

And this is the CHEAP part of the route. The easy, "train to nowhere" part.

And guess what? At one time, Gavin Newsom reversed his position on HSR, coming out in opposition to the project. He has refused interviews on the subject for the last two years. Hmmmm.

Poverty in the Golden State

Why does California have the highest poverty rate in the United States? Nice, concise piece that covers a lot of territory.

According to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure--which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income--nearly one out of four Californians is poor. Given robust job growth in the state and the prosperity generated by several industries, especially the supercharged tech sector, the question arises as to why California has so many poor people, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased roughly twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5 percent, compared with 6.27 percent).

It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. . .

Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on "remaking the world." The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric Holder to "resist" Trump's agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a "sanctuary state" for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to "California values." . . .

As far as I can tell, the plastic bag thing has mostly meant sturdier plastic bags at Walmart.

Anyway, hope your weekend is mostly free from politicians imposing their values on you. Got anything planned?


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posted by Open Blogger at 11:15 AM

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