Saturday, December 24, 2011

Title: Governor Brown defends bullet train lies - after train agency apologizes for lying (slightly edited title)

When a politician or a pit-bull lock their teeth into something, they are incapable of letting it go, even if it kills them.  Let  us also agree that the CHSRA has been lying to us, the voters and taxpayers, from the very beginning.

California has a major problem with its Governor.  He is clutching at the high-speed rail straw with fierce desperation.  No, not because it is about building a train.  It isn't.  The train will never get built.  He's clutching to the promise of $3.3 billion dollars that are free;  that is, free from the nation's taxpayers.

Are you one of those taxpayers?  Well, some of your (and my) funds are going to go to California to be poured down the proverbial rat hole.  What will be built will be worse than useless.  It will be immensely harmful.  And do you know where?  In the center of California's cash-cow bread basket.  There will be immense damage to many farms, businesses and homes.  There will be hugely adverse impacts both economically, and in terms of "quality of life."

The irony of all this is: Those politicians in the Central Valley who want this project on their door-step believe that it will bring huge economic benefits to their districts.  It will also, they believe,  significantly reduce unemployment.  They could not be more wrong. We have recently read the spate of articles about how all those inflated jobs numbers may not be quite accurate.  The CHSRA has, more or less, apologized for our being confused and misled.  I would say, lying. (Oh, well, no harm done!)

Brown, our high-speed-rail besotted Governor, has no use for facts when it comes to this project.  He will shake his fist at the oceans and demand that they retreat, if you see what I mean.  

Let's put that another way. Brown sees short term gains in this, if he can take credit for bringing over three billion dollars to cash starved California.  He doesn't give a damn about long term consequences and how costly this will be in the future since all that impact will occur long after he is retired and making money giving speeches.

We haven't had a recall of Governors in California for a long time.  We are due for a recall, and soon.
Brown defends bullet train lies — after train agency apologizes
Posted on December 23, 2011

The narrative that holds that Jerry Brown is a slick operator who is playing chess while the rest of Sacramento is playing checkers continues to hold sway in state media circles. That narrative looks ridiculous when you consider the inept way the gov’s staff responded to a San Jose Mercury-News story Thursday that tore apart the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s claim that the bullet train project would create 1 million jobs. The authority promptly admitted the claim was wrong. The governor’s office? It basically defended the lies. Dumb de dumb dumb.

A spokesman for Brown did not address the jobs claims but in a two-sentence statement called the newspaper report “hyperbolic” and said it “attempted to create an inaccurate impression.”

“High-speed rail will be a major, much-needed boost for California’s economy,” the statement said.
Here’s the key point made by the original SJMN story:

Though California’s high-speed train faces an intensifying backlash over its $99 billion price tag, political leaders from Washington to Sacramento justify the cost by touting another huge number: 1 million jobs the rail line is supposed to create.

But like so many of the promises made to voters who approved the bullet train, those job estimates appear too good to be true.
A review by this newspaper found the railroad would create only 20,000 to 60,000 jobs during an average year and employ only a few thousand people permanently if it’s built.

What was behind the lie told by “Gov. Jerry Brown, the Obama administration, Democratic lawmakers and big city mayors such as San Jose’s Chuck Reed”?

They counted every year of work as a separate job. So if one person were to work 10 years, that would count as 10 jobs. Next, they figured outside companies, such as restaurants and retailers, would hire two new people for every single construction worker.

Grand total: 20,000 construction workers and 40,000 “spinoff” employees — each working the entire 22-year project — would count as more than 1 million jobs.

Yo, Jerry, how can you pretend to hold the high ground here? Yo, Jerry, back in 1992, you were one of the first people on the national political scene to focus on Bill Clinton’s slipperiness. How can you now use the same playbook with a straight face? Yo, Jerry, if you’re governor for four years, should that count as four jobs in calculating state unemployment?

Yo, Jerry, here’s what a sane person, not a spinner, sounds like:

“Job-years and jobs are like apples and Twinkies, they’re not even in the same food group,” said Elizabeth Alexis, a Palo Alto analyst who testified before Congress about the project last week. “It’s not accurate, and it’s misleading; (most of the) people who thought they’re getting jobs are not getting jobs.”

The pathetic twist to this story, of course, is that Brown’s aide lectured the Mercury-News for attempting to create an “inaccurate impression” about the bullet train project.

Yo, Jerry, you trumpet the lie that high-speed rail will create 1 million jobs — and you think others deserve grief for fostering “inaccurate impressions”?

The bullet-train project hasn’t just been built on lies about jobs. It’s been built on lies about cost, ridership, the viability of its business model, environmental benefits, the interest of private investors and so much more.

If fostering “inaccurate impressions” were a crime, the leaders of the rail authority would be on death row.

Yo, Jerry, do you really think it’s smart to defend egregious lies from from an agency with a history of egregious lies?

Jerry?, Jerry?, Jerry?

This isn’t chess. "Chess" should sue Jerry for giving it a bad name.

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