Republicans Have a Sneaky Plan to Kill California’s Bullet Train

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A reader tweets: “CA high speed rail *and* Trump. Your favorite things, together at last!” The San Francisco Chronicle has the story:

Freshly empowered California Republicans in Congress are pushing the Trump administration to hold off on approving $647 million for the Caltrain system to go electric — something that could kill the redo of a line that carries more than 60,000 riders a day between the South Bay and San Francisco.

Wait a second. Caltrain is just an ordinary commuter line. I have nothing against electrifying it. What kind of bait-and-switch is this? Well, it turns out that this is just leverage to try to kill the LA-San Francisco high-speed rail project:

The Republicans don’t have anything against Caltrain electrification per se — it’s the high-speed rail line they can’t stand. And high-speed trains will have no way of getting from San Jose to San Francisco if the Caltrain line isn’t electrified….Republicans have long seen high-speed rail as a boondoggle, but they’ve been up against an Obama administration that refused to spike its funding. That’s not a problem anymore.

Huh. That’s hardball for sure. Presumably, if Gov. Jerry Brown killed his beloved bullet train, nobody would have any objection to the Caltrain electrification anymore. Unfortunately for Brown, this actually seems like the kind of assholery that would appeal to Trump. We’ll know his decision in a week or two.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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