California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The move marked a major political victory for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration. Both have promoted bullet trains as job generators and clean transportation alternatives.
“No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement applauding the legislative vote. “With highways between California cities congested and airspace at a premium, Californians desperately need an alternative.”
The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.
Brown pushed for the massive infrastructure project to accommodate expected growth in the nation’s most populous state, which now has 37 million people. He said the project is sorely needed to create jobs in a region with higher-than-average unemployment.
Members of the state Senate voted 21-16 along party lines after intense lobbying by Brown, Democratic leaders and labor groups. The bill, which passed the state Assembly on Thursday, now heads to Brown for his signature.
“The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again,” Brown said in a statement. The governor celebrated with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento, a fellow Democrat, in the lawmaker’s office right after the vote.
The first segment of the line will run from Madera to Bakersfield. The final cost of the completed project from Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $68 billion.
Republicans blasted the Senate decision, citing the state’s ongoing budget problems.
“It’s unfortunate that the majority would rather spend billions of dollars that we don’t have for a train to nowhere than keep schools open and harmless from budget cuts,” Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, said in a statement.
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said the project would push California over a fiscal cliff.
“It will require endless subsidies and will blast a massive hole into our budget,” Gaines said in a statement.
This is pretty despicable. The miserable idiots at Occupy Wall Street have shown themselves to be selfish and self-centered, but demanding that the Salvation Army bring them socks when those are clearly intended for the truly needy?
Factual News Net@FactualNewsNet
@SalArmyPhilly You helped the Philly police with lunches. now please help the people. #99MileMarch needs clean socks. please help
It’s no wonder the “movement” these lazy middle-class entitlement moronswhine for is dwindling and dying a protracted, shrill death.
PHOENIX — Voters could get the right to overrule federal laws and mandates under the terms of an initiative filed late Thursday.
The Arizona Constitution already says the federal Constitution “is the supreme law of the land.” This measure, if approved in November, it would add language saying that federal document may not be violated by any government — including the federal government.
More to the point, it would allow Arizonans “to reject any federal action that they determine violates the United States Constitution.”
That could occur through a vote of the state House and Senate with consent of the governor.
But that also could occur through a popular vote on a ballot measure, effectively allowing voters to decide which federal laws they feel infringe on Arizona’s rights as a sovereign state.
Organizer Jack Biltis said he turned in more than 320,000 signatures. The next step will be for the Secretary of State to determine, after screening the petitions, if there are at least 259,213 valid names on the forms to allow the measure to go on the ballot.
Biltis, who said he has spent more than $1.2 million on the campaign so far, said it is time for Arizona to step up and reclaim its constitutional rights.
The “flagship” example, he said, is the federal Affordable Care Act. He said there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution which gives the federal government the power to enact a national health care plan.
Biltis acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court, faced with exactly that question, ruled to the contrary.
“I believe the Supreme Court completely got it wrong,” he said. In fact, Biltis argued, the ability of the nation’s high court to interpret — and invalidate — federal laws itself is not part of the U.S. Constitution but was claimed by the court in 1803.
“The only portion of government that has unlimited powers are the state governments and the people themselves,” he said. Biltis said that, under his measure, Arizona could simply refuse to participate, though it would do so at risk of losing federal dollars.
Someone in Masstaxchusetts should file that this is really a hate crime against all gays.
NEWTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank tied the knot with his longtime partner Jim Ready on Saturday.
The 72-year-old congressman tried to keep the details of the private ceremony under wraps, but managed to drop enough clues to tip off the media.
Governor Patrick officiated the wedding.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Jim McGovern, and others were seen arriving at the Newton Marriott Saturday evening.
“This is an opportunity for them to do what so many others have been free to do for years and years in this country,” Rep. Al Green told WBZ-TV.
Ready, 42, lives in Ogunquit, Maine and runs a small business that does custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding and other services; he is also a photographer.
Rep. Frank has represented the Fourth District of Massachusetts in the United States Congress since 1981, and he previously served in the Massachusetts House for eight years.
Frank is retiring after this term. Friends say it’s a new chapter for the congressman.
“This is just a day to celebrate. This is a wonderful marriage, two great people. I’m just thrilled to be here,” Rep. McGovern said.
Holder panders to La Raza, says civil rights “under renewed threat” Both need to be sent to North Korea
Dog? How dare them pakis compare obama to a dog! Dogs are nice animals and great pets. Obama is neither.
Activists of Awami Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan burn a banner of US President Barack Obama during a protest in Quetta on July 6, 2012, to denounce the resumption of NATO supplies into Afghanistan. Islamabad reopened overland routes to NATO convoys earlier this week after closing them in protest at a US air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a border post in November. (AFP PHOTO/Banaras Khan)
I would bet that there will be a serious terrorist attack at the olympics!
(The Sunday Telegraph) — A suspected terrorist who MI5 believe is a would-be suicide bomber was found repeatedly near the Olympic Games venue.
The alleged al-Qaeda militant was caught crossing through the Olympic Park five times, breaking a ban imposed by the Home Secretary, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
The 24 year-old has previously tried to get to Afghanistan, allegedly for terrorist training, and is suspected of fighting for the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, which has been responsible for thousands of deaths, including those of Western aid workers. He is accused of trying to recruit other Britons to its cause.
A Home Office lawyer warned after his discovery in the Olympic area that the man — known as CF — wanted to “re-engage in terrorism-related activities, either in the UK or Somalia” and is “determined to continue to adhere to his Islamist extremist agenda”.
His detention is the most serious security alert yet to hit the Olympic Park.
It is disclosed today after a week which saw 14 terror-related arrests across Britain, including a white Muslim convert detained over an alleged plan to carry out a major terrorist attack.
The Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will be protected by the largest peacetime security operation ever seen in Britain when the event begins on July 27.
CF is one of nine suspected risks to national security who are subject to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Tpim) — legal orders which restrict their movements and computer use and who they can meet.
They were introduced to replace control orders, which were abolished by the Coalition after long-running controversy over whether they breached human rights and threatened civil liberties.
CF is being prosecuted for breaking the conditions of his order after he was arrested last month and held in police custody. He challenges the banning order at the High Court on Monday.
He is charged with five separate breaches between April and May of an order specifically banning him from using the London Overground rail route which passes through the centre of the Olympic Park.
Both from HERE.