District 5 Diary
Rob Anderson's commentary on San Francisco politics from District 5
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Cycling: Also unsafe for your sex life
|New York Times|
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Examiner and District 5
|Photo: Jessica Christian for the Examiner|
But the endorsements send a message to the city's "progressive" tribe: Preston is one of us and he supposedly flanks Breed on the left.
Yes on Proposition 53
Monday, October 24, 2016
Police shootings: The body count
|Photo: Paul Chinn, the Chronicle|
Sunday, October 23, 2016
The Donald at Gettysburg
The world will deeply note, and forever remember, what I say here because I will order it engraved and covered in gold leaf on every building for 100 miles in every direction and memorized by every school child in the nation.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Gavin Newsom's flip-flop on high-speed rail
|Karl Mondon, Bay Area News Group|
Federal Grants $17-19 billion
Local Grants $4-5 billion
Private Funding $10-12 billion
(The Financial Risks of California’s Proposed High-Speed Rail Project, page 18)
From page 37 of the same 2010 document:
This is a dangerous time for the CHSR project since its assumed financing sources have not materialized. The Federal grant funds and AB3034-initiated GO[general obligation] bonds, if buyers for those bonds can be found, bring the project’s available capital to about 11% of what it needs for Phase 1. But there are no known local government and no private sector monies in the project at present. New federal grants will be a fraction of the Obama Administration’s FY 2010 bold plans. The CHSRA could be desperate for funds to keep their project alive and the temptation to promise more than the law allows high. Without the money, and with diminishing confidence in the CHSRA’s plans, this becomes a dangerous time to risk the State of California’s financial future (emphasis added).
The analysis of the project in this document is still valid.
The danger is that the state will continue for years to dribble away billions to keep this project alive, even though there's no clear source of money to build it without selling ruinously expensive bonds or raising taxes radically.
More likely, the state will be forced to abandon the project before it's completed, having wasted billions in the process.
Even in the unlikely event the project is built, like every other high-speed rail system in the world, it will require government subsidies to operate, but that is clearly prohibited by the project's enabling legislation (see page 8 and 9).
That's how the project was sold to the state's voters: it would be paid for by its users, not subsidized by the state's taxpayers.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Jane Kim, Scott Wiener, and Ross Mirkarimi
Millionaire Ron Conway is pouring $200,000 into the anti-Kim campaign because of her Mirkarimi vote.
Recall that Conway's meddling in the 2011 campaign for sheriff resulted in electing Mirkarimi in the first place!
|Ron Conway by Cody Pickens|
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Bias against Hillary
|Free online version of this book|
Now that it's clear that Hillary will be our next president, we should start dealing with the media bias against her. I hear it said over and over on TV---even on PBS---that Hillary still hasn't provided voters with a compelling reason to support her---or a "vision" of what she would do as president.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Actually, "fantasy" is not the best way to describe the subway exercise, though it is entirely fanciful. First, it's a political ploy by Scott Wiener in his campaign for the state senate: he's a man of vision! And it's a PR stunt by City Hall deployed by some of the MTA's many employees.
From the MTA's blog:
To ensure our city remains vibrant and livable, under the direction of Mayor Ed Lee, the SFMTA, the Planning Department and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority have been working hard to make sure our transportation system keeps pace. The Subway Vision is just one piece of a new effort to create a broad, long-range plan for all aspects of transportation called Connect SF, which is meant to lay the foundation for an effective, equitable and sustainable transportation network for the city’s future.
Though fantasizing about trains isn't as cool as the bike fantasy, Streetsblog likes this campaign because trains aren't cars, which is why it supports another fantasy: the high-speed rail project.
On the ballot: Dumb rail projects
That’s nearly $200 billion worth of stupidity that has rail contractors salivating.
C’mon, Jarrett: planners took this into account when they made their projections (or if they didn’t they should have). By the way, the article also says the project came in “under budget,” but it doesn’t say that the budget was almost twice as much as the original projected cost, just one more way transit agencies lie about rail transit...
Repugs invented myth of rigged elections
They hold these views even though there is literally no evidence — none, zero, zip — that widespread voter fraud is a factor in modern American elections. A recent study looked at around a billion ballots cast in the United States from 2000 through 2014 and found only 31 instances of impersonation fraud at the polls.
Meanwhile, after a key provision in the Voting Rights Act protecting minority voters from discrimination was unceremoniously declared defective by a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court in 2013, those same Republican leaders who seem so concerned about threats to the integrity of our elections have largely remained on the sidelines.
For years, the Republicans have blocked scores of nonpolitical lower-court nominees who haven’t pledged their allegiance to the financial interests of the rich and powerful. These attacks culminated in a national campaign of slime against the president’s highly respected choice to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. It’s no surprise Trump would conclude that federal judges are fair game.
But for years, congressional Republicans have focused most of their resources on finding some way to brand Hillary Clinton a criminal. A party that wastes millions of taxpayer dollars on eight separate Benghazi investigations — and shouts itself hoarse attacking an FBI director who served as a senior political appointee in a Republican administration when he concludes that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against Clinton over her emails — shouldn’t feign astonishment when its presidential nominee echoes their efforts to criminalize American politics.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
C.W. Nevius: Rooting for the home team
|Paul Chinn, SF Chronicle|
Donald Trump's campaign: A dumpster fire
Thanks to Kevin Drum at Mother Jones.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Water rationing: How low can SF go?
|Hetch Hetchy Reservoir|
|Wasting water in the Central Valley|