FROM Richard Tolmach
Is High Speed Rail Too Big a Gamble for California? Based on plans laid in 1996, California voters in 2008 approved almost $10 billion in bonds to begin building a bullet-train system to connect the state's major cities. The ballot argument promised hundreds of thousands of jobs, a billion in annual profit and no need for state taxpayer subsidies. The Obama Administration has come up with $3.5 billion in federal money and construction is set to begin next year on 100 miles of track between Fresno and Bakersfield. But numerous experts and agencies are saying it's time for another look before it's too late.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.