FROM Tom Umberg
Can California Afford to Build High-Speed Rail? California’s High Speed Rail project and the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group were created by state voters in Proposition 1A. The Review Group is a high-powered panel that provides the legislature with progress reports on the multi-billion dollar system to link the state’s major cities. But its latest report is a dire warning: the project represents “an immense financial risk to California” because there are no “credible sources of adequate funding.” The Rail Authority says the report is flawed—and that just releasing it will “create a cloud” threatening the very support the Review Group finds lacking.
A 'Watershed Moment' for High-Speed Rail The ultimate cost of California's high-speed rail system has doubled from $43 billion to almost $100 billion, and the completion date has now been moved from 2020 to 2033. Those announcements came today from the High-Speed Rail Authority, which is taking its latest proposal to the state legislature under deadline pressure.
First Leg of High-Speed Rail to Connect Central Valley Dots Thanks to Wisconsin and Ohio refusing to take federal money , the first leg of California's High Speed Rail system will be 58 miles longer than originally planned. Instead of going just 65 miles, it will go all the way from from Shafter to Madera, at a total cost of $5.5 billion. We talk to Tom Umberg, Vice Chair of the High Speed Rail Authority, and skeptical State Senator Alan Lowenthal.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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?