Amid much hoopla in October, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to the Federal Rail Administration promising to match any federal stimulus funds received for California’s $9.95 billion high-speed rail project with proceeds from Proposition 1A
But Prop. 1A has restrictions on how bond proceeds can be used. Before the legislature can release bond funds, full funding must be in place and the project must result in a complete usable segment or corridor for the high-speed railway.
California applied for $4.7 billion in stimulus funding. However, none of the construction projects will result in a complete usable segment or corridor. The governor has promised matching state funds he cannot legally provide because of the legal restrictions.
Morris Brown , Menlo Park
Health care bill weakened
It was a pity President Barack Obama largely took a “hands-off approach” and meekly allowed Republicans to shred the health care bill and leave it gasping on life support. Behind the scenes, the Obama administration met secretly with the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and negotiated terms favorable to their continued high profitability.
Predictably, insurance companies stocks soared to a 52-week high in anticipation of bonanza profits from an individual mandate that will force more than 25 million Americans to buy health insurance. Many millions of dollars have been doled out to lawmakers to cajole them into compliance. In a rush to pass a poorly crafted bill and declare “a health care victory,” the Democrats tied an albatross around the neck of their party, which will haunt them in future elections.
It is tragic that support was abandoned for a public option or Medicare for all, which had overwhelming public support.
Jagjit Singh, Los Altos
Creating permanent war</strong>
We are conditioning our society to adjust to a state of permanent war, which is in no one’s national interest. Al-Qaida is composed of a wide variety of poverty-stricken impressionables led by fanatics. The world’s finest army can’t get them out of its hair with the sharpest ax or the biggest nuclear weapon. Al-Qaida is not a conquerable nation because it is not a nation. We defeat our fear of such vagabond enemies best and save our free society by thinking straight.
Al Ujcic, San Francisco
It was so typical of the Obama-friendly, borderline-socialist federal legislators to vote in the late night and in almost clandestine fashion to move forward with the president’s destructive and financially irresponsible health care reform bill. As an unsuspecting America slept, the bill opposed by some 60 percent of the public moved forward.
This was the way President Barack Obama signed in near-secrecy an executive ordered to force embryonic stem cell funding on his second full day in office without any media on hand. Nothing like the day before when he orders halting all pending Bush regulations and closing the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists. On that day, the cameras were flashing and people around Obama were smiling and applauding.
Barry Bradley, San Francisco