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Gavin Newsom Proposes Billions for Doomed California High-Speed Rail

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed spending billions to continue building the California High-speed Rail Project to connect rural areas in the Central Valley.

In a statement Thursday on his “California Blueprint” for a”clean infrastructure” in the state, Newsom declared:

The California Blueprint includes a proposed $9.1 billion package to advance clean transit initiatives that support the state’s climate and public health goals, promote equity and bolster the green economy, including $4.9 billion for transit and rail projects to improve connectivity, climate adaptation, bicycle and pedestrian safety and more locally driven initiatives. In addition, the Blueprint proposes a $4.2 billion investment in California’s High-Speed Rail project, which will eventually share the electrified Caltrain corridor, as well as funding for projects that encourage active modes of transportation and improve equity and safety, including converting underutilized highways into corridors that better serve residents. The Blueprint positions California to take advantage of additional federal infrastructure investments.

The Caltrain corridor is a commuter system in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. At no point did Newsom propose renewing the plan to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles un under three hours, the project’s founding goal.

The San Jose Mercury News reported:

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest budget proposal doubles down on billions of dollars in contentious funding for the San Joaquin Valley segment of the high-speed rail project and expands the state’s initiative to replace gas-powered vehicles with zero-emission.

The latest figures are part of the governor’s $286.4-billion spending proposal released earlier this week – with $9.1 billion going towards transportation infrastructure – which the governor says is part of the state’s concerted effort to reduce California’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The budget proposal functions as a wish list as the governor enters into negotiations with lawmakers ahead of a June deadline for the 2022-2023 budget.

But the proposed $4.2 billion in high-speed rail funding has been mired in controversy. It is the final tranche of $9.9 billion in bond funds for the high-speed rail, which voters approved in 2008’s Proposition 1A on the promise that they would see a bullet train connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes. At the moment, that’s not what voters are getting.

Instead, Newsom is seeking to secure the $4.2 billion to finish a 119-mile segment in Fresno, Kern, Madera, and Kings counties, even as some Democrats say the funding should be used for projects aimed at urban centers in the Bay Area and Southern California, not a less-populated stretch of the Central Valley.

In 2019, in his first address as governor to the state legislature, Newsom canceled the original plan for the project to link San Francisco and Los Angeles, declaring that it “would cost too much and take too long.” But he wanted to persist with the first part of the project, in the sparsely populated Central Valley.

Then-President Donald Trump promptly canceled nearly $1 billion in federal funding that was to have gone to the project, saying that California no longer intended to deliver on the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers had already paid to the state for high-speed rail under President Barack Obama’s 2009 “stimulus”  and administered by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

President Biden restored that funding to the state in 2021, with the support of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. But there is still no hope to connect California’s two big cities.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Report: Detroit Man Accused of Setting Fire to Girlfriend Pregnant with Twins Bonds Out for $5,000

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A 41-year-old Detroit man accused of setting fire to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins, has bonded out of a Wayne County jail for just $5,000 after posting ten percent of his $50,000 bond, according to a report.

“Police said Devonne Marsh got into an argument with his girlfriend at their Detroit home off Packard and Outer Drive last Friday, Jan. 14, and he doused her with lighter fluid before setting her on fire,” WJBK reports.

According to the latest reporting from the outlet:

Devonne Marsh was released from the Wayne County Jail Friday morning. According to documents with the jail, he was released from custody just before 11:20 a.m. on Friday. He’s now out on bond with multiple conditions including no weapons, no drug use, and is ordered not to go to their shared apartment.

However, FOX 2 has learned that Marsh has a hold in Macomb County for other charges so while he’s posted bail in Wayne County, he is not currently free.

A man charged with setting his girlfriend – who was 6 months pregnant with twins – on fire, there was shock that his bond was set as low as $50,000 with 10%. Now, for just $5,000, he’s made bail. https://t.co/8PHFtDRtEY

— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) January 21, 2022

At about 10:40 on January 14, Detroit Police received a tip “that a woman was being held against her will and tortured,” according to WDIZ. At the scene, officers said they found the 26-year-old pregnant woman, with severe burns to her legs and stomach, lying on a bed in the basement of the home. Officers said she could hardly move.

The 26-year-old is in critical condition with burns to 60 percent of her body, and “It’s not yet known if her babies will survive,” WJBK reports. She is six and a half months pregnant.

“How do you do this to another human being? I can’t – it’s unimaginable,” Commander Michael McGinnis of the Detroit Police Department told WJBK. 

“Just incredibly traumatic injuries, I did see pictures and I mean the pain that she must be suffering – I can’t imagine,” he said. 

 Marsh, 41, was arrested and is charged with “kidnapping/abduction, aggravated/felonious assault and violation of the controlled substance act,” according to WDIZ.

He is a parole absconder with a lengthy rap sheet according to WJBK, including previous charges for guns, assault, and drugs.

“Marsh pleaded guilty in Macomb County Circuit Court to four counts of delivering more than 50 grams of cocaine in 2019 and was sentenced to two years probation,” Macomb Daily reports.

The victim had been too scared to report the abuse she was enduring, and Heaven of Oakland County CEO Aimee Nimeh told WJBK that victims often fear retaliation from their abusers when speaking up.

“Fear is part of the relationship and so absolutely there is fear of retaliation,” Nimeh explained.

She added that victims are often frightened by low bonds.

“The court system can be very overwhelming; the process can be complicated,” she said. “It’s not just that court is a little scary, it’s also that what happens next with that assailant that might be coming out, that might be walking free. How do you stay safe in that situation?”

McGinnis previously said he had hoped Marsh, who ended up making bond, remained in custody.

“We just hope that he remains in custody through the trial process so that the victim can heal without the fear of any kind of retribution from him,” McGinnis said.

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Wilson: GOP Wants 2024 to Be Last Election — Like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq

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Lincoln Project founder Rick Wilson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the Republican Party wanted the 2024 presidential election to be the last election in America.

Wilson said, “They’re trying to throw so much friction into voting and all the sand into the machine, especially in communities they don’t feel will be reliable voters for them. So they are not going to bitch and moan about early voting in a red county. ”

He continued, “This is exactly the kind of mechanism that proto authoritarian states and authoritarian states set up. They want to say who can vote, when they can vote, how they can vote, when the votes are counted. They want to have a veto of the vote count at the end. They want to also say they can bring criminal sanctions and try to intimidate people who are trying to go out and register voters. They want to bring criminal sanctions with these organizations. You know who enforces the law? State attorneys enforce the law. They don’t need an election police force. This is a tool of intimidation. And it is frankly a sign again. They don’t want elections. They would like 2024 to be the last election. They want to be like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq. They have a thing called elections, and the dear leader gets 117% of the vote.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Rick Wilson: GOP Building a ‘Dystopian Bizarre Authoritarian Police State’

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Lincoln Project founder Rick Wilson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the Republican Party was building a “dystopian, bizarre authoritarian police state.”

When asked about a proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to create a police force to investigate election fraud, Wilson said, “Look, if Ron DeSantis forms his own election police force, he needs to start in the Villages, a Republican hotbed, where the only cases of voter fraud in the 2020 election in Florida came from. They were all Republicans. They were all Trump supporters. But I’m going to promise you if he does get his way with the legislature, and he probably will because they are basically like a trained dog for him right now, what will happen is they won’t be in The Villages or anywhere there is a Republican question. They will be in communities of color. They will be in Miami-Dade county. They will be in Palm Beach. They will be in Duval, will be in Hillsborough. They will not be out there looking for actual election fraud. They will be looking for ways to justify giving the dear leader, whether it’s dear leader Ron or Don, the boost they need and using this as a method to intimidate primarily voters of color. This is exactly and explicitly what it is for.”

He added, “I think it’s a sign that the Republicans are going to build this system no matter what we say or do about it in these states where they have control. It will be the thing they say ‘Oh how dare you say we’re building a dystopian bizarre authoritarian police state,’ while they are busy building a dystopian bizarre authoritarian police state.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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