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POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: California high-speed rail project, commentary (Dan Walters), latest revision, "plan still has shaky finances".... 

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "California high-speed rail plan still has shaky finances" - From the Bee:

   When the state's bullet train impresarios unveiled a much-revised plan for the statewide project last fall – with campaign-style hoopla, one should note – they said it settled all of its outstanding questions and doubts. Not by a long shot.

   The sharply increased price tag, around $100 billion, was a shocker, several times more than what voters were told it would be when they approved a $9.95 billion bond issue. And the plan still assumed that construction would start with a short stretch in the San Joaquin Valley dubbed the "train to nowhere."

   Instead of quieting the bullet train's many critics, the revised plan gave them new ammunition, and public opinion surveys quickly found that voter support had dipped below the level of political viability. Gov.  Jerry Brown, who had assumed control of the project, then ordered up another revision aimed at subduing critics and it was released last week.

   Most of its 212 pages are essentially political rhetoric............