San Francisco Needs a Free Market, Not Free Water–My mother would call them cínicos, y hipocritas, cynics, hypocrites

Steven Greenhut writes in  a column at Bloomberg.com:

…ironic: “In the past, San Francisco environmentalists and the Chronicle have supported river restoration efforts on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers, even if hydropower generation was reduced. Could it be that San Franciscans are fine with sacrificing energy generation for environmental benefits, so long as their energy isn’t being touched?”

 

John Seiler posted the column on CalWatchDog’s blog, aptly titled S.F.’s hypocrisy on water.

 

Unethical Unscrupulous Run CA and Literally Fleece and Plunder While Our Economy Weakens, Our Middle Class Shrinks.

Parks Scandal Highlights Government Mismanagement

Amid a fervent campaign to convince the public that they should tax themselves $8.6 billion dollars more, Governor Brown’s Parks Department is under fire for a secret stash of $54 million dollars that was recently uncovered.  A smaller scandal – an illegal slush-fund vacation payout to state park employees – led to the discovery.

Here is a scenario: Click here to read the article at Fox and Hound. 

Anaheim P.D.’s Criminally Violent Weekend and Track Record, with Gustavo Arrellano of OC Weekly

Tuesday, July 23, Gustavo Arrellano, reporter and editor for The OC Weekly   joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

We’ll speak with Arrellano  about a story that has gotten very little public scrutiny despite the high number of fatal shootings in the past few years, involving Anaheim Police Department APD officers.   The killings have been committed in a poor, low-income and predominantly Latino neighborhood, and have been ignored by the main stream media.   But this past weekend,  when an APD unit responded to a crowd of angry citizens who gathered to protest the fatal shooting earlier the same day, of unarmed Manuel “Stomper” Diaz, a rolling CBS News Camera caught APD police firing rubber bullets, and red-pepper balls, and unleashing a K9 into the crowd of men, women, children and babies.

There are  similarities between this story and the Fullerton Police Department’s corrupt culture of criminal violence which this past June, resulted in a recall of three sitting City Council members .

Also on the program, Larry Sand, President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Almost half of CA’s budget goes to pay for Education, yet we’re at the bottom, or second from the bottom in results. The CA Teacher’s Union and all their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government block any reforms, even the most narrowly tailored, that would modestly improve the chances for poor and lower middle class kids to have access to quality teachers and schools.

Two lawsuits have just been filed, to take on the teacher’s union, in the courts. Last week we talked with Larry Sand about one of two suits just recently filed.

This week, we’ll speak with Sand about the suit filed by Students Matter, a nonprofit founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. The student plaintiffs in the case “attend school in four districts, though the complaint targets only two—Los Angeles Unified and Alum Rock Elementary Unified in San Jose.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related links:
Near-Riot Follows Anaheim Officer-Involved Shooting
After an OIS in Anaheim Saturday afternoon, a near-riot broke out. Police fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Jay Jackson reports | CBS Los Angeles  Must See News Video

The video is a powerful 2:50 mins which includes footage of horrific images. Police officers are shooting at a stunned crowd which includes many women and children who are panicked, screaming, scrambling, fearing for their lives and for their children. You see the officers running up close range as they shoot at their victims, and herd them as if they were wild animals. The footage has the effect that the photo of Kelly Thomas’s face had. No report is going to justify what this crew of police did to the crowd of angry and scared citizens. It is very important that the public see this video, before and after they listen to the PR from the APD’s spokes person.

Fullerton City Councilwoman and Candidate for CA State Assembly, [Sharon] Quirk a No-Show At Anaheim Protest
By The Fullerton Shadow | Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog

“On Sunday various groups, objecting to what looks a lot like an assassination by the cops, and what was a police induced riot later, held a protest at the Anaheim Police Headquarters…where was our would-be squishy-feely Assembly person for the 65th District, Sharon Quirk? I have no idea.”

Anaheim shooting: 2 cops on leave, 1 dead, 5 arrested
Published: July 22, 2012 Updated: July 23, 2012 11:20 a.m.

OC Register news report and a photo slide show of the protestors on Sunday, following the Saturday of the APD Shooting of Manny “Stomper” Diaz. The protesters protested at the APD’s station, and several of them went into the building.

[UPDATED: DA Seeks Photos From Witnesses] Anaheim Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Crowd After Officer-Involved Shooting
By Amber Stephens Sun., Jul. 22 2012 at 9:15 PM
OC Weekly | Crime-iny Category

 

“He’s Still Alive!” Video Emerges of Immediate Aftermath of Anaheim Police Killing of Manuel Diaz OCWeekly.Com Navel Gazing By Gustavo Arellano Sun., Jul. 22 2012 at 10:25 PM
Categories: Crime-iny
This video was taken on Saturday, July 21, by a witness in a crowd that gathered at the scene just after the killing of Manual Stomper Diaz. The citizens are horrified with the police actions taken and not taken.

Police shooting almost causes riot
5 wmctv.com | Jul 23, 2012 4:57 AM PDT Updated: Jul 23, 2012 5:04 AM PDT
Attempts to rationalize actions by ADP and politicians speaking so as to quell the raging concerns by announcing that actions are being taken, that the dog being released into the crowd including a baby in a stroller, was an accident.

“[I] want to personally apologize for the police dog incident,” said Chief John Welter, of the Anaheim Police Department.

Welter says officers were trying to preserve the shooting scene. He said some known gang members joined the crowd and someone started throwing rocks and bottles.

Are there pictures taken at the scene of the rocks and the bottles the police claim the crowd was throwing at them. I can understand why the crowd would their plastic water bottles, as that was all they had to defend themselves.

Fatal police shooting incites melee in Anaheim BY CINDY CARCAMO | THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
News report and photos of scenes of this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday night Anaheim police shot and killed a suspected car thief late Sunday night in the 400 block of West Guinida Lane:
[UPDATE: PHOTO OF BODY WITH GUN] Anaheim Police Department Kill Another Man After Day of Protests
By Amber Stephens Mon., Jul. 23 2012 at 11:00 AM |OCWeekly
Categories: Crime-iny
This link includes a photo produced by the APD of the suspect killed Sunday night, and it shows only his legs, and curiously, a gun on the grass right between the victim’s legs. Are we supposed to believe the gun fell there between  his legs, on the grass, when they shot him down?

Not the Mortgage Crisis, Not the Economy, but Foolishness! Greenhut calls it, in “Bankrupt cities suffer for officials’ foolishness”

“California’s exclusively Democratic leaders not only are unwilling to rein in the costs of benefits for their patrons, the public-sector unions, they have been erecting roadblocks in the paths of localities that want to fix the problem on their own. Yet all the political hurdles in the world cannot fix the basic problem of insolvency.”

Click to read the article at OC Reg, July 22, 2012

Government Rip-offs & Rackets that Rob Children & Adults of Their Savings, and Future on Gadfly Radio Tues. at 10AM PT

Tuesday, July 17,  Wayne Lusvardi, regular contributor to CalWatchDog.com,  self employed real-estate appraiser, and formerly an eminent domain appraiser for over 20 years,  joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Also on the program, Larry Sand, President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Almost half of CA’s budget goes to pay for Education, yet we’re at the bottom, or second from the bottom in results.  The CA Teacher’s Union and all their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government block any reforms, even the most narrowly tailored,  that would modestly improve the chances for poor and lower middle class kids to have access to quality teachers and schools.

Two lawsuits have just been filed, to take on the teacher’s union, in the courts.  Larry Sand will fill us in.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming.  Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing.  You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related links:

US Housing Crisis – Negative Equity Infographic – Zillow

Bad news for CA housing recovery | CalWatchDog
July 9, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Should San Berdoo cherry pick underwater mortgages? | CalWatchDog
July 13, 2012 | By Wayne Lusvardi

What a ripoff. San Bernardino County wants to use eminent domain to let a private mortgage lender cherry pick “underwater” mortgages without paying damages to the lenders. Doing so supposedly would stimulate the resale market for homes.

Eminent domain mass delusion hits San Berdoo | CalWatchDog
July 16, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

“…the mania of the San Bernardino County Joint Powers Authority to seize “underwater mortgages” on homes through the use of eminent domain.”

Students vs. Status Quo–California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules. by Larry Sand – City Journal | June 6, 2012

Students vs. Status Quo: California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules

Larry Sand writes about the approach reformers are taking to combat the impenetrable block the CA Teacher’s Unions practices to prevent any kind of reform to policies such as seniority and tenure rules for teachers.

When politics fails, reformers turn to the courts. California’s Democrat-controlled state legislature has resisted reforms that threaten teacher-union power. Now two class-action lawsuits could undo the state’s longstanding seniority and tenure rules. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge heard arguments from attorneys representing six families who say the nation’s second-largest school district has ignored the 40-year-old Stull Act, which requires the use of student performance in teacher evaluations. If successful, the lawsuit, filed last November, would require every school district in the Golden State to establish its own method of evaluating teachers—but all would need to use evidence of student learning based on standardized tests, just as 23 other states currently do.

A second lawsuit, filed last month on behalf of eight students from around the state, claims provisions of California’s education code—rigid tenure rules, a seniority-based firing system that ignores teacher quality, and a “due-process” system that makes it all but impossible to remove incompetent or criminal teachers—violate student rights.

Click here to go to City Journal and read the full article.

Debt Ridden Govt Agencies are Ganging Up on Little Guys–Predominanly Mexican Food Truck Owners

I met Tuesday in Santa Ana with about 12 owners of catering trucks — mobile eateries that sell mostly Mexican food — and they told a disturbing tale of how the state’s Orwellian-named tax agency, the Board of Equalization, is targeting and mistreating them. The business owners assembled in the room blamed their tough times more on state tax authorities than on the economy.

The truck owners say the state is handing them tax bills for tens of thousands of dollars, based on unrealistic estimates of their taxable sales. When you buy food at the trucks, a burrito and Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola (the kind with real sugar, rather than the icky corn syrup) may cost, say, six bucks. That’s all you pay, as opposed to a restaurant, where state tax would be added onto the transaction. The trucks don’t collect a per-item tax, but owners later estimate their sales and send their money to the tax man.

Click here to read Tax collectors bite taco trucks | CalWatchDog

Greenhut writes: First pensions, and now bankruptcy tsunami

July 12, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

First Vallejo, then Stockton, then Mammoth Lakes and now San Bernardino. As Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach told Bloomberg News, the bankruptcy dominoes are starting to fall. One California city after another — following a decade-long spree of ramping up public-employee pay and pension benefits, as well as redevelopment debt — are becoming insolvent. Click to go to the article on CalWatchDog.com

Travis Kiger on Fullerton Recall & Reform, Larry Sand on Powerful CTA Acts to Protect Child Molesters

Tuesday, July 10,  Travis Kiger, newly elected City Council Member for  The City of Fullerton, and an active contributor with Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog, joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and  Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Also joining us is Larry Sand,  President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

Call in number:  1-800-336-2225

Travis Kiger talks with us about being a newly elected and sworn in City Councilman of Fullerton, CA, the new majority now in office, and the changes they pledged to make.

Larry Sands talks with us about “the defeat” on June 27, 2012, “of a proposed law that would have made it easier for school districts to fire teachers in cases of sexual and other egregious misconduct has shone a spotlight on the strong sway of the California Teachers Association, widely considered the state’s most politically influential labor union with more than 325,000 members.

Related Links:

Former City Manager Chris Meyer Shares Wisdom; Recipients Underwhelmed

Defeat of Calif. teacher bill shows union power – SFGate CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press, June 28, 2012

L.A. Sheriffs set the standard for dealing with the homeless By Tori Richards, CalWatchDog.com |July 9, 2012 and published on Friends for Fullerton’s Future same day.

Dysfunction @ County Reaches Rock Bottom By The Fullerton Shadow, Fullertonsfuture.org | July 9, 2012

 Kelly Thomas killing aftermath: Reforming how cops deal with the homeless by Tori Richards | CalWatchDog.com and also published on Friends for Fullerton’s Future, July 5, 2012

New Council Kills Illegal Water Tax By Admin, July 4, 2012 |Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog

Sorry Mob, Your Rulers Have Spoken: California Senate Approves High Speed Rail–Reason Hit & Run

By Scott Shackford | July 6, 2012

Published at Reason Hit & Run

You just lack vision, Californians.

Here’s an intriguing paragraph from The Sacramento Bee’s breaking coverage that nicely illustrates why legislators would actually go against public opinion in the middle of a massive economic meltdown on an election year while asking the same public to approve a tax hike in four months:

The approval was a major legislative victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. [Senate President Pro Tem Darrell] Steinberg said the Democratic governor “talked to a couple members” ahead of the vote, while Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reminded colleagues that the project not only had Brown’s attention, but also that of President Barack Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Electorate, what electorate? Obama and Pelosi are the ones who matter.

Click here to go to article.

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Posted by Reason.com on Friday Jul 6th at 11:00am

image

Just as the housing industry is showing signs of recovery, California’s Democratic officials have passed a “solution” that adds additional regulations and higher costs to the foreclosure process. And as Steven Greenhut observes, these are the same officials who can’t produce an honest budget and refuse to deal with a deepening public-employee pension crisis and other issues under their purview, but once again they think they can correct problems in complex private markets. Click here to view this article.

Travis Keiger, Newly Elected And Sworn In City Councilman of Fullerton, CA on The New Majority in Office, and the Change They Pledged

There are plenty of cities in CA that are in hot water.  Stockton, followed closely by Mammoth Lakes are in bankruptcy.

The City of Fullerton, CA, a City in Orange County, is unique in that they just ran a recall of three sitting Councilmen who have been on the City Council for many years.   Travis Kiger and a crop of supporters and two other new council members, ran to address the issue of a corrupt and abusive culture within their police department, and against the tacit approval shown this same corrupt department in the face of a brutal murder and then cover up which was denied to be a cover up.

But it wasn’t just the murder of Kelly Thomas that drove the three new council members into office.   A lavish and crony capitalist Redevelopment Agency, a bloated City Government budget, and more all fueled the fire in the hearts and minds of the voters.   We’ll talk with Travis Kiger on their new roles, their promises, challenges, and first orders of business.  Next Tuesday on Gadfly Radio

ObamaCare’s next stop and Minority Outreach and Winning Elections with Brian Calle, and Tom Donaldson

Tuesday, July 3, Brian Calle, O.C. Register columnist, and Editor in Chief for CalWatchDog.com, on ObamaCare, A.K.A. The Affordable Care Act, and Tom Donaldson of Americas PAC on Minority Outreach and winning elections, join Martha Montelongo, with Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

Related Links:

The importance of the Minority Vote WSJ Opinion Video June 14, 2012

Fight shifts to fall | court, tax, president – Opinion – The Orange County Register by Brian Calle, June 29, 2012

Brian Calle: Uncommon Ground by Brian Calle, June 28, 2012

Tom Donelson | Texas GOP Vote–Track Donaldson Blog Entries

Why Obamacare needs to be Repealed! | Texas GOP Vote
by Tom Donaldson July 2, 2012

If Congress and Obama stated from the beginning that Obamacare would increase the budget deficit, all Americans would see higher taxes, there would be a possibility of not keeping your current insurance, there would be government rationing of health care, and millions would still not be covered, this bill would have been rejected even by Democrats. The Democrats and Obama sold the American people on a health care reform based on false data and false hope.

Obamacare is going to make American health care more expensive but not better. Obamacare is nothing more than a mandatory health care tax to fund an inferior healthcare system.

Greenhut writes: Governor Brown Celebrates ObamaCare Ruling

Not a surprise.

Gov. Jerry Brown is happy with the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling: “Today’s dramatic Supreme Court ruling removes the last roadblock to fulfilling President Obama’s historic plan to bring health care to millions of uninsured citizens.”

That makes sense. The court decided that the individual mandate isn’t really a mandate — but simply a tax. And Gov. Brown believes that the state and the country can pretty much tax its way out of its fiscal problems. Figures, a conservative justice appointed by President Bush, John Roberts, authored the opinion. Conservatives have little principled opposition to big government — they just have different ideas of how that government should be used.

Click to read the full commentary here

Brian Calle on the Health care ruling: a change in the relationship between government and the individual?

June 28th, 2012,

With its decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the U.S. Supreme Court rationalized that the government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance, but it can tax them if they do not. The Court’s majority opinion ratifies a policy that fundamentally changes the relationship between government and the individual.

The 5-4 decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. The chief justice joined the court’s four liberals.
Article Tab: An opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 28, 2012, before the court’s ruling on the law.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” the majority said. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

You may recall that during debate on the Affordable Care Act in 2010, defenders of the bill, from President Obama to Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, denied that the individual mandate amounted to a tax. Now, the Supreme Court majority has decided retroactively that it is a tax.

Click here to read the full commentary

Betrayal on so many levels: The Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court Decision to uphold the mandate by calling it by another name

John C. Goodman with The Independent Institute pens a piece, “Repeal and Replace” regarding The Affordable Care Act
June 30, 2012,
Townhall

When Barack Obama was a candidate for president, he endorsed universal health insurance, but opposed forcing individuals to buy their own insurance.

As president, he signed into law a bill that violates both of these promises. The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) gives the federal government the authority to tell every American what insurance they must have, where they will get it and what they will pay for it. Moreover, even as it violates another campaign promise (“if you’re in a plan you like, you can keep it”), the most optimistic estimate expects 23 million people will remain uninsured once the new health reform law is fully implemented.

Now that the Supreme Court has declared the mandate constitutional, what’s next? Mitt Romney says “repeal and replace.” But what should we replace ObamaCare with? Republicans on Capitol Hill are being way too timid. They are endorsing only modest reforms that will not solve the more fundamental problems of cost, quality and access to care.

Click to read the full article

Teacher Claims Sweden Cares More and Spends More on Education Than the U.S.–Richard Rider Responds in Dollars and Sense

Richard Rider, San Diego Tax Fighter, Pens a Letter to the Editor at the Union Tribune–Rejected, he shares it with the public anyway, and I’m sharing it here.  We not only spend more, but he points out what does help Sweden out-perform the U.S.  Sweden supports competition, and empowers their population with school choice, showing real commitment to putting students first:

Dear U-T Editor:

This is an expanded version of a letter I submitted to the SAN DIEGO U-T. Didn’t run, but no need for my research and insights to go to waste. Here ya go.

—–

Dear Editor:

Teacher Sharon Collins’ letter selflessly calls for higher taxes for education, citing socialist Sweden as her shining light.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/21/letters-sd-schools-teachers-labor-pact/?print&page=all
She didn’t do her homework.

She thinks Sweden values education more than America because they have a 25 percent sales tax (actually a VAT tax). But that high tax tells us nothing.

For a meaningful comparison, look at education spending per student. Of the 32 OECD counties (the economically advanced countries of the world) providing data, in 2008 Sweden ranks 6th in primary school per student spending, the U.S. 5th. Sweden ranks 9th in secondary school spending, the U.S. ranks 4th.

Sweden spent $9,080 per primary school student. The U.S. spent $9,940. Sweden spent $9,940 per secondary school student — the U.S. spent $12,007.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932463593

Think that’s not a fair comparison? Compare spending as a percent of GDP. Sweden spends 4.0% of GDP on K-12 education. The U.S. spends 4.1% — without a 25 percent “sales tax.” The OECD average is 3.8%.
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2011/what-proportion-of-national-wealth-is-spent-on-education_eag-2011-17-en

But here’s the kicker — since 1993 Sweden has had a full-blown school voucher system. ANY parent can take the money spent on public schools and use it for sending their kids to private schools — religious or secular.

All Swedish schools compete for students, making the kids’ education a higher priority than the welfare of the school employees. While controversial when first adopted, education vouchers are now a non-issue in Sweden, as almost everyone supports the common sense choice and competition that this option offers.
http://open.salon.com/blog/richard_rider/2011/01/30/swedens_school_voucher_system_is_a_model_for_america

Inadvertently, teacher Collins picked an interesting subject on which to “school” us. Class dismissed.

Richard Rider

Drugs, Govt Corruption, Public Sector Unions’s Advantage on CA November Ballot Initiatives: Gadfly Radio

Tuesday, June 26,  Stephen Downing, Retired Deputy Chief of Police, and 20 Year Vet with L.A.P.D., and an active voice with  LEAP, joins Martha Montelongo, with Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

High Speed Rail, Pubic Sector Unfunded Pension Liabilities, and Public Education are all huge costs with lots of waste, fraud and abuse.   How does our policy of drugs compare to these other issues?  Is it anywhere near as important?

What are the costs and benefits of our current policies?   Can we do better?

Governor Brown’s Pro-tax initiative, submitted later, than other initiatives that have not yet been verified, is verified for the ballot, and  California Forward‘s reform initiative is yet to be officially approved, pending signature verifications and certification.   Coincidence?    The deadline for all initiatives to go on the November General Election ballot is June 28th.  It looks very suspicious.

 

Related links for the show:
A former L.A. cop calls for legalizing drugs:
‘Prohibition is not the answer and it will never be the answer, because it does not and will not work,’ says Stephen Downing. He favors legalizing, regulating and controlling illicit substances.

Cudahy Mayor David Silva Among Three City Officials Who Took Bribe From Marijuana Dispensary, Says U.S. Attorney
By Simone Wilson

The Government Performance and Accountability Act
Californians need to know what they are getting for their tax dollars and what government is achieving. If approved by California voters through the ballot measure process, this proposal will position both state and local governments to effectively manage California’s fiscal affairs to promote concrete results Californians want and value for their tax dollars.

Jerry’s June 20 Miracle
by Joe Mathews

California Forward Waits and Waits
By Joel Fox

High court rebukes union speech assault
June 22, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Tax Initiative gets approved, but what’s the hold up on Reform Initiative that was submitted earlier?

In California Forward Waits and Waits, Joel Fox writes:

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday. Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

Click to read the story

A Life Long Republican, and Top Cop 20 Years on the Force Says for Safety Sake, Legalize drugs.

What if the best way to combat drug abuse, danger and violent crime is to legalize, and regulate?

Life-long Republican, Stephen Downing,  spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.

He started as a street cop and rose to deputy chief. Along the way, as commander of the Bureau of Investigations, he oversaw the Administrative Narcotics Division. Today, he insists that for the sake of cops, and in the interest of logic and public safety, the United States ought to legalize drugs, starting with marijuana.

Is he nuts?   Is he a immoral?  Unethical?   Does he have no respect for law and order?   Does he hate families?   Does he not care about children and their safety and exposure to drugs and drug abuse?   Why does he say what he says?   Find out, tomorrow on Gadfly Radio, at 10 am.   GadflyRadio.com

Related link:
A former L.A. cop calls for legalizing drugs
‘Prohibition is not the answer and it will never be the answer, because it does not and will not work,’ says Stephen Downing. He favors legalizing, regulating and controlling illicit substances.
June 17, 2012|Steve Lopez
 

Well It Looks Like Law Makers in Sacramento Do Have a Limit to How Much They Will Bend to Public Employee Union Dictates

Steven Greenhut on California Lawmakers Pushing Back Against Police Secrecy

June 22, 2012

It’s dangerous to read too much into some small signs of sanity at the California state Capitol, writes Steven Greenhut, but the death of two obnoxious police-secrecy bills in recent days remind us that there are indeed some limits to the groveling that California legislators will do to earn the favor of law-enforcement unions.

View this article.

California’s Legislators play fast and lose with taxpayer money, services, and resources they’re elected to protect

They make Wall St Shysters like JP Morgan’s Jaime Dimon look like alter boys.

In  California’s Bad Bet Makes JPMorgan’s Look Minor,  David Crane writes:


California legislators on Sept. 10, 1999. They decided that investment gains would cover 100 percent of the cost of retroactive pension increases they granted that day to hundreds of thousands of state workers.

The politicians made the wrong bet — and the result has been a penalty to California’s budget that has averaged $2 billion a year ever since and that will cost the state billions more for decades to come.

Promising that “no increase over current employer contributions is needed for these benefit improvements,” and that the state pension fund would “remain fully funded,” the proposal, known as SB 400, claimed that enhanced pensions wouldn’t cost taxpayers “a dime” because of healthy investment returns. The proposal went on to assert that it “fully expects” the state’s pension costs to remain below $766 million a year for “at least the next decade.”
 

Click here to read the article.

Marcia Fritz, Fix Pensions Now: “We Can’t Afford to Party Like it’s 1999,” Joins Gadfly Radio to talk Dollars and Sense

Tuesday, June 19, on Gadfly RadioMarcia Fritz, C.P.A., and an active voice for Fix Pensions First | FixPensionsFirst.com, joins Martha Montelongo, with CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

Related links for the show:
Viewpoints: When it comes to pensions, we can’t afford to party like it’s 1999 | Fix Pensions First

April 16th

By Marcia Fritz

The Legislature has until June 28 to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require all state and local government employees to contribute one-half the cost of their pensions. Future employees would be eligible for a hybrid plan that includes a defined benefit (pension) component, but with limits. The balance of the governor’s plan can be enacted through legislation.

Paying half of pension costs won’t be a shock to teachers and state employees – most pay half or close to half today. But thousands of local government employees retire at 55, collect six-figure pensions and lifetime health care benefits, and contribute nothing to their retirement plans.

Voters douse most tax-increase fires | CalWatchDog
June 15, 2012

By Dave Roberts

“…Despite fire tax proponents spending $177,000 (to zero spending by opponents), the tax hike failed to gain a majority of the vote, let alone the two-thirds required to pass.

It was always going to be a tough sell asking for an additional $2,200 per home over 10 years when most people have lost 39 percent of their net worth in the last three years and many are still staggering from the aftershocks of the Great Recession. But the district board decided to go for it anyway, doing the bidding of the firefighters union as it seeks to increase salaries, benefits and jobs.

Fire tax hikes were not that popular throughout the state. In addition to the failure of the East Contra Costa tax hike, a $100 tax hike in Higgins, a $40 hike in North Auburn-Ophir, a $79 tax in Placer Hills and a $59 tax in Crest all failed.

There were two successful fire tax measures: a $150 tax in Newcastle and a four-year extension of a $65 tax in San Mateo County.

Steven Greenhut: ‘Reforms’ will raise California taxes | The Orange County Register
June 16, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO – God help California from its current crop of wealthy “moderates” who believe that the only thing that will save our state is a dose of higher taxes. They continue to embrace electoral rule changes that ultimately will undermine the Republicans’ supposedly hard line against tax hikes.June 5 saw was the first election to use the “top two” primary system, a form of open primary designed specifically to elect more candidates who resemble former state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two politicians most responsible for its implementation. These are two of the least-effective and least-principled Republicans to attain higher office in recent years, so let this serve as a warning about what is to come.

The emerging California Fusion Party | CalWatchDog
By Wayne Lusvardi
June 18, 2012

Political fusion is an arrangement where two parties on a ballot list the same candidate. Fusion has been outlawed in many states.

A version of fusionism emerging in California is this under the new Top Two system, which voters approved under Proposition 14 back in 2010. The majority party floods election ballots with at least two of its candidates. Then it only allows the minority party to influence election results by endorsing one of the major party’s candidates. Another name for political fusion is cross-endorsement…

Now, the Union Pushback: Following big victories for public-pension reform in California, the union empire takes to the courts.
by Steven Greenhut – City Journal
June 12, 2012

The nation’s public-sector unions have become so emboldened by years of political victories, and so insulated from voter concerns, that they apparently never considered the possibility that voters, given a clear choice, would turn against them. Last Tuesday was as close as the nation gets to a clarifying election, the result of union overreach in Wisconsin and union intransigence in California. “Election results in California and Wisconsin this week are being viewed as a turning point for organized labor—to its detriment,” reported the Los Angeles Times, echoing a story line repeated nationwide.

Steve Greenhut’s Take on the 2012 Fullerton Recall–People taking their governments back

Libertarian columnist Steve Greenhut wrote a recap on the Fullerton Recall, and put it in the context of people taking their governments back. He had lots of good things to say about the Recall and FFFF.org, and the FFFF.org folks posted the piece on their website. It’s definitely an inspiring and instructional story.

“…A campaign-sign slogan captured the essence of the recall: “Failure to lead.” And the final hit mailer against the buffoons, focused on the absurd city-worker compensation packages that exploded during their watch, reinforcing that these officials were not leading the city, but following the demands of union workers.

It was time for a change, and the pension-abuse issue, bolstered by these leaders’ duck-and-cover routine after the Thomas killing, was enough to spark the recall. They were bounced by nearly 2-1 margins, so it wasn’t a fluke. And the ground had been plowed by Bushala and his merry band of local-minded libertarians, thanks to their Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog. Granted, the three soon-to-be-ex-council members provided plenty of side-splitting fodder…”

Click here to read the full op-ed

If they don’t come up with a budget today, no paycheck, but if it’s a wasteful fraud, S&P downgrades CA’s credit rating. Up Against the Wall!

Standard & Poor’s is threatening to downgrade California’s outlook if lawmakers don’t balance the budget without gimmicks. “We are  being disciplined by our lenders who will downgrade us for fudging,” said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point.

Bad old  Wall Street bankers are forcing California to clean up its financial mess in order to prevent a catastrophic economic tsunami.

California’s economy is nearly one-eighth of the entire country’s gross domestic product. It totals 30 percent of the debt carried by all 50 states, according to Gabriel Petek, an S&P analyst. Petek, interviewed by FOX Business, said that California is overly reliant  on personal income taxes, and that the state’s tax structure is behind the deficit because of this reliance.

In 2009, the Legislature voted to allow the state to pay … (click here to go to S&P forces Democrats to balance budget | CalWatchDog

No matter how much it hurts, how many more jobs it kills, how less competitive it makes CA businesses, clean energy now, outrageous costs be damned.

The problem is that the state’s target for renewable energy generation is far ahead of the market for such energy. In fact, private R&D funding for renewable energy is $1 billion less than it was 10 years ago, according to the state energy commission.

That’s because, for all the promise of renewable energy, the price of electricity generated by solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources remains higher than the price of electricity generated by natural gas and nuclear power, which, between them, continue to generate 70 percent of the Golden State’s electricity.

That’s why lawmakers have mandated an artificial share of the state’s electricity market to renewable energy. That also is why the state government continues to directly and indirectly subsidize renewable energy.

Click to read more, at  State promotes renewable energy at all costs | CalWatchDog

Pleasant Hill police chief retires, says CA pension so lucrative “it doesn’t make sense to keep working.”

Pleasant Hill police Chief Pete Dunbar to retire – ContraCostaTimes.com

Post CA & WI Primaries Analysis with Wayne Lusvardi and John Seiler of CalWatchDog

Tuesday June 12, on Gadfly Radio,  Wayne Lusvardi joins Martha and John Seiler, managing editor of CalWatchDog, to discuss the election results of the  pension reform initiatives in San Diego, and  San Jose, the failed recall of Scott Walker in Wisconsin, the victorious recall of three sitting city council members and the election of their replacements,  in Fullerton, CA, a spectacular story.   and  some of the hot and contentious candidate races that developed  in last week’s CA Primary Election.

Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is away, on assignment. 

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

 

Some Related Links:  for more, check out CalWatchDog.com  Ask me questions on Facebook,
Pension reform or double-dip storm in San Diego and San Jose?

June 6, 2012 By Wayne Lusvardi A pension reform ballot proposition was passed by the voters in the city of San Diego by a margin of 66.2 percent in favor to 33.8 percent opposed.. A similar pension reform measure in the city of San Jose is lead…

Beware the California Pension Reform Foxes
Liberal downfall of San Diego falsely blamed on conservatives
State voters did the right thing | CalWatchDog
By Steven Greenhut
June 11, 2012 By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO — Several years ago, Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones cornered me at a political event, asked my opinion on.
CalWatchDog

RealClearPolitics – Public Unions’ Icarus Moment
by Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
The Lauzen Plan: How to Rein In a $3 Trillion Rogue Pension Elephant – Forbes by Ralph Benko

There is a simple, humane and practical solution to Illinois’s threatening insolvency: the “Lauzen Plan.” If tried successfully and emulated it promises to staunch the red ink threatening the viability of many states and municipalities. Lauzen is leaving the state Senate, after 20 years of service there, where he, together with other legislators of integrity, consistently predicted, and tirelessly formulated solutions to, the cascading fiscal catastrophe now manifesting. The officials blithely ignored or aborted the solutions.

My personal message to Travis Kiger, newly elected City Council member  of the City of Fullerton: “Congratulations. I am thrilled with your victory, and the team you are part of.  You’re awesome and inspiring. I thank all of you, and you individually.” and “I want to congratulate you on such a marvelous fantastic thrilling victory. I have followed from before Kelly Thomas, and you had a stage set already. You were able to catch that wave and ride it like champions!
Bravo. I love it.”

What is Jerry Brown saying to Ed reformers in the Democratic Party base? He wants their support for the tax increases first. Keep talking, he says “we” hear you.

How bold are the reformers?  How firm do they stand? Or are they waiting, hoping, and prodding, but do not want to upset the establishment? Do they support the tax increases as necessary for real education reform?

In Tweet if You Love Pension Reform, June 7 in Fox & Hound, Marcia Fritz pitches a Hail Mary pass, a last ditch effort to get the CA Legislature to do the right thing

Fix Pensions First Launches an Urgent Twitter Campaign, and invites everyone to participate. They’ll give you critical facts in small daily doses, so you don’t get blown away, and so you can be compelled to be a part of a last ditch effort to reform pensions at the state level, before it’s too late.

Follow @FixPensions. Take 10 seconds to consider the information on your screen and another 10 seconds to share it. Twitter will take care of the rest.


The legislature has until June 28 to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to require public employees to pay half the cost of their pensions, link state retirement ages with federal retirement ages and provide retirement plans to future employees that share the risk of investment losses with taxpayers.

Click here to read the full piece, and see the dramatic graphs to drive home the urgency of this reform critical reform measure.

CalWatchDog’s Wayne Lusvardi sounds a warning bell not to get comfy with the pension reform measures just passed, even if they hold–the outlook is much worse

A pension reform ballot proposition was passed by the voters in the city of San Diego by a margin of 66.2 percent in favor to 33.8 percent opposed.. A similar pension reform measure in the city of San Jose is leading with 89.8 percent of the vote in favor with 37.7 percent of the vote counted.

But the gnawing question remains: Will voters end up with the pension reforms they voted for? Or are these reforms just the proverbial calm before a possible bigger pension storm? Tentative Results of Pension Reform Measures…
Pension reform or double-dip storm in San Diego and San Jose? | CalWatchDog

And Now Act 2 of the Dramatic Situation Between the Runnaway Train, i.e. the Public Sector Union’s Crushing Weight on California & the Battle for Reform

Here’s a link and a excerpt: San Jose’s mayor addresses legal challenges – Public Sector Inc. Forum
By Steven Greenhut on June 6

Pull Quote:

San Jose’s unions didn’t really fight the Measure B pension reform that passed with 70 percent of the vote Tuesday, but they did immediately file a legal challenge. Here is Mayor Chuck Reed’s response to claims that the reform he championed isn’t legal:
“Measure B was carefully crafted to follow California law. San Jose is a charter city and the California Constitution gives charter cities: ‘plenary authority’ to provide in their charters for the compensation of their employees. i San Jose’s City Charter reserves the right of the City Council and the voters to make changes to employees’ retirement benefits: ‘.. the Council may at any time, or from time to time, amend or otherwise change any retirement plan or plans or adopt or establish a new or different plan or plans for all or any officers or employees.’ ii San Jose’s…

Robert Higgs Refutes Paul Krugman, & Primary Election Day in CA on Gadfly Radio

Tuesday, June 5, on Gadfly Radio, Robert Higgs, Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review, joins Martha Montelongo, CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

To spend, tax and regulate, more, to get us out of our economic depression.  That’s what Celebrity  Economist, Paul Krugman calls for.   He ignores the growth, power and corruption of Big Govt and the effect of war economics, and the erosion of liberty, and the devastation on  the small business private sector.

A debate rages across the Atlantic, and here, in the U.S.

Greece already hit breaking point and the news today, as I write,  is people are resorting to barter, to manage in the economic crisis that resulted from the bloated, wasteful unproductive public sector and massive borrowing on public works.

Spain is in even worse shape only the breaking point has yet to hit.  The unemployment for young adults 25 and under is well over 51 percent in Spain.

England is also in severe economic crisis, the current government has recently implemented what they call severe austerity measures, but the situation has only worsened.

In the U.S., several states, with California leading, neck and neck with Illinois, are routinely compared to Greece.

Political and, I must not forget, Nobel Prize Winning Economist, Paul Krugman ( I force myself to omit the quotation marks, for Hayek, too, won a Nobel Price for Economics), has been getting a lot of press of late, in the U.S. but also, abroad, in Europe.

He is and has been promoting his book, End this Depression Now!

He calls for policy that includes much more Government spending, and a deliberate allowance of “some” inflation, to occur.

Krugman mocks those who compare a country’s debt crisis with that of a family that has spent itself into bankruptcy, and would reduce spending to get out of debt.

He dismisses those who call for a return to a gold standard as fool hardy.

And he points to Sweden and Austria, with  government work forces that make up over 50 percent of the economy,  as  models we should follow.  He asserts, these big-government nations  are better off, and are weathering  the storm well, compared to Great Britain, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and the U.S.
This why I loved Ralph Benko’s recent piece,  Unemployment Reality To Paul Krugman: “I Refute It Thus.”

The title alone made me laugh.  A shared sentiment, so cleverly expressed!   I experienced wonderful delight.   But also, I loved the quote:

“After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — ‘I refute it thus.” — Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson

 

I refute what Krugman is advocating, but I would like to have Higgs, please explain, in short pithy words with brevity, and clarity.

So much hangs in the balance.

Robert Higgs is the Author of many important works, including “Crisis and Leviathan,” Depression, War, and Cold War, and new, just out in May, in both Hardcover and Paperback,  Delusions of Power: New Explorations of the State, War, and Economy

I received a hardcover copy of  Krugman’s book as a gift, by a concerned and loving friend, and then I bought it as a Kindle version, and then also, as an audio file.    I  want to see Robert Higgs’ books I mentioned above, available in digital, and  audio.

I listened to an audio of his Higgs’s  interview with Tom Woods, and Nick Gillespie and of  presentations he has made on Depression, War and Cold War and Leviathan and I want to hear and learn more.  I hope he sells many books.  His message is profound.

Click here for a collection of articles and videos on Robert Higgs, defying Paul Krugman’s ideas, and Higgs, on Big Government, TARP,   and the impact of war on the economy and small businesses.    This is a a great collection!

Higgs is compelling. He communicates with a deep compassion for and faith in humanity.  We’ll talk with him about Krugman’s assertions in End This Depression Now!

More Related Links:
Krugman: More Economic Destruction Needed To Revive Economy | The Daily Capitalist  (A Refute!)

Paul Krugman, European celebrity – Paul Krugman – Salon.com  (I think “celebrity” is not intended as ironic.)

Krugman in his own words:
Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney Doesn’t Mean Anything He’s Saying: The New York Times columnist talks about Romney, the European austerity trap, and why stimulus isn’t a dirty word
By Tierney Sneed | – US News and World Report  ( This is a  point by point case on Krugman’s  arguments for more, bigger spending and regulating to save us, in 900 words ).

 

 

In “A Progressive’s Progress” Greenhut writes about what one authentic progressive is standing for in California

Steven Greenhut
A Progressive’s Progress
San Jose mayor Chuck Reed shows how Democrats can take the lead on public-pension reform.
30 May 2012

Skyrocketing compensation costs for public employees are forcing California municipalities to contemplate spending cuts and, in some cases, even bankruptcy. The question isn’t whether to rein in these pension and medical liabilities—that’s unavoidable—but precisely when and how to do so. Dominated by public-sector unions, the state legislature remains in deep denial, but some local leaders, acknowledging reality, are taking action on their own to control costs. “We’ll do this city by city a few times and that will help to move the state,” San Jose mayor Chuck Reed told me in a recent interview at City Hall. Eventually, Reed says, California will need a statewide pension-reform initiative to overcome the legislature’s intransigence. Reed, a progressive Democrat who has dragged along a slim majority of a 10-member city council, is leading the most impressive effort statewide.

Click here to read the article published in City Journal

Real Progressives who authentically care about the poor should support Gov Scott Walker

GREENHUT: Real progressives should support WI’s Scott Walker
By Watchdog Staff / May 30, 2012 /

“…once-proud movement of working people who fought oppression has morphed into an upper-middle-class movement of coddled public employees who do not care about debt levels and eroded public services. They have their gold-plated pensions and no one better touch them or else.

Progressives used to pride themselves on their desire to help the poor, but in Wisconsin these days they’d rather throw the poor under the bus — a public bus, of course, with a union driver — to protect the relatively wealthy class of workers who administer government programs.”

Click here to read the article

A Democratic Tea Party and a Turning Point on Opposition to the War On Drugs and Political Suicide

“Mr. O’Rourke’s stance in favor of marijuana legalization is also something to watch. Conventional wisdom holds that such a view will kill a political career. But Mr. O’Rourke may have been helped by it. Don’t forget that Cuidad Juarez, where Mexico’s drug war has claimed the lives of thousands in the past six years, sits cheek-to-jowl with El Paso. Culturally and commercially, the two cities are almost one in the same. Mr. O’Rourke has argued that making the drug legal but regulated would weaken cartel financing and thereby reduce violence. The Times reports that he does not plan to make the issue a priority in Washington because it is not a priority for voters. But it is nonetheless interesting that his position does not seem to have hurt him.”  Mary Anastasia O’Grady  in the WSJ’s Political Diary, a daily subscription newsletter.  (Click here to go to the posted article.)

Public Employees, the new aristrocracy that rules CA: Slashes to services for the poor while they get pay raises

California Workers Get Pay Bump Even as Brown Seeks Cuts
By Michael B. Marois – May 29, 2012 

As California Governor Jerry Brown seeks a temporary 5 percent pay cut from public employees to fill the largest state deficit in the U.S., many of those same workers are poised for raises next year.

Labor contracts covering 140,000 workers grant increases of about 3 percent to top earners beginning in July 2013, according to the Personnel Administration Department. About 34,000 employees became eligible this year as the raises began to be incorporated.

Brown, facing a $15.7 billion deficit through June 2013, is seeking savings in a state where unionized public employees are paid more than government workers in other states, and civil- service protections hamper dismissals. The 74-year-old Democrat wants to save $400 million by shortening the work week by two hours. That will require approval from unions representing 182,000 of the state’s 214,000 workers.
Click here to read more

CA Election Races & Ballot Props w/ Chris Reed of CalWhine & Gadfly’s Ben & Martha

Tuesday, May 28, on Gadfly RadioChris Reed of CalWhine.com joins Martha Montelongo, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

We’re discussing the hot races in next Tuesday’s, June 5th, CA Primary.

We’ll talk about the race for mayor in San Diego, and the hot props for public employee pension reform in San Diego, and San Jose.  Prop 28 for term limits, and Prop 29, the Cigarette tax  initiative to fund cancer research, and of course, we’ll discuss the many props on the ballot aimed to raise taxes on the people who live, work and try to run businesses in CA.

Chris is always intensely passionate and he’s been interviewing candidates and proponents and opponents running for office or backing or fighting initiatives,  as part of  his work with the San Diego Tribune so he’s well prepared with all the details.

Publisher Brian Hews of the Los Cerritos News joins us to talk about the Noguez pay-to-play Million Dollars campaign contributions scandal.  

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

CA Lawmakers exemplify definition of insanity–The more harm they cause, the more they copy failed EU States, and cause yet more harm

Consider California, Illinois EU-Style Failed States
By HOWARD RICH
05/22/2012 06:09 PM ET

Brown is pushing to raise California’s sales tax (already the highest in the nation) from 7.25% to 7.5%. He also wants to slap higher income-tax rates on those making more than $250,000 — while raising the state’s marginal income-tax rate on millionaires from 10.3% to 13.3% (thus establishing the highest state income-tax rate in America).

Californians don’t have to look all the way across the Atlantic to see that this approach is destined to fail. They need only look halfway across their own continent.

In Illinois, income tax hikes haven’t solved the state’s budget crisis. That’s because most of the revenue generated by a 2011 marginal rate hike was earmarked for a $4.5 billion pension payment — not the state’s $5 billion deficit or its $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Of course this $4.5 billion barely made a dent in the state’s long-term pension problem.

Click here to read the article

CA Assembly passes bill to protect “public servants” from investigative reporters who seek to out fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds, trust, & welfare

“The state is about to destroy the most significant source of public records, and create an open invitation to fraud and theft in order to combat a phantom threat. The bill was introduced by a legislator who ought to know better, Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). Not long ago, Feuer argued that openness is the key to stopping abuse in his city’s terminally troubled children’s court system, but now he is the champion of secrecy.”

The California Assembly, in a move that reminds me of my my childhood friend who’d take the Candy Land deck of cards under the table to “shuffle” them, just passed AB 2299 by a vote of 68-0.   This bill reinforces the evidence that the CA legislators are beholden to the new aristocracy of California, the public employee unions and their members.   If the bill becomes law, it eliminates the inconvenience of laws that allow reporters and citizen journalists to investigate and expose fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.   It still has to pass the CA Senate, and be signed by the Governor.

This gives Organized Crime a whole new meaning.  Click here to read Steven Greenhut’s article

Uh-oh, more than one in five cities in California face bankruptcy

By Troy Senik on May 24, 2012 1:53 PM

At least three California cities — Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and Montebello — have declared that they are exploring the [bankruptcy] option. And at least 100 of the state’s 482 cities are on track to face a similar predicament by the end of the year, according to Barbara O’Connor, a professor at California State University at Sacramento.

More than one in five. No wonder the state’s unions are fighting for a bigger role in local bankruptcies. How that fight resolves will be crucial to the fiscal future of local government in the Golden State. Click here to read more

Why is the GOP forever shrinking in CA? It’s the incongruity!

Steven Greenhut: If you wonder why the GOP is having such hard times, one need only look at the goings-on in Orange County, where Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh is pulling out all the stops to ensure the election to the board of supervisors of Todd Spitzer, the former Assemblyman who is a close union ally and someone who proudly increased pensions for his deputy sheriff union friends and then stood by that action right until he started getting political heat for doing so.

Click here to read the article.

Jerry Brown is the Great Dissembler

Steven Greenhut | More Gimmicks, Less Honesty | California continues to play budget games | 17 May 2012

As the Sacramento Bee reports, “The state budget deficit had grown by a remarkable 70 percent since January, but fiscal experts said the economy had little to do with it.” If not the economy, then what could possibly explain the shortfall? The answer: Brown and his administration embraced overly optimistic budget projections—what the Legislative Analyst’s Office described as “an aggressive forecast.” In January, Brown had claimed a budget deficit of $9 billion; today, it stands at $16 billion.

Click here to read the article.

Should I Stay or Should I go? Greenhut says Conservatives should stay in CA

Yes, There’s a Case for Staying in California: Steven Greenhut

“Just as California progressives view their first-in-the-nation ideas such as cap-and-trade as a means to push the entire nation to the left, so too could conservatives and centrists use California as a model for a back-from-the-brink rescue.”

Click here to read the article.

The Occupy Protesters are a mish mosh of divergent factions, but at least they’re angry. Greenhut ponders why are most people not angry over the harm done under guise of Government?


“The problem is not with one agency, but with the vast expansion of federal and state government, which takes our money and freedoms and leaves a path of destruction wherever it goes.

Sure the Occupy protesters are annoying. But the real surprise is why the rest of us aren’t at least as angry as they are.”

Click to read Legislature worse than occupiers,
May 7, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Should the Govt make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinations for their kids? Govt is killing CA

Tuesday, May 8, on Gadfly Radio,  join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

Related Links:
Schwarzenegger’s Bizarre Analysis
by Steven Greenhut

“…suggesting that the Republican Party is “too narrow” and rigid. In Politico, he points to the departures from the GOP of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a man whose only political principle is the advancement of his own career, and Anthony Adams, as terrible losses for the party…

“…In what bizarro world are those unprincipled, tax-hiking, union backers up and comers in the GOP? In what way is their departure any sort of loss for the GOP?…

…The problem with GOP moderates — who often are far less tolerant toward differing opinions than the right-wingers — is they end up standing for nothing at all. Try to explain in a few sentences what any of the above-mentioned politicians believe in beyond advancing their own political power and careers?…

Head to Head: Should we make it harder for parents to opt their kids out of vaccinations?
By Ben Boychuk and Pia Lopez

Vaccine bill injects drama into Capitol hearing
April 18, 2012
By Katy Grimes

Legislature worse than occupiers
May 7, 2012
By Steven Greenhut
The problem is not with one agency, but with the vast expansion of federal and state government, which takes our money and freedoms and leaves a path of destruction wherever it goes.

Sure the Occupy protesters are annoying. But the real surprise is why the rest of us aren’t at least as angry as they are.

Darrell Steinberg wants you in an ant farm
May 2, 2012
By John Seiler

Bob Huff Embraces Nanny State
By Steven Greenhut

College is ‘a racket’
May 4, 2012
By John Seiler

Does Being GOP “Moderates” equal Being Unprincipled, Tax Hiking, Union Backers.

Schwarzenegger’s Bizarre Analysis

Steven Greenhut: I love it when politicians have their chance in power, squander their opportunities, then spend the rest of their career lecturing us about how to reform government. Arnold Schwarzenegger was not just a disappointment, he was a fraud — and a particularly embarrassing one at that. Now he is playing martyr, suggesting that the Republican Party is “too narrow” and rigid. In Politico, he points to the departures from the GOP of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a man whose only political principle is the advancement of his own career, and Anthony Adams, as terrible losses for the party:  Click here to read the post on CalWatchDog.com

Government is not the answer! How does Govt make life worse? Steven Greenhut spells it out!

Entrepreneurs take risks. They often fail, but they sometimes make great strides forward. Government employees, on the other hand, go to jobs where they cannot be fired except in the most extreme circumstances. They regulate us and provide “services” few of us want. They retire at young ages with pensions that make them the envy of their neighbors. They consume an ever-larger share of the money earned by those who take risks and create growth. Then their unions lobby for more government. And unfortunately, writes Steven Greenhut, our fellow citizens willingly vote for the politicians who perpetuate this system. Read the rest at Reason.com here

On Education, More Money Doesn’t Equal Better Results–This truth is factually buttressed, but buried by rhetoric, again, as usual

Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com

“Getting Down to Facts,” I actually read about a thousand pages of the reports. And as I wrote back in 2007, buried in all the multiple studies, here is the lead: A review of all California school districts shows “essentially no relationship between spending and student outcomes” and that spending more is futile until “extensive and systemic reforms” are in place. In other words, the problem is much more about the stupid way money is spent than the lack of money.

Read more: Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com

Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com

“Getting Down to Facts,” I actually read about a thousand pages of the reports. And as I wrote back in 2007, buried in all the multiple studies, here is the lead: A review of all California school districts shows “essentially no relationship between spending and student outcomes” and that spending more is futile until “extensive and systemic reforms” are in place. In other words, the problem is much more about the stupid way money is spent than the lack of money.

Read more: Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com