Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Sell the wood and finance the schools

Increased timber sales sought to fund rural counties, schools

February 29, 2012 | Joanna Lin, California Watch

Joanna Lin/California WatchTrinity River Lumber Co., the last remaining sawmill in Trinity County, struggles to maintain its log supply.

Proposed federal legislation would require increased timber sales in national forests to generate revenue for rural counties and schools – a plan that’s at odds with other Congressional efforts to extend a decade-old program that compensates forest communities that have cut back logging.

Supporters of the bill – namely Republicans in the House Natural Resources Committee and groups representing counties and the timber industry – have applauded the proposal as a roadmap for better forest management and sustainable local revenue. The Federal Forests County Revenue, Schools and Jobs Act of 2012 passed the House Natural Resources Committee 26-17 earlier this month; it has not yet been scheduled for a full House vote.  More…

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February 29, 2012

Licenses for Law Breakers

Providing Driver Licenses to One Who Has Broken Federal Law so One Can Drive “Legally”- Is an Oxymoron

Ashley Hemkin

By

Managing Editor of Fox & Hounds
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

This week in Los Angeles momentum has gathered behind the proposal to provide driver licenses to illegal immigrants. Providing a legal driver’s license to one who has broken federal law so one can drive “legally” — is an oxymoron.

What’s disappointing is that three law enforcement officials, L.A. City Police Chief Charlie Beck, Sheriff Lee Baca and L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, have turned a blind eye to enforcing the law by supporting the idea.   Read more

February 29, 2012

What happened at the California Republican Party Convention?

California Republican Party Convention: Monday Afternoon Quarterbacking

| February 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich at California Republican Party convention. Photo by Viviane Karam Cavanaugh. I was in the Bay Area this weekend to check out the California Republican Party Convention. So were a great many other journos — especially on Saturday, when presidential hopeless Newt Gingrich got into town, and the Hyatt filled up with national media and reporters from the big California newspapers. 

The result: lots of double-bylined stories telling readers what Newt Gingrich said in a speech that was video-recorded by dozens of sources and is readily available in full to anybody with a connection to the internet. 

There were also some interesting bits of coverage, many of those collected by Jon Fleischman’s Flash Report blog, the indispensable resource for Golden State Republican news. Here are some samples.   More…

February 29, 2012

CA Is The Worst Run State!

Katy Grimes: California might have to-die-for weather, but everything else is the Pits.

A recent study was done to find the best and worst run states…and the winner is… Wyoming! The loser is… California.

For the second year, 24/7 Wall St. ranked the 50 states from the best to worst run. They reviewed data on financial health, standard of living and government services by state to determine how well each state is managed. Based on this data, the best-run state is Wyoming. The worst-run state is California.

Despite some of the obvious differences when comparing the states — rural areas, urban areas, industry (or lack thereof), natural resources, border states — 24/7 Wall St. said that states can do a great deal to control their fate.

So what is California doing wrong?  More…

February 29, 2012

Can we Keep the Lights on in California Amidst 33% Renewables and Environmental Rulings

by Stephen Frank on 02/29/2012 ·

Now we know that in 2020, eight years from now, unless the Global Warming scamsters are thrown out, California will be without power and energy.

“McIntosh said he has no doubt that “we have the technology and the means to make the policy goals happen, and the ISO is working hard to prepare for successful achievement of important environmental goals. But there are going to be challenges as we get to increased penetration levels of wind and solar.”

“At all levels of the ISO,” McIntosh said, there is attention to the state’s readiness to apply the newest grid dynamics to cope with wind and solar variability and the fact that, without energy storage, there is no way to use their off-peak capacity to meet peak demand.”

Without the ability to meet peak demand, you will see by 2015-6 companies beginning to move out of the State.  Who would want to be in a State that uses candles to light and heat a room?

Between AB 32, illegal aliens, this mandate, failed schools, criminals being released to our streets without punishment.  (Just yesterday a government school superintendent sentenced to sixty days in jail for stealing, was released after just four days)

We are already a Third World State.  Gray Davis already caused irreparable harm to our economy with his policies causing massive black and brownouts—forcing firms to make the final decision to leave the State.

Arnold and Jerry created the new policies that guarantee California is closed for business, jobs and families.  More…

 

February 28, 2012

McClintock: Greens Gone Wild (video)

February 28, 2012

US to repatriate undocumented Mexicans by air

February 28 2012 at 02:48pm


iol pic wld Janet NapolitanoREUTERS

US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addresses the media while standing in front of a painting of Mexico’s late President Benito Juarez.

The United States will increase repatriating undocumented Mexicans by air to take pressure off authorities in busy border crossing areas, visiting US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Monday.

Napolitano made the announcement alongside Mexico’s Interior Minister Alejandro Poire.

She said the change would ease pressure in areas along the countries’ long border where many undocumented people from Mexico and other countries try to enter the United States illegally by land, at the same time that US authorities are carrying our deportations by land.

Napolitano did not give a time frame for the change.  More…

February 28, 2012

California gas prices jump 26 cents in a week

The average cost of self-serve regular hits $4.29 a gallon, 57 cents higher than a year ago. The average nationwide is $3.29.

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times/February 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m.
 

Gas prices up for sixth straight weekCommuters in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area are shelling out an average of $4.32 a gallon for regular gasoline, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. In Orange County, the average is $4.31. Above, Leonardo Zelada of Hawthorne pumps gas on Mission Road in Los Angeles (Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times / February 20, 2012)
 
For the sixth week in a row, gasoline prices are up this week, hitting an average of $4.29 a gallon for self-serve regular in California, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

That’s nearly 26 cents higher than last week and 57 cents higher than a year ago.

Nationwide, the average was $3.29, a jump of 13 cents from the previous week and 34 cents in a year.

Oil and gas experts largely blamed continuing unrest in the Middle East, including concerns that future political or military actions against Iran’s nuclear program could cut off oil shipments from that country.

“The price of crude probably has a $20 Iranian risk premium built in,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at PFGBest Research. “If we could see some light at the end of the tunnel from that situation, we could see a big break in prices — but in the short run, we have to feel the pain.”

On Monday, oil prices slipped slightly after the Group of 20 economies warned about the “risks of higher oil prices” and said they would welcome supply commitments from oil-producing countries.  More…

February 28, 2012

San Diego gas prices among highest in nation

Photo of Written byMorgan Lee

Angel Plascenca of San Diego fills up at the Valero station on La Media Road in Otay Mesa, which was selling regular unleaded gas for $4.09 a gallon. JOHN R. MCCUTCHEN • U-T photos

Angel Plascenca of San Diego fills up at the Valero station on La Media Road in Otay Mesa, which was selling regular unleaded gas for $4.09 a gallon. JOHN R. MCCUTCHEN • U-T photos

San Diego is bearing the brunt of the current gasoline crunch like few other cities.

The average price Monday for a gallon of unleaded was $4.32, up from $4.07 a week ago and $3.75 a month ago, according to AAA’s daily fuel gauge report. It’s the highest price ever for this time of year.

Over the weekend, a separate study found that San Diego had the highest gas prices in the country. The twice-monthly Lundberg Survey of fuel prices, released on Sunday, estimated that San Diegans were paying 55 cents more per gallon that the U.S. average of $3.69.  More…

February 28, 2012

Lower CA Gas Prices by Drilling!

February 27, 2012 By Thomas W. Loker

Click Image to Enlarge

In 2004, then Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, updated his 2000 report on Gasoline Prices in California.  Looking back is an interesting read as we watch gas prices rise beyond $4.00 on their way to, as some are predicting, to as high as $6.00, if not even higher.

Evil Oil Companies Reap Big Profits Cause Gas Prices to Spike!

What is fascinating about both the current concern over the rise in gas prices and the report published by AG Lockyer is the consistent amount of spin on what it was that was causing the rise in prices.  As we move into the next few weeks and months, once again we will hear from the media, and many talking heads, how it is the “evil” Oil companies’ fault—how they are making record profits, preying upon the people of California, or on the national scale, the U.S. citizens, to enrich their shareholders and continue to pay huge salaries and bonuses to the 1%’rs and leaving the 99% in a worse and worse position. But there is a big problem with this spin!  For the most part it is just not true.

February 28, 2012

Two Wolves and a Sheep

By | Monday February 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM PST

Does not compute: higher tax rates on the wealthiest rarely result in greater revenues

This front-page headline from Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle brings to mind the old adage about democracy being two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner: “Voters Willing to Tax Wealthy.”

The article goes on to detail the not-surprising results of a poll in which voters were asked to choose between supporting the governor’s plan to pass a 1% surtax on incomes over $1 million, or suffer the consequences of automatic defunding of education.

(Funny how it’s always schools, police, and fire houses that face the ax, and never jobs, salaries, or pensions of the hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats the state employs.)

If passed, California’s top earners will face the highest income tax in the country. At the same time, the state sales tax rate—already the highest in the nation—will also be increased.  More. . .

February 27, 2012

Your family owes the government $30,500 for pensions debt

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The average California household’s share of the debt for underfunded state and local government employee pensions comes to about $30,500.Stanford University studies released last week and in December for the first time aggregate public pension shortfalls statewide. Using moderate assumptions about future investment returns, the unfunded liability is about $379 billion.

Hard-core pension reformers will maintain that the number is much more. Defenders of the status quo will insist it’s significantly less. Before sorting out that dispute, let’s understand what the numbers mean.  More…

February 27, 2012

Latino lawmakers once again forced to pretend funding CTA = social justice

Posted on February 26, 2012 by

 

The old theory was that any significant reform introduced by a Republican state lawmaker was DOA. So now a Democratic state lawmaker is proposing a freeze on the pay of state workers making more than $100,000, an audit of the Legislature’s spending, and an end to the practice of allowing current and retired state lawmakers to get vanity plates for free. So what is going to happen to these populist, sure-to-play-well-with-the-public proposals? They’re going to die without a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and not just because the lawmaker behind them, Anthony Portantino, is a thorn in Speaker John Perez’s side. They’re going to die because all the talk about spending and restraint and a new era in Sacramento are pure bunk. And because Appropriations Committee Chairman Felipe Fuentes, above, is yet another Los Angeles Latino Democrat who talks up social justice on the campaign trail but in office defines social justice as protecting a status quo devoted to helping public employees, especially teachers. If the safety net is shredded, so be it.

February 27, 2012

State GOP Adopts Conservative 2012-2016 Platform

Jon Fleischman

Posted by Jon Fleischman at 1:30 am on Feb 27, 2012

It’s a wrap.  The 2012 California Republican Party Spring Convention, held on the San Francisco Bay Area peninsula, is over.  As is typical of these semi-annual confabs, I give them my all – and they take all I have to give and more.  We’ll pen a post-convention write with an overview of the highlights for publication as early as tomorrow morning.  That having been said, I wanted to share with you that at the general session of the convention, by an overwhelming voice vote, the delegates to the convention adopted the 2012-2016 CRP Platform.  I am very pleased to share that the document that was approved, while far from ideal, is more or less a re-adoption of the conservative platform document that we adopted back in 2008.  I could go on at length about what is in the final document, but instead I will attach it here for you to read.  More…

February 27, 2012

Tax Bucks for Billionaires’ Play

Environmentalist Lawsuits Can Save San Fran Millions—Stop Billionaires Boat Race, using Tax $$

by Stephen Frank on 02/26/2012 ·

Thanks to those whacky environmentalists, the people of San Fran could save $50 million.  That is the potential lose to the taxpayers for the city elites using tax dollars to buy a boat race for billionaires!

“A group called Waterfront Watch — with former Board of Supervisors president and vehement America’s Cup critic Aaron Peskin listed as a petitioner — brought the suit forward Thursday. It alleges general inadequacy of the race’s environmental impact report that was cleared by the Planning Commission, Port Commission and Board of Supervisors under the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Since the Mayor and Board of Supervisors are a bunch of leftist elites, glad others leftists are willing to stop this waste of money.  More…

 

February 26, 2012

Why do we need the part-time Legislature in California?

  This is why!

February 26, 2012

Punished For Saying “Bless You”

February 26, 2012

Democrats Honestly Want to Raise Your Taxes

Tom Del Beccaro

By

Chairman of the California Republican Party
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Do you believe what politicians tell you?  For most Americans, it’s unlikely they would say yes – and that has been true for a long time.  After all, according to Mark Twain, “Looking for an honest politician is like looking for an ethical burglar.”  Recently, however, the California Democrats honestly made it very clearly to every Californian what they want to do: raise their taxes.

The Sacramento Bee headline nearly said it all: “California Democrats debate how to raise taxes at statewide convention.”  How very up front of the Democrats.  Inside the story, you find out that from their leaders to their protestors, taking from some to give to others was a rather pervasive theme among them.  Read more

February 26, 2012

“Gas prices are insane.”

Filling up her tank at a Valero gas station at Pechanga and Temecula parkways, Megan Tucker watches the total rise Friday. “Close to $80,” she said. “That’s sad.”

BILL WECHTER | bwechter@californian.com

Overnight gas prices rose at a record pace this week, according to data from AAA, the Auto Club.

This year, gas prices rose from 2011’s record levels to set new highs for January and February, typically a low-consumption time of year. In the past week, the average price of a gallon of unleaded rose by record amounts, including three of the top five overnight increases since 2000 in San Diego and in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to AAA.

High prices for crude oil, plus refinery cutbacks have sent prices rocketing upward.

“Oh my God, it’s absolutely horrible,” said Jason Harms, a former Marine living in Vista. “Gas prices are insane.”  Read more:

February 26, 2012

The taxpayers and students win—the unions lose—sounds good to me.

Why Not online Classes for ALL Students, Not Just the Failing One’s?

by Stephen Frank on 02/24/2012 ·

 In Santa Barbara failed students are allowed to get needed credits by taking classes online.  The real question is why can’t all students take several classes online?

“Assistant Principal Nea Voss said Dos Pueblos is focusing on seniors who have recently failed classes and are in danger of not graduating in June. They’re doing credit recovery in the library’s computer lab after school, while taking a full load of regular classes.

Each student is paired with a credentialed teacher from Aventa with whom they can email, video chat and ask questions during office hours. A semester class takes just six weeks, and students can test out of the sections they already know.”

Money can be saved, education can be speeded along.  What is the downsize?  Fewer union bribe payers will be needed.  Unions will get less money to “elect” favorable politicians.

For the students there is no downsize.  For the public, less need for classroom space.

The taxpayers and students win—the unions lose—sounds good to me.  More…

February 25, 2012

Rocklin Considering Banning Residents From Smoking Outside Their Own Homes

ROCKLIN (CBS13) – A Placer County town is considering a ban on smoking that some say goes way too far.

The Rocklin City Council is considering making it against the law for smokers to smoke anywhere outside on their property.

The city council is considering the ban after one home owner complained about smoke coming from their neighbors’ backyards saying it caused health problems for their kids.

But before going to the city council, the family first asked their neighbors to stop smoking.

One couple agreed, according to their son.

“They felt that there wasn’t any reason to put the household in any sort of health risk,” Eric Croslin said explaining his parent’s position.

But some smokers and even some non-smokers saying this ban goes too far.

“So what about people who have children in their home and they don’t want to smoke in their home?” asked non-smoker Tamara Davis.

“As a smoker, I think that smokers should be considerate,” said Rocklin resident and smoker Ryan Malonson. “But on your own property, that’s unacceptable…It’s not going to pass.”

It is already against the law for smokers to light up near businesses, parks and playground in California.

February 25, 2012

Governments kept partying amid downturn

Local agencies spent $749,000 over past two years, survey finds

City of Carlsbad employees at the 2010 holiday breakfast and service award recognition event at the La Costa Resort.
City of Carlsbad employees at the 2010 holiday breakfast and service award recognition event at the La Costa Resort. — City of Carlsbad

Macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi at Roy’s on the waterfront. A disc jockey and blackjack tables at the Mission Valley Resort. Lava cake at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island.

Wall Street executives partying in San Diego? No, this was the life for certain local government employees who celebrated the holidays the past two years on the public dime.

The Watchdog sought records from 47 agencies, including the county, courts, cities and those that provide water, transportation, schools, colleges and fire protection.

They spent more than $749,000 during the last two years on end-of-year holiday parties, recognition events and gifts for employees, public records show. They paid using government funds and auxiliary money available at their discretion.  More…

February 25, 2012

PROPOSITION 29: LATEST BALLOT-BOX BOONDOGGLE

David Spady/February 25, 2012

[Publisher’s Note:  As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, I am pleased to present this column from David Spady – Flash]

If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

California Republicans will gather this weekend to prepare for a November 2012 election that will be a defining one for our state and our country. And although the presidential candidates are still vigorously competing for the Republican party’s nomination, you can be sure that they are all united in their efforts to defeat and hold the line against the multitude of tax measures Democrats will be hawking voters this fall.

But voters don’t have to wait until November to send a clear no-tax message. In addition to having a chance to vote on a presidential nominee, voters can get the anti-tax train rolling this June by rejecting the latest “feels good/sounds good,” nearly-a-billion-dollar tax hike proposal liberals think they can deceive Californians into supporting.

Stop me if you’ve heard this joke before. Liberal politician with pet cause and bureaucracy-building desire packages up his or her idea, tells voters they can achieve some laudable goal “for free” and takes it to the ballot. First Five Commission. Stem-cell research. High-speed rail. And now the latest in this sad line of ballot-box boondoggles: Proposition 29.

Under the guise of supporting cancer research, Prop. 29 will raise taxes by $855 million to create a new government-spending program that lacks strict controls, does nothing to address California’s massive deficit and allows our hard-earned money to be spent outside California and even outside the country.  More…

February 25, 2012

In California, there is a fight to restore water to the farmers of the Central Valley.

From Across the Fence with Mark Meckler

It’s like something you would expect out of the old Soviet Union.  The government has shut off water supplies to hundreds of thousands of acres, leaving farmland fallow, farm families bankrupt, and farm workers unemployed and on the government dole.  Why?  They claim it’s to protect a tiny, non-native fish.  The reality is that it is simply eco-tyranny run amok.  Environmentalists hate the farmers and want to turn the Central Valley into a desert.  They care not about families, and don’t consider human beings part of the eco-system.

The local tea partiers are heavily involved in the issue and have been since the beginning.  The Central Valley Tea Party is here.  The North Valley Tea Party is here.  Both are working hard on this issue (and many others.)

Rep. Devin Nunes has sponsored HR-1837 which provides appropriate environmental protections, while also protecting the people who produce our food.  Here’s his resource page on the bill.  There’s also a link there to an episode on the Hannity show.  He’s been following this issue for quite some time.

February 24, 2012

California Doctors Must Charge Less to Treat the Poor?

U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on California budget fight

February 23, 2012 | 10:56 am
 

A sharply divided decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday highlighted the legal minefield that California must navigate while trimming its budget.

When considering whether the state should be allowed to lower reimbursement rates for doctors who treat the poor as part of California’s Medi-Cal program, the court decided to punt the case back to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 5-4 decision provided little clarity for state officials, who are still assessing its consequences for Medi-Cal. At stake is tens of millions of dollars in state taxpayer money, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Department of Finance.

The 9th Circuit Court had previously stopped the state from lowering its rates, but the Obama administration said the cuts could go forward, leading to contradictory signals from two different branches of the federal government.

A similar situation is playing out in Los Angeles, where a federal judge is blockinganother rate cut that the Obama administration has already approved. State officials said they would appeal that case to the 9th Circuit. Because Medi-Cal is part of the federal Medicaid program, some cuts need approval from the federal government. Lawsuits have accused the state of violating the promise that poor patients would have access to quality care, further complicating the situation.

— Chris Megerian in Sacramento