Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

Bloomberg on Boxer’s brisk, brusque behavior

By Josh Richman
Sunday, April 29th, 2012 at 5:24 pm in Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senate.

Barbara Boxer in motionLast week’s Bloomberg Businessweek offered a somewhat light-hearted look at that most entertaining of animals, the U.S. legislator, in its natural habitat. The magazine spent two days in late March observing behavior on the House and Senate floors, and then turned to observers including the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer; Daily Kos congressional expert David Waldman; and Wonkette editor/publisher Rebecca Schoenkopf for analysis.

Among the species observed were the “sustained touchers,” “power Blackberryers,” “iPad gamers,” “style mavens,” “peacemakers,” “primpers” and so on, but only one person got her very own category: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Here’s how the magazine described her:

The impassioned California senator virtually never stood still. She also popped small candies. Schweitzer: “She’s probably more feared than loved among staffers and colleagues.” Waldman: “She’s definitely high-energy. She’ll hit 10 to 15 people on her way to her Senate desk, then settle in.” Schoenkopf: “She has personally yelled at me twice.”

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April 30, 2012

The good, bad and ugly in California

Prison crowding seems to be improving, but the bullet train still lives and Gov. Brown still pursues billions more from an overtaxed populace.

By MARK LANDSBAUM

By MARK LANDSBAUM/Register columnist/mlandsbaum@ocregister.com

 Roughly a third of the way through the calendar year, now is as good a time as any for a California status report on the good, the bad and the ugly.

First, the good.

Article Tab: The Rev. Misi Tagaloa, of the 2nd Samoan Congregational Church of Long Beach presents Gov. Jerry Brown with a jar of soil collected from all over California during a news conference with PICO California in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, April 26, 2012. PICO, a network of community and religious groups, endorsed Brown's proposed tax initiative for the November ballot
The Rev. Misi Tagaloa, of the 2nd Samoan Congregational Church of Long Beach presents Gov. Jerry Brown with a jar of soil collected from all over California during a news conference with PICO California in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, April 26, 2012. PICO, a network of community and religious groups, endorsed Brown’s proposed tax initiative for the November ballot
ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO

California prisons, which had degenerated into a cramped, dangerous, ugly spectacle of inmates virtually stacked like cord wood in prison gymnasiums, seem to be improving. For this, grudgingly give Gov. Jerry Brown some credit. It was Brown’s idea to shift nonviolent, low-level offenders to county jails that appears to have reduced prison congestion by about 22,000 inmates so far, and even promises to save billions in prison construction that perhaps now is unnecessary.  More…

April 30, 2012

California just for rich folks now

Thanks to Gray, Arnold and Jerry, California is now for the very rich, the very poor and the illegal aliens.  The middle class is not wanted in this State.

“The Elite still can afford to live here, as shown by a flyer in my morning Orange County Register for Lambert Ranch in Irvine, “From $900,000, Nine Model Homes.” (Picture above.) A home model called “The Grove at Lambert Ranch” is advertised as “Sloping upward and gazing across Irvine. Amid stands of eucalyptus trees. 4,278 — 5,182 square feet. Up to 6 bedrooms/6.5 baths.” Today is the Grand Opening.

Only the “1 percent” — and above — can afford these kinds of digs.”

Only the rich can afford the high taxes, the high cost of energy and the high cost of living.  The poor get free health care, free food, vouchers for housing, and more.

It is the middle class that feels the pain of these freebies and pays for it with high costs and a lower standard of living.  Why is California in a Depression? The policies support the rich and the illegals, while killing the middle class.  More…

 

April 30, 2012

Got quality healthcare? Not for long!

California moves forward with insurance Exchange–Ultimately Billions in Subsidies

by Stephen Frank on 04/29/2012 ·

Great news for socialists!  The State of California is going forward to create a State owned health care system.  The real purpose is to squeeze out private insurance firms, force doctors to work for the government and hospitals to be run, like in Cuba or the old Soviet Union, by government bureaucrats.

“The Exchange is designed to be a place where consumers who don’t get coverage through work can go and buy it at an affordable price and in a way that allows them to easily compare the costs and benefits of competing plans. For health insurers, it promises access to millions of potential new customers, many of whom will get subsidies to help them afford coverage.

But the Exchange could hit a serious speed bump if the high court strikes down the federal health insurance mandate requiring almost everyone to have coverage, which is expected to drive up enrollment in states around the country.”

What they are not mentioning is that Federal, and State, money is being used to set up and run the system, along with subsidizing the insurance costs.  So, as government forces private insurers to raise prices, and lose customers, the government program grows—and the power of bureaucrats to determine is you live or die.

Bet you did not know that Guv Brown and his unionized Democrats are working hard, with your money to kill quality health care.  More…

April 29, 2012

Mind Control (video)

April 29, 2012

Crying Wolf Movie

To watch this great movie, go to  http://vimeo.com/28858208

April 28, 2012

As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead

by Joel Kotkin 04/27/2012
bigstock-Obama-Town-Hall-4954712.jpg

Barack Obama learned the rough sport of politics in Chicago, but his domestic policies have been shaped by California’s progressive creed. As the Golden State crumbles, its troubles point to those America may confront in a second Obama term.

From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state. In 2009, he praised its green-tinged energy policies as a blueprint for the nation. He staffed his administration with Californians like Energy Secretary Steve Chu—an open advocate of high energy prices who’s lavished government funding on “green” dodos like solar-panel maker Solyndra, and luxury electric carmaker Fisker—and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who thrived as CEO of a regulated utility which raised energy costs for millions of consumers, sometimes to finance “green” ideals.  read more »

April 28, 2012

CSU Fullerton spends $300,000 to remodel president’s house

April 27, 2012 | Erica Perez, California Watch

 sshepard/istockphoto.com

In addition to a controversial 10 percent pay raise, incoming CSU Fullerton President Mildred Garcia will receive another benefit when she arrives on campus: a $300,000 remodel on the eight-bedroom historical house where she will live.

In March, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to give Garcia – the outgoing president of CSU Dominguez Hills in Carson – the maximum pay raise allowable under a new executive compensation cap approved by trustees in January. In addition to her base salary of $324,500, she gets free housing at the presidential estate and a $12,000-per-year car allowance.

The decision stoked outrage among some faculty and students, who said the raise sent the wrong message at a time of devastating budget cuts at CSU.  More . . .

April 28, 2012

Prop 29. “…There is so much garbage in it, and virtually no oversight…”

Proposition 29: Why should voters care?

Katy GrimesBy /Calwatchdog.com news reporter/Friday, April 27th, 2012/Crossposted on CalWatchdog

There are examples of waste, fraud and abuse in nearly every corner of government.  With the election season upon us, voters need to pay special attention to what is on the ballot.

California’s ballot initiatives say a great deal about the health of the state. There are numerous tax increase proposals on the ballot, despite voters refusing to pass the last seven attempts to increase taxes, including as recently as last year.

The average citizen doesn’t have the power or money to put anything on ballot. The $200 ballot initiative filing fee is not the roadblock–the $2 million needed to get the initiative passed is.

However, ballot initiatives are the best way to speak directly to the voters.  Many initiatives seem important, but the costs and consequences are not always clear. 

In California, there is a new tobacco tax ballot initiative which claims the revenue raised would go to cancer research.  More…

April 28, 2012

Why do we as a civilized people allow criminals, extortionists, to get anywhere near our children?

Call the United Nations! “Union Leader Says Education Reforms Are an Attack Against ‘Human Rights’

by Stephen Frank on 04/27/2012 · 

 

Extortionists believe parents and the public are incompetent and lazy.  Maybe they are right. We have allowed unions to degrade our schools, radicals create bigoted misleading curriculum and students are told government will set standards, not parents or People of Faith.

Appearing on a local news show, NSEA President Lynn Warne said the Silver State’s new education reforms – which focus largely on teacher tenure – “really struck at the heart of what are educators’ rights, workers’ rights, human rights really.”

Was Warne just being hysterical, or should education reformers be brought up on charges before the United Nations’ Human Rights Council?”

Lynne Warned needs therapy—to believe that wanting qualified teachers is an attack on human rights is like suggesting Idi Amin was only depopulating his nation to protect us from Global Warming.  Yet thanks to coercion, the NSEA forces teachers into paying bribes, just to be able to teach.

Why do we as a civilized people allow criminals, extortionists, to get anywhere near our children?  What are we telling our kids, that when a bully demands your money, do not argue or complain?  Will any teacher be willing to tell the truth—they pay bribes to work and will not do that any more?  More…

 

April 28, 2012

A Truly Orwellian Measure (video)

April 27, 2012

Whatever Works (or doesn’t)

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April 27, 2012

Smart Meter Spy

PG&E employee who spied on activists had support of management, a CPUC probe finds

A probe by the California Public Utilities Commission has concluded that William Devereaux, a former PG&E employee who used a false identity to spy on activists opposed to SmartMeters, did not act alone but had support from senior managers.

Devereaux resigned in November 2010 after admitting that he used the name “Ralph” to try to infiltrate an online group of consumers opposed to the utility’s new digital meters.  More…

April 27, 2012

Pretending to Fire School Staff to Scare Them

San Diego To Fire 2600 Support Staff for Gov’t Schools? More scare tactics

by Stephen Frank on 04/26/2012 ·  

Government schools always want more money—but it is no longer readily available.  So, now they take to scaring parents.

“California’s second-largest school district is preparing lay-off notices for roughly 2,600 of its credentialed and non-teaching staff if the state does not provide funds to help close its $122 million deficit.

The board of the 120,000-student San Diego Unified School District voted on Tuesday to send out the preliminary lay-off notices to clerical, food service and other employees. That followed warnings issued for teachers and other credentialed staff.”

The next notice will be a parcel tax, bond or direct tax, all to give those who have tanked the district more money to play with and waste.  They will not fire99% of these folks.  Some how they will “Find” the money and keep the people.

Those in charge need to be fired.  Blackmailing the public should be punished, not rewarded.  More…

April 27, 2012

Tea Party Marine thrown out of military

Sgt. Gary Stein, the Camp Pendleton-based Marine who made national headlines for his disparaging remarks about President Barack Obama on Facebook, has been thrown out of the Corps.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general for the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Western Recruiting Region, determined that Stein, 26, should be given an other-than-honorable discharge, following the April 5 recommendation of a three-man administrative separation panel.  More…

April 27, 2012

California’s Self-Serving Legislature

From “Girlie Men” to “Man Up” to the Prop 25 Ruling – California Legislature’s Image Problem

Joel Fox

By

Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee/Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Looks like the legislature’s majority got away with a fast one now that a judge’s tentative ruling declared the legislature can sit in judgment of its own actions when it comes to verifying that a valid budget was passed and legislators can get paid. All a majority of legislators have to do is pass any budget bill – even if the budget includes phantom dollars, such as last year’s miraculous, and so far unseen, $4 billion which supposedly balanced the budget.

Prop 25 allowed the budget to be passed with a majority vote. Democrats and their public employee union allies who wrote Prop 25 wanted to control the budget vote with no interference from Republicans. Ironically, to sell Proposition 25 to voters, they included a provision to punish legislators by denying pay for not passing the budget because they knew it played into the view of the public that the legislature should be scorned.  Read more

April 27, 2012

California is in a Depression

Summary of LAO Findings and Recommendations on the 2012-13 Budget

by Stephen Frank on 04/26/2012 ·

California is in a Depression and the revenues tell the story.

Franchise Tax Board collections are a couple of billion short.

Employment Development Department is $250 million short.

Personal Income tax is over $2 billion short.

Corporation taxes are $150 million short or 10% below predictions.

Schools are going to be further cut.  “Changes in revenues also affect the state’s Proposition 98 minimum guarantee, for example.”

What recovery?  We have 11% unemployment, with real unemployment at 20%

California is in a Depression.  What do you think will happen when Cap and Trade, and the proposed $160 billion tax increase from Brown, the Unions and Munger goes into affect?

California will stay in a Depression until the State stops killing jobs and the economy.  More…

April 27, 2012

Legal vanity bill, or a gift to the state’s labor unions?

NEW: AB 1692 could halt city bankruptcies

April 26, 2012/By Katy Grimes

SACRAMENTO — Bankruptcy still haunts California cities six months after Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 506. Written by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, the bill made it more difficult for municipalities to file bankruptcy, such as requiring negotiations with creditors before a bankruptcy can be filed.

When AB 506 was only four months into law, Wieckowski started pushing a new bankruptcy bill, AB 1692. On Wednesday, Wieckowski told colleagues in the Assembly Local Government Committee that AB 1692 was a “cleanup bill” for AB 506. The new bill would prevent cities from filing for bankruptcy protection without first participating in a lengthy mediation process. The fur flew when he said he made so many concessions on the original bill just to get it passed and signed into law, that he created a new bill to rectify and retract those concessions.

But after Wieckowski’s testimony, some are questioning the real motives behind the new bill. Is this just a legal vanity bill, or a gift to the state’s labor unions?  More…

April 26, 2012

New California Taxes Pay for Pensions, Not Schools

 
David Crane
By /Former Jobs and Economic Adviser to Gov. Schwarzenegger and President of Govern for California
Thursday, April 26th, 2012/Crossposted on Bloomberg

Most Californians would be surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share of the tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to pensions instead of classrooms. But that would be no surprise to longtime observers of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which administers teacher pensions.

Here’s why: After retirement, teachers are unconditionally guaranteed lifetime pensions by their school districts. Everything works out fine if Calstrs, as the retirement system is known, earns the investment returns it forecasts and from which upfront contributions are derived.  Read more

April 26, 2012

No Full-Time Perks for Part-Time Work

Hagman’s AB 2429, Up Today, Says No Full-Time Perks For Part-Time Politicians

Jon FleischmanPosted by at 12:03 am on Apr 26, 2012 |

This morning Assemblyman Curt Hagman will have his bill, AB 2429, heard before the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee. This piece of legislation is very straightforward. Ask yourself, should a part-time elected official (most city councils, school boards, water boards and so on…) be taking down full-time employee benefits? If your answer is no, then Hagman’s bill is the way to go. Simply put, beginning with January of 2013, those elected to part-time local offices may not receive any benefits for service, other than the allowable stipend under state law. Right now the vast majority of the state’s over 25,000 local elected officials are not only getting their monthly stipends, but are also taking down gold-plated health care plans. In some cases, after being re-elected a second time, they are awarding these part-time officials with lifetime healthcare benefits. One particularly egregious practice is where the local elected waives the healthcare insurance, and the local government which they oversee then pays them cash in lieu of taking it!

If a position is full time — then I think everyone understands that it… Read More

April 26, 2012

The Tragic Consequences of Social Justice Education

by Stephen Frank on 04/25/2012

Government education, all education should be about preparing a student for the future and to be a productive member of society.  Sadly, unions and radicals, working as a team, have turned our schools into Soviet style “re-education” camps.

Classrooms have become training centers for “Social Justice”.

“As a result, in our elementary schools, instead of learning basic skills and the real history of the country, students are all too often taught nonsense like anti-racist math and that America is evil and can be saved only by a litany of progressive “isms”– environmentalism, feminism, socialism, etc. Several months ago, I reviewed Kyle Olson’s excellent book, Indoctrination: How ‘Useful Idiots’ Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism, which documents how public schools today are being used to turn children away from the ideals that have made this country extraordinary.”

Any wonder education is dumbed down and students believe unions are great and corporations are killing us?  Get rd of the indoctrination and we will not need more money for a corrupt government education system.  More…

 

April 26, 2012

193,000 UNEMPLOYED will no longer be counted as UNEMPLOYED—Per Gov’t edict

by Stephen Frank on 04/25/2012 ·

On May 12 the Federal government will no longer admit to the existence of 193,00 citizens who are at of work.

At that point, since they will no longer be receiving unemployment checks the Feds will no longer consider them part of the work force, meaning the unemployment rate goes down as the number of unemployed go up.

“Time is running out for 93,000 jobless workers in California. The state’s Employment Development Department said that a federal extension for unemployment benefits will expire on May 12.

More than 100,000 workers who might have qualified for the 20-week extension shortly also won’t get the extended help.”

A total of 193,000 people will disappear, so Obama can claim his policies are working and America is in “recovery”.  Of course real people understand he is lying and has decided his destiny is more important than yours.  More…

 

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April 25, 2012

Thanks, teacher: Kids now think we’re better off dead

So, you didn’t think keeping your child in a government school could be harmful?

Well, thanks to the environmental loons in charge, some children have been brainwashed into wishing human beings didn’t even exist. Seriously.

Click here to read the full article.

April 25, 2012

A Double-Barreled Attack on the Bill of Rights

Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner

Posted by at 11:47 am on Apr 24, 2012 |

The Democrats in Sacramento push a prodigious amount of freedom restricting legislation. But last week, we saw something special even for them: a single bill unabashedly aimed at both your First and Second Amendment rights. It was a liberty restricting “two-fer,” a shameless double-barreled attack on the Bill of Rights.

The bill, AB 1527, bans the open carrying of unloaded rifles and shotguns on public streets in an incorporated city. It followed up a similar bill last year which outlawed the open carrying of unloaded handguns. As such, it is, like that earlier bill, an undisguised abridgment of the Second Amendment.

According to testimony in support of the bill before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this new legislation is needed to close a “loophole” in the prior law. Said a lobbyist testifying in support of the bill, because the prior ban applied only to handguns, some citizens are now carrying rifles instead, daring the police to arrest them, and saying “neener neener” to the cops. That’s right, an adult, testifying before a Legislative committee, actually supported his testimony with the playground taunt “neener neener.” You can’t… Read More

April 25, 2012

How I kicked elitist Bank of America’s butt across the entire state of California

Richard RiderPosted by at 4:04 pm on Apr 24, 2012 |
 
In the last few days a story has emerged concerning the Bank of America terminating all dealings with their existing corporate customer because the company — horrors! — manufactures firearms.

http://www.rogerhedgecock.com/story/17668445/bank-of-america-drops-mcmillan

Naturally gun owners are incensed, as am I. But I’ve had a longstanding dislike for B of A. We had quite a row years ago — they “done me wrong.”

Bad idea, B of A. As a result, I very publicly kicked Bank of America’s butt from San Diego to San Francisco. Payback’s a bitch, as B of A found out. Here’s the story:

My Very Satisfying Battle with Bank of America by Richard Rider

Back in the early 1990’s, I had an extremely annoying run-in with Bank of America. With their usual disdain for the small individual customer, they treated me poorly. But I got even – big-time. Perhaps others might find this story and strategy useful in dealing with unresponsive businesses or governments.

For over a decade, my wife and I had a large safe deposit box at… Read More