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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

NEW: Drought mostly over, govt. water takeover isn’t

December 21st, 2014 By John Seiler.

It looks like the drought is receding, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported on Thursday: In summary, a wet December (to date) has provided California a foothold for drought recovery, but 3 straight winters of subnormal precipitation will take time (possibly several consecutive wet winters) to fully re...

CA data does not compute

December 20th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California remains the global epicenter of computers and the Internet. Then why do so many of its state-government systems not compute? The latest critique comes in a new report, "Data Reliability," by State Auditor Elaine M. Howle. Subtitle: "State Agencies’ Computer-Generated Data Varied in ...

Coal ban would boost tax cost of pensions

December 19th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California public pensions already have a big problem with adequate funding. The nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst pegs the pensions' unfunded liabilities at $340 billion. It should be obvious what the investment strategy should be for the California Public Employees System, the California St...

Tesla facing tough competition

December 18th, 2014 By John Seiler.

No question that Tesla, in addition to getting a lot of public subsidies and tax breaks, has come with some great cars based on incredible technology. But does that justify its $27 billion market capitalization? Now the Big Boys are getting into the act of producing luxury electric cars. Accordi...

Teacher pay raises gobble up Prop 30, LCFF funds

December 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In 2012, California voters approved Proposition 30, which temporarily raised sales taxes on everyone and income taxes on the wealthy. The measure was sold with the promise it would directly help public education. It was "for the kids." In 2013, the California Legislature approved a dramatic chang...

CA firefighter makes $508,893

December 17th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The problem of absurdly high compensation for government workers in California never seems to get better. The latest from the Orange County Register's Watchdog: Several California firefighters managed to triple their base salaries by working tons of overtime last year, according to competing data o...

Dems bring back fundraising party

December 16th, 2014 By John Seiler.

When the going gets tough -- the tough party. A series of scandals involving three California state senators forced the cancellation of the Pro Tem Golf fundraiser earlier this year. But it's hard to keep party animals down. The party is back for 2015. The Times reports: The event at Torrey Pine...

Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

December 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Congress' most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren't over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some protections against a fresh round of Wall St...

Dismal election turnout

December 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The California Secretary of State's office just released figures showing the Nov. 4 election suffered the worst turnout rate ever. According to the Capitol Weekly summary: Less than a third of California’s eligible voters cast ballots on Nov. 4.... Of those who registered to vote, little better ...

High-speed rail incompatible with current tracks

December 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

One reason the American South lost the Civil War was it had numerous incompatible railroad track systems, requiring supplies to be unloaded, then loaded again, for each different segment. By contrast, the Northern rail networks were more uniform, although not completely so. That's turning out to ...

Low taxes bring CA high tech to Luxembourg

December 14th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Luxembourg is a small, low-tax duchy that's attracting European centers for high-tech firms from California and elsewhere.  FT reported: In short order Apple’s iTunes division set up its European home in Luxembourg and was then joined by Microsoft, Cisco and eBay, a veritable tech surge.... Hig...

Should U.C. be ‘independent’?

December 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

As I've noted in two recent posts, here and here, 50 years after the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, there's no more academic freedom or free speech at California universities. Only politically correct repression. Meanwhile, costs are soaring for students and parents. U.C. President Janet Napolita...

High cost of living sours holiday spirit

December 12th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The drop in gas prices certainly is welcome. Especially during this holiday season. But seemingly everything else is going up in price -- as you probably noticed at the grocery store or when shopping for housing. And health care? My premiums have gone up 50 percent the past two years for the s...

Has quirky San Diego Democrat put hold on city’s “Los Angelization”?

December 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Democrats have long had a big voter registration advantage in San Diego -- a consistent 70,000-plus edge. Yet until November 2012, this never translated into liberal local governance akin to the aggressive progressivism of other large West Coast cities like San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. To po...

Berkeley shuts down Thiel’s free speech

December 11th, 2014 By John Seiler.

As I detailed earlier, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. I noted that, today, free speech largely has been extinguished at the University of California, Berkeley and other American campuses. They're now just centers of P.C. indoctrination. Another exam...

Beyond MSM, Feinstein report knocked by left and right

December 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The release of the report by the Senate intelligence committee's majority Democrats that annihilates the CIA for using torture for years even when the agency allegedly knew that it didn't work has been treated by the mainstream media as a career achievement for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who ...

Did tax rise help CA, tax cuts hurt KS?

December 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Editor's note: See correction at the bottom. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. We're in California, where the winter weather is in the 70s and the high taxes are imposed by the Great and Powerful Oz. Writing in Al Jazerra, David Cay Johnston said Kansas' tax cuts hurt it...

Sen. de Leon defends kingly swearing-in ceremony

December 9th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Being king means never having to say you're sorry. That's sure the attitude of new California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. He's still defending the lavish swearing-in ceremony, paid for with private funds (from those hoping to gain influence), held at the opulent Walt D...

Meet the Mother Jones staffer who thinks the bullet train is nuts

December 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

There are bullet-train apostates among California Democrats, starting with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and bullet-train fans among state GOPers, starting with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. But by and large, the bullet-train debate in the Golden State is a partisan affair. This doesn't make much sens...

Are Democrats still relevant?

December 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Ronald Reagan became a lame duck after his 1984 election landslide. His Republican Party, thanks to the incompetent leadership of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, even lost control of the U.S. Senate in 1986, leaving Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress. Incredibly, the GOP tax reform...

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