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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

Take your pooch out to eat

August 25th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill legalizing restaurants and bars allowing pets on patios, starting Jan. 1. Given all the animal-rights activists and dog-lovers in this state, it's surprising this took so long. Although in my experience here, this long has been allowed de facto. In Europe, peo...

Vergara appeal decision: Nixon goes to China for Jerry Brown?

August 24th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

To an astounding degree, prominent California Democrats have so far avoided substantive comment on Judge Rolf Treu's landmark -- but tentative -- June 10 ruling in Los Angeles Superior Court that teacher tenure laws are so harmful to minority students in poor neighborhoods that it "shocks the consc...

Trust in govt. drops to new low

August 24th, 2014 By John Seiler.

A new Gallup Poll shows what we all know just from talking to people: Trust in government is at a new low. Just 19 percent say they trust government "Just about always/Most of the time." Must be government workers and their kin. An appallingly low 81 percent trust the government "Only some...

Fact-checking Tom Steyer on climate change

August 23rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

I continue to contend that "climate change" is a meaningless phrase because the climate obviously changes. But how? To what effect? It's like saying "baby change" about an infant. How? Is he well and growing? Is he ill? "Climate change" is useful for political activism because, unlike "global war...

A voting lottery?

August 22nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Los Angeles is considering turning voting into a lottery. Last year's mayoral election saw a turnout of just 25 percent. The idea is to hold out the potential of winning a cash prize for showing up to do one's civic duty. But why should we care about people who don't care about voting, or are too...

CA editorial boards cool to anti-Uber power play

August 22nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The editorial pages of the state's largest newspapers largely agree about Tom Torlakson's being undeserving of a second term as state superintendent of public instruction. Given the breadth of ideological views among these papers, that's pretty rate. Now, rarely enough, we're seeing a second unif...

Chart shows warning on economy, CA budget

August 21st, 2014 By John Seiler.

Since the 9/11 attack almost 13 years ago, the Federal Reserve Board has been inflating the dollar. Everybody has noticed the increases in food, gas and other prices. That's why the supposed "records" set by the stock market are suspect. Instead, look at this chart of the DJIA pegged against gold...

Poll: CA likes insurance price controls, Covered CA

August 20th, 2014 By John Seiler.

A new Field Poll shows strong support for Proposition 45, which will give the state insurance commissioner, Davy Jones, even stronger powers to regulate health insurance. The race is just heating up. And insurance companies are running ads against it. But with 69 percent favoring it already, it's go...

Is Gov. Brown disinterested in pension reform?

August 20th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Later today, the governing board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is expected to pass rules giving state employees 99 ways to spike their "pensionable pay." Gov. Jerry Brown only objected to one of the 99 bonuses. This is the same governor who billed his 2012 pension reform l...

SoCal job growth slows

August 19th, 2014 By John Seiler.

"California's back!" is Gov. Jerry Brown's re-election slogan. Certainly, in some areas, such as Silicon Valley, where the Great Recession hardly hurt. But in much of the rest of the state, stagnation still is the order of the day. That's better than when Brown took over four years ago, so he has...

Immigration: Feinstein acts like Chicago Dem, not CA Dem

August 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein won't put up with the CIA spying on lawmakers. Her repeated denunciations of the agency this year have been remarkable, considering her decades as a leading figure in the national security establishment. But Feinstein isn't so forthright when it comes to the polit...

Study: CA cost of doing business high

August 18th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Yet another study shows that the cost of doing business in California is much higher than in other states. This one is by Andrew Chang & Company for the California Chamber of Commerce. They provide some useful graphs. 1. "California compares poorly in national rankings to other states in the ...

Geothermal: New front in CA fracking war

August 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The war over fracking in California could soon have a second front. The Economist has become the latest publication to document how the newly refined and improved energy exploration technique using precisely aimed underground water cannons works not just to free up previously inaccessible oil and...

Dreamers leaving CA

August 17th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The New York Times ran a fascinating graphic showing how California, while still a major destination of those from foreign lands, no longer is the land of opportunity for people from other U.S. states. The Times: California, shown above, has long been the destination of American dreamers from ot...

Tesla could get enviro exemption

August 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California is known for egalitarianism and extreme environmental laws. But some animals are more equal than others. The Times reported: The state would exempt Tesla Motors Inc. from some of its toughest environmental regulations as part of an incentive package being discussed with the automaker to...

Moody’s raises questions about teacher pension funding fix

August 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Soon after the CalSTRS funding fix crafted by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown took effect on July 1, Moody's Investors Service raised CalSTRS' bond issuer rating. But six weeks later, Moody's has put out another release that examines how much strain the law meant to stabilize funding for Ca...

LAUSD system does not compute

August 14th, 2014 By John Seiler.

You'd think a state that's still by far the center of the global computer industry could produce government computer systems that work right. They don't. From the Daily News: Ditching Los Angeles Unified’s new computer system, school counselors in the district found themselves reverting to the sa...

Feds abdicate on own rules for CA bullet train $

August 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Obama administration has given the state $3.5 billion in funds for its bullet train project. But the 2009 stimulus funds that were the source of most of the federal bequest came with lots of strings attached, as is common with federal grants. Those rules were formally published in the Federal...

Water bond deal reached

August 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Writing Wednesday afternoon, a deal just was reached among Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic and Republican leaders in the Legislature on a water bond for the November ballot, costing $7.5 billion. It would replace Proposition 43, the $11.1 billion bond currently in place. The Bee reported: Negot...

Petty corruption all too common at CA special districts

August 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The California government agencies that provide water, sewage, trash and other special services are often oblivious to ethical norms and tone-deaf to how their actions look to the outside world. Part of it may be these agencies don't get the same scrutiny as City Councils and county Boards of Sup...

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