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Three powerful liberal papers hail Vergara ruling

June 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

That the Vergara vs. California ruling last week is a landmark that will affect U.S. public education going forward -- even if it is appealed and thrown out -- is a general consensus among the pundits and education experts I've read. Of course, union officials disagree. And so do many of the tired ...

6 stories out of 317: LAT, Bee, Chronicle hide Obama fracking views

June 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

I have been whining about how the media cover big issues for decades, but there is something uniquely strange about the decision of the California media -- in the midst of a sharp state debate over fracking -- to not mention that the Obama administration considers it safe. I have heard that some ...

Knives already out for CA’s emerging House star

June 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The flurry of reports that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is a lock to replace Eric Cantor of Virginia as House majority leader has led the mainstream media to do the usual profiles and think pieces about D.C.'s newest political star. Some of it is even enjoyable speculation that his rise is ba...

Cap-and-trade share not close to $ bullet train needs

June 13th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Gov. Jerry Brown has managed to secure a steady source of funding -- cap-and-trade fees related to AB 32 -- for his $68 billion bullet-train project. It appears that he did so by winning teacher unions' support with a simply bizarre budget provision forcing school districts to spend down their reser...

UTLA boss goes Orwell: Teachers=students

June 13th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Tuesday's historic Vergara vs. California ruling was likened to Brown vs. Board of Education by none other than Rolf Treu, the judge who issued the decision. But has anyone noticed how quiet Latino Democrats are about the ruling, outside of Antonio Villaraigosa and Gloria Romero? I asked Assemblywom...

UC Berkeley prof behind invest/spend semantic ploy

June 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

AP reporter Judy Lin had a fun story Wednesday about how Democrats are playing the semantic spin game: "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As billions of dollars in unexpected tax revenue pour into California, Democratic lawmakers have proposed all kinds of ways to distribute the windfall after years of recess...

The left-wing theory driving Vergara ruling

June 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

A point that hasn't been made nearly enough by the MSM is that the Vergara vs. California ruling rejecting the state's lax teacher tenure practices depends on a legal doctrine associated with lefty causes. That doctrine deals with "disparate impact" and holds that if a seemingly neutral law has the...

‘Kaustrodamus': The L.A. journo who saw Cantor’s demise coming

June 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Mickey Kaus is a very smart L.A. pundit whose Kaufiles was one of the original news blogs that mattered. He now writes mainly for the Daily Caller. In 1992, he wrote "The End of Equality," a powerful book-length analysis of Democratic economic agenda and social programs that argued presciently that ...

Post-Vergara: Civil war possible among CA Dems

June 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Vergara storm is coming, and I've got a feeling that it's going to be gigantic. The ruling's potential impact on California public education -- and public education nationally -- could be immense. Even if it doesn't stand, it will inspire similar lawsuits everywhere, and similar concerns abou...

CA may take lead in codifying what is legally acceptable sex

June 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Nanny State impulse, when its most ardent proponents gain power, is a scary thing to witness. This is from the L.A. Daily News: "LONG BEACH --- A bill on its way to the state Assembly mandates that California’s public universities adopt a policy requiring college students to obtain ongoing co...

Rail board chair Dan Richard responds to critical post

June 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Dan Richard, the chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, sent this to Cal Watchdog in response to my Monday morning post: "In his campaign to stop California from building the nation’s first high-speed rail system, Chris Reed (, June 9, 2014) continues to rely on disto...

State’s Bay Bridge follies will have bullet train encore

June 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

When the first stories came out about the problems with the $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge construction project, there was a faintly surprised tone to some of the coverage. They can't get stuff like welds right? Really? But I was unsurprised. It was completely in keeping with the engi...

Light-rail love affair: CA pols, media stuck in 1980s

June 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Californians with a green streak are in love with mass transit -- at least when it involves rail. Buses are far better at helping people, especially poor people, to and from work. But there's something about rail and how it seems like an explicit rejection of the internal combustion engine that attr...

Changing CA politics: What’s the biggest potential shift?

June 7th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The open-primary success of relatively moderate GOP candidates in statewide races has prompted lots of thumbsucker punditry lately. For example, Dan Walters sees Tuesday's results as suggesting a mild GOP comeback. There's also the evidence that the Legislature isn't as wacky as it used to be sin...

Fewer statewide offices would help

June 6th, 2014 By John Seiler.

How embarrassing. State Sen. Leland Yee, D-Sacramento, came in third in the race for controller, with almost 300,000 votes, even though earlier this year he was indicted on federal corruption charges and dropped out of the race. In the L.A. Times, Mark Z. Barack came up with the most plausible an...

Why did Brown take high road and pass on fixing GOP race?

June 6th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In the summer of 2001, Gov. Gray Davis was in trouble for a trillion reasons, only starting with his feckless response to the winter 2000-01 rolling blackouts and energy crisis. He was facing a formidable 2002 re-election challenge from Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a wealthy, moderate, highly ...

Can Kashkari win?

June 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

No question Neel Kashkari has a tough road ahead in his battle to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown in the November gubernatorial election. Brown is running what I have called his "Morning in California" campaign. It emphasize how he ended the budget deficit inherited from Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegge...

Why Swearengin’s finish in controller’s race is deceptive

June 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The fact that Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin finished first in the state controller's primary and that another Republican -- David Evans -- was running a strong third surprised just about all California GOPers and may lead them to unrealistic confidence about her chances in November. Evans was a ...

CA Dems may finally have CTA vs. Latino showdown

June 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

As I've written many times over the years -- here's one example -- the stability and durability of the California Democratic coalition is downright peculiar. Why? Because the interests of its richest, most powerful faction -- the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teach...

Aftermath: Kashkari faces tough battle with Brown

June 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Now is the hard part for Neel Kashkari: Facing the formidable Gov. Jerry Brown. The Republican Kashkari finished second in yesterday's Top Two primary, at 19 percent, well behind Brown's 55 percent. The first problem is that Brown currently is highly popular and is riding what I have called a "M...

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