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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

Mixed GOP reaction to Donnelly: Dumb-de-dumb-dumb

May 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The California Republican Party is now very, very down on its luck. But I think state party chair Jim Brulte isn't just blathering when he suggests the party can make at the least a modest comeback. The main reason for this, however, isn't the behavior of California Republicans. It's both a broad...

CA plastic bag ban would hurt environment

May 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

In this dysfunctional state, it figures the Legislature likely soon could ban plastic bags at stores. AP reports: "Senate Bill 270 passed the Assembly's Natural Resources Committee on a 5-3 vote following the failure of similar bans on single-use grocery bags in recent years. The latest legislatio...

CA 2014 fire season: A test of government competence

May 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The two worst wildfires in recorded state history struck San Diego County in 2003 and 2007, as I wrote about in today's U-T San Diego. "In October 2003, the Cedar Fire ... broke out in the Cleveland National Forest, started accidentally by a lost hunter trying to signal rescuers. It burned more t...

Brown’s CalSTRS fix hammers districts, protects teachers

May 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Contrary to the impression given by some of the current coverage of Sacramento's attempts to shore up the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the underfunding problem hasn't been completely ignored for all these years. Here's what I wrote about the last serious attempt to change a broken f...

Will Sen. de Leon also head the Assembly?

May 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

In a strange development, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, who soon will head the Senate as president pro-tem, also will head the Assembly as speaker. This will be news to Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who yesterday was installed as Assembly speaker. According to the Los Angeles...

TX routs CA in education test scores

May 13th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Every time I write or speak on a radio show favorably about Texas compared with California, I get harsh online comments, emails and phone calls. The usual theme isn't just that California is a nicer place to live. It's that Texas is a hellhole compared with just about anywhere -- a place that hates ...

Mexico loosens gun control

May 12th, 2014 By John Seiler.

One reason Mexico is so violent is that it has really strict gun control. Common people cannot defend themselves from well-armed criminals. The criminals don't follow the country's gun laws because they're already outlaws. The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana wrote: "Don’t bring firearms or ammunitio...

U.S. CEOs again call California most hostile to business

May 12th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

It's a May tradition: Chief Executive magazine announces its best and worst states when it comes to receptivity to business. And in what's also a May tradition, California is found to be the worst. That's 10 years in a row -- a decade of dominance. Over that same period, California saw its une...

Germans turn on CA-style green energy push

May 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California may think of itself as the epicenter of the green religion, but even more extreme environmentalism has been playing out in Europe. In Germany, the result is increasingly sharp disillusionment. The Washington Times has the details: "[Germany moved] to boost renewable energy sources, almos...

A billion here, a billion there for high-speed rail

May 11th, 2014 By John Seiler.

"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money," Sen Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., supposedly said, although the Dirksen Center says there's no record of it. The longtime Republican minority leader died in 1969. But whoever said it, the saying comes to mind as California's...

Covered CA enrollees not necessarily Obamacare fans

May 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

There's a logical fallacy to the stories, editorials and social media buzz saying or strongly implying that Covered California is a triumph because it is doing better than expected at signing up people for the Golden State's version of Obamacare. Just because they've signed up doesn't mean these Cal...

ObamaChoppers to cost $20 billion

May 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

You would think America didn't have any economic troubles, and the government could waste whatever money it wanted to on anything. President Obama's has ordered a fleet of 23 presidential helicopters -- ObamaChoppers -- that will cost taxpayers an incredible $20 billion. That's $20,000,000,000.0...

Exodus costs CA

May 9th, 2014 By John Seiler.

People and businesses flee California's high taxes and regulations. How much does that cost the state budget? A new book by Travis Brown, "How Money Walks," quantifies it; as does his website, howmoneywalks.com. Writing in the Orange County Register, Adam Summers summarized Brown's data: "From 1...

Attempted $1B cover-up can’t even crack Top 5 of bullet-train outrages

May 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

With any big public works project, a report that an independent consultant had been pressured by the responsible government agency to hide a nearly $1 billion increase in project cost is absolutely outrageous. Pathetically enough, when it comes to the bullet train and the California High-Speed Rail ...

Mass transit for poor frowned on in Bay Area

May 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

There's plenty of research that shows that bus rapid transit is far the most cost-effective type of mass transit, with a flexibility that's particularly helpful to the less affluent. This is from a Reason Foundation study released in January about the shortfalls of the traditional, rail-centric appr...

$26 minimum wage?

May 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California's minimum wage rises to $9 an hour from $8 on July 1. Then in 2015, it rises to $10. That's still pretty low for this expensive state. So Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is proposing $26 an hour. That still seems pretty chintsy. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year. Assuming a 40 ho...

Taxes, regs clog new biz formation in USA, CA

May 7th, 2014 By John Seiler.

An alarming new study by the liberal Brookings Institution shows business dynamism has dropped by half from the Reagan Boom of three decades ago. Look at this graph: "Firm entry" means new startup companies. "Firm exit" means the companies are gone. The two lines crossed about 2008, during t...

Analyzing Neel Kashkari’s flyer

May 6th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today the first statewide political flyer plopped into my mailbox. It's from Neel Kashkari, running for governor as a Republican. The whole thing is reproduced at the bottom. This is the first gubernatorial election using the Top Two system. The two candidates with the most votes go on to a Novem...

CA governments can open meetings with prayer

May 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

In one of those weird rulings, today the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it's OK for local governments to open meetings with prayer. It's weird because the Court itself opens with the prayer, "God save the United States and this Honorable Court!" -- a quote directly from the Court's own website....

Longevity breakthroughs make gov pensions even more of a gold mine

May 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

On Sunday the Drudge Report sent Twitter abuzz with the report of a hugely significant breakthrough on aging and longevity: "It may seem the stuff of gothic horror novels, but transfusions of young blood could reverse the ageing process and even cure Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists believe. ... ...

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