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Don’t trust Covered California’s latest round of happy talk

December 23rd, 2013 By Chris Reed.

While the national media increasingly seem to have figured out that Obamacare is a farce, its California version continues to get better press than it should. Stories about the extreme sticker shock faced by CA residents turn up in AP stories about the national problems facing the Affordable Care Ac...

Now Bill Lockyer thinks tax cuts create jobs

December 22nd, 2013 By John Seiler.

When opponents of Proposition 30 said it would kill jobs, Treasurer Bill Lockyer backed it anyway: "I worry a little bit about fairness, although when you look at the income distributions in the last 20 years and see that essentially 80 percent of the people in California have either stagnated or f...

Six Californias?

December 21st, 2013 By John Seiler.

Dissatisfaction with the current state of California continues to spread. The latest idea: Split the mega-state into six smaller states. It comes from tech investor Tim Draper: "TechCrunch has learned about noted technology investor Tim Draper’s plan to split California into six separate states...

Court thwarts CA officials’ cynical race-racket coverup

December 20th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Chief Justice John Roberts' 2009 opinion calling government racial quotas a "sordid business" hits the spot. Sordid also pretty much describes all government racial maneuvering and gamesmanship. Consider the case now playing out in California courts: "SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a bitter fight over...

GOP launching anti-Obamacare ads at Dems

December 20th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I predicted more than a month ago Republicans' top three strategies for 2014: "1. Attack Obamacare. "2. Attack Obamacare. "3. Attack Obamacare." Of course, that didn't exactly take the talents of Nostradamus. But now my prediction is coming true. It's not even January and here's an ad launche...

Michal Bloomberg’s candor beats Jerry Brown’s candor — by a mile

December 19th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Jack Dean of the invaluable website sent me a Politicker story about departing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's exit speech that Bloomberg plainly intended to be a historic demarcation of sorts. Bloomberg hammered home the theme that what left-wing politicians in New York h...

Is 2014 the best year for pension reform?

December 19th, 2013 By John Seiler.

I politics, timing is everything. In 1973, Gov. Ronald Reagan pushed Proposition 1 to cut state income taxes 7.5 percent. It lost, 54 percent to 46 percent. Even the Great Communicator couldn't push it over the top. November that year was the high tide of the 1946-73 economic boom in the United S...

Actually, Jim Jones cult was Bay Area Democrats

December 18th, 2013 By John Seiler.

John Podesta, President Obama's new guru, just apologized for saying of Republicans, "They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress." On Nov. 18, 1978 in Jonestown in Guyana, a city he ...

Bullet-train coverage: All the happy talk that fits

December 18th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

The Fresno Bee's editorial page has cheered longer and harder for the bullet-train project than just about any newspaper in the state. But has this enthusiasm affected news coverage? A story in Wednesday's paper should make Fresno Bee readers wonder. Reporter Tim Sheehan writes about a new developme...

EDD employees nap, watch TV, surf net, while claims stack up

December 17th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

My three-part series about the Employment Development Department computer system upgrade has some in the agency wanting to unload. Apparently EDD officials' explanation of the newly updated $100 million computer system "glitches," and claims of understaffing, aren't the whole story, according to som...

Nothing can change the shape of President Jerry Brown

December 17th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Gov. Jerry Brown isn't ruling out a 2016 presidential run. I well remember his first presidential bid, way back in 1976 when he was a young governor of 38 and I was a younger political writer of 21 on my college newspaper, the Hillsdale Collegian. We've come a long way together, Jerry and I. I...

Covered California admits ‘mistake’ that made it seem a success

December 17th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

So Covered California has admitted a mistake in its initial description of signups for California's version of Obamacare, and it was that fake description that led to stories across the nation about Obamacare getting off to a great start in California. If you're not cynical about this, you should ge...

Video: Mike Rowe on the hidden cost of compliance

December 16th, 2013 By John Seiler.

There are a lot of dirty jobs few people want to do, but which are essential to keep society going. Mike Rowe features them in his Discovery Channel show, "Dirty Jobs." Another aspect of dirty jobs is that those who do them are plagued by regulations enforced by functionaries in nice, clean gover...

Texas cashing in on fracking of shale; will CA leaders allow same?

December 16th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

At Gov. Jerry Brown's behest, California has adopted fracking regulations that appear to allow for significant use of the vastly improved drilling technology to access 15 billion-plus barrels of oil under a vast swath of Central California, from the coast to the Sierras. But greens remain determined...

An open letter to bullet-train board Chairman Dan Richard

December 15th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

Dan Richard was at it again in Saturday's Los Angeles Times. LAT's Ralph Vartabedian did a good job painting a downbeat picture of the bullet train's prospects after negative legal and regulatory rulings. But he didn't ask the question that blows a gaping hole in the side of the Good Ship Balone...

Study: Caesar and Robin Hood enjoyed warmer climate

December 15th, 2013 By John Seiler.

Toga! Toga! Toga! Ever wonder why the ancient Romans built an "empire without end," to quote Virgil, while walking around in togas? Because it was a lot warmer then than now. And why Robin Hood ran around Sherwood Forest in tights? Warmer then, too. A new study shows that the recent "...

‘Since voters are so stupid, let govt. make all decisions’

December 14th, 2013 By Katy Grimes.

The pabulum voters are being fed has escalated to new heights… or lows as the case may be. In a letter to the Sac Bee editor today, a reader claimed Alexis de Tocqueville would have supported Sacramento City Council's decision to forge ahead with the publicly subsidized arena without a vo...

Why CA’s going to thrive: nanotech, biotech and, in particular, Google

December 14th, 2013 By Chris Reed.

I will always remember 2013 as the year that I became a downright-giddy optimist about California's future. Regardless of the massive incompetence and (mostly legal) corruption of its government leaders, the Golden State is going to be saved by its extraordinary tech entrepreneurs and scientific gen...

Common Core question soon facing your CA kids

December 14th, 2013 By John Seiler.

California enthusiastically is embracing the new national Common Core standards for students. Here's an actual question of the sort that's going to be facing the students, as posted on a quiz page on the site for the Genesco Commnuity Unit School District #228 in Chicago, a government school. ...

Californians turning on unions

December 13th, 2013 By John Seiler.

People with too much power are setting themselves up for a fall. In democracies, voters sometimes decide things, punishing one group with too much power, while rewarding others with less power. So it was inevitable that Californians would turn against the state's powerful public-sector unions. Wh...

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