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Brown pleads to CA Supreme Court: Please kill bullet train ASAP!

January 25th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

On Friday night, the Sacramento Bee reported a bullet-train development that looks off the wall if you follow the MSM coverage that accepts surfaces narratives from rail officials. But the development looks somewhat predictable if you've been reading Cal Watchdog's reporting on the fiasco and the st...

Obama administration goes after critic

January 25th, 2014 By John Seiler.

I knew Dinesh D'Souza back in the 1980s when we both lived in Washington, D.C. Although I haven't seen him since then, we both have moved to California, in his case to San Diego. An immigrant from India, he's an energetic conservative who has written numerous books and countless articles. He was ...

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh

January 24th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The personal computer revolution took off like an ICBM with the introduction of Apple's Macintosh 30 years ago today. Two days before, during the Super Bowl, Apple broadcast its "1984" commercial, still the most famous ad ever. At the time, the "Big Brother" in the ad was not the government, ...

Mayor’s ‘arena hype machine’ shuns due diligence, economic analysis

January 24th, 2014 By Katy Grimes.

Arena Derangement Syndrome continues. "Collusion" and "shady dealings," are just a few of the words used in a letter to describe the City of Sacramento’s "utter failure to conduct any economic analysis" in the proposed taxpayer-subsidized sports arena. Attorneys representing members of ...

‘Subsidiarity': About broad push for local control? Or upping teacher pay?

January 24th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Joel Fox has an analysis piece at Fox & Hounds that looks at the governor's push for "subsidiarity" on education policy and wonders if what Jerry Brown is touting will segue to a larger agenda: "... is there a next phase to this move toward subsidiarity? "Does this mean that more funding sho...

Google buses vs. San Fran govt.

January 23rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

You would think San Francisco's government would applaud Google for the company's private buses, which whisk employees around the city. The buses reduce congestion and pollution in the City on the Bay, two big goals of the city government. When you go to S.F., you notice that all the cabs are req...

Secrecy, deception: CA bullet train follows path of Big Dig

January 23rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

One of the defining characteristics of a government boondoggle is secrecy. Boondoggles are much less likely to come to pass if early scrutiny reveals huge problems. This was illustrated perfectly by the "Big Dig" -- the Boston tunnel and road building project that was the most expensive of its ki...

Brown’s State of the State: It’s Morning in California

January 22nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign theme boasted: "It's Morning in America." He won 49 states, losing only rival Walter Mondale's native Minnesota. Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address this morning kicked off a similar theme in what effectively was his re-election pitch...

BOE building gremlins linger in ‘sick’ building

January 21st, 2014 By Katy Grimes.

There must be gremlins living in the Board of Equalization building in downtown Sacramento. What else could explain burst water pipes, flooding, mechanical problems, bats, mold, and falling glass? BOE employees have complained for years of safety hazards and moldy, smelly, and even dirty pr...

Schwarzenegger sticking to global warming schtick

January 21st, 2014 By John Seiler.

I remember around 20 years ago Arnold Schwarzenegger explained to a talk-show host how to keep making movie hits. If a film bombed, he said, he analyzed what was wrong -- the script, the director, etc. -- then corrected it for the next project. He has not done the same thing with the major cause ...

‘Techno-militarization’ seen in CA alarms tech intellectuals

January 21st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The NSA scandal and the increasing use of technology to police and monitor all Americans, not just suspected terrorists around the world and in our midst, is a growing worry in Silicon Valley. CEOs fret that U.S. tech firms will suffer fallout overseas because of the vast extent of our government's ...

Life expectancy gains: new front in CA pension funding woes

January 20th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Daniel Borenstein of the Bay Area Newspaper Group had a sharp column Sunday pointing out that delays in acknowledging gains in life expectancy added to the long-term funding problems faced by CalPERS. "The mortality issue exemplifies how CalPERS has set the rates it charges too low. Retirement syst...

Taxpayer-funded union programs: Scams and scandals

January 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In a state with normal standards of honesty and transparency, the idea that millions of dollars in public funds could be used without any scrutiny for many years at a time would seem goofy. But that's in a normal government. In California, where hegemonic union power is a de facto constant of l...

Fullerton police chief doesn’t think verdict vindicated lethal cop

January 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas verdict, it's been depressing to read the comment sections of Cal Watchdog, blogs, news sites and newspapers. A lot of oddly gleeful folks treat the verdict as evidence that police did the right thing the night Thomas suffered fatal injuries while being remors...

Senate Ed committee balances school needs, parents, unions and worms

January 17th, 2014 By Katy Grimes.

At a meeting of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, a dirty little secret about the Capitol came out. There are apparently worms in the drinking fountains. SB 687 was on the agenda in the education committee. The bill would allow school districts to permit adults to volunteer time or res...

CTA wins: Brown lobbies to weaken own school-funding reform

January 17th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Gov. Jerry Brown made a surprise appearance Thursday at a State Board of Education meeting to call for board members -- most of whom he appointed -- to approve loophole-ridden regulations for the implementation of the sweeping education funding changes Brown got enacted last year. To no one's surpri...

PRI report examines bankruptcy as tool for struggling cities

January 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Pacific Research Institute has released a report that couldn't be more timely. "Going Broke One City at a Time: Municipal Bankruptcies in America" by economist Wayne H. Winegarden. buy a paper if (1==1) {document.getElementById("link4533").style.display="none";} One of Winegarden's ...

San Diego's pension reform model finally inspires copy-cats

January 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In early 2012, when then-San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio was pushing an innovative, unusual, unprecedented pension reform initiative in California's second-largest city, I wrote about it for City Journal. I thought it was a harbinger of what the future would hold for many of the governments ar...

Arena lawsuit: Sacramento officials will be deposed

January 15th, 2014 By Katy Grimes.

The judge's order in the Sacramento arena lawsuit is in: Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty and Sacramento Economic Development Director Jim Rhinehart will be deposed about undisclosed dealings between city officials and the new Kings ownership group to help it buy the team. Last week...

Good news for state: Programmers found for antiquated computers

January 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

One of the strangest stories out of Sacramento in recent years has to do with state Controller John Chiang's repeated warnings that it would be difficult to implement furloughs of state workers because of the antiquated computer system used to process the state's payroll. This is from a fr...

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