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Arnold returns for ‘climate change’ confab

September 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

While restarting his acting career and going through numerous personal crises, Arnold Schwarzenegger has avoided reminding people he was the governor for seven disastrous years. He returned to Sacramento this week to sponsor a confab on what he once called "global warming," as in his AB32, the Glob...

CSU fee addiction shows value of Props 13, 26, 62, 218

September 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The newsrooms of California appear to have collectively decided that the state props that make raising taxes and fees more difficult for elected officials -- starting with 13, 26, 62 and 218 --- are irrational. This is regularly reflected in the coverage of Prop 13 that depicts it as a symbol of Go...

CalSTRS shows how to cut debt

September 9th, 2014 By John Seiler.

It turns out public pension debt can be reduced. And the California State Teachers' Retirement System is showing how. CalPensions reports: CalSTRS was bracing to report the nation’s biggest pension debt under new government accounting rules that take effect this fiscal year — $167 billion, an a...

How are Japan’s tax increases working?

September 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Given the desire for even more tax increases for American and California, how are the recent  tax increases working in Japan? TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's economy shrank more sharply in the second quarter than first estimated and the latest indicators suggest only a modest bounce back since then. The w...

CA, Tesla and the slippery slope to crony capitalism

September 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The decision of Tesla to locate its "gigafactory" in the Reno area instead of California offers critics of the state's business climate a chance to once again knock Gov. Jerry Brown and other state leaders for failing to care about the private sector. I am sympathetic to this critique. Tesla has eme...

Debra Bowen revelations appear to explain her failure on job

September 7th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Saturday's Los Angeles Times' bombshell about Secretary of State Debra Bowen's struggles with depression struck a sad chord with many people who have struggled with mental illness or had a family member with such problems. Two months before Californians go to the polls to choose a governor, the sta...

In debate gaffe, Jerry Brown channels Gerald Ford

September 6th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Sacramento press corps has been acting bored with the governor's race ever since the spectacle of Tim Donnelly as the GOP nominee faded away. So now we have a debate in which Jerry Brown makes a debate gaffe as dumb as President Gerald Ford's 1976 claim that Eastern Europe wasn't dominated by th...

In debate, Brown mocks Mississippi and Arkansas (i.e., the Clintons)

September 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In Thursday night's debate between Gov. Jerry Brown and Neel Kashkari, the candidates sounded pretty scripted until Brown was asked about California's ability to deal with its huge pension shortfalls. Brown depicted that as an absurd question for a wealthy state with a proud history and vast reso...

Debate: Kashkari closing channels Reagan in 1980

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks about high cost of UC, CSU being barrier to poor students. Kashkari sympathizes and cites student loan burders. Brown notes, correctly, how many CSU and UC students pay no tuition because of waivers and says CA students have lower loan burden than national average. Questione...

Debate: Kashkari mocks focus on plastic bags, football practice limits

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks Kashkari if he would oppose CA's continued implementation of Obamacare if elected. He says he lost his own policy cuz of ACA and notes how the law creates incentive for employers to stop offering full-time jobs. Brown links Kashkari to Goldman Sachs, says he's like arsonist put...

Debate: Brown offers up whopper, claims he’s stopped pension spiking

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks how state can pay for bullet train given House opposition to any further federal funding. Brown ducks question with broad defense of project. "This train makes a lot of sense," it's not "crazy," as Kashkari says. Kashkari: "He's raising your gas prices to fund his vanity projec...

Debate: Brown defends realignment as ‘success’

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Questioner asks Kashkari about his key role in the Troubled Asset Relief Program under Presidents Bush and Obama. He strongly defends his record, says TARP made all money back, and notes Brown praised TARP's effects. Brown: "When you hand out money, you can get everyone to go along." And he takes...

Debate: Kashkari says Brown should be ashamed of Vergara appeal

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In response to a question about AB 32 driving up gasoline prices next year, Brown ducks and talks broadly about CA's role as a trendsetter and the need to fight climate change. Moderator interrupts and tries to get him to talk about gas prices going up. Brown says gas prices go up and down all th...

Debate: Kashkari notes Obama administration knocks state tunnel plan

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In response to first question about Brown's big lead in polls, Kashkari brushes it off and attacks Brown's love of the bullet train and says water and education should be the priority instead. Brown sticks to the California comeback theme. The format requiring shorter answers than most debates...

Debate: Brown lays ‘CA comeback’ meme on thick early

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In Jerry Brown's opening statement, he depicts a happy California that has largely left behind the problems he inherited in 2010. He says California has recovered all the jobs it has lost during the Great Recession, but doesn't mention these jobs pay significantly worse than the ones they replace...

Live-blogging Brown/Kashkari debate

September 4th, 2014 By Brian Calle.

CalWatchdog.com will be live-blogging throughout the gubernatorial debate tonight, between Gov. Jerry Brown and challenger Neel Kashkari. The debate kicks off at 7 p.m. Stay tuned...

L.A. restaurants make plain there’s no such thing as a free lunch

September 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Is it a passive-aggressive way for independent businesses to let customers know about the cost of government regulation? Or just a trick that allows those businesses to charge more than they normally would without prompting grousing from their customers? Whatever the truth is, L.A. Weekly note...

CA Democrats’ ritual: Passing doomed gun laws to media cheers

September 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

House Republicans face fire from many quarters for the dozens of times they have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the critics sometimes aren't just the usual partisan soldiers. Plenty of editorial boards are incensed by this tactic. They say it is a symbol of Washington's allegedly hor...

Teacher compensation database undercuts CTA claims

September 2nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Transparency California group's database of school district compensation undercuts teacher unions' claims that teacher pay scales are ungenerous and capped at unfairly low levels. When very generous health benefits and good pension benefits are factored in, that doesn't look to be true in the...

Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

September 1st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Dubious bills often get passed on the final night of the state legislative session, and 2014 was no exception: A measure to make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. SB270 passed despite fierce opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and after initially failing...

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