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Economic boom fake

November 1st, 2014 By John Seiler.

The U.S. economy in the third quarter supposedly enjoyed strong economic growth of 3.5 percent. But look between the lines and the growth was fake. Reported the L.A. Times: Government spending surged 4.6% in the third quarter, the fastest annual rate since the fiscal stimulus days of 2009. That cam...

Izumi study sparks law promoting online learning

October 31st, 2014 By John Seiler.

Maybe things actually are starting to change for the better in California's embattled public schools. The latest: Kids who enroll in virtual or online charter schools now can continue their studies even if they move out of their original school district. The change idea came from Lance Izumi in ...

Part of bullet-train legal mystery may be answered

October 31st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

For close followers of the bullet-train saga, one of the most basic mysteries of recent years has been what happened after Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny's tentative ruling in August 2013 that blocked the state from starting construction on the first segment of the project. Kenny f...

Field Poll: Dems win in CA, schools chief close

October 30th, 2014 By John Seiler.

It isn't over till it's over, Yogi Berra famously said. But in California's partisan statewide races, it might be just about over for Republican challengers to Democrats. But the nonpartisan race for superintendent of public instruction remains too close to call. In the Field Poll released today,...

CA hugely benefits from fracking boom that drives enviros nuts

October 30th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Having seen a gallon of gas drop to $3.09 at a Valero or two -- after a summer in which gas prices fell instead of their usual habit of increasing in July and August -- I think it's beyond obvious to note that Californians are huge beneficiaries of the shale/fracking boom driving U.S. oil production...

CHiPS pass around stolen nude photos of suspects

October 29th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California has come a long way from the innocent days of the "CHiPS" TV series of more than 30 years ago, starring Larry Wilcox and the heartthrob of teenage girls of that time, Eric Estrada, as state motorcycle cops. Here's latest, from the Contra-Costa Times: MARTINEZ -- The California Highway...

CA is NOT the highest taxed state

October 28th, 2014 By John Seiler.

You've probably heard California has the nation's highest taxes. Wrong. We're only third-worst, behind even worse New York and New Jersey, according to a new survey by the Tax Foundation's new 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index. Broken down, California ranks 50th -- worst -- on the inco...

After 13 months on job, UC President Napolitano already seems restless

October 28th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

It has been 13 months since Janet Napolitano took over as president of University of California system. The former homeland security chief for the Obama administration has just dropped her second big hint in as many months that she's ready to move on -- or at the very least that she does not conside...

Hydropower AB 32 scam as bad as one L.A. Times detailed

October 27th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Los Angeles Times had a good analysis over the weekend of how AB 32 is being gamed in ways that make suspect its claims to be cleaning up the environment. California's pioneering climate-change law has a long reach, but that doesn't mean all its mandates will help stave off global warming. To ...

De Leon ‘green jobs’ vow didn’t pan out for Obama, Brown

October 26th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

New Senate President Kevin De Leon's announcement Friday that creating a broad swath of "green jobs" would be a priority will be greeted with applause by greens in West L.A. and the Bay Area and on campus, but it will elicit disbelief among economists. Nearly a decade ago, the respected McKinsey con...

Are benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?

October 25th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Proposition 1 -- a $7.1 billion state bond to pay for a variety of water projects -- was billed as a huge improvement over bloated past proposed water bonds when it emerged from the Legislature this summer. Now Gov. Jerry Brown's political warchest and Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame are fu...

AFT paper backs Torlakson

October 24th, 2014 By John Seiler.

One of the most influential campaign documents for the Nov. 4 election is seen by few people: "Perspective," by the community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers; which is part of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Physical copies are sent to thousands of teachers acr...

San Francisco rebuked for ‘fundamental’ abuse of property rights

October 24th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In an era in which eminent domain is routinely used to reward the wealthy and politically connected -- to the detriment of  poor and middle-class property owners -- it's easy to forget that property rights as conceived of in the U.S. Constitution are every bit as essential as free speech and the ri...

CalPERS’ $100K club increases 900%

October 22nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Let the good times roll! for those getting pensions from the California Public Employees Retirement System, anyway. The Register reported: Back in 2005, some 1,841 retirees pulled down more than $100,000 a year in pension checks from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. By 200...

Has CA ranch found cheap route to carbon containment? Maybe

October 22nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

If a recent San Francisco Chronicle story is right, the problem posed by carbon and other greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere -- which most scientists think will play havoc with the climate -- might just have a cheap, low-tech solution. A compost experiment that began seven years ago on...

Federal official calls for regulating CA medical marijuana

October 21st, 2014 By John Seiler.

For once, the Feds have a point. Outgoing Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole has helped alter President Obama's prohibitionist attitude on state marijuana laws toward one accommodating the differences among the 50 states. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said, “If you don’t ...

CA unemployment drops to 7.3%

October 20th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Perhaps Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign slogan is right: "California is back." Unemployment dropped to 7.3 percent in September, down from 8.8 percent a year ago. Except the national rate is 5.9 percent. So California clearly is just following the national recovery, slight as it is -- albeit not ...

PRI-Forum for Corporate Directors discussion Oct. 23

October 20th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The Pacific Research Institute,'s parent think tank, is partnering with the Forum for Corporate Directors in a breakfast panel discussion Thursday, Oct. 23 from 7-9 a.m. Location: The Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. According to the flyer (see b...

You’re far more likely to be impoverished in CA than Mississippi

October 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

For decades, economists have complained about the stupidity of the Census Bureau's annual report on poverty in the U.S. because it didn't include cost of living in its rankings of the 50 states. An example of the old stats can be seen at right. Hilariously enough, the graphic based on the 2010 censu...

Ruling that CA high court upheld hardly favorable to bullet train

October 17th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

I talked to a couple of insider types Thursday who asked me to explain my take on Wednesday's California Supreme Court announcement on the bullet train. After all that's gone down, they couldn't believe that the justices would clear the way for the state to begin selling bonds for the $68 billion bo...

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