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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

Meet the Mother Jones staffer who thinks the bullet train is nuts

December 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

There are bullet-train apostates among California Democrats, starting with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and bullet-train fans among state GOPers, starting with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. But by and large, the bullet-train debate in the Golden State is a partisan affair. This doesn't make much sens...

Are Democrats still relevant?

December 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Ronald Reagan became a lame duck after his 1984 election landslide. His Republican Party, thanks to the incompetent leadership of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, even lost control of the U.S. Senate in 1986, leaving Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress. Incredibly, the GOP tax reform...

If CA can’t build bridge, what about bullet train through mountains?

December 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

If the state of California can't build a bridge, how can it handle the huge technological and engineering challenge of building a bullet train through two mountain ranges laced with seismic faults? Such questions are inevitable after the latest Sacramento Bee report questioning progress on the s...

Remember Pearl Harbor — 73 years ago

December 7th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Most of us remember where we were on 9/11. Older baby boomers remember where they were when JFK was shot. The Greatest Generation, now almost all passed into eternity, remembers where they were on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. Some of the survivors met earlier today ...

San Jose police union stalls officer cameras, cites ‘privacy’

December 7th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Basic concepts of police professionalism were more or less born in Northern California, courtesy of a reform-minded police chief, as a history of law enforcement notes: August Vollmer, police chief in Berkeley, California, from 1905 to 1932, advocated the hiring of college graduates and offered t...

LAO: No ‘fiscal cliff’ with end of Prop. 30 taxes

December 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Someone should come up with a T-shirt reading, "STAY CALM AND LET PROP. 30 END." Maybe sell it and make a few bucks for ya. At least before taxes. California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor's recent "The 2015-16 Budget: California's Fiscal Outlook" forecasts: "the end of the Proposition 30 PIT [pe...

CalPERS retirees soon to surpass workers

December 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Outgoing San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the Democratic pension reformer, has a great joke. He says that, soon, his city will have a single employee; whose only job will be to mail pension checks to retirees. CalPERS is gettin' there. Reports Calpensions.com: In a few years CalPERS retirees are ex...

BMW runs over Tesla

December 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Remember how Tesla boasted it was hooking up with German auto giant BMW? Turns out it's not happening. Digital Trends reported: Well, it turns out the story was a bit of a wash, because BMW officials recently told German magazine Wirtschafts Woche that it has no plans of formally working with Tesla...

57% of CA infrastructure $ on mass transit? More, more, more!

December 2nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In 2008, California enacted SB 375, the most important state law you never heard about. It was Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's bid for the sort of green reverence that Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed because of 2006's AB 32. SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) directs the California Air Resource...

50 years after the Berkeley Free Speech Movement

December 2nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

It's been 50 years today since Mario Savio gave his "put your bodies upon the gears" speech at the University of California, Berkeley, the best remembered part of the Free Speech Movement. He attacked the university administration for running the school like a machine, with the students the produc...

Moorlach to seek O.C. state Senate seat

December 2nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Termed-out Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach -- who until recently seemed to be preparing for an exit from active politics -- has decided to run for the 37th State Senate District. Moorlach, who will be 59 on Dec. 21, is likely to face a tough challenge from fellow Republican Don Wagner, 53, an...

Congress switches to dynamic scoring

December 1st, 2014 By John Seiler.

This should have happened the last time Republicans took over all of Congress, in 1995. The new GOP majority is switching budget calculations to "dynamic scoring." The L.A. Times reported: For years, leading GOP lawmakers have wanted to change the way that the nonpartisan congressional staff calcul...

State estimates on cost of new lighting rules far too low

November 30th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

It looks like California business interests have yet another example of state bureaucrats downplaying or ignoring the cost of new regulations. The Voice of San Diego has a story that seems likely to end up producing headlines around the state. New retrofit mandates meant to lower energy use and e...

Protesters reject UC tuition hike

November 30th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California witnessed protests not just against the grand-jury verdict in the Ferguson, Mo. situation. Students here also are protesting the proposed hike in tuition at the University of California advanced by President Janet Napolitano. Reported the Times: In Berkeley, scores of students and co...

Elected CA Dems duck issue of police treatment of minorities

November 29th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

As protests in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have shown, there are many Californians who are upset about what happened in Ferguson, Mo., with the police killing of an unarmed African-American youth. They're also much more broadly concerned about how police treat minorities, including here in th...

Gov. Brown thinks long with young CA high-court picks

November 28th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Jerry Brown will be 80 when his fourth and final term as governor ends in 2018. But it's plain that he hopes to leave a mark on California life for 40 years after he's gone -- not with the bullet train but with his three young choices to the state Supreme Court. A Sacramento Bee editorial picks u...

Why does CA unemployment remain so high?

November 28th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Silicon Valley and other areas of coastal California are doing well -- assuming you can afford to live there. But the state economy as a whole remains stagnant, with unemployment stuck at 7.3 percent for October, the same as the previous month. That's the fourth worst of the states. And it's even...

Bill would mandate double time on holidays

November 28th, 2014 By John Seiler.

A new bill would mandate double-time pay for some holidays. The Bee reported: Californians working through the holidays could get heftier paychecks under legislation that would mandate double pay for Thanksgiving and Christmas shifts. The legislation is by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Dieg...

For 2nd straight election, inattention leads to huge Assembly upset

November 27th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In 2012, Republican officials were appalled at the incompetence of Lancaster City Councilman Ron Smith, a Republican who somehow managed to lose a safe Assembly seat to a Democrat with so much baggage he looked like a muni airport where the handlers were on strike. Joel Fox has the ugly details: ...

Obama’s Thanksgiving turkey: 3,145 new regulations

November 27th, 2014 By John Seiler.

As if the California Legislature passing nearly 1,000 new bills a year were not enough. President Obama's White House just released 3,415 new regulations, making 330 millions Americans into turkeys just before Thanksgiving. The Daily Caller reported: While Americans are focused on what deliciou...

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