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Speed promises for bullet train? CA says ‘never mind’

July 20th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In 2008, California voters narrowly approved $9.95 billion in funds for a statewide high-speed rail network. When they voted for Proposition 1A, they didn't think there was much doubt about what they were getting -- a "safe, reliable, high-speed passenger train" was the mantra of Gov. Schwarzene...

Port of San Diego turns permit process into profit center

July 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Port of San Diego is breaking crazy new ground. The agency -- which has 500-plus employees and a $97 million annual budget to oversee maritime cargo and cruise ship facilities in a coastal area covering San Diego and four smaller cities -- has turned the permitting process into a way to pad ...

Parallels between Australia, Assembly AB 32 revolt are obvious

July 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

One of the most universal findings in the social sciences has been the uniform way that humans at all stages of history have been for something that they think reflects well on them until they perceive that it costs them a dime. This axiom is playing out right now in Australia, where the governme...

CA fossil-fuel foes want to ban more than just fracking

July 17th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California foes of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have been surprised and disappointed at their inability to get Gov. Jerry Brown or the Legislature to ban the practice. Brown's support for a law regulating but permitting the newly improved drilling technique barely seemed to discomfit the oil i...

Board chair’s upbeat take on bullet train at sharp odds with MSM

July 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

When James Fallows of The Atlantic came out last week in strong support of the California high-speed rail project, I responded with an unnecessarily snarky piece -- sorry, James -- headlined "7 ways James Fallows is wrong about the CA bullet train." In it, I said the author was judging the project ...

Dan Richard vs. CWD over bullet train, via James Fallows

July 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Wait, there's still more from the suddenly feverish debate over the bullet train. The head of California High-Speed Rail Authority takes on my July 11 CWD post knocking Jim Fallows for his support of the project point by point....

Six Californias?

July 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today entrepreneur Tim Draper is submitting signatures to put his Six Californias idea onto the 2016 ballot. That will give him two more years to sell his idea that the state -- which by then will be crammed with 40 million incredibly diverse people -- would be better off chopped up. The initiat...

Fallows cites CWD critique of his bullet-train stand

July 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Atlantic's James Fallows, to his credit, followed up on his post last week touting the California bullet train project with another post acknowledging the strong push-back he had received. His respectful, straightforward tone was far different than the norm in CA, where Jerry Brown blames "defea...

Dems back Prop. 45 medical insurance price controls

July 14th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The Democratic Party just backed Proposition 45, which would give the state insurance commissioner vast new powers to regulate medical insurance rates. According to the Bee, the initiative pits "trial lawyers and consumer groups against doctors and hospital groups." According to R Street, "Such ...

CA law promoting school choice, competition barely used

July 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Advocates of education choice in California have been fighting the good fight for decades. They've gotten nowhere with school vouchers but have a strong record with charters -- albeit a record that requires a constant struggle to defend against the hostility of teacher unions. The U.S. Education ...

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

July 13th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Berkeley: Poor have right to free pot

July 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

This sounds like a Cheech and Chong routine. The People's Republic of Berkeley has mandated that medical-marijuana dispensaries must give free pot to poor people. As marijuana is legalized in more places, that likely will spread across the country. In modern America, anything banned soon becomes ...

Profiting from stem-cell public-private partnership

July 12th, 2014 By John Seiler.

While governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger loved to tout "public-private partnerships"; another phrase for which is "crony capitalism." One such partnership he backed was Proposition 71 back in 2004, which allocated $3 billion to fund stem-cell research. Except that, with interest, the payback amount ...

LeBron James skips CA — again

July 11th, 2014 By John Seiler.

LeBron James just signed a contract to go back to Cleveland from Miami. Travis Waldron at ThinkProgress gloats this disproves theories that sports superstars avoid states with income taxes, such as Ohio, for those without, such as Florida -- as James himself did four years ago: "Now, however, Jame...

7 ways James Fallows is wrong about the CA bullet train

July 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Writing on The Atlantic's website, the much-respected journalist/intellectual James Fallows -- a Redlands native who knows California better than nearly all other national pundits -- has come out as a big fan of the state's bullet-train project. He promises to return frequently to the project in com...

Uber nabs Apple exec

July 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

On July 4 on our site, James Poulos wrote about Uber and other ride-sharing companies' battles with some existing taxi companies over insurance. Steven Greenhut also wrote about it in the U-T San Diego. However that turns out, Uber almost certainly is the future for a simple reason: Digital te...

Arnold still driving Hummer

July 9th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Despite its motto, "Advancing Policy, Not Politics" -- as if the two could be separated -- the USC Schwarzenegger Institute still promotes the former governor's policies on global warming/climate change. A recent press release reads: Arnold Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on President Obama’s Pla...

Prager: Here’s why CA left is indifferent to economic misery

July 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The news that the U.S. is now the world's no. 1 oil and no. 1 natural gas producer is almost unbelievable, given the decades of America fretting about its energy dependence. And the reason is fracking. Yet here in California, Democrats have convinced themselves fracking is evil -- even though there ...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

July 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Taken at face value, the pension reforms touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and 2012 were genuinely far-reaching for a California Democrat, even one as allegedly independent as Brown. But from the 2014 perspective, two of the key provisions previously sought by the gov have not only gone nowhere; th...

CalTRANS workers watching soccer on taxpayer time

July 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Normally, I would cheer government workers wasting my tax dollars by goofing off. I wish IRS, Franchise Tax Board, numerous bureaucrats and others would spend all their working time -- yes, even when earning pay, perks and pensions at my expense -- goldbricking. Then at least they would leave me ...

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