Rights and Liberties

Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
bullet.train.curve

Congress' most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren't over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some protections against a fresh round of Wall St...

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

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
mother.jones.cover

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...

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

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
sb375

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...

State estimates on cost of new lighting rules far too low

Sunday, November 30th, 2014
CA_Energy_Commission

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...

Elected CA Dems duck issue of police treatment of minorities

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
rodney.king

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

Friday, November 28th, 2014
kruger_leondra

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...

Trial lawyers seek and win extreme verdict they know won’t stand

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
ethics1

An insane court ruling led me to write this for the U-T San Diego: At a recent federal trial in San Diego, lawyers for Rosario Juarez presented compelling, disturbing evidence that the San Ysidro resident faced repeated gender discrimination while working for a National City AutoZone. This led a j...

CA tech geniuses: Global warming strategy a flop

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
earthwrench

The smartest climate scientists at Google's Silicon Valley research labs have now joined one of the most brilliant Microsoft techies in concluding that the conventional wisdom about how to fight global warming can't succeed. John Seiler and George Will, among others, don't buy climate change conv...

2014’s low turnout eases path for 2016 tenure, pension ballot measures

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
ballot-measure

Rick Claussen, Ned Wigglesworth, and Aaron McLear of the Redwood Pacific consulting group have released an interesting memo that is good news for those considering taking on public employee unions in 2016 with ballot measures putting limits on government pensions or scrapping state laws allowing tea...

Will MWD try — again — to sabotage client seeking new water supplies?

Monday, November 17th, 2014
chinatown

I've been a journalist in Socal since 1990, and I've never seen a story about government behavior as strange as the ones about the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California trying to sabotage its biggest client's efforts to broaden its water supply and reduce its reliance on the MWD -...