Waste, Fraud and Abuse

State peddles idea that bullet train contractors are investors

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
vinci.2

On Jan. 11, 2010, the Legislative Analyst's Office issued a report on the latest iteration of the business plan for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. It contained a game-changing conclusion -- a predictable conclusion but still a crucial one. Here's what I wrote in a Union-Tribune editorial ...

Port of San Diego turns permit process into profit center

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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 ...

Profiting from stem-cell public-private partnership

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
CIRM

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 ...

Uber nabs Apple exec

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
google car

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

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Schwarzenegger bentley

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...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
World cup, wikimedia

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 ...

Is pro-business faction emerging among CA Dem lawmakers?

Monday, July 7th, 2014

For years, both the California Air Resources Board and the California Democratic Party have peddled the absurd fiction that there is no economic downside to AB 32 forcing the entire state to shift to cleaner but much costlier forms of energy. It's awfully easy to be green and consider yourself bo...

Are you ready for another Revolution?

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Gallup poll

Here's some good news for Independence Day: Americans are losing confidence in all branches of government, perhaps a portent of another revolt against tyranny, this time toppling "our" government rather than that of George III. Of course, it's not "our" government, but belongs to the special inte...

De Leon hammers away at key idiocy of CA bullet-train plan

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Over the years, in conversations with friends unfamiliar with California politics and with people I've met while traveling or at events or doing talk radio, I'm often asked about the state's bullet-train project. When folks hear that the cost is much higher than initially predicted, they're not s...