California
Negative Example of State Government


If you want to learn how to govern a state, look no further than California.  Then do everything they don't.

They say California is really a beautiful place.  I wouldn't know.  I've never been there and have no desire to visit.  But apparently the state richly deserves the derisive nickname of "the land of fruits and nuts."  So many terrible ideas have had their origins in California, and these ill-advised anti-capitalist ideas have a tendency to spread to the other 49 states.

If you're going to successfully manage a state, you'd be better off using Texas as an example.  The state of Texas must be doing something right, because that's where people are going as they leave California.

Years ago, I started a page about The California Energy Crunch of 2000, which was an energy crisis resulting entirely from rabid environmentalism, poor planning, price controls, and various other effects of leftist politics.  Californians oppose the development of every practical source of energy, but then, when there's not enough electricity to go around, they whimper when the lights go out.

The subsection about "Sanctuary Cities" has moved to a page of its own, located here.


Subtopics on this page:

Decades of leftist politics, resulting in a steady stream of bad ideas

Wildfires in Australia share the same set of contributing factors as the fires in California

Wildfires and intentional power outages

Homeless people supported by California taxpayers

High speed rail

Gun control

Mass exodus:  Individuals and companies are leaving California

California compared to Texas

The nanny state knows best

Wasted money

Taxes

Radical environmentalism and restrictive environmental laws





Decades of leftist politics
.... resulting in a steady stream of bad ideas.

California Earthquakes Can't Do As Much Damage As Progressive, Blue State Government.  Here's where California is today after two decades of progressive, Blue State governance:
  •   Executive magazine has named California the worst state for business for 15 straight years.
  •   California imposes the heaviest regulatory burden on small businesses in the country.
  •   The business tax climate is worse only in New Jersey.
  •   Businesses of all sizes continue to flee the state.
  •   Property rights are being violated at an alarming pace.  Just ask the "Central Valley farmers who've had their land seized in the name of high-speed rail" and are still waiting to be compensated by the state.
  •   People are leaving in large numbers, and many who haven't yet are desperate to escape.
  •   That is if they are able to leave, because many of the roads and highways leading out are so cracked up they're hard to navigate.  Forty-one states have better systems.
  •   The state's unofficial "road diet" means that motorists have to spend more time on the crumbling tracks than they should because the state has the worst traffic congestion on Earth.
  •   Liberty continues to be crowded out by growing government authority.  The Cato Institute ranks California 48th in freedom among the states, a position it has occupied since 2011.
  •   The state has had the highest poverty level in the country in recent years.
  •   While California's public education system is failing, the state has gone to war with charter schools, which are not only popular with parents and students, they raise student achievement.
  •   The highest average gasoline price is found in California, which not coincidentally also has the highest gasoline tax in the nation.
  •   Even though it accounts for only 12% of the U.S. population, 25%-30% of the nation's homeless live in California.
  •   The runaway public employee pension system threatens to devour the state.

Hundreds protest in Sacramento against stay-at-home order.  Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the state Capitol on Saturday [5/23/2020] to protest against California's stay-at-home orders even as residents entered the Memorial Day weekend with newly expanded options for beachgoing, barbecuing and shopping.  The rally to demand that Gov. Gavin Newsom lift his restrictions on business, religious gatherings and other activities took on the atmosphere of a political rally and festival on a closed-off street.

California Democrats Want to Bring Racial Preferences Back.  Rather than focus on COVID-19 or the economic recovery, California liberals insist on pushing their pet issues.  The "stimulus" bill rammed through the House this month by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco was a liberal wish list of subsidies and spending.  Now other California Democrats are ramming through an effort to repeal the state's ban on racial preferences.  Two things often happen when a single political party dominates a state the way Democrats dominate California.  First, an echo chamber of the dominant party convinces its leaders they can steamroll over any opposition.  Second, that conviction leads to political overreach.  Caucasian Americans are now only 19 percent of UC students, down from 38 percent a quarter century ago — this change reflects the increasing ethnic diversity of Californians.

Gavin Newsom responds to Justice Department warning over church closures.  After receiving a formal warning from the United States Justice Department over church closures, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state is "weeks away" from allowing in-person religious services to resume.  A group of federal attorneys wrote a letter to Newsom warning him that prolonged church closures likely violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment due to the fact that similar non-religious businesses are receiving the green light to reopen in Stage 2.

Darrell Issa, Judicial Watch Sue Gavin Newsom over Vote by Mail.  Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Judicial Watch sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday [5/21/2020] over his May 8 executive order allowing all voters in the state to vote by mail — whether they had formally requested to do so, or not.  Newsom's order cites the threat of coronavirus:  because "it is unknown to what degree COVID-19 will pose a threat to public health in November," mail-in ballots must be sent to everyone — but in-person voting must also be provided.

California's Budget Bust-Up.  Every state and municipal budget in America will take a big hit because of the coronavirus lockdowns, but no public purse is in as much trouble as California's.  Its Department of Finance recently estimated that the Golden State could face a $54 billion shortfall in the fiscal year beginning July 1, which surely must be the largest deficit any state has ever accumulated, surpassing the $40 billion hole that nearly swallowed Sacramento in 2008.  Still, though Governor Gavin Newsome said last weekend that the staggering deficit was "a direct result of Covid-19," that's clearly not true.  Critics have long warned that the state's tax base is volatile, being increasingly reliant on wealthy residents and vulnerable to sharp contraction in the next recession.  Combine that with California's spending spree — including expenditures to fix problems that the state's own bad policies have worsened — and the swing from prosperity to penury isn't hard to understand.

Illegal Aliens Jam Phone Lines as California Offers $500 Each in Coronavirus Relief.  The State of California is offering $500 each to illegal aliens as part of a $75 million coronavirus relief program — even as it asks federal taxpayers for help paying for its $54 billion deficit.  The program, which launched on Monday [5/18/2020], saw phone lines jammed as "undocumented immigrants," who are ineligible for the federal aid provided thus far, called a state hotline.

Tyranny as far as the eye can see.  California governor Gavin Newsom is now warning of the potential for a third and fourth wave of the coronavirus, stating that we must remain humble by what we still don't know about it.  While there may be a lot that we don't know about this sickening virus that was thrust upon the world by communist China, we do know that what is unfolding is unsustainable and unconstitutional.  Our society is nearing a state of partial collapse due to protracted mitigation in blue states as the Constitution is trampled upon and set on fire.  Newsom, like Dr. Fauci, appears to view our lives through the singular lens of this virus.  But life is more complex than that (duh), and Newson is ignoring the larger reality (or at least pretending to) in order to hold onto power.  Citing what we still don't know about the virus leaves the door wide open for him to continue to rule like an evil emperor.

California: Give Us Money Or We'll Fire Cops and Firefighters.  Governor Newsom is behind in the Most Loathsome Governor in America race, largely because he hasn't managed to kill as many nursing home residents as rivals like Cuomo and Murphy.  But here he is trying to take first responders hostage. [...] Cops and firefighters are the most expendable employees in California.  Not the billion dollar homeless services infrastructure.  Not all the social justice and diversity personnel.  Not, for that matter, the vast useless corps of educational administrators.  Nope.  We're gonna fire cops and firefighters because we decided to shut down the state and the rest of the country won't send us money.

Judicial Watch sues to stop Newsom from giving 75 million tax dollars to illegals.  Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch is asking a California Court to appeals to issue a temporary restraining order to stop Governor Newsom from paying out $75 million tax dollars to people here illegally.  The Lower Court found that JW's lawsuit is likely to succeed on the merits since Newsom has no right to dole out the money, but illegal aliens need the money and that outweighs everything.  Today's [5/18/2020] filing asks the Court of Appeal to command the Superior Court to issue the restraining order against California Governor Gavin Newsom and his Director of the California Department of Social Services Kim Johnson, enjoining them from making what is now an imminent, May 18, 2020, illegal expenditure of $79.8 million of taxpayers' funds to illegal aliens pending the final determination of the taxpayer action brought by Judicial Watch in the lower court.

California is offering $500 cash payments to unauthorized immigrants who don't qualify for stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.  California is rolling out a program on Monday that will give $500 cash payments to unauthorized immigrants shut out of traditional government aid programs because of their immigration status.  The New York Times reported the $75 million taxpayer-funded program funded will be conducted by phone to reduce in-person contacts.  It's expected to distribute cash to 150,000 people and the maximum amount awarded per household is $1,000.  "California is the most diverse state in the nation.  Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement last month about the program.  "Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis.  We are all in this together."

The Editor says...
[#1]  Yes, they're "shut out" because of their "immigration status," to wit, they are not supposed to be here at all.  [#2] "We're all in this together" is the new Big Brother catch phrase designed and intended to stifle dissent.  You may notice Big Brother repeating this catch phrase over and over in every grocery store.

Gavin Newsom:  First responders 'first ones laid off' unless California gets federal COVID-19 funds.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom says first responders will be the "first ones laid" off unless federal bucks arrive in the Golden State in the near future.  The Democrat appeared to be playing a political game of chicken with Republicans in Congress over the weekend during a discussion about the coronavirus pandemic with CNN's Jake Tapper.  Mr. Newsom specifically had a message for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans when asked about a $3 trillion relief bill being "dead on arrival."

There's Something Happening Here.  Thousands of flag-waving Californians descended upon the State Capitol Friday [5/15/2020] for a protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom's statewide stay-at-home lockdown order, which has caused millions of residents to lose their jobs and businesses," wrote Katy Grimes in the California Globe.  Down in Huntington Beach in Orange County, as Fox News explained, protesters were backing up traffic for a mile on Pacific Coast Highway, while others staged rallies in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  What could have prompted these Californians to get out in the streets?  Governor Gavin Newsom had declared them "nonessential" and they showed up with signs reading "All jobs are essential."  So, basically they want their lives back.  This is not what their governor wants, however.  On Wednesday, Newsom told reporters, "we believe we are weeks, not months, away from making meaningful modifications to that indicator," a reference to his shelter-in-place order.  The San Francisco Democrat didn't say what the modifications would be or when he would make them, and he didn't want people expressing their opposition in public.

Dems discovering that with sanctuary cities, what goes around, comes around.  Atwater, California, has declared itself a sanctuary city — sanctuary from tyrannical government draining the lifeblood from the people.  If leftist tyrants can provide safe haven to illegal invaders, why not have sanctuary cities that protect Americans from our newly anointed dictators?  So this rural city of fewer than 30,000 people located in the center of California has decided to free itself from the suffocating chokehold of the state.  At the end of April, the City Council voted unanimously to open businesses and churches.

California town declares itself 'sanctuary city' for businesses, opens up in defiance of stay-at-home order.  A central California city has declared itself a "sanctuary city" for businesses and will open up in defiance of the state's stay-at-home order.  The city council in Atwater passed a resolution Friday allowing businesses to open despite Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's order for businesses to remain closed, according to ABC30's Vanessa Vasconcelos.

California City To Allow Reopenings, Declares Itself A 'Sanctuary City' For Business.  The central California city of Atwater has declared itself a "sanctuary city" for businesses.  The Friday [5/15/2020] resolution passed by the Atwater City Council allows business owners to open, openly defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom's coronavirus-related stay-at-home order.  The resolution affirms "the city's commitment" to "fundamental" human rights.  Churches and other nonprofits are included in the resolution, according to ABC30's Vanessa Vasconcelos.

California governor:  Shrink prisons to help cut budget.  Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to significantly shrink the footprint of California's prison system, partly because of massive budget cuts prompted by the pandemic but also because of philosophy.  The revised budget he sent to state lawmakers this week envisions closing two state prisons in the coming years; cutting nearly one in five of the 43 inmate firefighter camps; and eventually closing all three state-run juvenile prisons.

California Democrats say 10-year rent-relief plan 'not a giveaway'.  California Democrats on Tuesday proposed giving tenants struggling during the coronavirus pandemic 10 years to pay their rent.  The state would purchase unpaid rents and allow renters a decade, starting in 2024, to pay it back without interest, under the proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, tthe Sacramento Bee reported.  Landlords would receive a tax credit dependent on committing to not evict tenants.  "This is not a giveaway," Democratic state Sen. Steven Bradford said, according to The Associated Press.  "Our goal is to keep tenants houses and keep landlords out of foreclosure."

California Revives Affirmative Action.  On May 5, just a day after the California Legislature reconvened, an assembly hearing was held for the controversial Assembly Constitutional Amendment NO. 5 (ACA-5) in the Committee of Public Employment and Retirement.  With a long session of contested public comments over the phone, ACA-5 was passed with a 6-to-1 vote under the moralistic appeal of "hope for all."  While purporting to increase diversity and representation, ACA-5 fails to meaningfully address structural issues behind achievement gaps and racial discrepancies for both political and philosophical reasons.  Instead, the bill proposes a statewide reinstitution of government preferences in public employment, education, and contracting along rigid racial lines.  The utopian and myopic scheme, wrapped around feel-good rhetoric with a steep price tag, will not only fall short of establishing long-lasting diversity, but can further compromise true equality and the merit-based principle, both of which are bedrocks of American democracy.

California: Gavin Newsom Orders Vote-by-Mail for November Election.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday signed an executive order permitting all registered voters in the Golden State to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential election, citing concerns stemming from the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.  "I signed an executive order that will allow every registered voter in California to receive a mail-in ballot," Newsom said.  "That mail-in ballot is important but it's not an exclusive substitute to physical locations."

The Editor says...
In other words, you're being encouraged to vote in person, in addition to mailing in your ballot, and any other ballots you find in the trash can at the post office, or in your neighbor's mailbox, or in the dumpster at an apartment complex.

San Francisco DA Says His Father, Convicted Murderer And Former Member Of Terrorist Group, Should Get Out Of Prison.  San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin believes his father, convicted murderer and former Weather Underground member David Gilbert, should be released from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Gilbert and Boudin's mother, Kathy Boudin, were convicted of murder in 1983 for serving as getaway drivers during a bank robbery that left three people dead at the hands of their co-conspirators.

California Is Ready to Get Rid of Gavin Newsom.  Across California on May 1, tens of thousands protested in defiance of statewide lockdown orders.  In Sacramento, the west lawn of the state capitol building was filled with protesters, with thousands more marching along the sidewalk surrounding the capitol grounds.  Additional thousands driving their cars and honking their horns created three hours of total gridlock on the streets that loop around the capitol.  Noteworthy protests have taken place in San Diego, Encinitas, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Paso Robles, Santa Rosa, and even tiny Lakeport on the shores of Clear Lake.  There is no end in sight.  While the media has typecast these growing protests as populated by right-wing extremists, Trump supporters, and remnants of a geriatric Tea Party movement, the reality in California is different.  In Laguna Beach, the protest was organized by surfers.  Overall, these protests included people who claimed never to have been involved in politics, people who identified themselves as former Democrats, and young people.  Thousands and thousands of youth:  children, teenagers, college students, twentysomethings.  A generation is waking up.

Is California Thinking About Coronavirus Internment Camps?  Gavin Newsom, governor of the "nation-state" of California, is raising what he calls an "army" of 20,000 government employees who will trace the spread of coronavirus across the state.  Those found guilty, or rather, infected, are likely to run into an uncomfortable change in their lives.  In Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, a pilot program was launched this week to trace infections and exposure, according to County Health Director Dr. Robert Levin.  When infected persons are found, he said, they are "immediately isolated."  As more people are tested, Levin continued, "we will find more and more people who have COVID-19."  "We will isolate every one of them, and we will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stayed quarantined, and we'll check in with them every day."  Seems innocuous, even helpful.  But: [...]

Liberal District Attorney Boasts 'I'm Keeping San Francisco Safer by Emptying the Jail'.  San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is bragging about his city's jailbreak policies that have been implemented throughout the coronavirus pandemic, claiming in a Los Angeles Times op/ed that he is "keeping San Francisco safer by emptying the jail."

Uber, Lyft Sued by California in Major Gig-Economy Crackdown.  Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. were sued by California for allegedly violating a new state law designed to give gig-economy workers the benefits of employees.  While expected, the lawsuit filed Tuesday [5/5/2020] in state court marks a serious threat to the business model of an array of companies that save on labor costs by classifying workers as independent contractors.  If the companies ultimately lose the suit, they could be forced to pay for overtime, health care and other benefits.

Free O.C..  California governor Gavin Newsom's executive order closing the beaches of Orange County, Calif., is what you get when you govern by Twitter:  A news photo showing a crowded Orange County beach makes the social-media rounds, provoking the predictable outrage storm; Governor Newsom, rather than investigate, issues an executive order to placate the social-media circus; that executive order is based on powers that the governor does not enjoy, and the Democratic governor singles out the historically Republican cities of Orange County.  It is not even clear that there was a real problem for Newsom to solve.  One photograph did indeed show an Orange County beach looking like spring break; other photographs showed a much more dispersed and socially distanced crowd.

Orange County DA 'outraged' after commissioner releases 7 dangerous sex offenders due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Orange County, Calif.  District Attorney Todd Spitzer stated Saturday [5/2/2020] that he is "outraged" after the state ordered the release of seven high-risk sex offenders from the county's jails over concerns they could contract coronavirus.  Appearing on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with host Jason Chaffetz, Spitzer said that the issue at hand is not just in Orange County or California, but "is a ruse that has been pulled on the American public, on jails and custodial facilities all over the nation."

Gov. Newsom Puts Politics Over Data in California Shutdown.  Los Angeles County, which has implemented the most draconian beach closures in the country, has in excess of 1,000 coronavirus deaths.  Orange County, which has consistently taken a less restrictive approach, has had 45 deaths going into this weekend.  Orange County's population of 3.3 million is larger than 22 states.  If it were a state, Orange County's death rate of 0.0014% would be the 49th lowest in the country.  The primary hospital in Newport Beach has a 475-beds capacity and has never treated more than 25 people for coronavirus issues at any given time.  The leaders of that hospital system believe that the curve has flattened, and that Orange County needs to responsibly reopen.

Judicial Watch Sues California to Stop Governor Newsom's Initiative to Provide $75 Million in Cash Benefits to Illegal Aliens.  Judicial Watch announced it filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles on behalf of two California taxpayers, Robin Crest and Howard Myers, asking the court to stop the state from expending $75 million of taxpayer funds to provide direct cash assistance to unlawfully present aliens.  The lawsuit alleges California Governor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority and violated federal law when, without affirmative state legislative approval, he took executive action to create the "Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project" and provide cash benefits to illegal aliens who otherwise are ineligible for state or federal insurance or other benefits due to their unlawful presence in the United States.

Thousands of protesters flock to Huntington Beach following state-ordered OC beach closures.  Large crowds opposing the state's coronavirus stay-at-home mandate took to the streets of downtown Huntington Beach on Friday [5/1/2020], a day after the governor closed Orange County beaches and drew frustration and criticism from some residents and city leaders.  Protesters gathered near the Huntington Beach pier shortly before noon, with the crowd eventually swelling to some 2,500-3,000 people, according to Huntington Beach police Chief Robert Handy.  The tightly packed crowd, with most people not wearing protective masks, repeatedly chanted "U.S.A." as they waited for the demonstration to begin.

California Cities Vote To Sue Governor For Closing Their Beaches.  The cities of Huntington Beach and Dana Point have voted to take legal action against the state of California after Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) said he would close all beaches and state parks inside of their cities and the rest of Orange County.  According to The Los Angeles Times, Huntington Beach voted 5-2 in a last-minute meeting in favor of seeking an injunction against the governor, who announced in Thursday's coronavirus press conference that the state would close all beaches in Orange County in response to "alarm bells," including packed crowds and a lack of reportedly improper physical distancing.

Governor Grundy puts Orange County, but not San Diego County, on restriction.  Just a few hours ago, I got back from La Jolla, a rich and deep-blue enclave of the city of San Diego that's the home of Mitt Romney.  The just-after-sunset beach traipse was to see the bioluminescence event.  Beach waves turn glow-in-the-dark at night as a result of the red tide, and it's a rare and completely yowza thing to see.  Of course it drew a crowd.  Street parking was competitive.  The cars just kept coming and coming on Coast Boulevard near Wipeout Beach, and visitors bunched up at stoplights to use crosswalks — no slipping across the streets real quick to get to the shore view from the cliffs.  Here's a bit of the pre-weekend flavor, and this was far from the most crowded scene I saw.  You can see that the groups have masks, look more like friends than families, and aren't socially distancing.

Gavin Newsom, beach cop taking on all California.  California's Gov. Gavin Newsom is shutting down the beaches, just as the entire population of California goes stir-crazy and the sunniest weekend of the year beckons. [...] Unless city officials intend to deploy every police officer to politicing the beaches, it's very unlikely to be the sort of order that's going to work.  Already there are signs the order will never be heeded.  The opening of the beaches, about a week ago, was brought on by public pressure to open the public space, and that's just for starters.  The surfer enclaves of Encinitas and Huntington Beach have already seen fierce protests and calls to end the lockdown.

No California-wide beach shutdown:  Gavin Newsom went for narrow closure.  State officials pushed to close all beaches and state parks in California to try to prevent overcrowding they feared could spread the coronavirus, but Gov. Gavin Newsom decided Thursday only to temporarily close beaches in Orange County, an administration official said.  Newsom said at a news conference he was ordering a "hard close" in Orange County after beaches in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach drew tens of thousands of visitors during a heat wave last weekend.  He said he was particularly concerned about the beach activity because Orange County has more coronavirus cases and hospitalizations than many other areas.

The Editor says...
What happened to "the virus knows no borders?"

CA Gov Newsom [is] Only Closing Beaches in (Conservative) Orange County.  In a move that makes him look even more petty and dictatorial than before, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that he's announcing state parks and beach closures only in Orange County this weekend instead of closing state parks and state beaches throughout the entire state as he'd planned, and which my colleague Kira Davis reported.  The reasoning outlined by Newsom in the press conference was nonsensical and inconsistent.  More likely is that Newsom wants to punish Orange County officials, whom he sees as uncooperative (despite his public claims), particularly Supervisor and former Assemblymember Don Wagner.  Orange County was one of the Republican Party's last strongholds in the state until the 2018 election, in which Democrats swept all seven House seats in the county.

Newsom to close all California beaches, state parks over coronavirus: memo.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be closing all beaches and state parks across the state starting Friday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to a memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday [4/29/2020].  The decision comes after Newsom called out the massive crowds that flocked to Newport Beach in Orange County last weekend during a heat wave.  Newsom called the beach crowds an example of "what not to do" to make progress toward easing restrictions in the statewide stay-at-home order.

CA Gov Newsom Warns Sun-Loving Newport Beachgoers "Aggressive" Measures Coming.  In a livestreamed update on the Golden State's response to COVID-19 this afternoon [4/27/2020], California Governor Gavin Newsom threw down the gauntlet to sun-worshippers in his state, who he was disappointed appeared to be enjoying life over the weekend.  That's something that just can't stand, man!  Newsom began his speech with a smile, by thanking "the 40 million" Californians who "over the course of the last number of weeks have not only bent the curve... but stabilized it."  But the governor's smile only lasted about 24 seconds, when he said this: [...]

California to close all beaches after crowds ignore social distancing rules.  California will reportedly close all beaches and state parks beginning Friday [5/1/2020] after swells of beachgoers fled to the shore last weekend in defiance of social distancing rules.  The state's governor, Gavin Newsom, will formally announce the decision Thursday, according to a memo outlining the move obtained by FOX 11.  "After well-publicized media coverage of overcrowded beaches this past weekend, in violation of Governor Newson's shelter in place order, the governor will be announcing tomorrow that beaches and all state parks in California will be closed, effective Friday, May 1," said the notification, which was sent out to all California police chiefs on Wednesday.

San Francisco Bay Area Extends Lock-Down Order Throughout May.  It is being reported the San Francisco Bay area will remain in a state of forced lock-down with an extension of the stay-at-home orders throughout May.  Considering this is the home of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this decision highlights an expectation that the federal government will bail out local and state governments.  We anticipated this type of approach where Blue states & Blue regions will keep their economies closed as long as possible to inflict maximum political damage.  Simply, if San Francisco were not confident they will gain a federal bailout they would not be keeping their economic system closed for another entire month.

To Help Out with the Pandemic and Unemployment, California Will Now Pay Seniors to Order From Restaurants.  If you're a restaurant-lovin' California senior citizen and lookin' to make a few extra bucks, you're in luck.  Assuming you fit the profile, the state will now pay you to wine and dine yourself — if you order your grub.  On Friday [4/24/2020], Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new program wherein local, state, and federal money (so if you're local, will you be triple-taxed for this?) will be paid out to eligible seniors who order food from nearby restaurants.

Newsom Ordered by CA Supreme Court to Defend $75 Million Giveaway to Illegals.  Californians struggling to make ends meet during extended coronavirus shutdowns were not amused when their governor, Gavin Newsom, announced the creation of a public-private partnership to give away $125 million ($500/person) in pandemic relief grants to illegal immigrants who are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits or federal stimulus checks (because they are not here legally, duh).  Newsom further explained that of the $125 million in funding, $75 million would come from taxpayer funds (without explaining any legislative process appropriating such funds) and that "a group of charities" had promised to chip in $50 million.

Democrats' Fascism Shines Through.  On April 14, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he's planning to give $125 million in public and private funds to 150,000 adults living in the state illegally.  Newsom understands that illegal immigration is the future of the Democratic party.  Californians are ordered to stay at home.  Illegal aliens are welcome to come there any time.  Everything that Newsom and his party have done for illegals — sanctuary cities, free health care, driver's licenses, in-state tuition — will encourage more to come here in violation of our immigration laws.  Fascists don't believe in the rule of law, unless it benefits them directly.

Newsom won't share details on $1B mask deal with China.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing pushback as state lawmakers have begun demanding details of his nearly $1 billion deal to receive 200 million masks per month from a Chinese manufacturer.  Just two weeks after announcing the deal, Newsom has remained largely mum on the specifics.  Advisers to the California Democrat have declined requests for comment from the Los Angeles Times about the agreement, which was inked with Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD — which stands for Build Your Dreams — earlier this month.  BYD was formed in 1995 as a battery manufacturer.  In 2008, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway purchased a 24.8% stake in the company.

California's 'Reopening' Economic Task Force Is As Absurd As It Gets.  California Governor Gavin Newsom has introduced his new economic task force to begin plans for reopening the economy.  The task force is 80 members and will include:  [#1] Former Governor Gray Davis, who — in a rare event of complete voter unity — was recalled from the governorship for his utter incompetence.  [#2] Former Governor Jerry Brown, who brought us our disastrous pension liability.  [#3] Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave us the current Democrat super majority by bringing us the insane notion of "jungle primaries."  [#4] Failed presidential candidate and very rich man Tom Steyer, who proudly supports a New Green Deal and is very vocal about working to end vital business in the energy sector.  Let's not forget that Newsom said recently he views this crisis as a chance to usher in a "new era" of progressive policies.

How Much Do The Pelosi's Have Invested In China?  Pelosi may present herself as the defender of the little guy.  She is anything but.  In 2018 her net worth was roughly $160 million.  She is married to Paul Pelosi who runs a top tier investment and real estate firm in San Francisco.  Over the course of decades, as Nancy has risen through the ranks of the Democratic Party, the Pelosi's have gotten fabulously wealthy.  There have been any number of allegations over the decades that Nancy and her husband have profited in ways that are clearly illegal from the access a senior politician enjoys.  Over a span of years, Nancy Pelosi used her influence to steer more than $1 billion to the expansion of a light rail line into a San Francisco neighborhood where her husband owned commercial property and in which business associates of his then purchased additional properties.  The value of real estate in the area exploded with the arrival of light rail, and the Pelosi's made a killing.  There has also been an almost unending number of allegations that Paul Pelosi has benefited from what is known as insider trading.  That is, he has made sometimes enormous purchases of stocks based on information allegedly provided to him by Nancy, who was privy to sensitive, non-public information by way of her position.

Newsom: California unemployment center hours extended, $125M fund created for undocumented immigrants.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday [4/15/2020] said he has extended the unemployment call center hours to help the record 2.7 million Californians who have filed claims and created a fund to help undocumented immigrants, who comprise 10% of the state's workforce.  The Employment Development Department's call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, rather than closing at noon Monday through Friday.  Newsom extended the hours through an executive order.

Because the state has a HUGE budget surplus...
California will pay illegal immigrants not included in coronavirus stimulus.  California will be the first state to send money to illegal immigrants who did not qualify for assistance under the $2.2 trillion federal coronavirus stimulus package passed last month.  Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced the allocation of $75 million in taxpayer funds for $500 payments to 150,000 adult immigrants who are reeling from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Editor says...
Wouldn't it be far less expensive to deport them all?  But that would require some concern about wasting the taxpayers' money.

Illegal Immigrants in Los Angeles Can Apply for Pre-Paid Debit Cards.  Los Angeles will be doling out pre-paid debit cards to residents who have faced economic hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown, and living in the country illegally won't disqualify you from getting the cash.  Los Angeles officials have begun accepting applications for a no-fee debit card that provides cash to residents who were already living under the poverty line before the coronavirus crisis began and have since had their incomes dramatically reduced because of the outbreak, KTLA5 reported.

Gavin Newsom Declares California a "Nation-State," Suggesting It is Independent of Federal Authority.  Look, either formally secede — with my enthusiastic Bon voyage! — or get ready for invocation of the Insurrection Act and civil war by the usual means.  We're not going to have this [nonsense] where every state has to buckle under leftwing federal diktats but that liberal states are free to secede-in-part whenever the federal government is not leftwing.  If America isn't working for you anymore — Leave.  We can work out the details later.  I suggest that all border counties be permitted to vote to leave or stay on a county-by-county basis.  We don't need to keep states intact when we're dividing the country.  Then I suggest we mutually agree that any citizen of one America has the right to move to the other America as a citizen within five years of division.  After five years, you're a foreign immigrant like any other, and the countries can choose to accept or reject your request for citizenship as they like.  The five year period will permit a lot of self-sorting.

California governor planning coronavirus aid for illegal immigrants.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature are working on a coronavirus aid plan for the state's illegal immigrants and others not covered by the federal government's $2.2 trillion relief package.  Newsom, a Democrat, disclosed the plans Tuesday [4/7/2020], according to The Associated Press.  "Californians care deeply about undocumented residents in this state," the governor, a former mayor of San Francisco, said.

Newsom is Giving Emergency Grants to Illegal Alien Small Business Owners.  On Friday [4/3/2020], a reporter from Telemundo asked California's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom what emergency relief he would be providing for illegal aliens amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  "No state in America does more to help residents regardless of their immigration status," the governor rightly assured the reporter.  Newsom first bragged about the state's healthcare coverage for illegal aliens before explaining how his administration is now helping illegal alien small business owners obtain grants while a large part of the American economy remains shut down.

California to release 3,500 inmates early as coronavirus spreads inside prisons.  California is granting early release to 3,500 inmates in an effort to reduce crowding as coronavirus infections begin spreading through the state prison system.  Lawyers for Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday told a panel of federal judges the state is taking "extraordinary and unprecedented protective measures" to slow the spread of the virus and protect those who live and work within California's 35 prisons.  The accelerated parole policy — affecting inmates due to be released over the next 60 days — comes in the face of pressure to do much more.

LA County Sheriff Orders Closure of Gun Stores, Releases 1,700 Inmates.  Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has released 1,700 inmates from county facilities and is ordering gun stores in the county closed.  Fox 11 reports the gun store closures are part of the coronavirus stay-at-home order while the release of the inmates is an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in county facilities.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says state won't issue guidance on whether gun stores are essential businesses.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom will not offer official guidance on whether gun stores can be classified as essential businesses and remain open during the state's shelter-in-place order.  Newsom was asked about the issue after Los Angeles County reversed course on a move to close gun stores amid the spread of coronavirus in the region and the county's shelter-in-place order.  L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva initially ordered the closing of gun stores, but legal counsel for the county determined gun stores are essential businesses and must remain open.  Villanueva then rescinded the order.

LA Sheriff Suspends Efforts To Close Gun Stores.  Confusion swirled as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Tuesday temporarily suspended its efforts to close gun stores during the coronavirus outbreak.  The decision was made as the county counsel's office works to clarify whether gun stores are considered essential businesses under California Gov. Gavin Newsom's statewide order, a sheriff's spokesperson confirmed to CBS2 Tuesday night [3/24/2020].

California's Stay-at-Home Order Is a Legal Mess.  California Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order may well be necessary as a matter of public health in the face of the new coronavirus — I will leave that to epidemiologists to determine.  But viewed as a legal declaration, it's a total mess. [...] The order is also drafted so badly that it creates contradictions with the state's own website explaining it, with the governor's own speech rolling it out, and with common sense.  As written, the order does not say clearly that Californians can leave their homes to buy food or medicine or other necessities.  It doesn't say whether they can go out to help family members or friends who are themselves vulnerable or otherwise in need.  It is silent on going out for exercise.  Although context suggests all these may be permitted, the formal legal implication of the text would be that all are prohibited.

Newsom executive order allows California to commandeer hotels, motels to house coronavirus patients.  Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California Democrat, released an executive order on Thursday [3/12/2020] that includes the authority for Sacramento to take over hotels and motels for medical use for coronavirus patients, in a move he said will help the state of 40 million prepare for any widespread outbreak.  Some patients in the state have already been moved to hotels.  The Desert Sun reported that a 120-room hotel in San Carlos, which is near San Francisco, has been already tapped to house passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship.  The first-term governor told reporters that besides hotels and motels, state officials are also scouting for potential lodging in "mothballed" facilities and state parks.  The executive order, according to the report, has been designed to allow the state's Health and Human Services Agency and the Office of Emergency Services to commandeer private property for coronavirus treatment.

Government Outlaws Freelance Work.  Freelance jobs are "feudalism," says California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.  She persuaded California's legislature to pass a new law reclassifying freelance workers as employees.  That means many people who hire them must now give them benefits like overtime, unemployment insurance, etc.  Politicians said it would help freelancers a lot.  Of course, much of the media agreed. [...] Young reporters just don't understand that stifling economic freedom always creates nasty side effects.

California Is a Cruel Medieval State.  One way of understanding California is simply to invert traditional morality.  What for centuries would be considered selfish, callous, and greedy is now recalibrated as caring, empathetic, and generous.  The current ethos of evaluating someone by his or her superficial appearance — gender or race — has returned to the premodern values of 19th-century California when race and gender calibrated careers.  We don't pay medieval priests for indulgences of our past and ongoing sin, but we do tweet out displays of our goodness as the penance price of acting amoral.  A paradox ensues that Californians both have a high, indeed smug, view of themselves and yet do a lot of damage to their fellow human beings.

California's Gig Law Comes For the Scooters, Destroys Independent "Juicers".  California's "gig economy" law — AB5 — continues to have disastrous consequences across the state.  The list of jobs affected or outright destroyed is huge and growing every day.  The wedding industry is collapsing.  Festivals are closing.  Theaters and music venues are closing.  A nursing shortage is now upon us because qualified nurses can no longer pick up extra side-jobs in areas like hospice care.  The law has even killed Christmas:  mall Santas can no longer contract their services.

Calif. Bill Would Fine Stores With "Boys" and "Girls" Departments.  [Scroll down]  But should [Evan] Low's bill become law, a retailer could actually have some fun with it.  I'd comply and combine the sections, for instance, but then label different displays as "blue" or "pink."  Were it questioned by a government bureaucrat, I'd ask how he could be so closed-minded as to associate a color with a sex.  Better still might be to label displays as "Little XY" or "Little XX."  Upon interrogation, I'd expound upon how "experts" maintain that one can be genotypically male but phenotypically female.  "How could you be such a bigot, sir (or is it madam?), as to assume that the girls entering my establishment don't have an XY chromosome configuration?"  As for Low, he justified his bill with the usual lowbrow leftist boilerplate.

New California Bill Requires Retailers Create 'Gender-Neutral' Aisles For Children.  A new bill introduced in the California Assembly would require retailers to create "gender-neutral" floor-spaces for children's merchandise, with the goal of banning sex-specific labeling labeling such as "girls aisles" and "boys aisles."  The bill proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, requires all retail department stores with 500 employees or more to comply with the newfound gender standards of the Left.

The Editor says...
In a free country, businesses are allowed to arrange their stores in any manner they choose.

Sorry, Democrats:  Party's Over.  It makes me smile to know that fewer people are watching CNN than have fled from California in the last few years.  These days even Jed Clampett wouldn't be convinced that Californy is the place he ought to be.  He would have the sense to take his money to Texas where the taxes are reasonable and you won't be flash-mobbed by SJWs chanting that you're an eco-criminal for striking it rich in the energy sector.  Modest as Jed's education may have been, I think he would have understood that energy is a good thing and letting junkies poop in the aisle at Costco is a bad thing.  Even cousin Jethro would have winced at the mountain of filth that Pelosi and her party have made.

New California bill would require gender neutral sections in retail stores.  A new California bill would require some retailers to have gender neutral floor space inside their stores, Politico reports.  The bill, called Assembly Bill 2826, was introduced by Assemblymember Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell.  According to Politico, retailers would be able to sell the same products, as long as they dedicate space where customers can find clothes and toys regardless of whether the items have been marketed to boys or girls.

Housing crisis: Berkeley law would put renters first.  City officials say the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act would give tenants more leverage and help them stay housed in one of the country's most expensive real estate markets, which has pushed rents sky high and contributed to a growing homeless crisis.  The median home price in Berkeley was $1.3 million last year, nearly doubled from $704,000 in 2013, [Berkeley Mayor Jesse] Arreguin said.

Gavin Newsom Says Doctors Should Write Prescriptions For Housing.  Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that medical doctors should be able to prescribe housing in the same way they prescribe medication to sick people Wednesday during his 2020 State of the State Address.  "Health care and housing can no longer be divorced.  After all, what's more fundamental to a person's well-being than a roof over their head?" Newsom asked during the address.  "Doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing the same way they do for insulin and antibiotics."  The crowd erupted in applause.

AB5 Backfire:  California's poorly designed "gig-work" law is already having unintended consequences.  AB5 took effect on January 1, and it's already causing trouble.  A limit on the number of articles that freelance writers could produce for one publication resulted in layoffs for some California journalists and a First Amendment lawsuit from others.  Workers in more than 135 occupations claim that losing contractor status hurts them, while independent theater and arts groups are facing thousands of dollars in costs they can't afford because they must now treat staff as employees.  Lorena Gonzalez, the assemblywoman who wrote AB5, has introduced another law to remove the article cap for writers and address the status of musicians.  A sign of poor legislation is the need to rewrite it immediately after it takes effect.

A California-style Brexit.  Since AB5 took effect on January 1, hundreds of thousands of Californians are finding their businesses in tatters.  Musicians can't join bands for a one-night gig, chefs can't join forces with caterers, nurses can't work at various hospitals, and writers must cap their submissions per media outlet to 35 per year.  Under the law, these freelancers can no longer conduct the same business-to-business transactions they have for years or even decades.  Clients with whom they fostered valuable relationships are gone — as are their successful careers and incomes.  An overwhelming majority of professionals in fields affected by AB5 identify as liberals and have generally voted along the blue line.  Today, however, many are so disillusioned with their representatives that they're changing political loyalties.

Congressman Calls on California to Fire Pension Official Tied to Chinese Spy Program.  A Republican lawmaker urged California to fire a top pension fund official because he participated in a Chinese program that the FBI has called "non-traditional espionage against the United States."  Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to investigate Yu Ben Meng, the chief investment officer at California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), for his "long and cozy relationship" with the Chinese Communist Party.  The letter also decried CalPERS's investment in Chinese companies that built up the regime's military presence in contested waters of the South China Sea and produced surveillance equipment used for China's brutal crackdown in Xinjiang.  "Governor Newsom, if it were up to me, I would fire Mr. Meng immediately," Banks said in a letter to the governor.

San Francisco's mayor admits to affair and accepting gifts from the city's disgraced homelessness chief.  San Francisco's mayor has admitted to having a fling with and to accepting thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from the city's disgraced former homelessness chief who is now at the center of an FBI corruption probe for accepting kickbacks.  Mayor London Breed admitted on Friday to briefly dating Mohammed Nuru, San Francisco's former Director of Public Works, around 20 years ago, leading to calls for her resignation from the city's top job.  Nuru, 58, resigned from his post earlier this week after he was arrested and charged by the FBI in January for a series of alleged public corruption schemes.

SF Mayor London Breed says she 'dated' now-indicted poop-patrol chief Mohammed Nuru.  Apparently, Kamala Harris wasn't the only ambitious and comely San Francisco female pol who "dated" a San Francisco political pooh-bah to advance her career.  Harris dated San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.  Now San Francisco mayor London Breed says she dated Mohammed Nuru, San Francisco's entrenched director of public works (famous for its "poop patrols"), taking a $5,600 "gift" from him and "forgetting" to disclose it. [...] Nuru's now under indictment for kickbacks, pay to play, bribery, wire fraud, and use of public services for private gain in what's called San Francisco's biggest political scandal in years. [...] The pair have known each other, apparently intimately, for 20 years.  And Nuru is a very powerful, entrenched fixture on the scene in San Francisco politics.

Maxine Waters:  CA Should Have More Say In Primary Because Of Big Money Raised At Beverly Hills Parties.  For years now, Democrats have been claiming they want big money out of politics.  Yet Maxine Waters just claimed on national television that California should have more sway in the Democrat primary process because of all the big cash generated for Democrats at fancy parties in Beverly Hills.

San Francisco car break-ins are so common that the city's district attorney is proposing reimbursing residents whose windows are smashed.  San Francisco's district attorney is proposing creating an auto-burglary-assistance fund that would reimburse residents for the cost required to repair shattered windows from break-ins.  The DA, Chesa Boudin, is proposing using $1.5 million from the mayor's office to fill the fund.  If it passes, it could be the country's first fund of this kind.

Texas Sues California Over Economic Sanctions on Religious States.  One of the more bizarre elements of our cold civil war is California's imposition of economic sanctions on any states that provide any element of religious freedom.  California has currently imposed economic sanctions on eleven states.  And then it messed with Texas.

Sorry, you cannot compel Americans to vote.  Democratic California Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a clearly unconstitutional bill which mandates that anyone registered to vote must attend a voting booth and file a response.  Levine says his intended law is justified and necessary because "democracy is not a spectator sport — it requires the active participation of all its citizens ... Those rights come with a responsibility by registered voters to cast their ballot and make sure that their voice is heard by their government."  While registered voters would not have to select a candidate in order to conform with Levine's desired law, they would have to file a ballot return, even if unmarked.  But as I say, this bill is patently unconstitutional.

Orange County Has Released Thousands Of Criminal Illegal Aliens Because Of California's Sanctuary Law.  The Orange County Sheriff's Department has been forced to release thousands of criminal illegal aliens in the past two years, with both the sheriff's department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement blaming California's statewide sanctuary law.  California's SB 54, legislation that largely restricts cooperation between ICE and law enforcement, went into effect in January 2018.  Since that time, Orange County has released over 2,100 illegal aliens back into the community despite ICE detainers placed on every single one of them, the agency announced in a Wednesday press release.  The sheriff's department released 1,106 inmates without notifying ICE in 2018 and released another 1,015 again in 2019 without notifying the agency.

California's primary vote count could take longer than ever.  Californians start voting Monday in a high-profile Democratic presidential primary that has no clear front-runner and could take longer to count than any previous election in a state already notorious for slow ballot counting.

Coastal States Are in the Fight of Their Lives.  Is the Rest of America Listening?  AB5 — otherwise known as the "Gig Economy" bill is much more dangerous and not just for us, but everyone in the nation.  This bill makes independent contracting illegal.  It is absolutely the most communist legislation I have ever seen passed in my lifetime as an American.  It was aimed to get at Uber and Lyft and instead entrapped anyone who contracts their services.  And I do mean anyone.  I spoke to a man who had to close his theater production because how can you hire 42 seasonal actors as W-2 employees every few months and then fire them and then rehire and on and on?  You can't.  Independent theater will die.  Linguists, courtroom reporters, translators, transcribers, truckers, rideshare drivers, musicians, caterers, bartenders, writers, freelance journalists... anyone who earns money by contracting their services is now out of work or about to be.  It is the most massive and disturbing overreach I have ever seen, and yet hardly anyone else in the country is paying attention.

How the Golden State Embraced Corporate Socialism.  Gavin Newsom, the lily white, urbane, coiffed scion of San Francisco's posh royalty, is California's highest-ranking Democrat.  He presides over a party that has taken progressive ideals beyond absurdity to the brink of tyranny, a socialist party that openly disparages whiteness and wealth.  One would think that the party of Gavin Newsom is bent on destroying everything Gavin Newsom represents.  So what's going on?  To understand the rise of Newsom, and every other hyper-privileged Democrat who even today remain in firm control of the progressive movement, it is necessary to define a 21st-century version of corporate socialism.  This goes well beyond the use of the term merely to describe government subsidies for, say, the oil and gas industry, or, for that matter, the wind and solar industry.

Oklahoma governor bans state-funded travel to California after being put on Golden State's blacklist.  The governor of Oklahoma has banned all state-funded travel to California after officials there placed a similar ban on travel to his state.  Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is in his first term, announced the ban in an executive order on Thursday, barring all non-essential travel by state employees to the Golden State, with exceptions for business recruiting trips, college sports games and trips by schools to participate in out-of-state programs.

Oakland Becomes First California City To Ban Background Checks For Prospective Renters.  Following a unanimous vote by the city council Tuesday night, Oakland has now become the first city in California to ban criminal background checks on potential renters.  "Indescribable emotions and feelings," said John Jones III of Oakland, who got out of prison in 2012 and struggled to find a place to live in Oakland despite his well-paying job as an aviation mechanic.  Jones said he's among the many who left prison only to end up on the streets, contributing to Oakland's homeless crisis.  That's why he's been lobbying hard for the Oakland City Council to pass the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which says landlords will no longer be allowed to turn down potential renters because of criminal convictions.

California Now Pushing Free Health Care for Illegal Immigrant Seniors.  California has waged a war on the concept of citizenship by essentially sidestepping the will of the American people and intentionally undermining immigration laws.  Worse, by extending social welfare to those illegal immigrants, the state is signaling that the concept of citizenship itself is meaningless.  It's clear that California's craziness doesn't stop, as [Governor] Newsom and the state's Democrats have doubled down to extend free health care coverage to even greater numbers of illegal immigrants.  Newsom's latest proposed budget now aims to extend free health care coverage to illegal immigrants 65 years old and older as a part of the state's Medi-Cal program.  This would add $80.5 million to the budget this year and $350 million annually once fully implemented, according to Politico.

Tents, Homelessness, and Misery: 9 Things I Saw in San Francisco.  Home to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional district, San Francisco is reliably and overwhelmingly blue in every election (with perhaps a few votes going to the Green Party).  In just the past year, the city's Board of Supervisors declared the National Rifle Association to be a "domestic terrorist organization," and the school board voted first to paint over, and then to hide, a mural of George Washington in one of the city's high schools — a mural, incidentally, painted by a leftist who strove to show both Washington's greatness and flaws.  Such actions are just par for the course for San Francisco, a city of more than 884,000 that in the past decade also banned fast-food restaurants from including toys with most children's meals; prohibited city-funded travel by local employees to 22 pro-life states; raised the minimum wage from $9.79 to $15.59 an hour; and, after banning plastic bags in 2007, first set a 10-cent fee for each nonreusable bag at stores, and then a 25-cent fee per bag.  Yes, leftist insanity has long been the norm for San Francisco.

First, the purges:  Comrade Chesa Boudin fires prosecutors for ... prosecuting.  What would it be like if Hugo Chávez and Bill Ayers ran the city prosecutor's office?  San Franciscans are about to find out, now that Ayers's stepson, Chesa Boudin, son of Weather Underground terrorists and translator to none other than Hugo himself, has made his first move as San Francisco district attorney.  He's kicked off his term with purges for insufficient revolutionary fervor, taking a page from Andrei Vyshinsky, Stalin's famous show trial prosecutor who enforced ideological purity. [...] Bottom line:  Chesa has no use for such prosecutors who prosecute, and the only thing he wants prosecuted is "the system," the idea of there being laws against crimes.  It goes to show the depth of ideological conformity being demanded now in what's clearly going to be a highly politicized D.A.'s office.  Professionalism is the enemy of the people now.

San Francisco, solid blue city of — empty storefronts and missing young people.  San Francisco is getting to be a hellhole and not just because crooks are having a field day, or a vast homeless army has prompted new tech 'innovations' in poop-map apps.  It's actually becoming a city with a hollowed out look, redolent of some place like Steubenville, Ohio or maybe Utica, New York, during the bad years, empty storefronts and missing young people.  So much for the trope that leftwing cities, with their walkable boulevards full of food trucks, handmade crafts, knitting shops, bookstores, artisan cheese shops, gourmet restaurants, and cafes are more lively and liveable than rightwing places.  For awhile, that did seem to be the story.  But it's coming to an end.  Sure, there's vast wealth.  But despite California being in an economic boom, the place is starting to look like Venezuela.

Abortions are okay, but stray dogs must be preserved.
'We want to be a no-kill state.' Newsom calls for end to animal euthanasia in California.  Gov. Gavin Newsom wants California to stop euthanizing animals, and he's ready to put taxpayer money toward the cause.  "We want to be a no-kill state," Newsom said during a press conference where he presented his 2020-21 budget.  Specifically, Newsom's budget calls for a $50 million one-time general fund allocation to the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to develop a grant program for animal shelters, with a goal of helping local communities "achieve the state's policy goal that no adoptable or treatable dog or cat should be euthanized," according to the budget summary.

Does California Want to Secede?  On Friday [1/10/2020], Governor Gavin Newsom will present the state's budget for the next fiscal year.  In it, he will propose that the state of California sell its own brand of prescription drugs in order to "increase competition in the generic drug marketplace and lower the cost of medications by having Sacramento contract drugmakers to manufacture certain prescriptions under a state label." [...] Because California is so large, with such a huge economy and so many people, the state's dominance generally steers industry and other governments in the direction it wants.  No company that does business with state governments can afford to ignore what California is doing.

Bloomberg sees California as model for U.S..  The Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City mayor likes a lot of what he sees in the Golden State and thinks its efforts on climate change, gun control and criminal justice reform sets a benchmark for other states to emulate.  "I think that California can serve as a great example for the rest of this country," Bloomberg told supporters at the opening of his Angeles headquarters.

Workers Resist California's Newest Bad Law.  As of Jan. 2, Uber and Lyft drivers, independent truckers, freelance writers, photographers, artists and musicians and the companies who hire their services have to abide by AB 5.  The law, which was originally concocted to destroy the business models of Uber and Lyft and has exemptions for 50 professions, is a cynical and transparent gift to unions from the same Democrats who have been wrecking my one-party state for decades.  AB 5's proud mother, leftwing Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, claims it's intended to protect part-timers and freelancers from being "exploited" by their evil, greedy employers.  Her law is supposed to provide independent contractors with the same benefits and workplace protections that full-time employees get and — most important to the Democrats — therefore make it possible for them to unionize.

New California Law Prohibits Showering and Doing Laundry on the Same Day.  "So all of the sudden I can smoke marijuana as much as I want but I can't take a shower?," newsman Mark Kriski said.  "Unbelievable.  That's where our state has gone."  KTLA news anchors and reporters debated on LIVE TV the stupidity of a new California law that effectively prohibits showering and doing laundry on the same day.

A tale of two states in decline.  Taxpayers in California and New York shoulder some of the heaviest tax burdens in the nation, and now new data show the two have something else in common:  Their growth rates have slowed.  It's probably no coincidence.  According to the California Department of Finance, during the year that ended June 30, more people left the Golden State than moved in — the first time that's happened since 2010. [...] One obvious reason:  As the Los Angeles Times notes, the Golden State has one of the highest tax burdens in America.  Here in New York, meanwhile, taxpayers also bear some of the nation's highest tax burdens.  And guess what:  This state has long been watching its share of the national population shrink.  No, taxes alone aren't to blame:  Both states, for example, are famous for their progressive policies, hostility to businesses and onerous mandates.

California Preening.  In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation's widest gap between middle and upper incomes — 72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent — and its highest poverty rate.  Roughly half of America's homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities.  California hasn't yet become a full-scale dystopia, of course, but it's heading in a troubling direction.

New California law to provide subsidized healthcare for undocumented immigrants.  Under the new law SB 104 California will offer government subsidized health benefits for undocumented immigrants under the age of 26.  Previously only undocumented immigrant children could apply.  It's part of new funding for MediCal.  Gov. Gavin Newsom says there will be "An additional $450 a month in subsidies reducing premiums by 25%.  No state in America does that."  Sarah Dar from the California Immigrant Policy Center says this will make a healthier community.

Least-Educated State: 2,471,189 California Residents 25 and Older Never Completed 9th Grade; Highest Percentage in Nation.  California once again ranked No. 1 among the 50 states for the percentage of its residents 25 and older who have never completed ninth grade and 50th for the percentage who have at least graduated from high school, according to new five-year estimates (2014-2018) released Thursday by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.  California, as CNSNews.com reported last year, also ranked No. 1 for the percentage who never completed ninth grade and No. 50 for the percentage who had graduated from high school in the five-year estimates (2013-2017) the Census Bureau released in December 2018.  In California, according to the new five-year estimate, 2,471,189 residents 25 and older had never completed ninth grade.

The Editor says...
So much for the claim that "immigrants make our communities stronger."

Car burglaries in some California cities are at crisis levels.  Prosecutors say their hands are tied.  An epidemic of car burglaries in San Francisco over the last few years has led one Democratic lawmaker to propose plugging a loophole in state law that allows some break-ins to go unpunished, but the Legislature has balked at prosecutors' requests to make obtaining convictions easier.  The proposal, which would eliminate a requirement that prosecutors prove a car's doors were locked at the time of a break-in, has been shelved two years in a row in legislative committees.  Lawmakers struggling with prison crowding and public pressure to enact criminal justice reform have been reluctant to do anything to put more people behind bars.

Why the Law?  The latest and most high-profile district attorney race victory went to none other than the stinking, crime infested city of San Francisco.  Does the name Chesa Boudin ring a bell?  No not to me either, at first.  Not until it was revealed he is the son of 1960s radical leftist, American terrorist bomber Bill Ayers.  It matters not that Boudin, a defense attorney, has never prosecuted a single case.  I bet he'll make a great district attorney for victims of crimes (sarc.).  Boudin has already stated he will not prosecute public urination, prostitution and "quality of life crimes" for the homeless.  What about quality of life for the hardworking tax payers and business owners?  Supporters of Boudin claim he wasn't financed by George Soros, but this statement is disingenuous.

Thought San Francisco's Quality Of Life Couldn't Get Worse?  Think Again.  San Francisco garnered national headlines with the election of its new district attorney, a progressive, which means there will be zero progress made in the homelessness crisis, and little if any made toward reducing crime in the city and county.  Chesa Boudin, a one-time deputy public defender who has never tried a case, was elected in a close race, and will assume office in January.  Before he had a chance to decide if the new drapes in his office were going to be socialist red or blue state blue, Boudin announced that he would not prosecute quality-of-life crimes such as "public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc."  We assume public defecating on streets and sidewalks, today's San Francisco "treat," will also go unprosecuted.

California DMV Makes 50 Million Dollars a Year Selling Drivers' Info to Private Companies.  A California Department of Motor Vehicles document revealed that the government agency is generating $50 million a year by selling drivers' personal information to private companies.  According to a report from VICE, which received the document through a public records request, revenue from selling information — which includes names, physical addresses, and car registration information — has climbed from $41 million in fiscal year 2013-2014 to $51 million in 2018-2019.  In an email explaining the numbers, the California DMV did not specify which private companies have purchased the data, but said the list may include insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, and prospective employers.

Most city workers pay $0 in healthcare premiums.  Garcetti said he'd change that.  He hasn't.  In a major policy reversal that critics say will cost the city and taxpayers millions of dollars, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has abandoned his long-stated goal of getting the city's public employee unions to pay a portion of their healthcare costs.  Under contracts signed this year that were supported by the mayor, many of City Hall's largest unions will continue to contribute nothing toward their healthcare premiums.  Garcetti also backed agreements with several smaller unions, allowing those employees who had been contributing 10% of their premiums to stop paying in January.

Correcting Voters' Mistakes.  Californians must no longer have recourse to the recall election.  If Golden Staters still have the recall, surely they'd be using it to oust their useless mayors who have allowed their once-beautiful cities to degenerate into filth and ruin.  They'd also be mounting a recall of their new governor, Gavin Newsom.  Back in 2003, before the mass exodus to Texas, there were still enough decent Californians remaining to recall and oust Gov. Gray Davis.  Davis's replacement, Arnold Schwarzenegger, might have become a terrific governor had he been paired with a decent legislature.  But the Governator didn't have a decent legislature; it was populated with progressives.

What Happened to California Republicans?  [Scroll down]  A cynic might argue that once a federal judge allowed undocumented immigrants to enjoy the full array of state services and entitlements, there were incentives for millions of other immigrants to enter the U.S. illegally, and California in particular.  Statistics suggests they did just that — often to the chagrin of Democratic politicians, the United Farm Workers and other liberal groups who worried about the negative effects of illegal immigration on entry-level wages, unionization and poor citizens' access to overtaxed social services. [...] The final irony?  Those most hurt — and growing the most angry — are the immigrants who once fled to a different California that now no longer exists.

California's Burning.  California's young and bold new progressive governor Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, probably figured he'd be thrust into the national limelight after signing a host of must-do liberal measures ranging from statewide rent control to a new union-crafted law that seeks to essentially ban companies from using outside contractors.  He also signed a ban on the sale of animal furs, stopped state agencies from leasing public lands for any oil-and-gas-related infrastructure (to stop the Trump administration from expanding resource "exploitation" on neighboring federal lands) — and even signed a law forbidding hotels from handing out those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Son of Two Unrepentant Terrorists Wins DA San Fran Race.  "Chesa Boudin has won the election to become San Francisco's next district attorney," CBS News reported late Saturday.  "The people of San Francisco have sent a powerful and clear message," Boudin said in a statement.  "It's time for radical change to how we envision justice.  I'm humbled to be a part of this movement that is unwavering in its demand for transformation."  People in the vast hinterland to the east might wonder who Chesa is, exactly, and what kind of transformation he has in mind.  Bernie Sanders was first to congratulate the victor, and San Francisco voters knew Chesa served as a translator for the regime of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.  Still, a full understanding must start with Chesa's mother, Kathy Boudin, a Weather Underground terrorist.

Lucky San Francisco:  With Chesa Boudin as DA, good luck getting a cop when you want one.  Well, Chesa Boudin has finally done it: he's gotten himself into the San Francisco D.A.'s seat, after a lifetime of standing up for crooks and mastering criminal "justice" from Bill Ayers's stepdad berth and Hugo Chávez's knee.  Like the way criminal justice works in Caracas?  In San Francisco, Hugo Chávez's trusted adviser is now there to help.  He's there to "transform," as he says.  That's his brand, as the Bay Area tech marketing hipsters say.  This won't work out too well if you've got bums vomiting at your doorstep, gang members shooting with muzzle flashes 'round corners, and junkies setting up camp on your sidewalk.  We've already seen the boulder-warfare some of the homeowners are putting up in a desperate bid to stop it.  Such people can probably now look forward to getting arrested.

San Francisco Voters Elect Radical District Attorney, Son of Cop-killing Terrorists.  Progressive candidate Chesa Boudin wants to free criminals but prosecute police and ICE agents for doing their jobs.  It's no surprise Boudin hates cops so much.  His parents did, too.  Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert were terrorists in the Weather Underground who murdered two police officers and a security guard during a 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored security car outside New York City.  There should be a law that children of terrorists who share their parents' worldview are barred from holding public office, especially the role of the chief law enforcement officer.  Boudin's dad is still in prison so he can't kill any more cops, but his mother is out.  Naturally, she is an assistant professor at Columbia University.  After his parents killed the cops, Boudin was sent to live with two other terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.  Dohrn declared war on the United States and was on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom blasted for skipping funeral of deputy allegedly killed by illegal immigrants.  The same day a federal grand jury indicted two illegal immigrants accused of murdering Deputy Brian Ishmael, El Dorado Sheriff John D'Agostini took aim at California's drug and sanctuary policies, singling out Gov. Gavin Newsom for skipping his funeral in favor of a meeting with the state's beleaguered power provider.

Newsom runs up against US Justice Department rules in pardoning immigrants.  Attorney General William Barr is trying to deport some legal immigrants who were convicted of crimes many years ago.  Gov. Gavin Newsom is trying to spare some of the same immigrants from deportation by pardoning them.  It's shaping up as another round in the Trump administration vs. California.  The immigrants are legal U.S. residents who, because they have not become citizens, face potential deportation for past crimes that were punishable by sentences of a year or more.  Barr, overturning long-standing decisions by immigration courts, declared last month that migrants convicted of long-ago crimes could be deported even when their home states had retroactively reduced or erased their sentences.

San Francisco Supervisor Chants [in Opposition to] the [Police Officers Association] During DA Candidate's Campaign Rally.  Heading into 2020, it seems we've entered into an age in which anyone, from Twitter troll to elected public official, can say whatever strikes their fancy no matter how abhorrent, destructive or violent, from any microphone they can manage to find, and with near impunity.  Oh, sorry.  I mean, any liberal.  Conservatives can't do that.  Take, for example, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who, after clunking her way up to the stage to stump for left-wing district attorney candidate Chesa Boudin, used her moment at the podium to rant against the city's 2,000-member police union by leading the audience in the chant, [...]

English Is the International Language of Success — Except in California.  It's been two decades, but I still remember the excitement of helping to pass California's Proposition 227, which I thought would rescue Spanish-speaking kids from an education ghetto of frustration and failure.  It was an uphill battle.  We fought an education bureaucracy including California's powerful teachers' unions, book publishers who received lucrative government contracts, and even Jerry Perenchio, the late Republican billionaire CEO of Univision, who donated $1.5 million to the efforts to maintain California's "bilingual" education system.  We won.  Sixty-one percent of Californians were ready for a change.  Amid chants of racism and cultural insensitivity, Latino parents would tell me they knew that education and learning English in their adopted country were key to their kids' futures.  Unfortunately, the victory wouldn't last.

Power and Gas Cutoffs in Blue States Represent a Failure of Governance.  California — a state that by itself constitutes the world's fifth-largest economy, is endowed with vast stores of human and natural resources, and has one of the planet's most amenable climates for human habitation — is failing.  The Golden State is host to one of the country's worst homelessness epidemics.  It's a state in which 19th century diseases such as typhus and tuberculosis are making a comeback.  More people are moving out of the state than into it.  Its rates of violent crime are on the rise.  It has more failing schools than any other state in the Union.  And now, true to basket-case form, California is home to massive, rolling power outages.  But unlike in the developing world, these blackouts are not a result of resource deficiency but the voluntary imposition of darkness on the public.

California's Prop 47 leads to [a] rise in shoplifting, thefts, [and] criminal activity across [the] state.  These brazen acts of petty theft and shoplifting are a dangerous and all-too-common consequence of Proposition 47, a referendum passed five years ago that critics say effectively gives shoplifters and addicts the green light to commit crimes as long as the merchandise they steal or the drugs they take are less than $950 in value.  The decision to downgrade theft of property valued below the arbitrary figure from felony to misdemeanor, together with selective enforcement that focuses on more "serious" crimes, has resulted in thieves knowing they can brazenly shoplift and merchants knowing the police will not respond to their complaints, say critics.

Is California Becoming Premodern?  California is now a one-party state.  Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.  Only seven of the state's 53 congressional seats are held by Republicans.  The result is that there is no credible check on a mostly coastal majority.  Huge global wealth in high-tech, finance, trade and academia poured into the coastal corridor, creating a new nobility with unprecedented riches.  Unfortunately, the new aristocracy adopted mindsets antithetical to the general welfare of Californians living outside their coastal enclaves.  The nobodies have struggled to buy high-priced gas, pay exorbitant power bills and deal with shoddy infrastructure — all of which resulted from the policies of the distant somebodies.

California to train poll workers how to interact with transgender voters.  All poll workers in California will be trained on how to properly interact with and assist transgender and gender-nonconforming voters when they cast ballots.  California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) announced the new initiative last week, saying his office is partnering with the Equality California Institute ahead of next year's presidential primary.

Is California's governor really this clueless about high gas prices and power outages?  California Gov. Gavin Newsom finally noticed that his state has the highest gas prices in the nation, and he's angry.  So angry, in fact, he ordered his Attorney General to investigate the decades-long mystery.  "There is no identifiable evidence to justify these premium prices," Newsom wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra.  "If oil companies are engaging in false advertising or price fixing, then legal action should be taken to protect the public."  Newsom correctly identified the symptom but remains clueless about the cause.  He at least pretends to be.

Why California's AB-5 is a threat to the American way of life.  I am freelancing this article.  Doing so means that I work from home, set my own schedule and have most days of the week free to write books.  While books provide the bulk of my income, freelancing provides substantial extra money that my family and I have come to expect.  Barring any unforeseen change in circumstances, over the next year I'll freelance dozens of articles at a rate of one or occasionally two a week.  If I did that in California, I'd be opening up my employers to legal penalties.  Bill AB-5, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, has just passed, limiting California freelancers to submitting 35 articles to a publication a year without being hired by that company.  Thirty-five may seem like a lot, but that limit makes a weekly column impossible, let alone working for online companies where you might submit a short article or two daily and reach that limit within a month.

How California's new gig economy law could put freelancers out of business.  If I lived in California, I'd be staring down unemployment.  A new law governing freelance work was signed into law late last month.  It isn't scheduled to take effect until January, but if panicking freelancers aren't able to force a change before then, many will be banned from doing their jobs.  It's a classic case of well-intended but functionally destructive regulation:  In the name of protecting workers, Assembly Bill 5 will prohibit some them from working.  In the resultant chaos, a lucky few will secure full-time jobs while the rest are "helped" right out of a stable income stream.  A.B. 5's primary target is gig employers like ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft, whose drivers are classified as contract workers, not employees.  That means they aren't entitled to benefits like health insurance or paid time off even if they're working full-time hours, which A.B. 5 seeks to change.

California's legal weed profits going up in smoke.  Legal marijuana in California as a business was supposed to be a no-brainer.  How could it not be profitable in a liberal state pushing 40 million residents where some of the best weed in the world has been grown for decades?  But nearly three years after Proposition 64, the law legalizing the adult use of the drug, was passed, California cannabis producers are not seeing the windfalls predicted. [...] The California law gives local governments the right to regulate the pot shops so towns can prohibit them.  A whopping 80% of the state's towns and cities have turned legal pot shops down.

Rev. Franklin Graham Condemns San Francisco Ban on Travel to Pro-Life States.  Christian evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham said progressive leaders in San Francisco who have banned travel for city employees to states that have enacted abortion restrictions "want everyone to swallow the lie that abortion is a woman's right."

The Editor says...
Let the San Francisco bureaucrats stay in California for the rest of their miserable lives.  I can't see how this travel ban has any negative effects.  What can't they accomplish over the phone?

California's War on Citizenship.  California — a one-party state dominated by progressives — has become the model for where progressivism will go when completely unchecked.  Now, even the basic concept of citizenship is under full-blown assault as the state has moved on from being a "sanctuary state" for illegal immigrants to outright insisting that noncitizens have the same access to the levers of power as citizens.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to serve on government boards and commissions.  He also signed another bill that would make it illegal to make immigration-related arrests at courthouses.

San Francisco bans city employees from business travel to 22 states with pro-life laws.  The City of San Francisco has added 22 states with pro-life laws to a blacklist that prevents city employees from traveling to those states using city funds or dealing with businesses based in them.

California says independents can vote in Democrats' 2020 primary, but not Republicans'.  California's more than 5.6 million independent voters will be allowed to vote in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, but not in the Republican contest, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Monday [10/21/2019].

California governor pardons three convicted immigrants to help block deportations.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday [10/18/2019] he's pardoning three immigrants who've been convicted of crimes as part of an effort to protect them from deportation to their home countries.  The three men — originally from El Salvador, Iran and Cambodia — broke the law as teens or young adults, served their sentences and have taken steps to rehabilitate themselves, the governor's office said.

California legalizes eating roadkill.  Awash in feces, blackouts, wildfires, opioids, junkyard highways, homelessness, illegals, measles, typhus, and leprosy, California's one-party blue Legislature and its far-left governor have nevertheless gotten around to the important things.

California opens state boards to undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens.  Undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens will be allowed to serve on state boards and commissions after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills Saturday [10/12/2019] intended to integrate immigrants further into society.  SB225 by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, expands eligibility for state appointments to any California resident over the age of 18.  In a signing message, Newsom said applicants deserved to be considered on their merits, rather than their immigration status.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Forcing Public Universities to Dispense Abortion Drugs.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill into law that requires public colleges and universities in the state to distribute abortion drugs, effectively turning the schools into first-trimester abortion clinics.  On Friday [10/11/2019], Newsom signed SB 24, which was championed in the State Senate by Sen. Connie Leyva (D) as a reproductive rights issue.

California adopts nation's broadest gun seizure laws.  California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 15 gun-related bills into law Friday, tightening the state's already-stringent Second Amendment restrictions.  One of the bills, which expands a so-called "red flag" law to allow co-workers, employers and educators to seek gun violence restraining orders against firearms owners they fear are a danger to themselves and others, was vetoed twice by Newsom's predecessor, Jerry Brown.  Newsom also signed a companion bill allowing the gun violence restraining orders to last one and five years, although the gun owners could petition to end those restrictions earlier.  The bill also allows judges to issue search warrants at the same time as they grant the orders.  The warrants can be used immediately if the gun owners are served with the relinquishment orders but fail to turn over the firearms or ammunition.

Say Goodbye to Charter Schools.  There's no way to reform public schools, in California or elsewhere, given that they are government monopolies that are dominated by unions.  They will put kids first, as one former teachers' union official reportedly said, after the kids start paying dues.  People who think that such schools can be improved through new reforms and more money probably believed that the Soviet economy could have been fixed with a better-developed five-year plan.  The only way to deal with that reality is to escape.  In 1992, California passed one of the nation's most far-reaching school-reform experiments, by making it easy to create publicly funded alternative schools where kids could flee.  The original law authorized the establishment of 100 charters.  The state now has more than 1,300 of them, and they educate 11 percent of the state's students.

Democrats [are] turning California into a third-world hellhole.  While they try to blame climate change and the infrastructure, the reality is that neither of those has caused any significant changes in the last ten years — but now, suddenly, due to Democrat policies, Californians have to start living in the 18th century.  The Democrats who run California also refuse to build more water storage capacity even though the state's population has dramatically increased, ensuring that water has to be rationed during droughts.  Democrats are turning California into a third-world country economically.  The income inequality between the über-rich Silicon Valley workers and the rest of Californians is huge, just like in third-world countries, while the elites live in luxury and the rest live in squalor.

Federal Judge Halts California Law Requiring Trump to Release Tax Returns in Order to Appear on 2020 Primary Ballot.  US District Judge Morrison England on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction against a California law which required Trump to release his tax returns in order to appear on the 2020 primary ballot.  Last month, the federal judge temporarily suspended the law and announced he would be releasing a formal written injunction by October 1st.  On Tuesday [10/1/2019], Judge Morrison, a George W. Bush appointee, released a written opinion and argued the law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom violated the Presidential Qualifications Clause contained in Article II of the US Constitution and violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause as set forth in the 14th Amendment.

California Shocked To Find Bill Decriminalizing Retail Theft Resulted In... More Retail Theft.  A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons.  Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of "the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail.  To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft.  The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.  To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it.  They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery.  These plots are known as "mass grab and dash" thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway.  Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down.  Who could possibly have predicted this?

Gavin Newsom calls for impeaching Trump, gets slapped with recall petition from California's locals.  California's far-left governor, Gavin Newsom, is out there with the best of them, loudly calling for the impeachment of President Trump.  It's nothing new for him, given that he ran for governor in 2017 on this platform. [...] From his point of view, it makes sense, because even though he's been on the job for only about a year, he's shown that he's always been more interested in sounding woke than actually governing.  Just tour the poop-strewn, disease-ridden streets of any California blue city with a high Newsom vote count for a whiff of it.

Federal Judge Blocks California Law That Would Force Trump To Disclose Tax Returns.  A federal judge temporarily blocked California's law requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to gain a spot on the primary ballot Thursday [9/19/2019].  The California law would require any candidate running for president or governor to give the IRS tax forms for the past five years, after which portions of them would be edited for public viewing, the Los Angeles Times reported.  This could be an issue for President Donald Trump as he runs for president again in 2020 because he has refused to disclose his tax returns, despite efforts by Democrats to force his hand.

California judge blocks law requiring Trump to submit tax returns to compete in state's 2020 primary.  A federal judge in California Thursday granted the Trump campaign's request to block a new law that requires presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years of tax returns to run in the state's primary elections.  The law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in July would have left the sitting president off of the ballot in California's March 2020 primary unless he submitted five years' worth of his tax returns by a Nov. 26 deadline, the Los Angeles Times reported.  Under SB 27, Trump would be included on the general election ballot in November 2020.  Oppoenents [sic] of the law argue depressed GOP voter turnout in the primary could discourage voters from showing up to vote for the president in the main race.

Federal Judge:  This Tax-Return Requirement For California's Presidential Primaries Smells Unconstitutional.  Indeed it does, and the injunction issued by US district court Judge Morrison England Jr represents a victory for Donald Trump — if a temporary one.  California had passed a law requiring all presidential primary candidates in the state to publicly release the last five years of their income tax returns to qualify for the ballot.  A former fringe candidate joined Donald Trump in challenging the law for its super-constitutional efforts to add state-level qualifiers to federal office, and Judge England issued an injunction against its enforcement.

The Editor says...
This is what's known as a bill of attainder.

California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions.  California announced last week that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding "travel ban" list because of that state's new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.  The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.  Becerra's authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights.  The blacklist already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

The Editor says...
California is attempting interfere with the other states entirely for the purpose of endorsing and legitimizing homosexuality.

Gov. Newsom Commutes Sentences of 21 Violent Criminals Incarcerated in CA Prisons, Including 4 Murderers with Life Sentences.  Far-left California Governor Gavin Newsom commuted sentences of 21 violent criminals including 4 murderers with life sentences without possibility of parole.  One of the murderers was arrested in 1993 for fatally shooting a man during a carjacking and another was incarcerated in 1991 for killing an armed guard during a robbery.  A man who served 31 years of 2 life sentences for a double murder in 1988 was also given clemency by Newsom.

California Introduces Bill to Ban ICE Detention Centers, Private Prisons.  The state of California is cracking down on "private for-profit prisons" after introducing a bill to ban the facilities.  Moreover, it means shutting down U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's privately run detention centers.  The bill AB-42 passed the state assembly Wednesday [9/11/2019] with 65 votes in favorable votes.  According to Newsweek, it would mean shutting down four detention centers holding "up to 4,500 inmates."

The Left's determination to destroy us from within.  Governor Newsom of California has reached into the gutter for a new and obscene low.  So dishonorable is this man that he signed into law a bill that "struck down a more than century-old law that required any able-bodied persons 18 years of age or older to assist a police officer who requested help during an arrest." [...] Newsom, and the rest of the Democrat governors and mayors that destroyed their own states and cities, have not only ruined the municipalities that they control, but have destroyed countless lives — namely, of those who barely subsist on the streets of these cities:  Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago.  They willingly promulgate the drug use of their homeless (they pass out free syringes) and seem to tolerate the vast homeless encampments and all they entail:  discarded needles, public defecation, crime, disease — in short, the destruction of the cities they've been allowed to take over and ruin.

Gov Newsom signs bill, now legal for citizens to refuse police officers' request for help.  Gov. Gavin Newsom just made it legal for anyone in the state of California to refuse to help a police officer requesting assistance.  The California Democrat on Tuesday [9/3/2019] signed into law a bill that struck down a more than century-old law which required any "able-bodied person 18 years of age or older" to assist a police officer who requested help during an arrest, The Sacramento Bee reported.

California's Newsom signs bill allowing citizen to refuse to help a police officer.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, on Tuesday [9/3/2019] signed a bill that no longer requires any "able-bodied person 18 years of age or older" in the state to help an officer who requests assistance during an arrest.  The Sacramento Bee reported that the old law, the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872, was common in the country's early days, but Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Los Angeles Democrat who sponsored the bill, called the old law a "vestige of a bygone era."  The law was employed to help catch runaway slaves, the report said.  The old law made it a misdemeanor that carried a fine of up to $1,000 for refusing to help a police officer who requested assistance during an arrest.

The Editor says...
If the only purpose for that law was to have citizens assist the police with the capture of runaway slaves, there might be some reasonable basis for repealing it.  Surely the elected officials of California don't believe such a thing.  Governor Newsom's action reeks of race-based political opportunism, and the unintended consequences are not many days away.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Declares NRA a Domestic Terrorist Organization.  San Francisco's legislative body has challenged other American cities and states to follow its lead and formally condemn the National Rifle Association (NRA).  The Californian city's board of supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday officially labeling the gun rights' group a domestic terrorist organization. [...] It said the NRA "musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence."

San Francisco Declares NRA a 'Domestic Terrorist Organization'.  San Francisco, the "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens — now crowded with homeless people camping and defecating on sidewalks — has just declared the National Rifle Association a "domestic terrorist organization."  The resolution, which the Board of Supervisors passed unanimously Tuesday, urges the rest of the country to "do the same."  The resolution accuses the NRA or mustering "its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence."

Crony Capitalism on Steroids.  California lawmakers want to bring back central-planning agencies that squander taxpayer dollars on corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain — in the name of fixing a housing shortage that these agencies helped create.

California's War on Cars.  Traffic has long been horrific throughout California, especially in the Los Angeles basin and the Bay Area.  But like every bad thing in this state, it just keeps getting worse.  The 2018 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard tops the ranking of most congested cities, with drivers spending an annual average of 104 hours stuck in gridlock.  Other California cities made the ranks of 50 most congested cities across the globe.  The obvious solution is to, well, build more roads, even though decades of neglect — and reams of environmental impediments such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) — would make that a daunting task if state officials wanted to do so.  But they have no interest in doing so.  Their goal is to coerce us into giving up our cars or at least driving much less.  They've caused the crisis and are not about to let it go to waste.

Armchair quarterbacks:
California Governor Signs Use-of-Deadly Force Bill Aimed at 'Changing the Culture of Policing'.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Monday [8/19/2019] that California is now a "model for the rest of the nation" when it comes to the use of deadly force by police officers.  Newsom on Monday signed Assembly Bill No. 392, which says police officers may "use deadly force only when necessary in defense of human life."  According to the text of the bill, the "authority to use physical force...is a serious responsibility that shall be exercised judiciously and with respect for human rights and dignity and for the sanctity of every human life."

Cosmic Injustice.  In the last years of Arnold Schwarzenegger's governorship, Arnold more or less gave up on the existential crises of illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, soaring taxes, water shortages, decrepit roads and bridges, homelessness, plummeting public school performance, and a huge exodus out of state of middle-class Californians.  Instead he began to lecture the state, the nation, and indeed the world on the need for massive wind and solar projects and assorted green fantasies.

California prefers 'free range rats' over humans.  Proposed poison ban.  California is prepared to sacrifice human lives for the sake of wildlife apparently.  The wise Progressives have let fester a growing health risk in allowing their rat population to explode with no interest in controlling their expanding population.  The Democrats want to ban rat poison.  You can't call them lazy.  Once a female rat reproduces, she could have 15,000 descendants by the end of just one year!  Note:  Your rat mileage may vary.

'Flagrantly illegal.'  Trump sues California over new law targeting his tax returns.  President Donald Trump, the California Republican Party, and the national GOP joined together Tuesday [8/6/2019] to sue California over a new tax-return law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last week.  The law requires Trump and other presidential candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns to get their names on the state's 2020 primary ballot.

California's Gavin Newsom torched as red-hot hypocrite for calling Trump's wall wasteful.  California's leftist governor, Gavin Newsom, got it in the teeth on Twitter after he tried to decry President Trump's border wall as, of all things, government waste. [...] And it didn't end well for him.  He drew about 6,000 replies, virtually all of them negative, with a large number of them clearly from the locals.

Berkeley becomes first US city to ban natural gas in new buildings.  Berkeley became the first city nationwide to ban the use of natural gas in new low-rise residential buildings in a unanimous vote Tuesday by the City Council. [...] In June 2018, the council declared a climate emergency and called for a review of Berkeley's greenhouse emission reduction strategies.  The city determined in a report last year that gas-related emissions have increased due to an 18% population growth since 2000.

The Editor says...
I wonder if the Berkeley politicians understand that they share the atmosphere with 7.7 billion other people, most of whom would love to have cheap and abundant natural gas available, rather than the firewood, coal, or dung they're currently using.  The city council's action is not just symbolic:  It affects the construction of already-unaffordable new houses.

In California, don't call them 'public servants,' call them 'the government gang'.  As a Californian of more than three decades, I have watched the highways deteriorate, with no new construction of freeways (or reservoirs for that matter) while the population soared.  I have watched the schools go from bad to horrendous.  Meanwhile, taxes have soared to levels that are driving out middle class taxpayers in very large numbers.  The rest of us who are not members of the government gang watch as the gang members get rich.

California Gives Green Light to Health Care for Illegal Aliens.  California is the first state to allow taxpayer-funded health care benefits to go towards people residing in the U.S. illegally.  Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Tuesday which would allow low-income adults under the age of 25 to receive state Medicaid benefits through its Medi-Cal program regardless of immigration status.

Democrats take their next step to destroy the USA.  California has approved a new budget expanding Medi-Cal coverage to illegal aliens up to the age of 26.  This will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, even without factoring in the costs created by the obvious incentive the program will create for illegals to move to California.  Moreover, the formerly Golden State is bringing back the individual mandate, in part to fund the Medi-Cal expansion for non-residents of California.  This means that residents of the state who don't want to — or need to — buy health insurance, as well as those who can't afford it, will have their money confiscated by the government to provide health care to illegal aliens.

California Assembly Approves Resolution That Calls for Church Acceptance of LGBTQ.  The California State Assembly voted 9-2 to send to the state senate a resolution calling on "religious leaders to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy."  While no one would argue with the aim of being more loving and more compassionate in our counsel of our fellow man, the people's representatives do not possess any authority in the arena of religious practice.

California Democrats Propose Bill to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Hold Party Leadership Positions.  Democratic lawmakers in California have introduced a bill that will allow illegal immigrants to hold leadership positions within the Democrat Party on the state and local level, Breitbart reports.  Current state law limits noncitizen participation in party politics, but the bill, SB 288, would change that, letting noncitizens, including illegal immigrants like Dreamers, serve as state convention delegates and county committee leaders within the Democratic Party, which will allow them to be involved with party platform and other issues.

California Democrats Push Bill Allowing Illegals Party Roles: 'They're Already Leaders'.  A bill proposed last week by California lawmakers could grant illegal aliens the ability to serve in Democrat Party leadership positions locally and statewide.  The new bill, SB 288, would allow them to be part of shaping the party's platform, including serving as state convention delegates and county committee leaders.

The Plan to "Make America, American Again".  California Dems made sure the people of Mexico and other foreign countries understood the borders were open, no one would ever be sent back, and Democrats would give them every form of welfare for free.  Then they gave illegals drivers licenses.  They registered illegals automatically at DMV.  They made sure there was no Voter ID at the polls.  Recognize the plan?  Gavin Newsom gave it away.  This is now the national plan for Democrats.  Make the whole country into California.

California's Gov. Gavin Newsom puts out a video for illegals on how to obstruct ICE.  I thought it was satire, something cooked up by his political enemies.  You couldn't put out a less attractive video than the one Gavin Newsom did for illegal aliens on Twitter, advising them himself on how to obstruct ICE from any deportation maneuvers. [...] Leave aside the fact that he's the governor of a U.S. state, supposedly there to represent the interests of that state's citizens rather than those of the foreigners who come here without papers, quite illegally, and run up the tab using his state's services.

Hillary's People's Republic of California Jungle Primary Voter Suppression.  In the 2018 midterm general election California voters had the choice for US Senate on the general election ballot between liberal Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein or even more liberal Democrat opponent.  There were no Republicans on the US Senate General Election ballot in 2018.  Two years earlier, in 2016, liberal Democrat Kamala Harris was elected US Senator by defeating Liberal Democrat opponent Loretta Sanchez in the general election.  Again, There were no Republican candidates on the general election ballot for Senator in 2016.

California's Progressive Betrayal.  The recent California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco exposed the divide between the state's progressive and working-class voters.  Progressives, in their militant certitude, support left-wing policies that often don't affect them; it's the working class that suffers the consequences of these proposals.  But the Green New Deal, widely embraced by party leaders, pushed too far, triggering a backlash at the convention.  The state's private-sector labor unions, notably the building trades, organized a "Blue Collar Revolution" protest against the Democrats' climate legislation.  The Democrats are calling for the elimination of fossil fuels by 2030, which would result in California's immiseration, especially for workers in the state's energy-production sector, the nation's fourth-largest.  In 2012, the oil and gas industry employed over 400,000 Californians, but these workers — unionized and well-paid — can expect pink slips with the green package.

California Says, 'Go West Young Illegals, Go West'.  Doctors and hospitals are in the gunsights of many Democrats who want Medicare-for-all as a draconian price control scheme by government over all medical care in the US.  Hospitals are told they charge too much and doctors are vilified for earning too much.  What a relief that a sugar daddy has appeared, a rich boyfriend, a benefactor with a fat wallet, ready to bestow his financial largess on financially strapped healthcare providers.  This sugar daddy is named Gavin, tall and handsome with good hair.  I speak of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who finalized a deal with the California legislature, "to provide full health benefits to low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 26."

Can California Be Saved, or Is It Too Late?  How did this state, once the envy of all others, become the pathetic, indebted loser state it is today?  The answer is simple, single-party Democratic rule. [...] State taxes in California are the highest in the nation, as are our sales taxes.  We fall nearly last in education.  We have the most homeless, the most illegal migrants.  The state spends $30 [billion] on illegal immigration per year.  Like all cities run by progressives, our entire state is a disaster of Democratic making.

California lawmakers weigh budget proposals to cover health care for illegal immigrants.  California lawmakers are weighing proposals this week that would offer government-funded health care to adult illegal immigrants but are at odds over how far to go.  Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed $98 million a year to cover low-income illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25, but the state Assembly's bill would cover all illegal immigrants over the age of 19 living in California — a proposal that would cost an estimated $3.4 billion.

California to pay full health benefits for illegal immigrants.  Democrats in the [California] state Legislature reached an agreement Sunday afternoon [6/9/2019] as part of a broader plan to spend $213 billion of state and federal tax money over the next year.  The agreement means low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California's Medicaid program, the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The dystopian nightmare that is California has been brought to you by... Democrats.  Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times reported a week ago on the obscene condition of downtown Los Angeles, "A mountain of rotting, oozing, stinking trash ... stretching a good 20 yards along a skid row alley.  Rats popped their heads out of the debris like they were in a game of Whac-A-Mole, then scampered for cover as a tractor with a scoop lurched toward them. ... The trash problem is not confined to any one street, but this particular location on the 800 block of Ceres Avenue is surrounded by food distribution companies that sell to shoppers, vendors, stores and restaurants.  I counted seven within a block, so you have to wonder — given the colonies of football-size rats — about the potential contamination of the food supply chain and the spread of disease."  What does the city say when confronted about the slow, or nonexistent, pace of cleanup?

Berkeley loves its sanctuary label, but a housing crisis is testing its liberal values.  This eccentric Northern California enclave was a sanctuary long before the designation became a must-have merit badge for any left-leaning city.  Berkeley politicians proclaimed the place a refuge for Navy sailors resisting deployment to the Vietnam War nearly a half-century ago.  It was the birth of a movement to protect the outcast — and, in some cases, the outlaw — from rules that this beat-of-its-own-drum city and its followers found immoral, most recently the deportation of undocumented immigrants.  But California's housing crisis is testing whether Berkeley can remain that kind of place.

SF supes get 12% pay raise while everyone else at City Hall gets a lot less.  San Francisco's supervisors will be getting a 12% raise this year, more than three times the size of those being given to other elected officials and city employees.  The raise was approved by a 3-1 vote of the Civil Service Commission on Monday [5/20/2019] and represents a $15,016 pay hike, bringing the board members' salaries to $140,148 this year — plus benefits.

Los Angeles Prohibits Employees From Traveling to Alabama Because It Banned Abortions.  Los Angeles County has imposed a one-year travel ban to Alabama in response to the state's new abortion law, which is the most restrictive in the country.  Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solia, author of the motion, said the state's law is an "attack not only confined to the residents of those states, but an act of aggression upon all of us."  "We must stand in solidarity and in opposition against extremist and unconstitutional laws that put the health and wellbeing of families at risk," Solis said.  "The constitutional and human right to a safe and legal abortion is part of the very fabric of the United States."

California lawmakers weigh budget proposals to cover health care for illegal immigrants.  California lawmakers are weighing proposals this week that would offer government-funded health care to adult illegal immigrants but are at odds over how far to go.  Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed $98 million a year to cover low-income illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25, but the state Assembly's bill would cover all illegal immigrants over the age of 19 living in California — a proposal that would cost an estimated $3.4 billion.

Sacramento's Biggest Gasbags.  Don't be alarmed by soaring California gasoline prices, which have topped $4 a gallon at most gas stations around the state.  Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders are on the job, as they sniff out the culprit behind rising prices.  They are pretty sure it has something to do with bad corporate behavior, based on their latest public statements.  Stay tuned — but you might not want to buy that giant gas-sucking SUV just yet.  The cause of the high prices is obvious to those of us familiar with the state's gasoline-related policies.  In 2017, then-Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through his signature increase in gas taxes to fund the road-infrastructure improvements that his administration had neglected as it ramped up social spending.  The law adds 12 cents to each gallon of gasoline and 20 cents to each gallon of diesel and could add far more to the price in coming decades.

Trump, Pareto, and the Fall of the Elites.  Encouraging mass immigration of illegals who compete for lower-level jobs does not help the underprivileged, rather it creates a new group of voters that will support the Democrats.  It also helps privileged groups by supplying cheap labor.  Take, for example, wealthy Marin County, California.  Marin is largely populated by well-to-do and highly educated professional people.  An underclass of often illegal immigrants provides affordable services such as yard work and babysitting.  In the 2012 presidential election, Marin voted 74% for Obama.  In the 2016 election, Marin voted 77% for Hillary and only 16% for Trump.  Another wealthy California county, Santa Clara County, is the heart of Silicon Valley.  In the 2016 election, Santa Clara County voted only 21% for Trump.  Fresno County, California, a county that is majority Hispanic with a very high poverty rate, voted 43% for Trump.  California as a whole voted 32% for Trump.  The nation as a whole voted 46% for Trump.  In the borough of Manhattan, in New York City, one of the wealthiest places in the country, only 10% of the votes went for Trump.  Clearly the privileged class votes Democratic and strongly opposes Trump.  In places inhabited by elites, the Democrats dominate.

California moves to keep Trump off 2020 primary ballot.  The California Legislature is trying again to force presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns, hoping a new Democratic governor known for his clashes with President Donald Trump won't block them this time.

California Politicians Hiked Gas Tax, Now Demand Investigation Into State's $4 Per Gallon Gas Prices.  As lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom supported a 2017 bill increasing the state's gas taxes.  When running for governor in 2018, he opposed a ballot initiative that would have repealed that same increase.  It's 2019, and Newson, now the state's governor, is demanding an investigation into why the state's gas prices are so high.  On Tuesday [4/23/2019], the governor sent a letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) asking that the state agency investigate the Golden State's roughly $4.03 per gallon gas prices, currently the highest in the country (and well above the national average of $2.86 per gallon).

What 'Free Money' Means to Me.  Officials in Stockton, Calif., a hard-pressed agricultural and industrial city 75 miles northeast of San Jose, are enjoying the glow of media attention from their ongoing, first-in-America program to provide residents with a Universal Basic Income, or UBI. [...] This is about more than helping a few residents in a mid-size city pay medical bills, buy groceries, repair the car, or spend the weekend in the Sierra foothills gambling at the Jackson Rancheria Indian casino (there are no limits on how the money is spent, after all).  It's about setting the stage for a national political "discussion" that might eventually involve large, direct taxpayer payments to lower-income residents.  The research and storytelling will be used to soften us up for the hard sell, which will come in various state or federal proposals, and will sometimes be linked to plans for reparations.

California.Gov.Con.  If Gavin Newsom runs for president, [Eleni] Kounalakis may run for governor, or even higher office.  In that quest, Eleni will again deploy daddy's money and promotional support from Markos, who believes that a woman's proper place is in the White House.  Eleni gets all this, plus California's imported electoral college, from places like El Salvador and Mexico.  For Clinton cronies, California offers the best of all possible worlds.

Government 'Oversight' Is a Very Bad Joke.  [Scroll down]  The 67-page audit of [the California] DMV found a "reactive culture that has adversely impacted the field office customer experience," outdated management structures, a third of customer-service windows closed even as people waited in lines that went around the DMV field offices — and pretty much everything else that anyone who has visited a California DMV office would know.  The audit suggested changes, but the agency reacted in normal fashion and requested more money.  DMV offices, which I've described as a cross between bus stations and Soviet bread lines, have been like this since time immemorial (although they're better in some states) and will always be this way.  We must deal with the agency if we want to drive.  There are no customers that must be satisfied because we have no other choice.

Money in the Toilet — The Billion Dollar Cost of Public Bathrooms.  The fastest rising item in the country isn't gold or bitcoin, it's the cost of a public bathroom.  In '08, a San Francisco Weekly article fumed that a park restroom in Golden Gate Park was costing taxpayers $531,219.  Fast forward, a decade later the cost of a park restroom in the Golden Gate Boathouse had ballooned to $2 million or $4,700 per square foot.  The modern bathroom had a third All-Gender option that the '08 bathroom didn't.  But adding a non-gender shouldn't have quadrupled the price.  Inflation would have kept the cost well below a million.  Why did a 15-foot by 28-foot bathroom cost millions?  Part of the answer may be that San Fran privileges minority businesses and requires that 15% of work hours be carried out by "disadvantaged" workers.

As Trump vows to shut the border to illegals, Gavin Newsom makes a suspicious trip to El Salvador.  [Scroll down]  One can just picture how this trip looks from the Salvadoran side of things.  Here come Big Daddy, the California governor, the gringo who's already laid out a banquet of goodies for Salvadorans in California, from free health care to free education, to sanctuary state protections to enable illegals to work, coming there supposedly to find out how he can offer...even more goodies to Salvador's uneducated lower middle classes.  The idea is to get even more of them to come over.  Big Daddy comes down with the Santa sack full of goodies.

California executes a 'moratorium' on the death penalty.  During the past eight years, California voters have twice reiterated their support for the death penalty by defeating propositions seeking to overturn it.  If anyone was confused about Californians' understanding of the death penalty representing an important part of justice, in 2016 they even passed a proposition calling for the speeding up of executions by shortening the decades-long appeals process.  In other words, Californians want the death penalty, and they want to it happen faster and more often.

Gavin Newsom Doesn't Care about Crime Victims.  On March 13, California governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order granting a reprieve to all 737 convicted murderers awaiting execution in the Golden State. [...] All 737 reprieved death-row inmates had been found guilty of murder by a jury of their peers, beyond any reasonable doubt.  The convicted murderers had also exhausted all the possibilities of the appeal process, which in the California criminal justice system is quite extensive.  Gavin Newsom is not an attorney and not a judge.  The governor did not attend the trials and produced no new exculpatory evidence in any of the cases.  Those awaiting execution include Richard Allen Davis, who kidnapped and killed twelve-year-old Polly Klaas, and "Tool Box Killer" Lawrence Bittaker, who raped and killed five teen girls in 1979 after torturing them with pliers and screwdrivers.

Killing the Death Penalty via Edict.  To my conservative friends who like when chief executives push the envelope on "national emergencies" and executive orders, I offer you California Gov. Gavin Newsom.  Last week, he grabbed national headlines for his decision to grant reprieves to all 737 prisoners on California's death row based on his own personal feelings: [...] Governors have the power to pardon people and give reprieves.  But just as advocates for limited government believe that presidents should let Congress take the lead on spending matters, they too should prefer that governors stick to the spirit and not just the letter of the law.  Such reprieves are meant for particular cases — not as a means to change public policy.

California Drug Legalization Leads to Political Corruption.  California is going full narcosocialist and there's a price to pay for that.  The price is deeper corruption and criminality. [...] While part of the LA Times story tilt claims that this is about "black market" drug dealers, most of these examples appear to involve those that were legal or trying to go legal.  But that takes us to the baffling difference between a black market drug dealer and a legal drug dealer is that the latter is paying off the government.  Now we have drug businesses getting in trouble for paying off government officials in the wrong sort of way.  We want drug dealers to legalize by legally paying off the government.

Gov. Newsom to order halt to California's death penalty.  Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral, and is granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation's largest Death Row.  "I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people," Newsom said in a statement accompanying an executive order, to be issued Wednesday [3/13/2019], declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in the state.  "The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian."

California's Rendezvous With Reality.  Californians brag that their state is the world's fifth-largest economy.  They talk as reverentially of Silicon Valley companies Apple, Facebook and Google as the ancient Greeks did of their Olympian gods.  Hollywood and universities such as Caltech, Stanford and Berkeley are cited as permanent proof of the intellectual, aesthetic and technological dominance of West Coast culture.  Californians also see their progressive, one-party state as a neo-socialist model for a nation moving hard to the left.

California's Gov. Newsom inherits a steaming load of scandal from Jerry Brown.  California's Gov. Gavin Newsom has inherited a steaming load of financial scandals from Jerry Brown regarding high-speed rail and the Oroville Dam.  Gavin Newsom is the first Democrat California governor to follow a sitting Democrat governor in over a century.  Newsom campaigned as an ally of Gov. Jerry Brown by trumpeting how Brown eight years earlier had overcome a crisis projected by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office to included a $6.4-billion current budget deficit, a $19-billion deficit for the following year, and another five years of $20-billion-plus deficits.

North Carolina vote fraud case shows just why Congress should ban ballot-harvesting nationwide.  [Scroll down]  Sure enough, in California, this same ballot-harvesting that was illegally practiced in North Carolina is completely legal and completely responsible for deep-red Orange County suddenly going blue in the last congressional election.  Candidate after candidate who had been leading in the 2018 midterm count all of a sudden saw those large leads reversed, with all of them shifting to the Democratic side, with leftists taking all the congressional slots.

Gov. Gavin Newsom touts proposed $25 million in California aid to asylum seekers.  Gov. Gavin Newsom and local officials in San Diego on Thursday [1/31/2019] touted a proposed $25 million in state funding to address a growing humanitarian crisis involving migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S. and blamed the Trump administration for manufacturing a problem at the border.  With prodding from San Diego lawmakers, Newsom has called for spending $20 million over three years to aid local nonprofits and community organizations that provide services to asylum-seeking migrant families.

The Editor says...
President Trump did not "manufacture" the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration across the Mexican border.  That problem has existed for decades, but in recent years has been exacerbated by the Democrats, who offer numerous incentives for immigrants.

See more under Welfare programs attract illegal aliens and other immigrants.

California's Gavin Newsom Proposes Tax on Drinking Water in First Budget.  California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his first budget for the state on Friday [1/11/2019], and it includes a tax on drinking water.  The budget, titled "California for All," declares drinking water a "fundamental right," and adds:  "The Budget includes short-term measures to bring immediate relief to communities without safe drinking water and also proposes an ongoing sustainable funding source to address this problem into the future."

The Editor says...
Wait a minute.  If drinking water is a "fundamental right," why should it be taxed?  Indeed, why does your city government send you a utility bill and charge you for water, if it's a right?  No, in reality, food and water and housing and medicine are not "fundamental rights," regardless of the number of politicians who say they are.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom seeks to add more illegal immigrants to state health care plan.  Newly sworn-in California Gov. Gavin Newsom, vowing to provide "sanctuary to all who seek it," has proposed extending state health care coverage to more illegal immigrants living within the Golden State's borders.  Hours after assuming office, Mr. Newsom released sweeping health care proposals to raise the age limit for illegal aliens covered by Medi-Cal from 19 to 26, which would make California "the first state in the nation to cover young undocumented adults through a state Medicaid program," according to a Monday [1/7/2019] release from the governor's office.

Cpl. Singh Was Laid to Rest.  Guess Which Politicians Were Conveniently Absent.  Just when we thought politicians in California couldn't get any more horrible, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom proved us wrong.  Apparently the reason he was absent from Cpl.  Singh's funeral yesterday was because he was too busy watching the Sacramento Kings play basketball.

Jerry Brown "Legacy": Highest Poverty in Nation, Highest Homelessness/Worst Affordable Housing.  We are a few days away from the end of the Brown Administration.  His legacy is clear, if you listen to the Democrats.  They claim California has the most poverty in the nation — true.  We have a shortage of homes — true.  We have a massive homelessness problem — true.  All of this has become his legacy.  Add to this the $200 billion train boondoggle, his cutting off water for farmers and the worst roads and freeways in the nation — California is a Third world State.

Fighting Trump and Freedom, California Creates 1,000 New 2018 Laws.  That the Land of Fruits and Nuts is legislating from soup to nuts is significant because, while often forgotten, a law generally is a removal of a freedom.  After all, laws virtually always state that there's something we must or mustn't do.  Thus, the more laws we have, the less free we are from governmental control.  And given that governments continually enact more laws but hardly ever rescind any, this means that every year we're progressively less free.  So what liberties were robbed in California this time around?

The Grapes of Wrath — in Reverse.  [I]n the last decade and a half, about 6 million Californians over the age of 25 left the state; in the last 30 years, perhaps 10 million fled.  There are no accurate statistics on the political ideologies of the departed or even their actual numbers.  But most studies suggest that the reasons for radical outmigration were quality-of-life complaints, soaring home prices and taxes, poor state services, failing infrastructure and schools, and rising crime. [...] According to one study, at least 13,000 companies fled the state over the last decade.

Democrats: A plague on the nation.  Governor Brown has effectively destroyed California, now benighted by rampant homelessness and the crime that accompanies a population of illiterate, drug-addicted, gang-affiliated, criminally inclined persons adrift on our streets.  And now another young officer has been killed by an illegal alien thanks to the left's obsession with protecting the throngs of migrants crossing the border into the U.S.  It should be obvious to every American by now that our progressive left does not have the best interest of Americans at heart.

California Spends $100 Million to Maximize Census Cash Jackpot.  California is spending over $100 million preparing for the 2020 Census to maintain its top spot to maximize the federal population spending jackpot.  The key for California to keep growing its top spot in state and local government spending that hit $587.9 billion this year is maximizing its number of legal and illegal residents who currently justify $107.5 billion in direct federal transfers and about $376 billion of indirect transfers to pay for federal salaries, income support, student financial aid, U.C. grants, corporate subsidies, and a slew of other items.  California has allocated $100.3 million for "outreach" this year to maximize the number of state residents to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.  Only 10 other states have allocated any cash for "outreach."  California's funding is over 27 times the $2.3 million by number-two Georgia and 66 times the $1.5 million funded by number-three Illinois.

San Francisco mayor trying to get brother, a convicted killer, out of lockup 20 years early.  San Francisco Mayor London Breed sent a letter to departing Gov. Jerry Brown in late October asking him to "consider leniency" and commute the sentence of her older brother, who has served nearly two decades of a 44-year sentence on a manslaughter conviction, according to reports.  The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday that the mayor has joined other members of her family in requesting an early release from prison for Napoleon Brown, who struggled with drugs from a young age.

Jerry Brown's 'Twin Tunnels' Project on Hold.  The project, officially called the California Waterfix, aims to divert water from the Sacramento River underneath the California Delta to storage facilities further south, from which water can be pumped to southern California.  The "twin tunnels" were to be Brown's major infrastructure legacy, in addition to the California High-Speed Rail system, which faces significant financial and engineering hurdles.  But it faced intense local opposition from the communities in the Delta, who faced considerable disruption to their lives.  The project was also opposed by many environmental groups, and farming groups that were meant to benefit — at a price — showed lukewarm support.

DA Gascón carried guns on planes, then whistle-blower was fired, suit says.  A former senior investigator says he was fired for blowing the whistle on his boss, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who he alleged carried a gun while flying — in violation of federal law.  Gascón reacted with a "pattern of retaliation and harassment" that culminated in the termination of senior investigator Henry G. McKenzie on Oct. 30, 2017, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Study: More than 7-in-10 California Immigrant Households Are on Welfare.  More than 7-in-10 households headed by immigrants in the state of California are on taxpayer-funded welfare, a new study reveals.  The latest Census Bureau data analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that about 72 percent of households headed by noncitizens and immigrants use one or more forms of taxpayer-funded welfare programs in California — the number one immigrant-receiving state in the U.S.  Meanwhile, only about 35 percent of households headed by native-born Americans use welfare in California.

After California's ballot harvest:  What is to be done?  The ballot-harvesting issue, which gave Democrats an absolute monopoly of power in even Orange County, signals a sort of the bottom dropping out in California.  Now that Democrats have discovered they can flip any race based on selective collections of mail-in ballots by Democratic door-knockers from voters who didn't ask for them, their one-party state of the past 20 years in California has gotten even more entrenched in power.  One gets the sense that the landscape has changed and what the voters want no longer matters.  Voting is no longer about you, or what you think or the decisions you make, it's now all about that unasked-for piece of paper on the kitchen table known as a ballot and how Democrats can get their hands on it.  You are incidental.  The creepy Democratic machine, with its 1980s PRI-style politics, rigged this state this way, and in so doing would make Hugo Chávez or Daniel Ortega envious.  PRI Mexico was, after all, once called "the perfect dictatorship."  Now the title has moved on to California.  It amounts to stolen democracy, which ultimately cries out for revolution.

The Cloward-Piven strategy:  Overload the system to intentionally break it.
California Democrats plan to extend Medicaid to illegal immigrants.  State Assembly member Joaquin Arambula, a Democrat and a doctor, announced the plans Monday [12/3/2018] as the legislature convened at the state capitol, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Should the bill advance, California would become the first state to extend Medicaid coverage regardless of immigration status.  State projections for last year's bill found that 1.8 million people in California are uninsured and reside there illegally; roughly 1.2 million would qualify for Medi-Cal, the name of the state's Medicaid program.

Trump:  The Last President?  The Governor isn't the Governor of California, especially when he won in a 57% to 43% victory.  The Governor is the Governor of the Left, and will represent the Left, not the electorate in general.  The swing vote, which has moderated elections nationally is absent in California.  The swing vote means that the most uninterested people have the levers of power.  That category of people simply does not exist in California.  Party leader?  Sure.  Governor?  Well, in name only.  In reality, the recently elected Governor is the Democratic Party leader.

Pelosi tells audience, 'San Francisco values, that's what we're about'.  Has Nancy Pelosi joined the GOP team anxious to scare voters away from voting for the donkey party?  The pejorative use of the expression "San Francisco values," to indicate a loss of decency, tradition, and sanity, has at least two decades of history, and arguably almost three and a half, since Jeanne Kirkpatrick denounced "San Francisco Democrats" at the 1984 Republican Convention.  Today, San Francisco is the exemplar of a city that has driven out the middle class and features the worst-looking income gap between rich and poor.  San Francisco's poor languish in its streets in the worst display of the degradation of poverty this side of Calcutta.  San Francisco's homelessness, its open drug use, and the spread of human feces on the sidewalks there have made being a pedestrian there a health risk.

Gavin Newsom Helped Mother's Assisted Suicide.  A recent article in the New Yorker extolling the (probable) next Governor of California reveals that Gavin Newsom helped his mother commit assisted suicide. [...] When I first read the piece, I assumed she didn't die in California because assisted suicide was a felony there in 2002, and Newsom was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors sworn to uphold the law.  Wrong.  She died in San Francisco.

California city council candidate is caught dropping off his wheelchair-bound mom, 86, so she can panhandle.  A nonpartisan candidate for city council in Southern California has been accused of dropping off his elderly, wheelchair-bound mother to panhandle for the last decade, even though they're not homeless.  David Chey has been caught on camera leaving Soon Chey, 86, in her wheelchair in the downtown district of Laguna Beach with a sign that reads, 'please, help me.'  'They have a brand new car, live in a condo in Irvine, yet beg for our help,' local business owner Heidi Miller told DailyMail.com.

California Ranks as Poorest State, One of the Worst for Income Inequality.  Despite all the wealth in the state and the Democrat control of state government, California actually ranks as the poorest state in the country after costs of living are factored in.  A whopping 19 percent of Californians live below the poverty line.  While California represents just 12 percent of the nation's population, Californians represent a third of all Americans on welfare.  The average monthly cost of rent in the state is 43 percent higher than the national average.  Nearly a third of Californians spend more than half of their earnings on housing.  The situation is made worse by skyrocketing energy costs.  "Residents who can afford rent or a mortgage are on the hook for electricity rates burdened by green initiatives and regulation that grew 500 percent faster than the national average from 2011 to 2017."

San Francisco to Allow Illegal Aliens to Vote.  In July, the Department of Elections issued voter registration forms to illegal aliens to vote for members of the San Francisco Board of Education in the 2018 election, reported ABC7 News.  Now that the illegals are registered and ready, they will be voting in November.

The piously politically correct blue state that bankrolls Putin.  CalPERS, the $326-billion California state pension fund for some two million state cops, firefighters, and bureaucrats, has never been shy about its trumpeting its political correctness.  It's positively famous for its pullouts of tobacco investments, Turkey investments, apartheid South Africa investments, and coal investments, and so famous that you probably would never have heard of the fund were it not for its pullouts.  It's not that they are that awful in themselves — they often try to push back on calls to divest.  But they've always been seen by leftists as a tool to oppose President Trump.  So in general, name the lefty cause, and out they pull.  Well, with one little exception:  Putin's Russia.  On that one, they've shelled out nearly half a billion dollars to the Russian government (not companies, but the government) through its bond buys.  And hey, they're one of Russia's top foreign investors, top ten among foreigners.

Rich San Francisco businesses could face homelessness tax.  San Francisco has come to be known around the world as a place for aggressive panhandling, open-air drug use and sprawling tent camps, the dirt and despair all the more remarkable for the city's immense wealth.

Jerry Brown's get-out-of-jail-free card in California.  Here's a story that's making the news in San Diego as a local district attorney protests, but it's actually a state problem that goes back to the usual lefty suspects, starting with Gov. Jerry Brown.  Thousands of murder convictions are likely to be vacated due to a change in state law that effectively says that if you were the guy sitting in the shotgun seat of the car as the other guy pulled the trigger, you get off scot-free — you're no longer convicted of murder, too.  The County of San Diego alone is set to release about 150 such charmers onto the streets, and the other 57 counties are going to have to do similar.  All told, about 800 of them are reportedly going to get let out.

San Francisco:  Land of the Living Dead.  Effectively, there's nothing in this news story that you don't know already.  Anyone who has followed the news and who reads this blog knows full well that downtown San Francisco has been given over to drug addicts and the homeless.  In the most liberal blue city in America, Nancy Pelosi's home town, you cannot walk the streets in many neighborhoods.  What's news is the place it appeared:  The New York Times.  The paper of record sent a reporter and a photographer out to document the nightmare that is the streets of San Francisco.  They did not pull any punches.  They told it like it is.

The One-Party State.  [Scroll down]  Dan Walters, a longtime political journalist in Sacramento, will tell you it was the end of the Cold War that really brought about Democratic dominance.  He points to the decline of the defense and aerospace industries, major employers in Southern California, which prompted an exodus of Republican voters — middle-class, white, and suburban — to cheaper states.  Los Angeles County regularly went for the GOP in elections.  It's simple arithmetic, says Walters.  When the GOP lost Los Angeles, it turned California over completely to the Democrats.  Today, the state is a liberal's dream.  It's multicultural.  It's largely urbanized.  It is socially and environmentally progressive.  People here frequently boast, without a trace of smugness, that if you want to see America in 10 years, look at California.

Weak passwords banned in California from 2020.  Default passwords such as "admin" and "password" will be illegal for electronics firms to use in California from 2020.  The state has passed a law that sets higher security standards for net-connected devices made or sold in the region.  It demands that each gadget be given a unique password when it is made.

California's Socialist Oligarchy:  Making the State Unaffordable.  Nowhere are the consequences of California's oligarchical socialism more evident than in the cost of housing.  State legislation has made it nearly impossible for developers to construct new housing outside the so-called "urban growth boundary."  Instead, development is redirected into the footprint of existing urban areas.  While there is a natural tendency as population increases to see higher density redevelopment in urban cores, by restricting outward expansion of urban areas, the value of the limited remaining eligible land becomes artificially inflated.  But established landowners and large development firms benefit from these restrictions.  They are able to withstand years, if not decades, of expensive permitting delays and endless litigation.  They are able to afford millions in permit fees because these costs are offset by their ability to sell residence units — from high-rise condos to detached single family dwellings — at prices far beyond what they would cost in a normal market.  These billionaire business interests get richer, while ordinary Californians who want to own or develop land cannot afford to go through the permit process.

The One-Party State.  The state [of California] has the most liberal environmental laws and regulations in the country, which hamper the development of affordable housing.  A San Francisco Chronicle investigation in 2017 showed rising housing costs driving lower-income Californians out of their homes and into the streets.  Homelessness has skyrocketed in both the cities and the rural areas of the state.  While 12 percent of the U.S. population is in California, 25 percent of the country's homeless live there.  From Sacramento to San Diego, you can't help but notice the multitudes of people living on the street.  Look at the housing shortage and homelessness, the decline of manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs, and the growth of a tech economy that rewards disruption over predictability, and you see why some are suspicious of the California way.

California will require women on corporate boards under bill signed by Brown.  California became the first state in the country to require that women be included on companies' boards of directors, as Gov. Jerry Brown literally sent a message to Washington on Sunday [9/30/2018] in signing legislation that corporate associations opposed as unconstitutional.  Brown signed SB826 into law after it passed the Assembly and the Senate last month.  The bill mandates that all publicly traded California companies have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019.

The Editor says...
Notice how much of California's official business is transacted on Sundays.

California Passes Law Allowing 12-Year-Olds To Get Tax-Paid Transgender Treatments.  You have to be 16 obtain a driver's license in California, 18 to buy a rifle, engage in consensual sex, or get married without parental consent, and 21 to buy a handgun, alcohol, or marijuana.  But in the nation's most progressive state, you only need to be 12 years old to privately seek and consent to treatment for gender transitioning.

America, don't be like California.  Once again, California has the highest poverty rate in America.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent report, the Golden State's Supplemental Poverty Measure averaged 19 percent between 2015 and 2017.  Nationwide, poverty dropped in 2017 from 14.7 percent to 14.1 percent, but California's rate was proportionately 35 percent higher than the national average.  In spite of (or perhaps to divert attention from) its high poverty rate, California's left-wing political class continues its unrelenting sermonizing to the rest of us.

California DMV Gives Illegal Voters a Surge.  Last week California's Department of Motor Vehicles sent 23,000 "erroneous" voter registrations to the office of Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who maintains the list of registered voters.  The DMV blamed it technical errors and said none of the erroneous registrations involved undocumented immigrants.  Padilla was "extremely disappointed and deeply frustrated" and the DMV assured him it wouldn't happen again.  Legitimate voters have good reason to believe Padilla was not disappointed but delighted.  The odds are strong that illegals make up most if not all of the newly registered voters.  The registrations of illegals will be happening again, in greater numbers, as the November election approaches.  The day after the 23,000 registrations made news, it emerged that from late April to early August, the DMV registered 182,000 "new voters," with the largest number, 112,000, choosing "no party."  Neither the DMV nor Padilla would explain the numbers but the trend is evident and all by design.

San Fran Green Lights Illegals To Vote.  Our country has twisted itself in knots over the possibility of foreigners (ie:  Russia) having unduly influenced our elections (even though recounts and investigations have confirmed that the outcome was NOT changed by foreign interference).  You'd think that would be reminder enough as to just how precious the individual value of a lawful voter is, and how it must be safeguarded against anything that would erode the value of that one vote.

California moves toward corporate gender quotas, ignoring Norway's failure.  Supporters of California's move toward the nation's first-ever corporate gender quotas have insisted the bill will be good for business, but that's not what happened in Norway.  After the Norwegian Parliament required that women make up 40 percent of publicly traded corporate boards in 2006, stock prices plunged and firm values dropped as boards added less experienced female directors, while the numbers of public firms decreased and private companies increased.  "The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards," said the 2012 paper by USC professor Kenneth R. Ahern and University of Michigan professor Amy K. Dittmar.

Trump on the Ground.  For months, I've been driving on different routes through the vast San Joaquin Valley back and forth from the California coast — and through the usually economically depressed small towns on and near the Highway 99 corridor through the Central Valley.  The poverty rate in many valley counties is higher than in West Virginia.  It is a world away from Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the Stanford or Caltech campus, Malibu, and Pacific Heights.  In an overregulated, overtaxed state of open borders and sanctuary cities, with the nation's near highest electricity and gasoline prices, and facing a looming state and local pension unfunded liability of well over $300 billion, one might not expect much of an uptick from the supposed Trump economic revival.  California's calcified strategy, after all, is that global lucre pouring into coastal high-tech and finance will more than balance out the economic damage wrought by state government.  Sacramento is a sort of court jester to Menlo Park.

A last-ditch effort to pull California back from the brink.  I fully understand the hatred and contempt many, if not most, conservatives feel toward California.  A state blessed with so many advantages has surrendered to left-wing madness and, worst of all, pretends it has something to teach the rest of America.  In the thirty-some years I have lived here, California has gone from Reagan Country to thrusting people on the order of Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom onto the national stage.  Of the two, Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco (and former husband of Kimberly Guilfoyle, late of Fox News and currently rumored to be an intimate friend of Donald Trump, Jr.), is in a position to do more harm in the immediate future, as he is running for governor of California on a platform of state-paid universal health care, including for illegal aliens who manage to cross the state border, from Mexico or Nevada or Oregon.

California, Poverty Capital.  According to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure — which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income — nearly one out of four Californians is poor.  Given robust job growth in the state and the prosperity generated by several industries, especially the supercharged tech sector, the question arises as to why California has so many poor people, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased roughly twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5 percent, compared with 6.27 percent).  It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty.  Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now.

Why California's Gavin Newsom campaigns for free health care for illegals.  Gavin Newsom, leading candidate for governor of California, and a Democrat, has a new goodie on offer:  free health care for the state's three million illegals.  The former mayor of San Francisco said so in this podcast, explaining that there is no reason not to "wait around" to extend Medi-Cal coverage to anyone who asks, regardless of immigration status.

California craziness:  Congress may have to stop state from giving 'free' health care to illegal immigrants.  California has escalating crime, cities teaming with homeless people, clogged and crumbling roads, massive unpaid bills, some of America's highest taxes, and some of its worst public school systems.  So what's the plan by Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Party's candidate for governor, to improve the situation?  On Tuesday he suggested giving free health care to illegal immigrants.  Speaking on a left-wing podcast, the former mayor of San Francisco said:  "I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented, regardless of pre-existing condition, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status.  I'd like to see that extended to the rest of the state.  San Francisco is the only universal health-care plan for all undocumented residents in America."

Gavin Newsom:  I'm Bringing Single Payer To Everyone In California, Regardless Of Immigration Status.  Gavin Newsom is currently running for Governor in California and, barring something dramatic, he is going to win.  So when he says he plans to bring single payer to California as Governor, there's a very good chance he'll get his shot.  Today, Newsom appeared on the Pod Save America podcast where he was asked about his health care plans.  Newsom made clear he wants a single paper system that is for everyone in the state regardless of immigration status.  "I'd like to see if we can control our own destiny," Newsom said.  He continued, "I'm not naive about it.  I did universal health care when I was Mayor [of San Francisco], fully implemented regardless of pre-existing conditions, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status.

Dem Gubernatorial Candidate:  Gov't Should Pay for Universal Health Care for Illegal Immigrants.  Gavin Newsom, Democratic candidate for governor of California, said on liberal podcast "Pod Save America" that the state government should pay for universal health care for illegal immigrants.  In the episode, released Tuesday, the candidate and current lieutenant governor of California touted his involvement in San Francisco having "the only universal health care plan for all undocumented residents in America."  "I did universal health care when I was mayor — fully implemented, regardless of pre-existing condition, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status.  San Francisco is the only universal health care plan for all undocumented residents in America.  Very proud of that," Newsom said.  "I'd like to see that extended to the rest of the state."

Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose.  [Scroll down]  And, of course, there's virtually no area of our lives — outside our sexual behavior and reproductive "choices" — that should be free from state interference.  It should be no surprise, then, that the libertarian Cato Institute's latest "Freedom in the 50 States" report finds California nearly at the bottom, in 48th place.  New York and Hawaii were worse, but California has been remarkably consistent in its ranking over the past 16 years.  Whenever there's some think tank report comparing the states for some bad thing, I always start at the bottom to find my home state.  Not surprisingly, we have the highest taxes in the country, even with 1978's Proposition 13 putting the kibosh on uncontrolled property-tax hikes.  We have a high level of public debt, [of] course.  As Cato points out, the state actually has one of the lowest percentages of government employees (11.2 percent of private employment).  But the reason is simple:  California pays its employees such astoundingly high pay and benefit packages that it simply can't afford to hire any more of them.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Sets Record of 1,018 Pardons in 8 Years.  California Gov. Jerry Brown used his executive powers to issue 36 gubernatorial pardons on Friday, to hit a record of 1,018 pardons in eight years in office.  Although 22 of those were for murder and 13 for attempted murder or manslaughter, Brown said each of the pardons he provided went to individuals that had had "demonstrated exemplary behavior" and lived "productive and law-abiding lives" following their convictions and time served in prison, according to the Fresno Bee.

California Initiative Filed to End Proposition 13 Protections for Commercial Properties.  Funded by Silicon Valley deep pockets — including the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the personal charity of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan; a coalition of teachers unions; the League of Women Voters; affordable housing advocates; and other "social justice warriors" organized as "Schools and Communities First," — the activists submitted the signatures to the Secretary of State on August 14 to place an initiative on the 2020 ballot to increase California commercial property tax revenue by $11 billion.

Milk Or Water:  California Bill Aims To Curb Kids' Soda Drinking At Restaurants.  A new state bill would give kids two options with their meals at restaurants — water or milk.  Senate Bill 1192 would make water or milk the default drink for kids meals in a push to reduce obesity and access to sugary drinks for children.  The bill passed the Assembly and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.  If he signs it, California would be the first state in the nation to have such a law.

A Tale of Three Cities.  San Francisco is being overrun with the homeless and illegal aliens due to its sanctuary city status and virtue-signaling leadership.  The streets are littered with human feces, hypodermic needles, and syringes, turning the once beautiful "City by the Bay" into a cesspool.  What's the response of San Francisco leaders?  Banning plastic straws.

California lawmakers grill DMV official over ballooning wait times.  The leader of the state Department of Motor Vehicles apologized on Tuesday for a recent steep increase in hours-long wait times at the agency's locations across California, as complaints over excessive delays sparked new scrutiny from legislators.  "The wait times you are experiencing are not what we ever want our customers to go through," said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto, who testified at an Assembly hearing convened to address the issue following months of public frustration.

Secret DMV office serves lawmakers, Capitol staffers.  In California, long lines are a fact of life at Department of Motor Vehicles offices across the state, but for California lawmakers and their legislative staffers, there's an alternative.  KCRA has learned of a DMV office that is not open to the public.  It's located inside the Legislative Office Building on N Street, adjacent to the state Capitol.

The Mask Slips In Santa Barbara.  A little noticed detail in Santa Barbara's recent drive to criminalize plastic straws, which culminated in the Santa Barbara city council taking testimony from a nine-year-old about the planetary menace, has come to light in recent days.  During that council session, councilman Jesse Dominguez said the following in response to citizens who asked "what's next?":  "Unfortunately, common sense is just not common.  We have to regulate every aspect of people's lives."  Take that one in for a moment, for it expresses the core impulse of liberalism today.

'We Have to Regulate Every Aspect of People's Lives'.  A Santa Barbara city councilman inadvertently let slip the primary purpose of progressivism in 21st century America.  The city recently criminalized the use of plastic straws.  Speaking to that issue, Councilman Jesse Dominguez said, "Unfortunately, common sense is just not common.  We have to regulate every aspect of people's lives."  Got that?  "We" are smarter than you and know what's best for you better than you do.  Perhaps realizing that his comment revealed a fundamental truth of progressive thought, Dominguez tried to walk back his gaffe: [...]

California Wants to Reinvent the Power Grid.  So What Could Go Wrong?  Two decades ago, when California deregulated the delivery of electric power, lawmakers, regulators and even some environmentalists hailed the decision as a way to lower consumers' bills.  The strategy proved disastrous.  The plan resulted in an energy crisis that sent power bills soaring, prompted billions in penalties against utilities and banks for manipulating the new electricity market, and led Congress to enact laws to help prevent it all from happening again.  Now the state's leaders have a new proposal for an energy makeover, this time to create a single authority to manage the electric grid for most or all of the West.  This plan, too, promises to cut costs for consumers — by as much as $1.5 billion a year — while helping to bolster use of carbon-free power sources.

California's Tax War On Business Owners — Part 1.  In the early 1990s, the U.S. economy was hit by a triple whammy:  1) the Savings & Loan Crisis, 2) high oil prices as the result of the first Gulf War, and 3) a good-sized recession.  Following that recession, the U.S. economy experienced slow growth.  So, recognizing that middle market companies are the primary source of economic growth, Congress amended the Internal Revenue Code to incentivize the creation of new companies — "mainstreet" companies and lower middle market companies.  Subject to certain restrictions, upon sale of the company, founding owners would be able to exclude up to a certain amount of gain.  With California's tax code "conforming" to the Internal Revenue Code, the same pro-growth incentive would have been available on a business owner's California income tax return.  But, given the title of this article, it couldn't be that simple — and it's not.

San Francisco:  The City of Bans.  Who would have guessed that cafeterias would even be a public-policy issue?  I've worked at companies with them and without them.  But I would have found it more likely for lefties to require such things rather than prohibit them.  Many workers, even in well-paid industries where such cafeterias are common, struggle financially given the high cost of living in the Bay Area.  Here's a chance for the city to help assure that they get a healthy meal while they work those long hours doing whatever IT people do.  What did I miss?  "The supervisors introduced the legislation because they say tech companies' employees are hurting local restaurants by taking advantage of the perk and eating in-house, rather than patronizing neighborhood eating establishments," reported Smart Cities Dive.

'Calexit' supporters revamp campaign with plan to convert half of California into 'autonomous Native American nation'.  Organizers of a long-running initiative to secure California's secession from the United States now say they want to give away nearly half of the state, including all of its federal land, to form an "autonomous Native American nation."  "Calexit," as the proposal for California's secession is known, was given the green light by the state government earlier this year to begin collecting signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.  Advocates had until mid-October to gather 365,880 signatures of registered voters to put it up for a statewide vote.

California Is Not as Big or Blue As You Think.  The National Popular Vote plan is an interstate compact in which the compacting states agree to award their electoral votes to the person who gets the most votes in all 50 states.  It is based on Art. I, Sec. 2 of the Constitution which grants state legislatures the plenary (and exclusive) power to award electors, and the founders' expectation that states would use that power to maximize their influence in the selection of the president.  The first thing I hear, when the proposal is presented, is that "California is so big, it will run the country" (mainly because I am from California) if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact takes effect.  My conservative friends use California as an example of "what not to do" when it comes to public policy, and so, if California is going to run the country under the state statutes implementing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, then, they say, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is dangerous.

California's 'foreclosure capital' to give away $500 a month to residents in experimental welfare program.  A California city is set to become the first in the nation to embark on an experiment of Universal Basic Income, paying 100 residents $500 a month without any conditions.  The program's purpose is to eventually ensure that no one in Stockton, with a population of 300,000, lives in poverty.  The receivers of the cash will be able to spend the money on anything they want without any strings attached.  It will launch by 2019 and the 100 fortunate residents will receive the cash for a full 18 months as part of its testing phase before deciding whether to roll it out across Stockton.

Cost of anti-ICE protests prompts California county to forgo $3M federal contract.  Citing the cost of managing anti-ICE protests outside one of its facilities, authorities in a Northern California county this week severed a $3 million contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that allowed the federal agency to detain illegal immigrants in one of its cities.  Contra Costa County, across the bay from San Francisco, thus became the second county in the region this month to cut ties with ICE, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.  The county's West County Detention Facility, in Richmond, which averaged 200 immigrant detainees a day, had drawn protesters for months.  At a news conference, Sheriff David Livingston suggested the demonstrations played a large role in the contract's termination.

Is California's Democratic Party swinging too far left?  By Nov. 7, Democrats will learn if their left turn steered them to victory or took them off a cliff.  The state party's endorsement of Kevin de León, a self-proclaimed socialist's upset of an establishment Democrat in a New York City congressional primary and talk of abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and enacting single-payer health care show an embrace of progressive politics that heartens liberal activists enraged by conservative policies pursued by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

California's Pointless Net Neutrality Efforts.  California is moving ahead with some of the most ambitious — and pointless — net neutrality laws in the country that will only make the patchwork laws springing up around the U.S even murkier.  California's bill offers stronger language than the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) rules established under the Obama administration and repealed this spring.  The state legislation not only prevents internet service providers from throttling speeds or blocking websites, but it also bans excessive zero-rating practices of ISPs exempting its own services from data caps while counting the usage of third-party apps against the limits.

California governor signs soda tax ban into law.  California cities and counties are banned from taxing sodas and other sugary drinks for the next 12 years under a bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.  The deal was rushed through the legislature and to the governor's desk on Thursday.  In exchange for the law, the nonalcoholic beverage industry is withdrawing a ballot measure that had been slated for November.  It would have raised the voter threshold to approve local sales tax increases on any item, not just soda taxes, from a majority vote to a supermajority vote.  Signatures were gathered for the ballot through a campaign funded by the beverage industry.

San Francisco: Poster-Child For The Failure Of U.S. Cities' Blue Model.  By any standard, San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  So why has it suddenly become an unappealing place to visit and to live? [...] San Francisco proudly calls itself a "progressive" city.  It follows what writer and scholar Walter Russell Mead calls the progressive "Blue Model" of governance.  Yet, the policies it follows — high taxes, inane regulations, petty nanny-state authoritarianism, tolerance for rising lawlessness and disorder on its streets in the name of "compassion" — are the very ones that have driven middle-class and working-class citizens out.  Only the rich and the so-called homeless, who have been welcomed into the city and are a growing issue, can afford to live in the city.

California's Oligarchs and Agitators.  If one were to distill the essence of California's Democratic party into a one-page document, it would be hard to beat a recent mail piece showing the SEIU's candidate endorsements for California's top jobs.  According to its website, the Service Employees International Union Local 1000 (SEIU) "is a united front of 96,000 working people employed by the State of California, making Local 1000 the largest public sector union in California and one of the largest in the country."

Look What California Thinks is an Emergency Bill.  California is a Socialist nightmare with oppressive government regulations and high taxes killing the middle class.  Housing is so costly that it's greatly adding to the number of homeless.  The open borders and sanctuary cities policies have allowed killers, perverts, and drug dealers to get protection everywhere in the state.  With all the problems they have, they rushed through a bill that could make you laugh.  According to the Washington Examiner, the oh-so-urgent bill that had to be rushed through bans California cities and counties from taxing sodas and other sugary drinks for 12 years.  Are you surprised that a nanny state banned taxes?  Don't be.  The reason they did it was to keep high taxes on everything else!

Court reinstates California law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives.  The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined that they have six months or less to live.

The Editor says...
The writers of this law apparently assume that doctors know everything, which they don't, and that doctors' diagnoses are always right, which they aren't.

California school board votes to name elementary school after illegal immigrant activist/journalist.  At a divisive time for U.S. immigration policies, a California school board has decided to name a new elementary school after an award-winning journalist who disclosed in 2011 that he had been living in the U.S. illegally.

Thefts rise after California reduces criminal penalties.  California voters' decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft, researchers reported.

Ridiculous Bay Area housing costs may be reflected in a large drop in births.  A harbinger of the absurdly high cost of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area may be visible in the region's maternity wings.  San Francisco is a city of few children.  You're more likely to see a French bulldog roaming Alamo Square Park than packs of kids frolicking among the Victorians.  The lack of youngsters is indicative of a larger issue in the city:  the absurdly high cost of housing.  According to a new study, when housing prices go up, the birth rate goes down.

Soros push to elect progressive DAs in California fails to attract voters.  New York billionaire George Soros' multimillion-dollar effort to reshape California's criminal justice system by propping up progressive district attorney candidates backfired Tuesday [6/5/2018], with most of his candidates suffering major defeats.  Soros, together with other wealthy liberal donors and groups, spent millions on would-be prosecutors who favor lower incarceration rates, crackdowns on police misconduct and changes in a bail system that they argue discriminates against the poor.  But most of the money went to waste as their candidates lost to more traditional law-and-order prosecutors who didn't share progressive views or have hostile attitudes toward police.

America's King of Poverty.  I know it is not a pleasant topic but let's take just a moment and think about poverty in this country.  Which state do you think has the highest poverty rate?  Must be Mississippi or Alabama or one of those Southern states.  No it ain't.  The state with the highest poverty rate is... wait for it, CALIFORNIA!!!  Yep, our progressive, income redistributing state which accounts for 12% of the country's population is home to about 1 in 3 of all U.S. welfare recipients.  Our poverty rate exceeds 20% when the national average is around 15%.  It is not as though California policy makers have neglected to wage their assault on poverty.  Since 1992 California has spent nearly $1 trillion on benefit programs.  Clearly it hasn't worked.  Then again paying poor people to be poor never does.

The lawless, porn-respecting, MS-13-loving, humorless American left.  [Nancy] Pelosi says the low unemployment is meaningless, the tax cuts are "crumbs," and that consumer confidence is low despite it being at an 18-year high.  They see, hear, think, and propagate what they want to be true, not what is true.  Even California voters made a tiny dent in the left's socialist grasp on the state.  No one expected Republican John Cox to come in second.  All Californians should be horrified by what has become of their once golden state.  Thanks to the polices of Gov. Brown, ex-senator Boxer, Feinstein, Kamala Harris, A.G. Becerra, etc.  (it is a one-party Marxist state), California is a disaster of incalculable proportions, drowning in the homeless, the illegal migrants, traffic, and the highest gas prices in the country.

California Desperately Needs A State Electoral College.  This November a Republican — businessman John Cox — will be one of two gubernatorial candidates in the state of California.  This is significant because of the Golden State's unique "jungle primary" system in which the top-two vote-getters proceed to a run-off election regardless of party.  The "jungle primary" was championed by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  His reasoning was that eliminating party-identification in a race would give Republican candidates a better chance in a deeply blue state.  Of course, the effect was just the opposite.  With so many blue voters, the controversial system virtually guarantees that the top two candidates are Democrats.  The result has been that many voters not aligned with the Democrat platform have been repeatedly forced to choose between candidates that don't in any way represent them.

California Attorney General adds Oklahoma to growing travel ban list.  I am so old that I remember when California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was fighting against travel bans.  Let's get in the Wayback Machine and turn the dial to March, 2017:  ["]California Atty.  Gen. Xavier Becerra issued a statement Monday [6/4/2018] saying President Trump's decision to rescind a travel ban bogged down in court challenges 'confirms what we all knew:  the travel ban was unconstitutional and un-American.'["]  Becerra, a social justice warrior and leading general in the War on Trump, relies on one of the tried-and-tested tools of progressive activism:  The Double Standard.  This week, he issued his own travel ban on that red bastion of traditional values and implemented a travel ban on Oklahoma.

Oklahoma officials unfazed after landing on California's state-travel blacklist.  Oklahomans weren't exactly crying in their sweet tea after learning that their state has been added to California's blacklist on state-sponsored travel.  "There appears to be more and more Californians sharing our values as we are seeing more Californians move to Oklahoma," said Michael McNutt, spokesman for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, in a statement.  "With our state's economy being as strong as it is, we won't miss a few Californians traveling on state business showing up in our state."

Prop 68: A Yes Vote is a Reward for Bad Behavior.  This adds about $400 of new debt onto your family's tab, that you'll repay in future taxes plus interest.  It promises to be used to prepare for droughts.  Remember the $5 billion that was supposed to be used on new reservoirs a few years ago?  It wasn't.  The best way to prepare for droughts is to store water from wet years so that we have it in dry ones.

With free health care for illegals, California Democrats hand a big campaign contribution to the GOP's Cox.  For Democrats, succoring illegals and doling out nationalized "free" health care are signature issues.  What better way to enact that agenda than to offer California's abundant illegal aliens free state health care?  That's the scheme they've cooked up, in their relentless push to make California a West Coast imitation of socialist Venezuela.  It's so bad that it's likely to draw California voters toward Republicans.

California rebukes Trump with health care push for immigrants.  California is poised to become the first state in the nation to offer full health coverage to undocumented adults even as the Trump administration intensifies its crackdown by separating families at the border.  The proposal — which would build on Gov. Jerry Brown's 2015 decision to extend health coverage to all children, regardless of immigration status — is one of the most daring examples yet of blue-state Democrats thumbing their nose at President Donald Trump as they pursue diametrically opposed policies, whether on immigration, climate change, legalized marijuana or health care.

California assisted death law overturned in court.  A judge in Riverside County on Tuesday overturned California's controversial assisted death law nearly two years after it took effect, ruling that the Legislature improperly passed the measure during a special session on health care funding.

Report finds cases of STDs reach all-time high in California.  The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in California reached a record high last year and officials are particularly concerned by a spike in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, state health authorities said Monday [5/14/2018].

California Bill Seeks to Replace Washington or Lincoln's Birthday Holidays with 'May Day'.  A Democrat California assemblyman introduced a bill seeking to make "May Day," or International Workers Day, a state holiday that would replace President George Washington's or President Abraham Lincoln's birthday.  Assemblyman Miguel Santiago's (D-Los Angeles) legislation calls for consolidating the two presidents' birthdays to be observed on the third Monday in February as a single "President's Day" holiday, but it also calls for the state to observe May 1 as "International Workers Day."

Leftist pol in California proposes scrapping Washington's Birthday in favor of Marxist May Day.  Leftists are notoriously touchy whenever anyone questions their patriotism, and the mask seems to be off with a California assemblyman's proposal to scrap Lincoln's or Washington's birthdays as holidays and replace them with the communist May Day.  Surreal as this sounds, it's true.

California Bill Wants To Drop Washington/Lincoln's Birthday And Replace It With Communist Holiday.  The California Assembly discussed Thursday [5/10/2018] a bill that would replace Abraham Lincoln or George Washington's birthday with International Socialist Workers' Day as a paid holiday.  California Democrat Assemblyman Miguel Santiago introduced Bill AB-3042, which would allow schools to replace Washington Day and Lincoln Day with Presidents' Day and install an "International Workers' Day" — conventionally known as "May Day" — as a second holiday.  "I'm aghast that a bill like this would be able to get through committee," California Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper said to the Assembly.  "Are we in competition to be the laughing stock of the United States?"

The Editor says...
Yes, such a competition is apparently underway, and California is far ahead, although New York is catching up.

California Demands That Christians 'Evolve'.  There's a new legislative proposal banning all conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice — by not just mental health providers but anyone.  Since the "independent fact-checkers" are quick to swarm around conservative "misinformation," FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and Snopes have all cried "False" at the idea that this bill is a threat to the sale of the Bible.  They declared that a threat against Bible sales is nowhere in the text of California Assembly Bill 2943, offered by gay assembly member Evan Low.  That is correct ... on its face.  It doesn't mention the Bible.  However, the bill would amend the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, adding the ability to sue for damages for "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."  Any efforts to change someone's sexual orientation "in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful."  That's more than therapy.  It's any kind of an argument.

California Voters Oppose Arming Teachers to Shoot Back if Under Attack.  By a wide margin California voters support more gun control and oppose arming teachers to shoot back if under attack.  The opposition to armed teachers was uncovered via a Berkeley-IGS Poll and reported by the Sacramento Bee.  The poll found 61 percent of voters opposed arming teachers while only 37 percent supported it.  When viewed by political affiliation, 83 percent of Democrats opposed allowing teachers to be armed to protect themselves and their students, while 75 percent of Republicans supported the idea.

Christians' Munich Moment in California.  Scarcely any moment in American history is as important for America's Christians as the developing crises over religious freedom now happening in California.  The legislature of Sacramento not only is underhandedly banning books opposed to the doctrines of the transgender religion (including the Bible), but also has threatened Christians' rights to free assembly and freedom of speech.  According to its website, Summit Ministries, an organization devoted to advising Christian youths on how to live out a Christian worldview, has canceled its scheduled appearances at Biola University in Los Angeles "due to concerns that California will forbid some of what it teaches."  Summit's concern is real.

How Homeschoolers Defeated California's Push to Take Power From Parents.  They came by the hundreds, one newspaper said — "perhaps thousands."  Some traveled hours, others waited hours, all for the opportunity to protest one of the most outrageous homeschooling bills ever introduced:  California's AB 2756.  Spilling out into crammed hallways and overflow rooms, families poured into the Statehouse just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes speaking out on a measure that would give the government more power over parents who educate at home.  Initially, the bill tried to mandate fire inspections of all homeschooling families (which, not surprisingly, firefighters rejected).  Then the proposal was amended — this time to force homeschooling families to give out private information about the names and address of homeschooling families.

They Keep Telling Us Who They Are.  The California legislature is processing a bill to ban and criminalize all speech, all writing, that goes against "LGBTQ priorities".  Assembly Bill 2943, which has already sailed through two committees, would criminalize "efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions."  It seems to be aimed at practicing psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors whose clients ask them to help them get rid of unwanted sexual attractions; but the bill is so vaguely written that it could be used against virtually anybody — commentators who dissent from the agenda of Organized Sodomy, parents who teach their children that there are only two "genders," and Biblically orthodox churches where homosexual acting-out is presented as a sin.

Yes, California Is on the Verge of Banning Some Christian Books, Here's How.  Late last week, I wrote an article that caused a bit of a furious reaction in social-justice Twitter.  Activists claimed I was lying, arguing in bad faith, and/or exaggerating the effect of California's AB 2943, a bill that purports to declare "sexual orientation change efforts" to be an "unlawful business practice."  I claimed the bill was so broad that it could even ban books.  And I'm right.  It can and would.

California Bill Would Criminalize Speech, Books Opposing LGBT Agenda.  In a direct assault on the freedoms of speech and religion, the California Assembly on Thursday [4/19/2018] overwhelmingly approved a bill that would, in effect, prohibit the dissemination of traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and transgenderism.  The Assembly voted 50-14 to criminalize "a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer" that consists of "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."  The bill defines "sexual orientation change efforts" as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation.  This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

New California Bill Would Mean Banning the Bible.  The bill in question is California Assembly Bill 2943.  It would treat as a criminal violation of the state's consumer fraud act "the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer" that consists of "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."  Don't be misled into thinking that this bill bans only professional counselors from trying to alter same-sex attractions.  It goes well beyond that.

California launches an attack against churches!?  A California State Assembly is gearing up to vote on new bill that could ban the sale of books and punish churches that encourage children to stick to traditional gender norms.  Yes, you read that right — they want to ban books that say things like, "Girls wear dresses" and shutter churches that encourage boys to wear slacks.  Assembly Bill 2943 would make it "unlawful business practice" to engage in "a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of good of services to any consumer" that engages in "sexual orientation change efforts with an individual."

California's crazy-intrusive politicians can't keep their hands off anything — Next up?  Homeschoolers!  [Scroll down]  The recently introduced Assembly Bills 2756 and 2926 are cases in point.  This first, AB 2756, requires fire marshals to perform in-home inspections of home-schoolers every year, implying that somehow home-educators are less fire-safe than other individuals.  This is, of course, egregiously discriminatory on its face.  But wait.  The second one is even worse!  With AB 2926, Assembly Member Susan Eggman proposes forming an appointed committee to "investigate" homeschooling.  The "instruction" committee would subsequently share its findings so that the California legislature might consider how best to regulate those families.  Because there isn't anything a bureaucrat loves more than a new regulation!  And these particular bureaucrats are already doing such a fine job of regulating our public schools that roughly half of California public school students surveyed reported experiencing bullying.

California Has Highest Poverty Rate In America.  Democrats in California have consistently rejected forcing work requirements on the able-bodied individuals who receive welfare.  Forcing those who can work to look for a job and/or maintain employment before receiving benefits is a policy unpalatable for the democrats who control the state.  Americans in California are mostly jobless and the ones who can find work are actually having their money taken through the highest state income tax in the union to support immigrants, the majority of which are on welfare.

Why do Democrats love tax hikes so much?  California is already seeing residents and businesses flee the state because of its sky-high taxes.  Yet unbelievably, two Democratic state assemblymen have proposed to more than double the state business tax — hiking it from 8.84 percent to 18.84 percent on businesses with annual net incomes of more than $1 million.  This would be the highest state corporate tax rate in America.  The rationale for the giant tax hike?  Denying the companies tax savings from the federal income tax cuts recently signed into law by President Trump.  Soak the rich!  Billions in new tax revenue for the state!  What could possibly be wrong with that?

California's latest contradictions — Welcoming criminals but warning about 'dangerous' coffee.  Imagine a state that passes a law welcoming, embracing and protecting criminals, directly endangering citizens.  Then imagine that same state passing laws, and judges issuing orders that make no sense except to micromanage people's lives in the name of keeping them safe.  A contradiction indeed, and especially ripe in California.  The same week that a number of cities and counties in California sued their own state over the dangerous law making the state a "sanctuary" for illegal alien criminals, a judge issued a ruling to save Californians from themselves and their coffee-drinking habit.

Can America Survive the Latest Plague?  The left survives within a self-made mirage that uses well written speeches containing caring and poetic language and emotional appeals that appear to be on the side of good, protecting the weak and needy in society.  But in fact, the left exploits and manipulates both weak and poor to continue to remain in power.  Consider the infected American cities of Detroit, Baltimore, and Chicago, where the left has total control and can implement whatever programs it wants, and look at the result:  perpetual devastation, crime, and misery.  California, a once wealthy and successful state, is now an insolvent laughingstock of the world.

California Democrat Introduces Bill to Force Websites to Use 'Fact-Checkers'.  California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has proposed a bill, the "Online False Information Act," that would require anyone who posts news on the Internet to verify their information through "fact-checkers."  The bill, filed quietly in late February as SB 1424, requires all California-based websites to develop a plan to fight "fake news," to use "fact-checkers," and to warn readers — including via social media — of "false information."

The Editor says...
Why stop at social media?  Why not require the same of broadcasters and newspapers?  Is CNN always 100% accurate?  Is MSNBC never misleading?  Is The New York Times not biased?

The Justice Department Sues California.  On Monday [4/2/2018], the Department of Justice filed suit against the state of California, challenging a state law that purports to prevent the federal government from selling federal lands without the permission of a state agency.  Passed by the California legislature in October 2017, Senate Bill 50 declares that, with limited exceptions, "conveyances of federal public lands in California are void" unless the State Lands Commission is provided a "right of first refusal" or "the right to arrange for the transfer of the federal public land to another entity."  The statute also prohibits purchasers of federal land from recording the deed to the newly acquired property without an accompanying "certificate of compliance" from the state commission and provides for a $5,000 civil penalty for buyers who violate this provision.

'Remarkably stupid': Calif Dems push 'first of its kind' legislation restricting when a cop can use his gun.  Talk about handcuffing police, California Democrats are pushing an unprecedented law to limit when a cop can use his/her weapon.  Following the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Sacramento last month by police, state lawmakers have proposed legislation that raises the threshold for when an officer may open fire, Huffington Post reported.

Trump is right — California is out of control.  When President Trump recently visited California, he came away with the sense that it "is totally out of control." If he arrived at that conclusion from just a single visit, imagine how many who live in the state feel.  To be fair, California itself isn't out of control.  There are many among the 40 million who honorably and honestly go about their daily business.  Outside of Antifa riots and some infantile behavior on college campuses, there are no mobs in the streets; crime is up but not unrestrained; there are multiple efforts brewing to break up the state, but none are threatening violent insurgencies (though there is a Calexit movement that calls for the state to leave the union).  What is out of control is California's ruling class.  Much of its political agenda is hostile to basic human liberty and mocks the limits on what government should be allowed to do in an ostensibly free society.

Is The Golden State Trying To Secede?  There may be hope in California yet.  Despite the state's political descent into madness by illegally declaring itself a "sanctuary state," the resistance it growing.  California has a political and legal fight on its hands, one it can't win.

Is California Governor Jerry Brown Mentally Ill?  The entire country is talking about the collapse of California due to decades of insane liberal policies.  And what is Governor Brown's response?  He implemented hundreds more destructive liberal rules, regulations, and giveaways to illegals.  An article listing the top ten stupidest new California laws includes "Single-User Restrooms," "Controlling Cow Flatulence," "Legalizing Child Prostitution," and "Felons Voting."  Governor Brown signed a new law making California a sanctuary state, doubling down on his bizarre quest to undermine American citizens. [...] Numerous California families have suffered devastating losses of family members killed by illegals with long felony records who have been deported several times and welcomed back with open arms by Brown.  One mom whose son was killed by an illegal with two DUIs and two felonies said Brown should be arrested for treason.

California Appoints Illegal Alien to State Office.  California has its first illegal alien in state office, after Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) appointed Lizbeth Mateo to the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee.  Mateo, an attorney, was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. illegally at the age of 14 with her parents, who are also illegal aliens, according to the Sacramento Bee.

San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism.  I live in a reasonably decent section of San Francisco, and from what I gathered in speaking to many others, everyone has had his or her version of San Franciscan traumas.  San Francisco, one of the richest cities in the country and home to a booming center of intellectual capital, has suffered from the excesses of its own liberalism.  Bloated and inefficient spending, combined with a gross shortage of housing only worsened by rent-control antics and a fat city bureaucracy, has left a city in utter disrepair. [...] The relative "coronation" of Democrats each election on the local and state level has led to a general erosion of performance from the reigning party, which rarely feels the pressure to perform, given the absence of a legitimately competitive rival party.

Is California becoming America's Taiwan?  Taiwan is an independent nation — in its ambitions, its economy, its democracy.  But many countries refuse to recognize it as a separate country, deferring to mainland China, which claims Taiwan as a possession and responds with threats when Taiwan goes its own way.  California shares aspects of this conundrum.  Our state has the ambitions, economy, and democracy of a leading nation.  But it remains very much a part of the United States, which responds with threats when California goes its own way.

California Has Become a Disgraceful State.  At one time, California was the envy of America, attracting people from around the nation to move to a state offering opportunity and the chance to pursue ambitious dreams.  With scenic beauty, the Pacific Ocean coastline, the major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California recruited entrepreneurs looking for economic growth.  As the home of Hollywood and multitudes of celebrities, California presented an enticing potential to enjoy "lifestyles of the rich and famous."  Today, California has become an economic and cultural disaster.  The state is home to over 114,000 homeless people, one quarter of the total in the nation.  In San Francisco, a health crisis has developed as the homeless have created a mess in the downtown area, littering it with fecal matter, spent needles and piles of trash.

I hope Democrats defend sanctuary cities.  It's bad policy, and it'll cost them.  The Justice Department is now challenging several laws in California that not only interfere with the nation's immigration policies but also place American citizens and law enforcement personnel at risk.  The idea that laws can be ignored and that state and local politicians can affirmatively warn lawbreakers of how to escape apprehension is incredible.  It is indefensible.  We either have laws, or we don't.  And if our elected leaders don't want to uphold the law, they can either change them or resign.  The law is not optional once you have made a pledge to uphold the duties of your office.  Open-border radicals in California and other liberal strongholds must be held accountable.  Of course, liberals would have you believe that they are only interested in protecting the poor, the oppressed and the hardworking who have nowhere else to go.  But in many cases, their actions allow dangerous and sometimes repeat criminals to be shielded from deportation or prison.

Dear California:  Call Me When the Commies Leave.  I don't care what the libs do to the likes of New York, Chicago, or the Pacific Northwest.  Let the progressive loons have cities and states that are already cold, wet and miserable.  But, as I often asked audiences, why should we let them have a place as glorious as California?  Apparently, no one was listening.  When the Democrats gained a super-majority stranglehold on the California legislature, they didn't waste any time letting their far-left freak flag fly.  As soon as some bills were floated, then passed, people began asking me in private and in public interviews about the legislative madness issuing forth from Sacramento.  I thought most of it was boilerplate liberal lunacy that wouldn't stand up to any strict legal scrutiny, which made me shrug it off.

How a list of 23 crimes now dominates California's debate over prison punishment.  California has a long history of mixing crime and punishment with raw politics.  But outrage doesn't always translate into coherent policy, and unintended consequences can spark even more public anger.  With that in mind, consider the last two years of debate over what should, and should not, be a "violent" crime.  That debate begins with the index of crimes in section 667.5 of the California Penal Code.  The list was first enacted in 1976, and has been tinkered with so many times it's hard to say whether it's a fair representation of the most heinous crimes.

California has worst 'quality of life' in US, study says.  Awards season is in full swing in California, and the Golden State just took home a booby prize of its own.  California ranks dead last among U.S. states in quality of life, according to a study by U.S. News, ranking behind New Jersey (49th) and Indiana (48th).  The ignominious honor reflects California's low marks in the sub-categories of environmental quality and social engagement.  The latter category measures voting participation and community bonds.  Californians scored poorly in part because they're simply insufferable, U.S. News suggested.

U.S. News Crowns California Worst State for 'Quality of Life'.  The U.S. News & World Report has named California the worst state for "quality of life," largely due to the high cost of living.  U.S. News ranks the 50 U.S. states each year on eight major social and economic categories to determine an overall competitive ranking.  California received an overall score of 32 in 2018, based on sub-category rankings for a Health Care (11); Education (26); Economy (4); Opportunity (46); Infrastructure (38); Crime and Corrections (28); Fiscal Stability (43); and Quality of Life (50).  U.S. News found California's high cost of living to be its biggest detriment, despite its having the largest economy in the nation.  San Jose and San Francisco both ranked in the 20 top places to live in U.S., but two communities were also in the most expensive for housing.

Pelosi the 'most right-wing'? Only in San Francisco.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is regarded by most Republicans as a far-left liberal.  But a recent column identifies the San Francisco Democrat as the "most right-wing" candidate running in her district this year.  Emily Cadei, a correspondent for the Sacramento Bee, wrote Monday [2/26/2018] that Pelosi — who'll turn 78 on March 26 — will be forced to fight off three opponents, all coming at her from the left, when she seeks re-election later this year.

Dianne Feinstein No Longer Left-Wing Enough for California.  This is a woman who was once mayor of San Francisco, who has argued for the confiscation of guns from law-abiding gun owners, and whose lifetime ACU rating is under 10%.  (Meaning she has voted conservatively less than 10% of the time.)  But Kevin de Leon is an even bigger anti-gun zealot, a man so far left he introduced environmental regulation so radical (banning all fossil fuels in California) not even the hard-left Democrat legislature would go for it.  (Probably because existing renewable energy bills have already made California's electric bills look like Michigan's car insurance premiums.  Worse, actually.

Democratic Lunacy on Full Display in California.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has promised everything she can for the young illegal aliens and her increasingly restive left-leaning caucus.  The House members are grousing privately about how their leader is ruining their brand across the country.  As for the illegal aliens and their activist enablers, they overwhelmed one of her press conferences in San Francisco.  They badgered her US Senate colleagues, including Chuck Schumer by protesting outside of his home in New York State.  Two weeks ago, Pelosi stood for 8 hours to demand that a clean DREAM Act be attached to the latest budget-spending bill.  Nothing happened.  Meanwhile, since 2016 the Democratic Party has moved further left than anyone would have anticipated since 2016.  They will embrace every letter in the LGBTQAI etc. list, they want to repeal the Second Amendment, abolish the First, get rid of the United States Constitution.

San Francisco Prisons Implement Reforms Giving Transgenders Special Treatments.  San Francisco prisons formally announced they are implementing a policy for transgenders that will respect their gender preferences, house them in the cells of their chosen identity, and offer other gender identity services.  The San Francisco Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday [2/21/2018] that inmates who identify as transgender, gender variant or non-binary will be able to choose a name and gender identity upon entering the prison.  They will also get to determine if a man or woman will search them before they're admitted into the prison, according to CBS San Fransisco.

Diseased Streets.  How dirty is San Francisco?  An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco.

California's Paradox:  More Immigration, More Poverty.  California is a land of untold opulence.  Hollywood's glitter dazzles the gawking masses, while the world's most profitable companies, Google, Apple, and Facebook, funnel cash into the Golden State from every corner of the earth.  And yet California is also desperately poor.  One-in-five Californians live in poverty, the state's income inequality is worse than Mexico's, and untold thousands live on the streets.  California is a dystopia.  How can so much wealth and poverty coexist?  This is the California paradox.  It was not always this way.  California used to be home to America's largest and most affluent middle class.  Now it is a playground for the rich and a prison for the poor.  How did the Golden State become America's poverty capital?

Tucker: Violent Criminal Illegals Now a 'Protected Class' in California.  Illegal aliens — including violent criminals — have become a protected class in California, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared Tuesday [2/13/2018], reacting to the state's new sanctuary policy:  "It doesn't matter even if they have a history of crime, even violent crime.  In California, illegal aliens are now a protected class.  And even more significant, the state itself is now in direct opposition to this country's most basic laws."  Carlson listed several ways California's laws give special treatment to illegal aliens: [...]

California Will Block Oil And Coal Shipments, Risks Constitutional Battle.  California officials plan on preventing the federal government from transporting oil and gas using existing pipelines in the state, according to a report Wednesday [2/7/2018] from The San Francisco Chronicle.  Officials on the California Coastal Commission are urging the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to rescind plans allowing companies to drill for oil off the coast.  They are still hoping for an exemption from the oil drilling plan, that Florida has received.

Starting Today, San Francisco Is Erasing Everybody's Misdemeanor Pot Convictions.  San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced today [1/31/2018] that his office will proactively expunge and seal the records of misdemeanor marijuana offenders, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  The office will also resentence offenders who received a felony pot conviction.  Proposition 64, the 2016 referendum item that legalized recreational marijuana in California, allows pot offenders to petition for resentencing if their crime would have received a different penalty, or no penalty at all, under the new law.

California's Soft Secession Accelerates.  California's progressive government is one part healthy federalism and one part unhealthy separatism.  If (and this is a big if) the state can temper its soft secession, California's progressives may actually — in all their radicalism — show us a path out of our dangerous national polarization.  But first, let's chronicle what California is doing.  Its resistance to the White House is well known.  The state government has filed 26 separate lawsuits against the Trump administration.  That's roughly one new complaint every two weeks, with challenges touching at least 17 different subject areas.  Moreover, California is now a "sanctuary state" and therefore sharply limits the extent to which its citizens or public entities can voluntarily cooperate with federal immigration authorities.  It's even considered imposing penalties on companies that worked to build a Trump border wall.

Eek!  A man!  In the case of San Francisco city policy, it isn't so much how many heroin needles should be distributed outside the quinoa cafes, or what punishment to exact upon sippers of straws.  It isn't about what to do with car break-ins, which have spiked to fever proportions and are growing at 26% annually.  Nor is the debate about housing, where vibrantly successful Democrat policy has caused "inflation adjusted construction costs [to] increase in San Francisco over the last 16 years by 60% not including changes in land values."  All of these policies are right on the mark.  The trouble is the skin color and sex of the people in city hall.

New California law will automatically register illegal immigrants to vote... and it all begins on April Fool's Day!  A new law in California that goes into effect this spring will automatically register people to vote — including immigrants who are in the country illegally.  In 2015, the state passed a law called the California New Motor Voter Act to increase voter rolls by simplifying the process to register to vote.  The legislation, which goes into effect April 1, will automatically register people who apply for a new driver's license or new state ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Why are so many people poor in the Golden State?  It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty.  Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now.  Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center.  California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments, and "other public welfare," according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Unfortunately, California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.  The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

California AG: 'We will prosecute' employers who violate sanctuary laws.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned employers Thursday of legal repercussions if they assist federal immigration officials in an impending crackdown in the sanctuary state, The Sacramento Bee reported.  Under a new state law — the Immigration Worker Protection Act — employers and businesses could face fines of up to $10,000 if they provide employee information to U.S. Immigration Customs, Becerra said.  If employers "start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office.  We will prosecute those who violate the law," he said at a news conference.

California Democrats want businesses to give half their tax-cut savings to state.  California lawmakers are targeting the expected windfall that companies in the state would see under the federal tax overhaul with a bill that would require businesses to turn over half to the state.  A proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment by Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would create a tax surcharge on California companies making more than $1 million so that half of their federal tax cut would instead go to programs that benefit low-income and middle-class families.

Crazed California AG Threatens Charges Against Employers Aiding ICE Raids On Illegal Aliens.  In a shocking admission Thursday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) threatened his office will charge employees cooperating with ICE raids on illegal aliens. [...] The news comes amid Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen telling the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday [1/16/2018] that her Department is preparing to arrest leaders of sanctuary cities.

'We will prosecute' employers who help immigration sweeps, California AG says.  The state's top cop issued a warning to California employers Thursday [1/18/2018] that businesses face legal repercussions, including fines up to $10,000, if they assist federal immigration authorities with a potential widespread immigration crackdown.  "It's important, given these rumors that are out there, to let people know — more specifically today, employers — that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office," state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a news conference.  "We will prosecute those who violate the law."

The Editor says...
The AG is very selective about the laws he will defend.  "We will prosecute those who violate the law," he says.  But that doesn't mean he will prosecute those who are not supposed to be in this country.

Does the California Model Really Work?  The alleged success of the California model is one of the more intense controversies in the nerdier corners of public-policy debate.  For many progressives, California's metastasizing liberalism proves you can have Scandinavian-style social policies and tax rates and still have robust economic growth.  For conservatives, California is like a bumblebee.  On paper, [it] shouldn't be able to fly — and yet it does.  Thus the cottage industry on the right of prophesizing California's inevitable demise.

Making California Mexico Again.  After the November 2016 election, California governor Jerry Brown, a three-time presidential loser, denounced the victorious Donald Trump and pledged that the Golden State would go its own way, perhaps even launching its own satellites.  Brown's attorney general Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton's short list as a running mate, also defies the federal government.  Senate boss Kevin de León, which is not the name on his birth certificate and voter rolls, authored the state's sanctuary legislation that has made false-documented illegals, even criminals, a privileged, protected class.  In early January, after the legislation kicked in, California's Assembly speaker Anthony Rendon took things to a new level.  "There is no sensible place for barriers between California and Mexico," said Rendon, heading south with fellow Democrats on a four-day mission to Mexico.

San Francisco Requires Poop Maps To Help Pedestrians Avoid Human Waste.  For those who have maintained that San Francisco is full of ... whatever, there is now living proof.  How much poop is there on the streets of the City by the Bay?  Would you believe there is an online map to track human feces on the city's streets?  There is.  According to Fox News, one area of the city reported a 140% rise in feces.  As Jay Caruso of RedState noted, "Public urination is so widespread it has damaged subway elevators and escalators, building walls and power poles."  When did the gleaming jewel that was San Francisco become a repository for poop?  Mayor Willie Brown terminated ordinances; city district Attorney Terence Hallinan would not prosecute "victimless" crimes involving drugs and prostitution.

What's the Matter with California?  The progressives who control every aspect of the state's government are not necessarily stupid people, but they are malign.  They understand that increasing welfare spending only encourages the arrival of more recipients on whom to spend it, and the high likelihood that those new constituents will vote Democrat as soon as they are able, legally or otherwise.  Already, some 55 percent of "immigrants" receive means-tested benefits, while only 30 percent of native Californians do so.  California's army of bureaucrats contributes as well, as does the state's highly restrictive land-use ordinances and environmental restrictions, which drive up the cost of housing in what is already the nation's most expensive real-estate market.

Why California is the 'poverty capital of the America'.  An excellent op-ed in the L.A. Times today by Kerry Jackson is on why California — with its liberal politics and generous welfare system — is the "poverty capital of America."  According to the Census Bureau, one out of five California residents is poor.  This despite the state's per capita GDP rising twice as fast in the last five years as the national average.  From 1992 to 2015, state and local governments spent nearly $1 trillion to help the poor.  The state, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.  Jackson then reaches the not so astonishing conclusion:  "The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse."

Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?  Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country?  Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor.  That's according to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.  Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it's worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

Hate-speech Laws USA? California Prosecutes Man for Anti-Muslim Posts.  California is already flouting federal immigration law with its "sanctuary" status.  Now it's also ignoring the most American of laws — the First Amendment — prosecuting a man simply for posting five anti-Muslim messages to Facebook.  The hapless defendant is 41-year-old Mark Feigin, who expressed his opinions at the Islamic Center of Southern California's (ICSC) Facebook page in 2016.  Feigin is certainly an acerbic, acid-tongued, foul-mouthed fellow, and he admits to sending the messages.  But while many may not like their substance and/or style, they're clearly an example of constitutionally protected speech.

Rainbow Textbooks Adopted in California.  Late last year, the California board of education brought to an end a decades-long campaign to emphasize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender historical figures in state social-studies/history textbooks, approving K-8 volumes that make identity politics of all kinds the core of the subject.  California has had enormous influence on the nation's history textbooks in the past, and single-interest groups have long flocked to Sacramento to try to gain expanded, favorable inclusion.  The LGBT lobby has been notably assertive. [...] In 2006, Sen. Sheila Kuehl of Santa Monica — the state's first openly gay legislator — introduced a bill that would require textbooks to include LGBT contributions to state and national history.

California federal court rules high school football player can't be ordered to stand for national anthem.  A California federal court has ruled that a high school football player cannot be ordered to stand for the national anthem before games.  The decision, made by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Dec. 21, struck down statutes enforced by the San Pasqual Valley Unified School District, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday [12/30/2017].  The district prohibited students from "kneeling, sitting or similar forms of political protest" at sporting events and "required students and coaches to "stand and remove hats/helmets during the playing or singing of the national anthem," according to court documents.

California Prosecuting Man For Anti-Muslim Insults.  Here in the United States of America, the California Attorney General is actually prosecuting a man for Internet insults.

Six Insane California Laws That Will Be Implemented On Monday.  [#3] Employers can't ask applicants abouttheir salary history:  Private employers — yes, private employers — can't ask people who want money from them silly questions like how much money they've made in the past or are making at their current job.  It will be interesting to see the inevitable unintended consequences of AB 168.  It will be at least a little more difficult for a company to gauge what a reasonable offer looks like without knowing what an applicant is currently making or recently made.  Sure, employers will ask questions like, "What would you like to make?" and smart applicants will clarify their expectations at some point in the interview process.  But, really, it's not the government's business how an employer and an applicant work out any mutually benecial agreement.

Gov. Jerry Brown Pardons Immigrant Felons Facing Deportation.  In California governor Jerry Brown's endless attempts to drag California to third world nation status, he is now pardoning immigrants convicted of felonies in order to save them from being deported.

California becomes 'sanctuary state' as Gov. Brown defies Trump administration.  California became a "sanctuary state" on Thursday [12/21/2017] as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation protecting illegal immigrants in defiance of the Trump administration.  The bill, approved by the state's legislature last month, bars police from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities in most cases starting Jan. 1.

Mileage Tax Could Drive More Middle-class Residents From California.  A proposal to charge California drivers for every mile they drive threatens to bring an end to a way of life in the Golden State.  For decades, the California lifestyle was almost synonymous with Californians' love affair with the automobile.  The Golden State's freeways were legendary, and Californians' fascination with cars was celebrated in a number of car-themed songs during the 1960s (e.g., "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena," "Little Deuce Coupe").  The scenes of teenagers cruising in their cars in American Graffiti were based on the memories of the film's director, George Lucas, during his own teenage years in early 1960s Modesto.  But the combination of impossibly heavy traffic on those beloved freeways, the state's imposition of ultra-strict automobile emissions requirements, and increasingly higher gasoline taxes have diminished considerably the joy that Californians experienced driving their cars.

Report:  California's $15 Minimum Wage Will Destroy 400,000 Jobs.  California's massive state-wide jump to a $15 minimum wage could conservatively cost around 400,000 potential jobs, according to a new Employment Policy Institute study.  "California Dreamin' of Higher Wages," strives to evaluate what the state's jump to a $15 minimum wage will mean when it fully kicks in in 2022 by attempting to contextualize it with the empirical effects of previous minimum wage increases in the state going back to 1990.  The results are pretty dire.  They believe that by the time the minimum wage fully kicks in the state will have lost 400,000 jobs as a consequence.  These job losses will not be evenly distributed throughout the state's workforce.  They will hit food service, retail, and agriculture jobs the hardest.  Overall, this a four percent loss of jobs out of workforce estimated at around 10 million.

Some Real Talk For Conservatives About 2018.  We conservatives need to get our heads right about the mid-terms or liberals will end up guzzling patriot tears and their gloating will be flat-out intolerable.  We're not doomed in 2018 — I mean, it's not like tax reform or pulling out of the Paris Climate Scam, which have already killed millions of people, including me and you.  But, if we fail to get on course for victory then we're going to see Nancy Pelosi and the Gropeocrats back in charge and trying to make America into California.  Trust me.  You do not want to live in the United States of California.

California still hasn't paid a dime of the $1.2 billion in claims from people whose homes and businesses were destroyed by Oroville Dam crisis.  California has not paid any of the $1.2 billion claims stemming from the Oroville Dam crisis, it has emerged.  The main spillway of the nation's tallest dam was heavily damaged in February, after heavy rains forced the dam operators to continue using it[.]  The flows exacerbated damage to the structure, eventually carving a massive gash through the concrete spillway.

California Sued by Students & Parents for Failing to Teach Literacy.  A group of parents and students has filed what it hopes will be a landmark lawsuit against the State of California for its public schools failing to teach literacy.  Public Counsel and the prestigious Law Firm of Morrison & Foerster sued the State of California, the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for their collective failure to provide every child in the state access to literacy as required under the California Constitution.

Poll: CA Dems in Trouble Over High Costs, Jobs, Taxes & Illegal Aliens.  California Democrats could be in trouble in 2018, with the latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll finding registered voters' top concerns are the traditionally Republican issues of high cost of living, jobs, taxes, and illegal immigrants.  The USC poll found that the most important concerns for voters are the high cost of living, at 21.8 percent; followed by jobs, at 9.9 percent; taxes and fees, at 8.9 percent; and illegal immigration, at 6.9 percent.

Politico: Jerry Brown, President of the Independent Republic of California.  David Siders writes in Politico that California Governor Jerry Brown, as he visits Europe en route to the United Nations climate talks, is functioning rather more like the leader of a country distinct from the United States than merely the governor of one of fifty states within that powerful union.

Average price per gallon up 17 cents in Los Angeles since gas tax took effect.  The average price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles County is up 17 cents compared to last week after a new 12-cent gas tax was tacked on at the pump.  In Orange County, the average price-per-gallon is 18 cents more than it was one week ago.

California:  Proof That Everything The Liberals Run Turns [Bad].  [Scroll down]  It seems to be a habit of government leadership on the far Left to make everything they govern worse than they found it.  It's not only a habit, it seems to be a requirement.  If you challenge them they double down!  Again, why?  California Democrats want a free college education for all, including illegals.  Free healthcare for all, including illegals.  They want more taxes and, according to Governor Brown, Californians that don't want to pay more taxes are selfish.  Democrats who run this state don't want to explain what they did with the tens of millions of dollars they took from Californians in the guise of taxes then redirected away from the projects they collected it for.  And now, not only do they want Californian's to pay again, but they also want the Federal government to bail them out.  Yup, it's everyone's fault but theirs!  And we all get to pay for it.

California, the sanctuary state, will reap the whirlwind.  Earlier this month, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 54, a historic state law that thumbs his state's nose at federal authority.  Beginning in January, the law states, California officially becomes a so-called sanctuary state.  The term "sanctuary" is, of course, not univocal.  It was once used to describe a sensible law enforcement strategy, by which otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who report crimes or cooperate with the police are not asked about their immigration status, lest they hesitate to help authorities in the future.  Unfortunately, that is not what "sanctuary" means in this case.

California first state to legally recognize third gender option.  California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Sunday [10/15/2017] signed new legislation that will allow state residents to choose a gender option other than male or female on official documents.  The legislation, a top priority of civil rights groups, also makes it easier for transgender people to change their gender identification on birth certificates or driver's licenses.

New California law allows jail time for using wrong gender pronoun, sponsor denies that would happen.  California health care workers who "willfully and repeatedly" decline to use a senior transgender patient's "preferred name or pronouns" could face punishments ranging from a fine to jail time under a newly signed law. [...] The bill itself is aimed at protecting transgender and other LGBT individuals in hospitals, retirement homes and assisted living facilities.  The bill would ensure those facilities accommodate transgender people and their needs, including letting them decide which gender-specific bathroom they prefer to use.  "It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status," the bill reads.

California Sues Trump For Granting Employer 'Choice' on Obama Birth Control Mandate.  California wasted no time filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration, claiming it discriminated against women when it rescinded the Obama-era mandate that requires employers to pay for birth control in their healthcare plans.

Knowingly exposing others to HIV will no longer be a felony in California.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.  The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.  Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

California to become a 'sanctuary state' in 2018.  Gov. Jerry Brown placed new limitations on state and local law enforcement's ability to help the federal government enforce immigration violations by signing California's controversial "sanctuary state" bill into law on Thursday [10/5/2017].  Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced Senate Bill 54 weeks after the 2016 election to stifle President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to ramp up deportations and prevent the federal government from using California police officers to accomplish his goal.

Leftists Never Fight.  [Scroll down]  California passed Prop 8, with Blacks supporting it at the 70%+ level, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.  Prop 8 passed with 52% of the voters supporting it.  Yet the Democrat governor and the Democrat attorney general refused to defend the law as they were required by their oath of office.  That alone shows that Democrats are fascists; it's not up to the governor to decide which laws are constitutional or not; that's the job of the courts.  However, the state courts supported the legality of Prop 8.  Not to be deterred, Democrats took it to a federal court where a closeted gay judge who stood to benefit from ruling against Prop 8 suppressed the will of the people of California.

Bill advancing universal free school meals for California's hungriest kids heads to Assembly.  A bill approved in Assembly Appropriations this past week would expand free and reduced breakfast and lunch for hundreds of thousands of students on Medi-Cal.  SB 138 — the "Feed the Kids Act" will address childhood hunger by removing a massive layer of bureaucratic red tape from the State school meal program enrollment process and by serving all students in very high poverty schools for free.  The legislation would develop a universal enrollment process by ensuring that all school districts utilize Medi-Cal data to seamlessly enroll income-eligible students in free and reduced-price school meals.

With 220 languages spoken in California, courts face an interpreter shortage.  Federal law enforcement began investigating California's courts seven years ago after receiving complaints that two Korean-speaking women in Los Angeles had been denied court interpreters.  Courts in other states also were examined and faulted.  Along with California, they began working to comply with U.S civil rights law, which bars discrimination based on national origin.  Failure to act meant the possible loss of federal money.  But nowhere has the task been so challenging as in California, the most linguistically diverse state in the nation.

California Tries to Leverage Hurricane Harvey to Fund $20 Billion Flood Control.  California hopes to leverage the attention on Hurricane Harvey flooding to convince the federal government to fund some of the $20 billion needed to repair the dilapidated Central Valley flood control infrastructure.  Harvey has killed at least 34 and caused over $190 billion in damage thus far.  The 1,000-year flood is expected to cost the U.S. economy about 1 percent of GDP, or $190 billion, according AccuWeather.

California Crime Wave Follows Criminal Justice Reform.  In November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which downgraded drug possession and many property crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor.  As Debra Saunders reminds us, proponents argued that lesser punishment for low-level offenders would enhance public safety.  Unfortunately, this utterly counterintuitive notion has not panned out.  In San Francisco, according to a police spokesman, theft from cars is up 47 percent this year over the same period in 2014.  Auto theft is up by 17 percent.  Robberies are up 23 percent.  And aggravated assaults are up 2 percent.  (To be fair, burglaries are down 5 percent).  How about Los Angeles?  It has seen a 12.7 percent increase in the overall crime this year, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Violent offenses are up 20.6 percent; property crimes by 11 percent.

California initiative would legalize psychedelic mushrooms.  California would become the first state in the nation to legalize psychedelic mushrooms if a long-shot ballot initiative passes muster with voters next year.  The measure is backed by a legalization activist who says he kicked his heroin habit with the help of a mushroom trip in Death Valley.  It would exempt Californians over the age of 21 from a state law that criminalizes mushrooms containing psilocybin, the compound that gives some mushrooms psychedelic properties.  "There is a cultural fascination with mushrooms that goes really deep," said Kevin Saunders, the activist behind the initiative.  "The soccer moms are all pretty much, for lack of a better term, high now, and some of them are taking mushrooms."

California Set To Be First State To Add "Gender X" Designation To Licenses.  Up until now, state issued identification cards around the country have limited gender designations to 'male' and 'female' because, well, biological science has historically taught us that those were the only two options.  But that hateful and narrowed-minded micro-aggression perpetrated by our genetic code will no longer be tolerated in the state of California, whether it's a scientifically proven fact or not.  As the San Francisco Chronicle points out today [8/29/2017], California's legislature is currently considering SB 179 that will add a new "nonbinary" gender designation to the state's identification cards.

ACORN Sues California to Allow More Illegals to Vote.  An ACORN offshoot and other left-wing pressure groups are suing California in federal court because the state hasn't made it easy enough for Democrats to flood voter rolls with illegal aliens and foreign nationals who aren't legally eligible to vote.  Throughout the years Mickey Mouse, Mary Poppins, and celebrities living and dead were registered to vote because now-defunct ACORN and its allied groups were allowed to pollute the voter rolls.

California Could Start Jailing People Who Don't Use Transgender Pronouns.  A bill that passed the California state senate and is now moving through the Assembly could threaten jail time for anyone who refuses to use a transgender person's preferred pronoun.  The law is currently limited in its effects to nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities, but if passed, those who "willfully and repeatedly" refuse "to use a transgender resident's preferred name or pronouns" could be slapped with a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, according to the California Heath and Safety code.  The state senate passed the bill 26-12 at the end of May.  Since then, the Assembly Judiciary committee recommended the bill unanimously and the General Assembly held its first hearing on the legislation Wednesday [8/23/2017].

Calexit III? New ballot measure plots route to California independence.  On Thursday, people unhappy with California's place in the United States filed yet another proposed ballot measure that could lead to the Golden State striking out on its own.  This time, the goal is convening a U.S. constitutional convention to overhaul what proponents call a moldy national blueprint out of step with life in California.  The measure says a reworked Constitution should include a provision creating a "clear and reasonable path for states to achieve complete independence from the United States should any state so choose."  No state has become independent under the existing U.S. Constitution.

On Illegal Immigration, California Decides They Really Like The 10th Amendment.  If you remember back to the debate over Arizona's SB1070, a law that allowed law enforcement to enforce federal law as written, California, California law makers, and California papers took the stance that immigration was the purview of the federal government, and that states couldn't change that in the least.  Today, though, as we discuss illegal aliens, California wants to do its own thing[.]

California Can't Fix Its Housing Problems.  Even California's liberal Democrats are starting to understand that the state's housing crisis is fundamentally a supply-and-demand problem.  Home prices have soared to astronomical levels, with a median price above $750,000 in the nine-county Bay Area and nearly $700,000 in Orange County.  Years of growth controls and local regulations have restricted housing supply and added as much as 40 percent to the price of every new home that's built.  Housing is the key reason California has a 24 percent poverty rate (using the U.S. Census Bureau's new cost-of-living-adjusted index), the highest in the nation.

Socialists create youth shortages in California.  Socialism has long been associated with shortages, and nowhere is that more evident than in California, land of surf, sun, skiing, skateboarding, and other youth-oriented pursuits.  The socialists have managed to chase out the youth.

A Guide to How Bad the Democratic Party Is Right Now.  In the Golden State, the progressive wing of the party is irate that California Democrats shelved a $400 billion state-based single-payer initiative.  Death threats were hurled at state lawmakers for tabling the measure, which met a legislative death because it had no funding mechanisms within the bill.  Also, the leadership election to lead the state's Democratic Party has led to a contested election, where the establishment figure won, but the Bernie Sanders supporting insurgent has failed to concede.

Democrats Rigging Election in Broad Daylight.  Here in California, the Democratic leadership is busy rigging rules in an election.  The issue is covered on the front pages. But Democrats control every lever of power, so nothing can derail their efforts to save a vulnerable Democratic senator from a recall.  Now the state's ethics watchdog, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, is in on the action.

Judicial Watch threatens to sue California - after finding 11 counties with more registered voters than eligible citizens.  Dems will often argue that such fraud is "not widespread," but they're loathe to define what, exactly, 'widespread' means.  How many bogus votes need to be cast before blue states care?  Enter Judicial Watch.  They're threatening to sue the state of California because Governor Moonbeam's voter rolls have gone completely off the rails.  In 11 counties, Judicial Watch found that there were more registered voters than citizens of legal age.  Sometimes by as much as 144%[.]

Still Think Our Elections Are Fair?: 11 California Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Voting Age Adults.  Right now there are plenty of Democrats who think Russia hacked our elections, but they'll laugh at Trump's accusation that illegal immigrants stole the popular vote from him (which is very likely).  The truth is that our elections are seriously compromised, and not by the Russians.  The latest example of this fact comes from California, where it was recently discovered that there are 11 counties that have more registered voters than eligible voters.

L.A. County hands $1.3 billion to illegals for welfare.  Los Angeles County is a massive draw for illegals, with more than a million flocking there and setting up home — and now we know why.  Not only is it hallowed sanctuary ground; it's also, apparently, taxpayer-dole-out central.  Look at this, from Robert Rector with the Heritage Foundation:  "They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend," he said, speaking of the costs of education, police, fire, medical and housing that illegals get, compared to what they pay back by way of taxes.  This isn't conjecture.  It's based on analysis of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services database.  Among the findings:  In 2015, more than 58,000 families received $602 million in benefits.  In 2016, more than 64,000 families received $675 million.

California Risks Billions in Sanctuary City Suit Against Trump Administration.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is launching a preemptive legal assault against the Trump Administration's promise to pull tens of billions of dollars of federal funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate in enforcement against illegal aliens.  Attorney General Becerra is leading a coalition of 300 cities, 18 counties, and the State of California that intend to sue the Trump Administration over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' plan to begin cutting off funding to jurisdictions tagged by the U.S. Justice Department as "sanctuary cities" that harbor illegal aliens from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Judicial Watch Warns California: 11 Counties Have More Voters than Voting-Age Citizens.  Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, has sent a letter to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on behalf of the Election Integrity Project, noting that there are 11 counties in the state with more registered voters, and alleging that the state may be out of compliance with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

Feinstein Says We Can't Increase Immigration Enforcement Because No One Will Pick Our Fruit.  California Sen. Dianne Feinstein warned that President Donald Trump's immigration plan would severely cripple the agriculture industry in a Wednesday evening [8/2/2017] interview.  "We're the largest agricultural producer in America[.]  It's a $50 billion industry.  We employ tens of thousands of agricultural workers," The Democratic senator said on CNN.  "They are among a class that this would be prohibited.  It would cripple agriculture if they didn't have the people coming in to do this work[.]"

Boss tells state workers:  Kick ICE out of California labor offices.  California's top labor law enforcer wants federal immigration agents to stay away from offices where state investigators weigh claims about underpaid employees and workplace retaliation.  Labor Commissioner Julie Su last month directed her staff to turn away Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the federal officers have warrants.  Her directive followed three instances over the past 10 months in which immigration agents sought information about California workers who had filed claims against employers.  In two cases, immigration agents attempted to attend hearings where investigators discuss claims with workers and their employers, Su said.  In all three cases, the agents left when they were asked, she said.

L.A. County Paid Out $1.3 Billion In Welfare To Illegal Aliens.  On the bright side, it's expected that the Los Angeles County will spend $200 million less in 2017, as fewer illegal aliens arrive and more have left, mostly due to allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to do their job, to enforce the laws that are on the books, unfettered by politicians and political appointees.  We keep being told that illegal aliens are a boon for our economy.  Well, the illegals are getting $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend.  It sure seems that they are more of a drain on taxpayer money that giving more back.

Tucker Debates 'Calexit' Supporter Who Calls CA 'Not the US'.  Tucker Carlson reported that the United States may lose a star on its flag for the first time ever, if "Calexit" becomes reality.  Carlson said the Calexit movement wants California to become an independent country through a ballot initiative in 2018 that would require 585,000 signatures to get started.  Shankar Singam, a supporter of Calexit and vice president of the California Freedom Coalition, told Carlson such a split does not have to be "hostile."

California is working to avoid a shortage of legalized marijuana, state pot czar says.  With Nevada suffering a shortage of legalized marijuana, California's state pot czar said Wednesday [7/19/2017] that efforts are being made in her state to make sure sufficient licenses go to farmers, testers and distributors to supply retailers.  Providing temporary, four-month licenses to support some businesses including growers is planned "so we don't have a break in the supply chain," Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said in testimony at a legislative hearing.  Legal sales began July 1 in Nevada, but it immediately became clear there was not enough supply to meet demand, in part because unique rules provide alcohol wholesalers exclusive distributor rights.  California does not have the same limits on who can distribute cannabis.

California's Judicial Council racial sensitivity bureaucrats dress up as black convicts for office party.  If anyone needed proof that California is over-larded with do-nothing, malevolent bureaucrats, maybe the Judicial Council's Halloween party, which featured racial sensitivity bosses dressed in blackface and turning their cubicles into jail cells, is just that example.  Sure enough, it's an agency that oversees racial sensitivity programs for California's court system.

33 Percent of American Welfare Recipients Live in California.  The liberal state of California is a prime example of why liberal policies must not be adopted anywhere around the country as one-third of America's welfare recipients reside in the state.

California Democrats Target Conservative College Students.  California state senator Josh Newman, Fullerton Democrat, was the key vote to approve Jerry Brown's recent $5.2 billion tax hike that jacks up what Californians will pay for gasoline, diesel fuel, and vehicle fees.  At the California State University in Fullerton, College Republicans Amanda McGuire, Ryan Hoskins and Brooke Paz led efforts to recall Newman.  The state Democratic Party responded by changing the rules on recall elections and targeting the three students with a lawsuit.  "This lawsuit intends to stop the petition from circulating and halt the recall process, falsely citing deceptive messaging as grounds for suing," explains a press release from the College Republicans.  According to the Republicans' secretary Ryan Hoskins.  "This lawsuit is the definition of frivolous and more than an obstruction of the very processes that every Californian should hold dear."

Will California Ever Thrive Again?  The basket of California state taxes — sales, income and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S. Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom.  After years of drought, California has not built a single new reservoir.  Instead, scarce fresh aqueduct water is still being diverted to sea.  Thousands of rural central California homes, in Dust Bowl fashion, have been abandoned due to a sinking aquifer and dry wells.  One in three American welfare recipients resides in California.  Almost a quarter of the state population lives below or near the poverty line.  Yet the state's gas and electricity prices are among the nation's highest.  One in four state residents was not born in the U.S.

California Democratic Party Sues Conservative College Students In Unprecedented Move.  Three members of the Cal State Fullerton College Republicans have been named in a lawsuit backed by the California Democratic Party in retaliation for their work to recall State Senator Josh Newman, who was the pivotal vote in support of April's $52 billion gas tax increase.

California Dems panic over their tax hike.  Democrats control both houses of the California State Legislature with 2/3 majorities, allowing them to pass any bills they wish, with no possibility of obstruction from the powerless GOP.  As Democrats will when they feel empowered, they recently passed a major hike in gasoline taxes that will take over $5 billion a year more from the pockets of motorists.

Tucker on SF's $190K Payout to Illegal Immigrant: 'You Shouldn't Pay a Criminal for Breaking the Law'.  An illegal immigrant is set to be awarded $190,000 from San Francisco after police turned him over to immigration authorities, which is a violation of the city's sanctuary policy.  Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, who is from El Salvador and was living in the U.S. illegally, walked into a police station on December 2, 2015, to recover his stolen car.  When he left the station, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immediately took him into custody.  Figueroa-Zarceno recently reached the massive settlement agreement with the city attorney's office.  The agreement must be approved by the city's Board of Supervisors.

111 terminally ill end lives under new California law.  California health officials reported Tuesday that 111 terminally ill people took drugs to end their lives in the first six months after a 2016 law made the option legal in the nation's most populous state.  The data was part of the California Department of Public Health's first report on the law since it went into effect June 9, 2016.  According to the data generated from forms doctors were required to submit between June 9 and Dec. 31, 2016, a total of 191 people received life-ending drugs after being diagnosed with having less than six months to live and 111 people took them and died.

Texas, three more states on California's banned travel list.  California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people.  All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states.  The new additions to California's restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota.  They join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee as states already subjected to the ban.  California Attorney Xavier Becerra announced the new states at a Thursday press conference, where he was joined by representatives from ACLU Northern California and Equality California.  "We will not spend taxpayer dollars in states that discriminate," Becerra said.

Minimum Wage Madness Begins to Kill Off California's Restaurant Industry.  The restaurant industry is a canary in California's coalmine of moonbattery.  Minimum wage insanity is killing it: [...] It's bad enough in big cities on the coast.  Wages, like prices, are lower inland and in smaller towns.  That means that one-size-fits-all central planning is even more unsupportable regarding the minimum wage.  Unemployment is already significantly higher away from the coast in California.

California's descent to socialism.  California is widely celebrated as the fount of technical, cultural and political innovation.  Now we seem primed to outdo even ourselves, creating a new kind of socialism that, in the end, more resembles feudalism than social democracy. [...] This new progressive synthesis promises not upward mobility and independence, but rather the prospect of turning most Californians into either tax slaves or dependent serfs.

Half-baked single-payer health plan amounts to political stunt.  On Thursday [6/1/2017], the California state Senate made the bold move of voting to create a single-payer health system without having any idea of how to pay for it.  Ostensibly spurred by concerns over the future of the Affordable Care Act at the federal level, Senate Bill 562 by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would create a single-payer system which would cover health expenses for every resident in California.  Considering the magnitude of such a proposal, the very least that is owed is a thorough accounting of how exactly such a program would be paid for.  After all, according to estimates from a legislative analysis provided to the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 22, the proposal is anticipated to cost $400 billion per year, more than double the state budget.

Hey, California, Ready To Spend $400 Billion For Your Single-Payer Disaster?  California's so-called progressive Democrats, fresh off their classy "flipping off" of Donald Trump at their state convention, now want to flip off the entire state by imposing a reckless, economy-destroying single-payer health care system on the state's citizens.  If voters don't stop this madness they'll get what they deserve.

Report: California Single Payer Healthcare Will Double State Expenditures.  The state of California seems determined to go broke.  They want to institute a single payer healthcare system but the cost would be astronomic.  In fact, it would be more than the state's budget.

California Considers Sanctuary State Legislation to Protect Pot Industry.  California lawmakers are talking about doing for their state's new marijuana industry what they are also trying to do for illegal immigrants: create a sanctuary state where local police are ordered not to cooperate with federal authorities.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the man who has the power to unleash enforcement of the federal anti-marijuana law that could shut down the multibillion marijuana industry in California and every other state where smoking weed for the fun of it is legal.

Democrats Love Affair With Communism.  A bill narrowly passed the house in California, repealing part of the law enacted during the Cold War era in our country's history when communists were really active and infiltrating our government, attempting to overthrow it.  The bill proposed to eliminate the section which allowed the firing of public employees if they were members of the Communist Party.  The bill now goes to the Senate and its author, Democrat Assemblyman Rob Bonta, hopes that it will pass.  "Assemblyman Randy Voepel, a Southern California Republican who fought in the Vietnam War, said communists in North Korea and China are still a threat."  Assemblyman Travis Allen, also a Republican, said that "this bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians.  Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against."

California moves to let Communists work in government.  The California government may soon employ openly Communist people in its ranks.  The state assembly passed a bill Monday that would repeal a policy that had made being a member of the Communist Party a fireable offense.  The legislation was supported along party lines with most Republicans opposing it while Democrats mainly favored the policy.  It would overturn a bill was signed into law during the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s when Americans worried Russian spies were trying to take over the country.

California State Assembly Votes to Make Communism Great Again.  Being a communist would no longer be a fireable offense for California government employees under a bill passed by the state Assembly.  Lawmakers narrowly approved the bill Monday [5/8/2017].

California Democrats Make Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day Disappear.  Monday April 24 was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and in Los Angeles thousands marched in the street outside the Turkish consulate.  Up in Sacramento, ruling Democrats ignored the Armenians and instead held "Muslim Day at the Capitol," hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

California's Road To Single-Payer Ruin.  Never let it be said that California doesn't march to the beat of a different drummer.  While the rest of the country has had second, third and even fourth thoughts about having a single-payer health care system, the Golden State boldly marches forward into fiscal oblivion.

California Is Seceding from the Constitution.  The entire nation has of course watched as the city of Berkeley and the University of California, Berkeley ceded control over free speech to violent left-wing mobs.  Both the city and the campus have placed the safety of rioters over the liberty of their conservative citizens, refusing to protect that liberty on the dubious grounds that someone might get hurt.  Thus, city and school leaders have knowingly and intentionally granted a heckler's veto to the far-left, in effect making the First Amendment a dead letter at one of the nation's (and the world's) most prominent universities.  The rot extends far beyond Berkeley.  Just this week, the California assembly's judiciary committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of AB 569, a bill that would prohibit religious employers from enforcing entirely normal rules of Christian conduct on their employees.  Thus, it would be illegal for Catholic schools to require that their employees choose life rather than get an abortion.

California's latest move to "fight the wall" is truly something out of La La Land.  There are still budget battles and (probably) blockades from the 9th Circuit to come, but sooner or later the President is going to get some work started on the border wall.  But if and when he does, California is laying some landmines in advance for any private contractors who dare to bid on the job and pour a single yard of concrete.  In a move being dubbed, "Build it and be banned," California legislators are proposing to impose a permanent ban for government contracts on any company who takes part in the project.

California gas tax hike prompts fierce backlash from the right.  A 12-cent gas tax hike recently approved by California's Democratic leaders has prompted a huge backlash on the right, with a grassroots coalition vowing to ensure it never takes effect.  A combination of AM-radio talk show hosts, a consumer advocacy group and a GOP assemblywoman have joined forces to battle the measure — set to kick in this November — that would give California the dubious honor of the second-highest gas tax in the nation at 73.2 cents per gallon.  Only Pennsylvania residents will pay more, with a 77.7-cent tax.

Berkeley Mayor Is Member of Militant Leftist Organization's Facebook Group.  The mayor of Berkeley, California, is a Facebook member of a leftist militant organization that has been linked to violent incidents in the city.  Mayor Jesse Arreguin's personal page shows he's a Facebook member of Defend Affirmative Action and Integration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN).  According to a 2001 article in the East Bay Express, BAMN, founded in 1995, is "allegedly a front group for an obscure Detroit-based Trotskyist political party called the Revolutionary Workers League." Even by UC Berkeley standards, students considered the group extreme.

Single Payer Is Fool's Gold For California.  While the latest Republican attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare may have failed, Democrats in California and in D.C. are just getting started in their effort to eliminate the health law.  Unfortunately, they're angling to replace ObamaCare with something even worse.

Police arrests are plummeting across California, fueling alarm and questions.  In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.  Police officers began making fewer arrests.  The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department's arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the San Diego Police Department also saw significant drops in arrests during that period.

California has fewer arrests, but not necessarily less crime.  The number of arrests by police in California has plunged in recent years, but that doesn't necessarily represent good news on crime, according to an analysis published Saturday [4/1/2017].

Los Angeles Middle School Faces Budget Cut For Having Too Many White People.  Los Angeles parents are outraged after their middle school announced budget cuts because there are too many white students, according to Sunday [3/26/2017] reports.  Walter Reed Middle School announced there would be layoffs and larger classes because the school's white student body is too big, reports ABC 7.  The Los Angeles Unified School District gives schools money only if white students make up no more than thirty percent of the student population.

California's Chief Justice:  Enforcing Immigration Laws Goes Against The Rule Of Law.  Since when is moving to another country against the law?  And since when do we enforce the laws we have on the books?

Nigel Farage and the 'Bad Boys of Brexit' set their sights on splitting California in two.  The 'Bad Boys of Brexit' who led the campaign to break Britain away from the European Union have taken on a new exit challenge:  splitting California into two states.  Former UKip leader Nigel Farage and Leave backer Arron Banks have just returned from the United States, where they helped raise $1million (£800,000) for a 'Calexit' campaign, which would split California into two eastern and western regions.  There are several 'Calexit' campaigns competing for a referendum in the United States, with one aiming to remove the state from America entirely as a response to President Donald Trump being elected last year.

CA Bill Would Make Not Disclosing HIV+ Status to Partner Just a Misdemeanor.  People who are HIV positive have long been required to disclose this status before engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse.  Considering the life-threatening condition caused by HIV, it stands to reason that potential partners have a right to know, since the disease is easily passed through sexual contact.  However, in what is being described as a test of just how much feelings have changed on the disease, a group of lawmakers in California have presented a bill that will make it no longer a felony to engage in unprotected sex without disclosing the condition to their partner, instead making it a misdemeanor.  Because of "the stigma."

What does it take to be a librarian in San Francisco?  1) You have to know how to shelve books.  2) You have to know how to check out books.  and 3) You have to know how to inject heroin addicts with anti-narcotics drugs.

San Francisco's withdrawal from national terror intelligence network hikes risks, officials say.  San Francisco has taken its defiance of the feds to a new level, ending its cooperation with the FBI in an anti-terror initiative begun after 9/11 — a move crtitics say could get innocent people killed.  Critics say the sanctuary city by the bay's latest decision to forego cooperation with Washington, by dropping out of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, could put lives at risk.  The JTTF has been credited with foiling 93 Islamist terrorist attacks and plots against the U.S. since 2001, including 12 this year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.  There are another 1,000 investigations into suspected terror activity nationwide.

Five festering problems the Democrats cynically ignore.  [#5] The connection between illegal immigration and California's electoral power:  California declared itself a sanctuary state and now houses a quarter of the nation's illegal immigrants.  The elected officials at all levels of that state government will openly defy any attempts to enforce existing federal law that could reduce the number of illegal immigrants.  The massive presence of illegals distorts our representative system.  There are at least 4 million illegals in California.  It requires a special liberal variety of naïvité to believe that none of them votes.  Even if none does, they are all counted in the census, which determines congressional representation and some federal funding allocations.  If only citizens were counted, California would have five fewer congressional seats and electoral votes.  Those seats would go to, for example, Ohio (2), Michigan, and Pennsylvania.  The Democrats who've declared California a sanctuary state know exactly what they are doing.

California's 12,209,605 Medicaid/CHIP Enrollees Outnumber Populations of 44 States.  In the fall of 2013, the Obamacare exchanges opened to enroll people in health insurance plans for 2014.  The average number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California in July-September 2013 — the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened — was 7,755,381, according to CMS.  By November 2016, the latest month for which CMS numbers are available, the number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California was 12,209,605.  That is a three-year increase of 4,454,224 — or 57.43 percent.

California Goes One Step Beyond ObamaCare, Proposes Single-Payer Healthcare System to Include Illegal Aliens.  California Democrats made a surprise move late Friday to foil President Trump's promise to repeal ObamaCare — by introducing a stand-alone, single-payer healthcare system in California.  The Mercury News reported that two California lawmakers Friday introduced legislation to replace private insurance with a government-run health care system covering all 38 million Californians — including its undocumented residents.

The Oroville Dam disaster is yet another example of California's decline.  A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a "new normal" desert climate.  The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California's majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall.  That could spell catastrophe for thousands who live below it and for the state of California at large that depends on its stored water.  The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California's civic decline.

California spent on high-speed rail and illegal immigrants, but ignored Oroville Dam.  The flood danger from the Oroville Dam receded Monday, but California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail.  California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, came under fire amid reports that federal and state officials for years rebuffed or ignored calls to fortify the massive 50-year-old dam, which provides water to more than 20 million farmers and residential consumers.  "What's Governor Brown doing?" former state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, asked in a Monday [2/13/2017] post on Facebook.  "The same thing he's been doing for decades — obstructing progress."

California Goes Confederate.  "Calexit" supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California's secession from the United States. [...] [California] hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country.  Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation's undocumented immigrants.  California has more residents living in poverty than any other state.  It is home to one third of all the nation's welfare recipients.  The income of California's wealthy seems to make them immune from the effects of the highest basket of sales, income, and gas taxes in the nation.  The poor look to subsidies and social services to get by.  Over the last 30 years, California's middle classes have increasingly fled the state.

California Lawmakers Want 'Third Gender Option' for Drivers' Licenses.  Legislation introduced in California would create a third gender option on drivers' licenses and expedite the process for individuals to change their sex on their birth certificate without undergoing a sex change.  The "Gender Recognition Act," sponsored by state senators Toni Atkins of San Diego and Scott Weiner of San Francisco, would add "nonbinary" to the list of male and female genders on state identification documents.

California Democrats propose adding third, nonbinary gender option for driver's licenses and other official documents.  California driver's licenses and birth certificates could have a third option for gender in addition to male or female under legislation unveiled Thursday [1/26/2017] by Democratic lawmakers.  The bill by state Sens. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would establish a new nonbinary gender marker for official state documents.  Lawmakers framed the measure as an expansion of rights for transgender, intersex and other people who do not identify as male or female.

California's Recipe for Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale.  The media have exhibited a pathological determination to ignore any possibility of voter fraud, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary.

California Lt. Gov:  We'll Stop Trump's Wall with Environmental Suits.  President-Elect Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall along with U.S.-Mexico Border will be challenged through environmental lawsuits, according to California's second-highest official.  California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview with 'The Golden State Podcast' that he would use specific environmental laws in the state to stop the border wall from being built, at least in southern California.

The Editor says...
In this case, environmental laws are being used as weapons.  The matter at hand has nothing to do with the protection of the environment.  One thing politicians and environmentalists do well:  they obstruct and impede their enemies' progress.

California's Picky-Choosey Attitude to Complying with Federal Immigration Laws.  California, the would-be renegade state that has declared itself a statewide sanctuary for illegal aliens, has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to "defend" it against expected actions from the incoming Trump administration (such as, presumably, withholding federal funds for its sanctuary status); and has a referendum petition circulating that would direct it to secede from the Union.  Yet the state finally has found an immigration-related law that it can love.

Janet Napolitano Triples, Quadruples Down On Supporting Illegal Aliens.  University of California President Janet Napolitano has tripled down on her support for illegal aliens in the United States.  She has also openly challenged the incoming Trump Administration on the policy of deporting illegal aliens.  In a recent speech Napolitano stated that the University of California system supports illegal alien students and will provide them with millions of dollars in financial aid.

The Great California Earthquake of 2018: First State To Default.  I would like to direct your attention to something boring but infinitely informative regarding the nature of this mismanaged state.  Employers who utilize labor pay into the FUTA, or the federal unemployment tax, at a rate of 6% and are credited back an offset of 5.4% that they previously paid the state, leaving a small federal liability of only 0.6%.  However, if the state-run U.I. trust gets overdrawn, as it did in California for going on its third year now, it automatically pulls an emergency loan out from the federal government to service the underfunded account.  And if that is not repaid by November 10, and it defaults, then the government forces employers to pay it.  They just defaulted.  Our company received a mystery bill in the mail two weeks ago, explaining our new $15,000 owed.  We got a shock, as it was not expected.  I presume that many employers won't be able to pay it.

It's Still a Mad, Mad California.  Abstract idealism on behalf of the distant is a powerful psychological narcotic that allows caring progressives to dull the guilt they feel about their own privilege and riches.  Nowhere is this paradox truer than in California, a dysfunctional natural paradise in which a group of coastal and governing magnificoes virtue-signal from the world's most exclusive and beautiful enclaves.  The state is currently experiencing another perfect storm of increased crime, decreased incarceration, still ongoing illegal immigration, and record poverty.  All that is energized by a strapped middle class that is still fleeing the overregulated and overtaxed state, while the arriving poor take their places in hopes of generous entitlements, jobs servicing the elite, and government employment.

CalExit!  Now that America is on the road to free government, the Progressives are talking about secession again.  The big one is CalExit, a movement to have California break off from the rest of the country.  This has been spurred by the election, where normal Americans broke mostly for Trump, but Californians voted in heavy numbers for the anti-American candidate.  If you look at the bill of particulars on the CalExit site, the inability to dictate election results to the rest of the country is one reason they want to leave. [...] The major benefit of losing California is we would lose their trillion in bad debt that threatens to destroy the bond market.  California has been able to kick its problems down the road because of its statehood.  It is the stinky pile of sub-prime mortgages in the AAA rated MBS.  Independence would force some responsibility on California.  It could also force reform on the Cult of Modern Liberalism, which has thrived by shifting the costs of its polices onto others.  If not, the rest of us would be free of them anyway, which is what matters.

L.A. city and county creating $10-million legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation under Trump.  Los Angeles city and county leaders on Monday [12/19/2016] unveiled a $10-million fund to provide legal assistance for residents facing deportation, the region's boldest move yet as it prepares for an expected crackdown on illegal immigration by Donald Trump.  If approved by lawmakers, Los Angeles' two top government agencies could find themselves in the position of using public funds to challenge policies sought by the White House and Republican Congress.

California's Gift to Its Neighbors:  Expanded Cigarette Smuggling Opportunities.  For too many years, Arizona has led the pack — or at least taxed the hell out of it — with among the higher cigarette taxes in the West.  "A cigarette tax higher than in neighboring states and cheaper prices on American Indian reservations have helped fuel a growing black market for cigarettes in Arizona," the Cronkite News Service reported in 2014.  It's true that few of us actually paid that $2.00 per pack tariff for a pack of smokes; with every single state bordering us stealing less from smokers and a long, handy border with Mexico, half of all of the cigarettes sold in the state are smuggled from elsewhere, according to research by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Tax Foundation.  Many Arizonans avoid getting mugged by enjoying life on the receiving end of smuggling routes.  But we could be benefiting by running goods in the other direction.

CA's Senator Boxer Attempts To Block Her Own Bill.  California Tea Party activists have long battled the bureaucrats and politicians over policies related to water.  One of the most well-known of the myriad of issues is the diversion of water from farms in the Central Valley (a major source of this nation's fruits and nuts... outside of San Francisco, that is).  One goal of this reallocation of a prime agricultural resource is the protection of a bait fish known as the Delta Smelt.  Last week, the House of Representatives easily passed a major water bill that includes emergency aid for Flint, Mich., and boosts U.S. ports, dams and waterways.  This bill, known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), was initially co-authored by the notorious Senator Barbara Boxer, who infamously derided a Brigadier General for referring to her as "ma'am".

California to release "non-violent" rapists, shooters, hostage takers.  Whenever a proposition comes on the ballot in California to release criminals from jail, it always passes, since the criminals already outside of jail outnumber the law abiding citizens.  That's why it will come as no surprise when California voters vote for Proposition 57 which will release "non-violent" criminals.  The only problem is that California has a very expansive definition of "non-violent" in its legal code: [...]

Ditching Electoral College would allow California to impose imperial rule on a colonial America.  California has been called the Left Coast for quite a while.  Just about everyone in Silicon Valley except Peter Thiel and in Hollywood except Pat Sajak supported Clinton.  White middle class families have been pretty well priced out of the state by high taxes and housing costs, and the Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have replaced them vote far more Democratic.  Those developments have put California increasingly out of line with the national average.  In 2012, six states and D.C. were more Democratic.  In 2008 it was eight states and D.C.; in 2004 it was seven.  Now it is only one, and not by much.

The Anti-Trump Riots Are a Smoke Screen.  Many seem bewildered by the anti-Trump riots and demonstrations. [...] They know full well that they aren't going to overturn the election.  These privately funded forces are being used to create pressure to destroy the Electoral College so they won't have to deal with it next election.  This is how the Left operates.  Make a big deal over here to force the hidden agenda over there.  The plan is to make enough trouble that Congress will move to abolish the EC to get some peace.  For clues as to who is behind this effort, one only has to watch to see which member of Congress proposes such action.  The answer of course is California Senator Barbara Boxer.

California jumps the shark.  This election confirmed, if it was needed, the death spiral of the state's Republican Party.  Thanks, in part, to Donald Trump — and his magnetic anti-appeal among Latinos, women and the educated — the GOP did even worse here in the presidential race than in 2012, when it couldn't muster 40 percent support, and has lost several legislative seats, allowing the Democrats to re-establish their coveted two-thirds supermajority in the Assembly — and possibly in the Senate as well.  The progressives also won most of the major propositions — most critically, the extension of a high income tax rate on the state's affluent population through 2030.  We may have more freedom to smoke pot, but it won't be so easy to start a business, buy a house or build a personal nest egg, if you are anything other than a trustifarian or a Silicon Valley mogul, or are related to one.

California Voters to Decide Whether Schools May Teach Students in Spanish.  Voters in California will weigh in Tuesday on a decades-old debate about bilingual education in the state's public school system.  The outcome ultimately could determine whether California schools will continue to be required to teach in English, or may use Spanish or another language.  Although largely overlooked in a crowded election season, the issue has split Californians into two camps, those who believe the country benefits from a multilingual society and those who believe such policies hurt students and serve only to further ethnic and racial divides.

CA Attorney General:  Use Of Term 'Illegal Alien' Is Offensive, Must Stop Treating 'Undocumented' As Criminals.  This is the chief law enforcement officer in California.

Food Stamp Craze:  U.S. Spends $3.6 Billion to Give $70 Billion in Benefits.  Not only does the government spend a breathtaking $70 billion a year to give a record number of people food stamps, it wastes billions more to administer the bloated welfare program.  Some states spend a lot more than others to distribute the free food vouchers and the discrepancies are downright outrageous.  The government dedicates $3.6 billion annually just to administer food stamps (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to eliminate stigma), according to a federal audit that includes mind-boggling figures.  For instance, California, the state with by far the largest food-stamp roll, spends a lot more than the national average to execute the federal nutrition program.  The Golden State doles out an average of $34.06 a month for each of its 2 million food stamp cases while other states, like Ohio, spend only $9.55.  Some California counties are off the charts with administration costs.

The 7 Ugliest Propositions on the California Ballot.  [For example,] Prop. 57 — Jerry Brown's "Let's Put Violent Criminals Back On The Street" Act is a terrible measure.  Don't be fooled by the false and misleading ballot title and summary that leftist Attorney General Kamala Harris put on this one — it will reduce prison sentences for many, many violent criminals and put them back on the streets.  Worst of all — the sentencing "reforms" in it are retroactive — so victims of violent crimes trying to recapture some dignity and meaning in their lives will be re-victimized because of this cruel and dangerous ballot measure.

LAPD Officers Ordered To Shoot Only After Non Lethal Options Exhausted.  Los Angeles Police officers must now exhaust all forms of non-lethal means before shooting a suspect.  The L.A. Police Commission approved a wide array of law enforcement reforms Tuesday including training for officers to help in de-escalation and verbal skills when faced with a violent perpetrator.  According to Police One, the academy already teaches recruits to use all non-lethal means prior to shooting their service weapon, but establishing a policy at the department level means LEO's may be punished for not using another means instead of their firearm.

Ethnic cleansing?  California town now less than 10 percent white.  Ethnic cleansing used to be a bad thing.  But in America, when it happens to white people, it's called progress and the "new face of California."  The town of Santa Ana has been almost 100% purged of white people.  They were pushed out not by tanks and machine guns, but by a massive influx of people speaking a different language and bearing a different culture who expected everyone to adapt to their norms.  Today Santa Ana is nearly 80% Hispanic and less than 10% white.  We have a city in America that now demographically perfectly mirrors many cities in Mexico.

If Proposition 55 passes, the state budget will rely even more on California's highest earners.  If voters approve Proposition 55, the state will continue depending on [Paul] Taybi and other wealthy Californians to fund a significant portion of schools, parks, road repairs, police, prisons and many other government services.  Those paying the higher rates, which kick in for single and joint filers making more than $263,000 and $526,000 a year respectively, contributed almost $34 billion in income taxes in 2014, roughly a third of all state general fund revenue.  California's reliance on the wealthiest taxpayers means the state is especially vulnerable to their bottom lines.

California petitions to become first state to offer ObamaCare to illegal immigrants.  California's health care exchange is requesting that it be allowed a waiver from ObamaCare regulations in order to allow illegal immigrants to buy insurance on the exchange — which would make California the first state to extend ObamaCare to illegal immigrants.  In a Sept. 30 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Covered California's Executive Director Peter Lee said that the Affordable Care Act has been "tremendously successful" in the state and has cut the rate of uninsured in half.

What Could Go Wrong:  California Lets Felons In Jail Vote.  Forget about the fact that the great majority of felons vote Democrat; California Governor Jerry Brown had no political motivations at all when he signed AB 2466 on Wednesday [9/28/2016] allowing thousands of felons in California to vote.  Starting January 2017, convicted felons still in jail will be able to cast their vote.

Liberals rejoice over legalization of child prostitution in California.  Social justice warriors everywhere rejoiced at the news that California has decriminalized, or effectively legalized, child prostitution.  After all, prostitution is basically a victimless crime, right?  And progressives have spoken loudly about emptying jails of "non-violent" offenders.

California governor signs bill allowing felons to vote from their jail cells.  Convicted felons serving jail sentences in California county jails will now get to participate in an activity besides three meals a day and recreation time:  voting in elections.  Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation into effect as part of a reform backers say will help prisoners transition back into society while still serving time for their crimes.  The bill he signed would let thousands of felons doing time in county jails to vote in California elections, the LA Times reported.

BART tax could quadruple original claim.  It turns out that the average property tax bill required to support BART's proposed $3.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot could be as much as four times what the transit agency claimed.  Two months ago, I reported that the taxes needed to pay off that bond borrowing would be about double BART's public estimate.  Well, it could be even twice that.  That's because legal language in Measure RR allows BART to issue bonds at up to the state limit of 12 percent interest, far higher than assumed for the previous estimates.

California Could Let Felons Behind Bars Vote, Despite What the State Constitution Says.  California Gov. Jerry Brown is considering whether to sign a bill that would allow tens of thousands of incarcerated felons to vote, while continuing to deny the vote to others.  The Legislature sent a bill to Brown's desk that would restore voting rights to an estimated 50,000 convicted felons who are behind bars in county jails, but not to felons who are serving their sentence in prisons.

SF official suggests taking slaveholders' names off schools.  George Washington, the guy on the quarter, could soon be facing the ax in San Francisco as surely as his fabled cherry tree.  The president of the San Francisco school board thinks it's time to consider renaming schools that bear the names of slave owners — including Washington and his friends and fellow presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.  Board President Matt Haney said Tuesday [9/6/2016] he will introduce a resolution before the board this month to clarify the rules for renaming San Francisco schools with an eye to encouraging the communities at Washington High School, along with Jefferson and Monroe elementary schools, to consider whether they want to make a change.

Left's California Dream Built on Ignorance.  The Democrat-owned legislature — the ones that are not in jail or under indictment — passed a bill that would gradually raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 in 2022.  The poll says 64 percent of Californians support that.  That is while 66% of them believe that people will be laid off and 65 percent say that businesses will leave the state.  What would have been interesting is if the people who took the poll would have asked poll participants:  Would you support the increase if your son or daughter were laid off?  Would you support it if your spouse's business relocated to Utah, North Carolina or Texas?  It is always easy to say that policies are good when they are affecting the other person or their family.

One California city is paying people not to commit crimes.  A San Francisco suburb is testing a controversial strategy to combat the gun violence that's plagued the community — paying people not to commit crimes.  The experiment known as "Advance Peace" is being conducted in Richmond, Calif., and works like this:  The 18-month fellowship hires convicted felons to "court" troubled youth — who so far have avoided arrest due to lack of evidence — with offers of cash and out-of-town vacations if they mend their ways.  If, after six months, a "fellow" in the voluntary program begins to achieve specific goals, they can earn up to $1,000 a month.

A Victory for Religious Freedom at Christian Universities in California.  A California lawmaker who is sponsoring a bill that would have allowed the use of taxpayer dollars to punish and publicly shame Christian universities for operating according to their beliefs has removed an offending provision from the legislation.  In announcing his legislation in April, state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D), sponsor of SB 1146, had referred to his action of denying First Amendment rights to religious schools as closing a "loophole that allows private universities to discriminate against students and staff based on their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation."

California bill SB 1146 threatens minorities and the poor.  Current California law exempts religious schools from nondiscrimination laws in cases where applying these laws "would not be consistent with the religious tenets of that organization."  This is sensible and reflects our nation's founding principles of religious freedom.  For years now, this policy has worked well, enabling church-run colleges and universities to hire personnel and establish policies and expectations regarding religious practice and personal conduct that reflect their beliefs and values.  SB 1146 proposes to drastically narrow that historic exemption so that it would only protect seminaries or other schools that train clergy and ministers.

Muslim Appreciation Month.  The State of California is planning to proclaim August Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.  Why?  Because CAIR wants them to!  Turns out, California isn't Mexifornia after all.  It's Caliph-ornia.

Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.  Remember the false report that Obama was going to name November to be National Muslim Appreciation Month?  The terrorist facilitators at CAIR apparently do — except for them, the fake story isn't satire; it's an excellent suggestion.  California is run by the sort of people who might agree. [...] Readers may recall that just last year 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured in a Muslim terror attack right there in California.  But no month will be set aside to honor victims of Islam, because that would be Islamophobic.

Here's the US city with the highest pot use.  San Francisco has a new claim to fame:  The city has the highest rate of marijuana use in the country, according to a new survey.  In the survey, which was conducted from 2012 to 2014 nationwide, 15.5 percent of people in San Francisco said they had used marijuana in the past month.  That's much higher than the national average of 7.7 percent.  Perhaps not surprisingly, parts of Colorado (where recreational marijuana use is legal) also had high rates of marijuana use.  About 14.8 percent of people in the northeastern part of the state, the Denver area, and the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state reported using marijuana in the past month.

Will California Ever Thrive Again?  There was more of the same-old, same-old California news recently.  Some 62 percent of state roads have been rated poor or mediocre.  There were more predications of huge cost overruns and yearly losses on high-speed rail — before the first mile of track has been laid.  One-third of Bay Area residents were polled as hoping to leave the area soon.  Such pessimism is daily fare, and for good reason.  The basket of California state taxes — sales, income, and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S.  Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom.  After years of drought, California has not built a single new reservoir.  Instead, scarce fresh aqueduct water is still being diverted to sea.  Thousands of rural central-California homes, in Dust Bowl fashion, have been abandoned because of a sinking aquifer and dry wells.  One in three American welfare recipients resides in California.  Almost a quarter of the state population lives below or near the poverty line.  Yet the state's gas and electricity prices are among the nation's highest.

California Reps Urge Obama To Stop California From Giving Illegals Obamacare.  House Republicans representing California pressured the Obama administration to stop its plan to expand Obamacare to illegal immigrants in the state Wednesday [6/30/2016].  Rep. Darrell Issa spearheaded the effort in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services signed by a number of California representatives slamming the plan's potential to further stagnate the economy and increase the burden on taxpayers in the state.  The California legislation would allow for a waiver permitting illegal immigrants in the state to buy private health insurance through the Obamacare exchange — allowing an estimated 390,000 more people the option to purchase plans.

Californians Will Decide Whether to Legalize Cannabis This Fall.  Yesterday [6/28/2016] the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially qualified for this November's ballot in California. [...] Like the legalization measures approved by voters in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, the AUMA would let adults 21 or older possess up to an ounce of marijuana at a time.  Like all of those states except Washington, it also allows sharing (up to an ounce) and home cultivation (up to six plants per household).  Unlike the four states that have legalized marijuana so far, the AUMA explicitly allows deliveries to consumers and on-site consumption at businesses licensed for that purpose.  Both of those options would be subject to approval by local governments, which also could ban marijuana businesses entirely and regulate (but not ban) home cultivation.

PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant.  California's last nuclear power plant will be phased out by 2025, under a joint proposal announced Tuesday morning by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and labor and environmental groups.  Under the proposal, the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County would be retired by PG&E after its current Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating licenses expire in November 2024 and August 2025. The power produced by Diablo Canyon's two nuclear reactors would be replaced with investment in a greenhouse-gas-free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage, PG&E said in a statement.

Blackout: California In Power Grid Emergency:  "All Customers Should Expect 14 Days Without Power".  The power grid is under direct threat as a result of the unprecedented, but little reported, massive natural gas leaks at Alisco Canyon that was ongoing for four months as an intense summer heat wave sets in.  California will have its first test of plans to keep the lights on this summer.  With record-setting heat and air conditioning demand expected in Southern California, the state's power grid operator issued a so-called "flex alert," urging consumers to conserve energy to help prevent rotating power outages — which could occur regardless.

Blackout California.  The shutdown of the leaking Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility has caused a loss of about 70bcf of stored gas that Southern California utilities have historically counted on to see them through the hot, high-demand summer months.  The California Independent Service Operator (CAISO), which manages the California grid, estimates that as a result all customers should expect to be without power for a total of 14 days this summer.  Some 21 million Southern Californians stand to be directly affected.  Are blackouts on such a scale likely?  It seems they are.

The Editor says...
Yep, the lights and the air conditioning won't work for a few days — in the hottest part of the year — but they sure got rid of all those nuclear power plants, didn't they?  Yessir, they sure managed to outlaw coal in their state.  I'll bet they wish they could wash their dishes, but they sure saved Mother Earth from certain destruction.

San Francisco Charter Amendment Would Grant Illegal Immigrants a Vote in Local Schools.  A potential San Francisco ballot proposal could give illegal immigrants a voice in Bay Area schools.  A charter amendment by San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar is intended to grant illegal immigrants with children in school the right to vote in San Francisco Unified School District school board elections.  Two similar measures were presented in the past, but they were rejected by voters.  "The time is right for San Francisco to make history, to pave the way for immigrant parents to have a say in the policy decisions that impact their child's education and who gets to sit on the Board of Education," Mar said in a statement.

California to ask feds to allow undocumented immigrants to use Obamacare.  California could become the first state to ask the federal government to let undocumented immigrants buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.  Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation Friday that attempts to allow people in the country illegally to purchase the insurance through Covered California without costing the state or federal government anything.

Federal judge rules California transgender inmates must get some female items.  A federal judge ruled Thursday [6/9/2016] that California prison officials must let transgender inmates have more female-oriented commissary items including nightgowns, robes, sandals, scarves and necklaces as part of a settlement that will make the stat the first to pay for an inmate's sex reassignment surgery.  California agreed in August to provide some items to transgender inmates who are housed in male prisons, aside from providing surgery to 56-year-old Shiloh Quine.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas decided that the policy didn't go far enough.  He said transgender inmates housed in men's prisons should have many of the same items provided to female inmates.  Shiloh's attorneys argued that the state was keeping some items from transgender prisoners "based solely upon gender norms" rather than security concerns.

The End of the Free-Speech Consensus.  What happens when the consensus for free speech evaporates and those with political power become willing to use any means necessary to silence people who hold unpopular views?  We'll probably soon receive the answer in California, as the state's dominant Democrats set the stage for prosecutors to take action against climate-change "deniers."  "A landmark California bill... would make it illegal to engage in climate-change dissent clearing the way for lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies, think tanks and others that have 'deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change,'" explains a Washington Times report.  The bill, S.B. 1161, passed through two committees but ultimately was shelved.  But like most "landmark" bills, this one will keep coming back until it passes.  The bill even comes with an Orwellian name, "The California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act."

San Francisco Moves to Open Voting to Illegals.  San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Eric Mar says the political climate is right to grant illegal immigrants the right to vote.  While even notoriously liberal San Francisco voters have rejected past efforts to grant voting privileges to illegals, Fox News reports that Mar thinks the backlash against Donald Trump will yield a strong turn-out of Latino and anti-Trump voters to the polls to pass his proposed charter amendment.

LGBT Bill Threatens California's Religious Schools.  A California state bill its sponsors say will prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at private universities is threatening to expose faith-based schools to enormous legal threats, school officials warn.  SB 1146, introduced in February by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, which passed the state Senate May 26, is designed to close "a little-known loophole" in California law under which private colleges can make admission, housing, and faculty decisions based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, according to a press release from Lara's office.  Lara is part of the state Legislature's seven-member California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus, which advocates for LGBT rights.

One law for us, another for you.  The California state Senate voted 28-8 Wednesday [6/8/2016] to exempt itself from the pointless gun-control laws that apply to the rest of the populace.  Legislators apparently think they alone are worthy to pack heat on the streets for personal protection, and the masses ought to wait until the police arrive.  This is just one of many bills Golden State politicians used this legislative session to set themselves apart from the little people, the ones who pay their inflated salaries.  Annual compensation for legislators averages about $140,000, not counting luxurious perks such as taxpayer-funded cars and free gasoline.  By comparison, the average Californian earns $50,000 a year, and the unemployment rate is 11.9 percent — far above the national average.  Exact salaries for state assemblymen and senators are obscured by the use of a "per diem" payment scheme that shelters a significant chunk of income from taxation.

San Francisco to try yet again to give illegal immigrants voting rights.  After two failed bids to grant voting rights to illegal immigrants, some San Francisco officials believe they have found the man who can make it happen:  Donald Trump.  A proposed charter amendment drafted by Board of Supervisors member Eric Mar would give illegal immigrants with kids in the public school system the right to vote in school elections.  Voters have rejected two previous ballot proposals, but Mar is betting on anti-Trump sentiment to carry the pro-illegal immigrant proposal if he can get it on the November ballot.

If You Share Undercover Exposés of Planned Parenthood, You Could End Up in a California Jail.  The California legislature is considering a bill that would make it impossible to expose Planned Parenthood with recordings unless they give their permission, but it is even worse than that.  Anyone who publishes, shares, emails the recordings would also be held liable for criminal prosecution.  The bill moved to the State Senate last week.  This is a serious effort.  Abortion mills are the latest protected class.

California's Crazy Election Quirks Limit Voter Choices and Create Chaos.  New polls show that the Democratic primary in California is neck and neck between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  If the election is close, and Hillary narrowly wins, it could be because arcane and suspect rules gave her an artificial advantage.  A Hillary win would rob Sanders of the ability to claim momentum and would blunt his efforts to fight for the nomination up until the Democratic convention.  California has made such a royal mess of its entire primary system that it needs to do a complete overhaul to restore the credibility of the system.

Trump is Correct about the California Drought.  On Friday, May 27, the prospective Republican candidate for president Donald Trump went to the city of Fresno, the capital of California's farming community, and declared: "there is no drought!"  This seemingly brash statement was met with ridicule and scorn across the blogosphere — how could anyone make such a so-called "stupid" statement when everyone knows that California has experienced a historically high dry spell since 2013?  But was Trump right?  Arguably yes.  Here's why.

Three Excellent Examples of Investigative Journalism on Migration Topics.  There has been all too little investigative reporting regarding immigration matters, but there were two remarkable exceptions to that last month, and a third late last year.  These three long, well researched articles dealt with scandals in a huge California visa mill, multiple problems in the EB-5 program, and in the H-2B program for temporary alien non-agricultural workers, perhaps the most ignored of the migration trouble spots.

California Senate sidelines bill to prosecute climate change skeptics.  A landmark bill allowing for the prosecution of climate change dissent effectively died Thursday [6/2/2016] after the California Senate failed to take it up before the deadline.  Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have "deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change."  The measure, which cleared two Senate committees, provided a four-year window in the statute of limitations on violations of the state's Unfair Competition Law, allowing legal action to be brought until Jan. 1 on charges of climate change "fraud" extending back indefinitely.

California moves to criminalize undercover filming at Planned Parenthood.  In the wake of an undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood's alleged fetal trafficking operation, the California state legislature is considering a bill that would criminalize publishing secretly recorded video footage of "health care providers."  AB 1671, which has been backed by Planned Parenthood, would criminalize the publication of confidential interactions with state-licensed medical personnel, including abortionists and clinician staff, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine per violation.

The Dead are Alive and Voting in California.  The only question is how many Undead-Americans will vote for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.  Because the dead are voting.  And we must not deny the franchise to undead Democrats.  That would be wrong and un-American.  It would put us on the wrong side of history.  California can lead the way to the restoration of voting rights for the dead, right after voting rights for felons.

Feds to Pay California to Finance FREE MediCaid Health Care for Illegal Aliens.  The responsibility of the Fed is to keep illegal aliens out of this country — instead Obama is importing them and giving them "free" health care — while cause honest citizens to pay higher taxes, receive lower quality health care and to crowd the system so honest Americans must wait while the Obama imports get their care.

California's Political Water Wars Heat Up.  Water wars are historic undertakings in California.  Countless other publications have written recently about the proposed ballot measure that would redirect High Speed Rail bond money for water-related projects and prioritize the use of water, But what makes this story interesting is the coalition of opponents, their motivations and techniques being employed.  The Committee to Stop the Special Interest Water Grab, led by David Guy, president of the Northern California Water Association, Tim Johnson, president of the California Rice Commission and a "contract administrator" at California Rice Industry Association, and political operative Steve Maviglio of Forza Communications and big supporter of High Speed Rail, have launched an all-out assault campaign against the California Water Priorities Initiative.

Lawmakers reject John Wayne Day over racism concerns.  What a California lawmaker intended as a benign resolution honoring a late, world-renowned movie icon exploded into an emotional debate over decades-old racist comments.

California Looks to Cover Illegal Immigrants Under Obamacare.  In an unprecedented move, California legislators look to extend Obamacare health coverage to the state's estimated 2.6 million illegal immigrant population.  If passed and signed into law, California would be the first state in the nation to request illegal immigrants be covered through a state exchange, the Los Angeles Times reported.  It is against the law for California to allow illegal immigrants to enroll in Covered California, the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange, Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the pro-free-market Pacific Research Institute, told The Daily Signal in an emailed response.  "The law does not allow illegals to enroll in the state exchanges or the federal exchange Healthcare.gov," Pipes said.

CalPERS Could Get Hands on Billions in Private-Sector Retirement Funds.  Instead of addressing the estimated $600 billion in unfunded liabilities in California's beleaguered public-employee pension system, Democrats in Sacramento have instead decided to "solve" a growing pension crisis in the private sector.  In 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed a measure that created an investment board and authorized a "feasibility study" of various options for a state-backed private-pension system.  That study came out last month, and the legislature is now vetting bills that would put its recommendations into action.  The plans under consideration would mandate participation in the new state-run retirement system for firms with five or more workers, though the workers themselves could opt out.  Employers that don't comply would face fines and other penalties.

21st Century California Reverts Back to the Wild West.  [Scroll down]  Today I generalize that about every old rural farmhouse in these environs can be characterized by three traits:  a) the house is a rental and not connected with the corporate fields around it; b) there are two to three families, in illegal fashion, living in ramshackle trailers and sheds on the property; c) the authorities don't dare enforce zoning or health laws, on the grounds that enforcement is a bad investment of their limited time and budget.  If I find a dead dog dumped on the alleyway (as I have three or four times over the last 12 months), with a rope around his neck and his insides exposed from dog fighting, I bury him and pass on calling the animal-control people.  In fairness to them, what would they do, run an investigation into rural dog fighting — in a state in which felons are routinely released from prisons and jails, and sanctuary cities offer amnesties?  I suppose a Queensland with his face ripped off is small potatoes.  (Does multiculturalism trump the ASPCA or PETA?)  Nor do I ever contact the state EPA or the county when monthly I collect baby carriages, car seats, tires, used paint cans, old Christmas trees, mattresses, and dirty diapers dumped on the side of the road — despite occasional junk mail signifying the address of the polluter.

San Francisco Torn as Some See 'Street Behavior' Worsen.  From her apartment at the foot of the celebrated zigzags of Lombard Street, Judith Calson has twice peered out her window as thieves smashed their way into cars and snatched whatever they could.  She has seen foreign tourists cry after cash and passports were stolen.  She shudders when she recounts the story of the Thai tourist who was shot because he resisted thieves taking his camera.  And that is her tally from the last year alone. [...] Recent data from the F.B.I. show that San Francisco has the highest per-capita property crime rate of the nation's top 50 cities.

Love Finds a Way in Oakland.  This month, Oakland's City Council voted 5-3 to adopt "Love Life" as the city's motto. [...] "Love Life" is the brainchild of Donald Lacy, whose daughter LoEshe — the name means "Love Life" in Nigerian — was killed near McClymonds High School in 1997.  The 16-year-old died in the sort of senseless random gang-turf shooting that has taken too many young black lives in Oakland. [...] Enter racial politics.  Because Schaaf and some motto foes are white, while McElhaney and some other supporters are black, "Love Life" fans suggested that opponents lacked empathy for victims of street violence.

Religious group sues San Francisco over open-air urinal.  A religious organization has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco to remove an open-air urinal it calls unsanitary and indecent from a popular park.  The Chinese Christian Union of San Francisco filed a civil complaint last week demanding the city remove the concrete circular urinal from the iconic Dolores Park.  The group says the urinal, which is out in the open and screened only with plants for privacy, "emanates offensive odors," "has no hand-washing facilities" and "it's offensive to manners and morals."

Should California AG Harris Be Investigated for Tax Code Violations?  California attorney general Kamala Harris is the state's top charity regulator, overseeing California's Registry of Charitable Trusts.  Ms. Harris has decided to bypass federal law expressly requiring her to obtain Schedule B information directly from the IRS on a case-by-case basis if she has a legitimate need for donor information to enforce her state's charitable solicitation laws.  Instead of abiding by federal law, she's employing a dragnet method, demanding that all charities registering with her office submit their Schedule B donor lists to the Registry in order to solicit contributions from Californians.

San Francisco Passes Fully Paid Parental Leave Bill.  San Francisco could soon become the first city in the nation to provide both parents with six weeks of fully-paid parental leave after a birth or adoption.  The measure, which was unanimously passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday [4/5/2016], will now require the signatures of Gov. Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  Both have indicated they will sign.

Casualties of a Living Wage: A California Bookstore Owner's Minimum Wage Story.  After more than a decade at the helm of her bookstore, Ann Kinner faces an uncertain future because of new measures at the city and state level to raise the minimum wage.  On June 7, San Diego residents will vote on a ballot measure to raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in 2017.  This proposal, coupled with a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, has left Kinner in knots.

California Department Of Justice Raids David Daleiden's Home.  The California Department of Justice raided the home of David Daleiden, the pro-life journalist behind the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood's harvesting and sale of human organs from aborted children.  Daleiden explained in a Facebook post that authorities with the California Department of Justice raided his home Tuesday afternoon and seized all video footage of Planned Parenthood employees' involvement in selling organs from aborted babies — including damning footage which has yet to be released.  Daleiden noted that the California Department of Justice serves under the authority of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who has benefited politically from Planned Parenthood: [...]

Planned Parenthood: David Daleiden Speaks out on Home Raid.  Undercover investigator David Daleiden's home in California was raided Tuesday [4/5/2016] by officials under the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Harris has been investigating Daleiden for months, after his video exposé of Planned Parenthood's alleged baby-parts scheme.  His videos allegedly showed Planned Parenthood personnel actively negotiating the sale of the livers, lungs, hearts and other organs of aborted unborn children.

Abortion Activist Claims Planned Parenthood Videos Caused Raid At His Home.  An anti-abortion activist who made undercover videos at Planned Parenthood clinics said in a social media posting that California Department of Justice agents raided his home Tuesday [4/5/2016].

California to Pay $5400 to Make Poor Sick People Dead.  California Medical — its version of Medicaid — will pay $5400 for the drugs to make the suicidal terminally ill poor, dead.  Worse, Medical recipients don't have access to good cancer treatment and doesn't pay well for palliative care.

California is first state to approve $15 minimum wage.  California has become the first state in the nation to approve a statewide $15 minimum wage.  Both the State Assembly and State Senate passed the measure on Thursday afternoon [3/31/2016].  Governor Jerry Brown said he would sign it on Monday.  "No one who is working full time in California should live in poverty due to a low wage," said Democratic State Senator Mark Leno, who cosponsored the bill.

Heaven Help California's Non-Urban Cities Under a $15 Minimum Wage.  If anybody is wondering why so many California residents outside of the big cities want to break away and make their own states, just take note of the news today that California legislators have made a deal with the all-powerful unions to jack up the minimum wage for all industries and all employers across the state to $15 by 2022 and then tie future increases to inflation.  Small business in California will have until 2023 to comply.  There are 13 counties in California that still have double-digit unemployment figures, according to the state's own data.  The data isn't seasonally adjusted, so keep in mind that unemployment naturally rises at the start of a new year.  But even taking into account an adjustment there are significant populations in the state struggling to find work.  None of these high unemployment counties are connected to the big cities.

San Francisco mayor bans city workers from traveling to North Carolina.  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement Friday [3/25/2016] he doesn't want any city workers to travel to North Carolina unless necessary in wake of its legislation which blocks anti-discrimination for gay, lesbian and transgender people.  "We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina's new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals," Lee said in the statement.

Palo Alto residents who earn up to $250,000 a year to qualify for subsized housing.  The well-heeled California neighborhood, where a plot of land recently sold for $2.7 million, is home to some of America's richest entrepreneurs who work a few miles away in Silicon Valley.  With house price averages an eye-watering $3 million, even those earning $250,000-a-year are spending two-thirds of their monthly salary (around $14,000) paying off their mortgage.  It means workers such as teachers, janitors, firefighters, social workers, police officers and more are not paid enough to afford the local rent, driving up congestion as they commute in.

California AG Kamala Harris wants your private information from the IRS.  Charity donor information on Schedule B is protected under federal law as confidential.  Charities and their donors worry that imperious, uber-liberal Ms. Harris will leak this confidential information to their ideological opponents and her allies.  Among its various acts of lawlessness and lawbreaking, Lois Lerner's IRS was caught leaking this type of confidential donor information of the National Organization for Marriage to its opponents.

The Weirdness of Illegal Immigration.  When someone ignores a federal statute, then it is naturally easy to flout more. In Los Angeles, half the traffic accidents are hit-and-run collisions.  I can attest first-hand that running from an accident or abandoning a wrecked vehicle is certainly a common occurrence in rural California.  Last night on a rural road, a driver behind me (intoxicated? Malicious? Crazy?) apparently tried to rear-end me, then turned off his lights, sped up, and at the next stop sign pulled over swearing out the window in Spanish.  In this age and in these environs, why would one call a sheriff for a minor everyday occurrence like that?  The point is simply that when there is no federal law, no one has any idea how several million arrive in the U.S., much less what exactly they were doing before their illegal arrival. [...] To read the local Fresno Bee is to collate a daily tally of stabbings, shootings, gang violence, carjackings, thefts, and chop shops — without any exegesis why this is so.  Cuts in law enforcement?  Therapeutic approach to the law?  A complete failure to integrate and assimilate the second generation of illegal immigrants?  The inability to offer jobs in a command state economy?

CA's Knee-Jerk Bill Forbids Travel to Un-PC States.  Hopefully, this Californian lawmaker puts more thought into the other bills he introduces.  This week, Evan Low, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would ban California state employees from traveling to states that passed a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  "No one wants to send employees into an environment where they would be uncomfortable," Low reportedly said, as if hurt feelings are enough to hamper the state's ability to cooperate with other members of the union.  But here's the kicker:  the lawmaker doesn't know how many states his little bill would affect.  Furthermore, the bill would only apply to government employees. [...] This isn't the first time Low introduced a bill for the gay-rights community.  Last May, Low co-authored a resolution with two other California lawmakers responding to the FDA's blood donor guidelines that forbid sexually active homosexuals from donating blood.

California's violation of federal civil rights laws.  In August 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care, suddenly and without prior notice, issued a mandate to private market healthcare plans in California requiring them to cover all abortions as a "basic health care service" — including late-term and gender selective abortions.  (Prior to this mandate, California limited coverage to medically necessary abortions.)  The new mandate violates a longstanding federal civil rights law — the Weldon Amendment.  Congress first enacted Weldon in 2002 to protect healthcare providers and insurers from governmental discrimination on the basis that they choose not to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.  The victims of this type of governmental discrimination have only one recourse:  file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  This has proven entirely futile.

California is considering a travel ban on states with anti-gay laws.  Like always, lawmakers jammed a mountain of bills into the legislative queue just ahead of the Feb. 19 deadline to introduce them.  Many of them affect state employees.  Some would install new laws and regulations that pile on workload (it happens every year to DMV staff) or by altering some aspect of how state government itself conducts business.  Now, with the 30-day waiting period to start hearing those measures just ahead, here's one to watch:  Assembly Bill 1887 by Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell.  Low wants to prohibit state employees from government-funded travel to states that have "a law in effect that sanctions or requires discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression," according to his bill's language.

The Editor says...
Is homosexuality really that important to California politicians?  No, but control certainly is.  The government wants unlimited power to control the way we act and think, and the ability to make us associate with those whom we would prefer to avoid.

The New California Crime Wave.  Something amazing has happened in California.  First, a brief background:  Crime rates across the state, after a long period of steady decline, had reached fifty-year lows in 2014.  Then, that November, a 60 percent majority of California voters — presumably incapable of accepting such good news without a measure of collective guilt — decided that it would be a really enlightened idea to pass Proposition 47, a ballot initiative bearing the cheery name "The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act."  The purpose of this measure was to downgrade many types of drug possession and property crimes from felonies (punishable by more than a year in prison) to misdemeanors (which often entail no prison time at all).  For the benefit of squeamish skeptics, the self-assured proponents of Prop 47 condescended to explain that these reduced penalties would not only alleviate prison overcrowding, but would also make California's streets safer by placing drug offenders into warm-and-fuzzy treatment and counseling programs, rather than into disagreeable prison cells.  If you think this sounds like a familiar old tune, you're quite correct.  It was #1 on the left-wing hit parade throughout the 1960s, when it became the theme song of skyrocketing crime rates across the United States.  And now the Golden Oldie is back, in the Golden State.  The tangible results of Prop 47 were both immediate and breathtaking.  Within a year, there were some 14,000 fewer inmates in California's state prisons and local jails, just as the Proposition's backers had promised.  But the other half of their promise — improved public safety — somehow failed to materialize.

San Francisco Public Library hosts drag queen story hour for children.  What do drag queens and children have in common?  They both find joy in wrapping themselves in feather boas and all things shiny and glittery.  A San Francisco nonprofit recognizes this shared interest in dressing up and is joining forces with the San Francisco Public Library to bring drag queens and children together.  Radar Productions, a group giving voice to queer writers and artists, will be hosting Honey Mahogany at the Eureka Valley Harvey Milk Memorial Library, March 12, noon to 2 p.m, in the heart of the Castro District.  Dressed in fabulous drag-queen garb and full makeup, Honey will be reading stories, painting children's faces and passing out cookies.

New California Law Forces Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers to Advertise Abortions.  Did you hear about the new bill that California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law? [...] The bill he signed (AB775), named the Reproductive Fact Act, aims to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer women and girls compassionate alternatives to abortion.  Under penalty of ruinous fines for every "violation," the law orders the pro-life centers to post notices and tell mothers that they can abort their babies and have California taxpayers foot the bill via the state's expansive Medi-Cal program.

City workers in San Diego barred from uttering 'biased' term 'Founding Fathers'.  The traditional reference to America's patriotic patriarchs is considered gender biased, and a city manual banning the term was reinforced this week with verbal orders, according to legal watchdog group, Pacific Justice Institute.  "At a time set aside to honor American icons to whom we owe our constitutional freedoms, it is offensive and indefensible that the City of San Diego is directing employees not to even mention the Founding Fathers," Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said in a statement provided to FoxNews.com.  The warning against referring to Washington, Jefferson, Adams and company as "Founding Fathers" first appeared in a section of a city-issued manual titled, "Bias-Free Language."

After Hiring 1,000 New DMV Bureaucrats, California Issues 605,000 Licenses To Illegals.  After spending $141 million to hire nearly 1,000 new Department of Motor Vehicle employees to process driver's license applications in the wake of AB60 — the California law to issue driver's licenses to 1.5 million illegal immigrants — the results are in, and it's clear the bureaucrats have kept busy.  Tuesday [2/9/2016], the DMV said it had issued 605,000 shiny new driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, with the full 1.5 million expected to be in place in the next two years.  The total accounted for more than half of the licenses issued in 2015.  But that's not searchable in a database, accounting to True The Vote.

California's "unprecedented mass forgiveness" of convicts raises more than a few questions.  In case you hadn't heard, California's governor has been on something of a binge in terms of releasing convicts from prison and reforming the system to be more fair to everyone.  Prison reform and rehabilitation vs isolation is all the rage these days it seems.  The Washington Post ran a feature this week on how wonderfully this has been going and it certainly makes a grade A effort to paint a happy face on these proposals.

You Can Now Urinate in Public in San Francisco.  San Francisco has installed an outdoor urinal in Dolores Park near the Mission District as part of the more than $20 million renovation of the recreation area in an attempt to combat a "rampant" public urination issue.  "The more options we can give them to relieve themselves, the better for the parkgoers," San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener told the Associated Press.

San Francisco park debuts open-air urinal.  San Francisco's iconic Dolores Park is now home to the city's first open-air urinal, the latest move to combat the destructive scourge of public urination in the City by the Bay.

Kamala Harris crosses lines of both privacy and the law.  California Attorney General Kamala Harris must be so ambitious that she is willing to tempt fate of multiple civil lawsuits and even criminal charges so she can intimidate her ideological opponents — and even her supporters.  Ms. Harris oversees licensing of charities across the country that ask Californians for contributions.  She's also a candidate for the United States Senate.  In disregard of the 1958 landmark civil rights decision NAACP v. Alabama and post-Watergate reforms to the Internal Revenue Code to protect tax information privacy, Ms. Harris is now telling charities and other nonprofit organizations that in order to get from her a charitable solicitation license they must first provide her office a confidential federal tax schedule listing their most valuable donors.

Under Obamacare, Medi-Cal ballooned to cover 1 in 3 Californians.  California officials never anticipated how many people would sign up for state-run health insurance under Obamacare.  The state's health plan for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, now covers 12.7 million people, 1 of every 3 Californians.

Never Enough Abortions in California.  California is such a pro-abortion state that:  1. It allows non-doctor nurse practitioners to terminate fetal life.  2. Its voters have twice refused to vote in a "parent notification" law, requiring that parents of underage girls be told — not approve, just notified — that their daughter had an abortion.  And now:  3. Crisis pregnancy centers — that help women choose to give birth by providing counseling and material support — will be required to post notices of where abortions can be obtained with phone numbers, as well as that they might be obtained for free.

America's Can't-Do State: California's Man-Made Drought Continues.  The first desalination plant in a state dragging itself through a drought has finally opened — a welcome event but also instructive in how nearly impossible it is to build anything useful in California. [...] The Carlsbad desalination plant was proposed in 1998 and took almost 18 years to build.  But only three of those years were actually spent building.  The rest were wasted on politics and the usual Golden State regulatory and bureaucratic tangle.  One of the plant's investors told a California writer that the duplicative state approval process alone delayed the project by at least a decade and added about 10% to total costs.

San Francisco Is Needle City.  In 1997, I went to a "needle exchange" in San Francisco to see firsthand how the "harm reduction program" prevented the spread of HIV among addicts. [...] Under the new order, San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Rachael Kagan explained, "you don't need a needle to get a needle."  Users who show up at a "syringe access" center can get a "starter kit" of 20 needles.  If they want more than 20 needles, they have to present used needles.  I walked into a nearby facility and walked away with my own starter kit in a discreet plain brown bag.  San Francisco now asks users to leave their discarded syringes in drop boxes at public toilets, pharmacies and clinics.  I got a "sharps" disposal box with my 20-needle kit.  Alas, there's another oft-used disposal venue — city streets and sidewalks.  If you walk around the city, then you've seen the used needles.

Half of immigrants in state illegally could be eligible for Medi-Cal expansion, study finds.  Half of Californians in the country illegally would be eligible for the state's healthcare program for the poor if it were expanded under a proposal by legislators, a new report finds.  Some California politicians are pushing to open up the $91-billion Medi-Cal program to people here illegally, since such immigrants are not allowed to sign up for insurance under Obamacare.

All 20 'Worst Small Cities in America' in California.  The annual WalletHub's 2015 "Best & Worst Small Cities in America" found that all 20 of the worst small cities in America to live in are in California.

California: A state of death.  Shortly after signing a bill allowing assisted suicide in California, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed another measure that forces pregnancy crisis centers to "offer information about affordable contraception, abortion and prenatal care."  The information is to be displayed in the form of a sign tacked to the crisis center's door and must include a phone number to the nearest county services office where family free or low-cost family planning services can be obtained.  Deceptively labeled the Reproductive FACT Act, the measure requires women seeking help with an unplanned pregnancy to be informed of alternatives, including abortions, which the pregnancy crisis centers do not perform.

Does the government want you to die?  Gov. Brown and his Democratic Party majority in the California state Legislature have benevolently given people the "right to die."  Assisted suicide is now legal in California, but we have to ask ourselves:  What is the government's incentive to help people die?[...] The government does not need give anyone permission to commit suicide.  And that leads to the question:  What motivates a government to give you permission to end your life and assist you in the process?

Jerry Brown Cooks Up A Recipe For California Voter Fraud.  Just months after handing out California driver's licenses to illegals, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law to automatically register every driver to vote.  Supposedly, it's to raise turnout.  More likely, it's inviting fraud.  So how does opening up U.S. presidential elections to the votes of any of the citizens of El Salvador, Armenia, Mexico or China sound?  Foreigners have complained for years about wanting to vote in U.S. elections and in California.  And now they may get their wish — unless California's Gov. Jerry Brown is somehow kept from enacting AB 1461, a bill to automatically register every recipient of a California driver's license to vote.

Non-Citizens Will Now Vote in At Least One State.  Governor Jerry Brown just sold out the American vote in California.  He signed a new version of the Motor Voter Act that will register every eligible California citizen who acquires a driver's license or renews a license at the Department of Motor Vehicles to vote.  This is after he made all illegal aliens eligible for diver's licenses.  Eleven states allow illegal aliens to get driver's licenses.

Gov. Brown Approves Automatic Voter Registration at DMV for Californians.  Targeting California's recent record-low voter turnout, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed a measure that would eventually allow Californians to be automatically registered to vote when they go to the DMV to obtain or renew a driver's license.  The measure, which would also allow Californians to opt out of registering, was introduced in response to the dismal 42% turnout in the November 2014 statewide election.

California opens the door to more voter fraud with new motor voter law.  California's Governor had a busy weekend, breaking out his pen and signing nearly two dozen bills into law.  Most of them centered on the voting process in the Golden State, but while liberals are taking a victory lap there are hints that these maneuvers are going to signal trouble down the line.  The big ticket item in the legislative package was the "New Motor Voter Law."  This brainstorm will make voter registration automatic for any person receiving a new driver's license or renewing an existing one.

Cutting ozone will require radical transformation of California's trucking industry.  At a laboratory in downtown Los Angeles, a big rig spins its wheels on massive rollers as a metal tube funnels its exhaust into an array of air quality sensors.  Engineers track the roaring truck's emissions from a bank of computer screens.  The brand-new diesel truck is among the cleanest on the road, the engineers at the California Air Resources Board testing lab say.  Even so, its 550-horsepower engine spews out more than 20 times the smog-forming nitrogen oxides of a typical gasoline-powered car — and that won't be good enough for the state to meet stricter federal smog limits adopted this month.

California to become the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives.  California will become the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives using doctor-prescribed drugs after Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday [10/5/2015] he had signed one of the most emotionally charged bills of the year.

California mom claims retailer booted her for complaining about man in girls' restroom.  A California mom who says she was recently kicked out of a sporting goods store after alerting a manager that man had frightened her young daughter in the women's restroom is demanding answers — and a policy change — from the Washington-based chain.  The woman, who spoke to FoxNews.com but asked not to be identified, said she was shopping with her 12-year-old daughter and the girl's younger friend when her daughter told her what had happened moments earlier at an REI sporting goods store during a shopping trip in late August.

The 'Affordable Housing' Fraud.  Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of "affordable housing," as among politicians and others in coastal California.  And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters.  A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500.  Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment.  It is not just in San Francisco that putting a roof over your head can take a big chunk out of your pay check.  The whole Bay Area is like that.

California gas prices
Everything Wrong with California in One Photo.  Nationwide gasoline prices are below $3 a gallon.  But here in California it is not unusual to see prices still over $4 a gallon.  So what do liberals here want to do?  Pass a law that mandates reducing gasoline consumption by 50 percent by the year 2030 — just 15 years from now.  This proved too much even for some Democrats — the ones who represent actual poor and (previously) working people in the Central Valley, unlike the West LA and Silicon Valley and San Francisco Democrats who represent smug rich people who drive Teslas.  These old-style Democrats said they would not vote for the bill.


California issuing free diplomas to high school students who flunked out.  Plenty of state school systems are struggling with ways to not only keep up with national mandates and restrictions, but to boost their graduation rates so they can maintain their funding and reduce criticism from the public.  California seems to have come up a rather unique, back door approach to the problem.  You could always take tens of thousands of former high school students who flunked out and simply give them a diploma anyway.

California Will Give Free High School Diplomas To Kids Who Flunked Out.  The California High School Exit Exam (CASHEE) was created in 2004, and is intended to make sure that students have a rudimentary grasp of English and mathematics before being awarded a high school diploma, and to counter the phenomenon of students receiving passing grades while learning almost nothing.  The test is hardly complex.  The math test, for instance, only covers 8th grade-level material and can be passed if students answer 55 percent of questions correctly.

University of California considering recognizing a "right" to be "free from ... expressions of intolerance".  The policy specifically condemns the expression of particular viewpoints as "intolerant," as having "no place at the University of California," and a violation of others' rights to be "free from ... expressions of intolerance."  For instance, articulating a view that people with various intellectual disabilities are incapable of various intellectual tasks, or people with various physical disabilities are incapable of various physical tasks, would be condemned by the authority of the University. Articulating a view that there are cultural (or even biological) differences between ethnic and racial groups in various fields — condemned by the authority of the University, without regard to the arguments for or against the particular assertion.  It's just an up-front categorical rule; whatever you want to say along these lines, we don't want to hear it, we don't care what your arguments are, we'll condemn it, and faculty and students have a right not to hear it.

California Assembly Approves Assisted Suicide Bill.  The ghost of Brittany Maynard came back for yet another haunting Wednesday [9/9/2015] when the California Assembly voted to allow physician-assisted suicide by a vote of 43-34.  After having lost in the California Senate back in June due to efforts largely from the Roman Catholic Church, the merchants of death simply regrouped and returned to the lower house of the legislature to approve the End of Life Option Act.

Median total compensation for Redwood City firefighters — at least $226,365.  Back in February 2014 the California Policy Center publicly announced the Transparent California website, developed in partnership with the Nevada Policy Research Institute.  An article covering this announcement was posted on the Forbes Magazine website, entitled "Hundreds Of California Government Employees Are Paid Over $400,000 A Year," which a review of 2013 Transparent California data (2014 data is still being assembled) easily confirms.  As a matter of fact, in 2013, total compensation in excess of $400,000 was paid to 1,292 public servants in California.  A staggering 2,818 of California's public employees collected total compensation in excess of $300,000 in 2013.

Bums Bury San Francisco in Feces.  San Francisco is also a center of leftism.  The liberals running the city have laid out a red carpet for dysfunctional street people, who come from all over the country to collect their freebies and crap on the sidewalk.  Combined with the policy of no longer incarcerating any but the most obviously violent lunatics, this has reduced the city to a cross between a mental institution and a sewer.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Wants Obama to Wall-off 1 million Acres in Desert.  U.S. Senator Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked President Barack Obama on Friday [8/21/2015] to bypass Congress and use the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create three new national monuments in the California desert.  The move would extend federal protection over more than 1 million acres of mountain ranges, sandy expanses and forests running roughly between Palm Springs and the Nevada border.

No one showed up for California's green jobs rush.  In 2012, California voters were peppered with grandiose promises, such that they could not resist approving Proposition 39. [...] Naturally, it did not work at all.  On Monday, the Associated Press reported that the program has "created" just 1,700 jobs in three years — just under 600 jobs per year or roughly five percent of what was promised, at the cost of $175,000 per job.  Even that paltry figure fails to account for opportunity costs — i.e. jobs lost statewide because of the forced diversion of economic resources away from productive industries and toward green energy.  The number of net jobs created is likely zero or less than zero, which is to say that probably a few hundred or a few thousand jobs have been destroyed so far at a cost of $300 million.

California moves to provide interpreters in all court cases.  Legal advocates say throughout the state, litigants in divorce, child custody, eviction and other civil cases who have difficulty with English are going into court without qualified interpreters.

California's SB3, the Minimum Wage Hike.  California has embarked upon a dangerous experiment.  The Democrats who secured total control of the statehouse have been the most productive group of legislators at passing bills in the last 50 years.  Most of these bills were passed stealthily to avoid media scrutiny.  The last minimum wage hike was rammed through without much media attention.  The same with the Sick Leave Law that went into effect in July of 2015.  These two new costs, when combined with the federal ACA have increased the cost of labor roughly 35% overnight.  None of these assaults on California businesses were sensibly staggered, nor was the business community even consulted.  It's as if the feeling that exists under the Capital building is a childlike free-for-all to greedily get as much vote-buying, pro-labor legislation in before the window closes.  And now comes SB3, which is to amend the last minimum wage and take it higher, much much higher, for the entire state.

The Collapse of California.  The place they once called the Golden State is providing a sobering look at America's possible Third World future. [...] California now has the highest rate of poverty in the country.  The drought, which is also not being helped by the rapid increase in population, is now drying up entire rivers.  Not surprisingly, the "watchdog press" is chiefly concerned with making sure people don't connect the dots between an overcrowded, Third World demographic profile and a Third World way of life.

Without immigration reform, California citizenship will have to do.  It started with in-state tuition.  Then came driver's licenses, new rules designed to limit deportations and state-funded healthcare for children.  And on Monday [8/10/2015], in a gesture heavy with symbolism, came a new law to erase the word "alien" from California's labor code.  Together, these piecemeal measures have taken on a significance greater than their individual parts — a fundamental shift in the relationship between California and its residents who live in the country illegally.  The various benefits, rights and protections add up to something experts liken to a kind of California citizenship.

Gov. Brown doesn't want California to use this word for immigrants.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed a trio of immigration-related measures Monday [8/10/2015], including one removing the word "alien" from California's labor code because it is seen as a disparaging term for those not born in the United States.  Brown also signed into law legislation allowing noncitizens in high school to serve as election poll workers and protecting the rights of immigrant minors in civil lawsuits.

Red Flags Of Corruption Over Huntington Park.  In a page-one headline, the Los Angeles Times hailed the appointment of illegal immigrants to two Huntington Park, Calif., civic commissions as a milestone that "charts a bold path for immigrants."  It was booster journalism at its worst, gushing about illegals gaining participatory "rights" in U.S. public life that had supposedly been unjustly denied them.  It also stood in stark contrast with the multiple local press reports — KPCC, KTLA, CBS-LA and more — which reported the event as primarily cause for angry protests.

Thousands of California convicts to regain voting rights.  California restored voting rights Tuesday [8/4/2015] to tens of thousands of criminals serving sentences under community supervision, reversing a decision by a state official that they could not participate in elections.  Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the settlement between the state and the American Civil Liberties Union of California, which sued on behalf of nearly 60,000 convicts who became ineligible to vote when then Secretary of State Debra Bowen determined in 2014 that community supervision was equivalent to parole.

California's Medi-Cal explosion.  California is coming face to face with the reality of one of its biggest Obamacare successes:  the explosion in Medi-Cal enrollment.  The numbers — 2.2 million enrollees since January — surprised healthcare experts and created unforeseen challenges for state officials.  Altogether, there are now about 11 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries, constituting nearly 30% of the state's population.

Audit Finds Massive Financial Mismanagement In West Covina.  It was a bumbling city that didn't know how much it was collecting or spending.  It signed large contracts without proper bidding and hired administrators without vetting their qualifications.  Its city manager spent lavishly on meals and arrangements for council members with the city credit card.  And it lost $1 million by selling a developer land it wasn't legally allowed to sell.  Those were the findings of a state audit released Thursday [7/9/2015] that blistered the management of West Covina, whose roiling politics usually make few ripples outside its east San Gabriel Valley boundaries.

California Is A Microcosm Of American Mediocrity.  California keeps reminding us what has gone astray with America in recent years.  The state is in the midst of a crippling four-year-old drought.  Yet it has built almost no major northern or central mountain reservoirs since the New Melones Dam of 1979.  That added nearly 3 million acre-feet to the state's storage reserves — a critical project that was almost canceled by endless environmental lawsuits and protests.  Although California has almost doubled in population since the dam's construction, its politicians apparently decided that completing more northern and Sierra Nevada water projects was passe.  So the parched state now prays for rain and snow rather than building reservoirs to ensure that the next drought won't shut down the state.

California regulators approve higher electricity rates for most residents.  Electric bills are set to rise over the next few years for most household customers served by California's major investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison.  The increases are a result of sweeping changes approved Friday [7/2/2015] by the California Public Utilities Commission — the first statewide rate overhaul since the 2000-01 energy crisis.  Modest and moderate consumers of electricity will bear a greater share of costs, while many larger users of electricity will see their bills shrink or increase less rapidly.

CA Water Board Prioritizes Fish Over People.  As severe drought conditions in California continue to worsen, state officials have started to roll out with new regulations to prioritize various water interests.  On Wednesday [6/24/2015], the State Water Resources Control Board adopted new emergency regulations to protect endangered and threatened fish.  Low flows in four tributaries of the Russian River cause "high temperatures, low oxygen levels and isolated pools of water that can kill fish," such as the coho salmon and steelhead trout.

California budget deal to make state first in nation to offer health care to undocumented kids.  The $115.4 billion agreement announced Tuesday [6/16/2015] is expected to win easy approval from the [California] Senate and Assembly before the fiscal year begins July 1, and its immigrant health care provisions were touted by its backers as a necessity in the face of federal inaction.

The Editor says...
Sometimes there's a reason for "federal inaction."  In fact, "federal inaction" is often the best we can hope for.

Goodnight, California.  8:00 PM[:]  I'm on the upstairs balcony looking out over miles of lush countryside.  It's quite scenic, something in between verdant Tuscany and the aridness of Sicily.  I can hear the ag pumps of the surrounding farms everywhere churning 24/7.  In a normal year they would never be turned on, as river water irrigated the fields and recharged the water table.  Then come two sirens.  Will the power go off?  Quite often, someone after too much to drink goes airborne and hits a power pole on these rural roads.  I got back inside in case things go dark to review the mail.  The local irrigation district has not delivered water in four years (what do ditch tenders do when canals and ditches are empty?) and now wants a tax hike to keep up with increased expenses.  In fact, half the mail seems to be drought information from various agencies.

Has the federal government ever had sex?  Law professors Stephen J. Schulhofer and Erin Murphy are trying to update the criminal code when it comes to sex offenses, believing current definitions of rape and sexual assault are antiquated.  The focus of their draft is on what constitutes consent.  It adopts the "yes means yes," or "affirmative consent" model that was passed in California last year.  The California law applies only to college campuses, however.

The Editor says...
Really, I try to keep this web site "family friendly," but when you keep track of all the things liberals do, in places like California, and then put it on a web page, it's not easy to avoid topics like promiscuity.

California's Unsustainable Comeback.  Sometime this year, the Federal Reserve is expected to increase interest rates.  When that happens, many experts believe the market will correct as investors exit equities.  Any setback in the stock market will eviscerate California's income taxes.

California's sexual re-education camps are coming soon.  Not content to redefine consent to mean asking permission before every step of the sexual process, California is now on the path to teaching high school students the proper way to have sex — because human nature is now wrong. [...] This means that every time two college students have sex they have to act like they've never met before and ask for approval for everything from the first kiss and touch through intercourse.  I tried multiple times to ask the sponsor of the California bill, State Sen. Kevin de Leon, how someone could prove they obtained consent under his law, but only received press releases and quoted paragraphs from the bill.

California Senate OKs health coverage for many immigrants here illegally.  The state Senate on Tuesday [6/2/2015] approved a hotly debated measure that would allow many immigrants in the state illegally to sign up for special healthcare programs that would offer the same benefits as Medi-Cal.  The action comes just days after lawmakers significantly scaled back the plan, which originally would have offered state-subsidized Medi-Cal to people in the country without authorization.

Water crisis puts California Democrats on defense.  Wherever he goes, Tom Del Beccaro asks California voters which they would prefer:  high-speed rail or more water.  Invariably, the answer is the same.  "Everybody says water," said Mr. Del Beccaro, a Republican who's running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016.  "I think every dime that exists should be allocated there.  [But] we are spending more than 15 times the amount on a train than we are on new water.  "In my speeches, I also ask people to raise their hand if they think we have a train crisis," he adds.

Audit finds millions in overtime pay at L.A. transportation department.  Last year, the average employee who paints stripes on roads and installs street signs for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation made $48,100 in overtime, almost six times what most other city workers received.  Four supervisors claimed $70,000 in OT, and one manager drew $155,319, effectively tripling his salary.  Those and other findings were in a transportation department audit issued Tuesday by City Controller Ron Galperin.  It revealed in particular that workers in the paint and sign division collected what Galperin characterized as "staggering" amounts of overtime, costing the city $3.3 million in a single year and raising concerns that some of the extra pay might have been claimed improperly.

In Los Angeles, unions make an offer companies can't refuse.  From the truth is stranger than fiction except if you're in Los Angeles and/or dealing with union personnel file we learn what happens when reality slaps high-sounding abstract liberal theory in the face.  In this instance, reality wins.  Sort of.

Los Angeles becomes the biggest city yet to approve a $15 minimum wage.  The Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday [5/19/2015] to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, up from the current $9 an hour, making the city the largest in the country to set a target that has gone from almost absurdly ambitious to mainstream in the span of a few years.  The bill, which will need to clear a final vote, passed by a margin of 14-1.

Blue state infrastructure.  A month ago, we spent a spring break week in southern California.  The weather was glorious, and we had a wonderful time.  But we were appalled by the third-world condition of California's roads and highways.  California's highways are not just decrepit and pocked with potholes, they are downright dangerous.  Billions of dollars would be required to bring California's roads, bridges, cloverleafs and related infrastructure up to the level that is taken for granted in, say, South Dakota.  But California's Democrats have higher priorities, whether it is doling out dollars to the party's supporters, funding environmental projects that will never see the light of day, or finding new ways to attract illegal immigrants.

California Rings The Mission Bell For Voter Fraud.  A bill to automatically register all drivers is speeding through the California legislature.  In a state that already offers driver's licenses to millions of illegals, this is an invitation to massive fraud.  Advanced by Democrats, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, AB 1461 automatically registers anyone applying for a California driver's license as a voter in local, state and federal elections.  It's all in the interest of supposedly increasing voter participation.  This has the hideous look of a back-door bill to encourage illegal immigrants to vote in elections they have no right to vote in, in a country they have no loyalty to.

Starbucks' Ethos water comes from drought-stricken California.  Starbucks' Ethos bottled water, while promising to help children around the world "get clean water," is quietly helping to drain drought-ravaged California of its precious H2O, according to a report.  The $1.95-a-bottle water is sourced, in part, from a bottling plant in Merced, Calif., which is ranked in the "exceptional drought" category by the US Drought Monitor, according to the report.

Port of Los Angeles police chief indicted for corruption.  The police chief for the Port of Los Angeles has been charged with corruption in an alleged kickback and bribery scheme.

An ironic drought in California.  The present four-year California drought is not novel — even if President Barack Obama and California Gov. Jerry Brown have blamed it on man-made climate change.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California droughts are both age-old and common.  Predictable California dry spells — like those of 1929-34, 1976-77 and 1987-92 — more likely result from poorly understood but temporary changes in atmospheric pressures and ocean temperatures.  What is new is that the state has never had 40 million residents during a drought — well over 10 million more than during the last dry spell in the early 1990s.  Much of the growth is due to massive and recent immigration.

California's class-based water woes..  If you can put aside for the moment the New York Times' stubborn use of the "farmers use 80% of the water in California" canard, this article isn't too bad.  It certainly notes the deep class divisions that are taking place in the state.  To put it simply:  the rich buy their way out of the restrictions and everybody else can't.

No, Farmers Don't Use 80 Percent of California's Water.  This is a textbook example of how the media perpetuates a false narrative based on a phony statistic.  Farmers do not use 80 percent of California's water.  In reality, 50 percent of the water that is captured by the state's dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, and other infrastructure is diverted for environmental causes.  Farmers, in fact, use 40 percent of the water supply.  Environmentalists have manufactured the 80 percent statistic by deliberately excluding environmental diversions from their calculations.  Furthermore, in many years there are additional millions of acre-feet of water that are simply flushed into the ocean due to a lack of storage capacity — a situation partly explained by environmental groups' opposition to new water-storage projects.

Global-Warming Guacamole.  That California's catastrophic drought is a result of global warming has become a commonplace of contemporary political rhetoric.  That truism isn't true:  Most scientific accounts of California's current dry spell link recent low precipitation to naturally occurring atmospheric cycles, not to global warming.  Indeed, most of the global-warming models relied upon by those advocating more-invasive environmental policies predict that warming would leave California with wetter winters — winter precipitation being critical to the snowpack-dependent state — rather than the drier winters at the root of the state's current water crisis.

Red ink could kill Covered California.  Indeed, there's no more money coming from Washington after the state exhausts the $1.1 billion it received from the federal government to get the Obamacare exchange up and running.  And state law prohibits Sacramento from spending any money to keep the exchange afloat.  That presents an existential crisis for Covered California, which is facing a nearly $80 [sic] budget deficit for its 2015-16 fiscal year.

Insiders Detail Culture of Secrecy at California's Obamacare Exchange.  Aiden Hill's introduction to the secretive culture at Covered California came in his first days on the job.  He had just been hired to head up the agency's $120 million call center effort when he emailed a superior April 18, 2013, and got a text message in reply:  ["]Please refrain from writing a lot of draft contract language in government email ... And don't clarify via email ... No email.["]

Big Idea: California Is So Over.  California has met the future, and it really doesn't work.  As the mounting panic surrounding the drought suggests, the Golden State, once renowned for meeting human and geographic challenges, is losing its ability to cope with crises.  As a result, the great American land of opportunity is devolving into something that resembles feudalism, a society dominated by rich and poor, with little opportunity for upward mobility for the state's middle- and working classes.

Critics say California drought caused by misguided environment policies.  In an average year, California gets enough snow and rain to put 200 million acres under a foot of water, but environmental opposition to dams over the last several decades has allowed the majority of the freshwater to flow into the ocean, even as the state's population exploded to nearly 40 million people.  The current drought has left farms parched and residents under strict water consumption orders, but some say it didn't have to be that way.

Californians can now be fined for long showers!  I reported that California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled the state's first water restrictions in response to the "mega-drought".  As I foresaw, the rules have turned out to be more about revenue generation than resource protection.  What I did not predict is that my teen son and his lengthy showers would make him the latest environmental villain.

Liberals blamed for California drought.  For California Gov. Jerry Brown to crack down on shower-taking and toilet-flushing to save precious quarts of water as millions of gallons flow into the Pacific Ocean doesn't make a lot of sense to Travis Allen. [...] With everyday Californians now on the hook for drastic conservation measures, Republicans say the time has come to focus on the real culprit:  a state and federal regulatory framework, fueled by environmental litigation, that requires a certain aquatic environment for at-risk fish while making it nearly impossible to build dams and other water-storage projects.

How the Environmentalists are Destroying California.  In 2007, they mobilized around saving the Delta Smelt, a three-inch baitfish, as an outgrowth of a policy that for decades put animal life and vegetation ahead of drinking water and food.  The Delta Smelt requires a rare and somewhat precise mixture of fresh and salt water.  It is by any measure a fragile species.  In August 2007, Federal Judge Oliver Wanger ruled that the fresh water pumped into the Central Valley, the lifeblood of its economic base, threatened the survival of the Delta Smelt.  He ordered a severe reduction in the water directed to Central Valley agriculture.  The ruling (subsequently reversed for sloppy science and then upheld) resulted in a loss of thousands of jobs and acres of farmland. [...] The fight over the Delta Smelt [...] is a fight between people who value a baitfish over productive farmland and America's food resources.

A hot water issue in the California drought discussion.  The California governor's recent proclamation that Californians must cut water usage by 25% certainly caught the attention of Californians and pundits nationwide.  Featuring threats of fines of up to $500 per day, and even restrictions on personal shower habits, Governor Brown wasted little time getting right to class warfare over our green lawns.  Unfortunately, he and the ruling Democratic Party once again resorted to draconian rationing measures and heavy-handed fees, while offering no leadership and no real solutions to California's current water crisis.

The browning of California's green movement.  Indeed, an adequate water supply isn't a luxury issue for Californians, and no serious attempt has been made by liberals viewing the environment with alarm to deal with it.  In part, this is due to the fact that lack of moisture can't be immediately linked to climate change.  And unlike California's initiatives to reduce so-called environmental threats through various governmental actions, the options for dealing with droughts are few.  The only real alternative is drastic conservation that would impact significantly on the lives of citizens.  An alternative such as desalination of ocean waters isn't feasible because it's a long-term project, and the residue supposedly left in the Pacific from implementation would adversely affect marine life.

More on the California Water Waster Fink Squads.  Remember that thing I wrote yesterday about how Long Beach, California was going Full Metal Snitching on 'water wasters?'  Guess what!  Yup, it's going statewide.

California Water Authorities To Use New Tool In Fight Against Water Wasters.  Water authorities are using a new tool in a major effort to crack down on people and businesses wasting water in light of new water restrictions issued by Gov. Jerry Brown to fight the drought.  The Long Beach Water Department says sprinklers at a McDonald's restaurant on Bellflower Boulevard went on for 45 minutes at a time, twice a night, for an undefined number of nights.  Complaints continued to mount as water pooled and wasted.  The department, however, could do little about the wasting.  That was before the smart meter.

The Editor says...
It's easy enough to wield this weapon against McDonald's without much public outcry, but when it is used against residential water customers, watch out!

Governor Moonbeam Regulates Bathroom Activities.  Changing behavior is what liberal fascists are all about.  For them change — specifically, coerced change — is an end in itself.  Stalin figured it out long ago:  control food, control people.  But Democrats are doing him one better.  Control water, control food production and people.  How will the authorities know if you took too long in the shower?  One way is if your neighbors rat you out, just as in any other police state.  Another is the smart meter: [...]

Should California Spend 4 Billion Gallons to Save a Few Fish?  In the the [sic] heart of California's drought-parched Central Valley, fruit and vegetable supplier to the nation, a water district is defying a federal order to give some endangered trout a 3.9 billion gallon water ride out to sea.  And it could be the first skirmish in a much wider conflict.  The Endangered Species Act protects steelhead trout, a small population of which are attempting a recovery in the Stanislaus River, which flows out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into Modesto, in the San Joaquin Valley.  So earlier this week a federal fisheries agency — it's unclear which one, and there are several — told the California branch of the Bureau of Reclamation (another water agency) that the fish needed more water to get out to the Pacific.  The bureau in turn passed the order to the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, telling them to let a pulse of water through the dam on the Stanislaus.

Feds order parched California farm district to use 9 billion gallons of water to save 29 fish.  These eco-Marxists are completely insane.  Off their rockers.

Marijuana Plants Soak Up Billions of Gallons of Water in California.  California's terrible drought has become — like just about everything else in the United States — a political issue.  Many liberals have taken to blaming anthropogenic climate change for the drought, while some conservatives have placed the blame at the feet of "liberal environmentalists."  The political point-scoring is tiring and just plain silly, given that the drought is almost certainly a result of natural processes — processes that we humans, conservatives and liberals alike, have precious little to do with.  Another problem is that our partisan pugilists are conflating two separate issues:  the drought, which is the lack of rainfall that California has suffered over the past four years, and the water shortages, which may indeed have some man-made causes.

California Lawmakers Present Bills to Protect Undocumented Immigrants.  A group of California lawmakers on Tuesday [4/7/2015] presented a package of measures to strengthen protection of undocumented immigrants and thus alleviate the "political paralysis" in Congress over approving immigration reform.  "In California, there are about 40 million residents... of Mexican, Central American and Asian origin. So, today we're presenting a package of 10 measures to protect undocumented immigrants," Kevin de Leon, the Democratic president pro tempore of the California Senate, told Efe.

Torrance Police Settle for Illegally Destroyed Guns.  California, especially California cities, have had a bad reputation for decades, of legally stealing firearms.  This was primarily done with police officers confiscating firearms that they came across, without any crime being committed.  Department policy was then to refuse to return the firearm unless a court ordered them to do so.  As the process of obtaining a court order would ordinarily be much more costly than the price of a firearm, most people who had their firearms stolen by police simply did not bother in attempting to obtain a court order.

Carly Fiorina blames liberal environmentalists for Calif. water crisis.  Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is blaming California's water crisis on "liberal environmentalists" who are "willing to sacrifice other people's lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology."  "With different policies over the last 20 years, all of this could be avoided," Ms. Fiorina said in an interview Monday [4/6/2015] on Glenn Beck's radio show, The Blaze reported.  "Despite the fact that California has suffered from droughts for millennia, liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California's population has doubled."

The Drought: California Apocalypto.  I think that we've come full circle in California:  from the premodern Wild West of the 19th century to a decadent postmodernism that is every bit as feral, though the roughness of ascension is always preferable to its counterpart in decline.  The day before Easter, Sacramento tried to stage the world's largest public Easter egg hunt.  From news reports it seems quickly to have devolved into a Darwinian free-for-all, where the ochlos swarmed the few who played by the rules.

An Engineered Drought.  We're suffering the ramifications of the "small is beautiful," "spaceship earth" ideology of our cocooned elites.  Californians have adopted the ancient peasant mentality of a limited good, in which various interests must fight it out for the always scarce scraps.  Long ago we jettisoned the can-do visions of our agrarian forebears, who knew California far better than we do and trusted nature far less.  Now, like good peasants, we are at one another's throats for the last drops of a finite supply.

California is in one of its worst-ever droughts because people are growing too much weed.  The current drought in California, one of the most severe on record, could have been exacerbated by marijuana cultivation, scientists say.  Some marijuana farms are sucking more water from the ground than can be replaced, threatening the state's water entire supply, according to a study published in the Public Library of Science journal.  The amount of water being used to cultivate marijuana was said to be "unsustainable" in the report.

Rain Dances in California.  On February 14, 2014, President Barack Obama arrived on Air Force One in Fresno, California, with Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein aboard. [...] The Democratic entourage, ringed by Secret Service, posed in the fallow field for Associated Press and the television cameras.  It had no clue how to solve California's water problems.  It could have been doing rain dances, for all the good it was doing.  The fact is, the four were doing rain dances for MSM — all of them — Obama, Boxer, Feinstein, and Brown. [...] A White House that has hijacked drought to serve its ideological ends makes sound water allocation more difficult to achieve.

California Accredits Nation's First Muslim College ... Founded By Jihadists.  The same California college board that accredited Stanford and Berkeley has certified the nation's first Muslim college in what the left is cheering as a breakthrough for diversity.  In fact, it's a breakthrough for jihadism.  The Western Association of Schools and Colleges last week officially — and naively — recognized Zaytuna College, making the Islamist school eligible to receive federal grants and accept foreign Muslim students on visas.  But before liberals celebrate too loudly, they should know that Zaytuna was founded by pro-jihadists who hate America and Jews and want to turn America into an Islamic state.

The Scorching of California by the Green Radical Left.  In the 1970s, coastal elites squelched California's near-century-long commitment to building dams, reservoirs, and canals, even as the Golden State's population ballooned.  Court-ordered drainage of man-made lakes, meant to restore fish to the 1,100-square-mile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, partly caused central California's reservoir water to dry up.  Not content with preventing construction of new water infrastructure, environmentalists reverse-engineered existing projects to divert precious water away from agriculture, privileging the needs of fish over the needs of people.  Then they alleged that global warming, not their own foolish policies, had caused the current crisis.

Two Planned Parenthood workers who taught high school sex-ed, revealed to be sex-toy instructor and 'pleasure activist'.  Parents with students at one California high school recently learned that two Planned Parenthood employees who taught their impressionable children sex education also held down some controversial side jobs.  One of the sex-ed instructors at Acalanes Union High School in Lafayette also taught a class on sex toys at a nearby shop while the other identified herself as a 'pleasure activist' on her now-deleted Twitter profile.  The job history of the two teachers was revealed after parents learned about the school's partnership with Planned Parenthood and demanded the curriculum be changed.

Common Core Follies: California report cards to include grades for 'grit', 'gratitude', 'sensitivity to others'.  The entire state of California pubic education system is to begin grading students on matters a teacher cannot possibly know or evaluate objectively.  In a sign of descent into full indoctrination camp mode, the Common Cores standards adopted by the state are calling on teachers to grade students on their "grit, gratitude, and sensitivity to others."

Rapper Tiny Doo facing long prison sentence over lyrics.  Song lyrics that glorify violence are hardly uncommon.  But a prosecutor in California says one rapper's violent lyrics go beyond creative license to conspiracy.  San Diego-based rapper Tiny Doo has already spent eight months in prison, and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted under a little-known California statute that makes it illegal to benefit from gang activities.

The Editor says...
Is it not true that every television news show in Los Angeles and Oakland and San Diego features occasional stories about gang activity?  Do those TV stations therefore benefit from gang activities?

California bars judges from belonging to Boy Scouts.  California's Supreme Court voted Friday to prohibit state judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts on grounds that the group discriminates against gays.  The court said its seven justices unanimously voted to heed a recommendation by its ethics advisory committee barring judges' affiliation with the organization.  In 1996 the state Supreme Court banned judges from belonging to groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but made an exception for nonprofit youth organizations.

California health care on suicide watch.  California, thanks to Obamacare and its exchange, Covered California, has no one to blame but itself.  The state is imposing costly rules and regulations on the health care system, causing a death spiral in health care delivery.

Gender-neutral single-stall restrooms now required in West Hollywood.  West Hollywood law requiring all single-stall restrooms in businesses and public places to be gender-neutral will go into effect this week.  The law, which will have no impact on multiple-stall restrooms, mandates that any facility designed for use by no more than one person not be restricted to a specific sex or gender identity by signage, design or installation of fixtures.

Police stop pursuing nearly 79,000 fugitives.  Nationwide, police and prosecutors quietly told the FBI they had abandoned their pursuit of nearly 79,000 accused felons during the past year and a half, a USA TODAY investigation found.  They have given up chasing people charged with armed robbery and raping children, usually without informing their victims.  Police in one county in California reported they would no longer pursue three of their most-wanted fugitives and a man charged with a murder for which prosecutors have sought the death penalty.

California pushes to expand immigrant health care.  President Barack Obama's executive order to spare some immigrants from deportation has galvanized Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates in California to push for expanding health coverage to a segment of the population that remains uninsured.

California bill would require retailers, restaurants to pay their employees double on holidays.  A California lawmaker said she will introduce a bill that would double the pay of employees who work over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  "I've watched how the retailers and restaurateurs continue to expand their hours and open up on these holidays that are traditionally family holidays," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez told the Sacramento Bee.  "What people are being called in to do now is a real slap in the face of family values, frankly."

Opposing viewpoint:
Why I Don't Mind Working Retail Thanksgiving Day.  For the last two or three years, people have been complaining about Black Friday starting earlier and earlier and claim to feel badly for poor oppressed retail workers who have to work on Thanksgiving Day rather than spend it with their families.  So here's my take, as an actual retail employee who does work on Thanksgiving.

Obama is not doing enough to wreck the country.  I believe that the economy can potentially absorb five million additional gardeners and nannies. The challenge will be to create a corresponding number of rich young liberals to hire them.  I was relieved to hear that California Governor Edmund Gerald "Jerry" "Moonbeam" Brown, Jr., who has welcomed all five million amnesty recipients to his state, has proposed a new Middle Class tax that will subsidize wealthy left-wing yuppies to bridge the gap between a livable wage for illegal immigrants and that which liberals are willing to pay them.  Brown sees this as a first step in his campaign to become the Democratic Party's candidate for President of Mexico in 2016.

California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions — Or Else.  For the past four years, the Obama administration and its friends on the Left were careful to claim that they still strongly support religious liberty while arguing that Hobby Lobby's Green family, Conestoga Wood Specialties' Hahn family, and others like them must lose.  Principally, they contended, religious liberty protections could not be applied to Hobby Lobby because (1) It is a for-profit corporation, (2) It isn't a church (and thus not a true "religious employer," and (3) It is wrong on the science — Plan B, a copper intrauterine device, et cetera, they claimed, do not cause abortions.  They implied, if not claimed outright, that they would surely support religious freedom in another case, but Hobby Lobby was unworthy to claim its protections.  The State of California is now calling their bluff.

One more reason to flee California:
San Diego agrees to turn recycled wastewater into drinking water.  Acknowledging California's parched new reality, the city of San Diego has embraced a once-toxic idea:  turning sewer water into drinking water.

California's next big political fight: Plastic grocery bags.  Go to a grocery store in California and buy all the milk, eggs and vegetables you want.  But there's one thing you won't find at the checkout line, beginning July 1, 2015:  Plastic bags to carry your stuff home.  Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday signed into law a ban on single-use plastic bags, making California the first state to prohibit stores from using the ubiquitous carry-alls.  Shoppers will be charged 10 cents for every paper bag and heavy-duty plastic bag they use.

California's Plastic Bag Ban And A State's Death Wish.  California, as is its wont, enacted another bunch of silly laws this week, topped by a ban on the plastic bags that we all find so handy. [...] Nobody likes a "torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," as Brown says.  Yet plastic bags still end up where they shouldn't be.  The answer, however, isn't to ban the bags, which people use not only for groceries but for everything from toting lunches to picking up pet droppings.  The solution is to penalize those who foul the commons, not just with plastic bags but with all kinds of other litter.  Californians actually may be worse off with the ban.  It could, for example, actually make people sick, since the reusable bags that shoppers are being urged to switch to can harbor food-borne illnesses.

California Voters to Decide on Sending Fewer Criminals to Prison.  California voters appear poised to scale back the heavy reliance on incarceration they once embraced, with a measure that would transform several lower-level, nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors punishable by brief jail stays, if that, rather than time in a state penitentiary.  The referendum on Nov. 4 is part of a national reappraisal of mass incarceration.

California becomes first state to ban plastic bags.  Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, driven to action by a buildup of litter and damage to aquatic ecosystems.

California Gives $3 Million to Groups Providing Free Legal Aid to Illegal Aliens.  California Gov. Jerry Brown is channeling the "progressive spirit" of California in his latest act as governor.  Turns out he just signed a bill that would give $3 million in grants to non-profits that would offer unaccompanied alien minors legal counsel- which is $1 million more than what the federal government planned to give in grants nationwide.

California School Purging Library of ANY Book with a Christian Author or Theme.  Ask me again why my children are homeschooled.

Why not $20 an hour?  Or $50?
Los Angeles approves $15.37 minimum wage for hotel workers.  The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday [9/24/2014] to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37, one of the highest wage requirements in the country.  Hotel workers in yellow shirts packed City Hall as the council voted 12 to 3 to approve the measure, which will go into effect for hotels with at least 300 rooms beginning in July.  Hotels with 150 rooms or more will have to meet the wage requirement a year later.

Brown signs package of bills to encourage voting.  Months after statewide voter turnout hit a historic low of 25% in this year's primary election, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday [9/26/2014] signed eight bills aimed at getting more Californians to participate in the political process.  He also signed dozens of other bills Friday — a hodgepodge that included new rights for gay and transgender Californians, a requirement that state prisons expand the availability of condoms to inmates and measures that promote the "farm to fork" movement to increase consumer access to fresh food.

Jerry Brown at UN Climate Change Summit: 'Carbon Pollution Kills!'  Arriving in NYC aboard the People's Climate Train, which travelled across the country from Emeryville California, Sister Ayya Santussika, a Buddhist nun, said that climate change is a "moral issue" and affects everyone of us. [...] Gov. Brown signed some bills on Sunday [9/21/2014] that mandates an increase in the amount of electric cars for California, reduces the time it takes to get rooftop solar panel permits, and establishes new regulations to restrict atmospheric pollutants.

The Editor says...
Carbon dioxide is not carbon, for the same reason that water is not hydrogen.  Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere supports life.  It is not a threat.  It is not pollution.

"What do you call a man who claims voters' choices have no place in government?"
Brown's Final Nail In Prop. 187 Is Really A Blow To California's Voters.  [I]n 1994, millions of California's voters, by a margin of 59% to 41%, voted in favor of denying "free" welfare, education and other benefits to illegal immigrants on the clear logic that a burglar who breaks into someone else's home doesn't have the right to eat the owner's food.  It was a legitimate decision for a people to make, given that in any democratic system, the participants have the right to control the purse.  But [Governor] Brown's statements and those of his political allies, including those in the press, suggest an imperial contempt for the will of California's voters.

Pension 'spiking' to cost CalPERS nearly $800 million, controller says.  Taxpayers and local governments are on the hook to pay nearly $800 million stemming from "legal" pension spiking over the next two decades, the state controller said Tuesday [9/9/2014].  The price tag came as Controller John Chiang issued a new audit of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.  The audit of 11 state and local government agencies found no illegal pension spiking but concluded that the country's largest public retirement fund makes itself vulnerable to the practice by not aggressively reviewing its 3,100 member agencies' payroll records.

Nearly 1 in 10 California workers are here illegally, study finds.  A report released Wednesday [9/3/2014] by researchers at USC found that immigrants who are in California illegally make up nearly 10% of the state's workforce and contribute $130 billion annually to its gross domestic product.  The study, which was conducted in conjunction with the California Immigrant Policy Center, was based on census data and other statistics, including data from the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security.  It looked at a variety of ways the estimated 2.6 million immigrants living in California without permission participate in state life.

California Rep. On Drought: Democrats Believe 'Fish Are More Important Than People'.  Rep. David Valadao (R-Bakersfield) lashed out at Democrats, including congressional opponent Amanda Renteria, on California's urgent drought problem, saying Democrat policies will fail to provide relief for millions of Central Valley residents living with severe water shortages. [...] Valadao is not the only one in the district blasting the allocation of water resources.  Area farmers are angry after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began releasing 25,000 acre-feet of water from Northern California's Trinity Lake to help protect the native salmon population on Saturday [8/30/2014], even as farmers have repeatedly asked for more water to help grow food.

CA Lawmakers Aim To Ban English Only Instruction in Public Schools.  On Tuesday [8/26/2014], a few hours after Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto said that Illegal Aliens deserve justice in the USA and Gov. Jerry Brown welcomed all illegal immigrants to California, lawmakers in Sacramento passed a proposed ballot measure seeking to dismantle the English-only mandate for public schools and increase multilingual education programs.

Gov. Jerry Brown Reveals That California Has Just Seceded From the Union and is Now Part of Mexico.  This Democrat Party is completely out of control.  It has succeeded in its century-long quest to fundamentally  transform  destroy our form of government.

Liberals love freedom of expression — until they disagree with it.
CA Looks To Ban Confederate Flag.  A bill sits on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk to ban California from displaying or selling the Confederate flag or objects with images of it.  The state's Legislature passed the bill nearly unanimously last week.  Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, introduced the legislation after his mother discovered the Capitol gift shop sold a replica of Confederate money that contained a picture of the flag, according to the L.A. Times.  The lone dissenting vote among the 67 cast was from former California GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks.  He argued the bill would infringe on free speech.

Gov. Jerry Brown To Mexican Illegals: 'You're All Welcome In California.  On Monday evening [8/25/2014], California Governor Jerry Brown said all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California.  According to the Los Angeles Times, while introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the interwoven histories of Mexico and California."  He "nodded to the immigrants in the room, saying it didn't matter if they had permission to be in the United States."  "You're all welcome in California," Brown reportedly said.

Another Dumb Idea From Los Angeles.  The city of Los Angeles is considering paying voters to encourage turnout.  Needless to say, it's a ridiculous idea that will reward low-information voting, foster political demagogues and breed corruption.

California AG Kamala Harris to appeal ruling against death penalty.  A federal judge's "flawed" decision declaring California's enforcement of the death penalty unconstitutional will be appealed, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Thursday [8/21/2014].  Harris will ask the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn last month's ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who said decades-long delays and uncertainty about whether inmates will be executed violated the Constitution's ban on cruel or unusual punishment.  Harris personally opposes the death penalty but promised voters she would enforce it.

CA Supreme Court Rejects Dems' Anti-'Citizens United' Ballot Measure.  On Monday [8/11/2014], the California Supreme Court blocked an "advisory" ballot measure that Democrats had hoped to include on the November ballot, with a view to increasing turnout among apathetic voters.  The non-binding measure, Proposition 49, asked voters if they felt the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling should be reversed.

Jerry Brown: Affluent Families Not Producing' Children.  Giving what was dubbed the "California Welcome," Gov. Jerry Brown told attendees at the 31st Annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Conference in June that affluent families seemed to not be "producing" children in the state.  "I don't know what the affluent families are doing," Brown said.  "They're not producing or something, because half the kids in schools are from low-income families."

The Editor says...
Get a clue, Governor.  ALL of the kids in public schools are from low-income families.  Anybody with any money sends their kids to private schools.  Like Mr. and Mrs. Obama, for example.

California Releases Thousands of 'Lifers' from Prison.  California continues to stretch the imaginations of non-liberals.  One unthinkable policy is Governor Brown's policy by which thousands of presumably dangerous prisoners originally sentenced by juries to life sentences in the slammer are being set free.  A Friday [8/8/2014] radio segment on the California Report was downright cheery about cons being released into local communities. [...] In other words, don't be scared, little citizens — the murderers and rapists have been taught techniques in anger management.

Is Big Labor Keeping The L.A. Water Dept. From Replacing Old Pipes?  Not an outlandish question.  The water main that broke near UCLA last week was ninety years old, which isn't unusual here in the City of Angels.  The only things more common than fault lines running under this city are ancient water pipes.  It's a situation that even the mayor admits isn't going to get better soon.  As is typical with bureaucracies, the problem is blamed on a lack of money.  As is also typical with bureaucracies, it is really more a problem of prioritization and budgeting than available funds.

Diaper duty for Calif. taxpayers? Bill would create new welfare program.  California is weighing a first-of-its-kind welfare program that would subsidize diapers for needy families, though some lawmakers say the plan's a stinker.  Assembly Bill 1516, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, would create the taxpayer-backed program within the state's existing welfare network, called CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids).  Families that qualify for CalWORKS could be eligible for $80 a month to buy diapers for children under the age of 2.

One of Obama's big ideas for reforming health care failed a test in California.  "We need to bundle payments so you aren't paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease," Obama told the crowd of physicians.  Obama was articulating what would become one of the key payment reforms in his health care law — a proposal aimed at giving incentives to providers to control costs by rewarding them for providing less expensive care.  But a study published in the journal Health Affairs looked at an ambitious three-year pilot program of bundled payments in California that was funded by a $2.9 million grant from Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package — and found that the program was such a massive failure, it could hardly get off the ground.

Health premiums soared, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says.  The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did last year, the state's insurance commissioner said.  But Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones predicted that insurers will ease up in the coming year to prevent California voters from approving tough new rate controls on the November statewide ballot as Proposition 45.  Insurers and opponents of Proposition 45 dismissed Jones' comments as misleading and politically motivated.

The Editor resorts to mocking derision:
That's brilliant!  As long as they're at it, why not limit the price of gasoline to a dollar per gallon?

Divided they stand? Billionaire in push to carve up California into six states.  A billionaire tech investor says he has enough backing to put on the ballot a plan to split California into six states.  Timothy Draper, a venture capitalist founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in such tech companies as Twitter, HotMail, Skype and Tesla, told Reuters he has the 808,000 signatures needed on a petition to force the measure onto a public referendum in November 2016.

Almonds Are Sucking the Life Out of California.  The new California gold rush is a bit, well, nutty: According to USDA predictions reported Monday [7/14/2014], farmers will harvest a record 2.1 billion pounds of almonds this year.  That's great news for almond-lovers, but not-so-great news for California, which produces 80 percent of the world's almonds.  A single almond requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce, and seeing as the state is currently in the middle of a devastating drought, that's water farmers have to drill deep for — 2,500 feet deep, in fact.

California Removes 'Husband' and 'Wife' from California Marriage Law.  One word can make all the difference when it comes to definitions.  Exhibit A:  exchange the words "husband and wife" for a more inclusive term, and you have the phrase "I now pronounce you spouses."  In the state of California, they are paying special attention to keep their vernacular as progressive as possible.  Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Monday [7/7/2014] to formally make marriage gender-neutral to reflect the state's allowance of same-sex unions.

California's Hydromania.  We had a wonderful water storage system for 23 million people in 1980.  But it proved completely inadequate for the 40 million plus of 2014, who assumed household and drinking water, irrigation supplies, and clean hydroelectric power came out of thin air.

Well drilling boom in the West.  Erected on the edge of hundreds of acres of crops in Kern County, Calif., crews are currently working around the clock on a massive well.  At first glance, you may think they're drilling for oil.  But this project is digging for something of a different value.  Third generation farmer Devon Yurosek and his family have invested heavily in the two thousand foot water well on their farmland.  In the midst of the worst drought in California's history, the Yuroseks need water to help grow pistachios, pomegranates and cherries.  Their well is just one of a number popping up throughout the area.

Californians Keep Up With Joneses' Water Use.  In five months since the drought emergency was declared, Californians have cut their water consumption only 5 percent compared with recent years, according to state officials — a far cry from the 20 percent that Gov. Jerry Brown called for in January.  So, faced with apparent indifference to stern warnings from state leaders and media alarms, cities across California have encouraged residents to tattle on their neighbors for wasting water — and the residents have responded in droves.  Sacramento, for instance, has received more than 6,000 reports of water waste this year, up twentyfold from last year.

Advocates of splitting California into six states gathering signatures.  Advocates for Six Californias, a plan to split the Golden State into a half dozen separate states, are holding a petition drive this weekend to get their plan on the ballot in 2016.  The idea is the brainchild of Timothy Draper, a venture capitalist from Menlo Park — or as he hopes to some day call it, the state of Silicon Valley.  Draper has sunk $2 million into signature gathering for the proposal.

Vergara Case Is California's Education Earthquake.  [Scroll down]  Teachers gain lifetime tenure after just 18 months, before their training is even done.  It's almost impossible to dismiss them, no matter what their transgressions — perversion, drug dealing, child pornography, sexual assault, you name it.  The regulations are so cumbersome, it's impossible to fire anyone.  There's also a layoff system that ensures that seniority trumps performance, resulting in top-performing teachers being laid off over under-performing deadwood who've just been on the job longer.  It's a Mafia-like protection racket for the worst of the worst.

California Tops List of 10 States With Highest Taxes.  The Tax Foundation has ranked the states by their state income tax rates and among the highest are California, Hawaii, and Oregon.

CA Legislators Are Highest Paid in USA.  Stateline's data, which indicated California legislators are averaging a base salary of $90,526 per year, is a few months old, and that base salary will be raised to $95,291 in December as a result of a decision last year by the California Citizens Compensation Commission.  The Commission is also considering a further raise.  In addition, the legislators receive an additional tax-free "per diem" of $141.86 per day every day the Legislature is in session.  The closest average salary to the California legislators is in Pennsylvania, where the average salary is $84,012.

Environmentalists Cheer California's Latest Plan to Sink Its Economy.  Environmentalists are gleeful at the news reported last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that the amount of recoverable oil from California's Monterey Shale formation — predicted to be the nation's largest reserve of oil — is a whopping 96-percent below original production estimates.  In response, more than 100 environmental groups signed a letter to the California Legislature calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other "stimulation" techniques that ultimately would be needed to develop this oil field.  They say the new estimates are "undercutting the misguided rationale" for allowing fracking before more studies are done.

Vergara v. California: The Most Important Court Case You've Never Heard Of.  This school year, parents learned a tough lesson:  The only force on behalf of the public interest is an interested public.  And sometimes the students show us the way.  Nine public school children have been courageously taking on the government in California, where their right to a sound education is rooted in the Constitution.  A judge's decision is expected soon, and their lawsuit is being watched closely in education circles.

California takes first step toward curtailing water rights.  Some farmers and community water districts in drought-hit California could soon face limits on their ability to use water from strained streams that flow into the Sacramento River.  The California Water Resources Control Board adopted regulations on Wednesday to limit water use during summer months, the driest season and the time of year when farmers are most likely to need water to irrigate their crops.

Southern California City May Drop Lawsuit Against Sriracha Sauce Maker.  The mayor of Irwindale said he will ask the City Council to drop the public-nuisance order and lawsuit against the maker of Sriracha hot sauce, possibly bringing the months-long conflict to an end.  The move comes after members of Gov. Jerry Brown's office visited the sauce factory.

The Editor says...
The factory had been recently visited by elected officials from Texas who were actively trying to lure the factory away from California.  That would be a really good reason to drop the lawsuit.

Sriracha CEO Compares California to Communist Vietnam.  David Tran is the founder and CEO of Huy Fong Foods, the maker of the famously tasty Sriracha hot sauce.  Grappling for months with regulators and politicians in southern California about the spicy scents that his factory emits, Tran recently compared meddlesome government to that of a communist country.  It might sound hyperbolic, but he does know a thing or two about living under the nightmarish bureaucracy of a red utopia.  NPR explains that Tran "escaped" Socialist Republic of Vietnam and "its many intrusions" three decades ago to start a new life in The Land of the Free.

Sriracha battle over: Victory for chili as council throws out 'public nuisance' declaration and lawsuit against hugely popular hot sauce factory.  In a victory for chilli fans around the world, a town that is home to the fiercely popular Sriracha hot sauce company has removed its status as a "public nuisance" and thrown out a lawsuit that threatened to halt its production.  The simple piquant condiment that inspired a global community of foodies — and whole books of dedicated recipes — had been in undeniably hot water following complaints from local residents.

In California we don't trust.  It may come as little surprise that Californians are not very trusting of their state government.  After all, Californians have had to deal with more than our fair share of budget crises, tax increases, corruption, mismanaged agencies and boondoggle projects.  Given that California residents have been conditioned for many years to accept this as the normal state of affairs, it may astound some of us to learn that most other state governments have earned far greater levels of trust from their citizens.

Atheists win prayer battle against California city council.  Atheists who complained about pre-meeting prayers conducted by members of the Pismo Beach City Council in California can now claim a win.  Council members say they're going to stop saying prayers at public meetings and that the volunteer chaplain will no longer be invited to give the opening invocations, The Blaze reported.  They've also agreed to pay a symbolic settlement of $1 to each of the the two plaintiffs — and another $47,500 to cover the two plaintiffs' legal fees.

Bill Encourages Schools To Teach About Racial Significance Of Obama's Presidency.  A bill that passed the Assembly with unanimous bipartisan support Thursday encourages California schools to teach students about the racial significance of Barack Obama's presidency.

Calif. moves to ban judges affiliated with Boy Scouts.  California is proposing to ban members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from serving as judges because the Boy Scouts do not allow gay troop leaders, The Daily Caller has learned.  In a move with major legal implications, The California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on The Code of Judicial Ethics has proposed to classify the Boy Scouts as practicing "invidious discrimination" against gays, which would end the group's exemption to anti-discriminatory ethics rules and would prohibit judges from being affiliated with the group.

Two Dems Accuse Party Leaders in CA-33 of Changing Rules to Favor Wealthy Insiders.  Two Democratic Party candidates in the primary race for California's 33rd congressional district in West Los Angeles have accused local party officials of using an arbitrary fundraising minimum to favor established insiders — then raising that minimum at the last moment to exclude them from a recent candidates' forum.

California Unemployment Holds Steady at Dismal 8.1%.  In March, according to the Los Angeles Times, the rate was 8.1%. In February, it was exactly the same.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the state only added 11,800 net new jobs in March, many of them in construction, government, education, and health services. [...] While California remained miserable, unemployment rates in 17 other states rose.

Drought-stricken Calif. farmers to get more water.  Drought-stricken California farmers and cities are set to get more water as state and federal officials ease water cutbacks due to recent rain and snow, officials announced on Friday [4/18/2014].

Asians Derail Affirmative Action In California.  The express train hurtling to return racial preference admissions to California — in the form of State Constitutional Amendment 5, which if placed on the ballot and approved by voters would have overturned Prop. 209  — has just been derailed by an outburst of opposition from Asian Americans.  The eruption of opposition caught SCA 5's Democratic sponsors by surprise and caused a crucial three Asian American senators to withdraw their support, depriving the measure of the two thirds senate majority required to place an initiative on the ballot.

Racial spoils system starting to fall apart in California.  California's ruling Democrats are in danger of splintering their coalition over an attempt to re-introduce affirmative action, which has been banned ever since the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, which banned the use of racial preferences by the state, including in higher education.

California Democrats Await Fallout After 3 Are Caught Up in Scandals.  One state senator was charged with conspiring to traffic in arms from the Philippines, and taking bribes from undercover F.B.I. agents including one who posed as a marijuana dealer.  Another was accused of taking bribes from federal agents impersonating Hollywood film executives.  And a third was convicted of perjury and voter fraud after lying about where he lived when he ran for office.  All three are Democratic state senators from California, and their recent legal problems have brought rare bad news to a party that has come to thoroughly dominate politics in this state but now looks besieged by high-profile corruption cases.

Why did 287,000-plus Californians vote for Leland Yee?  One of the odder stats of Election Night:  As of Wednesday morning, 287,590 Californians had cast ballots for indicted state Sen. Leland Yee for secretary of state.  That's good for nearly 10 percent of the vote.  That's also more votes than five other secretary of state candidates who haven't been indicted received.

The poster boy for liberal hypocrisy ignored by national media, but outrages San Francisco.  The liberal media are trying to ignore his arrest, but California State Senator Leland Yee is such an amusing piñata of liberal hypocrisy that even his home town liberal newspaper is joining in the mockery fun. [...] Outlets like CNN which ignore this embarrassment to liberals do so at their peril.

Corruption Costs Dems Their Supermajority in California.  Two years ago, California Democrats celebrated victory in a decades-long struggle to win a supermajority in the Legislature, where a two-thirds majority is required for any tax increase.  It was the latest chapter in a long descent into inconsequence by California Republicans, who hold no statewide offices and party registration of only 29.3 percent of the voters.  But corruption has achieved what the Republicans could not.  The supermajority is now down the drain as three of the Golden State's 27 Democratic state senators have within the past two months been convicted or indicted on charges ranging from bribery to gun-running.

Gov. Jerry Brown calls for Democratic senators to resign.  Gov. Jerry Brown called on three scandal-plagued state senators to resign on Friday, speaking out for the first time on a series of criminal cases that have sapped Democrats' power in the Capitol and tarnished the Legislature's image.

California Dems Worried Their Corruption Scandals Will Benefit GOP.  The unethical and illegal behavior of Democratic state senators in California, where Democrats have total control of the state legislature, is giving the state's Democratic Party concerns that the GOP may use the misbehavior to regain power.  Since the beginning of 2014, every month has featured a Democratic state senator either being arrested or convicted.  The latest arrest came Wednesday, as Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco was arrested on federal corruption charges.

California state senator arrested in FBI raids along with Asian gang leader known as 'Shrimp Boy'.  State Sen. Leland Yee and Raymond Chow, were taken into custody after a series of raids by federal and gang task force officials, but the charges against them remained undisclosed.

California state senator Leland Yee arrested in FBI sweep.  A longtime California politician who was praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud.  The allegations against State Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against him and 25 other people.  The affidavit was unsealed on Wednesday, as Yee was scheduled to appear in court.

California state senator arrested in FBI sweep.  A prominent California lawmaker was arrested on Wednesday in an FBI sweep that netted 26 people, a high-profile case that could affect statewide elections and brings to three the number of Democratic state senators who face criminal charges this year.

California city approves highest-in-state $12.30 minimum wage.  The Richmond City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday [3/18/2014] in favor of an ordinance that would raise minimum hourly pay in the city to $12.30 an hour by 2017.

California Seeks to Redefine Consensual Campus Sex as Rape.  In endorsing a bill in the California legislature that would require "affirmative consent" before sex can occur on campus, the editorial boards of the Sacramento and Fresno Bee and the Daily Californian advocated that sex be treated as "sexual assault" unless the participants discuss it "out loud" before sex, and "demonstrate they obtained verbal 'affirmative consent' before engaging in sexual activity." [...] Defining sex as rape merely because there was no verbal discussion in advance trivializes rape and brands innocent people as rapists (including some people who themselves have been sexually victimized in the past).  Disturbingly, it's not just sex they want to regulate, but also "sexual activity" in general.

A law so stupid California legislature seeks to repeal it two months after it took effect.  California's state legislature is seeking to repeal an idiotic law that took effect January 1st.  It turns out that some feel-good regulatory efforts generate enough blowback that they can actually be reversed.

Gas Prices May Jump From California Emissions Law.  California's greenhouse gas reduction law already has shaken up the state's industrial sector, costing it more than $1.5 billion in pollution permit fees.

Grieving California mom takes down cross on road after group's protest, more appear.  A grieving California mom who, under pressure from an atheist group, went to the site where her son was killed to remove a memorial cross was met at the scene by a throng of supporters who planted crosses of their own.  "They said they have to take that one down," Doug Johnson, a Riverside resident who traveled to the site with his daughter and six home-made crosses, told The Riverside Press-Enterprise.  "But they didn't say anything about putting another one up."

California's Drought Isn't Due To Global Warming, But Politics.  President Obama visited California's drought-hit Central Valley Friday, offering handouts and blaming global warming.  But the state's water shortage is due to the left's refusal to deal with the state's water needs.

California auto buyers favor Toyota Prius; rest of U.S. prefers trucks.  Toyota's Prius was the best-selling vehicle in the state for the second consecutive year in 2013, highlighting California's radically different taste in automobiles.  Nationally, Ford's F-Series truck has been the bestselling vehicle for more than three decades.  The Prius ranked 16th in sales nationally.

Court overturns restrictions on concealed guns in much of California.  In a significant victory for gun owners, a divided federal appeals court Thursday [2/13/2014] struck down California rules that permit counties to restrict as they see fit the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.  The 2-1 ruling by a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel would overturn restrictions on carrying concealed handguns, primarily affecting California's most populated regions, including Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco.

Parched California's Worst Water Enemy: Its Governor.  California Gov. Jerry Brown has blasted as "unwelcome and divisive" a desperately needed drought-relief bill in Congress that will likely win in the House soon.  That's rich coming from a man who's done nothing.

Kiddie Porn Does Not Count as "Moral Turpitude" to S.F. Govt..  A former high-ranking San Francisco government employee convicted of felony possession of child pornography will continue to receive his government pension because, according to city regulations, evidence of "moral turpitude" is required to revoke a pension yet viewing violent kiddie porn does not qualify as moral turpitude.

Caltrans accused of trying to hide Bay Bridge problems.  A Caltrans engineer and an outside expert working on the Bay Bridge eastern span accused agency officials of discounting warnings about cracked welds on the bridge, and telling them not to put their concerns in writing to keep them from becoming public, according to a report commissioned for a state Senate committee.

California Agency Plans 'Green' Car Vouchers for the Poor.  One longtime critic of federal transportation spending once concluded that it would be less expensive for the government to buy every new transit rider a Jaguar XJ8 than it would be to build certain new rail systems.  Unfortunately, California officials may not have realized that the idea of buying people new cars wasn't a serious proposal as much as a way to illustrate a point about excessive spending.

California Adopts Failed Venezuelan Model Of Energy Management.  In California, energy officials warn that the state and others like it face a catastrophic collapse of its power grid due to the many green energy schemes that have made managing energy flow difficult.  "Energy officials worry a lot these days about the stability of the massive patchwork of wires, substations and algorithms that keep electricity flowing," reported Evan Halpert in Tuesday's [12/03/2013] Los Angeles Times, citing wind, solar and geothermal energy coming online.  At a minimum, higher costs would be a certainty as officials attempt to mitigate the effects of their own green energy policies, if not a total grid collapse.

Slow Motion Gun Confiscation in California.  California has established gun confiscation squads that move through California confiscating guns that were registered.  As predicted in the essay "Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation" written in 2000, gun confiscation is not being implemented in massive door to door searches, though such confiscations have happened in recent history, such as in the Philippines in 1972, and even during a flood in Canada this year (2013).

Do single-family homes threaten the planet?  A plan to squeeze most residents of the San Francisco Bay Area into multifamily housing offers a test case of whether land-use bureaucracies nationwide, encouraged by the Obama administration, should be allowed to transform American lifestyles under the pretext of combating climate change.  Currently, 56 percent of households in the nine-county Bay Area live in single-family homes.  That number would drop to 48 percent by 2030, under a high-density development blueprint called Plan Bay Area, recently enacted by the Association of Bay Area Governments and the region's Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

California's alternative-energy program under scrutiny.  California is spending nearly $15 million to build 10 hydrogen fueling stations, even though just 227 hydrogen-powered vehicles exist in the state today.  It's a hefty bet on the future, given that government officials have been trying for nine years, with little success, to get automakers to build more hydrogen cars.  The project is part of a sprawling but little-known state program that packs a powerful financial punch:  It spent $1.6 billion last year on a myriad of energy-efficiency and alternative-energy projects.

California's Brown Signs Bill Permitting Non-Physician Abortions.  The legislation, which had been pushed vigorously by Planned Parenthood, had been strongly opposed by pro-life groups and some physicians, arguing that it amounted to legalizing back-alley abortions for profit.

Brown signs bill to allow children more than two legal parents.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that will allow children in California to have more than two legal parents, a measure opposed by some conservative groups as an attack on the traditional family.  Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said he authored the measure to address the changes in family structure in California, including situations in which same-sex couples have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent.

Showing Contempt For Its Citizens, California Issues Driver's Licenses To Illegals.  California's new law letting illegal aliens have driver's licenses represents a shift in ruling-class priorities from the interests of citizens to those of politically well-organized pressure groups.

Brown vetoes bill to allow non-citizens on juries.  Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made California the first state in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

Jerry Brown: Illegal Immigrant Driver's Licenses [are] 'Only the First Step'.  It's been a whirlwind month for Gov. Jerry Brown -- four weeks in which the California chief executive's desk saw an anti-paparazzi bill and a bill to allow non-physicians to perform abortions, and he himself lofty praise in Rolling Stone.  The latest bill to pass his desk, granting illegal immigrants the ability to apply for driver's licenses in the state, is "only the first step" of a national movement, the governor told a crowd yesterday [10/2/2013].

Gov. Brown signs another bill easing conditions for immigrants.  Law enforcement officials in California who arrest immigrants in the country illegally will be prohibited from detaining them for transfer to federal authorities unless they committed a serious crime under one of several bills signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown to ease conditions for immigrants.

California grants driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.  California's governor signed a bill Thursday [10/3/2013] granting illegal immigrants driver's licenses, in a decision immigrant rights groups hailed as a major step forward for their movement.  The country's largest state becomes the latest to reverse course and grant legal driving privileges to illegal immigrants.

For California's Illegal Immigrants, a Great Week.  On September 4, in a shocking vote to undermine safety and to erode federal immigration law enforcement, the California Assembly passed AB 4, the so-called TRUST Act.  AB 4 would prohibit state and local police from honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers in all but the most extreme cases.  An ICE detainer advises a state or local law enforcement agency that it seeks custody of a criminal alien for arrest and removal.  However, when ordered by the state to ignore ICE detainers, local jails must release criminals back onto the street where they can continue their lives of crime.

Don't tell mom the babysitter's unionized.  If Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has his way, your babysitter soon could join a union and cost you a lot more.  The San Francisco Democrat has authored several domestic-worker unionization bills that have been vetoed by California governors.  Now he's back with Assembly Bill 241, which just passed both houses of the Legislature and is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Jerry Brown.

California becomes first state in nation to regulate ride-sharing.  California regulators have approved the nation's and state's first rules for fast-growing ride-sharing companies that connect passengers to drivers via smartphones.

California passes 'job killer' increase in minimum wage to $10.  While the Economic Policy Institute estimates that the wage increase will affect more than 2.3 million California workers, groups like the California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, calling it a "job killer" that will drive up business costs "worse than any predicted rate of inflation increase."

California governor to sign driver's license bill for illegal immigrants.  California Governor Jerry Brown said on Friday he would sign a bill authorizing the state to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, a last-minute reversal of his position.

Ice cream parlor permit hassles chilling.  Tuesday is inspection day for building owner John Vicars.  He's got a commercial property on College Avenue, right in the heart of Oakland's busiest shopping district.  His quest is simple:  to see an ice cream parlor opened on the ground floor of the building.  But his journey has been a regulatory nightmare.  It's taken him nine months to prepare 1,700 square feet of retail space to the city's satisfaction — at least to where they were satisfied enough to actually come out to inspect it.

California Raises Minimum Wage to $10 an Hour.  The California legislature has passed a bill that will raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, giving California one of the highest state minimum wage rates in America.

California Legislature OKs minimum wage boost.  A bill that would boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday [9/12/2013] and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it.  The measure would raise the current $8 minimum wage to $9 an hour next July 1 and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

CA Mulls Allowing Non-Citizens to Work Polling Stations as Translators.  The State of California is seriously considering allowing non-citizens work at polls throughout the state during elections.  The Sacramento Bee reported weeks ago that the California Legislature has passed a bill that would let non-citizens who are "lawful permanent residents who meet all the other requirements for being eligible to vote except for citizenship" work at the polls.

California poised to implement first electronic license plates.  The idea is that rather than have a static piece of printed metal adorned with stickers to display proper registration, the plate would be a screen that could wirelessly (likely over a mobile data network) receive updates from a central server to display that same information.  In an example shown by a South Carolina vendor, messages such as "STOLEN," "EXPIRED," or something similar could also be displayed on a license plate.

The Editor says...
It sure is comforting to know that such a system could never be hacked by some guy with a laptop and a transmitter to make the plates display offensive words, or somebody else's license plate number.  Why would somebody do that?  Because license plate readers are the only means of toll collection on many highways.  Bank robbers would love to be able to change the plate number every half mile.  Once again, the California legislature has come up with a brilliant idea that has been carefully thought out.

America the Trivial.  At the end of two years of near-record drought in California, the fate of hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmlands, which feed millions of Americans and earn billions of dollars in critical foreign exchange, hinges on a snow-filled winter in the Sierra Nevada.  You might never know of that razor's edge from the state legislature.  Rather than discussing new dams and canals, it debated whether transgendered youth in public schools could use the bathrooms of their choice and whether residents should need a permit to buy ammunition.

California insurance commissioner: We could "have a real disaster on our hands" with identify theft, fraud, and abuse.  California rushed headlong into the implementation of ObamaCare, eager to be the first model state to show off the many wonderful ways in which the law was ostensibly meant to work. [...] Besides the very glaring problems of sharply higher insurance premiums and major insurers fleeing the individual insurance market for via-employer insurance only, their "Covered California" exchange's administrators are realizing that there's another predicament in the works.

Fraud fear raised in California's health exchange.  As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll.

Delta Project: California's Latest Environmental Boondoggle.  Judges have routinely stopped the water flows out of the Delta toward the dry but agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley and toward Southern California's massive metropolises, to help a tiny endangered baitfish known as the Delta Smelt.  The smelt is viewed as the canary in a coal mine, a bellwether for the ecological health of the waterways.  Millions of smelt are killed each year as they get caught in the giant pumps near Tracy, near the south end of the Delta. Environmentalists also express concerns about the level of saltwater that moves inland from the Pacific Ocean.

California Board Seeks to Ban Iconic Beach Firepits.  California's South Coast Air Quality Management District is proposing to give cities the authority to outlaw fire pits within their jurisdictions if they find the fires are nuisances.  The proposal jeopardizes one of the iconic images of California's surfer culture, where surfers often end the day around a fire pit on the beach.  The government proposal reflects American Lung Association opposition to beach fires, claiming they release too much air pollution.

Fracturing in California.  Few issues divide Democrats more than energy policy, as we've learned as unions and environmentalists fight over the Keystone XL pipeline.  More evidence now comes from California, where greens have lost an attempt to ban oil and gas hydraulic fracturing.  Democratic leaders brought their fracking moratorium bill to the Assembly floor last week, and their rank and file revolted.  The bill lost 37-24, with 12 Democrats joining 25 Republicans to defeat it.

California bill would fine big firms whose workers get Medi-Cal.  For years, politicians and labor unions have pilloried Wal-Mart and other large employers for paying workers so little that many qualify for government health insurance at taxpayers' expense.  Now critics fear the public will get stuck with an even bigger tab as California and other states expand Medicaid as part of the federal healthcare law.

Irvine, Calif., City Workers Average $143,691 in Total Compensation.  Employees of the City of Irvine, Calif., received total compensation averaging $143,691 in 2012, according to a study published by the California Public Policy Center.  Median total compensation, which means half of the Irvine city employees received less than this amount, and half received more, was $133,782 during 2012.

Calif. bill would let non-citizens serve on juries.  The California Assembly passed a bill on Thursday [4/25/2013] that would make the state the first in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

"Three-strike" lifers get a second chance in Calif. prisons.  California prisons are so overcrowded that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the conditions amount to cruel and unusual punishment.  The state is caught between a tight budget and its "three strikes" law, which imposes a life sentence after convictions. Last Fall, voters approved a plan to release some of those lifers.  Proposition 36 allows three-strikers to ask judges to let them out early.

California Group Mails Condoms to 12-Year-Olds.  The CFHC [California Family Health Council], a non-profit organization, has set up a website advertising its "Condom Access Project," where teens as young as 12 years old can receive free condoms in the mail.

To cut STD rate, California considers condoms in prison.  California prisoners have unprotected sexual contact, forced or consensual, even if both are illegal, and this reality often leads to the spread of HIV and other diseases in prisons and in communities where felons are paroled.

The Editor says...
Apparently the State of California is saying that prison rape is inevitable, so you'd better have a condom on hand.

America's most dishonest neighborhoods revealed.  America's top tax dodging hotspots have been revealed with about a third of fraudsters in California.  Neighborhoods including Beverly Hills and Newport Beach in California, New Carrollton, Maryland and College Park, Georgia, were among the potential tax evasion clusters targeted for auditing, according to confidential IRS data.  They were identified by the National Taxpayer Advocate using the IRS's confidential tax return data.  In all, researchers identified areas of possible tax cheats in more than 350 communities in 24 states.

CA Crime Skyrockets in Wake of Brown's Prison Release Plan.  In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California Assembly Bill 109, a piece of legislation designed to relieve overcrowded prisons in accordance with a Supreme Court decision.  AB 109 enshrined "realignment" into law — a plan to place supposedly "non-violent, non-serious, and non-sex offenders" in county jails rather than state prisons.  In other words, local governments were handed the problem of prisoners the state didn't want to hold.

California 'Lumber Products Assessment' a tax by any other name.  The clowns who frequent Sacramento's seedy bars and whorehouses, otherwise known as the members of the California State Legislature, have pulled off another midnight raid deep into the pocketbooks of all Californians.  At least street thugs and bank robbers are a one-time occurrence; [...]

To the left, California is now the model for America.  California's dominant Democrats can now raise taxes, float debt and expand government at will.  Republican "obstructionism" forced the state's liberal leaders to control themselves, but that control is over.  Every hare-brained idea will have at a high likelihood of passing.  Democrats already are pushing a host of new taxes and proposals that will make it easier for local officials to raise taxes, also.  So the taxing and spending has just begun.

State auditor: California's net worth at negative $127.2 billion.  Were California's state government a business, it would be a candidate for insolvency with a negative net worth of $127.2 billion, according to an annual financial report issued by State Auditor Elaine Howle and the Bureau of State Audits.  The report, which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, says that the state's negative status — all of its assets minus all of its liabilities — increased that year, largely because it spent more than it received in revenue.

California tied with Rhode Island for highest jobless rate.  California's jobless rate was unchanged at 9.8% in January, and that lack of improvement put the Golden State in a tie with Rhode Island for the worst unemployment in the land.

Golden State's green jobs bust.  President Obama, of course, has completely failed to deliver on this promise of 5 million new green-collar jobs.  The entire U.S. economy has created only 1.2 million jobs since Obama was sworn into office, many of them in the fossil fuel extraction, production and distribution sector.  But in Obama's defense, most of his green jobs agenda was killed.  Cap-and-trade and renewable electricity mandates never made it through Congress.  High-speed rail was killed off by governors in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin.  But where the rest of the nation has rejected all or most of these proposals, California has embraced them all.

Green state chokes off its middle class.  Los Angeles' water-fueled growth permanently altered entire habitats, including, most famously, the Owens Valley, which once supported a lake and farming community.  It is now a desert.  Unfortunately, California environmentalists are trying to turn much of the Central Valley's farmland back into desert too.  Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, federal courts have ordered farmers to divert hundreds of billions of gallons of water away from crops and into the Sacramento River, where it is supposed to help revive the delta smelt.

California's expensive education failure.  According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent" reputation.  Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks.  The California Teachers Association quickly poured this new revenue stream into an organizing drive, more than doubling the union's ranks.  The Golden State's politics have never been the same since — nor has the quality of its public schools.

California at Twilight.  We keep trying to understand the enigma of California, mostly why it still breathes for a while longer, given the efforts to destroy the sources of its success.  Let's try to navigate through its sociology and politics to grasp why something that should not survive is surviving quite well — at least in some places.

California Dept. of Transportation: 'Be Sure to Black Out the 'United States' and [the] Motto'.  For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California — a tranquil small town located on the Golden State's gorgeous Central Coast — to honor military veterans.  And for the better part of those three years, he has run into a toxic blend of political correctness, anti-Americanism, and bureaucratic senselessness.  Today, the memorial, which was to be built with private funds on a small piece of public land, remains unbuilt.

California testing limits of gun-control rules in wake of Newtown shooting.  California already has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.  Buying a handgun requires registration, a safety certificate, a 10-day waiting period and a rigorous background check.  All direct person-to-person sales are banned and concealed-carry permits are rare.  But now, in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, lawmakers in the Golden State have launched into a new legislative frenzy to restrict firearms further.

California parks officials deliberately hid money, report says.  Fear of embarrassment and budget cuts led California parks officials to intentionally conceal millions of dollars in a department account, according to an investigation conducted by the state attorney general's office.  The report, released Friday [1/4/2013], is the most detailed official narrative yet regarding the root of the accounting scandal at the parks department.

For his next crisis.  Saving the planet isn't easy — or cheap — especially in California.  The state's anti-global-warming cap-and-trade program is the latest gimmick to leave it with yet another big hole to fill in its budget.  The Golden State's new carbon-trading program is the world's second largest, after the European Union's.  The stated goal is to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and another 80 percent by 2050.  But California held its very first "carbon credit" auction last month — and it was a big disappointment.

Study: CA Worst-Governed State in America.  According to a new study from 24/7 Wall Street, California is the worst run state in the nation ... for the second year in a row.  The best run state is North Dakota.

The 11 Death Spiral States.  Eleven states made Forbes' list of danger spots for investors including California, New York, Illinois, and Ohio.  They warned (and with the cliff it is even more critical), if you have muni bonds in these states — clean up your portfolio; if your career takes you there — rent, don't buy!

Pulling billions out of thin air.  As home to the entertainment industry and the land of make-believe, California is known for embracing fads.  The latest rage among the Democrats who just won a supermajority sway in the Sacramento Statehouse may prove to be the most costly.  California is starting its own cap-and-trade program, which taxes carbon-dioxide emissions and other "greenhouse" gases through a convoluted permit system.  The Golden State could end up suffocating its golden goose with this scheme.

California's Road to Perdition.  California was once the envy of everyone.  But this promised land is now being controlled by a super-majority of leftists, and the liberal, pro-union Democrats have only one answer to California's woes:  to raise taxes.

No Meat on Mondays in Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles City Council is urging all residents to observe "meatless Mondays" from now on.  A resolution adopted on Oct. 24 reads:  "Be it resolved, that the Council of the City of Los Angeles hereby declares all Mondays as 'Meatless Mondays' in support of comprehensive sustainability efforts as well as to further encourage residents to eat a more varied plant-based diet to protect their health and protect animals."

California Grants Tesla $10 Million To Build The Model X Electric SUV.  California regulators on Wednesday [10/10/2012] approved a $10 million grant to Tesla Motors to help manufacture its next electric car, the Model X sport utility vehicle.  Tesla will pony up $50 million to match the California Energy Commission grant, which will be used to expand manufacturing capacity at its factory in Fremont, Calif., and to purchase equipment to make components for the Model X.

A Modest Proposal.  California was once the land of opportunity, but it is going down the tubes.  Several of California's prominent cities have declared bankruptcy, such as Vallejo, Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino.  Others are on the precipice, and that includes Los Angeles, California's largest city.  California's 2012 budget deficit is expected to top $28 billion, and its state debt is $618 billion.  That's more than twice the size of New York's state debt, which itself is the second-highest in the nation.

The Obama Paradox.  The bluest state is polling at a 20 to 24 point lead for Barack Obama.  Who cares that it is struggling with nearly 11% unemployment and facing a $16 billion budget shortfall?  What does it matter that its public schools rated variously from 45th to 49th in the nation and that it is home to one-third of the nation's welfare recipients, forty percent of the nation's illegal aliens, and the largest prison population in the country?  If Ohio supposedly has a million Obama-phones, I shudder to wonder how many are in California.

And Will a Jesse James or Billy the Kid Elementary School Follow?  California public schools for some time in many surveys of national testing have ranked 48th or 49th in the nation in math and science, and, inter alia, are part of the various impediments to robust economic growth in California.  No matter — California school boards have better things to worry about.

California's chickens have come home to roost.  [Governor] Schwarzenegger's proposals would have increased eligibility for teacher tenure from two years to five years in the classroom, made the use of union dues for political campaign contributions voluntary, imposed state budgetary spending limits and redrawn the state's school district funding formula, and reformed the states' redistricting system.  The establishment couldn't have that, and so, in short order, the referenda were soundly defeated at the ballot box. [...] Fast forward to 2012, when California's debt has swollen to more than $117 billion according to data assembled by State Budget Solutions.  Its unfunded union pension liabilities total more than $500 billion.

LAPD Chief Tells Officers to Ignore Federal Illegal Immigrant Law.  In Los Angeles, where the distinctions between the citizen and the non-citizen are often little more than abstractions, they are one step closer to vanishing altogether.  That such a thing should occur in Los Angeles comes as no surprise to anyone paying even the slightest attention to recent trends in the city's governance.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is famously sympathetic to the cause of illegal immigrants, and most members of the city council hold similar views.

California Governor Brown vetoes bill that allowed towns to release undocumented immigrants.  California's governor has vetoed a bill that would have allowed police and sheriffs to free undocumented immigrants from custody once they became eligible for release even if federal immigration authorities had asked to hold them for possible deportation proceedings.

Millions in SF health fees don't go to workers.  Restaurants and other businesses in this food-loving tourist mecca collected almost $14 million dollars in extra fees last year from their patrons, as they sought to comply with the progressive city's landmark universal health-care ordinance.

The not-so Golden State of America.  In the 1850s droves of gold-hunters hoping to make it rich rushed into what would later be established as the Golden State.  The pristine beaches, vast mountains and plenty of opportunity persuaded some to stay in the state.  But now, California is facing a different kind of rush — one that is causing people to pick up and leave.  The state boasts a population of more than 37 million.  However, the Orange County Register reports that 870,550 people left the state between 2005 and 2009.  "That's like the whole city of San Francisco just up and left," the article states.  What is chasing people away?

California law barring parents from 'curing' gay children moves through legislature.  A first-of-its-kind state law that would restrict parents from trying to "cure" their minor children's same-sex attractions seems headed to the governor's desk.  If both state houses can agree on the final language, the legislation, which would ban all sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) treatment for minors, will be sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature sometime in September.  But, so far, there has been no indication from his office on whether he will sign the bill into law.

California to Issue Driver's Licenses to Illegal Immigrants.  The California state Assembly on Thursday [8/30/2012] voted in favor of a bill that would permit the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants who are eligible for work permits under a new policy handed down from the Obama administration.  The bill is on its way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk to be signed into law.  Fox News reports, "Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles said he wrote AB 2189 to make roads safer, and allow young immigrants to drive to school and work."  The bill passed in California's Assembly by a vote of 55-15 after it passed in California's Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 25-7.  The only other states to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants are New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.

California poised to grant driver's licenses to young illegal immigrants.  California is on the verge of allowing hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses for the first time in nearly two decades.  The key question is how to do it.  The issue of granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants has raged in the Legislature for much of the past decade, without resolution, but fighting is largely moot now due to a new federal policy.

Bias alert!
The "new federal policy" is the policy of only one man:  Barack H. Obama.

There is no California.  There is no such state.  Instead there are two radically different cultures and landscapes with little in common, each equally dysfunctional in quite different ways.  Apart they are unworldly, together a disaster.

California: First in Liberalism, Last in Everything Else.  With decades of success earned with seemingly little effort, California seems to have decided that it can rest on its laurels.  But the days when the state could live off of its looks are quickly drawing to a close, as a bevy of recent statistics show.

Justice Department opposes illegal immigrant's bid to practice law.  An illegal Mexican immigrant who wants to be licensed to practice law in California has received support from the state's top law enforcement officer, the State Bar of California, civil rights groups, county bar associations and law professors  — but not from the Obama administration.  In a brief to the California Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice said federal law prohibits giving a public benefit, such as a bar license, to an "unlawfully present alien."

California: Blue Twilight on the Pacific.  California is in a hole but can't seem to stop its compulsive digging.  Schools, universities, prisons, pensions, cities and towns:  the state has lost the ability to manage even the most basic elements of communal living.  But foie gras is now illegal there, grandiose plans for white elephant fast trains built with borrowed money waft through the air, and the state continues to boost the self esteem of affluent and cause-oriented gentry liberals by scattering scarce resources to the four winds, hunting unicorns when the cupboard is bare.

A Golden State train wreck.  State Sen. Joe Simitian's district office near Stanford's campus is nestled among shops sporting excruciatingly cute names (A Street Bike Named Desire, Mom's the Word maternity wear) intended to make the progressive gentry comfortable with upscale consumption by presenting it as whimsical.  This community surely has its share of advanced thinkers who think trains are wonderful because they are not cars (rampant individualism; people going wherever and whenever they want, unsupervised).

San Bernardino Files Emergency Bankruptcy Petition.  San Bernardino on Wednesday became the third California city to declare insolvency, joining Stockton and Mammoth Lakes after officials say they filed an emergency petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Gastronomical Prohibitionists.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his listeners that a man with a beam in his eye ought not to criticize another with a mere speck in his.  The message:  sort out your own crippling shortcomings before presuming to meddle in someone else's.  It's good advice for an individual; it would be even better advice for the state of California.  Good counsel, however, has a way of falling on deaf ears in the Golden State.

Bottled Water Going the Way of the 20-ounce Soda.  The latest law to encourage use of refillable containers comes out of San Francisco.  Their ultimate goal is to ban bottled water.  San Francisco is a hardcore environmentalist city and they do not like plastic water bottles.  The first step they are taking is to require new buildings with water fountains to install special bottle-filling taps.  That would be the same water that comes out of your kitchen sink which is what bottled water drinkers don't want to drink.  They also don't want anything to do with public fountains where so many have been before.

San Fran Area Drivers Could be Forced to Install GPS Devices That Tax Their Travel.  On Thursday evening [7/19/2012], a controversial study in the San Francisco Bay Area will be voted upon that could require drivers to allow GPS devices to be installed inside their car.  The ultimate goal?  Not to see where they're going, but to evaluate how much they're driving — and consider taxing them for it. [...] The proposed Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax could cost as much as a dime per mile.

Penniless in Paradise.  On the front door of the San Bernardino city hall is a sign that reads:  "Out of Order."  Broke city, broken door:  There's a certain pleasing symmetry in the fact that the San Bernardino city council meets behind a door that, like the city government itself, does not work and is in need of replacement.  On this particular evening in late July, the council has met to make public what everybody already knows:  Intellectually bankrupt, morally bankrupt — the city is under criminal investigation for sundry financial shenanigans — San Bernardino is above all old-fashioned bankrupt bankrupt, a pitiful penniless pauper that cannot even afford a cup of coffee:  Seriously — the coffee guy wants cash up front now and has stopped serving the municipal office building until the city makes good on its latte liabilities.

Welcome to California: America without Republicans.  [Scroll down]  What would America look like if the Republican "fever" did break?  We already know.  It would look a lot like the state of California, where no non-cyborg Republican has been governor since 1996.  Democrats have also enjoyed complete control of the state legislature since 1997.  And they have governed exactly the way you'd expect Democrats to govern.  Spending has more than doubled, from $45.4 billion in 1996 to more than $92.5 billion today.  Income, sales and car taxes have all been hiked.  As a result, California has the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven income tax brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate.

City of San Francisco Bans Apple Computers.  San Francisco has earned a reputation for being, in certain regards, the nation's most permissive city, but even the City by the Bay has certain limits.  Take, for instance, one's choice of computers:  If you work for the city, you will not be allowed to procure an Apple using city funds.  Why?  Because the computer industry giant with its headquarters less than an hour away from San Francisco is not "green" enough.

California Eyes Multiple Parenting Law.  California, the battleground state for the arguments for and against same-sex marriage, is now considering an unconventional law that would allow children to be legally granted more than two parents.

Hey California: Meet Wisconsin.  In November of 2010 Californians rejected a candidate for Governor who pledged to do much of what Scott Walker has done, and instead elected a Governor who is bought and paid for by labor unions.

Labor Unions Suffer Defeat on Taxpayer Revolt.  Californians, struggling with an $18 billion budget deficit, stuck with a Sacramento political class owned by Democrats who in turn are owned by labor unions, are facing a massive tax increase in November that will give California the unenviable distinction of having the highest per capita tax burden in the Country.  Even modest efforts to reign in spending or do serious pension reform are easily thwarted by big labor lobbyists.

California's Proposition 32: Ending Union Dominance Of California Politics.  Is union money distorting California electoral politics?  Many think so.  After all, public sector and trade unions are among the biggest donors in California elections.  In the years 2000-2010 the California Teachers Association (CTA) was the single largest contributor to California politics, giving twice as much as the second-largest contributor, the California State Council of Service Employees.

California is about to hit the wall.  The demography of California today is the demography of America tomorrow, just as the social and fiscal policies of California in the last decade mirror those of the U.S. government today.  One-third of all U.S. wage-earners today have been amnestied from paying U.S. income taxes, as the top 1 percent haul fully 40 percent of that huge load.  So, too, in California, the well-to-do and the wealthy are hammered, which is why many have quietly closed their businesses, packed and gone back over the mountains whence their fathers came.

California Still Dead.  [Scroll down]  That "new state law intended to reduce bankruptcy filings" was a transparent ploy by government employee unions to prevent cities from using insolvency protection to get out of crushing pension contracts.  And it may not even have been necessary.  As Steven Greenhut wrote after the city of Vallejo went belly up in 2010, even municipal bankruptcy doesn't seem to get taxpayers out of their solemn obligation to pay former government employees not to work.

California Digging.  Ignoring the first rule of holes, a bankrupt state passing out IOUs welcomes an EPA waiver allowing it to further kill its economy.  Too bad the state can't stop the air pollution imported from a growing China.

Coffers Empty, California Pays With I.O.U.'s.  An ever-widening budget gap joined with intractable political paralysis to deliver California its biggest fiscal blow in decades on Thursday [7/2/2009], when the state's controller began printing i.o.u.'s in lieu of cash to pay taxpayers, vendors and local governments.  It was only the second time the state had adopted the emergency payment method since the Great Depression.  The National Conference of State Legislatures had no record of any other state's ever using them.

School system lays off "Teacher of the Year".  A California woman who was named her school district's "Teacher of the Year" has a new title — "job seeker."  The district laid off Michelle Apperson along with thousands of other educators across the state.  California has a budget crisis and this is how officials are dealing with it.

The Editor says...
You might be saying to yourself, "That doesn't make any sense.  Why would they do that?  And the answer is ... the teachers' union!

'Teacher of the Year' Fired for Lack of Union Seniority.  It doesn't matter anymore how good you are at your job if you live in the failing state of California; if you're on a lower rung of the ladder in terms of seniority, you're toast.  Michelle Apperson, a teacher at the Sutterville Elementary School in Sacramento who was named "teacher of the year" by the school district, was fired because she was outranked in seniority.

Another Outrage in California.  As of today [6/1/2012], it is legal in California to give hormone blockers to an 11 year-old boy in order to delay the onset of puberty, but it could soon be illegal for a 17 year-old with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, even with parental consent.

California budget proposal would end a science requirement.  A little-noticed proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to eliminate the second year of science as a high school graduation requirement is sparking concern among educators who fear it could deepen the academic divide among students and further erode the state's scientific and technological leadership.  The recommendation in Brown's revised May budget is aimed at freeing the state from reimbursing local school districts for the $250-million annual cost of the second-year science course.  The state has not made any payouts to school districts since the requirement was ruled a mandate in 2005, so California owes public school systems $2.5 billion in unpaid claims.

California's Train to Nowhere.  Some politicians can't resist throwing good money after bad on these money-losing schemes.  The latest example is from the People's Republic of California, where Governor Jerry Brown is acting as if he wants the state to become a basket case.

Can California Be Fixed?  Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation.  As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?

California's Budget Woes: No One Ever Mentions Work Disincentives, Welfare Fraud, or Taxpayer Flight.  Governor Jerry Brown is browbeating residents to pass tax initiatives in November which include "a quarter-cent increase in the state sales tax for four years and a seven-year hike on incomes of $250,000 or more that will range from 1 to 3 percentage points."  The totally predictable problem (and, from all appearances, a bit contrived; the state's controller saw this coming several months ago, and was largely ignored) is that tax revenues aren't coming in as expected.  Media treatment of the problem acts as if this all some kind of uncontrollable act of God which is a by-product of the recession and weak recovery.

California: America's Welfare Queen.  California is the nation's welfare queen:  The state accounts for one-third of America's welfare recipients, though it only contains one-eighth of the population, and there's no good reason for it. [...] The main reason that California is so dependent on welfare is its uniquely lax enforcement of the provisions of the 1996 welfare reforms. As part of the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the federal government put in place a set of regulations on welfare payments to help or encourage recipients to return to work, such as the five-year lifetime limit on benefits. California, however, is one of nine states that don't unconditionally enforce this supposedly nationwide provision.

Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings.  The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia's and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau.  Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government's new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing.

It Looks Like Tax Revenue In California Is Coming Up WILDLY Short Of Expectations.  A tipster just sent us this, and it does indeed look like April tax revenue in California is way below expectations.

Los Angeles insolvency predictable and preventable.  When the nation's second largest city teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, local elected officials — and especially taxpayers elsewhere — ought to take it as a wake-up call and ponder the evident public policy blunders that laid the groundwork for such an unnecessary scenario.  Los Angeles' potential bankruptcy and $238 million budget shortfall were predictable and preventable.

Socialism Won't Fix California's Struggling Public Utilities.  We know of the poor quality of products and services provided by government monopolies.  Yet officials in Stanton and Claremont think otherwise.  They have discussed spending tens of millions of tax dollars to "buy" their water systems from a private water company that doesn't want to sell them.  To make matters worse, their efforts would require the use — some would say the abuse — of the power of eminent domain to acquire the properties by force.  Taxpayers will be on the hook for all of this.

Beware The Predatory State Of California — Even If You Don't Live There.  [Apparently] the state of California, desperate for revenue, is churning out dubious income tax claims stretching back years and collecting the money without due process.  This is theft, pure and simple, and charging the account owner $100 for transacting the theft is also theft.

Harris distorts democracy to aid unions.  We expect judges, no matter their political stripes, to apply the law as written.  We expect election officials to battle election fraud no matter their personal preference for the outcome.  Likewise, we expect state attorney generals, who are the head of California's "Justice" Department, after all, to provide fair title and summaries of all initiatives submitted to that office — even ones the AG personally doesn't like.  Without any civic spiritedness, people eventually will lose faith that they can make change by following the rules.  [California Attorney General Kamala] Harris, however, is a close ally of the public sector unions.

Trying to 'Stop the Bleeding' from Environmental Overreach.  Central California Republicans — and farmers across the state — won a small victory last night in a House committee in a battle that has seen scores of communities devastated by environmental regulatory overreach.  The Delta smelt is a tiny fish that lives is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley River Delta.  In response to the fish's threatened status, influenced by its sensitivity to environmental conditions and the large-scale pumping operations necessary to send water south, a 2007 court order citing the Endangered Species Act severely cut back water deliveries through the agricultural Central Valley.

Mortgage Deal Props Up California House of Cards.  Why should a taxpayer in Houston or Wichita bail out irresponsible California homeowners, banks and the state's public employees' retirement fund?  Yet that's exactly what the Obama administration is looking to do in its latest effort to shore up a housing market that continues to sag as large percentages of Americans remain underwater in their mortgages.

California counties get mail-order condom program.  Teenagers in several counties can get condoms in the mail for free under a program launched this week and supported by state public health officials.

An example of how government can become an obstacle to economic recovery:  It's hard to get a handle on how many businesses have been discouraged by such a permitting and regulation regime, but you have to assume they are plenty.  It should not take two years for a government to say "okay" to a business.  Nor should there be exorbitant fees associated with it.

San Francisco Red Tape Nearly Strangles Small Businesses.  The leftists in charge of the City by the Bay have made it next to impossible for anyone to start a small business in that town.  Just ask Juliet Pries.  In January Pries opened the Ice Cream Bar, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.  But before she could start serving up hot fudge sundaes and banana splits, she was forced to spend two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars — supplied by family and friends — navigating the city's labyrinthine planning codes and otherwise satisfying the bureaucrats' whims.

We're in the red ... so let's borrow.  A conservative activist says California intends to continue the borrow-spend-borrow cincreased spending more money inflationycle despite an announcement that the state is officially out of cash.  In a letter to legislative budget leaders, State Controller John Chiang said California will run out of cash on March 1 unless something is done quickly.  Chiang suggested that the state should delay payments and borrow around $3.3 billion because tax revenues are $2.6 billion lower than lawmakers assumed.

Electric Cars: Doubling Down On Dumb.  Once again, the regulators in California have decided to lead the nation in terms of vehicle emission standards, proposing to require that 15.4 percent of all vehicles sold by 2025 must be electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars, or (currently non-existent) fuel cell cars.  In case you're wondering why this all sounds familiar, it's because California is re-running the same delusional program that it ran in 1990...

California Issues Clown Car Mandate.  Golden State regulators have passed sweeping emission standards requiring one in seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. ... [I]f we've learned anything in recent years, it's that industrial policy and telling consumers what they need and must have vs. what they want and find useful doesn't work.  Only the marketplace can accurately pick winners and losers.  The government, having no competition, usually picks losers.  We have also learned that climate change is an overhyped fantasy based on ideology rather than science.

America's worst regulatory agency outdoes itself.  California continues its leading role as the national laughingstock of regulatory absurdity.  This week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), forged another link in its unbroken chain of disastrous environmental policies.

Every Year Boondoggles Pile Up in California.  The left-wing idea that it's good for government to always wildly increase spending is dying a quick death these days.  But this good sense has not made it to every state in the union yet — two disastrous states in particular; California and Illinois.  These two states have not learned the lesson about the ruinous government spending that is causing the country to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.  Apparently, Illinois and California are vying for worst-state status.  Moody's Investment service, for instance, has rated Illinois the worst, but Standard & Poor's says it's California.

What Conservatives and the GOP Dare Not Say about Immigration.  The fact is that upon being naturalized, our modern-day immigrants generally vote Democrat by wide margins — irrespective of whether upon arrival they were labeled legal or illegal.  Massive legal and illegal immigration has already so changed the California electorate that no Republican can be elected statewide anymore.

Nation's largest welfare state makes deep cuts.  Advocates of welfare reform in California often cite one, eye-popping statistic as they have pressed for cuts and changes to the program in recent years:  The state has one-eighth of the nation's population but one-third of all welfare recipients.

Workers give up in Los Angeles.  In Los Angeles, the falling unemployment rate is slightly misleading, just as it has been for the country overall.  When surveyed by the government, fewer L.A. residents say they're unemployed compared to a year ago.  But it's not because they're finding jobs.  It's because they're dropping out of the labor force altogether.

It's California business as usual as debt, taxes grow.  [Scroll down]  This sorry state of affairs is indicative of business as usual in California and provides a basis from which to examine the state's irresponsible budget practices as a whole.  California's current budget process relies heavily on the use of budget gimmicks, especially number shifting and projection altering that can create the illusion of a balanced budget.

This Is the Nightmare of an Obama Second Term.  If you were wondering what living in Obama's second term would be like, wonder no longer.  We in California are living there now.  California is a one-party state dominated by a virulent Democratic Left enabled by a complicit media where every agency of local, county, and state government is run by and for the public employee unions.  The unemployment rate is 12%.  California has more folks on food stamps than any other state, has added so many benefits and higher rates to Medicaid that we call it "Medi-Cal."  Our K-12 schools have more administrators than teachers, and smaller classes but lower test scores and higher dropout rates with twice the per-student budget of 15 years ago.

Govt. Funds Campaign To Reduce Food Stamp Stigma.  The effort to boost the food stamp rolls was announced this month [October, 2010] in California, where more than 3 million residents benefit from the federal program each month.  Evidently, state and federal officials believe the number is way too low for the virtually bankrupt state with a population of about 37 million.

SF Becomes First US City to Top $10 Minimum Wage.  The city's hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24 [on 1/1/2012], more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government.

Choking on Obamacare.  Time was, American businesses could surmount such regulatory officiousness.  But government's metabolic urge to boss people around has grown exponentially and today CKE's California restaurants are governed by 57 categories of regulations.  One compels employees and even managers to take breaks during the busiest hours, lest one of California's 200,000 lawyers comes trolling for business at the expense of business.

California Student Sues Teacher, District Over C+ Grade.  Bowen Bethards, 17, was a sophomore in Peggy Carlock's chemistry class at Albany High School in Albany, Calif., outside of San Francisco, in the 2010-11 school year when she gave him the C+ grade at the center of the suit, according to court records first reported by the Albany Patch.  Bethards, in a lawsuit filed with his mother, Laureen, in Contra Costa County Superior Court last month, claims that he has suffered severe physical and emotional suffering, damage to his academic reputation, and diminished chances of getting into his college of choice because of the grade.

California — toxic for business.  Last year, the medical technology firm Numira Biosciences packed its bags and left Irvine for Salt Lake City.  When asked about the firm's departure, its chief executive praised Utah's quality of life but also blamed California's business environment for the move.  "The tipping point was when someone from the Orange County tax [assessor] wanted to see our facility to tax every piece of equipment I had," Michael Beeuwsaert told the Orange County Register.

California's jobs engine broke down well before the financial crisis.  Everybody knows that California's economy has struggled mightily since the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession.  The state's current unemployment rate, 12.1 percent, is a full 3 percentage points above the national rate. ... But a study commissioned by City Journal using the National Establishment Time Series database, which has tracked job creation and migration from 1992 through 2008 (so far) in a way that government statistics can't, reveals the disturbing truth.

California's Economic Suicide.  The 262 pages of regulations implementing California's 2006 global warming legislation, Assembly Bill 32, approved by CARB last Thursday [10/20/2011], will probably reduce employment more than it reduces emissions.  The only thing it will cap is economic growth by bleeding a patient that is already hemorrhaging red ink.

California Employment at Record Low 55.4 Percent.  The percentage of working-age Californians with jobs has fallen to a record low, and employment may not return to pre-recession levels until the second half of the decade, according to a research group.  Just 55.4 percent of working-age Californians, defined as those 16 or older, had a job in July...

California unemployment rises in July to 12%.  California's unemployment rate climbs two-tenths of a percentage point in July, the U.S. Department of Labor says, to 12%.  The state has the second-highest jobless rate in the nation, exceeded only by Nevada at 12.9%.

San Francisco goldfish ban exposes America's liberal nutjobs.  [Scroll down]  The proposal will probably be kicked into the long-grass, as was the commission's proposed ban on the sale of kittens and puppies last year.  Other things the city has considered outlawing are MacDonald's Happy Meals, supersizing in fast food chains and circumcision.  Obviously, smoking in public places was stopped years ago.  The goldfish ban might seem like a silly story, but it does expose several liberal pathologies.

California's Book Ban.  The California state legislature has passed a book-banning law.  Nobody is calling the book ban a book ban because the books the book ban bans offend homosexuals.  If the legislature had extended legislative protection to the hurt feelings of, say, Mormons or evangelical Christians, then everyone would have agreed that it's a book ban.  But it doesn't, so don't call the book ban a book ban.  You just might get banned, too.

California becomes first state in nation to ban 'gay cure' therapy for children.  California has become the first state in the nation to ban therapy that tries to turn gay teens straight.  Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday [9/30/2012] that he has signed Senate Bill 1172, which prohibits children under age 18 from undergoing "sexual orientation change efforts."  The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, prohibits state-licensed therapists from engaging in these practices with minors.

The Editor says...
If there is such a therapy, and it works, that proves that homosexuality is a choice, not a genetic condition, as so many homosexuals claim.  If this therapy doesn't work, why is it so vigorously opposed?

One law for us, another for you.  The California state Senate voted 28-8 Wednesday [6/1/2011] to exempt itself from the pointless gun-control laws that apply to the rest of the populace.  Legislators apparently think they alone are worthy to pack heat on the streets for personal protection, and the masses ought to wait until the police arrive.

Chief executives say California worst place in the nation to do business.  For the seventh year in a row, a survey of chief executives has ranked California as the nation's worst state in which to do business.  More than 500 U.S. CEOs polled by Greenwich, Conn.-based Chief Executive magazine based their opinions on numerous factors, including regulations, tax policies, work force quality, education resources, quality of living and infrastructure.

California Balks at Public Display of American Flag.  In the small town of Orcutt, California, a private association has raised donations to erect a flagpole and monument between a highway exit and a park-and-ride lot, at the entrance to the community's Old Town section.  The pole would hang the American flag, encircled by five pillars, one each for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.  The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), however, has stymied the effort, calling it an impermissible act of "public expression."

California Democrats rally around unions.  Framing the union battles taking place across the nation as a fundamental attack on working Americans, Democratic leaders on Saturday accused Republicans of scapegoating public employees for political gain.  "They are intent on dismantling the very economic ladder that lifted our middle class and made California the richest and greatest state in the greatest nation in the world," Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris told thousands of delegates and supporters gathered at the Democrats' annual convention in Sacramento.

The Editor says...
When you look at the state's net worth, California is not the richest state in the country, by any means.  California is broke, and nearly all the blame should be assigned to left-wing tax-and-spend Democrats.

Second Amendment Takes Double Shot in California.  A double-whammy came down today against gun rights advocates in California.  First, the California Assembly voted to prohibit the open carry of unloaded handguns.  Current law had allowed unloaded weapons to be carried openly in public.  "You are disarming our citizens" while doing little to disarm criminals, said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.  "It is not just the right to keep, it is the right to bear arms," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks.

Guns for us, not for you.  Some of the most far-out anti-gun laws are found on the left coast, but that could change — for privileged politicians.  A California state Senate committee will consider a bill next week that grants legislators permission to carry concealed firearms.  The measure highlights the growing rift between the bureaucratic class and taxpayers who don't have the luxury of exempting themselves from bad laws.

America's Most Miserable Cities.  California's troubles helped it land eight of the 20 spots on [Forbes Magazine's] annual list of America's Most Miserable Cities, with Stockton ranking first for the second time in three years.

California's Problem Is In Its Head.  California Gov. Jerry Brown must rapidly close a $25 billion budgetary shortfall.  But right now it seems almost a hopeless task since the state's disastrous budget is a symptom, not the cause, of California's much larger nightmare.  Take unemployment.  It currently runs 12.6% in California, the nation's second-highest rate.  Take livability.  A recent Forbes magazine survey listing the most miserable 20 cities in the nation ranked four California municipalities among the index's five worst places to live.

Go Bankrupt, California, Please.  We're now 25 billion dollars in the red in California.  The governor along with his Democrat controlled legislature will never do the right thing.  They're the same folks who brought you this mess.  When Governor Brown was previously the governor he signed the Dills Act in 1978 that gave civil servants the right to collective bargaining.  He did this on his very first day in office as governor.  This revolutionary enactment was the beginning of the end or our state.

Bootleg Lightbulbs Coming to California.  Old reliable, the 100-watt light bulb — safe, cheap, and bright enough to read, write, cook, shave, and put on your makeup by, will be gone January 1.  The California Energy Commission in September 2010 published its 226-page Appliance Efficiency Regulations, whereby the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will be outlawed at midnight on December 31, 2010.  Californians with self-imposed rationing, running out of both energy and common sense, have declared that consuming electrical power is a social vice.  Electric power must be curbed, along with banning Dr. Pepper and Happy Meals.  And it's not just light bulbs.  These appliance standards will regulate and ban hundreds of products including...

CARB's Carbon Capers.  In a nearly unanimous vote, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) just approved a statewide cap-and-trade scheme to limit emissions of CO2 from six hundred major industrial plants, starting in 2012.  Proposition 23 on the California ballot, defeated in November, was an attempt to at least delay the state's Cap-and-Trade law, AB-32, until California's record unemployment eased.  However, the slanted description appearing on both the official Voter Guide and the ballot, written by then-State Attorney General Jerry Brown and his office, the well-funded "No-on-23" campaign, and some very heavy media bias, had Californians believing that Prop. 23 would thwart efforts to curb air pollution — i.e., smog.  So Prop 23 went down in flames, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and perhaps a million.

Off-the-Books America.  Last week, Victor Davis Hanson wrote about the hollowed-out society in the Central Valley around his native Fresno, California. ... The elementary school that he attended as a child is now 94 percent Hispanic and well below standards in English and math.  The rural roads are "fast turning into rubble."  The irrigation cutoffs have idled tens of thousands of acres, and unemployment is 15 to 20 percent.  There are many rural "trailer-house compounds" filled with junked cars, lean-tos, and trash, but for some reason, the regulatory state does not reach out and regulate them.

Missing the California of My Youth.  In what seems like a lifetime ago, Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform the nation.  California is what a truly progressive government transformation looks like.  Thus, in a sensible America, the decline of California would be the canary call in a coal mine for the nation.

Mascot Politics.  Dr. Victor Davis Hanson's quietly chilling article, "Two Californias," in National Review Online, ought to be read by every American who is concerned about where this country is headed.  California is leading the way, but what is happening in California is happening elsewhere — and is a slow poison that is being largely ignored.

California sings the Blue State Blues.  Over 20 years have passed since a Republican presidential candidate carried California.  Democrats have essentially run the state since the early 1990s.  How has that worked out for Californians?  By virtually any measure, not very well.  First, though, let's get one thing straight.  Much the way frozen food manufacturers call their processed sludge nuggets "chicken," Schwarzenegger calls himself a "Republican."  His election was an aberration, more, without question, thanks to his fame than his party affiliation.

Time to allow states to go bankrupt.  The idea that taxpayers in more sensible states like Indiana and Texas should have to bail out wealthy Democratic strongholds unable to operate responsibly is explosive.  Mark Steyn has even warned that secession talk could get serious in the face of such looting of the prudent.

California, the neocolonial state.  California imports more cheap labor from a third world country than any other state.  California exports her prisoners.  The state of California essentially outsources a substantial amount of its energy production, importing more of its electricity than any other state.  If California were a country, the liberals in academia would be outraged at this neocolonial behavior.  Ironically it has been liberal policies that have lead to California becoming a neocolonial state.

Residential electricity forecast

More climate idiocy from California.  If the looming spectre of rising electricity prices due to CARB's upcoming "cap and trade" isn't enough, now the Department of Water resources has opted to be less efficient by giving low cost electricity the boot.

Could California Sink The Obama Presidency?  California — the most populous state in our nation — is bankrupt.  Just as is the case in Washington, D.C., nobody in The Golden State dares to say the word "bankrupt" to describe the state government right now, but it is still nonetheless true.  However, since Californians collectively defied the national trend of abandoning the bankrupting Obama-styled economic policies in the recent election, and instead voted for more of the same, the 31st state in our union is now on the fast-track for economic collapse.

California's Assorted Rocks and Hard Places.  News came out on Thursday [11/11/2010] that the California budget deficit is actually closer to $25 billion, twice what we are told.  This follows from last year's $42 billion shortfall, which was closed by all sorts of one-time tax increases and gimmicks.  Here is our general dilemma in a nutshell.

How Do California and the Titanic Differ?  OK, riddle fans, here's a toughie:  What's the difference between California voters and the passengers on the Titanic?  The passengers on the Titanic didn't vote to hit the iceberg.  Most Americans understand that California is sinking.  What is almost incredible is that it has voted to sink.

California Wins Dumbest State Award in Landslide.  In the coming years, the unions, who have been bilking Californians in a protection-racket type scheme, will be taking to the streets in massive, destructive temper tantrums just like those out-in-the-cold workers in other failed socialist states across the big pond.  It won't be pretty.  All the while Californians have been lining the greedy pockets of union masters, they've also saddled their economy with the greenest of the green anti-pollution laws, which they've just voted overwhelmingly to keep in place.

San Francisco Defends Helpless Citizens From The Scourge of Happy Meals.  CNN is reporting the San Francisco board of supervisors will formally approve a ban on most McDonald's Happy Meals today, thus addressing the most serious issue facing the otherwise untroubled city.  The board isn't just tepidly endorsing this measure — they're expected to produce enough votes to over-ride a promised veto from Mayor Gavin Newsom.  The ordinance is intended to control the distribution of toys with unhealthy food, which has become known as the "food justice movement."

California: The Lindsay Lohan of States.  Listen up, California.  The other 48 states — your cousin New York excluded — are sick of your bratty arrogance. ... You've racked up nearly $70 billion in general obligation debt, and that doesn't include your $500 billion unfunded pension liability.  Your own analysts predict you'll face a hole of at least $80 billion over the next four years.  Your government's run by a brothel of environmentalists, lawyers, public-sector unions and legislative bums.  When they're not taxing or spending, they're creating regulations and commissions like the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and the California Blueberry Commission.  Many businesses would leave if it weren't for your sunny climate.

Coasting to the Left.  If this week's election returns demonstrate that the vast majority of the country is moving to the right, why do the West Coast and the Northeast continue to embrace liberalism, especially when it has led to economic disaster?  Both California and New York are on the verge of bankruptcy and, according to Forbes magazine, are hostile to business by way of high taxation and strict regulation of commerce.  California currently owes $158 billion, and New York is holding $60 billion in debt.

California Dreamin'.  In a blast from the past, California voters bucked the national voting trend and returned Democrat Jerry Brown to the Governor's office he occupied in the 1970s.  While the Attorney General votes are still being counted, all other statewide offices went to Democrats.  Voters also removed the two-thirds vote requirement to pass the state budget, handing the heavily Democrat state legislature a blank check.  California is now a one-party state.  The voters want it that way.

California Dreamin'.  I would like to feel elated about the elections last Tuesday, but alas, I live in California.  As the rest of the nation lurches back toward common sense, California defiantly stands as a testament to the power of delusion. ... The fact that voters keep returning to failed policies and politicians speaks to the power of propaganda, disseminated through the schools and the media.  However, it is also a dismal lesson in human nature, epitomized by Jesus' observation about a dog returning to its own vomit.

The 'Golden State' Still Doesn't Get It.  The midterm elections turned into a sweeping repudiation of the Democrats' failed status quo — except, that is, in California.  There, not only did the Democrats not lose, they gained clout.

The Brown Wall.  [Scroll down]  But the accomplishments stopped in the 1970s with the election of Governor Jerry Brown.  Mr. Brown expropriated the budget money that had been allocated for infrastructure — much of it raised by motor fuel taxes — and diverted it to his own leftist causes.  Aqueducts and freeways were canceled, including some that already were under construction.  Brown also blocked private construction of power plants.  His anti-American Dream was this:  If you don't build it; they won't come.  But they came anyway, and now Californians waste millions of gallons of fuel in traffic jams.

The Inexplicables.  California may still have 1 billion recoverable, but untapped, barrels of oil, over a half-million acres of productive farmland taken out of production to help the three-inch delta smelt, and a great deal of natural mineral wealth and timber, but we deem ourselves wealthy enough not to need any of that, so smart are our professors, politicians, journalists, and community organizers in figuring out ways to redistribute the ill-gotten gains of agriculture, Silicon Valley, the Napa wine industry, and what manufacturing is left in California.

California Circles the Drain.  The government of the once Golden State is a lead-pipe cinch to lurch into insolvency any month now.  The California State government is an estimated $19 billion in the hole.  No exact figure is possible since no budget (constitutionally required on July 1) has yet been adopted by the state legislature.  Revenues are down and spending is up.  The state continues to hire during a "hiring freeze."  To solve the crisis, the Democratic majority in the legislature demands higher taxes on top of already high taxes which are driving jobs and businesses out of the state.

California's Green Nightmare.  California is the nation's laboratory in green job initiatives of the type that so many politicians in Washington, D.C., and the states see as America's economic passport to the future.  The Golden State was first in the nation in renewable energy standards, it is the home of the most stringent cap and trade legislation (called AB 32) to reduce carbon emissions, and it has poured hundreds of millions of state tax dollars into renewable energy research.  So where are all the green jobs?  A new 2010 study by the University of California-Berkeley comes to the sobering conclusion that "the green economy accounts for just 1 percent of California's jobs."

Wanted:  Grown-up governance.  At some point, the grown-ups are going to have to take over.  We're being governed by a gang of perpetual adolescents from the most liberal enclaves in America. ... The city [of San Francisco], which has thrown the Boy Scouts out of public facilities, has issued tips on how to bake "safe" marijuana-laced goodies.  It's not clear how this will contribute to the general welfare, except to create more voters with the functioning brains of 11-year-olds who keep getting hungry.  This should make it easier to recruit for one of the political parties.

Full speed ahead on health care for all.  I thought maybe this was a joke, but I researched it and found it to be utterly, jaw-droppingly, stupefyingly true:  The California Senate voted 22-14 on Jan. 28 to create what one group is calling a "Medicare for all" health-care system that would cost "about" $200 billion a year. ... Isn't this the same California that has close to a $20 billion budget deficit and is currently asking for a handout of $6.9 billion from the federal government to tide them over?

Imagine No God in Our Nation's Classrooms.  All high school math teacher Bradley Johnson wanted to do was honor our nation's history and religious heritage the same way he always had.  For twenty five years, a red, white and blue-striped banner adorned his classroom walls with national maxims such as "In God We Trust," "One Nation Under God," "God Bless America," and "God Shed his Grace On Thee."  A second banner accompanied it, containing an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, "All Men are Created Equal and They Are Endowed by Their Creator."  But displaying a portion of the Declaration of Independence and other national mottos was just too offensive to the Poway Unified School District in San Diego.

De Facto Shariah Law in America.  In the State of California, 7th-grade students at Excelsior Middle School in Discovery Bay, California adopted Muslim names, prayed on prayer rugs, and celebrated Ramadan under a state-mandated curriculum that requires instruction about various religions.  In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court again declined to hear legal challenges by concerned Excelsior parents, who complained that the instruction was actually religious indoctrination and that Christianity and Judaism were not given equal time and exposure.

Not one nickel for California.  There isn't a single compelling reason to provide the girly-man of American gubernatorial fiscal responsibility, Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a nickel from our federal coffers.  His failing California remains the poster-child for liberal fiscal insanity and it's time for the free-range chickens to come home to roost.

Let California drown, voters say.  Most Americans oppose a bailout for California, according to a Rasmussen survey.  Just 27 percent of voters believe the state should receive federal bailout money while 55 percent think the state should go bankrupt.  (For the record, states cannot declare bankruptcy.)

The Editor says...
Okay, so states can't declare bankruptcy.  So what?  You don't have to declare bankruptcy to be bankrupt.

The Long March From California to Copenhagen.  On the one, are those who believe personal freedom and liberty trump egalitarianism and fraternity. ... On the other side are those who wish a large government to ensure an equality of result.  Their notion is that personal responsibility, talent, behavior, luck, fate, etc. do not so much determine why one is well off and another not so.

California:  Running a failed state can sure be expensive.  Among the many problems California faces now:  The near-junk rating on its bonds means the state pays more in interest.  In 2020, Reuters reports, the state will pay more than $10 billion on interest alone.

California is Liberalism's "Canary in the Coal Mine".  If residents of the other 49 states haven't focused on California's plight yet, they should.  In a real sense, California has become liberalism's "canary in the coal mine."  It is an instructive — and frightening — warning of the toll exacted by the kind of leftism now in vogue in Washington, D.C..  Put simply, California is in desperate fiscal straits because it has become a place where government works for only two constituencies:  Those who need public assistance, and unions.  Sacramento is so busy responding to the needs of the one and the demands of the other that the legitimate expectations of regular, taxpaying citizens have been completely ignored.

Public Sector Unions Tarnish the Golden State.  It's an ugly fact of life in California.  Public sector unions are slowly, painfully and inexorably choking the life out of the (once) Golden State.  Fully 54% of state government workers — that's almost 1.8 million people — are unionized.  And the unions' primary reason for existence is maintaining the privileges that state employees enjoy, at any cost to the rest of the state.

The sad story of how public employee unions have all but ruined California.  City Journal's Steve Malanga offers the most detailed and succinct history yet on how public sector unions grew from being toothless employee associations to having a virtually lock on all of the key power levers in California and how they've used that power to enrich themselves while all but ruining a once-goldern state.  As Malanga explains, what has already happened in California is well underway across the rest of the nation and in Washington, D.C.

The Beholden State:  How public-sector unions broke California.  The unions' political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector.  The state's public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation.  Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries.  State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life.  Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation's and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations.  This toxic combination — high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes — has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state.

Accounting for California's Suicide.  [Scroll down]  Californians count on the wealth of farming but would prefer their rivers to remain wild rather than tapped.  They like tasteful redwood decks but demand someone else fell their trees for the wood.  Californians drive imported SUVs but would rather that you drill for oil off your shores rather than they off theirs.  They pride themselves on their liberal welfare programs, but drive out with confiscatory taxes the few left to pay for them.  Californians expect cheap imported labor to tend their lawns and clean their houses, but are incensed at sky-high welfare and entitlement costs that accompany illegal immigration.  Lock 'em up, they say — but the state is bankrupted by new prisons, constant inmate lawsuits, and unionized employees.  In short, after Californians sue, restrict, mandate, obstruct, and lecture, they also get angry that there is suddenly not enough food, fuel, water, and money to act like the gods that they think they have become.

Drill, Arnold, Drill!  California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is begging for a bailout to close an $11 billion budget gap.  He should be pressing for an oil revenue-sharing deal instead.

Controlling Pests or Controlling Competition?  The Pacific Legal Foundation challenges a California licensing law that would require a 30-year business veteran to become an apprentice.

California Makes Cars Less Affordable:  California today became the first state in the nation to restrict automobile emissions of carbon dioxide, the same gas humans exhale.  The auto industry pointed out, to no avail, that the measure would make cars even more expensive and pressure people to buy death traps they don't feel safe driving.

California:  An Obituary.  Only raw and unrestrained liberalism could have destroyed the world's 8th-largest economy.  Boasting unparalleled assets in agriculture, high technology, entertainment, and tourism, and blessed with ample energy resources, deep-water ports and ideal weather, California has nonetheless managed to turn itself into a perfect dystopia.

California Democrat proposes mandatory gun registration.  A California Democrat is proposing a new law requiring residents to register their shotguns and rifles or go to jail, CBSNews.com has learned.

California Teacher Union Rallies Around Bad Ideas.  The California Teachers Association (CTA), the state's largest teachers union and National Education Association affiliate, organized a statewide rally of teachers and students on March 4 to protest education spending cuts.  The CTA's "solution" indicates it is out of touch with economic and educational reality.

California Dems Won't Honor Boy Scouts?  Thousands of Boy Scouts across California will be gathering this weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of scouting in the Golden State — but they won't have the blessing of Democrats in the California Legislature.

Oakland allows industrial-scale marijuana farms.  Oakland's City Council late Tuesday adopted regulations permitting industrial-scale marijuana farms, a plan that some small farmers argued would squeeze them out of the industry they helped to build.  To address concerns from smaller farmers, the council pledged to create regulations on regulating small- and medium-size marijuana farms this year.

Cracking California's Egg Rules.  About 150,000 hens at egg producer J.S. West Inc. appear to have scored an upgrade.  They cluck and cackle in an air-conditioned henhouse that got a $3.2 million renovation this year. ... California's egg farmers are struggling to comply with Proposition 2, the state's new guidelines on how egg-laying chickens can be kept.

California:  New Is Not Necessarily Improved.  Meg Whitman would like to build a new California.  Not me.  If I had to choose, I'd opt not to build a new California, but rather to restore the "old California."  That is, I'd revive the California Republic of Old, when men married women, when murderous thugs were given the noose rather than probation, and when babies in utero were kept safe from abortion practitioners.  The regenerate California I have in mind is a place where a man's handshake is as binding as a written contract, where chastity is given a place of honor, and where citizens look to God and to their neighbors in times of trouble rather than to the Welfare State.

There's No Budget, but California Is All Over the Foreign-Cow Issue.  On the brink of insolvency, California may have to pay its bills with IOUs soon.  A budget was due three months ago, and the legislature hasn't passed one.  The lawmakers can, however, point to a list of other achievements this year.  Awaiting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature, for example, is a bill that would bar the state from filming cows in New Zealand.  It's the fruit of five committee votes and eight legislative analyses.  California lawmakers also voted to form a lobster commission.  They created "Motorcycle Awareness Month," not to mention a "Cuss Free Week."

Red Herring Politics.  [Scroll down]  One appointment by Governor Jerry Brown ought to tell us a lot about his ideology.  His most famous — or infamous — appointment was making Rose Bird chief justice of the California supreme court.  She over-ruled 64 consecutive death penalty verdicts and upheld none.  Apparently no judge or jury could ever give a murderer a trial perfect enough to suit Rose Bird.  To hear Rose Bird and her supporters tell it, she was just "upholding the law."  But, fortunately, the California voters saw right through that pretense, and realized that she was doing just the opposite — imposing her own personal opposition to the death penalty in the guise of interpreting the law.

Sherman's March.  A California congressman wants to eliminate right-to-work laws in 22 states where workers don't have to join unions.  If even-higher unemployment is his goal, he has the right idea.

You can put a tuxedo on a pig, but it's still a pig.
Food stamp program gets a new name: CalFresh.  California's food stamp program has a new name, which officials hope will encourage more people to apply for the nutrition benefit:  CalFresh.  The new name and logo — an abstract representation of the diverse produce available in California — was launched Saturday [10/23/2010] at an event in Long Beach sponsored by first lady Maria Shriver to provide free medical, financial and educational services to low-income women.

California judge:  handgun ammo laws unconstitutional.  A judge has ruled that key sections of a California law restricting the sale of handgun ammunition cannot be enforced because they are unconstitutional.

OC Couple Threatened With $500-Per-Meeting Fines For Home Bible Study.  An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a "church" and not as a private gathering.  Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called "a regular gathering of more than three people".  That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple's legal representation.

California bans use of tanning beds by minors.  Minors in the state of California will no longer be allowed to use tanning beds after Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sunday prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from using ultraviolet tanning devices.

California Bans Tanning Bed Use By Minors... But Abortions Are OK.  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill today [10/9/2011] that bans tanning bed use by minors. ... In 1997 a California court overturned a state law that required girls get the approval of a parent or judge before having an abortion.

California Law Would Permit Midwives, Other Non-Physicians to Perform Abortions.  The California Senate passed a bill September 6 that would make it legal for non-physician medical professionals such as midwives to perform abortions under a statewide training program.  The measure now awaits Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's signature.

Abortionists don't need a doctor's license: bill rammed through California Senate.  Senate Bill 623, introduced by Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, extends a program run by the University of California at San Francisco, in which nurse practitioners, midwives, and doctors' assistants are trained to perform abortions without any further training in medicine.  Kehoe argues the bill is necessary because there aren't enough doctors performing abortions in California.

Criminalizing business:  part II.  A recent column in the San Francisco Chronicle vividly illustrates the anti-business mindset of many Californians.  It dealt with the fact that Wal-Mart lost a referendum to allow the retailer to put a store in Inglewood, California.  According to the Chronicle columnist, Wal-Mart was "trying to bully its way into another targeted community."  Putting an issue to a vote is called "bullying" when business does it, and the community where it wants to locate is called a "target."

California's New Frisbee Law [is] Just [the] Latest Attempt to Raise Cash.  This week, Los Angeles County okayed a new regulation banning the throwing of Frisbees or footballs on the beaches — which, of course, destroys the purpose of living in Southern California in the first place.  The first offense will earn you a hefty $100 fine; the second, $200; the third and beyond, $500.  You can, of course, apply for a permit.  For parents with industrious children, holes deeper than 18 inches are also banned — so get your kids the cheap plastic shovels or pay a fine.

LA County OKs $1,000 Fine For Throwing Football, Frisbee On Beaches.  When you head down to the beach for a little fun this summer, county officials want you to know about some updated rules.  The Board of Supervisors this week agreed to lift an all-out ban on playing with footballs, other balls and Frisbees on the beach, according to a media statement released by the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Los Angeles County Bans Frisbees on Beaches.  The moonbat micromanagers ruling La-La Land must finally be running out of things to ban.  Now they're suppressing fun on the beach.

Hermosa Beach meter maids making nearly $100K?  When contemplating the many reasons cities in California and elsewhere are venturing closer to bankruptcy, look no further than the relatively lucrative and often-unjustifiable salaries bestowed on municipal employees — and the lofty pension benefits attached to the high pay.  One of the latest examples comes from the California coastal city of Hermosa Beach, where some community service staffers who collect money from parking meters and manage their operations — positions once widely known as "meter maids" — are making nearly $100,000 a year in total compensation, according to city documents.

SF to cover uninsured's gender reassignment.  In 2001, San Francisco became the first city in the country to cover the cost of sex change surgeries for transgender city employees.  In 2007, it became the first city in the country to provide health care for all uninsured residents through its Healthy San Francisco program.  Now, San Francisco is combining those firsts into yet another pioneering move by becoming the first city in the country to cover the cost of gender reassignment surgeries for its uninsured residents.

$822,000 Worker Shows California Leads U.S. Pay Giveaway.  Nine years ago, California Democrat Gray Davis became the first U.S. governor in 82 years to be recalled by voters.  The state's 20 million taxpayers still bear the cost of his four years and 10 months on the job.  Davis escalated salaries and benefits for 164,000 state workers, including a 34 percent raise for prison guards, the first of a series of steps in which he and successors saddled California with a legacy of dysfunction.

Highest-Paid California Trooper Is Chief Banking $484,000.  California Highway Patrol division chief Jeff Talbott retired last year as the best-paid officer in the 12 most-populous U.S. states, collecting $483,581 in salary, pension and other compensation.  Talbott, 53, received $280,259 for accrued leave and vacation time and took a new job running the public-safety department at a private university in Southern California.  He also began collecting an annual pension of $174,888 from the state.

California, where a cop can make $483,581 in one year.  Thanks again to massive pension liabilities, the state has been unable to keep up with the growth of its prison population, resulting in overcrowding, which in turn resulted in the court-ordered early release of thousands of inmates, many of whom are already on crime sprees.

California in Chaos.  California actually has fewer state government employees per capita than the national average, but its employees are the best-paid in America.  This often has a negative effect on government services.  It is hard, for example, to hire enough cops to keep violent crime down in Oakland if the city can't afford the six-figure compensation packages of the existing officers.

With billions in the bank, Blue Shield of California loses its state tax-exempt status.  Authorities have revoked the tax-exempt status of nonprofit Blue Shield of California, potentially putting it on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year.  The move by the California Franchise Tax Board comes as the state's third-largest health insurer faces fresh criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and $4.2 billion in financial reserves.  The state quietly stripped the San Francisco insurer of its exemption from California income taxes in August.  The company held that since its founding in 1939.

Israel Invests in Desalinization; California Builds High-Speed Rail.  California is reeling from a drought, rather like the one suffered by Israel in 1998-2002.  California, with an 840-mile coastline on the world's largest ocean, has a water shortage; Israel, with a mere 170-mile coast line, does not.  Israel invests in desalinization; California is building a high-speed train at a cost of somewhere between $68 billion and $90 billion, the most expensive public works project in the nation's history with no completion date in sight, but finds the $1 billion price tag on its first desalinization plant too high to bear, even though its 50 million gallon per day output would meet the daily requirements of something like 280,000 of the modest-income consumers now the hardest hit by the rationing system in place.

With new climate legislation, Gov. Brown gets even with the oil industry.  Dominant Democrats in Sacramento hang together more often than not, and that produces victories when only a simple majority vote is required.  And that's usually.  Republicans these days are mostly irrelevant in California's Capitol.


Wildfires in Australia share the same set of contributing factors as the fires in California

The Editor says...
The fires in California and in Australia share many traits:  In each case, the fires were initially blamed on global warming, more than anything else.  In California, that is still the case.  But in each case, the root of the problem is years of mismanagement, resulting in the accumulation of dry brush.

How a World Without Borders Became a Ward With No Exit.  A New York Times reporter argues that "the fires that have burned across Australia are not just destroying lives, or turning forests as large as nations into ashen moonscapes [they mean] the end of Australia as we know it." [...] "We have seen," she added, "the unfolding wings of climate change."

Arson, mischief and recklessness: 87 percent of fires are man-made.  There are, on average, 62,000 fires in Australia every year.  Only a very small number strike far from populated areas and satellite studies tell us that lightning is responsible for only 13 percent.  Not so the current fires threatening to engulf Queensland and NSW.  There were no lightning strikes on most of the days when the fires first started in September.  Although there have been since, these fires — joining up to create a new form of mega-fire — are almost all man-made.

Wildfire Transcends Continents and Centuries.  Australia is currently in its summer season.  And, for non-Australians, that translates to "fire season."  This year, these fires have caught international attention and are being portrayed as much worse than what we've seen in the past.  Yet the wildfires happening now in Australia, and those months earlier in California, are not novel and share much in common.

Australia fires map
What caused the Australian fires?  Global warming?  Obstruction of fire prevention burns?  Arson?  The season's fires have been intense and widespread, but not nearly as much as reported by some media that made it seem as though virtually the entire continent was ablaze.  Eighteen million acres destroyed is a disaster by any measure, but that acreage represents less than 1 percent of Australia's landmass, and less than 6% of its forests.  No one denies the fires were made worse by dry conditions resulting from a drought and record hot temperatures.  But, as measured by the amount of forestland destroyed, the 18 million acres for this year's fires pale in comparison to the 290 million acres burned to the ground during the 1974 bushfire season.


Australian Police Arrest 183 Arsonists for Bushfires.  Australian police investigating the bushfires have arrested more than 180 alleged arsonists since the start of 2019. But apparently they forgot to send the memo to Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, both of whom insisted in their Golden Globes acceptance speeches that the Australian bushfires were in fact caused by 'climate change.'

The California drought of 2011-15.  Here's an undeniable part of California's drought history the doomsayers try to hide at all costs.  Studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence have documented multiple extreme droughts in what is now California over the last 1,000+ years, including several that lasted more than 20 years — that's four times longer than the relatively puny 5-year drought of 2011-15.  Twenty years is a long time, but some California droughts lasted even longer.  Much longer.  One that began in 850 A.D. is thought by scientists to have droned on for a mind-numbing 240 years, and that megadrought occurred more than a millennium before the climate crisis industry invented itself out of whole cloth in the 1980s.  The drought of 850 wasn't alone.  Fifty years before it began, another mega-drought, one that lasted 180 years, was just winding down.

Appeasement: The Root Cause of the Australian Mega-Fires.  It's impossible to reduce the number of sociopaths in a society to absolute zero.  And even one sociopath can ignite several fires in proximate locations that can join up into a single crown fire.  How?  Because, the fuel — the forest canopy, runs for miles as a single, unbroken circuit.  And it is governments who are, by stealth, opposing the significant breaking of these fire circuits.  The fuel loads pile up waiting for a hot summer ignition.  This Australian fire season was preceded by years of drought:  the fuel was plenty, it was dry, it was unbroken — making the disaster inevitable — the arsonist's power had been multiplied tenfold by those entrusted to protect us.  In 2017, Newsweek admitted that ISIS celebrated the wildfires in California, and that ISIS "supporters suggested laying gasoline-filled bottles in the woods to inflict further damage" in their newsletter.  Why are we making it easier for terrorists to create inextinguishable fires?

Arson, mischief and recklessness: 87 percent of fires are man-made.  There are, on average, 62,000 fires in Australia every year.  Only a very small number strike far from populated areas and satellite studies tell us that lightning is responsible for only 13 percent.  Not so the current fires threatening to engulf Queensland and NSW.  There were no lightning strikes on most of the days when the fires first started in September.  Although there have been since, these fires — joining up to create a new form of mega-fire — are almost all man-made.

The Australian Wildfires Are About Arsonists — Not Climate Change.  In the last couple of months, as many as 200 wildfires have destroyed Australia all over the continent.  Due to the number of fires and location, law enforcement determined that the blazes were intentionally set, and 183 arsonists have been arrested for the crime so far.  The Left tends to ignore the truth and push lies that work for their political agenda — this time, it was Climate Change.  The Left blames humans, specifically those who do not believe in the political ideology of human-made Climate Change.  Leftists pushed the narrative that we, as humans are not doing enough to stop the earth from heating up.  Climate deniers are blamed.  There is one problem: arsonists set the fires.  People driving cars, flying in airplanes, and overeating red meat have nothing to do with the flames.

Fight fire with fire: controlled burning could have protected Australia.  By modern standards, my grandfather would probably be considered an environmental criminal.  To clear land for his farmhouse in north-eastern Victoria — and for his milking sheds, pig pens, chicken sheds, blacksmith shop and other outbuildings — he cleared hundreds of trees.  And he cleared thousands more for his wheat fields, cattle paddocks and shearing sheds.  Old man Hobbs would probably be found guilty of cultural appropriation, too, because he adopted the Aboriginal method of land-clearing.  He burned all of those trees.  He also established fire-delaying dirt paths through surrounding bushland.  This was once standard practice throughout rural Australia, where the pre-settlement indigenous population had long conducted controlled burns of overgrown flora — known as 'fuel' in current fire-management talk.  They knew an absence of controlled burns would invite uncontrolled burns — such as the gigantic wildfires that have ravaged much of this drought-hit nation since September.

There's Only One Way To Make Bushfires Less Powerful:  Take Out The Stuff That Burns.  As monstrous blazes overwhelm Australia's south-east, the need for a national bushfire policy has never been more urgent.  Active land management such as hazard-reduction burning and forest thinning must lie at the core of any such policy.  Done well, controlled burning limits a bushfire's spread and makes suppression easier, by reducing the amount of flammable material.  Clearing or thinning vegetation on roadsides and other areas also helps maintain fuel breaks, allowing firefighters access to forests in an emergency.  As former fire chiefs recently pointed out, of all factors driving a fire's severity — temperature, wind speed, topography, fuel moisture and fuel load — fuel load is the only one humans can influence.

Are Australia Bushfires Worsening from Human-Caused Climate Change? 
  [#1] Global wildfire activity has decreased in recent decades, making any localized increase (or decrease) in wildfire activity difficult to attribute to 'global climate change'.
  [#2] Like California, Australia is prone to bushfires every year during the dry season.  Ample fuel and dry weather exists for devastating fires each year, even without excessive heat or drought, as illustrated by the record number of hectares burned (over 100 million) during 1974-75 when above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures existed.
  [#3] Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain, illustrating the importance of natural year-to-year variability in weather patterns (e.g. drought and excessively high temperatures).
  [#4] Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation, while the observed trend has been upward, not downward.  This again highlights the importance of natural climate variability to fire weather conditions, as opposed to human-induced climate change.
  [#5] While reductions in prescribed burning have probably contributed to the irregular increase in the number of years with large bush fires, a five-fold increase in population in the last 100 years has greatly increased potential ignition sources, both accidental and purposeful.

The Green Agenda Is Exacerbating Australia's Wildfire Problem.  The unfolding tragedy in Australia is being interpreted as an apocalyptic portent of a "climate emergency":  justification for the drastic prescriptions of Extinction Rebellion to "close down the capitalist system".  Heart-rending tweets from the fire zone convey the raw anger of farmers burnt out of their homes.  But their interpretation is strikingly different.  Far from begging everybody to embrace the green agenda, many are blaming the greens for exacerbating the fires by meddling in the time-honoured practice of burning off excess vegetation to mitigate wildfires.  All over the world farmers are being prevented by "experts" in government quangos from carrying out controlled burning to manage habitats prone to catching fire.

Submission to Mr Tony Pearce, Inspector General for Emergency Management.  There are some irrefutable facts about the drastic state of the bushfire threat to Southern Australia.  These are...
  [#1] We have a failed fire management policy and practice in Southern Australia especially Victoria.  The failed fire management is resulting in an increasing threat to our forest environment (especially tree deaths), water supplies, life and property loss and a severe decrease in our quality of life.
  [#2] The thermal scale of wildfire in Victoria exceeds by a factor of 20 our ability to extinguish.
  [#3] Disaster scale wildfires occur about once in every 30 years, but will become more frequent as fuel levels continue to rise.
  [#4] "Blow up" fire weather causes disaster fires when ignitions and fuel are present.
  [#5] Ignitions cannot be prevented.

Report: Arson Epidemic, Not Climate Change, Behind Australia's Bushfires.  Australian law enforcement has arrested over 180 people for arson in connection with the nation's raging bushfires, as alarmists try to pin the blazes on "climate change."  All of the 183 alleged arsonists have been arrested since the start of this year's bushfire season, the Australian reported Tuesday, adding that 29 fires were deliberately started in the Shoalhaven region of southeast New South Wales (NSW) in just three months.

The Insane True Cause Of Australia's Bush Fires.  According to Hallam, the Aboriginal peoples spent up to 30% of their time on fire management, and their efforts were rewarded by a perfect symbiosis between peoples and their environment.  Then the first boats of "globalists" came and with them the growing inability to deal with the Australian bush.  Much of the Australian bush is not a dense forest, but many thin to thick woody shrubs and bushes, usually very dry, especially during the summer, mostly grassless, often eucalypt trees, that are extremely flammable.

Delingpole: Environmentalists Made Australia's Bush Fires Worse.  [Scroll down]  So, to be clear, there is zero evidence of any change in climatic conditions that might have increased the likelihood or severity of these bush fires.  This is not — repeat NOT — a man-made climate change story, and anyone who claims otherwise is either a gullible idiot or a lying charlatan.  There is, nonetheless, good reason to believe that the stupidity and irresponsibility of man is at least partly to blame for this disaster — just not quite in the way that the left-liberal MSM and the green wankerati would have you believe.  Man-made culprit #1:  all the firebugs who have been deliberately starting fires in New South Wales, Queensland, and elsewhere.  You won't be surprised that their involvement has had very little coverage in the left-liberal MSM.

Australia rainfall
Australia Fires, And Misfires.  I kept hearing so much about the Australian bushfires being the result of or driven by "climate change" or "global warming" that I thought I'd take a look at just what's happened to the rainfall there.  Here are a hundred and nineteen years of Australian rainfall.  [Chart]  Here's the curious part.  The earth has been undergoing a mild warming pretty steadily since 1970, about the last half-century.  But although the last couple years have been dry, the last half-century in Australia has been wetter than the previous half-century.  Not dryer.  Wetter.  And a lot wetter.  In fact, anyone under about sixty years old has never experienced dry Australia.


Australia's Epic Fires Caused By Bad Forestry And Arson, Not Climate Change.  Like California, Australia limits clearing and controlled burning of forest fuel build-up, and reports indicate that almost half the bushfires this season were set by people. [...] In a nutshell, reports indicate that people have been deliberately lighting almost half the bushfires this season.

Hijacking Australian 2019 Bushfire Tragedies to Fearmonger Climate Change.  MSN's climate fearmongers dishonestly claim "Australia has experienced steadily worse droughts."  Climate fearmongers argue warmer temperatures will evaporate surface moisture more quickly and exacerbate droughts.  But they have the tail wagging the dog.  Australia's Bureau of Meteorology's illustration shows the 1920s and 30s had experienced much worse droughts than recent decades.  Furthermore, during periods of low precipitation, drought conditions CAUSE higher temperatures.  Without normal soil moisture to evaporate, solar radiation is no longer consumed as latent heat of evaporation, but instead, rapidly raises land temperatures.

Don't blame climate change for Australian wildfires.  If all you read was the liberal press, you'd think the Australian bush fires are Mother Earth's punishment for the heresy of allowing global warming.  Reality is a little different — actually, entirely different.  The current wave of wildfires running rampant across the Australian countryside certainly isn't aided by dry weather and heat, but it's actually the result of environmentalists' naivete, not climate change.  The problem is the same one the United States has with forest fires: people simply not understanding how the environment works.  In both cases, the countryside has evolved to deal with and prosper from frequent and low-level fires.  But if these are suppressed, then the large and hot fires, taking out the canopy, for example, will eventually happen and entirely devastate the flora and the fauna.  It's been environmentalists insisting we suppress all examples and incidences of wildfires.  Therefore, blame for the current damage should be laid at their door.

Scientist David Packham on what's really causing the bushfires.  As former State Fire Chiefs call for a summit on bushfires, expert and scientist David Packham explains that it has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with fuel-loads.

Flashback to 2015:
Bushfire scientist David Packham warns of huge blaze threat, urges increase in fuel reduction burns.  Forest fuel levels have worsened over the past 30 years because of "misguided green ideology", vested interests, political failure and mismanagement, creating a massive bushfire threat, a former CSIRO bushfire scientist has warned.  Victoria's "failed fire management policy" is an increasing threat to human life, water supplies, property and the forest environment, David Packham said in a submission to the state's Inspector-General for Emergency Management.  And he argued that unless the annual fuel reduction burning target, currently at a minimum of 5 percent of public land, "is doubled or preferably tripled, a massive bushfire disaster will occur.  The forest and alpine environment will decay and be damaged possibly beyond repair and homes and people [will be] incinerated."  He said forest fuel levels had climbed to their most dangerous level in thousands of years.

The Truth About the Australian Bushfires.  It has nothing to do with climate change.  [Video clip]

Aussie Fires ARE Caused by Man — It's Called Arson and Green Policy.  It turns out that the fires raging in Australia are climate-related.  They're caused by a climate of hate, irresponsibility, and incompetence manifesting itself in arson, feckless fire handling, and environmentalist policies creating forest tinderboxes.  What's more, that two Muslim teens have just been charged with lighting a fire is a reminder that jihadists have prescribed such action as a terror method. [...] In fact, one man-caused fire incident is raising eyebrows.  "Western Sydney teen Fadi Zraika — one of the two teens accused of lighting a grass fire at a Guildford park while bushfires ravaged NSW — laughed outside court today after appearing on multiple charges," reports the Daily Telegraph.  "Police allege Fadi and Abraham Zreika, both 18, set off fireworks that sparked a grass fire at Bright Park, Guildford, on December 22," the paper continues.

In Australia, fires expose green folly.  Australia is [experiencing] some of the worst bushfires in its history.  Greens blame climate change, but it's a cover-up.  In reality, they have themselves to blame.  From here in Australia, it can only be called green folly.  Green folly locked up 11% of Australia in a tinderbox of bushfire fuel, much of which is now burnt or burning.  Green folly closed forest tracks and gates; expelled foresters and timber-workers; and prevented property-owners from removing flammable fuel from their own land and adjacent roads, parks, and forests.  Those responsible for these follies should face Class Action.  Green folly promotes electric vehicles, but not one fire truck, dozer, water bomber, helicopter, ambulance, or naval vessel ran on batteries.  They all used hydro-carbon fuels — diesel, petrol, or avgas.  And with so many power lines down, these electric toys could not have recharged their batteries anyway.

The disastrous fires in Australia are man-caused, but they're not climate change.  Leftists around the world are at it again, blaming "anthropogenic" (i.e., man-caused) climate change for the Australian fires.  While it's true that the fires are "man-caused," they're not anthropogenic in the way the Left thinks they are.  At the Golden Globes, the glitterati focused on the fires raging in Australia.  Russell Crowe, the famous climatologist...er, the actor who left school at 16, confirmed that the fire was all about climate change, so reparative action is urgently needed: [...] Meanwhile, ABC made a laughingstock out of itself with a map superimposing Australia across the United States, implying that an area equal to 25% of America was on fire, even as ABC acknowledged that the fire was, in fact, only as big as Maryland.

If you want to stop wildfires, put qualified people back in charge of forests.  There was a time when Australian foresters kept Australian forests safe and productive.  They maintained access tracks bridges and fire breaks, undertook prescribed burning, cleared flammable litter from the forest floor, cut suckers, manned fire lookouts, and maintained their own fire-fighting crews in decentralized districts.  University-trained professional foresters were supported by tough, experienced rangers who learned their job in the bush.  Almost every advance in bushfire management in Australia, from the science of fire behavior to aerial burning, was thanks to our foresters.  Into the 1980s, they were regarded as international leaders.  To pay for good forest management, sections of the forest were logged, allowing ground space and sunlight for the swift re-growth of new trees.

The information war about astonishing arson figures.  Rapidly the word about the astonishing rate of arson and man-made accidents is spreading, but it doesn't help "the cause" (which for left-leaning journo's appears to be getting left-leaning politicians elected).  For example, the awful Binna Burra fire in September was blamed on climate change.  Instead it turned out to be caused by two teenagers with cigarette butts.  Who looks silly pushing a carbon tax agenda to stop fires?

Fighting Fires with Fire [In Australia].  [Scroll down]  First, governments created fire hazards called national parks, where fire sticks, matches, graziers, and foresters were locked out, and access roads were abandoned or padlocked.  Green-loving urbanites built houses right beside them and planted trees in their yards.  The open forests and grasslands were invaded by eucalypt regrowth, woody weeds, tangled undergrowth, dry grass, logs, dead leaves, twigs, bark, and litter — all perfect fuel for a wildfire holocaust.  These tinderboxes of forest fuel became magnets for arsonists, and occasionally even disgruntled neighbors, or were lit by wind-blown embers or dry lightning.  With high winds, high temperatures, and heavy fuel loads, some fires will race through the tree tops of oil-rich eucalypt forests. [...] Central management and control of burn-off policy and firefighting across entire states have failed completely.  Too often, the people in charge did not understand bushfire history and science and they were too influenced by Green ideology.

Yes, It's True — It Appears Up To 90% Of Australian Brushfires Started By People / Arsonists.  Right now is summer in Australia and every summer that country faces annual bushfires.  This year the number of those fires has suddenly increased.  The radical left was quick to blame "climate change" for the increase in fires.  Ah, but now Australian authorities are pointing to something far more likely — people who have been starting these fires on purpose.


Wildfires and intentional power outages

The Editor says...
The notion that wildfires are caused by global warming, failure to sign international treaties, or right-wing politics, is absurd.  Left-wing environmentalists pretend to know more about forest management than logging companies, and when they prevent the occasional clearing and cleanup of the woods, all sorts of combustible fuel accumulates, waiting for the next lightning strike or uncontrolled campfire to set it off.

California's governor says he's ready to take over embattled PG&E.  One year after filing for bankruptcy, PG&E has worked out deals to borrow money and guarantee more than $25 billion in payouts to wildfire victims, insurers and local municipalities.  It's even come to terms with bondholders.  As a result, its shares have skyrocketed 37 percent so far in January.  Mizuho upgraded the stock this week to a "buy."  That optimism may be premature.  The company has to exit Chapter 11 by a crucial June 30 deadline, and there is one huge remaining obstacle:  California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has long talked about a state takeover of the company.

Experts blame humans starting blazes for 'major shift' in cause of US wildfires.  The number of human-caused wildfires has increased in recent decades, sparking a shift in what is 'normal' for the devastating blazes, research has found.  The new study of wildfires in America between 1984 and 2016 has found that the leading cause is 'shifting away from lightning and towards human activity'.  In the past, the strongest fires were caused by natural ignition types, like lightning strikes or El Niño winds, which also tended to be seasonal and easier to predict.  Human-caused, or anthropogenic, fires can be caused intentionally, by arson, or accidentally, for example by dropped cigarettes, fireworks or other negligence.

Climate Experts Suggest Trump Was Right When He Blamed California's Wildfires On Land Management.  Climate experts are apparently backing President Donald Trump's repeated arguments that California's wildfires were a result of poor land management rather than climate change-driven, E&E reported Thursday [1/9/2020].  Roughly 75% of damage stemming from California's wildfires was a result of "the way we manage lands and develop our landscape," Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday at a conference in Washington.  Wildfires used to burn through 4.5 million acres a year in the 18th century, when indigenous communities populated California's countryside, Stephens noted.  "Fire was almost as important as rain to ecosystems," he added.  Stephens was not the only researcher at the National Council for Science and the Environment to made that point.

How power shutoffs are changing California's way of life.  At all levels of government — from state officials to small-town mayors — California leaders are in uncharted territory, and scrambling to adjust their plans and operations to the realities of regular disruption.  For now, their only answer to calamitous wildfires is shutting off power to millions of residents in advance, which residents now lament as a man-made disaster.  Mike McGuire, the state senator representing the Santa Rosa area devastated by fires in 2017, said California is "the canary in the coal mine" as climate change threatens to upend life across the world.  Residents in some of California's most bucolic settings are stuck figuring it out on their own, rich and poor, urban and rural alike.

PG&E begins new mass power shutoff likely to affect up to 450,000 people.  California's largest power utility began shutting off power Wednesday [11/20/2019] to hundreds of thousands of people in 18 northern and central counties in the state as the region faces extreme fire weather that has lasted since October.  Up to 450,000 people could be affected by the outage, according to the LA Times.  A virtually rainless fall has left brush bone-dry and forecasts called for low humidity and winds gusting at times to 55 mph.

California Burns, Gavin Newsom Fiddles.  "Forest management" is not an original concept with the current administration.  The clearing of debris from forest floors, the considered culling of trees to create fire-breaks, and the building of better access roads to and from forested areas make abundant good sense.  So does the idea of not locating rural communities too close to the wilderness, and of making housing closer in to urban areas more affordable.  But even as the president emphasizes such cautionary measures, he is dismissed as an ignorant nuisance.  Those who are allowed an opinion on the subject must first pledge allegiance to "global warming" as Public Enemy Number One.  (Next to Trump himself, of course!)  On the other hand, those who question the extent of man's role in climate change are labeled "flat earthers" by a global warming establishment that unscientifically cherry-picks opinions among scientists and excludes those that contradict the party line.

California's Burning.  Public utility companies are the antithesis of the free market.  They combine the worst of both worlds — a profit motive married to complete government regulation and control.  These are government-granted monopolies that operate at the behest of regulators and often are indeed poorly managed. [...] The other big issue has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with climate-change policies.  It involves inadequate brush clearance, which has provided fuel for the fires.  To its credit, the Newsom administration is trying to increase some brush-clearance measures, but its difficulty in doing so speaks to the broader problem.  "In March, the governor declared a state of emergency that exempted the projects from the California Environmental Quality Act, a law mandating an in-depth analysis of a development's impacts on land, water, species and other elements," Scientific American explained.  "Clearances under CEQA can take months or years, Newsom aides said.  State officials argued they're still conducting analyses to ensure projects don't hurt species or natural or tribal resources."

Was There Another Reason for Electricity Shutdowns in California?  The blades of the wind turbine are airfoils, just like the wings of an airplane.  Adjusting the pitch (angle) of the blades allows the rotor to maintain constant speed, which, in turn, allows the generator to maintain the constant speed it needs to safely deliver power to the grid.  However, there's a limit to blade pitch adjustment.  When the wind is blowing so hard that pitch adjustment is no longer possible, the turbine shuts down.  That's the cut-out speed.  Now consider how California's power generation profile has changed. [...] By 2018, the state's renewable portfolio had jumped to 43.8 percent of total generation, with wind and solar now accounting for 17.9 percent of total generation.  That's a lot of power to depend on from inherently unreliable sources.  Thus, it wouldn't be at all surprising to learn that PG&E didn't stop delivering power out of fear of starting fires, but because it knew it wouldn't have power to deliver once high winds shut down all those wind turbines.

Is California Becoming Premodern?  More than 2 million Californians were recently left without power after the state's largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric — which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year — preemptively shut down transmission lines in fear that they might spark fires during periods of high autumn winds.  Consumers blame the state for not cleaning up dead trees and brush, along with the utility companies for not updating their ossified equipment.  The power companies in turn fault the state for so over-regulating utilities that they had no resources to modernize their grids.

How Big-Government Regulation Contributed to California's Wildfires.  Fires are nothing new in California, and there's something of an interesting history to them that used to not be nearly as tragic as we see today.  Chuck DeVore, vice president of national initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, reminds his readers at Forbes that as "a citizen soldier in the California National Guard for two decades, I often heard the gallows humor that California's four seasons were:  flood, fire, earthquake, and riot."  DeVore takes to task the editorial board at the Sacramento Bee for their commentary around the Carr Fire of 2018, in which they suggested that the recent fires are the result of "climate change, for real and in real time.  We were warned that the atmospheric buildup of man-made greenhouse gas would eventually be an existential threat."  "The problem with the Bee's editorial is that making a passionate argument is no substitute for the truth," DeVore writes.

Gavin Newsome.  Your Carbon Offsets Are Burning.  Those who leave their energy-guzzling multi-million-dollar mansions when they fly off on their private jets to save-the-planet climate change conferences like to ease their consciences and explain their hypocrisy by pointing to their carbon offsets like paying for trees to be planted somewhere that might mature in a hundred years or so.  There are a lot of trees in California and a good number of them are on fire, thanks to environmental regulations and policies that are supposed to protect the environment but are in fact destroying it.  The irony in California that the very trees that are supposed to be sucking up those nasty carbon emissions are now a major producer of carbon emissions.

Here's How State Regulators Played A Role In California's Rolling Blackouts, Wildfires.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other critics are blasting the public utility company responsible for rolling blackouts, but some experts argue regulators' obsession with climate change is partially to blame.  Newsom suggested Friday [11/1/2019] taking over Pacific Gas & Electric, a public utility company that shut off electricity recently to nearly 1 million customers to prevent potential wildfires.  The California Democrat argued that PG&E's greed and corruption are leading to the massive blackouts.  "It's about dog-eat-dog capitalism meeting climate change.  It's about corporate greed meeting climate change.  It's about decades of mismanagement," Newsom told reporters on Oct. 25.

California Is Becoming Unlivable.  Right now, wildfires are scorching tens of thousands of acres in California, choking the air with smoke, spurring widespread prophylactic blackouts, and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.  Right now, roughly 130,000 Californians are homeless, and millions more are shelling out far more in rent than they can afford, commuting into expensive cities from faraway suburbs and towns, or doubling up in houses and apartments.  Wildfires and lack of affordable housing — these are two of the most visible and urgent crises facing California, raising the question of whether the country's dreamiest, most optimistic state is fast becoming unlivable.  Climate change is turning it into a tinderbox; [...]

The Editor says...
Whoa, there!  The state was turned into a tinderbox by tree-hugging left-wing Democrats who mismanaged the state for decades.  The climate has not changed.  Does anyone really believe that the climate in California is hot enough to ignite trees?

California's Gavin Newsom, now running scared.  [Scroll down]  PG&E has no money to put its electrical wires under the ground after all the "green mandates" the socialists in the California state assembly have foisted on them, forcing them to convert to pricey, unreliable and wire-transmitted solar and wind power instead of efficient, reliable, cheap fossil fuels.  That's a money pit right there.  Now PG&E has even less money to make even that happen and still supply reliable electricity what with all the billions in lawsuit payouts it must make to residents who have lost their homes in past wildfires based on this lack of investment.  Why did that happen?  Not just the greenie mandates for wind and solar power from the state central planners, the company also was forbidden to clear brush from its electrical lines.  Another greenie diktat from the top that didn't end well.

California Democrats waste billions on useless climate alarmist schemes while the state burns uncontrollably.  The Wall Street Journal published a superb article that exposes the government lunacy in California where its climate alarmist propaganda driven Democratic politicians have wasted tens of billions of dollars on energy schemes that are totally useless in having any meaningful impacts on global emissions levels while ignoring the statewide wildfire disaster that is destroying massive amounts of property, thousands of homes and taking hundreds of lives.

California blackouts are a self-inflicted mess — Don't just blame PG&E for the new Dark Ages.  California, the richest state in the nation — and one that's often portrayed as the progressive harbinger of the future for the rest of the country — has been hit with its latest Third World-style disaster.  On top of high poverty rates, skyrocketing homelessness, rising crime, and the return of medieval-sounding diseases, the state has been hit by a series of rolling, widespread blackouts.  Millions of Californians, many in the most densely populated parts of the country have had their power shut off by the utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric. [...] Though it's easy to criticize PG&E, which hardly looks good in this whole mess, there is a lot of blame to go around — and no, it doesn't have anything to do with "climate change."

PG&E Warns: 10 Years Of Power Shut Offs Coming To Californians.  California residents are facing up to a decade of widespread, precautionary, power shut-offs until Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., the bankrupt utility giant, will be able to prevent its power transmission lines from sparking fires, the company's top official said.  Californians could experience power shut-offs for the next ten years.  Chief Executive William D. Johnson said at an emergency meeting Friday of the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco, that ten years is a probable timeline.  "I think this is probably a 10-year timeline to get to a point where it's really ratcheted down significantly."  Of course, that isn't sitting well with Californians or politicians.

The Editor says...
In other words, the problem will persist for at least ten years, or until politicians with some common sense take over and start managing the forests more effectively.  In the meantime, you should shop for a generator, or install a Tesla Powerwall!

California Faces "Biggest Blackout Ever" As 2.5 Million PG&E Customers May Have No Power For Days.  Earlier this week we joked that with PG&E now scrambling to enforce intentional blackouts every time there are powerful winds for fears the bankrupt company's aged infrastructure could cause a new fire, "every time the wind blows California will become Venezuela."  Turns out it wasn't a joke.

California's blackouts are a cautionary tale, warns former CA Republican Party Chairman.  California power company PG&E is coming for residents' tax money and you could be next, former Chairman of the California Republican Party Tom Del Beccaro warned Saturday [10/26/2019]. [...] Arguing that "Democrats seeking their party's 2020 presidential nomination have already embraced some of the same Big Government and radical environmental policies that have brought blackouts to California — and could bring power outages and shortages to our entire nation should one of them become the next president."

California Is Burning and It's Not Because of 'Climate Change'.  California power company PG&E is preparing to pull the plug on 850,000 of its customers.  PG&E has been deliberately cutting power to its customers in an effort to avoid wildfires.  It isn't working.  Massive wildfires erupted in areas where PG&E provides service.  The Tick Fire has burned down several homes and caused the evacuation of more than 40,000 people so far, and other wildfires are burning throughout the state.  In Sonoma County, the Kincade Fire has already torched 34 square miles and destroyed 49 homes.  That fire was likely caused by a broken transmission line belonging to PG&E.  But PG&E's equipment couldn't start these huge wildfires without a bunch of dead brush fueling the flames.  As Chuck Devore writes in Forbes, "the outrageous cost to remove a few dead trees from private land is a consequence of California's Byzantine environmental regulatory patchwork."  It's not climate change that's responsible for these massive fires, "it's decades of environmental mismanagement that has created a tinderbox of unharvested timber, dead trees, and thick underbrush."

Wildfires Caused By Bad Environmental Policy Are Causing California Forests To Be Net CO2 Emitters.  This is California's big secret:  it's not climate change that's burning up the forests, killing people, and destroying hundreds of homes; it's decades of environmental mismanagement that has created a tinderbox of unharvested timber, dead trees, and thick underbrush. [...] The irony is that forest management is so bad on public lands that a new report, ordered by the California legislature in 2010, shows that the portion of California's National Forests protected from timber harvesting is now a net contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fires and trees killed by insects and disease.  Every year about 3.8 billion board feet of new timber grows in the Golden State, capturing almost one metric ton of CO2 per acre in the productive timberland areas.  Trees grow until they die, burn, or get harvested.  If harvesting declines, tree mortality and fires increase.  It's the tyranny of math.

11 Empty Climate Claims.  Claim [#5]: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires.  Fact:  Wildfires have been decreasing since 1800s.  The increase in damage in recent years is due to population growth in vulnerable areas and poor forest management.

End of Discussion:  MSNBC Declares CA Wildfires Caused by Climate Change, Nothing Else.  As wildfires ravage California again, after last year's deadliest wildfire season on record, the media wants you to remember:  This is climate change's fault.  MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi explained this to his liberal audience on Tuesday's [10/29/2019] MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle, by touting data from a climate alarmist organization, and not offering any other viewpoints into his explainer segment.  Co-host Stephanie Ruhle began by gushing over the sheer number of wildfires the state has been facing lately, plus the extended burning season.  With that prompt, Velshi responded, "It does make you wonder, right?" adding, "Why are these fires getting worse and worse every year?"  Of course, he had the reason ready:  climate change.

Of Electricity and Ideology.  [Scroll down]  "For decades," [Kay] Grimes wrote, "traditional forest management was scientific and successful — that is until ideological, preservationist zealots wormed their way into government and began the overhaul of sound federal forest management through abuse of the Endangered Species Act and the 're-wilding, no-use movement.'"  U.S. Representative Tom McClintock, whose Northern California district includes the Yosemite Valley and the Tahoe National Forest, told Grimes that the U.S. Forest Service 40 years ago departed from "well-established and time-tested forest management practices."  "We replaced these sound management practices with what can only be described as a doctrine of benign neglect," McClintock explained.  "Ponderous, byzantine laws and regulations administered by a growing cadre of ideological zealots in our land management agencies promised to 'save the environment.'  The advocates of this doctrine have dominated our law, our policies, our courts, and our federal agencies ever since."

No Evidence That Climate Change Causes Weather Extremes: [Part 5] Wildfires.  Probably the most fearsome of the weather extremes commonly blamed on human-caused climate change are tornadoes — the previous topic in this series — and wildfires.  Both can arrive with little or no warning, making it difficult or impossible to flee, are often deadly, and typically destroy hundreds of homes and other structures.  But just like tornadoes, there is no scientific evidence that the frequency or severity of wildfires are on the rise in a warming world.  You wouldn't know that, however, from the mass hysteria generated by the mainstream media and climate activists every time a wildfire breaks out, especially in naturally dry climates such as those in California, Australia or Spain.  While it's true that the number of acres burned annually in the U.S. has gone up over the last 20 years or so, the present burned area is still only a small fraction of what it was back in the record 1930s, as seen in [...] data compiled by the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center.

Green Policies Turned California A Charred Black.  More than half of California's roughly 105 million acres are owned by the federal and state governments.  It is on these sprawling parcels that the wildfires tend to rage before devouring private land, homes, and businesses.  Public lands "have proved far more vulnerable to forest fires than properties owned by private groups," Hoover Institution scholar Richard Epstein wrote in California's Forest Fire Tragedy. [...] The loudest voices assign blame for the fires to man-made climate change.  But the human activity primarily responsible for the destructive spread of wildfires is public policy favoring burned timber over harvested timber.  While maybe well-intended, laws inspired by the 1970s environmentalist movement, which is determined to make sure saw blades and trees never meet, have stoked the furnaces.

Hero Citizen Tackles Suspected Arsonist Setting Wildfire in Los Angeles.  Legal Insurrection readers may recall that in the autumn of 2017, a series of wildfires broke out in Southern California.  One of those blazes threatened the famed Getty Center Museum.  On Easter Sunday this year [4/21/2019], a suspected arsonist, who set off fires in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center, was taken into custody after a an alert citizen saw the man lighting the fires and tackled him. [...] The suspect has been identified as Steven William Adkison, a 31-year-old transient.

False flag environmentalism is dangerous for America and the world.  California suffered some of the worst wildfires in the State's history in mid-2018.  Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is in bankruptcy over the damages where entire towns went up in flames over faulty electrical infrastructure and high winds, which led to devastating wildfire.  But the real culprits causing this destruction were environmental regulations, green organizations and high-powered, faux environmentalists like Tom Steyer stopping excess brush and dead trees from being cleared throughout California cities, towns, forests and wilderness areas.

Did forced focus on green energy lead to California's devastating wildfires?  California's bureaucratic behemoth, the Air Resource Board, implements its "cap and trade" scheme to control carbon emissions.  However, the carbon emissions from the wildfires dwarfed those from standard anthropogenic sources.  The 2018 fires released the rough equivalent of about 68 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, about the same amount of carbon emissions as are produced in a year to provide electricity to the state.

California fire map
California's Wildfire History — in one map.  Here is an interesting interactive graphic that depicts perimeters of more than 100 years of California wildfires recorded by Cal Fire and the U.S. Geological Survey.  The map [left] shows all the cumulative fires from 1878 to 2018.  It seems as if there is very little of California that has not been touched by wildfire.  Large areas of desert in the southeast are mostly untouched due to lack of vegetation.


Judge: California Wildfires Caused By Uninsulated Power Conductors NOT Climate.  U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that equipment owned by the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric was the cause of some wildfires due to tree limbs and other debris knocking uninsulated power conductors together, NBC News has reported.

The Editor says...
Only a few power lines are insulated, and most of those are underground, so "uninsulated power lines" is not an unusual situation.  If tree limbs are in contact with the lines, that's because the utility hasn't routinely trimmed the trees.  I don't know how things work in California, but in Texas, the utility companies have tree trimming crews in residential neighborhoods all the time.  It could be that environmental activists in California have made this unpopular or illegal, but that's just a guess.

Climate Change:  The Poetry of Dreams and the Prose of Reality.  Recent fires in Southern California demonstrated that Mother Nature can produce in several days more greenhouse gases than all the cars in the region in a whole year.  California's yearly fires have been known since the Spanish conquistadors first visited it in 1542.  If we add volcanoes spitting into the air millions of tons of CO2 every year for millions of years, then according to the proponents' theory, we should already be living on small islands surrounded by an ocean of melted Arctic ice.

Big Government Helped Create the Horrendous Nature of the Cali Fires.  A new report revealed that incompetent state regulators in The California Public Utilities Commission failed to implement plans required by state law that could have prevented the devastating California wildfires.  Senate Bill 1028 required the three big California power companies, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, to provide detailed strategies for reducing fire threats, according to The San Diego Tribune.  The California Public Utilities Commission was supposed to review the filings, make comments, and follow up to ensure they followed the plans.  They NEVER DID!  They did NOT issue directives to the power companies, and it's been more than two years since the law was passed.

Democrats use vote fraud to play their last hand: global warming.  By reopening the old playbook of making global warming (the flip side of the 1970s anticipated ice age, also caused by man's meddling with the environment) a crisis is the best strategy left to the Left.  In order to execute their gameplan, using and abusing the natural world is not beyond their scruples or, rather, lack thereof.  Throwing communities into chaos by devastating them with flood and fire — please be reminded of the near collapse of the Oroville Dam last year and now the all-consuming fires wiping out whole towns — through mismanagement of resources, states such as California have placed millions of citizens in jeopardy.  Yet it goes further according to some credible reports deriving from survivors of the Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire and the conflagrations that wiped out the wine country just last year.  Following the lead of democrat legislators trying to place all the blame on power companies, the media conveniently forgot their initial reporting of the illegal immigrant who was caught setting some of the major burns in Northern California.  They also have turned a blind eye to the change of fire patterns and how many blazes began by simply bursting into flame, no spark or ember witnessed anywhere about.

Watch the gender-reveal explosion that ignited a 47,000-acre wildfire.  A border patrol agent's gender reveal party took an explosive turn and caused a 47,000 acre wildfire.  Dennis Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of U.S. Forest Service regulations for starting the Sawmill Fire.  He has to pay more than $8 million in restitution according to the Department of Justice.  [Video clip]

Even California Cannot Defy Nature Forever.  [Scroll down]  Last year, we saw near-normal levels of precipitation.  If our life-giving reservoirs of the state's vast California Water Project and federal Central Valley Project are currently not full, it is mostly because millions of acre-feet of stored water were released to flow into the San Francisco Bay estuaries and the delta — contradicting most of the original mandates of the water projects of providing flood control, power generation, lake recreation, and irrigation for California residents. [...] Left unsaid is that more than 130 million trees died throughout the state's foothills and mountain ranges during the drought of 2011-2016 and were not removed from the forest floor, providing an immensity of natural kindling for fires.  To walk in a Sierra Nevada forest during summers requires navigating not just over fallen limbs and branches, but also rotting trees — all amid dead brush and dead but still-towering brown pines.  Gone are the periodic meadows and open spaces of the 1960s and 1970s, when logging companies harvested trees, thinned out the forests, replanted what was cut, and cleaned up the forest floor.  Yet given California's stringent anti-logging regulations of the last 20 years, there is no real California timber industry left, at least as it once was.  And scavenging even dead trees prompts a great debate, as environmentalists lecture on the advantages of letting the dead wood be.  Or, as Sierra Club organizer Daniel Barad put it in a January 2018 Sacramento Bee op-ed:  "Dead trees are vital components of the forest ecosystem and should be removed only when necessary."

How Governor Jerry Brown Burned California — And Why President Trump Was 100% Right.  Nine years.  That's how long a it took a California agency to create a fire zone map.  Seven of those years were under the governorship of Jerry Brown.  The fire map was to be a tool for agencies to monitor and manage areas most prone to fires started by utility companies/power lines.  In short, it would require those utility companies to clear out dangerously dry vegetation, the very practice President Trump said should he been done to prevent the very kinds of disastrous fires that swept across California taking lives and property.  The media lambasted the president for his remarks.  As is often the case, the media was wrong and President Trump was 100% right.

California Burning:  How the Greens Turned the Golden State Brown.  Opinions vary regarding how much of this disaster could have been avoided, but nobody disputes that more could have been done.  Everyone agrees, for example, that overall, aggressive fire suppression has been a mistake.  Most everyone agrees that good prevention measures include forest thinning (especially around power lines), selective logging, controlled burns, and power line upgrades.  And everyone agrees that residents in fire prone areas need to create defensible space and fire-harden their homes.  Opinions also vary as to whether or not environmentalists stood in the way of these prevention measures.  In a blistering critique published earlier this week on the California-focused Flash Report, investigative journalist Katy Grimes cataloged the negligence resulting from environmentalist overreach.

Actually, even California says Trump is right about the wildfires.  President Trump's critics are belittling him for not buying the lefty narrative that global warming is to blame for the California wildfires.  Instead, Trump points to decades of mistakes by government agencies that caused the woodlands to become overly dense and blanketed with highly flammable dead wood and underbrush.  He's exactly right.  Just ask California officials.  Two months ago, the state legislature enacted a measure that would expedite the removal of dead trees and use "prescribed burns" to thin forests.  In other words:  the very same reforms that Trump is now being mocked for proposing.  The September law followed a Gov. Jerry Brown executive order earlier this year that also called for "controlled fires" to improve forest health.  This scientific approach isn't easily conveyed in Trump's preferred mode of communication, the 280-character tweet.  But University of California forest expert Yana Valachovic conceded in a Washington Post interview that Trump's "general sentiment is correct — that we need to manage fuels."  That is, to get rid of dangerous buildups of dead and dying trees.

Sec. Ryan Zinke Backs Trump:  Years of Mismanagement Led to California Fires.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke backed President Donald Trump on the years of forest mismanagement that led to the California fires as Zinke joined Breitbart News Sunday radio with host Amanda House.  He suggested that even photos of the devastation don't do justice to what it was like to see it in person.  Pointing to years of neglect and dead and dying timber, he observed, "It was like a flamethrower of embers shooting through the forests."

Trump Was Right:  Jerry Brown Eased California Logging Rules Back In August.  Months ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown urged state lawmakers to loosen restrictive logging regulations put in place to appease environmentalists — a move that appears to have confirmed that President Trump's recent critiques of state logging practices was correct.  The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported back in August that Brown was proposing one of the most significant changes to the state's logging rules in nearly half a century.

Loggers support Trump's claim that wildfires caused by 'poor forest management'.  A national logging organization is offering support to President Trump following catastrophic wildfires in California and a political debate over the causes of the destructive blazes.  "President Trump blamed poor forest management for wildfires in California and throughout the West, and there is truth to statements he has made," said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers.

How Misguided Environmentalism Is To Blame For California's Wildfires.  Part of the reason it is so difficult to manage California forests is the bureaucratic milieu.  The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land, has 28,000 employees, and has an annual outlay of $7 billion a year, according to a 2017 Analytical Perspective from the budget of the U.S. government.  For decades, environmental protection schemes have usurped common sense.  For example, most fire ecologists say that the surest way of preventing massive forest fires is to use prescribed burns.  The California Environmental Protection Agency states that "prescribed burning is the intentional use of fire to reduce wildfire hazards, clear downed trees, control plant diseases, improve rangeland and wildlife habitats, and restore natural ecosystems."  Prescribed burns keep forests healthy by burning up the underbrush that accumulates on the forest floor and by thinning trees.  Yet for decades the Forest Service has suppressed most fires.  According to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection executive summary:  "Land and fire management have in many cases increased fire hazard.

Apaches stave off wildfires with timber industry, active forest management.  The catastrophic blazes that thrive in eastern Arizona's thickly forested yet arid landscape have a way of fizzling once they jump from the dense national forests to the Apache reservations, and that's not by chance.  On a scorching summer day with fire danger at the extreme level, forestry superintendent Michael Gutierrez and his crew spent the morning chain-sawing the overgrown junipers surrounding Seneca Lake on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.  Soil conservationist Paul Buck discussed his experiments in fighting tough alligator juniper using the terrestrial version of the herbicide Round-Up, and forest manager Dee Randall explained how the scrubby trees could be converted into slabs and sold for furniture as part the tribal timber business.

California's Devastating Fires Are Man-Caused — But Not In The Way They Tell Us.  California is once again on fire.  Northern California's Carr Fire has killed six people, two of them firefighters, and continues to burn out of control, claiming more than 700 homes and about 100,000 acres.  As a citizen-soldier in the California Army National Guard for two decades, I often heard the gallows humor quip that California's four seasons were:  flood, fire, earthquake and riot.  But, what was once an expected part of living in the Golden State is now blamed on larger forces.  A crisis, we are told, should never go to waste.  In that vein, the Sacramento Bee editorial board blamed the Carr Fire foursquare on a man-caused buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In an editorial headlined, "The Carr Fire is a terrifying glimpse into California's future," they write, "This is climate change, for real and in real time.  We were warned that the atmospheric buildup of man-made greenhouse gas would eventually be an existential threat."

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says 'environmental terrorist groups' enabled wildfires.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's claim that "environmental terrorist groups" created the conditions that enabled California's wildfires triggered substantial blowback from environmental groups, who chastised the Trump administration official for downplaying the role of climate change in the blazes.  Zinke said in a radio interview with Breitbart News that environmental extremists were preventing the government from properly managing forests — leaving excessive fuel on the ground for the deadly blazes.  The statement is just the latest as the Trump administration moves aggressively to open more public land to natural resource extraction, including logging.

Ryan Zinke takes ax to climate change narrative in push to save forests from wildfires.  Here in the town dubbed the "gateway to the Sierras," the haze from the Ferguson Fire is fading as Yosemite National Park prepares to reopen, but the debate over how to stop wildfires from razing the state again next year continues to smolder.  California's catastrophic wildfire season has illuminated the yearslong stalemate between those who want to cut back the overgrown, beetle-infested national forests and environmentalists who have axed efforts to fell more trees, blaming the destructive fires on climate change.

Adam Schiff gets schooled on his California green canards.  See, the left has been spreading the flammable rubbish that as California burns, it's not the green left's fault.  It's global warming's fault, see, so let's have more green regulation.  California's Jerry Brown, who runs the place, is the prime propagator of this dreck, but [Adam] Schiff is happy to be his dutiful parrot.  [Kimberley] Strassel presented him with a Deep State document showing that even the Deep Staters could see that the problem with the fires was too much uncleared fuel for them left lying around, what with 129 million uncleared dead trees.  Those trees are left up to keep the environmental wackos happy.  Yet truth never deterred Schiff, who snottily hectored President Trump in claiming that environmental regulations had nothing to do with the sudden upswing in vast forest fires, which are threatening California's suburbs.  ["]Environmental protections have nothing to do with the wildfires in CA.  Climate change does.  We're not going to let you use fires as an excuse to clear-cut our forests.["]  Umm, Adam?  The fires are clear-cutting California's forests.  No need to get Trump involved, let alone blame him.  Clear-cutting is happening whether you like it or not; all you can do is choose whether you want it done orderly or you like the current free-for-all system, blaming global warming.

California Fires:  Government Policies, Not Global Warming.  As large swaths of California are yet again on fire, environmentalist groups, the leftist media, and Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown are quick to blame climate change.  But the burning in California has more to do with misguided and short-sighted environmental regulations than with weather or climate. [...] The Endangered Species Act has made it nearly impossible for private-property owners to clear dead brush from their own land because it may destroy habitats of protected species.  From 1993 until 2003, residents of Riverside County were prohibited from removing brush from their properties because such brush had become a habitat for the endangered kangaroo rat.  When a wildfire broke out there in 2003, the dry, dead brush served as kindling as the blaze destroyed 2,700 homes and killed 27 people.  The rat's habitat was also destroyed.  So, in what can charitably be described as a misguided attempt to save the environment from the ravages of human activities, government regulations have made the fires worse.

How Federal Policies, Not Just Warmer Weather, Have Made Wildfires Worse.  [Scroll down]  WildfireToday.com acknowledges that warmer and drier weather make fires more difficult to suppress, but adds that important man-made factors exist that could be far more influential on wildfires.  These include:  [#1] 100 years of fire suppression making forests denser, for fires to burn with greater intensity;  [#2] fighting large fires less aggressively for safety reasons;  [#3] environmental demands to let fires burn naturally; and  [#4] initially responding with less equipment and personnel to fires.  The biggest man-made change in fighting wildfires appears to have been the U.S. Forest Service slashing the average number of large air tankers on exclusive use contracts by over 70 percent — from 44 in 2002 to 13 in 2018, according to the Fire Aviation website.

It's Not Climate Change that is Fueling Destructive Wildfires.  The environmental movement got all excited about preserving our forests and put enormous pressure on governmental agencies to stop cutting down trees, stop logging, and stop building logging roads into the beautiful forests.  Logging provided lumber for building homes, and the price of lumber went way up, so nobody is building "starter homes" anymore.  Ending logging meant that forests were not thinned as they were when logs were harvested, which means the trees are too close together, and there's more deadwood and brush, which means more fire danger.  There are always consequences for your actions.

California burns:  The "new normal" thanks to Obama Era Environmental Regulations.  This past week, the New York Times reported on California's wildfires stating that "Since 2012, according to state emergency management officials, there has not been a month without a wildfire burning — a stark contrast to previous decades, when fire officials saw the fall and winter as a time to plan and regroup."  What's the significance of 2012?  It is interesting that the New York Times mentioned the 2012 date, but only attributed the wildfire increases to "the recent historic drought," and "rising temperatures," caused by climate change.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As California burns, many Californians have been asking why the dramatic increase in wildfires in the last five years?  Except for Governor Jerry Brown.  Governor Brown claims that devastating fires are the "new normal."  Supporting Obama-era regulations have resulted in the new normal:  an endless and devastating fire season.

Democrats [are] turning California into a third-world hellhole.  Democrats are turning California into a third-world hellhole without electricity, water, and freedom.  Due to Democrats' love for trees, at least 800,000 Californians will be without power for several days.  Instead of properly managing California forests to reduce the chances of big fires, Democrats are saying Californians have to go without lights, refrigerators, and air-conditioning.  Democrats could also avoid this by not making the power company financially liable for all forest fire damages, but since PG&E is a company, not an illegal alien, the Democrats couldn't care less about doing what's best for California.

California burns:  The "new normal" thanks to Obama Era Environmental Regulations.  This past week, the New York Times reported on California's wildfires stating that "Since 2012, according to state emergency management officials, there has not been a month without a wildfire burning — a stark contrast to previous decades, when fire officials saw the fall and winter as a time to plan and regroup."  What's the significance of 2012?  It is interesting that the New York Times mentioned the 2012 date, but only attributed the wildfire increases to "the recent historic drought," and "rising temperatures," caused by climate change.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As California burns, many Californians have been asking why the dramatic increase in wildfires in the last five years?  Except for Governor Jerry Brown.  Governor Brown claims that devastating fires are the "new normal."  Supporting Obama-era regulations have resulted in the new normal:  an endless and devastating fire season.

A New Dark Age:  California's Blackouts Are Self-Inflicted.  California, the richest state in the nation — and one that's often portrayed as the progressive harbinger of the future for the rest of the country — has been hit with its latest Third World-style disaster.  On top of high poverty rates, skyrocketing homelessness, rising crime, and the return of medieval-sounding diseases, the state — specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area — has been hit with a mass blackout.  About 1 million people in one of the most densely populated parts of the country have had their power shut off by the utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric.  The local utility, PG&E, initiated the blackout in an effort to limit the potential for mass wildfires, which ravaged the state in 2018 and bankrupted the company.

At Least We're Not Cuba!  I'm so old that I remember when the prime responsibility of your state's Public Service Commission was ensuring the public utilities under their jurisdiction were physically and financially capable of delivering the services they were chartered to provide.  Accordingly, the PSC role was to balance citizens' need for reliable services and reasonable rates with the need for utilities to earn a reasonable return on investment.  When both sides of this contract begin to operate outside the parameters of their respective charters, i.e. the utility fails to provide basic maintenance services to maintain the integrity of transmission lines and the PSC to verify they have done so[,] and instead begin to pursue and promote a "green energy" agenda, this is what happens[.]

California's Gavin Newsom calls power outages needed.  Socialism, including greenie socialism, is always about blaming Those Greedy Capitalists for whatever hideous policies the government cooks up, which inevitably prompts an unintended consequence.  California's Gov. Gavin Newsom is right there with the best of them, blaming the wreckers and hoarders for California's massive power outages, taking northern California back to a state of nature and, in the full greenie spirit, telling us it's needed, necessary, all for our own good.

The Lights Are Out in California, And That Was the Plan All Along.  The power is out in Northern California.  More than 1 million Californians are now without electricity, one of modern life's essentials that is frequently taken for granted.  The blackout was done on purpose — to prevent sparks from powerlines that could ignite deadly wildfires.  Before planned blackouts are through in two or three days, as many as 3 million Californians may go without power.  On the surface, the blackout and its causes are simple to understand.  But the deeper causes are complicated, span decades of public policy, and dozens of overlapping unintended — and intended — consequences of decisions, both related and unrelated.

PG&E Power Outage Shut Off:  Agency explains why turning power back on could take 5 days.  Pacific Gas and Electric says it could take as long as five days to turn the power back on for nearly 800,000 customers across California.  It's part of preemptive power shutdown due to fire danger, impacting the Bay Area and surrounding counties.  The utility says re-energizing power lines takes time.  Crews will need to inspect every power line by land and air before restoring power.

California's Devastating Fires Are Man-Caused — But Not In The Way They Tell Us.  In 2005 while a freshman California Assemblyman, I had the chance to visit Northern California and meet with the forest product industry professionals who grew, managed, and harvested trees on private and public lands.  They told me of a worrisome trend started years earlier where both federal and state regulators were making it more and more difficult for them to do their jobs.  As a result, timber industry employment gradually collapsed, falling in 2017 to half of what it was 20 years earlier, with imports from Canada, China, and other nations filling domestic need.  As timber harvesting permit fees went up and environmental challenges multiplied, the people who earned a living felling and planting trees looked for other lines of work.  The combustible fuel load in the forest predictably soared.  No longer were forest management professionals clearing brush and thinning trees.  But, fire suppression efforts continued.  The result was accurately forecast by my forest management industry hosts in Siskiyou County in 2005: larger, more devastating fires — fires so hot that they sterilized the soil, making regrowth difficult and altering the landscape.  More importantly, fires that increasingly threatened lives and homes as they became hotter and more difficult to bring under control.

California Fires:  Government Policies, Not Global Warming.  As large swaths of California are yet again on fire, environmentalist groups, the leftist media, and Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown are quick to blame climate change.  But the burning in California has more to do with misguided and short-sighted environmental regulations than with weather or climate. [...] The Endangered Species Act has made it nearly impossible for private-property owners to clear dead brush from their own land because it may destroy habitats of protected species.  From 1993 until 2003, residents of Riverside County were prohibited from removing brush from their properties because such brush had become a habitat for the endangered kangaroo rat.  When a wildfire broke out there in 2003, the dry, dead brush served as kindling as the blaze destroyed 2,700 homes and killed 27 people.  The rat's habitat was also destroyed.  So, in what can charitably be described as a misguided attempt to save the environment from the ravages of human activities, government regulations have made the fires worse.

Fire and Water in California.  Liberals exploit natural disasters — drought, hurricane, blizzard, you name it — to promote their anti-fossil fuels agenda.  Yet now they're outraged that President Trump is daring to fight fire with fire by making a connection between California's wildfires and destructive green policies. [...] Governor Jerry Brown keeps lecturing Californians that they need to adapt to a new "climate normal," yet the state government has done little to prepare for warmer and drier times if that is the future.  Lawmakers instead have subordinated fire prevention to pleasing the green lobby.

Fire and fury:  How government failures make wildfires even worse.  While East Coasters are heading off for their August vacations, many families out West are worried that if they leave their home, it may not be standing when they return.  That's the reality when there have been 4,500 wildfires this year so far. [...] Everyone is quick to blame global warming for this and all other natural disasters.  But changes to local weather in this or that part of the country are by no means part of the same scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused in large part by human activity.  Western droughts and forest fires have been around a long time, and so has climate change, but the fires have gotten much worse very recently, and government mismanagement of forests is part of the reason.

Jerry Brown blames everyone but himself for California wildfires.  Jerry Brown is at it again.  Blaming Californians for the devastating series of California wildfires month, he went Full Moonbeam and declared the problem a function of global warming, calling it a new normal about which nothing is to be done.  As if wildfires that sweep away homes in California's unique Mediteranean microclimates have never happened before this past week.

Why the California Wildfires Are Not Due to So-called Climate Change.  Climate alarmists such as California Governor Jerry Brown would like us to believe that global warming is causing (and worsening) the recent spate of wildfires in the Golden State.  Unfortunately for Governor Brown, the facts and the science simply don't line up with his opinion.  Wildfires are natural occurrences that have been happening since flora first appeared on the Earth.  Scientists and others involved in land and forest management not only accept that such fires will happen as part of the natural ecosystem, they also see them as beneficial in certain ways.  Wildfires occurring naturally reduce fuel loads such as downed trees, fallen limbs, brush, leaves and other combustible material.  When fires burn naturally, they release nutrients into the soil which would otherwise be wasted in leaves and undergrowth.  Some habitats — such as the California Chaparral — actually depend on fire to a certain extent.  Periodic fires burn off species of plants that are not native and less fire resistant, which gives the native species a leg up in the competition for space.

California wildfires are burning down public utilities.  California's Democrat-controlled Legislature has mastered the game of deviously nudging public utility regulators to raise fees and surcharges to pay for its progressive environmental initiatives rather than suffering the voter backlash from raising taxes.  California residents, due to abundant hydro resources and being the nation's third largest oil-producer, used to have some of America's lowest retail electricity rates.  But residents paid 18.32 cents per kilowatt-hour (/kWh) in 2018, about 47 percent more than the national average of 12.47 cents/kWh.  Much of that staggering $14.8-billion-a-year extra cost was siphoned off through environmental mandates and crony spending.

Environmentalist Policies Are Exacerbating Wildfires.  It's Time to Rethink Forest Management.  [Scroll down]  As a Reason Foundation study noted, the U.S. Forest Service, which is tasked with managing public wildland, once had success in minimizing widespread fires in the early 20th century.  But many of these successful methods were abandoned in large part because of efforts by environmental activists.  The Forest Service became more costly and less effective as it increasingly "rewarded forest managers for losing money on environmentally questionable practices," wrote Randal O'Toole, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute.  Spending on the Forest Service has risen drastically, but these additional resources have been misused and haven't solved the underlying issues.




Homeless people supported (or at least tolerated) by California taxpayers

San Fransisco socially distances its homeless encampments amid coronavirus pandemic.  San Fransisco is giving homeless encampments the social distance treatment.  The city is joining others around the world in begrudgingly authorizing its homeless encampments by marking safely distanced spaces for tents and other makeshift shelters.  In San Fransisco's Civic Center, about 80 tents are now lined in tidy rows on a wide street near San Francisco City Hall, part of a "safe sleeping village" opened last week.  The village is one of two Mayor London Breed has planned to open, with another coming to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

Free Booze, Pot, and Smokes for San Francisco's Homeless.  San Francisco officials deny direct involvement in a controversial program, funded by private sources, that provides free alcohol, cannabis, and cigarettes to homeless people living in the city's hotels during the Covid-19 outbreak.  After news about the special deliveries was leaked and caused embarrassment on social media, the city's Department of Public Health issued a statement claiming that "rumors that guests of San Francisco's alternative housing program are receiving taxpayer-funded deliveries of alcohol, cannabis and tobacco are false."  Except they're not false.  DPH, which administers and oversees the program, is staffed by city workers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and security personnel.  The department manages, stores, and distributes the substances.  Employee time is involved.  Thus, the program is financed by taxpayers, even if an outside group provides some of the funding.  According to DPH spokesperson Jenna Lane, the philanthropists who helped purchase the substances wish to remain anonymous.

San Francisco neighborhood sues over 300 percent jump of homeless sidewalk tents during coronavirus outbreak.  San Francisco is being sued by a law school and residents and businesses in the inner-city Tenderloin District who argue sidewalks are "unsanitary, unsafe, and often impassable" as homeless people crowd streets amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The number of tents and makeshift structures in the Tenderloin has tripled since January, as homeless shelters are forced to operate at low capacity in order to enforce stringent social distancing requirements, reports say.  The federal lawsuit, filed last week in part by the University of California Hastings College of Law, does not seek financial damages but instead demands the city clean up streets littered with drug needles and human waste.  The litigants are also seeking help for people living in sidewalk tents, saying they are at increased risk of COVID-19.

Homeless People In San Francisco Hotel Rooms Are Being Given Free Alcohol And Drugs.  The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) confirmed in a tweet Tuesday that homeless people put up in hotels are being given free alcohol and drugs.  A Twitter user named "T Wolf" who calls himself a "formerly homeless addict," sent a tweet this week saying he's heard reports of homeless people getting free alcohol, marijuana and methadone.  "I just found out that homeless placed in hotels in SF are being delivered Alcohol, Weed and Methadone because they identified as an addict/alcoholic for FREE.  You're supposed to be offering treatment.  This is enabling and is wrong on many levels," he said.

Coronavirus Isn't Slowing the Destruction of San Francisco.  In almost any situation, learning through direct personal experience is preferable to learning from photos, videos, or a verbal description of another person's experience. [...] Knowing this, San Francisco-based writer Erica Sandberg has been organizing what she calls "see for yourself/think for yourself" walks through her city so regular residents can take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the homeless crisis for themselves and not rely upon the curated experiences of activists, politicians, and the mainstream media.  Even more importantly, her tours are not narrated, allowing participants to draw their own conclusions about what they're viewing.  What they're all seeing is terrifying and a city "spiraling out of control."  San Francisco residents have been subject to a "shelter in place" order since March 17, but most of the restrictions in the order don't apply to people "experiencing homelessness."  From what Sandberg has witnessed, drug dealing and abuse hasn't been affected in any way.

Supes vote to acquire more hotel rooms to shelter homeless.  San Francisco must quickly secure thousands of more hotel rooms to shelter the homeless amid the spread of coronavirus under legislation approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.  The board's vote comes just days after 92 unhoused people tested positive for the disease after an outbreak at one city shelter.  Board members have clashed with Mayor London Breed and her administration for weeks over the best strategy for how to thin out the shelter populations.  They have called for those living on the street to be moved into hotel rooms so that they can shelter-in-place, as those who are housed have done under a public health order since March 17.

Because money is plentiful, and most vagrants are clean, sober, responsible citizens:
SF plans to lease 7,000 hotel rooms to isolate homeless people from the coronavirus.  San Francisco now plans to lease 7,000 hotel rooms to provide shelter for homeless people as well as first responders and health care workers battling the spread of the coronovirus, city officials said Wednesday [4/8/2020].  This would more than triple the rooms now under contract.  The city already has committed $35 million for the next three months to lease the first batch of units.  The overall effort would cost San Francisco roughly $105 million — some but not all of which would be reimbursed by the federal and state governments.

SF Ditches Plan To House Homeless At Moscone Center During Pandemic In Favor Of Hotel Rooms.  San Francisco officials have reversed a plan to shelter homeless people at the Moscone West Convention Center.  Instead, the city will continue with a plan to place homeless people at hotels in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, said Trent Rohrer, director of the city's Human Services Agency.

Bet Your Life — Vote for Democrats.  I can only imagine what the [Wuhan virus] death toll will be in California.  San Francisco has immune-suppressed HIV-AIDs affected citizens (about 12,985 people living with HIV in San Francisco) and thousands of homeless people living on the streets.  So far, the homeless do not seem particularly affected, but if (or once) it makes an appearance there, I suspect it will take a substantial toll.  I suppose many of these people are already quite unhealthy, live cheek by jowl outdoors on feces-heaped streets, and lack access to means to practice proper hygiene.

The New Favelas.  Progressives routinely denounce economic inequality, yet the nation's most liberal cities offer the most dramatic illustrations of it, with tech-driven wealth at the top and addiction-driven homelessness at the bottom.  In the past five years, some streets in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle have started to resemble Latin American favelas, or shantytowns, with thousands sleeping in tents, shacks, and packing crates.  One United Nations official recently compared West Coast encampments to the slums of New Delhi.  California governor Gavin Newsom has declared homelessness a "state of emergency."  And yet, as the coronavirus pandemic persists, West Coast cities have legalized and provided services to these encampments, rather than enacting emergency shelter and moving people off the streets.  This reckless decision follows a disturbing trend.  Last year, Oakland began supplying 22 officially sanctioned homeless encampments with services, sanitation, and supplies.

Coronavirus: L.A. to Move Homeless into Neighborhood Recreation Centers.  Mayor Eric Garcetti is going ahead with a plan to move thousands of homeless people in Los Angeles into recreation centers in residential neighborhoods as part of the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Rumors have been circulating among residents, and were confirmed on Saturday by the L.A. Times.

The Editor says...
During the current lockdown, you and I can't go to church, or to a wedding or a funeral, but the homeless bums are being moved into "recreation centers" where they will presumably all live in one room.

Few homeless off California's streets as virus spreads.  Homeless people in California congregated in parks, popped into each other's tents on sidewalks and packed closely together to get food Friday, routine scenes that took on different and dangerous significance as state officials try to contain spread of the coronavirus.

A Real-Life Story of How Coronavirus Hysteria Oppresses People.  Commentators have noted the dishonest reporting of statistics to buttress the false claim that deaths from the coronavirus (hereafter, COVID-19) are far in excess of mortality from the common flu when in fact the opposite is likely the case. [...] I was indeed shocked when Nathan called me on March 17 to report that the wedding and reception, for which all the invitations had gone out and for which they had planned for over a year, were being canceled on the "Order of the Health Officer of the County of Riverside."  I obtained a copy of the so-called "order" that "prohibits" gatherings of ten or more individuals in the County of Riverside.  According to the text of the decree, "Violation of ... this Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment or both."  The edict exempts gatherings of government officials, including those at the Health Department and their colleagues who drafted the order.  Another curious exemption from the order is those involved in "congregate living settings."  I suppose that's to cover Riverside County, California's resident population of homeless bums, who are stuck living in "congregate living settings" in their feces- and needle-infested encampments.

Because there's so much extra cash on hand...
California plans to house homeless in hotels during coronavirus pandemic.  Gov. Gavin Newsom estimates 60,000 homeless people will be infected with COVID-19 in the coming months and those people will need a place to recover in isolation.  On Wednesday [3/18/2020] Newsom allocated $150 million in emergency funding to deal with the crisis and announced a plan to house the homeless in hotels and motels across the state.  The state would lease the property and local counties would control the operations.  According to the governor's office, 950 sites have been identified across 53 counties.

Citing coronavirus, homeless families seize 12 vacant homes in Los Angeles.  A group of homeless and housing-insecure Angelenos seized more vacant, publicly owned homes in El Sereno on Wednesday [3/18/2020], arguing that government officials have failed to provide the shelter that's necessary for them to remain healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.  The occupation followed a similar takeover Saturday, when two families and a man moved into one of the neighborhood's dozens of empty homes — all owned by Caltrans.  The state agency bought them years ago as part of a now-failed plan to extend the 710 Freeway.

Watch Why People Are 'Fleeing California' — It Ain't Pretty.  Yes, those lumps of clothes really are people sleeping on the streets.  Cable car rides are often ruined by the unmistakable whiff of sun-soaked urine.  Small business owners — which employ 40% of the workforce — are held down by masochistic regulators.  And people are getting [...] out of California.  They're fleeing.  A new Prager University video called "Fleeing California" — which will probably be censored by one of the tech giants [soon] — highlights the lowlights of California and explains why so many are heading for Texas.

Language warning:  Non-stop profanity on the part of the cameraman.  Turn the sound off.
Democrat and Disease Infested San Francisco — where people bring dead animals to restaurants.  A crazy guy brought a dead raccoon into McDonald's.  [Video clip]

As Trump wins praise for effective coronavirus response, blue cities do opposite, threatening its spread it through homelessness.  The left's blue cities do all they can to encourage and reward homelessness, amounting to the country's great enabler of homelessness as a lifestyle.  Blue cities employ and are expanding gargantuan bureaucracies dedicated to "servicing" the homelessness, which encourages a hunt for more "clients."  San Francisco alone spends $77,000 per homeless "client."  They also refuse to enforce quality of life laws, such as those against vagrancy, public camping, drug use, public alcohol consumption, prostitution, and public urination and defecation, promoting homelessness even more.  Some are encouraging squatting on private property.  Others are permitting the homeless to take over public parks and spaces.  Some, such as Bill de Blasio's New York, are secretly busing the homeless to other cities to keep them from creating problems in their own cities.  It's a massive tax on those who own the overpriced homes in those cities, but taxes are the left's bread and butter.  It's a money merry-go-round, all done in the name of "compassion."

The Tired and Poor Are Already Here.  Twelve thousand children are homeless here in California, and our homeless population has risen to 151,000.  Last year, California was single-handedly responsible for the national increase in homelessness. [...] What does it say about our leaders, and our nation, that a closed fist for struggling Americans and an open hand for those who break our immigration laws is a winning political strategy?

GOP challenger says Schiff has done nothing to fight homeless crisis in California district.  ep.  Adam Schiff's Republican challenger accused the Democrat on Friday of ignoring the homelessness crisis in his California district.  "He's done nothing, or virtually nothing, for our district," Eric Early, who announced his candidacy to represent California's 28th Congressional District in July, told Fox News.  "Certainly not a darn thing for homelessness."  "It's a mess out here, it's terrible," he added.  Early, a Los Angeles attorney, made his comments about Schiff while walking through parts of Echo Park and Hollywood, meeting with homeless people and listening to their stories about their situations.

Mike Slater:  Newsom's call for 'housing prescriptions' to solve homelessness 'fundamentally misses' problem.  California radio host Mike Slater responded Sunday [2/23/2020] to Gov. Gavin Newsom's suggestion that doctors "should be able" to prescribe housing like they do medicine, calling it "so off the charts that you don't even know where to begin."  Newsom, a Democrat, initially expressed the idea during his State of the State address last Wednesday, arguing that housing and health care were intertwined.  "The Democrats have been really good at coming up with proposals that are so ridiculous, so off the charts, that you don't even know where to begin... like, deconstructing what they're talking about," Slater told "Fox & Friends" Sunday.

On Leaving the Golden State.  The fabled Ventura Highway is all that separates my artist loft from the beach where surfing first came to the United States. [...] Once my coffee is brewed, my cat and I go hang out on the patio where I may or may not have to chase someone away that is stealing electricity as for some crazy reason all the homeless have smart phones and other electric gadgets but few means to charge them.  From my patio on the 2nd floor landing, I can look down into the central courtyard and, if early enough in the day, sometimes see people crawling out of the bushes so as to relieve themselves against a wall.  Making this problem worse is the fact that I live around a bunch of retired hippies and there is no one on Earth less capable of doing anything than a hippie.  One thing that many of them have not figured out is that they should lock down their WiFi.  Frankly, the quickest way to attract the kind of person that would steal a cat toy, potted plant, bicycle or everything out of your car is to have a neighbor or two broadcasting free WiFi.

Homeless People Are Without Toilets and Going in the Streets.  We Asked the Mayor of LA Why.  Statistics estimate 36,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles, but the city isn't providing bathrooms to most of them.  As the NBCLA I-Team has found, the tons of human waste landing on city streets are creating an urgent public health threat.  In one act caught on camera, a homeless man is seen waking up on South Hope Street.  He unbuckles his belt, walks over to the front door of a business, pulls down his pants, and defecates right on the door mat in broad daylight.

Taking Property for Fun and Profit.  After a group of homeless moms simply moved into a vacant three-bedroom house in Oakland owned by a company that invests in local real estate, local progressives turned them into folk heroes.  These women weren't squatters who took something that wasn't theirs, but valiant protesters who were standing up for their communities against — all together now — corporate speculators.  As one of these Oakland moms said, "Housing is a human right.  I pay bills there.  I pay water, PG&E, internet.  We live there.  We want to purchase the home; it needs to belong back in the hands of the community.  It was stolen through the foreclosure crisis."  That certainly puts a new spin on the term "property ownership."

The Democrat Left is cruel and sadistic.  Anyone who has driven the streets of downtown Los Angeles or walked the streets of San Francisco should vote out every single person currently in office, for they have allowed the crisis to grow without doing a thing but surrender their constituents to the terrible impact on their quality of life.  Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi are among the worst offenders.  Neither of them cares about his own district; they care only about keeping the power they have in D.C.

Decriminalization of drugs fueling meth and homelessness in California.  The same people who demand that Congress and state governments spend even more money to "combat" the twin drug and homelessness crises never seem to connect the dots back to their decriminalization policies or admit that they are causing a rise in crime.  One journalist in California is not scared to pin the tail on the donkey — in the case of the Golden State, the infamous Prop 47.  Right around 2014-2015 is when the drug crisis exploded nationwide, including in California, roughly around the same time homelessness soared, particularly in the Golden State, along with the rise in theft and other crimes.  What else happened around the same time?  California passed Prop 47, which downgraded drug and theft crimes.  The result was a logical consequence to an illogical policy.  Bill Lamb, VP and general manager of Fox 11 in Los Angeles, delivered a TV commentary last week pinning the blame for the homeless and drug problems squarely on Prop 47.

Dr. Drew Pinsky hits Adam Schiff on homeless crisis in his own district: 'He's asleep at the wheel'.  Senate impeachment trial manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is "asleep at the wheel" when it comes to his own district and is ignoring issues that matter, like the state's homeless crisis, Dr. Drew.  Pinsky said Thursday [1/30/2020].  Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, Pinsky said he started thinking that maybe he should run against Schiff because, every day he doesn't do something, three more homeless people die in the county of Los Angeles.  While Pinsky said he is "categorically not running" for Schiff's seat, he couldn't ignore the crisis unfolding in front of him.

Why Are Liberal Cities Such a Mess?  Many major U.S. cities run by liberal Democrats are in rough shape.  They are afflicted by the problems of homelessness, violent crime, gangs, and unemployment to a far greater degree than the country as a whole. [...] San Francisco actually has maps so people can track where the worst incidences of human waste are on the sidewalks.  The homeless population now approaches 7000 and there is no law prohibiting sleeping on the streets, sidewalks, or other public places.  Discarded syringes are everywhere.  San Francisco's property crime rate is the highest in the nation and "smash and grab" thefts involving broken car windows are so commonplace that repair shops have waiting lists.  The DA's office no longer prosecutes "victimless" crimes like prostitution or drug possession, resulting in a massive influx of drug dealers into the city.

As California's homeless people camp out on railroad tracks, train-related deaths are rising.  California's railroad tracks are now lined with men and women sleeping in tents or under cardboard boxes, from the underpasses of Oakland and L.A. to the farmlands of the Central Valley.  As a result, train deaths have become the latest side effect of the state's vast unmet need for affordable shelter, according to experts who have linked the homeless crisis to the steady uptick in train deaths in California.  The state annually leads the nation in pedestrian railroad fatalities, even when accounting for its larger population.

San Francisco homeless crisis is a sad and terrible thing to see:  Maria Bartiromo.  FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo describes the homeless crisis as she witnessed it when visiting San Francisco, California and discusses the policy issues that have created the problem.  [Video clip]

18 Signs That The Social Decay In America Is Worse Than It Has Ever Been Before.  [#15] Tucker Carlson says that downtown San Francisco is now filthier than downtown Mumbai, India.

San Francisco homeless crisis worries some attendees at JPMorgan summit: 'The Bill Clinton of cities'.  JPMorgan is holding its annual health care conference in San Francisco this week.  But some attendees — when gazing out the windows of their $2,000-a-night hotel rooms or past the doors of another champagne-infused party — have reportedly noticed the city has lost ground in its fight against homelessness.  "I feel unsafe walking around at night, especially as a young woman," Selin Kurnaz, a co-founder of Massive Bio, told Bloomberg.  Other executives at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference have gone on social media to voice their concerns about the city's decline and have posted about watching city officials clean human excrement off the streets.

Homeless Mom Calls Offer To Help Squatters Occupying Oakland House 'An Insult'.  One of the homeless mothers who has been living in a vacant West Oakland house since Nov. 18 scoffed Saturday night [1/11/2020] at an offer by the house's owner to pay to move them out and shelter them for the next two months, calling the offer "an insult."  Earlier Saturday, the property owner planning to have two homeless mothers evicted next week from a West Oakland home offered on Saturday to pay to shelter them for the next two months.  Real estate investment firm Wedgewood Properties is offering to foot the bill for their move and to pay a nonprofit to house the women for the next two months, a spokesman said.

California waterways [are] polluted with alarming levels of dangerous fecal bacteria due to homelessness.  California's beaches, rivers, and streams have become contaminated with alarming levels of dangerous fecal bacteria thanks to the liberal state's escalating homelessness crisis.  President Trump recently spotlighted the terrifying epidemic on Twitter, [...] Predictably, the Left mocked Trump, saying he was wrong.  A San Francisco official even disputed his allegations.  However, experts say Trump is correct:  California's waterways are becoming increasingly polluted with disease-promoting bacteria because homeless people defecate and bathe in public rivers and streams.  This is dangerous not only for them, but for the public at large because the bacteria can cause an infectious disease epidemic.

Here's a Look Inside LA's New $600,000 to $700,000 Condos for the Homeless.  Sure, most of us can't afford a $600,000 condo in a trendy neighborhood, in one of the most expensive places to live in the country.  But if you're homeless in Los Angeles, a condo can be yours!  The new condo development is the first of 118 projects to be built over the next six years to house the homeless and other needy people in Los Angeles, California, according to the mayor's office.

A media that fails to report the biggest stories is no fit custodian.  In a year in which the homelessness crisis has been front and center of media attention, it seems that not everyone is pulling heir weight.  While there was a national improvement, the Golden State dragged down the numbers. [...] And this from the state represented by two of the Democratic Party's top dogs.  Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi both represent California, and in many ways, represent their party on the national stage.  These are the folks that are determined to shape the country if their team wins in 2020.

Homelessness Crisis in the Not So Golden State.  The nation of hope, hard work, wealth, and unlimited potential is reeling from a new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report that claims our priorities do not include the care of the most vulnerable of our society.  During the season when charitable giving is on the minds of the people, the homeless population rates low on the humanitarian programs list.  The ironic and incredibly inconvenient truth is California leads the way, adding an implausible 16.4% of unsheltered families, veterans, and elder Americans attempting to survive on the streets.  The report also highlights a boost of 21,306 homeless people in the Golden State compared to last year, which essentially renders the progress other states have worked diligently to achieve null and void.  The unsheltered population decreased dramatically in 29 states — including Washington, D.C.  It should've been a banner year to celebrate, but California skewed the curve.

Ben Carson: I hoped to find more 'urgency in the leadership' in California on homelessness.  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Thursday that California's government is not showing "urgency" in finding constructive solutions to the state's homelessness epidemic.  Carson told Ed Henry exclusively on "The Story" that the U.S. has made great strides over the last 10 years to reduce homelessness — if the figures omitted the Golden State.  "It's truly amazing.  We've actually been making very good progress over the course of the last decade, in terms of homelessness, except in California," he said.

Homelessness crisis:  From houseboats to boulders, unconventional methods used to tackle problem in 2019.  [Scroll down]  The homeless situation in Oakland, Calif., is pretty grim.  The city has seen a 47 percent increase in homelessness in the past two years and elected leaders like Councilman Noel Gallo say the situation is only getting worse.  Currently, city council members are considering a proposal that would house 1,000 homeless people living in the Bay Area on a cruise ship.  The idea was introduced by City Council President Rebecca Kaplan who said her plan "could be a great way to house a lot of people quickly" and added that "cruise ships have been used for emergency housing after natural disasters and for extra housing for things like the Olympics."  Kaplan is expected to present her full proposal to the council in January and claims her plan will be at "no or low" cost to the city because the people on aboard would pay for their rooms based on their income.

The Editor says...
[#1] Most of the homeless have an income of zero, or near-zero.  Many have an income based largely or entirely on theft.  This idea will not pay for itself.  [#2] This is not "emergency housing."  It will not be temporary.  The bums will come aboard and stay for the rest of their miserable lives if no pressure is applied.  [#3] This 1,000-passenger ship will fill up immediately, and another one will be demanded.  [#4] Subsequent ships will fill up quickly with illegal aliens.  That might not be a bad thing.  Maybe they could all go on a nice cruise:  A one-way voyage to Yucatán!.

'Really bad job': Trump rips California governor over state's homeless population.  President Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom traded barbs over the growing homeless population in the state.  Following the Democratic debate last week, Newsom blamed the president's Department of Housing and Urban Development, led by Secretary Ben Carson, for the rise in homelessness in his state. [...] Trump didn't take Newsom's remarks lying down.  He fired back on Christmas Day, tweeting, "Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California.  If he can't fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!"

California Governor Gavin Newsom Blames Homelessness On President Trump.  California Governor Gavin Newsom says that California's failure to curb rising homelessness in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco is the fault of President Donald Trump and the Trump Administration, not a stalemate in the California legislature or failed progressive efforts to curb the rise of tent cities and transient populations.  Speaking in Sacramento, California, last week, Newsom claimed that Trump is deliberately withholding "key information" that California needs in order to properly address the homelessness problem, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  "California is making historic investments now to help our communities fight homelessness," Newsom said.  "But we have work to do and we need the federal government to do its part."

Dorm Housing, Communal TVs, Underground Tunnels Envisioned For 'All-Inclusive' $3 Billion, 300-Acre City For The Homeless.  [Scroll down]  Residents would be provided RFID-enabled wristbands to gain access to their dorm rooms as well as perform tasks such as job check-in, purchasing items with credits, medicine consumption, and more.  Each of the four neighborhoods will have their own cafeteria and kitchen and multiple scheduled eating times to accommodate a 150,000-person population, according to [Daune] Nason.  The neighborhoods will also be fitted with tiered seating for residents to watch TV in a community setting within their neighborhood.

The Editor says...
That's great, except for a few details:  [#1] The taxpayers will pay for it all, as soon as the "crowdfunding" crowd tires of paying, or taxpayers will finish the work when private contributions dry up during construction.  [#2] This place is really going to need a lot of employees — mostly cops and janitors — because homeless bums have a reputation for defecating wherever they please.  [#3] The only thing this project will accomplish is that the residents will no longer be technically homeless.  Nothing about this project will encourage anyone to grow out of it.  [#4]  If U.S. citizenship is not required for residency, the whole place will soon be overrun by illegal aliens.  [#6]  Everyone will be provided with RFID-enabled wristbands.  But homeless bums are not exactly the most responsible adults in town; and before long, one of them will lose his wristband or barter it for drugs.  Then many more will do the same.  Then the government will make this announcement:  To keep you from losing your RFID chip, we will just inject it under your skin, just like we do for pets and livestock.  Then you won't be able to lose it.  If this scenario doesn't sound familiar, you haven't read the book of Revelation, Chapter 13.  [#7]  The proposed Homeless Mall can be built in the middle of nowhere.  It doesn't have to be in the middle of a city.  It doesn't have to be interconnected with tunnels.  It doesn't have to be a work of architechtural beauty.  The people who would be living there are currently living (and defecating) in the streets.  They don't have to live near their places of employment because they have none.  [#8]  Many homeless people are mentally ill and should be locked up.  Many of them are criminals and sociopaths.  Many of them don't want to be told where to live, and can't be forced to move into the Homeless Mall.  How are any of these people going to peacefully co-exist with indigent but otherwise normal families?  [#9]  If there are people living in the streets because apartment rent is too high, or the price of a house is too high, that's probably because of decades of Democratic Party union-pandering tree-hugging big-government regulations.  These conditions were created by the same people who now want to solve the problem by pouring more money on it.  [#10]  Watching TV doesn't help anything, especially if the TV is tuned to CNN.

California Governor Blames Trump, Republican Party for State's Homeless Problems.  Like every other problem facing California, the governor takes zero responsibility and calls on others to take action.  Democrats have been at the helm in California as the homeless problem has spiraled completely out of control.  But somehow it's the Republican Party and Trump's fault.

California's Approach To Homelessness:  That's Not How This Works.  California's festering experience with homelessness is a similar story.  Despite all the spending, and the pleas and plans for additional money, homelessness has spiked 30% since 2017 in San Francisco, grew 16% in the city of Los Angeles and 12% in the county over 2018, and swelled 42% in San Jose over two years.  In Alameda County, the number of homeless has jumped 43% since 2017.  The homeless population has been climbing sharply in Sacramento, and Santa Clara and Kern counties, as well.  Even Sonoma County, known for its wines, not urban problems, has a mile-long tent city.  The misery has reached the point that nearly half of the nation's homeless who sleep on the streets and in other public places are in California.  None can doubt homelessness in California is a genuine crisis.  Human urine and feces litter San Francisco streets (and at least one Safeway aisle), and diseases that plagued man during the Medieval period, as well running-wild rats and accumulating trash, are exhausting Los Angeles.  Violence has reached a point that even veterans of the street haven't seen before.

Dr. Marc Siegel:  San Francisco 'awash in human waste'.  Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel says San Francisco residents should be worried about the homeless crisis' effect on their health after video surfaced of a homeless man defecating in the middle of an aisle at a local grocery store.  "Isn't it ironic that a city of germaphobes, of exercise-conscious, environmentally conscious [people] ... are now in a city that's awash in human waste, which is spreading hepatitis A outbreaks every year," Siegel said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday [12/17/2019].  "Big outbreaks of hepatitis A, rats in the streets feeding off of the garbage in sewage, typhus, typhoid fever, rotten bacterial infections and even the plague may be coming."

Homeless Drug Addicts Are Now [Defecating] in the Supermarket Aisles.  San Francisco has more drug addicts than public high school students.  The homeless problem is out of control.

California struggles under the weight of 130,000 people living on the streets.  Officials in Santa Rosa are set to unveil emergency proposals to shelter people in fairgrounds as the city - and the state - struggles with a homeless emergency where more than 130,000 people are living on the streets across California.  In Santa Rosa, around 185 people have set up a mile-long camp along the Joe Rodota Trail, next to Highway 12.  The proposed plan, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will allow some of those living in the camp and the rest of the 3,000 homeless people in Sonoma County to move into the fairgrounds, The Press Democrat reports.  Leaders in the city, struggling with the biggest homeless camp in its history, are said to have been inspired by how the fairgrounds were used during wildfires and flooding.

Citing crappy streets, Oracle moves annual conference from San Francisco to Las Vegas.  I guess needle-strewn streets and Greta Thunberg murals are not the tourist draws that one would expect!  Citing dirty streets and high hotel costs, Oracle has decided to move its important annual conference from San Francisco. [...] The SFTA estimates the total loss of $64,000,000 a year to the local economy due to this decision.  Oracle's event is the second major conference that has relocated due to public health concerns.

Oakland official wants to house 1,000 homeless people on a cruise ship.  A San Francisco Bay Area city official wants to explore the possibility of using a cruise ship to house up to 1,000 homeless people as the state continues to struggle with the homelessness crisis.  Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan told a council meeting on Tuesday that the ship would be brought to the Port of Oakland, but port officials said Wednesday [12/11/2019] the move would be 'untenable'.  'We respect President Kaplan's desire to address homelessness but Port of Oakland docks are designed to work cargo ships, there isn't the infrastructure to berth a cruise ship,' port spokesman Mike Zampa said.

The Editor says...
[#1]  Who owns this ship?
[#2]  Is this a ship that will never be used for paying passengers again, after this experiment concludes?
[#3]  Who qualifies for admission to this program?
[#4]  Who will feed the thousand people?
[#5]  Are these the same people who are currently defecating in the streets and leaving used needles everywhere?
[#6]  Couldn't the same thing be accomplished with a barge instead of a cruise ship?

San Francisco's 'poor street conditions' a factor in city's loss of $64M Oracle tech conference: reports.  Oracle, a major Silicon Valley tech company, will move its annual OpenWorld conference to Las Vegas next year due to San Francisco's expensive hotel rates and the city's "poor street conditions," according to reports.  The loss of OpenWorld, which has been held in San Francisco for about 20 years, is raising new concerns about whether the city's struggles with homelessness, open drug use and street violence may be scaring off tourism and other business, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.  "For the industry, for the city, to have a major conference leave us impacts all of us," Kevin Carroll, chief executive of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, which represents hotel owners, told the newspaper.

Immigrant doctor launches recall petition against California Gov. Newsom.  A San Diego doctor who emigrated from South America is pushing to oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom, arguing the state's left-wing leadership has allowed cities to become "overrun by homelessness."  "I came here legally at age 11.  Having grown up in extreme poverty and being homeless to now being one of San Diego's most prominent physicians, that's the American Dream, that's the California dream.  And that's what Gov. Newsom and left-wingers in the legislature are progressively destroying," James Veltmeyer said on "Fox & Friends" Monday [12/2/2019].  Homelessness is a growing problem in California.  For example, the homeless population in San Francisco has grown to more than 17,000, a 30 percent jump from last year, according to a city database.

A bill would make it harder to control California's thriving rats.  What is behind the rat boom?  Thanks to the end of California's long drought, more fruit has fallen from trees or is tossed into the compost piles that rats love.  Lengthening warm seasons have increased rodent breeding.  Also to blame are policies that have restricted homebuilding in California and thereby driven up rents.  Homelessness is soaring as a result — California is home to 12% of Americans but nearly half the country's "unsheltered", according to federal statistics.  The resulting outdoor defecation feeds roaches for rats to eat.  Clutter and food in homeless encampments offer rats hiding places and additional grub.

San Francisco's Poop Problem.  The City of San Francisco's Department of Public Works responded to tens of thousands of "human or animal waste" reports in the first 10 months of 2019, according to the city data.  The department responded to 25,084 such cases from January through October of this year, according to the city's 311 data portal.  The city is averaging more than 80 waste cases reported to the department every day in 2019 and is on pace to surpass last year's number of excrement reports, the publicly available records show.

Taking off the woke glasses.  Now, we are living in a time in which those committing crimes will not likely face up to consequences befitting their transgressions.  In California, it appears that homelessness and petty crime go together.  All kinds of offenses are occurring with little or no accountability for those involved.  New York is suspending bond and bail for criminality, including assault, arson, bribery, resisting arrest and so much more.  Radical mobs are outright intimidating and assaulting those who don't agree with their philosophy and are mostly getting away with their heinous behavior and actions.  The tiniest bit of common sense would indicate that bad behavior and disregard for law cannot be corrected with inaction.  In other words, bad behavior without consequences begets more bad behavior.  This is elementary stuff, right?

Homeless man hurls bucket of diarrhea at woman near Hollywood Walk of Fame.  A homeless man dumped a bucket of "hot" diarrhea on a Los Angeles woman near the Hollywood Walk of Fame — an unprovoked attack that's left her with PTSD, she said this week.  Heidi Van Tassel said she was about to drive home from a Thai restaurant near the famed tourist area in April when the alleged assailant, Jere Blessings, dragged her out of her vehicle, news station NBC4 reported.  He pulled her into the middle of the street, where he dumped a bucket of feces over her head, she said.

Homeless crimes in L.A. skyrocket [and] devolve into feces attacks.  Crimes committed by homeless persons in Los Angeles — along with the depravity of the attacks — are skyrocketing.  A local NBC affiliate's "Streets of Shame" series tallied the numbers over the past two years while interviewing a victim who was recently covered in human waste.  "It was diarrhea.  Hot liquid.  I was soaked, and it was coming off my eyelashes and into my eyes," victim Heidi Van Tassel said during an interview that aired Monday.  "Paramedics who came to treat me said there was so much of it on me, that it looked like the man was saving it up for a month."  The station said there were 6,528 homeless attacks in 2017, along with another 9,846 crimes reported in 2018.

Oakland's homeless stats soar as pressure grows from residents, businesses for a solution.  Oakland has seen a 47 percent jump in homelessness — one of the largest surges of any California city, according to a one-night street count released in July.  The count, which used federal guidelines, showed Oakland had 4,071 homeless people in 2019, up from 2,761 in 2017.  The increase puts the city's per capita homeless rate higher than neighboring San Francisco and Berkeley and comes at a time when several West Coast cities are struggling with a homeless crisis that's being driven by rising rents, drug addiction, mental illness and pushback from progressives.  The Point-In-Time Count also found that the number of people living in their vehicles had more than doubled, skyrocketing 131 percent.  At the beginning of the year, there were 1,430 people living in their vehicles, up from 618 in 2017.  Roughly half called their cars and vans home while the others sought shelter in recreational vehicles.

Welcome to 'Hotel California'.  After more than 20 years here, the landscape has changed.  Rarely does a day pass when I do not encounter the genderless homeless and their dogs encamped at a traffic signal or in the littered brush at the edge of a parking lot.  Errant shopping carts routinely make their way from local markets to freeway underpasses, where they function as the support columns for an endless tract of tent homes.  Sleeping bags, plastic bags, poly tarps, and cardboard are the cooperative building materials of the street.  With a burgeoning homeless population of some 50,000, Los Angeles now boasts one of the largest unsheltered communities in the United States.  It is a rough group of heroin addicts, prostitutes, the mentally ill, and folks who are simply down and out in Tinseltown.

Is California Becoming Premodern?  Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable.  In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents and infectious diseases.  Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.

The Derangement Syndromes of Our Time.  Who doesn't feel compassion?  Who wouldn't do whatever they can to help someone in need?  But there are intractable problems with compassion gone wild.  In practice, misguided compassion breeds debauchery and dependence.  Anyone wishing to see the former is invited to drive the streets of San Francisco, where they may smell human excrement, tons of which are deposited each week on the sidewalks and gutters by the city's nearly 10,000 homeless.  They may witness thousands of intravenous drug addicts buying and injecting this poison in state-sanctioned acts of slow-motion suicide.  Anyone wishing to see the latter is invited to tour pretty much any legacy housing project in America, where welfare checks and free rent made the presence of a father not merely unnecessary but economically disadvantageous.

Former San Francisco mayoral candidate:  Years of liberal policies have caused homelessness 'tragedy'.  Liberal policies in San Francisco are inflating California's homeless crisis and driving longtime residents out of the city, former mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg said Thursday [10/17/2019].  Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt, Greenberg said that as the state government has moved farther and farther to the left over the years — adapting socialist ideals — the homeless population has only grown.

This city in Idaho is why L.A. can't legally clear its streets of homeless encampments.  The homeless men and women who live in Idaho's largest city are well-nigh invisible.  You might see a line waiting for the main library doors to open.  Or a solitary shape, wrapped in a blanket, sleeping at the base of a bridge along the Boise River.  Or maybe a grizzled veteran holding a cardboard sign at a busy corner.  But just one.  The difference between homelessness in Los Angeles and homelessness in Boise is stark — as in orders of magnitude stark.  There is no skid row here, no Tenderloin like San Francisco's, no American River Parkway as in Sacramento.  Yet, it is this midsize city with its relatively manageable homeless population that is setting the enforcement standards for its much bigger counterparts in the West.

The Homeless Myth:  It's not about the real estate, it's about the drug use and mental illness.  Los Angeles used to be known as the epicenter of the entertainment industry, nutty health fads, and compulsive narcissism.  These days, it's ground zero for the homeless crisis and its myths.  Every underpass harbors grimy tent cities with their own colonies of rats and roaches.  Schizophrenics wander the most fashionable streets shouting at the sky.  Human waste and needles litter downtown streets.  Typhus and Hepatitis A spread out from these oases of misery into the general population.  It's not that the city doesn't care.  If anything, Los Angeles cares too much.  Voters have passed multiple propositions spending over $4.6 billion on the homeless.  They raised their own sales tax.  They built homeless housing at as much as $500,000 per unit.  That's enough to buy a mansion in some parts of America.  Did that solve the problem?  Try walking through one of those tent cities and you'll find out.

Crazy and Woke on the Western Front of Progressive Insanity.  Thanks to progressive ideology as expressed in laws and court rulings, in California today you cannot arrest and hold vagrants for petty theft or possession of hard drugs; you cannot move them out of public spaces unless you can provide them with free and "permanent supportive housing;" you cannot commit demonstrably insane people to asylums; and publicly funded shelters must offer food and urgent care without any preconditions whatsoever.  Testimonials from residents of Venice Beach provide ample evidence of what happens when you impose these progressive policies on an urban area bordered on the west by some of the most inviting beaches and agreeable weather in the world.  An estimated 1,200 homeless people have set up permanent encampments in this three square mile beach town.  They almost never use actual toilets.

Audit Finds Cost of Building Supportive Housing in L.A. Exceeds Median Price of a Market-Rate Condo.  High fees, excessive regulation, and NIMBY ("not in my backyard") opposition to new housing have contributed to Los Angeles' worsening homelessness crisis.  Those same things are now frustrating the city's efforts to construct thousands of units of affordable and supportive housing, where social services can be offered on-site.  On Tuesday [10/8/2019], Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin released a damning audit of the performance of Prop.  HHH, a $1.2 billion bond issue passed overwhelmingly in 2016 to help finance the construction of 10,000 units of housing for homeless and low-income residents.

Some of Los Angeles' homeless could get apartments that cost more than private homes, study finds.  Having made a deep financial commitment to create housing for some of its 27,000 unsheltered homeless people, Los Angeles is falling short in building new apartments to take thousands of people off the streets, a new study finds.  Nearly three years after city voters approved a $1.2 billion construction program over 10 years, the city has yet to see the first building completed.  Average per-apartment costs have zoomed more than $100,000 past prior predictions, the study by city Controller Ron Galperin finds.

San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless.  Everyone's on drugs here ... and stealing," an ex-felon named Shaku explains as he rips open a blue Popsicle wrapper with his teeth.  Shaku is standing in an encampment of tents, trash, and bicycles, across from San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church.  Another encampment-dweller lights a green crack pipe and passes it around.  A few paces down the street, a gaunt man swipes a credit card through a series of parking meters to see if it has been reported stolen yet.  For the last three decades, San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior.  The city has done so in the name of compassion toward the homeless.  The results have been the opposite:  street squalor and misery have increased, even as government expenditures have ballooned.

Homelessness Isn't Just a Humanitarian Problem.  California has a homelessness crisis, but Californians don't agree about what it is.  To homeless advocates, social service providers, many politicians and most journalists, it's a humanitarian problem — a social tragedy of rapidly increasing numbers of men, women and families living without shelter, vulnerable to crime, disease and degradation.  This state of affairs, they believe, is a "moral disaster."  For pedestrians pushed into the street by blocked sidewalks, women afraid of unruly men screaming obscenities, patio diners beset by panhandlers and homeowners discovering human feces in their yards, it's an environmental catastrophe — the neighborhood equivalent of an oil spill.  They want someone to clean it up and prevent it from happening again.

San Francisco removes boulders meant to deter homeless campers because they were 'not big enough'.  The city of San Francisco on Monday [9/30/2019] removed about two dozen small boulders from a residential side street after a group of neighbors had them installed last week in an effort to deter homeless people from camping out on along the sidewalk amid the city's ongoing crisis.  San Francisco's Public Works removed the rocks set up along Clinton Park in the city's Mission Dolores neighborhood.  Residents last week said they pooled their funds to keep drug users from having a space to shoot up as they camp out overnight.

San Francisco residents use rocks to block homeless camping.  Fed up with what they see as the city's failure to combat homelessness and rampant drug use, the neighbors had boulders delivered to their sidewalk to block people from pitching tents on their street.  That started a fight that shows the frustration with an unprecedented homelessness crisis in California.

San Francisco residents line sidewalk with boulders to block homeless camps.  California has returned to its "Wild West" roots, as individuals strive to civilize the coast using their wits and initiative.  Case-in-point:  Residents of a San Francisco side street have trucked in boulders to discourage homeless camping near their homes.

Dems Will Make Homelessness Worse.  If Democrats capture the White House in 2020, your own neighborhood is likely to look like the disease-ridden tent slums taking over Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren insists it's wrong to ban living on the streets and in public parks.  Bernie Sanders is calling for a 3% cap on annual rent hikes, the kind of poisonous rent control law that deters new housing construction and worsens homelessness.

Scott Pressler's Group Cleaned Up L.A. Homeless Camp In 9 Hours; Removed 50 Tons Of Garbage.  Conservative activist Scott Presler continued to deliver on his pledge to clean up Democrat-led cities across the country.  He tackled his biggest project yet on Saturday [9/21/2019].  Wearing hazmat suits, he and a group of 200 volunteers spent nine hours removing 50 tons of garbage from an L.A. homeless camp.  The photographs show a remarkable transformation.

Carson outrages HUD staffers with comments about transgender homeless.  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made comments about transgender people that outraged some staffers at the HUD office in San Francisco, causing at least one of them to walk out of the room.  During a HUD meeting, Carson warned about "big, hairy men" posing as women to get into battered women's shelters, according to several sources who spoke to the Washington Post.  The remarks made several of the 50 present HUD staffers visibly upset and led one woman to walk out of the meeting, though an official who spoke to the Post clarified that Carson was not trying to single out transgender women with his comments.

Ben Carson Defends Putting Homeless Women Before Transgender Dogma.  Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson issued an agency-wide email Friday [9/20/2019] attacking a "blatant mischaracterization" of his comments about transgenderism during his visit to California this week, which reportedly offended bureaucrats in San Francisco. [...] Carson's concern — that women could be at risk from being housed together with those who are biologically male but who say that their gender identity is female — is not unique.

Trump admin's scathing letter rejecting Newsom's request for funds:  Clean up your act first!  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured Los Angeles to get a first-hand view of the city's homeless epidemic.  His visit came after the state asked for federal money to help clean its disease-infested streets.  Trump has been vocal about California's disastrous situation, vowing something must be done to stop it.  California Gov. Newsom seized the moment and fired off a letter to President Trump demanding more money — so the local government can fix what it created.

California's Request for Federal Funding to Combat Homelessness Rejected by Trump Administration.  As the homelessness crisis in California escalates, state officials requested increased federal funding to combat the issue, only to be rejected by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, as reported by ABC.  The request letter was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) and "mayors of the state's 13 largest cities."  The letter points out California's recent increase in spending on welfare programs, and claims that the "[Trump] Administration has proposed significant cuts to public housing and programs like the Community Development Block Grant."

Trump, Carson reject California's request for federal help on homelessness.  At the same time that President Donald Trump and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson are promising federal action to intervene in homelessness in California, they're rejecting requests from local officials for help and escalating the blame game between the federal government and the state.  California Gov. Newsom and local leaders[,] including mayors of the state's 13 largest cities[,] wrote to Trump this week to ask for more federal funds to expand programs like housing vouchers that help people get off the street into stable living situations.

Trump says EPA will cite San Francisco for pollution stemming from homelessness issues.  President Trump on Wednesday [9/18/2019] said he expects the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to slap San Francisco with a violation notice in the coming days related to pollution associated with the city's homeless people.  Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump again took aim at Los Angeles and San Francisco over the volume of homeless people in each city.  But he escalated his rhetoric, saying an announcement citing San Francisco for environmental violations would come in the next week.

The Broken Promise of American Cities.  Hope for a better future in California is rapidly becoming a stillborn dream, as the connection between decay and the politics of progressivism becomes painfully clear.  The proponents of this secular theology may be getting a wakeup call soon, as the Golden State's cities teeter on the edge of bubonic oblivion, with rats teeming through the streets of Los Angeles, even forcing temporary, partial closures of City Hall.  Skid Row has unfurled its filthy tendrils into the halls of the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Division station, with officers falling ill as vermin lay siege to their precinct.  But the explosion of the rat population, catalyzed by the feculence of homeless encampments across the state, has not deterred lawmakers from advancing a bill to ban rat poison in the name of human health and environmental concerns.  In the progressive mind, even mentioning the risk of disease caused by these policies is somehow tantamount to racist dog-whistling.  San Francisco, the rainbow flagship of our brave new world, even has a "no-kill, catch-and-release" policy for rodents.

Why California Keeps Making Homelessness Worse.  On Tuesday, fifteen officials from the White House toured Skid Row in Los Angeles with the head of a local homeless shelter.  "Four or five of them were from the Environmental Protection Agency," Rev. Andy Bales of Union Mission church told me.  "That's because human waste flows into storm sewers."  California is home to some of the world's toughest environmental and public health laws, but skyrocketing homelessness has created an environmental and public health disaster.  The 44,000 people living, eating, and defecating on the streets of L.A. have brought rats and medieval diseases including typhus.  Garbage is everywhere.  Experts fear the return of cholera and leprosy.

Report: Trump Wants To Shut Down California Homeless Camps.  President Donald Trump is reportedly fed up with the homeless camps that dot the California landscape and wants to move the residents into some form of transitional housing.  The camps are not only an eyesore but contribute to lawlessness.  The problem has intensified over the summer and Trump is apparently ready to move beyond criticizing the state's lack of response to proving solutions, sources told the Washington Post Tuesday [9/10/2019].

San Francisco shopkeeper considers closing his store after being bitten by a homeless person for the second time in four months.  A San Francisco shop owner who was been bitten by a homeless man for the second in time in months says he will close his store rather than put up with the 'nuisance'.  Gilles DeSaulniers, 67, said he was trying to subdue a homeless man who had pushed his sister after she tried to eject him for the second time that day from their South of Market store.  But while holding onto him, the man 'twisted his head' and bit the shopkeeper's arm in an attempt to escape.

With more homeless riding San Francisco trains, crime is up and ridership is down.  Not surprisingly, the numbers are highest in the winter when the number of homeless people is nearly 300 per every hundred train cars.  The increase in the number of homeless riding the trains coincides with an increase in reported crimes, including violent crimes.  In June, the Chronicle reported robberies were up 128 percent over five years while aggravated assaults were up 83 percent.  Those figures appeared in a Grand Jury report which specifically cited homelessness as a major contributor to declining ridership.  And that's the big problem for BART.  The train system was never intended to be a living space for the homeless but that's what it is becoming.

Los Angeles homeless dying in droves.  We've covered a number of stories here dealing with the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles which has been out of control and growing for several years now.  Most of these tales have to do with drug addiction, mental illness, crimes committed both by and against the homeless and people using the streets as their bathrooms.  But there's another, even darker element to this story featured in the LA Times this week.  As it turns out, the homeless are not just living on the streets.  They're dying on them and in large numbers.

Sacramento's business owners tell how they confront naked junkies and streets covered in feces, urine and syringes.  Cali Carlisle admits she is a heroin addict — 'but in a healthy way,' she insists, even if the visual evidence belies that claim.  Her nose is the brightest shade of red imaginable.  She constantly picks at scabs all over her body.  Her home is a makeshift bed beneath Interstate 80 in Sacramento.  And Monday was her 26th birthday.  Not that you would ever guess.  Anyone looking at her would think she is at least 15 years older.

Former Los Angeles city administrative officer: homeless problem 'going to get worse before it gets better'.  A former Los Angeles city administrative officer stepping down from a committee overseeing a homelessness program said this week the citywide problem is going to get worse before it gets better, according to a report. [...] Between 50,000 and 60,000 people sleep on the streets in Los Angeles County every night, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority — a number second only to New York City.

California salon owner claims the homelessness crisis is forcing her to relocate after 15 years.  A hair salon owner in California says she will be forced to move her business due to the problems of homeless people sleeping outside her shop.  Elizabeth Novak, who owns a hair salon in downtown Sacramento, posted a video on Twitter on Friday describing how she often finds people camping in tents across her front door.  She told how the vagrancy crisis gripping the state is affecting long-standing business owners and that her shop has been broken into and she has even been attacked.  Novak, who has run her salon for 15 years, said in her social media message that she often has to clean-up urine, feces and needles left by rough sleepers on her doorstep.

Frustrated California Woman Has Scathing Message For Gavin Newsom After Homeless Chaos Destroys Her Small Business.  A frustrated California woman took to Twitter on Friday to blast governor Gavin Newsom's disastrous policies that have created a desperate homeless problem.  The woman [...] was clearly upset as she posted a video detailing why she may be forced to close the doors of her business.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's claim about the homeless was so absurd even Politifact couldn't spin it.  Back in June, California Gov. Gavin Newsom made an incredible claim about homeless people in his state.  Asked why the homeless population hadn't declined when he was Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom said, "The vast majority (of San Francisco's homeless people) also come in from — and we know this — from Texas.  Just (an) interesting fact."  Newsom's claim was discounted by the LA Times last month but Politifact decided to investigate independently.  This week the least reliable fact-checker in the business agreed that Newsom's statement was absurd, giving it a "Pants on Fire" rating.

Bubonic Plague May Join Homelessness, Rats on List of Crises in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles's homelessness problems could soon turn into a much larger health crisis as the state is failing to address its growing rodent problem, Dr. Drew Pinsky, celebrity doctor and media personality, told Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams.  During an interview on Periscope, Dr. Drew, as he's commonly known, told Adams that just after Los Angeles had to deal with with a typhus outbreak, the city should brace for an imminent outbreak of the bubonic plague — the same disease that killed 60% of the European human population in the late Middle Ages.

Socialist utopia of Berkeley.  Already a bastion of the Left, in 2016 Berkeley, CA, a "sanctuary" city, tilted further to the left when residents voted as mayor 32-year-old Jesse Arregu'n, who had no prior government or administrative experience and had never held a private-sector job.  Although Arreguin is a homeless advocate "passionately committed to social justice," Berkeley's homeless marked his election as mayor by smearing feces on and around city hall.  Under Arreguin's far-left city government, Berkeley's homeless population increased 13% in just two years.

Homeless Surge Hits Oakland, Silicon Valley, San Francisco Suburbs.  San Francisco saw its homeless population rise by 17% in the last two years, but the rise in many surrounding counties has been worse.  A report Monday [7/22/2019] by Curbed San Francisco summarizing the figures noted:  "Five out of nine Bay Area Counties — i.e., all of those not located in the North Bay — saw their homeless counts spike during the same period, with each other county showing worse homelessness surges than SF."

Video Captures Shocking Extent Of L.A. Homeless Crisis In 4 Minutes.  The latest video by popular man-on-the-street interviewer Austen Fletcher efficiently captures the alarming homeless situation in the city of Los Angeles, particularly the infamous "Skid Row," wherein reside thousands of homeless people — most of whom are either suffering severe psychological problems or substance addiction, and among whom hundreds of sexual predators roam.

Amid Homelessness Crisis, SF Residents Sue To Block New Shelter.  Remember when we talked about the 30% increase in homelessness in San Francisco?  At the time I suggested that some combination of public and private investment might be needed to combat the problem.  As it turns out, just such a proposal is moving forward, with construction getting underway on a 200-bed temporary shelter located near the Giants baseball stadium.  Great news, right?  You might think so, but a large group of local residents doesn't agree.  Called "Safe Embarcadero for All," the group raised more than $100K, not to help the homeless, but to bring a lawsuit aimed at stopping construction of the shelter.  They're claiming everything from improper permit approval to a failure to study environmental impacts caused by the project.  But to listen to their spokespeople, what they really mean is they don't want a bunch of homeless people hanging around.

San Francisco: wealthy opponents of new shelter claim homeless are bad for environment.  The wealthy San Francisco residents who launched a crowdfunding campaign to block construction of a new homeless shelter in their waterfront neighborhood are employing a new tactic: arguing that homeless people are bad for the environment.  In a lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco and the California State Lands Commission, the residents called for the project to undergo an environmental review before breaking ground.  "This project will have a significant effect on the environment due to these unusual circumstances, including by attracting additional homeless persons, open drug and alcohol use, crime, daily emergency calls, public urination and defecation, and other nuisances," the lawsuit states.

Desperate to get rid of homeless people, some are using prickly plants, fences, barriers.  L.A. has struggled to stymie the growing number of obstructions that residents and business owners are creating to target homeless people.  There are now about 59,000 people without homes in L.A. County.  Within the city of Los Angeles, the population soared 16% this year to more than 36,000 — the majority of whom are living outdoors on city streets.  In parts of South L.A., business owners have built chain link fences around their buildings.  Venice has seen a proliferation of sidewalk planters.  In Koreatown, orange mesh fences are so common that a Twitter account documenting their existence has sprouted up.  Still other Angelenos have taken to planting rosebushes and pointy cactuses in the "furniture zone," the city's designation for the sometimes paved and sometimes grassy area between the sidewalk and street.  That's where obstacles are being placed the most, usually without permission from the city.

The Editor says...
If you hose down the bums with a firehose, you'll probably have to do that "without permission from the city" also.  It is obvious that the city is not inclined to take any meaningful action against even the most presumptuous homeless squatters.  It will probably be necessary for someone to force the issue:  Some property owner is going to apply pressure to remove a homeless bum, inflicting discomfort to such a degree that the property owner will get arrested.  Then we will all find out what property rights really mean in California.

63-year-old woman in critical condition after random attack by homeless man in California.  A 63-year-old woman taking a break at work was beaten in an alley so badly that she was unrecognizable.  She was admitted to a hospital in critical condition.  The attacker was identified by witnesses and arrested.  He is 51-year-old Hector Manuel Ulloa, a homeless man who had recently been released from jail and who has many prior convictions.  NBC 4 reports he has now been charged with attempted murder.

LA allocates millions for trash clean up as NBC affiliate uncovers another rat-infested garbage pile.  The recent spate of negative press attention on LA's trash and rat infestation problem has apparently lit a fire under Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Last week, LA committed an additional $6.5 million for homeless clean-up efforts.  The additional money will fund 10 new crews with nearly 50 new sanitation workers.

The Editor says...
That's $130,000 per worker.  Yes, I understand it's in California, and the crews are cleaning up rat-infested trash piles, but that still seems like a lot of money.

Democrat homeless disaster killing San Francisco, Los Angeles, & Seattle.  A rising wave of homelessness is growing and spreading in the major Democrat controlled cities on the Left Coast.  Spreading disease, drug addiction, and social disorder in its wake.  From Seattle to San Francisco to Los Angeles the quality of life is plummeting.  Democrat municipal and state authorities seem oblivious, placing the rights of the homeless above their duty to their citizens, taxpayers, and public safety.

Violent Crime Up Sharply In San Francisco BART Stations.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports that crime has more than doubled in San Francisco's BART stations since 2014.  The report highlighting the rise in violent crime also suggested that as many as 15% of people riding the trains are not paying fares. [...] That grand jury report identified four factors causing a decline in BART ridership (down 8% since 2016), first and foremost among them was homelessness. [...] If the homeless are living on the trains and sleeping on the trains, it's a good bet they are stealing to support their habits on the trains as well.

Bubonic Plague In Los Angeles?  Is California On The Verge Of Becoming A Third-World State?  A lot has happened.  We're still dealing with the border crisis, the Democratic debates are about to begin, and Iran is rattling the war sabers.  The city of Los Angeles should be thankful there are so many distractions.  The Democrat-run urban center has become a total disgrace.  And that's very common among the Left coast.  Tucker Carlson had historian Victor Davis Hanson on last week, where the latter said that California is on the verge of becoming the nation's first Third World state.  From trash being illegally dumped to city hall becoming a rat-infested den in the city of LA, it all points to the decay suffered when Democrats run things.

California:  Here Be Monsters.  California has endured its share of Old Testament calamities in the modern world.  Yet at times it seems that it will surely succumb to disasters created by its own hand.  There are real monsters loose in the streets.  Rats, "an army" of them "millions strong," reports KOMO News, have "overthrown" Los Angeles.  Not long ago, "officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building," said California Healthline.  "And where there are rats," says KOMO reporter Eric Johnson, "there is disease." [...] Maybe the rats were attracted to the "garbage mountain" that has bloomed in the city and produced quite a few unflattering, but deserving, comments.  Hepatitis A, which is spread through feces, and can be prevented through healthy hygiene and modern sanitation, is also enjoying an afterlife, sickening more than 1,000 in Southern California, which includes San Diego, in the last two years.  It's been suggested by one physician that the bubonic plague is lurking somewhere in all this.

Los Angeles street
With the Left in charge, Seattle and Los Angeles are dying.  It's no secret to anyone paying attention that the liberalism of the left and all its virtues control America's West Coast.  However, the warm and fuzzy "progressive" aura that seems so attractive to unschooled is a sham.  Sadly, to such voters, the phrase "somebody said so" is often the only proof they need to justify their ballot choices.  But, as has is far too evident here in Seattle and in Los Angeles, such myopia has a price.  The price of the Left in Charge.


Why Are There So Many Homeless in Los Angeles?  Now everybody knows about the 36,000 homeless on the streets of LA, over 60,000 in the county, replete with human feces and syringes littering the sidewalks, along with rats, typhus and even rumors of bubonic plague.  And those figures are what we're told.  No one, if you can trust the comments sections in the LA Times or the Next Door app for my old Hollywood neighborhood, remotely believes them.  They could be three or four times the number.  And how do you take a census of the homeless anyway?  They are inherently nomadic. [...] Shelters, some of them well built, have been constructed all over the city but the homeless don't want to stay in them.  The reason is these shelters are drug-free zones and the homeless of LA (and San Francisco and Seattle) are anything but drug-free.  Most are addicts.

Los Angeles shows the state how not to address homelessness.  It was a mistake to settle two lawsuits brought on behalf of homeless people by agreeing to create a right to sleep on the sidewalks (Jones v. Los Angeles) and to store mounds of personal property on the public right-of-way (Mitchell v. Los Angeles).  But Garcetti is the particular target of public rage.  He pushed for the approval of two tax increases for homeless housing and services in 2016 and 2017, and the problem has only gotten worse.  The recent Point in Time Count found that 36,300 people are homeless in the city of Los Angeles, an increase of 16 percent from 2018.  In 2017, the count was about 34,000, and that was a 20 percent jump from the previous year, when the problem was already disturbing enough that voters approved Measure HHH, a tax increase to build homeless housing.

Scenes from the collapse of a city that's lost control.  What century is this?  Is it the 21st century in the largest city of a state that ranks among the world's most robust economies, or did someone turn back the calendar a few hundred years?  We've got thousands of people huddled on the streets, many of them withering away with physical and mental disease.  Sidewalks have disappeared, hidden by tents and the kinds of makeshift shanties you see in Third World places.  Typhoid and typhus are in the news, and an army of rodents is on the move.

What's the matter with California?  California wants to look after its people, so it keeps expanding its social safety net.  It also wants to welcome all comers and so embraces illegal immigrants and protects them in sanctuary cities.  To see how this is working out, visit Skid Row in L.A. or neighborhoods in San Francisco or elsewhere where homeless camps are spreading.  Caring for all Californians is made harder by the state importing as many non-Americans as possible.

Medieval diseases spreading in Los Angeles prove twisted Democrat priorities endanger public health.  Americans don't have to look as far as Venezuela to see the massive failure of a government incapable of delivering the basics of what people need from their government.  A brief look at California shows how the twisted priorities of Democrat political leadership are creating a dangerous environment for the residents of the Golden State.  While combatting climate change remains a top priority for Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrat Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the streets of California's cities are filled with homeless camps, garbage, and disease-spreading rats.  In a throwback to medieval times, Los Angeles is facing an infectious disease epidemic caused by flea-borne disease linked to rat-infested streets.

Welcome to Garcetti's L.A.: heaps of trash, hordes of rats and very little leadership.  Los Angeles looks as if it's digging out from a hurricane, with hordes on the streets, tents everywhere and armies of rodents on the march, inciting fears of disease.  We learned from Dakota Smith and David Zahniser in last week's avalanche of Mad Max news that the rat circus at City Hall was tied to homeless people using the grates around the building as bathrooms. [...] And why do public officials seem so timid about pointing out that a lot of the trash is from the ever-growing numbers of homeless people they haven't been able to help, whether they're physically or mentally disabled, addicted, bomb-rattled from combat or evicted from the shrinking number of available rentals?

Mohammed, the Dirty Democrat in Charge of 'Cleaning Up' San Francisco.  San Francisco has the highest rents in the country.  At an average of $3,690 for a one bedroom, it's more expensive than New York City, Hong Kong, Paris and London. [...] Despite that, the City by the Bay is drowning in its own filth.  San Fran is covered in human waste.  There have been 118,352 cases of human waste on the streets of San Francisco since 2011.  That's also when Mohammed Nuru took over as the head of the city's Department of Public Works.  The Nigerian immigrant who calls himself Mr. Clean has been promising to clean up San Francisco back to the Willie Brown days.  Brown, the notoriously corrupt city boss, had picked Nuru as his point man, after some assistance on political campaigns, appointing him DPW deputy director in 2000. [...] But Mr. Clean was a protégé of Mayor Brown and complaints quickly rose from DPW employees about corruption, discrimination and intimidation.

Staggering homeless count stuns LA officials.  The stunning increase in homelessness announced in Los Angeles this week — up 16% over last year citywide — was an almost incomprehensible conundrum given the nation's booming economy and the hundreds of millions of dollars that city, county and state officials have directed toward the problem. [...] The new homeless count released Tuesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority showed nearly 59,000 people living in the streets across Los Angeles County, a 12% increase over the prior year; and 36,300 homeless people within the city limits of LA, a 16% increase over last year's count.

How do we deal with America's mental illness crisis?  California is no longer the paradise it was under Governor Reagan.  Radical leftism has taken root.  It is all but a separate country in many ways.  It has its own immigration policy, illegal under federal law.  At one point, its governor even floated the idea that the state should produce its own virtual currency in the form of accounting tricks, an action uncomfortably close to secession.  Radical leftist policies in California have put on public display the embarrassing appearance of a third-world hell-hole.  Swathes of the state, mostly in big cities, are heavily populated by semi-conscious (or even unconscious) drug addicts, and entire city blocks seem to be covered in garbage and human feces.  The problem is getting worse.  A harsh comedian suggested that conditions are so bad that illegal aliens might return to their native countries as refugees from America.

Filth from homeless camps is luring rats to L.A. City Hall, report says.  When faced with complaints earlier this year from city workers about rats infesting L.A. City Hall, most city officials said little about whether the problem was connected to several homeless camps right outside.  But a newly uncovered report from a pest control company hired by the city has raised fresh questions about whether officials wrongly downplayed that possibility during discussions at City Council meetings.  CatsUSA Pest Control, brought in to assess areas outside City Hall and nearby buildings, warned that homeless people create "harborage for rodents," according to the report issued Dec. 28 and obtained last month through a public records request by a frequent critic of City Hall.

Inside the squalor on 'Skid Row' as typhoid scare grips Los Angeles.  With rats running everywhere among piles of decaying garbage, these shocking images of a tent city look like a sordid third world shanty — but are actually downtown Los Angeles.  The horrifying photos show what the Los Angeles Times calls "collapse of a city that's lost control" — and what is believed to have left at least one LAPD cop with typhoid.

Ten Plagues of California Are Turning The Golden State into a Third-World Hell Hole.  In your typical Third-World megalopolis, basic city functions fall into disrepair, while once-eradicated diseases run rampant — and the local bigwig boasts about saving the world.  Los Angeles is quickly becoming a typical Third-World megalopolis, and the rest of the state isn't far behind.  Yesterday [6/2/2019] the New York Post reported "rats running everywhere among piles of decaying garbage," in a "sprawling 50-block area that is believed to be the base for around 4,200 homeless people."

Shocking new pictures from downtown LA capture the huge problem it faces with trash and rats amid fear of typhoid fever outbreak among LAPD.  These shocking pictures from downtown Los Angeles capture the growing problem it faces with trash and rodents in a desperate city also trying to contain a typhoid fever outbreak linked to worsening sanitary conditions.  A decision to not cap the total amount of property that homeless people can keep on Skid Row was announced last Wednesday and it sparked fury among some officials who say it will 'only perpetuate the public health crisis that already exists' there.

Dr. Drew says LA public health in 'complete breakdown': 'No city on Earth tolerates this'.  The public health situation in the nation's second-largest city is in "a complete breakdown," Dr. Drew Pinsky said Thursday night on "The Ingraham Angle."  "We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles right now," Pinsky told host Laura Ingraham.  "We have the three prongs of airborne disease, tuberculosis is exploding, (and) rodent-borne.  We are one of the only cities in the country that doesn't have a rodent control program, and sanitation has broken down."

'Sky-High' Trash Piles Found In Los Angeles, Raising Concerns About Typhus.  Apparently, problems with waste are not limited to San Francisco.  NBC4 reported Monday [5/20/2019] that "sky-high" piles of rotting trash were found around Los Angeles, leading some to worry about a new typhus outbreak.  "Even the city's most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA's busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago.  The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms," the outlet reported.  [Video clip]

San Francisco's Quality-of-Life Toll.  San Francisco is the nation's leader in property crime.  Burglary, larceny, shoplifting, and vandalism are included under this ugly umbrella.  The rate of car break-ins is particularly striking: in 2017 over 30,000 reports were filed, and the current average is 51 per day.  Other low-level offenses, including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.  Many in law enforcement blame the crime wave on Proposition 47, which in 2014 downgraded possession of illegal narcotics for personal use and theft of anything under $950 in value from felonies to misdemeanors.  Anti-incarceration advocates disagree with that argument, but theft is indisputably booming, and narcotics activity is exploding on sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds.  When compounded with other troubles for which the city is now infamous (human feces, filth, and homelessness, which is up 17 percent since 2017), San Franciscans find themselves surrounded by squalor and disorder.

California's Housing Bubble's So Bad, 100s Forced To Live On Boats.  California's housing affordability crisis is getting worse.  Affordability in San Francisco is now at 10-year lows, and only one in five households can afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the Bay Area.  The crisis has driven many people onto the water, living on makeshift boats, outside marinas, and wealthy communities.  The floating homeless population in wealthy Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco, has doubled in the last five years to over 100.  The community of 200 barges, sailboats, and other vessels comprise of people who are employed but can't afford to live on land, jobless folks, the homeless, and some people who are mentally ill.

California homelessness is so out of control, people are turning to boats — Dems are clueless.  California is the country's wealthiest and most highly taxed state, but its politicians have utterly failed to tackle the state's most basic problem:  homelessness.  Estimates place California's homeless population at close to 130,000.  To grasp the magnitude of that figure, imagine the entire population of New Haven, Connecticut or Charleston, South Carolina living on the streets.  Much has been written about the problems of feces on San Francisco's streets and needles on the streets in downtown Los Angeles.  But the problem has expanded far beyond those cities.  It has now reached virtually all parts of the state, including, according to reports, the state's water.  In Sausalito just north of San Francisco, neighbors are sparring with local politicians over a homeless population floating off its shores in makeshift boats!

Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to double spending on homelessness — to $1 billion.  Insisting that a fiscally responsible state government can also aid those in need, Gov. Gavin Newsom sent California lawmakers a revised budget Thursday that builds on his efforts to address poverty and homelessness while forecasting the largest tax revenue windfall in state history.  That windfall, Newsom said, will trigger the first-ever payment into a special cash reserve fund for schools and community colleges — a $389-million deposit stashed away specifically for education needs during a future recession.  He also proposed an increase in spending on helping the homeless, raising the total state investment in the upcoming budget year to $1 billion.

Do Most Homeless People In Seattle Have A Substance Abuse Problem?  In the wake of the "Seattle is Dying" news special which aired on KOMO last month, there was some coordinated pushback from Seattle elites.  A PR firm was hired to help coordinate talking points in opposition to the conclusions of the special and in favor of some of the programs already operating in the city.  Those talking points were then rolled out in a series of seemingly unconnected articles at news outlets like the Seattle Times and Crosscut.  One of the arguments made repeatedly in these pieces is that drug use (and also mental illness) are just one part of the problem.

In poop-covered San Francisco, the super-rich prey on the left's merely wealthy.  San Francisco is a city covered in excrement, and now even the wealthy inhabitants of its Embarcadero are going to experience more of it, up close to home and quite personal. [...] Maybe they should have thought of that before they elected an incompetent weakling like Mayor London Breed based on color considerations, or passed Proposition C in that same election, taxing big businesses to pay for More Homeless programs.  The residents aren't the most sympathetic people out there, given their voting patterns.  All the same, this could be some kind of watershed, widening a new fault line on the left, given that tech billionaires were the ones behind this, making a sort of warfare on the merely wealthy.  After all, in San Francisco, there's no one else left.

Squatting takes on a new meaning in San Francisco.  If you're not a resident of the area and are planning to visit the famous City by the Bay but don't have the locals' notorious open-mindedness, where logic falls out and anything else crawls in attitude and want to avoid the excrement, [Adam] Andrzejewski has helpfully included the ZIP codes with the most of it, along with an interactive map of its locations.  Other than this, enjoy your visit!

San Francisco sees 'brownout' amid spike in public pooping, reports say.  San Francisco's streets have long had a problem with human waste, but new reports show that the Bay Area's public bowel movements are worse than ever.  The poop-data was released by Open the Books, a nonprofit government watchdog, which includes all cases closed by the San Francisco Department of Public Works since 2011, Business Insider reported.  There were over 5,000 documented cases in 2011, according to the data.  In 2018, that number rose more than fivefold to over 28,000 reported cases.

This San Francisco Public Pooping Map Is Gross And Also Fascinating.  A group called Open the Books plotted tens of thousands of reported public pooping incidents on a map of San Francisco.  The result looks like a cloud of sewage blanketing the city.

Plan for homeless center in Pelosi's district leads to raucous public meeting; SF mayor jeered.  San Francisco Mayor London Breed was heckled and jeered during a raucous community meeting Wednesday to discuss a controversial homeless center proposal along the city's waterfront that has attracted dueling online fundraisers from critics and supporters.  "Homelessness is the number one problem that we face in our city.  You cannot be upset about homelessness and then when I propose a real solution, then you're upset about it," Breed said while trying to discuss plans to build a 200-bed Homeless Navigation Center in the city's Embarcadero section.  The area is part of California's 12th Congressional District, represented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

San Franciscans raise $46,000 to stop homeless shelter in wealthy area.  When residents from one of San Francisco's most desirable neighborhoods launched a crowdfunding appeal to block a new homeless shelter, the controversial tactic drew an angry response from the city's mayor.  Their campaign on GoFundMe, best known as a site that hosts fundraisers for medical expenses or victims of natural disasters, has raised around $70,000 from hedge fund managers, executives and authors, which will be used to pay for an attorney.  But it also spurred supporters of the shelter to try to beat them at their own game.  Since launching on Thursday, a rival GoFundMe has amassed over $73,000.  And it had drawn hefty contributions of $10,000 each from the Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson and from the company GoFundMe itself.

Wealthy 'NIMBY' libs in Pelosi's SF district raise $60G to fight center for city's homeless.  Rich San Francisco residents in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional district have collected more than $60,000 after starting an online crowdsourcing campaign to wage a legal challenge against a proposed center for the city's homeless.  The campaign, called "Safe Embarcadero for All," was launched March 20 after San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a 200-bed homeless Navigation Center in the city's most desirable location, the Embarcadero along the coast of San Francisco Bay, earlier this month.  "The planned location for Mayor Breed's #megashelter is home to thousands of families, visited by millions of tourists and at the center of some of San Francisco's most iconic events, including the San Francisco Marathon, San Francisco Giants stadium and on one of the busiest bicyclist paths in the city," reads the site posted by the group opposing the construction.

Leftists Have Turned San Francisco Into A Nightmare Of Drugs And Homelessness.  There's no denying that San Francisco is one of America's most beautiful and recognizable cities, but it has been racked with problems thanks to leftist policies that have driven drug addiction and homelessness through the roof.  The Daily Wire's Kassy Dillon and Colton Haas traveled to the city by the bay and spoke to experts and homeless people about the conditions that have encouraged the spread of drugs, disease, and more.  During their trip, they could see the awful condition the city is currently in.

I Went To San Francisco.  What Happened To One Of America's Most Beautiful Cities?  Erica Sandberg, a community advocate and journalist, broke it down for us:  "Right now the major issue — people always call it homelessness — but the major issue is drugs."  While San Francisco has always battled homelessness and currently has about 7,000 homeless people, the drug issue is exacerbating the problem.  The city currently hands out more than 400,000 syringes each month but only 246,000 are returned, leaving 154,000 syringes left on the streets.  We spent our first day walking around the Tenderloin District, only to see our fellow Americans defecating on the sidewalk, shooting up in broad daylight, and overall living in third-world conditions.  In one children's playground we visited, there were wrappers that once held drugs and caps of syringes.

The Crying of Lot 330.  The prospect of a 225-bed homeless shelter on the Embarcadero, one of San Francisco's most scenic and economically vital areas, took residents by surprise.  Only eight days earlier, the proposal had been unveiled to turn what is now a parking lot — Seawall Lot 330 — into the largest homeless shelter of its type in the city.  Neighbors arrived en masse at the Port Commission hearing to express their views.  It was standing-room only, with people crowded on floors and in aisles, and spilling out the door. [...] All spoke passionately about their ties to the neighborhood and how the shelter would erode safety and quality of life.  They worried that it would intensify drug use and other illegal activity and draw additional homeless people onto their property, leaving more needles and feces behind.

L.A. settles homeless rights case, likely limiting ability to clear skid row streets.  The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday [3/6/2019] agreed to settle a pivotal and contentious case on the property rights of homeless people — a decision that is likely to limit the seizure and destruction of encampments on skid row.  The 10-2 vote authorizes City Attorney Mike Feuer to settle a 2016 lawsuit, Carl Mitchell v. Los Angeles, brought by civil rights lawyers on behalf of homeless people and two skid row anti-poverty groups.  Downtown business groups had opposed such a deal, arguing that settling the case would deter redevelopment, and leave skid row and the people who live on its sidewalks mired in squalor.

Rats, Fleas, And Garbage Caused A Typhus Outbreak In Los Angeles.  Typhus is a bacterial infection which is spread by lice, chiggers, and fleas.  Usually, those pests find a home on rats.  The rats in most cases have a population boom because of excessive garbage.  And the disease infects people who come in contact with the rats.  That's what is driving the disease in Los Angeles where an outbreak has been traced to homeless encampments.

Slum by the Bay.  [Scroll down]  San Francisco authorities mostly leave the mentally ill to fend for themselves on the street.  Other vagrants complain about them.  "They make it bad for people like us that hang out with a sign," one beggar told us.  San Francisco is a pretty good place to "hang out with a sign."  People are rarely arrested for vagrancy, aggressive panhandling or going to the bathroom in front of people's homes.  In 2015, there were 60,491 complaints to police, but only 125 people were arrested.  Public drug use is generally ignored.  One woman told us, "It's nasty seeing people shoot up — right in front of you.  Police don't do anything about it!  They'll get somebody for drinking a beer but walk right past people using needles."

Typhus Epidemic Spreads Across Liberal Utopia of Los Angeles Due to Mountains of Trash, Growing Homeless Population.  A typhus epidemic is worsening in the liberal utopia of Los Angeles, California due to a growing homeless population and mountains of rat-infested trash.  Nothing says "progressive" more than a medieval infectious disease like typhus fever spreading through a city in the year 2019.

Typhus Is Spreading in Liberal, Rat-Infested LA County.  There are a lot of rats in LA, and, NO, for once we don't mean the politicians although many qualify.  We mean the little furry creatures who live in squalor and spread diseases.  Last September, a documentary called 'Rats' was screened as a Landmark Theatres Exclusive Midnight Event.  It was frightening because it's real.  Infestations of rats are seen in major cities and elsewhere, and when garbage is left to rot in homeless areas, they become a more serious threat to life.

The Destruction of Venice Beach Epitomizes California's Idiocracy.  Venice Beach, California, used to be one of California's great places. [...] Today, Venice Beach is off limits to families who used to spend their Saturdays on the sand.  It's too dangerous.  On the sand, beached seaweed now mingles with syringes, feces, broken glass, and other trash, and the ocean has become the biggest outdoor toilet in the city.  More than 1,000 vagrants now consider Venice Beach their permanent home.  At the same time as real estate values exploded all along the California coast, the homeless population soared.  In Venice, where the median price of a home is $2.1 million, makeshift shelters line the streets and alleys, as the affluent and the indigent fitfully coexist.

The high price of refusing to face facts about the homeless.  Along with homeless encampments come deadly outbreaks of hepatitis A, typhus and other communicable diseases, driven by attending drug addiction.  Some parts of the city [of San Diego] are littered with syringes.  A desperate San Diego now steam cleans its streets and sidewalks.  Even in expensive neighborhoods, unguarded greenery is often strewn with trash and toilet paper, revealing where homeless people have spent the night.  The city tries to keep the squalor at bay with improved shelter programs.  It even plans to provide 500 bins where the homeless can stash their belongings, but that effort alone will cost the city about $2 million a year in overtime for the cops who guard the lockers.

Homeless Surge Puts Hollywood's Progressive Ideals to the Test.  With swelling transient encampments abutting seven-figure homes, the beachside enclave has emerged as a flashpoint for the inequality shaping Los Angeles — and a real-world test case for the liberal ideology of the area's showbiz residents.

Los Angeles Vice Office Protected By Fence to Keep Out Homeless.  A new report detailing the growing scourge of homelessness in Los Angeles indicates that while many in the media and coastal liberals mock the idea of a border wall for America, they are fine with using fences to maintain their bubbles and keep homeless people out.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles office of Vice News is protected by a fence to keep out the homeless from building tent cities.

Wealth, Poverty, and Flight:  The Same Old State of California.  [B]oth legal and illegal immigration have also radically changed the demography of the state.  It is not just that about 40 percent of the nation's 11 [to] 20 million immigrants live in California, a state in which now one in four residents was not born in the United States.  Rather, it is the result of two or three generations of mass influxes of impoverished residents who on average arrive without a high-school diploma, English proficiency, capital, or often legality.  California now hosts one of three Americans who are on some sort of federal, state, or local welfare supplement.  About a fifth of the state lives below the poverty level.  Half of all births in California were paid for by the state-run Medi-Cal program, and 30 percent of Medi-Cal births were to mothers of undocumented immigration status.  The San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego is the world's busiest, where some 70 million people cross on foot and in cars into and out of California each year.

Residents of San Francisco are now documenting squalor of city's homelessness epidemic.  San Francisco has been battling an ongoing homelessness epidemic for years, but mounting piles of human feces in its streets have become intolerable for many residents — causing citizens to launch their own campaigns exposing the stinky (and dangerous) troubles of the Golden City.  Disgusted business owners and residents are using social media to show the magnitude of the tech-town's indigent encampments in hopes that officials will do more to end rampant public drug use and defecation on the sidewalks.

San Francisco resident says it's a war zone, others post poop and drug pics!  In another postcard from one of America's most liberal cities, San Francisco, residents are now posting poop pics from the homeless in order to protest the [dystopia] that city has become.

The impact homelessness and the opioid crisis are having on San Francisco streets.  Outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown San Francisco, a woman urinates on the sidewalk and smokes a crack pipe.  Inside her purse are about a dozen used heroin needles.  She shoots heroin up to 10 times per day, she says.

Including police OT, storage for homeless people's belongings costs more than an SRO hotel room.  San Diego police expect to pay $2 million in overtime to officers patrolling the neighborhood around the storage center for homeless people that opened in Sherman Heights earlier this year.  The budget projection, which was included in a quarterly monitoring report released last month, pushes the total program expense past $3.7 million this year.  Including the patrols, it means costs associated with the 500 storage bins amount to $600 per bin per month — more than a studio apartment in many single-room occupancy hotels.

One percent of the population commits one eighth of the aggravated assaults in a city of four million.
Los Angeles Doubled its Homeless Budget, Doubled Homeless Crime.  It wasn't all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives.  In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.  Global warming wasn't starting the fires.  People were. [...] This November, the Los Angeles Zoo had to evacuate its animals over a fire in yet another homeless encampment.  That fire not only endangered lives, but diverted resources from fighting the much more serious fires in Ventura County.  But instead of shutting down the encampments, Mayor Garcetti, who has done more to legalize and subsidize homelessness in Los Angeles than any of his predecessors, sent "outreach workers" from the expanding behemoth of the LA Homeless Services Agency to ask them to please move.  That worked about as well as expected.

Homeless Crime in LA is Up 50%.  You get more of what you subsidize.  When you subsidize homelessness as Los Angeles, New York and a number of other cities driving a boom in homelessness have been doing, you get more of it.  And you also get more of the crime that comes with it.

Homeless Crime Jumps Nearly 50 Percent in Los Angeles, LAPD Says.  The number of crimes in which homeless individuals were listed as suspects increased by nearly 50 percent in the city of Los Angeles in 2018.  Crime data provided by the Los Angeles Police Department showed there were 8,906 crime reports between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1 this year in which a homeless person was listed as the suspect, compared with 5,976 for the same time period in 2017.  LAPD officials said most concerning were the disproportionate number of homeless individuals listed as suspects in physical attacks that cause serious injuries, described as, "aggravated assaults," in police records.

Los Angeles Mayor Shouted Down by Protesters During Speech.  Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was forced to end a speech at the University of Southern California on Monday prematurely after protesters began shouting over him about his administration's treatment of the city's homeless population.  The speech, which was intended to be a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, was interrupted after just a few minutes by a man who accused Garcetti of preventing the homeless population from organizing a local government.

Why won't liberals admit their homeless policies don't work?  It's appropriate that the UN special rapporteur devoted to adequate housing has visited encampments in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Mumbai — and San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.  The homeless situation in those cities and others around the country is positively Third World, a blight that shows the persistence of human folly, and misery, despite what we take to be our steady progress to greater enlightenment and prosperity.  San Francisco is a crown jewel of the new economy, and a sink of vagrancy.

Typhus cases hit 100 in Los Angeles as feral cats and rats spread disease among the homeless.  The number of flea-born Typhus cases in Los Angeles has hit 107.  So far this year 72 patients have been recorded by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with a further 15 in Long Beach and 20 in Pasadena.  In the 2000s there were around 20 cases recorded per year and analysts are putting the dramatic rise down to a 47 percent increase in homelessness since 2012.  One official in Long Beach told NBC News that almost half a million potential cases are 'under investigation.'

San Jose to pay homeless $15 an hour to pick up trash.  San Jose, Calif., is combating its litter problem by paying 25 homeless residents to pick up trash around the city's "hotspots."  Downtown Streets Team and Goodwill, which initiated the program, said the idea was to ultimately help participants get back on their feet, the Mercury News reported.

San Francisco:  Now so bad, it'll make you cry.  Twentieth-century San Francisco, Herb Caen's beloved Baghdad by the Bay, has ceased to exist.  It has been replaced by a city where the sidewalks around Market Street are, in places, caked in feces, urine, and vomit.  The stink as you emerge from the BART batters you like frozen sleet, shocking and overwhelming.  The hordes of homeless, sprawled in doorways and sleeping on the sidewalks, are a bitterly eclectic mixture of the mentally deranged; burnt out druggies; dead-eyed hippies; con artists; pickpockets; and hundreds of simply lost, forgotten souls. [...] As I walked the three blocks back to the BART, I was panhandled four times, plus two clumsy pickpocket attempts.  I didn't see a single cop in a car or on foot.  What could they do?  What finally broke my heart were the kids and women, also lying in the streets, drugged, shell-shocked, begging for food.

SF judge throws out charges against homeless people camping on sidewalk.  A San Francisco judge dismissed criminal charges Thursday against three homeless people who were arrested for camping or sleeping on the streets, a decision that follows a federal appeals court ruling barring cities from prosecuting such cases when no shelters are available.  District Attorney George Gascón, who has announced a new policy of charging people with illegal camping only when they reject an offer of an available shelter, did not challenge the dismissals.  But Gascón and Public Defender Jeff Adachi's office appear to be at odds on what a city has to do to make shelters "available."

SF police impound homeless man's car for unpaid parking tickets.  Judge says give it back.  A federal judge has ordered San Francisco police to return a homeless man's car that they towed and impounded because of thousands of dollars in unpaid parking tickets that the owner couldn't afford to pay.  Police cited a state law that allows them to tow vehicles with more than five overdue parking tickets.  But U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of Oakland said Wednesday that, unless officers have a judicial warrant, no known legal precedent "can justify the seizure and retention of a vehicle if its owner cannot afford to pay the parking tickets."  The ruling has prompted homeless advocates to call on police to change their towing practices.

True Blue Liberal California Now Leads The Nation In Poverty.  It was recently revealed that the home of Jerry Brown, Hollywood, Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris is now the most poverty stricken state in the country.  Anyone who has seen the sprawling homeless encampments of greater Los Angeles and San Francisco probably knew this would be the outcome.

I Left My Shoes In San Francisco.  Enter the search term "San Francisco feces map" into Google and it comes back with 1,040,000 results.  Yeah, it's a thing.  San Francisco was always grungy — back in the 1980s, I believe it was comic Bobby Slayton who called it "the city that makes its own gravy" — but it has gone from merely unwashed to actively unflushed.  Sure, it's funny to the rest of us, in a horrifying and disgusting kind of way, just like the fact that the socialist geniuses in Venezuela are forcing the famished locals to gnaw on its zoo's zebras and gnus for sustenance.  You look at these examples of leftism in action and you have to laugh, but what's not funny is that this is not some sort of aberration.  This is the future our liberal elite wants for us, and it's doing everything it can to make it a reeking reality.

Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose.  [Scroll down]  At a time when San Franciscans are dealing with mounds of human feces that foul that once-lovely city, lawmakers spent their summer stopping restaurants and convenience stores from giving out or selling plastic straws.  They also limited the use of packaged condiments.  Not long ago, officials banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, which means that smokers who are trying to quit the habit are out of luck.  The city's decision to hand out needles to addicts actually is a decent idea, but it's bizarre to simultaneously subsidize heroin needles and ban far-more mundane products such as ketchup packages.  It's easy to roll one's eyes at San Francisco, but a bill that would forbid restaurants from handing out plastic straws unless requested by the customer has just landed on the governor's desk.  Furthermore, a second bill that just landed on his desk requires fast-food restaurants to offer water or milk as the default option on any children's meals.  Advocates for the latter see it as a strike against childhood obesity, but it's really just a means to meddle in parents' minor life decisions.  Parents can still order soda for their kids, but restaurants could face $500 fines for providing a soda with the meal.  This is an almost literal example of the "nanny state."

A Perfect Storm Threatens America's Survival.  Except for the rich, American cities are becoming increasingly unlivable as illegal and homeless populations threaten to overwhelm city budgets.  It's so bad in San Francisco that the city has funded poop patrols as that once lovely City by the Bay has become a nightmare to citizens and visitors alike.  Large groups are canceling conventions.  Los Angeles has doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Los Angeles County plans to spend $374 million.  That's 1 percent of a budget meant to service a population of over 10 million going to just 53,193 people.

San Francisco creates 'Poop Patrol' to clean up city's feces-ridden sidewalks.  San Francisco's decrepit, feces-ridden sidewalks are the residents' No. 1 complaint — so the city's newly elected mayor is creating a new clean up patrol to deal with "No. 2."  The California city, which has been battling increasing homelessness over the last couple of years, launched a new pilot program called the "Poop Patrol," which is set to scour targeted neighborhoods looking for human waste.  The city's 311 service has received nearly 14,600 calls about piles of poop, other human waste and dog feces since the beginning of the year.

San Fran Averages 78 Poop in the Street Calls a Day, Others in the Transit System.  San Francisco has been working on their homeless problem and have succeeded in cutting the tent encampments in half by offering shelter to the drug addicts, mentally ill, and others lining the streets.  The behavior of the homeless hasn't improved, however.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports that they are averaging about 78 poop in the street calls a day.  There are about 45 syringes in the street calls a day.  There are more on the trains.  The transit system is littered with syringes, poop, blood, urine, and so on.  Since April janitors have cleaned up more than 13,000 dirty needles left behind at the Civic Center and Powell Street stations.

If You're Going To San Francisco... Think Again.  San Francisco has about 7,500 homeless individuals and is spending $280 million on homeless services for them.  Some simple math reveals that the city could give each homeless resident just over $37,000 per year, a figure well above the minimum wage in most other places, and call it a day.  If you take out the salaries of all the bureaucrats administering these "homeless services," there would likely be more than $100,000 available for each homeless person.  But you know that won't happen in a Democrat-run city, an administrative state, like San Francisco.  How can the city discourage the homeless from using the sidewalks as their toilets?  In their minds, spend more money.

Video appears to show homeless man using drugs on BART train in San Francisco.  A video of a homeless man apparently using drugs on a BART train in San Francisco last month has become another footnote in the city's struggles with quality-of-life issues.  Local news anchor Reggie Aqui posted footage of the man smoking an illegal substance on the BART train right before Powell Street station. [...] The video underscores a dangerous trend occurring in the city.  In April, commuter Shannon Gafford filmed dozens of drug users slumped over and others shooting up at the Civic Center BART and Muni stations.

San Francisco continues to spend big in fight against homelessness — but is it working?  It's a problem that's costing the city of San Francisco hundreds of millions of dollars annually to try to solve — and for its new mayor, something that's starting to become increasingly smelly too.  London Breed says the amount of feces scattered on the streets of the wealthy city in recent months is among the worst she has ever seen, and San Francisco reportedly is set to spend nearly $280 million in its next budget fighting homelessness — an average of $37,300 for each of the city's estimated 7,499 homeless residents.

New SF mayor will try asking homeless to be nice, instead of penalizing them for pooping on the streets.  San Francisco has a brand new mayor, Ms. London Breed, the result of the untimely death of Mayor Ed Lee, and it does not look good for the city coming to grips with a crisis on its streets.  The accumulation of human waste and contaminated drug needles posing a severe threat to the health of its residents and visitors is also a challenge to the survival if the city's biggest industry in terms of employment:  tourism.  A huge medical convention has announced that it will no longer visit San Francisco owing to the health and safety hazards the streets now pose.

The Left-wing Paradise of San Francisco.  Represented in Congress by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and run for years by almost all Democrats, San Francisco should be a mecca for the left.  But the city is fast becoming one of the worst places in the U.S. to live.  The homeless problem is out of control.  Experts say it "could exceed some of the dirtiest slums in the world."  There are around 7,500 homeless people in the city.  Human feces is strewn across public areas.  The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit examined over 150 blocks of downtown San Francisco and found 96 blocks littered with feces.  San Francisco's new mayor, London Breed, observed, "there are more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here."  She says that a cleaning crew will clean up an area, but "right after they leave, maybe an hour or two later, the place is filled with trash again."

SF Mayor Says Her City is Drowning in Poop: 'There's More Feces - Than I've Ever Seen'.  San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the streets of her city are flooded with the excrement of the homeless in an interview Friday [7/13/2018].  Breed, a Democrat who was inaugurated as San Francisco's mayor Wednesday [7/11/2018], urged homeless advocacy groups that receive money from the city to teach homeless people to "clean up after themselves."  "There is more feces on the sidewalks than I've ever seen growing up here," Breed told KNTV.  "That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we're talking about from humans."

San Francisco Is Absolutely Covered in Fecal Matter.  Recently elected San Francisco Mayor London Breed says that the city she loves is absolutely covered in fecal matter and "we are not just talking about from dogs — we're talking about from humans."  Talking about human feces, folks!  Particularly, feces from humans experiencing homelessness right now.  Apparently, the city is so overrun by poverty that people are using virtually all public spaces as their toilet because they cannot afford proper lavatories.  To this extent, Mayor Breed is asking that homelessness advocacy groups and non-profit encourage those they are helping to clean up after themselves.

San Francisco's crisis looks like New York's future.  What happened in San Francisco is obvious.  It stopped prosecuting quality-of-life offenses and, unsurprisingly, the quality of life for the city's residents and visitors decreased sharply.  In 2015, San Francisco courts stopped enforcing bench warrants for such offenses.  Police continued writing up tickets for public drunkenness or sleeping in parks, but when the accused failed to show up to their court appearance a judge simply dismissed the outstanding warrant.  New York started following San Francisco's lead in 2016 when Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced his office would no longer be prosecuting offenses such as public urination.  Both cities have accepted that they'll continue to have a large number of people living on their streets and inevitably using their sidewalks as a toilet.

Increasingly Putrid City by the Bay.  [Scroll down]  I love the city [of San Francisco] and find its decrepit situation depressing.  At least everyone is noticing its tawdriness.  "Trash bags full of approximately 20 pounds of human poop were left on the sidewalk over the weekend in downtown San Francisco," the Fresno Bee reported on Wednesday [7/4/2018].  "It's the latest — and perhaps most alarming — sign of the increased filthiness of one of the most popular cities in the United States."  Those smelly, possibly leaking bags were left in the downscale Tenderloin, but large swaths of upscale areas now resemble an outdoor sewer with human feces, open-air drug use, and other signs of the breakdown of civic order.  The problem of homelessness and drug abuse isn't confined to San Francisco, of course. [...] In fairness, I've seen similar situations throughout the country.  But in San Francisco the disorder isn't confined to alleys and bushes.  The encampments are in plain view and spreading.  The panhandlers can be frighteningly aggressive.

20 Pounds Of Human Feces Left On San Francisco Sidewalk.  According to the Fresno Bee, a trash bag filled with roughly 20 pounds of human feces was left sitting on the sidewalk over the weekend in downtown San Francisco.  "It's the latest — and perhaps most alarming — sign of the increased filthiness of one of the most popular cities in the United States," reports FB.  "The bags of human poop were said to be left in San Francisco's Tenderloin district."

San Francisco Logs Over 16,000 Feces Complaints in One Week.  A website and related app that allows local residents to request maintenance or non-emergency services from the city has received 16,015 complaints with the keyword 'feces' in the last week at the time of this writing, and many pertain to human waste in public places.  Additionally, words and phrases synonymous with 'feces' are found in thousands more grievances.  Many of the complaints also connect the fecal matter to vagrants and homeless encampments — a sight all too common now across California.

SF's appalling street life repels residents — now it's driven away a convention.  In a move that is alarming San Francisco's biggest industry, a major medical association is pulling its annual convention out of the city — saying its members no longer feel safe.  "It's the first time that we have had an out-and-out cancellation over the issue, and this is a group that has been coming here every three or four years since the 1980s," said Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO of S.F. Travel, the city's convention bureau.  D'Alessandro declined to name the medical association, saying the bureau still hopes to bring the group back in the future.

The Editor says...
The Editor and Mrs. Editor went to San Antonio in mid-June for the Republican state convention, and it was surprisingly enjoyable.  It was rather hot outside, and there were some Austin-style eccentrics on the streets, but the area around the convention center is constantly patrolled by the police as well as a bunch of street-cleaning custodians like you'd see in an amusement park.  Forget California, people.  Bring your convention to Texas.

Left Coast Lawlessness.  Seattle's predicament is emblematic of the broader crises faced by many progressive West Coast cities, where local leaders have forced law enforcement to take a hands-off approach to policing unsanctioned tent cities and vagrancy at the expense of public safety and health.  San Francisco, long considered a model of progressive urban policy, is plagued by filth, chaos, and public-safety hazards.  Local leaders plan to spend an incredible $305 million on combatting homelessness for the current fiscal year alone, but disorder spreads as the city fails to enforce the rule of law and basic sanitary measures.  Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco.  Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present.  Tourists are dismayed to leave their downtown hotels, to be confronted by mentally ill and aggressive homeless people who are taking control of the streets.  University of California Berkeley professor Lee Riley, an expert on infectious disease, observes that some of San Francisco's streets are dirtier than Third World slums.

San Francisco Is, Quite Literally, a Toilet.  [Scroll down]  The "breaking point" for the main source for the story, a 46-year-old computer programmer named Ernst Schoen-Rene, was the discovery in April of "a black suitcase with wheels on the corner that had clearly been used as a toilet by homeless people."  "I actually started crying, I got so frustrated," Schoen-Rene tells the Chronicle reporter.  "I flipped out.  I started writing to everybody."  The trouble for these good San Francisco progressives is reconciling their ideology with reality.

Poop. Needles.  Rats.  Homeless camp pushes SF neighborhood to the edge.  "I don't mind a reasonable amount of urban grit," explained [Ernst] Schoen-Rene, a native of Chico who's lived in San Francisco since 1994, always opting for edgy neighborhoods.  He and his wife bought their Isis Street condo in 2010 for $748,000, and by the time he sent the email, he had come to regret it.  He felt stuck, unable to afford anything else in today's nutty housing market or the far higher property taxes that would come with a new purchase.

If You're Going to San Francisco.  You'll find lots of aggressive vagrants, discarded needles, and a few dead bodies there.

San Francisco Tourists Shocked By Aggressive Vagrants, Discarded Needles, Dead Bodies.  San Francisco[,] a Democratic stronghold known for cable cars, quaint architecture and its diverse culture, has become a bastion of squalor and crime as city dwellers and visitors alike dodge aggressive, drug-addled vagrants.

Tourists visiting San Francisco question if they're in 'bad side of town'.  Recent social media posts by tourists visiting San Francisco casts a troubling light on the City by the Bay over its homeless issue, open drug use and filthy streets.  Since the beginning of the year, reports have surfaced of hypodermic needles dotting the streets, piles of human feces and expanding shanty towns for the increasing homeless population — and now tourists are noticing, SFGate reported.  "Is this normal or am I in a 'bad part of town?'" an Australian Reddit user asked the San Francisco Reddit community Wednesday.  "Why is this city so terrifying?" a Canadian visitor asked on Reddit Sunday [6/10/2018].

Used Needles Littering San Francisco Streets As Heroin Crisis Grips NorCal.  San Francisco residents are complaining about a record number of used and discarded syringes littering the streets, as a growing heroin epidemic grips Northern California.  The city distributes nearly 5 million needles each year through various programs aimed at reducing HIV and other health risks for drug users who might otherwise share needles.

San Francisco's many free syringes are littering its streets.  San Francisco hands out millions of syringes a year to drug users but has little control over how they are discarded and that's contributing to thousands of complaints.

About those needles littering the streets of San Francisco... The city gave them out.  For all of City Hall's tough talk of late about getting needles off the streets, the city itself is responsible for helping fuel the problem — handing out millions of syringes a year with little or no controls over their return.  And while the easy access to clean syringes is intended to protect public health, the city's residents are not happy with the situation.

Asian immigrants put their foot down at liberals dumping homeless at their door in the O.C..  Liberals were in for a surprise when legal Asian immigrant families fought back at their efforts to dump the homeless of Orange County into their ICity of Irvine community, thinking that since they were Asians, they wouldn't complain. [...] The people they didn't want dumped into their community to mix it up with their school children and tiger moms were these:  [Photo at left]  According to MyNewsLA.com, the cleanup of this Santa Ana River camp has left 404 tons of garbage, 13,950 needles, and 5,279 pounds of human waste.  You kind of wonder who had to count those needles and weigh all the vomit and excrement.  Sound like great neighbors for property values and schoolchildren safety.  Which of course is why they protested.

Homeless 'mansion' pops up near Space Needle.  A group of homeless people built a tent "mansion" in a small patch of grass between Third Avenue and Broad Street.  It's a half a block from Seattle's most famous tourist attraction and surrounded by multi-million dollar high-rise condos.

Calif. Big Cities Face Public Health Issues Caused by Rise in Homelessness.  Two of California's biggest and richest cities are facing a public health issue, which centers around the growing homeless problem.

San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism.  In November of 2017 alone, 6,211 needles were collected while via the 311 App, 1,498 requests were made to clean up human feces.  The public defecation problem has become so intolerable in San Francisco that private citizens have built an online map to track the concentrations of poop in the city, so that pedestrians may know to avoid certain areas.  And it's not just poop.  The overwhelming smell of urine on parts of Mission Street and Market Street would make your nose bleed.  I recall the first time I rode BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Francisco's subway system) and was nearly knocked over by the sheer stench of the station.  I was surprised to learn that exiting the station supplied little to no relief — the urine smell hangs heavy in the more populated areas of the city and is nearly inescapable.  In a dark twist of humor, the city has had to replace numerous different street poles due to urine eroding the foundation.  What drives a large part of the human waste issue is San Francisco's homeless population.  The homeless epidemic in San Francisco is tragic and frightening — in a 47-square mile city, we have around 7,500 homeless people, meaning there are approximately 160 homeless people per square mile.

Homeless encampment relocation plan has California residents outraged.  A plan to house hundreds of homeless people in a tent city near a popular Southern California park was met with fierce public resistance, forcing an upcoming vote to rescind the scheme.  The Orange County Board of Supervisors is set to meet Tuesday to figure out where to relocate people, after a federal judge forced the county to come up with a plan to house the homeless population located along the Santa Ana River.  One proposal would place about 400 people near the county-owned Orange County Great Park in Irvine, located 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.  The park, which is home to a farmers market and a hot air balloon ride, is popular with families on weekends.

California Has Become a Disgraceful State.  At one time, California was the envy of America, attracting people from around the nation to move to a state offering opportunity and the chance to pursue ambitious dreams.  With scenic beauty, the Pacific Ocean coastline, the major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California recruited entrepreneurs looking for economic growth.  As the home of Hollywood and multitudes of celebrities, California presented an enticing potential to enjoy "lifestyles of the rich and famous."  Today, California has become an economic and cultural disaster.  The state is home to over 114,000 homeless people, one quarter of the total in the nation.  In San Francisco, a health crisis has developed as the homeless have created a mess in the downtown area, littering it with fecal matter, spent needles and piles of trash.

How can a place with 58,000 homeless people continue to function?  Homelessness affects the lives of all Angelenos, not just those forced to live on the streets.  And it does so almost daily, in ways large and small.  Consider the pairs of thick gloves that George Abou-Daoud has stashed inside the nine restaurants he owns on the east side of Hollywood.  When a homeless person accosts his customers, Abou-Daoud says, he can no longer count on the police for help; unless there's an imminent threat to safety, he contends, they don't respond quickly and can't just haul the person away.  So he's had to take matters into his own hands, literally, by physically ejecting problematic homeless people himself.  That's why he has the gloves — to keep his hands clean.

The Politics of San Francisco's Homelessness Problem.  About a year ago, in January 2017, Leilani Farha visited the city of San Francisco and was appalled at the extent of the substandard housing conditions suffered by San Francisco's homeless population. [...] This is particularly disturbing when one considers that California is the most populous and the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world.  San Francisco has made some effort to deal with homelessness.  The city spent $275 million on homelessness in the fiscal year that ended in June 2017 and is expanding that to $305 million for the year that ends in June 2018.  But that is not enough, since there is a long waiting list for nighttime shelters.  Visitors to San Francisco are appalled to see persons on sidewalks committing drug crimes such as injecting themselves with needles.  And the city has areas now fouled by the smell of human waste.

Orange County's Largest Homeless Camp Cleared Out.  Last September I wrote about a homeless camp which had grown up along the bike path which stretches along the Santa Ana River in Orange County, California.  Residents in the area complained about trash, human waste, and crime.  People living in the camps were constantly in fear of violence from those nearby, many of whom have substance abuse or mental health problems.  Last week, after a lengthy legal battle involving the ACLU, a judge ruled that Orange County could begin to clear out the camps so long as people were given a place to go.

'National disgrace': Community fights back as California overrun by homelessness, human waste, needles.  The specter of homeless encampments steadily expanding across the downtown streets of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco — bringing with them a public health crisis — has one southern California community taking tough action to dismantle a two-mile-long camp just a short drive from Disneyland.  In a departure from the approach taken by other local governments in the state, officials in Orange County, Calif., have started to clear out the camp — by moving occupants and hauling away literally tons of trash and hazardous waste.

6 Points to Consider in the Debate About Homelessness.  Homelessness isn't just an Orange County problem, of course.  It's a growing mess throughout California and the nation.  I've seen communities of all sizes and political dispositions wrestle unsuccessfully with it for decades.  Cities such as San Francisco that throw money at the problem become magnets for homelessness, with sections of the city resembling an outdoor sewer.  Other communities, including Los Angeles, have tried to more aggressively roust the people sleeping under freeways, along riverbeds and in public parks.

L.A. County's homeless problem is worsening despite billions from tax measures.  Los Angeles County's homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region's homelessness agency. [...] As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county's comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple, a [Los Angeles] Times analysis of the report found.

Los Angeles votes to tax itself to raise billions to support the homeless.  Homelessness advocates in America's second largest city were savoring a seeming double victory after Los Angeles voters appeared to choose to tax themselves to raise more than $3.5 [billion] for homeless services over the next decade, and comprehensively knocked down a second measure that would have slammed the brakes on many housing developments.  Tuesday's [3/7/2017] election was the second in a row in which voters aligned with LA's political leadership in calling for a massive funding effort to move tens of thousands of homeless people into permanent housing and provide the "wraparound" services they need to overcome addiction, mental health and other challenges.

Seattle Underbelly Exposed as Homeless Camp Violence Flares.  So dangerous is this city's biggest homeless camp, called the Jungle — three ragged miles stitched along the underbelly of Interstate 5 — that if a fire broke out there today, firefighters would not be allowed in without an armed police escort.  State lawmakers are considering a razor-wire fence around the camp, separating it from the city at a cost of $1 million.

San Francisco homeless remain in 'unhealthy' tent city despite order to vacate.  About 30 tents remained in place Friday [2/26/2016] as the deadline for homeless people to vacate a San Francisco tent city came and went without any action.  The homeless living in the encampment had until 5 p.m. Friday to clear out, Sam Dodge, the mayor's point person on homelessness, said.  City officials and the San Francisco Police have not said what they intend to do with the tent residents.

San Francisco homeless crisis sparks bitter debate over the tents lining its streets.  "A city of tents" — that is how a local government official chose to describe San Francisco, fuelling a bitter divide in a city that is dealing with a mounting number of homeless people.  Scott Wiener, who is on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is determined to close down the tents for homeless people on the city pavements.  Homeless charities, however, say these inhabitants have nowhere else to go.  In a Medium blog, Mr Wiener said:  "Permitting these encampments is neither humane nor progressive."

L.A. lawmakers to declare 'state of emergency,' commit more than $100 million to fight homelessness.  Los Angeles elected leaders announced Tuesday [9/22/2015] that they will declare a "state of emergency" on the growing homelessness problem in the city and commit $100 million toward housing and other services for homeless people.  The proposal, which was presented at a City Hall press conference attended by City Council members and Mayor Eric Garcetti, coincides with a Garcetti administration proposal, issued late Monday, that aims to free up nearly $13 million in newly anticipated excess tax revenue for short-term housing initiatives.

The Editor says...
Homeless people in the streets is a chronic problem, but it's not an emergency.  It is a condition that has developed over several decades, as a result of left-wing nanny-state policy, driven by emotion rather than reason.

Big Apple Versus Big Toilet.  Not long ago, I asked [San Francisco] Mayor Ed Lee what he sees as contributing factors to San Francisco's high P.U. quotient.  His answer:  The drought means less rain to wash away human waste.  Other cities have winters that prompt street people to move to better climates.  Development has claimed space that used to house homeless encampments.  He also credited "historic levels of drug use" from "people who don't get held responsible for their behavior."  Lee has a solid point on each of those factors.  I would add another:  pride.  San Franciscans are proud of the city's vaunted tolerance.  Lest they seem intolerant, many locals have been reluctant to complain about the pervasive smell of urine and occasional glimpses of public defecation until conditions become impossible to ignore.

San Francisco uses paint to fight public urination.  Public urination has gotten so bad in San Francisco that the city has painted nine walls with a repellant paint that makes pee spray back on the offender.

L.A. councilman takes aim at tiny homes on wheels.  Tiny wooden homes on wheels, roughly the size of garden sheds, have popped up on San Pedro streets as a temporary way to house the homeless. [...] But after a handful of similar structures appeared in San Pedro, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino said he wants them removed immediately, calling them "a threat in many ways to our public safety."

Avert Your Eyes and Hold Your Nose.  Downtown San Francisco feels like a large public toilet without enough janitors.  More than once this year, I've seen men drop their pants in public places — including at Fifth and Market — to leave a smelly mess on the sidewalk.  You can walk for blocks and never escape the stench of stale urine.  At lunchtime, I see street people passed out on high-traffic sidewalks, and I am afraid to walk around them.  The homeless have been a problem in San Francisco for as far back as anyone remembers, but to me it seems this year is the worst.

$213 million earmarked to track L.A. homeless by computer, house 1,400.  A coalition of public and private agencies announced Tuesday that it is funneling $213 million to house 1,400 homeless people and to expand a tracking and placement system it hopes will end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County over the next two years.  The placement tool, called the coordinated entry system, is designed to replace a confusing patchwork of entry points to homeless housing and services with a single computerized portal that reaches every corner of the county.

The Editor says...
That's $152,000 per homeless person — enough to buy a house for each of them.

Rise in gay homeless people threatens San Francisco's name as gay-friendly mecca.  Thanks to the equality rights work of pioneers such as the politician and activist Harvey Milk, San Francisco has a reputation as the gay capital of the world.  But as the city recovers from its 43rd gay Pride festival at the weekend, attended by more than 1.5 million people, it must confront an uncomfortable issue.

Paradise Lost: CA to Provide Free Cell Phones for Homeless.  In California, the unemployment rate may be above 10.2%, and the state debt may be above $16 billion, the state's GDP may be in serious trouble and businesses may be leaving in droves due to ever-increasing tax rates, but that isn't going to stop the gravy train for the state's poor and dispossessed.  The California Public Utilities Commission is all set to greenlight a new program that would give homeless and low-income people free cell phones — call them Obamaphones — with free service.

Homeless People Shower on New Bus in San Francisco.  In May, San Francisco introduced the "Hook-up Truck," providing intimate space for couples on the go.  Now, the city is welcoming the "Lava Mae," a public shower on a bus, aimed at the city's large homeless population.  San Francisco has been fighting a losing battle with homelessness for decades.  City officials concede that they have made little progress over the years despite massive spending, amounting to $34 per homeless person per day.

Oh, good!  Now they have the right to urinate in the street.
California lawmaker proposes 'homeless bill of rights'.  California law protects its residents from discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation.  Now a state lawmaker is pushing to add another category to the list:  homelessness.  New legislation titled the "Homeless Bill of Rights" by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco is meant to keep communities from rousting people who have nowhere to turn.

The Editor says...
Somehow the writer failed to include words like vagrant and vagabond, and only the commenters used words like drifter and bum and panhandling.  Homeless people generally are homeless for a reason — usually a lifetime of bad decisions.  This makes them poor candidates for long-term employment, which is apparently the motivation for the proposed legislation discussed in the article above.  Please keep in mind that many of the chronically homeless who need protection are really in need of incarceration for their own good.  Street-corner beggars pay no taxes, so if they bring in $20 an hour, they're probably better off than you.  Even the ones who claim to be hungry will throw away food if someone gives it to them.  Give a couple of bananas to a "hungry" roadside beggar and see what he or she does with them.

The Road to Hell.  [The San Francisco Chronicle] was practically drooling over a bizarre, new program being launched in San Francisco.  The city will be giving a homeless person a four-legged friend to foster:  a homeless pup from the pound.  But the transient won't get the pick of the litter, but a "problematic" dog.  And since California is overflowing with money (LOL), the city will generously throw in a stipend to care for the pet.  What could possibly go wrong here?  First off, raise your hands if you think that many of these street people will actually use the added income for the benefit of their new best friends?  When the call of booze and cocaine beckons, what will happen to Rover's Purina?

California Deficit Soars to $16 Billion — Governor Wants Tax Hikes.  Democrat Governor Jerry Brown announced the devastating news today [5/12/2012] on a web video.  Brown says there will be even deeper cuts, mostly to education, if voters do not approve tax hikes in November.

Your Money or Your Schools.  As a child, I was fond of adventure stories about the exploits of pirates, highwaymen, and miscreants of all sorts.  In every such tale there was the moment when the dashing if disreputable protagonist confronts a gaggle of respectable folk and proclaims, "Stand and deliver.  Your money or your life!"  At the age of eight, armed with capguns and sporting a red bandana, I thought those were words to live by.  Today, they are just words for politicians to live by. [...] That seems to be what Gov. Jerry Brown is up to in the Golden State.  On May 12, Brown posted his own "money or your life" extortion video online.

The Editor says...
Oh dear.  If only California's politicians could think of something to cut from the budget.  Like this:


High speed rail:

Introduction by The Editor:
California has now given up on its intra-state high-speed rail line.  The taxpayers are stuck with the tab, but nobody else cares, because this was a service for which there was no demand.  The lesson is simple:  If there is a demand for high-speed rail service, and a sufficient number of passengers are willing to pay the high ticket price, a private company will build the system.  It's called capitalism.  The California method is an abject failure, which should be a harsh lesson about socialism, but the politicians don't get it.

How We Pale to Previous Generations.  We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.  Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?  Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line.  But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns, and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up.  The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno — and not yet a foot of track laid.

Bullet Train Workers Reportedly Told To Suppress Bad News, Lawmaker Reacts.  People working on California's high speed rail have reportedly been told to keep their mouths shut and not openly talk about about any bad news related to the project.  Several high-profile members of the construction management team in Fresno said the company overseeing the project told them not to say anything about why the project has repeatedly fallen behind schedule and why the cost has exploded, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.  However, that supervising company claims the article is wrong.  California Assemblymember Jim Patterson, a longtime opponent of the project, believes this is further evidence of wrongdoing within the High-Speed Rail Authority.  "This is something that I think is so serious that it calls into question criminal behavior," said Patterson.

California bullet train adds another $1.3 billion to projected price tag.  The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Wednesday bumped its overall cost estimate for completing the rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco to $80.3 billion, blaming inflationary increases and better cost projections for a $1.3-billion boost that still is smaller than in previous years.  After years of embarrassing cost overruns and delays, managers of California's ambitious bullet-train project insisted that they are on pace to meet a preliminary 2022 federal deadline for laying track along the first segment in the Central Valley.  But that will use up virtually all the money the project has available.

California Off the Rails, State a Disaster Zone.  When former California Gov. Jerry Brown announced his ill-conceived, ill-fated high-speed train that no one wanted, and no one ever thought would be completed, he unwittingly sent the message that the once Golden State would soon be spiraling into disaster.  Before current Gov. Gavin Newsom killed the train, California had squandered $5 billion on the boondoggle, and cost projections soared billions more from the original estimate.  New York Times' analysts pegged the train's final total at a staggering $100 billion.  Brown envisioned himself as a forward-thinking leader who would secure California's self-proclaimed position as the nation's preeminent cutting-edge state.  Brown put California on the cutting-edge, all right, but of catastrophe.

High-speed rail route took land from farmers.  The money they're owed hasn't arrived.  John Diepersloot squinted under a bright Central Valley sun, pointing to the damage to his fruit orchard that came with the California bullet train.  He lost 70 acres of prime land.  Rail contractors left mounds of rubble along his neat rows.  Irrigation hoses are askew.  A sophisticated canopy system for a kiwi field, supported by massive steel cables, was torn down.  But what really irritates Diepersloot is the $250,000 that he paid out of his own pocket for relocating wells, removing trees, building a road and other expenses.

Can California Be Saved, or Is It Too Late?  Jerry Brown's imaginary high-speed rail that was to initially run from Bakersfield to Merced in Central California is a bust.  The cost was projected to be $77 [billion] but has forecast to be $98 [billion]!  It most likely will never be completed.  Billions have been wasted.

California 'hi speed rail' plan now pondering old fashioned diesel trains to salvage something from the failed project.  Nobody with any authority over it can admit that Jerry Brown's pet project, a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is a multi-billion dollar fiasco and pull the plug to avoid squandering additional billions of dollars from taxpayers.  Governor Gavin Newsom has "temporarily" downsized the project, promising to build only the 165 mile segment from Merced to Bakersfield in the flat Central Valley, a trip that few people would ever make at the sort of fares necessary to sustain high speed rail service, a premium-priced commodity everywhere in the world with high speed rail.  (The barely high-speed Acela trains between DC and Boston charge fares comparable to airlines.)  Very few executives need to travel from Merced to Bakersfield quickly.

Trump Cancels California Rail Boondoggle Funding.  In a move that is certain to enrage the perpetually-enraged political left and our fake news media, the Trump Administration today moved to rescind a portion of the $3.5 billion in federal funds previously dedicated to California's disastrous high-speed rail boondoggle.

Taxpayers Can't Dodge Bullet Train.  [Scroll down]  Eleven years later, the critics have been mostly right.  A [Los Angeles] Times news story this week, based on an internal draft of the High Speed Rail Authority's forthcoming report to the Legislature, found, "The cost of building a 119-mile section of the California bullet train in the Central Valley is projected to increase by $1.8 billion."  Note that the cost overruns are in the simplest place to build, along a flat agricultural plain.  And just how many people are itching to ride this downsized rail line from Bakersfield to Merced? [...] The project is not going to do anything about climate change, but is more likely to be an underused monument to government waste.

Ballooning Costs, Missed Deadlines Derail California High-Speed Rail Project.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he is pulling the plug on the state's massive high-speed rail project after it incurred enormous cost overruns that pushed the potential price tag to more than $77 billion and put the project more than a decade behind schedule.  The controversial project championed by Newsom's predecessor, Jerry Brown, was intended to link Los Angeles to San Francisco.  Voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 to finance and build the approximately 520-mile rail line.  At the time, it was estimated the project would cost $33 billion and be completed by 2020.  Officials said they hoped to connect the line to San Diego and Sacramento eventually.

Canceled! California's billion-dollar boondoggle train.  The train never made practical sense in a state where automobiles, though vilified, are by far the principal mode of transportation.  After purchasing an expensive (though subsidized) train ticket, what were the few who chose to ride the train to do once they reached their destination — rent a car?  California already spent over $5 billion on the train, but estimates to finish the project have now exploded to a staggering $77 billion!  The completion date has been pushed back all the way to 2033.

US DOT cancels $929 million in grants for California's aborted high-speed rail project.  California's top officials spear-headed a lawsuit to end the implementation of President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.  Now, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has cancelled millions in grants for the high speed rail project that has been substantially scaled back by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Trump's plan to take back $2.5 billion in California's high-speed rail funding 'unprecedented'.  The Trump administration's decision to cancel a $929-million grant to California's troubled high-speed rail project and claw back $2.5 billion in funds already spent has thrust the federal government into uncharted legal territory and poses an existential threat to the state's largest investment ever.  Never before, experts say, has the federal government attempted to take back such a large sum of money from California, particularly after it was spent under federal supervision.

Trump Takes Back $1 Billion from California; Gavin Newsom Complains: 'Political Retribution'.  The Trump administration announced Tuesday [2/19/2019] that it was canceling a federal grant to California worth nearly $1 billion after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the cancelation of the state's high-speed rail project last week.  Newsom used his "State of the State" address Feb. 12 to cancel the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles project, saying it "would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long" to complete.  However, he told legislators he wanted to complete the portion of the bullet train under construction in the rural Central Valley, lest the state lose federal dollars granted to California by President Barack Obama as part of the 2009 stimulus:  "I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump," Newsom said.

Trump administration to cancel $929 million in California high-speed rail funding.  The fate of California's high-speed rail project was cast into further doubt Tuesday when the federal government announced plans to cancel $929 million in grant funds, a move U.S. officials linked to violations of the grant agreement but some view as political payback.  The action marks an escalation in the battle between President Trump and the state of California since Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week that the project lacked a path to complete a statewide system and vowed to scale back the $77-billion mega-project.  The Transportation Department also said it was "actively exploring every legal option" to get back an additional $2.5-billion grant that is being used to finance the construction of 119 miles of rail line in the Central Valley.

Trump Admin To Newsom:  We're Coming For The High-Speed Rail Money, Pal.  Gavin Newsom may want to keep the federal subsidies for California's stunted high-speed rail project, but the Trump administration wants the cash back.  After Newsom reset the project from a connection between the state's two largest metropolises to a ten-figure project to connect two cities with a combined population of under 600,000, the new governor also declared that he'd hang onto $3.5 billion from Washington.  It didn't take long for collectors to come knocking.

CA Gov. Newsom Just Delivered a Huge Blow to AOC's 'Green New Deal'.  During his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said his administration is putting a halt to the highly anticipated high-speed rail that would travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  "Let's be real.  The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long.  There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency," Newsom said during his first address.  The cost of building the train, at last estimate, was put at $77 billion and wouldn't be completed until 2033, the Associated Press reported.

Gavin Newsom calls SF-to-LA high-speed rail unrealistic, pushes for route from Bakersfield to Merced.  During Gov. Gavin Newsom's first State of the State speech Tuesday, he surprised listeners by announcing he would put the quest for high-speed rail connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles championed by his predecessor far on the back burner.  Instead, Newsom offered a consolation prize:  high-speed rail between Bakersfield and Merced.

California's High Speed Rail Finally Stops Pining for the Fjords.  By the time [Governor] Newsom pulled the plug on the boondoggle, it had already swelled to $77 to $98 billion in projected costs for the unlikely goal of reducing automotive travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  The original cost was estimated to be $25 billion.  The good news is that the most incredibly expensive part of this colossal waste of taxpayer money is now cancelled.  No more worrying about paying for extremely expensive land or 13.5 mile tunnels or how to span active earthquake faults.  This is progress!

Could California's Doomed Bullet Train Fund Trump's Border Wall?  California Gov. Gavin Newsom just pulled the plug on the state's bullet train boondoggle.  President Trump should demand the $3.5 billion the federal government dumped into this black hole back, so he can put it to better use building the border wall.

Trump Demands Gavin Newsom Return $3.5 Billion for Canceled Bullet Train; Newsom:  It's 'California's Money' Now.  President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday evening that the State of California return $3.5 billion in federal funds after Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled most of the state's high-speed rail project, saying it was too expensive.  "California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars," the president tweeted.  "They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars.  We want that money back now.  Whole project is a 'green' disaster!"

California Further Proves that Public High-Speed Rail Projects Are Stupid.  California governor Gavin Newsom has now abandoned the high-speed railway that would have linked Los Angeles and San Francisco.  The ballot measure was proposed in 2008, then estimated to cost $33 billion, with an expected completion date of 2020.  Before being scrapped, the expected cost to complete the railway was $77 billion, and the timeline for completion stretched to 2033. [...] This particular project involved one high-speed railway connecting two cities less than 400 miles apart.  Construction of this railway began in 2013, and we have to imagine that, given what we've seen, a completion date of 2033 and a price tag of $77 billion is a wildly generous expectation.

Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously.  The bullet train is dead.  Mostly.  California's new governor, the prim and grim Gavin Newsom, announced that the project would be taken off its $650-million-a-month life-support apparatus and euthanized.  The end of the project leaves Californians with no way to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco except a 90-minute, $149 flight.  (Or driving.) [...] This is the "problem" that California has tried to solve with a $77 billion boondoggle.  At the time of its demise, the bullet train was years behind schedule, had spent more than seven times its originally allocated budget, and, of course, carried no passengers.

California scrapping plan for $77B high-speed rail from LA to San Francisco.  California is scrapping current plans to build a $77 billion high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to California due to high costs.  The state's governor, Gavin Newsom, said during his State of the State address on Tuesday that the proposal would "cost too much" and "take too long."

By Law, California High Speed Rail May Be Doomed To Fail.  For $100 billion Jerry Brown, Arnold and Gavin in are going to give you a train from Bakersfield to Madera!!  Of course they do not have the $100 billion and no idea where they money to build or operate the system — so very few riders will come from Bakersfield to go to Madera (a great community).  The 99 freeway will continue to have lots of cars using it — the train to nowhere will not operate due to lack of operating cash.

The Boondoggle Continues.  Well, a few remaining Republicans in Sacramento managed to get an audit done.  The price tag is up to 77 billion dollars.

Rushed construction cost high-speed rail $600 million and delays mount.  California's High Speed Rail Authority is still paying for a costly decision five years ago to begin construction in the Central Valley without securing land and before it had completed key plans, according to a report published on Thursday [11/15/2018] by State Auditor Elaine Howle.  Howle's office estimated that the rushed construction contributed to $600 million in cost overruns just for segments in the Central Valley.  They may require as much as $1.6 billion more.

California's $77 billion bullet train will be one of the state's great embarrassments:  Larry Ellison.  Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are on the same page when it comes to California's $77 billion high-speed rail project.  "Trains leave when you don't want to leave, from a place you don't want to leave from, and take you to a place you don't want to go to, at a time you don't want to get there, and then you have to get into a car and go wherever you're going.  It is a crazy system," said Ellison during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" on Thursday [10/25/2018].  Ellison, who said he hasn't spoken to Musk about the train, noted that their views are in-line.

Gavin Newsom's Bullet Train To Nowhere.  Gavin Newsom is the Democratic candidate for Governor of California who is widely expected to win next month thanks to the state's overwhelming blue tilt.  This week Newsom was asked about his plans for California's bullet train project and he said he would settle for building half of it as a way to rescue the project that is already way over budget.

Californians To Try To Kill High-Speed Rail Project By Referendum.  Remember that high-speed rail project that was going to bring California's infrastructure into the 21st century?  The last we really heard about it was back in April when an audit was scheduled to take stock of just how far in the hole they were and if it could ever be finished.  Of course, that's been the story of this project from the beginning.  One delay after another compounded by flawed budget estimates and construction schedules.  Mix in a bit of political incompetence and malfeasance and you've got a recipe for disaster.  This running boondoggle has been dragging on for ages, creating a black pit of despair where Californians' tax dollars go to die.  But now that may be about to change.  Fresh off their advances in attempting to recall the recent gas tax package, one group is now working on a referendum plan to stop the entire mess and redirect the money to fixing their roads.

Inflation and delays could add billions more to bullet train project costs.  The California bullet train project has cost state taxpayers an average $3.1 million a day over the last year — a construction spending rate higher than that for the Bay Bridge, Boston's Big Dig or any U.S. transportation project in recent history.  But still it's not enough, planners say.  In order to hit its 2033 deadline and $77-billion budget, the California High Speed Rail Authority will have to increase daily spending by up to nine times over the next four years or risk putting the already-delayed system further behind.

The Bullet Train No California Candidate Wants To Talk About.  The open primary for the California governor's race is coming up in a couple of weeks and there's a packed field of no less than 27 candidates on the ballot. [...] These folks are all out on the campaign trail and the Democrats are all competing to demonstrate which one of them hates President Trump the most and will be the best leader of the #RESIST movement.  On top of that, they all have to figure out how to deal with a housing crisis, disastrous roads in need of repair, an ongoing drought, wildfires, mudslides and a state economy which is somehow still in the black for the moment but is predicted to hit a wall by 2020.  But there's one thing you aren't hearing about from any of them.  Nobody is talking about the long-delayed and massively over budget bullet train.  Why do you suppose that is?

High speed rail construction
The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece of California's Transportation Future.  California's transportation future is bright.  In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way.  Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies.  In Southern California from the aerospace hub surrounding LAX to the Mojave desert, heavily funded consortiums experiment with everything from passenger drones to hyperloop technologies to hypersonic transports.  It's all happening here.  It's wondrous.  Meanwhile, instead of preparing the roads for smart cars, or designing hubs that integrate buses and cars-on-demand with aerial drones and hyperloop systems, the centerpiece of California's transportation future is a train that isn't very fast, being built at what is probably the highest cost-per-mile in the history of transportation, which hardly anyone will ever ride.


Hyperloop Is Running Circles Around California's 'High Speed' Rail.  Just five years ago, Elon Musk proposed his breakthrough "hyperloop" transportation idea, and there is already talk of building it in major urban areas.  Over those same five years, California's government-funded high-speed rail project has seen nothing but cost overruns and delays.

Feds To Audit CA High-Speed Rail Project As Funding Flounders.  With a new study out showing that California doesn't have the funding to complete even the first phase of their high-speed rail project, the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation will open the books to see how federal monies have been spent: [...] That's bad news for a project that has already had plenty of bad news over the last several years.  The IG will apparently focus mainly on how the FRA has performed in reporting on California's progress rather than the performance of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The great California train wreck.  Let me just say from the outset that I still miss California. [...] Somehow, we got along fine without a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  A maniacal pipe dream of Gov. Jerry Brown, its price tag was increased last week to $77.3 billion.  The train's projected opening date has been pushed back another four years, to 2033.  When this thing is done, they claim, you will be able to zip between Southern California and Baghdad by the Bay in only three hours.  Minus any time spent restoring track after a particularly bad earthquake.

Jerry Brown's half-fast 'bullet train' front man admits Californians deserve another vote on the project.  In 2008, California voters were duped into narrowly approving (with 52.6% of the vote) a $9.95 billion bond issue for construction of a purported "bullet train" linking San Francisco and Los Angeles, based in specious cost estimates and promises that could not be (and have not been) fulfilled.

California's Bullet Train To Fiscal Oblivion.  California's bullet train project, also known as Jerry Brown's Folly, has turned into a fiscal nightmare for the Golden State.  Not only are the cost estimates soaring, but the time table has once more been shifted back.  Based on current estimates, it may turn out to be the biggest fraud in the history of public works.

Cost for California bullet train system rises to $77.3 billion.  The price of the California bullet train project jumped sharply Friday when the state rail authority announced that the cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $77.3 billion and could rise as high as $98.1 billion — an uptick of at least $13 billion from estimates two years ago.  The rail authority also said the earliest trains could operate on a partial system between San Francisco and Bakersfield would be 2029 — four years later than the previous projection.  The full system would not begin operating until 2033.  The disclosures are contained in a 114-page business plan that was issued in draft form Friday [3/9/2018] by the rail authority before public hearings and formal submission to the Legislature in about 60 days.

California bullet train costs soar to $77B; opening delayed.  The projected cost of California's bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles has jumped to $77 billion and the completion date has been pushed back four years to 2033, according to a business plan released Friday [3/9/2018].  The plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority presents the latest setbacks for a project that's been beleaguered by delays and cost overruns since voters first gave it the green[ ]light in 2008.

Vacant lots, empty homes and dying orchards on bullet train route attract squatters, vandals and thieves.  Charlene Hook cherished her home of 30 years north of Corcoran, where pomegranate and pistachio orchards stretched for miles.  So choosing to burn it down last year was a difficult decision.  She and her husband had no plans to leave their 2½ acres until the day the state bullet train authority said its rails would go through their bedroom.  Not long after the couple moved out, thieves broke into the house and stripped almost everything of value — even taking the doors off her husband's shop where he restored classic cars.  Soon her former longtime neighbor's homes were being burglarized and vandalized.

Electricity Cost:  CA vs U.S. — and TX.  California has high income taxes.  Texas has none.  The workers in Texas do not have to pay bribes to work — in many places in California they have to pay extortion.  California is building a high speed rail from L.A. to San Fran, for $200 billion of taxpayers money.  Texas is building a high speed rail from Houston to Dallas, approximately 300 miles for NO tax dollars — all private funds.  Local cities will build the stations in exchange for development around the stations.

Will Unfinished Train Overpasses Become California's Stonehenge?  Californians thought high-speed rail was a great idea when they voted for it in 2008.  The state is overwhelmingly progressive.  Silicon Valley reflects California's confidence in new-age technology.  Californians are among the highest-taxed citizens in the nation.  They apparently are not opposed to borrowing and spending for ambitious government projects — especially to alleviate crowded freeways.  Planners assured voters that the cost for the first 520 miles was going to be an "affordable" $33 billion. [...] But projected costs have soared even before one foot of track has been laid.  The entire project's estimated costs, according to various projections, may have nearly doubled.

California's bullet train (and biggest boondoggle) is over budget by billions.  It's billions of dollars over budget and seven years behind schedule, and appears to have no plausible way of living up to its goal of getting riders across the state in three hours or less.  Welcome to what's arguably the nation's largest infrastructure project and California's biggest boondoggle.  The highly hyped bullet train has been a challenge from the start.  No one thought it would be technically, financially and politically easy, but the way the project has been mishandled has some Californians fed up and demanding answers.

CA High-Speed Rail Contractor Gets 18% Raise After Missing Completion Date.  California High-Speed Rail agreed to increase payments to its construction manager by 18 percent after failing to complete its first 32-mile section within the seven-year deadline.  President Obama and his Democrat congressional majority voted in 2010 to fund the California High Speed Rail (Cal HSR) with $2.5 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as the centerpiece of a national network of 10 intercity corridors in California, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the Southeast, The Gulf Coast, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and New England.  Cal HSR contractually agreed to provide bullet train service with top speeds of 150 miles-per-hour over the 118-mile section between Madera and Bakersfield by September 30, 2017, or give the money back to the U.S. Treasury.

McCarthy: Time to Send California's Sputtering High-Speed Rail Project to the Scrap Yard.  After billions of dollars in cost overruns and missed deadlines, California's top Republican in Congress is again training his fire on his state's high-speed rail project, arguing that the mammoth $2.5 billion Obama-era stimulus boondoggle is still struggling to get off the ground and should be scrapped altogether.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) has long opposed the state's plans for a bullet train linking San Francisco and Los Angeles even though the backbone of the rail system was supposed to run through his hometown of Bakersfield.  With construction of the main line of the project, straight through the state's Central Valley, set to miss a Sept. 30 deadline, McCarthy says it's past time to end the "colossal waste of precious taxpayer dollars."

How the Trump administration can stop the bullet train.  The only kind of news the troubled $64 billion California bullet train project seems to generate is bad news.  In January, a Federal Railroad Administration analysis was leaked that projected the initial 118-mile, $6.4 billion segment of the project would run 50 percent over budget.  Then last week, a Los Angeles Times report revealed that the project's price tag may continue to be pushed higher and higher by "the complex engineering needed for passenger safety."

HSR cartoon
Why High-Speed Rail Should Be Audited Before Caltrain Receives Federal Funds.  The California HSR project started in November 2008, when voters approved Proposition 1A establishing a $9 billion bond measure which included rigid restrictions on project administration and protections for taxpayers funding it.  Today, nine years later, not one inch of track has been laid.  Initially, the voters were told that the project would cost $33 billion; it was anticipated that about 1/3 would come from the bond; $10 billion from the feds; and the remaining money from enthusiastic private investors eager to invest in a winner.


The price of safety on California's bullet train is only now becoming apparent.  Engineers on California's high-speed rail project have worried for nine years about the sort of train wreck that occurred in New York last October.  Six hundred rail passengers were rolling across Long Island at 50 mph on a Saturday night when a maintenance train on a parallel track derailed and sideswiped their commuter train, injuring 33 and leaving others wandering in the dark through twisted wreckage.  Although construction on California's high-speed rail is already underway, designers are still sorting out safety's place in a delicate balance that also requires staying on budget and getting passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco on time.  One safety concern playing out at the moment stems from the fact that the bullet trains will run in some places at 220 mph, alongside lines carrying everything from toxic chemicals to military tanks.

California's Boondoggle Bullet Train Goes Off The (Fiscal) Rails.  The Golden State's vaunted bullet train project, planned to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles, may be in its financial death throes.  If so, it's probably the best fiscal news for the Golden State in years.

Two construction firms seek an extra $300 million for bullet train work.  Two huge construction firms that are helping to build about 54 miles of bullet train structures in the Central Valley are seeking an additional $300 million on their fixed-price contracts, the Los Angeles Times has learned.  The increases, if the state ultimately agrees to cover them, would further bloat the bill for what has been touted as the easiest and most predictable section of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco system.  The potential increases lend credence to the findings of a December risk assessment by the Federal Railroad Administration that costs for building the full 118 miles of work in the Central Valley could jump by 50%, or $3.6 billion, above current estimates.

High-Speed Train Going Nowhere Fast.  Six years have chugged by since the federal government awarded billions of dollars for California's high-speed passenger train but not a single track has been laid.  The "bullet train" promised to make the 520 mile trip from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area in less than three hours by traveling over 200 miles per hour. [...] With a price tag of nearly $100 billion, this rail system is the single largest public works project currently underway in the U.S.  Already billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule, the only ones being taken for a ride by the train are taxpayers.

Obama Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars.  Early in his administration, Obama fantasized about creating a network of high-speed rail lines across the country.  He poured $8 billion worth of stimulus money into the project, hoping to get rail lines started in 10 regions.  Only one has seriously pursued Obama's dream — California — which got $3.5 billion in federal grants.  But its effort is foundering amid skyrocketing costs and endless construction delays.

California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns.  California's bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more.  And that's just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The [Los Angeles] Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.

Jerry Brown's bullet train fiasco and Trump.  California governor Jerry Brown has staked out the turf as President-Elect Trump's opponent, hiring Eric Holder to gin up a legal strategy and appointing Congressman Xavier Bacera as his A.G. to oppose anticipated Trump policies in sanctuary cities, the environment, and what some call California's "values."  But I have to wonder if Brown doesn't have a vulnerable flank in this battle:  the looming financial collapse of his most cherished project, the so-called "bullet train" between the Bay Area and Los Angeles.  Yesterday [1/13/2017], the Los Angeles Times published information from a "confidential" Federal Railroad Administration report that was leaked to it revealing absolute incompetence and out-of-control overspending on the first segment under construction.  The report by Ralph Vartabedian should be read in its entirety to grasp the level of chaos in the project.

California's bullet train on the track to extinction.  The windswept deserts east of California's Sierra Nevada are crisscrossed with thousands of miles of abandoned railroad beds, a legacy of the region's gold and silver boom town days.  Hundreds of now defunct railroad companies, with picturesque names like Tonopah and Tidewater, Va., and Truckee and Carson, Colo., operated until the gold played out or truck transport grew more common and less expensive.  Over the jagged spine of California's granite backbone, 100 miles to the west, a new railroad track is being laid.  But, unlike its narrow gauge cousins that sprang up 150 years ago, this railroad relies entirely on government funding and will likely never be completed.

California's $64 Billion Bullet Train To Nowhere Gets Delayed — Again.  In the late 1800s, it took railroad companies six years to lay 1,907 miles of track for what was to become the Transcontinental Railroad (or as Barack Obama calls it, the Intercontinental Railroad).  Building that railroad line required tunneling through mountains — at one foot a day — building bridges — including one that spanned 700 feet — and doing all the work almost entirely by hand.  As best, it will now take seven years for California to lay 119 miles of track — on relatively flat ground in the middle of nowhere.  That news came from a contract revision that the Obama administration approved late last week.

California's Ongoing Suicide Watch.  [Scroll down]  Such geniuses we have running California.  Thank goodness we're building high-speed rail.  It'll only take three times as long at twice the price of Southwest Air Lines to get up and down the state.

California Voters Want More Water and Less Bullet Train.  Less than a year ago, climate scientists were heralding the "Godzilla El Niño," which would generate historic rainfalls that could help alleviate California's mega-drought.  Climate reality has failed to confirm climate theory, as the term "dud" is now being used to describe the weather pattern.[...] At this point, it looks as if California is going to have to continue implementing a wide array of water-saving measures, which include "cash-for-grass" and drought-shaming neighbors.  However, courtesy of our proposition system, Californians may get a chance to divert funds from a loser project into sensible infrastructure construction that may actually alleviate some our state's water crisis.

Plagued by delays, California high-speed rail heads back to court.  Eight years after they approved funding for it, construction is years behind schedule and legal, financial and logistical delays plague the $68 billion project.

California's Bullet Train Will Take Even Longer To Go Nowhere.  California's high-speed rail project will never make its current 2022 arrival time, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Doesn't this strike anyone in charge of this costly boondoggle as ironic?  The Los Angeles Times does a commendable job of providing a reality check to the increasingly out-of-touch project.  After reviewing project documents and talking to various experts, the paper concluded, "The deadline and budget targets will almost certainly be missed," and state officials have "underestimated the challenges ahead."

Funding and subsidies worry potential partners in California's bullet train project.  Major construction, equipment and engineering firms around the world, responding to a solicitation to form a partnership with the California high-speed rail project, have raised serious concerns about the state's shortage of funding, the potential need for long-term operating subsidies and whether the project can meet the current construction schedule.  The comments were included in 36 responses sent by the international firms to the California High-Speed Rail Authority after it requested suggestions on how to complete the $68-billion project.

Chinese firms want to build, finance California high-speed train.  A team of Chinese firms, along with the Export-Import Bank of China, wants to build and finance a large part of California's proposed 800-mile high-speed rail project.

$68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets.  The monumental task of building California's bullet train will require punching 36 miles of tunnels through the geologically complex mountains north of Los Angeles.  Crews will have to cross the tectonic boundary that separates the North American and Pacific plates, boring through a jumble of fractured rock formations and a maze of earthquake faults, some of which are not mapped.  It will be the most ambitious tunneling project in the nation's history.

Dianne Feinstein's Husband Awarded Massive Fortune in Rail Boondoggle.  What a remarkable coincidence.  A guy who was just handed $1 billion of other people's money in the latest rail boondoggle happens to be married to someone we know: [...] The purpose of government spending in a socialistic corruptocracy like ours is to "spread the wealth around" — i.e., confiscate it from those who create it for redistribution to our rulers and those in their favor.  For this reason, it is totally unnecessary for rail and green energy projects to make any economic sense whatsoever.  All by itself this explains why capitalism works and socialism does not work.

Dianne Feinstein's husband wins near-billion dollar California 'high speed rail' contract.  To the surprise of absolutely no one familiar with the ways of Corruptifornia, the one-party state completely in the hands of the Democrats, a consortium whose lead firm is controlled by Richard Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, was awarded a nearly billion-dollar contract for the construction of the first phase of the so-called high-speed rail line to link San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Those paying attention to the project call it the "half-fast" rail line because it will share trackage with conventional commuter rail trains in the sprawling Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, lowering its average speed to levels achieved by American railways a century ago.

The closest high-speed rail will come to Sacramento?  The contractor for California's high-speed rail system is having an event on the Capitol grounds, featuring a model car that is "Connectin Cities at 220 miles per hour."  For $68 billion, they ought to be able to afford a "g" (in connecting).  Furthermore, this train will never go 220 mph — not with a blended route that goes slowly through populated areas on Caltrain lines.

California's High-Speed Rail Kicks Off Without Money To Finish It.  It finally happened last week:  California officially broke ground on its "high-speed" rail line, the wasteful $68 billion (and counting) project that promises to become the biggest public works boondoggle in the history of the U.S.  And that's saying a lot.

Construction Begins On California's $68 Billion High-Speed Rail Line.  One of the biggest transportation projects the country has ever seen broke ground Monday in Fresno, Calif.  In theory, building the much-delayed high speed rail line would allow a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, with speeds of over 200 miles an hour.  The milestone comes six years after voters first approved an almost $10 billion bond act to fund the project.  But that bond, plus about $3 billion in federal funds, still leaves the project about $55 billion short of the cost to get the line up and running by 2030.

California leaders set for high-speed rail groundbreaking Tuesday.  California on Tuesday [1/6/2015] will break ground in Fresno on its ambitious but controversial high-speed rail project, marking another milestone for Governor Jerry Brown and for foreign manufacturers waiting to bid on lucrative train contracts.

Washington Governor Imposes Cap-and-Trade Through Executive Order.  Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is not waiting for the state legislature to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, but instead has issued an executive order to implement a cap-and-trade program, eliminate coal power and fund green energy projects. [...] Inlsee argues that more action is needed if the state is to meet climate goals passed by the legislature in 2008.  Those goals call for the state to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by certain amounts by 2020.

California eyes plan to speed bullet train using cap-and-trade program proceeds.  As envisioned, California's $68 billion bullet-train system, the nation's first, would take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco at speeds of more than 200 miles an hour.  The project, though, has been beset by planning delays, fluctuating cost estimates and court challenges that have threatened to kill or delay it indefinitely.  Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed using one-third of funds raised annually through cap-and-trade auctions to help pay for high-speed rail.

High-Speed Rail Decision Is [a] Victory for [the] Rule of Law.  California Judge Michael Kenny has barred state bond funding for the California high-speed rail system, finding "the state's High-Speed Rail Authority failed to follow voter-approved requirements designed to prevent reckless spending."  These protections had been important in securing voter approval of a $10 billion bond issue in 2008.  Judge Kenny's decision means California government officials cannot ignore the state's laws, even when its leadership finds them politically inexpedient.  The ruling forbids the state from arbitrarily casting aside legally binding promises.

52% want bullet train stopped, poll finds.  A majority of voters want the California bullet train project stopped and consider it a waste of money, even as state political leaders have struggled to bolster public support and make key compromises to satisfy critics, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found.  Statewide, 52% of the respondents said the $68-billion project to link Los Angeles and San Francisco by trains traveling up to 220 mph should be halted.  Just 43% said it should go forward.

U.S. Taxpayers to Bailout Rail Project with $42 Billion.  After getting slammed with higher taxes, Americans throughout the U.S. will be on the hook for the multi-billion-dollar infusion necessary to complete a grossly mismanaged high-speed rail system in California.  Even those who have never been to the state and have no association with it will contribute because federal lawmakers have essentially agreed to fund the project, which will end up costing a monstrous $68.4 billion to finish and hundreds of millions of dollars annually to operate and maintain.  The high-speed rail system will run 520 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is scheduled to be completed by 2028.

Why fast trains are a waste of money.  California wants about $19 billion for an 800-mile track from Anaheim to San Francisco.  Constructing all 13 corridors could easily approach $200 billion.  Most (or all) of that would have to come from government.  What would we get for this huge investment?  Not much.  Here's what we wouldn't get:  any meaningful reduction in traffic congestion, greenhouse-gas emissions, air travel, or oil consumption and imports.  Nada, zip.  If you can do fourth-grade math, you can understand why.

A Golden State train wreck.  At one point, an estimate of 44 million riders a year — subsequently revised downward, substantially — assumed gasoline costing $40 a gallon. [...] In 2008, Californians passed an initiative authorizing $9.95 billion in bonds to build what they were told would be a $33 billion high-speed rail system.  California, constantly lurching from one budget crisis to a worse one, could not nearly afford even that, and soon the price was re-estimated at around $100 billion.

California Goes Off the Rails with High Speed Train.  The State of California was already facing a $19 billion budget deficit, shorted public schools $8 billion, and was set to release imprisoned rapists into "community probation" when the Legislature approved selling $4.6 billion in new state bonds to build 130 miles of railroad track through some of the most uninhabited farm country in Central California.

How Insider Politics Saved California's Train to Nowhere.  The rail authority promised voters that the train wouldn't require a subsidy and that the feds and private sector would pick up most of the $33 billion tab.  Expecting a free ride, voters leapt on board and approved the initiative in November 2008.  Not long afterward, the authority raised the price to $43 billion.  Investors refused to plunk down money without a revenue guarantee — that is, a subsidy — from the state, which wasn't forthcoming.  California's attorney general, whom we now call Gov. Jerry Brown, declined to investigate the bait-and-switch.

Getting Nowhere, Very Fast.  California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt.  But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.  Most of us might be a little skittish about spending money if we were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.  But the beauty of politics is that it is all other people's money, including among those other people generations yet unborn.

The governor can strong-arm companies with the state's new Thermageddon Law.
California To Pay For High Speed Rail With Extortion.  The governor told ABC 7's "Eyewitness Newsmakers" program that environmental impact fees paid by industries that emit large amounts of greenhouse gas will help fund the big train project.

California Struggling to Find High-Speed Rail Funds.  California's plans for high-speed rail, which envision tracks connecting Southern California to the Bay Area with riders traveling at speeds of 220 miles per hour, suffered a setback in mid-September as Congress cut billions of dollars from the Federal Railroad Administration's budget.  President Barack Obama, who is pushing high-speed rail projects in select states, sought $8 billion in funding for fiscal 2012.  House Appropriations subcommittee members, however, cut nearly $7 billion from that request.  The bulk of the remaining $1 billion is already allocated for Amtrak operations.

Dubious Claims for High-Speed Rail:  No high-speed rail line has been built from scratch in the United States.  But historically, urban passenger rail projects have, on average, gone 40 percent over their projected costs.  At the same time, U.S. passenger rail planners typically overestimate ridership by an average of about 100 percent.  California's high-speed rail authority is projecting that the San Francisco to Los Angeles line will be carrying two to three times more passengers by 2020 than Amtrak's entire Boston to Washington corridor currently carries.  A Reason Foundation review of the state rail authority's plan called the ridership projections "the most unrealistic projections produced for a major transport project anywhere in the world."

Congressional panel launches probe of California's high-speed rail project.  A congressional committee has launched a wide-ranging examination of the California high-speed rail project, including possible conflicts of interest and how the agency overseeing it plans to spend billions of dollars in federal assistance.

It's 'Next Stop 1970' For California High-Speed Rail.  Gov. Jerry Brown is doing all he can to save his state's ill-conceived high-speed rail project, but he's no magician.  He's finding that there's no way to cut the project's cost other than to make it smaller and less speedy — in short, even less like the scheme that voters approved in 2008.  He has just endorsed a new business plan that lowers the system's projected price tag from $98 billion to $68 billion.  This is still well above the $40 billion estimate of 2008, and the project is scaled back.

California high-speed rail takes a new hit.  The latest blow to California's plan to connect north and south with an ambitious network of high-speed rail lines came Monday [4/9/2012] in Washington.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R) of California announced that the oversight committee he chairs will investigate crucial federal funding of the project.  That followed two studies — one by and independent panel, one by the state auditor — that called the plan risky.  Polls show faltering support among California voters because of rising costs.

High-speed spending: Bullet train may need $3.5 million a day.  If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law.  The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding.  It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.

Jerry Brown vs. Chris Christie.  In his January 2011 inaugural address, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared it a "time to honestly assess our financial condition and make the tough choices."  Plainly the choices weren't tough enough: Mr. Brown has just announced that he faces a state budget deficit of $16 billion — nearly twice the $9.2 billion he predicted in January.

California high speed rail project going pretty much as expected.  The proposed service hopes to whisk commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a matter of hours without all that bother of using the existing regional air service to do the same thing faster.  Earlier this year, Ed noted that some observers felt that the financing for this effort was looking "increasingly risky."  This weekend the Wall Street Journal reports that our earlier estimation was in error.  The financing isn't "risky" at all... it's an unmitigated disaster.

Poll: Voters turn against California bullet train.  A new poll finds California voters are experiencing buyers' remorse over a proposed $68 billion bullet train project, as the number of lawsuits against the rail system grows.

Environmental objections in path of bullet train.  The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley.  Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox, would be affected, according to federal biologists.  Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air.  Dozens of rivers, canals and wetlands fed from the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada would be crossed, creating other knotty issues.

Assembly approves high-speed rail funding.  The [California] Assembly passed $8 billion in funding for high-speed rail and other projects on Thursday [7/5/2012], sending the bill back to the state Senate for final approval.

Cash-Strapped California OKs Funding for High-Speed Rail.  California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Environmental objections in path of bullet train.  The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley.  Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox, would be affected, according to federal biologists.  Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air.

Bias alert!
Alarmists always paint the worst possible picture to describe events that haven't happened yet:  The project would potentially pollute the air.  It could foul the already filthy air.  Really?  The air in California is filthy, after years and years of the strictest air pollution laws in the world?  And if already filthy air is "fouled", who would notice?  The primary obstacle to the bullet train is economics, not air quality.  Bullet trains are luxury items for the benefit of the upper class, paid for by everyone.

California High-Speed Rail: Unsafe at Any Speed.  Democratic California state Sen. Joe Simitian probably is best-known as the author of California's bill to ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.  After Friday's vote, Simitian may be best-known as the Democrat who warned his colleagues not to issue $4.6 billion in bonds for big-ticket high-speed rail.  "Any of us who talk to our folks know that they're asking the same questions," Simitian reasoned.  "They're saying, 'Really?  You made these cuts.  We're threatened with more.  And you want to build a high-speed train?'"  The st