Category Archives: Politics

Jerry Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at preventing powerline wildfires | Nov 14 2018

Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety

|| San Jose Mercury News Oct 2017

 

“Serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.”

“A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. But the governor’s office and the California Public Utilities Commission say the bill duplicated efforts already underway among the CPUC, Cal Fire and utilities like PG&E.

Now, as a series of deadly fires rages in Wine Country, serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.

On Wednesday, Cal Fire said that investigators have started looking into whether toppled power wires and exploding transformers Sunday night may have ignited the simultaneous string of blazes.

The acknowledgment followed publication of a review by the Bay Area News Group of Sonoma County firefighters’ radio transmissions in the fires’ infancy that found that there were numerous downed and arcing wires. In the first 90 minutes Sunday night, firefighters were sent to 10 different spots where problems had been reported with the area’s electrical infrastructure. The crews reported seeing sparking lines and transformers.

During that same time period, radio transmissions indicate 28 blazes — both vegetation and structure fires — breaking out, mostly in Sonoma County. Firefighters were sent to eight fallen tree calls, with many reports of blocked roadways.

“Those were witnessed,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said Wednesday, regarding the blown transformers and downed wires. “However, you have to go and look to see if it was a cause of the fire or as a result of the fire.”

The state’s fire agency has said it has ruled out lightning, but said the investigation continues for an official cause of the blazes, which as of late Wednesday had killed 23 people and destroyed more than 3,500 structures in Sonoma, Napa and other Northern California counties.

PG&E acknowledges there were troubles with its equipment Sunday night, but says blaming the utility’s electrical system for the fires at this point would be “highly speculative.” It has labeled the conditions in the first hours of the fires a “historic wind event.”

But meterologist Jan Null, owner of Golden Gate Weather Services in Saratoga, said that Sunday night’s winds, while strong, were not “hurricane force” and had been surpassed in previous storms. Atlas Peak had gusts of 32 miles per hour at 9 p.m. on  Sunday night, Null said. By comparison, the peak had gusts of 66 mph in last February.

SB 1463 had been introduced in last year’s legislative session by Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. The bill would have required the state to identify the places most at risk for wildfires and would have required the CPUC to beef up plans to prevent fires sparked by power lines — including moving lines underground if necessary.

But Brown said the bill was unnecessary. “Since May of last year, the Commission and CalFire have been doing just that through the existing proceeding on fire-threat maps and fire-safety regulations,” he said in his veto message. “This deliberative process should continue and the issues this bill seeks to address should be raised in that forum.”

But the senator isn’t buying it.

“Up until my bill those guys were doing nothing,” Moorlach said Wednesday. “I think you got some false information.”

He said his bill would’ve sped up what had become a cumbersome process and given local communities more of a voice by clarifying how fire risk is defined.

Had the governor signed his bill into law, he added, “I think it would have changed things. … I think it would’ve given Cal Fire a whole different set of priorities.”

Brown’s sister Kathleen, he pointed out, served on the board of the energy services holding company, Sempra. Power and utility companies, Moorlach said, “didn’t want to spend the money” making things safer by moving lines underground.

That’s “so outrageous it doesn’t merit a response,” Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said of the notion that the governor didn’t sign the bill to somehow help out Sempra. “It’s unfortunate this particular individual is trying to score political points by peddling inaccurate, self-serving claims at a time like this.”

CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said the years-long CPUC and Cal Fire effort has already reached key goals.

Phase One was completed in 2015 and Phase Two is nearly done as well, which will implement new fire safety regulations in high priority areas of the state.

PG&E has paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements over the years for its failure to properly maintain vegetation clearance around its electrical lines when it led to massive fires.

In April, the state Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E $8.3 million for failing to maintain a power line that sparked the Butte fire in Amador County in September 2015. That fire burned for 22 days, killing two people, destroying 549 homes and charring 70,868 acres.”

….Continue reading more @ San Jose Mercury News

California DMV registers Illegal Aliens Doesn’t Know How Many are Voting | Oct 13 2018

California Elections Official Does Not Know if Non-Citizens Have Voted

|| Breitbart

“California Secretary of State Alex Padilla does not know if any of the 1,500 people who were improperly registered to vote by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) this year voted in the June primary elections, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, multiple news outlets reported that the DMV had erroneously registered 1,500 people, including non-citizens, to vote between April and September. The reports came after the state government insisted for years that its safeguards would prevent that for happening — a significant concern given a 2015 law that allowed illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, and a 2017 law that automatically registered Californians to vote when they obtained driver’s licenses, if otherwise eligible. While the state says that no illegal aliens were registered to vote, at least one legal alien was confirmed as having been registered.

The AP elaborated:

The roughly 1,500 people either told the DMV they were ineligible or didn’t confirm their eligibility but were registered anyway, he said. The group included at least one non-citizen living legally in the state and perhaps many more. It could also include people under 18 or those ineligible to vote because of a criminal conviction, Padilla said. The DMV said none of the people mistakenly registered are people living in the country illegally.

The incorrect registrations occurred between April 23 and Sept. 25 because of a “processing error,” according to the DMV. California held its primary election June 6 [sic].

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election began this week.

California’s motor voter law letting residents automatically register to vote through the DMV took effect in April. Since then, people have newly registered or updated their voter registration more than 3 million times, DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said. The new law is aimed at making it easier for people to register and boosting voter turnout.

 

Padilla added that the DMV may have to suspend the “motor voter” program if problems persist. Last month, Padilla admitted that 23,000 registrations had been filed with significant errors.”

….Read more @ Breitbart

Clueless Sen Hirono Misleads on Ford ‘Corroboration’ | Oct 7 2018

Idiot Mazie Hirono Says Kavanaugh Did Not have Anyone to Corroborate His Story But Christine Ford Did

|| The Gateway Pundit

“This woman is dumb as a brick.
Senator Mazie Hirono told CNN on Sunday morning Judge Brett Kavanaugh did not have anyone to corroborate his story but Christine Ford did.
How stupid.

Once again, Hirono has NO IDEA what she is talking about.

EVERY ALLEGED WITNESS to Ford’s 36-year-old story says they don’t remember the incident and don’t even remember the party!

Even Ford’s friend, who was pressured by Democrats to lie about the incident, told investigators she did not remember the incident and had NEVER been to a party with Brett Kavanaugh. Someone needs to explain to Mazie what corroboration means.”

….Read more @ TGP

Michael Moore’s Latest Becomes Box Office Poison | Sep 24 2018

MICHAEL MOORE’S ANTI-TRUMP FILM BOMBS AT THE BOX OFFICE. THE NUMBERS ARE HORRIFIC

|| Daily Caller

“Michael Moore’s anti-Donald Trump film “Fahrenheit 11/9” crashed and burned at the box office over the weekend.

The plot of the movie, according to IMDB, is: “Filmmaker Michael Moore examines the current state of American politics, particularly the Donald J. Trump presidency and gun violence while highlighting the power of grassroots democratic movements.”

Apparently, people just weren’t interested in going to the theater this weekend to get a political lecture because the numbers were abysmal.”

….read more @ Daily Caller

 

Weekend Box Office: ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Eyes $25M; ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ Falls Flat

|| The Hollywood Reporter

“Unless traffic picks up, Fahrenheit 11/9  is headed for an eighth-place finish with $3 million-debut from 1,719 theaters (pre-release tracking had suggested at least $5 million-$6 million). One bright spot: Audiences gave it an A CinemaScore.

Moore’s satirical, anti-Trump film marks the first release from Tom Ortenberg’s new company, Briarcliff. (Ortenberg worked with Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 while stationed at Lionsgate.) It earned just north of $1 million on Friday.”

….read more @ THR

Sen Feinstein Leaks Kavanaugh Accuser, Blames Media | Sep 20 2018

Dianne Feinstein: ‘Twas The Media That Outed Kavanaugh’s Accuser

|| HotAir

“Is that right? The way DiFi puts it here, you would think Christine Blasey Ford’s name appeared like a bolt from the blue in the pages of the Washington Post on Sunday afternoon. In reality, the press had spent the previous 72 hours murmuring about a mysterious letter in Feinstein’s possession that may or may not contain a serious allegation against Kavanaugh. No one would say what the letter alleged but the Intercept knew that Feinstein knew something about it. BuzzFeed also knew that Feinstein knew something. Under pressure, Feinstein herself announced that she had finally referred the matter to the FBI. After sitting on it for two months. Six days before the Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote.

All of which is a long way of asking: Who do you suppose it was that tipped the media to Ford’s accusations, putting them in a position to “out” her at the eleventh hour?

Democrats outed her. Maybe not Feinstein personally or someone acting at her behest, but someone in the Capitol high enough up the chain to have known Ford’s name. (Given that the Intercept and BuzzFeed are both online-only outlets, I’d guess the leaker trended younger.) And the very obvious reason they did so was because they were frustrated that Feinstein had held this weapon for two months and never used it, even during the closed session of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, leaving him on track to join the Court before the end of the month. A liberal, possibly on Feinstein’s own staff, shoved Ford into the spotlight for reasons of political expedience. Feinstein can babble all she likes about respecting the privacy of victims but them’s the facts.

Also, not to nitpick, but no one “outed” Ford. Unless I missed something, at no point did any media outlet reveal her identity against her wishes. She chose to speak on the record to WaPo over the weekend after Ronan Farrow and outlets like BuzzFeed came knocking, believing that someone *would* end up revealing her name against her wishes before long. But no one (I think) actually did so before the WaPo story came out. Whether Democrats might have been so frantic to stop Kavanaugh that they would have forced Ford’s name into print if she had declined to speak up this past weekend is a fascinating what-if. Probably they would have — which seems to have been Ford’s conclusion too. Again, so much for the privacy of victims.”

….Read more @ HotAir

China Hacked Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server

Sources: CHINA HACKED HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER

|| Daily Caller

  • A Chinese-owned company penetrated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to sources briefed on the matter.
  • The company inserted code that forwarded copies of Clinton’s emails to the Chinese company in real time.
  • The Intelligence Community Inspector General warned of the problem, but the FBI subsequently failed to act, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert said during a July hearing.

“A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.”

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.

Gohmert mentioned in the Judiciary Committee hearing that ICIG officials told Strzok and three other top FBI officials that they found an “anomaly” on Clinton’s server.

The former intelligence officer TheDCNF spoke with said the ICIG “discovered the anomaly pretty early in 2015.”

“When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China,” the former intelligence officer told TheDCNF.

“The [the ICIG] believe that there was some level of phishing. But once they got into the server something was embedded,” he said. “The Chinese are notorious for embedding little surprises like this.”

The intelligence officer declined to name the Chinese company.

“We do know the name of the company. There are indications there are other ‘cutouts’ that were involved. I would be in a lot of trouble if I gave you the name,” he told TheDCNF.

A government staff official who’s been briefed on the ICIG’s findings told TheDCNF that the Chinese state-owned firm linked to the hacking operates in Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs. The source was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The company that penetrated Clinton’s server was not a technology firm and it served as a “front group” for the Chinese government, the source told TheDCNF.

The Fairfax and Loudoun county governments told TheDCNF that 13 state-owned Chinese companies operate in the area. Of those, three were not technologically oriented.”

….Read more at Daily Caller

 

Decriminalize Invasion with Open Borders? | Aug 24 2018

Decriminalization Debate Moves From Pot To… Illegal Immigration?

|| Hot Air

“How far are Democrats willing to go this year in their efforts to demonstrate their progressive bona fides? In Texas we may be seeing the limits of this swerve to the left on display. Several Democratic candidates for top offices are now pushing a move toward decriminalization, but this time we’re not talking about marijuana. They want to decriminalize illegal immigration, essentially removing the need for most of the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without actually “abolishing” the office. (A subject which doesn’t poll very well.) And we’re not talking about some back bench Democrats running for a county commission seat here. It’s the Democrats’ candidate for Governor, one congressional seat and none other thank Congressman “Beto” O’Rourke, who is currently fighting to flip the Senate seat held by Ted Cruz.

This is the spoon full of sugar approach to pushing for open borders and it appears that at least some Democrats think it could be a winner. Calling to abolish ICE has backfired in a major way and Americans overwhelmingly don’t want open borders. (When given a choice between open borders and secure borders, poll respondents this year chose “secure” by a 79% margin.) Similarly, polling from as recently as last month shows that Americans want to keep ICE by a two to one margin over those who would like to see it abolished.

So here comes the new strategy from the Democrats. Rather than wiping out immigration law or the officials assigned to enforce it, we’ll just do what many states have done with marijuana and simply “decriminalize” it. In other words, illegal aliens – if they are questioned at all – will simply get the equivalent of a parking ticket and be sent on their way. No need for expensive court proceedings and detention centers. Think of the money we’ll save!

Yes. We could wipe out many of the problems we face with gang violence if we simply decriminalized crack dealing, assault, gun crimes and human trafficking. Crime rates would plummet and it would free up the police forces in places like Chicago and Baltimore to focus on the more pressing issues of traffic violations and littering. It’s truly a stunning bit of genius provided you don’t actually think about it for more than two seconds.

The fact is that decriminalization of illegal immigration would be nothing more than running up the white flag. With no fear of repercussions, everyone considering jumping the border would flood into the country in short order. Of course, unless the Democrats also plan on repealing (or at least decriminalizing) all of the laws about employing illegal aliens, all of those people will still wind up either falling into the already strained social safety net or turning to a life of crime.”

….Read more @ HotAir