Category Archives: SoCal

Foreign Invasion at the U.S. Border in San Diego | Apr 29

Central American asylum seekers gather at U.S. border as hundreds cheer them on

|| U-T San Diego

“As they prepared to present themselves at the San Ysidro Port of Entry today, a group of asylum seekers from Central America gathered at the border fence in Playas de Tijuana Sunday morning cheered on by supporters on both sides of the border.

The boisterous gathering grew to hundreds, with some waving Honduran flags, calling out chants, waving bouquets of yellow flags, and some of the younger members climbing to the top of the tall metal bollards. Others sat quietly, clutching infants, wondering what awaits them in U.S. custody.

Reina Isabel Rodriguez, 52, had traveled from El Salvador with her two grandchildren. “I fear that they will separate me from them,” she said.

She is among dozens of the Pueblo Sin Fronteras Caravan seeking asylum from the U.S. government — undeterred by fierce criticism from President Trump.

But some members may have to remain in Tijuana for a while longer before they can be processed by U.S. authorities at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Pete Flores, director of field operations in San Diego for the agency, said on Saturday that “depending on port circumstances at the time of arrival, individuals may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities.”

The Central Americans would not be the first group to be forced to wait in Mexico. When thousands of Haitians sought entry at San Ysidro in 2016, CBP worked with Mexican officials to accept limited numbers each day so as not to overwhelm the port’s processing capacity.

By foot, bus and train, the caravan participants have been journeying through Mexico since leaving the southern border city of Tapachula on March 25 with the aim of reaching the Tijuana-San Diego border. Most are from Honduras, and tell of gang violence and extortion back home.

On Saturday, as they lingered near the U.S. border at Plaza Viva Tijuana, many appeared weary and ready to move on.

Those expected to ask for asylum are a small percentage of a traveling group that at one point swelled to more than 1,700 members, according to organizers. They said that about 400 caravan participants, many of them women and children, had completed the journey to Tijuana, and some small groups already been surrendering at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in recent days.

David López was among dozens pondering their next move on Saturday afternoon. López, 25, who until recently worked on the staff of an elementary school, said “organized crime and our country’s government” had prompted him to flee the Copan area of Honduras with his wife and their three-year-old daughter.

Mother and child had presented themselves at San Ysidro Port of Entry ten days ago, but López remained behind. He said his wife and their daughter have been released from custody while their asylum claim is under review and are staying with family in South Carolina.”

….Continue reading more @ U-T San Diego

 

Border Patrol Catches Migrants ‘Associated with’ Caravan Crossing Illegally

|| Breitbart

“U.S. Border Patrol reported Saturday that it had apprehended several individuals “associated with the Central American Caravan” who were trying to cross illegally into the country.

While many members of the group reportedly planned to apply for asylum at the San Ysidro point of entry on Sunday, others had tried to enter the U.S. “by climbing over the dilapidated scrap metal border fence” on Friday and Saturday, according to a statement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott.

“In several of these incidents, children as young as 4-years-old, and in one case a pregnant female, were detected entering the United States illegally through a dark, treacherous canyon that is notorious for human and drug smuggling,” Scott said.”

…..Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

‘Their Country Is Being Invaded’: Exodus of Venezuelans Overwhelms Northern Brazil

|| New York Times

“PACARAIMA, Brazil — Hundreds turn up each day, many arriving penniless and gaunt as they pass a tattered flag that signals they have reached the border.

Once they cross, many cram into public parks and plazas teeming with makeshift homeless shelters, raising concerns about drugs and crime. The lucky ones sleep in tents and line up for meals provided by soldiers — pregnant women, the disabled and families with young children are often given priority. The less fortunate huddle under tarps that crumple during rainstorms.

The scenes are reminiscent of the waves of desperate migrants who have escaped the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, spurring a backlash in Europe. Yet this is happening in Brazil, where a relentless tide of people fleeing the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela has begun to test the region’s tolerance for immigrants.

This month, the governor of the northern Brazilian state of Roraima sued the federal government, demanding that it close the border with Venezuela and provide additional money for her overburdened education and health systems.

“We’re very fearful this may lead to an economic and social destabilization in our state,” said the governor, Suely Campos. “I’m looking after the needs of Venezuelans to the detriment of Brazilians.”

The tens of thousands of Venezuelans who have found refuge in Brazil in recent years are walking proof of a worsening humanitarian crisis that their government claims does not exist.

They also constitute an exodus that is straining the region’s largely generous and permissive immigration policies. Earlier this month, Trinidad deported more than 80 Venezuelan asylum seekers. In Colombian and Brazilian border communities, local residents have attacked Venezuelans in camps.

During the early months of this year, 5,000 Venezuelans were leaving their homeland each day, according to the United Nations. At that rate, more Venezuelans are leaving home each month than the 125,000 Cuban exiles who fled their homes during the 1980 Mariel boat crisis and transformed South Florida.

If the current rate remains steady, more than 1.8 million Venezuelans could leave by the end of this year, joining the estimated 1.5 million who have fled the economic crisis to rebuild their lives abroad.”

…..Continue reading more @ NYT

 

LAPD Officer Accused of Sneaking Illegal Immigrants Across the Border

|| Townhall

“A Los Angeles police officer has been accused of sneaking in two illegal aliens into the United States earlier this week.

An officer by the name of Mambasse Koulabalo Patara was arrested on federal charges for allegedly violating immigration laws. The officer was apprehended at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley.

The arrest occurred at approximately 12:15 AM on Tuesday, after “Patara drove up to the checkpoint with two male passengers in a 2006 Toyota Corolla.”

Patara told the Border Patrol agents that the two men were U.S. citizens. He informed Border Patrol agents that he was off duty and showed them his badge. Eventually the two men admitted they were illegal aliens. The  two illegal aliens gave conflicting stories. One said they had crossed the border days earlier and simply were hitching a ride from the officer. The other said that he had known Patara for at least 5 years and would often do yard work at his house.

Witnesses were reportedly dumbfounded by the arrest….”

….Continue reading more @ Townhall

SpaceX Leaps to the Top with Latest Launch | Feb 08 2018

What it took for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to disrupt Boeing, leapfrog NASA, and become a serious space company

|| Quartz

“The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 747 fuselages for Boeing. When you get through the front doors, past security and a cubicle farm stretching the width of the building, there it is: Science fiction being wrought into shape, right in front of you.

Right in front of all the workers, too. The company’s two-floor cafeteria is practically on and overlooking the manufacturing floor. Designers and accountants can eat lunch watching technicians build space capsules and rocket stages. There’s a lot to see: Rockets, like good suits, are bespoke objects, hand-made to order; a SpaceX tour guide says much of the work is too precise for robotic assembly.”

….Continue reading @  Quartz

 

Video: Falcon Heavy blasts off, boosters land at Cape Canaveral

|| Spaceflightnow.com

 

video here: spaceflightnow.com

 

New California – A New Solution for Old California’s Woes? | Jan 17 2018

New California declares “independence” from rest of state

|| CBSNews

“The state of New California would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.

“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.

But unlike other separation movements in the past, the state of New California wants to do things by the book, citing Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution and working with the state legislature to get it done, similar to the way West Virginia was formed.

“Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.

And despite obstacles, doubters, and obvious long odds, the group stands united in their statehood dream.

The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature.

This is not the first effort to split up California. In 2014, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper submitted signatures to put a measure that would split California in six separate states.”

….Continue reading more @ CBSNews

Dir of U.S. Forest Fire Managment Says SoCal Fires ‘Human Caused’ | Dec 08 2017

Firefighter Says California Fires Are ‘Human Caused,’ Then Backs Off

|| Daily Caller

“The raging California wildfires were started by humans, Robert Baird, the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Service, said on Fox News Friday.

“When you have human caused fires which these all are, they’re not related to lighting or anything, then the wind whips up the fires and makes them very difficult to contain, and that causes a challenge for us on the ground,” Baird said during an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

Baird then back pedaled his answer.

Host Bill Hemmer asked Baird for clarification on whether the fires were started intentionally.

“However they were started, accidentally is often the situation, but that’s being dealt with by law enforcement,” Baird said.

“I’m focused on getting containment,” he added. “We are focused on life and safety and protection of the public. Law enforcement is coming in to determine what the cause and origin of these fires were.”

….Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

Fireworks, arson fires set in Isla Vista during red-flag conditions

|| ABC TV

“Amid severe fire warnings throughout Southern California, commercial-grade fireworks were set off in Isla Vista and four items were set on fire during an impromptu gathering, Santa Barbara County officials said.

The southern part of Santa Barbara County was hit with a power outage for several hours Monday night as the Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County. During that time, someone began setting off commercial grade fireworks in the beachside community, described as both mortar style and cinder cones.

Some were set off over the ocean and others at intersections in residential areas.

The fireworks attracted thousands of college students and local residents, who began to congregate on Del Playa Drive. As they gathered, some individuals set a number of items on fire, including two couches, a chair and a dumpster, and in at least one instance used gasoline as an accelerant.

Isla Vista is known to be home to many students of the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara City College. Individuals involved in setting off the fireworks and fires have not been identified.

County authorities said the incident required a diversion of resources as they were being kept busy with the Thomas Fire and the power outage.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the series of events diverted resources away from other important calls for service,” the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office said.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public that first responders and the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center are extremely busy due to the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the widespread power outages we have experienced in southern Santa Barbara County. We request your cooperation as we work together to provide safety during this crisis period.”

….Continue reading more @ ABC7.com

 

 

 

Californians May Lose their Right to Recall Shady Politicians if Democrats get their way | June 13, 2017

California Democrats Changing The Rules To Protect One Of Their Own

|| HotAir

“You may recall a news item out of California last month which seemed out of step with usual Golden State politics. Voters there had been saddled with yet another massive tax hike, this one primarily centered around the gas tax, which had been rammed through the legislature with only Democratic votes. People had finally, it seemed, had enough.

Activists put forward two new measures for a referendum vote, one to repeal the tax increase and the other to recall Josh Newman, one of the Democratic state senators who pushed the measure through. Newman barely held onto his seat in the last election, so he was widely viewed as potentially being in trouble.

Faced with the prospect of losing that seat in the senate, Democrats quickly mobilized to put out a positive campaign message and win people over to their way of thinking on this complex funding issue. Naw… I’m just kidding. They’ve moved to change the rules so it will be harder for the voters to recall anyone.

State Senate Democrats introduced legislation Monday to change the rules governing recall elections to remove a lawmaker from office, potentially helping one of their own survive an effort now underway in Southern California.

The proposal, contained in one of the bills enacting a new state budget, comes after backers of an effort to remove state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) from office have submitted more than 31,000 voter signatures to trigger a special election.

“Recalls are designed to be extraordinary events in response to extraordinary circumstances – and it’s in the public’s overwhelming interest to ensure the security, integrity and legitimacy of the qualification process,” said Jonathan Underland, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

So they’re pitching this as an effort to ensure the security, integrity and legitimacy of the process, eh? And how do they propose to do that? They’ll be giving anyone who signed the petitions a chance to ask to have their names pulled. The petitioners would then have to remove the names, redo the tallies, and manually verify every signature. And they’ve got to get all of that done in 30 days or the petition is tossed. We’re talking about tens of thousands of signatures here. Are you kidding me?

All the party will need to do is send out volunteers to find a couple of people who signed the petitions without thinking very much about it and convince them to demand the change. At that point, the resources required to pull off the adjustments will be demanding to say the least. And the crazy part is that they’re obviously doing this specifically to protect Josh Newman. They apparently have zero shame whatsoever.”

….Read more @ HotAir

 

Unpopular Gas Tax Could Hurt California Democrats in 2018

|| Breitbart

“Californians reject the new gas tax and vehicle registration fee increases passed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrat-dominated California legislature.

Moreover, according to the director of a new study from UC Berkley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, the backlash against the gas tax could cost Democrats seats in the legislature come election time.

SB 1 passed through both houses of the California legislature in April.

The new UC Berkley study found that even in deep blue California, 58 percent of voters oppose the bill, and39 percent strongly oppose it, according to the Sacramento Bee. The only region of the state not to oppose the bill was the left-heavy Bay Area. Only strongly liberal voters supported the law. All racial and ethnic sub-groups surveyed opposed it, as did every respondent 30 or older. The 18-29 group was evenly divided between favor and opposition. Only 35 percent of voters were for the tax increase.

Poll director Mark DiCamillo predicted that hitting people’s pocketbooks could alarm them and result in political backlash in “competitive” legislative districts, according to the report.

The law starts going into effect on November 1, when drivers will see a 12-cent-per-gallon tax increase included in their gas prices, and 50% of a 20-cent-per-gallon increase in the diesel excise tax. The new law also allows for an inflation adjustment on both gas and diesel. Next January 1, those registering their cars in the state can expect registration fee increases between $25 and $175 dollars. The fee increase is based on vehicle value and will also adjust for inflation.

Zero-emission vehicle owners will not escape the hit from the new law, either. Starting July 1, 2020, zero-emission vehicle models 2020 and later will see a new $100 annual vehicle registration fee. That fee is is also adjustable for inflation.

The California Senate Appropriations Committee estimated in its bill analysis that the law would raise $52.4 billion in transportation revenues over 10 years. The money would be divided up almost equally between local and state purposes.

The only Senate Democrat to vote against the bill was Steve Glazer of Orinda. Following his vote, he said he opposed the tax because his constituents were 2-to-1 against the bill, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The Bee pointed to Fullerton Democrat Sen. Josh Newman’s district as a potential early indicator of how the tax and fee increase could affect legislative races in 2018. Newman’s opponents have launched a recall effort and are using his support for the fee increases as an argument against him. He won his current seat by fewer than 2,500 votes in 2016.”

…Read more @ Breitbart

San Onofre Nuke Remains a Problem Even After Kamala Harris | May 09, 2017

As tunnel with nuclear waste collapses in Washington, anger over spent fuel storage intensifies in Southern California

|| OC Register

“Just as activists planned to demand that San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel be stored farther from the breaking surf, a tunnel containing nuclear waste collapsed at the troubled Hanford waste site in Washington, underscoring the hazards they hope to highlight.

The U.S. Department of Defense, which runs Hanford, evacuated workers closest to the collapse and told others to shelter in place. Responders are on the scene and reporting that the tunnel roof gave way in a 20-foot-by-20-foot area next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX, it said.

“There is no indication of a release of contamination at this point,” the DOD said in an update. “Responders are getting closer to the area where the soil has subsided for further visual inspection.”

The collapse was discovered during a routine surveillance of the area by workers, the agency said. The tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet of soil covering them.

Activists in Southern California had planned to demand that the California Coastal Commission revoke the permit it granted Southern California Edison to bury millions of pounds of San Onofre’s spent waste in a “concrete monolith” just yards from the beach, for fear of similar, unanticipated breakdowns. The Commission will meet Wednesday through Friday in San Diego.

“Remarkably, the Coastal Commission says you can’t plant roses in the coastal area because they are non-native plants, but at the same time have approved a nuclear waste dump. Something is very wrong here!” said a statement by Ray Lutz of Citizens’ Oversight Projects in San Diego.

Such concerns will be repeated at the Laguna Hills Community Center on Thursday as well, when the volunteer San Onofre Community Engagement Panel, which advises Edison on San Onofre’s decommissioning, holds its quarterly meeting. The topic: off-site storage of used nuclear fuel.

The CEP will hear updates on potential storage sites in Texas and New Mexico, which could accept spent fuel from San Onofre and other commercial reactors if federal laws are changed. Two officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials will be on hand as well, and Edison vice president Tom Palmisano will update the crowd on decommissioning efforts.

The CEP meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy.

As more aging reactors shut down, leaving “stranded waste” all over the country, momentum is building for the United States to finally find a solution to its half-century-old nuclear waste problem.

To encourage the development of nuclear power, the federal government promised to accept and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from commercial reactors by Jan. 31, 1998. In return, the utilities operating nuclear plants made quarterly payments into a Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for disposal.

The utilities and their customers pumped about $750 million a year into the fund. But nearly two decades after the deadline once set to solve the problem, the DOE has not accepted an ounce of commercial nuclear waste for permanent disposal.

The nuclear industry sued the DOE and a federal judge said DOE couldn’t charge for a service it not only wasn’t providing but wouldn’t provide for many decades. Utilities across America stopped charging customers the disposal fee in 2014.

Even after spending more than $10 billion on a proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada, disposal site, the Nuclear Waste Fund has about $36 billion that can go toward development of permanent or temporary storage.

The delays have left plants like San Onofre to figure things out for themselves. A trial was set to start last month over the legality of what has been dubbed a “beachfront nuclear waste dump,” but both sides agreed to sit down for settlement talks.

The likelihood that such talks would result in the immediate removal of the 3.6 million pounds of waste from the bluff overlooking the Pacific are slim, some observers said, as construction of the “concrete monolith” dry-cask storage system on site already is well under way, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some hope that officials can be moved to at least store the waste on the inland side of Interstate 5.”

….Continue reading more @ OCRegister

 

President Kamala Harris? She’s making the first moves for Obama 2.0

|| SacBee

“Now’s the time prospective presidential candidates start taking the subtle but crucial behind-the-scenes steps that get them noticed by the political intelligentsia, and Sen. Kamala Harris is quietly following the script.

She’s making speeches to key national constituencies. She’s due for an appearance at a Washington think-tank panel full of chattering-class presidential favorites that the national media will be reporting and analyzing, probably for days. She’s been fundraising for colleagues and making sure that she is forming relationships with key national reporters.

They’re all boxes that prospective presidential candidates routinely check. It’s a chance to ultimately convince insiders they’ve got the gravitas and the fundraising chops to be taken seriously.

The California Democrat, sworn into office four months ago, insists she’s not thinking about a run for president. Her inner circle forcefully tries to tamp down 2020 speculation – after all, there is no upside to being seen as a new senator focused more on national political ambition than on California.

But the speculation is not going away, not with the absence of a clear Democratic presidential frontrunner and the party desperately in search and in need of a new generation of leadership.

“A lot of activists in the party would love to see a new leader step forward,” said Roger Hickey,” co-director of the progressive strategy group Campaign for America’s Future.

Harris is being closely watched.

“Looking forward to see how she performs as a senator, I think that the sky is the limit for her,” said Jaime Harrison, associate chairman and counselor of the Democratic National Committee.

So far, Harris has leaped into the political spotlight with a resume that screams potential presidential material. She’s 52, a generation younger than better-known favorites such as Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or former Vice President Joe Biden.

“From everything I’ve seen of her she’d be an attractive candidate, she could be a compelling candidate, and I think she’d have a lot of appeal for primary voters,” said Bob Shrum, a senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.”

….Continue reading more @ SacBee

 

Sen. Kamala Harris likely to face lawsuit over California attorney general conduct

|| Washington Examiner

“Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will likely lose an effort to get a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that she abused her authority as California’s attorney general.

On Wednesday, a San Diego dstrict court judge indicated the allegations likely have enough merit to go to trial.

“At this juncture, given the limited scope the court has to view these allegations … it seems almost inconceivable the court could grant a motion to dismiss,” District Court Judge Conzalo Curiel said, according to Courthouse News.

The lawsuit by Prime Healthcare Services, a national healthcare company, alleges that Harris imposed onerous requirements on its efforts to purchase another healthcare company. Prime claimed that Harris did this to benefit the Service Employees International Union, which was seeking to organize its workers. SEIU had donated to Harris’s 2010 and 2014 campaigns for attorney general as well as her 2016 Senate.

The California attorney general’s office oversees the sale and purchase of nonprofits and their assets. In most cases, the office required that any company purchasing a healthcare provider nonprofit had to maintain the nonprofit’s current level of services for at least five years. Harris expanded that requirement to 10 years in the case of Prime’s attempt to purchase the Daughters of Charity Health System.

Prime contended that the change made the planned $843 million sale “financially unviable” and was done deliberately by Harris to undermine it as part of a “quid pro quo” with SEIU. “The only time Attorney General Harris veered from that pattern (of requiring five years) was with respect to Prime and the 10 years condition for the first time,” said Prime’s attorney John Mills.”

…..Continue reading more @ WashingtonExaminer

 

Recent History |

Kamala Harris Questioned about Conflict of Interest in San Onofre Edison Closure Deal during Senate Debate  |  May 2016

– KPBS

 – Senate candidate and current California Attorney General Kamala Harris was asked her opinion on a recent Public Utilities Commission plan to keep the San Onofre nuclear waste on site for the foreseeable future. Harris declined to answer stating as AG she was representing the CPUC as well as conducting a criminal investigation into the CPUC and the plant closure deal.
    The moderator correctly pointed out that the two issues were not related when Harris let out the bombshell that she was conducting a criminal investigation into the nuclear plant and ‘the conduct that took place there.’
    This appears to the tip of a very large iceberg here. In the middle of her Senate campaign, Kamala Harris faces a huge conflict of interest in a major scandal. The deal ironed out between the CPUC and Edison was clearly illegal, Harris has evidence as the result of a search, and now we find that Gov Jerry Brown is refusing to release emails related to the matter.
 – The San Diego Union-Tribune published an article on the issue the moderator is raising here

 

Gov Jerry Brown Refuses to Release emails and other records related to the backdoor Edison deal that stuck the rate payers with a 3.4 billion bill  |  Why?

– CalWatchDog.com

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“But while the criminal division of the state Attorney General’s Office is pursuing the criminal probe, the civil division of the office is supporting Gov. Jerry Brown in his fight against disclosing emails between his office, the PUC and utilities during the period decisions were being made about how to pay for the costs of closing San Onofre.

Recent coverage of the case in the San Diego media has featured sharp criticism of Harris’ dual role in dealing with the scandal.

“In this case, for the [attorney general] to investigate the communications with the [California Public Utilities Commission] while representing a potential witness who is a potential subject of the investigation is a conflict,” former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst told KPBS.

“One of the problems with the conflict is it invites the attorney general to narrow the investigation to avoid the conflict,” former San Diego City Attorney Mark Aguirre told the San Diego public broadcasting affiliate.

“If the investigation into the Public Utilities Commission involves the nuclear power plant, and that is something that’s the subject of the governor’s emails they are trying to keep secret, then I think there is a conflict,” Georgetown University law professor Paul F. Rothstein told the Union-Tribune. “The Attorney General’s Office should probably turn over one or the other of these cases to an independent counsel.”

“Government works best when it shines light on problems, not seeks to keep the public in the dark,” University of San Diego law professor Shaun Martin told the newspaper, criticizing Harris for helping efforts to keep public records from being released to the media.”

…Continue reading @ Calwatchdog.com

Attorney general Kamala Harris’s predictable “malpractice”

– San Diego Reader

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Statute of limitation runs out on San Onofre investigation
“On March 26, 2013, an executive of California Edison, Stephen Pickett, had a clandestine meeting with Michael Peevey, then president of the California Public Utilities Commission, at a hotel in Warsaw, Poland.

At this meeting, Peevey sketched out a strategy for Edison (majority owner of the now-shuttered San Onofre power plant) and San Diego Gas & Electric (minority owner) by which they could pass on the decommissioning costs of closing San Onofre to ratepayers, who had nothing to do with the mismanagement that led to the shutdown. Later, the commission approved a deal, which was very similar to what Peevey had suggested in Warsaw: ratepayers would pick up the tab for a whopping $3.3 billion. (Edison and SDG&E already had among the highest utility rates in the nation.)

The state attorney general’s office investigated and recovered the notes from that Warsaw meeting. Those notes were a smoking gun for obstruction of justice. But skeptics guffawed: attorney general Kamala Harris was running for the U.S. Senate. She wouldn’t dare cross Peevey pal and fellow Democratic governor Jerry Brown — whose sister Kathleen has been on Sempra Energy’s board of directors since 2013. (Sempra is the parent company of SDG&E.) The skeptics doubted that Harris would actually pursue a prosecution.

The skeptics were right.

Last month, the three-year period of the statute of limitations ran out. Unless the attorney general’s office investigates another angle on this case, Peevey, Edison, and Brown will skate. Harris did the same in the case against San Bruno, which suffered the destruction of a neighborhood and several deaths from an explosion that Pacific Gas & Electric will have to throw some money in the pot for. At least, in the San Bruno case, federal investigators have moved in. But “the feds are missing in action” on San Onofre, says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre.

“For her to let the statute go is malpractice,” says Aguirre.

Harris has not put anything close to sufficient firepower on the case, as she has stalled it to advance her own political career. Since that Warsaw meeting, the legislature has passed bills to reform the utilities commission. Brown vetoed them.

Meanwhile, Aguirre and his law partner Maria Severson are fighting the San Onofre battle and have not been able to get copies of emails that are essential to the case.”

….More @ The Reader

 

Comey Won’t Answer Questions on Obama Spying before Congress | May 04, 2017

COMEY DODGES QUESTIONS ON OBAMA’S TRUMP SPYING

|| WND

“FBI Director James Comey refused Wednesday to confirm under oath whether the bureau is investigating accusations related to whether the Obama administration spied on President Trump’s election campaign and transition team, while revealing his loss of confidence in the Justice Department and Loretta Lynch.

At the beginning of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., asked Comey if the FBI was investigating whether information about the Trump team was leaked to the media.

The director replied that he could not confirm that in public without authorization from the Justice Department, which, he said, would have initiated any such investigation.

Grassley indicated he would ask the Justice Department to provide the authorization to confirm if there is such an investigation.

Comey had also refused to confirm that FBI was conducting an investigation into leaks to the press on the Trump team by the Obama administration during an open hearing by the House Intelligence Committee on March 20.

On Wednesday, during what was a regularly scheduled annual oversight hearing on the FBI, Grassley asked Comey a series of questions related to possible spying on the Trump team, but Comey gave the same response each time: He could not reply in a public forum.

Grassely noted that even former Obama administration intelligence chiefs had said there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, so, he asked Comey, “Where is all this speculation about collusion coming from?”

Again, Comey wouldn’t answer in public.

“We need to know whether there was anything improper going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or if these allegations are just a partisan smear campaign that manipulated our government into chasing conspiracy theories,’’ Grassley said.

“For the good of the country,” said the chairman, “I hope that the FBI gets to the truth soon — whatever that may be.”

Grassley specifically wants to know more about a dossier the FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant to allegedly spy on Trump associates. The dossier was also used to justify allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump team. But the dossier’s most sensational allegations have been discredited.

The chairman has written several letters to the FBI questioning the use of the dossier. He said the FBI’s responses have had several “material inconsistencies.”

When Grassley asked Comey on Wednesday why he had not replied, Comey again said he could not explain in public. He also said he believed he could explain the inconsistencies in a closed hearing.”

….Continue reading more @ WND

 

 

FMR US Attorney: ‘FBI Director James Comey is a Danger to the Country. He Should Have Been Fired’

|| theGatewayPundit

“Former U.S. Attorney, Joe Digenova appeared as a guest on Tucker Carlson tonight saying James Comey is a danger to the country and he should have been fired.

Earlier today, FBI Director, James Comey admitted that Huma Abedin regularly forwarded classified information to her husband Anthony Weiner’s computer. This sparked another outrage by patriots who desperately want Hillary Clinton and everyone involved in this scandal to be brought to justice–including Comey.

Joe Digenova: “I got mildly nauseous today listening to his testimony one more time. James Comey is a danger to the country. He surrounds himself with his own cult of personality. He believes he is the righteous, last righteous man left standing.

When he held that news conference on July 5th and accused Hillary Clinton and then exonerated her, he violated every rule and regulation of the Department of Justice.

He should have been fired that day. He should never have been permitted to stay after the inauguration. He should be fired now for the testimony that he has given over the last few months.

That July 5th news conference was the original sin…”

…Continue reading more @ TGP

 

 

Locals, Conservatives Protest ‘Racial’ Voting Districts in Southern California Town

|| Breitbart | California

Malibu Lawyer Sues Ethnically Diverse Town While Malibu Hometown Isn’t

“About two dozen residents of the coastal Southern California city of Oceanside protested outside City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to oppose an effort to impose what they call a racist voting system on their city.

The group, calling itself the Oceanside Citizens Coalition, included local residents as well as representatives of the Oceanside Republican Women Federated, the Tri-city Tea Party, the Ocean Hills Republican Club, San Diegans for Secure Borders, and the San Diego Patriots.

The Oceanside city council is considering a proposal to divide the city into separate voting districts, which would each elect one member to the council. One or more districts would be created specifically to produce minority council members.

Currently, the city council’s five members are elected on an at-large basis, where each is accountable to the electorate as a whole. The at-large system is common in small communities throughout the state.

The change is being prompted by a March 22 letter from Malibu, California-based attorney Kevin Shenkman, who alleged that the city’s current at-large council system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) of 2001.

In the letter, Shenkman claimed that the at-large system discriminates against racial minorities, because the racial majority can vote in a bloc to exclude minorities from office.

He asserted that “voting within Oceanside is racially polarized, resulting in minority vote dilution,” though he did not provide any evidence, other than the fact that one Latino candidate, Linda Gonzales, recently lost an election to city council. He claimed that she lost because of “bloc voting of Oceanside’s majority non-Latino electorate.”

Linda Gonzales herself (above left) disagrees.

“I lost because I was running against two incumbents who had been on the council 16 years,” not because of racism, she told Breitbart News at the protest.

Gonzales, who has lived in Oceanside for 50 years, joined the demonstrators to oppose the new districting system. She was also irritated that Shenkman used her name in his letter to the city.

“I called them immediately, and told them I don’t believe in identity politics,” she recalled.

“They just kept talking. It wasn’t about me. [Shenkman] just used my name, and he used me.”

According to the U.S. Census, Oceanside is 65.2% white, 35.9% Latino, and 4.7% black. One of the city’s current five council members, Esther Sanchez, is Latina.

In a press statement, the Oceanside Citizens Coalition noted that the local community had elected several Latino leaders without discrimination or interference.

“[O]ur fair and equitable at-large voting system … has given us such fine city representatives as Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, 5-term current councilmember Esther Sanchez, Mayor Terry Johnson, and Luci Chavez, who have all been elected to high city positions over the past 25 years,” spokesperson Patti Siegmann said.

The city also recently had a black mayor, Terry Johnson.

The lawyer from Malibu (Sues Oceanside) 

Resident Mike Richardson, who was born in Oceanside, said of Sheknman’s effort: “It’s a fraud. It’s such a welcoming, inclusive, friendly city. There is no racial division here.

“It is a total lie. They don’t know us, they don’t care about us. They just have an agenda of their own,” he told Breitbart News.

Richardson said that a district system was more appropriate for a big city. “We know how to govern ourselves.”

Shenkman’s law firm, Shenkman & Hughes, reportedly represents the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), an organization that is based in Texas and has an office in Los Angeles.

SVREP’s mission, according to its website, is “to empower Latinos and other minorities by increasing their participation in the American democratic process.” It was founded by Mexican-American activist Willie Velasquez in the 1970s.

Shenkman’s firm is based in Malibu, California, an elite coastal enclave that is 91.5% white and is popularly known as a playground for Hollywood stars.

Malibu has an at-large city council — the same system Shenkman sues other cities to destroy — of five members, all of whom are white, as of the current term.

Shenkman failed to respond to an inquiry as to whether he plans to sue Malibu.”

….Continue reading more on Oceanside @ Breitbart | California