California Democrats Changing The Rules To Protect One Of Their Own
“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.”
Unpopular Gas Tax Could Hurt California Democrats in 2018
“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.”
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.”
President Kamala Harris? She’s making the first moves for Obama 2.0
“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.”
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.”
– 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?
“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.”
Attorney general Kamala Harris’s predictable “malpractice”
– San Diego Reader
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.”
“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.”
FMR US Attorney: ‘FBI Director James Comey is a Danger to the Country. He Should Have Been Fired’
“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…”
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.”
Masked Agitators Attack President’s Supporters, Whine When MAGA Strikes Back
| PJ Media
“Pepper spray seems to be the weapon of choice for the anti-Trump left in California since the election.
Anti-Trump agitators pepper-sprayed Trump supporters attending a Milo Yiannopoulos event in Berkeley last month, and a “Make America Great Again” march in Huntington Beach turned violent in similar fashion on Saturday, leading to four arrests.
The march drew about 2,000 Trump supporters — many of them wearing MAGA hats and waving American flags, according to the Orange County Register.
After about a dozen agitators wearing black masks formed a wall blocking the marchers as they made their way down to Bolsa Chica State Beach, the situation got ugly with a lot of yelling back and forth and at least one person — a female march organizer — getting pepper-sprayed.
A group of flag-waving Trump supporters tackled the man with the pepper spray, who was wearing a black mask, and started punching and kicking him, according to witnesses. Several other fights also broke out between demonstrators.
Jennifer Sterling, the organizer who was pepper-sprayed, said the purpose of the patriotic rally was not only to show support for Trump, but to celebrate first responders, military veterans, and the vice president.
Darlene Savord, another organizer, said that the event was “a huge, huge success,” and dismissed the violence. “We had a lot of Trump supporters here, which shows that we are united,” she said.
Four people — all agitators — were arrested following the brawl that lasted about a half-hour. Three were arrested for alleged illegal use of pepper spray and a fourth person was arrested for alleged assault and battery, Capt. Pearsall said.
The anti-Trumpers were trying to stop the march by creating a “human wall.” As Fox News reported, they “appeared to be looking for trouble.”
Agitators have been “looking for trouble” (also known as “bird-dogging”) at Trump rallies for well over a year now.
The rally in Huntington Beach was one of about 40 affiliated events that were scheduled nationwide Saturday. The rest of the rallies were reportedly not marred by anti-Trump violence.”
“Over sixty percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.
Since Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over Trump’s unexpected election.
“Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.
Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law.
Californians also now talk about the value of the old Confederate idea of “states’ rights.” They whine that their state gives far too much revenue to Washington and gets too little back.
Residents boast about how their cool culture has little in common with the rest of the U.S. Some Californians claim the state could easily go it alone, divorced from the United States.
Sound a bit familiar?
In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union in furor over the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln did not receive 50 percent of the popular vote. He espoused values the state insisted did not reflect its own.
In eerie irony, liberal California is now mirror-imaging the arguments of reactionary South Carolina and other Southern states that vowed to go it alone in 1860 and 1861.
Like California, South Carolina insisted it could nullify federal laws within its state borders.
Like California, South Carolina promised to withhold federal revenues.
Like California, South Carolina and other Confederate states bragged that their unique economies did not need the Union.
They boasted that “King Cotton” had created the wealthiest class in the United States. Silicon Valley now often assumes that Google, Facebook, Apple and others are near-trillion-dollar companies that are a world unto their own.
Slavery and the extravagant income from cotton warped the Southern economy and culture. A wealthy plantation elite, with its millions of exploited slaves, ensured that there would be virtually no middle, working or small-business class.
Huge estates were surrounded by the impoverished shacks of servants. Hardscrabble farmers or small businessmen often fled westward to escape the shackles of wealth disparity.
The export-dependent Southern elite demanded unfettered free trade. It offered bitter resistance to Northern protectionism.
South Carolina elites were opposed to federal infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, canals, bridges and reservoirs, and other such unwelcome “progress.”
Confederates boasted that their antebellum culture was more romantic, natural, pristine, healthy and moral than was the bustle, grime and hyper-capitalism of Northern industrialism.
Southern aristocrats believed that they were culturally superior — in terms of music, art and literature — to other Americans.
Of course, this is 2017, not 1860, and California is super-liberal, not an antebellum slave-owning society.
Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the U.S. are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.
California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It 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.
“Gone With the Wind”-like wealth disparity in California is shocking to the naked eye. Mostly poor Redwood City looks like it’s on a different planet from tony nearby Atherton or Woodside.”
California’s Undocumented Kids—Why They Could be First to Lose Medical Care Under Trump
“On a recent rainy morning in Los Angeles, Maria Bernal’s stove clicks to life with a bright blue flame to toast bread on a griddle for her 9-year-old son Edwin to smear with peanut butter. As she scoops papaya chunks into the blender for a smoothie, she recalls her worry during all the years when she couldn’t afford health care and he suffered painful ear infections.
The waiting six months to get an appointment for Edwin at a county facility. The nights trying to calm him as he cried in constant pain. The months-long wait for each of three surgeries to insert tubes into his ears. The fear when the medical bills arrived.
At the time, she couldn’t afford health care, and he wasn’t eligible for regular government-funded Medi-Cal coverage because she had brought Edwin to the United States illegally from Mexico when he was 1. He qualified for a local program and emergency Medi-Cal, but that didn’t provide all the care he needed. Then last year, she heard on TV that California was creating a new program under Medi-Cal to fully cover poor undocumented children. Relieved, she rushed to sign Edwin up. As a result, she says, “I can take him in whenever he needs to go.”
Now, however, the ability of Edwin and some 164,000 poor undocumented California children to see a doctor for regular medical care hangs in the balance—with several experts predicting they could be among the first to lose health coverage if the Trump administration carries out its promise to end much of Obamacare, leaving California to try to make up the difference.
To be clear, the federal government does pay limited medical costs for kids in the country illegally under the restricted-scope Medi-Cal program, which is available to anyone regardless of immigration status for emergency and prenatal services only. Last May, however, California became one of a handful of states to provide state-funded full-scope Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. About 71 percent of the program is funded by the state, according to the state Department of Health Care Services, with 29 percent paid for out of federal funds for emergency coverage. Also of note: Because the federal government funds emergency services, the state shares enrollee information with federal health officials.
In his most recent budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $279.5 million to cover approximately 185,000 kids in the coming year in what the state has dubbed its Health for All Kids program—double what the program was estimated to cost when it was approved.
With the election of Donald Trump, who took office last week, some health policy experts and advocates say the fledgling program is in danger. Assuming the new administration carries out plans to change how Medicaid is funded, California could stand to lose $17 billion the federal government currently provides for the Medi-Cal expansion that California adopted under the Affordable Care Act.Such a cut would leave state leaders unable to fully make up the funding difference—and could force them to revisit a decades-old debate over whether the state has an obligation to care for sick children regardless of their immigration status, or should focus limited resources on citizens and legal residents.”
NYC Mayor DeBlasio: OK to Shield Illegal Alien Drunk Drivers from Deportation
“New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio told CNN that he approves of the idea of shielding from deportation any illegal alien arrested for drunk driving.
During an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper pointed out to Mayor DeBlasio that the City of New York refuses to cooperate with the federal government to deport illegal aliens who have been convicted of drunk driving and grand larceny. Tapper went on to ask why the city is so quick to shield such dangerous criminals from deportation.
Tapper also asked DeBlasio for a response to the recent order President Donald Trump signed stating that federal grant money will be stripped “from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants.” DeBlasio decried the move and insisted he opposes “tearing families apart” over a “small offense” such as drunk driving.
DeBlasio claimed these “small” crimes don’t merit deportation, but for “any serious and violent crime, we’re going to work with” the federal government. Still, DeBlasio claimed that drunk driving could easily be seen as a lesser offense.”
Kaine: Democrats Have to ‘Fight in the Streets’ Against Trump
– Hmm. Lose the election, but ‘fight in the streets?’ Is this what the Democrats are advocating now? Apparently winning by ‘polls’ wasn’t enough? /CJ
L.A. City Council moves to decriminalize street vending
– LA Times
“The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to draft a law that would decriminalize sidewalk vending, in an effort to protect immigrants vulnerable to deportation.
Hawking food and goods on the sidewalk can currently lead to misdemeanor charges in Los Angeles. City attorneys will now be tasked with drawing up a new ordinance that would strip those criminal penalties and authorize the city to eventually issue vending permits — a first step toward legalization.
Sidewalk vendors “are simply trying to put food on the table and provide for themselves and their families,” said City Councilman Curren Price. “It’s about time that we stop criminalizing them and start allowing them to conduct their business lawfully.”
City staffers say it could take months, however, for Los Angeles to work out all of the details and begin to hand out permits to vendors. In the meantime, vendors who ply their trade on city sidewalks could still be cited and fined for violating the municipal code, but would not face criminal convictions.”
– Note: Since Health & Safety issues for food vending is handled by the County, so this move is essentially meaningless. /CJ
California Legislators consider bill on becoming Sanctuary State
– The Hill
“California state legislators on Tuesday advanced a bill that would make the entire state a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, in defiance of President Trump’s stated plans to deport millions of people.
The Senate Public Safety Committee approved the California Values Act on a party-line vote Tuesday morning. The measure now moves to the floor of the state Senate, where Democrats control a super majority.
The committee heard testimony on the bill offered by Senate President Kevin de León (D) that would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from spending money to enforce federal immigration laws. The measure would also ban immigration enforcement in state schools, health facilities and courthouses.
“We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children,” de León said in December, when he introduced what he calls the California Values Act.
The fight over sanctuary status could put billions of dollars in federal funding for California programs at risk. Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order pledging to withhold federal money from cities and states that do not comply with federal immigration laws. The order requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” that refuse to share immigration status information with federal officials.
The man who would file suit on California’s behalf is Xavier Becerra, the state’s new attorney general, chosen by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in part to challenge the Trump administration. Becerra, a son of immigrants himself, joined 15 other Democratic attorneys general this week in opposing Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking all refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations.”
Ouch! Tucker Carlson DESTROYS Brash Anti-USA Illegal Immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas
What a blowout!
Tucker Carlson had brash illegal immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas on his show tonight to discuss illegal immigration and US law.
Vargas, an illegal alien and host of the anti-white MTV Show “White People”, told Megyn Kelly back in 2015 that the US has spent too much on border security. The money would be best used elsewhere.
Tonight Tucker asked Vargas,
What would happen if I showed up in the Philippines as a non-citizen there illegally and I started saying, ‘Hey Philippines, I hate your immigration policy and by the way I think you’re racist for not liking me, and I think I’ll file some illegal lawsuits against you and just be quiet and accept my illegal presences?
Vargas, a committed leftist and open borders fanatic, could not answer the question. This went on for several minutes until Carlson finally started laughing at him.
Putting ‘illegal’ back into illegal immigration: Doug McIntyre
– LA Daily News
“It’s about to get real.
Last week President Trump lowered the boom on America’s pourous borders by signing an Executive Order authorizing construction of a 2,000-mile wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. The President also put hundreds of sanctuary cities on notice that his administration will enforce America’s immigration laws. Cities that refuse to comply risk losing Federal funding for both essential and non-essential services. No place has more skin in this game than Los Angeles, the city that gave birth to sanctuary policies back 1979.
When then-LAPD chief Darryl Gates issued Special Order 40 – the police directive that prohibits officers from initiating a stop based on suspicion of an immigration violations – L.A. quickly became the place to go for illegal immigrants. Why not? The welcome mat was out.
As well intentioned as Special Order 40 might have been, the law of unintended consequences kicked in. Crime didn’t drop, it soared.
But some things did fall.
Wages for working men and women plunged while graduation rates in LAUSD schools sank to historic lows. What went up is poverty. Way up. According the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, California is the poverty capital of America, both by percentage of population and in real numbers, with 20.6-percent of California’s 38-plus million residents living below the poverty line. That’s 5.5-percent higher than the national average, approximately 19 million struggling to survive.
How can this be?
Progressive, liberal, forward-thinking California has every natural advantage: the world’s greatest climate, abundant natural resources, World Class colleges and universities, Silicon Valley and Hollywood as well as magnificent ports and harbors perfectly positioned on the Pacific Rim to ride the crest of the rising tide of trade with Asia. Yet, somehow, California has more people living in poverty than Mississippi or Alabama or any of those backward, knuckle-dragging, redneck states it’s so fashionable for West Coasters to disparage.
The why is obvious.
California has something else those other less-enlightened states don’t have, the nation’s largest population of illegal immigrants.
Obvious to everyone but our leaders.
Sanctuary policies encouraged the poorest of the hemisphere’s poor to come to L.A. We effectively imported poverty on a mass scale, overwhelming law enforcement, our schools and the social safety net while forcing our poor to compete with even poorer people for the first rung on the ladder of success. We cheapened labor far beyond the strawberry fields of Oxnard.”
SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion in Florida
– OC Register
“A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, marking the company’s first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago.
The two-stage rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. carrying a payload of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc., which is replacing its entire global network with 70 next-generation satellites.
The satellites were expected to be deployed about an hour after launch.
About nine minutes after the rocket blasted off, to cheers from the control room, its jettisoned first stage landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg – part of Spacex’s effort to make boosters reusable.
The company has succeeded six times previously with landings on a barge or ashore.
A camera aboard the first stage gave viewers a you-are-there experience as it returned to Earth, flared landing rockets and made a perfect vertical touchdown on the floating pad.
The return to flight is an important step for SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk’s California-based company that has about 70 launches in line, worth more than $10 billion. In addition to commercial launches, SpaceX ferries supplies to the International Space Station and is developing a Falcon capable of carrying astronauts to the station.
SpaceX officials say they identified all possible causes of the Sept. 1 accident during prelaunch testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and took corrective action.”