Federal Judge Threatens Sanctions Against DOJ for Perjury in His Court–Obama Caught Lying

Barack Obama is a Liar. That is not me, a mere citizen saying it, these are the words of a Federal Judge. Barack was forced into court on his amnesty for criminals from foreign countries, without any right to order it. His attorneys told the Judge the Administration would not do anything until the Judge made a ruling—they lied.

Obama gave 100,000 illegal aliens amnesty before the Judge could rule—against the Law, against the rules, against the Constitution—and no one knows how many of these 100,000 have committed felonies against honest citizens.

“Judge Hanen may have given everyone a clue on how he intends to rule by the derision he aimed at DOJ lawyer,  Kathleen Hartnett, who mislead him during a hearing in January. Hartnett apologized for the “misunderstanding” and claimed that the 198,000 illegals were given amnesty through the original Dreamer Act, which is not subject to the injunction.  Hanen didn’t seem to buy that convoluted explanation.  It’s like two men on an elevator.  If one of the men farts, everyone knows who did it.”

The Obama attorney lied to a Federal Judge—by the act of giving the amnesty and then lying about it in court. Will someone demand the attorney be disbarred for this fraud? Why not?

ObamaLooksUp2

Federal Judge Threatens Sanctions Against DOJ for Perjury in His Court

by Steven Ahle, D.C. Clothesline, 3/20/15

 

Federal Judge Andrew Hanen has issued a warning to the Department of Justice that they could face sanctions for committing perjury in his court.  Judge Hanen is the one who placed an injunction on Obama’s amnesty plan.  To say the least, he is not amused by the way DOJ lawyers mislead him.  In his court, lawyers for Obama and the DOJ told the court that Obama had no plans to implement any part of his amnesty programs before the court reached it’s decision.  Like all things Obama, that was a lie.  During the time in question, Obama gave temporary amnesty to 108,000 illegal aliens along with Social Security cards.

This is a very serious breach as far as the judge is concerned because as he said in court, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle after you let him out.  The judge had already found that the states had standing for the case to be heard because of the high cost of supplying illegal aliens with all types of benefits that only American citizens are entitled to.

DOJ lawyers tried to make the case that Obama has the power to grant these illegal aliens amnesty using his power of enforcement.  The judge ruled that Obama does indeed have the power of enforcement and could refuse to deport criminal illegal aliens.  He, however, said that Obama does not have the right to grant illegal aliens benefits such as work permits and Social Security cards, huge tax refunds or SS benefits without an act of congress.

Judge Hanen may have given everyone a clue on how he intends to rule by the derision he aimed at DOJ lawyer,  Kathleen Hartnett, who mislead him during a hearing in January. Hartnett apologized for the “misunderstanding” and claimed that the 198,000 illegals were given amnesty through the original Dreamer Act, which is not subject to the injunction.  Hanen didn’t seem to buy that convoluted explanation.  It’s like two men on an elevator.  If one of the men farts, everyone knows who did it.

Judge Hanen will render his decision soon and in my estimation, at least some sanctions will be invoked.

 

ACLU in Mexico—Looking for Illegal Aliens to bring back to United States

The United States has way north of 10 million illegal aliens. California has at least 1.5 million illegal aliens. We do not need to import any more, though President Obama felt the need to import 70,000 from Central America last year—most needing expensive education and health care, to boot.

Now we have the ACLU going to Mexico, to advertise and promote illegal aliens to come back to our nation, have hearings and then be deported. We all know that once in this country, they will disappear—so the ACLU is trying to grow the criminal community in this nation—expect different from them?

“Miguel Lepe, the Baja California representative for the Ministry of Foreign Relations, said the state government is working with the ACLU to identify deportees who were expelled from the U.S. under the conditions of the settlement.

“There are people who suffered this type of deportation who aren’t aware they may be able to return,” Lepe said.

The ACLU will be searching for potential plaintiffs through the summer, and will be filing applications on their behalf until the end of the year.”

The plaintiffs? ALL illegal aliens!!

ICE-Immigration-Agents

ACLU Searches For Mexicali Deportees Who May Return To U.S.

By Jean Guerrero, KPBS, 3/20/15

 

The American Civil Liberties Union representatives are pictured providing information flyers to Mexicali residents ahead of a public forum about a class action lawsuit, March 20, 2015.

The American Civil Liberties Union visited Mexicali on Friday in search of deportees who may qualify to return to the U.S.

About 100 people, mostly students, attended the public forum at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California of Mexicali, where the ACLU discussed a settlement with the U.S. government that could benefit thousands of deportees.

In February, a U.S. District Court told the ACLU it could broaden its class of plaintiffs. The original lawsuit allowed 11 deportees to return to the U.S. after they accused immigration officials of coercing them into signing voluntary return forms, which waive the right to an immigration hearing.

Deportees who signed voluntary return forms between June 1, 2009 and August 28, 2014 may qualify to join them.

Representatives from the ACLU asked members of the audience to contact the ACLU if they think they may qualify.

Monica Oropeza attended the ACLU event in Mexicali to learn more about the settlement. She runs a migrant shelter in Mexicali, and thinks several visitors may be eligible plaintiffs.

“We’re going to see if one of the people who come to us can apply,” Oropeza said.

Miguel Lepe, the Baja California representative for the Ministry of Foreign Relations, said the state government is working with the ACLU to identify deportees who were expelled from the U.S. under the conditions of the settlement.

“There are people who suffered this type of deportation who aren’t aware they may be able to return,” Lepe said.

The ACLU will be searching for potential plaintiffs through the summer, and will be filing applications on their behalf until the end of the year.

High Co-Pays/Deductibles Due to ObamaCare Killing Health Care Services in California

Anybody can get an ObamaCare or Medicaid card. But thanks to the lack of doctors, or the high deductibles, this is just a card, signifying the corruption of government and the desire of politicians to buy votes at the expense of our health. Some will die thanks to this worthless card. Obama lied and people will die.

“More Californians now have high-deductible health plans, Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright told the legislators. The unintended consequence of this, he said, is people are reducing both unnecessary – and necessary – health care, because they can’t shoulder a large share of their bill.

High deductibles, as well as high premiums and co-pays, “serve as a deterrent for people accessing health care,” he said. (Impatient reported on this phenomenon last week.)

This situation is compounded by the fact that many people who are newly insured with cheaper higher-deductible plans “don’t have a lot of experience with the intricacies of the health care system,” said Neeraj Sood, director of research for USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics.”

You also have the problem that with millions more carrying a card, there is not a single new doctor—many are refusing to participate in this production line health care deliver scheme.

Covered_California_logo

California state lawmakers are concerned about health costs

Rebecca Plevin, KPCC, 3/19/15 

Last spring, KPCC – in collaboration with KQED and ClearHealthCosts.com – started a conversation about health costs in California.

We knew a growing number of people wanted to shop around for affordable mammograms, MRI’s and other procedures. But it was nearly impossible to discover the costs. As part of our project, called #PriceCheck, we invited you to share what you paid for certain procedures. In the process, we began building a database of health costs.

Yesterday, the California State Senate Committee on Health picked up that conversation.

During a hearing in the state Capitol, doctors, researchers and consumers told the lawmakers that despite the federal health care law, health costs are still a barrier to care.

Deductibles as deterrents 

More Californians now have high-deductible health plans, Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright told the legislators. The unintended consequence of this, he said, is people are reducing both unnecessary – and necessary – health care, because they can’t shoulder a large share of their bill.

High deductibles, as well as high premiums and co-pays, “serve as a deterrent for people accessing health care,” he said. (Impatient reported on this phenomenon last week.)

This situation is compounded by the fact that many people who are newly insured with cheaper higher-deductible plans “don’t have a lot of experience with the intricacies of the health care system,” said Neeraj Sood, director of research for USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics.

Popular now on Impatient

 

They might know that they should ask the price of a procedure, but patients are “intimidated to find out how much something is going to cost,” he said.

Sood said he’s heard that people can’t afford their co-pays and deductibles, and are going into medical debt. And that’s a problem both for patients and for doctors, who aren’t getting paid.

‘The Future is Here’

It was against this backdrop that our partner, Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts.com, shared a more optimistic perspective: “The future is here,” she told the committee. “People are actually shopping for health care.”

She explained that hundreds and hundreds of people have shared their health costs with #PriceCheck. The reason?

“People are really upset” about the lack of cost transparency in the health care system, she said. “They want to talk about it and they want a way to make a difference.”

For the most part, she said, it’s women who are doing the bulk of this health care shopping. They’re the ones making most health-related decisions – regarding reproductive health, kids’ health, elder care – and they’re the ones who are on board with searching for affordable health care, added Pinder.

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Cause of Increased Energy Costs and Less Availability

Beware of the flat tailed Horned Lizard, it is the next animal to cost you money in Los Angeles, Clovis and Chico. Thanks to this animal the cost of energy is going up in California. This is due to the possibility that energy resources will not be allowed to be used or if used, the cost of production will go up.

“Construction halted Wednesday at the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, being built by Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, in the wake of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s accepting a petition to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.

Any species being considered for listing under CalESA automatically gets the full protection of the law until its fate is determined, and that means contractors at the Tenaska site must now proceed as though the lizard is officially listed.”

Think about it—all the environmentalists have to do is ASK that an animal be pu on the endangered list and investments stop, jobs end and attorneys get large fees. How much longer are we going to allow this abuse of government and the citizens by folks that prefer to live in the 16th century, not this one?

Photo courtesy Living Off Grid, flickr

Photo courtesy Living Off Grid, flickr

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Cause of Increased Energy Costs and Less Availability

Work on Solar Project Halted to Protect Lizard

by Chris Clarke, KCET Rewire, 3/12/15

Work has halted on a solar power facility in Imperial County due to the possibility that a rare lizard on site may be listed as an endangered species by the state.

Construction halted Wednesday at the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, being built by Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, in the wake of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s accepting a petition to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.

Any species being considered for listing under CalESA automatically gets the full protection of the law until its fate is determined, and that means contractors at the Tenaska site must now proceed as though the lizard is officially listed.

Construction will remain halted until Tenaska acquires permits from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The company says it expects that will happen next week.

Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, which would generate up to 150 megawatts of power, began construction in December 2014 on 1,100 acres of abandoned farmland west of El Centro. That’s right in the heart of flat-tailed horned lizard habitat, and the lizards don’t make it easy for construction workers to avoid killing them. Three inches long and well-camouflaged against the desert soil, the lizards’ primary means of defense against predators is to freeze in place. That’s not a particularly helpful strategy when the “predator” threatening you is actually a piece of earthmoving equipment.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a year to decide whether to list the flat-tailed, which has lost most of its potential habitat in California’s low desert to suburban and agricultural development. Imperial County’s burgeoning solar industry has been cited as a serious potential threat to the county’s remaining flat-tails.

Workers hired to build the Tenaska project are still collecting paychecks while they’ve been idled, according to a report in the Imperial Valley Press. One contractor working on the site told IV Press reporter Alejandro Davila Fragoso that his company is losing $146,000 per week due to the delay.

 

San Fran Water Police (Not a Typo): Green Lawns Make You “Look” Guilty

San Fran has “investigators”—really water police, to check to see if your lawn is too green, if you have the wrong type of plants, if your water meter is not properly set up—reporting every moment of water use—eventually able to determine if your showers are too long.

““There isn’t any irrigation on that little patch of landscape where we see water coming from, so it could indicate that there’s some other issue going on,” Tensfeldt says. “As the water experts, we’re going to try to figure out the problem.”

She pops off a utility cover on a sidewalk to reveal a water meter below. To her chagrin, the meter isn’t moving. That means the water pipe probably isn’t leaking.

“Our meters can pick up on very small amounts of water passing through, things as little as a dripping faucet, a dripping showerhead or shower valve, or even a house pipe.”

Maybe San Fran should build a desalinization plants to provide water include of limiting water—that would be good for the economy and great for freedom. Instead of using the power of government to limit our lives, use government to expand our freedoms. Forget the water cops, get engineers to build the water plants.

RB Drought

‘Water Police’ Seek Out Water Waste in San Francisco

 

By Scott Shafer, KQED, 3/21/15

 

Funny thing about a drought. Even without any rain, you turn on the faucet and the water still comes out. And that makes it harder to convince people not to use it.

 At the State capital this week, Gov. Jerry Brown hinted that tighter restrictions on water use could be on the way unless things change, weather-wise.

“When you start rationing 10 percent, 15, 25 percent, and as the drought continues, then that’s the pathway, then people will face real burdensome times,” Brown warned.

Like many counties, San Francisco is trying to squeeze out more water savings. And it’s doing a good job. Depending on how you count, San Francisco uses 80-90 gallons of water per person per day.

Compare that with water-hogging Palm Springs, home of lush golf courses and backyard swimming pools. The “oasis in the desert” chugs down 736 gallons a day per person. That’s more than eight times what San Francisco uses.

And yet, San Francisco is still trying to squeeze out more savings. I spent some time with a pair of women who are like the Sherlock Holmes of water conservation — Sue Tensfeldt and Julie Ortiz from the San Francisco Public Utilities Department.

We hopped in a city car and headed toward Diamond Heights, where the pair was hot on the trail of a reported water waster.

We arrived at a single-family home with no front lawn and only a little strip of reed grass. But next to it, a little patch of the driveway is wet — a possible sign of overwatering.

 Sue Tensfeldt talks to a nanny who answers the door and is a bit stumped.

“There isn’t any irrigation on that little patch of landscape where we see water coming from, so it could indicate that there’s some other issue going on,” Tensfeldt says. “As the water experts, we’re going to try to figure out the problem.”

She pops off a utility cover on a sidewalk to reveal a water meter below. To her chagrin, the meter isn’t moving. That means the water pipe probably isn’t leaking.

“Our meters can pick up on very small amounts of water passing through, things as little as a dripping faucet, a dripping showerhead or shower valve, or even a house pipe.”

Conclusion? It’s probably a sewer problem — a problem they can’t fix by themselves.

Ortiz admits that in this conservation-conscious city, she’s almost preaching to the choir.

“But there’s always room to save more,” Ortiz insists. “And so that’s part of the hard job that Sue and I do. We go out and look for the opportunities to find places and ways people can still save water.”

Their city car is practically a hardware store on wheels. Their trunk is full of garden-hose spray nozzles, low-flow shower heads, standard toilet repair parts and dye tabs to check for toilet leaks. And tons of water conservation literature.

It’s laudable, of course, that cities like San Francisco are trying to plug every little leak. But the truth is, the size of California’s water problem is going to require more sacrifice and perhaps more punishment.

And Peter Gleick, a water scientist and co-founder of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, even endorses “water shaming.”

“I would like to see a reality in which, if you have a green lawn, your neighbors look at you askance,” says Gleick. “And that’s socially unacceptable. In the 21st century, green lawns should go the way of smoking on airplanes.”

Good News for Government Workers in San Bernardino: Union Dying—Freedom Coming Back

Are we returning, for the workers, to an era of freedom of choice? Women are allowed the choice of an abortion, shouldn’t workers have the right to choose membership in unions or not? Are workers’ rights less important than the right of a baby to be born? In modern America, the unborn have no rights and illegal aliens have all the rights. Screwed up, right?

“Members of the beleaguered union have, for decades, been subjected to essentially no collective bargaining, and even more importantly, no effective disciplinary representation.

Since the late 1990’s, SBPEA has lost chunks of its membership to other unions. It’s a trend that is likely to continue.

The latest decertification vote comes amidst an SBPEA plan to affiliate with the Teamsters International Union. By “affiliation” with an AFL-CIO union, SBPEA, in essence, does nothing more than protect itself from raids by AFL-CIO unions like SEIU.”

Because so few really want to be paying bribes to work, unions are being forced to fight among themselves for the victims of the government/union cabal, treating workers like chattel—to be sold off to the most corrupt bidder. It is time to free the workers—if they want to join a union, allow them. If they want to stay out of the PTA, rotary or a union, that IS their right.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County union dying a death by a thousand cuts

Inland Politics.com, 3/19/15

The union representing the largest block of San Bernardino County employees is dying a death by a thousand cuts.

The Professional Unit of the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA) has chosen to be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Of the ballots cast, a resounding seventy-seven percent, of the unit members voting, chose to leave.

SBPEA immediately loses more than 800 dues payers.

Members of the beleaguered union have, for decades, been subjected to essentially no collective bargaining, and even more importantly, no effective disciplinary representation.

Since the late 1990’s, SBPEA has lost chunks of its membership to other unions. It’s a trend that is likely to continue.

The latest decertification vote comes amidst an SBPEA plan to affiliate with the Teamsters International Union. By “affiliation” with an AFL-CIO union, SBPEA, in essence, does nothing more than protect itself from raids by AFL-CIO unions like SEIU.

Let me be clear. SBPEA will remain as it is. The Teamsters will not takeover. SBPEA members will simply pay additional money to the Teamsters in order for SBPEA leadership and paid staff to keep their jobs.

Look at it as a form of paying for protection. In other words pay us and we won’t keep raiding your membership ranks. SBPEA members, on the other hand, will see no other difference. They’ll keep their same union leadership and board of directors, with the need for self-preservation now trumping what’s best for SBPEA membershp.

Turning around a union takes much effort and reform. Take it from me. I know.

I assumed the presidency of the Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA) in 1997. At the time, it was ugly. The union, which had a history of being weak, was decimated by my predecessor. Tit-for-tat political backscratching between the union, the county and the Sheriff’s department was commonplace. The represented employees were some of the most under-compensated in the Inland Empire.

It took a year to stop the slide, and any further damage from happening.

Then it took another two years to put in place real political action efforts and other reforms, more importantly safeguards, to build the organization into a successful respected group.

“We” increased membership size and obtained fair and reasonable compensation for county law enforcement. But more importantly, we protected our members right’s and enforced contracts and laws.

However, what took years to build was easily torn down by a return to self-service, self-preservation and political backscratching. SEBA nows suffers the same as SBPEA.

I hear the complaints all the time. It’s back to the way it was and, in some cases, it’s much worse.

Prior SEBA leaders either capitalized on their knowledge of dirty laundry to promote themselves within the department, or they didn’t know how.

Believe me. One could write a tell-all book, and more.

Back to SBPEA.

The union leadership has no intention, desire or willpower to change its colors. Frankly, they don’t know how.

I can recall the days of former General Manager Bob Elliott, in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Elliott routinely ran around drinking with county management and politicians, and SBPEA members paid the price, via low wages and health benefits.

Will anything really change?

The answer: Probably not!

 

Leaky pipes cost America 1 trillion gallons of water per year – 9% of California’s water deficit

If we had built dams when needed, built desalinization plants starting in the 1970’s when requested, if courts had not decided that fish are more important than people, the drought would not be a big deal. Thanks to government policies, we have a lack of water, farms are not seeding and jobs are being lost, the cost of food goes up—all because Guv Brown and his cronies do not like to live in this century.

Now we find that 9% of the deficit of water could be covered by fixing leaky water pipes. Again, yes we have a drought, but the lack of water is due to government policy and in part by the community not saving enough or protecting the water we do have.

“These easy-to-fix leaks can annually add up to a loss of more than 1 trillion gallons. To give you an idea, that’s about the amount of water needed to supply 11 million homes for one full year, or 9% of California’s water deficit.

According to the Circle of Blue’s 2014 Water Pricing Survey,[PDF] water prices in San Diego, while low despite the ongoing drought, can be average at around $0.00834. While this may not seem like much, if you count all those tiny drops and spills together, it means we are losing more than $8.34 billion of water through our drains.”

Courtesy Smabs Sputzer, Flickr

Courtesy Smabs Sputzer, Flickr

Leaky pipes cost America 1 trillion gallons of water per year – 9% of California’s water deficit

by: Amy Goodrich, Natural News, 3/21/15

(NaturalNews) As obsolete, unattended plumbing in our houses crumble, millions of gallons of water are lost each day. A few drips coming out of the kitchen faucet or showerhead might not seem like a lot to you, but even the smallest leak means gallons of water lost.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average American household wastes around 10,000 gallons of water each year through leaky pipes, toilets and faucets.

These easy-to-fix leaks can annually add up to a loss of more than 1 trillion gallons. To give you an idea, that’s about the amount of water needed to supply 11 million homes for one full year, or 9% of California’s water deficit.

According to the Circle of Blue’s 2014 Water Pricing Survey,[PDF] water prices in San Diego, while low despite the ongoing drought, can be average at around $0.00834. While this may not seem like much, if you count all those tiny drops and spills together, it means we are losing more than $8.34 billion of water through our drains.

Fix-a-Leak Week (March 16-22, 2015) is an annual campaign organized by the EPA which reminds Americans to check their toilets, faucets, showers, pipes and sprinkler systems for leaks. Fixing these small issues can mean a reduction of up to 10% on your water bill.

Do the home test

Leaking or malfunctioning showerheads, faucets, fixtures or sprinklers are easy to spot. Leaks in pipes, however, can go unnoticed for quite a while.

A simple leakage test can help you out. Check the number on your meter before you go out and recheck it after two hours. If the number has changed, you’ll probably have a leak or forgot to turn off water-consuming appliances, such as a washing machine or dishwasher, before you left.

Toilets are one of the biggest water-leaking sources in our house. A running toilet can waste thousands gallons of water a month. A broken valve will likely be the cause and is very easy to fix. Sneaky silent toilet leaks, however, are a bit harder to spot. Food coloring can help you find out. Add a few drops to the water tank of your toilet and wait for about 10 minutes. If the bowl stays color-free, you’re safe.

Make sure to check you water bill regularly. If nothing changed in your water-using habits but the bill went up, you may be facing a leak.

We need to take action

At the moment, huge parts of the world — like California and Brazil — are suffering from drought. Something as simple as taking a shower whenever you want may become a luxury in the near future.

If we want to keep the luxury of running fresh water, we’re all going to have to make an effort to reduce the 1 trillion gallons of water being lost each year. Not only is it important to fix our leaks, but we have to change our attitude as well.

While your shower may be absolutely leak-free, it will for most people still be a huge behavior-related source of waste. Over time, we have become accustomed to having an unlimited supply of hot water.

“It’s taking longer and longer for hot water to arrive at the shower or other points of use over the home,” said Troy Sherman, who founded a company which makes water-conserving products, to The Washington Post. “So people have started to develop a habit of turning on their shower, then leaving and walking away, and going and doing other things as they wait for the hot water to arrive.”

We use around 40 gallons of water per day in the shower; 20% of this water is just running through the drains, because it’s not hot enough or we are simply distracted.

There is a huge amount of water to be saved, and we have to take action before the tap dries out. More campaigns, like Fix-a-Leak Week, are going to be needed to raise awareness that the luxury of a hot shower or flushing toilet may be lost to us in the near future.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.epa.gov

https://www.masterresource.org

http://www.washingtonpost.com

 

Guv Brown: No Need for “Stinkin” Regents to Run UC System—He and Janet Will do it

Under the California State Constitution, the University of California system is run by a Board of Regents. Members are appointed by the governor, or are State officials or appointed by legislative leaders. They set the policies, curriculum and costs for running the campuses. They hire Chancellors and fire bad employees. The Regents run the system. Now we find that our very confused Guv Brown has decided he wants to be Barack Obama—and run the system without any input from the Regents, in secret, with a “committee” of two—himself and the lady that opened our border to illegal aliens and stopped the Border Guards from enforcing the law. Janet Napolitano is a notorious law breaker—now she and Brown will run the UC system, without in input from the Regents. Obama would be proud.

“Ironically, in the midst of Sunshine Week, designed to create more open government and freedom of information, the “Committee of Two” considering the financial situation of the UC system – Gov. Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano – are not forthcoming in revealing details about their negotiations. Despite protests to the contrary, this may be a necessary thing.

Yesterday at the UC Regents’ meeting in San Francisco, both Brown and Napolitano did a two-step around whatever progress is being made in their talks about the proposed tuition increase. Napolitano and the Regents supported tuition increases if the university system did not get more money from the state. Brown refused to be bullied.”

University of California

Big UC changes may come from private ‘Committee of Two’ meetings 

by Joel Fox, Calwatchdog, 3/19/15

Ironically, in the midst of Sunshine Week, designed to create more open government and freedom of information, the “Committee of Two” considering the financial situation of the UC system – Gov. Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano – are not forthcoming in revealing details about their negotiations. Despite protests to the contrary, this may be a necessary thing.

Yesterday at the UC Regents’ meeting in San Francisco, both Brown and Napolitano did a two-step around whatever progress is being made in their talks about the proposed tuition increase. Napolitano and the Regents supported tuition increases if the university system did not get more money from the state. Brown refused to be bullied.

Now the two are working on a plan that will try to re-set some university finances without raising tuition or dramatically increasing the state’s contribution. Not an easy task, but they claim they are making progress.

That doesn’t stop critics from demanding the negotiations be more open. As one student was quoted in the Sacramento Bee, “We need a committee that not just represents a committee of two, but a committee of 240,000,” referring to the number of students in the system.

University business

Are private talks setting government plans ever the way to go? Historians have suggested that, if the United States Constitution was cobbled together in open meetings the document would be much different and, they suggest, not better.

Tackling tuition hikes is not the same as constitution writing. However, to continue the broad analogy, what comes out of these private meetings may set a course of change for the way the university does business, just as the long ago constitution-writers went beyond their original assignment of fixing the Articles of Confederation.

I know – a little bit of a grandiose comparison.  But it is quite possible the UC system might look and feel quite different if the negotiators come to an agreement and any proposed changes are approved after debate. Online courses, larger teaching loads for professors and a shorter time to graduation all may alter the university experience as we have come to know it over the last few decades.

Whatever the Committee of Two comes up with would have to withstand vigorous public debate. There is no guarantee any Committee of Two proposal will pass the test. I served on a half-dozen state commissions over the years and few commission recommendations were turned into state policy.

Pensions

One big issue that is affecting all government-related organizations is employee pensions and health costs. When the issue of raising tuition first surfaced, the university’s financial division pointed to pension costs as one of the culprits. That issue must also be part of the negotiations, along with rising retiree health care costs.

We will see if the Committee of Two can come up with any solutions on the pension/health care front that succeed and maybe set the course for reform in this area for other government entities.

One suspects big changes are coming to the UC system. Getting the ball rolling is happening in private.

 

California Coast Needs 100,000 New Housing Units a Year—Government Will Never Allow This

California needs housing—we already know that just the city of Houston creates on average 43,000 new housing units a year while the whole State of California does only 68,000. We need more than 100,000 a year, but the State also has the highest housing costs in the nation. Due to high taxes, fees and regulations. This HAS become a Third World State—for the very rich, the very poor and the illegal alien. The middle class is being forced out of the Sate, unable to afford the cost of government imposed prices on food, housing, health care and roads.

“Coastal residents, on the average, commute 10 percent further each day than commuters elsewhere in the state, “largely because limited housing options exist near major job centers.”

The LAO recommended sharply boosting the construction of houses and apartments in California’s coastal urban areas, which would involve a major commitment of resources.

“The general magnitude is enormous. On top of the 100,000 to 140,000 housing units California is expected to build each year, the state probably would have to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually – almost exclusively in its coastal communities – to seriously mitigate its problems with housing affordability,” the LAO said.”

Though the say 100,000 are expected to be built, the actual number is 68,000. When will people revolt at the ballot box? We need an honest, affordable government.

Housing

Coast key to state’s housing costs

by JOHN HOWARD, Capitol Weekly, 3/20/15

The fact that home prices and rents are high in California is not news, but just how high may come as a surprise, courtesy of the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser.

For decades, people living in California paid more for shelter than those in most of the rest of the country. But during the 1970s, “the gap started to widen. Between 1970 and 1980, California home prices went from 30 percent above U.S. levels to more than 80 percent higher,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported.

The state probably would have to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually – almost exclusively in its coastal communities.

Today, the average California home costs $440,000, or two-and-half-times the average $180,000 price tag of a home elsewhere in the nation, the LAO said. (The summary and full report is available here.) The higher costs are driven by insufficient new construction to meet demand in coastal areas, soaring land prices and, to some extent, construction costs.

California rents also are higher than the rest of the country. Renters pay an average of about $1,240 per month, 50 percent higher than the $840 national average.

The division between coastal and inland California is exacerbated by housing availability.

Competition for limited housing in coastal areas pushes up rents and prices, with those unable to afford those costs moving inland to less expensive housing. But that shift drives up the inland housing costs, as well. High land and construction costs also figure in housing costs. Another impact: Californians are four times as likely to live in crowded housing than others in the country.

Coastal residents, on the average, commute 10 percent further each day than commuters elsewhere in the state, “largely because limited housing options exist near major job centers.”

The LAO recommended sharply boosting the construction of houses and apartments in California’s coastal urban areas, which would involve a major commitment of resources.

“The general magnitude is enormous. On top of the 100,000 to 140,000 housing units California is expected to build each year, the state probably would have to build as many as 100,000 additional units annually – almost exclusively in its coastal communities – to seriously mitigate its problems with housing affordability,” the LAO said.

But tackling housing affordability could cause other problems.

“Additional housing of this magnitude will be extremely difficult,” the LAO noted. “It could place strains on the state’s infrastructure and natural resources and alter the prized character of California’s coastal communities.”

 

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FDA approves genetically modified potatoes, apples–Leftists Really Upset

In 2012 California had on the ballot a measure that the Left said would protect our food supply—a ban on genetically modified organisms—GMO’s. They told us we would die, have birth defects and animals eating GMO enhanced would be endangered as well—as we should not eat any animal that ate GMO feed.

The most radical, Leftist President in the history of this nation, a man that thinks he is a Monarch, not President, someone who allows his wife to dictate what kids are allowed to eat in schools—just allows the production of GMO’d apples and potatoes—maybe GMO are not bad?

“The Food and Drug Administration approved genetically modified apples and potatoes Friday, saying the varieties are as safe and nutritious as their traditional counterparts.

The FDA gave the OK to the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious “Arctic Apple” from Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Canada that’s designed to resist browning, and “Innate” potatoes from J.R. Simplot Co. The Idaho-based company’s Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank and Atlantic potatoes have been genetically modified to resist bruising and to produce less of the chemical acrylamide that can cause cancer in animals.”

Daniellle Brown

FDA approves genetically modified potatoes, apples

FDA has approved genetically modified potatoes that don’t bruise and apples resist browning.

 

Christopher Lorning, Argus Leader, 3/20/15

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration approved genetically modified apples and potatoes Friday, saying the varieties are as safe and nutritious as their traditional counterparts.

The FDA gave the OK to the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious “Arctic Apple” from Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Canada that’s designed to resist browning, and “Innate” potatoes from J.R. Simplot Co. The Idaho-based company’s Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank and Atlantic potatoes have been genetically modified to resist bruising and to produce less of the chemical acrylamide that can cause cancer in animals.

The FDA review process is voluntary, but almost all companies have the agency assess the safety of their food products. The potatoes and apples already have been approved by the Agriculture Department, which looks for possible threats to other plants.

FDA officials said they do not have additional safety questions concerning food made from the two varieties but would not rule out requiring them to carry labels in the future to better inform consumers.

“Characteristics of these varieties of apples and potatoes that differ from their conventional counterparts may require disclosure to the consumer,” the FDA said. “Both companies are encouraged to consult with the FDA about potential labeling requirements.”

Genetically modified seeds, which contain DNA modified to express a particular trait — such as resistance to a pest, an environmental condition or a chemical — were grown on 180.6 million acres last year, the most of any country in the world. In the U.S., biotech crops are used for corn, cotton, sugar beet and squash, among other crops.

Consumer groups criticized the FDA for using a “flawed” process to approve the apple and potato.

Greg Jaffe, director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said there is no reason to believe either produce item would pose a food safety or environmental risk. But he said more needs to be done to improve the voluntary approval process.

“Congress should pass legislation that requires new biotech crops to undergo a rigorous and mandatory approval process before foods made from those crops reach the marketplace,” Jaffe said. “Such a system would give consumers much greater confidence that all genetically engineered products have been independently reviewed and found to be safe.”

Up to 80 percent of packaged foods contain genetically modified ingredients, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents more than 300 food and beverage companies, including Kellogg and H.J. Heinz.

Opponents of the technology have pushed for labels on all products containing the technology because they say consumers have a right to know what’s in the food they eat. Some groups also have expressed uncertainty about the safety of genetically modified ingredients, even though the FDA has said there is no difference between genetically modified crops and their traditional counterparts. Vermont has a labeling law scheduled to go into effect in 2016, but food companies have sued to block it.