In 2016 John Cox and George Soros Teamed Up

John CoxBefore running for California governor, John Cox was best known for two things, his many failed attempts at running for political office in his home state of Illinois and his plan to increase the number of legislators in California from 120 to over 12,000. A few years ago, when he showed up in California and got involved in politics, most just wrote him off as an eccentric older millionaire with too much time on his hands, but conservative and probably harmless.

Thus, it surprised even this author that as recently as last year, John Cox donated $5,000 to Mayday PAC through Change California Inc., an organization he chairs and controls. On the surface, Mayday PAC claims to be nonpartisan and has a simple goal: get the influence of money out of politics. Anything noble or truthful about the Mayday PAC starts and ends with its mission statement.

One can probably guess there is something rotten at Mayday when an organization with the stated goal of getting money out of politics raises millions of dollars. It quickly spirals out of control from there.

First, a quick look at Mayday’s spending reveals that there is nothing non partisan about them. Mayday is a Democrat super PAC and spends a vast majority of its money supporting Democrats and attacking Republicans. For example, in 2014, Mayday spent $1.4 million supporting Democrats and $4.2 million attacking Republicans. Mayday also spent $1.6 million meddling in Republican primaries, a vast majority supporting Scott Brown’s primary opponent in New Hampshire. Weakening Scott Brown in a tough general election race against an incumbent Democrat Senator.

In 2016, the year John Cox donated $5,000, Mayday spent only $2,250 supporting a Republican. So what was the rest of Cox’s money used to support?

Mayday’s solution to money in politics is just changing where the money comes from. Instead of private donors, Mayday would like taxpayers to fund political campaigns. As it turns out, public financing of political campaigns also happens to be a priority for the George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

This could be chalked up to coincidence, until you look at Lawrence Lessig, the creator of the Mayday PAC. Lessig is a Harvard professor with a long history of liberal political activism. He is also happens to be affiliated with multiple George Soros backed organizations. For example, he is on the board of MapLight and on the advisory board for the Sunlight Foundation, both George Soros affiliated organizations.

So why did John Cox give money to a leftist George Soros crony? Was he duped or is the eccentric millionaire more sinister than he appears?

Cal State LA Openly Racist Professor—Hates White People and “White Capitalism”

Racism is alive and well at Cal State Los Angeles, in East L.A.  This once proud school is now inundated with bigots, haters and professors that openly profess their dislike of white people and capitalism.

“A California State University-Los Angeles professor is urging Americans to participate in a “Black Xmas” by divesting from “white corporations” and fighting “White Capitalism.”

In her op-ed for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter activist and the chair of the school’s Department of Pan-African Studies, explains that “Black Xmas” is “an economic divestment from White corporations and an investment in building Black community through support for Black community organizations and businesses.”

““Black Lives Matter is dreaming of and building for a #BlackXMas, where we divest from White corporations and invest in building Black community.”

Guv Brown and the State College Board of Trustees APPROVE of this professor and her statement hating white people.  How do we know?  Because she has not been fired.  Imagine if a white professor said these things about blacks?  You know the tar and feathers would be out and there would not be enough cops to protect her life.  Why do the people of California allow the KKK in Tan to be professors?

Photo courtesy pd2020@sbcglobal.net, flickr

Prof calls for ‘Black Xmas’ to ‘disrupt’ ‘white capitalism’

 

Nikita Vladimirov, Campus Reform,  11/29/17
  • A California State University-Los Angeles professor is urging Americans to participate in “Black Xmas” by boycotting “white corporations” and fighting “White Capitalism.”
  • Arguing that “White-supremacist capitalism” is responsible for “state-sanctioned violence against Black people,” the Black Xmas website urges people to patronize black businesses “rather than lining the pockets of Trump.”

A California State University-Los Angeles professor is urging Americans to participate in a “Black Xmas” by divesting from “white corporations” and fighting “White Capitalism.”

In her op-ed for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter activist and the chair of the school’s Department of Pan-African Studies, explains that “Black Xmas” is “an economic divestment from White corporations and an investment in building Black community through support for Black community organizations and businesses.”

““Black Lives Matter is dreaming of and building for a #BlackXMas, where we divest from White corporations and invest in building Black community.”

“This call is fundamentally tied to Black Lives Matter’s mission to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people,” the professor continues. “We know that state-sanctioned violence is rooted in White-supremacist capitalism.”

The official website of the initiative provides additional instructions to participants, asking Americans to stop “spending with White corporations” between November 24, 2016 and January 1, 2018.

“Donald Trump embodies White capitalism,” the website states. “If you are anti-Trump, you should hold back your resources from him and the like.”

Alongside general information, the organization also touts a list of “black businesses” around the country, and urges Americans to donate to a list of “black organizations,” including Black Lives Matter.

“Black Lives Matter is dreaming of and building for a #BlackXMas, where we divest from White corporations and invest in building Black community,” Abdullah writes in her op-ed. “Rather than lining the pockets of Trump and other White-supremacist capitalists, donate to Black-led organizations that are building new, liberatory structures in our communities.”

According to The Blaze, Abdullah also recently explained her stance on “white capitalism” during an appearance on KPFK-FM radio’s “Beautiful Struggle,” where she noted a connection between race and economics.

“We say ‘white capitalism’ because it’s important that we understand that the economic system and the racial structures are connected,” she argued on the program. “We have to not only disrupt the systems of policing that literally kill our people, but we have to disrupt the white supremacist, capitalistic, patriarchal, heteronormative system that is really the root cause of these police killings.”

Neither California State University nor Professor Abdullah responded to Campus Reform’s requests for comment.

 

SF will allow existing dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis beginning Jan. 5

Here is a new wrinkle in the opening of recreational marijuana shops—and it had to be expected.  Santa Ana is allowing their medicinal marijuana shops to be able to sell recreational stuff as well.  San Fran is going to allow it, starting January 5, 2018.

“Close to 9 p.m., the board voted 10-1 to approve the regulations after taking up other matters unrelated to cannabis and shot down a series of tougher restrictions sought by some board members.

Per the approved regulations, new cannabis outlets will be allowed to open within 600 feet of schools, as advised by Proposition 64, the measure that legalizes cannabis statewide and was approved by California voters last year, and must be 600 feet apart.

The City will allow 30 existing brick medical dispensaries and 15 delivery services to begin, with their existing permits, retail sales come Jan. 5. To do so, they would have to obtain a temporary 120-day state license and meet certain criteria as part of an equity program meant to repair some of the damage from the war on drugs on people of color.”

Like a coffee shop on almost every corner, marijuana shops will be ubiquitous in San Fran.  And, if you are too high to go to a shop. A delivery service will bring it to you—like a pizza delivery service.  Maybe after January 1 we will have less road rage and happier people!

Cannabis marijuana weed pot

SF will allow existing dispensaries to sell recreational cannabis beginning Jan. 5

By Joshua Sabatini, SF Examiner,  11/28/17

 

After weeks of delay, San Francisco approved Tuesday regulations for recreational cannabis that will allow existing dispensaries to start retail sales come Jan. 5, four days after the era of legalization begins throughout California.

Heading into the meeting, the Board of Supervisors was under noticeable political pressure. Hundreds of anti-cannabis and pro-cannabis residents held dueling rallies outside City Hall and later filled the building’s hallways, waiting to cram into the chambers where the legislative branch meets. People filled the 253 seats and the remainder were sent to an overflow room to watch the meeting on broadcast.

Details on how to regulate recreational cannabis in San Francisco were still being worked on by members of the board heading into the 2 p.m. meeting, and a number of contentious aspects remained uncertain, such as how far new cannabis outlets must be from schools.

Close to 9 p.m., the board voted 10-1 to approve the regulations after taking up other matters unrelated to cannabis and shot down a series of tougher restrictions sought by some board members.

Per the approved regulations, new cannabis outlets will be allowed to open within 600 feet of schools, as advised by Proposition 64, the measure that legalizes cannabis statewide and was approved by California voters last year, and must be 600 feet apart.

The City will allow 30 existing brick medical dispensaries and 15 delivery services to begin, with their existing permits, retail sales come Jan. 5. To do so, they would have to obtain a temporary 120-day state license and meet certain criteria as part of an equity program meant to repair some of the damage from the war on drugs on people of color.

Criteria includes having to submit an equity plan and hire 30 percent of their workforce who meet equity criteria, such as having criminal convictions for cannabis offenses.

Supervisor Malia Cohen had asked to postpone the board’s Nov. 14 vote on the regulations until the land regulations were resolved to ensure success of the equity program she had introduced. The board had considered at that meeting to allow existing dispensaries to sell retail cannabis but punt decisions on land use to a later date.

For new cannabis outlets, The City will permit only equity applicants until equity applicants comprise half the market, and then it would be a one-for-one permit approval. That means since there are 45 existing dispensaries, The City will permit 45 equity applicant cannabis outlets before letting non-equity applicants apply.

Equity applicants cannot apply to start retail sales until the Office of Cannabis offers applications. Cohen said she expects the applications ready by Jan 5, although Nicole Elliott, the office’s director, has not yet committed to a date.

While a well-organized group of anti-cannabis Chinese-American residents appeared weeks ago to have succeeded in pressuring the board to pass tough regulations that some said would have killed the cannabis industry, pushback from pro-cannabis leaders appears to have prevailed in the end.

The board rejected a number of specific neighborhood cannabis limits, such as overturning an existing ban of only three cannabis outlets in District 11, the Excelsior, which is represented by Supervisor Ahsha Safai. Safai, who was the only supervisor to vote against the regulations, said it was disrespectful not to keep in place the District 11 cannabis ban.

Instead of a ban in Chinatown, as was considered, the board approved requiring a special conditional use permit that could be appealed to the board.

Supervisor Katy Tang proposed requiring cannabis outlets to be 1,000-feet away from both schools and childcare centers. “My constituents have advocated for this very strongly,” Tang said.

But Supervisor Hillary Ronen blasted the tougher restrictions. She said The City should embrace “an exciting moment in our country’s history of finally waking up and saying we have been mistaken on how we handle drugs in our society.”

She added, “I am just shocked by my colleagues. I don’t understand why we are pretending that this is so dangerous for children.”

The legislation will come before the board next week for a second and final vote. Mayor Ed Lee then has 10 days to sign it into law.

 

Nancy Pelosi Has Been Enabling Sexual Predators For Decades

Years ago, San Fran Nan knew that John Conyers was a sexual predator—even the Leftist Cokie Roberts of NPR says that female reporters knew never to be alone in an elevator with the sleazy Democrat from Detroit.  Pelosi knew about the payments from office accounts to keep women silent about the predators in the Capitol.  She did nothing—except to approve the killing of female babies and cry not enough babies are being killed, ur, aborted.

“But that’s exactly what Pelosi is: That woman, a faux feminist who has been enabling sexual predators for decades.

We can start with her full throated defense of former President Bill Clinton. She’s been defending his documented and repetitive bad behavior since the 1990s and did so again on Meet The Press Sunday.

During her time as Speaker of the House, Pelosi ignored disgraceful sexual harassment by former Congressman and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. During his time as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Filner sexually harassed female veterans who were victims of rape during their time in the military. He knew about their vulnerable positions and took advantage of them. He offered them “help” in return for dinner dates. A total disgrace and gross abuse of power.

Seriously, everyone knew Bill Clinton was a predator—now it is politically correct to admit it.  Pelosi has been protected the creeps of Washington for years—when will she stop?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9328950

Nancy Pelosi Has Been Enabling Sexual Predators For Decades

 

Katie Pavlich,  Townhall,  11/27/17

 

As Guy has thoroughly exposed, over the weekend House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended Congressman John Conyers as an “icon” amid allegations he fired a woman on his staff after she refused to give him sexual favors.

Over at Vox, Pelosi is being called out as the ultimate enabler of sexual harassers and abusers. “That woman.” She’ll also being held accountable as part of the reason why women don’t come forward more often when they are victims of sexual misconduct.

Conyers is the credible one. He is an “icon,” she told Todd. The woman? “I do not know who they are. Do you?” she asked the host. “They have not really come forward.” (The woman came forward three years ago, dogging her case through an opaque process in Congress that bars her from speaking about it. She spoke to BuzzFeed anonymously.)

Conyers is the real victim. Pelosi is withholding judgment until Conyers gets “due process,” she said. But Conyers got something better than due process. Congress wrote the rules for how sexual harassment claims are handled, exempting members from requirements that most other employers must follow. The woman, meanwhile, got less. She didn’t have a right to free lawyer. She couldn’t speak about her case. And it took months. Then she couldn’t find a job on the Hill. “I was basically blackballed,” she told BuzzFeed. “There was nowhere I could go.”

But that’s exactly what Pelosi is: That woman, a faux feminist who has been enabling sexual predators for decades.

We can start with her full throated defense of former President Bill Clinton. She’s been defending his documented and repetitive bad behavior since the 1990s and did so again on Meet The Press Sunday.

During her time as Speaker of the House, Pelosi ignored disgraceful sexual harassment by former Congressman and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. During his time as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Filner sexually harassed female veterans who were victims of rape during their time in the military. He knew about their vulnerable positions and took advantage of them. He offered them “help” in return for dinner dates. A total disgrace and gross abuse of power.

Filner’s record as an advocate for veterans, and female veterans in particular, make the latest developments in the charges of sexual harassment against him that much more deplorable.

Three more women this week — two survivors of military sexual assault and a nurse who cared for a female veteran — came forward with allegations that they were sexually harassed by the San Diego mayor and former 10-term congressman.

Nurse Michelle Tyler on Tuesday charged that she approached Filner in June to ask for assistance dealing with the Veterans Affairs Department on behalf of her patient Katherine Ragazzino, an Iraq war veteran. Filner “made it very clear to me that his expectation was that his help for Katherine depended on my willingness to go to dinner with him, spend personal time with him and be seen in public with him,” Tyler said, with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at her side.

Two other women, meanwhile — Air Force veteran Eldonna Fernandez and Army veteran Gerri Tindley — also came forward with stories of unwanted advances from Filner. Both Fernandez and Tindley are survivors of sexual assault in the military and members of the National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego. The NWVAA’s president Tara Jones told CNN that she’s spoken to seven or eight women in the organization who had uncomfortable encounters with Filner.

“He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is complete violation of what we stand for,” Jones said. “He’s a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda.”

“What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego. I’m not here to make any judgements,” Pelosi said at the time and after Filner admitted to wrongdoing, again ignoring his known behavior in Congress.

It wasn’t until years later when the Filner story hit a fever pitch that Pelosi started to give a damn, not because she cared about his victims, but because he was making the Democrat Party look bad. She ultimately called for his resignation under pressure.

Filner eventually resigned in disgrace, but managed to secure a full pension on his way out the door, did a short stint in sex rehab, pleaded guilty to battery against two women and was quickly welcomed back into California’s powerful circle of Democrats — locally and in Washington D.C. After a dozen women came forward will allegations of sexual harassment and assault, Filner’s legal bills were fully covered by California taxpayers.

Pelosi knew all about filthy Filner’s depraved behavior, but because he was a close friend who helped her co-found the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she gave him pass. He also, naturally, was close to Bill Clinton. Clinton endorsed his run for mayor in 2012 after more than a decade in Congress.

Needless to say, Pelosi’s stammering over sexual harassment allegations and sudden interested in due process when a Democrat stands accused is nothing new. She’s long been defending and carrying political water for sexual predators.

Ugh! EIR Delay Yet Another Spike in the CA High Speed Rail Plan

Gee, after wasting $3.5 billion of Federal taxes, getting seven Republicans in the Assembly led by Assemblyman Chad Mayes to promote and partially finance the choo choo to nowhere, the scam artists at the High Speed Rail Authority are claiming they know where the money will come to build this special interest pay off.  In fact, though they claim it will cost $68 billion, most real estimates are close to $200 billion—and they really think, after fifteen years that some private folks want to donate to this money losing effort.

“The latest derailment affecting the timeline – and undoubtedly the cost – is a two-year delay in completing environmental reviews of the project.

This news comes on top of growing concerns about tunneling, not just in the San Gabriel Mountains, but the Pacheco Pass connecting San Jose with the San Joaquin Valley. Even if the almost 14 miles of tunnel is bored, it could be a budget-buster and throw the project even further behind. In view of this challenge, attracting bond investors will be difficult for this segment; yields would have to be enhanced to generate investment, diminishing the already slim prospects of the system operating in the black.

It can never operate in the black, never.  They admitted they lied by doubling the expected ridership, the costs and the routes.  The train is built on a mountain of lies—would you pay $200 one way from Bakersfield to Merced?  This is how the Democrats, along with seven Republican approving a 72 cent a gallon gas tax increase want to pay off the unions and crony capitalists—many not even in our country!

high speed rail train

Ugh! EIR Delay Yet Another Spike in the CA High Speed Rail Plan

Paul Hatfield, City Watch LA,  11/27/17

PERSPECTIVE-As much as the California High Speed Rail Authority would like to hold its own version of the Golden Spike ceremony that marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, it is more likely to experience rusty nails driven into its already beleaguered and overly-optimistic business plan.

The latest derailment affecting the timeline – and undoubtedly the cost – is a two-year delay in completing environmental reviews of the project.

This news comes on top of growing concerns about tunneling, not just in the San Gabriel Mountains, but the Pacheco Pass connecting San Jose with the San Joaquin Valley. Even if the almost 14 miles of tunnel is bored, it could be a budget-buster and throw the project even further behind. In view of this challenge, attracting bond investors will be difficult for this segment; yields would have to be enhanced to generate investment, diminishing the already slim prospects of the system operating in the black.

When voters approved $9 billion in bonds in 2008 to start the project, the measure stated that operating subsidies from public funds would not be permitted. But we are on the fast track to just such support. The costs, which will most certainly blow through the current estimate of $64 billion, could easily triple. Although large overruns are common on major projects (i.e., the Big Dig in Boston was over five-times the original estimate), the public was misled as to this possibility with HSR.

So far, nothing has been delivered according to promises made in selling the concept to the voters – not even close. Even the train speed has been downgraded.

I happen to be a fan of rail travel. I used Amtrak and Metrolink to commute from LA to Irvine. I often thought how much more comfortable and reliable the trip could have been had the trains been able to run on dedicated tracks, free from freight traffic delays. The current engines can run at 100 miles per hour. While not high speed, there is no reason why most commuters from the far suburbs of Los Angeles couldn’t reach downtown in about an hour.

Instead of pouring billions into HSR, a system which will serve a relatively thin segment of the traveling public, we can relieve much traffic from our clogged freeways in Southern California by investing in the region’s rail infrastructure – far more than could be reduced on I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley by the bullet train.

A similar investment could be made in the Bay Area with the same results.

There would be no costly tunneling in either market.

Our next governor should kill this vanity project. Candidate Newsom was once on record as opposing the project …maybe he will come back to his senses. His key opponent, former mayor Villaraigosa, has always been for it.

The voters should demand that both candidates explain just how they plan to fund it.

Walters: Brown, with nothing to lose, defies unions on pensions

According to the Stanford Pension Institute, run by former Democrat Assemblyman Joe nation, CalPERS has $1.4 trillion in unfunded liabilities.  We know that CalPERS has informed member agencies that over a five year period, the mandatory contributions are going to double.  A few years ago the confused Guv Brown got significant pension reform passed in the legislature.  Of course the unions went to court and all that is left of the reform is the title of the bill—the rest is gone.

“Brown emitted a very strong clue to his unfettered status last week when he filed a brief with the state Supreme Court in a case affecting public employee pensions, in effect asking the justices to make it easier for state and local governments to reduce benefits.

Brown is supporting appellate court rulings that upheld two provisions of the modest pension reform bill he and the Legislature enacted in 2012, one ending “pension spiking” and the other repealing the ability of public employees to purchase additional retirement credits called “airtime.”

However, Brown appears to go even further, suggesting that the court set aside, or at least severely modify, the so-called “California rule.”

What a bunch of hot air by Brown.  Who cares about any brief he may file with a court?  He is pretending, once again to care—just like when he passed the pension reform bill, he knew it would be over turned in court—so he could look good, instead of doing good.  I am surprised that Dan Walters has been taken in by this Brown scam.

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Commentary: Brown, with nothing to lose, defies unions on pensions

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  11/29/17

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,” singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson philosophized in his classic blues song, “Me and Bobby McGee,” a half-century ago.

Kristofferson’s tune would be an apt anthem for Gov. Jerry Brown as he winds down his own half-century-long career in politics – especially so since Kristofferson once campaigned for him.

Unless something very unusual happens, Brown will never face voters again. Therefore, with nothing politically to lose, he has the freedom to do whatever he wants.

Brown emitted a very strong clue to his unfettered status last week when he filed a brief with the state Supreme Court in a case affecting public employee pensions, in effect asking the justices to make it easier for state and local governments to reduce benefits.

Brown is supporting appellate court rulings that upheld two provisions of the modest pension reform bill he and the Legislature enacted in 2012, one ending “pension spiking” and the other repealing the ability of public employees to purchase additional retirement credits called “airtime.”

However, Brown appears to go even further, suggesting that the court set aside, or at least severely modify, the so-called “California rule.”

That rule, based on a 1955 state Supreme Court decision, is an assumption that public employee pension benefits, once granted, can never be modified, even for future work.

It is a bedrock issue for public employee unions and the union-controlled California Public Employees Retirement System, as demonstrated when they successfully pressured bankrupt cities not to reduce pension obligations, even though a federal bankruptcy judge said they could do so.

Not surprisingly, any Democratic politician who questions the rule’s legal validity or financial sustainability risks union wrath.

It explains why former Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) Kamala Harris and her successor, Brown appointee Xavier Becerra, have been reluctant to buck the unions by vigorously defending Brown’s pension reform and why the governor, with nothing to lose, decided to do it himself.

A key phrase in one of the appellate court rulings, reinterpreting the 1955 Supreme Court decision, frames the issue that the Supreme Court must decide.

“While a public employee does have a ‘vested right’ to a pension,” Associate Justice James Richman wrote, “that right is only to a ‘reasonable’ pension’ – not an immutable entitlement to the most optimal formula of calculating the pension.”

Were the Supreme Court to agree with Brown and uphold the appellate court rulings that seemingly repeal the California rule, it would be a huge setback for the unions – and a black eye for the local unions that opened the legal door by challenging the pension reform’s abolition of much-abused pension spiking and airtime.

A “reasonable pension” ruling would also be an avenue for local governments, which are now struggling to pay fast-rising “contributions” to CalPERS, to reduce the bite by guaranteeing current benefits for work already performed but reducing them for future work.

Conversely, were the Supreme Court to defy Brown and overturn the appellate courts, the California rule would be enshrined, even mild reforms would be thwarted and the state’s unsustainable pension system could either become insolvent itself or force many local governments into bankruptcy.

Obviously, these are big stakes.

 

Santa Ana Will Allow Up to 30 Recreational Marijuana Shops

The City of Santa Ana is in the middle of Orange County.  It is a town of around 350,000 people—but the city council is looking to allow upwards of 30—thirty—recreational marijuana shops in the city.  Why?  The city council figure out that the revenues from its residents and those of central Orange County will be massive, lots of new jobs and the shops would be forced to provide their own security.

“Under the city’s new regulations, which received final approval on Nov. 21, all existing legal medical marijuana dispensaries – there are 17 up and running plus three in the approval process – will be able to sell commercial marijuana to people aged 21 and over once the businesses sign new agreements with the city. Permission for retail sales will be granted as long as the city determines the dispensaries have been following existing city regulations, which city staff said generally is the case.

Additionally, the city will allow up to 10 more retail marijuana businesses, under a timeline that has not been announced, for a total of 30 citywide.

Like San Fran, medical marijuana dispensaries will be turned into recreational marijuana facilities as well.  This will give Santa Ana a quick start on the monopolization of marijuana sales in Orange County.  This is a poor town, about to get very rich and “mellow”.

Marijuana

Santa Ana Will Allow Up to 30 Recreational Marijuana Shops

 

By Nick Gerda, Voice of Orange County,  11/28/17

 

Santa Ana is the only known jurisdiction, out of Orange County’s 34 cities, to authorize the sale of recreational marijuana when that option opens up to California communities starting January 1.

Under the city’s new regulations, which received final approval on Nov. 21, all existing legal medical marijuana dispensaries – there are 17 up and running plus three in the approval process – will be able to sell commercial marijuana to people aged 21 and over once the businesses sign new agreements with the city. Permission for retail sales will be granted as long as the city determines the dispensaries have been following existing city regulations, which city staff said generally is the case.

Additionally, the city will allow up to 10 more retail marijuana businesses, under a timeline that has not been announced, for a total of 30 citywide.

The additional 10 shops will be chosen through a point-based system that prioritizes applicants who commit to local hiring, are experienced in operating an existing commercial marijuana business elsewhere in the country, and support “community benefit and/or youth programs in Santa Ana,” among other factors.

The retail businesses will have to follow all of the city’s existing rules and regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, including operating hours, on-site security at all times, and no on-site consumption of marijuana products, according to city staff.

Additionally, Santa Ana will allow as many as 20 manufacturing facilities for commercial marijuana, up to 20 distribution facilities, up to 20 indoor growing facilities, and an unlimited number of testing facilities.

The city’s ability to do this stems from California voters’ decision last November to legalize recreational marijuana, which includes regulations and taxes. The approval of Proposition 64 will allow commercial cannabis businesses starting January 1, though each city and county gets to decide whether to allow them at all, and if they’re allowed, how many can operate and what rules they have to follow.

Among the businesses that can be allowed are retail shops that sell marijuana and pot-laced food and beverages to people aged 21 and older, without requiring a doctor’s prescription.

In additional to recreational sales, the measure allows cities and counties to authorize a range of other commercial marijuana businesses, including indoor and outdoor growing (known as “cultivation”), research and development, product manufacturing, and distribution centers.

The measure also allows mobile delivery of marijuana products, which cities and counties cannot ban within their jurisdiction.

The vast majority of cities in Orange County have opted to ban all commercial marijuana businesses within their boundaries, according to the countywide association of cities.

“A majority, if not all – with the exception of one or two cities – have decided to take up moratoriums” on recreational marijuana businesses, said Diana Coronado, CEO of the Association of California Cities – Orange County.

Out of the 34 cities in Orange County, Santa Ana is the only one she was aware of that plans to allow recreational marijuana shops.

Additionally, a survey of cities by county government staff found that Santa Ana probably is alone. Two cities – Tustin and Fountain Valley – hadn’t finalized their plans when the county conducted its survey in October, though Fountain Valley has since banned all commercial cannabis businesses. The Tustin City Council still hasn’t decided what it will do, according to agenda records.

The leaders of most cities in Orange County “fundamentally disagree” with recreational marijuana, while other cities see it as a very new industry and are waiting to see how it develops, Coronado said.

As the regulations roll out, the association plans to “keep our cities informed through educational meetings and events,” she said.

In addition to the city bans, no form of recreational marijuana business will be allowed in the parts of the county that fall outside of cities, known as “unincorporated areas,” which are home to over 125,000 people. This includes the communities of North Tustin, Ladera Ranch, Rossmoor, and Midway City.

Santa Ana officials anticipate millions of dollars in extra revenue to the city, though city staff didn’t provide an estimate in their reports about the effect of allowing retail sales.

As part of the new rules, the City Council increased Santa Ana’s sales tax on medical marijuana dispensaries from 5 percent to 6 percent.

There also are questions about the city’s emphasis on having retail marijuana shops support “community benefit and/or youth programs in Santa Ana.”

Councilwoman Michele Martinez said nonprofit groups are concerned they could lose their tax-exempt status if they receive these funds. Marijuana sales are illegal under federal law, which classifies pot as a dangerous illegal drug in the same category as cocaine, LSD, and heroin.

While federal law treats it as illegal drug sales, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service – better known as the IRS – has said in court that companies have to pay full taxes on proceeds from state-legalized marijuana sales, under a code reserved for illegal drug trafficking.

Additionally, major banks do not allow money generated from marijuana sales to be deposited, since banks are regulated and insured by the federal government.

The cities’ association spoke with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office about it during a September trip to Washington, D.C., Coronado said. All of the major banks in the U.S. are federally-insured and that causes a “major” challenge for banking marijuana revenues, she said.

California legislators are now exploring the creation of state or local banks that could hold marijuana revenues without the issues raised under federal law.

In California, where marijuana businesses are legal, “our cities can participate in taking this money as a revenue source” and won’t face penalties, Coronado said.

Santa Ana’s commercial pot regulations were approved partly on 5-0 votes, and while other parts were approved 4-1, with Martinez opposing. She said the city could go a lot further in ensuring marijuana sales lead to social justice and equity.

“We shouldn’t have to move so quickly,” Martinez said.

Other council members disagreed, saying Santa Ana was taking major steps to benefit the community by prioritizing retail businesses that hire local residents and have sustainable business practices.

None of the existing medical marijuana dispensaries have opposed the idea of being required to provide community benefits and hire local residents, said Councilman Jose Solorio.

Mayor Miguel Pulido and Councilman Vicente Sarmiento both abstained from discussing or voting on the marijuana regulations.

Sarmiento said he was still awaiting an opinion from the California Fair Political Practices Commission about whether he could participate. Pulido did not explain why he was choosing not to participate in making the marijuana regulations.

State law requires city council members to verbally announce any financial conflicts of interest they have when an item comes up at a council meeting, leave the room during the discussion, and not participate in the decision.

That includes naming all businesses they’ve invested in or hold a position at that pose a conflict, the location of any property that poses a conflict, and the source of any income or gifts that pose a conflict.

In a phone interview, Pulido said he recused himself because one of his lead fundraisers, Melahat Rafiei, represents marijuana dispensaries in the city, through the Santa Ana Cannabis Association.

“I’m recusing myself for the same reason I recused myself every time for about the last year or so, and that is namely – and I stated that – my financial chair and advisor, my good friend – her name is Melahat,” Pulido said. “You know she’s very active with the association here in Santa Ana, and so I don’t want to have any conflict or the appearance of conflict, and so I choose to recuse myself.”

The mayor said he does not have any investments or ownership interests in marijuana dispensaries or businesses.

Sarmiento didn’t return a phone message Tuesday asking for an explanation of his recusal.

 

Zuckerberg/Musk: guaranteed Income for Everyone—NO Work Required

The multi-billionaires want you to be happy.  How happy?  How about having government give you a guaranteed income—no work, just get a paycheck.  Of course, they do not say who is going to pay for this or how much it is going to cost.  Remember in the 1930’s they created Social Security, on the basis that the cost would never be more than 2%–now most people pay more in payroll taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes than in income taxes.

“In a blog post, the 32-year-old entrepreneur and investor floated the idea that every adult American citizen should get a share of the U.S. gross domestic product.

“I believe that owning something like a share in America would align all of us in making the country as successful as possible — the better the country does, the better everyone does — and give more people a fair shot at achieving the life they want,” Altman wrote. “And we all work together to create the system that generates so much prosperity.”

This is a variation on the universal income experiment that Altman and his Mountain View accelerator have been working on for more than a year. It started with a pilot program in Oakland and has expanded to a study in which YC plans to hand out up to $66 million to 3,000 people over the next five years.

Yup, go to Oakland if you want a check, but do not want to work.  Maybe Zuckerberg, Musk and Bezos will give their money to finance this, instead of using the tax dollars of people that actually work?

whitehousemoney-300x166

Should every U.S. citizen get a share of GDP? Y Combinator chief says yes

Sam Altman, head of Mountain View-based startup accelerator Y Combinator, this week floated the idea of giving all American adult citizens a share of the gross domestic product.

By Cromwell Schubarth, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 11/28/17

Sam Altman, head of the prestigious startup accelerator Y Combinator, is back this week with a new twist on his idea that all Americans should get paid, whether they have a job or not.

In a blog post, the 32-year-old entrepreneur and investor floated the idea that every adult American citizen should get a share of the U.S. gross domestic product.

“I believe that owning something like a share in America would align all of us in making the country as successful as possible — the better the country does, the better everyone does — and give more people a fair shot at achieving the life they want,” Altman wrote. “And we all work together to create the system that generates so much prosperity.”

This is a variation on the universal income experiment that Altman and his Mountain View accelerator have been working on for more than a year. It started with a pilot program in Oakland and has expanded to a study in which YC plans to hand out up to $66 million to 3,000 people over the next five years.

The idea of giving everyone a guaranteed income comes from a fear of the dystopia that may come from growing income inequality and job loss from automation in the United States. Other prominent Silicon Valley leaders, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, have also supported the concept.

“Countries that concentrate wealth in a small number of families do worse over the long term — if we don’t take a radical step toward a fair, inclusive system, we will not be the leading country in the world for much longer,” Altman warned in this week’s blog. “This would harm all Americans more than most realize.”

The blog is short on specifics about how to accomplish what Altman proposes. The GDP isn’t actually owned by any one entity in a way that it could simply be split into pieces of a pie to hand out to everyone. It is the calculated market value of all goods and services produced in a period of time.

The U.S. accounts for 25 percent of global GDP, but only a little over 4 percent of the world’s population. The GDP here grew by about 3 percent in 2016 to about $18.6 trillion and growth has picked up a bit this year.

The country already has a form of wealth redistribution in the form of progressive taxation, an issue that is now the subject of a hotly contested debate in Washington and elsewhere.

Finding a way to redistribute the actual GDP of the country would appear to go exactly counter to the thrust of Republican plans to cut business taxes in the U.S.

Altman acknowledges that implementing what he calls “American Equity” would not be easy and will require a radical rethinking of the tax system.

“It’s time to update our tax system for the way wealth works in the modern world,” he wrote. “For example, taxing capital and labor at the same rates. And we should consider eventually replacing some of our current aid programs, which distort incentives and are needlessly complicated and inefficient, with something like this.”

In the end, he said he is looking for feedback on this idea and he got plenty on Y Combinator’s Hacker News discussion site.

“Can someone actually explain what Sam wants to do here? I’ve read the post four times and I still can’t see any sort of plan, numbers, etc to actually critique,” the top comment there, from a writer identified as “chollida1” said.

“Run for office, perhaps,” wrote Simon Sarris, who has also written a lengthy critique of the idea of universal income on Medium. “In other words, if you can’t discern a plan, maybe the post is more about Sam than it is about a plan.”

Sarris’ reference to Altman’s potential political aspirations come from rumors that the YC leader plans to run for office. Altman has denied he wants to do that several times this year. But he has also been seeking others in Silicon Valley to run for office to oppose conservative policies on immigration and other issues that have been put in place since Donald Trump became president.

No candidates have been announced from that effort yet.

 

Fewer than a third of California 9th graders likely to get bachelor’s degree

Government education is so wonderful that we already knows that less than 30% of 9th graders could ever qualify for a college diploma.  LAUSD in June of 2016 had 45$ of its diploma recipients graduate with a “D” average.  This is another reason for the need of technical and computer training in the High Schools—not everyone needs a college diploma and most will never get one.

“It says that most California high school graduates do not complete the college preparatory courses required for admission to the California State University or University of California systems.

But preparation alone does not explain why students do not progress to and through college: Even academically prepared students are falling off the college pathway, PPIC says.

Could it be that the college have become havens for bigotry, hatred, political correctness and moved away from the field of education?  Seriously, who wants a degree in “Hate White People”?  All you can do with that is join Antifa and riot.

graduation cap diploma isolated on a white background

Fewer than a third of California 9th graders likely to get bachelor’s degree

Central Valley Business Times,  11/28/17

 

  • Even academically prepared fall off state’s college pathway
  • Most California high school graduates do not complete the required college prep courses

Only about 30 percent of California 9th graders are expected to earn a bachelor’s degree, with the vast majority falling off the path to college in the last two years of high school or the first two years of college, according to a report released Monday night by the Public Policy Institute of California.

It says that most California high school graduates do not complete the college preparatory courses required for admission to the California State University or University of California systems.

But preparation alone does not explain why students do not progress to and through college: Even academically prepared students are falling off the college pathway, PPIC says.

The report analyzes when students leave the path to college, which students leave, and the major impediments to success. It is based on a large longitudinal sample of high school students, as well as statewide data.

The report finds that:

  • Even with gains made in recent years, only 45 percent of the graduating class of 2016 completed the courses required to be considered for admission to CSU or UC. Completion of these courses is also a strong indicator of future college success.
  • A significant number of academically prepared students also do not make it to or through college. Among students in the sample who successfully passed the first college prep math course, 34 percent did not take the next one — even though 13 percent earned an A and 22 percent a B in the class. High school course placement policies, a lack of effective counseling, and California’s high school graduation requirements — which lag those of other states — all likely play a role in the problem.
  • In community college, nearly 20 percent of well-prepared students are directed toward developmental — or remedial — courses, which have been shown to slow progress.
  • Students historically underrepresented in higher education are more likely to drop off the college pathway at every stage. In the sample of high schools, the difference in math completion rates between the highest-performing group (Asian American students) and the lowest-performing groups (African American and Hispanic students) more than doubles by graduation. At CSU, African American students are much more likely to drop out in the first two years (35 percent) than are Asian American students (19 percent).
  • CSU lacks adequate capacity to enroll qualified students. In the past four years, CSU has turned away more than 69,000 qualified California high school graduates who completed the course requirements.

“Widespread progression problems in high schools are keeping even academically prepared students from advancing to the next level of college prep coursework,” says Niu Gao, PPIC research fellow and coauthor of the report. “Similar problems exist in community colleges, where well-prepared students do not take the transfer-level courses that would move them toward college completion.”

The report describes policy actions to improve college pathways, something that PPIC calls urgent given California’s shortfall of highly educated workers.

They are:

  • At the high school level, the state should consider updating high school graduation requirements. California lags behind other states — it is one of the few that require just two years of math for high school graduation — and this affects the courses students take.
  • School districts need to increase the number of approved courses, encourage more high school seniors to take these courses, and revise course placement policies to help nudge students to stay on track.
  • At the college level, community colleges should continue efforts to develop more accurate placement systems and establish an effective academic counseling and support system.
  • Expanding capacity at CSU is essential, as well.
  • Finally, California needs a statewide longitudinal database to track individual student progress from kindergarten through college graduation to evaluate reforms, improve systems, and assess outcomes more effectively.

The report is coauthored by Hans Johnson, director of the PPIC Higher Education Center and a senior PPIC fellow. It is supported with funding from the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, the James Irvine Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Sutton Family Fund.

 

How a House Dem accused of drunken shenanigans revealed another secret ‘hush fund’

Add Democrat Congressman Raul Grijalva as another sleazy, abusive, corrupt Member of Congress—he used his office funds, provided by taxpayers, to silence a women for his sexual predator behavior.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva quietly arranged a “severance package” in 2015 for one of his top staffers who threatened a lawsuit claiming the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment, revealing yet another way that lawmakers can use taxpayer dollars to hide their misbehavior on Capitol Hill.

While the Office of Compliance has been the focus of outrage on Capitol Hill for hush-money payouts in sexual harassment cases, the Grijalva payout points to another office that lawmakers can use to sweep accusations under the rug with taxpayer-funded settlements negotiated by the House Employment Counsel, which acts as the attorney for all House offices.”

Yup, $50,000 of your money spent to cover up the abuses of this Democrat.  Conyers, Grijalva and Franken must go—immediately.  Why did San Fran Nan cover this up?  She claims to be supportive of womens rights—instead she is supporting the abuse of women.  Hope she continues as House Democrat leader.

Maybe NBC show play this story along with its story about the Leftist Lauer and his abuses of women?

Photo courtesy shawncalhoun, flickr

How a House Dem accused of drunken shenanigans revealed another secret ‘hush fund’

 

By S.A. Miller, The Washington Times,  11/27/17

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva quietly arranged a “severance package” in 2015 for one of his top staffers who threatened a lawsuit claiming the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment, revealing yet another way that lawmakers can use taxpayer dollars to hide their misbehavior on Capitol Hill.

While the Office of Compliance has been the focus of outrage on Capitol Hill for hush-money payouts in sexual harassment cases, the Grijalva payout points to another office that lawmakers can use to sweep accusations under the rug with taxpayer-funded settlements negotiated by the House Employment Counsel, which acts as the attorney for all House offices.

The employment counsel negotiated a deal for taxpayers to give $48,395 — five additional months’ salary — to the female aide, who left her job after three months. She didn’t pursue the hostile workplace complaint further.

The arrangement appears to run contrary to House rules that constrain severance packages, and it caught the eye of watchdogs who were already demanding answers about payouts in the wake of harassment complaints.

“It seems like all of these House bodies are designed to help cover for members of Congress,” said Melanie Sloan, an ethics lawyer in Washington. “A large part of the problem is that each member of Congress can treat their staff as their own fiefdom and also know that it will remain silent.”

In the case of Mr. Grijalva, the senior employee left after three months on the job. Her position was filled immediately by another worker, and her email and cellphone were deactivated.

When the woman hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit, Mr. Grijalva halted her salary as part of the House Employment Counsel’s strategy to force her to settle the matter, according to Capitol Hill sources.

The agreement provided for her pay to resume at her full salary for five months after she left the office.

Mr. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, told The Washington Times that the pay was a severance package and that the agreement was reached without a complaint lodged with the Office of Compliance, which handles workplace grievances by congressional employees.

“On the advice of House Employment Counsel, I provided a severance package to a former employee who resigned. The severance did not involve the Office of Compliance and at no time was any allegation of sexual harassment made, and no sexual harassment occurred,” Mr. Grijalva said in an email to The Washington Times.

“Under the terms of the agreement, had there been an allegation of sexual harassment, the employee would have been free to report it. Regrettably, for me to provide any further details on this matter would violate the agreement,” he said.

Mr. Grijalva did not respond to repeated inquiries about why he agreed to a more than $48,000 severance package for an employee on the job for just three months.

The woman, whose name is being withheld by The Times, declined to comment for this article.

The payoff in the Grijalva case appeared to violate House rules that prohibit a Congress member from retaining “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”

A legitimate severance package also should be paid in a lump sum and reported separately, according to House rules.

The role of the House Employment Counsel in squelching workplace complaints emerged amid flurry of sexual harassment accusations and shock that Congress has covered it up for years.

Most of the focus has been on Congress’ Office of Compliance, which over the past 20 years paid out $17.2 million to settle 264 complaints of sexual harassment and other workplace violations on Capitol Hill, The Washington Post reported this month.

In the absence of a human resources department for Congress, the Office of Compliance handles sexual harassment and other workplace grievances. The settlements are secret, and the complaint process is arduous and can drag out for months with mandatory counseling for victims and other requirements.

Victims also are required to sign a confidentiality agreement before the matter can be resolved.

That appears to have happened in the Grijalva case with the Employment Counsel as well.

Peter Flaherty, president of the watchdog organization National Legal and Policy Center, said the secrecy of the congressional offices makes it difficult to figure out how widespread the problems are.

“Sexual harassment settlements are sometimes disguised as other transactions, like severance payments. These are very hard to unravel,” he said. “These settlements were made with public funds. Since we taxpayers were parties to these agreements, we have the right to know who on whose behalf we settled.”

Mr. Flaherty said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, should make public all the names of all the lawmakers accused of sexual harassment and the amounts of settlements paid in each case, while preserving the anonymity of the victims.

Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania Republican, called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate every use of taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims in Congress.

“It’s unbelievable — and unacceptable — that elected officials have been using taxpayer dollars to cover up sexual harassment suits for years,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “As if the American people needed another example of politicians playing by a different set of rules, this is an affront to the hardworking taxpayers forced to foot the bill for these heinous actions.”

His office said the demand for investigation applied to the House Employment Counsel, the Office of Compliance and any other method of settling claims.

The complaints against members of Congress are piling up.

Ms. Sloan, the ethics lawyer, said she was victimized in 1998 while working for Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat. She said she was verbally abused and one occasion was called into the congressman’s office, where she found him in his underwear.

Her complaints at the time were largely ignored, and Mr. Conyers’ office said she was “mentally unstable.”

Ms. Sloan is among three women who have come forward with complaints of inappropriate behavior by Mr. Conyers.

One female staffer was paid $27,000 in 2015 as part of a confidentiality agreement after she accused Mr. Conyers of firing her when she refused to have sex with him, BuzzFeed reported.

The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the sexual harassment accusation against Mr. Conyers, who denied wrongdoing but stepped down from his position as ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Al Franken also faces a possible ethics investigation after radio newscaster Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a USO tour in 2006, before the Minnesota Democrat was elected in 2008.

Another woman came forward to accuse the senator of grabbing her buttocks while they were at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Mr. Franken has made several apologies.

“I know that I’ve let a lot of people down,” he said Monday when returning to work in the Senate.

It’s part of a flood of sexual harassment accusations against powerful men that began with women speaking out about movie producer Harvey Weinstein and spread through Hollywood to journalism and Capitol Hill.

The Senate voted this month to institute mandatory training to combat sexual harassment, and Mr. Ryan ordered all House members and staff to receive training.