Archives for December 2017

L.A. County Wastes Nearly Half-Billion Dollars on ‘Trash Train’ That Hasn’t Left the Station

They call it the trash train, billed as the answer to a waste disposal crisis looming in the late 1980s and ’90s that, if left unaddressed, would leave tons of garbage rotting on Los Angeles County streets.

But the crisis never materialized: Literally and metaphorically, no train has ever left the station. A reduction in municipal waste tonnage from increased recycling, combined with a plethora of nearby landfills with decades of remaining space, have made an empty remote landfill at the end of the line unnecessary, placing the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County’s expensive trash train project on hold indefinitely.

Also known as waste-by-rail, the trash train will not leave the San Gabriel Valley for the desert — or anywhere else for that matter — until at least 2027, and maybe even later, said Chuck Boehmke, head of the districts’ solid waste management department, during a recent interview from the Districts’ North Whittier headquarters. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Daily News

Will change in recall rules protect Democrats in Legislature?

State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, left, listens as Senate President Pro Tem Kevin del Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, urges lawmakers to approve a measure to change the rules governing recall elections, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Democratic lawmakers approved the bill that would let people rescind their signatures from recall petitions and let lawmakers weigh in on potential costs. Newman is facing a recall campaign over his vote to increase the gas tax. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Compared to citizens of other states, Californians are pretty laid back. But while Californians may have a reputation for being “chill,” in the political realm, they can act with surprising intensity and speed.

In 2003, when newly re-elected Gov. Gray Davis revealed that the budget was in much worse shape than he had admitted and announced a sharp hike in the car tax, Californians signed recall petitions at such a rapid pace that the recall qualified for the ballot on July 23. The election was held on October 7, and a new governor was sworn in on November 17.

Fast forward to, 2017. On April 6th, state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, cast the deciding vote to pass Senate Bill 1, a $5.2 billion annual increase in the gas and car tax. A recall effort was launched against him, and by the end of June, more than 80,000 voters in Senate District 29 had signed petitions to recall him. Only 63,593 signatures were needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Failing to learn the lessons of the past, the Legislature and the governor decided to change the rules for recall elections, enacting SB96 as a last-minute budget “trailer” bill. (Trailer bills are supposed to be “budget related” but that’s another legislative abuse).

SB96 included new rules to slow down the recall and removal process that the state constitution and accompanying statutes had made speedy and immediate. The law required the verification of every signature, instead of a random sample. A new waiting period was added to allow petition signers to consider whether they wanted to withdraw their signatures. The law added a new requirement for an analysis of the cost of the recall election, along with a review of the cost by the legislature. And the law applied the new rules retroactively to any recall efforts that were underway at the time.

Where the previous rules had strict time limits to ensure a speedy election, allowing voters to immediately remove a state official from office, the new rules made the time period for recalls not only longer, but indefinite.

The law prohibits the secretary of state from certifying the recall petition until the governor’s Department of Finance and the Legislature have had an opportunity to estimate and examine the costs of a recall election. There’s no time limit to complete the cost estimate, effectively allowing an endless delay. That’s on top of the extra 40 working days that the law added for petition signers to consider withdrawing their signatures.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sued to get SB96 overturned as unconstitutional, and a judge agreed, preventing the law from taking effect. But again our clueless Legislature rushed to pass a new law, SB117, that worked around the judge’s objections and reinstated the lengthy and costly new recall procedures.

As a result, voters have effectively lost the right to recall elected officials, just when they need it most.

It seems that every day brings new allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by lawmakers in Sacramento. The Assembly Rules Committee’s chief administrative officer, Debra Gravert, told Capitol Weekly that outside law firms are conducting seven investigations, and Senate Leader Kevin de León’s office confirmed two investigations on the Senate side.

Voters may not be happy with Sacramento’s system of protecting lawmakers. It starts with a byzantine process that discourages victims from reporting incidents, and then, when misconduct becomes public, hides the facts behind a cloak of attorney-client privilege. And voters may not want to wait around for lawmakers to decide when they feel like resigning.

But under the new recall rules passed to protect Josh Newman from the rage of voters in his district, sexual harassers are likely to have a free ride, at taxpayer expense, all the way until the next regularly scheduled election.

In twice changing the recall rules to protect one tax-loving politician, the Legislature and governor have not only revealed their disdain for the tools of direct democracy but they have made it easier for abusive and predaceous politicians to escape the wrath of voters.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

This article was originally published by the Orange County Register

How California’s new laws could change your life in 2018

Every year, the California Legislature passes hundreds of bills, ranging from technical clarifications to funding proposals that keep the state running. How have they changed your world this time? Here are some of the new laws – the useful, the controversial, and the downright quirky – taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Hiring

A prospective employer will no longer be able to decide how much money to offer you by asking what you made at your last job. Under Assembly Bill 168, the salary history of job applicants can only be disclosed voluntarily. Supporters say the law could help women close the persistent gender pay gap. Assembly Bill 1008 aims to improve employment prospects for formerly incarcerated job seekers by banning the box on applications that asks about criminal conviction history. It builds on a 2013 law for public employment in California, expanding the policy to cover most private companies in the state as well. Employers will still be able to conduct a background check once a conditional offer has been made, but the law, which is part of a national ban-the-box movement, is meant to give former convicts a better opportunity to be considered on their merits before they are judged for past mistakes.

Elections

Get ready for a new era of voting in California: Senate Bill 450, which passed in 2016, does away with neighborhood polling places and replaces them with elections conducted primarily by mail. It represents another effort to boost sagging voter participation. Under the system, which Sacramento is among the first counties to adopt, every registered voter will receive a mail ballot. Drop-off locations will be available up to four weeks before election day, and temporary regional “vote centers” will open 10 days ahead of time to register voters and accept ballots. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

Sexual Misconduct ‘Secret Settlements’ Will Roil California, D.C. in 2018

CapitolNo doubt there are many on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and in state capitals across the nation that are somehow hoping that the distraction of Christmas and New Year’s Day will somehow change the channel on the intense scrutiny of sexual harassment (or worse) committed by politicians of both political parties.

That’s not going to happen. In fact, I predict that the high profile that this issue has taken over the past few months is just a harbinger of things to come as the holidays come to a close.

We have seen members of the U.S. Senate and House resign, or announce retirements.  We have seen state legislators do the same. Here in California we have seen resignations from Assemblymembers Matt Debabneh (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Arleta) already.  The resignation of the former has placed a lot of negative scrutiny on U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), for whom Debabneh served as district director.  A third Assemblymember, Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), just this week announced his sudden resignation, citing health reasons — after his name had been whispered as someone else who might end up in the spotlight on this issue.  California State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) is considered by many to be politically a dead man walking as multiple credible accusers have made serious allegations about him – and he has been suspended from all of his committee assignments as a formal investigation takes place. Another Senator, former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg (D-Reseda), is also the subject of an investigation as well.

The reason the issue is a powder keg that has not really blown up yet is the secret-taxpayer funded settlements.  In the U.S. Senate and iHouse, it has been revealed that millions of dollars have been spent settling sexual harassment issues coming straight out of the offices of federal legislators.  In some cases, these secret settlements have taken place using money from individual office budgets; in other cases, payments have been made from funds controlled by the institutions (so presumably, ultimately, leadership).

Similarly, in the California legislature we have learned that significant sums of taxpayer money have been spent on sexual harassment claims made against elected.

No one that I have spoken to regarding secret settlements – and I have spoken with many – thinks that this is okay. In fact, most get downright angry when they hear about it.  For two reasons, mainly.

The first: if money is being paid out to someone who filed a claim there is a presumption that the claim was meritorious, and that the public has a right to know when one of their elected officials has been found to be conducting themselves inappropriately, or worse.

The second: these are public dollars and the public has the right to know where their dollars are being spent.

Adding to the considerable cost of these secret settlements themselves is now the fallout from resignations – i.e. special elections, and their significant cost to taxpayers.

It seems that there are two main groups of politicians who are interested in slow-walking or ideally never revealing the truth behind secret settlements.

Of course there are the sleazy politicians who know that if and when the news breaks that they had sexual harassment allegations so credible against them that victims had to be paid off – well, as we have seen, these have been extinction moments for most.

But then there are the enablers: those that have not actually committed and untoward or sleazy actions themselves, but they are covering up for those who have done so.  That means those who are in a position to open the books – to provide transparency.  Presumably this is leadership in Washington and in Sacramento – both elected leaders, as well as those legislators heading up key administrative committees with oversight over such matters.

Frankly, every federal and state legislator should be putting out a statement calling for transparency and for making the secret settlements public – as well as stating on the record that they have not had any issues themselves. That would create significant peer pressure.

There are efforts both in the national and state capitols to shine the light on settlements.  In D.C. a legislative effort is being spearheaded by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). In Sacramento, the Senate Republican Leader, Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), has called for more transparency.

Legislators that are not affirmatively trying to open up the books, and shine the light on secret settlements, are in fact part of the problem.

The war drums on this issue are only getting louder and louder – and the new year will bring a new national drive for transparency and accountability.

This entire episode has emerged as a painful stain on our political system (and as an ugly cultural black eye, as stories continue to emerge across the country outside of politics).

But this is not without a considerable upside.  Change needs to happen.  It’s not all right for people with power to engage in sexual misconduct – period. It’s not appropriate, nor humorous, in any context.

Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor for Breitbart California. His columns appear on this page.  You can follow him on Twitter here.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Newt Gingrich: ‘The stage is being set’ for GOP landslide in 2018

If you believe the Washington Post, CNN, Chris Mathews and the rest of the Fake News crowd, 2018 will see the Congress and Senate go to the Democrats.  These are the same people on the day of the November 2016 election were questioning if it were possible that Hillary would be able to win all fifty States.  Now they have assured us they can Impeach the President, raise taxes and apologize to the terrorists for the Trump crack down.  Actually, I agree with Newt Gingrich, we are set to see an historic 2018 election—with the GOP doing very well.

Mr. Gingrich said the most glaring example of “fake news” is the media’s handling of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he said will be “the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty.”

“First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up,” he wrote. “Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media. Then, the media talked again and again about how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to weaken Republican candidates in 2018. Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.”

Mr. Gingrich cited a recent CBS News report that interviewed three different families about their initial impressions of the GOP tax bill, which Mr. Trump signed into law last week. All three families believed they either wouldn’t be affected or would have to pay more under the tax plan, only to be told that they would actually be paying significantly less. In fact, CBS News reported that “most Americans” will get a tax cut next year under the plan. Mr. Gingrich said the report is just one example of how the media’s attempts to paint the tax bill as a tax hike on the middle class have negatively shaped public opinion.

Pelosi, Hillary, Schumer, Obama lied—and the Democrat party will die—it was not a murder—it is a suicide.  Resistance, with no plan to govern, while Trump saves the economy and you lose.

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Newt Gingrich: ‘The stage is being set’ for GOP landslide in 2018

By Jessica Chasmar, The Washington Times, 12/28/17

Newt Gingrich said Thursday that Democrats are headed for a major political upset in 2018, mostly due to the mainstream media’s dishonesty and the party’s inability to learn from its own mistakes.

“The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory,” the former Republican House Speaker wrote in a column for Fox News. “After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.”

Mr. Gingrich said the most glaring example of “fake news” is the media’s handling of the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he said will be “the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty.”

“First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up,” he wrote. “Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media. Then, the media talked again and again about how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to weaken Republican candidates in 2018. Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.”

Mr. Gingrich cited a recent CBS News report that interviewed three different families about their initial impressions of the GOP tax bill, which Mr. Trump signed into law last week. All three families believed they either wouldn’t be affected or would have to pay more under the tax plan, only to be told that they would actually be paying significantly less. In fact, CBS News reported that “most Americans” will get a tax cut next year under the plan. Mr. Gingrich said the report is just one example of how the media’s attempts to paint the tax bill as a tax hike on the middle class have negatively shaped public opinion.

“The gap between the news media falsehoods and the dramatically better reality of the GOP tax cuts will have three huge effects on the 2018 campaign,” Mr. Gingrich wrote.

 

Professors claim farmers’ markets cultivate racism: ‘Habits of white people are normalized’

San Diego State appears to have a series of professors that are to use an old phrase, “off their rockers”.  This is not a joke—they believe that local Farmers Markets are RACIST

Two professors from San Diego State University claim in a new book that farmers’ markets in urban areas are weed-like “white spaces” responsible for oppression.

Yup, they believe the markets are responsible for oppression.  Why are the people of California not giving the professors what they really need—no, not a pay raise, they need sensitivity training, stop their bigotry and hatred of white people and be fired—or at least put into a long term rehabilitation centers for racists, with the Nazi’s, Al Sharpton and the Back Lives Matter bigots/haters.  Thanks to Barack Obama, racism in America has not been so large, since the Democrat Party founded the Klu Klux Klan.

You do not have to go to a Farmers Markets to see oppression, bigotry and hatred—just visit San Diego State.

Photo courtesy pd2020@sbcglobal.net, flickr

Professors claim farmers’ markets cultivate racism: ‘Habits of white people are normalized’

By Douglas Ernst – The Washington Times, 12/27/17

Two professors from San Diego State University claim in a new book that farmers’ markets in urban areas are weed-like “white spaces” responsible for oppression.

Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco are part of an anthology released this month titled “Just Green Enough.” The work, published by Routledge, claims there is a correlation between the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” and gentrification.

“Farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized,” the SDSU professors write, the education watchdog Campus Reform reported Wednesday.

The geology professors claim that 44 percent of San Diego’s farmers’ markets cater to “households from higher socio-economic backgrounds,” which raises property values and “[displaces] low-income residents and people of color.”

“The most insidious part of this gentrification process is that alternative food initiatives work against the community activists and residents who first mobilized to fight environmental injustices and provide these amenities but have significantly less political and economic clout than developers and real estate professionals,” the academics write.

San Anselmo Councilman Takes A Knee During Pledge Of Allegiance–Want Gov’t CONTROL of Internet!

Kaepernick thought by taking a knee instead of standing for the Flag he would become a hero.  Instead his hate of cops and white people—including his own mother and ending a mediocre football career.  Now we have a Bay Area city councilman taking a knee because he opposes the FCC policy on “Net neutrality”.  No, this is not a joke.  Prior to 2015 we did not have government involved in the Internet—and look how it grew—this councilman is upset that the Federal government can no longer control the Internet—hence the knee.

“Although supportive of the former 49er, Greene says he’s protesting something else.

“I can’t stand the destruction Donald Trump is wreaking on our country,” he said. “Eliminating net neutrality, his use of office of the Presidency for his own selfish business gain.”

For two months no one asked why he was taking a knee. Finally, a newspaper reporter asked.

“I thought about it,” said Greene of revealing his motive.

Former San Anselmo Councilman Tom McInerney can be heard chuckling in the video of the October protest.

He says Greene’s action was ‘laughable’ because he has a tendency to grandstand.”

Trump Derangement Syndrome is not only found in the office of San Fran Nan (Pelosi), but in the radical, sick minds of others as well—even those outside of CNN and MSNBC.  This poor guy need help—is he mentally capable to voting on the City Council?

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San Anselmo Councilman Takes A Knee During Pledge Of Allegiance

CBS SF,  12/28/17

SAN ANSELMO (CBS SF) — While it has become commonplace for professional football players to take a knee during the National Anthem, San Anselmo’s Ford Greene may be the only local politician to carry the practice over into a city council meeting.

Greene has been dropping to a knee during the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of council meetings since the October 10th meeting. Some council members assumed he was backing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s Black Lives Matter protest.

Although supportive of the former 49er, Greene says he’s protesting something else.

“I can’t stand the destruction Donald Trump is wreaking on our country,” he said. “Eliminating net neutrality, his use of office of the Presidency for his own selfish business gain.”

For two months no one asked why he was taking a knee. Finally, a newspaper reporter asked.

“I thought about it,” said Greene of revealing his motive.

Former San Anselmo Councilman Tom McInerney can be heard chuckling in the video of the October protest.

He says Greene’s action was ‘laughable’ because he has a tendency to grandstand.

“If you engage in protest, the whole point is to tell people why you’re doing it instead of keeping it secret,” McInerney told KPIX 5.

Fellow attorney Arthur Pirelli says Greene has his own way of doing things.

“He’s done various protests throughout the years,” he told KPIX 5. “He speaks his mind.”

Greene says he plans to continue to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance at council meetings and at the Central Marin Police Council where he represents San Anselmo.

Walters: State auditor blocked in seeking judicial records

How do you audit an agency if the agency refuses to give its record to the State Auditor?  In this case it is the Judicial system, which rules on what everyone else must do that has decided to hide its information.

“Responding to complaints from judicial reform groups, the Legislature authorized Howle to take a critical look at the Commission on Judicial Performance, a little-known agency charged with investigating complaints against judges and disciplining them when warranted.

Reformers contend that the CJP, which has been in business since 1960, is lax in investigating allegations of judicial misconduct but masks its poor performance by making virtually all of its actions secret.

Occasionally, the commission does publicly announce some disciplinary action, usually when the conduct involved is already well known. But under the constitutional sections that establish the commission’s authority, it has the sole power to decide what is and is not public.

Therefore, when Howle’s auditors came calling, seeking records on individual cases, the CJP balked, contending that even though state law gives her access to confidential records of public agencies, that access is trumped by its constitutional authority.

What corruption are they hiding?  What criminal actions are they protecting.  It is time the Attorney General take the records of the CJP and allow the facts to become transparent—not even the Courts should be allowed to hide the truth.  What do you think?

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Commentary: State auditor blocked in seeking judicial records

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  12/28/17

State Auditor Elaine Howle has a fearsome reputation for tunneling deeply into public agencies and finding nuggets of information that officials would prefer to remain hidden.

Recently, for instance, the Legislature directed Howle to delve into the complex finances of the University of California, and its cloistered executives, especially President Janet Napolitano, went into full DEFCON 1 mode.

Eventually, Howle learned that responses to her inquiries of officials at individual UC campuses were being routed through Napolitano’s top aides and sanitized of criticism before being forwarded to the auditors.

Howle blew the whistle on the laundering, two top executives walked the plank by resigning and the UC president was admonished by the system’s Board of Regents after taking semi-responsibility. The audit, meanwhile, determined that Napolitano was sitting on a $175 million secret stash of cash.

With that incident still reverberating, Howle finds herself in another faceoff with another agency over access to its secrets.

Responding to complaints from judicial reform groups, the Legislature authorized Howle to take a critical look at the Commission on Judicial Performance, a little-known agency charged with investigating complaints against judges and disciplining them when warranted.

Reformers contend that the CJP, which has been in business since 1960, is lax in investigating allegations of judicial misconduct but masks its poor performance by making virtually all of its actions secret.

Occasionally, the commission does publicly announce some disciplinary action, usually when the conduct involved is already well known. But under the constitutional sections that establish the commission’s authority, it has the sole power to decide what is and is not public.

Therefore, when Howle’s auditors came calling, seeking records on individual cases, the CJP balked, contending that even though state law gives her access to confidential records of public agencies, that access is trumped by its constitutional authority.

The commission took the unprecedented step of suing Howle and on Dec. 19, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos issued an order thwarting Howle, saying she “has no legal right to access the CJP’s confidential records.”

This is a rather fascinating conflict on several levels.

For one thing, as Judge Bolanos declared, it touches on the separation-of-powers issue. Can one branch of government – in this case the Legislature through Howle – rummage through the secrets of another, the judiciary?

Howle has already done so, in a sense, by excoriating the State Judicial Council, the policymaking arm of the Supreme Court, for its disastrous foray into a centralized case management system. And she didn’t hesitate to hammer UC, which is also constitutionally independent, for its financial mischief.

From a public policy standpoint, there is – or should be – no reason to shield CJP’s performance from scrutiny, especially since Howle’s authority to examine confidential records includes a caveat that none will be revealed to the public. She and the Legislature are legitimately interested in whether the CJP is doing its job, not in airing the dirty linen of individual judges.

Furthermore, it may be a fundamental conflict of interest for any judge – in this case Judge Bolanos – to side with the CJP when it invokes secrecy about judicial misbehavior.

That said, Bolanos may be legally correct in saying that the CJP’s constitutional authority supersedes Howle’s statutory authority.

If so, however, the Legislature needs to resolve the issue by elevating the auditor’s authority to constitutional status or otherwise making it clear that no agency can escape scrutiny, especially one supposedly protecting the integrity of the judiciary.

 

Exiting NAFTA – The Myth of Global Markets…End NAFTA-Cut Food Costs 10%

NAFTA killed off hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.  It raised the cost of goods sold in this country.  American firms found it easier and better financially to produce in other countries—it caused the stagflation of the Obama years.  Yet some still believe it is a good thing.

“If the U.S. were to exit NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the price you pay for most foodstuff at the grocery store would drop 10% in the first quarter and likely drop 20% or more by the end of the first year. Here’s why:

Approximately a decade ago the U.S. Dept of Agriculture stopped tracking, and reporting, U.S. consumer food prices. The food sector joined the ranks of fuel and energy in no longer being measured to track inflation and backdrop Fed monetary policy. Not coincidentally this was simultaneous to U.S. consumers seeing massive inflation in the same sector.

There are massive international corporate and financial interests who are inherently at risk from President Trump’s “America-First” economic and trade platform. Believe it or not, President Trump is up against an entire world economic establishment.

Why should we pay 10% extra for food because the “world” demands it.  If we pay less for food, fewer American would go hungry—isn’t that a good thing?  Why does the Socialist/Democrat Party want the poor to pay more for food? Who are they really representing?  The rich and the other nations—not the American citizens.

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Exiting NAFTA – The Myth of Global Markets…End NADTA-Cut Food Costs 10%

by sundance, Conservative Treehouse,  12/26/17

If the U.S. were to exit NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the price you pay for most foodstuff at the grocery store would drop 10% in the first quarter and likely drop 20% or more by the end of the first year. Here’s why:

Approximately a decade ago the U.S. Dept of Agriculture stopped tracking, and reporting, U.S. consumer food prices. The food sector joined the ranks of fuel and energy in no longer being measured to track inflation and backdrop Fed monetary policy. Not coincidentally this was simultaneous to U.S. consumers seeing massive inflation in the same sector.

There are massive international corporate and financial interests who are inherently at risk from President Trump’s “America-First” economic and trade platform. Believe it or not, President Trump is up against an entire world economic establishment.

When you understand how trade works in the modern era you will understand why the agents within the system are so adamantly opposed to U.S. President Trump.

The biggest lie in modern economics, willingly spread and maintained by corporate media, is that a system of global markets still exists.

It doesn’t.

Every element of global economic trade is controlled and exploited by massive institutions, multinational banks and multinational corporations. Institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Bank control trillions of dollars in economic activity. Underneath that economic activity there are people who hold the reigns of power over the outcomes. These individuals and groups are the stakeholders in direct opposition to principles of America-First national economics.

The modern financial constructs of these entities have been established over the course of the past three decades. When you understand how they manipulate the economic system of individual nations you begin to understand understand why they are so fundamentally opposed to President Trump.

In the Western World, separate from communist control perspectives (ie. China), “Global markets” are a modern myth; nothing more than a talking point meant to keep people satiated with sound bites they might find familiar. Global markets have been destroyed over the past three decades by multinational corporations who control the products formerly contained within global markets.

The same is true for “Commodities Markets”. The multinational trade and economic system, run by corporations and multinational banks, now controls the product outputs of independent nations. The free market economic system has been usurped by entities who create what is best described as ‘controlled markets’.

U.S. President Trump smartly understands what has taken place. Additionally he uses economic leverage as part of a broader national security policy; and to understand who opposes President Trump specifically because of the economic leverage he creates, it becomes important to understand the objectives of the global and financial elite who run and operate the institutions. The Big Club.

Understanding how trillions of trade dollars influence geopolitical policy we begin to understand the three-decade global financial construct they seek to protect.

That is, global financial exploitation of national markets.

FOUR BASIC ELEMENTS:

♦Multinational corporations purchase controlling interests in various national outputs and industries of developed industrial western nations.

♦The Multinational Corporations making the purchases are underwritten by massive global financial institutions, multinational banks.

♦The Multinational Banks and the Multinational Corporations then utilize lobbying interests to manipulate the internal political policy of the targeted nation state(s).

♦With control over the targeted national industry or interest, the multinationals then leverage export of the national asset (exfiltration) through trade agreements structured to the benefit of lesser developed nation states – where they have previously established a proactive financial footprint.

Against the backdrop of President Trump confronting China, and against the backdrop of NAFTA being renegotiated, revisiting the economic influences within the import/export dynamic will help conceptualize the issues at the heart of the matter. There are a myriad of interests within each trade sector that make specific explanation very challenging; however, here’s the basic outline.

For three decades economic “globalism” has advanced, quickly. Everyone accepts this statement, yet few actually stop to ask who and what are behind this – and why?

Influential people with vested financial interests in the process have sold a narrative that global manufacturing, global sourcing, and global production was the inherent way of the future. The same voices claimed the American economy was consigned to become a “service-driven economy.”

What was always missed in these discussions is that advocates selling this global-economy message have a vested financial and ideological interest in convincing the information consumer it is all just a natural outcome of economic progress.

It’s not.

It’s not natural at all. It is a process that is entirely controlled, promoted and utilized by large conglomerates and massive financial corporations.

Again, I’ll try to retain the larger altitude perspective without falling into the traps of the esoteric weeds. I freely admit this is tough to explain and I may not be successful.

Bulletpoint #1: ♦ Multinational corporations purchase controlling interests in various national elements of developed industrial western nations.

This is perhaps the most challenging to understand. In essence, thanks specifically to the way the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995, national companies expanded their influence into multiple nations, across a myriad of industries and economic sectors (energy, agriculture, raw earth minerals, etc.). This is the basic underpinning of national companies becoming multinational corporations.

Think of these multinational corporations as global entities now powerful enough to reach into multiple nations -simultaneously- and purchase controlling interests in a single economic commodity.

A historic reference point might be the original multinational enterprise, energy via oil production. (Exxon, Mobil, BP, etc.)

However, in the modern global world, it’s not just oil; the resource and product procurement extends to virtually every possible commodity and industry. From the very visible (wheat/corn) to the obscure (small minerals, and even flowers).

Bulletpoint #2 ♦ The Multinational Corporations making the purchases are underwritten by massive global financial institutions, multinational banks.

During the past several decades national companies merged. The largest lemon producer company in Brazil, merges with the largest lemon company in Mexico, merges with the largest lemon company in Argentina, merges with the largest lemon company in the U.S., etc. etc. National companies, formerly of one nation, become “continental” companies with control over an entire continent of nations.

…. or it could be over several continents or even the entire world market of Lemon/Widget production. These are now multinational corporations. They hold interests in specific segments (this example lemons) across a broad variety of individual nations.

National laws on Monopoly building are not the same in all nations. But most are not as structured as the U.S.A or other more developed nations (with more laws). During the acquisition phase, when encountering a highly developed nation with monopoly laws, the process of an umbrella corporation might be needed to purchase the interests within a specific nation. The example of Monsanto applies here.

Bulletpoint #3 ♦The Multinational Banks and the Multinational Corporations then utilize lobbying interests to manipulate the internal political policy of the targeted nation state(s).

With control of the majority of actual lemons the multinational corporation now holds a different set of financial values than a local farmer or national market. This is why commodities exchanges are essentially dead. In the aggregate the mercantile exchange is no longer a free or supply-based market; it is now a controlled market exploited by mega-sized multinational corporations.

Instead of the traditional ‘supply/demand’ equation determining prices, the corporations look to see what nations can afford what prices. The supply of the controlled product is then distributed to the country according to their ability to afford the price. This is how the corporation maximizes it’s profits.

Back to the lemons. A corporation might hold the rights to the majority of the lemon production in Brazil, Argentina and California/Florida. The price the U.S. consumer pays for the lemons is directed by the amount of inventory (distribution) the controlling corporation allows in the U.S.

If the U.S. harvest is abundant, they will export the product to keep the U.S. consumer spending at peak or optimal price. A U.S. customer might pay $2 for a lemon, a Mexican customer might pay .50¢, and a Canadian $1.25.

The bottom line issue is the national supply (in this example ‘harvest/yield’) is not driving the national price because the supply is now controlled by massive multinational corporations.

The mistake people often make is calling this a “global commodity” process. In the modern era this “global commodity” phrase is particularly BS.

A true global commodity is a process of individual nations harvesting/creating a similar product and bringing that product to a global market. Individual nations each independently engaged in creating a similar product.

Under modern globalism this process no longer takes place. It’s a complete fraud. Massive multinational corporations control the majority of production inside each nation and therefore control the global product market and price.  It is a controlled system.

EXAMPLE: Part of the lobbying in the food industry is to advocate for the expansion of U.S. taxpayer benefits to underwrite the costs of the domestic food products they control. By lobbying DC these multinational corporations get congress and policy-makers to expand the basis of who can use EBT and SNAP benefits (state reimbursement rates).

Expanding the federal subsidy for food purchases is part of the corporate profit dynamic.

With increased taxpayer subsidies, the food price controllers can charge more domestically and export more of the product internationally. Taxes, via subsidies, go into their profit margins. The corporations then use a portion of those enhanced profits in contributions to the politicians. It’s a circle of money.

In highly developed nations this multinational corporate process requires the corporation to purchase the domestic political process (as above) with individual nations allowing the exploitation in varying degrees. As such, the corporate lobbyists pay hundreds of millions to politicians for changes in policies and regulations; one sector, one product, or one industry at a time. These are specialized lobbyists.

CFIUS is an inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person (“covered transactions”), in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States.

CFIUS operates pursuant to section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) (section 721) and as implemented by Executive Order 11858, as amended, and regulations at 31 C.F.R. Part 800.

The CFIUS process has been the subject of significant reforms over the past several years. These include numerous improvements in internal CFIUS procedures, enactment of FINSA in July 2007, amendment of Executive Order 11858 in January 2008, revision of the CFIUS regulations in November 2008, and publication of guidance on CFIUS’s national security considerations in December 2008 (more)

Bulletpoint #4With control over the targeted national industry or interest, the multinationals then leverage export of the national asset (exfiltration) through trade agreements structured to the benefit of lesser developed nation states – where they have previously established a proactive financial footprint.

The process of charging the U.S. consumer more for a product, that under normal national market conditions would cost less, is a process called exfiltration of wealth.

It is never discussed.

To control the market price some contracted product may even be secured and shipped with the intent to allow it to sit idle (or rot). It’s all about controlling the price and maximizing the profit equation. To gain the same $1 profit a widget multinational might have to sell 20 widgets in El-Salvador (.25¢ each), or two widgets in the U.S. ($2.50/each).

Think of the process like the historic reference of OPEC (Oil Producing Economic Countries). Only in the modern era massive corporations are playing the role of OPEC and it’s not oil being controlled, it’s almost everything.

Again, this is highlighted in the example of taxpayers subsidizing the food sector (EBT, SNAP etc.), the corporations can charge U.S. consumers more. Ex. more beef is exported, red meat prices remain high at the grocery store, but subsidized U.S. consumers can afford the high prices.

Of course, if you are not receiving food payment assistance (middle-class) you can’t eat the steaks because you can’t afford them. (Not accidentally, it’s the same scheme in the ObamaCare healthcare system)

Agriculturally, multinational corporate Monsanto says: ‘all your harvests are belong to us‘. Contract with us, or you lose because we can control the market price of your end product. Downside is that once you sign that contract, you agree to terms that are entirely created by the financial interests of the larger corporation; not your farm.

The multinational agriculture lobby is massive. We willingly feed the world as part of the system; but you as a grocery customer pay more per unit at the grocery store because domestic supply no longer determines domestic price.

Within the agriculture community the (feed-the-world) production export factor also drives the need for labor. Labor is a cost. The multinational corps have a vested interest in low labor costs. Ergo, open border policies. (ie. willingly purchased republicans not supporting border wall etc.).

This corrupt economic manipulation/exploitation applies over multiple sectors, and even in the sub-sector of an industry like steel. China/India purchases the raw material, ore, then sells the finished good back to the global market at a discount. Or it could be rubber, or concrete, or plastic, or frozen chicken parts etc.

The ‘America First’ Trump-Trade Doctrine upsets the entire construct of this multinational export/control dynamic. Team Trump focus exclusively on bilateral trade deals, with specific trade agreements targeted toward individual nations (not national corporations). ‘America-First’ is also specific policy at a granular product level looking out for the national interests of the United States, U.S. workers, U.S. companies and U.S. consumers.

Under President Trump’s Trade positions, balanced and fair trade with strong regulatory control over national assets, exfiltration of U.S. national wealth is essentially stopped.

This puts many current multinational corporations, globalists who previously took a stake-hold in the U.S. economy with intention to export the wealth, in a position of holding contracted interest of an asset they can no longer exploit.

Perhaps now we understand better how massive multi-billion multinational corporations and institutions are aligned against President Trump.

 

 

 

Despite tax increases, debt and crumbling public services, California voters likely to move further in a Bernie-Sanders-like direction.

California is a Marxist State controlled in Sacramento, L.A., San Fran, Oakland and more, by the California Socialist/Democrat Party.  The wings of this Party are not moderate and liberal—they are Socialist and Bolshevik.  They truly believe white people are the devil, everyone is sexually confused, your paycheck belongs to government and free speech is a form of being a Nazi.

“Newsom’s likely victory would signal a move to the Bernie-crat Left. His victory would usher in a push for single-payer health system, even though the Senate estimates that the latest proposal would cost more than the entire state budget. He’s also an advocate for more gun control.

A Villaraigosa victory would be bad news, too. He is trying to take some relatively moderate positions (on school reform, for instance), but he also has called for “reform” of Proposition 13, 1978’s property-tax limiting initiative that has kept the lid on property tax rates. As I wrote for the Spectator last week, liberal interest groups are circulating a statewide initiative for the November 2018 ballot that would institute a split-rolls — i.e., reassess those properties at market rates, thus slapping an $11 billion tax hike on business property owners. It’s telling that Prop. 13, which spurred a nationwide tax revolt, is now in danger.

The bottom line is simple—the future of California either bad or worse.  This once great State has become a Third World Country—literally—the Socialist/Democrats have nullified numerous Federal laws—as if their were the 1861 South Carolina legislature—they are similar—both are/were racist—except So. Carolina hated black people and California hates white people—yes, I do believe Jerry Brown hates himself for beIng white, hence in his mind he is a racist.

300px-JerryBrownByPhilKonstantin

Despite tax increases, debt and crumbling public services, California voters likely to move further in a Bernie-Sanders-like direction.

Steve Greenhut, American Spectator,  12/28/17

We know the story by now. The public was fed up with a dysfunctional government that was awash in debt and mismanagement. The Democratic administration was fixated on imposing liberal social policy and lavishing benefits on those inside the “swamp,” but couldn’t even handle its most basic responsibilities. Voters turned to a flawed political outsider and nominal Republican who promised to shake up the entire political culture.

I’m not referring to the November 2017 election of President Donald Trump, but to the October 2003 recall of California Gov. Gray Davis and his replacement with political neophyte Arnold Schwarzenegger. It wasn’t hard to understand the frustration. The deficit topped $34 billion. A horribly designed electricity “deregulation” plan led to rolling blackouts. At the same time, Davis was handing out massive raises and benefit hikes to his union allies.

That was the last time California voters showed any rambunctiousness and independence. The next time the state faced budget deficits and pressure to deal with its intractable problems was in 2012. But Gov. Jerry Brown convinced Californians to “fix” the mess by imposing income- and sales-tax increases. After proving themselves to be chumps, California voters have seen no government reforms, budgets that set spending records, and more tax increases.

In 2014, the Republican congressional midterm rout stopped at the Sierra Nevada. Likewise, the Republican victories in 2016 left nary a ripple here. Nationwide, Hillary Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump — but had a 4.3-million vote margin in California. Americans showed their anger, while Californians just shrugged.

The state’s hard Democratic tilt endures despite ballooning pension debt, the nation’s highest poverty rate (using the Census Bureau’s cost-of-living-based formula), crushing tax burdens, an exodus of middle-class residents and crumbling infrastructure. As the New Year approaches, is there any chance for a renewed sense of feistiness and rebellion within the nation’s most populous state? There are some rumblings, but probably not.

The state’s leadership has treated the GOP tax bill in predictable fashion.  Brown has called it “evil in the extreme” and claims that it will tank the economy. If Brown really is concerned that the law will further divide blue states from red states because it eliminates the state income-tax deduction, he and his allies can give Californians a corresponding tax break when they get back to work next month. Of course, that could never happen from a group that sees tax increases as the best way to jump-start an economy.

In April, Brown and the Legislature cobbled together a two-thirds majority to increase gas taxes, diesel taxes and vehicle-license fees to upgrade California’s decrepit system of roads, bridges, and freeways. In a well-run state, infrastructure should be a top priority. In California, Democratic leaders hold such funding hostage. They squander the budget on expanded social programs, then declare that there’s no money left to deal with congestion — unless voters agree to yet another tax hike.

In a well-run state, political leaders try to stretch the available dollars by rooting out waste and by outsourcing projects. In California, Brown and his allies shrugged at a state audit showing that thousands of Caltrans workers have little to do. They pass laws that limit outsourcing and force more of its infrastructure work to be done by full-time state employees. They expand benefits for union workers and refuse to reform a pension system that saps money that could be used to pour concrete. Our per-mile road-building costs are among the highest in the nation.

A new Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll offers a glint of encouragement, however. By a 52 percent to 43 percent margin, polled likely voters support a proposed statewide ballot initiative that would repeal the unpopular gas tax. The pollsters found that nearly all of those favoring a repeal have strong opinions on the matter. This is true even though most surveyed voters agree that the state’s roads are not in good condition.

Meanwhile, Republicans continue to push a recall election of state Sen. Josh Newman, a Democrat from Orange County, because of his vote in favor of the gas-tax hike. They are targeting a freshman senator in a Republican-heavy district where they have a fine chance of success. Democratic officials passed two laws that changed the recall rules in an effort to save his seat, but those efforts did little more than delay the ultimate vote.

Their latest ploy is to try to push the election to a June primary, where Democratic turnout is high, rather than a special election, which would bring out a higher percentage of anti-Newman voters. All of a sudden Democrats are complaining about government spending by saying that a special ballot would be too expensive for taxpayers. Gov. Brown will decide in early January when to schedule the recall.

Despite these tactics, it seems likely that voters will bounce Newman. That would cost Democrats their Senate supermajority. They recently lost (temporarily, anyway) their Assembly supermajority after two Democratic members announced their resignations amid sexual-misconduct allegations and one left because of health issues. In California, supermajority votes are need to pass tax increases, so this is a significant battle.

Apparently, California voters can still show a little anger when it comes to pocketbook issues, but barring the emergence of some other hot-button issue or fiscal crisis, it’s unlikely this “revolt” will resonate beyond their frustration at paying sky-high prices at the pump. And the latest gubernatorial public-opinion polls are bleak for anyone who thinks that the state will be more conservatively run after Brown heads into the sunset.

San Francisco Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom holds a significant lead over former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also a Democrat. Both Republican candidates, businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, are polling in the single digits. There’s a lot to criticize in Brown, who has signed budgets that set spending records, expanded the costly cap-and-trade system, and acquiesced to many union demands, but he has at least held the line on some of the most far-fetched proposals.

Newsom’s likely victory would signal a move to the Bernie-crat Left. His victory would usher in a push for single-payer health system, even though the Senate estimates that the latest proposal would cost more than the entire state budget. He’s also an advocate for more gun control.

A Villaraigosa victory would be bad news, too. He is trying to take some relatively moderate positions (on school reform, for instance), but he also has called for “reform” of Proposition 13, 1978’s property-tax limiting initiative that has kept the lid on property tax rates. As I wrote for the Spectator last week, liberal interest groups are circulating a statewide initiative for the November 2018 ballot that would institute a split-rolls — i.e., reassess those properties at market rates, thus slapping an $11 billion tax hike on business property owners. It’s telling that Prop. 13, which spurred a nationwide tax revolt, is now in danger.

While state leaders argue about which programs to expand, California’s pension debt continues to soar. Pensions and unfunded medical costs for public-sector retirees continue to crowd out public services. Local governments are increasingly looking to tax increases to help afford their pension payments. Local officials won’t ever put a pension tax on the ballot, but will offer “public safety” taxes and “parks and recreation” taxes that are designed to plug the pension hole. There’s little chance that California voters will reject these measures, if past elections are any guide.

For the New Year, then, expect the state to move even further Left. Public services will be pared back at the state and local level. Debt will rise. Taxes will go up. Democrats will regain their Assembly supermajority given the Democratic lean of the vacant districts. Conservative-minded Californians will flee to other states. Democratic officials will continue to serve as the Trump Resistance, as they pursue 22 lawsuits against the administration. The unions will continue to control the Capitol and squelch all efforts to reform the Sacramento swamp.

Republicans might gain some traction over the gas tax. But unless there’s an economic downturn and the state’s capital-gains-dependent finances go belly up, there’s little hope that we’ll see a replay of 2003. That’s too bad. Even though Schwarzenegger failed in his efforts to “blow up the boxes” of state government, it’s past time to try again.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute.