Controversial law professor John Eastman retires from Chapman University

John Eastman, an endowed law professor at Chapman University who last week repeated false claims of election fraud to an angry crowd just before they stormed the U.S. Capitol, is retiring.

Chapman President Daniele Struppa issued a statement late Wednesday saying the school and Eastman negotiated an exit, and that their agreement “closes this challenging chapter for Chapman.”

The deal comes as hundreds of students and professors at Chapman are calling for Eastman’s dismissal, citing a range of issues ranging from his accusations about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ qualifications for office to his legal work for President Donald Trump in which he has made unverified claims that the election was rigged to help President-elect Joe Biden.

Eastman most recently generated controversy with a speech he gave on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. While standing next to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Eastman told the crowd about a chaotic and unproven vision of election fraud. …

Click here to read the full article from the OC Register.

Big Tech’s War on Free Speech

On January 8, in the wake of the protests two days earlier at the U.S. Capitol that left five dead and derailed congressional debate over election fraud, Twitter and Facebook permanently banned President Trump from their platforms. Jack Dorsey, the scruffy billionaire CEO of Twitter, apparently banned Trump while vacationing in French Polynesia.

This action by Twitter and Facebook, while shocking, should not surprise anyone. This is the latest salvo in a war that began the day Trump declared his candidacy. In a series of calculated escalations that will be recounted here, Big Tech has achieved something that would have been unthinkable four years ago, the cancellation of a U.S. President.

Twitter, in a statement said “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Surprisingly, because this is rarely done by any of the social media platforms when they ban someone, Twitter identified two tweets made by the President on January 8 that resulted in their decision to ban him.

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

And, shortly after that:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

What? That’s it?

Reading Twitter’s explanations for why these tweets were so dangerous that they closed his account offers a fresh view into the leftist mind. This is a mentality where thoughts they disagree with are not merely disagreeable, they are “violent.” In their overview, key points they make about these two tweets include the following arguments:

That Trump is not attending the inauguration implies he believes the election result is illegitimate, and that Trump is “disavowing” his commitment to an orderly transition. But Trump, along with millions of voters and thousands of witnesses, have a right to believe the election result was illegitimate. And not attending the inauguration can be as much an indication he wants to preserve an “orderly transition” as it might indicate the opposite. It gets worse. Twitter goes on to claim that by saying he will not attend, Trump is encouraging people to violently disrupt the inauguration.

Twitter then claims Trump’s use of the words “American Patriots” is meant to support violent acts, that Trump’s saying his supporters have a “giant voice” and “will not be disrespected” is “as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an orderly transition.” Finally, Twitter claims “plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off Twitter,” which somehow, according to Twitter, is linked to Trump’s offending tweets.

Facebook’s newsroom also released a statement on January 7 explaining their deplatforming of the President. Facebook owns Instagram, so they cancelled Trump’s accounts on both platforms. Their explanation was less specific, stating “We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, so we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely.”

There is simply no logic to these assertions. Trump’s speech on January 6 (read transcript), and his tweets before and after that, did not include calls to violence. Trump’s enemies in big tech made gratuitous inferences because silencing Trump is part of their ongoing campaign to silence any dissent to the leftist corporate state, of which they are an integral part.

The Big Tech War Against Conservatives Started in 2016

Big tech’s war on right-of-center free speech started in earnest in late 2016 when, against all expectations, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and became president elect. Realizing that Trump supporters had utilized social media more effectively than Clinton supporters, Big Tech’s response was to begin deplatforming influential right wing content producers. As the 2018 mid-term elections loomed, their work became urgent.

Alex Jones and his “Infowars” website is a good case study in the tactics used to reduce his impact. In the month of November 2016, Jones attracted 125 million video views. By July 2018 that number had been cut to 25 million views. According to Advertising Age, the decline was because the platforms that drove viewers to InfoWars, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube search, “clearly were trying to reduce his impact.” But this wasn’t good enough. Jones had to be silenced.

For the first time, the major online platforms coordinated their efforts. Within a few days in early August 2018, Alex Jones “Infowars” was expelled from Apple podcasts, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. On September 6th, Twitter followed suit. On September 8th, Apple banned Alex Jones InfoWars app from its App Store. Jones was virtually erased. He had 2.4 million YouTube subscribers, all gone; 830,000 Twitter followers, purged; his Apple podcast archives were deleted; his Facebook page, with 2.5 million followers, wiped out.

The acts of suppression or outright deplatforming perpetrated by Big Tech on right-of-center content creators since 2018 are countless and global. They started with someone like Alex Jones, whose influence constituted a genuine threat, at the same time as his polarizing rhetoric meant a lot of people would think he deserved to be deplatformed. But by the middle of 2019, any outspoken foe of globalism with more than a few followers was at risk. An article published in July 2019 by the BBC made the establishment position embarrassingly plain on the threat represented by right-of-center narratives:

“The more mainstream these narratives become, the greater the tension will be over whether they really are extreme or whether they represent acceptable political discourse, and the views of a substantial number of real people.”

“These narratives.” That is the threat. What if “real people” don’t want open borders? What if they would like facts instead of lies regarding how immigration policies affect the economy and social cohesion? What if they want balanced opinions, or just want to hear the other side for a change, on the issues of multiculturalism, race, feminism, gender “equity” and social justice? What if “real people” sometimes find an unrepentant critic of identity politics to be a breath of fresh air? What if they believe there should be a robust and honest debate over globalism, or over climate change?

Big Tech’s War Escalated During the 2018 Midterm Elections

And then the midterms came. A great example of YouTube censorship, by now starting to become more brazen, was the treatment of a video debunking some preposterous claims made by Beto O’Rourke in a primary debate. O’Rourke, lying through his teeth, spewed out a torrent of falsehoods regarding rates of incarceration, hate crimes, school punishment, illegal immigrant crime rates, and the legacy of slavery. Meanwhile, a few days later, a right-of-center critic of O’Rourke, Vincent James O’Connor, posted a video on YouTube that refuted, using impeccable sources such as FBI crime statistics, every one of O’Rourke’s points.

This couldn’t be tolerated, and with no explanation, YouTube removed O’Connor’s video (his rebuttal to O’Rourke is summarized here). O’Rourke, back in mid-2019, was still a darling of the leftist establishment. YouTube protected him, without a shred of moral or legal justification to do so. More recently, unsurprisingly, YouTube deleted O’Connor’s channel altogether. He can still be found on BitChute and elsewhere.

According to the Los Angeles Times, by mid-October 2018, Facebook purged more than 800 accounts and pages pushing “political messages.” Matt Lamb, director of communications for Students for Life of America, provided dozens of examples of biased deplatforming in a guest editorial for USA Today titled, “Google, Twitter and Facebook should just be honest if they don’t like conservatives.”

By 2020 Big Tech Was in Open War Against the American Right

If the mid-term election’s round of cancellations was the prelude, actions during and since the 2020 election are the first main act. Big Tech’s actions were constant and consistent: If you challenge the establishment narrative, you will be banned. Here are just a few highlights:

In August they banned videos discussing alternative treatments for COVID-19, presumably because President Trump had promoted these treatments. This suppression is ongoing, and inexplicable. The damage to President Trump has been done. “Inject bleach into your arm,” and other distorted versions of what he really said are forever tagged to Trump, and Trump’s days in the White House are numbered. So what’s going on? Has Big Pharma joined up with Big Tech and Big Finance? It appears to be so.

In August Facebook threatened to cancel the Hodge Twins, brothers who committed the unforgivable crimes of being pro-Trump while Black, being not only persuasive but wickedly funny, and in the process amassing over 6 million followers. Facebook stopped short of deplatforming the Hodge’s, but it will be interesting to see how long these funny guys, who among other things sell t-shirts that say “Biden Sucks, Kamala Swallows” are going to last.

Sparing their enemies who were too popular to dare to cancel didn’t stop Facebook from ramping up manipulative, agenda driven content in their “information centers,” nor did it prevent them from hiring biased “fact checkers,” to help them justify new waves of cancellations.

In October, as early voting was well underway in several states, the New York Post published an expose linking Hunter Biden to unsavory deals with unsavory international businesses where he traded on his relationship with his father to enrich himself, and possibly also his father. Twitter blocked the URL to this story entirely, while Facebook “limited distribution” of the story. But while this was going on, the Big Tech platforms simultaneously engaged in a wholesale purge of the so-called “Q-Anon” accounts.

If all you consume is establishment media, you may be forgiven for thinking that all these Q related content creators do is accuse the Democratic party of being Satan worshipers who eat babies and sexually abuse children.

In fact, what the Q websites were doing, and still are doing in the online backwaters to which they have been driven, are investigating suppressed evidence of corruption throughout the federal government and powerful institutions in international business and finance. Needless to say, also targets of the Q collective’s investigations include the Bidens and the Clintons. The Q investigators are a threat. That is why they have been censored.

Over a few days in mid October, YouTube banned over 30 major Q related channels, and hundreds of minor ones. They also took on some thorns in their side that weren’t Q related, largest of which was Mouthy Buddha, an insouciant rebel channel that had earned over 10 million subscribers. Gone. Overnight. But it wasn’t until after the election of November 3 that Big Tech stepped up their censorship game even further.

“Election Misinformation” – Carte Blanche to Censor

By now everyone has seen the post-election “warnings” on Twitter. They started with a simple sentence they would paste under any posts that question the integrity of the voting, which read “this claim about election fraud is disputed.” Users who wanted to reply, retweet or like any such posts would have to click twice, first seeing a dedicated page presenting Twitter’s arguments against claims of election fraud, then only after clicking through that page were they allowed to log their reaction. But this wasn’t enough.

Twitter’s more recent attempts to manipulate election related posts moves from an annoying inconvenience to outright censorship, with a new warning that read “This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”

It was almost as if Twitter was trying to establish a precedent. First Facebook says that this belief – that the election was not secure and fraud may have changed the outcome – is misinformation that will incite violence, and then if there is violence, Facebook will say they were right, and now they have to censor even more people. And that’s what happened, and that’s exactly what they did. President Trump is far from the only victim of the massive purge that’s happening right now, across all platforms. Here are just a few examples.

In just the last few hours, Twitter banned the account of the Trump campaign’s digital director, Gary Coby, accusing him of letting Trump use his account. At the same time, conservatives on Twitter are reporting they’re losing tens of thousands of followersBrian Kilmeade “lost 30K followers in 4 hours,” Terrence K Williams “I lost 100,000 followers,” Omar Navarro “Lost 28K followers in one day, Dave Rubin “I’ve lost over 35K followers on this authoritarian shitscape in the last 48 hours,” Kristy Swanson “Lost another 20,000 followers overnight,” Rachel Campos-Duffy “I lost 8K followers in 24 hours, Michael Malice “just lost 200 followers in the last 5 minutes,” Byron York “now down nearly 29,000.”

Facebook and Instagram have just banned journalist Elijah Schaffer, an utterly harmless investigator who was known for his revealing interviews with leftist demonstrators. As is typical when this happens, Facebook offered no explanation for their action. In another significant development, Brandon Straka’s #WalkAway movement, with over 500,000 members, has just been banned from Facebook. Not only was Straka’s campaign account removed, but his personal account along with the accounts of every member of his team.

Straka, an inspiring leader who launched the “#WalkAway” movement to welcome former liberals like himself, who realized they had been abandoned by the takeover of the Democratic party by the leftist corporate establishment, will probably get his account reinstated. His persona is too popular, his support too broad, his message and his tone too defensible, for the ban to stand. But the fact that it happened at all is further evidence of Big Tech arrogance.

Reactions to the Great Purge

Just to underscore how alienated the American right in general, and Trump supporters in particular, have become, consider this reaction from Reuters: “Facebook and Twitter crackdown around Capitol siege is too little, too late.” They’re not kidding. The general argument in the Reuters report seems to be “we can’t just ban extreme hate speech and overt calls to violence, because people just adapt with speech that doesn’t sound hateful and doesn’t overtly call for violence, so therefore we have to ban everybody.” They don’t exactly say that in the article, but that’s the logical inference. And the actions of Big Tech since the events of January 6 bear this out.

At least one leftist institution has found its conscience, however. As reported in Newsweek, “A legislative counsel member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned Friday that the suspension of President Donald Trump’s social media accounts wielded ‘unchecked power,’ by Twitter and Facebook,” and that “the decision to suspend Trump from social media could set a precedent for big tech companies to silence less privileged voices.” It will be interesting to see if the ACLU, which back in 1978 defended the right of Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois, will return to their original principle of defending all speech.

Reaction on the right has been furious. Mega-pundits Rush Limbaugh, Dan Bongino, and Mark Levin have all just cancelled or deactivated their Twitter accounts. Donald Trump Jr., expecting to be banned from Twitter any day, said “Big tech is able to censor the President? Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords.”

As quoted in Politico, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “he was ‘more determined than ever‘ to repeal Section 230, a measure that protects internet platforms from lawsuits concerning third party content. But if platforms lose their immunity as platforms, things might get worse instead of better for free speech advocates. Not only would all platforms be forced to regulate speech more tightly than ever, but only the big platforms – the leftist giants – would have the financial resources to withstand the inevitable and unrelenting torrent of lawsuits. Better to just force platforms to adhere to Section 230, or break them up. The nuclear option of abolishing Section 230 protection could backfire in spectacular fashion.

Which leads us to an equally important form of censorship, which is occurring with or without Section 230. Connecting free speech to whether or not content platforms adhere to Section 230 doesn’t address the silencing and denial of service coming from other online service providers. Section 230 has no effect on what decisions are made by the banks, the app stores, the payment processors or crowd funding sites, or, for that matter, the ride sharing companies and online retailers. The war on right-of-center America is corporate, full-spectrum, and it has just begun.

Full Spectrum Cancellation is the Next Wave of Supression

A harbinger for how Big Tech would move beyond mere deplatforming to engage in full spectrum warfare against right-of-center content creators can be found in the case of Lana Lokteff, who is the host of Red Ice TV” along with her husband Henrik Palmgren. Lockteff’s channel has never engaged in hate speech nor has it ever issued calls to violence, even if what they’ve had to say doesn’t necessarily represent the mainstream right-wing.

But Big Tech’s war on Red Ice TV reaches way beyond just being deplatformed by YouTube, which occurred in October 2019. In subsequent months they have also been banned by PayPal, Braintree, Venmo, Zelle, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Wells Fargo, Coinbase, Skrill, Pinterest and iHeartRadio. In August 2020, in a move that exemplifies how Big Finance is working in tandem with Big Tech, Red Ice TV actually ended up on the MATCH List, a blacklist maintained by the credit card processors, designed to thwart terrorists and drug cartels.

Think that can’t happen to you? What about Laura Loomer, a content creator who is critical of Islam and mass immigration, a Jewish American, and a recent GOP congressional candidate in Florida? As described in a scathing video released by a friend of Loomer, recently elected congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Loomer has been banned from banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Paypal, Venmo, GoFundMe, CashApp, Periscope, Uber, Uber Eats, Medium, Lyft, TeeSpring, and Chase. For what? Sharing her opinion?

Loomer’s work was interesting; hard to find these days. She often engaged in performative videos, such as one in which she arrived at Nancy Pelosi’s home late one night with two undocumented migrants, sit up a “sanctuary” on the front lawn, and invited Pelosi to offer them food and shelter. Controversial? Sure. But only an agenda-driven ideologue would consider this material that deserves the treatment Loomer’s received.

Equally ominous evidence of a full spectrum war on right-of-center content creators is the behavior of the hosting companies. On November 15, WordPress, which is a major website hosting service, kicked the Conservative Treehouse off its servers. Without providing specific reasons for their decision, WordPress gave the Conservative Treehouse until December 2 to find a new host. With between 500,000 and 1 million site visits per day, the Conservative Treehouse is not a lightweight. They found a new host. But what WordPress did was not unique, as evidenced by what Parler is going through right now.

A conservative alternative to Twitter, Parler has grown in less than two years from a start-up to a platform with over 10 million users. For a brief time on January 8, Parler’s website crashed and experienced timeouts caused by the flood of new users that were migrating to it from Twitter. Expected to add millions of users and one Trump endorsement short of becoming a mainstream competitor to Twitter, Parler attracted the attention of Big Tech. The attacks came quick.

First came threats from Apple and Google, demanding Parler moderate its content or see its app banned from both Apple and Google’s online app stores. Making good on its threat, mere hours later Google removed the Parler app from the Google Play Store, supposedly based on reports that Trump will join the platform. Meanwhile, Apple gave Parler only 24 hours to present them with a plan for how they will moderate their content – an impossible demand and one which Parler’s CEO John Matze has already rejected. But that’s just half the story.

Parler, as a website already fielding high volume traffic, uses Amazon servers to deliver fast, global coverage. There are only a handful of vendors in the world capable of offering hosting services to websites that generate traffic in the hundreds of millions and billions of transactions per month, and Amazon is one of them. But not for long. Amazon served notice to Parler that they will have to find a new hosting service by midnight on Sunday January 11 or they will go dark. Parler intends to make the transition, but the message is clear. Big Tech intends to control everything Americans think and say.

The Hypocrisy and the Power of Big Tech

It isn’t necessary to dwell on just how hypocritical this reaction to the events of January 6 in the nation’s capital has been. Everyone knows what happened should not have happened. Everyone knows it was wrong. And everyone paying attention knows that Trump didn’t encourage any of it. There’s a deeper problem, which is that the connectivity that social media enables is the reason people can organize and communicate with a speed and reach that was unthinkable even just ten years ago. That means flash mobs in the thousands, comprised of like-minded, potentially extremist individuals, can be mobilized and unleashed for pennies. How do you stop this, when it becomes destructive to lives and property?

This is a legitimate question. But where was Big Tech while BLM and Antifa protesters were (and still are) rampaging through the downtowns of dozens of American cities all summer long? Why weren’t the social media accounts managed by these groups turned off? Why weren’t the politicians and newscasters who encouraged this violence ejected from Twitter and Facebook? The reason is obvious; the leftist violence that burned down buildings, broke windows, looted businesses, costing billions of dollars and costing dozens of lives, was serving the agenda of the leftist corporate establishment. It served notice to every centrist or right-of-center politician, celebrity, business owner, or just plain ordinary voter in America: You reelect Trump, and we’re coming for you.

An American who just watches the supposedly unbiased legacy networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR, will never see what videographer Andy Ngo, has recorded and posted for months. Black clad Antifa cadres marching through the streets of America, beating up anyone they deem “fascist,” and fighting pitched battles night after night with police. Meanwhile, the ABC News Political Director Rick Klein, in a tweet he later deleted, wrote “Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part, cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.”

One of many eloquent responses to this outrageous hypocrisy comes from MRC TV’s Britt Hughes. In a blistering seven minute rant that anyone angry at the hypocrisy should watch just to let its cathartic eloquence sink in and sooth the nerves, Hughes covers all the bases, says everything that needs to be said, and helps her listeners feel like somebody got it all out and exposed the entire rotten leftist edifice of lies and gave it the withering sunshine it deserves.

Americans who supported President Trump for all the right reasons – his policies on trade, energy and the environment, immigration, foreign policy, deregulation, education, and free speech, to name a few – are in a fight for their lives. They are facing the most formidable assemblage of financial and media special interests in the history of the world. This is no exaggeration. Big Tech doesn’t just exercise overwhelming and unprecedented control over communications in America, these companies also wield stupefying financial power. A look at seven of the most influential proves this.

Just seven companies – Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Netflix – back in October of 2018 had total cash on hand of $386 billion, with a collective market value of $4.5 trillion. Then the pandemic came along, and even more commerce and communication was forced online. As of August 2020, less than two years later, these same companies had total cash-on-hand of $495 billion – that’s a half-trillion dollars in their checking accounts. Their cumulative market value had soared to $7.6 trillion, up 71 percent from just 22 months earlier.

This is what Americans who value free speech are up against. This is what Americans who want to resist leftist answers to the issues of  trade, energy and the environment, immigration, foreign policy, deregulation, and education are up against. The events of January 6 gave these companies, along with their other corporate and political partners on the Left, an excuse to clamp down harder and faster on free speech and on the people who still oppose their plans.

The only possible glimmer of hope in all this is the possibility they have not done “too little, too late,” but too much, too soon. They’ve shown their hand. Perhaps more people will Walk Away. Perhaps more people will take the Red Pill. Perhaps more people will realize that Trump wasn’t their enemy; that he was fighting for them; that he was fighting for all of us.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

California’s population exodus is intensifying

The California dream has been fading for a long time, and people have been voting with their feet.

In the last few years, the exodus has accelerated, with tens of thousands more people leaving than moving in.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted even more people to give up on the state, experts say. Some have retreated to their hometowns elsewhere because they lost their livelihoods. Others are taking advantage of working remotely to escape the state’s high housing prices and long commutes.

In the fiscal year that ended in July, Los Angeles County had by far the greatest net loss due to migration of any California county — more than 74,000 people, according to state demographers. Some moved to nearby areas with lower costs of living; others ventured farther or left the state altogether. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Should Last Summer’s Business Tax Hikes Be Curtailed?

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Last June, the California Legislature passed the Governor’s proposals from his May Revise to raise $9 billion over three years by retroactively suspending the use of net operating losses (NOLs) for individuals and businesses, as well as retroactively capping the use of business tax credits. AB 85 (Budget Committee, Chapter 8), among its numerous provisions, provides:

  • For each taxable year beginning on or before January 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2023, the total credits otherwise allowable under the personal and corporate tax laws, with a few specified exceptions, may not reduce the taxes imposed by those laws by more than $5 million. The law provides that the amount of any credit that is not allowed due to the application of this law will remain a credit carryover amount. This provision was estimated to raise $2 billion in the fiscal year.
  • For each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2023, subject to certain exceptions related to a taxpayer’s income, the disallowance of a net operating loss deduction. The law extends the carryover period for a net operating loss deduction disallowed by this law. This provision was estimated to raise $1.8 billion in the fiscal year.

AB 85 was the revenues budget trailer bill within the overall 2020-21 budget package that was enacted just seven months ago. At that time, a $54 billion budget deficit was projected, despite acknowledgement of the job loss and business closing due to the pandemic in this state. At the time, the business community also argued for AB 85 to only apply for two tax years, as had been the case the prior two instances when the state took similar actions.

Fast forward to January 8 and Governor Newsom announced that the state budget anticipates a $4.6 billion increase in total revenue compared to the 2020-21 fiscal year, including a 5 percent increase in personal income tax revenue, as well as over 4% increase in local property tax revenues. Moreover, total state reserves are projected to be $22 billion. This surge of revenues to the General Fund raises the question whether the second two years, or at least the third year, of these NOL suspensions and tax credit limitations should be repealed.

At the very least, no further tax increases are warranted for the foreseeable future. California already has the country’s highest personal income tax rate and the highest base sales tax rate. With a record exodus of businesses and citizens from this state, and such a high cost-of-living, we should not only reject any calls for higher taxes, but also the Legislature should not introduce such legislation during the 2021 Session as such measures will send a chilling message to businesses and economic development efforts in California.

This article was originally published by the California Globe.

Disneyland to Become Massive COVID-19 Vaccine Inoculation Center

On Monday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors announced that the first large, “super Point-of-Dispensing” (POD) site for the COVID-19 vaccine will be set up in Disneyland.

Disneyland now joins other large-scale areas in different counties currently being utilized as temporary COVID-19 vaccine centers, including Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles CountyCal Expo in Sacramento County, and Petco Park in San Diego County.

While there are four other large POD sites opening up in Orange County soon according to the Supervisors, Disneyland will be the first. Once set up, the Disneyland site will be able to inoculate ‘thousands’ of people a day. The supervisors noted that the speed of vaccinations is critical as the state has fallen behind vaccine pacing, with only around 1/3rd of the number of vaccines having been administered statewide.

“Sites like these are absolutely critical in stopping the deadly virus,” noted Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee, whose district includes the theme park. …

Click here to read the full article by the California Globe.

The Next California Gubernatorial Recall Election Will Be Held In …

When voters replaced Democrat Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor in 2003, it was the first time in the state’s 153-year history (at that point) it had recalled a governor. A growing exasperation with the current occupant of the office suggests Californians might not wait that long before they try again.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote, appears to be in trouble. Several recall efforts have failed, but one is still active, and it has until March 17 to collect the 1,495,709 signatures needed before a recall election can be placed on the ballot. Already more than 900,000 have been gathered.

Newsom’s and Davis’ circumstances are not that different. PRI’s Tim Anaya, who has worked in a governor’s office – he was a speechwriter for Schwarzenegger – says “there are quite a lot of similarities between the two.”

“Both Newsom and Davis inherited rosy state budgets with large surpluses amid an era of economic prosperity and roaring tax revenues being generated for the state.” Then, “almost overnight, each experienced a severe economic downturn that turned surpluses into massive deficits in the blink of an eye.”

Newsom and Davis also stumbled into unusual and unexpected – though this is arguable – political thickets. Among other troubles, Davis was overcome by a solvable energy crisis he declined to correct. Newsom has the coronavirus pandemic, his own energy problems and wildfires pulling him down. Davis’ responses did not inspire confidence among voters. Neither has the behavior of Newsom, who fueled recall fever with his visit to the French Laundry, where he attended an indoor birthday party with an unmasked group while nagging everyday Californians to stay home until, well, whenever he says it’s OK to go out again.

Despite the similarities, it seems unlikely history will repeat itself, with Newsom being replaced with a Republican as Davis was. As blue as California was in 2003, it’s even bluer in 2021. Only the wildest imagination could visualize a Democratic governor being turned out of office for a Republican. It’s almost inconceivable that voters in California, where Democratic Party registrations outnumber GOP registrations by 22 percentage points, would send a Republican to the governor’s mansion.

Put another way, by Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen, “a successful recall effort is like a three-legged stool – it requires an unpopular governor, unpopular policies, and, finally, a popular alternative. In present-day California, it’s that last leg that’s missing: a credible replacement for Newsom.”

Should the long shot materialize, though, expect arguments to emerge that the GOP has returned as a relevant political party in California.

But maybe the more material point would be what a Newsom loss would mean for the Democratic Party in California.

Former Republican congressman Tom Campbell recently wrote in the Orange County Register that Republicans “shouldn’t pretend” the GOP is resurgent in California just because three Republicans took Democrats’ congressional seats in the 2020 election. He’s probably right. Even if Democrats lost ground due to the rough politics of a recall election, the GOP isn’t necessarily in line to make gains.

Nearly 30% of Californians have no party preference by registration or are identified as “other” by the secretary of state’s office. Merely getting a recall on the ballot is likely to have some impact on that 30%. They might not suddenly become registered Republicans, or even vote GOP. But after a bruising recall campaign and all the damage done, they could stay at home in future elections, dissatisfied by Democrats, uninspired by Republicans. A significant portion of the 46% registered as Democrats might even be turned off as they learn more about Newsom’s conduct and policy missteps, which would be magnified by a recall election.

There are no “ifs” or “could be’s” about the heat being turned up on Newsom, however. On New Year’s Day, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the recall campaign is drawing large contributors. “The effort,” it said, “has received a jolt of seriousness in the form of big-dollar donors.” CNN has noted that the recall is gaining momentum. Based on the letters it’s receiving from readers, the Los Angeles Times is warning Newsom to “watch out” because “voters are angry and primed for a recall.”

No matter how it all turns out, it’s safe to say Newsom’s presidential aspirations will have been severely injured if not buried. A California politician who has lost the confidence of so many of his constituents would have little chance with voters in the rest of the country, despite how smooth he appears on screen.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute.

Trump allies in Congress accused of violating oaths

Before they take office, elected officials swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution. But what happens when they are accused of doing the opposite?

As some Republicans continued to back President Trump’s doomed effort to overturn the election, critics — including President-elect Joe Biden — accused them of violating their oaths and instead pledging allegiance to Trump.

The oaths, which rarely attract much attention, have become a common subject in the final days of the Trump presidency, invoked by members of both parties as they met Wednesday to affirm Biden’s win and a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“They also swore on a Bible to uphold the Constitution, and that’s where they really are stepping outside and being in dereliction of duty,” said former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the George W. Bush administration. “They swore to uphold the Constitution against all our enemies, foreign or domestic, and they are ignoring that.” …

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press.

Tax Hikes Are Back On The Agenda In Sacramento

With 1 million signatures in and several potential challengers, the recall drive against Gov. Gavin Newsom may be causing him to reconsider some of his more progressive policy positions. In his recently unveiled $4.5-billion stimulus program, he offered — get this — tax relief, not tax hikes.

The so-called “Equitable Recovery for California Businesses and Jobs” plan includes $575 million for small business grants, $777.5 million in tax credits to businesses that hire or retain employees, some sales-tax exemptions and $600 checks to low-income Californians.

Of course, it also contains the usual slop like $1.5 billion in subsidies to buy electric vehicles but, nonetheless, we take victories where we can get them in Taxifornia.

Newsom’s September pledge to oppose new taxes was fairly explicit: “In a global, mobile economy, now is not the time for the kind of state tax increases on income we saw proposed at the end of this legislative session and I will not sign such proposals into law.” The irony is not lost on us that the governor said this while also endorsing Prop. 15, the failed $12 billion tax hike — and latest attempt at gutting Proposition 13 — on the November ballot. But his remarks did provide a bit of assurance to the state’s job creators.

On the other hand, there is no such hesitancy to push tax increases in the California Legislature. Proposing a “tax increase du jour” is in the DNA of Democratic legislators. Here are just a few of the bills causing anxiety among those Californians who want to keep at least some of the money they earn.

Assembly Bill 65 by Assemblyman Evan Low would create a California Universal Basic Income. It is like AB2712 presented last legislative session, which proposed to raise the necessary money either through a value-added tax, raising corporate taxes or implementing a tax on services.

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Pelosi: House plans to charge Trump

Citing President Trump’s “assault on our democracy,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday for the first time that the House would move to impeach him in the wake of last week’s ransacking of the U.S. Capitol, unless Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet agree to remove him under the 25th Amendment.

Pelosi’s plan, disclosed in a letter to colleagues, came as a second Republican senator called on Trump to resign over his incitement of the mob that attacked the seat of Congress on Wednesday, marking an intensifying push by lawmakers to force Trump from power before his term ends at noon on Jan. 20.

“We are calling on the vice president to respond within 24 hours,” Pelosi wrote. “Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the floor. In protecting our Constitution and our democracy, we will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both.” …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

California’s New Goal: Vaccinate a Million People in 10 Days

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

Getting the coronavirus vaccines into the arms of as many Californians as possible has become a race against time as COVID-19 cases continue to spiral upward and a more infectious variant of the virus takes root

Many questions remain unanswered about how the next — and much larger — wave of Californians will be vaccinated, even as doctors and other health providers in the first priority group are complaining to state officials that they still can’t get access to the vaccines.

At a vaccine community advisory committee meeting on Wednesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan announced an ambitious immunization goal, acknowledging widespread criticism that the state has moved too slowly to vaccinate its first priority group of frontline health care workers and nursing home residents.

California now aims to immunize 1 million people within the next 10 days, Pan said. Officials are recruiting dentists and other health professionals to become vaccinators, and Gov. Gavin Newsom asked state lawmakers to approve $300 million to support the vaccination push. 

“We do need to move faster,” Pan said, “especially in the middle of this surge.” 

Nearly 530,400 doses of either the newly authorized Pfizer or Moderna vaccines had been given by the end of Wednesday, just over a quarter of the more than 2 million doses shipped to California hospitals and county health departments. …

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