CA Politicians Fighting Over Spending Cap-and-Trade Money

From The Sacramento Bee:

We humans crave free money – which explains why we buy so many lottery tickets despite infinitesimal chances of winning. Politicians are no different.

Free money?

There is, of course, no such thing, but politicians consider money borrowed via bonds, federal aid and money from fees “free” because they can spend funds as they wish without directly tapping constituents’ wallets. So it means free of voter backlash.

Photo courtesy of jglazer75, flickr

Photo courtesy of jglazer75, flickr

Obama Economy Crushing The Middle Class

From The Daily Caller:

Nearly half of the new jobs created since 2008 are low-wage jobs, while 80 percent of the jobs destroyed in the government-inflated real-estate bubble were high-wage or medium-wage jobs, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project.

In effect, almost 2 million well-paid middle-class jobs have been converted into low-wage blue-collar jobs since January 2008, through the five years of President Barack Obama’s economy, according to the report, titled “The Low-Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years into the Recovery.”

(Read Full Article)

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Mitt Romney, Pete Wilson Endorse Neel Kashkari

From The Sacramento Bee:

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, have endorsedNeel Kashkari in California’s gubernatorial race, the Kashkari campaign announced Monday.

The endorsements come with Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, lagging in public opinion polls.

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Harry Reid Slates Minimum Wage Vote

From Politico:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday set up a long-shot Wednesday vote on a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Senate Democrats will need 60 votes to open debate on the legislation written by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to gradually increase the wage and eventually peg it to inflation — a level of support that appears unattainable.

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California Key to Raising Graduation Rate

From The Sacramento Bee:

The high school graduation rate in the United States will not increase as quickly as experts think it can without more improvement in California, which educates one-fifth of the nation’s low-income school children and more Hispanic students than any other state, a report set to be released Monday concludes.

The “Building a Grad Nation” report, produced by a coalition of advocacy groups and researchers at Johns Hopkins University, credits the nation’s most populous and diverse state with developing effective strategies that helped push its 2012 graduation rate to 79 percent, an increase of five percentage points from two years earlier and one point below the national average.

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Rick Santorum’s Winning Strategy

From The Daily Caller:

In 2012, Republicans were dead wrong about President Obama. With unemployment over 8 percent and the long-delayed economic recovery nowhere in sight, they assumed that he would lose to anyone they nominated. Obama had promised “hope and change,” but he had provided no hope, and the change was all for the worse. Even the liberal mainstream media expected that “anybody but Obama” would win in November.

Yet the president cruised to re-election. The critical swing voters — blue collar Americans from industrial and rural communities with generally conservative values — swung for Obama or stayed home. The people hurt most by the president’s disastrous policies chose him over Mitt Romney.

In the post-election polling, one amazing fact jumped out: Those who voted for a candidate because he “cared more” about people like them chose President Obama over Governor Romney by 81 to 18 percent. Even if you win voters over on your governing philosophy, leadership, and managerial competence, it’s hard to win an election if they think you don’t care about them.

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Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore, flickr

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore, flickr

The Quiet Bailout of Detroit

From The Daily Caller:

President Barack Obama is using $100 million in taxpayer cash to help keep  Detroit’s pension funds afloat, contradicting his administration’s commitment to  avoid a bailout.

The federal $100 million is being described as “blight remediation,” but it  allows the city’s new managers to reshuffle more cash into the city employees’  pension funds, which were looted by city and union officials for several  decades.

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Brown Negotiating with Republicans over Rainy-Day Fund

From The Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown called Wednesday for a special session of the Legislature to take up his proposal to create a rainy-day fund, and for the first time since 2011 he will have to negotiate a major budget deal with Republicans.

The special session, scheduled to begin next week, is a significant test for the Democratic governor, who tried – and failed – to reach a budget accord with GOP lawmakers in the first year of his second stint as governor. That was before Democrats achieved a supermajority in the Legislature, and Brown hasn’t needed Republicans for much since.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

‘Money just simply corrupts,’ Yee said weeks before arrest

From The Sacramento Bee:

In the weeks since the arrest of Sen.  Leland Yee, two hard-to-reconcile versions of the San Francisco Democrat have emerged: Transparency advocate running for secretary of state vs. the man who, according to an FBI affidavit, accepted campaign money in exchange for favors and a promise to set up an illegal gun deal.

A videotaped interview in December with Voice of OC, a nonprofit publication in Orange County, illustrates the size of the gulf.

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10 Ways the Income Tax harms Civil Liberties

From The Daily Caller:

The Internal Revenue Service scandal over the targeting of conservative groups has highlighted the agency’s power to obstruct our political freedoms. Filing taxes every April also drives home how the government reduces our freedom.

Chief Justice John Marshall famously observed in 1819 that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.” That’s true of any tax, but the massive federal income tax harms civil liberties much more than is necessary to raise the needed funds.

Some members of Congress have been talking about tax reform. But their efforts so far have been accounting-driven exercises that simply tweak the monstrous code. Instead, Congress should pursue major tax reforms that not only unshackle the economy but also expand our civil liberties.

(Read Full Article)

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