Jim Lacy on Trump/Kim Summit; G-7 Trade Debate, Australian Broadcasting’s “Weekend Breakfast”

In this video, California Political Review publisher and author Jim Lacy comments on questions about Donald Trump’s highly anticipated summit with Kim Jung Un on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and on the Trump Administration’s trade policies coming out of the recent G-7 meeting in Canada.

CA Supreme Court Nearly Vaporizes Independent Contractor Law – Setback to “Gig” Economy

In a recent sweeping ruling that helps labor unions but runs contrary to small businesses and Silicon Valley innovation and the developing “gig” economy inspired by companies like Uber and Lyft, the California Supreme Court has decided that hiring companies no longer have much a say in whether a person who provides services for hire is classified as an “independent contractor” or an “employee.” The implications of the new ruling, filed on April 30, in the “Dynamex Operations” decision are huge, as it will extend onerous state employment and labor laws to new classes of workers, and will force the reclassification of tens of thousands of business relationships in the state between businesses and their former contractors, in the process, eliminating or raising the costs of goods and services to average Californians, while standing as a major obstacle to new popular ideas in technology such as ride sharing and delivery services.

The facts of the case itself center on a delivery driver for a company who claimed he was misclassified as an independent contractor. The attorneys for the driver successfully argued against the current standard, which used a multi-factor test to determine the proper classification of a worker.

Many new technology-aided companies like Uber and Lyft depend on workers who want independence with flexible hours and who want to set their own pace of work. However, workers classified as employees under the state and federal labor laws are generally guaranteed more expensive health care benefits and worker compensation, as well as collective bargaining rights, especially in California. Unions are particularly opposed to independent contractor relationships and they seek leverages in the law to add more members and therefore more political power. Citing the need for more “worker-friendly” laws, one lawyer in support of the change said, hyperbolically, “as the federal government increasingly abandons its past commitment to protecting workplace rights, the states are stepping up to fill the gaps.”

Under the new rules, businesses have almost no say in how their business relationships between employees and contractors are separated and classified. The opinion or business model of a business that prefers to classify a relationship as independent contractor doesn’t matter much any more. Now, in California, the determination is made by applying the so-called three-pronged “ABC” test, which puts all the burden on the employer to show the worker is not an employee. Under the test, to establish independent contractor status, the business must show: 1.The worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work; 2. The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hirer’s business; and 3. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same natures as the work performed for the hirer.

The second and third factors of the new test are seen as the most troublesome, especially for “gig” economy businesses. If a person is delivering the public food, for example, is the delivery part of the fundamental business of that entity? If it is, then the deliverer becomes a far more expensive employee, covered by state wage and hour and other labor laws, entitled to health care, and entitled to collective bargaining rights. If this is the case, then what are the implications to the state? Well, people who want flexible hours and the ability to work when they want as deliverers, will find lost business opportunities. And the cost of food delivery will likely go up dramatically. This implication is just the “tip of the iceberg.” The implications resonate throughout the economy to the detriment of not only gig businesses, but largely small businesses that do not want to be saddled with costly labor law enforcement issues, and even nonprofits who use skilled workers attempting to offer things like compassion and health services to the poor.

A copy of the Court’s decision can be accessed here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S222732.PDF

Five Things You Need to Know about John Cox

Here are five things you need to know about John Cox, excerpted and abridged from the Sacramento Bee, January 4, 2018:

  1.  He didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Cox, whose campaign slogan, “Clean out the Barn” is similar to President Donald Trump’s “Drain the Swamp,” didn’t vote for the GOP nominee. Cox supported libertarian Gary Johnson.
  2. Cox grew up and spent much of his life in Chicago.  He’s run unsuccessfully for Congress, the U.S. Senate and Cook County Recorder of Deeds. He also had an aborted presidential campaign ahead of the 2008 race.
  3. When he ran for president in the 2008 race, 10 Republicans made the cut for the GOP debate in South Carolina. Cox was not one of them.  [Editor’s note.  When Cox ran for the Republican nomination and appeared on the ballot in California, he finished 11th with less than one-tenth of 1% of the GOP vote.]
  4. Cox also unsuccessfully sought to place an initiative on the 2016 ballot requiring candidates to declare their top 10 donors in campaign advertisements. Elected officials would have also been required to wear badges detailing their biggest benefactors, much like NASCAR drivers.
  5. He’s the only Republican in the race who opposes the death penaltyJohn Cox

Trump’s and Obama’s Syrian Policies Compared – Jim Lacy on Australia’s “Weekend Breakfast”

In this video clip of an interview airing in Australia on April 15, California Political Review publisher Jim Lacy explains the policy behind President Trump’s successful strike on Syria and compares it to Obama’s failed policies.

Nancy Pelosi Facts

California’s Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader in the House who represents a San Francisco Congressional District, is 77 years old.  She will be 78 on March 28, 2018.

She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended college on the East Coast.

She served as Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011.  A CBS News poll conducted in her last year as Speaker in 2010 found 11% of voters nationally approved of the job she was doing, and 37% had an unfavorable opinion of her as Speaker.

Pelosi was first elected to Congress in 1987, almost 31 years ago, defeating gay San Francisco politician Harry Britt in a special election.  She has not participated in a candidate debate in her election campaigns for over 30 years.  Pelosi wins re-election easily in her heavily Democratic district.

In November, 2016, Pelosi was challenged for the Leader position of the Democrats by Congressman Tim Ryan.  She defeated Ryan by a vote of 134-63.

Pelosi was challenged again in June, 2017 after Democrats lost four consecutive special elections to the House.  Pelosi put down the challenge.  When asked specifically why she should stay on as House Minority Leader after numerous Democratic seats were lost, Pelosi responded,  “Well, I’m a master legislator. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I’m able to attract the support that I do.”

Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in 2018 in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate.



Jim Lacy Rips Obama Administration, FBI for Surveilling Trump Campaign; Comments on SOTU

In this clip from Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Weekend Breakfast” airing 2/4/18, author/commentator Jim Lacy offers his take on the release of a memo by House Republicans detailing abuses by the FBI and Obama Justice Department to surveil the Trump campaign.

Travis Allen: Attorney General Xavier Becerra Must be Prosecuted for Criminal Obstruction of Justice

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblyman Travis Allen called for the US Department of Justice to prosecute Attorney General Xavier Becerra for criminal obstruction of justice after the AG’s public threats on January 18Xavier Becerra to prosecute California business owners that comply with federal law and cooperate with Federal immigration authorities. 

“This goes way beyond the Sanctuary State. Threatening individuals for cooperating with federal law enforcement is criminal obstruction of justice. These are the same tactics that the mafia uses to silence witnesses.”

“I am calling on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute Xavier Becerra immediately on obstruction of justice charges. Californians shouldn’t have to decide between following federal law or being prosecuted by state authorities.”

“The law is clear, when it comes to immigration, federal law trumps state law.  Attorney General Xavier Becerra knows this and is purposefully and illegally trying to obstruct justice and keep federal authorities from doing their constitutional duty. California’s businesses are not pawns in Xavier Becerra’s war with the White House. This is beyond outrageous – it’s criminal and must be prosecuted.”

Travel Ban: U.S. Justice Foundation sides with Trump in court fight

President Donald Trump’s travel ban to protect America from foreign terrorists, already backed by a majority of Americans, is gaining key support from independent legal action organizations.

The U.S. Justice Foundation and nearly a dozen other non-profit public interest organizations are offering robust legal support for Travel Ban 3.0, building momentum for a showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. The narrowly tailored presidential order restricted nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from entering the United States, following a worldwide review of information-sharing practices.

American security is the president’s constitutional responsibility, and Trump’s actions as commander-in-chief fall within long-established legal precedents established under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the U.S. Justice Foundation argues.

“The District Court opinion completely ignored President Trump’s focus on protecting the American people from ‘public-safety’ threats posed by immigrants from the designated countries,” the organizations state in an amicus brief filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lower Court’s Political Decision by Obama Appointee   

The U.S. Justice Foundation highlights the significant bias and political motives by Honolulu-based U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Kahala Watson, an Obama appointee who initially ruled against the travel ban.

“One cannot help but conclude that Judge Watson rendered a political decision, seeking to preserve the policies of President Trump’s predecessor, his Harvard Law School classmate Barack Obama,” the organization writes in its legal filings in the travel ban case. “Can there be any doubt that President Trump was named as the lead defendant in the complaint not because of any legal necessity, but for political effect?”

Even David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and leading Never Trump figure who voted for Hillary Clinton, believes Watson’s ruling set a “dangerous precedent” and contradicts longstanding constitutional precedents.

“Watson’s imaginative reasoning in Hawaii v. Trump asserts a new judicial power to disregard formal law if the president’s personal words create a basis for mistrusting his motives,” Frum writes at The Atlantic. “Frankly, under any other president than Donald Trump, it seems impossible that a federal judge would have expressed such certitude—or granted their requested order.”

In addition to the judge’s lack of objectivity, the Hawaiian politician that filed the court challenge to President Trump’s travel ban has used the case to advance his political career.

“I’ve ended up being in court over and over again to stop some of the different actions that have been taken by the Trump administration,” Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said in launching his 2018 campaign for a congressional seat vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii.

Lack of Standing: Grandmother Arrives Despite Ban

Although routinely attacked on cable news and falsely described as a “Muslim ban,” Trump’s travel ban enjoys broad support from the American people. According to a Rasmussen poll taken last June, 52 percent of Americans consider Trump’s travel ban a proper security measure designed to keep terrorists out of the country. Last July, a Politico-Morning Consult poll found that “a clear majority of voters” back President Trump’s travel ban.

Rather than overturn the president’s popular executive order, the nation’s highest court could choose to sidestep the controversy on procedural grounds.

Before any court considers the merits of a case, a plaintiff must establish an “injury in fact” to have standing in the case. The challenge to the travel ban is on shaky legal ground, according to the U.S. Justice Foundation, because the plaintiffs lack standing.

“Being personally offended by government action has never been sufficient to confer standing for a federal judge to second guess the President of the United States — at least before 2017 challenges to President Trump’s two Executive Orders,” the U.S. Justice Foundation argues. “Although this country may now have entered an era where people often believe that they can go to court any time their feelings have been hurt, the lawyers and the district court should have known better.”

One plaintiff, the State of Hawaii, claimed standing based on the hypothetical loss of tuition from potential students from the affected countries. Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for the New Yorker and senior legal analyst for CNN, agrees that “the harm to the universities is pretty attenuated.”

He adds, “And it’s worth noting that the Justices of the Supreme Court (and Chief Justice John Roberts in particular) have been sticklers on the standing rule and haven’t hesitated to toss cases on this ground.”

Another plaintiff, Hawaiian imam Ismail Elshikh, is originally from Egypt, a country not covered by the travel ban. Elshikh claimed injury when his Syrian grandmother was unable to enter the United States, now a moot point. The grandmother, Wafa Yahia, arrived in the United States last August, according to Associated Press reports, thereby proving the travel ban did not injure Elshikh.

Last December, President Trump secured an initial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, which overruled activist judges and lifted injunctions blocking the president’s executive order to enhance vetting of foreign nationals attempting to enter the United States. A final ruling is expected later this year.

 Since 1980, the U.S. Justice Foundation has submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate on every Supreme Court appointee and sponsored conferences on a variety of important legal issues. Other organizations supporting U.S. Justice Foundation’s position include Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Inc., Public Advocate of the United States, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, English First, English First Foundation, and Policy Analysis Center.


Jim Lacy on Australian diplomat and Russian collusion claims

In this video airing January 1, 2018, Jim Lacy comments on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on reports of an Australian diplomat’s meeting in a London bar with a Trump volunteer in 2016 at which Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails was allegedly discussed.

Trump “by the numbers” is the Prosperity President

At year’s end we can expect the pundits and the mass media that hates our President to begin their assessments of Donald Trump’s first year as president.  The truth about Trump’s first year in office, however, is that he is proving to be the Prosperity President. 

Our nation has seen economic growth of 3% or more in the last two quarters of Trump’s first year.  This compares to -4.5% in the first quarter of Obama Administration.  The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation and the well-being of the economy.   But in Obama’s America in his first full year in office in 2009, the GDP growth rate was -2.8%.  In other words, the economy contracted 2.8%. 

Economists profess that the ideal GDP growth rate is between 2-3%.  Less than 2% will not create new jobs for the growing labor force.  More than 3% means the economy is headed toward an asset bubble.  This situation generally creates inflation and rising prices.  Sometimes higher prices will cool off demand.  More often, the bubble bursts, and the economy descends into recession.  Trump’s 3% growth rate over the last six months is absolutely perfect medicine to improve an ailing “Obama” economy.  In fact, Obama’s record on economic growth will be considerably worse than that of the much-maligned George W. Bush.  Bush 43 delivered GDP growth averaging 2.10%, with two years (2004 and 2005) above 3.0%.  But Obama hardly nudged the economy above 1%, rarely near 2%, and averaged a limp 1.5% over eight years as President.  This performance ranks Obama as the fourth worst president in history by the economics, and the only president in history to never see economic growth at 3% or more in any one quarter of his term.

In contrast, Ronald Reagan brought forth an annual real GDP growth of 3.5% .

According to Fox Business News channel’s Maria Bartiromo, since Trump’s inauguration, six billion dollars in new wealth has been added to stock market.  Companies like Boeing are now investing hundreds of millions in new manufacturing facilities.  The Dow Jones average up 25% in first year of office.  

While Trump can point to other first year achievements, such as Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch being confirmed along with a record number of 19 federal judges with lifetime appointments, a major tax cut bill, ISIS is removed from Iraq, huge reductions in illegal immigration, ending the ObamaCare mandate, deregulation and more, all this has occurred while according to the Media Research Center – 91% of the news coverage on Trump in September through November by the major networks was negative. 

Obama may have been personally popular but his policies were not.  Trump remains much more popular than Hillary Clinton in public opinion polls, something the media won’t give him credit for, but his policies are surely more popular than Obama’s.  Not only are they popular, they are delivering for the American people, and among the top deliverables is prosperity and economic growth.  Trump is proving himself to be the Prosperity President.