Schnur: “California Needs a New, Centrist Party”–Effort to End the California GOP

Dan Schnur wants to start a “new” “centrist” Party.  But he is a long time registered Decline to State voter—years ago he ran for Secretary of State as a No Preference candidate..  Mike Madrid wants to start a new political party—but he had been a GOP consultant that worked for Antonio Villaragorisa for Governor—not really a Republican.  Then you have Kristin Olsen, who was forced to resign as Vice Chair of the Republican Party.  And Chad Mayes, who was censored by the California Republican Party and forced to resign as GOP Assembly Minority Leader.  This is the crew that wants to end the California Republican Party. 

Republicans have fallen to third-party status because of a doctrinaire message and agenda that make many women, minorities and young people feel unwelcome. Such a confrontational approach from the GOP has essentially defaulted control of the state to Democrats, who, without the checks and balances of a two-party system, have struggled to develop solutions for the state’s housing, transportation and education crises.

Our new centrist party could draw from the strengths of both Democrats and Republicans, prioritizing job creation and economic growth while still respecting our newest and youngest neighbors. It should be known as the Independent Party, but it is instead designated with the less-descriptive No Party Preference label. While the term “independent” would send an important message to Californians looking for a true alternative, other potential titles for a new party could provide useful guidance: “

Seriously, what could a centrist party stand for?  Higher taxes, but not as high as the Democrats want?  Safe streets, but not as safe as Republicans want?  They do hate Donald Trump—in recent op-ed pieces both Olsen and Mayes called President Trump “toxic” and said the GOP has to get rid of him.  If we do, what would be left of the GOP—and they know it.

Thought you should know the background of those who want to end the Republican Party in California.

arnold schwarzenegger

 

California Needs a New, Centrist Party

BY Dan Schnur, Jewish Journal,  12/12/18

 

Those of us who inhabit the space in American politics between the 40-yard lines have watched with dismay as the nation’s two major parties retreat into their respective ideological end zones. Many of us have often wondered about the potential for a centrist third party that could occupy the ground near midfield that has been abandoned by Democrats and Republicans.

The number of California’s registered Republican voters has fallen to less than one-quarter of the state’s electorate, leaving the marginalized GOP with fewer official members than the number of voters registered as No Party Preference. That means Republicans are now, technically, California’s third party. So the question we should be asking is: What should our state’s second political party look like?

Republicans have fallen to third-party status because of a doctrinaire message and agenda that make many women, minorities and young people feel unwelcome. Such a confrontational approach from the GOP has essentially defaulted control of the state to Democrats, who, without the checks and balances of a two-party system, have struggled to develop solutions for the state’s housing, transportation and education crises.

Our new centrist party could draw from the strengths of both Democrats and Republicans, prioritizing job creation and economic growth while still respecting our newest and youngest neighbors. It should be known as the Independent Party, but it is instead designated with the less-descriptive No Party Preference label. While the term “independent” would send an important message to Californians looking for a true alternative, other potential titles for a new party could provide useful guidance:

The Opportunity Party: With economic headwinds looming, California needs a pro-growth agenda that rejects the ideological extremes of both existing parties and creates opportunities for economic success and a better quality of life for residents. The chief obstacle to those goals is the lack of affordable housing for working Californians. A centrist solution could ease regulatory burdens that prevent necessary development while protecting our natural resources. We also need tax reform that would recognize the realities of a 21st-century economy and protect us from the budgetary devastation that accompanies a stock market downturn. We could benefit from California’s geographic advantage as the capital of the Pacific Rim, expanding international trade opportunities while protecting workers from unfair foreign competition.

“Our new centrist party could draw from the strengths of both Democrats and Republicans.”

The Unity Party: From the time of the first Spanish explorers and missionaries, California has thrived when it has welcomed and supported newcomers, whose energy and optimism have fueled the state’s growth. A Unity Party would protect immigrants from demonization and vilification. It would also protect their communities from violent crime, protect their economic opportunities from an overreaching government, and protect their children from being trapped in inadequate schools. It would be a party that values the attributes that law-abiding new arrivals bring with them to our state, that encourages their integration into our communities, and that applauds their successes as our own.

The Humility Party: Members of this party would understand that the political center does not have a monopoly on smart policy ideas. They would recognize that committed progressives and equally ardent conservatives are just as invested in the state’s future. Believing a balanced approach would be the best path forward for California, they would see the foolishness in ignoring ideas from others who may have different ideological perspectives. They would know that those who disagree with them are neither stupid nor evil, but rather have a different idea on how the state can best confront its policy challenges. This party would facilitate that conversation and provide common ground on which a respectful and inclusive dialogue could flourish.

When we combine these essential strengths of unity, opportunity and humility into a new political entity for our state, it would become clear that it should be called “The California Party.” As we prepare to move forward, we welcome the involvement of all Californians who shares those core values.

Dan Schnur is a professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. He is the founder of the USC-L.A. Times statewide political survey and the former director of the American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles region.

 

The Case For Making The GOP A Working-Class Party

What does the Republican Party stand for?  Quality education, by giving parents choice in the venue used to educate their children.  We believe in public safety—both domestically and internationally.  Finally, we believe in limited government to give us freedom and lower taxes—to give us economic freedom.  Remember, every dollar of taxation is a dollar less of freedom.

The Democrats are the Party of special interests, big corporations, unions and the rich—Wall Street and Hollywood, along with Silicon Valley.  Hillary called the rest of us “deplorables”, folks that work for a living, represent the middle class, folks that are patriotic and productive.  We have our problems,

The GOP is the Party of the middle class, the working class of America.  We are a majority, if we only stood together.  This is the time to prepare for 2020—to represent the real America, not the elitists of the Democrat Party.  Will you join me in this quest?

The Republican Workers Party argues that Trump’s revolution gives Republicans the chance to reform a party that had lost touch with much of the country. If the Republican Party wants to succeed, Buckley believes that it must become the champion of the working class and focus on economic inequality. At first glance, this sounds like odd advice. After all, talk of class and inequality has long been a hallmark of progressives who want to tax the rich and redistribute the wealth. President Obama’s 2012 campaign sought to make income inequality the defining issue of the election.

For decades, the Democratic Party understood itself as the party of the working class. Its candidates presented themselves as champions for the laborer against oppressive corporate interests, while the common caricature of Republicans portrayed them as the defenders of wealthy business interests, indifferent to the welfare of the poor and determined to protect of the existing social hierarchy.”

Freedom!  The GOP creed.

donald-trump-2

The Case For Making The GOP A Working-Class Party

In F.H. Buckley’s new book, ‘The Republican Workers Party,’ the professor and Trump speechwriter argues that the party needs to address inequality and make a persuasive case for nationalism based on liberty.

 

By William Turton, The Federalist,  12/14/18

 

At the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump Jr. turned a longtime Democratic talking point into an argument for Republican policies. Speaking to a televised audience from the convention stage, he said, “The other party also tells us they believe in the American Dream. They say we should worry about economic inequality and immobility. You know what? They’re right. But what they don’t tell you is that it was their policies that caused the problem.”

The line was powerful, but suspicions of plagiarism swirled when journalists discovered that parts of the speech echoed an article that George Mason law professor Frank Buckley had written several months earlier. These were, in fact, Buckley’s words—he had privately worked with Trump Jr. to write the speech. His latest book, The Republican Workers Party: How the Trump Victory Drove Everyone Crazy, and Why It Was Just What We Needed, mixes policy proposals, personal accounts, and reflections on American politics and culture to supply a measure of intellectual weight to Trump’s political project.

Two years ago, Buckley and his wife moonlighted as a volunteer speechwriting team for the Trump campaign, helping to write a major foreign policy speech that Trump gave in April 2016. Buckley does not exactly fit the profile of a typical campaign volunteer. A Canadian immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 2014, Buckley (no relation to conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr.) wears many hats.

As a longtime professor at George Mason University School of Law (recently renamed Antonin Scalia Law School), Buckley has published several scholarly volumes on contract law in addition to his recent popular books on American politics. Outside of his academic work, he writes frequently as a senior editor of the American Spectator and a columnist for the New York Post.

Betrayal of the American Dream

The first few chapters provide interesting insights into the inner workings of the Trump campaign. Buckley recounts his role with the Trump campaign as an occasional speechwriter and adviser, and he provides details of behind-the-scenes intrigue. According to Buckley’s account, the decision to fire Gov. Chris Christie, the head of the transition team, was actually made three months before the election – it just wasn’t made official until after the election, to avoid controversy. Buckley also detailed his efforts to get the Trump team to hire Michael Anton, author of the controversial essay “The Flight 93 Election,” as a member of the Trump administration’s national security team.

The Republican Workers Party argues that Trump’s revolution gives Republicans the chance to reform a party that had lost touch with much of the country. If the Republican Party wants to succeed, Buckley believes that it must become the champion of the working class and focus on economic inequality. At first glance, this sounds like odd advice. After all, talk of class and inequality has long been a hallmark of progressives who want to tax the rich and redistribute the wealth. President Obama’s 2012 campaign sought to make income inequality the defining issue of the election.

For decades, the Democratic Party understood itself as the party of the working class. Its candidates presented themselves as champions for the laborer against oppressive corporate interests, while the common caricature of Republicans portrayed them as the defenders of wealthy business interests, indifferent to the welfare of the poor and determined to protect of the existing social hierarchy.

Buckley writes that he and Trump found themselves in agreement that “the fundamental political issue was the betrayal of the American Dream in a newly immobile country.” He observes that incomes for those in the bottom 50 percent grew only 21 percent between 1980 and 2014. In the same time span, incomes for the top income brackets doubled or tripled (top 10 percent and top 1 percent, respectively).

Trump and Bernie Sanders both observed that ordinary Americans were being left behind by elite of both parties, but only Trump recognized the nature of the new aristocracy. Sanders blamed capitalism, but Trump realized that the left’s policies on economic regulation and unchecked immigration had restricted opportunity for many Americans.

The Transformation of the Parties

This new class divide is not merely economic. An uncompromising social liberalism is the defining feature of modern liberalism. For all the recent talk of single-payer health care and democratic socialism on the left, race, sexuality, and gender are the central tenets of the church of liberalism. Dissent or tolerance on these issues is not permitted.

A clash of cultures between coastal elites and the heartland forms the greatest difference between the liberal aristocracy and those whom Hillary Clinton scorned as “deplorables” in 2016. Eight years earlier, then-candidate Barack Obama betrayed a similar condescension toward working-class voters in Pennsylvania with his assertion that “they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” to explain why some of these voters did not support him.

Buckley argues that the working-class coalition that rallied behind Trump combined a moderate outlook on economic issues with conservative views on issues like immigration, abortion, and political correctness. The Democratic Party lost these voters by embracing progressive identity politics with religious fervor. Abortion on-demand, white privilege, same-sex marriage, transgender bathrooms, kneeling for the anthem—all enshrined as central tenets of the progressive cultural orthodoxy where neutrality is not an option.

Working-class voters, especially Catholics in the Rust Belt states, saw the left’s attempts to enforce public acceptance of its morality through political correctness and threw in their lot with Donald Trump’s insurgent campaign. For decades, these voters were a key Democratic voting bloc, but their socially conservative views became increasingly unwelcome in today’s Democratic Party.

But the transformation of the Democratic Party is only one part of the equation. Trump’s improbable nomination and victory upended the established order in the Republican Party. Conservative Republicans, Buckley charges, had accepted a false dichotomy between liberty and equality that limited their ability to appeal to the working class.

For example, Republicans often referred to the poor in ways that reinforced the impression of indifference towards the common man, such as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ill-fated comment during the 2012 campaign that “[t]here are 47 percent of the people who will vote for [Obama] no matter what” because they are dependent on government and feel entitled to welfare. In doing so, they failed to contest the meaning of equality and allowed their left-wing counterparts to claim it for themselves. Buckley argues that “[t]he Left had created the problem, but conservatives had failed to blame them for creating the kind of class society that’s wholly at odds with the idea of America.”

By refusing to embrace equality as a conservative principle in their rhetoric, politicians and intellectuals on the right overlooked the connection between liberty and equality that the Founders and Abraham Lincoln understood. They failed to understand that the Declaration of Independence presents equality as the necessary foundation for liberty, that the equality of the Declaration demands an equality of rights. Because modern conservatives tended to conflate this use of equality with the radical egalitarianism promoted by progressives, equality rarely entered their vocabulary.

The Case For a Conservative Nationalism

The central argument of The Republican Workers Party presents the case for a conservative nationalism that stands squarely in the best of the American tradition, not the blood-and-soil nationalism of reactionary fringe movements. It is, first and foremost, a liberal nationalism derived from America’s founding principles. It rests on bonds of common citizenship and a common devotion to liberty and equality. Buckley argues that a Republican Party that wishes to embrace an American nationalism that transcends ties of blood or faith need only look back to its first and greatest president for guidance.

He quotes an 1858 speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July in which Lincoln argued that immigrant American citizens and their descendants had every right to celebrate their identity as Americans. They read the Declaration of Independence and “they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh, of the men who wrote that Declaration, and so they are.” He considered the principle that all men are created equal “the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of Patriotic and liberty-loving men together.”

American nationalism distinguishes itself by fostering what President Reagan called “an enlightened patriotism” that directs love of country into a love of constitutional liberties. A dedication to liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion forms a central part of the American identity, and the violation of these rights earns the label “un-American.”

Furthermore, Buckley argues that American nationalists “must distinguish between strangers and brothers, noncitizens and citizens,” and “[t]hey must feel a special sense of fraternity with their fellow citizens” to prefer their welfare before that of noncitizens. For example, the standard by which immigration or welfare policy ought to be judged should be the benefit it will bring to citizens. An anti-nationalist—whether progressive or libertarian—is indifferent between the welfare of citizens and noncitizens on such questions.

Making the GOP Appealing

Buckley introduces The Republican Workers Party as an account of how he “witnessed the death of the old Republican Party and assisted at the new party’s birth,” but his argument in the following pages suggests more of a reformation than a revolution. The key policies that he proposes for bringing back mobility are all sensible: school choice, merit-based immigration reform, and deregulation. While Trump deserves particular credit for elevating immigration control as a major issue, these policies are exactly what conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation have promoted over the past 20 years.

It’s worth noting that George W. Bush faced significant intraparty opposition with his attempts at immigration reform in 2007, and many conservatives rejected Bush’s neoconservative foreign policy approach after the failures of Iraq. The Republican Workers Party is certainly a break from the policies of the Bush-era Republican establishment, but it embraces conventional conservative policy prescriptions on most issues.

Even on trade policy, which is Trump’s biggest departure from the conservative establishment consensus, Buckley professes ambivalence, writing that “If the free trader can seem heartless, the trade protectionist can come across as naive.” Add the other signature policies of the Trump administration thus far—tax reform and the pipeline of originalist judges—and one sees a great deal of continuity with the policies of the pre-Trump conservative movement. Buckley argues that the socially conservative voting base of the Republican Workers Party does not hold a libertarian hostility to welfare, and he contends that it has inherited the mid-century liberalism of JFK that the Democratic Party abandoned in favor of identity politics.

Perhaps the difference between the pre-Trump Republican Party and the Republican Workers Party that Buckley advocates has less to do with policy than politics. Conservative policies could bring increased mobility, but conservatives have failed to persuade working-class and middle-class voters that these policies will bring greater opportunities for them and their children.

Buckley’s greatest criticism of leaders on the right concerns their ability to talk about issues of class and mobility in a way that appeals to working-class Americans. If Republicans can learn to speak in the language of a unifying American nationalism that seeks the welfare and prosperity of all Americans, then the Republican Workers Party may be here to stay long after our current political moment.

William Turton is a graduate student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He is pursuing a master’s degree in American politics and political philosophy, and his interests include the American founding, Congress, and the separation of powers.

Jerry Brown Says Dems Are Becoming Too Extreme — Ocasio-Cortez Proves Him Right

I am glad that The Bronx, New York (where I was born) elected Ocasio-Cortez to Congress.  She makes Bernie Sanders look rational.  She actually thought that if you are elected to Congress you LIVE in the House of Representatives (after all, it is a “House”).  She wants universal health care—government health care—and will decide after it becomes law how to pay for it!  Even the old and confused Jerry Brown knows she is an extremist.

“Things must be pretty bad in the Democratic Party if outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown thinks the party is out of touch with mainstream America. But then again, look at what the party’s new socialist darling, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is now successfully pushing.

In a radio interview this week, Brown said that the Democratic Party has gone “further out than I think the majority of people want.” Brown was talking mostly about his own state’s Democrats, which now completely dominate the state government and might go off the deep end.

But the observation applies equally to Democrats outside the Golden State. As IBD has been observing for years, the Democratic Party has lost its mooring and has been drifting steadily to the extremist left.”

Yet, Socialist Brown is being succeeded in office by the Socialist Glam Star, Gavin Newsom.  Newsom comes from the San Fran Nan School of politics (they are actually related)—promise them anything but don’t mention the cost in money or freedom.

Bernie Sanders

Jerry Brown Says Dems Are Becoming Too Extreme — Ocasio-Cortez Proves Him Right

Investors Business Daily, 12/13/2018

Left-Wing Extremists: Things must be pretty bad in the Democratic Party if outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown thinks the party is out of touch with mainstream America. But then again, look at what the party’s new socialist darling, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is now successfully pushing.

In a radio interview this week, Brown said that the Democratic Party has gone “further out than I think the majority of people want.” Brown was talking mostly about his own state’s Democrats, which now completely dominate the state government and might go off the deep end.

But the observation applies equally to Democrats outside the Golden State. As IBD has been observing for years, the Democratic Party has lost its mooring and has been drifting steadily to the extremist left.

Green New Deal

Now the far left is the “mainstream” in the Democratic Party. Even if their ideas are radical by every else’s measure.

Just look at how the party is quickly buckling under pressure from socialists like Ocasio-Cortez.

Before taking office, Ocasio-Cortez has convinced many Democratic colleagues to sign on to her economy-wrecking Green New Deal (GND) agenda. That resolution would establish a goal of having the country shift to 100% renewable energy in a decade. It would decarbonize all industries. And it promises to upgrade “every residential and industrial build for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

Ocasio-Cortez also threw in a jobs guarantee, socialized medicine and just about every other item on the left’s wish list. Oh, and the GND would also set up a new “public bank” to finance all this new government spending. There’s also be a new select committee in the House to figure out how to make all this a reality.

None of it is even remotely possible, and all of it would amount to basically a complete takeover of the economy by the federal government. That is, of course, the thinly veiled goal of environmentalists here and abroad, who see climate change as the excuse to establish socialist utopias (And no, this is not conspiracy mongering.)

Yet despite the incredibly radical nature of this proposal, it’s quickly gaining significant traction amount House Democrats. Three dozen House member have already signed on, as have several Senators.

This, mind you, comes after protests erupted across France over a relatively modest climate-change-driven hike in gasoline taxes. The Green New Deal might be an exciting development for insulated leftists, but it’s not going improve the Democratic Party’s appeal to the working-class voters they claim to represent.

Tax Hikes On Middle Class

Meanwhile, the incoming Democratic leadership gave in without a fight when liberals pushed to jettison a House rule that requires a three-fifths majority in the House to approve tax hikes. Pelosi and company tried to keep the rule in place. They said they’d be willing to kill the supermajority rules for tax hikes on the top 20% of Americans (remember when Democrats only targeted the top 1%), as well as tax hikes on corporations. No dice.

“Some liberal organizations and lawmakers said that did not go far enough,” according to the Washington Post. They said it would still “make it nearly impossible to enact progressive legislation such as Medicare-for-All or free universal college.”

Translation: Democrats have now made it clear that, if they have the chance, they will raise taxes on everyone to finance their socialistic agenda. The move did not go unnoticed by Republicans.

“It’s barely gotten any attention, but Nancy Pelosi just made it easier for House Dems to raise taxes on everyone,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted. “Not on the wealthy. Everyone. They’ve never been for the middle class — just more government.”

For our sake, we are happy to see these developments, and hope they continue. It will make it clear to everyone just how far out of the mainstream the party has become.

 

Carbon prices–Set to KILL California economy/families/businesses

If you are staying in California be prepared for a government policy to skyrocket the cost of doing business in this Third World State.  The current price is $14.65.

As required by legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017 extending the state’s cap-and-trade program through 2030, the state Air Resources Board has proposed a new ceiling on the price of carbon credits, per ton, at auction. Until now, California has not set a price at the high end.

Regulators have proposed a ceiling of $61.25, which, if approved, would take effect in 2021. Major business groups and oil interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce and Western States Petroleum Association, told regulators that they risk imperiling California’s cap-and-trade program should it take effect and could deter other states from pursuing similar approaches.”

That is right—they want to increase the price by four times.  But, they say it will never happen.  Social Security started at 1%.  They wanted a maximum of 2%, but told it could never get that high—today it is closer to 15%.  Want to kill off our economy, this will do it.

tax sign

Carbon prices

By KEVIN YAMAMURA, Politico,  11/16/18

 

 

NOT MANY CEILING FANS: Powerful California business interests blasted state regulators Thursday for proposing a price on carbon emissions they believe is too high to support California’s cap-and-trade program — one of the most aggressive in the world, and the centerpiece of its plan to reduce heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere, POLITICO’s Angela Hart reports.

As required by legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017 extending the state’s cap-and-trade program through 2030, the state Air Resources Board has proposed a new ceiling on the price of carbon credits, per ton, at auction. Until now, California has not set a price at the high end.

Regulators have proposed a ceiling of $61.25, which, if approved, would take effect in 2021. Major business groups and oil interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce and Western States Petroleum Association, told regulators that they risk imperiling California’s cap-and-trade program should it take effect and could deter other states from pursuing similar approaches.

“The system requires buy-in from all parties — not just government and environmental groups, but from the businesses and industries that will support and implement these regulations,” said Leah Silverthorn, a lobbyist for the California Chamber of Commerce. “Setting unreasonably high price ceilings … that causes spikes in pricing and trading and does not encourage participation by more moderate states.”

Regulators pushed back, arguing business and oil interests were blowing the long-term impact of the price ceiling out of proportion.

“This argument about the price ceiling is a little bit — I don’t want to say irrelevant, but maybe it is a little bit irrelevant,” said Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, noting the ceiling was a “worst-case” scenario. “Everything we know says it’s not going to happen.”

At present, the price per ton of carbon is around $14.65, according to agency spokesman Dave Clegern. That is expected to rise to $16.77 by 2021, when the final regulations will take effect. By 2030, when the current program sunsets, the price per ton is projected at $25.80 — far below the ceiling.

The ceiling is meant to give businesses some certainty in the market at the high end, regulators said. Nichols questioned the high-profile attack on the ceiling following nearly five hours of public testimony, mostly in opposition.

“I have a very strong sense that we’re not really being told the real reason behind the very, very strong opposition that clearly has been mounted by WSPA to this price ceiling,” Nichols said. “I don’t see it as an attack on cap-and-trade. … I have to think that there’s something that to them looks like it’s going to impact maybe the competitiveness of their California operations or … investments.”

Jerry Brown’s Exit Interview: Don’t Say He Didn’t Warn You

Poor Jerry, guess he is too old and confused to understand the issues of the day.  For instance:

“”The climate [change] threat is real. It’s a clear and present danger,” the unconventional and legendary Democrat who will soon term out as California governor told NPR’s Ari Shapiro Tuesday in an interview airing on All Things Considered. “And it’s going to get here much sooner” than many people realize.

“It’s damn dangerous,” Brown said of a possible nuclear war destroying much of the world in mere moments. “And I would say most politicians are 100 percent asleep with respect to this particular issue.”

Just because you refuse to look at the facts—like climate change started with the formation of the Earth and will always be with us, his Halloween scare tactics makes no sense unless you are a socialist or too old to understand facts.  He is warning us:  Get too old and you are liable to fall for every scam that comes along.

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 27:  California Governor Jerry Brown announces his public employee pension reform plan October 27, 2011 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.  Gov. Brown proposed 12 major reforms for state and local pension systems that he claims would end abuses and reduce taypayer costs by billions of dollars.  (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Jerry Brown’s Exit Interview: Don’t Say He Didn’t Warn You

Ben Adler, Capitol Public Radio,  12/11/18

If all the world goes to hell, don’t say Jerry Brown didn’t try to warn you.

“The climate [change] threat is real. It’s a clear and present danger,” the unconventional and legendary Democrat who will soon term out as California governor told NPR’s Ari Shapiro Tuesday in an interview airing on All Things Considered. “And it’s going to get here much sooner” than many people realize.

“It’s damn dangerous,” Brown said of a possible nuclear war destroying much of the world in mere moments. “And I would say most politicians are 100 percent asleep with respect to this particular issue.”

He also discussed a booming economy that has nevertheless left many working Americans (and Californians) behind: “The engine of capitalism, which is so powerful — it has its negative, dark side as well as its bright and shiny side.”

Brown spoke about climate change, nuclear proliferation, capitalism and more in the wide-ranging interview, as he sat in the breakfast nook Tuesday morning at the governor’s mansion he renovated in downtown Sacramento. His two dogs, Colusa Brown and Cali Brown, frolicked alongside him.

He spoke in the waning days of a political career that has spanned more than 50 years, a record four terms as California governor — from 1975-1983 and since 2011 — and three unsuccessful runs for president, in 1976, 1980 and 1992. Democratic Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will take over the world’s fifth-largest economy early next year.

In his final years as governor, and particularly after Donald Trump’s election as president, Brown sought to position himself as a worldwide leader on climate change. He has traveled to the Vatican, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and taken on a formal role with the United Nations. The man once mocked as “Governor Moonbeam” during his first stint leading California even hosted his own Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this fall that culminated in an announcement that the state will launch its own satellite to help track and reduce climate pollutants.

Brown worries, however, that the momentum from the Paris climate accord has waned and describes this month’s United Nations follow-up climate conference in Poland as “abysmal.”

At home, the governor has presided over some of California’s largest and most destructive wildfires in history, including the Camp Fire that he and Newsom toured with President Trump last month.

Brown argues that the world, and in particular the Trump administration, aren’t doing nearly enough to fight climate change.

“I’m sure that the political leaders will respond after we have four or five more disastrous fires and four or five more floods and hurricanes and tornadoes and all that,” Brown said in Tuesday’s interview.

“The problem is, the cost will be much higher and the political wreckage that much greater — because the burden of spending to recoup, to adapt and to transition to a noncarbon world will be much higher, much harder, and will be wrenching to the democratic political system,” he says.

The governor also sees great danger in nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands. Earlier this year, Brown joined the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists — the group known for its Doomsday Clock — as executive chairman.

“There’s still a major threat — from terrorism, from other countries, from blunder,” he says. “And people are almost totally asleep to that ever present danger. And within a matter of hours, human civilization could be extinguished. That’s real.”

Closer to home, Brown is concerned about the effects on his state of unbridled capitalism, a system he calls “productive” but “not perfect.”

“Capitalism responds to incentives, to human desire, to restlessness, and even to put it more bluntly, greed,” he says. “And that drives it forward. But it drives forward in a way that always overshoots its mark” and leads to recessions.

And as the economy evolves, with real estate prices shooting up and automation overwhelming the labor market, “a lot of people are now what they call redundant — or put more harshly, surplus — because the economy doesn’t have a role for them. And that’s where creative political leaders are going to have to find a way to tame capitalism, restructure it,” he says.

In many ways, California has offered among the most stark examples of capitalism’s pros and cons during Brown’s final stint as governor.

When he returned to the state Capitol in 2011, California was still climbing out of the Great Recession and faced a $27 billion deficit. Brown spent much of his first two years persuading the Democrats who controlled the state Legislature to join him in making steep budget cuts.

“That took fortitude against the tendency of the Democratic Party to spend on almost anything that somebody comes up with that satisfies one of the key constituencies,” he says.

The governor then campaigned hard for a ballot measure to raise the state’s sales and income taxes. Proposition 30’s passage in November 2012 proved a turning point in his governorship — both for the state and for Brown himself. Along with the previous spending cuts and economic recovery, the additional tax revenue has turned that $27 billion deficit into what is now a large surplus.

That gave him the financial and political capital for much of the rest of his agenda. He won nearly every major battle he chose to fight at the state Capitol: an extension of California’s cap-and-trade system to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, a gas tax and vehicle fee increase to fund transportation projects, and overhauls of the state’s school funding and criminal justice systems.

Yet on Brown’s watch, California has become a much more expensive place to live. For millions of people, it’s simply unaffordable. The state doesn’t just face a housing crisis; many of its cities face homelessness crises. That, in turn, has led to a poverty crisis.

The governor chose not to seek an overhaul of the myriad state and local laws and regulations that raise the cost and lengthen the construction timeline of housing developments.

“We’ve done quite a lot for what the state can do,” he says. “But there’s a lot of resistance to changes, to density in neighborhoods that don’t want density.”

As for the state’s high poverty rate, Brown points to several actions he took — many pushed by legislative Democrats — including a minimum wage increase, a state earned income tax credit for low-income workers, and an expansion of California’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

He has also spent a great deal of time and energy on reshaping California’s criminal justice system — including the reversal of a tough-on-crime trend that he helped jump-start during his first stint as governor.

Brown signed legislation that shifted the responsibility for low-level offenders from the state to counties and campaigned for a 2016 ballot measure that made it easier for state inmates to be released from prison if they demonstrate good behavior.

Brown notes that the state has nearly tripled its number of prisons from 12 to 35 over the past two decades while its prison population rose from 25,000 to 173,000.

“How long do you want to lock somebody up?” he asks. “At what expense? And I would say we’ve gone way overboard and we have to very carefully pull back.”

That Brown has accomplished nearly every goal he set out for himself during his second stint as governor is due not just to his own popularity but also to his fellow Democrats’ lock on power in a deep blue state.

But he sees himself as a centrist. And although he scorns California Republicans as “irrelevant” for their embrace of Trump, he fears the state may shift too far to the left after he leaves office.

“The weakness of the Republican Party has let the Democratic Party, I think, go get further out than I think the majority of people want,” Brown says. “So there’s plenty of opportunity for Republicans if they just pause, look at the world as it really is, and try to come up with something in the tradition of Lincoln and Eisenhower and other great Republicans.”

 

Majorities Put High Priority on Universal Health Coverage, Free Community College

Folks love something for nothing—in this case Californians are willing to spend $400 billion a year for free health care—and billions more for free community college tuition.  No need to ask where the money comes from, just get the freebie.

  • “Majorities of adults (60%) and likely voters (57%) say universal health coverage should be a very high or high priority.
  • A slight majority of adults (53%) and nearly half of likely voters (47%) say tuition-free community college should be a very high or high priority.
  • Fewer than half of Californians (48% adults, 41% likely voters) say the same about universal preschool.
  • Far fewer (25% adults, 19% likely voters) say the same about high-speed rail. Californians voted to allocate money to begin building the rail project in 2008.”

Good news—only 18% want to spend $200 billion on a train to nowhere—of course, that has already been approved, so we will spend money we do not have for a service folks do not want and will not use.  Oh well.  This is California, the Socialist Paradise.

Gavin newsom

Majorities Put High Priority on Universal Health Coverage, Free Community College

YET IMPROVING JOBS, ECONOMY SEEN AS MOST IMPORTANT IN PLANNING FOR FUTURE

PPIC, 12/12/18

SAN FRANCISCO, December 12, 2018—As Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom prepares to begin his first term, most Californians say universal health coverage and tuition-free community college should be high priorities for new state funding. This is among the key findings of a new statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

In his campaign, Newsom highlighted a number of policy priorities, including universal preschool and tuition-free community college. He also indicated support for statewide universal health coverage.  The PPIC survey asks about these policies and one more—building a high-speed rail system—that would require a significant amount of new state funding. The results:

  • Majorities of adults (60%) and likely voters (57%) say universal health coverage should be a very high or high priority.
  • A slight majority of adults (53%) and nearly half of likely voters (47%) say tuition-free community college should be a very high or high priority.
  • Fewer than half of Californians (48% adults, 41% likely voters) say the same about universal preschool.
  • Far fewer (25% adults, 19% likely voters) say the same about high-speed rail. Californians voted to allocate money to begin building the rail project in 2008.

Summing up, PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare said: “Majorities of Californians place a high priority for new state spending on universal health coverage and tuition-free community college, rather than high-speed rail.”

The survey asks Californians to make fiscal choices for the next budget year, when the state is projected to have a surplus of several billion dollars. A majority of adults (57%) say they would prefer to spend the surplus to increase state funding for education and health and human services. Far fewer would prefer to use the surplus to pay down debt and build up a reserve (21%) or for one-time spending for transportation, water, and infrastructure (16%).

Signs of Concern about the Economy

In the wake of the November election, a majority of California adults (54%) say that things in the state are generally going in the right direction. Their responses were similar in September. But residents are more pessimistic today when asked if we will have good times financially in the state in the year ahead—fewer than half of adults (46%) believe this. Optimism was higher in September when a majority of residents (53%) predicted good financial times ahead.

In keeping with this note of caution about the economy, Californians are most likely to name jobs and the economy (17%) as the most important issue facing people in the state today. The next most frequently named issues are the environment (10%), housing affordability (9%), and immigration (9%). Notably—in the wake of the recent wildfires—9 percent say wildfires are the most important state issue. Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents are the most likely to name housing affordability as the top issue, and Central Valley residents are the most likely to say wildfires.

When asked what the state government’s most important priority should be in planning for the future, 39 percent say improving jobs and the economy, 20 percent say protecting the environment, and 15 percent say updating water and transportation infrastructure. Across all parties and demographic groups, improving jobs and the economy is the highest priority.

“Californians say that improving jobs and the economy is the most important priority for the future,” Baldassare said. “And many believe that children will be worse off than their parents.”

Half of adults (50%) say that children growing up today will be worse off financially than their parents, while fewer (40%) say children will be better off. Slight majorities of Latinos (54%) and Asian Americans (51%) think children will be better off, while most African Americans and whites (62% each) say they will be worse off. US-born Californians (34%) are much less likely than immigrants (53%) to say children will be better off than their parents.

Asked if the state will be a better or worse place to live in 2025 than it is now, 40 percent say it will be better, 32 percent say worse, and 23 percent say it will be the same.

Two-thirds of Californians (67%) say the state is divided into two economic groups: the “haves” and the “have nots.” Solid majorities across income groups express this view, as do majorities across parties (Democrats 73%, independents 69%, Republicans 60%). Across racial/ethnic groups, African Americans (82%) are the most likely to say the state is divided into haves and have nots, followed by Latinos (68%), whites (67%), and Asian Americans (55%).

When asked to choose which of the two economic groups they are in, Californians are split: 40 percent say they are haves, and 45 percent say they are have nots. Two-thirds of residents (66%) with an annual household income of $80,000 or more say they are in the haves group, while 62 percent of those with incomes under $40,000 say they are have nots. Californians with annual household incomes of $40,000 to $80,000 are divided (42% haves, 44% have nots).

Should the government do more to make sure that all residents have an equal opportunity to get ahead? A majority (53%) say yes, while 41 percent say that all Californians have an equal opportunity now.

Less Than Half Approve of Newsom’s Policies—A Third Don’t Know Yet 

After Newsom’s landslide victory in November, 42 percent of adults and 41 percent of likely voters approve of his plans and policies based on what they know so far, while 25 percent of adults and 32 percent of likely voters disapprove. About a third say they don’t know or haven’t heard enough to have an opinion yet (34% adults, 27% likely voters).  Asked if they want Newsom to generally continue outgoing governor Jerry Brown’s policies, just 35 percent of adults and 39 percent of likely voters say yes. Half (48% adults, 50% likely voters) say they want Newsom to mostly change to different policies.

“As Gavin Newsom makes plans for his new administration, nearly half of Californians say they want him to take a different policy direction from Governor Brown,” Baldassare said.

In the final survey before the end of his fourth term, Brown’s approval rating stands at 51 percent among adults and 52 percent among likely voters. His rating after the November 2014 election was similar (54% adults, 57% likely voters). After the November 2010 election, it was lower (41% adults, 47% likely voters).

In the aftermath of an election that gave Democrats a majority in the California Legislature of more than two-thirds, the legislature’s approval rating is 47 percent among adults and 43 percent among likely voters. Ratings were similar after the November 2014 election (41% adults, 39% likely voters) but lower after the November 2010 election (26% adults, 18% likely voters).

Half Have No Confidence that Trump Will Make the Right Decisions

In contrast with their views about the direction of the state, only about a third of Californians (32% adults, 27% likely voters) are satisfied with the way things are going in the nation. Partisan differences are stark: 51 percent of Republicans are satisfied, but just 18 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents are. Half of state residents (48% adults, 50% likely voters) have no confidence at all that President Trump will make the right decisions for the country’s future.

The president’s job approval rating is 32 percent among adults and 36 percent among likely voters, with partisans divided (76% Republicans, 28% independents, 12% Democrats approve). Approval of Congress is lower (29% adults, 20% likely voters). Republicans are more likely to disapprove (56%) than approve (34%), and strong majorities of Democrats (74%) and independents (73%) disapprove.

California played a prominent role in shifting control of the US House of Representatives from the Republicans to the Democrats. How do Californians feel about the switch? Majorities of adults (53%) and likely voters (55%) say it is a good thing. Far fewer say it is a bad thing (17% adults, 22% likely voters) or will make no difference (27% adults, 21% likely voters). Majorities of Latinos (66%) and African Americans (59%) say the switch is a good thing, while fewer Asian Americans (47%) and whites (44%) agree. Notably, women (59%) are much more likely than men (46%) to say this is a good thing.

With congressional Democrats now in the majority, California adults are split over whether their representative should work with the Trump administration (49%) or push back (44%). A small majority of likely voters (53%) prefer working with the administration (41% push back).

“Most Californians say the election outcome of Democratic control of the House is a good thing,” Baldassare said. “About half say they have no confidence at all in President Trump.”

Bipartisan Support for a Way to Let Undocumented Residents Stay

The survey asks about two issues of national debate: immigration and government regulation.

  • Immigration: Since January 2013, at least two-thirds of Californians have said that immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills. Today, a large majority of Californians (72%) express this view, while 23 percent say immigrants are a burden to the state because they use public services. Majorities across regions agree that immigrants are a benefit to the state. Across parties, 83 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents say immigrants are a benefit, while 55 percent of Republicans say they are a burden. There is bipartisan agreement on one aspect of immigration: 84 percent of adults say there should be a way for undocumented immigrants living in the US to stay here legally if certain requirements are met, with 94 percent of Democrats, 85 percent of independents, and 60 percent of Republicans in agreement.
  • Regulation: Majorities (58% adults, 58% likely voters) say government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest, while far fewer (35% adults, 39% likely voters) say regulation does more harm than good. Asked about environmental regulation, most (59% adults, 61% likely voters) say stricter environmental laws and regulation are worth the cost, while just a third (33% adults, 33% likely voters) say they cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. While most Democrats and independents view regulation of business and the environment positively, two-thirds of Republicans say that business regulation does more harm than good (66%) and environmental laws and regulation hurt the economy (67%).

 

Oppose Junk Science? You are a RACIST!

The Left is crazy.  If you use real science, facts and history that is a priori evidence you are a racist.  Only if you believe in junk science and lie about historical data can you be a good person. Let me add that if you oppose a new tax that, too, is proof you are a racist.

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass has been called plenty of names, including climate “denier,” but it wasn’t until he came out against the state’s proposed carbon tax last month that he was accused of being a racist.

Since then, Mr. Mass said he has been upbraided by the university’s diversity dean and subjected to a faculty “inquisition,” events that have stoked alarm about the threat posed by campus climate-change activism to academic freedom.

“I’m really worried about the intolerance that has developed at the university,” Mr. Mass told The Washington Times. “It’s really a minority of graduate students and just one or two faculty that are the real activists. I don’t want to make it seem like everybody’s like this, they’re not. But it’s poisoning the place, the fact that you’ve got to watch your step here.”

This is how bad college campuses have become—it is headquarters for bigotry and hatred.  Oppose junk science.  Oppose new taxes—You are a racist.  No longer can honest disagreements on policy be discussed—go straight for harassment.

220px-Al_Gore

Climate scientist hit with campus ‘inquisition’ over post opposing carbon tax

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times,  12/13/18

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass has been called plenty of names, including climate “denier,” but it wasn’t until he came out against the state’s proposed carbon tax last month that he was accused of being a racist.

Since then, Mr. Mass said he has been upbraided by the university’s diversity dean and subjected to a faculty “inquisition,” events that have stoked alarm about the threat posed by campus climate-change activism to academic freedom.

“I’m really worried about the intolerance that has developed at the university,” Mr. Mass told The Washington Times. “It’s really a minority of graduate students and just one or two faculty that are the real activists. I don’t want to make it seem like everybody’s like this, they’re not. But it’s poisoning the place, the fact that you’ve got to watch your step here.”

The hubbub began when he ran on his blog an Oct. 14 post against Washington State Initiative 1631, arguing that the proposed carbon tax would funnel millions to special interests, including labor, tribal governments and social-justice groups, which he illustrated with a photo of pigs at a trough.

Supporters of the measure, which went down to defeat Nov. 6, decried the post as racist. Mr. Mass “compared Native tribes, communities of color, and unions to pigs for advocating for public investments in their communities,” as UW lecturer Alex Lenferna put it in a Medium op-ed.

“It’s a disturbing, callous and arguably racist analogy, which fails to recognize how these communities are so often overlooked and underfunded in Washington,” said Mr. Lenferna, who included a photo of Mr. Mass with a heart and an oil can.

 

Students Are Outraged Over A Racist Test Question At Cal State Long Beach

Sometimes asking a question can get you in trouble—big trouble.  At Cal State Long Beach a stupid question about gangs and graffiti.  This is why college campuses are hotbeds of revolution and bullying.

“A test question on a take-home final at Cal State Long Beach outraged students this week.

They were asked to pick the racial group of gangs least likely to do graffiti.

The test question, written by health science lecturer Matt Fischer, asked students to choose among four racial groups — Black, Asian, Hispanic and White.

Alex Rambo posted a picture of the final on Twitter. He said it was the “cherry on top” of a frustrating experience in that class, and he said his classmates were angry and offended.

“We all just kind of reacted the same way… like, what’s this guy even thinking, and what’s even the answer?” he said.”

Thought you should see how easy it is to stop education .

classroom

Students Are Outraged Over A Racist Test Question At Cal State Long Beach

by Emily Elena Dugdale, LA1st,  12/13/18

 

A test question on a take-home final at Cal State Long Beach outraged students this week.

They were asked to pick the racial group of gangs least likely to do graffiti.

The test question, written by health science lecturer Matt Fischer, asked students to choose among four racial groups — Black, Asian, Hispanic and White.

Alex Rambo posted a picture of the final on Twitter. He said it was the “cherry on top” of a frustrating experience in that class, and he said his classmates were angry and offended.

“We all just kind of reacted the same way… like, what’s this guy even thinking, and what’s even the answer?” he said.

Rambo said it was offensive because there was clearly no demographic information available to answer that question. “Gangs don’t do exit polls after they finish doing their graffiti,” he joked.

Rambo, who is black, said this wasn’t the first time the teacher had made students uncomfortable with his words. He said his teacher called him “Big Dog,” and other female students of color, “sisterlicious.”

Fellow student Jeanette Ruiz also took that final. She said her classmates were texting each other trying to figure out if the question was a joke. She says as a Latina from the area it was a shock to see the question.

“I felt personally attacked,” she said. “I mean if you come and see where I live, there’s graffiti everywhere. So obviously what are people going to think? ‘Oh, it must be all the minorities doing the graffiti.'”

Students all over campus are calling the test question racist and insensitive.

On Thursday, marketing student Thomas Requejo was sitting outside on campus talking about it with his friends. He said if he saw that question on a test he’d be pretty surprised.

“Honestly, I’d laugh at first, but then I’d be like, ‘Yo, what is this? What are we doing with this?'” he said.

“I don’t understand how a question like that could pop up on a test.”

Requejo said he’s concerned because he thinks the university prides itself on its diversity and being a welcoming place for everyone.

Cal State Long Beach declined an interview request, instead providing this statement:

“We appreciate this situation being called to our attention and have begun an investigation. The campus takes these allegations seriously. We will provide additional information when we have reached a resolution.”

Fischer sent an email apology to his class after news spread of the controversial test question.

“The question was never intended to cause any issue of racism…,” he wrote.

Rambo said he thinks the attention to the issue couldn’t have come at a worse time. He’s pretty busy studying for several finals.

But he’s turning in this final tonight — and doesn’t think he can avoid having a conversation with his teacher.

“If he’s still there next semester or in the future, I just hope he’s doing a better job of being more perceptive of the kinds of reactions he’s getting from his students — and a better job writing tests,” he said.

 

Calif. Officials Announce $1.7B Salmon Restoration Plan

Great news—if you are a salmon.  Terrible news if you are a farmer or eat a meal—California is about to spend $1.7 billion to protect the salmon, costing water for farmers and families to go even higher.

“Plunging into a decades-old water fight, California officials on Wednesday announced a $1.7 billion salmon restoration plan that would cut into farmers’ water supplies and their wallets.

Hatched during a 30-day negotiating period at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown and incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state’s natural resources agencies say they’ve negotiated agreements with water suppliers and cities that entail keeping more water in the state’s most important rivers for fish. The bombshell announcement hijacked a State Water Resources Control Board meeting, where regulators were mulling a separate water plan that was decades in the making.

“It’s self financed by our water user community at the tune of $800 million; in my career I’ve never run across that before,” said Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and former director of Trout Unlimited.

What a lie—it is not “self-financed”—farmers and families will pay.  Why can’t Sacramento Socialists be honest?  Maybe they are afraid of French style riots?  Got your yellow vest handy?

The Tehama-Colusa Canal transports water to irrigate northern California agriculture and communities.

Calif. Officials Announce $1.7B Salmon Restoration Plan

NICK CAHILL, Courthousenews,  12/13/18

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Plunging into a decades-old water fight, California officials on Wednesday announced a $1.7 billion salmon restoration plan that would cut into farmers’ water supplies and their wallets.

Hatched during a 30-day negotiating period at the request of Gov. Jerry Brown and incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state’s natural resources agencies say they’ve negotiated agreements with water suppliers and cities that entail keeping more water in the state’s most important rivers for fish. The bombshell announcement hijacked a State Water Resources Control Board meeting, where regulators were mulling a separate water plan that was decades in the making.

“It’s self financed by our water user community at the tune of $800 million; in my career I’ve never run across that before,” said Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and former director of Trout Unlimited.

The plan involves proposed voluntary agreements by water users on a variety of rivers, including the Sacramento, Tuolumne, Feather and American. The users, including the City of San Francisco, are hoping down the line to avoid stricter regulatory actions that were additionally approved Wednesday by the water board.

Bonham and the negotiating agencies argued they can bring more immediate change with voluntary agreements compared to a wide-ranging state order that could take years to implement and potentially be tossed by the courts. If allowed, the backers say they can reallocate 700,000 acre-feet of water, nearly enough to fill up Lake Tahoe, for fish restoration.

“Collaboration is the pathway to improvements immediately,” Bonham continued. “The ability to work together produces the fast-track to getting stuff done on the ground.”

The five-member water board appeared happy with the deal they were hearing about along with the public for the first time. Chair Felicia Marcus called it “impressive” and member Dorene D’Adamo said it was “monumental.”

“It’s amazing that you’ve gotten this far and I’m looking at momentum and early action,” said board member Dorene D’Adamo.

The settlements call for fallowed farmland, floodplain restoration, new salmon rearing areas, weed removal, water pump screen improvements and new weirs. Water suppliers and cities would pick up about half the tab, with another $900 million from taxpayer bonds.

However many of the environmental groups in attendance were skeptical of the mammoth plan pieced together in just a month.  Environmentalists and fishing groups said they were left out of the private discussions and that the lofty plan still needed to be dissected.

“From first reading, it appears that this is certainly a non-starter,” said Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Executive Director Noah Oppenheim. “It’s close to status quo in certain circumstances.”

Tim Stroshane of Restore the Delta asked the water board not to rush acting on a plan negotiated “out of the public eye.”

But the water board was careful to note that the theoretical deals needed to be analyzed before it could consider any sort of action.

“The devil’s in the details,” Marcus said.

Nearly eight hours after hearing about the plan supported by Gov. Brown, the water board went ahead with new minimum flow rules for the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. As it stands, the contentious decision will reduce the amount of water available to San Francisco and Central Valley farmers, ending over nine years of debate.

After countless iterations and public hearings, the regulator cemented a deal that requires an average of 40 percent of the tributaries’ natural or unimpaired flow to remain in the waterways in order to reach the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta during periods when salmon are returning from the Pacific Ocean. At certain times of the year, 90 percent of the San Joaquin River’s tributaries natural flows are diverted to farms and cities.

“If this were an easy decision, it wouldn’t have taken years of analysis, reflection and public engagement,” Marcus said before voting for the new flow requirements. “This is simply a hard decision because it’s about competing social goods and needs, not about right and wrong.”

To get more snowmelt water to wind down from the Sierra Nevada and into the delta, the plan calls for major cuts to San Francisco’s take of water from the Tuolumne River in Yosemite over 100 miles away, along with expected cutbacks for some Central Valley farmers.

“We are very happy that the water board approved phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Plan update,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, “It was a big decision, 20 years in the making. We are relieved flows in the delta will now be closer to what is required for a healthy estuary.”

While some of the groups involved in the tentative agreements threatened to pull out because of the new San Joaquin flow plan, the water board said it’s leaving the door open for discussions in the coming months. Bonham said the proponents could have a draft project description to the water board by March 1, and a comprehensive environmental impact report by August.

Chief justice of the California Supreme Court leaves the Republican Party, citing Kavanaugh

Arnold loved to appoint Democrats and Republicans that believed they were Democrats to judgeships.  Almost 75% of the judges he appointed were either Democrats or Decline to State.  Now a Supreme court Justice, the chief Justice, previously appointed by Arnold to high courts, finally appointed in 2011 to the California High Court.  What type of Justice is she?  She doesn’t believe in the arrest of lawbreakers—not a joke.

“Cantil-Sakauye last year sent a pointed letter to then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly urging that federal law enforcement cease the practice of “stalking undocumented immigrants” to arrest them in courthouses. She warned that it would prompt immigrants to stop reporting crimes.

“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair,” she wrote.

Kelly and Sessions dismissed her request, telling her to address her concerns to Gov. Jerry Brown and that California “sanctuary” policies “threaten public safety, rather than enhance it.”

She is an Arnold/Jerry Justice—make up the rules as you go along—protect criminals and make more Americans victims of your decisions.  Now, she is a registered Decline to State.  Seriously?  She acts and rules like a Bernie Sander Democrat.

arnold

Chief justice of the California Supreme Court leaves the Republican Party, citing Kavanaugh

By Dan Morain, CalMatters,  12/13/18

 

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the GOP’s direction nationally and in the state.

In a phone interview with CALmatters, Cantil-Sakauye—who was a prosecutor before becoming a judge 28 years ago and California Supreme Court chief justice in 2011—said she made the final decision to change her registration after watching the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“You can draw your own conclusions,” she said.

In those hearings, Kavanaugh denied allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto professor, that he assaulted her when they were high school students in Maryland.

“I’ve been thinking about it for some time,” Cantil-Sakauye said, adding that she talked it over with her husband and friends. Their consensus, she said, was that “you didn’t leave the party. The party left you.”

The 59-year-old jurist, who as chief justice is the head of the judicial branch of government, is the latest high-profile Republican to disavow the party in the wake of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election, though she did so without fanfare.

Political consultant Steve Schmidt, who ran Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, TV personality and former congressman Joe Scarborough and others have publicly peeled off as GOP priorities shifted to reflect the president and his administration’s combative style and nationalist agenda.

Her decision also underscores the GOP’s decline in California, where Republicans’ share of registered voters has plummeted to less than a quarter of the electorate, below no-party-preference registration.

And it reflects the diminished support for the GOP among women, particularly since the divisive Kavanaugh hearings. An Associated Press poll found that women favored Democratic candidates over Republicans 56-41 percent in the recent congressional elections.

“I felt compelled to make a choice now,” said Cantil-Sakauye, the first Filipina-American Supreme Court justice and the second woman to serve as California’s chief justice. “It better suits what I do and how I approach issues.”

She answered the question about her party registration Thursday after appearing on a National Judicial College-hosted panel at the National Press Club with judges and justices who discussed attacks on the judiciary.

Cantil-Sakauye last year sent a pointed letter to then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly urging that federal law enforcement cease the practice of “stalking undocumented immigrants” to arrest them in courthouses. She warned that it would prompt immigrants to stop reporting crimes.

“Enforcement policies that include stalking courthouses and arresting undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom pose no risk to public safety, are neither safe nor fair,” she wrote.

Kelly and Sessions dismissed her request, telling her to address her concerns to Gov. Jerry Brown and that California “sanctuary” policies “threaten public safety, rather than enhance it.”

At the Thursday event, she cited the dispute over courthouse arrests, and also indirect attacks, including legislative efforts to shape the judiciary by using the budget to direct judges’ priorities, and sniping by other judges. She has resisted such earmarks.

“I don’t believe the attacks are going to stop. I do not believe the undermining and marginalizing of the branch will ever stop. And it is people’s right to speak up,” she said.

But she added that judges need to help their cause by opening themselves and the courts to the public. In California, she said, she, other judges, legislators, and schools are working to increase and improve civics education in public schools.

Republican Govs. George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson appointed Cantil-Sakauye to the trial courts, and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her first to an appellate court and then to the California Supreme Court as chief justice.

Until recently, the court had been divided, with four justices appointed by Republican governors and three by Democratic Gov. Brown. Brown’s fourth appointee, Joshua Groban, is expected to be confirmed at a hearing next week.

Decisions during Cantil-Sakauye’s tenure as chief justice, however, have generally conveyed cohesion, with the court regularly issuing decisions that are unanimous or near-unanimous.