Up To Speed: United Airlines moves to outsource more than 630 unionized jobs

When given a choice, businesses and workers leave unions in the dust. Within three months that Gov. Walker broke the union chains on the workers of his State, 60% of the teachers left the union. The three teaches unions lost so many members, they had to merge into one union, just to keep the doors open. States that have Free to Work laws are economic power houses. Those States, like California that chain workers to unions are those with massive deficits and high unemployment—the real unemployment in California is 16.7%.

United Airlines knows this—so 630 union workers were traded for 630 free workers—workers that responded to the company, not a union. Freedom means jobs—unions mean your paycheck belongs to them and your politics are those of the union.

A Machinists union representative estimated that United stands to save between $1.6 million and $3.5 million per airport annually by outsourcing these jobs.

That is the size of the bribe demanded by the unions—wasted money that is paid for by the consumer.

Jobs vs Occupy

Up To Speed: United Airlines moves to outsource more than 630 unionized jobs

David A. Arnott, Business Journal, 7/8/14

United Airlines plans to outsource more than 630 unionized positions at 12 airports across the country in a bid to lower costs, continuing a trend among major American airlines toward contractor work.

Most of the ticket agents, gate agents, and baggage handlers from Charlotte, North Carolina; to Pensacola, Florida; and Buffalo, New York; among other cities targeted by the move, have certain job protections, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. That report noted that under United’s (NYSE: UAL) 2013 labor agreement with the Machinists union, the airline is required to protect jobs at its busiest airports. In this case, United said workers whose jobs get contracted out would be allowed to apply for new jobs within the company, perhaps even pushing out a junior employee, or they will be given severance, the Journal reported.

A Machinists union representative estimated that United stands to save between $1.6 million and $3.5 million per airport annually by outsourcing these jobs.

RTTNews.com posted the full list of cities where United plans to make these changes: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Buffalo; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso, Texas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas; Pensacola; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Feds Spent $430,608 to Get Mothers to Dance With Their Daughters

While tens of millions of Americans are on disability barely getting by; while 92 million have left the job market, barely getting by; as American students are forced into failed classrooms using Common Core as a time waster, not educator, the Feds wants mothers to dance with their daughters. That is not a typo or a Jay Leno joke—it is a Michelle Obama joke on decent, hardworking Americans.

The government has spent $11 million researching how dance can curb obesity rates, though the studies have yielded less than promising results.

“Reductions in physical activity are more prevalent in African-American girls and women; therefore effective physical activity interventions are needed,” the grant for the most recent project said. “For a physical activity intervention to be effective among African-American girls the program must resonate with them and they must enjoy participating in it. One possible example of an enjoyable, culturally-appropriate intervention is Afro-centric dance”

Seriously black girls love to dance—as do girls of any color. Another example of the racism of the Obama Administration—they demean black Americans every chance they get.

WhiteHouseMoney

Feds Spent $430,608 to Get Mothers to Dance With Their Daughters

Government-funded studies for how dancing can prevent obesity top $11 million

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon, 7/9/14

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent nearly $500,000 to study how getting mothers to dance with their daughters can fight obesity.

The three-year study is focusing on African-American girls, who the authors say “suffer disproportionately from obesity.” The aim of the research is to see whether “Afro-centric” dance can get girls to exercise.

The government has spent $11 million researching how dance can curb obesity rates, though the studies have yielded less than promising results.

“Reductions in physical activity are more prevalent in African-American girls and women; therefore effective physical activity interventions are needed,” the grant for the most recent project said. “For a physical activity intervention to be effective among African-American girls the program must resonate with them and they must enjoy participating in it. One possible example of an enjoyable, culturally-appropriate intervention is Afro-centric dance.”

The study hypothesizes that teenaged girls would be more likely to dance if their mothers are dancing with them.

“In addition, it has been speculated that a way to increase children’s physical activity level is to increase parental physical activity level,” the grant said. “Studies have shown that parental (maternal) health behaviors can influence children’s health behaviors. Family remains a valued facet of the African-American culture, and therefore an important behavioral context for interventions to improve physical activity and other health outcomes.”

The $430,608 study was awarded to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The university conducted 12-week programs for African-American daughters and mothers to participate in Afro-centric dance.

“If this intervention presents a viable option for increasing physical activity for African-American girls and their mothers, we will have identified a route for reducing obesity and [diabetes] in these groups,” the grant said.

“We hypothesize that by choosing a culturally-appropriate and fun form of physical activity, and by engaging mothers, we will see higher levels of sustained physical activity,” it added.

This hypothesis is not unique. The government has spent $11,158,004 on similar projects examining dancing as an obesity prevention method for minority groups since 1999.

Dr. Tom Robinson, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University, has led two multi-million dollar studies focused on African-American and Latina girls and the “innovative” way to get them to lose weight by dancing.

The first study was conducted between 1999 and 2006, at a total cost of $6,802,779.

For two years the project followed over 200 low-income African-American 8- to 10-year-old girls and their families who participated in after-school hip-hop, African, and step dance classes. Robinson conducted “in-home surveys” of the families, and measured their “height, weight, skinfold thicknesses, [and] waist and hip circumferences.”

The results of the study were not promising with regard to obesity.

“A culturally tailored after-school dance and screen time reduction intervention for low-income, preadolescent African American girls did not significantly reduce BMI gain compared with health education but did produce potentially clinically important reductions in lipid levels, hyperinsulinemia, and depressive symptoms,” results posted in the National Library of Medicine read.

Robinson was awarded a second study focusing on Latina girls, beginning in 2006.

This project, which cost $3,924,617 through 2010, also involved a “culturally-tailored” after-school dance program for low-income girls.

The study found that Latina girls were more likely to participate if they had higher self-esteem and confidence, and were less likely to join in if they experienced child bullying.

“Family-centered, school-based, community obesity prevention programs that focus on tangible short-term gains for girls may generate greater participation rates, enhance social capital, and promote community empowerment,” the results concluded. “These factors can be emphasized in future obesity prevention program design and implementation.”

The results for the latest study thus far have revealed that mothers like to dance and do household chores to achieve physical activity, while their children prefer dancing, walking, and riding bikes.

 

Bankruptcy judge may rule pensions can be cut

Just as Hobby Lobby was a court decision that allows Americans to live by their religious values and Faith, a Stockton court decision could be just as important for pension systems.. A bankruptcy judge in the Stockton case may decide the pension plan is no different a creditor than a vendors that sells wood to a government. Stockton is refusing to reform the pension system, even though it means that within ten years they will be in bankruptcy again. Imagine a court will do what the elective officials won’t, save the fiscal condition of a community.

In a few days we might see the pension equivalent to the education case where a judge ruled tenure laws were unconstitutional. The bigger issue is why the public doesn’t fire those officials that have economically harmed them. All the union money should not hide the fact the officials of Stockton are controlled by the unions not the voters.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein yesterday outlined an argument, a “summary from 50,000 feet,” for treating CalPERS pensions like other debt, then invited CalPERS, Stockton and other parties to respond with written briefs.”

unions pensions public employee

Bankruptcy judge may rule pensions can be cut

Ed Mendel, CalPensions, 7/9/14

A federal judge handling the Stockton bankruptcy may be moving toward a landmark ruling that CalPERS pensions can be cut, possibly while allowing the city to exit bankruptcy in October without cutting its pensions.

The judge said he wanted to share his “preliminary thoughts” to give the lawyers in the case a chance to “straighten me out before I make some dramatic boneheaded mistake” about a simple understanding of the law.

Klein emphasized at the end of his remarks that his view of the “jigsaw puzzle” of how state pension law fits with federal bankruptcy law is still tentative. “I could be persuaded of opposite propositions,” he said.

A federal judge ruled in the Detroit bankruptcy that public pensions can be cut in bankruptcy. But CalPERS has argued, among other things, that Detroit has a city-run plan and an “arm of the state” like CalPERS cannot be impaired in a federal bankruptcy.

Klein said the implication of his remarks is that he might conclude the CalPERS contract with Stockton is being rejected, and the $1.5 billion CalPERS would charge for terminating the contract is unenforceable.

“But that does not necessarily mean that this plan of adjustment (of debt to exit bankruptcy), which is proposed without any change to pensions, is necessarily not confirmable,” he said.

Stockton does not want to cut pensions, arguing they are needed to be competitive in the job market, particularly for police. Stockton voters approved a ¾-cent sales tax increase last November to add more police and other public safety measures.

After filing for bankruptcy in June 2012, Stockton reached agreements with three bond insurers, all city unions and other major creditors. But in closed-door mediation the city could not reach an agreement with two Franklin bond funds, triggering a rare trial.

The city exit plan would pay Franklin $135,000 for a $36 million bond debt. Klein yesterday put a value of $4 million on the loan collateral the city said was of little value to Franklin due to use restrictions and other problems: two golf courses and a park.

A Franklin attorney told the judge $4 million in cash would be acceptable, but two other options mentioned by the city would be an issue: payment over time or giving Franklin the property.

The judge set a schedule for receiving briefs and responses before the next hearing Oct. 1. “Ideally, I would like to be able to make findings that conclude the matter,” he said.

A decision to confirm the debt-cutting plan of adjustment, allowing Stockton to exit bankruptcy, would have to find that creditors are being treated fairly. The judge questioned whether the California Public Employees Retirement System is a creditor.

If a city pension plan is terminated and there is not enough money to cover obligations, Klein said, state law authorizes CalPERS to close the funding gap by cutting the pensions of workers and retirees.

“It seems to me if you are going to take away part of an individual’s pension, the individual is the creditor and CalPERS is in effect a servicing agency,” the judge said.

Klein mentioned that when ruling Stockton was eligible for bankruptcy, despite opposition from two big bond insurers who later settled, he found that workers took a “de facto haircut” through employment reduction and collective bargaining.

The judge also made an important ruling in 2012 that retiree health care can be cut in bankruptcy, allowing a debt valued at $544 million by Stockton to be replaced with a one-time payment of $5.1 million.

Klein may have been addressing the CalPERS “arm of the state” argument when he said the big system has “two different pieces” to the puzzle: state workers and cities and other local governments that contract for pension services.

The local governments voluntarily contract with CalPERS, he said, even though under state retirement law they can form their own retirement system or contract with county retirement systems or private providers.

“It looks like a city could bow out of CalPERS without necessarily being thrown out of CalPERS,” he said, although that would be difficult.

Klein said he would like an explanation of two state laws that allow CalPERS to put a lien on the property of bankrupt cities and prevent bankrupt cities from rejecting their CalPERS contract.

He said a state law enacted in 1982 appears to be a response to a federal law in 1979, enacted in the wake of New York City’s financial crisis, that allowed more than bond debt to be cut in a municipal bankruptcy.

“All of a sudden all sorts of debt potentially could be discharged,” he said. “So it’s no surprise … this lien is created.”

Klein said the state lien law appears to conflict with federal bankruptcy in several ways. “As against that, it makes me wonder if this so-called lien is the kind of thing that could be enforced,” he said.

The judge said exhibits filed during the trial show that a 1996 state law preventing bankrupt local governments from rejecting CalPERS contracts, prompted by the Orange County bankruptcy in 1994, was intended to protect CalPERS from losses.

Under his reading of state law, said Klein, the employees are at risk of losses in a bankruptcy, not CalPERS. “So I’m kind of wondering who was pulling the wool over the eyes of the California Assembly and state Senate,” he said.

The judge said he would need a good explanation of what authority allows the California Legislature to revise the federal bankruptcy code. “My usual answer is none, unless specifically provided by the bankruptcy code,” he said.

In addition to urging CalPERS to respond, the judge said a “helpful” city brief would show why the Stockton exit plan should be confirmed despite “what I have been hearing about CalPERS and the inviolability of the CalPERS contract and the lien.”

A CalPERS statement issued after the hearing yesterday said: “In fulfillment to our fiduciary duty, CalPERS will continue to protect the benefits promised to our members.

“We welcome the opportunity to respond to the questions Judge Klein raised in court today, to discuss the implications of the California laws that govern pensions and that create a stable retirement system that provides significant value to cities and their employees.”

 

Obama Backer/Ventura County Democrat Leader: “GOP supported the Nazi’is in WWII”

Thought hatred is just in the South? Did you think Tea Party people have conspiracy theories? Want to claim Republicans use vote suppression procedures. If you answered yes to these questions, you would be wrong, three times.

David Atkins is the chair of the Ventura County DEMOCRAT Central Committee. The guy is a nut. In his own words, ““Did US fight for #freedom in WWII instead of joining big business Republicans backing the Nazis and fomenting a coup on FDR? #ThankaDemocrat,” Atkins said” Of course MORE Republicans voted for the 1965 Civil Rights Act in Congressthan Democrats—facts means nothing to a Democrat leader—Obama or Atkins.

His bigotry and hate has made national news. Yet Congresswoman Browley and Democrat Assembly candidate Jaqui Irwin seem to support his vitriol by refusing to call for his immediate apology and resignation. This is how Democrats operate, name calling, slander. libel and lying. What do you think should be done with Atkins? More tomorrow!

democrat party liberal

 

 

How the Ventura County Democratic Chair Spent His Fourth of July on Twitter

Washington Free Beacon Staff, 7/7/14
The chairman of the Ventura County, Calif., Democratic Central Committee celebrated the Fourth of July weekend by accusing Republicans of backing Nazis and discussing the size of conservative men’s genitals on Twitter.

“Do you have the freedom to get an abortion without coathanger induced sepsis? Thank a Democrat, vote out Reoublicans,” [sic] wrote David Atkins, tweeting from the handle @DavidOAtkins on July 4.

Atkins, an “online activist” who was elected to head the Ventura Democrats in 2012, spent the holiday marking America’s independence attacking Republicans as racists and backers of the Nazis during WWII.

“Do you have the freedom to vote without a poll tax or getting fire hosed because of your skin color? #ThankaDemocrat,” he tweeted.

“Did US fight for #freedom in WWII instead of joining big business Republicans backing the Nazis and fomenting a coup on FDR? #ThankaDemocrat,” Atkins said.

Atkins also retweeted a tweet remarking that it is okay to “speak ill of the dead” in the case of Richard Scaife, a conservative philanthropist, who died on July 4.

On July 5, Atkins went after conservative men, saying they “generally know they can’t compete in a battle of wits or in the bedroom. Violence & superstitition [sic] is all they’ve got.”

“Conservative men are afraid that if women can have ‘consequence free sex’, their wives will leave & their daughters will disobey them. Good,” he tweeted.

“I’ve met plenty of women who used to have conservative boyfriends. Ideology isn’t the only place they fell short,” he added.

Atkins is listed on the endorsements page for Rep. Julia Brownley (D., Calif.), who is running for reelection against Republican Jeff Gorell, an assemblyman from Camarillo.

Julia Brownley for Congress has contributed $3,450 to the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee this election cycle, giving $1,500 in April, $1650 in January, and $300 last May.

Atkins’ tweets have been the subject of controversy before. As the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee’s vice chairman in 2011, Atkins tweeted that Republicans who testified at a Redistricting Commission hearing in Oxnard should “just put your white hoods on already.”

He was condemned for his remarks, but was not reprimanded by his fellow Democrats.

In response, Atkins said he “regrets the choice of words I used, but I will always stand up to defend the rights of minorities in Ventura County.”

 

Confused Guv Brown: Wait Till AFTER Election to Harm Small Businesses

Our governor is taking a page from the scambook of Barack the First. On the Federal level Obama has illegally waived the requirement that small businesses provide ObamaCare in 2014. This would have caused unemployment, more welfare recipients and grassroots anger, so he stopped it till AFTER the 2014 elections. Now our very confused Guv Brown is allowing California small businesses to wait till 2015 to harm themselves—though the Federal law has not been amended or repealed—so he is allowing businesses to violate the law.

Guess Guv Brown has the same arrogant attitude of Obama, “so sue me”. Who needs a legislature when the President and Governor can violate the law, knowing it will take years for a court to over turn their law breaking. Shame on us for allowing this. Sacramento can not change congressional laws—wonder why no body noticed that, especially the media.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

 

Brown Signs Bill Delaying ACA Deadline for Small Businesses

California Healthline, 7/8/14

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a bill (SB 1446) that will give state businesses with fewer than 50 employees an extra year to obtain health coverage that complies with Affordable Care Act requirements, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

The measure takes effect immediately and allows small businesses to renew coverage at any point in the year (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/7).

Background

Under the ACA, all health plans must include 10 essential benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity care and mental health treatments (O’Neill, “KPCC News,” KPCC, 7/7).

The law’s employer mandate provision states that any health plans that do not meet all 10 requirements will be canceled at the end of 2014.

Details of New Law

SB 1446 was introduced by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord). State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) and the California Department of Insurance also sponsored the measure.

The new law gives businesses with fewer than 50 employees until the end of 2015 to comply with the ACA’s rules. If at the end of 2015 the eligible businesses’ sponsored health plans still do not meet the law’s requirements, such plans will be canceled (California Healthline, 5/21).

Reaction

In a news release, Jones called the new law “a victory for all California small businesses.” He added, “While many small employers will move to new health insurance options right away, SB 1446 provides additional choices to those who choose to use the transition period” (DOI release, 7/7).

John Kabateck, executive director of the California chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, said that the extension “will give some short-term relief to scores of small business owners who still have concerns about this law” (Sacramento Business Journal, 7/7).

However, Kabateck said that NFIB still has concerns about the amount of time businesses have to obtain new coverage, adding, “A year can disappear very quickly.” He said NFIB would have preferred an earlier version of the measure that would have given small business a three-year reprieve from complying with the ACA (“KPCC News,” KPCC, 7/7).

 

 

 

UC aims to limit $10 billion unfunded pension liability

A couple of years ago the UC system had a $21 billion unfunded pension liability—now, without any reforms or additional payments it is “down” to $10 billion—sounds like Obama is spewing these figures. It is known that one third of every tuition dollar increase goes to the pension system, which is unsustainable. My guess is like CalSTRS and CalPRS the UC system refuses to use the mandated Federal criteria for pension systems, which is similar to regulations on private systems. For instance CalSTRs claims its unfunded liability is $71 billion, the Feds say it is $166.9 billion.

How will UC handle its deficit? “This currently includes the increase in employee and university pension contributions and borrowing from internal and external sources. The university’s pension plan, which has about $50 billion in assets, currently has a $10 billion unfunded liability.

Pay cuts for professors, cutting classroom dollars helps the union negotiated pensions, does not help the quality of education. Expect the unions to demand professor salaries go up—to pay for the increased pension contributions. In the end this is another transfer of wealth due to unions.

pension

UC aims to limit $10 billion unfunded pension liability

By Angel Grace Jennings, Daily Californian, 7/8/14

In the absence of sufficient state funding, the University of California implemented policy changes Tuesday in an effort to curb current and unfunded pension liabilities.

In a statement released Tuesday, Nathan Brostrom, the university’s executive vice president for business operations, detailed the university’s attempts to fund the pension system. This currently includes the increase in employee and university pension contributions and borrowing from internal and external sources. The university’s pension plan, which has about $50 billion in assets, currently has a $10 billion unfunded liability.

The statement was published in response to a recently issued special comment from Moody’s Investors Service, a credit rating agency, detailing the growing pension burden of public universities in the United States. Moody’s downgraded the university’s credit rating in March by one level to Aa2, the third-highest possible credit rating.

“The downgrade is reflective of Moody’s negative outlook for universities across the country,” said UC spokesperson Brooke Converse in an email. “For UC, it is a slight downgrade that reflects the challenging fiscal environment of the past five or six years.”

The UC Regents adopted a new pension tier plan last year that delayed the maximum pension benefit by five years for those hired after July 1 of last year, which is estimated to reduce the pension program’s costs by about 20 percent.

Under last year’s pension funding plan, employees hired before July last year contributed 6.5 percent of their pay toward their pension benefits, and new or rehired employees contributed 7 percent, while the university contributed 12 percent. The policy that went into effect Tuesday increases the university’s contribution to 14 percent and increases the contributions of old-tier employees to 8 percent, while new-tier employees will continue to contribute 7 percent. The increase applies to nonunion employees, according to Converse.

In addition to increased pension contributions from employees and the university, the university is borrowing about $2 billion from the Short Term Investment Pool, which Converse said contained more than $6 billion as of May 31. The pool is a cash investment pool where funds are invested before they are used for university operations, such as construction expenses and cash to meet payroll.

In a Daily Californian op-ed last year, campus associate professor Christine Rosen and professor James Vernon argued that the regents’ decision to self-finance the pension system is detrimental to students, staff and faculty and has contributed to an increase in tuition fees and significant staff layoffs.

“Certainly for a period of several years there, tuition went up by a huge amount,” said Joe Kiskis, vice president of external relations for the council of UC faculty associations. “There are many factors in that, the biggest one being the decrease in state contributions.”

At the UC Regents meeting on July 16 and 17, they will discuss borrowing additional funds from the short-term investment pool. According to Converse, the proposed additional funds may amount to approximately $700 million.

 

Santa Monica: How to Kill Investment and CREATE Slums as City Policy

How do you create a slum? You make it too expensive for landlords to keep up their property. How do you do that? City government raises fees to collect revenue. The more money the City takes, the less money the owners have to spruce up and maintain their property. You need to know that a Kennedy is on the Santa Monica City Council, Bobby Shriver, the brother of Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger. The Kennedys are VERY rich—now they want the poor and middle class to suffer—yet claim to help them. Very economically illiterate or just mean spirited?

Then the renters would get to pay LESS. So Shriver and his illiterates want owners to pay more, renters less—and then create a slum—so the city can condemn it and steal the property.

“For landlords it could mean a more than 700 percent increase but for renters, who paid $156 last year, it would be a guaranteed reprieve of at least $12 (last year’s $156 fee minus half of the $288 cap).”

Winner for government and socialists—a loser for the people.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2562817

Renters could pay less, landlords more

By David Mark Simpson, Santa Monica Daily Mirror, 7/8/14

CITY HALL – City Council will consider green-lighting a ballot measure that would allow the Rent Control Board to increase costs for landlords and decrease fees for renters.

If approved by council and then by voters in November, registration fees for rent-controlled apartments could shoot up to $288 per unit annually, from $175 last year. Despite the fee increase, renters would actually have to pay less.

The $288 rate would be a cap; the board could decide on the exact number every year so long as it is below $288.

Last year, the Rent Control Board raised rates and, for the first time, required landlords to pay a portion of the fee – $19. In the past, they were allowed to pass all of the cost onto residents.

On top the rate cap increase, the proposed measure would require landlords to pick up at least half of the fee leaving renters with the other half.

For landlords it could mean a more than 700 percent increase but for renters, who paid $156 last year, it would be a guaranteed reprieve of at least $12 (last year’s $156 fee minus half of the $288 cap).

The Rent Control Board and its staff interpret, enforce, and implement rent control law. This work is funded through the fee.

Last year’s increase of the fee was the board’s first in six years and, according to city officials, highly controversial.

Landlords threatened to sue if they weren’t allowed to pass on the entire fee to tenants, claiming the fee couldn’t be raised without voter approval. City officials say that fees may need to be raised again, possibly as soon as next fiscal year, hence they proposed the charter amendment to the Rent Control Board.

A full pass-through of the fee may have made sense in 1979, when rent control laws were adopted, but it doesn’t now, Rent Control Board members said.

“Vacancy decontrol and market forces have resulted in a steep increase in median rents,” city officials said.  “With the current registration fee and pass through, landlords are out of pocket only a tenth of one percent of the rent (1.5 percent if they forego the pass through).  Thus, landlords can likely bear an increase in registration fees and are almost certainly better situated to bear that increase than their increasingly rent-burdened tenants.”

Council will have its say on Tuesday. If they agree, voters will have theirs in November.

 

Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA

Those running UCLA, and paid by the California taxpayer are as honest as any crook convicted of theft. By lying and cheating they steal education opportunities from honest hard working students. By misusing the admissions office they enrolled students based on race==illegal, in the State of California. They also showed their object racism—by admitting students based on race, they were saying black and Hispanic students are not smart enough to be admitted based on qualifications. The Administrators involved are openly admitting THEY are racists. When will they be fired for racism and violating the law?

“Groseclose concluded that UCLA administrators were circumventing Proposition 209 to favor black applicants. The mechanism they used to do this was a “second-chance” review built into the “holistic” process. Administrators submitted a disproportionate number of African-American applicants to the second-chance pool and then granted them admission at three times the rate of admission for Asians in the same category. Ironically, the “holistic” process did not result in the admission of more socio-economically disadvantaged students. UCLA’s subterfuge was designed to increase the number of black students, period. This had the perverse effect of reducing the number of more disadvantaged Latinos and Asians.”

biden chains racism

 

Affirmative Action Antics

“Diversity” trumps honesty and the rule of law at UCLA.

Mark Pulliam, City Journal, 7/7/14

Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA, by Tim Groseclose (Dog Ear Publishing, 212 pp., $24.99)

Higher education is in free fall. At college campuses around the nation, protestors veto mainstream commencement speakers, students receive “trigger warnings” when exposed to uncomfortable ideas, and trendy radical dogma regularly displaces classics in the curriculum. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the higher education system has been taken over by left-wing zealots who will resort to extraordinary measures—including violating the law—to achieve their policy objectives, which include multiculturalism, identity politics, and “racial justice.” The latest example of academic politics run amok can be found in political scientist Tim Groseclose’s exposé of racial discrimination in admissions at the University of California at Los Angeles. The UCLA administration, with the active complicity of faculty members, violated the law by considering race. Groseclose blew the whistle on UCLA’s admission practices, which he chronicles in Cheating.

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative, which amended the state constitution to prohibit the state from discriminating against, or in favor of, any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Along with barring preferences in hiring and contracts, CCRI explicitly outlawed racially conscious “affirmative action” in university admissions. Despite the predictable legal challenges, both the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the measure. (A similar law passed in Michigan in 2006, which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this year in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.)

Proposition 209 requires that admission decisions at all public universities be race-neutral. Applicants must be evaluated on criteria such as grade-point averages and SAT scores. This sounds simple enough. Trouble is, the competition among applicants is so great at highly selective University of California campuses, and the qualifications of African-American and Latino applicants are so comparatively poor, that a purely meritocratic admission process would produce a disproportionately white and Asian entering class. The number of black students at UC’s most prestigious campuses declined each year after affirmative action was outlawed. In 2006, when the number of black students expected to enroll as freshmen at UCLA reached 96—20 fewer than the year before and a record low—demonstrations ensued. UCLA quickly adopted a “holistic” admission approach, pioneered at UC Berkeley, that included subjective assessments of applicants’ personal achievements or challenges.

This is where Groseclose begins his story. In 2007, the year following the adoption of “holistic” review, UCLA doubled the number of blacks enrolled in its freshman class. Despite his conservative political views, Groseclose had somehow been selected to serve on the faculty-oversight committee for admissions, which gave him a ringside seat from which to observe the shenanigans, until he resigned in protest in August 2008. Based on his observations on the committee and his subsequent independent review of applicant data—obtained with the assistance of UCLA law professor Richard Sander, co-author, with Stuart Taylor, of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help and Why Universities Won’t Admit It—Groseclose concluded that UCLA administrators were circumventing Proposition 209 to favor black applicants. The mechanism they used to do this was a “second-chance” review built into the “holistic” process. Administrators submitted a disproportionate number of African-American applicants to the second-chance pool and then granted them admission at three times the rate of admission for Asians in the same category. Ironically, the “holistic” process did not result in the admission of more socio-economically disadvantaged students. UCLA’s subterfuge was designed to increase the number of black students, period. This had the perverse effect of reducing the number of more disadvantaged Latinos and Asians.

While on the committee, Groseclose, a statistics expert, had requested raw applicant data to verify his suspicions. His requests were refused. The book describes the machinations UCLA administrators concocted to deny Groseclose access to the data he and his fellow committee members were supposedly overseeing. But based on even the limited data available, Groseclose could tell UCLA was breaking the law. He ignored pressure to “look the other way,” assembled an 89-page report documenting his concerns, and “went rogue” by contacting the media. To the credit of California’s press corps, Groseclose’s findings were widely reported, forcing UCLA to go into PR mode. To rebut Groseclose’s report, the university even commissioned an “independent” study—which found significant evidence of racial bias. Groseclose’s findings may lead to litigation by applicants denied admission based on race.

Groseclose writes of his liberal colleagues:

If you want to understand college admissions, you need to understand a key fact about the academic left: They have extremely strong views about “diversity” and “racial justice.” To many of them, “racial justice” is even more important than all the other leftwing causes, including things like a clean environment, collective bargaining rights for workers, world peace, or making the rich pay “their fair share” of taxes. To them, racial justice is also more important than old-fashioned virtues, such as politeness and honesty. Consequently, to them, it is sometimes immoral not to lie about things such as race in admissions. That is, if a lie helps to increase racial diversity, then in their minds it is noble.

Elsewhere, Groseclose (who can speak candidly because he’s tenured) observes, “I suspect that . . . UCLA’s chancellors and other top administrators not only knew about the cheating but actually pressured staff to cheat.” And he believes that the scandal is not limited to UCLA, or to admissions: “[T]he problem is a symptom of . . . a culture of dishonesty that pervades American universities,” and which includes wealthy donors and politicians in addition to academic administrators. The admission scandal unfolding at the University of Texas is one example. Cheating is, in part, a heartening tale of what one person can accomplish with persistence and commitment. It’s also a harsh portrayal of today’s academic culture.

Mark Pulliam is a writer and commentator, and the father of a UCLA graduate (class of 2013).

State court rules in favor of Treasure Island developers, hurdle cleared for 8,000 homes

Three years ago an EIR was approved to build 8,000 homes. Also, to create lots of jobs and help the economy. The housing project started more than ten years ago. Finally a court has approved the EIR and maybe in a few years, after more lawsuits the project can go forward. Why is the cost of housing so high in California, highest in the nation? Situations like this prove that attorney and court fees need to be added to the cost of a house. Plus, you have the radical environmental regulations, union pay, etc. California is in a Depression and government/unions work hard to stop the creation of jobs.

“After several years of unnecessary and costly litigation, we can finally begin building more homes for people who want to live in San Francisco,’’ said Chris Meany of Wilson Meany, which is developing Treasure Island with Lennar Corp. “Treasure Island has been one of San Francisco’s most underutilized assets. It’s time to change that.’’

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14115451

 

 

State court rules in favor of Treasure Island developers, hurdle cleared for 8,000 homes

Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times, 7/7/14

The developers behind the massive rebuild of Treasure Island in San Francisco cleared another hurdle to starting construction on the 8,000-home development on the man-made island.

A state Appeals Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that an Environmental Impact Report approved by San Francisco is adequate.

A group called Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island, led by former San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin, sued after city officials approved the EIR and the project in 2011. In December of 2012, a lower court affirmed the EIR and the citizens’ group appealed that decision.

The project, proposed by a partnership between Lennar Corp. and Wilson Meany, aims to add thousands of new housing units along with retail, hotel and office space in addition to renovating historic buildings and creating 300 acres of open space.

“After several years of unnecessary and costly litigation, we can finally begin building more homes for people who want to live in San Francisco,’’ said Chris Meany of Wilson Meany, which is developing Treasure Island with Lennar Corp. “Treasure Island has been one of San Francisco’s most underutilized assets. It’s time to change that.’’

The ruling comes at a time when San Francisco faces a major housing shortage leading to skyrocketing rents and home prices. City officials like John Rahaim, San Francisco’s planning director, see projects like Treasure Island and Park Merced as significant additions to the city’s housing stock. Park Merced is a 7,000-unit-plus project on the western edge of the city and a quarter of Treasure Island’s housing will be affordable.

Nonetheless, both projects have been tied up in lawsuits. Park Merced’s litigation is still ongoing.

Last June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an agreement for the U.S. Navy to transfer of Treasure Island to the city in exchange for $55 million that the developers will pay. In July, San Francisco and the U.S. Navy signed the transfer agreement.

“We are ready to begin building a great new community at Treasure Island,’’ said Kofi Bonner, regional vice president for Lennar Corp. “With incredible scenery and easy access by road and water, Treasure Island will become one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.’’

 

Obamacare’s part time economy–America in Full Time Repression

In June, America LOST 523,000 full time jobs. But, we made up for this by creating 799,000 part time jobs. Plus 111,000 people left the work force. Is this the recovery we expected and wanted? Obama tells us that unemployment is 6.1%–true. It is true if you leave out those who work part time and want full time jobs and those that have given up on looking for a job. Add those and you get a Depression level 12.1% unemployment (U-6). Obama can lie about the numbers-but the American people live his failed policies every day.

Clearly the Obama economic policies are working as he wanted them. Remember, thanks to ObamaCare people lost jobs and full time workers were forced into part time work, just to keep businesses open.

“The other unnoted aspect of the “great” job numbers released the day before Independence Day, is that 111,000 more people left the labor force in June.  This continues a negative trend that has the percentage of people participating in the workforce at levels not seen since Jimmy Carter was president in 1978.

Let us not forget that Obama gave work permits to 520,000 illegal aliens—so they can take jobs from honest American citizens. America is in an economic crisis and Barack continues to play golf and denounce those that admit the truth.

Obamanomics depression

 

Obamacare’s part time economy

By Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, 7/7/14

The first week of July is normally a nice quiet news time, when the people can turn their thoughts toward vacation with family, fireworks, and fun.  Here are a few things that you might’ve missed.

The unemployment rate headlines were joyous and Wall Street took off.  The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that June’s unemployment rate was down to 6.1 percent.  But what did the numbers mean, after you looked beneath the headline?

The good news was that 407,000 more Americans were employed in June than in May.  The bad news was that 1.1 million more Americans are temporary/part time workers according to the same survey.  That’s right, if the June numbers are correct, 708,000 formerly full time workers became part-timers to go along with their 407,000 mates who just found new employment.

There is nothing wrong withworking part-time, temporary employment, in fact, it is usually a sign of the start of a growing job market.  But this year, like last, is different.

It is different because of Obamacare, which requires employers with more than 50 employees to pay for health insurance for their full-time employees at the end of this year.  This might sound familiar because it is.  This provision was legally supposed to go into effect in January 2014, but was delayed for a year by Obama’s magic pen just before last year’s July 4th holiday.

Now the piper is being paid, as it appears that employers are making the logical step of job-shifting employees from full to part-time.  When the cash registers aren’t ringing, you cannot dramatically increase your labor costs, so instead you get creative and simply schedule workers to four shifts of seven hours a week each.  Of course, you have to hire about 20 percent more people to cover the shifts, but it saves thousands of dollars in health costs each month.

So when you read about the great employment situation, just know that if the Labor Department is getting their numbers right, it is highly likely that hundreds of thousands of people are getting fewer hours, and less money to make ends meet, likely due to the effects of Obama’s health plan.

The other unnoted aspect of the “great” job numbers released the day before Independence Day, is that 111,000 more people left the labor force in June.  This continues a negative trend that has the percentage of people participating in the workforce at levels not seen since Jimmy Carter was president in 1978.

For those too young to remember, Jimmy Carter’s economy was a disaster, and this one is not much better.

The Holy Church of Global Warming suffered another week of shrugging off reality as the ice in Antarctica continues to expand well beyond record levels.  Darn South Pole just can’t get on the global warming agenda.

And then there is the pesky little problem where it appears that someone may have been fudging the temperature data by estimating results and adding in corrections which skew them toward higher temperatures in more recent years and lower temps in the 1930’s when the world endured a warming trend.

Obamacare continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for those still pretending that big government is a grand idea.  In the greatest Obama Administration tradition, another Obamacare paper dump occurred on the afternoon of July 3rd, just in time for reporters and analysts to have already escaped the DC swamp for a respite.

This time there was a mere 1,300 more pages of regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services made public just in time for the virtual news blackout that occurs over any holiday weekend.  Only one thing is certain, Team Obama doesn’t dump good news into a holiday media void, so there must be some doozies hidden in the long Stephen King novel length bureaucratese.

Last but not least,  with tens of thousands of illegals streaming across the borders and our nation’s border patrol turned into child care specialists, the President is saying that he will once again, unilaterally change the nation’s immigration laws, because Congress won’t pass what he wants.

Perhaps if he actually enforced the law that is on the books, the drug cartels would not be running a huge human smuggling operation to break down border protections and allow even more sinister activity to go on unabated.  Of course, that wouldn’t suit this President’s ends, so when in doubt, create a crisis, so you have an excuse to respond to it.

All in all, just another pre-holiday week in D.C.