Immigrants avoiding public services after federal proposal sparks fear in Monterey County

If you are breaking the law do you really want to bring attention to yourself by illegally using government welfare and other services?  It amazes me that 800,000 illegal aliens in California have a “valid” drivers license—what happens if the Feds get ahold of that list?  After all, the State of California by keeping it secret is conspiring to protect law breakers.  That is a legal question, wonder how the courts would rule.

“A proposed federal rule aimed at limiting benefits used by immigrants with legal status to be in the United States has sparked fear for some Monterey County residents, causing them to avoid using services they need, agencies say.

“The proposed changes have not even taken (effect) but we are already seeing hardworking families decide to exit critical services that help meet basic needs — they are in fear of losing their legal status and tearing their families apart,” said Erica Padilla-Chavez, CEO of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Services, Inc., in a prepared statement.

The Left does not get it.  The law is not about “hard working people”, it is about people violating the law, lazy or hard working. How many other laws should be ignored?  Either change them or enforce them.  What do you think?

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

Immigrants avoiding public services after federal proposal sparks fear in Monterey County

Eduardo Cuevas, Salinas Californian, 12/6/18

 

 

A proposed federal rule aimed at limiting benefits used by immigrants with legal status to be in the United States has sparked fear for some Monterey County residents, causing them to avoid using services they need, agencies say.

“The proposed changes have not even taken (effect) but we are already seeing hardworking families decide to exit critical services that help meet basic needs — they are in fear of losing their legal status and tearing their families apart,” said Erica Padilla-Chavez, CEO of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Services, Inc., in a prepared statement.

Proposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services in October, the policy change would expand the definition of public charge, a term referring to immigrants who are or may become primarily dependent on public benefits.

The proposal would block those who use public benefits above a certain threshold defined by the DHS from pursuing a path to permanent residency or renewing temporary visas.

Since 1882, the U.S. has used a public charge rule to deem certain noncitizens inadmissible. More recently, the policy primarily impacted immigrants who relied on cash assistance for benefits, along with those needing long-term institutionalized medical care.

The new rule hasn’t been adopted. It’s open for public comment until Dec. 10, but local groups are already seeing impacts.

In one week, Padilla-Chavez’s organization, which supports schools in Santa Cruz and north Monterey counties, saw three families refuse Medi-Cal services that would have helped their children receive healthcare.

Parents told her staff they did so because of the public charge proposal.

Counselors’ tried to reassure parents the policy won’t affect their children, who are U.S. born. But that didn’t convince them.

“It’s really uncommon for us to have a parent withdraw from services because of fear,” she said. “The fact that I have three parents in seven days’ working time, that is uncommon for us.”

The Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit think-tank, has studied the “chilling effects” of policies that can cause fear or confusion. In addition to visa holders actually targeted by the rule change, the institute found others, including permanent residents and relatives, could stop receiving benefits because of fear.

Using Census Bureau data, the Migration Policy Institute in November found California has 56 percent of non-citizens who receive at least one of the services affected by the federal policy proposal.

Under the new rule, the Department of Homeland Security would add Medicaid (or Medi-Cal in California), Medicare Part D for prescription drugs, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (CalFresh) and certain housing assistance programs to the public charge definition.

To help determine whether a person will become a public charge, immigration officials plan to factor age, health, family status, income and education or skills.

“Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” Kirstjen Nielsen, DHS secretary, had said in a prepared statement. “This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

President Donald Trump’s administration argues the proposal also discourages immigration that may not benefit the U.S. It is also in line with stricter immigration policies supported by Trump.

Because of the winter off-season, many local families employed in agriculture and hospitality rely on benefits when they have less work.

For recent legal permanent residents, the Migration Policy Institute found 87 percent of those working in agriculture, three-quarters in construction, and 61 percent in hospitality could be impacted.

Recent green card recipients from Mexico or Central America are also more likely to be affected by Homeland Security’s proposal, the institute reported.

First 5 Monterey County, which focuses on early childhood development, also is seeing people pull back from services out of concern about the new rules.

“Our goal is to support and ensure all children have access to equitable services and that they are well-cared for and loved,” said Francine Rodd, executive director. “By implementing this type of approach which affects families that are here legally, it definitely dampens that possibility. We really encourage families to continue to use access to these services while they are considered.”

Similarly, the Monterey County Department of Social Services saw declines in new applications for CalFresh and Medi-Cal benefits compared to the same time last year.

Each year, about one-third of county residents use Medi-Cal in some form, and $75 million in CalFresh benefits comes to Monterey County.

Henry Espinosa, acting director, said an improved economy may contribute to declines, but acknowledged the public charge proposal has impacted the area. That could affect more than just the people who would receive the benefit.

“It’s not only worrisome from the perspective that people won’t get care but our whole infrastructure,” he said. “For all of us, this has the potential to impact federal dollars coming to the state and the counties.”

Elsa Jimenez, director of the Monterey County Health Department, said the proposal can have serious public health and economic implications as people forego preventative care and wait until it is too late to use emergency room services.

The federal policy can also affect quality of life, such as even more crowded housing and children’s nutrition, she added.

“It’s really creating a situation where our poor families are going to suffer even more than they are already suffering right now,” Jimenez said.

Organizations and agencies are encouraging families not to reject benefits. Instead, they ask people to provide public input during the proposed rule’s comment period, ending Dec. 10.

Monterey County has already submitted comments from its board of supervisors and two departments opposing the proposed rule.

In the board’s Dec. 5 letter, Supervisor Luis Alejo, the board chair, wrote: “We have already seen families legally eligible for services now depriving themselves of healthy food, safe housing, and regular medical care in fear of the possible impacts of a change to the public charge rule.”

Homeland Security will review comments and make a final decision with an effective date if the rule goes into effect.

In the event that these changes take place, Rodd said funders for local organizations would work to try to supplement losses in services, but this may impact other services provided in the region.

“We’re basically hurting ourselves and hurting our communities,” she said of the public charge. “This is not the approach that we value or want to take in our communities.”

Colman: DEMOCRATS FLIRT WITH SOCIALISM

My good friend Dr. Colman is wrong—the Democrats are not flirting with Socialism—they are openly promoting it—the media prefers to use the phrase “Progressive.  In another article in todays California Political News and Views Dan Walters shows how the government via the Democrats regulations and laws, are about to close down private energy firms and have government OWN them—that is called socialism.  The unions’ efforts to close down charter schools and not allow parental choice in education is not about education—it is socialism.  Oakland not allowing coal to be exported via its Port is about socialism.  High taxes, solar panel mandates and more—all show that Democrat do not believe in people, they believe in government—and that is called Socialism.

Producing a kind of welfare state has been a Democratic goal for over 100 years.  In 1913, under the administration of Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, the nation got, by means of a Constitutional amendment, the federal income tax. 

In 1935, when Franklin D. Roosevelt, another Democrat, was president, the welfare state expanded.  Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which took money from a worker’s wages — money to be set aside for retirement purposes. 

President Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, signed Medicare into law.  Medicare provided health benefits to Americans over age 65.  Johnson was also a Democrat. 

In 2010, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), offering health benefits to all Americans. 

For two generations Democrats have worked hard to end free market health care, preferring government control of health care and your life.  No, Dr. Colman, they are not flirting with socialism, they are openly and proudly socialists.

Bernie Sanders

DEMOCRATS FLIRT WITH SOCIALISM

By Richard Colman, California Political News and Views,  12/10/18

 

 

The Democratic Party — in California and in the rest of the nation — has begun a serious flirtation with socialism. 

If the Democrats go in a left-wing direction, they may fail to achieve what is presumably their highest priority, defeating President Donald Trump, a Republican, in his 2020 bid for re-election. 

Producing a kind of welfare state has been a Democratic goal for over 100 years.  In 1913, under the administration of Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, the nation got, by means of a Constitutional amendment, the federal income tax. 

In 1935, when Franklin D. Roosevelt, another Democrat, was president, the welfare state expanded.  Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which took money from a worker’s wages — money to be set aside for retirement purposes. 

President Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, signed Medicare into law.  Medicare provided health benefits to Americans over age 65.  Johnson was also a Democrat. 

In 2010, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), offering health benefits to all Americans. 

Now, there is a group of Democrats who want to expand the welfare state into something like a Scandinavian-style, social-welfare system.  Exponents of this plan include such presidential hopefuls as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-New York). 

Under a welfare-state (socialist) Democratic president, government might offer programs in the areas of child-care and pre-school.  Also, under consideration would be a higher minimum wage and a guaranteed annual income to all citizens. 

There is more to the Democratic socialist agenda.  Some left-wing Democrats want to allow more undocumented aliens into the country and to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency that is charged with halting illegal immigration. 

There is a contingent of Democrats, some of whom are left wing, who want to impeach Mr. Trump. 

The Constitution is silent about what kind of economic system the United States can have.  Currently, America’s economic system is part capitalist and part socialist.  (The socialist component includes Social Security, Medicare, the Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Defense, and other government-related activities.) 

Socialism is generally defined as a system in which a nation’s government runs the means of production and distribution.  Under a socialist system, the government would run the airlines, the railroads, the farms, the ports, the health-care system, the schools, and many businesses. 

To determine how much of America’s economy is socialist, one can take the annual budget of the United States and divide that budget amount by the numerical size of the gross domestic product (the total annual output of goods and services).  The federal budget is about $4 trillion.  The gross domestic product is about $20 trillion.  By this calculation, the U.S. is about 20 percent socialist. 

Can America afford more socialism?  In 1981, when Ronald Reagan, a Republican, become president, the national debt reached $1 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.  In 1837 (144 years earlier), when President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, left office, there was no national debt. 

By the time Mr. Reagan left office, the national debt reached about $3 trillion.  Today, the national debt is $21 trillion and growing rapidly.  Debt has to be repaid.

When President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the national debt began to decrease.  But under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, the debt has exploded. 

If a Democratic socialist agenda becomes law, the debt could grow to even higher levels unless taxes are raised, benefits are cut, or both are done. 

One major questions is this:  What will higher taxes do to America’s entrepreneurial ethic?  Americans, perhaps because of economic freedom abetted by low taxes, have produced some of the world’s greatest inventions.  Great American entrepreneurs have produced the telegraph (Samuel F.B. Morse), the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell), the steamboat (Robert Fulton), the airplane (the Wright Brothers), polio vaccine (Jonas Salk), the photocopy machine (Chester Carlson), the iPhone (Steve Jobs), and Facebook (Marc Zuckerberg). 

California, often a national trend-setter, is headed in a socialist direction.  The Democrats control all statewide elective offices.  At the legislative level, Democrats have at least a two-thirds (or greater) majority in the State Assembly and the State Senate.  These super majorities would have the power to override a governor’s veto of a spending bill.

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt Wins Seat on Riverside County Board of Supervisors

In Riverside County on November 6, two former Republican Assembly members LOST their races for Board of Supervisors—Eric Lindner and Russ Bogh.  Bough lost to a Libertarian party member!.  What do Eric and Russ have in common—both were the candidates of the labor unions,

“The 65-year-old supervisor-elect, best known for booting out the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) from Calimesa and replacing it with a cheaper, city-owned department, squeaked past former GOP assemblyman Russ Bogh, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. Hewitt won despite being heavily outfundraised, with Bogh’s chief sources of money coming from public sector unions, and Hewitt pulling cash from state and national libertarians, including California tomato-industry giant (and Reason Foundation Board of Trustees member) Chris Rufer.

“I raised $550,000 total, and he raised $1.1 million total, so he out-raised me two to one,” an exultant Hewitt told me yesterday. “However, he outspent me nearly three to one between the primary and the general election, so that in itself is amazing. There is no one in this area that thought I was going to be the winner.”

You should know there is a major effort by the unions to take over our candidates.  As Hewitt proved, unions can be defeated—even when they vastly outspend you.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2256608

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt Wins Seat on Riverside County Board of Supervisors

The L.P.’s biggest 2018 winner wants to tackle California’s public sector pension crisis head-on

Matt Welch, Reason,  12/7/18

 

  • Jeff HewittJeff Hewitt, the Libertarian mayor of tiny Calimesa, California, has narrowly won a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Riverside County Registrar of Voters announced early this morning.

The 65-year-old supervisor-elect, best known for booting out the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) from Calimesa and replacing it with a cheaper, city-owned department, squeaked past former GOP assemblyman Russ Bogh, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. Hewitt won despite being heavily outfundraised, with Bogh’s chief sources of money coming from public sector unions, and Hewitt pulling cash from state and national libertarians, including California tomato-industry giant (and Reason Foundation Board of Trustees member) Chris Rufer.

“I raised $550,000 total, and he raised $1.1 million total, so he out-raised me two to one,” an exultant Hewitt told me yesterday. “However, he outspent me nearly three to one between the primary and the general election, so that in itself is amazing. There is no one in this area that thought I was going to be the winner.”

The seat, like Hewitt’s mayoral post, is nonpartisan, though his party affiliation is nobody’s secret, sitting as he does on the Libertarian National Committee. In a fundraising email sent Wednesday, L.P. National Chair Nicholas Sarwark characterized the prospect of a Hewitt victory as a “mega-win.”

Riverside is the 11th most populous county in the United States, with 2.4 million-plus inhabitants, or more than West Virginia and Wyoming combined. Hewitt, whose district includes the cities of Moreno Valley, Menifee, and Perris, is one of five supervisors overseeing an annual budget of $5.5 billion. The county’s precarious finances took a massive hit in the 2008-09 financial crisis, and continue to groan under the weight of public sector pension obligations and contract negotiations between elected officials and the unions that support them.

“You realize I will now be one of five people determining 101 [fire] stations, the largest user of Cal Fire,” Hewitt said. “I went from being their most hated enemy, to now they’re going to have to start kissing up….We’ve got our priorities, with pensions and pension reform basically being the first—getting all new hires away from the unsustainable CalPERS, and putting a program in so that we can possibly follow through on all these [pension] obligations, these ridiculous ones that we’ve made to the people that are already grandfathered in.”

Hewitt becomes the 28th Libertarian to win office in the November election, and the 53rd overall for 2018, according to the party. That latter number is an increase from 34 in 2016, Sarwark indicated in his email. “This may be the most significant WIN by the LP since it stole an Electoral College vote,” Matthew Barnes, a Hewitt campaign volunteer, gushed earlier this week at Liberty.me. “[His seat is] one of the most prized political positions in the country and easily among the top 20 most influential positions in all of California. The result will likely mean that for the first time in history, the Libertarian Party will have a solid member supervising a significant county seat.”

While perhaps hyperbolic, and containing a whiff of morale-boosting after the party’s many disappointments last month (Gary Johnson’s distant third-place showing for U.S. Senate; Larry Sharpe’s dispiriting 4th place for New York governor; and the drubbings of party-switching state representatives Laura Ebke, Brandon Phinney and Caleb Dyer), such enthusiasms nonetheless reflect a reality: Jeff Hewitt’s win is an important demonstration project not just in how Libertarians can win elections, but what they can do once in office.

“I used the advantages of being a Libertarian,” Hewitt said. “I used the donors that weren’t available to other people, and we used ideologically driven libertarian canvassers that sold me as good as I could sell myself…. Every one of our about 13 different canvassers that worked on my campaign, they were taught to go run campaigns in the future, successful campaigns. And they’re all Libertarians.”

Critical to that effort was Young Americans for Liberty’s Cliff Maloney, whose Operation Win at the Door has fanned out nationwide to support pro-liberty candidates. (“He’s super helpful,” Sarwark said this week in a conference call to Libertarian activists.) And earning the most rave reviews was long time Libertarian activist and Hewitt campaign manager, Boomer Shannon. “I hope in this next cycle, we’re going to see three, four, five successful campaigns just from the people that Boomer…was able to show how to do this,” Hewitt said.

Shannon portrays the victory as one of grassroots personal connections over the top-down, out-of-touch approach of the Democratic and Republican parties. “We have a saying around here that guides our attitudes: ‘Politics is about people; and the number one skill is making friends,'” Shannon told Matthew Barnes. “We could have never had this level of success if Jeff had not first volunteered for the planning office in his hometown, ran for the city council and then been promoted to Mayor. A candidate’s reputation is the foundation every campaign is built upon.”

Hewitt, a former swimming-pool digger, is as gregarious a character as you will see in any room full of Libertarians. He is not shy about talking to strangers. And he is ruthlessly pragmatic when talking to voters about what matters to them.

“As a Libertarian, things like asset forfeiture and other social rights that we are fighting for—I agree with all those things. I’m not good at arguing for those,” he told me at the Libertarian National Convention this summer. “Most of my things are economic freedoms as far as trying to get taxes down. That’s how we get people from the other two parties. A lot of Democrats, they think we need to pay taxes, but guess what? They like it when they have more of their money left, too.”

“If the majority of people say, ‘Hey look, we want our public safety, we want some of our roads or our parks done,'” he continued, “don’t shove it in their face and go, ‘No, all those things should be private!’ You and I may agree on that, but when we come in there and we deliver a better product for them at a much reduced price, we’ve applied free market principles already right there.”

As for the eternal debates over platform language and philosophical principles? “The Libertarian Party doesn’t need any more principle, doesn’t need any more platform—it’s got great ideas,” he said. “Now, how do you implement them? We obviously elect officials.”

 

Should California implement a major tax hike on high-end money managers?

Democrats love taxes.  Now they have a plan to ship money managers out of the State.  In fact, it is a wonder they stay here.  They can work in Nevada or Texas, have California clients and not pay 13% of their income to government.  If Democrat Assemblyman Mike Gipson has his way, they will leave overnight—taking lots of tax revenues with them.

AB-2731 failed earlier this year. If passed, it would have implemented a 17 percent tax hike on venture capitalists, hedge funds and private equity firms. The new money would have gone to California schools, so the bill received a lot of support from labor and teachers unions.

But an opposition-funded study into the possible economic impacts of Gipson’s bill was released earlier this month. It found that the new tax hike would make it implausible for the firms to remain in California by raising the state taxes to more than 30 percent. Combined with federal taxes of about 40 percent, high-end money managers remaining in California would be looking at 70 percent taxation – and if those businesses left, the state would lose $2 billion in tax revenue, among other negative effects. Some see it as a pre-emptive strike to ward Gipson off from re-introducing the bill.

The $2 billion is just the start.  Their vendors, employees, building owners and more will lose.  Watch as the Democrats continue their goal of killing off the economy of California.  Thought you should know.

Taxes

Should California implement a major tax hike on high-end money managers?

 

KPCC, 12/7/18

 

California Democrats have regained the supermajority in the state legislature – and there’s been speculation Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) might re-introduce a bill now that the Dems have more power.

AB-2731 failed earlier this year. If passed, it would have implemented a 17 percent tax hike on venture capitalists, hedge funds and private equity firms. The new money would have gone to California schools, so the bill received a lot of support from labor and teachers unions.

But an opposition-funded study into the possible economic impacts of Gipson’s bill was released earlier this month. It found that the new tax hike would make it implausible for the firms to remain in California by raising the state taxes to more than 30 percent. Combined with federal taxes of about 40 percent, high-end money managers remaining in California would be looking at 70 percent taxation – and if those businesses left, the state would lose $2 billion in tax revenue, among other negative effects. Some see it as a pre-emptive strike to ward Gipson off from re-introducing the bill.

Larry sits down with the study’s researcher and a reporter to get the latest on the bill’s chance of reintroduction, and what it could mean for California’s economy.

 

Walters: Rethinking California’s electric utilities

Why do government owned utilities have lower rates than private companies?  First the PUC set it up that way.  Second, the government owned do not need to create the investments that private firms do to provide energy.  So private firms will always be higher than government—remember, government does not pay corporate taxes—private firms must.

Now, Dan Walters shows why—the government has been preparing us for socialism—the government owning the utilities—just like in Cuba, China or Russia—totalitarian States oppose free markets.

“Perhaps Picker’s PUC, the Legislature and soon-to-be Gov. Gavin Newsom ought to take the governance issue a step further and explore whether California’s electric utilities should become fully governmental entities – bigger versions of SMUD, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and dozens of small municipally owned utilities such as those in Roseville, Turlock and Modesto.

All of them have markedly lower rates than the three big private utilities, and have governing structures that are much more transparent and accountable, not only to ratepayers but to voters.

Watch as the Sacramento Democrats use the recent forest fires—caused in part to the poor forest management by government.  Socialism is here—will we have to riot like the French to regain freedom?

Photo courtesy of lydiashiningbrightly, flickr

Rethinking California’s electric utilities

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  12/9/18

California’s two major electric power utilities are on the hot seat as Capitol politicians ponder whether they should be protected from the financial consequences of last month’s killer wildfires.

Downed power lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison are suspected of sparking the fires that killed dozens and wiped out thousands of homes, with multi-billion-dollar damages that could bankrupt the utilities.

Earlier this year, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown agreed that utilities could borrow money, via bonds, to pay damages for 2017 wildfires, such as the one that devastated Santa Rosa, and those occurring in 2019 and thereafter.

The loans would be repaid through utility rate increases, rather than by utilities’ stockholders, thereby protecting their basic financial stability and creditworthiness.

However, the legislation, Senate Bill 901, didn’t address 2018 fires, which is why the issue is once again before the Legislature, which reconvened last week.

The situation also puts the Public Utilities Commission and its president, Michael Picker, on the hot seat. They are supposed to balance the interests of the utilities and their ratepayers and it’s becoming an increasingly difficult role as the wildfire losses mount up.

As fire crews continued to mop up last month’s fires, the PUC held a raucous public hearing and agreed to investigate PG&E’s management, especially its commitment to safety, and look at a possible restructuring of the company.

Afterwards, Picker tweeted, “Next step is reviewing PG&E’s corporate governance, structure and operation to determine best path forward for Northern California to receive safe electrical and natural gas service.”

The wildfire liability issue – which also affects the state’s third big investor-owned utility, San Diego Gas and Electric – is the latest chapter in the tortured relationship of the three with state government.

Beginning with a misbegotten and misnamed “deregulation” of the utilities 22 years ago – which drove PG&E into bankruptcy – the state has been, by legislation and regulatory decrees, increasingly micromanaging how they generate, distribute and price electric power.

They have slowly evolved into quasi-governmental entities while maintaining the façade of private ownership, but without the direct accountability that either fully private or fully public status would impose.

This mish-mash has not been consumer friendly. As they implemented state decrees, many related to shifting from carbon-based generation to renewable sources such as solar and wind, the utilities, with PUC permission, jacked up their ratepayers’ bills dramatically.

Between 2011 and 2018, according to data compiled by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, monthly bills for a typical 750 killowatt-hour of residential usage have jumped by 69 percent in San Diego Gas and Electric’s service area and 46 percent in PG&E’s, while those in SMUD rose by just 21 percent.

A 750 kwh bill in SMUD was $110.30 last year, while customers in San Diego were paying $224.78 and in PG&E’s area it was $177.41. Protecting them and Southern California Edison from the financial consequences of wildfires will drive them even higher.

Who should consumers hold accountable for these increases? The hopelessly intertwined relationship of the utilities and the state generates much fingerpointing and buck-passing that make accountability impossible.

Perhaps Picker’s PUC, the Legislature and soon-to-be Gov. Gavin Newsom ought to take the governance issue a step further and explore whether California’s electric utilities should become fully governmental entities – bigger versions of SMUD, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and dozens of small municipally owned utilities such as those in Roseville, Turlock and Modesto.

All of them have markedly lower rates than the three big private utilities, and have governing structures that are much more transparent and accountable, not only to ratepayers but to voters.

Anti-socialism/Junk Science Riots Hit France—California Prefers Socialism

The old joke goes like this, “How do you find a Frenchman?  You look for a white flag.”  Well, it looks like the French are revolting against big government, high taxes, junk science and an elitist government.  Then you have Californians that just voted for an elitist government, high taxes, bad services and in support of socialism.

“President Donald Trump said France’s new round of violent protests showed the Paris climate accord “isn’t working out so well” as thousands of “yellow vests” clashed with police Saturday.

“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning as France prepared for another wave of violent protests in Paris over President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

“Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France,” Trump tweeted.

At what point will the people of California revolt and riot—when their health care is taken away from them?  When the California recession hits?  When more taxes are piled on?

Brazilian_Federal_Highway_Police

Trump Says Paris Climate Accord ‘Isn’t Working Out So Well For Paris’ As Riots Engulf The City

Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller,  12/8/18

President Donald Trump said France’s new round of violent protests showed the Paris climate accord “isn’t working out so well” as thousands of “yellow vests” clashed with police Saturday.

“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning as France prepared for another wave of violent protests in Paris over President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

“Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France,” Trump tweeted.

For weeks, tens of thousands of French have risen up to oppose planned hikes to carbon taxes on diesel and gasoline as part of Macron’s climate agenda. Carbon taxes provided the spark for what’s morphed into protests against Macron’s attempts to revamp France’s economy.

Thousands of protesters, called “yellow vests” for the safety jackets European law mandates all drivers have on hand, stormed the Champs-Elysées for another round of protests. The entire city is basically shut down, including major tourist attractions.

Youths and high school students attend a demonstration to protest against the French government’s reform plan, in Paris, France, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier.

French riot police face off with youth and high school students during a protest against the French government’s reform plan, in Bordeaux, France, December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau.

The government deployed thousands of police officers in preparation for Saturday’s protests. Paris protesters clashed with police on Saturday, who used tear gas and water cannons to corral protesters and arrest hundreds.

Macron initially resisted compromise, saying increased fuel taxes were needed to cut France’s reliance on oil, which is part of his plan to comply with the Paris climate accord. Macron wants to reduce France’s use of nuclear power and fossil fuels in exchange for solar and wind.

The French government caved to protesters’ demands Wednesday, opting to scrap the carbon tax hikes entirely.  Trump claimed the protests showed the problems with the Paris climate accord, which the president said he would withdraw from in 2020 — the earliest available date to do so.

However, several media outlets said Trump was wrong to claim that protesters chanted “we want Trump” as they marched. AFP and The Associated Press rated the claim as false, saying it stemmed from a video of a protest in the U.K. in June, not France.

 

Stanford is West Coast Version of Havana University—Sick

In Cuba, people are not allowed to defend themselves against charges brought by the State.  At Stanford University, once a world class institution, the Administrators have adopted the Cuban rules—you are not allowed to defend yourself.

The Stanford Daily has a 4,937-word feature on how Stanford University has “publicly misrepresented aspects of its own Title IX practices,” which give students greater protections in writing they they are given in practice.

The paper reviewed correspondence between Title IX staff and a lawyer for accused students, Bob Ottilie. It showed the university stopped parties in two proceedings from “gathering their own witness statements,” and in “at least” one case, didn’t let parties review “substantial information” that was redacted before a hearing.

“Both of these practices run contrary to Stanford’s public statements regarding the rights of students involved in Title IX cases,” the Daily says.

The documents contradict the statements of Stanford spokespeople going back to spring 2017, who insist the university only “discourages” students from getting their own witness statements.

Stanford lied to the students—will there be a punishment, a penalty?  If a student lies they get suspended or expelled—at Stanford when an official lies do they get a promotion and a bonus.  Stanford has become the poster child for racism, bigotry, hatred of America—this is the school that punished a fraternity for having an American flag hang from its balcony!  Send you kid to Havana U.—it is cheaper than Stanford, and you get the same education.

stanford university

Stanford caught lying about rights it promises to students in Title IX proceedings

 

Greg Piper, The College Fix,  12/7/18  

 

 

Here’s an oddity: a student newspaper exposing its university’s broken promises to students accused of sexual misconduct.

The Stanford Daily has a 4,937-word feature on how Stanford University has “publicly misrepresented aspects of its own Title IX practices,” which give students greater protections in writing they  are given in practice.

The paper reviewed correspondence between Title IX staff and a lawyer for accused students, Bob Ottilie. It showed the university stopped parties in two proceedings from “gathering their own witness statements,” and in “at least” one case, didn’t let parties review “substantial information” that was redacted before a hearing.

“Both of these practices run contrary to Stanford’s public statements regarding the rights of students involved in Title IX cases,” the Daily says.

The documents contradict the statements of Stanford spokespeople going back to spring 2017, who insist the university only “discourages” students from getting their own witness statements.

One such incident: Title IX staff refused to interview a psychologist who treated one of Ottilie’s clients “contemporaneous to the alleged incident,” and “would have supported the male student’s claims” that the female accuser actually sexually assaulted him. His client wasn’t allowed to do the interview himself.

“Documentation supported” Ottilie’s claims that the university refused to justify why it redacted “extensive” portions of his cases, or let him see the unredacted evidence – short of “personal details like phone numbers or social security numbers” – before it goes to a hearing panel, according to the Daily.

It’s not just accused students who have been told one thing and treated another way. The Department of Education’s three-year investigation of Stanford’s Title IX practices revealed “seeming inconsistencies” in evidence and redaction procedures as applied to a complainant, “Student C.”

The unidentified student, who talked to the Daily on the condition of anonymity, said the student she accused, a resident assistant, was allowed to submit “positive character evidence” to rebut her claims, but the hearing panel wasn’t given her claims themselves.

Her unredacted sexual history was deemed relevant in the accused student’s statement but “prejudicial” in witness statements, and she wasn’t “allowed to be present” when the Title IX investigator “relayed” her arguments to panel members, the Daily reports, citing her emails with an administrator.

Student C disputed that the panel should be allowed to hear that she had “a history of accusing Resident Assistants of sexual assault” before she could challenge the claim. Stanford told the Daily it has since changed the Title IX system so panelists aren’t asked to “unsee” information that is later excluded.

The Daily report offers more on the concerns of Ottilie and Student C, including Stanford’s refusal to record interviews and the new, less specific “notice of concern” given to accused students:

[Ottilie] said that one of his clients became aware — upon reading his hearing file — that the Title IX Office was looking into allegations it hadn’t listed in the original notice of concern.

“The student said, ‘Now that I know what you were concocting with those weird questions I want to give you all this stuff,’ and [the Title IX Office] said, ‘No … just wait and do it with the 1,500-word letter’” [that Stanford lets students submit in response to the hearing file] Ottilie said. “In real court, we might come up with 10 witnesses of our own.”

 

Proof: California Gun Control Means 18% MORE Murders!

This coincides with Arnold and Jerry opening the prison doors to tens of thousands of criminals, the passage of Prop. 47 and 57, to make it easier for criminals to act—and more dangerous for Californians.  Plus the massive number o new anti-Second amendment bills by the Democrats.  Higher fees, more background checks, etc.—for honest people NOT for the criminals.

“California has universal background checks, gun registration requirements, red flag laws (i.e., Gun Violence Restraining Orders), a ten-day waiting period for gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a one-gun-per-month limit on handgun purchases, a minimum firearm purchase age of 21, a ban on campus carry, a “good cause” restriction for concealed carry permit issuance, and controls on the purchase of ammunition. The ammunition controls limit law-abiding Californians to buying ammunition from state-approved vendors–all of whom are in-state sellers–and adds a fee to any ammunition bought online, also requiring that ammunition to be shipped to a state-approved vendor for pickup.

Additionally, the state mandates gun free zones in businesses where alcohol is sold for on-site consumption. Therefore, the few concealed carry permit holders in the state must enter myriad restaurants without any means of self-defense. This provides a target-rich environment for attackers who want to be sure no one can shoot back when they strike. We last saw this on November 7, 2018, when an attacker opened fire with a handgun in the gun-free Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

People are dead because of bills signed by Jerry Brown—the media never reports these facts.  Will Republicans now promote public safety?

Police tape

Gun Control Fail: California Firearm Homicides Up 18 Percent

California, a state with every gun control imaginable, witnessed an 18 percent rise in firearm homicides from 2014 to 2016.

 

AWR Hawkins,  Breitbart, 12/9/18

This rise in firearm homicides comes despite the fact that Democrats, gun control groups, and the establishment media constantly claim that states with the strictest gun controls see lower rates of violence and death.

California has universal background checks, gun registration requirements, red flag laws (i.e., Gun Violence Restraining Orders), a ten-day waiting period for gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a one-gun-per-month limit on handgun purchases, a minimum firearm purchase age of 21, a ban on campus carry, a “good cause” restriction for concealed carry permit issuance, and controls on the purchase of ammunition. The ammunition controls limit law-abiding Californians to buying ammunition from state-approved vendors–all of whom are in-state sellers–and adds a fee to any ammunition bought online, also requiring that ammunition to be shipped to a state-approved vendor for pickup.

Additionally, the state mandates gun free zones in businesses where alcohol is sold for on-site consumption. Therefore, the few concealed carry permit holders in the state must enter myriad restaurants without any means of self-defense. This provides a target-rich environment for attackers who want to be sure no one can shoot back when they strike. We last saw this on November 7, 2018, when an attacker opened fire with a handgun in the gun-free Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

Despite all the stringent gun controls a bill filed by Assemblyman Marc Levine (CA-D-10) admits California firearm homicides were up between from 2014 to 2016. The bill says, “Although California has the toughest gun laws in the nation, more effort is necessary to curtail gun violence. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found that from 2014 to 2016 gun homicides increased 18 percent.” In light of this gun control failure the language of the bill goes on to suggest more gun control.

 

State Agency Says Delta Tunnel Needs More Examination

Jerry Brown wants a $200 billion train to nowhere—yet has failed to show where the money comes from .  In 2022 California will be forced to give back $3.5 billion it took for the train, knowing it could not meet the terms of the grant/loan.  Now the Brown Water Resources Board has turned on him.  They stopped his effort to take water from the South and famers and give it to the fish and ocean.

“California’s Department of Water Resources dealt a major blow to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnel project Friday, all but ensuring that the controversial effort to divert water from Northern California to the south will not be approved before Brown leaves office at the end of the year.

The state water agency found the project, which involves building two 35-mile tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, does not meet the requirements of the Delta Plan, a set of mandatory water policies that prioritize restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary’s eco-system.

“Today is a good day for the San Francisco Bay-Delta and California,” said tunnel opponent Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, in a statement. “But it’s not over yet.”

Guess the Brown legacy is going to be setting policies forcing the middle class out of the State, highest taxes in the nation, among the worst schools and the worst roads in the nation.  But, he is a Democrats, so he reached their goals.

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

State Agency Says Delta Tunnel Needs More Examination

MARIA DINZEO, courthousenews,  12/7/18

 

(CN) – California’s Department of Water Resources dealt a major blow to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnel project Friday, all but ensuring that the controversial effort to divert water from Northern California to the south will not be approved before Brown leaves office at the end of the year.

The state water agency found the project, which involves building two 35-mile tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, does not meet the requirements of the Delta Plan, a set of mandatory water policies that prioritize restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary’s eco-system.

“Today is a good day for the San Francisco Bay-Delta and California,” said tunnel opponent Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, in a statement. “But it’s not over yet.”

The department sent a letter to the Delta Stewardship Council, another state agency that oversees the Delta Plan, pulling its support for the project.

Department Director Karla Nemeth said she was revoking a previous certification declaring the project, now called California WaterFix, consistent with the Delta Plan, based on “unresolved issues.”

In her letter, Nemeth defended the certification filed back in July, but said, “DWR appreciates that there are unresolved issues related to interpretation of the requirements of the Delta Reform Act and Delta Plan policies.”

The council is set to vote on whether to approve the project on Dec. 20, but without the backing from state officials, the council likely won’t give the tunnel project the green light.

Brown and project proponents say the project will help the Delta’s environment by improving the water transfer infrastructure in California by funneling water around the Delta to the state’s southernmost farmers and cities, including Los Angeles. But it has run into fierce opposition from environmentalists claiming it will devastate Delta’s fragile ecosystem.

Gov. Brown has also had trouble getting buy-in from many of the state’s water districts, which are supposed to front the $17 billion for the project and pass along the cost to ratepayers.

Brown’s successor Gavin Newsom has also been tepid about the project, saying he is thinking about scaling it back to one tunnel.

 

New California School Dashboard paints a colorful picture—in which one in three school districts needs help

Here is how you bury the seriousness of a problem.  This story says that one third of California government school districts are in trouble.  That sounds bad.  But, it does not note that LAUSD, Santa Ana and other LARGE school districts are in that one third number—the actual number of students in terrible districts—by government standards (which are very lax) is over half of all California students—LAUSD alone has 600,000 kids held hostage in a failed system.

“The state identified 374 school districts out of roughly 1,000 that qualify for additional help—more than 60 percent more than last year, when the state issued its first set of ratings under the new “school dashboard” system.

School districts that qualify for the so-called “State System of Support” show such low performance or so little progress among student groups that they fall into a “red zone” on two or more educational indicators, from test scores to suspension rates and chronic absenteeism. Last year, the state identified 228 such districts, but critics questioned the numbers, noting that test scores pointed to a far more widespread need for assistance. Since then, the dashboard has been tweaked.

Also buried is that in one year—with all the extra money the State has spent on government schools, the local tax increases and bonds, bad schools GREW by 60 percent.  That has to say something to those in charge.  Obviously they are silent, just begging for more money, not better education.  To some, sending your child to a government school in California, especially LAUSD, is a priori evidence of child abuse.  What do you think?

LAUSD school bus

New California School Dashboard paints a colorful picture—in which one in three school districts needs help

By Ricardo Cano, CalMatters,  12/6/18

 

So many school districts are having such a hard time delivering the basics of an equal opportunity for an education that one in three statewide has been targeted for special assistance, according to a comprehensive state report card released by the California Department of Education Thursday.

The state identified 374 school districts out of roughly 1,000 that qualify for additional help—more than 60 percent more than last year, when the state issued its first set of ratings under the new “school dashboard” system.

School districts that qualify for the so-called “State System of Support” show such low performance or so little progress among student groups that they fall into a “red zone” on two or more educational indicators, from test scores to suspension rates and chronic absenteeism. Last year, the state identified 228 such districts, but critics questioned the numbers, noting that test scores pointed to a far more widespread need for assistance. Since then, the dashboard has been tweaked.

Carrie Hahnel, interim co-executive director of Education Trust-West,  a nonprofit advocacy group focused on closing student achievement gaps, said that means that one-third of the state’s districts “are struggling with equity.”

“(This) should create a tremendous urgency for our newly elected state leaders and local leaders to start to do something dramatically different to support our students so that several years from now, far fewer schools are struggling to create opportunities for all students,” Hahnel said.

The California School Dashboard, intended to offer a more holistic assessment of public school performance, was created in part to help the state identify low performing school districts and help them. It also replaces the state’s old standardized-test-based system as a way for communities to see how their schools are doing.

To that end, this year’s dashboard—the first since it debuted last year—paints a somewhat chaotic picture, reflecting the California school system’s vast size and its vast mission. Like the aggregate data earlier this year on standardized test scores—which showed a majority of California students underperforming in basic subjects, and little or no progress in closing the achievement gap between affluent and underprivileged children—its color-coded charts are a both call for action and, among some advocates, dispiriting.

Only 40 percent of California’s public schools received “passing” marks in English language arts last year—and only 33 percent met the state’s targets in math. More than half of the state’s schools were in or near the “red’ zone on chronic absenteeism, and even supposed bright spots, such as graduation rates, were clouded by the state’s widespread use of online “credit recovery” courses and other techniques used by districts to deter dropouts, and perhaps artificially inflate the proportion of students who actually meet requirements to graduate.

The dashboard itself also remains a somewhat controversial work in progress. On one hand, its trove of data on multiple barometers is far more three-dimensional than the old system. Schools no longer receive a single overall rating by the state, and the new system takes into account not only a school’s performance but whether it improved or declined from the prior year.

But critics complain that it’s confusing, even with adjustments in this second year and the addition of new indicators to deepen the picture. The dashboard rates schools’ performance on an indicator using five different colors. Red is the lowest achieving mark, followed by orange, yellow, green and finally, blue, the highest rating. A school is considered to have a favorable mark if they are rated green or blue on an indicator, though the state’s rubric does not explicitly spell that out.

In fact, the state’s color labels in general have broad interpretations, to the point that it can be difficult to deduce the significance of a rating.  For example, a school that has a middle-of-the-pack yellow rating in math could either have posted very high scores this year that significantly dropped compared to the year before, or achieved very low scores that significantly improved from the previous year.

And a green rating does not necessarily mean that a majority of a school’s students are meeting grade-level expectations. It doesn’t even mean that all of its various student sub-groups aren’t in the yellow, orange or red.

That said, a CALmatters analysis of schools’ performance ratings found widespread room for improvement:

  • Chronic absenteeism: About 3,600 elementary schools across the state-—about 47 percent—received red and orange ratings on this indicator, meaning that more than 10 percent of their students missed 18 days or more out of the school year. Officials say this statistic is important because it helps indicate a student’s engagement and whether they’re likely to drop out of school.
  • School suspensions: More than 5,000 schools, or roughly 53 percent, received green or blue ratings in this indicator. About 30 percent were rated red or orange. While school officials are generally optimistic about the state’s direction in this category, many schools continue to have disparities in school suspensions that negatively impact black and Hispanic students.
  • Graduation rates: One of schools’ overall top-performing indicators, more than 1,000 high schools, or about 58 percent, were rated green or blue for their graduation rates. This backs the state’s record graduation rate touted by many school officials. But there’s the aforementioned credit recovery asterisk and …
  • On college and career readiness, schools are faring worse. One of the new indicators on the dashboard measures how well California’s high schools prepare students for postsecondary careers. About 675 schools, or 38 percent, were rated green or blue in this category. The state gave nearly half, 47 percent, of high schools a red or orange rating.

And a closer look underscored the diversity of California, where more than 6.2 million students are enrolled in some of the most elite and most challenged public schools in the nation.

In Richmond, where state Superintendent Tony Thurmond was a school trustee, schools got mostly orange dashboard ratings.

West Contra Costa Unified, where 72 percent of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged and one-third are English language learners—and where California’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was once on the school board—rated orange in reading and math and orange in student suspensions.

Meanwhile, in Kentfield Elementary, an affluent Marin County district of 1,200 kids whose residents include Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, the dashboard scores were an upbeat mosaic of blues and greens. Only about 10 percent of Kentfield Elementary kids come from low-income households.

Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district and California’s largest, ranked yellow in both reading and math, with a blue for its low suspension rate of 0.5 percent.

And at all three districts, their wildly different academic performance ratings notwithstanding, the rating for chronic absenteeism was a glaring orange.

Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education that developed the school accountability system, said in a statement that the dashboard “shows us which students have the greatest needs and which areas of our educational system need the most attention, which is exactly what it was designed to do.”

“Challenges that once may have been hidden, such as how poverty, homelessness and disability affect student learning, are now in sharp focus,” Kirst said. “Conversely, it also shows us which school districts are succeeding so they can serve as models for others as we build professional sharing networks throughout the state.”

Hahnel of EdTrust-West said the new dashboard is “a big facelift” from its first version, but that “there are still issues with accessibility.”

“There’s a lot of data to explore, and that’s great,” Hahnel said, “but it’s not always intuitive and it does take some digging and deciphering to make sense of it all.”

And while this year’s dashboard measures more data than it did the year before, it’s drawn some criticism for what it’s left out. The dashboard now measures schools’ performance in addressing chronic absenteeism, but not at the high school level, where data is more likely to show higher rates of absences among older students.

Samantha Tran, senior managing director for education policy at Children Now, an Oakland-based nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group, said it’s “really unfortunate” that the dashboard lacks chronic absenteeism for high schools. The metric, Tran said, helps you find “kids who are not engaged fundamentally” in school and who would be less likely to graduate.

“You really should have it on the dashboard, color code it and make sure districts are looking at it,” Tran said. “(Chronic absenteeism) is one of those leading indicators where you can really turn around what’s happening for a kid, a whole subgroup of kids at a high school if you knew they weren’t coming and you were attentive to that.”