Newsom Uses Tax $$ to HIRE first 2024 Presidential Aide (not a typo)

The media has reported that the Chief of Staff of Governor Newsom is Anne O’Leary.  Actually, she is the first hire, using tax dollars, for the Newsom for President Campaign in 2024.  He realizes Trump will be re-elected, so he is starting the 2024 campaign while others are looking at the 2020 election.  Who is Anne O’Leary?

“Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom has named a longtime senior Hillary Clinton aide and a former California budget director to the top two positions in his incoming administration.

His chief of staff will be Ann O’Leary, who held senior roles in the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton’s Senate office, and her presidential campaign. She also led the Clinton-Kaine transition project, which as required by law began prior to the election. O’Leary was previously married to California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, but they are divorced, although they co-parent together.

Yup—he is tying himself to the Clintons.  O’Leary will bring him national money, open doors to elected officials owned by the Clintons’ and more.  While the media is not noting this, November 9, 2018 is the start of the 2024 presidential race!

WhiteHouseSouthFacade

Newsom Names Experienced Women As Top Two Staffers In New Administration

 Ben Adler, Capitol Public Radio,  11/9/18

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom has named a longtime senior Hillary Clinton aide and a former California budget director to the top two positions in his incoming administration.

His chief of staff will be Ann O’Leary, who held senior roles in the Clinton administration, Hillary Clinton’s Senate office, and her presidential campaign. She also led the Clinton-Kaine transition project, which as required by law began prior to the election. O’Leary was previously married to California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, but they are divorced, although they co-parent together.

And Newsom has named Ana Matosantos to be his cabinet secretary — that’s the No. 2 job in the governor’s office, which oversees all of the state’s executive branch agencies. Matosantos served as Director of Finance to two governors — first, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Democrat Jerry Brown — from December 2009 until September 2013.

In making those selections, Newsom has picked a chief of staff with experience at the national level and a top deputy with experience at the state level. And like Brown, Newsom has also picked women for his top two positions.

The governor-elect has also switched his campaign website to a transition website, where he’s inviting Californians to tell him their policy priorities — and apply for jobs in his administration.

 

San Fran, SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL.

Great news—a movement is afoot in San Fran, led by prostitutes.  The movement? To stop the sex worker abatement effort in town.  Along with the abusive politicians in town, they prefer to end the prostitutes—yet this town gave 4.4 million syringes so druggies can kill themselves, have feces on Market Street and the doorways of buildings in downtown are the AIRBNB for the homeless.

“Tucked inside the second floor of the Redstone Building on 16th Street, more than 60 Mission residents packed into a room resembling an improv theater for a discussion on decriminalizing prostitution in the Mission and across the city.

Over the course of the next two hours, a panel of four women and two men sought to convince the audience that sex work was like regular work, that criminalization was sexist, and that criminalizing prostitution would only further deteriorate conditions for both residents and the sex workers in the neighborhood.

“Once we began organizing and focusing on the problems of sex work, it opened us up to everything going wrong in the city,” said Nihar Bhatt, a member of the new group, Rad Mission Neighbors that organized the evening.  “

san fran prostitutes

New group wants SFPD to stop sex worker abatement unit, others not so sure

By Abraham Rodriguez, Mission Local,  11/10/18

Tucked inside the second floor of the Redstone Building on 16th Street, more than 60 Mission residents packed into a room resembling an improv theater for a discussion on decriminalizing prostitution in the Mission and across the city.

Over the course of the next two hours, a panel of four women and two men sought to convince the audience that sex work was like regular work, that criminalization was sexist, and that criminalizing prostitution would only further deteriorate conditions for both residents and the sex workers in the neighborhood.

“Once we began organizing and focusing on the problems of sex work, it opened us up to everything going wrong in the city,” said Nihar Bhatt, a member of the new group,Rad Mission Neighbors that organized the evening.

The audience, comprised of mostly 20  to 30-somethings all snapped their fingers and clapped in agreement. But one middle-aged man who said he lives off of Shotwell, where prostitution has been an ongoing problem for neighbors, disagreed.

“How many of the six people in the front actually live in the Red Light District in the Mission?” the man asked the audience referring to Shotwell and Capp streets.

No hands went up.

“I’m appalled that you are glamorizing prostitution,” he said.  “The prostitution problem is bringing problems to the neighborhood. It appalls me to  hear you call yourselves members of the community.”

The man, who left before I could catch his name,  said he had bought a home in the Mission over 50 years ago and had never seen it this bad, and since the workers had returned to the streets his grandchildren and other family members had seen or been victims of sexual harassment by Johns.

A combative back-and-forth argument erupted between the audience member and one of the panelists, Celestina Pearl,  who works as the Outreach Coordinator for St. James Infirmary, the roaming clinic that provides services to sex workers in the city.  When she tried to reply to man’s comment, he cut her off.

“Sir, let me finish. I respectfully listened to you,”  said Pearl.

The man interjected once more, then quieted down as Pearl shot back with statistics showing that decriminalization of sex work leads to decreased levels of crimes, as well as reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases.

Another woman identifying herself as a current sex worker said that the number of women waiting along a corridor doubled the day the website “Redbook” shut down.

“You want us off the streets? Let us get back on the Internet,” she said.

The audience snapped their fingers in agreement, with some clapping.

The gentleman who disagreed tried to interject once again, saying the harassment women faced on the street drove them into prostitution, another panelist interjected.

“I didn’t get harassed into prostitution! I made a choice, because I needed to survive. What’s going on over there is fucked up!” the panelist, known as Alexandra, said.

The man and some of his family members, seemingly tired of hearing what the panelists had to say, packed their stuff and strode out of the meeting.

Others stayed for another hour and a half.  The evening was Rad Mission Neighbors’ inaugural discussion or meeting; prior to Thursday evening, the group had about 30 members.

The panel included Bhatt, the meeting’s moderator and local activist, Rachel West an organizer for US PROS Collective, a network representing sex workers based in the city. Pearl, a mother and organizer for St. James Infirmary and Paul Boden from Western Regional Advocacy Project,a non-profit activist organization that works on issues of homelessness and poverty.  All of the panelists either grew up in the Mission and most have been pushed out by rising rents, they said.

West from the US PROS Collective said that between 1994 to 1996, she was part of a Board of Supervisors prostitution task force that conducted outreach to sex workers in the city. The task force also produced a report, that found that the city could save millions of dollars by ending the criminalization of sex work.

The Rad group argues that the Sex Worker Abatement Unit operated by Mission Station Police Captain Gaetano Caltagirone – with overwhelming support from those who live in the Mission’s red light corridors on Capp and Shotwell streets –  discriminates against people of color along those corridors in the Mission where sex workers are known to patrol.

But the people who live and work on Shotwell don’t necessarily think the problem lies solely on the sex workers. They attribute the problems to the Johns and the amount of traffic they create. Tom Madonna, a bartender at Shotwell’s Bar on the corner of 20th and Shotwell streets, said that the activists aren’t living in the neighborhood and don’t really see how bad things get at 3 a.m.

On any given night, late traffic piles up as cars swarm into the tiny residential street, creating noise and hazards. Residents who live there often get their cars side swiped and damaged.  It’s not the morality of it that bothers people, he said, it’s the commotion.

“It sounds lovely if you don’t live in the area, but the folks who live in the neighborhood are frustrated with the noise and traffic,” Madonna said.

 

Autonomous vehicles are going to kill high-speed rail

Gavin Newsom is a conniving politician.  Last year he was opposed to the choo choo to nowhere—trying to pretend he was a fiscal conservative.  Once the race for Governor became clear, he approved this $200 billion boondoggle—since it would pay off his union and crony capitalist donors.  Now his problem is how to fund it.  Then his real problem, how do you force people to spend upwards of $200 one way to use an unreliable government transportation system?

“No, it doesn’t, because of the coming autonomous cars. Note the qualifier above – from urban center to urban center. San Francisco has one of those, but that’s not really where people go – they just go to the general Bay Area. And Los Angeles, well, the defining point of the place is that there’s no there there. It’s a vague area, not a specific center.

A rail system has difficulty with a spread-out population going to another spread-out area, because it’s only terminus station to terminus station. People still need to get from their starting point to that mainline station. In the two areas, that’s something that can take hours by itself – and that’s where the self-driving car wins.

Autonomous vehicles allow point-to-point travel, from specific block to specific block. If it’s truly self-driving, then it’s actually the same as having one’s own train carriage while moving point to point, rather than feeder line to departure terminus to destination terminus through another feeder line. Any system of properly autonomous cars will make Oakland to Anaheim a car trip, completely bypassing whatever that high speed train set does.”

We know the train is a bit behind schedule—25 years.  By the time it is completed, if ever, it would belong in a museum and folks will laugh at the corruption and silliness that built an out moded system.  Sadly, too few of us will be here to laugh—some will die, most will leave the State for their own sanity and fiscal strength.

google car

Autonomous vehicles are going to kill high-speed rail

by Tim Worstall, Washington Times,  11/12/18

|

It’s no great surprise someone is already predicting self-driving cars will soon be used as mobile brothels. Anyone who has ever watched any teen movie ever will also predict that they’ll be used for the same activity without the cash intervention as well. Keep in mind there’s reasonable historical evidence to tell us that the Model T led to a decrease in the incidence of virginity at marriage.

However, that’s not the really big change that truly autonomous driving is likely to bring, something the research paper doesn’t quite bring out given that they’re trying to look at the changes in the urban landscape. What the car you don’t have to drive is truly going to kill is high-speed train networks.

In the annals of transport systems, it’s generally agreed that urban rail networks are essential above a certain population density. You’re simply not going to get the mass of people in and out of Manhattan or Central London without such a system. For distances more than 500 miles, the airplane is really the only competitive choice for anything other than very leisurely leisure travel.

It’s the bit in between where the long distance train might have a chance.

The standard European rule of thumb is that from major center to major center the train competes with air up to 200 miles or so. If it’s a high-speed train, the TGV or the Japanese bullet train, trains are competitive over longer distances, up to 350 to 400 miles maybe. Longer than that, airplanes are generally the winners. London to Paris by train is just fine – London to Rome, not so much.

Given that San Francisco and Los Angeles are some 400 miles apart, that rail link has a chance, right?

No, it doesn’t, because of the coming autonomous cars. Note the qualifier above – from urban center to urban center. San Francisco has one of those, but that’s not really where people go – they just go to the general Bay Area. And Los Angeles, well, the defining point of the place is that there’s no there there. It’s a vague area, not a specific center.

A rail system has difficulty with a spread-out population going to another spread-out area, because it’s only terminus station to terminus station. People still need to get from their starting point to that mainline station. In the two areas, that’s something that can take hours by itself – and that’s where the self-driving car wins.

Autonomous vehicles allow point-to-point travel, from specific block to specific block. If it’s truly self-driving, then it’s actually the same as having one’s own train carriage while moving point to point, rather than feeder line to departure terminus to destination terminus through another feeder line. Any system of properly autonomous cars will make Oakland to Anaheim a car trip, completely bypassing whatever that high speed train set does.

Which technology a new one displaces is always a bit of a guess, but here there are two obvious answers. Sure, the self-driving car will be used for sex, just as the internet, then mobile phones, then apps, have been. But the one technology that the autonomous car will kill is the long-distance train set.

So it’s a bit of a pity that California is just spending the large end of $100 billion on building high-speed rail, isn’t it?

Tim Worstall (@worstall) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. You can read all his pieces at The Continental Telegraph.

Food Stamp Recipients Down 4,123,082 Under Trump

Between the Trump economy, the loss of many illegal aliens taking (illegally) food stamps and regulations putting people back to work, over four million people in ONE YEAR no longer need food stamps.  That is an accomplishment to note.  Too bad the Fake News media refuses to tell the truth.

“- The number of persons in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–also known as food stamps–has declined by 4,123,082 since December 2016, the month before Donald Trump was inaugurated president, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In December 2016, the last full month that President Barack Obama was in office, there were 42,969,079 people on food stamps, according to USDA. As of August 2018, according to data released last week by USDA, the number of people on food stamps had declined to 38,845,997.

The last time food stamp participation was lower than it was this August was nine years ago in November 2009, when it was 38,184,306.”

Note that the Obama policies and economy grew food stamp usage to record highs—and npw the Trump economy and policies have brought it back down.

Food Stamp Fraud

Food Stamp Recipients Down 4,123,082 Under Trump

By Melanie Arter, cnsnews,  11/12/18

(CNSNews.com) – The number of persons in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–also known as food stamps–has declined by 4,123,082 since December 2016, the month before Donald Trump was inaugurated president, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In December 2016, the last full month that President Barack Obama was in office, there were 42,969,079 people on food stamps, according to USDA. As of August 2018, according to data released last week by USDA, the number of people on food stamps had declined to 38,845,997.

The last time food stamp participation was lower than it was this August was nine years ago in November 2009, when it was 38,184,306. In December 2009, it rose to 38,979,280 and had not dropped below that level until July of this year when it hit 38,934,197–down from 39,344,449 this June.

The number of persons on food stamps peaked in December 2012 at 47,792,056. Since that peak, the number of persons on food stamps has dropped by 8,946,059.

 

If This Bill Passes, Possessing Pot in Texas Will Be Treated Less Harshly Than Distributing Straws in San Francisco

California allows San Fran to give away 4.4 million syringes a year so that drug addicts can use heroin and kill themselves, but a plastic straw is a capitol crime and the businesses  using them need to be shut down.  This is a crazy town that needs group therapy and a guardian—not a Mayor and Board of Supervisors.

“Rep. Joe Moody (D–El Paso) today introduced HB 63. If it becomes law, possessing up to an ounce of marijuana would be a civil infraction, punishable by a maximum $250 fine. Currently, possession of any marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor and can earn you up to $2,000 in penalties and six months in jail.

Some 41,000 people were convicted of marijuana possession in Texas between August 2017 and August 2018, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Moody’s bill would also bar police officers from arresting someone solely for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.

In San Fran and parts of California it is a $500 fine for giving away a plastic straw at a restaurant—guess they would prefer a marijuana joint with your burger and fries.

marijuana-leaf

If This Bill Passes, Possessing Pot in Texas Will Be Treated Less Harshly Than Distributing Straws in San Francisco

A new bill in the Texas legislature would repeal criminal penalties for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.

Christian Britschgi, Reason,  11/12/18

 

A new bill in the Texas legislature would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis.

Rep. Joe Moody (D–El Paso) today introduced HB 63. If it becomes law, possessing up to an ounce of marijuana would be a civil infraction, punishable by a maximum $250 fine. Currently, possession of any marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor and can earn you up to $2,000 in penalties and six months in jail.

Some 41,000 people were convicted of marijuana possession in Texas between August 2017 and August 2018, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Moody’s bill would also bar police officers from arresting someone solely for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana.

“Civil penalty legislation is the first thing I’ve filed on the first day of filing for the 86th Session. There’s been an incredible swell of bipartisan support since last session,” says Moody in a press release. “I’m optimistic that this will be the session we finally see smarter, fairer marijuana laws in Texas.”

Moody’s bill is pretty limited compared to other drug reform efforts around the country. Marijuana would still be prohibited, and those who rack up more than three civil infractions would be liable for criminal charges on a fourth offense.

Still, that’s more lenient than San Francisco’s treatment of repeat violators of its plastic straw ban. And it’s far superior to the status quo, says Heather Fazio, director for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.

“Penalties are unreasonably harsh, even for a tiny amount of marijuana,” Fazio tells Reason, noting that in addition to the criminal sanctions there are a host of collateral consequences that come with drug offenses. “Hindered access to education, or housing, drivers’ licenses’ suspension for six months, a suspension of your right to carry, your right to self-defense for seven years.”

There are some signs that reform is starting to win friends across the political spectrum. Earlier this summer, the Republican Party of Texas included a call for marijuana decriminalization in its platform. And in an October debate, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said that he would be open to legislation that made simple possession a Class C misdemeanor, meaning it would remain a criminal offense but not come with the possibility of jail time.

“One thing I don’t want to see is jails stockpiled with people who have possession of small amounts of marijuana,” Abbott said during that debate. Last week he was re-elected by a large margin.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in June found 69 percent of registered Texas voters support reduced penalties for marijuana, and 53 percent support legalization. A full 62 percent of Republicans supported reduced penalties, as did 79 percent of Democrats.

Past efforts for marijuana reform in the Texas Legislature have sputtered out. In the 2017 legislative session, two reform bills with bipartisan support managed to be get voted out of committee—including a decriminalization measure and a medical marijuana bill—but conservatives blocked both from going to the full floor for a vote.

Fazio says she’s optimistic about the prospects for reform this year.

“We’ve got more momentum, especially with the governor now stating his willingness to work with lawmakers on reducing penalties,” she says. “I think 2019 will be the year we see this meaningful reform made in Texas, and it’s so desperately needed.”

 

Support For ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ Protections Plummets When Costs Are Explained

It is easier for the public to make decisions when all the facts are known, both the costs and the emotional.  Yes, we all want everything covered and free—let someone else pay for it.  But, you can lose your job because your employer can not afford socialist medicine.  You can lose your life, because there is not an unlimited amount of money—and in Canada and Britain people die waiting for medical care.

“But the poll went on to ask whether the public backed this protection if meant a tax increase? Suddenly, support dropped to just 51%. What if it meant premiums increased? Support plunged to only 49%. And just 47% say they back this protection if it meant less access to top-rated medical facilities. (You can read the complete Cato survey report here.)

These aren’t theoretical side effects, either. Those are all the actual results of ObamaCare’s pre-existing condition mandate.

ObamaCare imposed a multitude of new taxes and fees to cover the cost of this protection.

Premiums in the individual market more than doubled. That priced millions of middle-class families who aren’t eligible for ObamaCare subsidies out of the insurance market altogether.

And most health plans sold in the ObamaCare exchange imposed strict HMO-style limits on providers that often don’t include the best hospitals or doctors.

We could be facing a health care disaster if Democrat health care policy became law.  It would kill off the middle class—the rich would always afford health care from the few private physicians and the poor will get it free.  You are part of the class that will wait and die, finance the plan and lower your standard of living—just to live in a socialist State.

NHS-nurse-hospital_2519626b

Support For ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ Protections Plummets When Costs Are Explained

Investors Business Daily,  11/9/18

Health Reform: Democrats campaigned heavily on promises to preserve ObamaCare’s protections for people with “pre-existing conditions.” And the polls seem to back them up. But do they?

Across the country, Democrats attacked their Republican opponents on the issue, saying that the GOP wanted to take away this protection. (Which wasn’t entirely true, but that’s another story.) And they plan to keep the pressure on.

As the Hill reported days after the Democrats won control of the House in the midterm elections, “House Democrats think pre-existing conditions powered them to victory on Tuesday, and they’re setting up a quick vote on the issue for next year.”

Strong Support?

In making this the core issue, Democrats appear to be on solid ground with the public. Poll after poll shows widespread support for protecting people who have pre-existing medical conditions when they buy insurance coverage.

But there are important caveats that never come up.

As we’ve noted in this space before, the entire issue has been wildly exaggerated. Even before ObamaCare, the vast majority of Americans were protected from pre-existing condition restrictions, because they got insurance through an employer or the government, which can’t impose such restrictions.

All ObamaCare did was extend this protection to the 7% who buy insurance on their own.

Nor does anyone pushing this benefit ever talk about its costs.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C., wanted to find out how much support would remain for pre-existing condition protections once people learned about those costs.

In a poll released the just before the midterms, Cato first asked the standard question: Do you support ObamaCare’s protections against pre-existing conditions? Sixty-five percent said they did, which is in line with other polls.

What About Costs?

But the poll went on to ask whether the public backed this protection if meant a tax increase? Suddenly, support dropped to just 51%. What if it meant premiums increased? Support plunged to only 49%. And just 47% say they back this protection if it meant less access to top-rated medical facilities. (You can read the complete Cato survey report here.)

These aren’t theoretical side effects, either. Those are all the actual results of ObamaCare’s pre-existing condition mandate.

ObamaCare imposed a multitude of new taxes and fees to cover the cost of this protection.

Premiums in the individual market more than doubled. That priced millions of middle-class families who aren’t eligible for ObamaCare subsidies out of the insurance market altogether.

And most health plans sold in the ObamaCare exchange imposed strict HMO-style limits on providers that often don’t include the best hospitals or doctors.

It’s easy to support a government-mandated protection when it appears to be free. But when there’s a cost attached, suddenly most of it disappears.

There’s one caveat to consider as well. ObamaCare isn’t the only way to provide protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It’s just one of the costliest and most disruptive ways to do it.

One can only hope that we have an honest discussion about all these caveats when Democrats bring the issue up again next year.

“’Union business on the taxpayer’s dime’: Trump administration cracks down on ‘official time’ at VA

Over 400 doctors and nurses, paid for by the taxpayer, expected to treat VA patients, our soldiers, instead spend their time on union affairs.  Thanks to President Trump, this has ended this week.    The veterans are abused, the taxpayers are abused and the unions have laughed at the stupid government for financing their non health care efforts.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will stop paying employees in health care jobs for time spent on union activities as the Trump administration cracks down on the practice known as “official time,” which costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.

The VA policy will prevent about 430 unionized physicians, registered nurses, dentists and other agency employees from performing union representation duties such as handling grievances and negotiations. It takes effect Thursday.

Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, acting VA assistant secretary for human resources and administration, said the department will “repudiate” parts of its collective bargaining agreements reached during the Obama administration with unions that authorize official time. She said federal law allows the agency to take such a step if it affects “direct patient care.”

Obama used government agencies as the paymaster for unions.  Corrupt need to repay the money taken from the VA patients for union workers.  What do you think?

Unions pension public sector

“’Union business on the taxpayer’s dime’: Trump administration cracks down on ‘official time’ at VA

 

By Dave Boyer, The Washington Times,

The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will stop paying employees in health care jobs for time spent on union activities as the Trump administration cracks down on the practice known as “official time,” which costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.

The VA policy will prevent about 430 unionized physicians, registered nurses, dentists and other agency employees from performing union representation duties such as handling grievances and negotiations. It takes effect Thursday.

Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, acting VA assistant secretary for human resources and administration, said the department will “repudiate” parts of its collective bargaining agreements reached during the Obama administration with unions that authorize official time. She said federal law allows the agency to take such a step if it affects “direct patient care.”

“It’s common sense,” she said. “Allowing health care workers to do taxpayer-funded union work instead of serving veterans impacts patient care negatively.”

As an example of wasted money, the agency cited one nurse who was elected as a local union official and whose salary was funded 100 percent by taxpayers, although she no longer provided medical care to patients and did not maintain a nursing license.

Although the move affects a relatively small number of VA employees, it reflects a larger push by President Trump to reduce “official time” across the government. Labor analysts say the practice cost taxpayers an estimated $177 million in fiscal 2016, with federal employees devoting about 3.6 million work hours to union business.

 

 

 

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Hire Private Firefighters to Save Neighborhood from California Fire

Being rich in California has its privileges.  While the Left raises taxes , making the cost of living go up, and wages not so much, being able to hire armed bodyguards and now, private firefighters.  The rest of us must depend on the government.

“Kim and Kanye’s mansion sits at the end of a cul-de sac that borders a field.

If their residence had been torched, it would have started a domino effect that could have leveled dozens of surrounding homes in the neighborhood.…

Neighbors told TMZ they were thankful the couple had funded the private team and brought in firefighters to save their homes.

California’s Woosley fire was still on the couple’s mind as Kim attended the People’s Choice Awards with her sisters before heading to Kanye’s performance at Camp Flog Gnaw in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Doesn’t this sound like Venezuela or Moscow, the rich get protected and the rest are at the mercy of government.—Were the people in Butte County or Ventura County rich enough to hire private firefighters?    The socialist, were they complete their take over, will outlaw private firefighters just as they are trying to outlaw private doctors and hospitals.  Maybe they should allow private armed bodyguards—let everyone be a victim of their policies, not just the poor and middle class.

Fire

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian enlisted the help of private firefighters to battle the deadly Woolsey wildfire threatening their Hidden Hills neighborhood.

Joshua Caplan, Breitbart,  11/12/18   /

The southern California blaze has taken the lives on two people and destroyed 370 homes. With containment at only 25 percent, the duo feared their $60 million mansion could still go up in smoke, spurring them to put up the cash to pay private firefighters to dig ditches between their home and the fire.

The Daily Mail UK reports:

Kim and Kanye’s mansion sits at the end of a cul-de sac that borders a field.

If their residence had been torched, it would have started a domino effect that could have leveled dozens of surrounding homes in the neighborhood.…

Neighbors told TMZ they were thankful the couple had funded the private team and brought in firefighters to save their homes.

California’s Woosley fire was still on the couple’s mind as Kim attended the People’s Choice Awards with her sisters before heading to Kanye’s performance at Camp Flog Gnaw in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

The Kardashian clan was on hand to accept the award for Best Reality TV show and lauded the firefighters’ bravery in their acceptance speech.

“We would like to dedicate this win to all of the firefighters, police offers, and first responders,” Kim Kardashian began. “As horrible as this has been, it’s been amazing to see the spirit of everyone involved,’ she told the audience.”

“So anything that we can do to help the many organizations — no form of help is too small. We must continue to reach out and help each other in these trying times,” the starlet added.

Over the weekend, Kanye West offered thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the wildfires and praised first responders, referring to them as “true heroes.”

“My sincere condolences to everyone suffering from the loss of their homes, loved ones and the unknown certainty of how much damage the fires will have caused,” tweeted West.

“In light of these situations, I am so inspired by the firefighters and first responders who are risking their lives to do whatever they can to help. They are our true heroes,” the rapper continued. “We must all come together during these difficult times to support each other.”

“May God Bless us all,” he added.

Rising Pension Costs Drive Proposed Tax Hikes Across California

Well, we got what we deserved—higher taxes, bigger government and the taxes will go toward pension systems run by Sacramento.  Money needed for roads and libraries instead is going to bail out CalPERS, forcing cities to go bankrupt, cut police services and more.

“Over 100 local governments will ask voters to increase taxes on Tuesday, which is nearly twice the record set in November of 2016. And while most elected officials are keen to cite needs such a public safety or other popular community services, skeptics posit that rising employee pension costs account for the bulk of these requests.

“The cause of this point-blank is CalPERS and our pension fund,” Lodi Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said of a half-cent sales tax on the Nov. 6 ballot (Lodi News-Sentinel). Similarly, CalWatchdog writes that rising pension costs in Santa Ana have driven that city to the breaking point — even if city leaders don’t want to say so.”

In fact almost all the tax measures passed.  I would bet this was the revenge of the voters on their way out of the State.

SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 21:   A sign stands in front of California Public Employees' Retirement System building July 21, 2009 in Sacramento, California. CalPERS, the state's public employees retirement fund, reported a loss of 23.4%, its largest annual loss. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Rising Pension Costs Drive Proposed Tax Hikes Across California

California County News,, 11/3/2018

Over 100 local governments will ask voters to increase taxes on Tuesday, which is nearly twice the record set in November of 2016. And while most elected officials are keen to cite needs such a public safety or other popular community services, skeptics posit that rising employee pension costs account for the bulk of these requests.

“The cause of this point-blank is CalPERS and our pension fund,” Lodi Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said of a half-cent sales tax on the Nov. 6 ballot (Lodi News-Sentinel). Similarly, CalWatchdog writes that rising pension costs in Santa Ana have driven that city to the breaking point — even if city leaders don’t want to say so.

In Santa Ana, where voters are being asked to raise sales taxes by 1.5 percentage points on Nov. 6, the campaign for the tax hike rarely mentions pension costs.

But once again, a city bureaucrat framed the tax hike in more candid fashion.

“We’re not immune to the labor cost increases that are occurring throughout the state of California and throughout the country. We need to be able to provide additional services to the community. The question before the voters is what level of services do they want from their government?” Jorge Garcia, a top aide in the Santa Ana city manager’s office, told Bond Buyer.

Santa Ana’s pension bill is expected to go from $45.1 million in 2017-2018 to $81.2 million by 2022-2023 – an 80 percent increase.

The more bullish voices on California’s pension situation point out that CalPERS has been benefitting from better investment returns. As of July, the pension fund still had only 71% of the funds it needs to cover long-term obligations, however.

“That’s far below the 80 percent funding level that is considered the absolute minimum for a healthy pension system,” CalWatchdog says.

Local governments have been sounding the alarm about a coming pension crisis for years. In January, the League of California Cities warned that the situation was becoming unsustainable, with pension costs expected to consume 15.8% of local budgets by 2024-25.

Dropped The Ball? Thousand Oaks Gunman Reportedly Had PTSD, Was Cleared Despite CA’s ‘Red Flag’ Laws

We do not need new gun laws.  Once again after a tragedy the Left wants to take away our Second Amendment rights.  Instead all that needs to be done is enforcing our current laws to prevent the Thousand Oaks and other tragedies.

“Police were dispatched after Long shot a round from his handgun into one of the walls. He then barricaded himself inside. Police spent hours trying to get him to peacefully come outside, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“They couldn’t get him out for a long time, like half the day,” neighbor Richard Berge told WSJ.

Mental health specialists were dispatched to the scene but they determined that he wasn’t a threat and didn’t qualify for an involuntary psychiatric hold.

According to neighbors, his mother, Colleen, said he was “hell to live with.” They also said Colleen lived in a perpetual state of fear because of her son.

Although California has strict “red flag” laws, which allows police or family members to temporarily remove firearms from a person they deem a threat to themselves or others, it’s unclear why Long’s firearms were not removed back in April.”

Too bad the folks inside the Country Western bar did not have weapons to protect themselves.  We need to either enforce the laws—or allow an easy way to carry your own guns.  This was a failure of government.

Gun

Dropped The Ball? Thousand Oaks Gunman Reportedly Had PTSD, Was Cleared Despite CA’s ‘Red Flag’ Laws

 

Beth Baumann, Townhall,  11/12/18

 

New details have emerged about the gunman who killed 12 people at a bar before killing himself in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night. Ian Long, 29, was a military veteran who suffered from PTSD after returning from a tour in Afghanistan that took place between 2010 and 2011, The Daily Mail reported.

Back in April, police had a run in with Long. They were called out to his Newbury Park home that he shared with his mom when neighbors heard loud crushing coming from inside.

Police were dispatched after Long shot a round from his handgun into one of the walls. He then barricaded himself inside. Police spent hours trying to get him to peacefully come outside, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“They couldn’t get him out for a long time, like half the day,” neighbor Richard Berge told WSJ.

Mental health specialists were dispatched to the scene but they determined that he wasn’t a threat and didn’t qualify for an involuntary psychiatric hold.

According to neighbors, his mother, Colleen, said he was “hell to live with.” They also said Colleen lived in a perpetual state of fear because of her son.

Although California has strict “red flag” laws, which allows police or family members to temporarily remove firearms from a person they deem a threat to themselves or others, it’s unclear why Long’s firearms were not removed back in April.

This is definitely an instance where law enforcement and mental health professionals dropped the ball. They could have helped Long receive help for his PTSD. Instead, they cleared him and left him on his way.

Politicians and gun control advocates are quick to say we need these red flag laws. But here’s the problem. Instead of diagnosing and treating the cause of things like service-related PTSD, they’re waiting until someone like the Thousand Oak shooter kills a number of people before taking any kind of action. The answer isn’t taking away someone’s gun and then hoping they get better. The answer is providing treatment options and mental health resources to those who need it.

At the end of the day, if someone is not of sound mind, it doesn’t matter how they commit mass carnage. They can carry out their attack with a gun, a knife, a machete or any other weapon they see fit. We need to be looking at how to treat the problem not how to put a bandaid on it.