CDC Ignores Science—Prefers Politics/Corruption

Only the Cult of Fauci refuses to admit that natural immunity is better than taking a dangerous drug.        People with common sense know the truth even if the corrupt in government want you to ignore scientific truth. Once you got the virus, you have natural immunity, even if the Fauci Cult lies to you.  Stop listening to them.  Stop taking their advice on jabs, masks, social distancing, isolation.

Biden administration officials and some public health experts have repeatedly downplayed the effectiveness of natural immunity against COVID-19, but this study is only the latest to indicate that recovery from prior infection can at least rival, if not surpass, that offered from vaccination alone. Most research has shown that for maximum protection against reinfection or severe illness, those who were previously infected should still get vaccinated.”

Be an adult, stop listening to the fraudsters.

CDC Says Natural Immunity Outperformed Vaccines Against Delta Strain

DYLAN HOUSMAN, Daily Caller, 1/19/22 

Natural immunity from prior infection granted stronger levels of protection against the Delta variant of COVID-19 than vaccination alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a study released Wednesday.

Before Delta became dominant, individuals who had natural immunity were experiencing higher case rates than individuals who were only vaccinated, the study found, but after Delta took hold, those with natural immunity caught COVID-19 less frequently than those who were only vaccinated.

The study examined four categories of people — unvaccinated and vaccinated who survived a previous COVID-19 infection, and unvaccinated and vaccinated who had never been infected — in California and New York between May and November 2021. The highest case rates were among those who had neither been vaccinated or previously infected. The most protection against infection and hospitalization was in those who had both been vaccinated and survived an earlier bout with the virus.

The agency cautioned that the data in question only measured results against the Delta variant and that Omicron may present new challenges that alter the calculus of natural immunity versus vaccination. (RELATED: With Omicron, A Key COVID-19 Metric Has Become Highly Misleading)

Biden administration officials and some public health experts have repeatedly downplayed the effectiveness of natural immunity against COVID-19, but this study is only the latest to indicate that recovery from prior infection can at least rival, if not surpass, that offered from vaccination alone. Most research has shown that for maximum protection against reinfection or severe illness, those who were previously infected should still get vaccinated.

Many legacy media outlets covered the study by minimizing the finding that natural immunity outperformed vaccines and emphasizing that a combination of both provided the best protection. Headlines from the New York TimesAssociated PressCNN and others claimed that vaccination offers the “best” or “safest” protection according to the study.

In a press call Wednesday, the CDC’s Dr. Benjamin Silk, an epidemiologist that co-authored the study, did not elaborate on the increased protection natural immunity provides and repeated the administration line that every American should get vaccinated.

The Last Days of the Covidian Cult

The time has come for the adults to admit what they know—the scamdemic is over—we were lied to, abused, harmed and manipulated, Take the vaccine and you still get the virus.  No one with a lick of sense believes wearing a mask walking into a restaurant—but taking it off to eat has any value.  Diapers on the face do nothing—except show Fascist Fauci he can control you.  This has been a test, by government to see how much we can be controlled.  Time to control government by living with the lies and scams.

Time to retire the Fauci Cult.  It was not pretty and it was vicious.

“The simulated “global health crisis” is, for all intents and purposes, over. Which means that GloboCap has screwed the pooch. The thing is, if you intend to keep the masses whipped up into a mindless frenzy of anus-puckering paranoia over an “apocalyptic global pandemic,” at some point, you have to produce an actual apocalyptic global pandemic. Faked statistics and propaganda will carry you for a while, but eventually people are going to need to experience something at least resembling an actual devastating worldwide plague, in reality, not just on their phones and TVs.”

The Last Days of the Covidian Cult

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (10574651h) Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Los Angeles. Joe Biden Presidential Election Campaign, Los Angeles, USA – 03 Mar 2020

Consent Factory, 1/20/22 

This isn’t going to be pretty, folks. The downfall of a death cult rarely is. There is going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth, incoherent fanatical jabbering, mass deleting of embarrassing tweets. There’s going to be a veritable tsunami of desperate rationalizing, strenuous denying, shameless blame-shifting, and other forms of ass-covering, as suddenly former Covidian Cult members make a last-minute break for the jungle before the fully-vaxxed-and-boosted “Safe and Effective Kool-Aid” servers get to them.

Yes, that’s right, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the official Covid narrative is finally falling apart, or is being hastily disassembled, or historically revised, right before our eyes. The “experts” and “authorities” are finally acknowledging that the “Covid deaths” and “hospitalization” statistics are artificially inflated and totally unreliable (which they have been from the very beginning), and they are admitting that their miracle “vaccines” don’t work (unless you change the definition of the word “vaccine”), and that they have killed a few peopleor maybe more than a few people, and that lockdowns were probably “a serious mistake.”

I am not going to bother with further citations. You can surf the Internet as well as I can. The point is, the “Apocalyptic Pandemic” PSYOP has reached its expiration date. After almost two years of mass hysteria over a virus that causes mild-to-moderate common-cold or flu-like symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever) in about 95% of the infected and the overall infection fatality rate of which is approximately 0.1% to 0.5%, people’s nerves are shot. We are all exhausted. Even the Covidian cultists are exhausted. And they are starting to abandon the cult en masse.

It was always mostly just a matter of time. As Klaus Schwab said, “the pandemic represent[ed] a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.”

It isn’t over, but that window is closing, and our world has not been “reimagined” and “reset,” not irrevocably, not just yet. Clearly, GloboCap underestimated the potential resistance to the Great Reset, and the time it would take to crush that resistance. And now the clock is running down, and the resistance isn’t crushed … on the contrary, it is growing. And there is nothing GloboCap can do to stop it, other than go openly totalitarian, which it can’t, as that would be suicidal. As I noted in a recent column:

“New Normal totalitarianism — and any global-capitalist form of totalitarianism — cannot display itself as totalitarianism, or even authoritarianism. It cannot acknowledge its political nature. In order to exist, it must not exist. Above all, it must erase its violence (the violence that all politics ultimately comes down to) and appear to us as an essentially beneficent response to a legitimate ‘global health crisis’ …”

The simulated “global health crisis” is, for all intents and purposes, over. Which means that GloboCap has screwed the pooch. The thing is, if you intend to keep the masses whipped up into a mindless frenzy of anus-puckering paranoia over an “apocalyptic global pandemic,” at some point, you have to produce an actual apocalyptic global pandemic. Faked statistics and propaganda will carry you for a while, but eventually people are going to need to experience something at least resembling an actual devastating worldwide plague, in reality, not just on their phones and TVs.

Also, GloboCap seriously overplayed their hand with the miracle “vaccines.” Covidian cultists really believed that the “vaccines” would protect them from infection. Epidemiology experts like Rachel Maddow assured them that they would:

“Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person,” Maddow said on her show the evening of March 29, 2021. “A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them, the virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else,” she added with a shrug. “It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to go get more people.”

And now they are all sick with … well, a cold, basically, or are “asymptomatically infected,” or whatever. And they are looking at a future in which they will have to submit to “vaccinations” and “boosters” every three or four months to keep their “compliance certificates” current, in order to be allowed to hold a job, attend a school, or eat at a restaurant, which, OK, hardcore cultists are fine with, but there are millions of people who have been complying, not because they are delusional fanatics who would wrap their children’s heads in cellophane if Anthony Fauci ordered them to, but purely out of “solidarity,” or convenience, or herd instinct, or … you know, cowardice.

Many of these people (i.e., the non-fanatics) are starting to suspect that maybe what we “tin-foil-hat-wearing, Covid-denying, anti-vax, conspiracy-theorist extremists” have been telling them for the past 22 months might not be as crazy as they originally thought. They are back-pedaling, rationalizing, revising history, and just making up all kinds of self-serving bullshit, like how we are now in “a post-vaccine world,” or how “the Science has changed,” or how “Omicron is different,” in order to avoid being forced to admit that they’re the victims of a GloboCap PSYOP and the worldwide mass hysteria it has generated.

Which … fine, let them tell themselves whatever they need to for the sake of their vanity, or their reputations as investigative journalists, celebrity leftists, or Twitter revolutionaries. If you think these “recovering” Covidian Cult members are ever going to publicly acknowledge all the damage they have done to society, and to people and their families, since March 2020, much less apologize for all the abuse they heaped onto those of us who have been reporting the facts … well, they’re not. They are going to spin, equivocate, rationalize, and lie through their teeth, whatever it takes to convince themselves and their audience that, when the shit hit the fan, they didn’t click heels and go full “Good German.”

Give these people hell if you need to. I feel just as angry and betrayed as you do. But let’s not lose sight of the ultimate stakes here. Yes, the official narrative is finally crumbling, and the Covidian Cult is starting to implode, but that does not mean that this fight is over. GloboCap and their puppets in government are not going to cancel the whole “New Normal” program, pretend the last two years never happened, and gracefully retreat to their lavish bunkers in New Zealand and their mega-yachts.

Totalitarian movements and death cults do not typically go down gracefully. They usually go down in a gratuitous orgy of wanton, nihilistic violence as the cult or movement desperately attempts to maintain its hold over its wavering members and defend itself from encroaching reality. And that is where we are at the moment … or where we are going to be very shortly.

Cities, states, and countries around the world are pushing ahead with implementing the New Normal biosecurity society, despite the fact that there is no longer any plausible justification for it. Austria is going ahead with forced “vaccination.” Germany is preparing to do the sameFrance is rolling out a national segregation system to punish “the Unvaccinated.” Greece is fining “unvaccinated” pensionersAustralia is operating “quarantine camps.” Scotland. Italy. Spain. The Netherlands. New York City. San Francisco. Toronto. The list goes on, and on, and on.

I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m not an oracle. I’m just a satirist. But we are getting dangerously close to the point where GloboCap will need to go full-blown fascist if they want to finish what they started. If that happens, things are going to get very ugly. I know, things are already ugly, but I’m talking a whole different kind of ugly. Think Jonestown, or Hitler’s final days in the bunker, or the last few months of the Manson Family.

That is what happens to totalitarian movements and death cults once the spell is broken and their official narratives fall apart. When they go down, they try to take the whole world with them. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping we can avoid that. From what I have heard and read, it isn’t much fun.

A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now. Bait/Switch Stopped

Like a Wall Street con artist, the California Public Utilities Commission has acted like a bait and switch scam.  First, they got folks to spend thousands of dollars to buy solar panels, with the promise of low electric rates.  Now that got lots of people on the hook, they want to raise the cost of energy—taking away the value of the solar panels—this is called bait and switch when done by private people,  When done by government it is called policy,

“California regulators are holding off on considering a proposal that would upend the state’s solar marketplace. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson says the delay likely means changes to the controversial plan are in the works.

California utility regulators have quietly tabled a controversial plan made public last month that would drastically reduce the benefits provided to homeowners with rooftop solar panels.”

A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now

By Erik AndersonMike Damron, KPBS,   1/20/22 

California regulators are holding off on considering a proposal that would upend the state’s solar marketplace. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson says the delay likely means changes to the controversial plan are in the works.

California utility regulators have quietly tabled a controversial plan made public last month that would drastically reduce the benefits provided to homeowners with rooftop solar panels.

A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge unveiled the proposal, which changes California’s Net Energy Metering rules.

That’s the regulation governing how much owners of rooftop solar arrays are paid by utilities for the energy they produce and how much they have to pay utilities for hooking up to the grid.

The proposal unveiled Dec. 13 sided heavily with the investor-owned utilities and landed with a thud among solar advocates.

 “It’s so bad,” said Bernadette Del Chiarro, the executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association. “We think that the proposed decision, the bones of it, are so rotten, it will not hold.”

A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now

Jobs at risk

The plan slashes, by about 80%, how much residents get paid for electricity generated by rooftop solar panels and proposes steep grid access charges, about $60 a month for a typical solar customer.

It essentially negates most of the financial incentives for homeowners to pay thousands of dollars to add solar panels to their roofs.

The utilities argue it fixes a cost shift where solar owners do not pay their fair share of grid maintenance costs, which are shifted to non-solar customers.

But the solar industry argues that the changes will likely cause demand for rooftop solar to dry up and throw thousands of solar installers out of work.

“Save solar … Save solar … Save solar …” Is what hundreds of solar workers chanted at a Los Angeles rally earlier this month.

The message was aimed at the CPUC’s satellite office in Los Angeles.

“We would hate to see all the hard work and progress that we’ve made be killed by this bill. This solar tax,” said Jay Cutting, owner of ReVamp Energy, a solar installation company. “We came to show our support and say, save our jobs.”

Can Los Angeles Be Saved? Should it?

Murders have doubled in the past year.  Billions spent on the homeless, and we have more homeless.  LAUSD claimed to have 600,000 students—but the absenteeism rate shows it lied—only 400,000 in its bigoted failed schools.  The DA protects criminals and victims are told not to defend themselves.  Can L.A. be saved?

Not only can’t it be saved, but it must collapse.  Otherwise it will get worse.  Yesterday I was in Woodland Hills near Kaiser, across from an LAUSD high school.  There are several homeless encampments across the street—going to the hospital or to High school in the area is dangerous—and the cops will do nothing.

“Later that day, in a fashionable neighborhood in L.A. — in fact, the location of the mayor’s mansion — a lovely young woman and recent college grad, Brianna Kupfer, was working in a design store on the busy main street, when a man walked in and for some inexplicable reason stabbed her to death.  Just a fluke, the usual reassuring lie?  No doubt it was meth or mental illness or both, as most random murders are these days in L.A.  Residents are now setting up candles outside the store in yet another makeshift memorial instead of standing outside the mayor’s office or the D.A.’s office shouting for their resignations. “ 

No one is safe in Los Angeles.


Can Los Angeles Be Saved?

By Patricia Jay, American Thinker,  1/20/22   

On Monday, off-duty LAPD officer Fernando Arroyos and his girlfriend were out in South L.A. looking at houses, in anticipation of getting married and settling down there.  Sure, it was after dark, and most Angelenos do not venture out at night these days, but Fernando was LAPD, highly trained in police work and educated at U.C. Berkeley, and thought he had it all down.  Then four gangbangers from the local crime organization (too highly advanced to be called a gang), Florencia 13, saw the silver chains around his neck and decided to rob him.  Arroyos told his girlfriend to run.  Shots rang out, at least one hit Arroyos, and he died on the way to the hospital.

On Thursday, a 70-year-old nurse was attacked by a transient, right in front of Union Station, as she was waiting for a bus.  (Public transport is often dangerous for people who work in downtown L.A.)  She died in the hospital four days later.

Later that day, in a fashionable neighborhood in L.A. — in fact, the location of the mayor’s mansion — a lovely young woman and recent college grad, Brianna Kupfer, was working in a design store on the busy main street, when a man walked in and for some inexplicable reason stabbed her to death.  Just a fluke, the usual reassuring lie?  No doubt it was meth or mental illness or both, as most random murders are these days in L.A.  Residents are now setting up candles outside the store in yet another makeshift memorial instead of standing outside the mayor’s office or the D.A.’s office shouting for their resignations.  This, by the way, occurred a week after a woman pushing a baby stroller was robbed right in front of her nearby Hancock Park home.

With the deaths of these three people, two not yet out of their twenties, someone finally snapped in L.A.  His name is Alex Villanueva, the elected sheriff of L.A. County, where the Arroyos murder occurred.

Usually, when a cop is murdered, the city’s mayor and D.A. come out and angrily vow to catch and prosecute the killers to the fullest extent, and they file charges.  After all, they are the apex of the law enforcement pyramid.  If they don’t care, the people are in deep trouble.  This is the response from D.A. George Gascon’s office, though: a condolence tweet for the “death of an off-duty police officer” without even saying his name, without even admitting it was a murder.

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Sheriff Villanueva discussed the case with some of Gascon’s staff and then, in a shocking move, filed the case with the U.S Department of Justice instead, as he had no faith in Gascon’s office to properly prosecute the case.

Gascon has said often that he will no longer file enhancements that result in extra prison time for criminals.  So a criminal who robs someone would normally also have to answer for committing that crime with a gun or as a member of a gang.  Villanueva was told by the D.A.’s office that they would not file gun or gang enhancements.  It is passing strange that an anti-gun leftist D.A. declines to file gun enhancements, which are designed to punish gun violence, but that is another story.  The death penalty is now on the table with the federal charges.

Some wonder how the feds could file so quickly.  The gang is well known; the feds term it a multi-generational gang, more along the lines of the Mafia than a bunch of guys hanging out, and the subject of two prior racketeering cases.  Let us hope that A.G. Garland does not interfere with this welcome turn of events.

Mayor Garcetti issued a weak statement decrying “gun violence,” as if a gun jumped up and shot Officer Arroyos.  Governor Newsom at least admitted he was killed by criminals.  Still no voice of support for the federal prosecution of these murderous thugs.

Directly linked to the random violence in our streets, the Los Angeles homeless situation has exploded in the past couple of years despite billions spent to stop it.  Villanueva is also the only official who has stepped up with any credible enforcement of vagrancy, drug-dealing, and assault laws.  No matter that violence is perpetrated on and by what the leftist city structure euphemistically calls “the homeless” or “persons currently experiencing homelessness.”  The police have admitted that Ms. Kupfer’s killer was likely a homeless person, for instance, as was the man who killed the nurse at a bus stop.

Wrong Way CalPERS: Dumping $6 Billion of Private Equity After Struggling to Put Money to Work and Then Increasing Target

CalPers is in financial trouble.  If the stock market collapses—under Biden it could—that the pension system will collapse.  Apparently there is no oversite, audits or investigations.  Due to that we can expect scandal and corruption—as usual with government programs.

“One former member of CalPERS’s senior investment team, Ron Lagnado, is raising concerns about the plan. “That’s an enormous amount of money to be shoveling into private equity,” Lagnado said. “Everybody is trying to crowd into the space. If this is all the largest pension fund in the United States is going to come up with, I don’t think they’re thinking carefully about what they’re doing.”

Contrast that decision with this story in Chief Investment Officer yesterday:

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has engaged financial services company Jefferies about the potential of selling up to $6 billion of its private equity stakes, according Buyouts magazine. This comes just after CalPERS announced it would be increasing the percentage of its portfolio allotted to private equity to 13% from 8% in November.”

How much is being invested in the slave nation of China?  Could they really be behind this scam?

Wrong Way CalPERS: Dumping $6 Billion of Private Equity After Struggling to Put Money to Work and Then Increasing Target

Naked Capitalism,  1/14/22  

When CalPERS does something as obviously nonsensical as planning to dump $6 billion of its private equity holdings, nearly 13% of its $47.7 billon portfolio, when it just committed to increasing its private equity book from 8% to 13%, it’s a hard call: Incompetent? Corrupt? Addled by the latest fads (a subset of incompetent)?

And rest assured, the harder you look, the more it becomes apparent that this scheme is as hare-brained as it appears at the 30,000 foot level. But unlike another recent hare-brained private equity scheme, its “private equity new business model,” beneficiaries won’t have the good luck of having it collapse under its own contradictions. CalPERS has loudly announced that Jeffries & Co. will be handling these dispositions, so they will get done….at least in part. But the fact that CalPERS’ staff has gone ahead and merely informed the board, as opposed to getting its approval, is yet another proof of how the board has abdicated its oversight and control by granting unconscionably permissive “delegated authority” to staff.

The one bit of possible upside would not just be unintended, but the result of CalPERS acting in contradiction to its expressed objectives: that its allocation to private equity would undershoot its targets by an even bigger margin than otherwise.

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Background: CalPERS’ Value-Destroying Love Affair with Private Equity

Recall that CalPERS has long acted like a battered spouse, unwilling to leave a man who is abusing her and a defending the relationship. As this site, relying on the work of prominent academics and top financial analysts, has documented for many years, private equity does not provide enough return to justify its high level of risk, namely, illiquidity and leverage. Even CalPERS’ special guest expert in 2015, Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner, said there was no justification for investing in private equity unless CalPERS invested in top funds….the same sort of “beat the market” fallacy debunked decades ago for other active managers.

More recently, multiple studies have shown the role of alternative investments like private equity in public pension fund underperformance. One by industry leading quantitative expert Richard Ennis, founder of KruppEnnis, not only documented how “alts” dragged down public pensions results, but also identified CalPERS as one of the worst via generating high “negative alpha,” meaning its management efforts hurt beneficiaries. That result is even more appalling given that CalPERS has the biggest and best paid investment office among all public pension funds.

And CalPERS continues to flounder. Its investment performance for its latest fiscal year was at the bottom in various listings of public pension performance, again begging the question of how CalPERS can be so bad at its big job of managing retiree funds well. A program at Stanford Business School ascertained that a simple investment strategy using 5 Vanguard funds would beat 90% of public pension funds. CalPERS would do better to fire virtually all of its investment team and at most create an additional index fund or two in addition to its internal S&P 500 fund if it believed it could manage other core index strategies more cheaply in house.

This unjustifiable fealty to private equity is even more difficult to explain given the damage it has done to the giant fund. CalPERS’ former CEO Fred Buenrostro recently finished a four and one half year sentence in Federal prison for taking bribes and other charges in connection with a private equity pay to play scandal. Former board member Al Villalobos shot himself. Fund manager Apollo and four Apollo connected funds paid over $52 million in pay to play fees, simply staggering sums compared to norms in this seedy business. And Apollo did not need to pony up to get in front of CalPERS; its then head Leon Black could have gotten a meeting any time he wanted. But the “investigation” conducted by law firm fixer Steptoe & Johnson pointedly avoided looking into what exactly these fund manager thought they were getting in return for these huge bribes.1

Yet rather than step back and try to learn from this record of failure, CalPERS has kept meeting Einstein’s definition of insanity by doubling down on its failed private equity strategy, or at least trying to. Investors generally have been throwing more dollars at private equity than the industry can absorb, with too much “dry powder” (funds committed but not invested) one of many signs of too much money chasing too few deals. Departing Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos tried launching a not-at-all-thought-out “private equity new business model” which was supposedly to allow CalPERS to invest in private equity in size and somehow beat all of the very well established private equity managers and their investors in finding good deals. The hazy plan fell apart when subject to mere basic questions.

Eliopoulos’ successor Ben Meng, shortly after he arrived at CalPERS, said in a widely repeated quote, “We need private equity, we need more of it, and we need it now.”2

CalPERS’ Incomprehensible Private Equity To-ing and Fro-ing

In a move that required formal board approval, CalPERS increased its asset allocation to private equity last November. From Institutional Investor in December 2021:

As a part of the larger strategic asset allocation plan approved in mid-November, CalPERS will be increasing its private equity portfolio from 8 percent to 13 percent of its total assets, or roughly $25 billion…

One former member of CalPERS’s senior investment team, Ron Lagnado, is raising concerns about the plan. “That’s an enormous amount of money to be shoveling into private equity,” Lagnado said. “Everybody is trying to crowd into the space. If this is all the largest pension fund in the United States is going to come up with, I don’t think they’re thinking carefully about what they’re doing.”

Contrast that decision with this story in Chief Investment Officer yesterday:

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has engaged financial services company Jefferies about the potential of selling up to $6 billion of its private equity stakes, according Buyouts magazine. This comes just after CalPERS announced it would be increasing the percentage of its portfolio allotted to private equity to 13% from 8% in November.

To recap: CalPERS has been whining for years about having difficulty meeting its private equity asset allocation targets, to the degree that it’s cooked up novel-sounding gimmicks to try to solve that probem which fell apart once they got a teeny bit of scrutiny. So despite not having succeeded in meeting lower targets, CalPERS is now trying to hit a much bigger private equity allocation goal… and planning to cut its existing holdings, making the task even harder?

None of the Plausible Explanations Make Sense…at Least for Beneficiaries and the State of California

As you’ll see, the only way this exercise makes sense is as part of a full employment act for the private equity team.

Let’s look at the rationales and see why they don’t add up.

CalPERS wants to clean out old deadwood investments. If you look at CalPERS’ Private Equity Program Fund Performance Review, and then sort by vintage year, you can see that there are funds dating to 1992.

But if you do a quick eyeball, you can see that the story does not add up. I looked at vintage years though and including 2006. Nearly all the funds had the same number for “Cash Out” and “Cash Out and Remaining Value,” meaning the fund manager (remember the fund manager is responsible for the net asset value calculation) had written the fund down to zero. Yet the funds are still being kept alive, which means CalPERS is still paying its share of the annual fees for accounting and investor reporting. Do these funds still hold a final doggy asset? It’s not clear why they haven’t been wound down,3 but the flip side is CalPERS is presumably paying only nuisance level annual charges.

If you scan the list, there are some funds older than 2006, there are some where “Cash Out and Remaining Value” is greater than “Cash Out,” meaning the fund manager does attribute a positive value to whatever is left. But in most cases, the discrepancy is only a few millions dollars, and only 16 funds does it exceed $10 million. The biggest examples I saw were California Emerging Ventures III, LLC, a 2001 fund allegedly worth a bit under $60 million; vintage year 2005 Bridgepoint Europe III ‘D’ valued at $41 million; California Emerging Ventures IV, LLC, a 2006 fund with a reported net asset value of just under $152 million; Golden State Investment Fund, LLC, a 2006 fund marked at $94 million; KKR 2006 at $78 million; another 2006 fund, MHR Institutional Partners III, at $171 million; 2006 child Permira IV L.P carried at $56 million; 2006 vintage year Sacramento Private Equity Partners for $200 million; and last but far from least, VantagePoint Venture Partners 2006 at $34 million.

The last entry, VantagePoint Venture Partners 2006, is on its face implausible: a $100 million commitment, where the entire $100 million was spent, and in 15 years, CalPERS has gotten only $15 million back. We are supposed to believe this fund miraculously has $34 million worth of unsold investment? Note that even with that charitable assumption, the fund has a negative IRR of 7.9%.

The others in the “over $10 million” cohort on average were under $20 million.

The big point here is that these are orts and scraps of funds, with mainly $0 to the private equity equivalent of couch lint in net asset value. They all have carrying costs to CalPERS. CalPERS would likely have to pay money to get out of them, since they represent a string of liabilities, not assets.

And the reason old funds with a crappy company or two left in them are kept around is they are worth more alive than dead to the manager. The remaining assets presumably cannot be sold for their reported net asset value or that would already have happened. Selling them would lead to a loss recognition and in a worst case scenario could trigger a clawback of the carry fee, a discussion the general partner would not want to engage in if any limited partners were alert enough to clear their throats about it. If the company/companies in the fund are still generating revenue, they can probably support at least some monitoring fees, making them worth keeping to the general partner, if not so for the limited partner.

So in other words:

1. These orts and scraps don’t come anywhere within hailing distance of $6 billion. So where does that figure come from?

2. These deal would also all or nearly all be sold at losses compared to their current net asset values. So CalPERS would recognize a loss.

This further implies that CalPERS would sell some stakes where the market value of the holding is higher than what the private equity manager is valuing it at right now. This is not such a hot idea because:

1. CalPERS selling out of a “looks profitable” investment is a slap to a manager who provides conservative valuations so as not to deliver disappointments. It will also lead them at the margin to be less inclined to invite CalPERS into future funds

2. If other investors think the fund has more upside than current manager valuations show, CalPERS may wind up leaving money on the table, as in the ultimate performance may be better than what they get by cashing out now.

CalPERS’ Strategy Is Not Likely to Work

$6 billion is a lot of private equity. It is highly unlikely that anyone would have the firepower and the appetite to buy it as a portfolio (and as we will discuss, if that was the approach, CalPERS staff would be violating its delegated authority to attempt to do so).

So Jeffries will presumably be marketing the portfolio as individual deals, or at best as lots.

Investor of course will want to buy only the good deals. That means if CalPERS proceeds, it’s likely to be left with a lot of its legacy dogs. It will have paid Jeffries for moving out mainly better deals and not accomplished its supposed objective of really cleaning house.

CalPERS’ Possible Nefarious Plans Are Also Likely to Be Bad Ideas

Why would CalPERS want to create an additional $6 billion of firepower when it already has more dollars it wants to throw at private equity than it can deploy now?

Consider: if CalPERS succeeds in its aims, it will retreat from its 13% private equity allocation goal. Having pre-signaled to the world that it wants to dump a big slug of private equity, CalPERS can’t readily drib and drab the assets it wants to ditch onto the market. CalPERS is also likely to need to set some time parameters, as in if some positions don’t find buyers in a certain period of time, it will need to set a new price target or consider withdrawing the positions.

So say CalPERS succeeds or at least significantly succeeds. That means it will be under even more pressure to put money to work. Will it lower its investment standards? Or does it have a plan up its sleeve? Insiders wonder if CalPERS is thinking about implementing its plan to increase co-investments by making mega co-investments, say on the order of $2 billion.

The problem with that idea is that it’s akin to a drayage company deciding it’s in the transportation business and buying a 747 to fly.

CalPERS is behind many other public pension funds in how much it has done in the way of co-investing. Even though CalPERS still claims it has done better with co-investments than its private equity portfolio overall, that may largely be a function of smaller average deal size. CalPERS unwisely decided to move its portfolio to fewer, bigger fund commitments and reduce the number of fund managers it dealt with. The result was CalPERS was invested in proportionately more mega funds with mega managers. Those funds are overwhelmingly in the buyout sector, which has performed worse than other strategies.

Not only would mega co-investments double down on CalPERS’ bad idea of preferring big funds (because big?), they are also very complex and far more susceptible to adverse selection than other co-investments. CalPERS doesn’t have the seasoning to expect this idea, if this is one of their ideas, to work out well.

The more mundane risk of having private equity burning a hole in CalPERS’ pocket is that its commitments will be lumpy, as in very high in next two or three years. Fund performance is very dependent on vintage year. Trying to spread investments out over time is the best way to minimize that risk. CalPERS will be deviating further from that principle as a result of the need to reinvest its $6 billion deal dump on top of its decision to ramp up further.

Another Indictment of Board Oversight

It beggars belief that CalPERS can launch a plan to sell $6 billion in assets without briefing the board and getting approval in advance. Staff is presenting the board with a fait accompli; recall that CalPERS has already hired Jeffries.

CalPERS’ officers might try to justify this brazen move by saying that it it falls under their delegated authority because even though the total number of deals put on the market might add up to an impermissibly large number, individually they are all fall under the threshold for board approval.

However, staff’s argument fails on a different prong. The plans to offload as much as $6 billion is an asset allocation decision. It will shrink CalPERS’ holdings. The staff is not authorized to reduce the size of the private equity portfolio. And staff has also made clear it is at the vagaries of what general partners bring to them and whether they like it as to how quickly they could fill the hole.

A final issue is that CalPERS has had a desperately hard time in hiring a new Chief Investment Officer, to the degree that it has become an industry laughingstock. Incoming senior executives prefer to the degree possible to have freedom of action. Saddling an incoming CIO with a new mandate that he may not like, or might want to execute very differently, isn’t helpful to the recruitment process.

So at best CalPERS looks to be jumping on yet another industry fad bandwagon, to the benefit of keeping staff looking busy and oh so modern. At worst, one can wonder why CalPERS is so keen to enrich Jeffries._____

1 Villalobos got the big haul; Buenrostro’s take was penny ante in comparison.

2 Of course, one could in theory take what Meng said with a fistful of salt, given that he owned stock in Blackstone, Carlyle, and an Ares credit fund at the time and through early May 2021, but the board was just as enthusiastic about private equity as Meng.

3 The fund managers don’t charge management fees on funds this old, and all those juicy hidden fees come out of portfolio companies…and there either are none or they are doing so badly that there’s very little blood to suck from them.

Serious? UCLA Scientists Studying ‘Inequality’ Among Animals

Did you know there is a difference between an elephant, hog, parrot, giraffe and snakes?  Shocked?  Only if you are an UCLA academic.  If you are, you should be in the medical center getting mental help, not in a research lab.

“A group of scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has been conducting studies into so-called “inequality” among animals in the wild, attempting to find similarities with alleged inequities among humans.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, these studies first began with a group of behavioral ecologists at UCLA who “saw how COVID-19 was highlighting health disparities and other inequalities around the world,” and eventually “began to wonder if they could learn more about inequality by studying it in animals.”

Looks like the IQ of folks at UCLA must be low to think we could have social justice between animals.  UCLA has become a joke, this is the latest punchline.

Serious? UCLA Scientists Studying ‘Inequality’ Among Animals

by Eric Thompson, Trending Politics,  1/19/22    

In the midst of all the news flying around the internet, a few of the stories stand out as being flat-out ludicrous, yet being advanced by globalists.

A majority of public and private universities are staffed with far-left, anti-God, pro-evolutionary activists. In place of God, they are calling on the government to force the concerns of the social justice movement, and are looking into the animal kingdom for “inequalities”.

A group of scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has been conducting studies into so-called “inequality” among animals in the wild, attempting to find similarities with alleged inequities among humans.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, these studies first began with a group of behavioral ecologists at UCLA who “saw how COVID-19 was highlighting health disparities and other inequalities around the world,” and eventually “began to wonder if they could learn more about inequality by studying it in animals.”

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“When we started looking for it, we found lots and lots of examples,” Dr. Jennifer Smith told the New York Times. “To see this across so many different species was quite surprising. And we’re just touching the surface.”

The group came to a conclusion that has already been a well-known fact, which is the assertion that baby animals that are raised by their parents are more likely to survive into adulthood, which the group redundantly described as “species that share resources such as territory, tools, and shelter between generations.”

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Among the examples they cited were the fact that baby red grouse that aren’t abandoned by their fathers in infancy “are more likely to succeed in establishing their own territories,” while baby squirrels that survive off food hoarded by their mothers for the winter “are much more likely to survive until the spring.”

“Those young, pine-cone-rich squirrels, the scientists say, are children of privilege,” the New York Times concluded, without actually citing any evidence of “inequality” as a factor in these studies.

The Great Reset is using this story to support their demand for global equity – Inequality is not confined to humans. Animals are divided by privilege, too

  • Inequality is a threat to our social fabric, but it’s not just a human problem.
  • A new study shows the animal kingdom is riven by privilege and inequality.
  • For some species, being on the wrong side of the divide is a matter of life and death.

Inequality is not confined to humans, a new study reveals. Mammals, fish, birds and even insects have been shown to benefit from inherited wealth and abilities.

Researchers have discovered the intergenerational transfer of wealth and resources affects many living creatures. Some have a better quality of life than other members of the same species – including access to food and shelter – just because of their parents’ status.

Published in the Journal of Behavioural Ecology in December 2021, the study found that some species of red squirrel, for example, pass their stores of nuts and pinecones on to their offspring, giving them a built-in fitness advantage in adult life and down the generations.

Psych Daily News is also promoting the propaganda

New study finds that “privilege” exists in the animal kingdom too

This story further highlights the challenges that the citizens of the world will have to contend with for years to come.

The World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” has established 2030 as the time period they expect to have deconstructed the American economic system and establish a new cultural norm of “Equity”.

The only hope is for a return to the one true God, and a rejection of Earth worship and self-reliance.

Biden Uses Corrupt FBI to Defeat Anti-Illegal Alien Democrat Congressman

For at least the past four decades the FBI has moved from being the nations premier law enforcement agency, to a corrupt, vile, scam master.  The Russia, Russia hoax it did in conjunction with the crooked Hillary is just one example.  Now we have them raiding a conservative Democrat just weeks before a primary.

This shows we are living in a Soviet style nation—where law enforcement is used by the Establishment to stop policy it does not like.

FBI raids home, office of Democratic Texas congressman, a vocal critic of Biden

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square, 1/20/22 

(The Center Square) – The Laredo, Texas, home and campaign office of Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a vocal critic of the president, was raided by the FBI on Wednesday.

More than a dozen federal agents were seen entering and leaving Cuellar’s Laredo residence removing bags, bins and at least one computer, The Monitor of McAllen first reported. Local news reports also show agents at his campaign office.

“The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity,” FBI spokesperson Rosanne Hughes said in a statement. “The FBI cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation.”

The congressman is fully cooperating, his office said.

“Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld,” his spokesperson said.

Cuellar has represented Texas’s 28th Congressional District since 2005. His district includes communities located along the border with Mexico, spanning as far south as Reynosa along the Rio Grande River, stretching northwest to Laredo and northeast to San Antonio.

Cuellar hasn’t been shy about criticizing the Biden administration or asking it for help. He’s called on President Joe Biden to halt his administration’s open border policies, which Cuellar argues has burdened local law enforcement, endangered local communities, led to increased crime, drug and human trafficking, cartel and gang violence, and the spread of the coronavirus.

Last year, Laredo’s Democratic mayor sued the Biden administration for busing illegal immigrants from other areas of the border to Laredo, and straining its local health-care resources. Laredo officials learned after the fact that a large percentage of those being bused in were sick with the coronavirus.

A small border town, Laredo doesn’t have the financial or health-care resources to meet such a burden, its mayor said. The Biden administration responded by agreeing to not bus illegal immigrants reportedly sick with the coronavirus to Laredo, instead busing them to Houston, Dallas and other larger cities.

Cuellar also individually and as a leader of a Democratic congressional delegation called on the president to restore Medicaid funding to Texas, which the administration halted last year. Halting the funding has hurt some of the poorest communities in Texas, he and the delegation argued. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued over the halted funding, which has yet to be restored.

Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported the greatest number of encounters of illegal immigrants in the agency’s recorded history after the Biden administration reversed a range of immigration policies. In addition to no longer enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress, the administration halted construction of the border wall, halted the Remain in Mexico program, reduced Title-42 expulsions, and introduced sweeping changes to arresting, detaining and deporting illegal immigrants. While Paxton has sued the administration seven times over immigration and won, the Remain in Mexico program, in which immigrants were returned to their home country while the asylum process played out, is still not being fully implemented, and Title 42’s fate remains tenuous.

Cuellar is facing two challengers in the March 1 Democratic primary election: attorney Jessica Cisneros and educator Tannya Benavides.

In the last primary election, Cueller beat Cisneros by roughly 2,700 votes. She’s referred to him as “Trump’s favorite Democrat” and criticized his willingness to work with Republicans in the spirit of bipartisanship.

Benavides has argued the district needs a more progressive Democrat.

California Increasing State Water Release from 0% to 15% of Requested, Following Winter Storms

Newsom, who is flowing millions of acres of water each day into the ocean now wants to give farmers 15% of the water needed—up from zero %.  That is enough to make the headlines look good, but really nothing to create food.

“The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced on Thursday that they would be releasing more stored water through the State Water Project, due to several weeks of wet weather, increasing the allocation from 0% to 15%.

In early December, the DWR set the initial 2022 State Water Project allocation at 0% for the first time in project history. The decision by the State Water Project, which is one water source out of several for 29 districts that covers 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland in California through a system of dams, reservoirs, and canals, set many areas of the state into a panic due to their reliance on Water Project water.

Stop allowing needed wat flowing into the ocean—that is the water we need.

California Increasing State Water Release from 0% to 15% of Requested, Following Winter Storms

‘The state has been taking water away from farms and from people for too long now’

By Evan Symon, California Globe,  1.20/22/   

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced on Thursday that they would be releasing more stored water through the State Water Project, due to several weeks of wet weather, increasing the allocation from 0% to 15%.

In early December, the DWR set the initial 2022 State Water Project allocation at 0% for the first time in project history. The decision by the State Water Project, which is one water source out of several for 29 districts that covers 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland in California through a system of dams, reservoirs, and canals, set many areas of the state into a panic due to their reliance on Water Project water.

The decision was spurred by the ongoing drought, with factors including higher temperatures, a reduced snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, lower precipitation levels, and the state releasing large amounts of water solely for environmental reasons.

However, shortly after the DWR announcement, numerous winter storms occurred throughout California for most of December and early January. Record snow and rain amounts fell in numerous parts of the state, including the most snow to fall in Lake Tahoe since 1960. While the drought is still in effect for California, along with ongoing water reduction measures, the rain/precipitation from the winter storms brought California out of the worst drought category, pushed snowpack amounts to 160%, caused reservoir levels to rise, and even naturally brought back coho salmon populations without help from the state.

As a result, DWR officials announced that water agencies will now be getting 15% of their requested amount of water instead of the initial announcement of 0%. However, officials noted that drought conditions persist, and more precipitation is needed to normalize water amounts and to refill state reservoirs such as their largest, Lake Oroville.

“December storms enabled DWR to convey and store water in San Luis Reservoir, which allows for a modest increase in water deliveries this year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth on Thursday. “But severe drought is not over. Dry conditions have already returned in January. Californians must continue to conserve as the state plans for a third dry year.”

“The next two months are traditionally the heart of California’s rainy season. We need more storms to keep filling up our reservoirs to make up for two critically dry years.”

With mandatory water restrictions now underway, and more restrictions likely throughout the year if weather remains dry, water experts stressed that while permanent changes were needed to how water is used in the state, it should not come to as a cost to agriculture or urban usage.

“The DWR needs to focus again on people,” said water engineer Shane Alexander, who has worked on numerous water projects in California and with other Western states currently affected by the drought, to the Globe on Thursday. “The environment, you know, great. Wild animals deserve it too. It’s nature. But the state has been taking water away from farms and from people for too long now. And look. Farms are failing, smaller towns aren’t getting as much. Agriculture is a huge part of California, not just in terms of the economy but also in keeping the nation fed, especially during the winter. And as for keeping water flowing to urban areas, well, California wants to stop the number of people leaving the state. There are many reasons for it, I don’t want to get into it. But, if the state doesn’t have to say ‘We’re low on water’ or ‘We’re running out of water,’ then that’s a good basic need to have down as a building block to attract people.”

“The state hasn’t been looking at water the right way for some time now. Bringing back some water, while I’m not convinced they’ve changed their ways, it’s a good step. If there is anything Californians can agree on, it’s that we need more rain. Not flood amounts or enough to cause landslides. But enough to bring us back.”

A final State Water Project allocation amount will determined by May or June, dependent on how much more precipitation falls between now and then.

No way out: How the poor get stranded in California nursing homes

Government wants you to obey them.  But they do not want to live by the rules.

“But for thousands of poor nursing home residents, like Fisher, a temporary stay can become indefinite. Saddled with hefty Medicare copayments that can reach $5,000 a month – and later stripped of Social Security income, diverted to pay ongoing nursing home costs – they are often unable to hang onto their former housing. They become effectively stranded, with Medi-Cal and Social Security paying for housing and daily living in the facility.

COVID has only intensified the urgency some residents feel to leave their nursing homes, where more than 73,000 have been infected and 9,522 have died as of Jan. 17, according to the California Department of Public Health. The department and Gov. Gavin Newsom have faced criticism of the state’s nursing home oversight as the public health crisis deepened and the death count climbed.:

Thanks to Cuomo in NY and Newsom in California, the elderly died in nursing homes—when they could have been saved if government obeyed the rules.

No way out: How the poor get stranded in California nursing homes

BY JESSE BEDAYN, CalMatters,   1/20/22 

Bradley Fisher, 62, in the Antioch home he eventually moved into after spending 14 years in a Bay Area nursing home. Sept. 2, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

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In a parallel problem to patient ‘dumping,’ many poor nursing home residents find themselves stuck inside facilities and unable to return home.

Bradley Fisher, a 62-year-old retired mechanic, lived in a Bay Area nursing home for 14 years. 

Entering at age 39, Fisher had been partially paralyzed when bone spurs severed tendons in his spine. After a few years of rehabilitation, Fisher said, he could have lived at home with proper care. 

“You don’t need to be here,” Fisher remembers a certified nursing assistant telling him around 2005, seven years in, as he sat in his wheelchair in the facility’s cafeteria. “You got all your faculties.”

“Yeah,” Fisher replied, “but I don’t know how to get out.” 

While elder care advocates sound the alarm about patient “dumping” by some California nursing homes – kicking out their mentally ill or bereft patients who need stable housing and care – a parallel dilemma is also threatening vulnerable residents: how to get out of a nursing home.

The vast majority of people admitted to California skilled nursing facilities stay for less than three months to rehabilitate a broken limb or recover from a stroke or other ailment, according to the California Association of Health Facilities, an industry trade group.

After these short-term stays, residents typically return home. 

But for thousands of poor nursing home residents, like Fisher, a temporary stay can become indefinite. Saddled with hefty Medicare copayments that can reach $5,000 a month – and later stripped of Social Security income, diverted to pay ongoing nursing home costs – they are often unable to hang onto their former housing. They become effectively stranded, with Medi-Cal and Social Security paying for housing and daily living in the facility.

COVID has only intensified the urgency some residents feel to leave their nursing homes, where more than 73,000 have been infected and 9,522 have died as of Jan. 17, according to the California Department of Public Health. The department and Gov. Gavin Newsom have faced criticism of the state’s nursing home oversight as the public health crisis deepened and the death count climbed.

“Everybody wants out right now,” said Karen Stuckey, who has been transitioning residents out of nursing homes and into the community for 11 years with the nonprofit Choice in Aging. “They’re just there because they have no place to go.”

Over 9% of California nursing home residents, an estimated 37,000, have low-level care needs and could potentially live in the community, according to a 2017 estimate by the American Association of Retired Persons. In the organization’s 2020 long-term services scorecard, which analyzed the quality of life, living options and nursing home transitions in every state, California ranked 35th in “effective transitions.”

Federal regulations require nursing home staff to ask residents four times a year about their health and welfare – including whether they would like to speak to someone about leaving the facility. The requirement was adopted in 2010 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes that receive federal money. At the state level, the California Department of Public Health is tasked with ensuring that homes meet both federal and state rules.

If residents answer “yes” to the question of leaving – or ask to leave without any prompting – they are supposed to be referred to a program that can fund and organize their moves back into the community. 

But thousands of residents’ appeals for help moving out have gone unanswered. 

“Everybody wants out right now. They’re just there because they have no place to go.”

KAREN STUCKEY, CHOICE IN AGING

In 2020, California nursing home residents made nearly 14,500 requests to learn about moving back into the community, according to data from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Only a third of those requests were fulfilled, the federal data show.

And, CalMatters found, there are few consequences for nursing homes who fail to ensure residents’ requests are granted. The California Department of Public Health does not penalize facilities that fail to follow through on residents’ requests. 

Nicole Howell investigates nursing home complaints as the Contra Costa County ombudsman, part of a statewide program that assists residents in long-term care facilities. 

“You would be shocked by the number of residents who could live in a much less institutional level of care,” she said. “Unless an ombudsman comes across it and knows to ask, people just end up languishing there.”

The California Department of Public Health declined CalMatters’ request for an interview. In an unsigned email response, the department wrote: 

“Our goal is to ensure that any nursing home resident that wishes to return to the community has the ability to do so. This is not always possible to achieve.” 

The department said it enforces all applicable regulatory requirements and ensures residents’ rights are protected.

“You would be shocked by the number of residents who could live in a much less institutional level of care.”

NICOLE HOWELL, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY OMBUDSMAN

Deborah Pacyna, spokeswoman for the California Association of Health Facilities, said the issue “is not on our radar.

“There are so many more important issues surrounding life and death matters, especially more recently,” she said of the devastation caused by the pandemic. “We need to be doing a better job, I mean, that’s the bottom line.”

The association represents some 900 of the state’s 1,223 nursing homes, which care for about 400,000 residents a year.

After CalMatters’ interview with Pacyna, the association sent a letter to its 7,000 members reminding them of the transitions program. “Eligible individuals of all ages with physical and mental disabilities have an opportunity to participate in (the transition program),” the association said in the June 10 letter.

Transitions deemed a civil right

The idea that nursing home residents should be able to transition back home – and get help in doing so – isn’t just on somebody’s wish list.

It’s a civil right.

In 1999, a U.S. Supreme Court decision gave people with disabilities living in nursing homes the civil right to live in the community, if they are able and want to do so.

The court’s reasoning was that “unnecessary institutional segregation… severely diminishes individuals’ everyday life activities,” wrote then-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

After the ruling, the federal government founded Money Follows the Person in 2008, a program that helps pay for residents to leave facilities and find housing. (In California, the federal program is called California Community Transitions.)

California has 18 transition programs charged with finding affordable housing; paying for a resident’s deposit, first month’s rent and furnishings; and organizing in-home care.

“We need to be doing a better job, I mean, that’s the bottom line.”

DEBORAH PACYNA, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH FACILITIES

Nationally, the program has moved nearly 100,000 nursing home residents back into the community since 2008, including some 4,000 in California. Though an average of $8,000 is needed to transition one resident, that person’s Medi-Cal costs drop from $85,000 a year to $18,000 on average, once outside the nursing home, according to the state Department of Health Care Services, which manages the program in California. 

“Nobody gets up in the morning and goes, ‘Bucket list, I hope I break my hip today and go to a nursing home for the rest of my life,’” said Karen Jones, ombudsman in San Luis Obispo County, “and yet we have a huge expense to make people have that bucket list item.”

Those seniors who do make it out report a higher quality of life and are estimated to have saved California taxpayers hundreds of millions in Medi-Cal costs, according to a 2017 report to congress.

The program is some clients’ only hope for life in the community again, said Stuckey, who has had clients burst into tears on their first steps out of the facility.

But in California and elsewhere, the number of residents whose requests are being neglected is most likely a “gross underestimate,” said Kelly Bagby, vice president at the AARP Foundation Litigation Team. Bagby’s team is suing states for failing to protect residents’ right to live outside a facility. 

“When a state knows that it’s not working, that only a small fraction of people are even aware that they have this right,” she said, “then the state has failed.”

Stuck in the ‘poverty pipeline’

In 2019, Virgil Steele was walking in Oxnard when he tweaked his neck and his right arm went limp – “like rubber,” he said.

Ever since a camper shell dropped on Steele’s neck two decades earlier, small neck injuries required surgery and rehabilitation.

At the time, the 62-year-old disabled mechanic was living out of his Volkswagen Bug, parked at the shop where he helped repair motorcycles from his wheelchair. Now he needed hospitalization.

On that day, Steele entered what elder care advocate Karen Stuckey calls the “poverty pipeline.” 

As she describes it, this is a common scenario where people are injured, then shunted from the hospital to a nursing home where copays and required shared costs drain their coffers.

After a week in the hospital, Steele was discharged to an area nursing home.  

There, Medicare covered Steele’s bill — but only for the first 20 days. After that, Medicare reduced its payment to 80% and Steele, like all nursing home residents, was responsible for the remainder – which can reach $5,000 a month. 

Already short on funds, Steele qualified for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income insurance, which picked up the 20% copayment. After three months of rehabilitation, a patient’s status becomes long-term care and Medicare stops paying altogether; now Medi-Cal foots the entire bill.

But Medi-Cal, the ostensibly free insurance, has a price. Once in long-term care, every cent of a nursing home resident’s Social Security Income, save for a $35 monthly allowance, is taken to help pay for the daily costs of living in the nursing home, such as food, housing and utilities.

Steele couldn’t pay rent for space to park his car on $35 a month. Eventually, his Volkswagen was towed, along with all his belongings, to pay off the rental debt.

“I lost everything,” he said. 

Failure to pay rent is the leading reason nursing home residents lose their housing, according to several transition organizations.

“I was trapped there and the COVID was coming to get me.”

VIRGIL STEELE, FORMER NURSING HOME RESIDENT

By July 2020, the nursing home’s social worker linked Steele with a transition program called LIFE Incorporated in Camarillo, north of Los Angeles. But as preparations began to move him, medical dividers were raised in the facility’s hallways, staff donned PPE suits, and bodies were carried past him in blue bags. 

“I was tempted to run,” Steele said. “I was trapped there and the COVID was coming to get me.”

Just before that Christmas of 2020, he was infected with the virus. On Christmas Day, his adult children called, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell them his diagnosis. That evening, the staff gave him peppermints and a Christmas card. 

Steele, now 64, survived and was moved to an apartment in Oxnard a few months later. Though he’s thankful to be outside the facility, his life’s belongings are gone.

“When I left the (facility) I didn’t have anything anymore,” he said, “I don’t have anything now.”

No penalty for transition failures

In California, the Department of Public Health does not regulate how quickly a facility should refer a resident to a transition program. And it doesn’t cite or fine a home for failing to refer.

In 2020, two-thirds of California residents’ requests weren’t referred at all, according to federal data. 

“The obligation to make the referral is explicit,” said Bagby, referring to the mandatory survey. But without a state regulation spelling out a timetable, she said, “the state can’t sanction facilities that don’t make the referral.”

Representatives of several California transition programs said the lack of consequences leaves residents at the whim of nursing homes. 

2016 report by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights found that most nursing homes “never ask, or nearly never ask” residents the question about their rights and living options. The federal investigation concluded that nursing staff weren’t properly trained and misinterpreted the quarterly survey’s instructions.

The agency recommended that nursing homes invite California Community Transition programs to present to residents and staff every six months. 

Representatives of eight transition programs in California, which cover more than 700 nursing homes, told CalMatters that only three facilities had ever requested a presentation.

DeAnn Walters, a former nursing home administrator who is now at the California Association of Health Facilities, said she doesn’t recall the federal report and recommendations. 

“It’s just like being put in a box and forgotten.”

JULES BODDIE, FORMER SACRAMENTO NURSING HOME RESIDENT

The California Department of Public Health, which routinely issues “All Facilities Letters” about new requirements or regulatory changes, did not address the report’s findings and recommendations.

In its unsigned email response to CalMatters, the department wrote: “Recommendations by any entity do not mandate the issuing of an All Facility Letter.”

Advocates worry it can be a conflict of interest for nursing homes to be responsible for referring residents out of their facilities. 

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A Medicare resident brings a facility substantially more in federal money than the state provides through its Medi-Cal program for low-income Californians.  To even be eligible for transition services, a resident must qualify for Medi-Cal.

Once nursing homes understand that California Community Transitions won’t likely move their more lucrative Medicare patients, said Stuckey, “They love what we do, and they want to refer.”  

Jules Boddie, a 69-year-old retired state clerk who entered a Sacramento nursing home in 2018, said he lost his housing while awaiting transition help.

 “It’s just like being put in a box and forgotten,” he said.

Boddie said he repeatedly asked for help returning home but waited more than a year and a half before getting any assistance.

The facility’s former director of nursing told CalMatters that, to her knowledge, Boddie never relayed such requests to staff. She produced quarterly assessments showing that Boddie had declined offers to receive help moving out.

Boddie, who is on Medi-Cal, said he has no memory of this.

But help eventually came. In the fall of 2020, he said, a new social worker came on board and quickly referred him to Choice in Aging, which placed him on a waitlist for affordable housing.

One week before Boddie moved into temporary housing, he was infected with COVID-19. As he gasped for air in the hospital, his new room was given to the next person on the waitlist. 

He said he cautioned other residents: “You have a life outside the nursing home. Don’t give up on it.”

He was moved out of the facility and into shared housing in Sacramento on July 30.

‘The most peaceful I’ve ever been’

Even with the urgency of a pandemic, transitioning just one resident takes seven months on average, the Department of Health Care Services told CalMatters. Transition program workers say they face a gantlet of state regulations, reams of paperwork and affordable housing waitlists that can stretch five years. 

“It’s such a process,” said Stuckey, “that unless they already have housing, we really have no control over it.”

The U.S. Supreme Court determined that, for patients hoping to transition, states must provide enough affordable housing so the waiting lists move at a “reasonable” pace.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends states keep wait times below two years, but in California, the average wait time is more than 2 ½  years

The governor’s Master Plan for Aging, released in January 2021, includes initiatives to expand affordable housing for seniors with $250 million in proposed funding. That could shorten waitlists for nursing home residents who’ve lost their housing.

Funding for Money Follows the Person ended in 2018, and Congress has passed five short-term extensions. The latest will keep the program running until 2027.

With funding shaky, nationwide transitions between 2018 and 2019 plummeted to 5,000, dropping below 10,000 for the first time since 2012. California reduced its transitions to under half of its 2014-2016 transitions, according to a 2020 report by the Community Living Policy Center.

Last year, the California Department of Health Care Services received a $5 million federal grant to help identify nursing home residents eligible to transition, like Bradley Fisher. 

Over Fisher’s 14 years in the Bay Area facility, staff never asked him if he wanted to move out, he said, and did not inform him of his civil right to do so. The facility’s administrator told CalMatters in an email that records of Fisher’s quarterly surveys aren’t available. 

Fisher said he began taking antidepressants while inside the home.

“I felt like I was stuck,” he said. “I even thought that playing bingo would get me out of this funk, but it never did. Nothing would.”

In 2012, a fellow resident told Fisher about a woman named Karen Stuckey, who was organizing that resident’s move out of the nursing home. 

“She can get you out, too,” Fisher remembers him saying. 

Months later, Fisher was moved to a shared apartment in Antioch. Initially rocked by anxiety after leaving his home of 14 years – and hospitalized twice with panic attacks — Fisher stuck it out. 

“It’s the most peaceful I’ve ever been,” he said. ”I feel like a knot in my gut has been removed.”

COVID: The Massive Fraud Inside the COVID Fraud

admitting many with the flu had the flu, they claimed it was COVID to make extra money.  People who drown in Minnesota has cause of death of COVID.  Billions went to government of finance unions, scam artists climate change, failed schools and more.’

“While PPP helped many businesses survive during the pandemic, it was also riddled with fraud. About 15% of the $961 billion that the Congress appropriated in total for PPP is projected to have been obtained fraudulently, according to one study.

A House panel estimated that some $84 billion in PPP loans was issued fraudulently. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis found last year that less than 1% of the money was forfeited or seized by the Justice Department.

This does not include the $31 billion Newsom gave to prisoners as unemployment checks, including those on death row.  Bernie Maddow would be proud the Fauci Scam.

COVID con, part 1: How the pandemic became a gold mine for fraudsters

Lax government oversight of billions in COVID-19 relief funds led to vast criminal fraud.0:09 / 1:16

By Aaron Kliegman and Mary Lou Lang, Just the News,  1/13/22 

Both state and federal government agencies have facilitated massive criminal fraud over the past two years by paying out billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds to fraudsters who gamed the system.

Since COVID-19 hit the U.S. in early 2020, the federal government has created several initiatives to combat the devastating economic fallout of the pandemic. Due to lax oversight by several agencies at both the state and federal level, however, billions meant for alleviating Americans’ economic distress instead went to individuals who defrauded the government programs.

Much of the fraudulent activity occurred through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is charged with overseeing several COVID-19 relief programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL).

PPP provides forgivable loans to assist businesses during the pandemic, and EIDL provides accessible and borrower-friendly capital to nonprofits and small businesses recovering from the pandemic’s economic impacts.

While PPP helped many businesses survive during the pandemic, it was also riddled with fraud. About 15% of the $961 billion that the Congress appropriated in total for PPP is projected to have been obtained fraudulently, according to one study.

A House panel estimated that some $84 billion in PPP loans was issued fraudulently. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis found last year that less than 1% of the money was forfeited or seized by the Justice Department.

PPP also had the highest percentage of cases of criminal activity of all the pandemic relief programs, according to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s Semiannual Report to Congress from last year.

“A total of 14 [inspector general offices] have indictments/complaints, arrests, and/or convictions from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021, related to the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response,” the PRAC reported.

PPP accounted for 49% of those criminal cases.

Rampant fraud and abuse of pandemic relief led the Justice Department to create the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The department has charged and sentenced dozens of individuals, most of whom were accused of defrauding the PPP and EIDL.

Just this week, Bridgitte Keim, 52, of Temple Terrace, Fla., pleaded guilty to defrauding a federally insured bank and the SBA by submitting false and fraudulent applications for PPP loans. She sought to obtain at least $588,693.14, according to the Justice Department. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled, but Keim faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.

Last week, an Oregon man was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release after stealing millions of dollars in loans from both PPP and EIDL. He was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution and forfeit 25 properties and more than 15,000 shares of Tesla, Inc. stock seized by law enforcement.

And last month, to cite another example, a Texas man was arrested for allegedly obtaining over $3.3 million in fraudulent PPP loans. Federal prosecutors say Scott Jackson Davis, 46, submitted three fraudulent PPP loan applications for three businesses which he claimed to represent.

Davis said these businesses had numerous employees and significant payroll; in reality, they had few if any employees and little to no payroll, according to prosecutors. He spent a large portion of the PPP loan funds on private jet travel, real estate, and luxury vehicles, according to the Justice Department.

All types of people have been found guilty and sentenced to jail for defrauding pandemic relief — from doctors, to wedding planners, to former NFL players, to reality TV stars.

Just the News has reported on several other such cases in which fraudsters submitted fraudulent applications and obtained millions of dollars. In some instances, those convicted and sentenced to prison had spent the money on luxury homes, high-priced jewelry, and expensive cars.

“It does seem ridiculously easy,” Richard Clarke, a police detective in Lauderhill, Fla., told CNBC. “Based on my experience, a lot of people, especially since COVID and the PPP loans, have taken advantage of lapses in the system to benefit personally from applying for loans — either deceptively or using other persons’ information.”

Since 2020, the SBA inspector general has repeatedly sounded the alarm on the increased risk of fraud as a result of the agency easing its internal controls amid the pandemic to deal with the influx of PPP and EIDL applications.

“To expedite the process, SBA ‘lowered the guardrails’ or relaxed internal controls, which significantly increased the risk of program fraud,” the inspector general (IG) wrote in an October 2020 report. “The unprecedented demand for COVID-19 EIDLs and the equally unprecedented challenges SBA had in responding to this pandemic combined with lowered controls resulted in billions of dollars in potentially fraudulent loans and loans to potentially ineligible businesses.”

As early as the summer of 2020, the IG found the SBA approved $14.3 billion ($13.4 billion disbursed) in EIDLs to accounts that differed from the original bank accounts listed on the loan applications; $62.7 billion ($58.0 billion disbursed) in multiple EIDLs to applicants using the same IP addresses, email addresses, bank accounts, or businesses listed at the same addresses; and about $1.1 billion in EIDLs and emergency advance grants to potentially ineligible businesses.

In January of last year, the IG identified $3.6 billion in PPP loans to potentially ineligible recipients before concluding: “SBA’s efforts to hurry capital to businesses were at the expense of controls that could have reduced the likelihood of ineligible or fraudulent business obtaining a PPP loan. As a result, there is limited assurance that loans went to only eligible recipients.”

The IG echoed these claims in a recent report from November after finding that, from March to November 2020, $3.1 billion in EIDL and $550 million in emergency EIDL grants were distributed to potentially ineligible recipients.

“SBA’s lack of adequate front-end controls to determine eligibility contributed to the distribution of COVID-19 EIDLs and emergency EIDL grants to potentially ineligible recipients,” the report found.

The SBA says it is working to address the problem of rampant fraud.

“The SBA takes fraud seriously, and, as such, all applicants are required to provide certification of their eligibility upon application,” an agency spokesperson told Just the News. “Misrepresentation of eligibility is unlawful, and, when appropriate, these cases are referred to the Office of the Inspector General. The Office of Inspector General and the agency’s federal partners are working diligently to resolve fraud incidents. The SBA encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misuse of relief programs to visit: sba.gov/fraud.”

The SBA also noted that, as of September, the agency had conducted more than 65,000 manual loan reviews to identify potential fraud, abuse, and other forms of noncompliance. About 5,000 of these reviews have been “dispositioned as Requiring Further Analysis due to potential fraud or ineligibility.”

The SBA isn’t the only government agency that’s paid out large sums of money in improper and fraudulent payments meant for COVID-19 relief.

The Labor Department, for example, did so in the form of billions of dollars in federal unemployment benefits, which went to ineligible recipients including prisoners and people with stolen identities.

report by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) showed that the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA), established by the CARES Act in 2020, opened unemployment benefits to new categories of workers, such as self-employed and gig workers, who did not have to provide documentation to get payments.

The Department of Labor’s interpretation of the CARES Act unemployment insurance provisions led the department’s Employment and Training Administration to direct states to accept self-certifications for unemployment benefits instead of requiring claimants to provide documentation.

The resulting “reduction in controls to receive PUA benefits was a direct cause of the widespread fraud seen across states,” according to the PRAC.

Unemployment insurance fraud was especially widespread in California, where the state auditor found the state Employment Development Department (EDD) paid out $10.4 billion in fraudulent claims.

EDD “did not take action to bolster its fraud detection efforts until months into the pandemic,” according to the audit.

“EDD waited about four months to automate a key anti-fraud measure, took incomplete action against claims filed from suspicious addresses, and removed a key safeguard against improper payments without fully understanding the significance of the safeguard,” said State Auditor Elaine Howle.

The removal of the safeguard accounted for $1 billion of the total fraudulent payments.

The EDD response to the auditor begins on page 43 of the audit report.

Arizona, meanwhile, paid out $4.4 billion in fraudulent and improper payments. Of that total, $1.6 billion in federal unemployment insurance benefits went to individuals who used stolen identities.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security “did not put all critical identity verification or other anti-fraud measures in place before paying federal CARES Act unemployment insurance benefits,” according to a state audit.

Michigan paid out $3.9 billion in PUA benefits to those who were ineligible, Washington paid out $647 million in improper or fraudulent payments, and Ohio paid out $574 million, with an additional $390 million flagged as potentially fraudulent.

Colorado and Louisiana additionally paid out nine-figure amounts.

Beyond the Labor Department, the IRS also improperly disbursed money allocated under COVID-19 relief legislation, with some potentially being fraudulent. Specifically, the agency doled out over $100 million in the form of business tax credits, according to a report by the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration.

The three new employer tax credits — the sick leave credit, the family leave credit, and the employee retention credit — were available to businesses under pandemic relief legislation. The IRS allowed employers to submit their forms electronically since centers were closed, and IRS employees manually reviewed and processed the returns.

Through Oct. 1 of tax year 2020, the IG “identified a total of 317 potentially fraudulent employer tax credits for approximately $94.2 million.”

The IG also found the IRS paid out nearly $10 million to government entities that were ineligible under the relief legislation and an additional $2 million for government entities that weren’t eligible for the employer tax credits.

Additionally, the IG noted hundreds more government entitles that received at least $7.2 million in erroneous employer tax credits after Oct. 1.

According to the IG, the IRS processed returns more than once and also processed employer tax credits above the allowable amount under pandemic relief laws.

The IRS response to the IG finding begins on page 17 of the latter’s report.

Last month, the Secret Service announced that some $100 billion had been stolen from COVID-19 relief funds due to fraudulent activity. That’s about 3% of the roughly $3.5 trillion that the government has so far spent in pandemic aid.

The week before the Secret Service announcement, the Labor Department said about $87 billion in COVID-19 unemployment benefits may have been paid improperly, “with a significant portion attributable to fraud.”