Archive for ‘California’

July 23, 2009

MATSUI-GATE? California Democrat’sIntervention in AmeriCorps CaseRaises Questions on Capitol Hill

HUGE hat-tip to California blogger Eric Hogue for spotting a March interview with a Sacramento radio station in which Rep. Doris Matsui — the Democrat who represents California’s capitol city in Congress — vowed to get stimulus cash By Any Means Necessary:

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has asked U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui to help keep the flow of federal funds coming into the city.Johnson is not allowed to receive federal funds because of allegations his St. Hope-Hood Corps Foundation misused federal money.
Matsui, D-District 5, who appeared on the KCRA 3 Morning News on Saturday morning, said she believes Sacramento will get money, but she can’t guarantee it.”
Under any scenario, we are going to get the money. We are going to get the money,” she said. “I understand that process has to unfold. The mayor is dealing with that. We are dealing with the situation at the federal level. The city is taking the right steps. They have to disclose this, and we are moving forward.”
Matsui added that she has been in contact with White House officials and other members of the federal government.

More IG-Gate news where that came from. Trust me when I say that Hogue’s blog post made a big difference. Important people are paying attention and, to borrow the words of Ricky Ricardo — that hero of investigative journalists everywhere — I expect that Ms. Matsui has got some ‘splainin’ to do.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: Sigh. If a blogger breaks news and nobody links it, is it really news?

Tuesday night at Townhall.com, Eric Hogue asked, “Where is the media?” I’ve got a better question than that: “Where are Republicans?”

For months, I’ve complained about the cluelessness of Republican media operatives, and this is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. For some reason (and I say it’s because almost nobody in the GOP has ever worked in an actual newsroom) these people seem incapable of judging “news value.”

There is an observable tendency among GOP media operatives toward a talking-points approach to news: “I’ll push the stories that the RNC, etc., want me to push.” And then there is the star-system approach to news: “If it’s on Drudge or Limbaugh or Fox News, then it must be important — and to hell with everything else.” But why bother repeating what I’ve already said so often before? Nobody’s paying attention.

So here is Eric Hogue, pointing to definite indications of political influence in the firing of Gerald Walpin, and . . . nothing. That IG-Gate Update has been online at the American Spectator since 10:34 a.m., and except for Bob Belvedere, nobody is in the conservative blogosphere has even noticed.

Next time I run into some overpaid “Web 2.0” guru who tries to lecture me about why the GOP sucks at New Media, I’ll turn around and walk away. This is the only alternative to punching his fucking lights out.

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July 3, 2009

A sad form of amusement

by Smitty

A sad form of amusement
  comes after the jig is done
    and someone pays the piper.

This rarely proves truly fun,
  more often an atonment:
    venting a nasty diaper.

How often under the gun,
  when everyone is hyper,
    is there any discernment?

The wise man seems a sniper:
  “Nothing new under the sun!
    (not tactic’ly relevant).

And thus out comes the viper,
  spewing naught but excrement:
    “Taxation is redemption!”

Fleeing becomes evident.
  Wallets avoid the reaper.
    Economic destruction.

Foolishness is detriment.
  Kleptocracy is undone.
    Capitalism: keeper.

May 6, 2009

The kind of job I need

Los Angeles Times:

For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits.
His job is to do nothing. . . .
A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.

(H/T: NewsAlert.) Obviously, the L.A. schools need to fire Kim and hire me, because I’m excellent at doing nothing. Ask my wife. And if they want me to harass someone, I’m also very good at that, too. I’ve had years of experience, threatening to strangle various journalistic colleagues or beat the daylights out of my kids.

I’m going to apply for one of these no-work jobs in Los Angeles and if they don’t hire me, I’ll sue them for discrimination. Hillbillies have rights, too, y’know.

May 4, 2009

Ruh-roh: Malkin vs. Grover Norquist?

Oh, man, if this doesn’t make me forget my little go-round with Cassandra, nothing ever will. In targeting the gutless tax-and-spend California Republicans, Michelle Malkin calls out Grover Norquist:

Grass-roots activists have watched state GOP chairman Ron Nehring drive the party into the ground — and spend their money doing it. Nehring is a protege of open-borders, credibility-undermining Grover Norquist. It was under Nehring’s watch that the California GOP hired Norquist’s friend, Michael Kamburowski, to serve as the California Republican Party’s chief operating officer in charge of the multimillion-dollar budget of the nation’s largest state Republican Party — despite being here illegally with no work visa or valid work permit.
The episode became the butt of late-night jokes, but neither Nehring nor Norquist suffered any consequences.

Two giants of the Right, in open conflict. Stay tuned.

Show of hands: Who wants to watch Malkin and Norquist do an hour-long debate on Hannity?

UPDATE: In the comments below, Dark Horse doesn’t like my suggestion of a shout-show talking-heads debate on Hannity, wants a full live debate, and accepts my alternative suggestion of Andrew Napolitano to moderate.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at Malkin’s listing of the lavish expenses that California GOP boss Nehring ran up, prompting her to remark:

If he had something to show for it all, maybe it would be worth it. But what has he done? Flushed party dues down the toilet and the state GOP’s credibility and electoral prospects along with it:

Which reminded me of something I wrote in a very long piece yesterday:

Never mind whether Consultant Y actually delivers winning campaign strategies. He’s a longtime Republican who’s got all the right friends, says all the right things, and wears the right “Reaganesque” suits, so he keeps getting hired and keeps losing elections. . . .
If people don’t want to be in the “Big Tent” nowadays, maybe it’s because they can’t stand the stench of heaped-up bullshit.

If Malkin’s aim is to do something about this smelly problem, she’ll have a lot of support.

UPDATE II: Ed Driscoll on the “Golden State Mobius Loop.” You might also want to check out my post from February, “California: Zimbabwe U.S.A.” Republicans would do better if they were willing to lose elections by standing full-strength against the parasitical public-employee unions, instead of trying the Schwarzenegger compromise approach. It’s like trying to compromise with a shark — there’s no future in it for anyone except the shark.

February 24, 2009

How to fix California’s economy? Legalize Humboldt County Gold!

You can’t tax illegal products, so tax-hungry California wants to legalize marijuana:

Marijuana would be sold and taxed openly in California to adults 21 and older if legislation proposed Monday is signed into law.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said his bill could generate big bucks for a cash-starved state while freeing law enforcement agencies to focus on worse crimes.
“I think there’s a mentality throughout the state and the country that this isn’t the highest priority – and that maybe we should start to reassess,” he said.

(Via Hot Air.) This was always my argument against my libertarian friends who want to legalize weed — if it’s legal, it will be taxed. Since government is fundamentally evil (Our Enemy, the State), every cent of extra tax revenue serves only to empower our oppressors. Ergo, keeping marijuana illegal has the effect of preserving a tiny bastion of real economic liberty, untaxed and unregulated. This is the oxymoronic effect of modern government: Nothing is really free until it’s against the law.

If marijuana is legalized, the weed growers will soon be subjected to the inevitable process of liberal economic policy famously described by Ronald Reagan: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.”

PREVIOUSLY:

February 18, 2009

California: Zimbabwe, U.S.A.

California crisis explained by Ed Morrissey:

Democrats . . . refuse to consider large-scale rollbacks of state government programs. Doing so would jeopardize their standing among key constituencies, especially public-sector unions like AFSCME and SEIU. Instead, they want to bulldoze Republicans into jacking up taxes even higher, making the state that much less competitive and forcing business relocation to increase.

“Capital flight” would be as apt as “business relocation” to describe the mass exit of investment from the West Coast Zimbabwe.

What is happening to California is very much like what Democrats and their union-goon constituency have done to many major cities, as chronicled in Chapter 8 of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party. Entitled “Scene of the Crime: Creating the Urban Nightmare,” that chapter explains how Democratic politicians and public-employee unions conspired against taxpayers, as in this passage about New York City:

Meanwhile, the cost of government was further increased by public employee unions. The very existence of such unions turns the logic of the labor movement on its head. The purpose of unions is to represent the interests of workers against the interests of the owners of businesses. But government workers are ultimately employees of the taxpayers, so that government worker unions are fundamentally opposed to the public interest — in the words of one New York liberal activist, “not extracting a share of the profits but rather a share of the taxes.”
This inexorable logic has had a devastating impact on America’s cities. Under Democratic Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr., New York became the first U.S. city to grant collective bargaining rights to city employees. The public employee unions relentlessly negotiated for higher wages, shorter hours,and more benefits, including health insurance that did not require co-payments from the workers (a policy unheard of in the private sector). Contract negotiations were a farce, since unions used membership dues to fund political campaigns to elect pro-union candidates. “During labor negotiations, the unions would be on both sides of the table.” This translated into forcing governments (which is to say, taxpayers) to pay above-market labor rates. By 2005, journalist Steve Malanga observed, “Wages average a hefty 37 percent higher in the public sector, but the differences in benefits are even more dramatic. Local governments pay 128 percent more, on average, than private employers to finance workers’ health-care benefits, and 162 percent more on retirement benefits.”
Fewer private-sector jobs, more welfare recipients, more public employees, higher government costs, higher taxes — by the mid-1960s, Democratic policies had sent the nation’s biggest cities into a downward spiral that could only end in bankruptcy. For Detroit, already devastated by deadly riots, the worst days were ahead.

Well, if you want to read the sad story of what liberal Democrats did to Detroit, you can buy the book (or buy two, and give one to a liberal friend, just to annoy them). It’s a crying shame, I’ll tell you that much. The research for Chapter 8 relied heavily on Fred Siegel’s excellent book, The Future Once Happened Here, as well as Tamar Jacoby’s Someone Else’s House.

The devastation that Democrats and their union-goon cronies wrought in America’s cities is now being visited upon the erstwhile Golden State of California. The thievish, parasitical mentality of liberals, who view taxpayers only a source of plunder, eventually runs head-on into economic reality. Capital is portable, and predatory governments will eventually cause disinvestment, as investors seek opportunites elsewhere. As investment flees, private-sector employment stagnates and declines, and smart young people leave to find someplace where they have a chance to get ahead.

First the cities were destroyed by Democrats, now a once-prosperous state succumbs to Democratic policies. What next? Well, in the 2008 election cycle, labor unions gave $63 million to Democrats, including $2.3 million from AFSCME, $2 million from NEA, $2.4 million from SEIU, and you can read more here. Barack Obama’s campaign collected $450,000 from labor unions, Nancy Pelosi got $320,000 from unions, Steny Hoyer got $290,000, and in fact, all 20 of the top recipients of Big Labor largesse were Democrats.

What the Democrats did to Detroit, what they’re now doing to California, they will eventually do to the entire United States, if they can hold power long enough. Welcome to Zimbabwe, U.S.A.

UPDATE: Latest headlines from the former Golden State:

UPDATE II: See also: Stephen Green and Ed Driscoll.

UPDATE III: Just imagine how much revenue California could have reaped, and how many jobs could have been created, if not for the offshore drilling ban.

UPDATE IV: Commenter Zaine:

Wait, when Gray Davis was in charge, it was the Dems’ fault. Now that Arnold is in charge and losing the state, it’s still the Dems’ fault? Who’s in charge, or has Arnold’s terms of office been a complete waste?

You can research this, and I have, and if you follow the links, you’ll see that the California state employee unions — particularly CTA — have done everything they could to hinder or defeat Schwarzenegger. The unions have raised vast sums to run advertisements attacking any policy that would reduce the cost of government. And the unions’ Democratic allies corrupt puppets in the state legislature do their bidding without question. So trying to blame Arnold for the situation is like blaming the captain of a hijacked jet.

PREVIOUSLY:

January 14, 2009

Diversity is our strength!

Don’t be a xenophobe:

GREENFIELD, Calif. — A father is accused of trying to sell his 14-year-old daughter for marriage in hopes of getting money and 150 cases of beer in return, Greenfield police said.
Macelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, was arrested Monday on suspicion of trying to arrange to have his daughter marry Margarito de Jesus Galindo, 18, for $16,000, 100 cases of Corona, 50 cases of Modelo beer, several cases of meat, two cases of wine, 50 cases of Gatorade and 50 cases of soft drinks, authorities said.
The girl moved in with Galindo and when payments were not received, her father called police to get his daughter back.
Greenfield Police Chief Joe Grebmeier told KSBW Action News 8 that both Martinez and Galindo, who are immigrants from Mexico, face the possibility of being deported as illegal immigrants.

All you racist hatemongers probably want to deport these poor innocent victims of intolerance and bigotry, just because you don’t understand their culture.

Me? I’m just wondering whatever happened to that Corona.

UPDATE: Just realized that, because this happened in California, the girl could sue her father for selling her for a few million below market value.

UPDATE II: Video via Brenda Walker:

Stupid MSM reporters don’t even bother to tell us what happened to all those cases of Corona.

UPDATE III: Genghis at AOSHQ: Gatorade?


December 24, 2008

Unions vs. reality

New slogan: “California, the Absurd State“:

Two public employee unions on Monday sued Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to block his effort to furlough state workers in a cost-cutting measure as California’s treasury runs out of money.
Last week, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to require that all state employees take two unpaid days off each month starting in February. The governor said the measure is needed to conserve cash, with the state budget gap estimated to reach $42 billion a year and a half from now.

First, unions organized against capitalism. Next, they organized against taxpayers. Now? They’re organizing against reality!

Really, what part of “we’re running out of money” is so hard to understand? Where do these parasitical bureaucrats get the idea that they’re entitled to employment at taxpayer expense?

July 27, 2008

‘Come with me if you want to live’

Arnold Schwarzenegger terminates trans-fats in California. So when you and your gay spouse get the munchies after smoking too much medical marijuana, you’ll have to make do with cholesterol-free low-fat organic bran muffins. Maybe if Mexicans start smuggling trans-fats into San Diego, Schwarzenegger will finally get tough on illegal immigration . . .