Cali gun lobby looks to Jerry Brown to save their jobs…seriously!


In the gun lobby’s fantasy world, Jerry Brown will save them.

The California Legislature has approved a package of far-reaching bills to bolster the state’s strong gun restrictions.

Lawmakers moved all 12 bills taken up, including those expanding California’s historic 1989 ban on assault weapons, barring possession of high-capacity magazines that accommodate more than 10 rounds of ammunition, instituting tighter deadlines for owners to report lost or stolen firearms and regulating ammunition sales.

The fate of the proposed measures now rest with Governor Brown, who has signed some gun bills and vetoed others the past.

Brown told reporters, “We certainly have a lot of laws here. Of course, that’s my general view. We could probably have fewer, but we’ll look at them.”

The see the entire package of bills that virtually guts the 2nd Amendment in California visit:

Source: The Sacramento Bee


Crumbling Roads? Let’s Build Bike Lanes!


There’s an obvious disconnect here. Brown and legislators constantly use the state’s pothole-laden road system as an excuse to increase taxes — there’s not enough money! — and fees on California drivers. But the state plan doesn’t emphasize roads.

Source: The American Spectator

Feckless #LAPD brutality destroys another family, costs taxpayers millions


The LAPD’s war on the mentally ill continues.

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a mentally ill man who was allegedly left brain-damaged after being apprehended by police in North Hollywood.

Damion Russell, who was homeless at the time, went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain injuries after being detained by Los Angeles Police Department officers in March 2014, according to attorney Angel Carrazco, Jr., who represented Russell’s brother in the case. Since the incident, Russell has not been able to take care of himself and is now in a full-time nursing facility, he said.

Carrazco said Russell was stopped for disturbing the peace outside a movie theater on Lankershim Boulevard.

Source: LA Daily News

Witness says PG&E lied about pipeline records


PG&E lied to make money…and they didn’t care if people died.

A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. engineer testified Wednesday that the company relied on records that it knew were faulty when it spiked pressure on its gas pipelines, including the line that later exploded in San Bruno.

“It was commonly known amongst the organization that it wasn’t a perfect database,” Todd Arnett told a federal court jury in San Francisco that is considering 13 criminal charges against PG&E — 12 counts of failing to identify risks to pipelines, failing to conduct needed inspections and knowingly keeping inaccurate records, and one count of obstructing a federal investigation of the deadly September 2010 San Bruno explosion.

A March 2009 email from another PG&E engineer to Arnett and other managers, displayed to the jury, said there were “a ton of errors” in PG&E’s record-keeping system for three Peninsula pipelines, including the line that ran through San Bruno. Jurors also heard that the San Bruno pipeline section — identified only by number in court testimony, in keeping with the judge’s instructions — described the pipe as seamless, which wasn’t true.

Investigators found that a ruptured pipe seam at an incomplete weld caused the explosion and fire that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

More details surface in Bay Area rapist police officers case


The sexually exploited teenager at the center of a Bay Area police scandal said she told investigators that four officers had sex with her when she was 16 and 17 years old, including an Oakland cop she considered her “boyfriend” and a Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy who would pick her up and drive her to a rural road near the Caldecott Tunnel.

“I’d say about 10 times” in mid-2015, the teenager said, referring to the number of occasions they had sex in the deputy’s private vehicle. “It was consistent for about a month, six weeks, then we stopped for the month of August, then we did it again one more time in September.”

Guap, whose mother is an Oakland police dispatcher, said she had sex with 29 officers from several police agencies in the past two years, including more than a dozen from Oakland and three from San Francisco. The officers told each other about her, and an additional 15 engaged in sex-related online chatting with her, she said.

Authorities are looking into the actions of all of the officers. The episode has raised concern about the Oakland Police Department and its ability to complete reforms ordered by the federal courts more than a decade ago after a brutality scandal.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Cali House Republicans continue to spit in the face of Latinos


It is amazing to watch the California GOP’s death spiral into political oblivion.

Nine California Republican House members are asking the Obama administration to reject California’s application to extend benefits under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to those in the country illegally.

Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to make California the first state to ask federal officials to allow immigrants in the U.S. illegally to buy insurance through its state health exchange. Under SB 10 , the state will formally ask the federal government to allow those in the U.S. illegally to buy insurance through Covered California, without cost to the state or federal government.

The House members’ letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was released Wednesday.

Source: LA Times

Cali pols want Brown to declare a homeless state of emergency


Lawmakers from Los Angeles and San Francisco introduced a resolution asking Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide emergency to help California’s homeless population.

“Homelessness has risen to historic levels across the state and now is the time for action,” says House Resolution 56, authored by Assemblymen Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

How could this be??? These same politicians keep telling us our economy is fantastic.

An emergency declaration would increase state money and staff time to the cause . Supervisors in both counties have passed their own resolutions calling on Brown to act.

California had roughly 115,700 people living on the streets in 2015, the most of any state in the nation. Some 47,000 of those are believed to be in Los Angeles.

Say it ain’t so!!! Do you think the 1%ers aren’t telling us the truth???

Source: LA Times

The Orange County Republican utopia is failing


The Republican utopia is falling apart.

Orange County is losing high-paid jobs and expanding in low-paying industries, while its overall employment growth is set to slow this year, a Chapman University forecast.

Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley “job machine” is generating thousands of information and technology jobs with average salaries of $188,000 a year, according to the report, while Orange County is losing those jobs at rapid clip.

As a result, Orange County’s per capita personal income, which in 2007 was 16.4 percent greater than that of California, is now only 8.7 percent higher.

According to the forecast, “more people are leaving Orange County for other parts of the U.S. than those from the U.S. moving to the county… the rate of outflow has doubled in the last two years.”

Source: The Orange County Register

#EpicFail: Legislation or initiative, either way Cali gun owners are screwed


The dismal failure of California gun advocates is going to be on full display in Sacramento.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t shown much interest in playing along with the California Legislature.

But the Senate and Assembly will attempt to force Newsom’s hand by taking up a dozen firearms bills during session passing them through both houses and immediately onto the governor’s desk for consideration.

Several of the bills parallel provisions of Newsom’s gun control initiative, including one on background checks for ammunition purchases that – “shockingly, sickeningly,” as Newsom’s camp puts it – would actually override the language of the ballot measure.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Eric Bauman is on the Cali Dem’s fast track


A tough taskmaster who has served as the Southern California point man for powerful politicians, Eric Bauman has endeared himself to partisans though his loyalty, persistence and stem-winding speeches delivered with New York attitude.

Bauman, 57, a trained trauma nurse who went on to work in hospital administration and health care consulting before settling into politics, now wants to parlay his relationship skills into a big promotion: He’s the favorite to become the next chair of the California Democratic Party.

Once held by Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown and Phil Angelides, the post comes open next year with the departure of John Burton, a legendary figure known for his colorful and often profane interactions.

While still obscure to most Californians, Bauman built his county party into a force since taking over in 2000. He professionalized the organization, taking it from a $50,000 budget and one part-time employee to a nearly $2 million operation with six full-time staff.

He racked up awards for excellence in political mailers and videos, and solidified the party endorsement, which he closely oversees, as one of the region’s most coveted.

His hands-on manner has earned him endorsements from an overwhelming number of elected officials and party leaders.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cali pols are constantly immersed in ex parte communications with special interests


The focus on ex parte dealings reflects conflict between two imperatives – that complicated utility policies and development proposals often require private negotiations to be resolved, but that those with business before regulatory agencies should not enjoy potentially corrupting access to decisionmakers that their rivals, or the public, don’t have.

The PUC reform package would reconcile the two by barring ex parte communications in trial-like “adjudicatory proceedings” while allowing them in “quasi-legislative proceedings” that don’t involve specific cases, and, with prompt disclosure, in rate-setting cases.

One should remember, however, that legislators are constantly immersed in ex parte communications with special interest lobbyists as they write bills and decide how to vote on them.

And one of the unresolved aspects of the San Onofre scandal is a court battle over release of private communications between Brown’s office and PUC members. Do as we say, not as we do?

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Lawyers kill State Bar oversight bill


The state bar’s ability to collect dues next year was thrown into question late Tuesday when the Assembly sponsor of dues-authorization legislation shelved his bill rather than accept hostile Senate amendments.

Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, said his Assembly colleagues would not support Senate changes to allow attorneys to retain a voting majority on the bar’s board of trustees.

Assembly members also opposed amendments that would have authorized a Supreme Court-appointed special master to study and recommend bar reforms rather than a committee with members chosen by the chief justice, legislative leaders and the governor.

The Assembly is insisting on sweeping changes to bar governance that would shift decision-making power to nonlawyers and ensure the Legislature retains a strong oversight role.

Members of the lower house have warned they will not concur with a Senate version of the bar bill that does not keep those provisions intact.

Source: The Recorder

Teacher tenure battle puts kids last


Opposed by both the state’s powerful teachers unions and the education overhaul groups they are frequently at odds with – a sight so unusual it was noted by committee members – a bill to change how California schools retain and fire teachers fell short in its first legislative vote Wednesday.

Teacher tenure and layoff policies are a perpetual source of conflict at the Capitol, though little ever changes. Frustrated by the stagnation, advocates took their efforts to the courts several years ago, in a landmark case that may be headed next to the California Supreme Court.

But in her final year in office, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, a former teacher, tried one last time to broker a deal.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#EpicFail: Media rips Sacramento cops for capitol riot


When the Occupy movement brought widespread property damage to Oakland a few years ago, Sacramento remained orderly because Sac PD was ready.

When homeless protesters pressed and goaded police earlier this year, hoping to spark a confrontation, Sac PD resisted. They kept the peace, even though scores of people illegally camped in front of City Hall for weeks.

The examples of solid police work are numerous, but Sunday was different. Sunday was horrible.

What happened? Why was law enforcement so slow to react as tensions grew as hot as the weather Sunday?

No one is getting specific right now, while internal investigations are ongoing; reputations and working relationships are being guarded by the fraternity of law enforcement.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Latest update: Brutal #Islamics slaughter 41 innocents in Istanbul airport attack


Islamic murderers armed with guns and bombs killed 41 people and wounded hundreds at Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport, apparently targeting Turkey’s crucial tourism industry.

Travelers and airport workers described scenes of chaos Tuesday night as gunfire and explosions sent fleeing crowds first in one direction, then another.

Airport surveillance video posted on social media appeared to show the moment of one explosion, a ball of fire that sent terrified passengers racing for safety.

Another appeared to show an attacker, felled by a gunshot from a security officer, blowing himself up seconds later. A growing stream of travelers, some rolling suitcases behind them, fled down a corridor, looking fearfully over their shoulders.

“Four people fell in front of me. They were torn into pieces,” said airport worker Hacer Peksen.

The victims included at least 23 Turkish citizens and 13 foreigners.

This is the real Islam.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Sick of CEO @MarissaMayer, @Yahoo shareholders eager to see company sold


Yahoo shareholders are eager for the struggling tech giant to sell its Internet properties so they can reap their gains, cut their losses — or just move on.

CEO Marissa Mayer will host Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting — possibly its last ever, as well as hers as CEO — on Thursday afternoon in Santa Clara.

Shareholders are expected to approve Yahoo management’s recommended slate of directors for its board, including four members put forward by New York hedge fund Starboard Value, which has been pushing for Yahoo to sell its Internet properties.

“There is tremendous amount of shareholder pressure to consummate the sale,” said Christopher Marangi, a co-chief investment officer at GAMCO Investors Inc., which owns roughly 2 million Yahoo shares.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco supes move to tax loud mouth tech brats


Highly paid tech workers are often blamed for the city’s housing crisis. Now, three supervisors want to levy a tax on technology companies in an effort to make them pay for the city’s two biggest woes: the high cost of housing and homelessness.

Dubbed the tech tax, the proposed November ballot measure would impose a 1.5 percent payroll tax on technology companies.

Should the measure make it to the ballot and pass, the city controller’s office estimates it would generate about $115 million annually.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

How the L.A. sheriff’s department turns losers into killer cops


New sheriff’s deputies who perform poorly on the job during their first year are not being weeded out, leaving them to potentially cause problems years down the road in life-or-death situations, according to a report by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s inspector general.

Of 334 trainees who graduated from the sheriff’s academy in 2014, none were dismissed for performance-related reasons during their yearlong probationary period working in the county jails. Among them was a deputy who supervisors concluded was “not taking his position … seriously” and whose “integrity is a major concern,” the report said.

In a sampling of trainees, most did not receive their evaluations on time and were promoted to regular status without any meaningful assessment of their performance, according to the report.

Many performance evaluations were filled with the same boilerplate language, cut-and-pasted word for word, sometimes with the wrong gender pronouns or references to a generic “Deputy Doe.” One review appeared to have been filled out before the time period the deputy was evaluated.

Letting go of problem recruits is important because deputies are protected by civil service rules once their one-year probationary term ends, and it is significantly harder to fire them.

The Sheriff’s Department has a history of hiring some deputies with checkered pasts, and misconduct has been a recurring issue, especially in the jails, where deputies begin their careers before moving on to street patrol assignments.

Source: LA Times

Brutal Fresno cops go on a killing spree; citizens are outraged


The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters the shooting was “an unfortunate tragedy.”

It was the sixth police shooting for the department this year, officials said. There have been nine police shootings since 2015.

“You have a family that has lost a loved one, a 19-year-old son, and I am sure they have a lot of questions,” Dyer said. “Questions that we don’t have answers for at this time.”

Dyer said body camera footage would not be released. He said releasing the videos could “taint” witness accounts.

In a large and emotional vigil, friends, family and Fresno residents gathered Saturday at the Chevron station.

Some demonstrators carried a large Confederate flag as they confronted police, while others posted signs at a memorial that said “Justice for Dylan,” and “White Lives Matter.”

Source: LA Times

Are you serious??? Retailers claim that banning cigarettes would destroy their livelihoods

Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 12.03.14

Three weeks after California’s most significant new tobacco regulations in decades took effect, another proposed restriction proved so unpopular with lawmakers that it couldn’t even get a vote during a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1400, from Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, would have limited the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to specified “tobacco stores,” which prohibit customers under the age of 21 and generate more than 60 percent of their annual revenue from tobacco.

Wieckowski said the bill would reduce children’s exposure to tobacco, the same argument lawmakers made when they raised the smoking age to 21 this year.It squeaked out of the Senate earlier this month with a bare-minimum 21 votes.

But opponents, including the retailers and distributors associations and more than 200 convenience store owners, showed up in force at the Assembly Business and Professions Committee hearing on Tuesday to make the case that SB 1400 would destroy their livelihoods.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#Rapist Brock Turner’s hideous crime leads to tougher California law


With the support of liberal Democrats who tend to oppose tougher crime laws, a California Senate panel moved Tuesday to fortify California’s sexual assault penalties in response to the nationally watched case of a former Stanford swimmer who received a sentence widely criticized as too lenient.

After being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, Brock Turner received a lighter sentence than what prosecutors sought.

The outcome has fomented national outrage and fueled efforts to unseat the judge who said Turner merited the lesser penalty.

The political fallout continued to unfold Tuesday as the Senate Public Safety Committee advanced bills intended to subject future perpetrators in cases like Turner’s to tougher penalties.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cali pols let retailers charge women more


A bill that sought to ban the practice of charging men and women different prices for similar goods is finished for the year.

Facing opposition from business groups, Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, pulled Senate Bill 899 from consideration on Tuesday, ahead of a Friday deadline to advance measures out of policy committees.

Based on a 1995 law that prohibited gender-based pricing for services like haircuts and dry cleaning, SB 899 would have expanded the principle to retailers.

Dubbing it “gender price discrimination,” Hueso pointed to examples like pink razors that cost several dollars more than the same model in blue and “boyfriend”-style women’s clothing far more expensive than the men’s fashion it mimics.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cali weed measure makes the November ballot


Californians’ November ballot will include an initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, with the coming campaign likely to reverberate nationwide given the state’s size and implications for similar efforts elsewhere.

A random sample of more than 606,000 signatures turned in by supporters last month cleared the required threshold, according to an updated tally posted Tuesday by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Various law enforcement groups oppose legalization but have been heavily out-raised so far.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

In the @CaGOP Utopia, hundreds of thousands are struggling financially


With balmy weather and low unemployment, the Republican Utopia of Orange County may be a fine place for those with well-compensated jobs, paid-down mortgages or decent retirement income.

But consider the grim statistics in the county’s annual Community Indicators Report, released last week.

• Nearly 1 in 4 residents lives in poverty.

• Nearly two-thirds of local jobs don’t pay enough for a worker to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

• Orange County’s cost of living is 85 percent above the national average, but its median income is only 42 percent higher than the nation’s median.

The stark reality is that hundreds of thousands among our 3.2 million residents struggle against immense odds.

Source: The Orange County Register

The @GOP elites plan to scuttle Trump; hand White House and Supreme Court to Hillary

Screenshot 2016-06-13 at 12.27.50As Republicans move closer to their convention in Cleveland next month, a growing faction of delegates is campaigning to block Donald Trump from securing the presidential nomination.

The multi-pronged effort — which includes outreach to individual attendees, national television ads and even a lawsuit — aims at a long-shot goal. They want to allow the 2,472 delegates to vote for whomever they choose instead of casting ballots according to the results of the state primaries and caucuses, in which Trump won the most votes in a crowded field of contenders.

The so-called Dump Trump campaign has attracted a surge of media attention, but remains very much an underdog as the convention nears.

Source: LA Times

#Islamics target San Francisco in video


A video circulating on the Internet that appears to show allegiance to the Islamic State ends with footage of San Francisco that features shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and the 555 California street tower.

An obvious threat that officials apparently are not taking all that seriously. We shouldn’t be too surprised.

The video praised the Orlando shooter using a combination of news reels, screen shots from newspaper articles, and speeches from various men in a mix of a languages.

ISIS says “Arise, o Muslims and kill the unbelievers in their own homes” when the shot of the Golden Gate Bridge appears.

That was followed with a shot of Las Vegas, and a shot of Pine Street with the Financial District in the background that appeared to have been taken from a cable car.

The video has an ISIS flag in the upper right-hand corner, and lasts more than nine minutes.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

#CriticalMass psycho cyclist guilty

A raging cyclist who attacked a woman’s car with a metal lock last year during a Critical Mass bike ride in San Francisco pleaded guilty to two felony charges, prosecutors said Monday.

Ian Hespelt, 39, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism charges Friday in San Francisco Superior Court for the Aug. 28 attack on a Zipcar driver who was caught amid a group of cyclists on Marina Boulevard near Lyon Street.

The attack that was captured on video and widely seen online shows Hespelt bashing the Subaru driver’s side window with his metal U-lock.

The episode started when Hespelt and other cyclists blocked the unidentified woman’s station wagon in the middle of the street. When she tried to back up and drive off, Hespelt hurled his bike in front of her moving car as other cyclists shouted at her.

Finally, as the woman drove away, Hespelt began landing a barrage of blows on her car, eventually shattering her window.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Justice Elena Kagan crushes the @NRA


The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bars people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning guns.

The justices rejected arguments that the law covers only intentional or knowing acts of abuse and not those committed recklessly — where a person is aware of the risk that an act will cause injury, but not certain it will. As examples, the court mentioned throwing a plate in the heat of an argument, or slamming a door.

Writing for herself and five other justices, Justice Elena Kagan said that Congress enacted the gun law some 20 years ago to close a loophole and “prohibit domestic abusers convicted under run-of-the-mill misdemeanor assault and battery laws from possessing guns.” She said if the law were read to exclude misdemeanors in which a person acted recklessly, it would “substantially undermine the provision’s design.”

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Recycling centers may be rescued


Recyclers and grocery stores would get a reprieve from the causes and fallout of a wave of recycling center closures – and policymakers could get prodded toward a larger deal – under a budget bill that passed the Assembly on Monday.

A short-term fix initially failed to make it into the budget. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration favors a broader overhaul of California’s wobbly recycling system, which has faced annual deficits in the tens of millions of dollars.

But amid a late lobbying push by grocers, retailers, recyclers and organized labor, the Assembly crafted a stopgap measure that would freeze payments to recyclers at higher 2015 rates and give grocers a reprieve through April of 2017. The Senate and Brown still need to approve the measure.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Legislature tries to end-run transparency reforms


Charles Munger Jr., a wealthy Stanford University physicist and major player in California politics, and former Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee have qualified their ballot measure, which would require any bill to be posted on the internet and in print for 72 hours before a final vote.

Legislative leaders, meanwhile, have hastily written their own 72-hour notice measure, Senate Constitutional Amendment 14, as an alternative, clearly hoping that Munger and Blakeslee will remove their measure from the November ballot by Thursday’s deadline – something they insist won’t happen.

So, one might ask, which approach best reduces legislative sneakiness, particularly politicians’ penchant for using the “gut-and-amend” technique to write entirely new bills that are enacted without even the pretense of public notice?

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Missing police guns: The numbers are staggering…the excuses are pathetic


The numbers are staggering. The excuses are pathetic.

Police in the Bay Area and state and federal agents across California lost 944 guns since 2010. That averages almost one every two days.

We’re talking about handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and even a submachine gun and 12 grenade and tear-gas launchers.

This week, stolen cop guns were used to kill people in Bay Point, Oakland and San Francisco. A fourth was used in a San Francisco gang shooting.

From the top to bottom of the ranks, police should be embarrassed.

Source: East Bay Times

Judge rips rat cop Paul Tanaka then throws him in the slammer for 5 years


Former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka was sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in a wide-ranging conspiracy to derail a federal investigation into jail misconduct.

Tanaka stood silently in court as Judge Percy Anderson handed down the sentence on Monday. Anderson blasted Tanaka for his arrogance and “gross abuse of public trust.”

The judge also described Tanaka as “evasive, combative and not credible” on the stand.

Anderson also said throughout Tanaka’s career, he valued “loyalty over honor” and created an environment in which deputies were encouraged to cover up abuses.

Anderson continued to rip into Tanaka, saying the former undersheriff has never taken responsibility for his actions.

In addition to the five-year prison term, Tanaka was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and pay a $7,500 fine.

Tanaka was found guilty in April by a federal jury for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Source: ABC News

Brown zeros in on feckless PUC


A deal between Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers announced Monday will bring major changes to the oft-criticized California Public Utilities Commission, including removing the regulator’s enforcement authority over ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

“These reforms will change how this commission does business,” Brown said in a statement.

As a series of crises have beset the commission, from its response to a massive Southern California gas leak to the ouster of its former leader after revelations of back-channel dealings related to a deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, legislators have agitated for changes. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, called the regulator “a mess” in advocating reforms.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Governor Brown OK’s $167 billion Cali budget


Gov. Jerry Brown signed the budget bill Monday for the coming fiscal year, fully embracing a package his office played a major role in shaping and making no blue-pencil reductions to individual spending items in the plan.

The governor’s signature came on the final day for him to act on the measure, which the Legislature approved along mostly party lines June 15, along with several related budget trailer bills.

The measure calls for $122.5 billion in general fund spending and $44.6 billion in special fund spending, along with $3.6 billion in bond spending.“This solid budget makes responsible investments in California and sets aside billions of dollars to prepare for the next recession,” Brown said of the plan for the fiscal year beginning Friday.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

The @GOP is heading for another #EpicFail


We have George Will’s abandonment of the Republican Party and announcements by Republican heavyweights including former National Security Advisor General Brent Showcroft, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage that they will vote for Hillary Clinton.

Between now and November, many other Republicans will announce they are voting for Hillary Clinton. Some will announce they are voting for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.

Source: Fox News Latino

Cali pols are hooked on nicotine taxes

Screenshot 2016-04-26 at 09.05.12

Taking dollars from government agencies and government-addicted nonprofits makes them as grumpy as taking the last pack of cigarettes from a habitual smoker. Even though the state passed several new laws – raising the smoking age to 21 and regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco, for instance – anti-tobacco activists have qualified an initiative for the November ballot that would go even further. The “California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016” is, as its name suggests, all about hiking tax rates.

Source: The Orange County Register

Politicon 2016: Sarah Palin continues to rip into the @GOP


Sarah Palin used her extensive stage time at Politicon on Sunday to stump for Donald Trump, blast the Republican establishment and promote gun rights in her blunt, riffing style that her fans love and her critics love to make fun of.

The former Alaskan governor and vice presidential nominee eight years ago was an early supporter of the real estate mogul and used her first speech of the day to lay out the reasons why he is the GOP’s presumptive nominee after besting a broad field that included such big names as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

“So, why is Trump winning?” Palin asked. “Why do we see these floating heads still not grasping this movement? It’s so obvious. Voters are really sick and tired of betrayal.”

The betrayal, she said, hinged on the “audacity of duplicity” by corporations “that bankroll campaigns with such disloyalty to the American worker.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

How Anthony Kennedy could bring race-based affirmative action back to UC


On Thursday, the Supreme Court surprised a lot of observers when it upheld, 4-3, the race-based affirmative action plan employed by the University of Texas in its undergraduate admissions.

Just three years ago, the court had avoided ruling definitively in the same case, Fisher vs. University of Texas, sending it back to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration using reasoning and language that seemed skeptical of the Texas plan.

So when the court agreed to hear the case anew last year many analysts thought a majority of justices would be inhospitable to any admissions plan that overtly took into account the race of individual applicants.

But the court’s current swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Fisher, joined with the more liberal justices to produce a result that has encouraged proponents of affirmative action and disappointed abolitionists.

Source: LA Times

Turkish government and #Islamics derail Pride rally in Istanbul


Police in Istanbul used tear gas and detained activists who gathered Sunday to issue a statement to mark gay pride week after authorities banned their rally in the city.

At least 19 activists were rounded up, organizers said. Dozens of activists assembled on Istanbul’s main pedestrian street to publicly read a statement marking the end of the gay, lesbian and transgender pride week and to denounce the ban.

Several of them were detained, however, before they could speak.

Turkish police later used tear gas and rubber pellets to chase activists from side streets. Istanbul’s governor banned both last week’s Trans Pride March and Sunday’s broader LGBT pride parade, citing security concerns in the city, which has been hit by deadly attacks by Islamic State militants or Kurdish rebels.

Turkish Islamist and ultra-nationalist groups had also threatened counter-demonstrations to stop the gay rights rallies. Activists believe authorities are using security as an excuse to ban the gay parades.

They say the government should be taking measures to deal with the threats instead.

Source: LA Times

Will Tom Steyer’s billions help him become governor?


This seems an inauspicious time for someone to try to break one of the longest streaks in California politics: the unsuccessful run of extremely rich men and women trying to vault themselves into high office.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have ridden the bloody feud between elites and non-elites to multiple victories this year. Britain upended the entire world economy by voting Thursday to break away from the European Union, a move driven, at least in part, by that same populist divide.Still, don’t be surprised if one of the candidates for governor in two years is a billionaire: Tom Steyer, who would seem an unlikely victor given the winds of anger circulating now.

He seems both unconcerned and highly aware of California’s long-standing record of repudiating wealthy candidates.

Source: LA Times

Cali pols pick a side – teachers over kids


The arduous journey of AB934 — a bill to reform the teacher tenure process in California — is a perfect example of how little we can rely on this state Legislature to reform public education.

In early June, when we first editorialized on AB934, by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, it was a comprehensive reform bill that would have required all school districts to institute a transparent — and fair — system for dismissing ineffective teachers.

It would have lengthened the tenure process from just 18 months to three years. It would have required that districts place teachers who had gotten unsatisfactory evaluations in a year of a peer-reviewed training and coaching system that’s been proved to work.

And it would’ve created a new system for laying off teachers based, in part, on their evaluations — not just seniority.

Regrettably, it had no chance of passing.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

How corrupt is the State Bar – pretty corrupt


Legislation to extend the State Bar’s authority to collect annual fees from lawyers (AB2878 by Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Santa Cruz) offers a critical opportunity to bring reform. One of the key provisions of the version that cleared the Assembly 79-0 on June 2 would require that a majority of the bar’s Board of Trustees would not be lawyers. Currently, 13 of the 19 board members are lawyers. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has raised concerns about the propriety of professional licensing bodies being stacked with members of the field they are regulating. It’s no surprise that the State Bar has faced years of criticism for lax discipline of lawyer misconduct, lack of transparency and dubious spending.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Jerry Brown’s tax reform trash talk


Asked about tax reform last month, as he was unveiling his revised budget and worrying aloud about an economic slowdown, Brown replied tersely: “Hope springs eternal.”

In other words, he’s interested in having it done but so far isn’t motivated to try it himself.

As Brown dithers, other political figures are at least trying to generate conversation.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Hundreds of police-issued weapons missing


Nine-hundred and forty-four guns.

From Glocks, Sig Sauers and Remingtons to sniper and assault rifles, some equipped with grenade launchers.

They used to belong to law enforcement officers across California, but a new Bay Area News Group investigation found hundreds of police-issued weapons have been either stolen, lost or can’t be accounted for since 2010, often disappearing onto the streets without a trace.

Source: Mercury News

The Cali gun lobby: #EpicFail


Clueless in Sacramento, the Second Amendment lobbying team has failed its member miserably.

In Sacramento, where the gun lobby has become a paper tiger, legislators will vote on no fewer than 14 gun control bills starting Monday.

The NRA’s Sacramento lobbyist, who divides his time among several states, probably will show up and work the Capitol halls, ineffectually, and Republican legislators will speechify against measures, to deaf ears.

Democrats will invoke the massacres in Orlando, Fla., San Bernardino and Newtown, Conn., and vote in unison for most if not all of the measures.

For Democrats in California, there is little downside to pushing such measures. Newsom’s polling shows his initiative would help Democrats, and the survey was taken in January, before Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. It remains to be determined whether the NRA will spend significant money to oppose Newsom’s measure. California is so far from the rest of the country.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#SurgePricing scam is the heart of @Uber’s business model


Many an Uber passenger has been shocked by the cost of a ride as a result of the company’s controversial surge-pricing policy.

So to put a pretty face on this hideous business practice, Uber is rolling out a new “no surprises” approach to fares.

Uber is trying to put a pretty face on their bullshit practice of ripping off customers.  Uber isn’t doing away with surge pricing – its strategy of raising fares at times of peak demand. Instead, during surge pricing periods Uber will begin presenting customers with the cost of their ride upfront, before they book.

How about that, being honest for a change. What will they think of next?

Source: LA Times

#AmericansLoveDrugs: Porn star Amber Rayne died from cocaine overdose


Porn star Amber Rayne died of a cocaine overdose in her San Fernando Valley-area home in April, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office ruled.

The actress, whose real name was Meghan Wren, was using cocaine with a friend when she stood up in her living room and collapsed, according to the coroner’s report.

No other cause of death was identified, said Ed Winter, assistant chief for the coroner’s office.

The 31-year-old actress, began working in the adult industry in 2005 and had more than 500 credits, according to a tribute to her on the Adult Video News (AVN) website.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

More criminal behavior by Santa Clara County correctional deputies discovered


The development this week adds another public wound to the county’s beleaguered jail system. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has been working to institute rapid reforms after mentally ill inmate Michael Tyree was beaten to death in August, reportedly by three correctional deputies who have been charged with murder.

Since the three guards were charged in Tyree’s death, two other jail guards have also been arrested.

In the latest scandal one deputy has been accused of illegally using a criminal database for personal use and the other of workers’ compensation fraud.

In addition, the former president of the correctional officers union was placed on administrative leave in connection with a separate probe into the purported exchange by some guards of hundreds of racist text messages.

Two Santa Clara County Jail guards were arrested last month on suspicion of beating a shackled inmate. The two men, Phillip Abecendario and Tuan Le, were accused of assault about a month before three other guards reportedly beat Tyree to death and attacked another prisoner.

In short, these deputies are animals, and in many ways worse than the criminals they have been charged with overseeing.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Feckless @SFPD used the statute of limitations to keep #racist thug cops on the job


The SFPD will do anything to keep their racist thug cops on the job.

Sixteen other officers who were investigated for misconduct were never punished because the one year statute of limitations ran out on their cases, according to documents obtained by the San Francisco Examiner.

The cases — stemming from 2010 to 2015 — included inappropriate remarks made to prisoners, discourtesy, excessive force, writing inadequate reports and failing to properly take care of department property.

In one of these cases, which was closed in late 2011, the officer resigned.

In all the others, the officers are still actively employed with the department. In 15 of the cases, the officers received admonishments — verbal reprimands — from the chief even though the cases ran out of time.

Police disciplinary hearings are by law barred from public scrutiny as are the names of the officers involved, so it’s hard to say to what degree the department is prevented from changing these practices without new legislation from Sacramento.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Crybaby GOP delegate sues for right not to vote for Trump


Carroll Correll Jr., a Republican delegate to the party’s national convention next month, has filed a federal lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction allowing him to avoid casting a vote for Donald Trump.

Correll believes that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States and that voting for Donald Trump would therefore violate Correll’s conscience, according to the lawsuit filed Friday.

Hmmm, a Republican with a conscience, now that’s an interesting concept.

Accordingly, Correll will not vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot, or any other ballot, at the national convention. He will cast his vote on the first ballot, and on any additional ballots, for a candidate whom he believes is fit to serve as president.

While his is the only name listed in court papers, the suit is filed on behalf of all delegates to both the GOP and Democratic Party conventions.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Former McCain staffer Brooke Buchanan leaves scandal riddled @Theranos


The top spokeswoman for embattled medical startup Theranos is leaving the company after less than a year on the job.

Brooke Buchanan, vice president of communications, is departing Theranos at a time when the Palo Alto firm is facing investigations from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission about whether it misled investors about its blood diagnostic technology.

She confirmed her departure to The Chronicle on Friday, but declined to comment further. “Ms. Buchanan is leaving Theranos for personal reasons,” the company said. “We appreciate her work and wish her all the best.”

Theranos hired Buchanan, a battle-tested press secretary to Sen. John McCain during his presidential campaign in 2008.

Buchanan pushed back hard against negative coverage of Theranos. She wrote rebuttals to stories that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine and Bloomberg.

Theranos is facing a criminal investigation from federal prosecutors and inquiries from regulatory agencies.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Dems screw up ‘no-fly, no-buy’ gun bill so bad even the ACLU hates it


Legislation proposed in Congress, which would bar gun sales to people on a government terrorist watch list, has achieved a rare distinction: a thumbs-down from both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

For the NRA, virtually any restriction on buying or selling firearms is unacceptable, and this one, dubbed “No-fly, no-buy,” is tied to a list whose embarrassing mistakes have prevented young children and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy from boarding aircraft.

For the ACLU, the problem is a list that is shrouded in secrecy, giving those affected little notice of the reasons for their inclusion on it and little opportunity to challenge those reasons.

The organization won a ruling from a federal judge in 2014 requiring the government to provide more information to watch-listed air travelers, but the group says it hasn’t made much of a difference.

The system “uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names,” the ACLU said this week in a letter to senators opposing all the proposed gun laws.

The government established confidential terror watch lists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and has expanded them under the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The secretive lists have become a prime issue in federal gun legislation introduced after the Orlando massacre.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Newsom erupts over De León’s gun bill amendments


Prompting an accusation of “self-serving” political manipulation, California’s state Senate leader has amended a gun control bill that would alter a key section in a ballot initiative backed by a fellow Democrat.

For months, gun control measures pushed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom have advanced on separate tracks. De León has pushed to regulate ammunition sales through the Legislature, while Newsom has campaigned to put the idea before voters.

That has amplified tension between the camps of the two Democrats, with de León urging Newsom to pull his initiative if the legislation advances and the lieutenant governor’s campaign rejecting that entreaty. Newsom’s measure has officially qualified, and he faces a June 30 deadline to withdraw it from the ballot, though he’s given no indication he plans to do so.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Judge slams Delta management plan – “Delta crisis blah blah blah”


In a decision that could delay or complicate Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a comprehensive management plan for the estuary is no longer valid.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled that the entire Delta Plan must be “set aside” until deficiencies he noted in an earlier ruling are fixed. State officials say they plan to appeal.

The ruling is significant for a couple of key reasons. For one, in order for the Brown administration to build the tunnels, state officials will have to prove that the project complies with the recommendations laid out in the Delta Plan for managing land use and water exports in the fragile estuary.

With the plan in flux and an appeals process underway, the already lengthy approval process for the tunnels could face significant delays.

The ruling also could hinder habitat restoration work and development protections that the plan calls for to shore up the Delta’s declining ecosystem, said Keith Coolidge, a spokesman for the Delta Stewardship Council, the state agency whose members were tasked by a 2009 law with crafting a legally enforceable vision for the estuary.

“The Delta remains in crisis, and now isn’t the time to set aside the state’s only comprehensive management plan,” Coolidge said in a prepared statement.

Source: The Sacramento Bee