California continues to crush small business…1%ers could care less

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The rate of California’s small business job growth has dropped even further from last month and is now nearing a five-year low for the state, according to a new report.

The report’s small business jobs index takes into account data from more than 350,000 small businesses across the country to track employment trends.

“California’s recent weakening stems from a retrenchment in the high tech sector, seen notably in San Francisco and San Diego,” said Jim Difley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit.

Source: San Francisco Business Times

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In California, only chumps pay for their own healthcare

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The illusion in the United States is that the vast majority of healthcare is paid for privately but researchers found that, at least in California, more than two-thirds of healthcare payments are made with public funds.

Between federal and state programs and tax subsidies, about 71 percent of healthcare in California is paid for with public funds, and researchers are questioning whether the winding list of sources is a better way to pay for healthcare than a single-payer system, according to a policy brief published online by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Source: UPI

Ignorant con, ignorant cops cost San Diego taxpayers $2.3 million

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The county has agreed to pay $2.3 million to the family of a man who died in San Diego’s central jail in 2012 from a drug overdose, the second time in less than two years that taxpayers have funded a multimillion-dollar settlement over an inmate’s death.

The parents of Bernard Victorianne sued the sheriff’s department in 2014, claiming that jail staff knew the 28-year-old swallowed a baggie of methamphetamine and then failed to act on obvious signs of medical distress for days.

Both sides agreed on Aug. 2 to settle the case. Later that day, in a closed session meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the settlement.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Julia Yoo and Eugene Iredale, argued that Victorianne’s death was the result of “a systemic failure to investigate incidents of misconduct and deaths in the jail.”

Yoo said Victorianne’s parents, Bernard and Zelda Victorianne, agreed to settle the case to avoid the trauma of a prolonged legal battle.

“It’s very difficult and painful for them to have to relive the experience,” she said.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

LA Times Poll: Bad news for @GOP elites, @realDonaldTrump could still win

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Bad news for the “we got ours so screw you little people” Republican elites in Washington and around the country.

Although he trails in nearly all national surveys and polls of most battleground states, Donald Trump still has a potential route to victory.

The existence of a bloc of disaffected voters large enough to potentially swing the election Trump’s way is the main finding from an analysis of the first eight weeks of the daily tracking poll.

In other words Republicans, there are enough voters out there who hate you and may be willing to give Trump a chance.

That group of potential voters also helps explain why the Daybreak poll’s results have consistently been more favorable to Trump than other major surveys.

The key group driving that result are people who sat out the 2012 election but say they plan to vote this year. Trump, who’s due to give a major speech on immigration Wednesday, leads among them in the poll.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

 

#BillCosby rape bill heading to Governor Brown

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Gov. Jerry Brown will decide whether to eliminate California’s 10-year time limit to bring rape and child molestation charges after several women were precluded from bringing cases against actor Bill Cosby.

We hope he signs the bill.

A measure the Senate approved unanimously Tuesday evening would apply only to crimes committed in the future.

It would not allow Cosby’s accusers to seek prosecution for sexual assault they say he committed decades ago.

However the bill sets the proper path for prosecutors.

Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino says victims should always have the opportunity to seek justice after such violent acts.

Civil rights groups and public offenders opposed SB813, saying the bill does not address the root causes of victims failing to report sex crimes.

They are wrong. Rapists deserve no such protection.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Brutal @SFPD thug going to prison

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A San Francisco police officer convicted of conducting an a illegal search of a residential hotel room and writing a false report about it was sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday to one year and two months in prison.

Arshad Razzak, 44, a member of the Police Department for 19 years, was also fined $12,500 by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco.

“The betrayal of public trust by a sworn police officer is extraordinarily serious,” Seeborg said.

Seeborg called Razzak’s action in entering a resident’s room at the Henry Hotel on Sixth and Market streets without consent or a warrant during a 2010 drug investigation “a brazen violation of the Fourth Amendment rights” to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Farm lobby panics at the thought of having to pay farmworkers fairly

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The Legislature on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a potential historic expansion of overtime rules for farmworkers. Assembly Bill 1066 would provide time-and-a-half pay for farm laborers working more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, and double pay for those working more than 12 hours a day.

While agricultural business groups protested the legislation, warning of dire economic consequences for farmers and field hands alike, Fresno County grower John Chandler on Tuesday was expressing his own concerns.

“I’m disappointed by the outcome of the vote,” said Chandler, whose family’s Chandler Farms in Selma produces peaches, plums, grapes, mandarins and almonds. “I think it is going to have a negative effect on our farm employees. Our margins aren’t large enough to accommodate all that overtime. So growers are going to have to remain viable by keeping workers within 40 hours a week.

“From a farmer perspective, how do we survive as an industry that uses a lot of labor? What are we going to do?”

How about treat people fairly instead of like slaves Mr. Chandler?

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cowardly Sacramento council drops demand for #JosephMann murder video

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It looks like it took just a little threat from the police union.

Members of the Sacramento City Council backed down Tuesday from a request to view video footage of the police shooting last month of a homeless black man.

Sacramento Police shot Joseph Mann, 51, more than 16 times on Del Paso Boulevard on July 11, according to a lawsuit filed by Mann’s family.

According to police, Mann was acting erratically and had a knife. This is the same whitewash police officers always use after they execute a mentally ill citizen. For the record, we don’t believe the knife story.

Mann’s family said he suffered from mental illness and officers should have worked to de-escalate the situation rather than confront Mann. Of course they are right, but that never happens in the Police State.

Some council members had asked for access to video and other evidence in the case, according to city officials with knowledge of the issue. But after meeting in a closed session and receiving legal advice, the council members had “decided not to view any of the detail of the police shooting (of) Mr. Mann’s incident,” City Attorney James Sanchez said.

Sanchez said he had advised the council not to view the video and to withhold further comment on the case until all investigations were complete.

Why not? How could duly elected officials viewing the video impact the case.

“We will allow the investigation to take its course and provide a complete picture of the facts,” Sanchez said. In other words, we’ll wait for the police to fabricate some flimsy justification for gunning down the defenseless Mann.

He confirmed that a criminal investigation by homicide detectives in the Sacramento Police Department was concluded Tuesday and a report of that investigation was sent to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

#LAPD thug goes on a crime spree

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A Los Angeles police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to a series of criminal charges, including theft of a police radio and an illegal search of a law enforcement database.

Prosecutors also allege that Jessica Guzzetti failed to pay for a baby stroller, according to a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Guzzetti, 27, entered the not-guilty plea in a Van Nuys courtroom, her first court appearance since she was charged July 25 with the three misdemeanor counts.

The first count alleges that Guzzetti stole an LAPD radio valued at $3,470.30 in 2013. Another count alleges that she accessed information from a Department of Justice computer database in 2014. Prosecutors also contend that Guzzetti failed to pay for the baby stroller in August 2015.

Jackie Robnett, who is listed in court records as the rightful owner of the baby stroller, told The Times that Guzzetti and her boyfriend responded to a Craigslist ad in 2015 for a stroller that retailed for about $1,200. Robnett said she was selling it for about $250.

Guzzetti and her boyfriend inspected the stroller and offered to pay for it with a check. Robnett said she doesn’t normally accept checks in Craigslist transactions but made an exception.

“We trusted her because she was a police officer,” Robnett said. “She said she was with LAPD and that made us comfortable.”

Obviously the check bounced.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Report: Police routinely exterminate mentally ill citizens

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Justice Department lawyers investigating police agencies for claims of racial discrimination and excessive force are increasingly turning up a different problem: officers’ interactions with the mentally ill.

It seems when the Police Death Squads encounter mentally ill citizens they pretty much go berserk and start blasting away.

The latest example came in Baltimore, where a critical report on that department’s policies found that officers end up in unnecessarily violent confrontations with mentally disabled people who in many instances haven’t even committed crimes.

No crime, no problem for the Death Squads. They’ll make up some “we feared for our lives so we fired 42 bullets into him” story and get off the hook.

Though past federal investigations have addressed the problem, the Baltimore report went a step further: It was the first time the Justice Department has explicitly found that a police department’s policies violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Not to mention the U.S. Constitution.

The finding is intended to chart a path to what federal officials hope will be far-reaching improvements, including better training for dispatchers and officers, diversion of more people to treatment rather than jail and stronger relationships with mental health specialists.

We’d suggest disbanding Death Squads and forcing the Police State to adhere to the U.S. Constitution. After all, that’s why we have it.

Don’t expect much to change until the Justice Department comes to the realization that killer cops are not the victims, they are the perpetrators.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

@HaywardPD chief placed on leave – scandal update to follow

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More disgrace on the way for East Bay police.

Hayward Police Chief Diane Stuart has been placed on administrative leave over a “personnel issue”.

Capt. Mark Koller was appointed acting chief of police by the city manager, the department said in a statement.

The matter that led to Stuart’s departure would remain confidential, police said.

Yeah, right. We’ll get you the scoop. Stay tuned.

Stuart was named chief in August 2011, becoming the first woman to head the department in its 13-chief history.

This is intriguing. We can’t wait to find out what kind of sordid activities caused her to get the boot.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

1%er Ag Elites Panic Over Fair Wages For Farmworkers Bill

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The California Assembly on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a hard-fought and historic expansion of overtime rules for farmworkers.

Wealthy farmers and other ag industry interests are scrambling to figure out a way to get Governor Brown to veto the bill.

Agricultural workers already receive some overtime pay under California law thanks to a 2002 state directive that entitles them to extra wages if they work more than 10 hours in a day or more than 60 hours in a week.

AB 1066 would expand that to bring it more in line with other industries, offering time-and-a-half pay for working more than eight hours in a day or 40 in a week and double pay for working more than 12 hours a day.

The pay boosts would kick in incrementally over four years, and the governor could suspend them for a year if the economy falters.

California has a long racist history of bigotry and oppression against farm workers. This debate exemplifies just how ferocious the aggression directed at immigrants really is.

Business groups quickly condemned the vote. “We are deeply concerned with the passage of AB 1066 today and the devastating impacts this bill will have on our small, independent farmers and the workers they employ,” said Tom Scott, state executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Yeah, right. Paying people a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work will devastate the economy. Not really.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Brutal @SacPolice murder of #JosephMann panics city’s white elites

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It was a brutal Police Death Squad execution by any measure. Now, the white elites who run Sacramento are in panic mode.

In an unprecedented request, members of Sacramento City Council are asking to see video of the brutal and unnecessary police murder of a mentally-ill homeless African American man before the official investigation is complete.

Some council members are requesting access to video, audio and other evidence related to the July 11 shooting of Joseph Mann during a non-public “closed session”.

Mann, 51, was shot at least 16 times by two Sacramento police officers.

Mann’s family said he was mentally ill and that police acted improperly by failing to de-escalate the situation after being faced with Mann’s abnormal behavior.

A bystander video of the shooting shows multiple police vehicles following Mann before he stops on the sidewalk in front of a wall. Moments later, police in the street can be heard firing multiple times, then rushing to Mann where he lays on the ground.

Sacramento is a city that talks a good game about diversity, but as we can see it is one of the most bigoted hateful places in California.

Enjoy your Police State.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

California will continue to use gulags to hold prisoners

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The Justice Department recently decided to phase out the confinement of federal inmates in private prisons, but tens of thousands of state prisoners — including 10,700 from California — will remain in the corporate-owned institutions that a government report has criticized over safety and security.

California has transferred prisoners to private institutions, some of them in other states, for more than five years to relieve overcrowding in state prisons, but state, and local, use of them is beginning to be questioned.

One California lawmaker has called for the state to stop sending inmates to prisons far from their families or California inspectors, and another legislator is moving to stop cities and counties in California from contracting with private prisons to hold federal immigration detainees.

State Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, chairwoman of the Senate’s Public Safety Committee and its budget subcommittee on Corrections and Public Safety, said California should terminate its contracts with private prisons in other states.

With no state employees at those sites, “we have no way of knowing what’s going on there,” Hancock said. Abuses have been reported at other prisons run by the same company, she said, and their location “makes it almost impossible for families to visit.”

Hancock, who will be termed out of office in January, said there’s not much the Legislature can do about the state’s use of private prisons. But lawmakers are considering a bill to end local governments’ ability to contract with prison companies for detention of immigrants.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Bail bond system is totally corrupted and should be scrapped

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What started out as something to help people has turned into a system that screws them. There may be some relief in sight.

U.S. Department of Justice says it’s unconstitutional to hold defendants in jail because they can’t afford to make bail — a first-time argument for the department that represents a significant shift in the way federal officials consider a standard criminal justice practice.

Bail practices that incarcerate indigent individuals before trial solely because of their inability to pay for their release violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Courts must consider a person’s ability to pay — and look at alternatives to guaranteeing a court appearance if necessary.

This is only fair. The bail system was never developed as a commercial enterprise to enrich bail bond firms.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Cali pols continue to fail when it come to the biggest issues

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Screwing big business, or hammering beleaguered taxpayers are no-brainers for California politicians. They do it all the time. However helping Californians on big issues that really matter….well, that’s a completely different story.

The Legislature can’t agree on how to pay for billions of dollars in desperately needed road repairs, nor can it compromise on an affordable housing plan that would help Californians cope with soaring home prices.

Legislators can’t even figure out how to stop the massive closures of recycling centers across the state, leaving Californians with few options to collect their bottle and can deposits. And talks about a solution to that problem may not begin in earnest until January.

With just three days to go before a midnight Wednesday deadline for the Legislature to wrap up its work for the year, frustration over all the inaction is mounting, and the finger-pointing has already begun.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

American Academy of Pediatrics backs California vaccination law

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Anti-vaxxer kooks lose again.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged state governments and pediatricians to take a firmer approach in forcing vaccine-hesitant parents to immunize their children.

The policy statement released Monday suggests legislators prohibit non-medical vaccine exemptions for children entering school and day care, as done by California’s Senate Bill 277, which took effect last month.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cap and trade hustle continues to flounder

Gov. Jerry Brown and other politicians celebrated last week when the Legislature passed two bills that require deeper reductions in California’s carbon emissions.

As symbolically significant as the bills may be – including their effect on Brown’s political legacy – how the state achieves the 2030 goal, if it can, is a complex legal and political chess game.

Brown wants authorization to continue cap-and-trade beyond 2020, but the Legislature balked. It’s very uncertain the Air Resources Board could do it on its own, particularly in light of a 2010 ballot measure that tightly defines taxes that need a two-thirds legislative vote or voter approval to be imposed.

“Dino” Cortopassi — I got mine, now screw you

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Dean “Dino” Cortopassi, is the Stockton-area farmer and food processor who could undermine Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta water project and high-speed rail in California.

The state Capitol, Cortopassi said, has been overrun by “porkers feeding at the public trough,” and if long-term debt is not constrained, he said his grandchildren’s generation will bear the cost.

Never mind that this is the political system that made old “Dino” rich.

Dino’s using his 1%er wealth to sponsor a proposal to require voter approval before the state issues revenue bonds for public works projects costing more than $2 billion – his “moral obligation.” Moral obligation…yeah right. More like “I got mine, now screw you” in our opinion.

Proposition 53, into which Cortopassi and his wife, Joan, have poured about $4.5 million, is in one way a referendum on Brown’s $15.5 billion plan to build two tunnels to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south.

Dino just doesn’t want his life turned upside down by bulldozers and cement trucks. Your life, he could care less about.

In its official ballot argument, opponents criticize a measure “financed entirely by one multi-millionaire and his family, who are spending millions in an attempt to disrupt a single water infrastructure project.”

@FBI brutally executes Compton man in front of his family

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A family is seeking answers and justice after a 32-year-old man was fatally shot by an FBI agent Thursday night at his mother’s home in Compton.

Agents with the FBI’s SWAT team in Los Angeles were serving a warrant at the home located on South White Avenue, when an agent fired at a man after an alleged “altercation”.

The family of David Coborubio, who left behind a 9-year-old daughter, said he was moved outdoors to the street, where he died.

Anna Reyes, his sister, said she asked to see a warrant before the FBI stormed into their house, but an agent told her it was “irrelevant.”

In other words, it’s the FBI’s policy that if you live in Compton, due process doesn’t apply. So much for the 4th Amendment.

The warrant named another man, identified as 39-year-old Paul White, who was wanted for fleeing parole and possessing a firearm. He was arrested at the residence and is in custody, according to the FBI.

So not only did the FBI murder a man in cold-blood, they murdered the wrong man.

“I want to know why they killed my son,” said Mona Martinez. “I want to know what the hell they were doing here.” We’d all like to know.

The shooting will be investigated by the FBI’s Inspection Division from the headquarters in Washington, D.C. No doubt they will whitewash the results.

The Los Angeles District Attorney will also review the incident. Expect the same Police State whitewashing here too.

Source: NBC News

Feds nail racist auto lenders; the @GOP howls

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Marc Elliott didn’t know he’d become a player in the financial world until he received an unexpected email from a friend.

It read simply, “Did you know you just cost Ally Financial $80 million?”

His algorithm is a tool that estimates the probability that someone is white, black, Asian or Hispanic based only on their address and last name.

The feds have relied on it to accuse some of the country’s largest auto lenders, including the financing arms of Toyota and Honda, of discrimination.

Car dealerships often add an extra bit of interest, called a markup, on top of the rate charged by a lender, ostensibly to pay the dealership for its work arranging the loan. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, using Elliott’s system to look at tens of thousands of loans, has alleged that dealers charge larger markups to minority borrowers.

To Republicans who have fought to limit the agency created in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the algorithm encapsulates how the CFPB has overstepped its bounds, using a novel statistical method to indirectly regulate a class of businesses — car dealers — outside its jurisdiction.

Screwing people of color is a basic tenant of GOP policy.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Latest test scores show once again, school is only about the money

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Superintendent Tom Torlakson trumpeted “significant progress” in the scores of the 3.2 million California students in grades three to eight and 11 who were tested on how well they are performing vis-à-vis the state’s new Common Core standards.

Generally, California’s students improved by several percentage points from last year’s tests on meeting or exceeding standards in mathematics and English language arts and literacy.

One has to wade through hundreds of words that accentuated the positive, down to the 19th paragraph of Torlakson’s announcement, to get the first hint of a negative.

“One concern remains with the continuing achievement gap, with significantly lower scores among students from low-income families, English learners and some ethnic groups compared to other students.”

No kidding.

Just 37 percent of Latinos and 31 percent of African American students met or exceeded English standards, compared to 64 percent of whites and 76 percent of Asians.

The gap was wider in math, with Latinos and blacks at 24 and 18 percent, while 53 percent of white students and 72 percent of Asians hit the competency mark. And it was even wider when the scores of poor and “English-learner” students were calculated.

About 60 percent of the 6 million K-12 students fall into one or both of those categories, and not only were their test scores markedly lower than those of other subgroups, but their improvements were smaller, which means the “achievement gap” may be growing.

That’s obviously tragic for them, and in the long run for the state. But it also raises serious questions about the efficacy of the state’s new approach to education finance, which gives school districts extra money to concentrate on closing the achievement gap, and about the reluctance of state officials, from Gov. Jerry Brown down, to tighten up oversight of and accountability for how well the extra money is being spent.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

California slams the door on ITT Tech

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Time is running out on the for-profit college scammers.

The “show us the money” college chain ITT Educational Services has been banned from accepting new students at its 15 California locations under an emergency decision issued Friday by the state Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

The state will also seek to revoke ITT’s approval to operate in California.

The emergency order, which takes effect Sept. 1, comes one day after the U.S. Department of Education banned ITT from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.

“The federal action raises grave concerns about the continued financial viability of ITT,” bureau chief Joanne Wenzel said in a press release. “We took today’s action in the interest of protecting potential students who are considering enrolling in ITT.”

Federal officials announced the action Thursday amid a series of measures that could threaten the survival of the chain, which has been the subject of state and federal investigations focusing on its recruiting and accounting practices. Company officials did not immediately comment.

How legislators sold you out to #EpiPen for 30 pieces of silver

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Pharmaceutical heavyweight Mylan, the latest poster child for drug-industry greed, finally stuck up for itself Thursday.

It argued that “the system,” not avarice, was to blame for the company jacking up the price of EpiPens, a common (and life-saving) allergy remedy, by over 400%.

“Look, no one’s more frustrated than me,” Mylan Chief Executive Heather Bresch declared on CNBC.

Wrong! No one in the drug industry scored more free cash than this lying asshole. Actually, millions of people — those with chronic medical conditions or other illnesses — are more frustrated than her.

Despite Mylan’s offer Thursday of discount coupons for some EpiPen users, the only system at work here is a cash-fat industry routinely preying on sick people. It’s a system that the drug industry will do whatever’s necessary to protect.

Mylan’s money-grubbing approach to EpiPens is only the latest example of a drug company mercilessly putting the squeeze on patients.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Where you take a pee has become a federal case

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A judge ruled Friday that two students and an employee must be allowed to use restrooms matching their gender identity at University of North Carolina campuses, and he said they have a strong chance of proving the state’s bathroom-access measure violates federal law.

So it’s come to this…where you take a pee has become a federal case. As if America has nothing better to do than deal with stupid shit like this.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder temporarily blocked the University of North Carolina from making the three plaintiffs follow the restroom provision of the so-called HB2 law as the larger case makes its way to trial in November. His final decision on the law won’t come until after that trial.

Passed in March, HB2 requires transgender people to use the restrooms in schools and many public buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates, rather than their gender identity. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide anti-discrimination protections.

Redneck legislators in North Carolina must not read the politically correct news. Shame on them.

The state’s Republican leaders argue the law is needed to protect privacy and safety by keeping men out of women’s restrooms. Transgender residents challenging the law argue that restroom safety is protected by existing laws, while the North Carolina measure is harmful and discriminatory.

In his ruling Friday, Schroeder wrote that the three plaintiffs in the lawsuit “are likely to succeed” in their arguments that HB2 violates Title IX, a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in educational institutions.

In other words, as Donald Trump would say, “the system is rigged.”

Source: The Los Angeles Times

#AmericaLovesDrugs: Scoring drugs in San Francisco easier than going through a Jack in the Box drive-through

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Drug runs in San Francisco are nothing like those in the past, when trying to score a bag of weed involved an extended game of cat and mouse, and/or hanging out at the dealer’s house for two hours watching a dumb movie because the guy was feeling lonely and you didn’t want to upset him and end up on his bad side.

Buying drugs on the streets of San Francisco is easier than going through a Jack in the Box drive-through.

That’s live in Libtopia.

Source: The San Francisco Examiner

Judge says go ahead, kill yourself, won’t suspend California’s right-to-die law

 

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Go ahead, kill yourself…you’ve got the law on your side.

California’s right-to-die law for terminally ill adults remained in effect Friday after a judge rejected a group of doctors arguments that patients could be coerced to end their lives.

In response to arguments that the law could be exploited by unscrupulous relatives and others who could profit from a patient’s death, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia recited the measure’s safeguards.

They include requirements of diagnoses from two physicians that the patient will die within six months, findings of the patient’s mental competence, a series of oral and written requests from the patient and self-administration of lethal medication that a doctor has prescribed.

Ottolia refused to dismiss the group’s lawsuit. He said the doctors could represent the interests of future patients, but he denied an injunction to halt enforcement of the law, which took effect June 9.

California is the fourth state to pass a right-to-die law, following Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Note, all libtard states that put relatively little value on human life.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

California slaps @PhRMA, feckless doctors, takes strong action to protect foster children

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Thanks to PhRMA, California children in the nation’s largest foster care system have long had their sadness, frustration and fears blunted with the strongest types of psychotropic drugs — medications with limited approvals for pediatric use that often cause debilitating side effects.

Now, after years of inaction (meaning after years of pharmaceutical industry payoffs), Sacramento lawmakers have gone far beyond any other state legislature to protect abused and neglected kids from receiving questionable psychiatric care that fails to treat the underlying causes for their trauma.

Bad news for PhRMA stock, but good news for human decency.

Under three laws that took effect this year — and three more bills now on the governor’s desk — the Legislature has prompted aggressive efforts to reel back overprescribing known to cause obesity, diabetes, heavy sedation and irreversible tremors.

The unprecedented package of bills requires state agencies, caregivers, social workers, public health nurses and judges to better protect the state’s most vulnerable children.

A damning state audit released this week increased pressure on lawmakers to act. In a 131-page report, State Auditor Elaine Howle reported that the state and counties “have failed to adequately oversee the prescribing of psychotropics to children in foster care,” saddling them with too many meds, inappropriately high dosages, and little follow-up care or documentation.

They’d rather foster kids be drugged into oblivion. Nice, real nice.

The Food and Drug Administration approves antipsychotics only for the rare instances of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism with irritability in children. But these drugs, along with a class of medications known as mood stabilizers, are often prescribed “off-label” to manage difficult behaviors — such as angry outbursts and suicidal thoughts — in foster children who have suffered trauma and abandonment.

Rat lobbyists for physicians and the group home industry, along with county behavioral health directors, have fought many of the provisions in the proposed laws. They’re getting paid to drug our children into the grave. They are the most despicable examples of inhumanity.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

New birth control pill measure headed to Governor Brown

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Believe it or not, we needed a law for this.

California women would be able to get up to a 12-month supply of contraception under a bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.

We can’t think of on good reason why this wasn’t possible already???

The state Senate on Friday passed Senate Bill 999, which extends the current limit of 90 days.

Supporters such as Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and NARAL Pro-Choice California argued that the change would benefit women, especially in poor rural areas, who have difficulty obtaining a consistent supply of birth control.

Since when did the Legislature care about the poor and people living in rural areas. This is really legislation to save affluent women from having to make so many tedious trips to the pharmacy.

Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who authored SB 999, said it is estimated to save $42 million annually due to 15,000 fewer unintended pregnancies and 7,000 fewer abortions.“

That’s a stretch, but OK.

Increasing access to birth control is good for women, families and the health of our state,” Pavley said.

Insurers and health plans opposed the bill, saying it could lead to a rise in unused medication. It passed by a bipartisan vote of 30-6.

WTF is up with insurance companies and health plans? Why would they care?

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Brown attacks coal industry by signing Hancock bill

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Gov. Jerry Brown, urging local governments and the state to eventually eliminate coal shipments through California ports, signed legislation on Friday prohibiting the California Transportation Commission from funding new bulk-terminal projects.

Brown, who has made climate change a priority of his administration, said in a signing statement that “action on multiple fronts will be necessary to transition away from coal.”

Senate Bill 1279, by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, gained Brown’s signature after the Oakland City Council voted in June to block coal shipments in its city.

Opponents of the bill include the League of California Cities. They objected to singling out one commodity and said the bill might violate U.S. treaty obligations.

Utah currently exports coal through the ports of Richmond, Stockton and Long Beach, according to a legislative analysis.

The bill was part of a package of coal shipment measures by Hancock.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Anti-vaccine kooks lose first round in Federal court

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A federal judge will not immediately block a California law that requires all schoolchildren to be vaccinated and is one of the strictest in the nation for eliminating exemptions based on religious and personal beliefs.

The ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego comes as the law faces its first test with the end of summer break.

A lawsuit filed by 17 families and two foundations sought an injunction while the lawsuit works its way through the courts.

The law went into effect July 1 and eliminated religious and personal beliefs as reasons for opting out of the state’s mandatory immunizations.It requires all children to be vaccinated before attending private or public schools or day care facilities unless doctors determine medical reasons for not doing so.

Sabraw wrote in his ruling that “case law makes clear that states may impose mandatory vaccination requirements without providing for religious or conscientious objections.”

He also noted it was not the court’s place to decide on the “wisdom” of the Legislature.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Feckless @AssemblyDems become the bigots in California farmworker overtime fight

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This vote should be a slam-dunk for Assembly Democrats.

Instead, tensions flared at the state Capitol on Thursday after the state Assembly abruptly adjourned without taking up its most anticipated piece of legislation of the day: a bill that would expand overtime pay for thousands of California farmworkers.

Another showdown over AB 1066, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), had been expected in the lower house after a similar proposal died in June four votes short of the majority it needed to pass.

But lawmakers said they would wait until Monday to keep working with members to garner the support. The lack of action on Thursday suggested they were having trouble mustering up the votes needed for it to pass.

So what we know is that California Assembly Democrats can be just as big a bunch of anti-Latino bigots as the Republicans.

Leaders with the United Farm Workers of America initially exchanged terse words with Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) outside the chambers over the decision to wait.

The United Farm Workers association argues the legislation addresses an injustice farmworkers have lived with since they were first exempted from federal minimum wage and overtime standards nearly eight decades ago.

Eight decades of racism. That’s what this is about.

But prominent business groups, led by the California Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of agricultural producers, have thrown their political weight against it, saying the legislation saddles farmers and growers with higher costs.

These would be the aforementioned racists we’re referring to.

“If overtime rules change, farmers would likely adjust work schedules to avoid overtime or take other actions, such as reducing acreage, switching crops or looking for machines that can replace people,” said Dave Kranz, a spokesman from the California Farm Bureau Federation. “In any of those scenarios, unfortunately, employees would lose work hours.”

That’s what happens in a free-market economy. Farm workers know this and are apparently willing to take that chance. But this really isn’t about the free market. It’s about wealthy California farmers continuing their state protected right to treat farmworkers like slave labor. It’s time this practice was stopped.

Source: LA Times

Feds go after America’s debtors prisons

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Finally, someone is doing something about this absurd Orwellian situation.

President Obama’s civil rights lawyers are seeking a potentially far-reaching ruling to hold that the Constitution forbids the common practice of keeping people in jail prior to a trial, even for minor offenses, just because they are too poor to pay for bail.

Every day, about 450,000 people are held under arrest in city and county jails because they cannot afford bail, according to the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and Equal Justice Under Law, a Washington-based civil rights group.

Last week, the Justice Department intervened on their side in a Georgia case which challenges the use of fixed bail schedules for people who are arrested.

The Constitution forbids “punishing people for their poverty,” the government’s civil rights lawyers argued in a brief to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

The 8th Amendment says “excessive bail shall not be required.” And the 14th Amendment, which protects the rights to liberty and equal protection of the laws, should be read to prohibit “bail practices that incarcerate indigent individuals before trial solely because of their inability to pay,” they said.

They agreed, however, that arrested people can be held if a judge believes they pose a danger if released or are likely to flee.

The Justice Department’s intervention is the latest step in a growing legal and political attack on the money bail system.

It arose in part from investigations that revealed how poor people in Ferguson, Mo., had become trapped by escalating fees and fines for relatively minor offenses.

Civil rights lawyers describe the traditional bail system as a “wealth-based detention scheme” that has largely escaped the scrutiny of the nation’s highest courts.

Source: LA Times

Oakland cops have turned harassment of African-Americans into a blood sport

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In Oakland, African-Americans should expect to be stopped by police.

Last week San Francisco Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko wrote about a report that revealed police in Oakland, after a decade of federal monitoring, are still showing signs of racial disparities in enforcement.

Some 15,407 vehicles were stopped between mid-November and mid-May, and blacks were behind the wheel in 57 percent of those stops, Latinos 21 percent and whites 11 percent.

Police rifled through the cars of black drivers in 28 percent of the stops, compared with 5 percent for whites and 14 percent for Latinos.

The report was worse for black pedestrians. Of the 1,858 pedestrians stopped by police, more than two-thirds were black. According to the 2010 census, Oakland is 28 percent black.

Oakland cops are simply racists who have turned harassment of African-Americans into a blood sport.

There are law-abiding citizens of color who fear driving, anxiety that is reinforced by reports like Oakland’s. What’s happening on the streets produces terror.

The danger of driving while black is a publicly recognized risk.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Feds clear the way for California’s state-run IRAs

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The U.S. Department of Labor adopted a landmark rule that lets states set up retirement accounts for private-sector workers who don’t have access to employer-sponsored plans, such as a 401(k).

The move could have a resounding impact on California, where the Legislature is on the verge of passing a bill that would create this type of state-run plan.

California is the largest of eight states that are working to create such plans, so the legislation has been closely watched.

Critics fear taxpayers could be on the hook if returns or participation fall short of expectations, something proponents say will not happen.

Nationally, about 55 million people, almost half the private-sector workforce, lack access to a workplace plan, according to AARP. About 7.5 million Californians do not have access to a retirement plan at work, according to an estimate from the the California Treasurer’s Office.

Under the new federal guidelines, states would have to design and run their programs; employers could have only “limited” involvement and could not put any money into worker accounts. The plan would automatically deduct contributions from the employee’s paycheck.

The state must design the program and choose investment options, but could outsource administration to a third party. Employers could have only limited involvement in the plan and could not put any money into worker accounts.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Bi-lingual education making a comeback

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The California Teachers Association is on board with Proposition 58, the initiative to roll back a nearly two-decade-old limit on bilingual education in the state according to its chief proponent, state Sen. Ricardo Lara.

“What we’re happy to announce is that CTA is actually gonna put this right along in terms of their priority for Prop 55,” an education and health care tax measure that the union has already poured millions of dollars into,” said Lara, D-Bell Gardens.

CTA spokesman Claudia Briggs later clarified that Proposition 58 is one of three ballot measures this election that the union has endorsed and it will communicate that to its 325,000 members. The organization also gave $500,000 to the campaign on Aug. 11, four times what it had previously raised.

“We are certainly supporters of the campaign,” Briggs said. “It’s still early, so chances are we may contribute more.”

Source: The Sacramento Bee

California pension reformers are getting their hopes up, even though they should know better

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Reformers are getting their hopes up again following a favorable state appeals court decision last week in a Marin County pension-spiking case.

It’s a great ruling. Several reform-minded commentators have referred to it as a “game changer.”

Here’s the sober reality: Public employees control the Capitol, run the major pension funds, are the main forces electing the governor and most statewide officials, and are treated deferentially in the legal system.

Every effort to roll back future pension benefits, or at least put them on a sustainable course, has been beaten back.

Even voter-approved initiatives ultimately are gutted by government agencies or the courts.

Unfunded pension liabilities — the future debt to pay all the current promises made to government employees — are the perfect “kick the can down the road” scam.

The dreadful debt numbers are obvious. But they don’t cause enough current problems to warrant taking on powerful union lobbies.

It’s easier for legislators to let future officials deal with the mess.

Source: The American Spectator

Study: Orange County Whites Hate Mexicans

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Back in the day, Orange County’s segregated ways kept non-white folks in their place. Brea used to be a “sundown town,” meaning blacks had to get out at dusk—or else! Whites didn’t want the Mexican Bernal family moving into their Fullerton neighborhood until he beat them in court. Anaheim’s Pearson Park had a segregated pool policy. And, of course, five Mexican families sued in Mendez, et al, v. Westminster to fight segregated OC schools. But those days are long gone, right?

A new UCLA study published last week begs to differ, finding that even with rising diversity, OC isn’t becoming an integrated shade of orange, especially when it comes to Mexicans.

With legal segregation in the ash heap of history, whites surveyed still spoke candidly of their preference to live, play and send their kids to school far away from Latinos (read: Mexicans). Oh, and they’re still scared shitless of being in SanTana!

Chosen at random, the whites surveyed ranged from 25 to 61, with most being middle- to upper-class professionals. They split almost evenly along political lines, with the slightest majority identifying as conservatives. All but two already lived in mostly white neighborhoods.

The study found that whites held attitudes that viewed Latinos as a cultural “threat,” while not harboring the same views toward OC’s Asians.

Practically all whites interviewed expressed fears about busing Latino kids into majority white schools.

The study found that whites didn’t particularly care to share beaches or public parks with Mexicans, either, echoing the views of infamous Newport Beach council member Dick Nichols.

Well, if whites in the study don’t like Mexicans at the beach, they sure hope beach city neighborhoods won’t become integrated with them.

So what do all these views mean? The study concludes that such attitudes reinforce de facto segregation for Latinos, and show no will from white respondents to challenge its residential and educational forms.

Source: OC Weekly

California voters shoud embrace the chance to punish feckless @PhRMA

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With a new drug villain in the headlines — Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, who hiked prices on EpiPen needed to avert life-threatening allergic reactions — federal lawmakers are once again calling for investigations, renewing consumers’ hopes that the government will finally tackle the issue of skyrocketing prescription drug prices.

We’ve been down this road before. The most infamous recent case was Turing Pharmaceuticals’ Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of a little-known antiparasitic drug by 5,000 percent last fall. Congressional inquiries followed, as did a resurgence in enthusiasm around efforts by states, including California, to rein in prices.

Since then, California’s two promising state measures have failed. The latest, just last week, was a bill that would have required drug companies to justify medication costs and increases. SB1010’s author, Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina (Los Angeles County), pulled it from consideration after it was watered down too much.

Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, had pushed a bill that would have required drug makers to report the costs and profits of medications priced at more than $10,000 per annual course of treatment. It died early this year.

Chiu said the federal debate on rising prices has gone nowhere. “If there’s going to be leadership on this issue, it likely needs to come from states willing to tackle the most significant challenge to health care in the coming years,” he said.

There is one move still in play, and it’s up to the voters.

Proposition 61, backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles, is shaping up to be the most expensive one for a measure in California’s history.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

We all know former L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca is a mental case…he belongs in prison

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Prosecutors in the case against former Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca have asked a federal judge to determine whether Baca is fit to stand trial.

The request for a finding on Baca’s competency came late Wednesday, after a morning court hearing during which Baca’s attorney made the latest in a series of comments meant to cast doubt on the mental acuity of Baca, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

In a court filing, Assistant U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox wrote that the government does not believe Baca is incompetent, but was seeking a definitive ruling in order to lay to rest doubts raised by the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Baca, 74, is facing charges of obstruction of justice and lying that stem from his alleged role in a 2011 scheme by sheriff’s officials to thwart an FBI investigation into widespread abuses by sheriff’s deputies working in county jails.

Fox asked U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to order Baca to undergo an evaluation in coming weeks by a medical expert chosen by the government or, failing that, by an expert appointed independently by Anderson.

We already know Lee Baca is a mental case, and an incompetent human being…he belongs in prison for his crimes.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

@Islam attacks American University of Afghanistan…scores dead and wounded

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Need more proof Islam is nothing more than a death cult? Here you go:

An attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul has ended with 13 people dead, including seven students and three assailants.

The dead also included two police officers and a university security guard, and more than 30 people were wounded, said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

One of the assailants detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the U.S.-funded university in western Kabul about 7 p.m. Wednesday, during evening classes, Sediqqi said.

Two other attackers then stormed the campus, shooting dead seven students who were outside before reaching the third story of the main university building, Sediqqi said.

The attackers took up positions there and began battling security forces, including members of a rapid-response police force who arrived soon after the attack began.

Hundreds of students were on campus at the time, some of whom barricaded their classrooms or fled via emergency exits.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

@HilaryClinton’s RICO operation rakes in  $12.5 million in California

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Hillary Clinton has already netted a minimum of $12.5 million as she starts her third day of a California money run.

The haul from six events in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach and the Bay Area on Monday and Tuesday is certainly higher than that because the figure was calculated based on minimum ticket prices for the dinners, luncheons and cocktail parties Clinton is headlining around the state.

The money will be split between the Democratic nominee’s campaign and several party organizations. Wednesday is the final day of Clinton’s visit to the state that is living up to its clichéd nickname as the ATM of national politics.

Clinton arrived at the first fundraiser of the day, at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay in Redwood City, shortly after 1 p.m. Then she will head to a reception in Los Altos Hills that will feature Apple CEO Tim Cook and a dinner in Woodside.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals nails killer cops in Anaheim

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A federal jury decision that absolved Anaheim police in a shooting of an unarmed man was influenced by inflammatory, graphic and irrelevant evidence and must be overturned, a federal appeals court decided unanimously.

The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a civil rights lawsuit by the family of Manuel Diaz, 25, who was brutally executed in 2012 by Anaheim police officers.

The shooting sparked days of violence and street protests.

The federal jury had returned a verdict in favor of police after six days of trial and only two hours of deliberation.

The 9th Circuit said the jury heard “runaway” evidence of Diaz’s gang affiliation and drug use, matters that were irrelevant to a decision on whether the police officer who shot Diaz acted recklessly.

Diaz had no weapon when police murdered him.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

U.N. official slams America’s racist #PoliceState

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It’s not every day that a senior United Nations official reprimands the U.S. for its race relations, saying the country is “struggling to live up to its ideals” on equality, that “blunt discrimination” by police against black Americans has reached “crisis levels,” and that Congress is “dysfunctional” in how it responds to problems.

But after a 17-day visit that included cities that have become flashpoints in police and race relations, such as Ferguson, Mo.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Baltimore, that’s what Maina Kiai concluded.

A Kenyan human rights lawyer, Kiai is the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and his trip last month was meant to examine how Americans handle protests.

He had planned his visit with the State Department for months and expected he’d have to search hard for demonstrations when he arrived. Instead, Kiai stepped into a country reeling from back-to-back police shootings of black men and attacks on police in Baton Rouge and Dallas where controversy over race and policing was front and center.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

EpiPen scandal continues to explode

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It’s bad enough that the price of life-saving EpiPens has exploded from $94 in 2007 to more than $600 now.

Even worse, so has executive pay at Mylan Inc., which bought the EpiPen rights in 2007. CEO Heather Bresch’s compensation has skyrocketed from $2.5 million to nearly $19 million in 2015.

Now, Mylan is pushing legislation – including a bill before Gov. Jerry Brown – that could mean greater use of EpiPens and, of course, bigger profits.

And Big Pharma wonders why so many have such a dim view of the industry.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Brown bitches out Fresno sheriff in voice mail

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In his effort to pass a ballot measure to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early release, Gov. Jerry Brown has turned to direct confrontation – scolding a California sheriff in a voice mail for what he called a “malicious” mailer opposing the measure.

“Hey Margaret, I got that mailing on Prop. 57 that you signed,” Brown said in a message received by Margaret Mims, the sheriff of Fresno County.

In the voice mail, Brown objected to campaign’s distribution of a card featuring a prisoner that “you said would be released under my proposition.”

“I just want you to know that’s completely false, and that makes that mailer extremely false, and I would even say malicious,” Brown, a Democrat, told the sheriff, a Republican.

He accused Mims of employing “scare tactics that I think are unbecoming of a public official, and certainly will not build the kind of mutual respect and trust that we all need to do our jobs.”

Opponents of Brown’s measure have been distributing sportslike trading cards with photographs of prisoners convicted of heinous crimes under the headline, “Meet your new neighbor.”

Though it was unclear what prisoner was featured in the card Brown received, Proposition 57 does not define what constitutes a “nonviolent” crime, and opponents of the measure have sought to highlight criminals convicted of such “nonviolent” crimes as certain kinds of rape.

The Brown administration has said it anticipates implementing regulations to carry out Proposition 57 that would disqualify from early release inmates who must register as sex offenders, though that language is not written into his measure.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Court says feckless Pasadena museum can keep looted Nazi art

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They are a seductive pair: Adam, on a painted panel more than 6 feet tall, holds the apple of temptation. Eve, watched closely by a serpent, cradles an apple on her own panel moments before the act that will lead to the biblical couple’s expulsion from Eden.

The two masterpieces, created by German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder around 1530 and eventually purchased by American industrialist Norton Simon in 1971, are displayed prominently in the northeast gallery of the Pasadena museum that is named after him.

The tangled history of how they got there has been the focus of a nearly decade-long legal struggle by the daughter-in-law of the Dutch Jewish art dealer whose firm was coerced into selling “Adam” and “Eve” decades ago to the Nazis, along with tens of thousands of great works of art owned by Jews.

She wants them back, arguing that the works — believed to now be worth tens of millions of dollars — were looted by the Nazis. But last week U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter ruled that the Norton Simon Museum is the rightful owner of the paintings.

It’s amazing that in this day and age an California judge would rule in favor of the Nazis.

Source: LA Times

This video will explain why citizens have started shooting back at the police

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The video shows a Los Angeles police officer rushing toward the middle of the South L.A. street where two officers were holding a man on the ground.

He’d already been detained and was under control of the officers.

Nevertheless, feckless police state thug officer Richard Garcia swings his right leg and kicks the man hard near his head. Over the next 10 seconds, the video shows Garcia knee the man in the back, and elbow and punch him in the head.

As the other officers stand up and move away, Garcia presses his knee into the man’s back for more than two minutes, stopping only when other officers come to help pick up the handcuffed man and drag him toward a patrol car.

For nearly two years, the video of the October 2014 arrest has been repeatedly cited by police and prosecutors as they denounced Garcia’s actions, sought discipline against him and charged him with felony assault. But the department refused to make the recording public, even after prosecutors agreed in May to a plea deal that spared Garcia jail time.

Thankfully, the Times, however, obtained a three-minute recording of the arrest under an order from an L.A. County Superior Court judge. The video had been introduced as evidence in the criminal case against Garcia.

Clinton Alford Jr.’s arrest mirrored similar video-recorded encounters between African Americans and officers across the country that have prompted heated criticism.

And the police wonder why citizens have started shooting back at them?

Source: LA Times

Teachers unions grind up hapless California students in court: tenure stays

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Monday was the end of the line for a landmark California case challenging tenure and other traditional job protections for teachers — and the teachers won.

The outcome left some union opponents looking for a different battlefield in the ongoing wars over public education, while others said they should try the courts again.

The case, Vergara vs. California, was closely watched across the country as a test of whether courts would invalidate employment rights of teachers on the argument that they violate the rights of students.

The assault on these protections is part of a broader approach to reforming education that would make schools more like the private sector, which relies on competition, measurable results and performance incentives.

In such a scenario, employee protections get in the way, said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers.

“It’s fundamentally about providing a marketplace agenda within public education — doing away with the kinds of protections teachers have won over many years, such as seniority and due process, and creating the dog-eat-dog narrative that exists in the private sector,” he said.

Attorneys pursuing the case on behalf of nine students presented a different narrative. They argued that these job protections caused such harm to students that the rules violated their constitutional rights. Making it easier to fire bad teachers, the attorneys said, would not only improve academic performance, but would narrow the achievement gap that separates white, Asian and wealthier students from their lower-income, black and Latino peers.

Source: LA Times

California looking to give your “voting experience” a complete makeover

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Sweeping legislation at the state Capitol would make the future of California elections dependent on a major expansion of absentee ballots, one that would give local officials the power to close thousands of neighborhood polling places.

In their place, counties would open temporary elections offices known as “vote centers” sprinkled throughout communities, locations offering a wide variety of elections services including early voting and same-day voter registration as well as a limited number of in-person voting booths.

“We’re trying to make it easier for people to participate, given the complexities of modern life,” said state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), the author of Senate Bill 450.

The bill faces an Aug. 31 deadline to make it Gov. Jerry Brown for his ultimate signature or veto.

Allen and SB 450’s supporters say the plan represents a significant rethinking of the election experience for Californians. They point out that the many complaints from voters during the June primary — including polling place mistakes and registration errors — are perhaps the best argument for why change is long overdue.

Source: LA Times

Democrats starting to worry that @HillaryClinton lies too much, too often

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It was a very busy, very lucrative weekend for Hillary Clinton in the summer playground of the East Coast’s moneyed elite.

She brunched with wealthy backers at a seaside estate in Nantucket, snacking on shrimp dumplings and crabcakes. A few hours later, she and her husband dined with an intimate party of thirty at a secluded Martha’s Vineyard estate. And on Sunday afternoon, she joined the singer Cher at a “LGBT summer celebration” on the far reaches of Cape Cod.

Clinton has refused to open her fundraisers to journalists, reversing nearly a decade of greater transparency in presidential campaigns and leaving the public guessing at what she’s saying to some of her most powerful supporters.

It’s an approach that differs from the Democratic president she hopes to succeed. Since his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama has allowed reporters traveling with him into the backyards and homes of wealthy donors to witness his some of his remarks.

While reporters are escorted out of Obama’s events before the start of the juicier Q&A, the president’s approach offers at least a limited measure of accountability that some fear may disappear when Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump moves into the White House.

Clinton’s campaign does release limited details about her events, naming the hosts, how many people attended and how much they gave. That’s more than Trump, whose far fewer fundraisers are held entirely away from the media, with no details provided.

Even some Democrats privately acknowledge that Clinton’s penchant for secrecy is a liability, given voters continued doubts about her honesty.

And since announcing her presidential bid in April 2015, Clinton has held around 300 fundraising events — only around five have been open to any kind of news coverage.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

 

#PoliceState racism thrives in the Oakland PD

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After more than a decade of federal monitoring, police in Oakland are still showing signs of racial disparities in enforcement, according to the latest report. Officers, it said, were much more likely to stop and search African Americans than whites, but found suspected contraband more often on whites.

The monitor’s report, released Thursday, said Oakland police stopped 15,407 vehicles between mid-November and mid-May. Blacks were at the wheel 57 percent of the time, whites 11 percentand Latinos 21 percent. During the same period, officers stopped 1,858 pedestrians: 69 percent of them black, 10 percent white and 15 percent Latino.

Oakland’s population, according to the 2010 census, was 28 percent black, 34.5 percent white and 25.4 percent Latino.

The report also found that police searched African American motorists and their vehicles in 28 percent of their stops, compared with 5 percent for whites and 14 percent for Latinos. During pedestrian stops, African Americans were searched 48 percent of the time, whites 21 percent and Latinos 34 percent. The figures covered only searches officers chose to conduct, at their discretion, and did not include searches required by law when a suspect was being arrested or was visibly carrying a weapon.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

Brown should stand up to Police State thugs and sign SB-433

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This is one of those issues where reform-minded Democrats and Republicans should find common cause — ending civil asset forfeiture abuses, also known as “policing for profit.”

Civil asset forfeiture is what happens when authorities seize cash, homes, cars or other property because they see a link between the property and a crime.

Police may see cash and think drug profits. Prosecutors might take a house used to grow marijuana. This system is rife for abuse because, while prosecutors have to prove reasonable doubt to convict individuals of a crime, the bar is lower when they take people’s possessions.

Under federal law, owners often have to go to court to prove their innocence to get back what authorities took.

This is total Police State bullshit.

SB-443 passed in the Assembly. If the Senate passes the new version of the bill, as expected, it will go to the governor’s desk. Gov. Jerry Brown should sign it.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

Transgender Californians get aggressive by engaging in preventative politics

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One after another they stepped to the podium telling stories of liberation through transformation.

There was the man, in suit and bowtie, who once played college basketball on a women’s team. There was the woman, in a red lace dress, who said attaining a female physique was like “holding a prize in my hand.”

Gone were the anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide that came with living in the male body that didn’t match her spirit.

The stories they shared at this press conference outside the state Capitol were part of a broader statewide effort to make Californians more familiar with transgender people and the discrimination they say they face.

Similar events have already taken place in Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco, with more planned for Fresno, Palm Springs and San Diego.

Videos about Californians who changed their gender are featured on a website, and a media ad campaign is in the works.

The $1.2 million Transform California campaign is attempting to sway public opinion long before Californians might ever vote on any ballot measure that could restrict rights—like access to bathrooms and locker rooms—now granted to people whose gender identity doesn’t match the sex on their birth certificate.

Call it preventative politics. Conservative groups have tried twice in recent years to put a measure on the California ballot that would require people to use facilities based on their assigned sex at birth. Both efforts fell short, but proponents are undaunted.

 Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram

California’s white Democrat elites do everything they can to stop Loretta Sanchez

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Down in the polls and trailing in fundraising, U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez has just more than two months to close the gap with front-runner Kamala Harris before Election Day.

Sanchez’s representatives say the congresswoman has been working behind-the-scenes to raise money, hosting fundraisers and burning up the phone lines with prospective contributors. She also attended “night out” crime prevention events earlier this month in Downey and Wilmington, though officially in her capacity as a congresswoman.

A Public Policy Institute of California poll in late July found that 38% of likely voters supported Harris, compared with 20% for Sanchez. Half of California’s likely Republican voters and a third of independents said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate.

“With Harris polling way ahead, maybe the media is just not finding this an interesting race,” said Democratic pollster Ruth Bernstein of EMC Research in Oakland. “But it isn’t Labor Day yet, so a lot of voters are not paying attention.”

Source: LA Times