Someday #white #elites and the #poor will be all that’s left in #California

Screenshot 2017-12-31 at 09.38.34.pngWhite elites are doing great in California, making billions, living on the beach, and being served by the poor who muddle along in their third-world, lifestyle.

It’s only going to get better for the elites as those pesky middle-class bots continue to flee the state.  No more clogged freeways, no more common folk “trespassing” on their beaches.

According to the Fresno Bee, two new reports on population trends show that California loses more people to other states each year than it gains. The exodus from the state has been growing, thanks to high housing prices, taxes and other costs of living.

Soaring housing costs are a major reason for the outflow of the young—with Texas their No. 1 destination Half of Texas’ growth was from migration, including an 80,000-person net increase from other states such as California.

California’s neighboring states in the West all were among the nation’s fastest-growing, including No. 1 Idaho, No. 2 Nevada, No. 3 Utah and No. 4 Washington. Arizona and Oregon were also in the top 10, along with Colorado and Texas.

 

 

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Immigrants jailed in the Otay Mesa Detention Center are used for slave labor

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Immigrants in detention in San Diego are suing a private prison company, alleging exploitation and forced labor that their attorneys say breaks human trafficking laws.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the class-action lawsuit, filed Wednesday in San Diego federal court, alleges that immigrants at Otay Mesa Detention Center are paid at most $1.50 per day, and sometimes not paid at all, for their work as kitchen staff, janitors, barbers and various other roles.

It further alleges that the facility doesn’t provide all of the basic necessities that detainees need for daily life, like soap, which means they have to work in order to buy those items at the commissary.

Sometimes, the lawsuit says, facility staff threatened to put detainees in solitary confinement or take away visitation rights if they said they didn’t want to work.

CoreCivic, the company that contracts with the government to operate the facility, said that it does not comment on pending litigation and has not yet been served with the lawsuit.

Even the #Iranian people are sick of the #Islamics

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Iran’s biggest wave of street protests in almost a decade is presenting a mounting challenge to the country’s leadership, as calls for fresh demonstrations Sunday circulated on social media despite threats of a government crackdown.

The unrest began Thursday as a rebuke to the economic management of President Hassan Rouhani, who many Iranians blame for failing to control inflation and fix high unemployment. But they have widened to more than a dozen cities, and have started to feature chants targeting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who sits atop the country’s unique form of Islamic government.

The wave of unrest is the largest in Iran since protests in 2009 over the disputed re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Popular anger about what many perceived as rigged voting results coalesced into the so-called Green Movement, which organized mass protests and drew a harsh government crackdown.

This time, double-digit inflation and unemployment, coupled with the planned removal of subsidies and new taxes, drove the unrest at first. Another spark was Iranians’ losses in unregulated financial schemes that have collapsed in recent years.

Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We don’t want the Islamic Republic, we don’t want it” could be heard Saturday as protests spread to Tehran for the first time. Many Iranians, especially younger generations born after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, view the system as oppressive and want to change how the country is governed.

More classified #HillaryClinton #privateserver emails become public

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 08.10.50.pngPolitico reports that the State Department on Friday released 2,800 work-related emails from Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, that were found by the FBI on the laptop computer of Abedin’s husband, disgraced sex criminal and former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York.

Five of the messages from Abedin were marked classified, like numerous other emails that were sent or received by Clinton or her aides then deemed classified by the State Department,

The emails that were deemed classified included topics involving the Islamic terror organizations Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Abedin has been a top Clinton aide for decades and at the time was serving as deputy chief of staff. She is also a notorious Islamic sympathizer.

President #Trump’s haters cash in on mega-bull market

Screenshot 2017-12-29 at 07.13.01Leftist crybaby’s complain incessantly about literally everything the President does.

Yet they’re silent when it comes to the stock market.

That’s because the white elites who make up the  bulk of the progressive movement are rich, and the stock market’s unprecedented run is making them even richer.

Thanks in large part to the leadership of President Trump, Wall Street has taken stock investors on a mostly smooth, record-shattering ride in 2017. The Mercury News reports that major stock indexes made double-digit gains for the year, led by Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks (owned by wealthy, white, elite, Leftists).

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, had its best year since 2013.

Leftist investors benefited from the Trump administration’s push to slash corporate taxes, roll back regulations and enact other pro-business policies. Congress passed the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul bill, which reduces corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent, last week.

Many analysts expect stocks to keep climbing next year.

President #Trump slams #Amazon for ripping-off the #USPS for billions

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 07.49.46.pngIf President Donald Trump has his way, the cost of delivering Amazon packages will go up.

The nation’s chief in a morning tweet Friday once again took aim at the Seattle e-commerce behemoth, this time demanding it pay the U.S. Postal Service “MUCH MORE” for delivering Amazon packages.

“Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer?” Trump tweeted.

“Should be charging MUCH MORE!”

We agree.

Amazon has felt the presidential sting before, in statements condemning not only the company but the Washington Post newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

According to the Mercury News, analysts say Amazon may in fact be receiving a deep discount when using the U.S. Postal Service as a delivery agent.

In 2015 that the mail service probably took care of 40 percent of Amazon’s deliveries in 2014, for about $2 a package — about half of what UPS or FedEx would charge, according to Bloomberg.

Instead of winning elections, California Republicans bleat about election rules

Screenshot 2017-12-30 at 07.31.01.pngRather than focus on winning elections by recruiting quality candidates who have a message that resonates with voters, California Republicans continue to bleat like sheep about election rules.

As if changing the rule would make them any less irrelevant in California policy-making.

That explain’s Jon Coupal’s latest hand-wringing in the Orange County Register.

Coupal writes that “failing to learn the lessons of the past, the Legislature and the governor decided to change the rules for recall elections, enacting SB96 as a last-minute budget “trailer” bill.”

Coupal’s meal ticket, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sued to get SB96 overturned as unconstitutional.

So the Democrats who dominate the Legislature simply passed a new law, SB117, that worked around the judge’s objections and reinstated the new recall procedures.

As a result, lazy California Republicans lose again.

 

#Apple’s sweat shop mentality will continue to brutalize #Asia

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Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua (R) visit a China Mobile shop to celebrate the launch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on China Mobile’s fourth generation (4G) network on January 17, 2014 in Beijing, China.

Apple Inc. and China Mobile Limited, the world’s largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers, signed a deal on December 23, 2013 after six years of negotiations.

One shareholder however doesn’t share the euphoria.

According to the Mercury News, a Bay Area man with a small stake in the world’s largest technology company is fighting to put human rights front and center throughout Apple’s global operations — and he’ll soon find out whether other Apple shareholders back his plan.

Jing Zhao of Concord — a long-time proponent of human rights measures aimed at holding technology companies accountable for their actions around the world — has proposed that Apple should create a human rights committee to “review, assess, disclose, and make recommendations to enhance Apple’s policy and practice on human rights,” according to Apple’s proxy statement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

In his supporting statement, Zhao listed Apple’s decision in July that took down hundreds of virtual private network apps in its Chinese App Store for iPhones. The move led to an inquiry from two U.S. senators on whether Apple is enabling Beijing’s internet censorship and other human rights violations. (Which of course they are.)

Naturally, Apple’s board has recommended a vote against Zhao’s proposal.

Zhao, who owns at least $2,000 in Apple stock, has been a minor, but extremely persistent voice in raising human rights actions with tech companies.

Zhao, a researcher who runs an independent think tank called US-Japan-China Comparative Policy Research Institute (CPRI), has made at least 36 human rights-related proposals to Silicon Valley companies since 2010 and made proposals to Apple every year since at least 2015, according to fellow Apple investor James McRitchie.

They have all been ignored. Apple just wants money. They could care less how many people they brutalize in Asia.

#White #elites continue to do great in California…everyone else, no so much

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Here are home-buying highlights from the Orange County Register for Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar and Newport Coast for October.

This house-hunting data tracks resales of existing detached and attached residences in the community.

The analysis includes October trends based on closed sales: sale counts; average price vs. average list price; high and low price paid in the month; average cost per square foot and average size; plus, based on broker listing networks stats on Nov. 20, the “market time” metric comparing supply of listings to new escrows opened in past 30 days.

The elites are doing fantastic in their multi-million dollar homes. Everyone else, not so much.

 

Undoing President #Trump’s net neutrality rules highly unlikely in Sacramento

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The Los Angeles Times thinks that in the coming year legislator’s attention is likely to turn to private companies and how they protect consumers’ information.

That would be a refreshing change of pace if it were true.

With federal regulation rollbacks, a rise in data breaches and a growing industry of products connected to the internet, some legislators and tech lobbyists say they want people to have more notice and control over what personal data is collected, without having to pay for privacy or better services.

For example, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality regulations, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) pledged to bring them back to California.

Progressive legislators will put forth dozens of bills to undo what is happening in Washington.

Unfortunately corporate America has a powerful ally with deep pockets in Sacramento…the Legislature. Most of these bills will go nowhere.

California #Realtor mafia to home buyers: Pay up!

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This is what the victims of California’s Realtor mafia look like.

After a year of looking for a house in the San Fernando Valley, Elizabeth Coipel-Liverman and her husband Daniel Liverman could only find “overpriced fixer-uppers in bad neighborhoods.” Now, the Chatsworth couple is turning to Ventura County to find their dream home.

“We don’t want to pay a half million dollars for a dumpy house in the Valley,” Daniel Liverman, 40, said, adding that he and his wife are aiming to buy a house in the $600,000 to $700,000 range. “I don’t want to live in a crappy neighborhood and send my children to a crappy school. That’s why we’re looking for a house in Ventura County.”

The Livermans are among many home buyers who have struggled to find affordable homes in a sizzling San Fernando Valley market, where home prices skyrocketed to record highs in 2017 according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

In the Valley, the median price of a single-family home at the end of 2017 jumped to $675,500, a 13.4 percent rise from a year ago. The price shattered the prior record of $671,500, reached in March, according the Southland Regional Associated of Realtors. It’s the highest price since the pre-recession housing bubble.

 

Governor Brown continues his push to steal pension benefits from state workers

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For decades in California, a sacrosanct rule has governed public employees’ pensions: Benefits promised can never be taken away.

Now, cases before the state Supreme Court threaten to reverse that premise and open the door to benefit cuts for workers still on the job.

According to the Mercury News, the lawsuits have enormous implications for California cities, counties, schools, fire districts and other local bodies facing a sharp rise in their pension costs.

At issue is the “California Rule,” which dates to court rulings beginning in 1947. It says workers enter a contract with their employer on their first day of work, entitling them to retirement benefits that can never be diminished unless replaced with similar benefits.

It gives workers security that their retirement will be safe and predictable after a career in public service.

It’s widely accepted that retirement benefits linked to work already performed cannot be touched. Accepted by everyone except Governor Brown that is.

 

Car break-ins are sweeping California’s premier #sanctuarycity

Screenshot 2017-12-29 at 07.41.28Car break-ins are sweeping California’s premier sanctuary city.

The San Francisco Chronicle, which wholeheartedly supports the sanctuary city movement, reports that 26,000 San Francisco residents have met this fate in 2017.

People at every level of the socioeconomic ladder, in every corner of the city, have been affected by this crime epidemic. City government is long on excuses and short on plans to solve the problem.

The number of auto burglaries has tripled since 2010, with no signs of slowing. In fact, there were 5,333 more car break-ins by the end of October 2017 than in the same period of 2016, according to Police Department crime statistics.

Governor Brown’s pardons contribute to California’s crime tsunami

Screenshot 2017-12-19 at 08.35.15As the Trump administration ratchets up criminal prosecutions and efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and legal residents with criminal convictions, the San Francisco Chronicle opines that Gov. Jerry Brown has doubled-down on exercising his power to grant clemency and demonstrate his belief in the power of redemption.

On Saturday, the governor issued 132 pardons and 19 commutations, including pardons to two men, Mony Neth of Modesto and Rottanak Kong of Davis, whose past criminal convictions made them targets for deportation to Cambodia.

In April, he pardoned three veterans who had served honorably in the U.S. military but then were deported to Mexico after serving time for various crimes. A pardon technically creates a path to avoid deportation.

With these actions, Brown has granted 1,059 pardons and 37 commutations during his last two terms as governor, far outstripping his predecessors, Govs. Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (15 pardons, 14 commutations combined), and his father, Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown (467 pardons, 55 commutations).

So the crime tsunami sweeping California, and especially the Bay Area, should come as no real surprise to anyone.

Sex criminal #UC Regent #NormPattiz resigns in disgrace…he should be in jail

Screenshot 2017-12-29 at 07.26.38.pngUniversity of California Regent Norm Pattiz, who was recorded last year asking an actress at his podcast company if he could hold her breasts and had recently been pressured to leave the board, will step down in February according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

As expected, the board took no action against Pattiz when the recording surfaced in October 2016 because he wasn’t conducting UC business at the time, said the regents, whose job includes holding UC faculty and executives accountable for sexual misconduct. The regents have since changed their policy so that alleged outside misconduct can trigger an investigation.

Everyone knows the UC regents are nothing more than a criminal enterprise posing as leaders of an institution for higher learning.

Student protesters demanded his resignation, UC employees threatened a constitutional amendment to make it possible to fire a regent, and three fellow regents raised the matter again with board Chair George Kieffer.

In his resignation letter to Kieffer, the feckless Pattiz did not mention the sexual harassment accusation but said it was time to retire after 16 years on the board.

Kieffer accepted Pattiz’s decision, saying, “After so many years you deserve a break.”

Avoiding prosecution for sex crimes is certainly a break. Just the kind we’d expect from the UC regents.

 

President #Trump could care less about visiting California

Screenshot 2017-12-29 at 07.13.01.pngPresident Trump is about to become the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower 64 years ago to skip a visit to California during his first calendar year in office.

Even past presidents who, like Trump, didn’t win the state’s electoral votes made it a destination, if only for California’s allure as the Golden State of campaign cash.

President Trump could obviously care less, and the Los Angeles Times is freaking out.

California has been at the forefront of those states and organizations pushing back against Trump’s policies to vastly scale back federal healthcare subsidies, environmental protections and safety regulations, and to crack down on legal as well as illegal immigration.

Trump noticed early on. California is “out of control,” he told Fox News in February.

On top of that, the political world’s biggest losers are the California Republicans. President Trump would be wasting his time with them.

Amazingly stupid pregnant women in California think smoking weed is OK

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In California, amazingly stupid pregnant women are smoking more pot these days, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study, and as California embraces recreational marijuana in 2018, experts are concerned the trend may continue.

“It’s definitely something we see,” said Dr. Amelia McLennan, an OB-GYN at UC Davis Medical Center. “It’s usually among younger patients, but really it’s across the board. Unlike tobacco and alcohol, people don’t feel like pot is at the same level in terms of risk.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, from 2009 to 2016, marijuana use among pregnant women increased from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California healthcare system.

But the biggest jump according to the study was among those 24 and younger, especially teens. Nineteen percent of women 18 to 24, and 22 percent of teen moms screened positive for marijuana at eight weeks gestation.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana use by pregnant women can lead to health problems in infants such as low birth weight and developmental issues.

 

Ignoring the real issues, #TomSteyer pumps millions into lame impeachment scam

Screenshot 2017-12-28 at 08.35.27.pngYou live in California, but you don’t have a home. Your student loans are a debt you can never repay,  you’re addicted to opioids, and your community is overwhelmed by a tsunami of crime.

Don’t worry, Tom Steyer has an idea that will take your mind off all of your problems….impeach President Trump.

According to POLITICO, when the billionaire Democratic donor Steyer launched a digital petition drive to impeach President Donald Trump two months ago, some Democratic Party leaders dismissed it as an unhelpful vanity project — and even Steyer thought he’d top out at a million signatures.

But nearly 4 million digital signatures later, the philanthropist and environmental activist’s unlikely campaign has seized on an issue — impeaching Trump — that could become part of the Democratic mainstream in 2018.

It’s placed at his fingertips a potentially powerful tool: an email list of millions of motivated activists whom he can reach instantly for organizing and fundraising and that could become the hottest trove of data in Democratic politics since the email list that Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton collected in 2016.

Steyer’s digital success is fueling intense curiosity about what he’ll do with that tool in the future — and whether he’ll use it beyond his California base, for a White House bid of his own.

Hate campaigns have been popular with California Republicans for decades….now it appears the Democrats are catching up.

Crime wave explodes across #SanFrancisco

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Apparently there are two kinds of citizens in San Francisco, wealthy Leftist elites, and criminals. The San Francisco Examiner is reporting that crime continues to overrun the city.

The city has experienced a 26 percent increase in reported car break-ins so far this year despite all the attention city leaders have paid to the incessant problem, according to new numbers from police.

The most recent crime statistics available show that auto burglars broke into 25,617 vehicles by the end of October — 5,333 more than reported at that point in 2016, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

All this crime despite efforts from Police Chief Bill Scott, who in late August said he would disband an investigative unit assigned to reduce car break-ins and instead focus those department resources on prevention. So much for that theory.

#China: #America’s loser junkie drug addicts aren’t our problem

Screenshot 2017-12-28 at 08.07.17The Chinese know…Americans love drugs.

The United States should look within to cut down demand for opioids which are fueling its deadly drug crisis rather than stressing unsubstantiated claims that China is the major source of these chemicals, a top Chinese drug enforcement official said Thursday.

Basically the Chinese view is America’s loser junkie drug addicts aren’t their problem. Of course they are correct, and that’s got the heads of drug loving Americans spinning.

Yu Haibin of the China National Narcotics Control Commission told reporters there was little evidence showing China was the source of much of the chemicals used in the production of the powerful opioid fentanyl. President Donald Trump in November blamed a “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl made in China for the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Yu urged the U.S. to share more data and police intelligence with Chinese authorities and said rampant over-prescription of pain medication and lax cultural attitudes toward drugs had fueled massive demand for opioids in the U.S.

Insufficient drug education and the trend in some states of legalizing marijuana have hurt drug enforcement efforts, he said.

“As many states decriminalize marijuana, the public’s attitudes and trends of thinking toward drugs will also have a bad effect” on the fight against hard drugs, Yu said.

“Just Say No” has never been as popular in America as it is in China.

 

Seventeen employees say #CharlesManson #doppelganger and Oakland chef is a sex pervert

Screenshot 2017-12-28 at 07.55.59Charlie Hallowell, the chef-owner of three popular and celebrated Oakland restaurants and a guy who bears as striking resemblance to psycho killer Charles Manson, is stepping away from day-to-day operations at his businesses in the face of numerous allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse of employees.

Hallowell’s restaurant group — which includes Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service and Penrose — has retained an outside human resources consultant to perform a full investigation into the company, Hallowell said in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Seventeen former employees accused him of sexual harassment and pervasive verbal abuse. The workers, from all three of Hallowell’s restaurants, described a demoralizing work environment where his indecent propositions and abuse of his power were the norm, along with a near-constant stream of sexually explicit language.

“It was just this constant need to talk about sex or anything sexual,” said former Boot & Shoe bartender Jessica Moncada, 31 told the Chronicle.

He’s apparently an amazing sex pervert even by today’s sad standards.

#Leftists target whites in #Nevada in their relentless attack on America

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Hatred of President Trump, despite all of his success, will remain the Democrat’s theme for 2018.

Now, Leftists at the Los Angeles Times are hoping that white college graduates in America’s suburbs will hard against Republicans in elections around the country and threaten to upend the party’s control of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

Supposedly put off by Donald Trump’s presidency, they have been shunning Republicans in congressional and state legislative contests. Their support was crucial in electing Democrats as governor in Virginia and U.S. senator in conservative Alabama.

Republican hopes for keeping control of the U.S. Senate next year will hinge on affluent, mainly white suburbs like Summerlin, Nev., where Trump’s alleged unpopularity is weighing on GOP Sen. Dean Heller in his run for reelection.

To the violent Left, it’s an open question whether the Republican Party — encumbered by Trump’s often racially charged cultural appeals to blue-collar voters — has repelled well-educated whites for the long term. To normal people Heller is a good guy.

Surge of #Islamics at the San Ysidro border crossing

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The Islamics have figured out that the best way to ingress into California is at San Ysidro. The consequences for Californians are frightening.

The Los Angeles Times reports that so many people fleeing persecution in their home countries have asked for help in San Ysidro in recent weeks that federal officials have not been able to process all of them, leaving some stranded and running out of money while they wait in Tijuana.

U.S. border officials are trying to work through the backlog, but they can go only as fast as migrants can be processed and moved from temporary holding cells to immigration detention.

An official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency remains committed to meeting the care and safety needs of people in custody, and is working actively with partners, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to resolve the backup.

 

Abandoned by political elites: Not even President #Trump can save the forgotten in California

Screenshot 2017-12-19 at 08.35.15Californians abandoned by the state’s political elites remain in a quagmire of despair

The share of Californians moving to a new location continued a steady decline in 2017, reaching a new post-World War II low, an indicator of a less mobile workforce that reflects both an aging society and economic problems facing younger workers.

The decline marked the fifth straight year in which the share of the population moving dropped. In 2017, the number fell to 11%, according to the Census Bureau. The level was nearly twice as high in 1985, 20%, but has fallen steadily, except for occasional cyclical zigzags, for the last three decades.

Thanks to President Trump, the job fortunes of young adults have improved after several difficult years following the Great Recession. However the Los Angeles Times reports that many are still living in their parents’ homes or stuck in apartments with multiple roommates.

Home prices continue to be unattainable, particularly in larger urban centers favored by young adults, also play a role. Builders have tended to bank on more-profitable, higher-priced houses or luxury apartments, and that’s helped exacerbate a shortage of affordable homes in many cities.

Gulags for the homeless, couch surfing for millennials. That’s how the elites roll in California.

 

#CPUC rats let #PG&E off the hook…again

Screenshot 2017-12-27 at 07.33.08.pngThe rats at the California Public Utilities Commission are going to bat once again for their favorite patron, Pacific Gas & Electric.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that following a year of devastating California fires, the CPUC just approved new rules that will require utilities to have more clearance between power lines and vegetation.

California spent the last half of 2017 in flames, confirming that the California Public Utilities Commission’s adoption of new regulations to improve fire safety is basically eyewash. The CPUC should have demanded PG&E take these steps years ago.

Now, after the fires, PG&E and other utilities will be required to increase the minimum clearance between electrical equipment, including power and transmission lines, and trees and other vegetation.

Thanks for nothing,

Losers nailed for using drone to deliver drugs

Screenshot 2017-12-27 at 07.22.13.pngTalk about a couple of real losers. A probationer and his girlfriend are accused of dealing drugs out of a Riverside home and using a drone to deliver the contraband to customers.

The Mercury News reports that Benjamin Paul Baldassarre, 39, and Ashley Lauren Carroll, 31, were arrested Thursday following an undercover Riverside police investigation into possible illegal activity at Baldassarre’s residence in the Orangecrest area of the city.

Along with three counts of possession of controlled substances for sale, the couple is charged with child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Several people were waiting for the drop and collected the contents, according to police. The activity prompted investigators to obtain a search warrant, which was served on Baldassarre and Carroll on Thursday morning, Railsback said.

 

Democrats trash talk the tax bill, but don’t want it repealed

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was resolutely opposed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. From his perch on the Senate Budget Committee, he weighed it down with rules challenges. At rallies across the Rust Belt, he warned it would speed up America’s transformation into an oligarchy.

However the Mercury News reports that on CNN on Sunday, however, the feckless Sanders said that parts of the bill were worth saving.

“According to the Tax Policy Center, next year, 91 percent of middle-income Americans will receive a tax cut,” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sanders. “Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Yes, it is a very good thing,” Sanders said. “And that’s why we should have made the tax breaks for the middle class permanent. But what the Republicans did is made the tax breaks for corporations permanent, the tax breaks for the middle class temporary.”

What a two-faced loser.

Europeans continue to suck oil out of the #NorthSea at a record pace

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While the self-anointed elites in the European Union lecture the rest of the planet on environmental responsibility, their neighbors in the UK are sucking oil out of the North Sea at a record pace.

The Financial Times reports that Premier Oil has produced first oil from its flagship development in the North Sea, a milestone that will help the UK explorer and producer start repaying its significant debt load.

First oil from the $1.6bn Catcher project was achieved on the afternoon of December 23, the company said on Wednesday.

The North Sea development is expected to initially produce about 10,000 barrels of oil per day, before ramping up to 60,000 b/d in the first half of 2018. This will add 30,000 b/d to Premier’s overall production — it is the operator of the development with a 50 per cent equity stake. Other partners include London-listed Cairn Energy, Dutch oil and gas investor Dyas and Hungary’s MOL.

#KimJongUn goes biological, but the #elitemedia still likes him better than President #Trump

Screenshot 2017-12-27 at 06.51.52A North Korean soldier who defected to the South this year is reported to have antibodies linked to the deadly Anthrax infection in his bloodstream, raising fears that the pariah regime may be trying to develop a biological weapon with the disease.

According to the Telegraph, the presence of the antibodies in the unidentified soldier means that he was either exposed to or vaccinated for anthrax, and that he was immune to the bacteria that cause the deadly disease, reported South Korea’s Channel A, according to UPI.

If untreated, anthrax can kill within 24 hours, and about 2,000 people are believed to be infected globally every year.

Despite fears that its hostile neighbor may be using the bacteria for a biological weapons program, South Korea’s military is yet to secure an anthrax vaccine and is not likely to do so until the end of 2019 said the country’s defense ministry.

Analysts believe the pariah regime is moving steadily towards acquiring essential machinery that could potentially be used for advanced biological weapons that could be used against US and South Korean ground troops.

Pyongyang is believed to have experimented with bacterial strains including microbes that cause anthrax, cholera and plague. The threat is viewed as serious enough by the Pentagon to merit vaccinating Korea-bound troops for exposure to anthrax and small pox.

Despite all of this, the elite media still likes Kim more than President Trump.

 

#OrrinHatch helped #Utah suck up billions of federal dollars – now they hate him

Screenshot 2017-12-27 at 06.43.00After sucking up billions of federal dollars over the last several decades, Utah’s biggest newspaper anointed the state’s longtime Republican senator, Orrin G. Hatch, as its “Utahn of the year,” a distinction that came with a nearly full-page photo on the paper’s front page on Christmas Day.

The senator seemed to appreciate the recognition, tweeting an image of the front page and thanking the Salt Lake Tribune for “this great Christmas honor.”

But the Tribune’s distinction wasn’t exactly an honor, in the strictest sense of the word according to the gleefully spiteful Washington Post.

Along with a news article and the photo, the newspaper published a scathing editorial that took aim at the senator’s recent record, most notably his part in the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in the state, and said that the designation was meant to anoint the Utahn who had had the most impact, “for good or for ill.”

Hatch, who is the Senate’s longest-serving member with 42 years of service, has long been one of the staunchest conservatives in the chamber. He was seen as one of the driving forces behind President Trump’s decision to shrink the two national monuments by about 2 million acres.

 

The #UN screws #America, so President #Trump screws the #UN

Screenshot 2017-12-16 at 09.18.33The United States has slashed the two-year budget for the United Nations by $285 million, delivering on a promise to cut spending on the agency after the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly denounced President Trump’s decision to move the country’s embassy in Israel.

American Military News reports that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley hailed the decision to negotiate a reduction to the overall 2018-2019 budget as one of “a host of successes” by the U.

“(W)e reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system,” Haley said in a statement. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”

Ahead of last week’s U.N. General Assembly vote to declare the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “null and void,” Haley warned in a tweet that “the U.S. will be taking names.”

After the assembly voted 128-9 Thursday to denounce Trump’s decision to move the embassy and declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital, Haley and other U.S. officials promised to revisit the U.S.’s role in the organization, including the size of its financial contributions.

It’s about time America had a president who would stand up to these feckless rats.

Crybaby #CharlieDent is quitting rather than support President #Trump

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Republican candidates used to be measured by their conservative ideology but now are judged according to how loyal they are to President Donald Trump, GOP Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania told ABC News.

Dent, who has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018, told ABC News’ Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce in an interviewed aired on “This Week” Sunday that some Republican voters who once evaluated candidates on the purity of their conservative ideology now demand that they show complete loyalty to Trump.

“It’s not about ideology anymore. It’s about loyalty to the president,” Dent said. “Now the litmus test has changed. The issue is loyalty to the man, to the president. And for some you know loyalty is not enough; you have to be angry and aggrieved.”

The GOP representative said the president is one reason why he decided to leave Congress after this term. Dent did not endorse Trump in 2016 and also has said he didn’t vote for him.

“Certainly the president has been a factor” in the decision not to seek reelection, Dent said. “You know, … I’ve often said that this administration at times is taking the fun out of dysfunction. I expect a certain amount of dysfunction in government. And sometimes you can laugh at it, but it’s not so funny anymore.”

What a loser.

Whack-job #Richmond cop shoots up #FourSeasons hotel in #SanFrancisco

Screenshot 2017-12-24 at 08.53.41.pngA whack-job city of Richmond police sergeant pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he fired a gun inside a hotel in downtown San Francisco and then held police at bay for about 90 minutes according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Philip Sanchez entered his plea at about 2:30 p.m. before Judge Christopher Hite at San Francisco’s Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St.

Sanchez, 45, was charged with discharging a gun in an inhabited dwelling, negligent discharge of a gun, felony vandalism and brandishing a gun.

Sanchez, is out of custody on $290,000 bail.

Sanchez allegedly fired a gun at least 10 times inside a part of the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences, located at 757 Market St., that was being renovated, San Francisco District Attorney spokesperson Maxwell Szabo said.

Police responded to reports of gunfire and when officers arrived Sanchez refused to come out of the hotel.

Sanchez’s attorney Nicole Pifari said reports that Sanchez was mentally unstable around the time he fired the gun inside the hotel are “out of character for him.”

No kidding. This guy is an idiot who should be in jail, not on the streets with a gun and a badge.

 

Brutal drivers mercilessly run down black bears in #Yosemite

Screenshot 2017-12-24 at 08.50.19.pngThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that as the bear population increases throughout California, roadway collisions with black bears have become an alarming fact of life.

At least 27 have been hit by vehicles in Yosemite this year, continuing a disturbing trend on mountain roads and highways around the state, which has seen at least 100 collisions this past year, wildlife officials said.

You’d think people would slow down in the nations parks. They don’t. Instead they drive with same reckless abandon that the do around town. With the same murderous results.

The number of collisions this year mirrors last year despite a park-wide effort to address the problem, which includes numerous signs and a public information campaign.

A handful of the bears hit by cars this year were later found dead, but nobody knows the fate of many of the others. The actual number of bear collisions is probably much higher, Yosemite officials said, but a great many of the crashes are not reported by drivers.

#EliteMedia in America pushes #FakeNews narrative to help the #Islamics

Screenshot 2017-12-24 at 08.40.49According to the fake news media, this was no happy Saturday night for Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In about 15 cities, crowds ranging from about 200 people to thousands gathered to protest corruption and demand his ouster.

Netanyahu is the subject of two police investigations for possible graft and abuse of his public position, and his close associates are the targets of two more. He has been interrogated as a criminal suspect seven times.

On Tuesday, in a Hanukkah gathering with supporters and fellow Likud party members, Netanyahu hinted that police might recommend that he be indicted.

Who cares, he crowed before his audience, because “most police recommendations are tossed!”

Despite the onslaught of fake news from the Los Angeles Times, our sources in Israel tell us the Prime Minister is just as popular as ever.

 

 

#FBI deputy director to retire in humiliation

Screenshot 2017-12-24 at 08.36.02President Donald Trump again questioned the impartiality of the deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who is planning to retire from the bureau in the months ahead after being buffeted by attacks over alleged anti-Trump bias in the agency.

In a tweet Saturday, the president wrote: “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?”

McCabe spent hours behind closed doors on Capitol Hill this week being grilled by lawmakers on two separate committees as part of a new investigation of the FBI and its 2016 inquiry into Clinton’s email practices when she was secretary of state. His role supervising the email investigation has come under renewed scrutiny.

McCabe’s wife, Jill, received $700,000 in donations from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee and the Virginia Democratic Party for a state Senate race in 2015. The money was donated before McCabe was promoted to deputy director and assumed a supervisory role in the Clinton email investigation. McAuliffe is a longtime supporter of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

McCabe became acting FBI director last May after Trump fired Comey, who was overseeing the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump maintains there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, and has blasted the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

From his South Florida home, where he is spending the holidays, Trump also tweeted that McCabe “is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”

McCabe plans to retire in about 90 days, when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits, The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation. Trump and his Republican allies have made it clear that they want McCabe out of the FBI. But McCabe is a civil service employee who cannot be fired without clear evidence of wrongdoing.

McCabe is just another typical Washington DC con man who has ripped off the American people. Whenever he leaves it will be in disgrace and humiliation.

Los Angeles Times

 

The #LATimes attacks President #Trump for defending America

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Citing North Korea’s growing nuclear and ballistic missile threat, the Trump administration is moving to vastly expand America’s homeland missile defense system.

And for trying, he’s viciously attacked by the Los Angeles Times.

Immediate plans call for building two $1-billion radar installations and adding 20 rocket interceptors to the 44 already deployed in underground silos at Ft. Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Pentagon also is taking steps to launch new satellites to help each interceptor’s “kill vehicle” find, crash into and destroy incoming ballistic missiles high above the atmosphere.

The expected cost is about $10.2 billion over five years, on top of more than $40 billion already spent for the system. On Thursday, Congress passed a short-term government funding bill that includes $200 million to start preparing construction of additional missile silos in Alaska.

The LA Times immediately ramped up a fake news campaign based on alleged reports and interviews with so called technical experts suggesting the planned upgrades, including a redesigned kill vehicle, are unlikely to protect the United States from a limited-scale ballistic missile attack, the system’s stated mission.

Los Angeles Times

#SantaMonica school board crimes

Screenshot 2017-12-23 at 08.24.08A Santa Monica school district’s conflict of interest investigation has grown to include three of the board’s seven members, a school district official confirmed on Friday.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s probe initially focused on Maria Leon-Vazquez, whose husband worked as a paid consultant to at least two district vendors.

Santa Monica-Malibu launched its probe after the Los Angeles Times revealed last month that Leon-Vazquez cast a series of votes spanning several years that included hundreds of thousands of dollars in contract approvals with her husband’s clients, the financial advisory firm Keygent, LLC and TELACU Construction Management.

That investigation has now widened to include board members Ralph Mechur and Oscar de la Torre, according to a district spokeswoman. The district is looking into possible conflicts of interest related to Mechur’s work as an architect for Leon-Vazquez’s home remodel and a nonprofit involving De La Torre, said spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Los Angeles Times

 

#Sacramento’s homeless gulag is becoming a reality

Screenshot 2017-12-23 at 08.18.05.pngThe first 50 of about 200 homeless people who will occupy a homeless gulag  on Railroad Drive in North Sacramento arrived Friday, Dec. 8. The shelter has sparked controversy among nearby residents and business owners.

It has become a grim Christmastime ritual. Amid the cheer of twinkling lights, homeless people and remorseful politicians file into the pews of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral every December to mourn the men, women and children who continue to die on the streets of Sacramento County.

Last year, the death toll was about 80 people, including a 28-year-old pregnant homeless woman who was hit by a car. Mourners dedicated an ornament to her unborn child.

This year, the number is a shocking 112 – the most ever recorded by the Sacramento Coalition to End Homelessness. Two of the men who passed away did so on the cold concrete outside Sacramento City Hall, one of them huddled with only a small red blanket to keep warm.

Sacramento’s answer, heard them all into a gulag.

 

Sacramento Bee

Despite the plot to blow up #Pier39, #SanFrancisco wants more #Islamics

#ContraCosta thug cops brutalize immigrants

Screenshot 2017-12-23 at 08.00.59The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office has completed an investigation of its own practices and announced Friday that it prevented no immigration detainees from using the bathroom and did not confine inmates to cells for 23 hours at a time.

That’s right. Brutal thug cops investigated themselves and found no wrongdoing. There you have it.

The allegations came from several of the 38 women detained at the West Contra Costa County jail in Richmond by federal immigration officials, including Dianny Patricia Menendez, who in October told reporters she would rather be deported than suffer the jail’s distressing conditions. In September, 27 women signed a letter documenting their complaints.

The Sheriff’s Office has a $6 million-a-year contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to run the immigration detention center at the jail.

“Nearly all of the complaints were unfounded and unsubstantiated,” Sheriff David Livingston said in a statement, noting that investigators with the department interviewed 110 witnesses, using translators when necessary or listening to recordings. They also watched “hundreds of hours” of video surveillance and looked at logbooks, computer entries “and other evidence.”

In response, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate.

On Dec. 4, Becerra said his office would look into the allegations of mistreatment at the jail. He has until March 2019 to report to state lawmakers.

At the same time, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote to Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE, and asked him to investigate.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating itself.

San Francisco Chronicle

#SanFrancisco, America’s premier #sanctuarycity, targeted by the #Islamics

Screenshot 2017-12-23 at 07.38.35It didn’t take long for the Islamics to figure out that sanctuary cities like New York and San Francisco were soft targets ripe for attack.

Thankfully however, the FBI thwarted a potential Christmas terror attack in San Francisco. An Islamic was charged with planning an attack in the city following an undercover investigation.

The Islamic, Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, a tow-truck driver and former US Marine, was charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, the Islamic State.

Jameson was accused of naming Pier 39, a popular area of San Francisco, as a possible target during communications with an undercover FBI agent posing as an extremist.

He was accused of asking the undercover agent for an assault rifle and equipment for a pipe bomb.

He allegedly said that “Christmas was the perfect day” for an attack, according to local media reports.

The Telegraph

Actress says #DannyMasterson “repeatedly raped” her

Screenshot 2017-12-22 at 09.16.56.pngA fifth woman has come forward to accuse Danny Masterson of sexual assault.

Actress Bobette Riales made her allegation on Twitter, saying that the Masterson “repeatedly raped” her. Masterson, former star of “That ’70s Show” and Netflix’s “The Ranch,” and Riales dated in the early 2000s.

“I stayed quiet long enough. Danny Masterson repeatedly raped me,” she tweeted. “All I seek is justice and to prevent this from ever happening to anyone else as it has for some time. My truth will be heard.”

Netflix fired Masterson from “The Ranch” earlier this month.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating at least one of the accusations.

Three members of the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson also belongs, have accused him of raping them in the early 2000s. The women claimed the church pressured them into saying silent, which church officials deny.

East Bay Times

 

Santa Clara dams just as bad as Oroville

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The spillways at three dams located near densely populated communities around San Jose have structural problems that are similar to the flaws that led to the failure of the main spillway at Oroville Dam last February, recently completed technical reports show.

The concrete spillways at the Guadalupe Dam and Calero Dam, both built in 1935 in the hills south of San Jose, have extensive cracks, flawed joints, and in the case of Guadalupe, gaps of up to 15 inches deep between the bottom of the spillway and the bedrock underneath.

While the prospect of a wall of water wiping out parts of San Jose is indeed alarming, officials say the spillways would only pose a risk if the South Bay is inundated for months with rain filling the reservoirs to their brims. That’s a rarity, although it happened last year at Anderson, Santa Clara’s largest dam.

Mercury News

Psycho #Islamic runs down pedestrians in Melbourne

Screenshot 2017-12-22 at 08.56.59Police in Australia said an Islamic who drove through pedestrians in Melbourne rambled about injustice towards Muslims and the Australian spy agency after he was arrested – but his motive remains unknown and he is believed to have acted alone.

As Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the “shocking” crime, more details emerged about the driver, Saeed Noori, a refugee from Afghanistan. Noori had a history of drug use and mental health problems.

Mr Turnbull said: “He [the driver] has said in a number of what the police are describing as ‘utterings’, he has said that he attributes his actions to perceived mistreatment of Muslims.”

Noori was captured on Thursday after he drove a white SUV into a crowd of pedestrians at 4.41pm at one of Melbourne’s busiest pedestrian crossings outside Flinders Street station, one of the city’s main transport hubs.

Nineteen people were injured, including three who remain in a critical condition. The injured included three South Korean tourists, as well as visitors from Ireland, China, Italy, India, Venezuela and New Zealand.

The Telegraph

 

#UraniumOne investigation re-opened

On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.

The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department’s effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.

At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security.

Image: Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton speaks during the LA Promise Fund's Girls Build Leadership summit in Los Angeles

A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.

 

NBC News

Oooops! Californians aren’t so happy with their new gas tax

Screenshot 2017-12-22 at 08.39.50.pngA new poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found 52 percent of likely voters would support an initiative repealing California’s recent increases in gas taxes and vehicle license fees, while 46 percent said they “strongly” support repealing the charges.

Prices at the pump went up 12 cents per gallon last month as a result of the 10-year, $52 billion transportation package approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Gov. Jerry Brown advocated for the bill and signed it in April.

Prices are set to increase again in January 2020 based on inflation, according to state officials. The extra transportation funding is intended to address deferred maintenance for roads, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as support public transportation projects across the state.

Sacramento Bee

Senators sex crimes cost taxpayers millions

Screenshot 2017-12-22 at 08.29.02Senate Rules Committee Chairman Richard Shelby says in a statement that workplace harassment shouldn’t be tolerated, “particularly not in the United States Senate.”

What a joke that is!

The Senate has paid nearly $1.5 million in taxpayer money over the past two decades in what senators say were harassment settlements.

Naturally the two-page release reveals no names of lawmakers or victims and few details.

It says $599,000 was for 13 settlements involving “member-led” Senate offices. The remaining $853,000 was for 10 settlements involving “other” Senate offices.

The payouts weren’t just for sex crimes. The document says the largest settlement was $421,000 and was for “race discrimination and reprisal.” Taxpayers are paying for the bad behavior of racists too.

Associated Press

Poll: Sex criminals get off too easy while victims get screwed

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Most Americans say sexual misconduct is a major problem and that too little is being done to protect victims, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. But some — particularly Republican men — are concerned about the rights of the accused.

The poll shows that nearly 6 in 10 Americans think there is too little protection for the rights of people who have been victims of workplace sexual misconduct.

A third of working Americans say sexual misconduct is a very serious problem in their own workplace, a feeling most common among women, minorities and lower-income Americans. Three in 10 women and 1 in 10 men say that they’ve personally experienced sexual misconduct at work.

The poll shows that majorities of Americans think broad sectors of society are not doing enough to prevent sexual misconduct, including institutions including the entertainment industry, colleges and universities, state and federal governments, the military and the news media.

Associated Press

Russian hackers expose journalists’ sordid lives

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Russian television anchor Pavel Lobkov was in the studio getting ready for his show when jarring news flashed across his phone: Some of his most intimate messages had just been published to the web.

Days earlier, the veteran journalist had come out live on air as HIV-positive, a taboo-breaking revelation that drew responses from hundreds of Russians fighting their own lonely struggles with the virus. Now he’d been hacked.

“These were very personal messages,” Lobkov said in a recent interview, describing a frantic call to his lawyer in an abortive effort to stop the spread of nearly 300 pages of Facebook correspondence, including sexually explicit messages. Even two years later, he said, “it’s a very traumatic story.”

The Associated Press found that Lobkov was targeted by the hacking group known as Fancy Bear in March 2015, nine months before his messages were leaked. He was one of at least 200 journalists, publishers and bloggers targeted by the group as early as mid-2014 and as recently as a few months ago.

The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics or Washington.

Associated Press

Poll: #DianeFeinstein is in trouble

Screenshot 2017-12-21 at 08.44.39.pngA new poll suggests that Dianne Feinstein losing her ironclad grip on her Senate seat.  In short, she’s in trouble, big trouble.

Just 41 percent of likely California voters back the 84-year-old, five-term incumbent in her bid for re-election, six months before the 2018 primary.

The poll was released Wednesday by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.

Senate leader Kevin de León, who received support from 27 percent of voters. Nearly a third of respondents, 32 percent, said they were undecided, leaving de León plenty of room to maneuver in the coming months.

For Feinstein to drop below 50 percent “shows weakness and vulnerability, much more so than in any of her past re-election campaigns,” said Mark DiCamillo, the head of the IGS poll.

The high number of undecided voters and Feinstein’s anemic numbers could be a big motivator for billionaire Tom Steyer and other candidates, said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State.

“She should be farther ahead,” McCuan said. “Someone outside of politics has to be encouraged to at least test the waters.”

Mercury News

California’s secret government continues to protect criminal judges

Screenshot 2017-12-21 at 08.38.04The agency that disciplines unethical judges in California does not have to release thousands of confidential judicial complaints and investigations sought by the state auditor, a San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled.

Naturally. It’s how California’s secret government works.

Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said in her ruling this week that the state Constitution gives the San Francisco-based Commission on Judicial Performance the power to shield certain records, effectively trumping the auditor’s legislative authority to review government agencies.

Regardless of the “merit or popularity” of the auditor’s arguments to view such records, Bolanos wrote, voters made clear in a 1994 proposition that amended the state constitution that only proceedings involving formal charges against judges would be public.

Thankfully, State Auditor Elaine Howle is expected to appeal the ruling.

The case stems from an unprecedented standoff between the commission and the auditor’s office after a state legislative committee approved a first-ever audit of the 11-member commission in August 2016. The commission was established in 1960 to investigate misconduct charges involving the state’s roughly 2,000 judges.

Although the small but powerful agency can publicly discipline judges, including removing them from the bench, the state Constitution allows commissioners to carry out the vast majority of their investigations and disciplinary actions in secret.

San Francisco Chronicle

 

#BayArea elites slam President #Trump’s tax bill, but rush to raise bridge tolls by $4.5 billion

Screenshot 2017-12-21 at 08.31.19.png Details of a regional ballot measure that would raise tolls to pay for billions in Bay Area transportation improvements are beginning to fall into place after results of a new poll show that the measure has sufficient support to pass.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission took no official action Wednesday afternoon, but after a two-hour discussion it was evident that officials are ready to ask voters in nine Bay Area counties in June to approve a $3 toll increase on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges.

Consensus emerged quickly after results of a public opinion poll, presented to commission members, showed that voters are likely to support the measure, which could raise up to $4.5 billion over 30 years.

Support for a toll increase was relatively consistent among those surveyed whether the proposed boost was $1 to $2 phased in over four years or $3 spread over eight years. The toll-increase measure would need approval by a simple majority of voters, not a two-thirds supermajority required in most tax measures.

A majority of the 4,151 likely June voters said they would support all three of the potential toll-increase scenarios presented by pollsters.

“I am very pleased, in fact surprised, at the level of support, especially from my county,” said Commissioner Julie Pierce of Clayton in Contra Costa County.

San Francisco Chronicle

Another dunderhead #BayArea cop gets robbed

Screenshot 2017-12-21 at 08.26.32It’s unbelievable how lazy and stupid some law enforcement officers in the Bay Area have become.

Ammunition and tactical gear were stolen Monday from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent’s vehicle in Oakland, officials said Wednesday.

The theft, reported to police on Monday, did not involve the loss of firearms, according to ICE service spokesman James Schwab.

The stolen items included a government credit card.

The theft follows a rash of auto burglaries throughout the Bay Area involving vehicles of law enforcement officers, including a gun stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger’s car in San Francisco in 2015 that was used in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle on Pier 14.

San Francisco Chronicle

 

All of the sudden, California’s un-affordable housing is President #Trump’s fault

Screenshot 2017-12-21 at 08.19.39.pngThe Republican tax bill that appears headed for President Trump’s desk reduces the ability of home buyers to deduct mortgage interest, which will be a hit to home shoppers in Southern California and the Bay Area, where housing costs are sky-high.

But the interest provision is far more limited in scope than a previous proposal. Real estate experts and professionals said Tuesday that they don’t expect a big effect on home buying in the region, and that any ramifications will be largely restricted to well-to-do neighborhoods.

Under the new plan, which passed the House on Tuesday and was headed for a late vote in the Senate, buyers can deduct interest on mortgages up to $750,000, for homes bought after Dec. 15. (Homes purchased on that date or before then aren’t affected.) That’s down from the current $1-million limit, but an increase from a $500,000 cap that previously passed the House.

That means a home buyer with a 20% down payment can purchase a $930,000 home and still deduct all the interest. Even for a borrower who took out a $1-million loan at 4% interest, $30,024 of interest payments are deductible in the first year, leaving $9,656 that isn’t.

Christopher Thornberg, founding partner with Beacon Economics, predicted prices will keep on climbing in Southern California, given the robust economy and shortage of listings. “If you are borrowing a million bucks to get a home, the write-off is not your primary concern,” he said.

Los Angeles Times