Tag: California

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Why Republicans Should Oppose Term Limits

 

Today, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would impose a six-year term limit on members of the House, while Senators would be held to 12 years in office. This is a magnificently stupid idea.

I worked on Capitol Hill for eight years back in the ’90s and early 2000s. I came into the job right before the 1994 elections and saw the incoming Republican majority as an opportunity for me and my ilk to do our part to re-make a Constitutional government. Like most Republican staffers on the Hill, I was bright, but young and laughingly inexperienced. As a result, I got my rear kicked day after day by my Democrat counterparts.

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A ballot referendum sponsored by the trade group American Progressive Bag Alliance has forced California’s political class to postpone its ban on “single-use” plastic bags from July 1 until voters act on the measure in November, 2016. Supporters of the bag ban are confident voters will uphold it because plastic bags are a costly burden to […]

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If you look at California’s history, there have been droughts of decades in its history, so this is not a Climate Change story (though many will want to bill it as such.) More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Better a Brown-In or a Brown-Out?

 

shutterstock_218314399I had an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee last week about California Governor Jerry Brown and the 2016 presidential campaign. Brown’s pretty much closed the book on what would be a fourth run for the White House. That includes this back-and-forth on a recent episode of Meet the Press, during which he seemed to indicate that he’d be a player if he were 10 years younger (Brown, California’s oldest governor, turns 77 this year):

So why do noodges like me keep on asking Jerry to challenge Hillary — in my case, polite imploring, as opposed to The Boston Globe’s begging Elizabeth Warren (if newspapers worked this hard for readership, there wouldn’t be circulation crises)? Here’s my thinking (two-thirds tongue-in-cheek, one-third serious):

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Big Government Is Bankrupt Government

 

The year 2007 marked the height of the housing bubble. Residential real estate prices were through the roof, especially in Arizona, Nevada, and California where speculators had swamped the market. This overvalued sector resulted in exceptionally high revenues for the Sun Belt cities that based most of their budgets on steadily growing property taxes.

Several cities, understanding the ups and downs of business cycles, maintained their level of spending or increased it by a modest amount. But other municipalities acted as if the good times would never end. Glendale, Ariz. borrowed to build a gargantuan pro football stadium and hockey arena nearly 20 miles from the city center. Stockton, Calif. borrowed $300 million to build their own arena, shopping centers, theaters, and a palatial waterfront complex.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Marijuana The New Same-Sex Marriage Debate

 

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Well, it looks like the Weed Wars are back in California. We will likely see an initiative to legalize marijuana on the ballot in 2016 and it could be an issue that even affects the presidential race.

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Our betters in the California state legislature have passed a ban on plastic grocery sacks. Signed into law by Governor Brown redux, the law begins to take effect next July.In a state where budget realities force Democrats to choose between boondoggles, this should come as no surprise. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Even Blue States Get the Blahs

 

KeepCalmForget about cats being the epitome of indifference (it’s not my line — I stole it from The Big Bang Theory). In 2014, it’s the American voter who, given the choice between red and blue, seems to be trending blasé.

Consider this rundown by Gallup’s Frank Newport, who notes that, compared to the 2010 midterm election, we should be adding Prozac to the list of Obamacare’s giveaways — a 13-point drop in voter thought given to the election, an 18-point falloff in motivation, a 9-point drop in enthusiasm.

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Just to the south of Jefferson, the new state of North California (shown as purple on the map) would be much larger, with a population of almost four million, comparable to Oregon or Oklahoma. More

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Jefferson, up on the Oregon border, is the first new state within the boundaries of the current state of California that I’ll describe in this series. It would be the most rural and smallest of the new states, with fewer than a million people currently residing in the counties that would comprise it. The population […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Whither Six Flags Over California?

 

Venture capitalist Tim Draper’s dream of six Californias, viewed as quixotic to many, seems to have come to an end with a judge’s ruling a few weeks ago that he didn’t buy enough signatures with his five-million-dollar investment. But has it?

As Walter Russell Mead notes, that it didn’t get enough legal signatures doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea. California may not be too big to fail, but it is apparently too big to work.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gay GOP Reformer Confounds Democrat Labeling

 

Carl DeMaio is a rising star in a California GOP woefully in need of them. Now that he’s running for a San Diego-area congressional seat, Democrats are doing everything in their power to destroy him.

DeMaio transcended a hard-knock childhood to create two successful businesses. He then was elected to the San Diego City Council where he instituted several groundbreaking reforms. DeMaio defeated tax hikes, improved accountability and led efforts to enact landmark pension reform.

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I’m dismayed by the trend started at Vanderbilt and California’s state universities to withdraw official recognition from Christian campus groups. But it raises a question. Most universities–at least public ones–have one or two conservatives (or sane moderates) on their governing boards. What will these people do to reverse the tide of gender theory, Marxist rantings, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Kevin McCarthy, Standing Athwart Jerry Brown

 

In the final clip from my recent conversation with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for Uncommon Knowledge, we turn to California politics — specifically to the future of the Golden State’s high-speed rail project, a topic on which McCarthy has become a thorn in the side of Governor Jerry Brown:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. California Solar Plant Kills 30 Birds an Hour

 

The workers call them “streamers.” Hapless birds that fly over a massive California solar array, only to be immolated in midair, leaving a brief plume of smoke and a medium-well carcass.

BrightSource Energy’s state-of-the-art plant in the Mojave Desert is the largest solar thermal power plant on earth — and the deadliest.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Breaking Up California

 

Timothy Draper, a California venture capitalist, wants to break up California. Does that sound insane to you? If it does, you need to appreciate that California, by itself, has a GDP larger than Russia or India. Specifically, the idea is to break it up into 6 states:

from-one-many

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What the California Education Decision Got Wrong

 

shutterstock_157595678Vegara v. California — the ruling knocking down union-backed protections for bad California teachers — is a great result achieved in the worst way. California public schools have done a terrible job providing education to the poorest minority students in the inner cities; it is imperative that innovation be introduced into the system. California’s antiquated rules about teacher tenure and seniority have stood in the way of meaningful reform. Everyone concerned about shaking up the educational bureaucracy to return the focus to teaching students rather than cosseting teachers should support the judge’s good intentions.

But whether teachers should have tenure, how they are fired, and what their rights are as employees should be decisions for the elected representatives of the people of California, not for judges. The theory of this decision is that these policies violate the constitutional rights of students because they produce an inferior education, and that, as a result, the courts can decide to take over the California public school system and make every decision from employees to funding to buildings to curriculum. They could arguably decide how much of the California state budget should go to education rather than police, fire, or roads. These are essential decisions for a democracy to make.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. California Gets it Right … Beautifully, Beautifully Right

 

cbfrontA few years ago, I wrote a piece for City Journal (later adapted for the Los Angeles Times) about California’s largest teachers union, the California Teachers Association. The title: “The Worst Union in America.” Now, writers almost never get to choose their headlines and this case was no exception. But the CJ editors had it exactly right. There’s probably no union in the country that is both (A) as powerful and (B) as malign in its effects as the CTA. There are a lot of reasons for that — the piece isn’t exactly short, after all — but one of them is the extent to which they insulate bad teachers. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

A tiny 0.03 percent of California teachers are dismissed after three or more years on the job. In the past decade, the LAUSD—home to 33,000 teachers—has dismissed only four. Even when teachers are fired, it’s seldom because of their classroom performance: a 2009 exposé by the Los Angeles Times found that only 20 percent of successful dismissals in the state had anything to do with teaching ability. Most terminations involved teachers behaving either obscenely or criminally. The National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based education-reform organization, gave California a D-minus on its teacher-firing policies in its 2010 national report card.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Business owners and those who hope to become one (wantrepreneurs) are a dying breed. First some wonky background: Technically, the U.S. economy is in “recovery”. However, most economists agree growth is anemic and vulnerable. 2014’s first quarter GDP was a mortifying 0.1%, surprising most everyone. Forbes called the growth “glacial”. Now we are informed that […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Isla Vista: Could Rodger Have Been Stopped?

 

My latest piece over at PJ Media concerns the murders in Isla Vista. Among other issues, I discuss the pro forma calls for more gun control, this in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. A sample:

 And still there are those who entertain the childish fantasy that some act of legislation, some magical addition to California’s already voluminous gun laws, might have been the one that impeded [Elliot] Rodger from carrying out what he was determined to do. Richard Martinez, father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, one of the students Rodgers killed on Friday, has been passionate in his condemnation of the National Rifle Association and the politicians he perceives to be in its thrall. “Why did Chris die?”, he asked reporters. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA.”

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