Tag Archives: Jerry Brown

Pop Fizz Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is back to harassing the majority to pander at interest groups.

Related:

Starting in July, the mayor has decreed that cash, consisting of cotton with no intrinsic value and subject to the whims of an unconstitutional, unaudited Federal Reserve that is appointed to manipulate the money supply, must be accepted at all* city businesses or they will be fined as “discriminatory.”

Perhaps because they gave more money to his campaign, certain industries are exempted, of course:

[P]arking lots, garages, and businesses who sell goods through a membership model – such as gyms – [are] able to continue operations as normal.

And guess who’s back under the microscope by daring create jobs from the efficiency of cashless transactions??

Councilman Allan Domb said Amazon issued a warning that they would re-consider implementing an Amazon Go store in the city if the bill passed.

[…] Amazon Go stores have no cashiers and only accept digital forms of payment.

Admittedly, the jobs will be for filthy, NSA-style behavior monitors leering at you through surveillance cameras as you negate your cashless Planet Fitness workout with a cheesecake cupcake. WE SAW YOU BRENDA GET BACK ON THE TREADMILL.

According to Tech Crunch, the store’s 100ish cameras track your body movements, but employ no facial recognition. Yet.

How is Philly’s recent push for “universal pre-K built by soda drinkers” shaping up, anyway? Likely, with generous curves.

MarketWatch reported in January on a four-year Stanford University study of Philadelphia beverage sales (including two years prior to the start of the shake down). Scanning the paper turns up some good nuggets, from the mayor’s spokesperson admitting the main objective was to raise cash, not improve health (justifying the taxation of diet drinks, but not sugar-laden juices), to the mayor’s initial demand of $0.03/ounce that was trimmed to $0.015.

While the tax successfully moved some sales to just beyond the city limits, [t]he 46% reduction in quantity sold of taxed beverages [in city limits] leads to an equivalent percentage reduction in tax revenue relative to the case where consumers continue to consume at pre-tax levels.

Also, there was no increase in the city’s sale of untaxed beverages (like water), and the artificial drop in consumption (since people just stepped outside the city to buy soda or Gatorade merely hit by sales tax, not an additional sweetened beverage tax) was decrease[d] less in low income (and high obesity) neighborhoods.

[…]

After taking into account cross-shopping, the total demand reduction is equal to only 22%. We do not detect a significant reduction in calorie and sugar intake.

Read more here:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/residents-of-philadelphia-found-a-novel-way-around-the-citys-unpopular-soda-tax-2019-01-11

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3302335

*

The California Bullet Train has been delayed again by governor Gavin Newsom (below, left). Perhaps to preempt bad publicity that his family was too good for the historic California governor’s mansion in Sacramento (which Newsom reportedly ditched after holing up there for three weeks so $4.1 million in renovations could wrap on his new crib in Fair Oaks), the newly-minted Democrat, via a “State of the State” publicity appearance, bemoaned that completing the $100 billion disaster, begun during the George W. Bush administration under outgoing governor Jerry Brown, “would cost too much and take too long.”

Newsom and ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle

California will complete just the leg between Merced and Bakersfield (for now?). The original plan to link San Francisco and Los Angeles with a “bullet” speed locomotive was sabotaged from the beginning by pressure to slow down and stop in politicians’ backyards, as even far-left Vox pointed out:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/15/18224717/california-high-speed-rail-canceled

Also,

[California] set about to construct the segment connecting Bakersfield and Merced, two smaller cities in the middle of the state, as the initial segment. The idea was basically that a Bakersfield-Merced high-speed rail was so obviously ridiculous that nobody would be content to build just that and end the project, so future governments would go find billions of extra dollars somehow.

Did Newsom intend to cut his losses?

“Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it […] And by the way, I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump.”

Guess what. The evil orange man has attempted to cut off massive federal funds ($929,000,000, which is actually a fraction of the tens of billions the completed slog would consume) towards finishing the train.

Trump tweeted that California owed the federal government about $3.5 billion for the canceled project. “We want that money back now,” he wrote. “Whole project is a ‘green’ disaster!”

The Department of Transportation indeed announced they seek to recoup $2.5 billion granted for fiscal year 2010. (The 3.5 billion figure comes from 929 million + 2.5 billion = way too much to spend on a vanity project.)

“I can’t recall of any precedent,” [sic] said Art Bauer, a longtime state Senate Transportation Committee staffer who was deeply involved in the early planning on the high-speed rail. “They never claw back money. They are saying you are not getting money we committed to you.”

[our emphasis]

Incidentally, CNN argues Trump cannot repossess the funds appropriated to California High-Speed Rail Authority by Obama’s
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They need only
complete a 120-mile high-speed train track for the “initial central valley section” by the end of December 2022.

No actual trains required! Not unreasonable expectations for thirteen years of heavily-subsidized “reinvestment” in a failing industry.

Newsom bitched that Trump pulling the project plug after the Governor indicated he, himself was mostly pulling the plug constituted retaliation.

“It’s no coincidence that the Administration’s threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states in challenging the President’s farcical ‘national emergency,’” Newsom said in a statement, referring to Trump’s emergency declaration to secure funding for his wall on the Mexican border. “The President even tied the two issues together in a tweet this morning. This is clear political retribution by President Trump, and we won’t sit idly by. This is California’s money, and we are going to fight for it.”

Earlier in the day, Trump had declared on Twitter, “The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!”

*

The Governor continues to lay down some statist policies. According to Inside Higher Ed,

Newsom is calling for a $10 million investment into a data collection system that will track Californians from kindergarten all the way into the work force.

[our emphasis]

According to Ed Source reporter Mikhail Zinshteyn, the governor’s January budget proposal publicly proposed a new layer to the state choke hold on young citizens’ prospects:

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6788865/Philadelphia-city-ban-discriminatory-cashless-stores.html

https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/21/inside-amazons-surveillance-powered-no-checkout-convenience-store/

https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Gavin-Newsom-Sacramento-Fair-Oaks-home-13556456.php#photo-16816028

https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickgleason/2018/12/14/jerry-brown-leaves-california-with-100b-train-debt-as-texas-pursues-its-own-rail-boondoggle/#7bbfc012b65d

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-gavin-newsom-high-speed-rail-train-scale-back_us_5c632372e4b0a8731aeae3d0

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/19/politics/california-high-speed-rail-cancel-grant/index.html

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-high-speed-rail-20190219-story.html

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/dont-do-it-gavin-newsom

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! September 8: California Water Project Price Tag Watered Down by Unapproved Federal Funds–Audit

California’s aging chief spendthrift, Jerry-atric Brown, found himself in hot water when the U.S. Department of Interior was caught pumping $84.8 million of federal cash into a water project approved only under exclusive California water agency funding. Interior also waived $50 million of the reimbursement. Both moves were omitted in official reports from Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. Ignorant masses will never notice, right?

Related:

July Juice–Stories We Missed!

The tunnels were apparently funded by bonds and the water companies to avoid the requirement of voter approval. Assemblywoman Susan Eggman introduced a 2016 bill demanding a public vote on the project, in 2018 at the earliest. It’s unclear if that went anywhere.

Mr. Brown’s initial attempt at this project was rejected by voters during his second term as governor in 1982. He did sign a $4 billion “parks and water” bill in October that provided $100 million in “flood protection funding” for the Delta and Central Valley areas, but does not fund the Delta tunnels.

California Water Fix and Eco Restore was originally called Bay Delta Conservation Plan and carried a price tag of $25 billion. However, a proposed 50-year “guarantee” to restore wetland habitats for endangered species was cut from the project after Federal authorities refused to issue permits. Mercury News reported in 2015 California could not prove it will restore salmon, smelt, sturgeon and other wildlife struggling for survival in the Delta.

The original “guarantee” would have shielded California from federal lawsuits avenging vulnerable species. The new tunnels are supposed to “increase reliability” of the same amount of water, and reduce reliance on current “pumps” that grind up and kill fish. Unfortunately, the new deal is precarious, as the Feds can shut down the pumps immediately if any fish are harmed, according to LA Times.

The diluted $16 billion buildup of tunnels to drain the Sacramento River and spit water into southern locations like the houses of  Silicon Valley elitists and farmlands of the Central Valley.

US-DOI-BureauOfReclamation-Seal.svg

USBR deflected explanation to the auditors for its decision to illegally bill other states for Mr. Brown’s vanity project. To the inspector general auditors themselves, the Reclamation bureau told auditors that it had disclosed the payments in a 2013 letter to seven unidentified members of Congress, and said it planned to make no more such payments for the tunnels project.

ABC News reported Mr. Brown refused to comment on the deceit, as the audit is a “federal matter.”

Meanwhile, Central Valley water districts that were supposed to pay 50 percent of the tunnels’ planning costs contributed only 18 percent, the audit found.

According to US News, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined the Westlands Water District (the largest of five water authorities funding the project…if they choose, apparently) an undisclosed amount in 2016 for misleading bond investors regarding their declining revenue.

A Westlands representative told ABC the district is only responsible for repaying federal funds (ill-gotten or not) if the mammoth project is completed, and it demonstrably benefits the districts. (For people who weren’t supposed to be taking federal money at all, they sure did some research.)

Opponents of the tunnels include environmental advocates, who must have been STEAMED when the “environmental” aspect of laying 35 miles of twin pipes four stories in diameter was eliminated from the plan. (A state bond-funded, $300 million conservation effort was instead pursued, according to Mercury News.) Patricia Schifferle, who ABC identified as anti-tunnel, noted the audit proving your tax money illegally subsidized California water repair they didn’t even bother asking their own citizens to pay for only looked at records through 2016, so more federal cheddar has probably been grated and gorged.

Thanks to our sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Technology/wireStory/apnewsbreak-us-taxpayer-money-misused-water-project-49706084

http://www.mercurynews.com/2015/04/11/delta-tunnels-major-changes-to-environmental-restoration-could-endanger-browns-water-plan/

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-03-18/decision-time-for-california-governors-big-water-project

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-brown-delta-plan-20150430-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-essential-poli-you-could-vote-on-controversial-delta-water-tunnel-1461106431-htmlstory.html

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/16/jerry-brown-signs-859-bills-into-law-vetoes-119-what-made-the-cut/

http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/news/2017-09-20-legislature-sends-landmark-parks-water-and-flood-control-bond-governors-desk

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/18/california-lawmakers-approve-4-billion-ballot-measure-for-parks-and-water-projects/

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 28–Another Government-Funded College Prevents Constitution Distribution

The government-subsidized “higher education” hits just keep coming for the Constitution.

We previously reported on Kellogg Community College students Michelle Gregoire, Nathan Berning and Isaac Edikaukas, who were cuffed and removed from campus to serve seven hours in the local jail for handing out America’s founding document.

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 18-20–Anti-Constitution College, Bombing, Government Data Collection, Death and Debt

The “government suppressing knowledge of your protections from the government” train has now arrived in California.

And unlike Governor Geriatric Jerry Brown‘s multi-billion dollar “bullet train,” this Constitution-crushing locomotive is well ahead of schedule.

[The former project, approved in 2008, has burned through $2.35 billion of Federal cash alone and is now slated to open for the ultra-wealthy who fancy an L.A.-San Francisco city hop by the year 2029. All aboard!]

Kevin Shaw (above, curls), 27, was reportedly distributing pocket-sized Constitutions outside the “free speech zone” at Pierce College in Los Angeles last November. Like Gregoire, Shaw is the Young Americans for Liberty chapter president on his campus.

On March 28 he filed a lawsuit to re-establish the inborn right of free speech to which he is supposed to be entitled as an American citizen under the same, apparently controversial literature.

Rare reported: The community college argued that [Shaw] was both outside of the designated “free speech area” and did not have a permit to use the zone.
 

According to Pierce College’s online map, the “free speech area” is made up of a common space only a fraction of the size of the surrounding buildings. It has been described as “roughly the size of three parking spaces.”

[our emphasis]

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is assisting Shaw with legal representation.

*

This development seems especially depressing because speech-stifling liberals in California love to champion diversity, especially in welcoming immigrants to our society in the age of Trump-driven intimidation. According to CBS Los Angeles:

Shaw says his goal on that day was to pass out Spanish-language copies of the Constitution along the main public walkway through the heart of Pierce College and recruit new members for his student group, Young Americans for Liberty.

[…]

“When I attempted to hand out copies of the Constitution that day, my only intention was to get students thinking about our founding principles and to inspire discussion of liberty and free speech,” Shaw said in a statement. “I had no idea I would be called upon to defend those very ideals against Pierce’s unconstitutional campus policies. This fight is about a student’s right to engage in free thinking and debate while attending college in America.”

[our emphasis]

Los Angeles Community College District consultant Yusef Robb told CBS: “The Los Angeles Community College District firmly stands behind every student’s right to free expression.”

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/trump-can-t-stop-california-bullet-train-fueled-by-new-bond-sale

A California college student is suing after his campus prevented him from handing out pocket Constitutions

Pierce College Student Alleges Constitution Not Allowed To Be Distributed Outside ‘Free Speech Zone’