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California Tag

Watching the press conference that President Obama gave yesterday in which he revealed that his foreign policy has devolved from "don't do stupid stuff" to "no strategy," I was perplexed that the media was complaining more about the color of the suit instead of its emptiness. Mulling over the subsequent coverage, I couldn't help but wonder what the upcoming September 11th would bring for our country, because our enemies are clearly inspired by weakness. Now Judicial Watch has revealed that Islamic terrorist groups are operating Mexico and plan to attack the United States along our southern border.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

high speed rail connecting Northern and Southern California has long been in the works: plans were proposed by Governer Jerry Brown back in the 1980s, and the High Speed Rail Authority was founded in 1996. Nevertheless, recent changes in the political landscape could see the project grind to a halt. Most influential is the increasingly likely ascent of Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to House Majority Leadership: after current Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his primary just last week and Pete Sessions (R-TX) dropped out of the race to succeed him, he is the only candidate left standing. McCarthy has been one of California's most vocal critics of the high speed rail, so his rise in influence could be the funeral toll of the project, which currently relies heavily -- nay, almost entirely -- on federal funding (according to Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), California has not received any state or private funding for the project.) McCarthy's rise may also mean more funding and support thrown to Republican challengers in the California House Elections, including Doug Ose (CA-07), Carl DeMaio (CA-52), and Tony Strickland (CA-25), McCarthy's protege and another strong opponent of the almost exclusively Democrat-supported rail. However, Republicans are not the only ones fighting the rail: in a recent vote, four California Democrats -- including Doug Ose's opponent in the 7th District, Ami Bera -- withdrew their support from the project. The vote in question was for an amendment to an appropriations bill which would prevent any of the funds appropriated from going to the rail project. The bill passed with the amendment 227-186.

When I voted in California's June primary, I chuckled when I turned to the "Secretary of State" race and found a familiar name: Leland Yee. Yee  did not make it to the general election (under California's rules, the top two regardless of party compete in the general election). But it's a sad commentary on the quality of California politics that Yee managed to pull nearly 10 percent of the vote! California Secretary of State Primary results 6-3-2014 Legal Insurrection fans may recall that Yee is California's former state senator who was recently charged in a federal gun-trafficking case. As I mentioned that Mexican authorities were reported to be giving former US Marine Andrew Tahmooressi the legal treatment reserved for gun-runners, I thought it was time to check up on what was happening to a potentially real one. The federal judge handling the case issued a gag order on the evidence:

With a little help from cooler temperatures, atmospheric moisture, and robust emergency response, San Diego's recent wildfires are well contained and a return to normal life is resuming for San Diego Residents...almost.
As we reported earlier, evacuations have been lifted for residents of Camp Pendleton military base in San Diego, though some marines have been relocated to barracks away from the fires. Lt. Ryan Finnegan told KPCC that outlook is "trending positive," with all three fires on base over 50 percent contained. "I wouldn't say it's quite back to normal," Finnegan said. "We definitely still have some road closures and power outages here on base, but all the families are back in their housing. The people who are displaced right now are the single marines who live in the barracks." Those marines have been moved further south to temporary housing.
Last week, I mentioned there were serious speculation that arson may be the cause for several of these blazes. An arrest was made in connection to one of those fires.

Per its tradition in the second week of May, America's business leaders have voted for the states with the "best" and "worst" business climates. As usual, Chief Executive Magazine places California at the top....of the naughty list!
That’s 10 years in a row — a decade of dominance. Over that same period, California saw its unemployment rate go from mirroring the national rate to having consistently among the highest rates. The Golden State is now second worst in the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults who want to work full time but can’t find such jobs.
An executive officer's comments about the results summarizes many of the points I made recently when reporting about Toyota's move to Texas.
“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing. The only saving grace is that there are still a lot of affluent areas that drive local economic zones, but the trend line on these is not good for the mid- to long-term.”
A good example of this dynamic involves one of the most popular exports of the state, Sriracha Hot Sauce. The company that makes the sauce, Huy Fong Foods, has been embroiled in a public battle with the Irwindale City Council over complaints that fumes from its busy plant are causing neighbors to get sick. A video report summarizes the controversy. Team Texas is eager to offer the firm another option:

How does classifying most consensual sex as rape help rape victims? As a lawyer who has handled rape and sexual harassment cases, I can't imagine how. But this radical result is what some want to happen in California. In endorsing a bill in the California legislature that would require "affirmative consent" before sex can occur on campus, the editorial boards of the Sacramento and Fresno Bee and the Daily Californian advocated that sex be treated as "sexual assault" unless the participants discuss it "out loud" before sex, and “demonstrate they obtained verbal 'affirmative consent' before engaging in sexual activity." Never mind that consent to most sex is non-verbal, and that rape has historically been understood to be an act against someone's will, rather than simply a non-violent act that they did not consent to in advance. Perhaps in response to the bill, the University of California, on February 25, adopted a policy requiring affirmative consent not just to sex, but to every form of "physical sexual activity" engaged in. The affirmative-consent bill, Senate Bill 967, does not expressly require verbal permission to demonstrate consent, although it warns that "relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding." But supporters of the bill are very clear about their desire to require verbal discussion or haggling prior to sex. The Fresno Bee praised the bill because “it adopts in campus disciplinary cases the 'affirmative consent standard,' which means that 'yes' only means 'yes' if it is said out loud." The Daily Californian declared that “the proposal’s requirement that defendants in a sexual assault case demonstrate they obtained verbal 'affirmative consent' before engaging in sexual activity makes SB 967 a step in the right direction."

While the rest of the country has been enjoying the "Polar Vortex", my home state has had a slightly different set of "climate change" issues to address.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, citing a need for conservation efforts and a fingers-crossed message that he "hopes it will rain" soon during what looks like it will be the driest year on record in the history of California. This is “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Brown said at a news conference on Friday.
A piece in Breitbart notes that the drought may produce a spate of wildfires in the fall, when such disasters usually occur in the Golden State, and increasing tension between regions.
Reservoir levels in the north and central parts of the state were more depleted than in Southern California, but Brown still asked Los Angeles to do its part to conserve _ and gave a nod to the politics of water in the vast state. "The drought accentuates and further displays the conflicts between north and south and between urban and rural parts of the state. So, as governor, I'll be doing my part to bring people together and working through this.

California Governor Jerry Brown's had a mixed reaction to several pieces of gun control legislation that recently hit his desk:
California Gov. Jerry Brown split the difference Friday on the pile of gun-control bills sitting on his desk, opting to sign five but veto seven, including a bill that would have banned the sale of many popular hunting rifles. “The state of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines,” said Mr. Brown in his veto message. “While the author’s intent is to strengthen these restrictions, this bill goes much farther by banning any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine.”
Yet, Brown still managed to sign bills that prohibit the use of lead ammunition for hunting, ban kits that convert ammunition magazines to hold more than 10 rounds, make it a crime to leave a loaded gun in an area where it may be accessed by a minor without permission, and a bill that prohibits gun ownership by people who make serious threats to psychoanalysts. Dawn Wildman, President of San Diego's SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, noted that without the help if the National Rifle Association working with Californians, the results could have been much more restrictive. She cites a list of items that were defeated before hitting Brown's desk, including:
Assembly Bill 174: This bill would have banned the possession of any firearm, magazine, or ammunition that was previously “grandfathered in” by previous legislation. Assembly Bill 108: This bill would have placed criminal liability on gun owners for failing to lock their firearms away every time they left the house, regardless of whether anyone would be present in the home.
In response to the legislation that did garner Brown's signature, a California Assemblyman is using Colorado's recent recall elections as a model for sending a message to elected advocates of excessive gun restrictions.

As a Californian, I am thrilled to discover there is actually one business our bureaucrats won't over-regulate. Sadly, it is medical marijuana farming. However, the lessons it offers about the effects of selective reinforcement of regulations are enlightening. In the Merced Sun-Star, Dan Morain describes how marijuana...

From Danelle: Last Person Leaving Taxifornia Please Turn Off The Lights It's not a bumper sticker, but my sister in law sent this a few minutes ago. Her family is moving to Texas this week and leaving Taxifornia behind. Yes, they were on the way out of LA...

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