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California Tag

The closure of the largest of the nonprofit Obamacare cooperatives is another sign that the Affordable Care Act is the single best oxymoron ever created by politicians. I should be experiencing some amount of schadenfreude, as the fight against Obamacare was one of the major action items of my local Tea Party group in its original year. That it has been a galactic scale fiscal disaster comes as no surprise to any of us who took the time to review the law and think seriously about its implications. But there is no joy in the Golden State for me. As my husband, Ben, is now enjoying another round of FUNemployment under the "robust" Obama economy, we have been forced to find to new healthcare insurance. Covered California has been hailed as the most successful of the state exchanges. So, with great optimism, Ben completed the online application.

Congressman McClintock represents California's fourth district. Wednesday, he announced he was resigning from the House Freedom Caucus. Formed earlier this year, the HFC hoped to pull the House Republican Caucus further to the right. There principles were simple. "First, rank-and-file Republicans must pressure leadership to enact a more conservative agenda. And second, this pressure should never involve frantic scurrying on the House floor," wrote NRO's Joel Gehrke in January.
As a caucus devoted to moving leadership’s agenda to the right, the group has a chance to take over the traditional role of the Republican Study Committee, which many lawmakers believe has strayed from its founding mission as an organization designed to pressure moderate GOP leaders to adopt more conservative positions. National Journal first reported that such a group was forming.
Less than a year after it began, the HFC has already lost one of its 30 members. Rep. McClintock's resignation was brutal. "I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them," he wrote.

Two pieces of green-energy legislation have been derailed by the California legislature, much to Governor Jerry Brown's consternation. Senate Bill 350, which would have given one of the most draconian state agencies in the nation epic powers to cut fuel consumption, and a gas tax supposedly for road repair, have gone down to least temporarily.
In a major setback for Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate agenda, the governor and legislative leaders on Wednesday abandoned an effort to require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030. The announcement followed weeks of lobbying by oil companies and resistance not only from Republicans, but moderate Democrats in the Assembly.

California is now seeing a significant outbreak of potentially deadly Legionnaire's Disease:
The number of inmates being observed for possible infection with Legionnaires' disease at San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco has jumped from 71 to 85, but the number of confirmed diagnoses held steady at six, authorities said Tuesday. Prison authorities said they have begun restoring some freedom of movement, as well as access to the law library and hot meals to inmates at the California prison who were put on lockdown to avoid infection when the outbreak began last week. The disease, a sometimes deadly form of pneumonia caused by a bacterium found in water systems, is transmitted when people breathe it in via steam, mist and moisture in the air. For that reason, prison officials initially shut down the plumbing in the prison, which houses 3,700 inmates and has 1,800 employees.
While an outbreak of such an illness in a prison wouldn't necessarily be newsworthy, the state now joins Illinois and New York in reporting significant numbers of new cases of this disease. New York City has reported 100 cases in recent months with 12 dead, but Mayor Bill DeBlasio indicates the rate of infection seems to be decreasing.

California Governor Jerry Brown has hit a bit of a rough patch. The first bump: A tense visit from groups who usually have the support of progressives like Brown.
Occupiers from Black Lives Matter and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) descended upon California’s capitol Wednesday by the hundreds, demanding state legislators pass a new bill on racial profiling, and calling on Governor Jerry Brown to sign it. Senate Floor Analysis notes that the bill, AB 952, would require peace officers conducting “stops” to begin reporting the “perceived race or ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of the person stopped.”
One of the chants used by the activists even drew a comparison to ancient Egyptian tyrants: “This is what a Pharaoh looks like!” The second bump occurred while promoting his newest proposal for road repair. After contending with the latest flavor of progressive nuttiness, Brown was poised to market a plan featuring the implementation of new taxes:

You have to love the ingenuity of San Diegans, who are attempting to roll back the tide of liberalism that has has swept over the entire state of California. First, we organized one of the biggest and most effective tea party groups in the state. Now, a local businessman has organized one of the most creative protests I've ever seen, right on the steps of our capitol.

While California awaits the arrival of a "Godzilla" El Niño, a storm has already broken out in the city of Huntington Park. We reported that two Mexican migrant leaders, both quite undocumented, have been appointed to city commissions. And video of the city council meeting in which those appointments were approved shows only a few citizens on hand to protest the measure. That wasn't the case for the Monday night meeting, in which approximately 200 local residents flooded the council chambers to voice their anger over the action. The following video from that meeting offers a glimpse into city action, which follows a recap of events that lead to the citizen response:

California's economy is in no danger of catching fire, but its scenic beauty is. Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown has been busy signing bills into laws, demonstrating an intriguing set of executive priorities. First, he bans the word "alien" from the state's labor code.
Sacramento has its own Censor-in-Chief. Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill making the word “alien” ironically illegal. Brown signed SB 432 by Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, to remove the term “alien” from the California labor code to describe foreign-born workers. “Mendoza said removing the term ‘alien’ was an important step toward modernizing California law because it is now commonly considered a derogatory term with very negative connotations,” the AP/CBS reported. “The only vote against the bill came in the State Assembly, from Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach (Orange County), who told the San Francisco Chronicle that the bill was ‘just a way for legislators to get their names in the paper….[t]he negative connotations come from the fact that people are breaking the law. Changing the word won’t change the fact that folks are here illegally.” Breitbart reported.

Apparently, there is no economy-crushing law the state of California won't consider. The latest in legislative insanity comes from Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, and is entitled Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (SB 350). Ultimately, should it pass, it will give one of the most aggressive state agencies in the nation the power to impose "fees" and ration gas.
De Leon’s SB 350 is ultimately a gasoline-rationing act. The bill gives the California Air Resources Board free rein to enact a mandatory 50 percent gasoline and diesel fuel restriction (8 billion gallons annually) by the year 2030. To meet the mandate, the state air resources board will be able to ration gas, place mobility restrictions on state residents, place surcharges on family mini-vans, trucks and SUVs, and even monitor individuals’ fuel consumption records. You have to wonder how these mandates and restrictions will affect not only the state’s economy but its people. ...Californians need to know and act to protect themselves from the devastating effects of this bill on their lives. The California Air Resources Board [CARB], an unelected group of bureaucrats, will be given full authority to meet the restriction mandate in any way its members see fit with no oversight permitted by our elected representatives.

While it's hard to believe California can get any nuttier, the city of Huntington Park has managed to set a new standard. In addition to allowing illegal immigrants access to driver's licenses and the state's Obamacare exchange, now Huntington Park has given them an opportunity to actually govern legal American citizens. Two Mexican migrant leaders have been appointed to city commissions.
Julian Zatarain always assumed the doors of City Hall were closed to him because he is here illegally, arriving from Sinaloa in 2007 when he was 13. The 21-year-old college student found other outlets for service, such as volunteering for the Red Cross and with an organization that helps young people like him get access to educational resources. Then on Monday, Zatarain proudly accepted an appointment to the Huntington Park parks and recreation commission. Another immigrant here illegally, Francisco Medina, 29, won an appointment to the health and education commission.

After California became the epicenter of a measles outbreak earlier this year, the state's legislature proposed a tough, new bill making vaccinations for children attending public school mandatory (with few exceptions.) Governor Jerry Brown just signed that bill into law.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law one of the nation’s strictest childhood vaccination requirements, approving a bill that generated multiple protests and controversy as it moved through the Legislature. Senate Bill 277, authored by Sacramento pediatrician state Sen. Richard Pan and former Santa Monica-Malibu school board president state Sen. Ben Allen, eliminates parents’ ability to claim “personal belief” exemptions to schoolchildren’s vaccine requirements at both private and public schools in California. Only medical exemptions, approved by a doctor, will be allowed under the law. A licensed physician will have to write a letter explaining the child’s medical circumstances that make immunization unsafe for that child.
Opponents are so unhappy with the new rule that they began preparing a lawsuit before the ink had dried.

In 1849, gold inspired a big rush to California and a whole lot of thievery. In 2015, water has become the new gold!
Police are warning for businesses and residents to start locking up their taps. California’s drought has gotten so bad, people are stealing water. Thieves busted the locks on the spigots at a popular Asian shopping center on Barber Lane in Milpitas, just to get their hands on what has become liquid gold. Palo Alto resident Jason Zhur said he’s shocked it has come this far. “But water’s becoming more expensive than gas,” he said. ...Many businesses here have surveillance cameras, but apparently they weren’t a deterrent. “I imagine it’s come to that point because water rates are going up, everything is going up, now,” said Zhur.

The delicate flowers at Georgetown who demanded "Trigger Warnings" for Christina Hoff Sommer's talk really should come to California. Here they will experience a political San Andreas fault, where progressive theory collides with daily reality....and Californians are hit with the falling debris. Bruce Jenner's public reveal has brought transgender issues into the national conversation, despite a myriad of urgent matters that could really use more attention. However, California has been enacting gender identification polices for years (to the point we have to have ballot measures demanding bathroom privacy rights). In preparation for life under Obamacare, I want to offer this example of what happens when public health care gets coupled with personal politics. It features a single mom, Cindy K., who recently took her 11-year old son for a simple physical exam required for middle school entry. After taking her son's vitals, she reports the doctor began to ask some really troubling questions about gender and sexual  identity:
...The doctor then proceeded to ask..."do you know what your gender identity is?" I looked at the doctor and said, "What are you asking my son?" She proceeded to explain to me that sometimes kids don't know and they like to help explain it to them. My son asked what the doctor was asking him and I said, "She wants to know if you are a boy or a girl?" My son looked at me funny and said, "I'm a boy", with a look of bewilderment on his face. The doctor then proceeded to ask if my 11 year old son new what his sexual identity is?" At this point I stopped again and said, "Why are you asking these questions?" The doctor's response was that not all parents have these conversations with their kids, so they want to be the one's to explain it to the kids. Again, my son asked me what the doctor was asking him. I said, "Well, the doctor wants to know if you would prefer to kiss boys or girls." My son had a look of disgust on his face and said, "A girl, of course".

I reported that California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled the state's first water restrictions in response to the "mega-drought". As I foresaw, the rules have turned out to be more about revenue generation than resource protection. What I did not predict is that my teen son and his lengthy showers would make him the latest environmental villain.
Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) said Californians will face heavy fines for taking long showers. Brown said, “This executive order is done under emergency power. It has the force of law. Very unusual. It’s requiring action and changes in behavior from the Oregon border all the way to the Mexican border. It affects lawns. It affects people’s — how long they stay in the shower. How businesses use water.” Brown said to enforce his order, “Each water district that actually delivers waters — water to homes and businesses, they carry it out. We have a state water board that overseas the relationships with the districts. Hundreds of them. If they don’t comply, people can be fined $500 a day. Districts can go to court to get a cease and desist order. The enforcement mechanism is powerful. In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you have to change it substantially.”
It looks like I am going to have to work harder to pay for my son than I originally thought.

California's "mega-drought" has been caused more by water mismanagement than "global warming." As I have foreseen, the state's drought cycle is the pad for Governor Jerry Brown to launch new rules. This time, Brown is issuing the state's first set of water restrictions.
Brown ordered the California Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water usage by 25%. The water savings are expected to amount to 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months. Other elements of Brown's order would: --Require golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscaped spaces to reduce water consumption. --Replace 50 million square feet of lawn statewide with drought-tolerant landscaping as part of a partnership with local governments.

The California "mega-drought" has officially gained the attention of the regulatory community. Recently, a NASA administrator pushed the panic button hard... by saying the Golden State had less than a year of water in its reserves and that it needs to start water rationing now!
California will run out of water in 12 months, according to a NASA scientist. The state only has one year of supply left in its reservoirs due to persistent drought and is also running out of backup groundwater, Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote. The drought means that total water storage in California, which has been in decline since 2002, has been sapped by the need to use the resource for farming, he said in the Los Angeles Times. ...Famiglietti suggested immediate water-rationing measures, which are being considered in southern California, across the state.
Color me skeptical, in a nice golden brown shade. The last time a NASA scientist chimed in on the climate, it turns out the temperatures used to tout the "hottest year ever" were chalk full of errors. Why should I trust any government scientist's interpretation about climate policy matters when there are money and regulations to be made? In fact, following the money in this instance is the most logical step to take! It turns out that our state's legislators are mulling over water rate hikes.

The last time we checked on California's new rules for issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, the Department of Motor Vehicles was so overwhelmed with requests for new licenses that it can take up to three months to get an appointment...even for lawful citizens. The new program has been so popular that now over 110,000 illegal immigrants now hold those vital pieces of identification.
California has handed out 110,000 driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally during the first seven weeks of applications. The figures for all of January and much of February were released this week by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. In early January when the law took effect, hundreds of immigrants lined up at designated DMV offices for walk-in appointments. The applicants have to submit documents and take a written test, and later, they must take a road test. They receive licenses that read "not acceptable for official federal purposes" like boarding planes.
Let's take a look at the written test requirements for a moment. I remember studying diligently for several hours before taking my exam several years ago, and being very nervous about getting the correct answers. It is difficult to believe so many immigrants who have not had basic educational opportunities either here or in their native land would pass the exam.