Today’s Washington Post includes an op-ed by Rep. Duncan Hunter and Pete Hegseth, chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America, calling for a change in leadership at VA. This morning, Secretary Shinseki is before the House VA committee to discuss the VA’s latest budget request.
Time to shake up the dysfunctional VA
By Duncan D. Hunter and Pete Hegseth
For your edification, here’s your media bias story of the day. For instance, NPR did a story on the “counterweight to the Tea Party” staging a protest outside the White House. Backed by numerous heavyweight leftist groups such as the AFL-CIO, Move-on, NOW, etc., the story got great media play, as all such political mega-rallies in DC deserve.
But there were only 100 people at this heavily sponsored rally. And that’s the “counterweight to the Tea Party”????
“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!”– Senator Russell B. Long
As the world mourns former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, I think it’s amusing to note that a new tax scheme ultimately did in her political career. Thatcher abolished the “domestic rates” plan, an assessment based on the rental value of property, and instituted the “community charge” plan, a per capita levy. The average Briton loved government as long as “the rich” were paying for it. Britain’s far-left rallied against this scheme, called it a “poll tax,” and people rioted in the streets.
College Republicans at UCSD and YAF are proud to invite you to a screening of FrackNation and a presentation by the film’s Executive Producer Ann McElhinney.
The feature documentary is billed as “A journalist’s search for the fracking truth.”
The event will take place at UCSD in the Multi-Purpose Room of the SSC building, this Thursday, April 11th at 7 p.m. Signs will be on campus to help you find your way, but below are Facebook event details and an interactive map of campus. Admission is free, but capacity is limited to 250. If you have any questions please contact the Vice-Chair of College Republicans at UCSD, Claire Hsieh, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A $10,000 California State University bachelor’s degree? by Assemblyman Dan Logue in Fox & Hounds
ICYMI on Rostra: An Analysis of the District 4 Special Election Precinct Results
I wrote the following letter to the editor in response to an article gushing with praise for the insane farm bill — and the resulting farm subsidies. It was published by VOICE OF SAN DIEGO. To give it wider circulation, I’m including it here and on other blogs and social media.
Regarding VOICE OF SAN DIEGO article “Why the Farm Bill Matters to San Diego”
“The latest report from the State Auditor of the ineptitude of Caltrans management is appalling and not at all surprising. For the past three years, incident after incident have been revealed of Caltrans putting Californians safety at risk and wasting billions of tax dollars in the process. Yet Californians are still waiting for our Governor and Democratic super-majority to own up to their responsibility to be good stewards of the precious tax dollars we have entrusted to them. We deserve better,” said Senator Joel Anderson.
San Diego – A new poll conducted by Reform San Diego shows a super-majority of San Diegans are strongly opposed to a proposal being pushed by Mayor Bob Filner to allow ex-city councilmembers to return to work for the city on a full salary while drawing a full city pension.
“From the beginning, we saw this proposal as “Double Dipping” for ex-city politicians and this poll shows the public overwhelmingly is opposed to any form of “Double Dipping” at City Hall,” said Reform San Diego Chairman Carl DeMaio.
I am pleased to announce that AB 614 and AB 258 both passed out of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee today! Please read below for the Press Release.
TWO PIECES OF CHÁVEZ LEGISLATION CLEAR FIRST LEGISLATIVE HURDLE
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside) announced today that his Assembly Bills 614 and 258 cleared their first legislative hurdles. Dealing with various veteran issues, both pieces of legislation passed out of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee.
Last Tuesday, the City of San Diego held a special election to fill the vacancy left in the 4th Council District by outgoing Councilmember Tony Young. Using GIS software and data from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and the United States Census Bureau, the National University System Institute for Policy Research conducted an analysis of the precinct results, and Tweeted its findings this morning. Below is a Storify transcript of those findings.
Although the official announcement won’t take place until later this week, SD Rostra confirmed today that former Assemblyman and 2012 San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher is returning to the Republican Party.
Fletcher caused a stir by leaving the GOP and registering non-partisan during last year’s mayoral contest, after failing to win the party’s endorsement in the race. Many political watchers believed the move was a strategic gamble to breathe life into his campaign effort. Athough Fletcher received a flurry of notoriety as a result, it ultimately wasn’t enough as he finished third behind Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio in the June primary election.
In my last post, I covered how the RNC rules change changed the Republican National Convention from a volunteer-centric political process to an autocratic, candidate-focused pep rally. The Romney campaign team thought they had the general election in the bag and wanted to insure that a primary challenge, in 2016, would fail. Many convention delegates were so focused on unseating President Obama that they ignored the danger of changing the Republican Party Presidential nominating process forever. A large number of movement conservatives voted against this at the convention but were foiled by a scripted call on the voice vote.
Craig Gustafson’s excellent piece in last Sunday’s U-T San Diego, exposing the secret and inept campaign to smear Carl DeMaio and derail his mayoral bid, appears to contain a flaw that deserves a mention.
One of the key players involved in the clandestine campaign is Gerry Braun, who was then a top aide to Mayor Jerry Sanders and an early Nathan Fletcher supporter. Before moving to the mayor’s office, Braun worked at the U-T, for many years as one of the area’s most prominent and respected political writers. He is a former colleague of both Gustafson and Michael Smolens, the U-T political editor who Gustafson reports to. Braun and Smolens are apparently longtime friends and Smolens was Braun’s editor for a time.
Governor Brown ET AL loudly crow that “we’re back” — the California economy and government finances are back in shape.
Then the doggone state auditors make their report! Bunch of naysayers — that’s what they are.
Note the last paragraph of the SAC BEE article: “The list of long-term obligations did not include the much-disputed unfunded liabilities for state employees’ future pensions, nor the $60-plus billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care.”
by Chris Cate
Over the past year and a half, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) has been gathering and analyzing data from 16 cities in the county to determine what taxpayers across the region are spending for “specialty pays.” Specialty pays, or special compensation, are add-ons in addition to base pay that cities report to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for the purpose of calculating employee pensions.
Originally published by Communities @ Washington Times
SAN DIEGO, March 22, 2013 ― The Belgian playwright and poet Emile Cammaerts once wrote, “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything” (The Laughing Prophets, Page 211, 1937).
The nuttier our times become, the more profound Cammaerts starts to sound.
I write about and compare California with other states. While I cover many aspects, most have to do with monetary issues — taxes, regulation, litigation, utility costs, education funding, etc.
But we should also look at a broader index that includes not only the issues I highlight, but also compares the personal freedom factors among states. For years the Mercatus Center has done exactly that — comparing states on a more fundamental “freedom” level. They incorporate most of my concerns, while factoring in personal freedoms.
The grassroots supporters of the Republican Party were pushed aside at the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC). Anticipating a Romney Presidency, Romney campaign attorney Ben Ginsberg put forth and lobbied for a permanent change, in the way RNC delegates were chosen, to guarantee that a (expected) President Romney wouldn’t face a primary challenge in 2016. It was controversial. Convention Chairman John Boehner read off of a script, called the rules change election by the script (rather than through the proper democratic process), and was booed by more than half the RNC delegates.
California politician proposes tax on email
From San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith…
In a KUSI interview yesterday morning, Mayor Bob Filner crossed the line, alleging that members of the City Council and I had been “bought off” by hoteliers in the TMD matter. This is a very serious allegation of criminal conduct, and it is baseless and defamatory.
KUSI also carried a segment at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. yesterday which reiterated the Mayor’s accusations and included my response, which you can see here.
Councilman Sherman Asks for Audit Committee Review of “Double Dipping” Proposal
Last week, I penned an editorial blasting a proposal to allow ex-City politicians to “Double Dip” by leaving office, starting to draw a full pension, and then returning to work at the City in a staff position with a full salary.
Councilman Scott Sherman is concerned about the proposal, so he has asked that the Audit Committee take up the issue at its next meeting.
In the aftermath of the weekend UT San Diego story on the “Carl DeMaio research project,” the head of the effort’s Wikipedia page has been updated.
I was prompted today to take a look at the contents of Fred Maas’ wiki bio, or see if one existed, after Twitter remarks that someone needed to update the page. It appears the unknown someone was quick to comply…