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Richard Rider

Imaginary Amazon memo reveals company is in cahoots with CA state legislators

FLASH!!Here’s a super-secret memo (admittedly it’s so secret that I made it up) I imagine I just received from a whistleblower — an internal communique circulating at Amazon:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!We at Amazon have much to be thankful for this Turkey Day.

Speaking of blessings (and turkeys), with the latest California bill proposing to mandate double time wages for anyone “forced” to work on Thanksgiving Day, our useful idiots in the California legislature are laboring hard to further hobble our “brick and mortar” competitors in the Golden State. Driving up their labor costs will result in fewer retail stores open on Thanksgiving and/or higher prices — causing more folks to stay home and turn to the Internet to make purchases for the Holiday Season (don’t say “Christmas”!). Even better, we don’t have to pay our legislator allies a dime in political contributions to get them to stifle our competitors — they are just doing what comes naturally. Yeah, we’llRead More

BOE Member George Runner

New Ballot Initiative

Former Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff and I have filed a ballot initiative with the Attorney General that would redirect unspent High Speed Rail and water bond funds towards creating more water storage capacity. The initiative begins the process of fixing our long-term water problems by increasing storage capacity for all water uses — families, farms and the environment — and it does so without raising taxes.

Please read our joint column in the Sacramento Bee and share it with your friends.… Read More

Ed Ring

Why Aren’t Unions Fighting California’s Bullet Train Boondoggle?

Back in 2008, voters in California approved Prop. 1, a statewide initiative to spend, “$9 billion for building a new high-speed railroad between San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

Total cost, $9.5 billion. Remember that?

Quoting further from the original initiative’s ballot language:

“Bond Costs. The costs of these bonds would dependon interest rates in effect at the time they are sold andthe time period over which they are repaid. The statewould make principal and interest payments from thestate’s General Fund over a period of about 30 years.If the bonds are sold at an average interest rate of 5percent, the cost would be about $19.4 billion to payoff both principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5billion). The average repayment for principal andinterest would be about $647 million per year.Operating Costs. When constructed, the high-speedrail system will incur unknown ongoing maintenanceand operation costs, probably in excess of $1 billion ayear. Depending on the level of ridership, these costswould be at least partially offset by revenue from farespaid by passengers.” (ref.UC Hastings ScholarshipRead More

Katy Grimes

Sen. Pres. Kevin De Leon’s Fractured Fairytale on Climate Change

California’s Political Climate Needs to Be Cleaned of Polluted Politicians

Tuesday’s Sacramento Bee has an op ed from Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, on full attack of the Bee’s own Dan Walters for daring to point out that California is not booming economically, despite what de Leon and Gov. Jerry Brown tell us.

Fuzzy Math

De Leon claims in his op ed (‘Climate Change Policies Will Help Poorest Californians), “California’s job growth outpaced all other states in 2014 and unemployment is 5.8 percent, the lowest since October 2007.”

This is only true if like de Leon, Gov. Brown, and the Obama administration, an employed Californian is defined as a worker who performs at a job one hour a week, and therefore can be counted as “employed.”

A full time “job” used to be defined by the government and Bureau of Labor Statistics as 30 or more hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Labor Law attorneys still consider 30+ hours of work… Read More

Jon Coupal


With the recent terror attacks against France, America’s oldest ally, most Americans are rightfully concerned for the welfare of our friends abroad as well as our own safety.

With the French, we share a common heritage of a dedication to liberty. The Statue of Liberty that stands proudly in the harbor of New York is a gift from the people of France.

Acknowledging the contributions of French officer the Marquis de Lafayette to the success of our revolution, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Stanton a commander of the American Expeditionary Force in WW I, told Parisians on arrival, “Lafayette, we are here!”

While Americans and the French are victims of terrorism because of our beliefs and way of life, both nations continue to value and be grateful for our republican form of government that allows citizens to elect their representatives. And we share a common conviction that we will prevail over adversity.

To read the entire column click here http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/for-what-are-taxpayers-thankful-in-2015/Read More

Katy Grimes

Pepperdine Grad Students’ Head-On Collision With Local Govt. Officials

Why does it take 54 days, more than 30 emails, 25 phone calls, 3 faxes, and 2 trips to the city of West Covina to obtain records available to the public? The short answer is that some local government officials don’t believe they have to make the public records available to the public.

A group of graduate students working to achieve a Masters Degree from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy were assigned with obtaining all official campaign contribution forms 410, 460, and 700 for elected officials in the city of West Covina from 2012-2015.

The class is taught by Matthew J. Peterson, Ph.D. on the intersection of media with state and local government – and these grad students just had a head-on collision in the intersection with local… Read More

Richard Rider

My Applebee’s robot waitress auditioning for the human waiter’s job

Last night I took my wife and our two young grandchildren to Applebee’s. It went great — our 4 and 2 year old charges were more decorous than half the patrons.

But I digress. Here’s what caught my attention: Applebee’s is testing a new ordering policy — using the technology that is rapidly becoming prominent in fast food restaurants. Every table had an online electronic tablet, with the menu, ordering and payment process built in. One can place the order and have the busboy bring your food.

For now, one can still use a waiter for service, but obviously the plan is to reduce or eliminate that service. That makes PARTICULARLY good sense in California, which is rapidly becoming the home of the $15 minimum wage. Moreover, California is one of only 7 states that requires “tip” employees to be paid a FULL minimum wage IN ADDITION TO all tips collected. That can make a meal too pricey — reducing the number of times patrons choose to dine out.

Because of the hectic nature of two tykes seeking guidance in meal selection, we opted to use the waitress — much to her delight. I had a nice salad as my… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gov. Brown’s Droughts, Wildfires, Water Shortage, and other Climate Change Ignis Fatuus

California Governor Jerry Brown inherited the Golden State, the land of opportunity. However, everything he touches turns Brown.

Climate change has been the top priority of his governorship… not the flailing economy, or California’s largest-in-the-country-and-growing poverty class, or the 47th in school performance issue, or the $600 Billion in unfunded public employee pension and health liability, or the desperate need for water storage, or even the illegal immigrant problem.

For Brown who has said “Latin makes you smarter than everybody,” Climate change is his ignis fatuus – his fata morgana, his hallucination, myth, hocus pocus, or head trip.

Climate Change: “one of the fundamental issues of our time”

Brown has never specified how to achieve his radical emissions target, despite it’s… Read More

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