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Tab Berg

Debunking “tax the millionaires and billionaires” fantasy.

There was a great article in the WSJ, debunking POTUS’ and Buffet’s claim of “fairness” in raising taxes on the “rich”.

The article clarifies some misinformation in their “15%” argument, but my deeper concern is the more fundamental dishonesty in what they are proposing: despite all the talk about Buffet’s billions and the tax on “millionaires and billionaires”, they’re really asking for a much broader tax on those making far, far less – small businesses and entrepreneurs, independent farmers, and professionals who make less than 200K. In most of these cases, those they want to significantly increase taxes are the ones who have made sacrifices, risked their livelihoods or deferred reward to build something, create jobs or develop a valuable skill.

Certainly there are some paper shufflers who are are making millions, who leech on misfortune or take advantage of the system, but they are a minority compared with hardworking independent farmers, professionals, small businesses… Read More

Romney Leads GOP Primary Field in CA, Perry in Second

New poll results show Romney winning with 22% and Texas Governor Rick Perry is showing with 15%. You can see the poll here.

Given that Romney has been campaigning in California for more than five years and Perry has barely been to the state, Perry seems to be positioned well. Governor Perry announced in the middle of fielding the poll.… Read More

Jon Fleischman

For Senate Republicans Referendum Is A Must

Having watched the California Redistricting Commission do its work, I could literally write a couple dozen blog commentaries about how screwed up they were – the process, the participants, and (predictably) the outcome. Hind sight, of course, is 20-20 — but it was clearly folly to think that you could take the politics out of redistricting, which is an inherently political process. For my part, I wish Propositions 11 and 20 had simply assigned the task of drawing the lines to the courts and called it a day. Because politics did play into the process and outcome of the Commission’s work, the maps have Republicans taking it in the shorts — specifically and mostly in the Congressional maps and the State Senate maps.

With the Congressional lines as drawn, Republicans stand to lose between two and five seats in the House of Representatives from California. It will be a judgment call for the Congressional folks and the NRCC to decide whether to initiative a referendum on those lines. I would — but then again, I don’t have to come up with the soft dollars, they do (talk is cheap, eh?).

In my opinion, the State Senate maps as… Read More

Meredith Turney

California Taxpayers Punk’d by DMV

Over the weekend I read a Sacramento Bee article about actor and comedian Ashton Kutcher’s plan to base a new reality show on California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The first thought that came to mind was how appropriate this is considering every time I visit the DMV, I feel like I’m on an episode of Punk’d. Unfortunately, my nightmarish prank never ends with Ashton jumping out from behind a counter and reassuring me it’s all a joke; no, I’m still waiting in line, trying to cut through the thick red tape and finally get that license renewal and vehicle registration. The following video blog pretty much sums up my feelings about this new reality show and how the real focus should be on Sacramento’s attempt to play political games with a bureaucracy that’s already a nightmare to deal with.

Read More

Jon Fleischman

Assembly GOP: Welcome Back To The Capitol; Open Your Books

Anyone who is watching California politics knows that there is currently a major schism between Assembly Speaker John Perez and one of his Democrat colleagues, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino. You can read more about that here if you would like. Suffice it to say that the “Imperial Speaker” used his power to play games with Assemblyman Portantino’s office budget, causing accusations from Portantino about Perez’s manipulation of Assembly funds, taxpayer dollars all, for his political purposes.

One effect of this Perez/Portantino throw down has been a significant interest, especially by the media, in bringing sunshine and transparency to how the State Assembly spends its money — public funds. The media requested budget information from Perez, and after that request was denied, the… Read More

Jon Fleischman

“Republicans” On Redistricting Commission Have A Duty To Vote No

UPDATE: 11AM — So much for the GOP circling the wagons behind Props. 11 & 20. They’ve turned out to be a disaster. Commission has adopted these lines. Republicans can look the courts, and to referend the lines. Otherwise, there is no real path for the next decade to move the GOP significantly closer to majority status in Sacramento.

My apologies to FR readers for my light posting the last week — I’ve been taking some much needed time off. That having been said, I thought I would “step in” for just a few minutes to share some quick thoughts with regards to the “fine works” of the California Redistricting Commission, which is poised today to lock and load today on political boundaries that — well — screw the GOP.

It is so clear, in retrospect, that it is impossible to divorce politics from what is a fundamentally political process. Propositions 11 and 20 sought to do just that. It’s not clear to me whether we should have the line drawing to the politicians (a shout out to Steve Maviglio) or whether we should have just sent the line… Read More

Richard Rider

Rider 2007 column on Virginia Tech massacre

On the website I came across a column I wrote in 2007 — published in several papers. Nothing has changed since I wrote it, so it seems it bears repeating.

The Virginia Tech Massacre By Richard Rider, April 18, 2007

Some observations on the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech.

True to form, the national TV and radio networks started in on the “inadequate gun control laws” before the bodies had cooled. By the afternoon, a spokesperson for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence was pontificating all over the networks. The gun grabber lobby is geared up for just such events – indeed, they seem far better prepared than the cops.

The media thinks it is ironic that people were slaughtered in gun free zones – as if the prohibition of guns in these areas should have protected the victims. They are right about the irony, but for the wrong reason. These pundits have yet to understand that such shooters GO to gun free zones precisely BECAUSE they are gun free. When it comes to… Read More

Duane Dichiara

Reviews of My Vacation Reading

Here is the promised review of my vacation reading list:

Listening to America (Bill Moyers). Yeah he’s endlessly annoying on television, but the book is worth reading for an insight into how people across America were thinking in the late 1960’s (for those of you, like me, who weren’t there). I suggest renting it from the library to avoid enriching him further. Rank: B.

Before the Dawn (Gerry Adams). Poorly written. Dull. Confusing. Slangy in an eye rolling way. One sided (shocking). Don’t waste your time. Rank: D-. It rises above an F because I managed to get through it when I had nothing left to read and I couldn’t stand any more of the kids ipod games.

Basic Brown (Willie Brown). Interesting… obviously written for a broader audience than political insiders. It’s a quick read and pretty much anything Brown writes is worth reading in my opinion. Rank: B.

The Maltese Falcon/The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett). I’m not a huge fan of fiction. Got most of that out of my system 20 years ago. However, and not to put too fine a point on it, these… Read More

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