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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

Has “Enron” corruption returned to California’s electricity system?

Below is a bizarre story from the LA TIMES. Cal-ISO, the government body that oversees our California electrical grid system, put out a bogus warning during this recent hot period, warning residents that rolling blackouts were imminent if people and businesses didn’t turn off their A/C and otherwise conserve electricity. We were running out of electricity!!!

But we never got anywhere CLOSE to having a power problem. At the peak of the usage, we still had 38% excess capacity. We now have so much solar power that A/C peak usage is no longer a problem unless scorching heat is accompanied by cloudy days (yeah, THAT happens a LOT in California!), but nobody told the “analysts” at Cal-ISO.

As a result, during this warning period the wholesale price of electricity in the state jumped FOUR to FIVE times the usual level. Somebody made a killing off this — ultimately at ratepayers’ expense.

This fake alert has the smell of Enron all over it. Did someone bribe “analysts” at Cal-ISO to put out what was an incredibly false warning? Or was this just classic California bureaucratic incompetence, raised… Read More

Richard Rider

GREAT investment in this hot California weather — GUARANTEED!

As we Californians endure our annual summer hot spells, let me give you the most cost-effective strategy for keeping cool (and saving A/C costs). It works especially well if you live within a dozen miles of the coast (as many Californians do!).

Install a “whole house fan” in your ceiling such as the model below (this one from Amazon for $300). It pulls air out of your house and into the attic, coolingbothareas.Don’t forget to open windows before turning on the fan! It needs to be a bit cooler outside the house than inside for it to be effective, though the fresh air alone is often a welcome change.

It’s mostly used to cool down the house at the end of the day, and perhaps (as I do), to KEEP cooling it down with nighttime air, closing it up in the AM just as it starts getting warm outside. At the very least, is delays the need for A/C operating until later in the day. Obviously if it’s still hot outside at night, this doesn’t work well.

When the fan is not working, the fan opening into the… Read More

Jon Coupal

What citizen taxpayers should know about the California budget

California voters are pretty good at figuring out what is going in the state capital when it hits them directly. For example, recent polling shows that citizen awareness of the $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax is very high and, incidentally, very negative.

But the same can’t be said when it comes to the more complicated and arcane actions of our state politicians such as the annual California state budget process. While Californians are painfully aware that taxes are very high (they’ve been watching their friends and neighbors moving out of state at record pace) they typically have little comprehension of where their tax dollars go. That’s not surprising since California ranks dead last in budget transparency according to a recent study by U.S. News & World Report.

Nonetheless, here are the main takeaways that every California taxpayer should know.

First, the budget is huge – over $125 billion in general fund spending – by far the largest budget in California history. Since the recovery began after the great recession, taxpayers have infused California’s General Fund with $41 billion and special funds by $28 billion. That translates into… Read More

Richard Rider

CA is now GIVING away electricity to AZ. Actually WORSE than just giving it away.

I first wrote about this California solar problem over two years ago. While talking with a local electric utility manager, he quietly informed me that, with the increasing solar power trend in 2014, we would soon have more total electrical power produced during certain hours than the utilities could use — or even handle. Such power can’t efficiently be stored, so the excess is useless during these peak periods.

But it turns out that it’s worse than I thought. California utilities are GIVING some of our excess peak time power to other states. Not just giving it away — they are actually PAYING these out-of-state utilities to take our excess California solar power. Otherwise there would be so much power in the California grid that the system would shut down.

Moreover, keep in mind that we are still subsidizing ever more solar installations — industrial and residential. The problem is bound to grow. The madness of this pell-mell increase in green energy production coupled with feel-good (but expensive) subsidies is having its predictable effect.

The story is detailed in the LA TIMES:… Read More

Ron Nehring

Senate Health Bill is Real Progress — Cruz Pushing to Make It Better

Republicans in Congress are moving forward to fulfilling the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. The work performed by Senate Republicans revealed this week represents another step in the right direction.

Repeal and replacement of Obamacare cannot come too soon. Millions of Americans have had their health insurance policies cancelled, choices reduced, and taxes raised by the law.

In campaigning for its passage, President Barack Obama promised Americans that if they like their plan, or their doctor, they can keep both. This was flatly untrue. I know, because I’m one of the more than 1 million Californians whose health insurance was made illegal under the law. Also like many Californians, the options I had for a new plan were all dramatically more expensive than my old plan.

This is not what we were promised.

Obamacare was supposed to provide more options for people to buy insurance, but for millions of Americans the opposite has proven true. In Arizona, for example, state residents are down to just one choice on the Obamacare exchange.

One choice is no choice.

Legislating has been likened to sausage making for a… Read More

Katy Grimes

Both Sides Aren’t Violent

Free speech is under assault in America. And in California, free speech is being bushwhacked. People are attacked just for having patriotic bumper stickers on their cars. Trump supporters who attend rallies are threatened, assaulted, beat up, and in a weekend attack in Santa Monica, a 28-year old man was knifed nine times! The only people being attacked are Trump supporters. The media lie “both sides do it” is repugnant; both sides are not violent.

The Navy Jack flag flying from my house was set on fire shortly before the November 8th presidential election. We fly it at the behest of our son, a Naval officer, who was deployed to the Middle East at the time. It’s an historical flag. But the dunderheads who set it afire have no idea that the Navy Jack flag is flown from all commissioned naval vessels. Duh.

In my urban Sacramento neighborhood of 6,000 homes, I counted three Trump signs and one Trump flag… Read More

Richard Rider

San Diego city can’t find enough police applicants — unlike EVERY other city in the county

An article in the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE details the hiring and retention problems of my San Diego city police department. These problems ARE real, but explainable — and solvable. SDPD hasn’t had a pay raise since 2009. The officers are still well paid, but LOWER paid than just about any other police department in the region. Supply and demand is indeed the PRIMARY problem the city faces. But not the only problem.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-police-hiring-20170613-story.html

What first annoyed me about this story is that the reporter seeks insights from a police “expert”– a guy from some flakey outfit that I suspect is funded by the police labor unions. Their board of directors are ALL police chiefs or police commissioners — hardly a reliable source of objective information. This guy makes a false claim about how police work has suddenly become quite risky compared to previous years. The paper says he asserts that “large numbers… Read More

Jon Coupal

Recall effort stymied by Sacramento

Members of the California Legislature apparently believe they have the power to change outcomes they don’t like. This is like awarding the NBA Championship to Cleveland by retroactively mandating that all of Golden State’s three point baskets be counted as only two.

While basketball is not on the minds of lawmakers, they are working to interfere with something of much greater value to average Californians, their constitutional right to recall elected officials. The Sacramento politicians think they have found a way to derail what appears to be a successful grassroots effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, who cast a key vote imposing a new $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax on already overburdened taxpayers.

The power of recall is a powerful tool of direct democracy. The secretary of state’s website says, “Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.”

In the 29th Senate District, covering parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino… Read More

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