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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Gina Nestande

Governor Newsom, It’s Time For Us To Get Back To Work

The French economist and philosopher Frederic Bastiat described the economic principle of a cost-benefit analysis in his 1850 essay entitled, “What Is Seen And What Is Unseen.”

The historian Amity Shlaes applies Bastiat’s principle to the public health response to the Coronavirus, “For every action we take such as shelter in place, there is the unseen person who loses their job, or maybe their business and their livelihood.”

Our community has put forth extraordinary efforts to flatten the curve but as we push down the curve, like a large balloon, a new curve is created. In this case it is an unemployment curve. And to flatten this curve with Shelter in Place mandates, we have come remarkably close to comprising our Constitutional rights as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights LIMITS what the government CAN DO, preserving liberty for the people.

The International Monetary Fund released its economic outlook and it should not come as a surprise to anyone that shutting down our twenty-two trillion-dollar economy will create the worst recession since the Great Depression if it prolongs much longer. Riverside County will likely see an… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Who Really Runs the Federal Government?

We go to the polls every four years to elect a president. That president then appoints hundreds of people, many approved by the Senate. Most people think that these are the people we have put in charge for four-to-eight years; we then decide which team we want for the next four-to-eight years. Unfortunately, they are not the people who run the government and there is very little discussion about who does: The Senior Executive Service (SES).

The SES (established in 1978) falls under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). They state on their website: “The SES was established to ensure that the executive management of the Government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the Nation and otherwise is of the highest quality.” They go on to say “These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective on government and a public service commitment that is grounded in the Constitution.” That is their take.

If you are wondering about the importance of these positions, reflect on President Trump’s comments this week about his appointments not getting approved by the U.S. Senate. As… Read More

Congressman Tom McClintock

The Unseen Death Toll of Covid-19 Measures

The accumulating death toll from Covid-19 can be seen minute-by-minute on cable news channels. But there’s another death toll few seem to care much about: the number of poverty-related deaths being set in motion by deliberately plunging millions of Americans into poverty and despair.

In the first three weeks since governors began shutting down commerce in their states, 17 million Americans filed for unemployment, and according toone survey, one quarter of Americans have lost their jobs or watched their paychecks cut.Goldman Sachs predictsthat the economy will shrink 34 percent in the second quarter, with unemployment leaping to 15 percent.

Until the Covid-19 economic shut-down, the poverty rate in the United States had dropped to its lowest in 17 years. What does that mean for public health?A 2011 Columbia University studyfunded by the National… Read More

Ray Haynes

Lazy Authoritarianism and Arrogance Lead to Ignoring Freedom

Contact tracing, remember that phrase. It is the solution to the current quarantine “shelter in place” orders. It is how we should have dealt with this “pandemic” from the beginning. We are told we have to stay home to protect each other, and that justifies the government imposing all sorts of crazy rules about who is “essential,” who gets paid to stay at home, and who has to shut down and starve while this “crisis” continues.

The current government imposed orders are the result of what I call lazy authoritarianism and arrogance. “Arrogance,” because the so-called experts claim they have the only solutions, and we should go along because they are smarter than the rest of us. “Lazy Authoritarianism” because other solutions would require the government to work harder to balance the public health with our personal and economic freedom, and who cares about our personal and economic freedom? Certainly not the “public health bureaucrats.” Their mantra: “Just do what you’re told and quit complaining.”

That is where contact tracing comes in. That is how we deal… Read More

Richard Rider

The public employee aristocracy profits from the coronavirus

During this coronavirus emergency, we frequently hear theclichéthat “we are all in this together.” No, we’re not.

Yes, we all risk catching the disease. Especially public and private first responders and medical workers.

But from a financial sacrifice standpoint, most public employees (not police and firefighters) can expect to actuallyprofitfrom this trying time, while most private employees will indeed suffer.

Theongoingadvantages that public employeesalreadyenjoy are numerous. Compared to most equivalent private sector jobs, public employees receive higher pay (especially government blue collar workers), MUCH more lucrative benefits (especially pensions), rock-solid job security, more vacation time, have little or no performance standards and retire at a younger age.

But now with the helicopter money raining down from DC, it’s gotten even better for the majority of public employees. Everyone in America will receive a one-time $1,200 federal check.This windfall scales down from 100% for incomes up to $75K to zero at $100K.

BTW, combined with the business subsidies and… Read More

Richard Rider

Boss Hogg from “Dukes of Hazzard” now runs Palm Springs

FLASH! Due to the coronavirus disaster, Palm Springs secretly hired the aged Boss Hogg from Hazzard County to refill the city coffers with loot.

This decadent desert city is heavily dependent on visitors for its tax revenue. With the plunge in city tax collections, Boss Hogg implemented a HUGE fine for violating any city diktat regarding the coronavirus. “Up to” $5,000 for the first offense. $10K and $25K maximums for the 2nd and 3rd offenses respectively. https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/health/2020/04/07/palm-springs-imposing-fines-violations-local-emergency-order/2967170001

But let’s not exaggerate the magnitude of this new city revenue source. The maximum fine won’t be levied on every law breaker.

Thanks to the Internet, a corrupt judge (all judges are totally dependent on government revenue) can run a quick credit check on the riffraff standing before him awaiting sentencing. The fine will be adjusted down to the maximum level the poor saps can pay — to avoid refilling the local jail after the county sheriff let most of the REAL criminals out because of the infection… Read More

Ray Haynes

Get The Principle Right on Vote By Mail and the Solution Takes Care of Itself

I think I have had enough of this “shelter in place” stuff. I practice social distancing as a way of life, I’m not a social guy. I know that sounds weird for a recovering politician, but it’s true. I not all that into hanging out with people on the natural. But, when the government orders me? My rebellious side kicks in, and I just want to shake everybody’s hand.

This whole virus thing could have been handled better. The problem is in New York and New Jersey. Infections per thousand (which is how the real impact of the disease should be measured), California has one of the lowest disease rates (25,000 cases out of 36 million people), .7 people/thousand (Compare with New York’s 10 people/thousand and New Jersey at 7 people/thousand). That isn’t because of the “shelter in place” order in California either. Texas, which does not have the order, has a lower infection rate per thousand (.5 people/thousand). So requiring us all to stay in place is absolutely unnecessary (except maybe in New York and New Jersey), and maximizes the economic harm we all must suffer from this incredibly bad government response to the… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Really, Can You Just Can It?

Warning: This column is highly partisan and intended to offend some offenders.

Since this country’s conversation switched from impeachment to coronavirus, some people think they are still back in the good old days. While people are dying from a highly-contagious disease and millions are thrown out of work to extinguish said virus, some folks just can’t control themselves. It was cute and quaint when everyone knew your efforts were going to fail and we had more jobs than we had people to fill them. The reality has changed and you need to get with it for the American people or just shut your mouths.

That doesn’t mean that our government is not above constructive criticism. I read it every day. There will be mistakes made and there will be mid-course corrections necessary, but your constant hectoring comments are despicable. The armchair quarterbacks with zero life experience constantly attacking the people attempting to accomplish something to save the lives and financial well-being of our fellow citizens is downright Un-American. As I tweeted out in the beginning, if you are an elected official there is really only one thing to say… Read More

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