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Katy Grimes

Legislators use muscle on grocers over plastic bag recycling

Katy Grimes: The plastic bag activists are at it again, and they are nothing, if not persistent. With the eleventh bill regulating plastic bags in less than 10 years, grocery stores don’t have a chance in California.

Passed today by the Assembly, SB 1219, the latest plastic bag regulation bill, by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, will require grocery stores to implement, manage, and report on the “At-Store Recycling Program” to the Cal Recycle state agency.

Besides imposing more rules and regulations on privately-owned grocery stores, SB 1219 which appears to be aimed at large grocers like WalMart, Target and other large supermarket chains, will require that stores “place recycling bins in a readily accessible location for consumers, assure the collected bags are recycled, and provide reusable bags. Additionally, stores track the collection, transport, and recycling of plastic carryout bags and regulated manufacturers provide educational materials to assist in recycling (see requirements).”

This could be the work of a… Read More

Katy Grimes

Air Resources Board dodges accountability – again

The California Air Resources Board seems to be on everyone’s list of what not to do in state government. Charged with implementing AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB is under increasing scrutiny for operating as a rogue agency, appearing to be accountable to no one.

All attempts to reel in the agency have failed, including another attempt to audit its operations and finances–thanks to Democratic legislators who clearly are getting marching orders from Assembly and Senate leaders.

A Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing on Wednesday brought CARB close to accountability with the threat of the six-month state audit. But the committee chairman, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, surprised everyone when he nixed the plan after having made the pretense that he was on board.

CARB and AB 32

In 2006, the Legislature promised that AB 32 would help clean the environment while still protecting the economy. Supportive legislators promised that utility and gasoline costs would not increase with the implementation of the climate change law.

The opposite has happened, and businesses are now… Read More

Katy Grimes

Special interests could fil-A the Dems

Only hours after the Democratic National Committee announced that the 2012 platform would endorse same-sex marriage, a group of black pastors came out swinging, and saying that they feel betrayed by President Barack Obama.

“We voted for Obama. We campaigned for Obama. But he has left our founding purposes,” Rev. William Owens Sr., the founder of the coalition of African American Pastors, told World Net Daily. “With all of the problems in America within the black community – education, jobs, business, the economy – with all of our problems, he chooses to get in front of same-sex marriage,” he continued. “That flies in the face of the African-American community.

“We feel betrayed.”

Could same-sex marriage issue fil-A the Dems?

Simultaneously, the Chick-fil-A controversy exploded, but in a good way.

Gay rights activists and other partisan liberals plan a national “Kiss In” at Chick-fil-A restaurants today to protest the restaurant owners’ position on traditional marriage. In a stunt worthy of junior high school antics, organizers are asking all gay activists to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss one other… Read More

Katy Grimes

100 years of Capitalism and Freedom

I am honored to be a new contributor to the FR blog. My CalWatchdognew stories and columns appear in the FlashReport, and now I will be a blogger as well. Sometimes I will cross post with CalWatchdog, and sometimes the posts will be exclusive to the FR blog – Katy Grimes, 7/31/2012

As free marketeers celebrate famed Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman’s 100 birthday today, revisiting Friedman’s 1979 interview with Phil Donahue, where Friedman schooled Donahue, a 1970′s liberal television talk show host, on capitalism. This is an important reminder of why we fight for the free market.

Friedman, born July 31, 1912, and died November 16, 2006, easily dispelled the common liberal… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Neither Snow nor Sleet nor Dark of Night…

We all are familiar with the rest of the variations on this phrase describing the dedication of the US Postal Service (USPS) in delivering the mail. Well, snow and rain may not be keeping the Post Office from delivering the mail, but financial problems within the USPS may soon halt delivery.

This has not gotten much publicity, but the USPS is in real trouble. The USPS is an independent, but wholly-owned entity of the federal government. It is designed to be self-supporting such that the rates it charges will cover the costs of delivering the mail. This worked for a long time. Obviously, for over 200 years. But, not so now. After earning modest profits from 2004-2006, the agency started hemorrhaging money in 2007. Between 2007 and 2010, it has lost over $20 billion. These losses are now accelerating in 2011 with a loss, in the first 3 quarters of this year, amounting to $5.7 billion. The USPS has already borrowed the maximum $15 billion it is allowed to borrow under the law and has already deferred another $4 billion in payments to its employee retirement fund to cover these losses. The Continuing Resolution adopted by the House last week… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Chaos in Washington

If I were to tell you things were chaotic in Washington last week, you might correctly exclaim, “So, what else is new?”. But, things seem to be even more chaotic than normal right now. I submit the following rundown for your consideration:

The President announced his latest strategy for Afghanistan in which he tries to thread the policy needle by giving a timetable for some withdrawal, but at the same time keeps more troops there throughout his term than at any time during the Bush presidency. I don’t think he succeeded in pleasing anyone with this plan – certainly not this Member of Congress. He also still has not indicated what it is we are now fighting for and what the desired end-state looks like. Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is largely out of Afghanistan. Are we nation building? I think we are and I don’t think that is worth $2 billion a week and more American lives. I also believe you either fight wars with all you’ve got, or don’t fight them at all. Vietnam taught us that. The President seems to want to fight half a war. Speaker Boehner criticized the President’s speech and basically called … Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Growing the Private Sector

Things are not so good out there. The unemployment rate, already stubbornly high, climbed even higher in May. Economists are revising economic growth predictions downward. Housing prices continue to drop, thereby further reducing household wealth. Real returns on bank deposits and Treasury Bills are negative. The dollar is dropping. Gas prices are up, inflation is up. There are some bright spots, certainly, but the overall picture is that of stagnation. Unfortunately, none of this is a great surprise given what the government has been doing of late. We are printing money and artificially holding down interest rates to try and spur recovery. But, this is creating those negative real (after inflation) interest rates, which are distorting capital flows. Most of the country’s tax policies expire in 18 months, so no one can do any long-term investment planning about taxes with any certainty. The government is retarding the development of almost all forms of economical energy (oil, gas, coal, nuclear), while subsidizing expensive wind and solar. We continue to run record deficits, which divert capital from other more productive uses and create the massive public debt overhang… Read More

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