essentialsaltes: (poo-bush)
I assume this was in the plan, but there was some perfect needling by Clinton that hit Trump at just the wrong time (from my perspective -- hopefully, from everyone's). Basically, encouraging Trump to boast.

Trump says it was good business to buy cheap property after the financial crisis.
5 million people lost their homes.

Trump (reportedly) owes $650 million. "That's not a lot of money."

In some years (where he had to report his taxes) Trump paid zero federal taxes.
"It was smart."

-----

After Trump gibbered and attacked Lester Holt about whether he did or didn't support the invasion of Iraq, for him to move immediately to "I have a better temperament" was the height of absurdity.

-----

Trump's answer on the race issue was completely tone-deaf. 80% law & order, stop & frisk. 20% black and brown people have it bad. (No shit.)

-----

If I had been Clinton, one wonky thing I would have hit him with is that Japan cannot have an army, per se, because of the outfall of WWII and the treaty with the US. They have a self defense force. And we are, by treaty, obligated to handle external threats to Japan.

-----

Trump (re)declaring war on Rosie O'Donnell added a nice touch.
essentialsaltes: (poo-bush)
Assuming you remember what phonebooks are, my fellow Californicators will be getting one for the ballot initiatives soon. Here's my regular dose of opinions to help influence the votes of people who don't want to do the research, thus magnifying my democratic power. Remarkably, I'm split exactly 50/50 on Yes/No, with one strong Maybe.

51 - SCHOOL BONDS. FUNDING FOR K–12 SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE FACILITIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

$9 billion in bonds for schools. Bonds are not a great way to fund anything. This plan does not seem to be very focused. There's no doubt there's a need, but I don't like this solution. Neither does Governor Moonbeam. Nope.

52 - MEDI‐CAL HOSPITAL FEE PROGRAM. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

Seems like a messy shell game to get hospitals to pay fees to the state that are given back to the hospitals with matching federal funds. But it seems to work, and the NO argument (that this money is going straight to the fatcat CEOs) is just baloney. So if ain't broke, fix it in place permanently. Yes.

53 - REVENUE BONDS. STATEWIDE VOTER APPROVAL. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

"Under the California Constitution, state general obligation bonds need voter approval before the state can use them to pay for a project. State revenue bonds do not need voter approval under existing state law." This prop would change the latter so that revenue bonds (over $2 billion) would need voter approval. While I'm tempted to have another way to partially veto the Monorail high speed rail, I don't see this additional oversight being helpful. Nope.

54 - LEGISLATURE. LEGISLATION AND PROCEEDINGS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

Aren't there enough roadblocks to getting things done? Adding a 'waiting period' for legislation seems unnecessary. I mean, best case scenario, evil law is proposed, and in 72 hours, someone's change.org petition gets a bajillion signatures, convincing the legislature to not pass it. Anything that wicked will get erased off the books under the present system. Worst case scenario, legislators (and their shadowy funders) will add amendment after amendment to bills, each one taking an additional 72 hours of waiting before a vote ever takes place. Nope.

55 - TAX EXTENSION TO FUND EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

Extends 'temporary' extra income tax on $250K+ taxpayers (Prop 30 in 2012) for another 12 years. Ooh, I'm really torn. If we could extend it maybe 6 years, I'd feel better. We could use some extra juice for the rainy day fund, and to really make use of the budget surplus to eliminate debt. I favored the more balanced prop 38 that would have raised everyone's taxes temporarily. Ummm. Eat the rich! Strong Maybe!

56 - CIGARETTE TAX TO FUND HEALTHCARE, TOBACCO USE PREVENTION, RESEARCH, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

Triples the state tobacco tax (and adds equivalent tax to e-cigs). Most of the funding goes to healthcare or the existing programs funded by cigarette taxes. My favorite negative effect of the prop: "state and local governments would experience future health care and social services costs that otherwise would not have occurred as a result of individuals who avoid tobacco‐related diseases living longer." A pretty punitive tax, but I really hate that cluster of millennials smoking on the sidewalk when I walk by at lunch time. Yes.

57 - CRIMINAL SENTENCES. PAROLE. JUVENILE CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AND SENTENCING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

Allows parole hearings a bit sooner for certain 'non violent' felons than is currently the case. Despite the doom and gloom of the NO argument, all of these people will get parole hearings, and the parole board will decide whether it's safe to let them out, and when. I don't see any legitimate drawbacks here. Yes.

58 - ENGLISH PROFICIENCY. MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

Provides schools with more flexibility in establishing bilingual education programs, erasing some of prop 227. The goal is still to get students proficient in English. Schools should have more flexibility in order to find out what works. Yes.

59 - CORPORATIONS. POLITICAL SPENDING. FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS. LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY QUESTION.

A grandstanding advisory vote calling on California officials to work to undo Citizens United through Constitutional Amendment. Entirely futile, but yes.

60 - ADULT FILMS. CONDOMS. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

"Cal/OSHA Already Requires Adult Film Condom Use" (Not that compliance is 100%)
"Allows Individuals to Bring Lawsuits on Regulatory Violations."
I'll join Dan Savage in voting no.

61 - STATE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PURCHASES. PRICING STANDARDS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

"would require all prescription drugs purchased by the State of California to be priced at or below the price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, which pays by far the lowest price of any federal agency. "

This is why you see tearful veterans on the commercials urging a no vote, followed by the tenth of second summary of major contributors like Pfizer and Merck.

On the other hand, the drug companies don't have to sell us discount drugs. And yes, they could decide to raise prices on vets. Because of all the moving parts, and inevitable squabbling and lawsuits, I'm leaning towards No. I don't think this is the solution to the prescription drug price problem.

62 - DEATH PENALTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

Eliminates the death penalty (and resentences current death row inmates to life without possibility of parole). "These reduced costs would likely be around $150 million annually within a few years." Yes.

63 - FIREARMS. AMMUNITION SALES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

"Requires individuals to obtain a four-year permit from DOJ to buy ammunition ... Allows DOJ to charge each person applying for a four-year permit a fee of up to $50"

Really? I'm sure the laudable intent is to stop bad guys with stolen guns from getting ammunition, but as much as I'd like better gun laws, I don't think I can go this far. The legislature acted in July: "Specifically, under the legislation: (1) ammunition dealers would be required to check with DOJ that individuals seeking to buy ammunition are not prohibited persons at the time of purchase and (2) DOJ could generally charge such individuals up to $1 per transaction." That seems far more reasonable than what the proposition is calling for; and it is already law. No.

64 - MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

I don't like smoking (see 56), but it's definitely time to end our reefer madness. The bigger tax base and the effect on 'crime' are icing on the cake.

65 - CARRYOUT BAGS. CHARGES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

Directs 'fees' for paper bags at grocery stores to state environmental purposes. Currently these fees are just kept by the stores. Now, the bags cost the store something, so it's hardly fair to take all the money away from them. But then again, why do they benefit from our green awareness? If this is really a necessary source of revenue for retailers... they'll just raise prices on other things. And then this proposition is just a tax to support the environment. Which I guess is okay. Hmm. I really don't care all that much. I'm gonna just go with No, and whenever people point to California as being unfriendly to business, I'll point to how they get to freeload off our bag fees. See also 67.

66 - DEATH PENALTY. PROCEDURES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

"In addition, the measure changes how attorneys are appointed for direct appeals under certain circumstances. Currently, the California Supreme Court appoints attorneys from a list of qualified attorneys it maintains. Under the measure, certain attorneys could also be appointed from the lists of attorneys maintained by the Courts of Appeal for non-death penalty cases. Specifically, those attorneys who (1) are qualified for appointment to the most serious non-death penalty appeals and (2) meet the qualifications adopted by the Judicial Council for appointment to death penalty cases would be required to accept appointment to direct appeals if they want to remain on the Courts of Appeal’s appointment lists."

Death penalty cases are not like other cases. This prop is trying to grease the wheels by appointing unqualified lawyers to 'defend' poor inmates (and they can't refuse). Just no.

67 - BAN ON SINGLE–USE PLASTIC BAGS. REFERENDUM.

Enacts a statewide ban on plastic bags (similar to that which already exists where I live). I think it's been a good thing on the whole. Make it so, statewide. Yes.

Prop 50

Apr. 26th, 2016 10:51 am
essentialsaltes: (poo-bush)
Only one prop on the CA ballot.

Seems like a good idea, but maybe isn't.

Currently, CA legislators can be suspended (with pay, it turns out, after this happened for the first time ever) by their fellows with a majority vote.

Or they can be expelled with a 2/3 vote.

Prop 50 would change suspension to be without pay, but now requires a 2/3 vote.

Lawmakers could have very easily closed the loophole, by just changing the way pay is handled. But instead it also sets the bar for suspension as high as it is for expulsion. Rather than making this a harsher suspension, it may have the effect of becoming a lighter expulsion. Or making legislators safer in general from censure in general. Fortunately, both suspension and expulsion are so rare that it probably won't make much difference no matter what happens.

It'll probably pass, because people will angrily shake their fists with their non-voting hand as they think of their anger at those criminal lawmakers keeping their pay. But I say NO.
essentialsaltes: (diversity)
Step 1: Get Supreme Court to invalidate part of the Voting Rights Act.

Step 2: Implement Voter ID law.

Step 3: Increase Driver's License fees by 54%.

Step 4: Close all satellite DMV locations in the state.

"“Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” Archibald explained."
essentialsaltes: (Agent)
Looking at the choices for the sexy Water Replenishment District of Southern California, I note that the incumbent is 83 years old, had a face-off with the state attorney general for conflict of interest, and was apparently free with the expense account.

So what are the alternatives?
Johnnie Roberts, Public Affairs Consultant. Not too inspiring: "He has done some Research on Water Issues, & arrived at some solutions to improve the way Southern California receives it's Water."

James T. Law, minister/disability activist. No info I can find. Except that in 2011 he was bumped from the city council election "(James T. Law was the last candidate to be checked — his petitions had an insufficient number of valid signatures, bumping him from the competition.)"

Daniela Calderon, mother and restaurant manager. No info I can find, although she may be a manager at the Hollywood Café 50s, which I guess is a point in her favor.

Mervin Evans, author/consultant. Ok, Mervin, you're my last hope. sigh.
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
Prop 43 was removed and replaced with Prop 1, information about which will be supplied at a later date in a Supplemental Voter Information Guide.

Prop 44 was renamed Prop 2.
And so on )
essentialsaltes: (poo-bush)
Don't see this on the main LACBA site yet, but here's the skinny.

•Office No. 22, Amy Carter (Sex Crimes Prosecutor) Qualified and Pamala F. Matsumoto (Litigation Attorney) Well Qualified.

•Office No. 48, Calderon (Retired Lawmaker Assembly member) and Rose (Child Molestation Prosecutor) both Not Qualified.

•Office No. 54, Shannon L. Knight (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) and Debra L. Losnick (Superior Court Commissioner), both Well Qualified.

•Office No. 61, B. Otis Felder (Los Angeles Prosecutor) Qualified, Lewis (Superior Court Commissioner) Exceptionally Well Qualified, and Dayan Mathai (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) Well Qualified.

•Office No. 76, Alison Matsumoto Estrada (Government Corruption Prosecutor) Well Qualified and Kim (Criminal Prosecutor) Not Qualified.

•Office No. 87, Griego (Criminal Gang Prosecutor) Not Qualified, Schreiner (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) Qualified, and Stein (Gang Homicide Attorney) Not Qualified.

•Office No. 97, Magno (Gang Murder Prosecutor), and Songhai “Sunny” Armsted (Supervising Criminal Prosecutor), both Qualified.

•Office No. 107, Emma Castro (Superior Court Commissioner) Qualified and Chrostek (Major Narcotics Prosecutor) Not Qualified.

•Office No. 113, Steven Klaif (Superior Court Referee) Well Qualified and Stacy Wiese (Criminal Homicide Prosecutor) Qualified.

•Office No. 117, Najera (Violent Crimes Prosecutor) Not Qualified and James B. Pierce (Judge of the Superior Court) Well Qualified.

•Office No. 138, Marc A. Gibbons (Trial Attorney) and Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong (Gang Homicide Prosecutor), both Qualified.

•Office No. 157, Cooper (Gang Homicide Prosecutor) and Arnold William Mednick (Retired Court Referee), both Qualified.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Today was the city elections in Inglewood. Poking around looking for information... any information... on some of the candidates somehow led me to Ku Klux Klan raid (Inglewood).

Pretty hair-raising stuff. An Inglewood city constable killed by gunshot. Oh, but he was a Klansman (as were several other Inglewood police). And he was shot and killed by an Inglewood city marshal, responding to a Klan raid to terrorize a local bootlegger.

The raiders were charged, but ultimately found not guilty.

"It was this scandal, according to the Los Angeles Times, that eventually led to the outlawing of the Klan in California."

LA Times coverage )

watershed

Nov. 6th, 2012 09:04 pm
essentialsaltes: (narrow)
PBS called the Maine's referendum on same sex marriage for the affirmative. Same sex marriage voted in by popular vote. Really glad to see that. And it won't be the last.
essentialsaltes: (Patriotic)
Ok, let's hop to it.

Prop 30: This is governor Brown's preferred plan to raise the state sales tax, and raise state taxes on those making more than $250K in order to pay for schools.

Prop 38: This is the competing measure that provides a similar amount of money for schools, but raises it all through a progressive income tax increases that starts at people making $7,300.

If both pass, the one with more votes wins. If neither passes, schools will lose $5 billion and change. But which one's better?

Hard for me to call. I like that 38 spreads the pain a little more equitably for something we all have a stake in. But 38 also comes with lots of fiddly bits about how the money's to be spent that seems a little micro-manag-y. 30 offers more flexibility on how it should be spent, but on the other hand, that includes the flexibility for the state to spend a lot of the money raised on non-school things. On the gripping hand, the state could use more flexibility in how it juggles the general fund in this time of crisis.

Verdict: I lean toward 38, but it's a narrow thing. Besides, who'm I kidding? How many Californians will vote to raise their own taxes?
of course there's more )
essentialsaltes: (narrow)
I was disappointed when there was no opportunity to have a do-over on prop 8 in 2010. No do-over in 2012, either.
How's 2014 looking? Or will you be washing your hair that year?
essentialsaltes: (Empathyormurder)
113,563 Californians voted for birther nutter Orly Taitz. Fortunately, that's only good enough for 5th place. Autism advocate and political novice Elizabeth Emken will be Feinstein's opponent in November.
essentialsaltes: (Haha)
Those of you who are disgruntled at your choices in the major parties may enjoy a look at the extensive list of third party candidates:

Everything from white supremacists to the Naked Cowboy, from objectivists to prohibitionists, from the lead singer of Lamb of God to Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones. The Green Party hasn't yet had its convention, but Roseanne Barr is in the running.

I bet there's someone for everyone!
essentialsaltes: (feynman)
The media are calling it for Romney, following the TX vote. Maybe they're including party delegates who will presumably toe the line, since the all-wise Wikipedia shows Romney at 1,077, some 67 short of the 1,144 needed. The WA, MO, LA conventions have a total of 93 to distribute.
essentialsaltes: (muslin)
Following up on Obama narrowly edging out a felon in the WV primary, he had trouble in KY and AR. Obama won both contests, but this time he nearly lost to Nobody (KY) and some Occupy Wall Street lawyer dude (AR).

In other news, Ron Paul picked up all of ME's delegates and most of the delegates in MN. Although the caucuses in those states were won by Romney and Santorum, respectively, the delegates were actually chosen at recent conventions. With this tailwind, Paul bids fair to surpass Gingrich to reach third place in the Republican primaries.

Wikipedia has Romney at 972. 1,144 are needed, leaving him to get another 172. TX (May 29) doesn't have that many to award, so Romney will most likely(*) go over the top on June 5th, when CA (a winner-take-all-state) [and NJ, NM, and ND] votes.

(*)A few other states (WA, LA, MO(**)) will have their conventions on June 2nd. Depending on how those turn out, and how well/badly Ron Paul does in TX (a proportional state), it might happen then, instead.

(**) Missouri had both a primary (won handily by Santorum, followed by Romney and Paul) and caucuses (won in a relatively close one with Santorum over Paul, with Romney a distant third). But the pre-state convention district conventions seem to have favored Romney. So I despair of our mickey mouse system.

Cartography

May. 9th, 2012 05:18 pm
essentialsaltes: (narrow)


This seems to be a more accurate map, but for the most part, it's the same:


And for reference...
essentialsaltes: (muslin)
A Texan serving a 17.5 year sentence for extortion won 41% of the vote (and 1 delegate).

(ok, maybe 59/41 is not 'close to losing', but for a sitting president...)

(Some background from 2008, when Hillary whomped Obama 67-26.)
essentialsaltes: (glycerol and oleic acid)
Just two propositions on the lame CA primary.

Prop 28: Changes term limits so that legisthings can spend 12 years total in either assembly or senate, as opposed to current system in which legisthings can spend 6 years in the assembly and 8 years in the senate, for a total of 14 years. Amusing primarily for the arguments between the proponents and the proponents of the old system. We're promoting tougher term limits because 12 is less than 14! No, you're weakening them, since 6 and 8 are less than 12!

Verdict: I still think term limits are dumb(*), so I lose either way. Basically, I doubt it'll make a fly's fart of difference. So who cares?

(*) I like the response to the Con argument: "We hoped the [current term limit] law would bring a new type of 'citizen legislator,' who would serve for a short period and return to private life, giving others opportunities to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to government.
It hasn't turned out that way."
Yes, and this tinkering isn't going to fix that, now is it?

Prop 29: Increase cigarette tax by $1.

Currently tobacco excise taxes are $0.87, so this will more than double it. In fact, prop 99 (1988) added 25 cents. Prop 10 (1998) added 50 cents. So it's in keeping that this new one will add a buck. We'll keep doing this until people stop smoking (or buy all their cigarettes online).
The raised money, expected to be close to a billion dollars a year, is devoted to scientific research grants and laboratory construction grants for treating tobacco-related diseases, and a few other 'tobacco-abatement' programs. It's somehow Solomonically fitting, and at the same time kind of odd that all this money (and it's a lot) gets channelled into this one research area. I think I'd be happier if it went into the General Fund. At least it would be honest: "We hate you smelly smokers, so fucking pay for our sidewalk repair and parks. And by the way, fuck you."

Verdict: Hellifino. But I think no. But who cares?


It's also amusing to see Orly Taitz on the ballot for Senator.

All aboard?

Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:18 pm
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
I'm still dreading the overall result of prop 1A from 2008, a bond issue for $10 billion or so to build highspeed rail in CA. If you recall, I came out agin it, back when the cost of the entire project was $45 billion. More recent estimates put the number at $98 billion. Currently, after some jiggery-pokery and scale-back, the new number is $68 billion.

"But there remain significant doubts from analysts and even supporters over whether the new strategy is financially feasible or politically viable. It concludes by asking the Legislature in the next two months to start building the project even with a $55 billion funding shortfall. The plan is banking on the federal government to provide $42 billion and private investors to contribute $13 billion in hypothetical funding -- or else risk losing existing federal grants and seeing the project fold altogether."

As I said before: Ever hear of Ogdenville and North Haverbrook?

For reference.

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essentialsaltes: (Default)
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