Freedom of the Press survives a near-death experience in California

It seems that pesky First Amendment is under attack at both the federal and state level in the good old USA.

In what amounted to a stealth attack, the California legislature had attempted to completely eviscerate the laws giving the media and the public access to government records. In a move that would have made departed Hugo Chávez blush with pride, (and may have prompted a gift basket of muffins from Vladimir Putin) California’s very own Governor Jaruzelski Brown had proposed to stop the state from reimbursing cities and counties for the cost of complying with the California Public Records Act. In fact, as the OC Register points out (emphasis added) :

“public information advocates say the bill relieves local governments of the duty of ever explaining why requests were denied or even responding to requests at all. It also removes the requirement that local governments provide digital records in “any format” in which they’re already held”.

It’s important to note that the “watchdog” press in California only caught onto this onslaught on the Freedom of the Press at the very last minute (with some commendable help from a few First Amendment enthusiasts). Like an adorable lapdog who was being driven to what it thinks is a nice day out at the beach or dog park, it only finally panicked when Governor Brown’s car pulled into the parking lot of the veterinarian’s clinic, and the horrible truth overwhelmed the relentless trust and affection it had placed in its master. At best, Media Lapdog would be “fixed” by the vet to curb any inquisitive tendencies; at worst – the visit to the veterinarian would be followed by a visit to the taxidermist next door, in order that the Governor could mount their stuffed carcass on his desk, and claim that the media is watching over him and his cronies at all times. Like a watchdog, but with unseeing glass eyes.

Now, let us pause briefly before the near-useless California lapdog media recovers from the brutal indignity of its latest assault at the hands of its beloved Democrats and – reverting to the customary Stockholm syndrome – yet again begins relentlessly licking the faces of its beloved tormentors. The (apparently widely pre-agreed) press consensus seems to be a nauseating narrative that Jaruzelski Brown is “the adult in the room” and is displaying “commendable fiscal restraint”.

So before they try and pass this off with another ridiculous narrative (“well, Sacramento were just trying to cut $20 million from the budget”) ….. Let’s look at that cost in context. This brazen attempt to castrate the press, and prevent the taxpaying public from having any access to public records, comes hard on the heels of California’s politicians stealing borrowing the carbon tax revenue to give themselves a pay raise, and shoring up the slowly imploding public sector pension catastrophe for another few months.

Now quick! Turn out the lights! It’s just so completely embarrassing when the taxpayers find out about, say, a city administrator in Bell (population : 38,000) paying himself $800,000 a year – all the associated corruption and greed of politicians revealed in cases like that puts a bit of a dent in the all-encompassing faith in Big Government that we try to drill into the psyches of all Proles and Outer Party members on a daily basis. If the poor fools ever find out what really goes on within the Inner Party, or how their taxpayer money is spent, well, it would be Bad For Business.

And to really put the cost of maintaining transparency of government in its true, bone-aching context for California’s beleaguered taxpayers, well how about this : the money “saved” would have been equal to the cost of a building a little over half a mile of the Crony Capitalist Express bullet train. Now do you understand why the powers that be don’t want the public or the press looking into just where all the taxpayer money is going? I believe their motto is “What you don’t know can’t hurt us“.

Another Inconvenient Truth : California politicians give themselves a nice pay raise with carbon tax revenue.

Thanks for the carbon tax, suckers ! We politicians think we deserve a pay increase after a job well done fooling you into your latest act of irrationality at the voting booth. So it’s now completely official : the California carbon tax has zero connection to the environment, but is just another juicy revenue stream that has just come online for California’s greedy incompetent politicians.

Shortly after “borrowing” the carbon tax revenue from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund from auction proceeds for 2012-13 and 2013-14 and putting it into the general fund, there was a brief pause – perhaps a stately moment of silence for the dying idealism of environmentalists and gullible voters who thought cap and trade was actually related to the environment. But after that, full speed ahead – consider it a “bonus” for politicians (and their lapdog media) yet again outwitting the Californian electorate.

All of which seems remarkably cruel and short-sighted – especially after some of the direr warnings about climate change that have recently been circulating amongst the Californian Democrat intelligentsia (sic). The East Bay’s keenest intellect, Barbara Lee, recently warned us that climate change will lead to almost all women becoming prostitutes, and shortly thereafter, dying inevitably from AIDS. Wow, that seems pretty rough. Talk about a War on Women. Personally, I’m slightly disappointed that there are no zombies in Rep. Lee’s vision of a fiery Hookerpocalypse, but I am still willing to take her feverish warnings as gospel. In which case, why on over-heated earth are Democrats taking carbon tax revenue, destined to save the entire planet (not to mention saving billions of women from their inevitable carbon-driven prostitution doom) and putting the money in their pay checks? It’s like they are just venal corrupt politicians who use any sort of alarmism (with help from a compliant lapdog media) to pass extra taxes, and then pocket the proceeds. Now that really would be a terrifying scenario.

Crony Capitalism Express : Dianne Feinstein’s California high-speed bullet train is completely exempted from federal regulatory oversight.

It certainly pays to know the right people. It pays big-time. As we all know, DiFi is a renowned crusader against Big Government and excessive regulations, right? I think ruder people call her a crazy Tea Party extremist, don’t they? She has complete contempt for any sort of regulations; she’s all money-influenced and pro-business and new construction at any cost, eh? I heard she had a concealed weapon permit. What a right-wing gun-nut.

So, a mere matter of weeks after being initially excluded from the bidding process completely, a second magical thing happened to DiFi’s husbands’ former company. Lightning does indeed strike twice!

The first miracle was the Lazarus-like reincarnation of Tutor Perini during the bidding process after initially failing. After falling at the first hurdle, the lame blind DiFi/Blum/Tutor horse was diverted from the glue factory and helpfully prodded back towards the finishing line of the race. Those pesky technical bidding rules were altered when they failed to produce the desired Nomenklatura outcome. Happily, after changing the rules, the correct Nomenklatura candidate was chosen.

In Soviet California, expensive railway bidding process submits application to you !

If any rules conspire against the process of the ruling oligarchy enriching itself even further – well, it’s pretty handy if those same oligarchs control the entire government apparatus.

The second miracle is the (as of today) complete absence of any oversight. Let’s just simply bulldoze mountains of California (and federal) taxpayer money straight into the bank accounts of DiFi’s cronies.

For the admittedly now-tiny minority of Californians still capable of critical thought, all sorts of alarm bells are going off.  Let’s think back to Solyndra. Not so long ago. Same politician. Same state. Same president. Same “Green Energy” roofie slipped into the electorate’s drink. (“Mmm … Tastes like environmentally-friendly Kool-Aid!”)

In Solyndra’s case, it required Oklahoma oil billionaire George Kaiser (Gasp! Big Oil!) being a top 2008 campaign bundler for Infallible Chocolate Jesus in order to get the “loan” approved (plus 20 visits to the Obama White House, and the participation of, inevitably, Goldman Sachs). But extra machinations were still needed – like tactically inserting another top Obama bundler (Steve Spinner) as an advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and charging him with “helping” oversee the loan guarantee program ….. and it probably helped that Spinner’s wife’s law firm represented Solyndra to the tune of $2.4m in federal funds for legal fees related to the Solyndra loan guarantee. In Solyndra’s case, the loan was “fast-tracked” before all due diligence was completed (and due to its economic fruit fly lifespan, died expensively even before some very valid questions could be raised).

Unbeknownst to anyone who relies on the California lapdog media for any real information, over $261 million of the $528 million Solyndra taxpayer dollars that were incinerated up into money heaven back then were received … by a subsidiary of Tutor
Perini, controlled formerly controlled by Richard Blum. At the time, California’s servile lapdog media were heroic in their non-coverage of the story, or indeed of acknowledging any financial link whatsoever to Mommy Warbucks or FeinBlumStein’s Monster, and the same pattern is now being dutifully repeated. (“Good media lapdog. Now give all your metadata to the government. Ha ha. We’re just kidding – we already have it. Who’s a good boy? Who gives endorsements even after they get abused? What a good boy!”)

The success of the Solyndra “keep it in the family” business model may have actually inspired FeinBlumStein’s fiscal monster to aim for even more expensive projects.

To DiFi’s credit, her innovative business model actually completely cuts out the pesky lobbyist/campaign bundler middleman. Just marry the crony capitalist instead. I believe Beyoncé paraphrased this with “Single Female Politicians (Get the Crony Capitalists to Put a Ring on It)”. Imagine Barack Obama gay-marrying Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein and you might begin to grasp the immense destructive financial power that such a union is capable of inflicting on the US taxpayer.

Updated 27 Nov 13 : Blum no longer controls Tutor Perini (he maintains a small stake) so the association is much more along the lines of Dick Cheney and Halliburton – CEO resigns shortly before former company receives massive government contracts for questionable taxpayer-funded project.

 

An Inconvenient Truth : California’s “environmental” carbon tax revenue is used to save underfunded public sector pensions. Not the planet.

Hey, once the voters go for it, they’re probably too dumb to notice – right? (thanks, California public schooling – now ranked 47th in science – just above Mississippi and Alabama)
Well I guess the planet will always be around. Union cronies, on the other hand, need their payback sooner. Especially from union puppet Jerry Brown.
Jaruzelski Brown’s very first act in office was to give California’s magnificently overpaid prison guards a RAISE. This at a time the state faced a staggering $25.4 billion deficit, and said guards were already paid more than DOUBLE their counterparts In Texas.
So ….. Over to SacBee for some delayed faux media outrage : “Brown is proposing to take $500 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and put it into the state’s general fund. He is calling this a “one-time loan” from auction proceeds for 2012-13 and 2013-14.”. The enduring end goal for high-tax and big-government enthusiasts is the simple fact that tax revenue dollars are utterly fungible. Once you get the tax passed, well, we all know Big Government knows best what to spend it on. So a “carbon tax” has just as much likelihood to be connected to the environment as a “temporary tax” is likely to actually be temporary.

So, hey, it’s not like the planet’s going to find out? The dumb electorate passed the carbon tax. And inevitably there will be another “environmental” tax after this one (perhaps with more media prodding from Green Fat Albert’s big stash of Qatari oil money). Let’s face facts : by the next election cycle the California electorate will be statistically more stupid and open to propagandist media.

This is all the state tax equivalent of Green Fat Albert flying his considerable bulk to a distant climate change conference on Global Warming – the details of transportation aren’t important for your pretty little electoral head. OK, it was a private jet. And yes, OK, with masseuses and vintage champagne. But just who is saving the planet? Certainly not YOU – with your miserable paltry taxpayer dollars, and middle-class job, and studious recycling, and all the rest of it. It’s superhero Green Fat Albert and his government friends!
Just shut up, pay more taxes, and get dutifully alarmed when someone suitable in government tells you to be alarmed. And if you are sold a Cap and Trade carbon tax at the next election as, well, something vaguely connected to the environment, then just walk it off. Look up at the sky on the way out of the voting booth, and you just might see a vapor trail from one of the private jets of the oligarchs who convinced you to vote for it.

All aboard the California High-Speed Gravy Train !

Bad news for California taxpayers today. But fantastic news for Dianne Feinstein’s bank account.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rail-contract-20130607,0,1301519.story
For a measly $985 million, the 29 miles from suburban Madera to downtown Fresno will now be connected. At long last, these two global centers of commerce will now be connected – and at a paltry cost of just $34 million per mile, Californians should probably be grateful that there is no more expensive way to enrich Dianne Feinstein and her husband (a gold-plated highway finished second in the bidding process).

In a move that will make even the Solyndra debacle seem like a charming small-potato failed enterprise, the California High-Speed Rail Authority today courageously voted to award hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to Tutor Perini – a company controlled formerly controlled by DiFi’s husband Richard Blum.
In an epic symphony of crony capitalism which has been COMPLETELY ignored by the faithful lapdog media in California, Tutor Perini were awarded the contract after being excluded initially – on the quite reasonable grounds of (according to the LA Times) failing a technical score “based on safety measures, engineering, scheduling, quality of design, project approach and solutions to possible construction problems.”
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-high-speed-bidding-20130419,0,188616.story
This from a company which has a history of bidding “low to win contracts and then seeks change orders and contract amendments that increase costs. ….. also has been embroiled in controversies involving accusations of overbilling, fraud and shoddy workmanship ”
Unfortunately, Acciona and Ferrovial both had the misfortune of being genuine companies with real experience in building a high-speed railway. But, alas, they were not married to decrepit Mommy Warbucks herself. No contract for you!
As anyone who followed Solyndra knows : it’s not about the viability of your enterprise, it’s about who you know, and who you donate campaign funds to.
Unfortunately for the now-brutalized California taxpayer, High-Speed Rail is a never-ending enterprise which will continuously suck taxpayer dollars from your bank account and deposit them into the bank accounts of Dianne Feinstein et al at speeds which designers hope may approach 180 mph.

Government attacks small harmless press lapdog – PETA expected to protest

The administration needlessly attacked a small affectionate lapdog which had been relentlessly licking its face for the past five years. Regardless of its blind unquestioning loyalty, the adorable yet clueless dog is still roofied by AG Holder and tossed into Michael Vick’s swimming pool along with the rest of America :

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/govt-obtains-wide-ap-phone-records-probe

Thoughtcrime may lead to an IRS ObamAudit

Among the terms that triggered IRS targeting : “making statements that “criticize how the country is being run” and those that were involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/irs-targeted-groups-critical-of-government-documents-from-agency-probe-show/2013/05/12/bb38e5bc-bb24-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html

If you commit a Thoughtcrime, you will be required to print out all of your Facebook and social media posts, and inform the government of which books you are reading :
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/the-irs-wants-you-to-share-everything-91378.html