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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,637

Journal Archives

As Trump enters White House, California renews climate change fight

California released new measures to fight climate change within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as U.S. president on Friday, signaling the state's commitment to be the nation's environmental steward under an administration that has questioned the reality of global warming.

California officials said it was a coincidence that the plan was released 37 minutes after the inauguration. The state outlined how it would achieve its goal of cutting output of heat-trapping greenhouse gases 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The plan drew battle lines for an expected clash with Trump over climate change, including a fight over the state's decades-old authority to set emissions limits that are far stricter than those in many other parts of the United States.

Trump has cast doubt on the degree to which human activity causes climate change. His nominee for secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, this week expressed doubts about the science behind climate change and said EPA rules should not hurt economic development.



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an astonishing comeback for the scandal-scarred educational institution, Trump University enrolled more than three hundred million new students at noon on Friday.

“Congratulations,” the President of Trump University told the new students. “For the next four years, you are all in Trump University.”

Some Americans who supported the President of Trump University in his long-shot bid to reopen the school made the journey to Washington, D.C., to hear his welcome address.

“He said we’re all going to be rich!” Harland Dorrinson, a new Trump University student, said. “I just know that this is going to end really well.”


Repealing Obamacare without replacement would hike premiums 20% and leave 18 million uninsured

Source: LA Times

Repealing Obamacare without a replacement would result in higher costs for consumers and fewer people with insurance coverage, according to a report Tuesday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In the first year, insurance premiums would jump by 20% to 25% for individual policies purchased directly or through the Obamacare marketplace, according to the report. The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million.

Those numbers would only increase in subsequent years. Premium prices would continue to climb by 50% the next year, with the uninsured swelling to 27 million, as full repeal took effect, the report said.

Americans may be beginning to worry about such costs. For the first time, more Americans view the Affordable Care Act as a “good idea,” rather than a bad one, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll also released Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-obamacare-repeal-costs-20170117-story.html

Kevin Starr, author of California histories and former state librarian, dies at 76

Kevin Starr entered this world in 1940 in a rare fraternity — a fourth-generation Californian whose family's roots dated back to the Gold Rush era.

After a rough-and-tumble childhood in San Francisco, he found himself a graduate student at Harvard University, where he perused Widener Library's vast collection for books about California. He realized something was missing.

“I thought, ‘There's all kinds of wonderful books on California, but they don't seem to have the point of view we're encouraged to look at — the social drama of the imagination,’” Starr told The Times.

Filling this gap would become his life's work, making him the state's foremost historian and one of its most revered public intellectuals. For half a century, he chronicled the greed, cruelty, enlightenment, innovation, vanity and sacrifice that took California from a place of Native American hamlets through Spanish colonization, entry into the United States and growth into a diverse powerhouse of technology, culture and trade.



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s plans for a triumphal Inauguration were upended over the weekend when a karaoke machine that had been engaged to perform at the event abruptly backed out.

In an official statement, the karaoke machine said that it was withdrawing because it “did not want my participation at the Inauguration to in any way be construed as an endorsement of Donald Trump.”

The President-elect wasted no time in lashing out at the karaoke machine, taking to Twitter in the early hours of the morning to call the entertainment device a “loser” and “sad.”

But Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adviser, attempted to minimize the machine’s departure in an appearance on Fox News. “Naturally, we’re disappointed in the karaoke machine’s decision, but we still have Jackie Evancho,” she said.


Venezuela's Maduro oversees military drill to guard 'socialist fatherland'

Source: Reuters

His finger on a rifle trigger and wearing an olive green hat, President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday oversaw military exercises in crisis-wrought Venezuela, which he says is under threat of imperialist" invasion due to its oil wealth.

More than half a million soldiers and civilians were deployed in the drill. State television broadcast footage of soldiers camouflaged as bushes shouting "socialist fatherland!" while commanders brandished Russian-made military equipment.

"We're ready to defend our land, inch by inch, neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street," said Maduro during a drill in Miranda state.

Opponents of the unpopular Socialist leader scoff he is delusional and say his administration should be focused on stocking empty supermarkets and pharmacies amid brutal shortages in the recession-hit OPEC nation.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-maduro-oversees-military-drill-guard-socialist-fatherland-193915514.html

Chargers' move shows California is done spending public money on the NFL

The Chargers’ dramatic split from the city of San Diego may be a sign that California is officially done spending public money on sports franchises.

California voters have grown more skeptical of pouring billions of dollars into football stadiums, which have been shown to generate less of an economic boom than the National Football League has advertised. That’s upending the traditional relationship between billionaire franchise owners and their hometowns.

“Gone are the days where there is broad public support for taxpayer-funded stadiums. It’s very difficult to find a rate of return in that investment,” said Kristin Gaspar, who was elected as a county supervisor in San Diego in November.

After haggling with the city of San Diego for years to secure tax money to build a new stadium, and getting snubbed by voters, the Chargers announced Thursday that the team would move to Los Angeles. The team will share a privately funded new stadium in Inglewood with the Rams when it opens in 2019.


A hemp haven? Overlooked provision in Prop 64 may have a big impact in California

It’s not amber waves of grain that Christopher Boucher sees in his dreams, but emerald waves of hemp.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of industry move into California to set up operations,” said Boucher, whose decades of advocacy for the plant has earned him the nickname in some quarters as “Johnny Hempseed.”

“There are so many different players in the industry, so much investment money for people who want to set up their operations.”

California voters passed Proposition 64 back in November, legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. But one part of the proposition was little-noticed — a provision allowing for the production of industrial hemp.


Pro-Trump Californians hope his victory can fuel a GOP revival in the Golden State

Hundreds of Donald Trump’s California supporters gathered Saturday to celebrate his impending inauguration — and to try to funnel the energy that propelled him to the White House into turning their cobalt-blue home state red.

“If we can get Donald J. Trump to be president of the United States, certainly we can get Californians registered to be Republicans,” longtime conservative activist Johnnie Morgan said to applause. “With the energy we have now, with the momentum we have now, with the inspiration we have now, with the committed people we have now, we can do this. It will spread like wildfire.”

It’s a tall order. Voter registration in the GOP is at a historic low in the state, no Republican has been elected statewide in more than a decade, and Democrats dominate the state’s congressional delegation and Legislature. Trump supporters hope this could be dislodged by the coalition the Republicans stitched together to win the presidency, although most acknowledge the hurdles they face.

“We’re not being heard right now because the numbers are against us and that’s OK. We know the realities,” said Rachel Gunther, the leader of the newly formed Make California Great Again nonprofit that had its inaugural meeting in a Cambodian community center in Long Beach on Saturday. “We’re not going to change the landscape in one year or two years or even four years. We just want our voices heard. We want to show the political elite that we exist and that we are not happy with some of their legislation and they can’t just ramrod things like that without considering us.”


Tesla Flips the Switch on the Gigafactory

The Gigafactory has been activated.

Hidden in the scrubland east of Reno, Nev., where cowboys gamble and wild horses still roam—a diamond-shaped factory of outlandish proportions is emerging from the sweat and promises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It’s known as the Gigafactory, and today its first battery cells are rolling off production lines to power the company’s energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car. 1

The start of mass production 2 is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry—battery cells—that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea. More than 2,900 people are already working at the 4.9 million square-foot facility, 3 and more than 4,000 jobs (including temporary construction work) will be added this year through the partnership between Tesla and Panasonic. 4

By 2018, the Gigafactory, which is less than a third complete, will double the world’s production capacity for lithium-ion batteries and employ 6,500 full-time Reno-based workers, according to a new hiring forecast from Tesla. The company’s shares, having touched their highest point since August, closed up $10 at $226.99 in New York trading.

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