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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
May 27, 2013

Ted Cruz backers say he's 'natural born'

It seems like an obscure court case from a dusty old law book, but if Canadian-born Texas Sen. Ted Cruz decides to run for president, you're likely to hear a lot about United States vs. Wong Kim Ark.

In the 1898 case, the Supreme Court voted 6-2 to repudiate the exclusive language of the infamous Dred Scott case and create an expansive definition of the Constitution's "natural-born citizen" clause.

That's important because the Constitution requires that the president be a natural-born citizen - and Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970.

Cruz, who is being urged to run for president in 2016 by some conservative activists, argues that he is a natural-born citizen because his mother was an American citizen. His father, now a naturalized American, was born in Cuba.


May 26, 2013

California Faces Huge Budget Surplus

LOS ANGELES — After years of grueling battles over state budget deficits and spending cuts, California has a new challenge on its hands: too much money. An unexpected surplus is fueling an argument over how the state should respond to its turn of good fortune.

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.

At first glance, the situation should be welcome news in a state overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, who have spent much of their time slashing programs they support. After last November’s elections, the party has two-thirds majorities in the Assembly and the Senate, relegating Republicans almost completely to the sidelines.

Instead, the surplus has set off a debate about the durability of new revenues, and whether the money should be used to reverse some of the spending cuts or set aside to guard against the inevitable next economic downturn.


May 25, 2013

State rejects Oakland’s redevelopment deals — $32.5 million in refunds

In the waning months of local redevelopment agencies in 2011, Oakland sold an array of buildings to its own Redevelopment Agency to shield tens of millions of dollars. In the end it didn’t work, but it did buy the city time.

On Thursday, Oakland officials announced that the state had rejected eight of those property sales, including the $28.3 million sale of the shuttered and dilapidated Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.

The state Department of Finance’s decision means that Oakland officials will have to refund $32.5 million, which will go to a variety of city and county agencies. City officials said that amount had already been set aside as a precaution. Roughly $10 million of that money will come back to Oakland because of the way redevelopment money is re-distributed.

“Due to prudent financial planning, the state’s findings will have no impact on the city’s finances,” City Administrator Deanna Santana said in a statement. She said the payment would be made “under protest,” allowing the city to challenge the decision in court.


May 25, 2013

AZ legislators threatened over support for Medicaid expansion.

Brophy McGee said she was shaken by a voice mail she received when she arrived at her legislative office on Thursday morning.

“It was an obscene, abusive phone call,” she said. The caller, who left the message on Wednesday evening, seemed impaired as he complained about Medicaid expansion. He left a phone number.

Brophy McGee said the call only solidified her resolve to support Medicaid expansion.

Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, another proponent of Medicaid expansion, said she also referred a threatening call to security.

Carter said the gist of the message was: “We’re going to come in and storm your office.”

“I’m getting e-mails saying, ‘We’re going to follow you everywhere you go,’” she said.

Both women said negative messages have increased since last week, when the Senate voted for Medicaid expansion.


May 25, 2013

Aftershocks continue to rumble through Northern California

GREENVILLE, Calif. — An earthquake in far northeastern California did not injure anyone but did cause moderate damage, including to a water tank that supplies hundreds of homes with drinking water, local authorities said Friday.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the magnitude-5.7 quake sent items tumbling from grocery store shelves and downed chimneys when it hit at 8:47 p.m. Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Center said the temblor was centered near Greenville, about 25 miles southwest of Susanville, and was felt as far away as San Francisco and in two other states. It was followed by multiple aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.9 quake that struck early Friday morning.


May 25, 2013

Signs of Volcanic Activity at Bottom of Clear Lake

When you think of volcanoes erupting, you probably think of Hawaii, or Mount Saint Helens in Washington State or even Lassen peak sending a plume of volcanic rock and ash over Red Bluff in 1915.

But in Lake County, there are hints of volcanic activity on a smaller scale. You’ve likely heard of long quiet Mount Konocti, but volcanic gas belching from the bowels of the Earth through the waters of Clear Lake are signs potential volcanic activity in Northern California isn’t close to done.

“The groundwater circulates underground and if there is hot magma below the surface that will heat the water up and create geothermal activity,” Lydia Fox, Ph.D., a geology professor at the University of the Pacific told FOX40.

It’s not a man-made special effect, but rather side effects from activity on the world famous San Andreas fault. The heavily wooded hills around Clear Lake are some of the most seismically active in the Golden State, recording hundreds of earthquakes a year.


May 19, 2013

Finally, a new "permanent" job!

After two-and-a-half years of unemployment and a month-and-a-half as a temp, I was promoted to a permanent full time job. It's not the job I want or the pay I had, but it's enough to live decently until I get where I want to be. And, most importantly, it's in my field!!It finally took asking someone to help me find an opening. She then referred me to a friend who referred me to her friend in the organization. And already there is an internal opening that pays what I want and is better suited to my experience. Things are looking up for us. Don't give up. If I can find something, so can you.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 60,058

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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