Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:
Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
Been a while since I did a roundup on gun news, so here’s the latest, including an epic mugshot:
What is that, some incompetent Wolverine/Rocket Raccoon combination cosplay?
Evidently toy guns are something of a thing with him…
(Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
Enjoy Independence Day tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s another Texas vs. California roundup:
“San Bernardino, California, said that to exit bankruptcy it must terminate a union contract that pays an average annual salary of $190,000 to each of its top 40 firefighters,” according to an article in Bloomberg. That’s just salary. Firefighters receive the generous “3 percent at 50″ retirement package that allows them to retire with 90 percent of their final years’ pay at age 50. And there are lots of pension-spiking gimmicks and other benefits on top of that.
“These cities are run for the benefit of those who work there. Public services are a side matter at best.”
Toyota’s move to Texas is a high-profile relocation, but Texas has been used to adding — and filling — new jobs at a superlative pace. The state added more than 1.9 million new jobs over the period from December 1999 to April 2014, more than 35 percent of the entire nation’s total for that 15-year period, noted Michael Cox, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And Texas had an unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent in May, 16th-lowest in the United States.
Meanwhile, Cox noted, Texas’s median wages are 28th-highest in the nation; and they rank 8th-highest after adjusting for taxes and prices. Texas schools rank 3rd, he said, after adjusting for variations in student demographics, a raw statistic which places Texas 28th in the nation.
“We’re able to accomplish all this and more because the business environment in our state is largely competitive, and free markets solve problems,” Cox told me. “Texas is a meritocracy, where incentives still work to produce good results.”
Drive almost anywhere in the vast Lone Star State and you will see evidence of the “Texas miracle” economy that policymakers like Gov. Rick Perry can’t quit talking about….
This hot economy, politicians say, is the direct result of their zealous opposition to over-regulation, greedy trial lawyers and profligate government spending. Perry now regularly recruits companies from other states, telling them the grass is greener here. And his likely successor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has made keeping it that way his campaign mantra.
It’s hard to argue with the job creation numbers they tout. Since 2003, a third of the net new jobs created in the United States were in Texas. And there are real people in those jobs, people with families to feed.
But the piece also notes that Texas has led the nation in worker fatalities for seven of the last ten years. I’m not going to get into the details of worker compensation that make up the bulk of the piece, and it is quite possible there is some room for improvement in worker safety. But I do want to note that, as the second largest state in the union, and the one with the biggest oil and gas industry, it’s not terribly surprising that Texas would have the largest number of fatalities, since oil and gas has a fairly high fatality rate (though not injury rate) compared to other industries (see page 14 here).
Remember Anson Chi, the Ron Paul/Occupy follower accused of trying to blow up a gas pipeline in Plano?
Now he’s apparently plead guilty to charges he already plead guilty to before:
Anson Chi, 35, pleaded guilty to two of the four counts he was facing at trial – the same two counts he pleaded guilty to during a hearing last year. The difference with this plea agreement is that the prison sentence is essentially open-ended. Chi will be able to argue issues related to sentencing and will have the opportunity to appeal in some cases. The sentence will be imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard Schell. No date has been set for sentencing.
I’m not going to pretend to understand the legal reasoning behind the double guilty pleas to the same charges.
“Chi represented himself at trial after firing his defense attorneys earlier this year.”
That’s pretty much universally a wrong move, but the whole “trying to blow up a pipeline and only injuring yourself” does suggest he’s not the sharpest tine on the rake.
Pretty much what the title says. Consider it a cheap but tasty add-on to your regular blogging menu, like those “crumblies” at Long John Silvers…
— atomiktiger Redskins (@atomiktiger) June 27, 2014
Polling keeps finding a majority in favor of vague “immigration reform” because of the way the questions are asked.
Hint: Any question that asks “Do you support comprehensive immigration reform including enforcement…” is already a lie, since we know that the Obama Administration has no intention of enforcing existing immigration laws.
Things immigration polls don’t ask:
These are the things liberal MSM pollsters refrain from asking because they know they won’t like the public’s answers, and it won’t help their push to scare Republicans into passing illegal alien amnesty.
Indeed, 72% of those polled last year “said they support reducing the illegal immigrant population by requiring employers to check workers’ legal status, fortifying the border, and getting the cooperation of local police.”
But as an “enforcement first” approach appears to be off the table until Obama leaves office, the only responsible thing for Republicans to do is refrain from passing any immigration “reform” until such time as the White House is occupied by someone willing to actually obey the law.
It’s been a while since I did a roundup of gun news, so here it is. Just don’t be surprised if you read some of this on gunny blogs weeks ago…
In the last month alone, 129 people were shot, according to the latest CompStat figures, or 43.3 percent more than for the same period last year.
Since January, there has been an overall 13.2 percent increase in shooting victims, while 10.2 percent fewer guns have been recovered compared to 2013.
Of course, some of that is probably due to the work of new Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio…
The manager refused to kick out OKOCA and even gave them free drinks. MDA activists then proceeded to take pictures of the gun owners and attempted to portray them as intimidating and threatening. The management wasn’t having any of it; he threw Moms Demand Action out of his store!
Here’s a LinkSwarm to kick your week off with:
I’ve been busy with other things, so until Dwight covered it, I didn’t realize that indicted California state senator Leland Yee’s suspended campaign still came in third in the race for California Secretary of State, pulling in a quarter-million votes.
Yee finished ahead of ethics watchdog Dan Schnur, a former chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, who framed his campaign around cleaning up Sacramento. Yee also finished ahead of Derek Cressman, a Democrat and former director of the good-government group Common Cause.
“Sure, he’s been indicted on a gun trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme, but I really liked his opposition to banning shark fin soup.”
Alternately, maybe all California voters just naturally assume that all Democratic office holders in their state are crooked.
In other Leland Yee news:
“There are sensitive materials identifying numerous individuals who are not believed to have engaged in any criminal activities, but who were nonetheless captured on FBI surveillance or documented in FBI reports, for example after being introduced by charged defendants to undercover agents. Such materials, if improperly disclosed, could be used to besmirch these otherwise innocent individuals,” noted the April 8 motion for a protective order.
Chow’s lawyers, Tony Serra and his team, who claim their client is innocent, take issue with this reasoning.
”He knows the politicians, the celebrities who were investigated and through this order of his gagging us, there’s an implication he’s almost protecting their reputation,” Serra said about Breyer.
Lots of news on the Texas vs. California front. An audit turns up $31 billion in California budget mistakes, Democrats hike the minimum wage there, Jerry Brown tries to do something about the growing CalSTARS pension deficit, and people and businesses continue to depart the “Golden State” for Texas…
The California Bureau of State Audits set off a scandal on June 1st by disclosing that the State Controller’s Office made accounting misstatements amounting to $31.65 billion. The timing of the announcement may be devastating to the Democrats who expected to use their super-majority to pass billions of dollars in increased spending, but may now find the net effects of the accounting restatements are a $7 billion General Fund deficit.
As the former Treasurer of Orange County, California it is my preliminary judgment that under state law the negative $7.847 billion impact from overstating general fund assets and revenues and overstating deferred tax revenues may create an “on-budget” deficit to the state’s $96.3 billion “General Fund Budget.”
Union-dominated states are sinking further into economic stagnation as Democratic politicians increasingly dominate the local political climate. In 2012, California Democrats won a supermajority in both houses of the legislature and proceeded to accelerate a tax and spending spree that has been ongoing for two decades. For example, California now has the nation’s top state income-tax rate, at 13.3 percent.
Those kind of policies have consequences. The Manhattan Institute released a report in 2012 that found that since 1990, California had lost nearly 3.4 million residents to other states with lower tax rates.
The U.S. is swiftly becoming a tale of two nations. States that are following the Reagan model of low taxes and incentives are booming while states that are opting for the Obama model of wealth redistribution and European welfare-state economics are stagnating.
As a growing number of Americans choose to call Texas home, it is critical that policymakers not lose sight of the reasons why: low taxes, limited government, and personal responsibility. Liberty is popular. That’s a message that needs reinforcement, particularly at the local level where some of the macro level trends involving taxes, spending, and debt are moving in the wrong direction. We can keep Texas and our cities beacons of prosperity and flourishing — but to do that, we must understand the principles that got us here, and defend them in policy and the public square.