Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category

Tiny Post on Florida’s Elections Tomorrow

Monday, August 29th, 2016

You can be forgiven for thinking (as I did) that the primary season was over, but actually Florida has a primary election tomorrow, August 30.

I mainly mention this so I can talk about how I got not one, not two, but three flyers for Democratic House candidate Annette Taddeo, addressed to people who haven’t lived in this house for 12 years. That’s some might fine list maintenance, Women’s Vote Project (aka Emily’s List).

Also this: “Republican candidate for Florida House District 86, Laurel Bennett, was a bit shocked over the weekend when she discovered that a local West Palm Beach NBC affiliate, WPTV, reported that she had lost a race even though votes hadn’t been cast yet.”

LinkSwarm for August 26, 2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! We’re just weeks away from The Burning Time giving way to The Season of Football.

Some links:

  • Here’s one forecast that has Trump and Clinton tied.
  • “Always correct election forecast model predicts Trump win, 51%-48%.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Average ObamaCare premiums surge 24% for 2017.
  • Well, not in Illinois. There, they’re going up as much as 90%.
  • In case you missed it last week, Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general Kathleen Kane resigned after being convicted of nine counts of perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • Silicon Valley CEO Gurbaksh Chahal allegedly hit his girlfriend 117 tiems, but was sentenced to probation. Oh, and he gives his political donations exclusively to Democrats. Why do so many Democrats commit violence against women?
  • George Soros hit up for money to sell the Iran deal.
  • Soros also celebrated the European refugee crisis being the new normal.
  • Obama wants to ban smoking in public housing. Hey, if you think we have riots now… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Massachusetts takes rent-seeking to the next level, taxing ride-sharing services to subsidize taxis. Next up: Taxing cars to subsidize railroads and horses.
  • Germany in August.
  • July in the U.S. was one of the least hot months ever. Maybe not in Austin, but elsewhere…
  • Speaking of which, the 1936 heat wave must have been a nightmare to live with without air conditioning. It hit 121°F in North Dakota…
  • At one level, this piece is a good look at Gawker’s demise. At another, it’s shows New York media professionals at their whiny, narcissistic, incestuous, entitled worst. “It’s an inevitable consequence of living in today’s New York: Youthful anxiety and generational angst about having been completely cheated out of ownership of Manhattan, and only sporadically gaining it in Brooklyn and Queens, has fostered a bloodlust for the heads of the douchebags who stole the city.” Waaaah, the world owes me Manhattan real estate because I think I’m so much cooler than people who can actually afford it!
  • “NPR Deletes Comments, Says Commenters Are Too Old And Male.”
  • Google fiber hits reality: “Gee, wiring up that last mile is sure expensive! Why didn’t anyone tell us?”
  • Researchers say they can diagnose clinical depression from Instagram feeds. If they ever get to Tumblr, there won’t be enough Prozac left in the world…
  • “DNC Creates ‘Cybersecurity Board’ Without Any Cybersecurity Experts.”
  • Federal judge puts kibosh on Obama’s tranny bathroom plans.
  • What Canada needs is strict crossbow control laws. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • The Silence of the Jews in advance of the slow Islamicization of Sweden.
  • I know that when I think of Jewish history, I naturally think of Yoko Ono. And when I think of people who need Kickstarter to get funding, Yoko is way up there…
  • The tragic history of RC Cola. Too bad Diet RC tastes like crap. (That goes for that crappy offbrand Maine soda as well.)
  • Important Safety Tip: Don’t have sex on a neighbor’s roof, naked and high on meth.
  • I’m not going to pony up $200+ to attend the Texas Tribune Festival, and I doubt I could finagle a press badge. But Phil Collins being there does indeed make it more tempting, if only I could be sure I could get all my old Genesis albums signed…
  • Abandoned Olympic venues from around the world. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • This woman doesn’t have issues, she has a lifetime subscription and bound volumes.
  • And then there was one.
  • This Week in Clinton Corruption

    Thursday, August 25th, 2016

    Every week brings new evidence of Hillary Clinton’s corruption and proof she lied about her insecure, homebrew email server. So naturally the media is focused on something some athlete may or may not have done in Rio.

    Now on to this week’s Clinton Corruption:

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise! More State Department emails Hillary Clinton failed to turn over. The subject? Special favors for Clinton Foundation donors:

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.

    The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

    The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin’s June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of “Clinton family matters.”

    Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had contributed $32 million to CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.

  • “Of the 154 non-government officials who met or had phone calls scheduled with Clinton when she worked the top spot at the State Department, approximately 85 either donated directly to the foundation or “pledged commitments to its international programs,” the AP reported, citing State Department calendars. Those 85 donors contributed a combined total of $156 million to Clinton-owned entities.” Also: “‘The 154 did not include U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives. Clinton met with representatives of at least 16 foreign governments that donated as much as $170 million to the Clinton charity,’ the AP analysis noted, ‘but they were not included in AP’s calculations because such meetings would presumably have been part of her diplomatic duties.'” And just how hard do you think Hillary negotiated for U.S. interests as opposed to her own?
  • “Huma Abedin was working as ASSISTANT EDITOR at her mother’s radical Muslim journal when it blamed America for 9/11.” (Capital letters in original.) Man, there just seems to be no end to the number of jobs Huma Abedin can work (and get paid for) at the same time! (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Abedin was so concerned about data security, she left classified information in her car.
  • “This is not just traditional pay-to-play; this is now foreign money, giving foreign oligarchs access to our political leaders, through a mechanism like the Clinton Foundation.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Will Hillary be required to testify about why she set up her email server under oath? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Bono asks Clinton Foundation for help hooking up the International Space Station for U2 concerts.
  • Colin Powell confirms Clinton is lying about her email server: “‘Her people have been trying to pin it on me,’ Powell, who was secretary of State under President George W. Bush, told People at an event in the Hamptons this weekend. ‘The truth is she was using [her email setup] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.'” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • FBI report that suggests that Hillary Clinton drove Vince Foster to suicide is now strangely missing from the national archives.
  • Did Google start censoring auto-complete phrases related to Hillary Clinton’s health after a New York Times reporter asked them to?
  • Speaking of which, why were employees at Hillary Clinton’s State Department asking for information on Provigil, a drug often prescribed for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients?
  • Delete it! (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Dallas Pension Fund Near Insolvenacy Thanks To Risky Investments

    Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

    Dallas Police and Fire pension fund are near insolvency thanks to shady real estate deals:

    The Dallas Police & Fire Pension (DPFP), which covers nearly 10,000 police and firefighters, is on the verge of collapse as its board and the City of Dallas struggle to pitch benefit cuts to save the plan from complete failure. According the the National Real Estate Investor, DPFP was once applauded for it’s “diverse investment portfolio” but turns out it may have all been a fraud as the pension’s former real estate investment manager, CDK Realy Advisors, was raided by the FBI in April 2016 and the fund was subsequently forced to mark down their entire real estate book by 32%. Guess it’s pretty easy to generate good returns if you manage a book of illiquid assets that can be marked at your “discretion”.

    To provide a little background, per the Dallas Morning News, Richard Tettamant served as the DPFP’s administrator for a couple of decades right up until he was forced out in June 2014. Starting in 2005, Tettamant oversaw a plan to “diversify” the pension into “hard assets” and away from the “risky” stock market…because there’s no risk if you don’t have to mark your book every day. By the time the “diversification” was complete, Tettamant had invested half of the DPFP’s assets in, effectively, the housing bubble. Investments included a $200mm luxury apartment building in Dallas, luxury Hawaiian homes, a tract of undeveloped land in the Arizona desert, Uruguayan timber, the American Idol production company and a resort in Napa.

    Despite huge exposure to bubbly 2005/2006 vintage real estate investments, DPFP assets “performed” remarkably well throughout the “great recession.” But as it turns out, Tettamant’s “performance” was only as good as the illiquidity of his investments. We guess returns are easier to come by when you invest your whole book in illiquid, private assets and have “discretion” over how they’re valued.

    In 2015, after Tettamant’s ouster, $600mm of DPFP real estate assets were transferred to new managers away from the fund’s prior real estate manager, CDK Realty Advisors. Turns out the new managers were not “comfortable” with CDK’s asset valuations and the mark downs started. According to the Dallas Morning News, one such questionable real estate investment involved a piece of undeveloped land in the Arizona desert near Tucson which was purchased for $27mm in 2006 and subsequently sold in 2014 for $7.5mm.

    It gets better: “Then the plot thickened when, in April 2016, according the Dallas Morning News, FBI raided the offices of the pension’s former investment manager, CDK Realty Advisors.”

    Also: “And of course the typical pension ponzi, whereby in order to stay afloat the plan is paying out $2.11 for every $1.00 it collects from members and the City of Dallas effectively borrowing from assets reserved to cover future liabilities (which are likely impaired) to cover current claims in full.”

    Want to guess which political party Richard Tettamant was affiliated with?

    Go ahead. Guess.

    Tettament Donations

    (Hat tip: Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami.)

    This Week in Clinton Corruption for August 19, 2016

    Friday, August 19th, 2016

    Too much Clinton Corruption news to put off a roundup this week, so enjoy this rather than the usual Friday LinkSwarm:

  • U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the man who took down New York Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, is investigating the Clinton Foundation.
  • The Clintons are Grifters, and America is Their Mark.”
  • Where did the Clinton Foundation end and the State Department begin?

    At no time did the U.S. State Department ever say to Bill Clinton that any of his unbelievably lucrative speaking gigs represented a conflict of interest – even if there was reason to believe a foreign government or entities closely allied with a foreign government were paying. Recall the State Department praising the progress of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan as the president’s ally invited Bill Clinton to give two speeches in exchange for $1.4 million dollars. The State Department’s generous assessment of Jonathan’s human rights record stopped after the last speaking gig for Clinton.

  • Five Clinton cronies who got special favors from Hillary’s state department. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Huma Abedin is the walking, talking, emailing embodiment of the conflict of interest between Hillary Clinton working as secretary of state while the Clinton Foundation laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign donations. Let he who has never triple-dipped while pulling down a six-figure government consulting income cast the first stone…
  • Washington Post: “A porous ethical wall between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.” Yeah, there was a “wall” there in the same sense there’s a wall between the grill and the front counter, with a nice big hole in the middle where things patrons have paid for can be passed through…
  • Mention uncomfortable facts about Hillary Clinton on CNN? Get your mic cut off. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • More sudden Clinton death syndrome?
  • Indeed, Gavin McInnes at Takimag has a more comprehensive roundup:

    Hey, guys, if you’re looking for murders, check out anyone who has ever crossed the Clintons. There are about 100 cases where some intern has slept with Bill or some lawyer knew too much or some investigator got too close and boom—he shoots himself in the back of the head at the top of a mountain at four in the morning.

    The media cared about the sheer number of cases when 57 women said Bill Cosby raped them. If we brought the Hillary kill list down to 57, you’d be dealing with only the really, really spooky ones. Like the one last month where a DNC staffer, who may very well have supplied Julian Assange with the classified emails that brought massive embarrassment to the party, was shot in the back of the head in the middle of the night.

    Seth Rich was talking to his girlfriend on the phone when a gunman came up behind him, shot him to death, and left without taking anything at all. Rich was in a nice neighborhood that I’m told hadn’t had a murder in six years. The Assange link got eye rolls from the left until he personally offered a $20K reward for any information leading to an arrest. A Dutch TV host pressed Julian on this and asked if it was a murder accusation directed at Hillary and the subject quickly died.

    The list of victims goes on and on and on, and Google is happy to tell you how serious the accusations are and how tenuous the link is.

    Some of the Clinton Body Count stuff is just stupid speculation (like random people killed near the Mena Airport, which ties into the whole CIA drug running/Octopus/Clinton conspiracy theory). But others do indeed make you go “Hmmmm.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Flashback: Hillary’s crooked cattle-trading deal. (Hat tip: Zero Hedge.)
  • How Hillary could destroy gun rights. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Hillary: Colin Powell said my emails setup was A-OK! Powell: Which part of non-classified was unclear? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • More on the same theme:

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • Ken Salazar, Hillary’s thug. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • You can’t expect the graft queen and her aides to take federally mandated ethics training, no can you? When is she supposed to find the time when there are all those favors to do for foreign benefactors? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • George Soros Hacked

    Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

    The big news this week is that, following hot on the heels of the DNC hack, is that George Soros got hacked. That’s pretty significant, given how thoroughly Soros has funded the American left.

    Pretty much everyone knows that Soros is Mr. Moneybags to the left. However, few people realize just how how extensive his influence is. For one thing, Soros is big on ethnic grievance mongering, helping fund:

    Organizations that depict America as a nation whose enduring racism must be counterbalanced by racial and ethnic preferences in favor of nonwhites:

  • The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund calls itself “the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization.”
  • The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law provides “legal services to address racial discrimination.”
  • The NAACP and its Legal Defense and Educational Fund uses “litigation, advocacy, and public education” to promote “structural changes” and “achieve racial justice in the United States”
  • The National Council of La Raza charges that “discrimination severely limits the economic and social opportunities available to Hispanic Americans.”
  • Snip.

    Organizations that promote open borders, mass immigration, a watering down of current immigration laws, increased rights and benefits for illegal aliens, and ultimately amnesty:

  • The American Immigration Council—formerly known as the the American Immigration Law Foundation—supports “birthright citizenship” for children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S.
  • Casa de Maryland periodically sponsors “know your rights” training sessions to teach illegals how to evade punishment in the event that they are apprehended in an immigration raid.
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center belongs to the sanctuary movement that tries to shield illegal aliens from the law.
  • The Migration Policy Institute advocates a more permissive U.S. refugee admissions and resettlement policy, as well as more social-welfare benefits for illegals residing in the U.S.
  • LatinoJustice PRLDF is a legal advocacy group that “protects opportunities for all Latinos … especially the most vulnerable—new immigrants and the poor.”
  • The Immigration Policy Center states that “[r]equiring the 10-11 million unauthorized immigrants residing in the U.S. to register with the government and meet eligibility criteria in order to gain legal status is a key element of comprehensive immigration reform.”
  • The National Immigration Forum opposes the enhancement of the U.S. Border Patrol and the construction of a border fence to prevent illegal immigration.
  • The National Immigration Law Center works to help low-income immigrants gain access to government-funded welfare programs on the same basis as legal American citizens.
  • And that’s among the dozens of other categories of leftist groups Soros has funded.

    In this election cycle, Soros dumped “more than $30 million in seed money to Black Lives Matter affiliated groups.”

    Jihad watch also noted that Soros gave $50,000 to do opposition research on groups opposing Jihad:

    Ironically, much of the Center for American Progress’ libelous and inaccurate “research” on the alleged purveyors of “Islamophobia” focused on the money we were all supposedly raking in, in an attempt to portray us as cynical profiteers only in it for the money. The CAP reports wildly exaggerated, misrepresented, and distorted the financial data, and meanwhile were making huge sums themselves to do it. Jihad Watch has never received a single grant as large as these that CAP received from Soros: the real cynical profiteers were Soros’ paid operatives.

    Given all this, it’s a little disappointing that everything I’ve seen released so far just seems to be banal organizational detritus (although this doc seems to have some interesting funding information). Maybe more significant revelations are coming.

    You can find the Soros docs themselves here.

    LinkSwarm for August 12, 2016

    Friday, August 12th, 2016

    Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Here in Texas it’s been hitting 104°F during the day. That’s bad enough, but worse is trying to walk your dog at night when it’s still 93° with no wind.

  • Hillary’s lead over Trump isn’t quite as wide as Dukkakis’ lead over Bush.
  • Trump raised $80 million in July.
  • DNC email hack a whole lot bigger than previously thought.
  • ObamaCare premiums set to explode again in 2017.
  • Ace of Spades HQ contends we’re in this mess because the GOP establishment is secretly all-in on illegal alien amnesty and think the base is racist for opposing their Olympian insight, but has steadfastly refused to tell voters what they actually think:

    The Establishment and establishment-aligned commentators are guilty of the Yeah Yeah Evasion I spoke of above with respect to amnesty.

    Oh, sure, in 2014, they’ll run on a super-border-hawk national platform, and vow to oppose, unto their dying breath, Obama’s executive amnesties.

    And sure, they’ll trot out a field of 17 candidates, fifteen of whom who have been coached to give the corporate/donor class evasive answer on the border.

    Snip.

    Now, the Trumpkins come along — I’ll use the Establishment’s slur for them — and the Trumpkins believe that it is standard GOP doctrine that we should have a border wall and be tough on border security, up to and including deportations.

    They think there’s broad support for this in the party. They don’t think this position is controversial — they think it’s just a base plank of the platform.

    Gee — I wonder where they could have gotten that idea, Establishment, huh?

    I guess those stupid Trumpkins did something crazy — the believed the lies pouring out of your mouths every election eve.

    So once again we have a political calamity brewing– the Establishment types, the college educated set who has no fear of being displaced by a cheaper foreign worker, misled the white working class into thinking they agreed with them on immigration, while secretly — silently — holding the opinion that anything short of open borders was kinda-sorta (or definitely) racist.

  • Rahm Emmanuel steals from the poor (Chicago utility users) to give to the rich (union pension funds). (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • New Jersey teacher’s union wants to write its pension gravy train into the state constitution, vows revenge on Democrat who blocked it.
  • Rotherham is still a center for Muslim child rape gangs. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Alumni have started to decide that if college administrators insist on preemptively surrendering to Social Justice Warriors, then their donations can go elsewhere. (Hat tip: Hot Air.)
  • “State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and her associates have agreed to pay roughly $38 million to settle a lawsuit in which they were accused of seizing control of a massive real estate inheritance for their own enrichment. The Laredo Democrat still has a chance to get richer. She and her crew will walk away owning 444 acres of prime Laredo real estate that nobody bequeathed to them. They’ll need to continue developing the land to come up with the $38 million, but everything they clear above that will be profit. That’s not including, of course, the millions that the Zaffirini crew has already paid itself in legal and management fees out of the inheritance, including roughly $1.5 million paid to Carlos Zaffirini’s law firm.”
  • My friend Karl Rehn’s study on just what the best aiming system (red dot vs. laser vs. iron sights) gets a nice writeup by Massad Ayoob. (Hat tip: Stuff from Hsoi.)
  • Title IX is killing men’s teams at historically black colleges and universities.
  • British MPs facing a booze ban due to having to move to a Muslim-owned building while Westminster is refurbished (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Hungary says no to more “Syrian refugees.” EU to shove more of them down Hungary’s throat, because joining the EU means signing your national sovereignty away
  • Wal-Mart acquires Jet.com (which is an online retailer, not an airline).
  • Facebook to users using Adblock: “Shut up and eat some ads.
  • “Fisking the Latest Diversity in Sci-Fi Freak Out.”
  • Buy your own Sherman Tank. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “It’s ridiculous for anyone to worry that the new Ghostbusters will ruin their childhoods retroactively. We should worry about this piece of shit ruining childhoods in real time.”‘
  • Heh. The Ghostbusters reboot to gross “almost exactly $.78 for every $1 the first one earned.”
  • In another sign of 2016’s impending apocalypse, corpse flowers are blooming across America.
  • Crime scene dioramas. Or, as the creator calls them, “dieoramas.” (More here.)
  • Cat-like typing detected.
  • Texas vs. California Update for August 10, 2016

    Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • How California screwed itself:

    Then-Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature had quietly, virtually without notice, decreed a massive, retroactive increase in state employee pension benefits, which was quickly emulated by hundreds of local governments.

    At the time, CalPERS was ringing up big earnings from the 1990s’ bullish stock market — so big that it had reduced contributions from member governments to near zero. Public employee unions hankered for a share of the bounty and pressed for a benefit increase.

    The CalPERS board, dominated by public employees and union-friendly politicians, sponsored the increase, Senate Bill 400, with assurances that it would cost taxpayers nothing. A state Senate analysis of the bill said CalPERS “believes they will be able to mitigate this cost increase through continued excess returns of the CalPERS trust.”

    Years later, it emerged that the assurances reflected the most optimistic of several scenarios developed by the CalPERS staff. More pessimistic scenarios were kept secret — but they were the ones that came true. By the time Seeling delivered his dark appraisal in 2009, the state was being hammered by an ultra-severe recession, and the CalPERS trust fund was losing what turned out to be nearly $100 billion in value.

    Seven years later, CalPERS and other pension funds still haven’t fully recovered, and they’re sharply raising mandatory “contributions” from state and local governments to cover the gaps left by meager investment earnings.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • California is deluding itself if it thinks it’s “turned to corner” and is on the path for sustainable growth:

    Between 2000 and 2015, Austin has increased its jobs by 50 percent, while Raleigh, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Nashville, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix and Salt Lake City – all in lower-tax, regulation-light states – have seen job growth of 24 percent or above. In contrast, since 2000, Los Angeles and San Francisco expanded jobs by barely 10 percent. San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, has seen only a 6 percent expansion over that period.

    Obviously this runs counter to the notion of California being business friendly, since the ratio of jobs to workers is lower here than in Texas and the rest of the United States, and sometimes a lot lower.

    Snip.

    Gov. Brown has achieved bragging rights by suggestions of a vaunted return to fiscal health. True, California’s short-term budgetary issues have been somewhat relieved, largely due to soaring capital gains from the tech and high-end real estate booms. But the state inevitably will face a soaring deficit as those booms slow down. Brown is already forecasting budget deficits as high as $4 billion by the time he leaves office in 2019. As a recent Mercatus Center study notes, California is among the states most deeply dependent on debt.

    The state’s current budget surplus is entirely due to a temporary tax and booming asset markets. The top 1 percent of earners generates almost half of California’s income tax revenue, and accounts for 41 percent of the state’s general fund budget. These affluent people have incomes that are much more closely correlated to asset prices than economic activity, and asset prices are more volatile than economic activity generally. Brown’s own Department of Finance predicts that a recession of “average magnitude” would cut revenue by $55 billion.

    More critically, the state continues to increase spending, particularly on pensions. Outlays have grown dramatically since the 2011-2012 fiscal year, averaging 7.8 percent growth per year through FY 2015-2016. Seeing the writing on the wall, the state’s labor leaders now want to extend the “temporary” income tax, imposed in 2012, until 2030. This might not do much to spark growth, particularly in a weaker economy.

    During this recovery, California has made minimal effort to eliminate the state’s budget fragility. To use a recently popular term, this is gross negligence. It is, thus, no surprise that credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service ranked California second from the bottom in being able to withstand the next recession. Someday the bills will come due.

  • More on California’s business climate vs. Texas:

    Note that across the entire decade the unemployment rate in California was consistently greater than that in the United States, averaging 1.5 percentage points greater overall and maxing out at 2.9 percentage points in January and February of 2011. Except for the first six months of 2006, the same story holds true for California and Texas, although the differences here are more pronounced: an average of 2.5 percentage points greater and a maximum difference of 4.2 percentage points at various points in 2009 and 2010. Also note how long double-digit unemployment persisted in California (43 months) during this decade compared to the United States (1 month) and Texas (0 months).

    Also: “Texas outperformed California in 9 of the 10 years. And Texas had a CAGR of 3.1 percent, meaning its economy grew at more than twice the pace of California’s each year.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Texas’ economic, labor Market, and fiscal situation. “The Texas model leads comparable states and U.S> averages in most measures.”
  • “CalPERS has not met its expected 7.5% rate of return for the last 20 years.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Things in Texas are very different than they were in the 1980s:

    This is what Krugman and others really get wrong about the Texas miracle.

    The state had its last major recession from 1986 to 1987, after oil prices collapsed and the real estate and financial sectors crashed. Back then, the mining sector, dominated by oil and gas activity, was directly related to about 21 percent of the real private economy and roughly 5 percent of the labor force. Today, mining is 15 percent of the real private economy and less than half of the labor force share. As a result, the combination of more economic diversification and pro-growth policies has produced a much more resilient economy. Texas in 2016 looks a lot different than Texas in 1987.

  • “A major impediment to economic growth and a factor chasing people and businesses away from California is the state’s high tax rates and poorly structured tax code. California levies the highest top marginal income tax rate in the nation at 13.3% and has the country’s 6th highest overall tax burden. Such a hostile tax climate has consequences. During the last decade, from 2000 to 2010, California had a net outmigration of over 1.2 million residents move to other states. Those former Californians took over $29 billion in income with them.”

    Residents of San Diego, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many other cities and towns across California enjoy beautiful scenery and enviably pleasant weather year round; while folks in Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston ride out their hot and humid summers by staying indoors as much as possible. Yet Texas has been the number one recipient of California refugees. While the physical climates found in states that are the top recipients of California refugees don’t hold a candle to the Golden State’s, the business tax climates are far more hospitable.

    California imposes the nation’s highest income tax, while Texas is one of nine states with no income tax. While Texas has the 10th best business tax climate in the nation, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, California has the country’s third worst. During the last decade, over 225,000 people moved from California to Texas, bringing over $4.4 billion in income with them to the Lone Star State. After Texas, Nevada is the number two recipient of ex-Californians. Like Texas, Nevada can’t compete with California’s natural beauty and climate, but the Silver State makes up for it by having no state income tax and the nation’s 5th best business tax climate.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • The deregulated energy market is still working to lower costs for Texans.
  • California’s Democrat-dominated local governments are riddled with nepotism in their hiring practices. In San Diego, “Investigators uncovered an employee vetting process they allege was ‘abused’ — so that in a third of the cases reviewed, ‘friends and family members’ of city staff were hired ‘to the detriment of public job applicants.’” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Liberal complains about how San Francisco’s progressive policies killed affordable housing. “Instead of forming a pro-growth coalition with business and labor, most of the San Francisco Left made an enduring alliance with home-owning NIMBYs. It became one of the peculiar features of San Francisco that exclusionary housing politics got labeled “progressive.” Do note this piece is from a year ago. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Speaking of San Francisco, three of the city’s supervisors have decided that he would like to take the goose that laid the golden egg (i.e., the city’s high tech employers), smother it with locally source rosemary, thyme and organic butter, and broil it at 450° in the form of a payroll tax for those companies that earn $1 million or more in gross receipts.
  • “In 2014 there were 142,417 housing starts in the city of Tokyo (population 13.3m, no empty land), more than the 83,657 housing permits issued in the state of California (population 38.7m).” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “California To Proclaim August “Muslim Appreciation And Awareness Month.” So when do we get Christian Appreciation Month?
  • “Relocation of Highway 99 in Fresno, a key part of the bullet train project, is over budget, behind schedule and will cost millions of dollars more to complete.” (Hat tip: Cal Watchdog.)
  • DAE Systems is relocating its headquarters to Catawba County and intends to create 46 new jobs and invest $6.8 million during the next three years, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office announced Monday. The California-based company, which is moving to Claremont, will receive a grant of up to $110,000 from the One North Carolina Fund that is dependent on the company meeting job-creation goals.”
  • Nothing says “adult oversight” quite like playing strip poker with teenage camp counselors. Take a bow, Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva! (Hat tip: Dwight, who also notes that Silva is a member of the criminal-ridden “Mayors Against illegal Guns.”)
  • Noted for the record: Mayor Silva comes up twice at the very top of Stockton real estate developer Dan Cort’s Facebook page. (Previously.)
  • This Week in Clinton Corruption for August 9, 2016

    Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

    Another week, another roundup of Clinton Corruption links:

  • “Shut It Down: The Clinton Foundation Is Too Corrupt to Exist.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, the one used to funnel some $100 million of undisclosed donations to the Clintons, spends 72% of donations on “overhead” and only 28% on charity.
  • French company LaFarge, of which Hillary Clinton was once a director, may have helped fund the Islamic State. (I would insert a Madame Defarge reference here, but I’ve actually never made it all the way through A Tale of Two Cities.)
  • Former acting CIA Director criticizing Trump is up to his ears in Clinton ties.
  • Clinton Chooses Black Lives Matter Over Law Enforcement Support.” Well of course she did! My working hypothesis is that Hillary has been running Black Lives Matter since the very beginning as a desperate attempt to get black voters to the polls for a non-Obama candidate in November.
  • Feeble 68-year old Hillary needs help getting up a flight of seven steps. (Hat tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)
  • What’s wrong with Hillary? I know, the full answer to that question would take hours, if not days. So let’s rephrase that: What’s physically wrong with Hillary?
  • And who is Hillary’s handler?
  • The return of #SuddenClintonDeathSyndrome.
  • The New York Times lied about Clinton’s lies. Says who? The public editor of The New York Times. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • This falls more under “reported as a public service” than “here’s something I really believe”: Odds Hillary Won Without Widespread Fraud: 1 in 77 Billion Says Berkeley, Stanford Studies.” The problem with this sort of thing is that all the previous times I’ve seen similar reports, the methodology was seriously flawed. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Hillary cheated her way to the Democratic nomination, but no, it’s not “scientifically proven.” Though I’m hardly going to march in the streets to debunk this one…
  • LinkSwarm for August 5, 2016

    Friday, August 5th, 2016

    Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm! A lot of plane and weird news links this time around:

  • Aetna is losing $300 million a year on ObamaCare. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Air Force Declares F-35 ready for combat. (Hat tip: Borepatch, who is more than a little skeptical…)
  • Islamic State Sinai leader Abu Dua al-Ansari killed in Egyptian air strike.
  • Is there any greater bastion of 1%er elitism than New York Times wedding announcements?

    How is it actually acceptable for an ostensibly liberal newspaper to conclude that wealthy, well-educated people’s lives are more interesting and worth more attention than non-wealthy, less-educated people? Everyone laughs about the Weddings section, even the Times itself. But joking aside, isn’t it morally indefensible to treat people as newsworthy in accordance with their elite social status… a paper run by liberals, who would profess themselves averse to inequality, openly treats most of the population as insignificant.

    (Hat tip: Dwight.)

  • Cahnman’s Musings has a really solid review of Jane Jacobs’ classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities and how central planning screwed everything up.
  • Clint Eastwood on various liberal whining over Trump: “Just fucking get over it.”
  • Frau Merkel ist nicht sehr beliebt.
  • Austin’s toy trains are a monument to government waste. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • What Pokémon Go Teaches Us About Capitalism.
  • #BlackLivesMatters is all in against Israel. So what do George Soros and Tom Steyer have against Israel? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “A point of view should be based on its own merit, not dismissed by a lazy appeal to privilege.”
  • Funny or die mostly does the latter. (Funny or Die still has 95 staffers? Really? It takes that many people to produce mediocre comedy?)
  • Things you never knew about the World’s Strongest Man competition.
  • An Exciting History of Drywall.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Who would have won the battle between a Bismarck-class battleship and an Iowa class battleship? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Butthurt level: Epic.
  • Airplane trick.
  • Feel good dog story of the day.
  • Behold the legendary crime spree of Dickface Johnson.
  • “Oh no! Not the bees!