Posts Tagged ‘Ft. Worth’

Waco Biker Shootout Update for June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

It’s been a while since I last reported on the wheels of justice continuing to grind in the aftermath of the May 17, 2015 Waco biker shootout. The grinding is more glacial than slow, not only are they not grinding exceedingly fine, right now they don’t seem to be grinding at all.

With the trial of Bandidos member Christopher Jacob Carrizal delayed, the trial of Cossacks member Kyle Smith was supposed to start June 5.

Guess what? That trial has also been delayed:

A judge on Friday effectively postponed the start of any Twin Peaks biker trials in McLennan County until after the federal trial of Bandidos national leaders in San Antonio or until federal prosecutors agree to share evidence with McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna.

Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court granted a motion to delay the June 5 trial of Kyle Smith, 50, an air-conditioning technician from Kilgore and member of the Cossacks motorcycle group.

I would say that further delay starts to raise Sixth Amendment issues, but in fact, since it’s been more than two years since the shootout, those factors were already in play. I’m hardly an expert, but Orand vs. State and Barker vs. Wingo seem to be the relevant precedents here. Both cases involve balancing factors for speedy trial issues. The defendant in Orand was acquitted after a 12-year delay between indictment and the arrest, while the five years Barker waited for trial (during which an accomplice was tried five times before a conviction was obtained) was not considered excessive, partially because Barker had not asserted his right to a speedy trial.

Given the large, complex cases against the numerous Waco biker shootout defendants, the judicial system is more likely to make allowances, despite the fact that none of them have been charged with murder.

There are, however, a few tidbits of news related to the case:

  • William Richardson, a biker who was shot at the Waco shootout but not charged, is suing to recover medical expenses. Named in the suit are “Twin Peaks Investment; Front Burner Restaurant GP; former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman; Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez; McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara; and an unknown officer identified in the lawsuit as John Doe.”

    One of the arguments in the lawsuit is one we’ve heard before: that Waco police refused to render medical aid:

    The lawsuit claims the deaths of nine bikers and injuries to at least 20 others were compounded by the mass arrests “and wrongful detention of innocent individuals.”

    “During this period of detention, prior to transporting the detained off scene, neither law enforcement officers under control of defendant Chavez, defendant Stroman or defendant McNamara rendered aid to detainees who were injured nor did they call for emergency medical assistance,” the suit alleges.

    Richardson was not provided immediate medical attention by restaurant or law enforcement officials, the lawsuit claims.

  • But one Bandidos member has been convicted in a murder case involving a bar fight with a Cossack. A different bar fight:

    About 20 members of the Bandidos, one of the most notorious outlaw motorcycle clubs in Texas, poured into the front and rear doors of Gator’s Jam Inn in Fort Worth on a Friday evening in early December 2014. Reports of gunfire soon followed. “There’s been 15 shots so far, and they’re still shooting,” one of several 911 callers reported to Fort Worth police.

    The Bandidos’ Fort Worth chapter president, Howard Wayne Baker, was one of three arrested in connection with the shooting. He was charged with engaging in organized crime and directing the activities of a street gang. On Tuesday, the 62-year-old was sentenced to 45 years for one charge and 40 years for the other, to be served concurrently in prison.

    Fort Worth police said that in 2014, the Fort Worth Bandidos ambushed three rival outlaw motorcycle clubs — the Cossacks, the Ghost Riders and the Wino’s Crew — at the bar. When the smoke cleared, Geoffrey Brady, a 41-year-old member of the Ghost Riders, had been shot in the head, and two others also sustained injuries.

    “They dragged Brady out of the front door and executed him in front of his wife and friends,” said Allenna Bangs, Tarrant County assistant district attorney, in Baker’s trial last week. “They stood over him in a circle, and Howard Baker was standing in that circle.”

  • On May 8, there was also another Waco bar shooting involving Bandidos affiliates. Evidently seven members of a unnamed biker group affiliated with the Bandidos assaulted a man, the man pulled a gun and started firing, and then everybody ran away.
  • Bandidos were also involved in a violent gang brawl in Australia.
  • Would you believe that the Bandidos have filed papers to operate as a non-profit?
  • Texas vs. California Update for February 15, 2017

    Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

    Welcome to another Texas vs. California Roundup!

  • California Governor Jerry Brown wants to hike gas taxes by 42% to bail out CalPERS.
  • Brown’s pension reforms have failed:

    Since 2012 passage of his much-heralded changes to state retirement laws for public employee, the pension debt foisted on California taxpayers has only grown larger.

    The shortfall for California’s three statewide retirement systems has increased about 36 percent. Add in local pension systems and the total debt has reached at least $374 billion. That works out to about $29,000 per household.

    It’s actually much worse than that. Those numbers are calculated using the pension systems’ overly optimistic assumptions about future investment earnings.

    Using more conservative assumptions, the debt could be more than $1 trillion.

  • And speaking of Brown: Math is hard.
  • Why California can’t repair its infrastructure: “California’s government, like the federal government and most other state and local governments, spends its money on salaries, benefits, pensions, and other forms of employee compensation. The numbers are contentious — for obvious political reasons — but it is estimated that something between half and 80 percent of California’s state and local spending ultimately goes to employee compensation.”
  • Put another way: “Governor Moonbeam and the other leftist kooks in charge are flushing a staggering $10 billion down an unneeded high-speed rail project, on top of the still more staggering $25.3 billion per year they spend on the illegal aliens they have gone out of their way to welcome.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • California can’t afford green energy:

    California has the highest taxes overall in the nation, worst roads, underperforming schools, and the recent budget has at least a $1.6 billion shortfall.

    Moreover, depending on how the numbers are analyzed California has either a $1.3 or a $2.8 trillion outstanding debt. This is before counting the maintenance work needed for infrastructure, particularly roads, bridges and water systems. Yet tax increases aren’t covering these obligations.

  • Three of the ten least affordable cities in the World are in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.
  • Austin named best city to live in the U.S. But wait! San Jose ranks third! I can only assume that “affordability” was not a significant criteria. Dallas/Ft. Worth ranks 15th (one ahead of San Francisco), Houston 20th, San Antonio 23rd (one behind San Diego).
  • “A sizzling residential real estate market fueled by incoming Californians, low supply, high demand, flat salaries, and local property taxes are pricing people out of homeownership in Austin.” More: “The Texas A&M Real Estate Center examined the Austin local market area (LMA) over five years. In January 2011, the Austin-Georgetown-Round Rock area median home prices were $199,700. By January 2015, that median hovered at $287,000. At the end of 2016, university real estate analysts found the home mid-price point at $332,000.” Of course, in my neck of the woods, $332,000 will buy you a 2,500 square foot house, while in San Francisco, you’d be lucky to find a 500 square foot condo…
  • “An IGS-UC Berkeley poll shows that 74 percent of Californians want sanctuary cities ended; 65 percent of Hispanics, 70 percent of independents, 73 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans.”
  • Of the top 20 cities for illegal aliens, five (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Riverside) are in California, while three (Houston, Austin and Dallas/Ft. Worth) are in Texas. I’m actually a bit surprised to see that San Antonio isn’t on that list, while Seattle and Boston are. “American citizens who paid into the system don’t receive benefits like long-term medical care because — in part — we’re all subsidizing aliens.”
  • California pays $25.3 billion in illegal alien benefits, or $2,370 per household. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • By contrast, Texas pays $12.1 billion in illegal alien benefits, or $1,187 per household. (IBID)
  • “In testimony provided before the California Senate’s Public Safety Committee, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) decided to admit that “half of his family” is residing in the United States illegally and with the possession of falsified Social Security Cards and green cards.”
  • “California spent on high-speed rail and illegal immigrants, but ignored Oroville Dam.”
  • Pensions are breaking budgets across San Diego. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “Despite California having some of the best recreation spots in the world, we have systematically reduced our business in California by 50%, and I have a moratorium in place on accepting new business (I won’t even look at RFP’s and proposals to avoid being tempted.)”
  • That same blogger on why his company pulled out of Ventura, California. Like this:

    It took years in Ventura County to make even the simplest modifications to the campground we ran. For example, it took 7 separate permits from the County (each requiring a substantial payment) just to remove a wooden deck that the County inspector had condemned. In order to allow us to temporarily park a small concession trailer in the parking lot, we had to (among other steps) take a soil sample of the dirt under the asphalt of the parking lot. It took 3 years to permit a simple 500 gallon fuel tank with CARB and the County equivalent. The entire campground desperately needed a major renovation but the smallest change would have triggered millions of dollars of new facility requirements from the County that we simply could not afford.

    And this:

    A local attorney held regular evening meetings with my employees to brainstorm new ways the could sue our company under arcane California law. For example, we went through three iterations of rules and procedures trying to comply with California break law and changing “safe” harbors supposedly provided by California court decisions. We only successfully stopped the suits by implementing a fingerprint timekeeping system and making it an automatic termination offense to work through lunch. This operation has about 25 employees vs. 400 for the rest of the company. 100% of our lawsuits from employees over our entire 10-year history came from this one site. At first we thought it was a manager issue, so we kept sending in our best managers from around the country to run the place, but the suits just continued.

  • California has some of the highest taxes in the nation, but can’t pay for road maintenance:

    Texas has no state income tax, yet excellent highways and schools that perform above average, way above California’s bottom-dwellers. Yet both states have similar demographics. For example, in the 2010 U.S. Census, Texas was 37% Hispanic, California 37.6%.

    Texas is a First World state with no state income tax that enjoys great roads and schools. California is a Third World state restrained from getting worse only by its umbilical-cord attachment to the other 49 states, a cord the Calexit movement wants to cut, but won’t get to.

    California is Venezuela on the Pacific, a Third World state and wannabe Third World country; a place with great natural beauty, talented people, natural resources – and a government run by oligarchs and functionaries who treat the rest of us as peons.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • “Texas Ends 2016 with 210,200 Jobs Added Over the Year.”
  • All Houston does economically is win.

    The Houston metropolitan area’s population now stands at 6.6 million with the city itself a shade under 2.3 million. At its current rate of growth, Houston could replace Chicago as the nation’s third-largest city by 2030.

    Why would anyone move to Houston? Start with the economic record.

    Since 2000, no major metro region in America except for archrival Dallas-Fort Worth has created more jobs and attracted more people. Houston’s job base has expanded 36.5%; in comparison, New York employment is up 16.6%, the Bay Area 11.8%, and Chicago a measly 5.1%. Since 2010 alone, a half million jobs have been added.

    Some like Paul Krugman have dismissed Texas’ economic expansion, much of it concentrated in its largest cities, as primarily involving low-wage jobs, but employment in the Houston area’s professional and service sector, the largest source of high-wage jobs, has grown 48% since 2000, a rate almost twice that of the San Francisco region, two and half times that of New York or Chicago, and more than four times Los Angeles. In terms of STEM jobs the Bay Area has done slightly better, but Houston, with 22% job growth in STEM fields since 2001, has easily surpassed New York (2%), Los Angeles (flat) and Chicago (-3%).

    More important still, Houston, like other Texas cities, has done well in creating middle-class jobs, those paying between 80% and 200% of the median wage. Since 2001 Houston has boosted its middle-class employment by 26% compared to a 6% expansion nationally, according to the forecasting firm EMSI. This easily surpasses the record for all the cities preferred by our media and financial hegemons, including Washington (11%) and San Francisco (6%), and it’s far ahead of Los Angeles (4%), New York (3%) and Chicago, which lost 3% of its middle-class employment.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Texas conservative budget overview vs. the 2018-2019 proposed budget.
  • On the same subject: how to reduce the footprint of Texas government.
  • “Berkeley funds the Division of Equity and Inclusion with a cool $20 million annually and staffs it with 150 full-time functionaries: it takes that much money and personnel to drum into students’ heads how horribly Berkeley treats its “othered” students.”
  • New LA housing initiative to undo previous housing initiative. Frankly all of them sound like market-distorting initiatives guaranteed to backfire…
  • “California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.”
  • “For the past five months, BART has been staffing its yet-to-open Warm Springs Station full time with five $73,609-a-year station agents and an $89,806-a-year train dispatch supervisor — even though no trains will be running there for at least another two months.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “After studying “tens of thousands of restaurants in the San Francisco area,” researchers Michael Luca of Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca of Mathematica Policy Research found that many lower rated restaurants have a unique way of dealing with minimum wage hikes: they simply go out of business.”
  • Meet Gordon, the robot barista. How’s that $15 an hour minimum wage working out for you, San Francisco?
  • “Nestle USA announced today that it is moving 300 technical, production and supply chain jobs to the Solon [Ohio] plant as part of the company’s plan to relocate its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, from Glendale, California.”
  • Auto dealer AutoAlert is moving it’s headquarters from Irvine, California to Kansas City.
  • Peter Thiel to run for governor of California?
  • The Oakland Raiders may not be moving to Las Vegas after all, because billionaire Sheldon Adelson backed out of the stadium deal, accusing Raider owner Mark Davis of trying to screw him.
  • Now there’s talk the Raiders may rexamine moving to San Antonio.
  • Or even Dan Diego.
  • Lawsuits are flying over the Dallas Police and Fire pension fund debacle. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • FWISD Backs Down On Tranny Bathrooms

    Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

    I haven’t been able to focus much time on the issue, but parents in Ft. Worth have been fighting a tranny bathroom policy unilaterally imposed by ft. Worth ISD superintendent Kent Scribner over their objections.

    Good news! After Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a ruling stating that the new rules violated chapters 11 and 26 of the Texas Education Code, Ft. Worth ISD has finally backed down on their tranny bathroom plans.

    After the uproar of parents, citizens, and students in Fort Worth over the past 3 months, the Fort Worth Independents School District (FWISD) has reversed its dangerous transgender guidelines that allowed boys into girls’ showers, locker-rooms, and bathrooms. The school district issued new guidelines today with significant changes that should go a long way to better protect all students in FWISD.

    Among the policy changes:

  • An explicit affirmation of parental rights: “Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and the board in their children’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing education programs for their children. Texas Education Code § 26.001(a) unless otherwise provided by law, a board, an administrator, an educator or other person may not limit parental rights. Texas Education Code § 20.001(c).”
  • The critical recognition that “A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of the student, except as precluded by Texas law.”
  • The replacement of rules about restroom and locker-room access. The previous rules have been replaced with the statement that accommodation requests will be “reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case basis based upon the particular circumstances of the individual student and school facilities.”
  • The removal of an unlawful requirement that punished school officials for notifying parents if their child showed transgender behavior.
  • Here’s a hint for the Social Justice Warrior crowd: Ft. Worth, like most Texas cities, is not going to take your culture war shenanigans lying down.

    LinkSwarm for July 1, 2016

    Friday, July 1st, 2016

    Happy Independence Day weekend! (That’s America’s Independence Day, not the newfangled UK version.) Enjoy a LinkSwarm to tide you over for the weekend:

  • Kevin Williamson explains why firearms ownership is a civil right. “It is a measure of the corruption of the Democratic party and its ability to inspire corruption in others that John Lewis, once a civil-rights leader, is today leading a movement to strip Americans of their civil rights based on secret lists of subversives compiled by police agencies and the military…The Democrats have lynching in their political DNA, and they seem to be unable to evolve past it.”
  • Hillary’s State Department just ignored FOIA requests.
  • The Clinton Foundation is Hillary’s personal piggy bank. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The left cares about ‘the people’ as much as the Soviet Communist Party cared about the workers.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Obama’s unconstitutional illegal alien amnesty remains blocked on a 4-4 Supreme Court vote.
  • Ted Cruz endorsed candidate Darryl Glenn wins the Colorado Republican Senate primary and will face incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet in November.
  • 154 million voter records exposed, revealing gun ownership, Facebook profiles, and more. Caveat: A “MacKeeper” research discovered this and MacKeeper is foul malware
  • This lengthy article in the New York Times talks about how a new Panama Canal expansion designed to handle bigger ships (and which is on the edge of opening) has numerous possible debacles due to radical underbidding by the primary contractor. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Bill de Blasio cronies are being arrested right and left. Or, keeping in mind this is de Blasio we’re talking about, left and left…
  • An Arizona Democratic lawmaker was indicted on felony charges for allegedly falsifying her application when applying for food stamps.”
  • Results of Austrian Presidential election overturned due to voting irregularities. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Brexit is just what the doctor ordered.
  • ASK KUNTZMAN!
  • Drunken wife-beater Neil Steinberg not allowed to buy a gun. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “Al-Jazeera: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood? Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.” On the flip side, if Obama’s secret Middle East goal is to halt Iranian expansion, why the nuke deal?
  • Lessons from Orlando.
  • “The MSM eagerly chomps down on its ball-gag.” (Hat tip Instapundit.)
  • Cuba’s hospitals are filthy, undersupplied hellholes.
  • Behold the nightmarish portal to hell that is Arlesford! (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Texas closes in on adding 250 DPS border control troopers.
  • Ft. Worth’s superintendent’s tranny bathroom law is in violation of both Chapter 11 and 26 of the Texas Education Code.
  • Texas vs. California Update for June 2, 2016

    Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • Once again, Texas is ranked as the best state for business by CEO Magazine, while California is ranked the worst. (Hat tip: Rider Rants via Pension Tsunami.)
  • This OC Register piece offers an good restatement of the general problem:

    California has earned quite a reputation for being openly hostile to business, as confirmed by numerous studies and surveys. Its plethora of taxes and regulations are driving away legions of entrepreneurs and workers, but they are doing wonders for one segment of the economy: the moving industry. It is almost as though that industry is secretly lobbying the state Legislature for its anti-business policies.

    Joe Vranich, as president of Spectrum Location Solutions, an Irvine business relocation consulting firm, knows all about what drives businesses’ decisions to give up and leave for greener pastures. According to his research, in just the past seven years, approximately 9,000 businesses have decided to leave California or expand their operations out of state. Companies leaving California typically save between 20 percent and 35 percent of operating costs, he concluded.

    Texas has been the biggest beneficiary of California’s business exodus.

    Snip.

    California’s litigious climate has become a common complaint of business owners. No wonder the American Tort Reform Foundation once again named California the No. 1 “Judicial Hellhole” in the nation last year, based on the state’s excessive laws and regulations and a flood of disability access, asbestos and food advertising and labeling lawsuits, frequently more opportunistic attempts at extortion than legitimate attempts to seek justice for victims who have been truly harmed.

    California has proven to be a particularly harsh climate for manufacturing businesses. “Even if California were to eliminate the state income taxes tomorrow, that still would not be enough,” CellPoint Corp. CEO Ehsan Gharatappeh told the Dallas Business Journal of the Costa Mesa company’s move to Forth Worth.

    General Magnaplate Corp., which has made reinforced parts for the aerospace, transportation, medical, oil and other industries for 36 years, decided to shut down its California facility in Ventura altogether. “This is a very sad day for our employees and for my family, who have a long history of job creation in this area, but the simple fact is that the state of California does not provide a business-friendly environment,” CEO Candida Aversenti said in a press release. “Increases in workers’ compensation costs and government regulations, combined with predatory citizens groups and law firms that make their living entirely by preying on small businesses, have left us with no other choice but to shut down our California facility. This is in stark contrast to our New Jersey and Texas facilities, which are flourishing in small business-friendly environments created by the respective local governments and environmental agencies.”

  • Tech layoffs double in the Bay area:

    Yahoo’s 279 workers let go this year contributed to the 3,135 tech jobs lost in the four-county region of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco counties from January through April, as did the 50 workers axed at Toshiba America in Livermore and the 71 at Autodesk in San Francisco. In the first four months of last year, just 1,515 Bay Area tech workers were laid off, according to mandatory filings under California’s WARN Act. For that period in 2014, the region’s tech layoffs numbered 1,330.

  • How did the California city of Irwindale rack up the largest per household market pension debt in the state, at $134,907 per household?
  • Low and negative interest rates means that CalPERS must make risky investments to even come close to hitting their yield targets:

    The nation’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has one-fifth of its assets in bonds and is down 1.3% since July 1, according to public documents. The system, known by its abbreviation Calpers, also has 53.1% of its assets in stocks, 9% in real estate and 9.4% in private equity. In 2015, Calpers posted a return of 2.4%, below its target rate of 7.5%.

    Nor is CalSTARS doing much better:

    The nation’s second-largest public pension plan, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, has shifted a significant amount of money away from some stocks and bonds to protect against a downturn. It moved assets into U.S. Treasurys and so-called liquid-alternative funds, which mimic hedge-fund strategies. Calstrs, as the pension is called, reported gains of 1.5% during a choppy 2015, with returns on its fixed-income investments up just 0.6%.

    (Note: WSJ link, so you may need to do the Google thing.)

  • News: Former CalPERS chief executive Fred Buenrostro convicted of bribery. California: Buenrostro will continue to receive his CalPERS pension while in prison. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Overview of the Texas budget.
  • UnitedHealth exits California’s Obamacare exchanges.
  • Despite that, California wants to offer ObamaCare subsidies to illegal aliens.
  • California also wants to spend more money to send illegal aliens to college.
  • And those illegal aliens with California driver’s licenses still aren’t purchasing liability insurance.
  • Hate California traffic? Tough:

    The newest outrage comes from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in the form of a proposed “road diet.” This would essentially halt attempts to expand or improve our roads, even when improvements have been approved by voters. This strategy can only make life worse for most Californians, since nearly 85 percent of us use a car to get to work. This in a state that already has among the worst-maintained roads in the country, with two-thirds of them in poor or mediocre condition.

    Snip.

    In essence, the notion animating the “road diet” is to make congestion so terrible that people will be forced out of their cars and onto transit. It’s not planning for how to make the ways people live today more sustainable. It has, in fact, more in common with Soviet-style social engineering, which was based similarly on a particular notion of “science” and progressive values.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Toyota’s Plano headquarters takes shape.
  • The UAW is making a big push to unionize Tesla’s Fremont plant.
  • Speaking of Tesla, they’re approaching the grand opening of their giant battery factory…in Nevada.
  • McDonald’s CEO says a $15 minimum wage will make his restaurants shift to using robots. But what would McDonald’s know about minimum wage workers?
  • In the same vein, it’s no wonder that Whole Foods opened it’s first semi-automated Whole Foods 365 store in Los Angeles. “Promoted as a ‘chain for millennials,’ the new ‘365’ stores use about one-third less square footage than the company’s traditional 41,000-square-foot Whole Foods stores, but they also slash almost two-thirds of workers with robots and computerized kiosks.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Schedule for California high speed rail boondoggle pushed back four more years. Latest obstacle: wealthy equestrians. “Hey, this study says horses won’t mind a super-fast, super loud train zipping along right next to them.” “You mean the study from the institute that two bullet train authority members sit on? Get stuffed!”
  • “The State Assembly Subcommittee on Education voted Tuesday to delay funding to the UC system because of concerns with the UC Retirement Plan, proposed by UC President Janet Napolitano in March, which would cause the university to incur significant costs. The delay was announced after an actuarial report was released earlier that day by Pension Trustees Advisors, or PTA, which showed that the retirement plan would cost the university $500 million in savings, or $34 million a year, over the next 15 years.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Maywood, California (which had previously outsourced services to the corrupt city of Bell) is on the brink of bankruptcy. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Two L.A. sheriff’s deputies convicted of beating mentally ill inmate.”
  • San Francisco liberals versus the city’s police union
  • “Another aviation company has decided to move its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth to take advantage of the Lone Star state’s business friendly environment and the city’s longtime history in the aerospace industry. The move is historic for Burbank, California-based C&S Propeller — an FAA and EASA certified repair station for propeller and airplane maintenance — which has been in California for nearly five decades.”
  • This one’s a wash: XCOR lays off employees in both California and Texas.
  • Texas vs. California Update for March 31, 2016

    Thursday, March 31st, 2016

    Lots of Texas vs. California linky goodness, much of it via Jack Dean at Pension Tsunami, who’s been emailing me links of significant interest.

  • Texas continues to grow:

    As last week’s US Census Bureau population estimates indicated, the story of population growth between 2014 and 2015 was largely about Texas, as it has been for the decade starting 2010 (See: “Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” The New Metropolitan Area Estimates). The same is largely true with respect to population trends in the nation’s largest counties, with The Lone Star state dominating both in the population growth and domestic migration among 135 counties with more than 500,000 population.

    Snip.

    Houston, which is the fastest growing major metropolitan area (over 1 million population) in the nation includes the two fastest growing large counties. Fort Bend County added 4.29 percent to its population between 2014 and 2015 and now has 716,000 residents. Montgomery County grew 3.57 percent to 538,000. In addition to these two suburban Houston counties, Harris County, the core County ranked 16th in growth, adding 2.03 percent to its population and exceeding 4.5 million population.

    Dallas-Fort Worth, the second fastest-growing major metropolitan area has two counties among the top 20. The third fastest-growing county is Denton (located north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport), which added 3.42 percent to its population over the past year and now has 781,000 residents. Collin County, to the north of Dallas County, grew 3.17 percent and now stands at 914,000 residents. Its current growth rate would put Collin County over 1 million population by the 2020 census.

    Travis County, with its county seat of Austin, grew 2.22 percent to 1,177,000 and ranked 12th. Bexar County, centered on San Antonio grew 2.01 percent and ranks 17th.

    Overall, Texas had four of the five fastest growing large counties, and seven of the top twenty. California had none. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • The Austin metropolitan area passes 2 million people.
  • The California Policy Center has a devestating roundup of what’s wrong with California’s economy. To wit:
    • “A now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 34% higher than 2nd place Oregon, and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest”
    • “CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5% (does not include local sales taxes).”
    • “California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But the 2014 average CA single-family residence (SFR) property tax is the 8th highest state in the nation. Indeed, the median CA homeowner property tax bill is 93% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax, even if no profit is earned, and even for many nonprofits. Next highest state is Rhode Island at $500 (only for “C” corporations). 3rd is Delaware at $175. Most states are at zero.”
    • “California’s 2015 ‘business tax climate’ ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New York and anchor-clanker New Jersey. In addition, CA has a lock on the worst rank in the Small Business Tax Index – a whopping 8.3% worse than 2nd worst state.”
    • “The American Tort Reform Foundation in 2015 again ranks CA the ‘worst state judicial hellhole’ in U.S. – the most anti-business.”
    • “CA public school teachers the 3rd highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.”
    • “California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard adjusted for COL) is easily the worst in the nation at 23.4%. We are 57.3% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “Of 100 U.S. real estate markets, in 2013 CA contained by far the least affordable middle class housing market (San Francisco). PLUS the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th.”

    It’s like a whole bunch of Texas vs. California roundup statistics all in one big green ball of fail. Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • “California’s 50% [minimum wage] increase would eliminate nearly 700,000 jobs—which means higher unemployment for the poor and least skilled in particular.”
  • Why did Carl’s Jr. flee California? Taxes, regulations and lawsuits.

    CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told the Wall Street Journal in 2013, “California is not interested in having businesses grow.”

    The article points out that many factors, including local building regulations, make one community less desirable than another for businesses.

    For example, it takes 60 days in Texas, 63 in Shanghai, and 125 in Novosibirsk, Russia for one of CKE’s restaurants to get a building permit after signing a lease. But in Los Angeles, Ca. it takes a whopping 285 days.

    Puzder added, “I can open up a restaurant faster on Karl Marx Prospect in Siberia than on Carl Karcher Boulevard in California.” The street in California is ironically named for the restaurant chain’s founder.

    California’s labor regulations may also play a role in a company’s desire to seek alternative locations. In that same interview with WSJ, Puzder said his company had spent $20 million in the state over the past eight years on damages and attorney fees related to class-action lawsuits.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Justice Scalia’s death dooms the Friedrichs vs. California Teacher’s Association lawsuit.
  • “If a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research’s estimate is accurate, public pension debt in California is even worse than feared. Preliminary calculations from a forthcoming SIEPR study peg the unfunded retirement tab for state and local government employees at more than $1.2 trillion.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Texas unemployment rates drops to 4.4%.
  • San Bernardino’s bondholders get screwed so the bankrupt city can continue sending money to CalPERS. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s colleges are so money-hungry they’re screwing in-state students out of admissions so they can charge more to out-of-state applicants, including those who wouldn’t normally be able to get in. Sort of like the UT admissions scandal, but less politically connected and more widespread and money-grubbing… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • But there’s one type of student California admissions isn’t keeping out: antisemites. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Even the supposed beneficiaries of California’s high speed rail fantasy have become disillusioned with it.
  • A hot relocation to Texas rumor just in: “Plano – new home of Toyota Motor’s North American headquarters – has been mentioned as a possible relocation site for a Wichita-based subsidiary of conglomerate Cargill.”
  • When You Try to Run Down a Cop…

    Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

    …you’re pretty much jumping up and down yelling “You-ho, Mr. Darwin! I’m ready for my closeup!.”

    Investigators received information that a man with four active warrants was inside the residence.

    When he emerged, police approached the man. They say he jumped into a pickup truck and backed into a narcotics officer. Another officer then opened fire.

    A police spokesman said the warrants were for drugs, and also aggravated assault on a Benbrook police officer.

    A few left-wing Twitter activists were trying to hype this up as the latest “innocent man gunned down” garbage last night. That dog won’t hunt, snowflake…

    Billionaire Wants Ft. Worth Taxpayers to Pay For His Hobbies

    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

    Ft. Worth has a $49 million budget deficit. So they’re doing the responsible thing that Texas governments do when faced with budget shortfalls: Cutting back on spending. (Maybe someone should tell California (or Europe) about this radical approach, since no one there seems to be able to cut a budget except at the edge of bankruptcy. And frequently not even then.)

    The City of Fort Worth is looking to cut the arts program by 25% which would bring the Arts Council budget to just over $537,000.

    Businessman Robert Bass and his wife have are against the budget cuts and argued for funding to be restored before the city council.

    Robert Bass is a multi-billionaire. He could pay the amount cut out of his own pocket and it would literally be less than how much his personal wealth fluctuates on the ups and downs of the stock market on any given day. But instead of ponying up, Bass believes that Ft. Worth taxpayers should foot the bill.

    You might think that a Texas oil billionaire would be a big Republican contributor. You’d be wrong. Beneficiaries of his contributions in this cycle have been Democrats like Dianne Feinstein, Ben Nelson, and Claire McCaskill. (And his wife Anne was equally generous to Democrats.)

    Government exists to carry out those tasks that cannot be carried out by non-governmental organizations (defense, courts, etc.). Government should let individuals voluntarily fund the arts out of their own pockets rather than forcing taxpayers to pick up the bill. If Robert Bass wants art organizations in Ft. Worth to be funded, all he has to do is write a check, not demand taxpayers pay for his hobbies.

    Texas Senate Race Update for June 11, 2012

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    I put off putting up the latest Texas Senate race update until the Republican Party of Texas convention in Ft. Worth concluded. Good thing, too, since a lot of news came out of it, almost none of which was good for Dewhurst, but some of this news may be a bit old.

  • Ted Cruz appears on Fox News:

  • Dewhurst claims he wants more than five debates with Cruz. Since Dewhurst did extremely poorly in the ones he did have, color me skeptical.
  • Cruz says bring it on.
  • At least one will be on WFAA.
  • Another will be at KERA.
  • The line to take pictures with Ted Cruz at RPOTC was evidently quite long.
  • Conversely, Dewhurst was booed there.
  • And so was Rick Perry, for endorsing Dewhurst.
  • Despite that, Perry doubles down on backing Dewhurst. I don’t think this course of action will bring him joy….
  • The text of Dewhurst’s RPOTC speech.
  • More coverage of their respective speeches.
  • The Cruz campaign says it’s raised a lot more Texas contributors and small donors than Dewhurst does. While I think they’re probably correct, honesty compels me to point out that comparing Cruz’s internal June 4 donation stats with Dewhurst’s May 17 FEC stats is not an apples-to-apples comparison for many reasons, not last of which is that FEC reports only show donations over $200, so the 69 number for “donations under $250” is simply misleading. (When I pointed this out to the Cruz campaign, they noted that Dewhurst is free to release his own small-donor statistics. Which is true.)
  • Speaking of misleading, Dewhurst goes back to Communist China bit.
  • A look at the Cruz-Dewhurst fundraising numbers.
  • A look at various reasons Dewhurst couldn’t win without a runoff. Ahem: “Just about everybody bet on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to win outright.” yeah, Ross Ramsey, everyone except those of us who were actually paying attention to the race.
  • Dewhurst endorsed by Railroad Commissioner David Porter.
  • Craig James endorses Dewhurst. They didn’t even try to pretend Team Dewhurst didn’t write that speech…
  • On the other hand, Lela Pittenger endorsed Cruz. She only had one-third the votes James has, but 95% less baggage…
  • Another KFYO poll where Cruz is clobbering Dewhurst.
  • Dewhurst appeared on Fox News:

    Also on KTRH:

    And KTSA:

    And KCRS:

  • And as far as I can tell looking at the stats on his official page, the most people who have listened to any David Dewhurst YouTube radio interview posted in the last month is…35.
  • As previously mentioned, Grady Yarbrough has a Facebook page. And he also has a website…that currently redirects back to his Facebook page.
  • And now Grady Yarbrough has a YouTube ad:

  • Standard Democratic boilerplate. However, Yarbrough did run two statewide races as a Republican.
  • Sean Hubbard endorses Paul Sadler. “The other guy [Yarbrough] has never even filed with the Senate or FEC.”