Posts Tagged ‘Joe Straus’

Texas Bathroom Bill Advances

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Last week the Texas Senate approved SB-6, the bill that rolled back the Obama Administration’s illegal imposition of tranny bathrooms on the nation.

Remember when Obama campaigned on letting middle-aged men in dresses use the girl’s bathroom?

Me neither.

Out beyond a small but very vocal minority of Social Justice Warriors, no one was asking for tranny bathrooms, and outside of locales like San Francisco, I doubt even Democratic politicians are willing to campaign for them. That is why they had to be introduced by stealth and fiat.

Tranny bathrooms represent the high-water mark of the hard left’s attempts to impose the idea of “gender as social construct” (as opposed to the obvious scientific truth of two biological sexes) on a resisting nation. That is why the cultural elites have been so desperate to defend the idea despite its widespread unpopularity. If you can get people to pretend a man wearing a dress has been magically transformed into a woman, despite the XY chromosomes in his body, you can get them to pretend to believe in just about anything.

That’s why the left has fought the rollback so hard, why North Carolina had to be “punished” for daring to respect obvious scientific and time-honored truths rather than “gender fluid” fad popular among liberal elites.

It remains to be seen whether Texas House speaker Joe Straus will bow to the will of the people, or to the cowardly business interests desperate to avoid elite wrath. Since Straus has never met a Democratic interest he wasn’t willing to cave to, it may require a concerted effort (perhaps by way of a discharge petition) to get HB 1362 voted on.

Gary Gates’ Dishonest Campaign Against Wayne Christian

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Someone has to talk about Gary Gates’ dishonest direct mailer campaign against Wayne Christian in the Railroad Commissioner runoff, and since I’m a Texas blogger, and since early voting ends today, I guess that someone is me.

Gates has attempted to paint Christian as some sort of liberal, accusing him of “Obama-style politics” and of wanting to Texas into “Texifornia.” In fact, Christian has a long record as a very conservative state legislator who repeatedly received high marks in conservative rankings and who has racked up an enviable number of conservative endorsements:

ChristianEndorse

While Christian garnered endorsements from conservatives like Michael Williams and Donna Campbell, Gates has been endorsed by liberal Republicans like Byron Cook and Charlie Geren. Says radio host Robert Pratt: “He’s endorsed and backed by the worst of Speaker Straus’ top leadership team.”

Indeed, Gates’ direct mail campaign has been so fundamentally dishonest that I wonder if former David Dewhurst staffers have been behind it.

I’ve been suspicious of Gary Gates since his “Texas Citizens Coalition” newsletter highlighted Straus-supporting legislators like Giovanni Capriglione, Tan Parker, Drew Springer and Jason Villalba. His dishonest scorched-earth flyer campaign is yet another reason why Texans should vote for Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner today or May 24.

(In other Railroad Commission news, the The Dallas Morning News didn’t endorse anyone in the Republican runoff, but did mange to endorse…Grady Yarbrough.)

Some Random Primary Results

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Not quite as down as I was last night. There’s lots of the commentary this morning on how Donald Trump under-performed vs. expectations.

Here are some random primary results and links:

  • “So far, Trump wins open primaries and Cruz wins closed…and the calendar is starting to change toward more closed primaries.” Also: “So here’s where it potentially gets interesting. Although the media are looking forward to March 15, this Saturday (March 5) there are four Republican primaries/caucuses: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. All are closed.” If Cruz can take three of those four, it’s a whole new race. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Ted Cruz wins Alaska, despite Sarah Palin’s Trump endorsement.
  • It was generally a bad night on the anti-Joe Straus front. Straus won his primary, as did Jason Villalba, and Straus-backed Lance Gooden took out conservative Stuart Sptizer in the Texas 4th Congressional District, while Hugh B. Shine took out conservative (and bit of a loose cannon) Molly White. For a while it looked like Straus crony Byron Cook might lose, but he eked out a win over Thomas McNutt with 50.4%.
  • Michael Quinn Sullivan is a bit more optimistic:

    The chairman of the Licensing Committee, Wayne Smith, and the chairman of Special Purpose Districts, Doug Miller, are now facing tough run-offs against conservative challengers Briscoe Cain and Kyle Biedermann.

    State Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Straus loyalist on the powerful Calendars Committee, was defeated outright by Valoree Swanson in a four-way race.

    Meanwhile, decorated veteran Terry Wilson defeated liberal State Rep. Marsha Farney, who was rumored to have been tapped by Straus to helm the Public Education Committee in 2017.

    On the other hand, conservative fighters Jonathan Stickland, Tony Tinderholt, and Matt Rinaldi won big re-election fights. Stickland, Tinderholt, and Rinaldi were top targets of the establishment, with the opponents slinging copious amounts of mud to no avail.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

  • Speaking of loose cannons, check out new Travis County GOP chair Robert Morrow.
  • Another Will Hurd (R) vs. Pete Gallego (D) matchup in the 23rd Congressional District. This is the only true swing U.S. House seat left in Texas, and it will probably come down to turnout. Gallego took the seat from Francisco “Quico” Canseco in 2012 and Hurd took the seat back for Republicans in 2014.
  • Shawn Dick beats Jana Duty for Williamson County DA.
  • Other Williamson County races: Robert Chody wins the Sheriff race over four challengers, Donna Parker and Landy Warren are going to a runoff for County Commissioner Precinct 1, and Laura Baker and Warren Oliver Waterman are going to a runoff for Williamson Court-at-Law No. 2 Judge.
  • Probably more later…

    LinkSwarm for February 29, 2016

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    Happy Leap Day, everyone! Enjoy a yuge LinkSwarm, and if you’re in Texas or another Super Tuesday state, take time to dig out your voter registration card for tomorrow.

  • The Case for Cruz: The Math. “In the states where Cruz is ahead of Rubio in the upcoming Super Tuesday, he is either beating Trump or within striking distance. In the states where Rubio is ahead of Cruz in the upcoming Super Tuesday, Trump has a huge lead. Rubio doesn’t lead in a single state.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Sixteen Reasons Why Ted Cruz Is The Better Anti-Trump Than Rubio.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz. “Polls show that Hillary beats Trump in a general election. On the other hand, Cruz beats Hillary in a general election.” (Hat tip: Conservatives for Ted Cruz.)
  • Cruz releases nine years of tax returns, calls on Trump to do the same.
  • Analysis of Ted Cruz’s positions on defense.
  • How Ted Cruz’s ads are so Hollywood slick.
  • Cruz has rebuilt his stump speech around the Scalia vacancy.
  • Lefty Robert Reich’s attacks on Ted Cruz provides yet more reasons to vote for Cruz.
  • Our cultural elites just can’t figure out why those ignorant gun- and religion-clinging redneck freaks of JesusLand keep flocking to Trump when he says he love them. It’s an insoluble mystery…
  • 40 reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Trump University was a scam. “Many people believe that higher education is a de facto scam. Trump University, Donald Trump’s real-estate institution, was a de jure one.”
  • Hillary heckled.
  • DNC vice chair steps down to support Bernie Sanders. An understandable move, given the DNC is so far in the tank for Hillary under Debbie Wasserman Schultz that supporting Sanders is probably looked on as akin to treason… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mark Steyn lays out some grim election analysis: “No one loses as expensively as Republicans.”
  • 720,000 taxpayers have their tax form information stolen from the IRS. Our country is in the very best of hands!
  • Public employee unions are the establishment. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Left-wing protesters shut down lecture on welfare reform at London School of Economics. Here’s the book protester’s don’t want people to read: Adam Perkins’ The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality.
  • Muslim immigrants will cost Sweden fourteen times more than their defense budget. Good thing Germany and Russia are such historically peaceful neighbors…
  • Merkel must have a political death wish: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended her open-door policy for migrants, rejecting any limit on the number of refugees allowed into her country despite divisions within her government.”
  • Stratfor analyses China’s new military facilities on Woody Island. “While the media’s response to China’s actions on Woody Island suggests that they represent a watershed moment in the militarization of the South China Sea, in reality they are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful.”
  • How disasterous Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could be removed from power.
  • The truth about the MiG-29. Longish but interesting piece. Turn out the Soviet super fighter was very good at basic fighter aircraft maneuvers, but had poor avionics that severely limited the pilot’s situational awareness.
  • Mass transit doesn’t actually save any energy. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Male feminism is a sort of disease.”
  • Joe Straus’ primary opponent Jeff Judson has a couple of major financial backers, including Alice Walton.
  • Beloved, innocent man shot down by Seattle police. And by “innocent” I mean “a convicted rapist with a gun, crack and heroin.”
  • “Turn down the fucking music.” “The more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Soldier of Fortune magazine to cease publication.
  • Man makes video designed to show that SERPA holsters are safe, proves the opposite. (Hat tip: Tam via Dwight.)
  • Tweet 1: The bus is turning around. Tweet 2. The bus is on fire. Tweet 3. The bus exploded. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The OSS World War II escape knife.
  • Wallace Hall/Joe Straus Update

    Thursday, August 27th, 2015

    Got a bunch of links building up concerning Wallace Hall, Joe Straus and related topics that I’m just going to shotgun out here:

  • UT reforms admissions process so it can only admit unqualified, well-connected students if it really, really wants to.
  • Wallace Hall was not impressed with the reform. “This memorializes bad acts from a hidden admissions policy.”
  • Hall says that Joe Straus came after him to make an example of him.
  • Hall sues University of Texas chancellor McRaven for access to all of the Kroll report, not just the expurgated version.
  • Meanwhile, the UT system is sueing Attorney General Ken Paxton in turn, to keep their dirty laundry secret.
  • Former Texas Public Policy Foundation President Jeff Judson is running against Joe Straus for his state house seat. Here’s his website.
  • Let the Texas Racing Commission Die

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

    The Texas Racing Commission is tasked with overseeing and regulating horse and greyhound racing in Texas. In 2014, the commission decided to legalize “historical racing”.

    What’s historical racing, you ask? That’s where bettors use a machine to wager on already-run races whose distinguishing characteristics have been stripped out. In other words, betting real money on imaginary digitized horses, the horses on which they have are theoretically based being, in most likelihood, long dead.

    So what law passed by the legislature enabled them to legalize this entirely new form of gambling in Texas?

    None. They just made it up after the gambling lobby asked them to. Race tracks say that without historical racing they’ll have to close up shop.

    One tiny little problem: Not only has the legislature not approved historical racing machines, they say that the machines violate Texas laws against gambling machines. “‘These rules appear to be an attempt by the Racing Commission to circumvent the Legislature’s authority to decide what types of gambling are and are not legal,’ stated a letter sent at the time by [Texas Sen. Jane] Nelson, [Texas Sen. Craig] Estes and others in the Senate GOP Caucus. ‘This is not an appropriate decision for the Racing Commission.'”

    Indeed, they stripped funding from the Texas Racing Commission until such time as they were willing to obey the law.

    And the Legislative Budget Board is enforcing that decision.

    So how did the Texas Racing Commission respond to being told to obey the law? “Screw you, we’re legalizing historical racing anyway.”

    Personally, wearing my libertarian hat, I think more forms of gambling should be legal, regulated and taxed in Texas. However, at this point it’s become clear that the Texas Racing Commission has been captured by the very industry it was created to regulate. At this point it’s better for the LBB to let funding for the Texas Racing Commission lapse entirely. A short special session would be called creating a new agency to regulate horse racing and letting Governor Abbott choose commissioners who serve the interests of Texas citizens rather than the gambling lobby.

    And if Texas race tracks close (either temporarily or permanently), that’s acceptable collateral damage for a marginal industry that captured its own regulatory agency and pushed it into promulgating illegal regulations not authorized by the legislature.

    So focused has the Texas Racing Commission been on imposing historical racing, if I were Attorney General Ken Paxton, I’d take a serious look at investigating the possibility that current commissioners received payoffs from the gambling lobby to do so.

    But you know who would probably profit the most from letting historical racing and slots machines appear at Texas race tracks? Texas speaker Joe Straus, who stands to rake in millions due to his and his family’s connections to gambling interests.

    Edited to Add: Cahnman’s Musings notes that two of the commission members who voted for historical racing are holdovers that Gov. Abbott can replace at moment’s notice. Sounds like that should be the strategy going forward…

    LinkSwarm for August 21, 2015

    Friday, August 21st, 2015

    Small LinkSwarm this time.

  • “Hillary Clinton is the contemporary poster child for special privileges for the rich and powerful.”
  • Latest Iran deal revelation: Iran gets to self-inspect their own nuclear site. But Kerry did get them to agree to pinky swear they’re telling the truth…
  • Obama and his party. “No president in modern times has presided over so disastrous a stretch for his party, at almost every level of politics.” Caveat the first: Although I think the phrase “there’s neither a Great Depression nor a criminal conspiracy in the White House to explain what has happened” is probably false on both counts. Caveat the second: Notice how the article carefully omits any mention of the specific Obama policies that have made his party so unpopular…
  • From back in June: Karl Rove lied about Ted Cruz. (Hat tip (tangentially): Perry vs. World, where Evan seems to have woken from his summer slumber…)
  • I really want to believe this Atlantic piece on how Russia is losing in Ukraine, but I just don’t. This one sentence has so much wrong with it I have trouble trusting the rest of the article: “Shale, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and renewables—three areas where Russia is extremely weak—are ascendant and are dramatically altering the market.” Shale’s a solid play if you’ve already tapped out more easily-extracted hydrocarbons (I doubt Russia has), LNG is a profitable byproduct if you’re already extracting oil, but at today’s market prices (which have sucked since 2009) it’s not worth pursuing on its own, and renewables? Hippie, please
  • Muslim beats wife in front of police, saying they can’t arrest him because she’s his property.
  • Slovakia to the EU: Screw you, we’re not taking any Muslim refugees. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Movement in Spain tries to erase Salvador Dali from history. You’ll get my Salvador Dali from me when you pry the melting clocks out of my burning hands!
  • Could Google rig the next election?
  • It’s a Goldman-Sachs world. We just live in it…
  • Three students at the “Homestead Job Corps” murder a fourth. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that program isn’t working…
  • Missed this from earlier in the year: Arkansas cops attempt to plant malware on a lawyer’s computer, fail miserably.
  • Joe Straus is backing Jeb Bush. I don’t imagine that this will come as a shock to anyone…
  • About That Paxton Indictment

    Monday, August 17th, 2015

    Dwight covered the indictment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on “three felony counts of securities law violations” a while back, but I wanted to touch on a few unusual aspects to the indictment.

    Now I’m just a simple Hyper-Chicken from a backwoods asteroid blogger, so I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the security laws Paxton theoretically violated. But it does appear that something stinks about the Paxton indictment:

    The two charges of fraud against Paxton don’t involve misrepresentation on Paxton’s part, or any other violation of a clear principle. Rather, the prosecutors think Paxton should have volunteered more information about his own investments in the course of selling stock in a company, and that his not doing so amounts to fraud.

    Snip.

    Paxton isn’t being accused of telling a lie, which is a factual question. He’s being accused of the much more subjective charge of misleading investors by failing to state a material fact. Actually, the indictments just allege the failure to state a fact; they don’t explain how anyone was misled.

    Mateja told Texas Lawyer he had expected Paxton would be accused of making a fraudulent misrepresentation, and that he was surprised by the actual indictment.

    “They are saying that it was unlawful for him to fail to mention that he had not personally invested (in a tech company called Servergy) and he would be receiving compensation,” Mateja said.

    If that by itself were found to be a crime, securities traders across the state could be facing criminal exposure every time they make a sale, unless they take the unusual step of telling clients that they hadn’t purchased the stock for their own portfolios.

    Paxton did have stock in Servergy, though: 100,000 shares that he’s been reporting on his annual disclosure forms since 2011.

    The prosecutors are apparently unclear about whether Paxton already held those shares when he solicited investors, or whether he got them later, as they accuse him of failing to disclose to them that he “would be compensated, and had, in fact, received compensation from SERVERGY, INC., in the form of 100,000 shares.”

    So either he would be or he had been. What the newspapers miss is that this isn’t an explicit violation of any law. It’s the special prosecutors’ opinion that Paxton should have volunteered this information.

    The Paxton indictment becomes even more suspect when you see who’s really behind them, mainly Texas Speaker Joe Straus’ team.

    There is now little doubt that the coalition government of liberal Republicans and Democrats who control the Texas House are responsible for the politically motivated indictments against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

    The leadership of that coalition, headed by Speaker Joe Straus, and Paxton have been political opponents for several years. In 2011, Paxton challenged Straus for the Speaker’s office and though he was unsuccessful, Paxton went on to win an open state senate seat in 2012. From there, he launched an underdog bid for Attorney General, defeating Straus’s boyhood friend, Rep. Dan Branch, in the process.

    The indictments against Paxton were unsealed on Monday to reveal that the complainants were none other than Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana) and a Florida businessman with connections to Cook, Joel Hochberg.

    Cook is chairman of the powerful House Committee on State Affairs. It was at Cook’s Austin home that Straus was chosen to be speaker in 2009. As one of Straus’s most powerful lieutenants, Cook used his committee this session to stop a major ethics reform package, to bury pro-life legislation and legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration, and to prevent a vote on legislation aimed at protecting paychecks from being raided by public employee unions.

    Hochberg was not well known to Texans before Monday, but research reveals connections to Cook spanning decades. Cook earned his millions at the helm of a videogame publishing company named TradeWest that was founded by his father. Joel Hochberg was the creator of the popular video game “Battletoads” and other games that were published by TradeWest in the 1990s.

    (I never played it, but Battletoads is widely described as the most difficult video game to beat of all time. )

    On Saturday, just before the indictments were leaked to the New York Times by one of the special prosecutors involved in the case, we ran a piece examining, amongst other things, a series of open records requests filed with the offices of several members of House leadership. The requests, which were filed with the offices of House Speaker Joe Straus (R–San Antonio), Rep. Jim Keffer (R–Eastland), and Rep. Charlie Geren (R–Fort Worth), sought records of communications and meetings with the Travis County DA’s office about Paxton’s case. It is unclear what records specifically were being sought, but it is clear that the person who filed the requests, Democratic operative Matt Angle, thought there had been communications between those offices and the DA about Paxton.

    Since then, a source has informed us that two other member’s of Straus’s leadership team, Rep. Drew Darby (R–San Angelo) and former Republican Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, were overheard discussing Paxton’s case at the 2014 Republican State Convention. According to the source, Darby and Hilderbran stated that they were waiting until after the 84th legislature commenced to renew their attacks on Paxton.

    In short: The Paxton indictment, like the Perry indictment, appears to be more about politics than crime.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    UT Admissions Scandal 10X Worse Than Previously Admitted

    Thursday, July 16th, 2015

    We’ve known, from the drips and dabs that slipped out, that the UT admissions scandal was worse than the Kroll report actually let on. But we didn’t know it was ten times worse:

    At least 764 applicants initially denied admission to the University of Texas were admitted thanks to a backdoor program for the wealthy and politically connected administered by former president Bill Powers.

    More than 200 of those applicants were admitted despite having their applications cancelled by the Admissions Office.

    The total is more than 10 times the 73 applicants widely reported from an investigation paid for by the university and conducted by Kroll Associates. Kroll withheld the full findings from its 107-page final report.

    More:

    The Kroll investigation confirmed what had been common knowledge in the wealthy Dallas-area community of Highland Park, which includes UT Regent Wallace Hall and House Education Committee chair Dan Branch: students were getting into UT at extraordinary rates, despite bad grades.

    UT admitted seven Highland Park students with grade point averages below 2.0 and SAT scores below 800.

    Also this:

    The very worst of the students UT admitted, the investigation showed, were clustered in the districts of Branch, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), and Sen. Kirk Watson, (D-Austin).

    Straus has gone to even greater lengths than UT to cover up the abuses. He authorized a special committee operating behind the scenes in an effort to impeach Hall for asking too many questions about the admissions process.

    A very cynical part of me wonders if this is the root of Straus’ stranglehold on the Speaker’s office: his power as the go-to fixer for getting unqualified students into UT.

    If you hadn’t heard, Wallace Hall, who uncovered the scandal, is suing UT chancellor William McRaven for access to the documents Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has already said he’s entitled to.

    Indeed, UT’s dishonest coverup may be a big factor in the Supreme Court in agreeing to hear an appeal on Fisher vs. University of Texas, “a 2008 lawsuit brought by a white student claiming the university’s diversity-seeking admissions system had unfairly deprived her of admission.”

    The Dallas Observer‘s Jim Schutze (who, unlike myself, favors affirmative action) explains:

    The court did receive a blistering friend-of-the-court brief (see copy below) from the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, in support of Fisher’s request to be heard again. The Cato brief called the court’s attention to an investigation of admissions at UT that grew out of the Hall disclosures. Cato told SCOTUS the investigation proved that UT’s “claimed diversity rationale is a sham.”

    That would be new evidence, maybe. But if it goes to the university’s core integrity – if the university has been lying to the courts about why it handles admissions the way it does – then maybe it’s not so new. Maybe it goes right to the heart of the existing case.

    We have talked here often before about revelations brought forward by Hall showing that the former president of the university and some of the regents were handing out undergraduate admissions to sons and daughters of influential state legislators the way favors of love are distributed in a bawdy house. But does that kind of corruption go to the affirmative action question?

    Nobody knows if the Cato amicus brief played any role at all in the high court’s eventual decision to rehear Fisher. But if it did, this would be why: When the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to send Fisher back down to the 5th Circuit, the court said the lower court needed to take a tougher look at the university’s admissions policies. The Supreme Court told the lower court not to just take the university at its word but to examine the university’s admissions closely under a doctrine called “strict scrutiny.”

    The 5th Circuit basically said yeah, yeah, OK, we strict scrutinied them, and we still trust them. So the 5th Circuit upheld the university. Fisher appealed back to the Supreme Court saying the 5th Circuit hadn’t really done the strict scrutiny strictly enough.

    Then along comes the Wallace Hall evidence of an under-the-table secret admissions program the university forgot to tell the courts about. In fact, Hall’s investigation found evidence of lying, destruction of documents, coercion – enough story lines for an entire season of The Sopranos, all having to do with UT admissions.

    A Supreme Court case is likely to bring national attention to a scandal the local mainstream media has tried to downplay or bury. And if it turns out UT actually lied to the courts, well, that sort of thing tends to make federal judges a mite testy…

    (Hat tip: Push junction.)

    Texas vs. California Update for April 15, 2015

    Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

    Hope you’ve finished your taxes already! Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • Detroit and Stockton’s bankruptcies may signal further problems nationwide, says New York Fed President William Dudley. “While these particular bankruptcy filings have captured a considerable amount of attention, and rightly so, they may foreshadow more widespread problems than what might be implied by current bond ratings.”
  • The Texas senate approves a $211.4 billion biannual budget, which will need to be reconciled with the $209.8 billion House budget. Both budgets offer tax relief, but of different kinds.
  • The senate also zero funds two rogue agencies the Texas Racing Commission and the Travis County Public Integrity Unit. Expect Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, with deep ties to the gambling industry, to go to the mat to save the Racing Commission.
  • The Texas senate has also passed signifcant spending limit reform in Senate Bill 9.
  • CalPERS raises contribution rates by 6%.
  • California senate OKs yet another restrictive energy policy bill. Yet another in their continuing “Let’s send as much business to Texas as possible” acts…
  • Los Angeles Unified School District extends lavish employee benefits package another three years, despite existing underfunded liabilities. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California sets aside $261 million for cost overruns on its already pricey high speed rail boondoggle.
  • California’s drought is something environmentalist liberal elites have brought on themselves: “Those who did the most to cancel water projects and divert reservoir water to pursue their reactionary nineteenth-century dreams of a scenic, depopulated, and fish-friendly environment enjoy lifestyles predicated entirely on the fragile early twentieth-century water projects of the sort they now condemn.”
  • More on the same theme.
  • San Diego builds a desalinization plant (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Central California is already starting to suffer water-related thefts.
  • In the wake of the Vergara ruling, California Republicans want to overhaul how teachers are hired and fired. Naturally teacher’s unions are opposed…
  • Judge rules that California must pay for sex change operations for prisoners on Eight Amendment grounds. “To contend that ‘forcing’ a prisoner to continue as a man violates the Constitution is absurd…It is nonsensical to grant imprisoned convicted felons health-care ‘entitlements’ that many law-abiding, hardworking taxpayers don’t enjoy.”
  • California prostitutes demand prostitution be legalized. You’d think they’d get a sympathetic hearing from California’s Democrat-controlled legislation, what with all they have in common… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Stanford student council candidate grilled over Colleging While Jewish. This could go in the regular LinkSwarm, but I noticed that both of these recent incidents took place in California.