California Apocalypto

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

In the most highly taxed state in America’s history, there is a huge black market of cash exchanges, much of it run by the poor and the recent immigrants, that the state doesn’t dare stop. When I leave my driveway, I see four “restaurants” on the side of the road, without running water or flush toilets — mobile canteens that almost always remain immobile. On the next two intersections, I can buy flowers, homemade soft drinks, even clothes or tools — for cash only. The local “swap” meet on Sundays near my house is a huge mostly tax-free sort of outdoor ad hoc Costco.

Here Come More Tax Increases

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

California public officials and union activists' solution to the state's budget woes is to convince voters to approve Proposition 15, which will increase taxes on commercial and industrial property owners by as much as $15 billion a year. These proposed tax hikes aren’t about improving public services, which only get worse no matter how much money taxpayers provide. They are about propping up the state’s overburdened pension systems and assuring that public employees aren’t facing the same downturns as the rest of us. It’s about fairness, all right, but it’s not commercial property owners who are getting the special break.

Senator Josh Hawley To AG Barr: Investigate Religious Discrimination By Local Officials

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri was spot on in his letter to Attorney General Bill Barr. What is now obvious is that the rules imposed by the states of California, Michigan and other Democrat-run localities not only favored one type of First Amendment speech over another, but they were completely arbitrary and capricious – there was absolutely no “science” behind any of the restrictions on religious gatherings.

California Democrats Want to Bring Racial Preferences Back

John Fund, National Review

Golden State Democrats plan to use the two-thirds control they have in the legislature to push through a November ballot measure asking voters to end the ban on racial preferences. When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor provided the critical vote upholding the constitutionality of the University of Michigan’s racial preferences in 2003, she wrote that the Court expected that affirmative action would need to continue for only another quarter-century. Liberals in California’s one-party state are on an ideological crusade to continue a racial spoils system forever. They should realize how the issue could blow up in their face.

Predicted Blue Wave Crashes In Wisconsin, California Special Elections

Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Democrats may be in trouble. Their polls show Biden slipping, he hasn’t even begun to experience the rigors of a legitimate campaign, and Democrats can’t easily replace Biden so long as Bernie Sanders and his supporters continue to exist. And all while even CNN admits that Trump’s 49 percent job approval is “matching the highest it’s ever been” and betting markets are favoring Trump so much that Axios was recently forced to admit it. If the media were telling an even remotely accurate story about the political situation thus far, there is no way those two Republicans would have won in Wisconsin and California.

Coronavirus: The California Herd

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Given the state’s unprecedented direct air access to China, and given its large expatriate and tourist Chinese communities, it could be that what thousands of Californians experienced as an unusually “early” and “bad” flu season might have also reflected an early coronavirus epidemic, suggesting that many more Californians per capita than in other states may have acquired immunity to the virus. Without either widespread antibody or current-infection testing, the number of people who die from the virus in comparison to a given population base is about all we can rely on to determine the lethality of the disease. California remains a mystery.

Conservatives Kill Tesla’s Federal Subsidy, But Democrat States Continue Elon’s Gravy Train

President Trump heroically told Pelosi that he wouldn't sign the tax extender bill if it included the Tesla subsidy. And the Speaker folded. However, it appears Democrats at the state level will continue Elon Musk’s taxpayer gravy train, because California, Nevada and New York are still subsidizing Tesla to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Latest Bureaucratic Attack on Gun Rights

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

As it now stands in California, if a clerk incorrectly entered your information in the database, you may have no simple means to exercise your Second Amendment rights even at a local store. There is a certain cynicism in the state approach, in that it still allows people to own firearms, but makes it difficult for many of them to get the ammo necessary to use them. It’s hard to see how burdening law-abiding citizens disarms criminals, though. This is just the latest, albeit most noxious, attempt to simply harass law-abiding citizens out of exercising their constitutional rights. We shouldn’t lose our gun rights because the state is too incompetent to maintain accurate databases.

California Killing Its Gig Economy

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

The brainchild of the state’s politically muscular unions, Assembly Bill 5 (bans companies from relying on independent contractors to serve as their main workers) will turn the gig economy on its head by destroying the employment model that’s fundamental to these entrepreneurial businesses. If California voters don’t reverse AB 5, then the state might really learn what life is like without such a boisterous gig economy. AB 5 sends a clear message to entrepreneurs with other innovative ideas that circumvent the state’s innovation-crushing array of labor regulations: “Don’t bother. Your ideas and businesses aren’t wanted here.”

Welcome to ‘Hotel California’

Patricia Mahon, The American Spectator

From a gallon of gas to a gallon of water, the cost of living is scandalous. We find ourselves in a grossly overpriced one-star hotel from which residents are checking out and leaving en masse — to Arizona, Nevada, and Texas to escape high taxes, unsafe neighborhoods, failing schools, a wall of debt, a pension crisis, and a political ruling class that has neither the guts nor the will to effect change. Ballot after ballot, proposition after proposition, the names and the dollar amounts change, but the policies stay the same. The greatest tragedy, of course, is that it doesn’t have to be this way here — or anywhere else in America.

Is California Becoming Premodern?

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

California is nearing the logical limits of progressive adventurism in policy and politics. Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation. Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.

California Mandates Free Abortion at Public Colleges

Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Democratic governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation making California the first state in the country to require public colleges and universities to provide medical-abortion pills to students at campus health centers. This year has featured a number of controversial changes to state abortion policies across the country, as several states attempted to limit abortion earlier in pregnancy and a handful of others officially legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. California state senator Connie Leyva, sponsor of S.B. 24, hopes her bill ushers in a new frontier in the national fight over abortion policy.

The ‘Simple’ Homeless Solution

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

"Give them homes" is asinine. Yes, there’s a desperate need for nonprofits to build homeless shelters and sanitary temporary encampments, but just “giving” the homeless homes isn’t going to eliminate all the social-service, policing, and other costs. When perhaps half of the homeless won’t take free services, owing largely to their addictions and mental illnesses, this wouldn’t solve the problem by any stretch. I’m not offering my own simple solutions, but I will offer this guarantee: No matter how much money they throw at the problem, California governments will be struggling with this crisis well past my lifetime.

Public Servants Or The Public’s Masters?

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

Government officials and public-sector unions already have hatched a plan for the 2020 ballot that would dramatically raise property tax on commercial property owners by undermining Proposition 13’s tax protections. California is on track for an endless sea of tax increases and service cutbacks, mainly because the public-employee unions control the government and have assured that their pay and benefit packages must always rise. No one is suggesting that the state deny a fair wage to its employees, but a simple scan of the state controller’s database and Transparent California shows that there’s nothing fair about a system that turns every government worker into the equivalent of a lottery winner.

Why Are There So Many Homeless in Los Angeles?

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

Why has this happened in a place that is so rich it is the fifth biggest economy in the world by itself, ahead of the United Kingdom and just behind Germany? Can't they just throw money at the homeless and make them go away? Not so easy. It's been tried, at least to some extent. Shelters, some of them well built, have been constructed all over the city but the homeless don't want to stay in them. The reason is these shelters are drug-free zones and the homeless of LA (and San Francisco and Seattle) are anything but drug-free. Most are addicts. They prefer to live in tents where they can smoke what they want, shoot what they want, pop what they want. So homeless encampments keep growing and sprout up everywhere.

America’s First Third-World State

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Perhaps if former governor Jerry Brown knew that he would one day retire to Delano and drive the 99 daily, rather than to Grass Valley, with several state pensions in his bank account, or if Dianne Feinstein dwelled in an East Palo Alto or Redwood City residence rather than in Pacific Heights, or if all the Pelosi grandchildren had to attend state public schools, then the architects of 21st-century California might have had to live with the consequences of their own dreams and been less eager to inflict their nightmares on the other 40 million Californians. But then again, such a radical divergence between a few insider elites and a massive underclass, with little in between, is perhaps what best defines “Third World.”

Calif.'s free health care for illegal immigrants an unsustainable financial burden

Tammy Bruce, Washington Times

The vulnerable around the world hear about free health care and the safety of sanctuary cities when both of those terms are lies. Yet they leave their homes after being encouraged by the news they hear and imagine an American utopia. Instead, they get California. The supposed free health care involves getting a Medi-Cal card. When getting an appointment with a doctor is impossible, they will go to an emergency room and will be among the other Medi-Cal recipients waiting in a sea of individuals who are ill and suffering. In Los Angeles, many will find themselves sleeping on the street on the now famous downtown piles of trash infested with rats and alongside others infected with lice-borne typhus.

California Is The Future The Liberal Elite Wants For You

Kurt Schlichter, Townhall

California will continue to circle the drain, and barring revolution – a real one, with all the attendant bad stuff for the ruling class – there’s no coming out of it. They’re dining on zebras in the Caracas zoo and yet the socialist revolution marches on. California is no different; it’s just a decade behind the Venezuelan vanguard.  It’s doomed. And what’s important to understand is that the liberal elite wants the same thing for the rest of America. To our ruling class, California is not a cautionary example. It’s the goal for our whole country. Are you going to let that happen?

Why I'm Never Going Back To California

Calfornia's Democrat-controlled government spends its time crafting laws to jail people for using the wrong pronoun while the obscene condition of downtown Los Angeles has become an international disgrace. Mountains of rotting, oozing, stinking trash line skid row alleys while football-sized rats pop their heads out of the debris like they are in a game of Whac-A-Mole.

The Ballot Box Jihad

We urge our conservative Democrat friends in Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and other states where primary elections are imminent, to take this warning of the danger of nominating and electing anti-constitutional liberty Muslim candidates seriously and to only vote for candidates who believe in and will fight for the foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic.