Category Archives: California

Obamacare War Is Over (If You Want It)

Republicans, you can end the Obamacare War if you want. You’ve already lost. It’s a free-market program, you know it is. You can get on board and implement it and let the free market do its thing, or you can continue to drag your feet and have whiny-baby fits, driving up costs with your inaction and obstruction. That’s not exactly how you tell us conservativism is supposed to work, but you know, the choice is yours. Be the principled free market conservatives you claim to be or continue to be this recalcitrant caricature of a political party. Your choice. If you choose the later your party will die, because reality is a potent neutralizer of fear.

Obamacare is working where it’s allowed to work.I give you this headline:

California Man Get Health Insurance For $1 A Month Through Obamacare

And here’s the story:

This is California, where the state didn’t attempt to sabotage the law. There weren’t efforts to obstruct, defund, misinform the public or prevent them from signing up. They didn’t dig their heels in and say, “fuckitall, we’ll just let the Feds set up our exchange, we don’t want to do it.” There wasn’t a rejection of Medicaid expansion, or this ridiculous notion that people could just go to emergency rooms and somehow the rest of the state wasn’t paying for it.

No, in California the state created its own website and was able to roll out its exchange, tailored to its specific needs. It worked on this for months and everything is going well. California is the nation’s largest market, and the rollout here, while not perfect, is also not plagued with the glitches seen elsewhere. It works here because people wanted it to work. Amazing what can happen if you have your want-to.

The war is over, Republicans. Do not be like the lone Japanese sniper living in a tree who still doesn’t know, decades later, that the Empire lost the war.

I find it really interesting that Republicans are working off a 50-year-old playbook when it comes to Obamacare. Today, Medicare is so widely popular, you even have Tea Partiers saying “Hand off my Medicare.”

Cognitive Dissonance Alert

Cognitive Dissonance Alert

Obamacare can work if you want it to. California proves it. If you’re unfortunate enough to live in a state governed by Republican’ts, whose guiding theology is government can’t work and government is the enemy, then it won’t. Simple.


Oregon cuts number of uninsured in its state by 10% in less than two weeks. This thing nobody wanted .. people want! And Blue States are able to implement it nicely.

Imagine what we can do when we work together.


Filed under California, health insurance, healthcare

>Paging Erin Brokovich

>Someone ought to go to jail for this .. but we know all know they won’t:

The Utility Reform Network (TURN) has obtained documents detailing the energy giant’s request to the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a rate hike in 2007. PG&E asked the PUC for permission for a $5 million rate hike to “replace a section of the same pipeline that blew up in San Bruno.” The PUC approved PG&E’s request, allowing it to hike its rates so that it could repair the line in 2009.

Yet the energy giant failed to go through with its scheduled repairs. And in 2009, it once again requested a rate hike from the PUC, again for $5 million. In its request, PG&E warned that if “the replacement of this pipe does not occur, risks associated with this segment will not be reduced. Coupled with the consequences of failure of this section of pipeline, the likelihood of a failure makes the risk of a failure at this location unacceptably high.” Despite these admitted risks, the company could only promise to make its repairs by 2013.


While the company failed to spend the $5 million it took from customers in 2009 to repair the faulty pipeline, it did spend that exact same amount in the same year on bonuses for its executives, according to TURN.


Calitics notes that while PG&E failed to use the millions it charged consumers in rate hikes to repair its pipeline, it did manage to spend millions of dollars supporting Proposition 16, which would’ve allowed it to secure its monopoly over the power sector in the state.

There is always money for politics, power grabbing and pocket-lining.

Protecting the people of California? Not so much.

Utility FAIL. Yes, someone should go to jail. People were killed in this accident. Will they? Well, in our glorious plutocracy, the only people who ever suffer the consequences of this kind of malfeasance are the little ones.


Filed under California

>Let’s Talk About ACORN Some More!

>Yes, let’s:

Orange County authorities are launching an investigation into possible voter registration fraud after a local newspaper reported over a hundred cases of voters being tricked into registering as Republicans by petitioners who asked them to sign petitions for, among other causes, legalizing pot.

The Orange County Register reported last week that the Orange County District Attorney’s office announced it would team up with the Secretary of State on the case, following a Register report that 99 written complaints were filed since March by voters who said they were registered as Republicans without their consent.

Another 74 voters reached by the Register said they, too, were unwillingly made members of the GOP.

In a lengthy investigation published earlier this month, the paper pointed to an $8 “bounty” offered by the California Republican Party for each new registration as a cause for the problems. It identified multiple petitioners who work for vendors “with ties to the California Republican Party.” Back in 2006, a similar scandal led to the convictions of several

Of course, the California GOP is a repeat offender where voter registration fraud is concerned. (And despite his guilty plea and conviction, it seems Mark Jacoby is up to his old tricks again.)

You know, the thing that was such bullshit about the whole fake ACORN brouhaha is that conservatives claimed liberal activists were enacting vote fraud by registering “Mickey Mouse” to vote. Thing is, Mickey Mouse can’t show up to the polls to vote, unless it’s someone whose actual legal name is Mickey Mouse.

But California is a closed-primary state. When you register someone to vote as a Republican, then they must vote in the California Republican primary. They cannot, as we do in Tennessee, show up at the polls on election day and say “Oops that’s a mistake, I want to vote in the Democratic primary instead.” Sorry. You have to vote in the primary for the party in which you are registered.

So it seems this piece of fraud perpetrated by the California GOP has actually disenfranchised voters.

I’m sure the California GOP will blame an “overzealous staffer” or “inexperienced people” at the unaffiliated organization hired to register voters.

But … um … ACORN!!!!!


Filed under California, Republican Party, voter fraud

Hey Eric Crafton: Leave California Aloooooooone!

Did I call Eric Crafton a “serial embellisher” yesterday? Why yes I did. And, courtesy of Pith In The Wind, here he goes again:

Crafton: In fact, out in Oakland California, they have a law in the books that says if you apply for government job that interacts with the public, then you not only have to be able to speak English, but you have to be able to speak Spanish or Chinese. So I just don’t think that’s the road we have to travel.

But Pith’s Caleb talked to Oakland’s Equal Access Director Monique Tsang, who after hearing Crafton’s take on their ordinance came to the following conclusion:

“I think he’s confused.”

Uh, yeah. Me too.

I don’t know why Crafton has it out for California, anyway. What did California ever do to him? And you know what, Oakland California is not Nashville Tennessee. Completely different city, population and circumstances. Why are people like Eric Crafton so threatened by what people do in California, anyway?

So I’m going to ask Eric Crafton to leave California alone. Why don’t you pick on Texas for a while? Here’s some fresh bait for you: In November 2007, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo told Fox News’ John Gibson that there are cities in Texas “that have changed to Spanish as the official language.”

So go pick on Texas for a while, will ya?

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Filed under California, English Only, Eric Crafton

>No One Could Have Anticipated This

>California Governor/movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal emergency:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency on Monday and called lawmakers into a special budget session, warning that California was in danger of running out of daily operating cash within two months.

Gee. And I totally thought his $15 billion bond issue idea to balance the budget in 2004 would save the day. Because, you know

he ruled out raising taxes, saying that would be the “final nail in California’s economic coffin.”

Yeah, how’d that work out for you, Governator?

Mismanagement like this is what supposedly got Gray Davis recalled. As it happens, a story overlooked in the heat of election season was the recall petition filed by the California prison guard’s union:

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association’s petition accuses the governor of “catastrophic leadership failings” that have left the state in worse fiscal shape than when he swept into office five years ago after voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis.

Schwarzenegger has seven days to respond to the union before it can file the petition with the secretary of state. The union would need to gather 1,041,530 valid signatures to qualify the recall for a statewide ballot.

I’m sure this will go away, if it hasn’t been forgotten already. Unlike the Gray Davis recall, which was orchestrated and paid for by the California Republican Party, I doubt California Democrats or a group like MoveOn has much interest in pushing to recall Schwarzenegger.

I do hope his botched handling of the California government kills his political career once and for all, though. He needs to goes back to bad acting and his Hummer collection. Fat chance, I know, since conservatives are attached to his burly physique, thick accent, and the rugged icon he played in the “Terminator” movies.

I think we all need to face facts and admit that Republicans couldn’t run a government if it came with training wheels, handles, and a driver’s ed teacher in the next seat.

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Filed under Arnold Schwarzenegger, California, California politics

California Scenes

Mr. Beale and I are officially on vacation. We’re at the beach in Santa Monica; it’s overcast, chilly, and a little gloomy, which has made for a surreal visit to my hometown.

Probably the oddest thing was seeing Richard Kelly’s “sequel” to “Donnie Darko,” ”Southland Tales,” which coincidentally was filmed almost entirely in Santa Monica and Venice–the very places we had just visited that day. With its post-apocalyptic theme and a storyline involving the rift in the space-time continuum, I started getting this spooky feeling like I had spent the entire day inside a movie I hadn’t seen yet.

I don’t know if “Donnie Darko” fans will like the film, since the two are very similar. But I will say this: Richard Kelly doesn’t like the Republican Party very much! It’s worth catching on DVD, since I doubt the film will come to Nashville.

Today’s a travel day for us, so I thought I’d share some images from the past day, which seem to capture the eerie vibe sparked by the film.

Some graffitti we saw on the PCH underpass:Mitchie Yost surfing in the fog!Arlington West, a display about the Iraq War erected by Veterans for Peace. I saw this while walking down the Santa Monica Pier with my cousin, a Vietnam veteran who still suffers the physical effects of shrapnel he received over 30 years ago. It was quite sobering to tour this exhibit with him.

Each cross represents a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq:

Finally, some grafitti of the “biker rebellion” sort:

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Filed under California, photos