Water Wars by Other Means

Clausewitz famously said war was “politics by other means.” In California, politics is water wars by other means. Although it isn’t always above the surface, below the surface everything in the state involves water one way or another. That’s because the more populous Southern California needs most of its water to flow down from Northern […]

California Budget Lives in the Matrix

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature continue taking the Blue Pill over the state’s economy and the budget they’re finalizing this week. It’s for the fiscal 2017-18 budget, which begins on July 1. They’re living in the Matrix, not the Real World. Although Brown has warned, weakly, of impending budget difficulties, his budget still spends way too much should […]

Illinois = California Sans Silicon Valley and Sunshine

It’s looking like even the Blues Brothers won’t be able to rescue Illinois from “insolvency,” the fancy word for bankruptcy. Supposedly states can’t go bankrupt, although Arkansas effectively did in 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression. The Land of Lincoln’s credit rating dropped to just a guitar string above junk-bond levels because, according […]

Budget Anorexia: Feds Soon Will Cut Payments to California

“President Trump’s proposed budget would likely result in billions of dollars of cuts to vital health and human services programs in California, state Democratic lawmakers and advocates for the poor said Tuesday,” reported the Los Angeles Times, “It’s unconscionable and un-American,” blasted Gov. Jerry Brown, who himself slashed state social spending to balance the budget. In […]

After Jerry Brown: Disaster?

In politics, it’s better to be lucky than good. That sure fits Jerry Brown. Taking office in 1975, he proclaimed an “era of limits,” cutting investments in roads, dams and other infrastructure. Californians weren’t listening, as the population since then doubled, to 40 million. Yet despite the bumpy roads and droughts (from lack of reservoirs), […]

May Revise: Tax Increases Have Consequences

This is the 30th California state budget I’ve written about after I drove out here in 1987 to write editorials for the Orange County Register. Looking over the years, my theme has been the same: The state’s taxpayers can only bear so high a burden of taxing and spending. When that burden gets too large, […]

Dyad School Demonstrates Charters’ Excellence

Are the children learning? Is the school safe? Those are two criteria I’ve always used when judging charter schools. I’ve been writing about these innovative learning environments since they first started in California 25 years ago. Charters are public schools but work outside most of the education bureaucracy’s red tape. With charters back in the […]

What If a Recession Hits California?

As I predicted on Fox and Hounds just after the November election, there’s a Trump Boom in California. But what if it stops? What if a recession slams us again? Two scenarios: The Federal Reserve keeps increasing interest rates – much higher than now. Historically, that has brought a recession. War breaks out with North […]

Advice for California Republicans: Audacity! Audacity! Always Audacity!

If Donald Trump’s victory has taught Republicans across the land anything, it’s to follow Danton’s cry to the Assembly (the French one, not the one in Sacramento): Audacity! Audacity! Always Audacity! Shut out of any statewide office and with less than 1/3 in each house of the Legislature, what do they have to lose? The […]

Calexit Reasons Don’t Hold Calestoga Water

With Donald Trump walking into the Oval Office, liberal Democrats in California don’t have much to cheer about. Some of them are turning to the movement for Calexit, for California Exit. I’ve detailed before on Fox & Hounds why their initiative, if it makes it to the ballot, will be rejected by state voters. But […]