Jerry Brown, Donald Trump And Climate Change

Richard Rubin
Chair, California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Even well before the 45th U.S. president is sworn in on January 20th and the glittery Inaugural Balls have played host to a the gathering swarm of Trump celebrants and big-spenders, the New Yorker’s ascendancy as the free world’s leader is setting off alarm bells across the globe.

There is no lack of doomsday scenarios as we head into uncharted waters under a presidency that only Hollywood writers could have dreamed up.

Californians, the majority of whom rejected Trump’s seizure of the White House, would just as soon have done business with someone else. Hilary Clinton received 4 million more votes here—twice the number of more popular votes she garnered nation-wide over the constitutionally certified winner.

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Fix Medi-Cal Or Lose UC and CSU

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

crane_-ca-state-budgetAs a new Congress takes office, newspapers are filled with articles about the potential consequences for California of federal changes to Medicaid but not about how California’s existing version of Medicaid — known as “Medi-Cal” — is already in need of serious reform.

Medi-Cal is a single-payer healthcare entitlement program covering 13.5 million low-income Californians. Funded jointly by the state and the federal government, the program is budgeted to cost $93 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2017. Together, California’s General and Special Funds will provide $27 billion of that spending, 58% more than just six years ago. As a result, Medi-Cal spending growth is crowding out other spending, including spending on the University of California and California State University systems funded by the General Fund:

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So Many New Laws with More to Come

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

As the new year begins, 900 statutes were added to California law books. If history is our guide—807 new laws last year, 950 the year before that–there will be hundreds of more laws added at the end of this year. Certainly, citizens can’t keep up with all these new laws, not to mention that lawmakers themselves often aren’t aware of all the details in the laws. Here’s a modest suggestion for the newly installed legislature: Concentrate on dealing with major issues like infrastructure improvements rather than adding so many new laws.

As I suggested a couple of years ago, the avalanche of yearly laws might be the result of the designation attached to legislators as “lawmakers.” A quick etymological research found the word is Middle English and has been around since the 14th or 15th century. Perhaps if legislators were not called lawmakers they would not have the urge to make so many laws. With shelves groaning under the weight of so many state laws, subtracting a number of the old laws would be in order.

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Fearless 2017 California Predictions

John Seiler
Former Editorial Writer at the Orange County Register

For the first time in many years I’m optimistic about the economy and politics, even for California. So what’s going to happen in 2017?

1 — Boom times. As I detailed in “Here Comes California Boom Boom” on this site, Trumponomics is going to restore a strong prosperity across America. Although it will be somewhat less in the Golden State because of its pyrite politics, the boom still will flow across us like a tsunami.

Just take Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook strongly opposed Trump and held a big fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. After the election he met with Trump to talk about “a very large tax cut.”

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Would Gavin Newsom Represent Another Brown Term?

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a Fellow at the California Center for Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

When the 2018 gubernatorial race warms up, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and his camp are likely to hammer home their point that it’s his time, that he’s earned the office, much the same way Hillary Clinton’s supporters said she deserved to be president.

Apparently, most Californians would agree with Democrat Newsom, who first won the lieutenant governor’s office in 2010, was re-elected in 2014, and was twice elected San Francisco’s mayor after spending seven years on the city’s board of supervisors. One of the final Field Polls found he has the support of 23 percent of registered voters. The nos. 2 and 3 favorites are Republicans: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who was second with 16 percent, and outgoing Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, who got 11 percent.

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Uber Regulations Mean San Francisco Loses While Phoenix and Pittsburgh Win

Joseph Vranich
The Irvine-based Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions helps companies plan and select ideal sites for new facilities across the U.S. and internationally.

Any business person who has dealt with California’s frustrating laws, regulations and bureaucrats was nonetheless surprised to see a story with the headline, “Uber Ships Self-Driving Cars to Arizona After California Ban.”

Really? A state ban on Uber? The poster child of the billion-dollar-plus startup, tech-guru, market-disruptor club? Why would Sacramento give Uber, of all people, a bad time?

Reuters said Uber Technologies Inc. pulled its fleet of self-driving cars from the streets of San Francisco and sent them to Arizona’s friendlier territory:

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Happy Holidays — See You in 2017!

Fox and Hounds Daily Editors

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Fox and Hounds will resume publishing on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

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Black Bart Award Winner 2016—Kamala Harris, Symbol of New Democrats

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

The consensus pick for the 8th annual Fox and Hounds Daily’s Black Bart Award is soon to be U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. She took the prize not only for her achievement of capturing the senate seat vacated by Barbara Boxer, setting herself up as a prime antagonist to the potential moves of the new administration, but also as a symbol.

Kamala Harris represents a changing of the guard in California politics.

Joe Mathews, in nominating Harris, noted that, “she became the first California politician of her generation to punch a hole in the Wall of the Aged — Brown, Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi — that has ruled us for far too long.” John Wildermuth simply stated that she represents the “New Democrats.” A powerful acknowledgement in a state controlled by the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future.

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As Homeless Deaths Surge, Government Bureaucrats Spend Millions on Fish

Aubrey Bettencourt
Executive Director, California Water Alliance

The number of homeless people dying on the streets, along the riverbank and under bridges is going up in Sacramento, writes Bill Lindelof of the Sacramento Bee. As the total climbed to 705 homeless men, women and children dying between 2002–2015 tin California’s capitol, state government bureaucrats at the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), propose that the public spend $260 million to help fish in the Sacramento River.

The office of the SWRCB is directly across the street from dozens of homeless encampments at Cesar Chavez Park and under a mile from the riverbanks, bridges and streets where so many tragic souls have lost their lives.

The total sum to be spent on 4,000 fish is, according to the SWRCB, an expense of $260 million per year. Of the 4,000, 90 percent are expected to die, be eaten by predators or be caught by commercial fishermen and sports anglers, barely leaving 400 survivors to spawn, at $650,000 per fish. That same $260 million is enough money to provide 86 million meals to the homeless community each year, enough to cover rents for 142,857 low-income seniors per year or provide 900,000 free dental exams.

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How California Can Survive the U.S.-China War

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

California is trapped—caught in the dangerous space between two menacingly authoritarian regimes that want to fight each other.

One regime is headquartered in Beijing, and the other is about to take power in Washington D.C. But when viewed from the Golden State, it’s striking how much they have in common.

Both are fervently nationalist, full of military men, and so bellicose they are spooking neighbors and allies. Both, while nodding to public opinion, express open contempt for human rights and undermine faith in elections and the free press. Both promote hatred of minorities (anti-Tibetan and anti-Uighur stances in China; anti-Mexican and anti-Muslim stances in the U.S.).

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