California legislature attacks the biggest issue it can handle

posted at 2:55 pm on January 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

California is drowning in debt, thanks to a decades-long spending binge and a tax system practically designed for failure during recessions.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has demanded cuts in spending while hinting to Congress and the White House for a multi-billion-dollar bailout.  Under those circumstances, one might expect the state legislature to focus on regaining its fiscal health more than petty social engineering.  But just as with their laser-like focus on the plague of cow-tail abuse and the apology to 19th-century Chinese workers last year, Sacramento is once again making its irrelevance and incompetent leadership plain to see:

State lawmakers are taking aim at what some of them see as a menace to California’s environment: free parking.

There is too much of it, the legislators say, and it encourages people to drive instead of taking the bus, walking or riding a bike. All that motoring is contributing to traffic jams and pollution, according to state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), and on Thursday he won Senate approval of a proposal he hopes will prompt cities and businesses to reduce the availability of free parking. …

The bill, supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Sierra Club, provides financial incentives for cities and counties to stop providing free parking on the street and at government offices and to reduce the amount they require businesses to provide.

So the state — which is bankrupt and occasionally pays its bills in IOUs — will send subsidies to locales that eliminate free parking.  What that means is that Californians will actually subsidize an increase in fees.  They’ll pay twice every time they park: once with the subsidies, and once again to park where it used to cost nothing to do so.

Advocates argue that free parking isn’t really free, because business have to maintain parking lots, as do government offices.  But those costs get figured into the cost of the goods and services provided, especially in the private sector.  What’s more, the costs get passed only to the consumers who choose to frequent the stores.  By providing financial incentives such as tax breaks, everyone has to pay for the parking spots that disappear through the lost tax revenue of the incentives, which will have to be made up elsewhere.

Even if this was good policy — which it isn’t — the priorities of the state legislature seem just as askew as a broken cow tail.  Two years into a budget crisis, the state seems a lot more interested in sticking to the taxpayer for their own idea of social engineering instead of fixing the mess they have made of the state budget.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

wow

angryed on January 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

“Yippee!! We’ve found a way to raise money by making people either pay for parking or take the bus!!”

In the meantime, the oil companies don’t sell as much fuel, the car dealers don’t sell as many cars, tax revenues go down, etc.

“Yippee, let’s cut off our nose to spite our face!!”

AubieJon on January 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Party of No more punishment of independent motorists!

RushBaby on January 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

There is too much of it, the legislators say, and it encourages people to drive instead of taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

If someone’s running errands like grocery shopping or they’re going to work, they ain’t gonna be taking the bus or riding their bike. What planet is the legislature living on?

Doughboy on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Broken cow tails? Was Barney Frank involved?

Maquis on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

That’s not the problem. Cars are the problem. Why don’t they just fine everyone who has a car, or wants a car, or who has a picture of a car.

Kaleeforneea, what we’re all headed for if Obama had his way. Which he doesn’t anymore, cuz his party has a measly 59 votes. LOL.

fogw on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

California on the brink of bankruptcy…again.

Mike Honcho on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

I am surprised California isn’t taxing you or charging a “fee” to park your car in your own damn driveway.

I’m shocked more people are fleeing California like rats on a sinking ship.

portlandon on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

America’s future looks bright.

BadgerHawk on January 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

priorities skewed just a tad there…

cmsinaz on January 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Let’s not forget single-payer healthcare. That will help with the deficit.

txag92 on January 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

That’ll go over well at the ballot box.

Vote for Me: I’ll take away your free parking! Wanna go down to the Costco? Better have exact change……”

I’m sure the working poor will love this development.

Techie on January 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

And apparently you all missed the the California Senate just passed a Single Payer Health Plan…

Doctors will soon be running to other States…

Romeo13 on January 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

um……….can this stuff get any dumber?
Is this a bolshevik policy?
What is going on? Is this just the culmination of years of public schooling. or maybe just a full moon?
They really have run out of stuff to tax.

ORconservative on January 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

There is too much of it (free parking), the legislators say, and it encourages people to drive instead of taking the bus, walking or riding a bike.

All of this free air! Dang free air! No wonder people have abortions and kill themselves. It’s because of all of this free air!

madmonkphotog on January 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Let’s not forget single-payer healthcare. That will help with the deficit.

txag92 on January 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Thankfully Ahnuld has pledged to veto it. But what happens if a Democrat(a real one, not a RINO) gets elected Governor in the fall?

Doughboy on January 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

I am assuming this is just main city centers?

talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. How much are the people to run the lots, the street meters and such going to cost the state as well?

idiots.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Hey, at least California currently isn’t funding someone in Abu Dhabi with parking meter fees. Ahem. Mayor Daley

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/us/06cncmeters.html?_r=1

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

CA just solved it’s unemployment problem. They’re gonna hire 50,000 Meter Maids.

Techie on January 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

This great news for neighboring states as more Achievers get fed up and flee the state.

Juno77 on January 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Hey Ed, that’s unfair. The California legislature is doing some Big Important Things too. For instance, it’s in the process of passing a massively expensive new plan to provide “free” health coverage to all Californians who want it. Did I say massively expensive? How about an estimated cost of $200 billion.

Isn’t it great to know that a little financial ruin doesn’t stop a great state like California from spending its citizens’ money like drunken sailors?

Cicero43 on January 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Ed, you have to cut these guys some slack. They work hard at trying to find ways to stay involved in people’s lives. They are obviously at the bottom of the barrel because all of the important human restrictions (like AB 32) have already been addressed.

Wait for Brown to fix the problem!!! I can hardly wait for the implosion.

cacpa on January 29, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Don’t forget their Senate also just passed single payer.

p0s3r on January 29, 2010 at 3:09 PM

“Yippee!! We’ve found a way to raise money by making people either pay for parking or take the bus!!”

Or just leave that God-forsaken place…

MichelleO on January 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

fogw on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Ahem. Wheel tax, registration fees, etc.

cs89 on January 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

California: proof that drugs are bad for you.

rbj on January 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

CA just solved it’s unemployment problem. They’re gonna hire 50,000 Meter Maids.

Techie on January 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Not enough to solve the problem, unfortunately.

Ferris on January 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I’ve said it before and have nearly been stoned to death. Government employees at any level should, at the very least, not be allowed to unionize. If I was dictator for a day, they wouldn’t be allowed to unionize or vote.

Here’s a pretty good article that ties right in with the posted article.

We’re either going to be taxed to death by government or we’re going to have a tax revolt.

BowHuntingTexas on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

I don’t care how backwards people think Nebraska is. This is just another reason why I stay here.

PappaMac on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

There are millions of loons who agree with Gore and the Unabomber that the internal combustion engine is the greatest threat to man. They refused to repair potholes in Arcata to stimulate walking.

Chris_Balsz on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Cicero43 on January 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Idea and scope of classification provided by our U.S. Senators and Congress.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Maquis on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

OUUUUUUH you so bad !

KATDADDY on January 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Leon of San Francisco (go figure)is now pushing a bill for the state to fund it’s own health care system. Hell, that’s only $200 BILLION. He’s going to use all the money people now pay for insurance and what the Fed pays for medicare. “GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCIS” will hold down costs. The same state that can’t balance a budget is going to be “efficient”.

Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

GarandFan on January 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Welcome to Sydney, the rip-off city.

OldEnglish on January 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Go for it, California. Over in Asheville, NC the city “leaders” decided the same problem existed. Their solution was to get rid of a large percent of the parking places. Guess what happened? Yep. It made congestion worse. People didn’t stop driving to downtown, and, with fewer places to park, the traffic backs up as the cars sit and idle or make the block two dozen times until a space opens up. Hint- Stop meddling.
 
Oh, and B+

rogerb on January 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM

good lord, i could see if they were going to line all the streets with parking meters to drive up revenue (a la emperor bloomberg’s nyc) but sending subsidies out to reduce free parking? dare i say they deserve to be in such craptastic financial straits.

anna on January 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM

fogw- i think california already “fines” people for having a car, it’s called their automobile registration fee. if i remember correctly, when my brother moved out there in 1998 with his ’85 chevy caprice (formerly a fire chief’s ride, what a tank), he had to pay something like $2000 to get it registered. I shudder to think what it is now, and i hate that i have to pay $60/yr here in NJ.

smfic on January 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Testing.

Emperor Norton on January 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM

ATTENTION CALIFORNIANS!

Please sign the PART-TIME CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE PETITION.

It will ensure these idiots have less time to run amok on our dime!

Mutnodjmet on January 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM

California is a perfect example of liberalism run amok. The creativity those people display at making their own lives miserable amazes me.

Liam on January 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM

I don’t care how backwards people think Nebraska is. This is just another reason why I stay here.

PappaMac on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

My husband loves Omaha when he goes there on business trips. He said it is one of 3 cities he would move to if the opportunity presented itself.

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM

OT: Bin Laden is now blaming America for Global Warming, haha the new left wing climate freak spokesman.

lavell12 on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

How do they intend to pay for the California single-payer plan?

“The price tag would be paid by pooling all state and federal money currently spent on health services, which would require federal approval, along with a payroll tax that would be paid by both employees and workers. In a previous incarnation of the bill, that tax was set at 16 percent.

Emperor Norton on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I propose a tax on paying taxes…

Caper29 on January 29, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is sponsoring the bill, and said states will have to act to create single-payer systems. The public option, a form of single-payer insurance, appears unlikely to be part of the final national bill, if there is a final bill.

“We always wished there would be single-payer reform in Washington, but given the political reality that that’s not going to happen, it’s not going to deter us from the pursuit of single-payer in this state,” Leno said.

What’s that phrase again? Weapons-grade stupid. If they do this, Northern California will probably secede.

FWIW, Arnie says he’ll veto this.

fiatboomer on January 29, 2010 at 3:18 PM

OT: Bin Laden is now blaming America for Global Warming, haha the new left wing climate freak spokesman.

lavell12 on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I would so love the Dems to quote him for their own argument!

Or, better, let Inhofe quote him and bash the Dems with it every chance he gets.

Liam on January 29, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Emperor Norton on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

a payroll tax at 16%? FFS the poor little business owner already gets screwed there in the land of the fake tan.
And since I have a feeling that the business owner has to pay “their half” just like SS or Medicare, I predict a vast “deflation” of jobs around the corner.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:19 PM

California…Home of the Forty-Niners. Coincidently, that number also happens to be the average IQ of the current state assembly membership.

sdd on January 29, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I don’t care how backwards people think Nebraska is. This is just another reason why I stay here.

PappaMac on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Yeah, but right now our legislature is arguing about whether people who break federal laws by entering our sovereign nation without legal permission should be getting in-state tuition at the state colleges.

So, we have our share of idiots too, and their leader, Ben Nelson.

cntrlfrk on January 29, 2010 at 3:19 PM

And since I have a feeling that the business owner has to pay “their half” just like SS or Medicare, I predict a vast “deflation” of jobs around the corner.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:19 PM

California legislators have never quite grasped the proposition that jobs come from businesses.

Cicero43 on January 29, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Here in the San Fernando Valley, nearly every apartment building has a “For Rent” sign hanging out in front of it.

I can’t wait till the day I’ll also leave this state in my rear-view mirror.

The Ugly American on January 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM

California legislators have never quite grasped the proposition that jobs come from businesses.

Cicero43 on January 29, 2010 at 3:20 PM

What legislator does? In any State? Or Government entity for that matter?

Most who actually own a business don’t seem to understand that when they need people who are good, they dispense of them quickly for a dumber version.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

More proof that California is the only state mentioned in the Bible.

In The Song of Solomon, it reads:

Solomon planted a garden of nuts!

pilamaye on January 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

There’s a headline on Drudge saying that CA runs out of money, again, on April 1st.

ORconservative on January 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

There’s a headline on Drudge saying that CA runs out of money, again, on April 1st.

ORconservative on January 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Hence Ahnuld begging Obama for an $8 billion bailout.

Doughboy on January 29, 2010 at 3:24 PM

And while nobody is paying much attention they are attempting single-payer health care that outlaws private insurance in the state.

The state senate passed it yesterday. People aren’t happy. The Chronicle had the article linked on their front page for only a couple of hours, now you have to do a search to find it.

crosspatch on January 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Aww, crap. Messed up the link.

Here it is.

crosspatch on January 29, 2010 at 3:26 PM

lol

Midas on January 29, 2010 at 3:27 PM

What a joke these folks are. But what is sad, is that they are being driven out to surrounding states and bring that kind of kool-aid with them.

Christian Conservative on January 29, 2010 at 3:27 PM

“Yippee!! We’ve found a way to raise money by making people either pay for parking or take the bus!!”

In the meantime, the oil companies don’t sell as much fuel, the car dealers don’t sell as many cars, tax revenues go down, etc.

“Yippee, let’s cut off our nose to spite our face!!”

AubieJon on January 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Not only that, but by adding to the inconveniece of commercial activity invariably reduces that activity. Thus reducing sales and tax receipts further compounding the fiscal morass they find themselves in.

These idiots just are in a very deep hole and whose only response is, to keep on digging.

Unreal!

Archimedes on January 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

That’s not the problem. Cars are the problem. Why don’t they just fine everyone who has a car, or wants a car, or who has a picture of a car.

fogw on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Banning cars comes next.

No doubt unclesmrgl will approve of this, since car exhaust contains dangerous chemicals that is polluting the air that he owns.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

California on the brink of bankruptcy…again.

Mike Honcho on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

not again, still

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM

talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. How much are the people to run the lots, the street meters and such going to cost the state as well?

idiots.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Not to mention discourage people from going downtown in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Sigh…

Bob's Kid on January 29, 2010 at 3:31 PM

In 10 months, Californians have it within their power to vote out some of this mess, and save their state. The question is…what’s more important to them? Living their lives, and the lives of future generations in poverty, by following the liberal way, or take back the freedoms you once enjoyed, and try and run your state in a common sense way. One that will benefit everyone?

How will they choose? We still have choices in this country. Are they in danger? I say they are….but right now, we have choices, and as long as we do, I would hope people think long , and hard about them, and remember….be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

capejasmine on January 29, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Not to mention discourage people from going downtown in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Let be honest now. I don’t know many areas (other then New York and cities like it) that many people want to go “Down Town”. Do you?

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Yeah, but San Francisco’s way ahead of ‘em. This is featured on SFGate.com today…

warbaby on January 29, 2010 at 3:39 PM

The Oro state,third world with a touch of Crips and Bloods.I am glad I made the decision 30 years ago to not ever think of moving there.What once was a beautiful state now looks best from the rearview mirrow.

docflash on January 29, 2010 at 3:39 PM

C’mon. Admit it, Ed. You miss California, right?

We need to replace the Bear Flag with a picture of an ATM and our new state motto:

Regulate it. Monetize it. Subsidize it for someone else

juanito on January 29, 2010 at 3:41 PM

OT: Bin Laden is now blaming America for Global Warming, haha the new left wing climate freak spokesman.

lavell12 on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

This may be good. We can award him with the Nobel Peace Prize and when he shows up to accept….Miranderized him!

Electrongod on January 29, 2010 at 3:41 PM

CA liberal legislators:

Don’t worry…..we’ve got Barack!

BobMbx on January 29, 2010 at 3:46 PM

OT: Bin Laden is now blaming America for Global Warming, haha the new left wing climate freak spokesman.

lavell12 on January 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Good thing nobody’s picking up on that.

warbaby on January 29, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Let be honest now. I don’t know many areas (other then New York and cities like it) that many people want to go “Down Town”. Do you?

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Baltimore. They kept the charm,renovated the old cuildings, ans the Inner Harbor is great!

katy the mean old lady on January 29, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Baltimore. They kept the charm,renovated the old cuildings, ans the Inner Harbor is great!

katy the mean old lady on January 29, 2010 at 3:49 PM

i will keep that in mind. Looking for a new “place” to go and check out things. I was thinking D.C. as I have never been there as well.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:53 PM

talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. How much are the people to run the lots, the street meters and such going to cost the state as well?

idiots.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Not to mention discourage people from going downtown in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM
———-
Not to mention discouraging people like me from visiting the state. Me and my vacation fund are going to get spent elsewhere.

Mew

acat on January 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

If I weren’t so involved in local politics here in SoCal I would pack up my family and move back to the Midwest. We are the posterstate for wasted potential.

pugwriter on January 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

That’s not the problem. Cars are the problem. Why don’t they just fine everyone who has a car, or wants a car, or who has a picture of a car.

Kaleeforneea, what we’re all headed for if Obama had his way. Which he doesn’t anymore, cuz his party has a measly 59 votes. LOL.

fogw on January 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

The great economist – Barak Obama constantly holds up Californias “green” economy as an example for the nation.

Glad to have left the fka The Golden State years ago.

kringeesmom on January 29, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Mew

acat on January 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Come to Alaska :) end of May, start of June is EXCELLENT!

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 4:01 PM

i will keep that in mind. Looking for a new “place” to go and check out things. I was thinking D.C. as I have never been there as well.

upinak on January 29, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Do go. Stay at one of the bed and breakfast places . Easy to get around with public transportation.Close to DC by rail. Day trip to Philly and NYC. Way cheaper than any of the above.

katy the mean old lady on January 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM

ATTENTION CALIFORNIANS!

Please sign the Part Time Legislature Initiative.

It will ensure these idiots have less time to run amok on our dime!

Mutnodjmet on January 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM

A second on that.

Caststeel on January 29, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Making parking less available and more expensive will not encourage people to take the bus– it will encourage them to not go out and shop! Which of course, will hurt the few remaining people brave enough to try to run a business in California.
Cal. legislators make morons looks smart.

LASue on January 29, 2010 at 4:13 PM

One day, when conservatives rule completely, California will be like a holocaust museum to remind us all what happens when militant environmentalists and the ultra-left are granted any sort of credibility.

Constant widlfires because no one is allowed to tend the land for fear they’ll leave footprints, and people stupid enough to believe they can fix things by more and more money away from the workers.

AubieJon on January 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM

One day, when conservatives rule completely, California will be like a holocaust museum to remind us all what happens when militant environmentalists and the ultra-left are granted any sort of credibility.

Constant widlfires because no one is allowed to tend the land for fear they’ll leave footprints, and people stupid enough to believe they can fix things by confiscating more and more money away from the workers.

AubieJon on January 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM

AubieJon on January 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM

When I moved to NC from CA people out here used to ask me why…now they don’t.

right2bright on January 29, 2010 at 4:18 PM

California is drowning in debt?

Too bad they don’t have gas and oil of shore that they could sell and make a profit!

Wander on January 29, 2010 at 4:39 PM

There are millions of loons who agree with Gore and the Unabomber that the internal combustion engine is the greatest threat to man. They refused to repair potholes in Arcata to stimulate walking.

Chris_Balsz on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

I saw similar sentiment voiced when gas prices started to go up – the argument was that people would finally start considering fuel-efficient cars. It was true to an extent, but the negative effect it was having on so many businesses never seemed to get mentioned.

But that issue is a little sticker than your road repair example. America has fashioned its entire economy around the premise of cheap gas with little provision for a serious disruption in the supply. In the techie-world, this attitude would be like a large corporation not buying a single UPC or making a contingency plan for loss of mains power, all because they’ve never needed them yet.

Dark-Star on January 29, 2010 at 4:46 PM

It’s getting to where one is afraid to ask if legislators can get more or do anything more stupid.

I really like California, it’s climate, the ocean views, the orange groves. Too bad the libs have screwed it up so badly that I won’t go there for vacations any more. This is just going to reinforce that decision.

Stupid, stupid, stupid people. The legislators and the idiots who are voting them into office -over and over again.

AZfederalist on January 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

“In 10 months, Californians have it within their power to vote out some of this mess”

Sooner than that, actually. The primaries are on June 8. Maybe people can begin the process sooner.

crosspatch on January 29, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Is it now TX that the CA’s are fleeing to?
Seriously, from what I’ve seen, I’d be worried you Texans.
I’ve seen them ruin OR,WA,parts of ID, CO, W. MT-who am I missing? VA?
Ugh.
Watch out.
Bcs these people will forget why they left & turn their new haven into another CA.

Badger40 on January 29, 2010 at 5:16 PM

But I just realized, perhaps on the flip side of CA’s leaving in droves this might open up the opportunity for SoCal’s rich farmlands to get put back into production once again.
This way SoCal won’t be such a waterhog anymore bcs there are less people & the farmers will be able to irrigate again.
I know.
Pipe dream.

Badger40 on January 29, 2010 at 5:20 PM

LMAO…..
Michelle Obama should setup and take notice at what these idiot politicians in CA are doing! To help with Childhood Obesity one could suspend School Buses and force the kids to walk. Legislation like this would encourage exercise and lower the states deficit! LMAO…..

Idiot Politicians

Please remember to vote in Nov. 2010 and 2012

BigMike252 on January 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM

You know, it’s unlawful to detonate a nuclear weapon inside the Berkeley city limits. I understand there’s a hefty fine involved, although it’s unclear who would collect it.

mojo on January 29, 2010 at 5:24 PM

They refused to repair potholes in Arcata to stimulate walking.

Chris_Balsz on January 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

When you start talking about Arcata and Humboldt county, you are talking about a whole “nother” world…

right2bright on January 29, 2010 at 6:20 PM

“Isn’t it great to know that a little financial ruin doesn’t stop a great state like California from spending its citizens’ money like drunken sailors?”

I wish I could take credit for this one, but I recently read a great comment that this insults drunken sailors who, after all, are at least spending their own money.

misterdregs on January 29, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Nice to hear something nice about Nebraska other than insults over the cornhusker kickback. You’re all welcome to move here and help us rid the senate of Ben Nelson.

After 6 months of weekly protests by AFP (IIRC), he is moving his office to a less busy street with no public parking and no sidewalks.

A real profile in courage. Big article in the paper saying he’s running in 2012 and he’s running lots of ads already.

misterdregs on January 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM

BBcs these people will forget why they left & turn their new haven into another CA.

Badger40 on January 29, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Ahhh. That’s okay. They come here and start screwing things up, we’ll just shoot them.

Kidding!

BowHuntingTexas on January 29, 2010 at 7:02 PM

BBcs these people will forget why they left & turn their new haven into another CA.

Here’s the funniest piece ever on California expatriates moving to other parts of the West:

http://spectator.org/archives/2002/08/09/an-open-letter-to-californians

Someone let me know if it’s bad form to post something this long, OK.

An Open Letter to Californians

By Bill Croke on 8.9.02 @ 12:02AM

I would like to take this opportunity to implore you to do your civic duty and save your state and yourselves by voting for Bill Simon in this fall’s gubernatorial race. Despite the recent faux pas plaguing the Simon campaign, the re-election of Governor Gray Davis would be catastrophic for you, and especially for me.

You see, my support of Simon is a double-edged sword. On one side of the blade, a conservative should support conservatives, and I do. But that other edge is sharpened on the whetstone of true altruism. I want you to vote for Bill Simon because a Simon victory will spare me any more of you people moving to the Mountain West — especially Wyoming –to escape the torments of statist liberalism, as I have done. I’m frankly sick and tired of Californian’s coming here to get away from the Golden State, and then doing their damnedest to turn it into La-La Land all over again. I’m for closing the barn door behind me.

As you know, your present governor with a sweep of his liberal magic wand and his deft handling of your 2001 energy crisis, has managed to turn a $13 billion surplus into a $24 billion deficit in a mere four years. Consequently, despite his protestations to the contrary, a re-elected Gray Davis will be forced to raise taxes (you are already one of the most heavily taxed and regulated states in the nation) to deal with that metastasizing deficit.

Ex-Governor Pete Wilson did exactly that to the tune of $7 billion in 1991, sending the California economy into a tailspin that it only recovered from thanks to the high tech boom of the late ’90s (which has itself since tanked). This resulted in an eastward migration of “Californicators” to the Mountain West that made it America’s fastest growing region through the ’90s, posting a 25.4 % population increase between 1990 and 2000. Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Reno and Boise all broke records. Even places that used to be thought of as rural are filling up with subdivision sprawl. Cody, Wyoming, is a good example of the latter.

If you — the typical Californian — decide to move here, please be advised that the winters are ferocious, and that our idea of upscale shopping is Wal-Mart and Kmart. And your new neighbors down the road may welcome you with housewarming gifts of wild game meat. Otherwise, on social occasions they can be taciturn to the point of rudeness, and have a maddening trait that will not allow them to introduce themselves until you introduce yourself. If there is a third party present who knows everybody, don’t expect him to be of any help. I’ve attended parties and barbecues where I patiently went around and introduced myself to a dozen or more people, garnering blank stares all the way. So much for western hospitality. In truth, your new neighbors can be extremely rude SOBs who don’t give a damn who you are.

BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT on that taciturnity. There is nothing obnoxious about these folks when they’re sober. They will maintain a polite demeanor even when they drop by to tell you they’ve just shot your dog. Now don’t get upset, because it’s your fault. You should’ve kept him penned or tied up. Just because you’ve moved to wide and wonderful Wyoming doesn’t mean Rex or Buddy can run anywhere he pleases. For over a century ranchers have been routinely shooting dead stray dogs that they catch chasing or otherwise harassing livestock. Forget about a lawsuit. This law’s on the books here, and no self-respecting Wyoming judge will offer you an ounce of sympathy. Knowing that you’re newcomers will elicit a phony sympathetic response from the nice young lawyer from whom you’ve sought legal advice. But in the end, he’ll just shrug his shoulders.

There’s an amusing Cody story about a newcomer who went to complain to a rancher neighbor about the latter’s dog slipping his chain and doing some sort of minor damage to the newcomer’s property. The stoic rancher looked at the greenhorn with a mix of puzzlement and contempt, and quietly asked: “Why didn’t you shoot him?” This illustrates a related point.

In liberal parlance, your new neighbors could be described as, well, “Gun nuts”. In fact, it seems like everybody’s armed. I have a friend who owns sixty firearms (I’m comparatively in the bush leagues with just two). He’s ready for anything from rabbits to elk to al Qaeda. Wyoming’s relatively low crime rates testify to the fact that if you’re a street thug you are going to think twice about breaking into a home to rob an old lady, if there’s a chance that that old lady sleeps with a loaded Beretta on her nightstand. I know people who can’t drive to the grocery store without a revolver in the glove compartment. In Wyoming, the NRA isn’t an advocacy group as much as it’s a secular religion, and of course was partly responsible for the 2000 Bush-Cheney ticket garnering the largest plurality of any state in the Republic: 69%. Our sainted ex-Senator Alan K. Simpson once defined “gun control in Wyoming” as the act of “shooting straight”.

Which brings me to hunting. If you’re an anti-hunting advocate, please remember that Wyoming has one of the highest percentages (17% as compared to 6% nationally) of hunters in the nation. We even put (gasp!) 12-year-old kids soon to hunt through mandatory firearms safety courses.

But don’t worry, if you are anti-hunting, you soon may change your views, probably after you wake up on that dark, snowy, subzero December morning to discover that all the evergreen shrubbery you so lovingly planted around your new home the previous summer has been eaten by winter-ravenous deer or elk. You’ll know this by the telltale stubby sticks protruding from the frozen ground, and by the many cute cloven-hoofed tracks and round pellets of scat in the snow. If you have horses and keep hay outdoors, the deer will visit the haystack too.

YOU MAY REMEMBER THAT PRETTY creek that ran through or bordered your “ranchette.” When you bought the land it was one of the much touted “amenities” in the real estate agent’s hard sell. That bubbly brook was one of the main reasons you bought your twenty acre piece of paradise. You could lie in bed on summer nights with the windows open and hear it lull you into bucolic dreams. Well, not exactly.

You see, in the West — like anywhere else — water is a commodity, and “senior water rights” go back a century or more. Put simply, you own your creekbed, but not the creek, and one fine summer day it will mysteriously dry up in a few hours, not to be seen again until mid-autumn, when it will promptly return and shortly freeze. The water is being diverted upstream to irrigate hay and alfalfa fields. One rancher owns “senior rights,” and a handful of others “junior rights.” You — being a newcomer — have no rights. This is because the rancher who subdivided the ranch that your house sits on sold his water rights to one of the guys upstream. Think of the water as a pie being sliced, but there isn’t a slice left for you, and this is reflected by the once sumptuously gushing creek now reduced to a dry creekbed with a muddy streak running down the middle of it. Mark Twain wasn’t kidding when he quipped: “Liquor’s for drinking; water’s for fighting over.” You don’t like any of this, and you go to town to visit the nice young lawyer. He offers you coffee in his office, and listens to your tale of water woe. He nods sympathetically, and then gives you a short stock lecture on the nature of western water laws. Then he shrugs his shoulders again. You seem to be writing a lot of checks lately for legal advice that’s not doing you any good.

Oh, speaking of writing checks, it’s time to order more hay. Your horse is doing fine, you just didn’t count on the nightly deer visits. The rancher who sells and delivers the hay is one of the “junior water rights” guys living upstream from you. He has a nice sideline selling hay to newcomers who own horses. From his point of view this is good because he’s been dealing lately with a depressed cattle market.

So now you are starting to figure out life in the “New West.” You buy hay from a man who you believe steals your creek water to grow the hay that you involuntarily feed to the deer, which the local Wyoming Game and Fish guy has advised you not to do, because even as deer lack overt communication skills, it’s odd that there are more of them every night. You may have to build a small barn for your hay.

That’s okay. You still have your cozy modern-rustic 4,000 square feet “log cabin” with a big stone fireplace, cathedral ceilings, skylights and an elk antler chandelier on your twenty acre ranchette, with only a scattering of neighbors across the valley, and a great view of the mountains. You can sit on the deck and watch the sunset over those mountains, and think how wonderful it was that you built your beautiful new house with only half the equity you gained when you sold your last house in San Jose. Nice, huh?

WELL, NOT REALLY. SINCE YOU DIDN’T bother to read the fine print on your land deed, and the real estate agent didn’t bother to tell you, nor did the building contractor who also knew (but then again, it’s none of his business) : it turns out that the rancher (you remember him, the one who unloaded the water rights when he subdivided) retained the mineral rights beneath your twenty acres of paradise. You may get a polite letter in the mail from an energy company like Arco or Amoco informing you that a drilling rig will be erected in an empty pasture down the road, and just outside the legal perimeter of the 100-yard buffer zone between your property and the rig. The letter tells you that this will probably only be temporary (a few months) as the energy company’s geologists study the feasibility of tapping a possible natural gas reservoir deep under your house. Don’t worry, with modern technology they can go at this “laterally” from that distant rig site. The energy company will regret any inconvenience to you, such as that ugly drilling rig and accompanying trailers and trucks that will mar your view of the mountains. Also the annoying grating noise, and all the dust the trucks will raise going up and down your unpaved subdivision access road. Not wishing to belittle their own employees, the company letter doesn’t mention the handful of hardhats who will be on site everyday. “Roughnecks” have a scruffy, tattooed look about them that makes you think that this may be their first good job since being released from prison in Arkansas a month ago. Folks don’t call them “oilfield trash” for nothing. If the company is prospecting for coal-bed methane, the end result could mean a pumped-out aquifer and your well going dry. Though this is unlikely because the legalities are rather complicated.

Which is why you go visit the shoulder-shrugging young attorney again. He tells you that lots of new folks living in western Colorado and near Bozeman, Montana, are going through the same thing lately, so you’re not alone. He advises you to join the new Homeowners Association lawsuit (that he is filing) against the energy company, and to start attending the weekly townhall meetings related to this controversy. Congressman Such-and-Such will be there next week, and you can join your neighbors in bending his ear all about it. You’re starting to get nostalgic for your former California life. The comforts of stringent rules and regulations. You even miss the California Coastal Commission.

The following evening as you’re climbing into your SUV to go town to attend your first meeting, you hear an unearthly scream. It’s your wife, and she tells you that she just observed a large rattlesnake crawl under the deck. The meeting is in twenty minutes, but your wife insists — rather hysterically — that you kill this dangerous snake before you leave. You remember that when the real estate agent told you about all those wonderful “wildlife viewing opportunities,” he didn’t mention rattlesnakes. You also remember that you don’t own a gun.

Then it hits you. You’ll call the neighbors. Being good neighbors, they will help you. They have lots of guns. Remember? They shot your dog.

misterdregs on January 29, 2010 at 7:20 PM

The new meters will take the new Pelosi tokens

A slug that costs $45,000.00 each to produce and wears out after 10 uses. Then you have to get the $92,000.00 Pelosi slug “facelift” good for a year…

KZnextzone on January 29, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2