Posts tagged ‘california’

Can We Just Leave McDonalds Alone

If you read my previous post about the absurd policy being implemented by Santa Clara county regarding Happy Meal toys then you will understand my complete irritation with the fact that a watchdog group is now suing them because of the toys. While I am not surprised by the lawsuit I am very angry. There are so many fallacies and just plain dumb arguments being made in this discussion that I truly don’t know where to start.

I was reading a piece by the LATimes. In the article they said that the “Shrek” toys lure children into restaurants were they are then likely to order food that is too high in calories, fat and salt. Ummm. Most kids don’t take themselves to McDonalds. Last time I checked my 10,8&5 year olds had to have someone else take them anywhere they went.

My next favorite line was this one, “McDonalds is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children. Their use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits childrens developmental immaturity.” This is from a guy named Stephen Garder who is the litigation director. So let’s think about this one . . . The toys in happy meals are undercutting my parental authority? I exercise my authority when I choose to either take them to McDonalds or NOT! It’s my choice. I am the parent and I make the choices. If I chose to give the toys to the dog that would be my choice. I exercise my parental authority all the time and don’t need a legal watchdog group trying to make choices for me.

But what be the best part of the article is this tidbit: “in April Santa Clara County supervisors won praise from nutrition advocates but ridicule from many conservatives when they voted to ban toy promotions . . .” Say what? So the conservatives are anti-nutrition? Right. I totally want my kids to eat junk food. Just like all my conservative friends. That’s all we talk about. Obviously Ms.Bernstein at the LATimes thinks so. Well here is why the conservatives “ridicule” the ban. It’s because it’s an invasion of our parental rights. It is a step into our personal live by the government to tell us what choices to make. It is a slap in the face to what is easily one of the more brilliant marketing strategies of a company. Instead of placing blame on the 0 calorie toys why not push harder for alternative foods? Why not recognize the steps the chains have taken in the past few years to have healthier options? Why are people who don’t ever eat at a fast food restaurant telling the rest of us what we should do?

The answer seems to be to have more government influence and control on our everyday lives. We knew when this horrible ban was voted on that it would not be the end of it. We knew it would trigger a chain of events that would bring a bandwagon of experts waiting to make our decisions for us. And that is why the conservatives ridicule the ban. I would also like to say I find it hard to believe that there are no non-conservatives against this too.

I think I might have to go feed my kids mcDonalds tomorrow now and maybe I’ll buy a few extra toys too.

June 23, 2010 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

I Invalidate your Vote. What?

Proposition 8 passed in California.

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Proposition 8 adds a provision to the California Constitution that says: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

As my friends said regarding election night, “At least we got one thing.”

It came as no shock or surprise that immediately upon having the vote called in favor of the Amendment opposing gay marriage that there were multiple lawsuits being filed to “invalidate” the vote.

I wrote about the Prop 8, Yes on 8, measure a while back and what floors me about the issue in the first place is that this is the SECOND time that California citizens have made their decision about this. The first time it passed with a 61% majority. Well it passed again!

I have a real issue with the fact that the voice of the people is being suppressed here. How do you get to “invalidate” my vote because you don’t like it? If we are going to play that game there are some other things that have been voted on that I would like to have invalidated too. Once you start taking away the right of the citizens to have a say in how things work then we lose our rights as a democracy. That is a very bad thing.

I hear the phrase, the majority cannot decide what is right for the minority. Does anyone think there is something funny there? So the minority gets to decide what is right for the majority? I don’t know of any place where that kind of logic works. The rationale used there confuses me.

The Mormon church is also under attack for their financial support of the Proposition. Really? The money was mostly given by individual members of their churches. Which is the individual citizens business. Not a church and state issue. And even if it was from the church group as a whole the percentage of money given is a fraction of the denominational funds. This was not a church and state issue. If it was then no church would have taken a stance on the issue. Churches cannot promote specific candidates or parties but they can take a stance on issues. If that is a problem what about the churches that spoke out against Prop 8. Surely the percentage of cash given from those smaller organizations would surpass the percentage from the Mormon church. You can’t have this type of argument one way.

I heard a great guest on FOX this past weekend. (still trying to find the clip) But in it they alluded to this fact, and as much as I wish it were not true it is: If the people fighting so hard to pass same-sex marriage left it alone and fought hard for equal civil rights for the next ten years or so, by then the population of voters will be replaced by people who would support their agenda. It would pass easily.

That makes some sense. Why fight the man? Bide your time and you will ultimately get your way. If you seek to invalidate my vote now I am only going to be angered and feel that my vote has no meaning.

And why riot and picket? Is that serving your purpose? By rioting you are not coming across well and lose any credibility you might have. It comes off like sore losers.

Here are some articles that Protect Marriage sent out this evening. Some good reading.

Elton John: Heterosexual Couples Have Marriage, Same-Sex Couples Have Civil Partnerships

USA Today published an article yesterday in which Sir Elton John spoke about his position on Proposition 8. John clarified his position on Prop 8 while attending the annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He was accompanied by his longtime partner David Furnish, whom he joined in a civil union in 2005. John was quoted as saying, “We’re not married. Let’s get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.”

John went on to emphasize that civil unions grant same-sex couples the same rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. He stated, “I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership…the word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.”

Sacramento Bee Editorial: No on 8 Supporters Cross the Line that Separates Civil Protest from Harassment

An editorial in the Sacramento Bee today takes a close look at the outrageous actions undertaken by many No on 8 supporters following the passage of Prop 8.

The editorial summarizes the opposition’s actions, citing that, “Angry opponents of Proposition 8 are targeting businesses and individuals who contributed money to the “yes” campaign. Vandals have hit churches that supported the initiative. Sparked by the speed and reach of the Internet, supporters of gay and lesbian rights are organizing protests from California to Salt Lake City, the home of the Mormon Church.”

And while the editorial takes a sympathetic approach to the opposition’s protests, saying their “charged reaction is understandable,” it does not justify that by “venting their anger and in exercising their right to challenge Proposition 8, some opponents risk crossing the line that separates civil protest from harassment. And by crossing that line, they undermine the message that some gay and lesbian leaders are trying to impart: that everyone’s rights should be respected.”

The editorial went on to acknowledge that the No on 8 campaign has not adequately addressed the acts of violence and harassment undertaken by their supporters, saying that “a lone statement” on their Web site asking supporters to not isolate those who oppose their views is simply not enough.

Sacramento Musical Theatre Director Resigns Due to Harassment by No on 8 Supporters

Today the Sacramento Bee announced that Scott Eckern, artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, resigned under pressure Wednesday as a growing number of artists threatened to boycott the organization because of his $1,000 donation to the Yes on 8 campaign. This kind of blacklisting shows that the No on 8 campaign, which claimed to be all about tolerance, is in fact a cauldron of intolerance and bigotry.

November 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm 2 comments

The Misue of the Disabled

This is just amazing. It is very disheartening to see the disabled being taken advantage of by caregivers “helping” them vote. While it may be the right of every citizen of age to cast a vote, it should also be true that they should be competent to make that choice for themselves. The point of individual voting is not to make it a tool to be manipulated. If a person is not of mental capacity to even register, comprehend, etc then it should be up to their parents or loved ones to deal with their right to vote, NOT to the caregiver at whatever facility they are residing at. The family may have a different view of what is best for their loved one AND the family should be the final say so in this instance.

Here are cases of such situations – that could bordering on being voter fraud:

Brenda in Iowa writes:

My son was politicized!! I live in Iowa. I have a disabled 26 yr old son. I have never registered him to vote because 1. He is not mentally capable and 2. He couldn’t read a ballot. He lives in a group home with others like him. They the homes staff registered my son to vote. When I found out I told them that he is NOT allowed to vote. I find out today they took him to vote and a home staff member told him who to vote for (Obama) and was actually the person who helped him vote. I am livid. They tell me it is his right and the law. They knew I would probably ‘get him’ on election day so they took him to vote early. I am shaking so bad right now. The staff used my son and others for political gains.

Michelle Malkin reports of more instances in Georgia, California, and Iowa.

Here is one of the California stories:

The California Republican Party is asking the secretary of state to investigate an organized voting campaign involving developmentally disabled adults in Tuolumne County.

As many as ten clients of the Thumbs Up! adult care center have already cast absentee ballots under the supervision of center director David Simerley, and nearly all of them were for Barack Obama.

“We all registered to vote and we all sat together as a group and went over our ballots and voted,” Simerley told News10.

Among those voting was Michael Rascon, 56, whose father described him as having the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.

“What kind of people would do this to somebody like that,” asked Sam Rascon, who discovered his son had registered and voted only after seeing him with an Obama button last Thursday. “He wouldn’t know one candidate from another.”

News10 spoke to Michael Rascon at the Thumbs Up! center about the election. When asked which candidate he’d voted for, Rascon answered “the black man.” He was unable to remember Obama’s name.

Simerley said the absentee voting followed field trips to both local Republican and Democratic party headquarters.

“When we register people to vote, we try to be totally non-partisan,” Simerley said. He insists he exerted no influence over his clients despite the fact nearly all of them voted Democratic in an otherwise Republican county.

“I think maybe Obama would appeal to people with disabilities,” he explained.

Sad. This would be wrong no matter which party the votes were for. People being taken advantage of is just wrong.

Not to mention the curiosity of inmates voting. The curious part being exactly how it is done. Absentee with ballots sent to their place of residence outside of the prison, sent to the prison directly, polling done in the prison in person, etc. There is a lot of room for gray in this. How hard would it be to imagine – a ballot being sent to the home where the inmate lives and it magically getting filled out for them without the inmate ever actually seeing it? Vermont and Maine are the only two states where convicted inmates can actually vote, with the only exception being if they are in for murder. In the other states it varies, but seems that if they are in prison awaiting trial then they are eligible.

Virginia: The Law ‘Stinks’
National: Voting rights confusion, education, history
California: Accessible Resources at Prisons for Families, Inmates
Georgia: Those yet to be Sentenced Can Vote
Alabama: Several Voting Rights Suits Challenge Constitution, Political Party, Antiquated Law
Tennessee: State Reports Increase in Registration of Individuals with Felony Convictions
New York: Voting Rights Must Not Be Denied; State Officials Must be Educated to Educate Others

November 2, 2008 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

Understanding taxes (if that is possible?)

Unfortunately taxes are a necessary part of life. Generally speaking we don’t like paying them. But we do. Every year we file our income taxes – state & local, as well as pay city, county, social security, fica, etc. The list is exhaustive. Our current tax plan but into place under President Bush is set to expire soon so whatever the new President puts into place will affect us all greatly.

First I would like to point out that when talking about the current budget deficit critics are quick to blame the Bush tax cuts for the so-called wealthy for the deficit. In reality this is not the case. Revenue is the highest it has ever been. The cuts on capital gains taxes has brought dramatic increases in federal revenue. Truly. The increase in the deficit has to do with being in a war and government spending having increased by over 30%. It is highly inaccurate to blame the tax cuts for this situation.

Both plans have plenty in them to make you question what is the better choice. As well, there are exhaustive views and commentaries to support whichever view you support. On paper they seem to not have that much of a difference in the overall economic picture, as mentioned in the clip below.

From – How McCain and Obama will change your tax bill.

Under both plans, all American taxpayers could pay a price for their tax cuts: a bigger deficit. The Tax Policy Center estimates that over 10 years, McCain’s tax proposals could increase the national debt by as much as $4.5 trillion with interest, while Obama’s could add as much as $3.3 trillion.

The reason: neither plan would raise the amount of revenue expected under current tax policy – which assumes all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire by 2011. And neither plan would raise enough to cover expected government costs during those 10 years.

“Distributionally, they’re markedly different. But in terms of their impact on revenue, the two plans are not terribly different,” said Roberton Williams, principal research associate at the Tax Policy Center and the former deputy assistant director for tax analysis at the Congressional Budget Office.

The differences come from how they are put into place and what the ramifications of each would entail.

So here it is:

McCain

  • Keep Tax Rates Low
  • Cut corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%
  • Allow First-Year Deduction, Or “Expensing”, Of Equipment And Technology Investments
  • Establish permanent tax credit equal to 10% of wages spent on R&D
  • Ban Internet Taxes
  • Ban Cell-phone Taxes
  • His most radical adjustment to the tax system which is not being mentioned as much in the tax portion is his health care credit. – “Transforming The Tax Code To Create Greater Equity: The McCain plan transforms the current tax code to provide all American families – including the self-employed and the uninsured – the same tax benefit, a $5,000 refundable tax credit ($2,500 for individuals) that was previously only available to those with employer coverage. Families can use this credit to purchase insurance of their choice, including keeping their current coverage.”
  • As well by not raising capital gains taxes the wealthy will continue to invest at a time when it is most needed to help our economy. If those taxes are raised the level of investment WILL drop.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior economic adviser to McCain, notes that many reports does not take into account the spending reforms – such as eliminating earmarks – that are central to McCain’s strategy to support tax relief and help reduce the deficit.

Overall, we would all continue to do well under this plan.

Obama

  • Cut taxes for 95 percent of workers and their families with a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples.
  • Provide generous tax cuts for low- and middle-income seniors, homeowners, the uninsured, and families sending a child to college or looking to save and accumulate wealth.
  • Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, cut corporate taxes for firms that invest and create jobs in the United States, and provide tax credits to reduce the cost of health care and to reward investments in innovation.
  • Dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing tax credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class Americans to do their own taxes in less than five minutes without an accountant.

Obama proposes a radical change in the tax system to cut taxes to the bottom “95%” of wage earners. Unfortunately this has major implications as well. It sounds good but there is much more to it. 50% of wage earners do not even pay taxes. So while what he says may be technically factual . . . the plan increases the number of welfare recipients, and extends the poverty trap of poor households.

    What it really means is that he is reintroducing a massive increase in the welfare state, costing about $30 billion per year. According to the Center for Data Analysis’ micro-simulation modeling, Obama would increase the number of tax filers who receive a check from government without paying any taxes, including payroll taxes — people filing just to receive a welfare check — by about 10 million. Where will the $30 billion per year come from? From those who are paying taxes, of course. And indirectly from all of us, when the economy is dragged down by higher tax rates on businesses. – from The FoundryBut it does not stop there, raising business taxes, national health care, etc. There are many facets to this plan that will have a trickle down effect. While taxes may go down for the lower income families, companies that are also hit by tax increases will raise prices, lower salary, cut back on jobs which in turn will all effect the very same people that Obama is out to help.

    Another good article on Obama’s 95% tax plan

To the surprise of some, even though Senator Obama’s tax plan lowers taxes for the bottom four quintiles, marginal tax rates would fall only for the very lowest-income couples. Taking both income and payroll taxes into account, those at the very bottom of the income distribution would see their effective marginal tax rates fall from 27.4 percent to minus 58.6 percent due to proposed changes to the earned income tax credit and Senator Obama’s new “Making Work Pay” credit.

Most low- and moderate-income couples would see their effective marginal tax rates rise, in some cases, significantly. Indeed, some low- and moderate-income taxpayers will see their marginal rates rise to more than 50 percent.

High-income taxpayers can also expect their effective marginal tax rates to rise—to 47.2 percent-under Senator Obama’s tax plan. This increase is caused by rolling back the 2001 and 2003 reductions in the top two tax rates, curtailing deductions and exemptions at high income levels, and potentially raising Social Security taxes. – The Tax Foundation

    Now some commentary:Aside from the overall theory of wealth redistribution, which some may relate to socialist types of theory, that does not help the economy in the long run. There should never be total equality in income. The neurosurgeon and the fast-food worker should not have the same salary. There has always been brackets, or castes if you want to call it that. Equality as a person is not equated to equality in income or possessions. All people are created equal, but it pretty much stops there. We all have different aptitudes and abilities and will work where we are best suited. The driven individual will work hard to become successful and then will be told, “Hey, we need your money to help Tom, he does not have as much as you and you have to share it with him.” That is wealth redistribution. I should not HAVE to give money I work for to someone else because they are not making as much as I am. It does not work.

    The definition of “wealthy” to be $250,000 does not allow for areas in our country where while that sounds like an amazing annual income, it is not. California and New York are two prime examples. This article explains it well, better than I can.  – Tax Rates for New Yorkers would top 50% under Obama.

    I was talking to someone yesterday who has valid fear of losing his home under the Obama tax plan since he does make $250 in one of those states. He has a family of five and is scared that he will not be able to afford the mortgage he saved for years just to get. As well I spoke to a mother who has lived in a socialist country and said she does not want to go there either, giving examples of the lack of incentive to the worker because they don’t care anymore. While it sounds good to the supposed 95% of the country the other five pump money into the economy to keep it moving, fund most of the governments revenue already, and are the most positioned to give generously.

    I am in favor of encouraging and rewarding people to work hard. To earn what they have. Not to blindly give more to them to try and make things more. While a plan might sound good on the surface it deserves to be looked into further to see what the actual ramifications and implications are to all citizens. If we are being fair and equitable, you will remember that that upper five percent helps keep our economy and businesses running. Personally I am a fan of the Fair Tax plan. I hope that one day it comes around as a possibility again.

    Look closely at the lines for $111,000 – $226,000 – According to those estimates you will actually fare better under the McCain plan. Curious.

    A final thought –

    Tax studies have shown that when tax cuts are deficit funded and they’re paid for by raising taxes in the future, “the economy is worse off than if you didn’t cut at all,” Burman said.

October 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm 3 comments

Yes on 8

While doing more research on the historical context of marriage, comment from a post last week. I have found some other interesting information.

Here is some legal information regarding marriage: Taken from wikipedia.

In the United States, civil marriage is governed by state law. Each state is free to set the conditions for a valid marriage, subject to limits set by the state’s own constitution and the U.S. Constitution. In fact, “[T]he State . . . has absolute right to prescribe the conditions upon which the marriage relation between its own citizens shall be created, and the causes for which it may be dissolved,” Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1877). Traditionally, a marriage was considered valid if the requirements of the marriage law of the state where the marriage took place were fulfilled. (First Restatement of Conflicts on Marriage and Legitimacy s.121 (1934)). However, a state can refuse to recognize a marriage if the marriage violates a strong public policy of the state, even if the marriage was legal in the state where it was performed. (Restatement (Second) Of Conflict of Laws § 283(2) (1971).) States historically exercised this “public policy exception” by refusing to recognize out-of-state polygamous marriages, underage marriages, incestuous marriages, and interracial marriages. Following these precedents, nearly all courts that have addressed the issue have held that states with laws against same-sex marriage can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed elsewhere.

So generally marriage is left to be defined by each state, except for this;

Although individual U.S. states have the primary regulatory power with regard to marriage, the United States Congress has occasionally regulated marriage. The 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which made bigamy a punishable federal offense, was followed by a series of federal laws designed to end the practice of polygamy. In 1996 as a reaction to a state level judicial ruling prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying that may violate Hawaii’s constitutional equal protection clause (Baehr v. Miike, 80 Hawai`i 341), Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union of one man and one woman for the purpose of interpreting federal law. Under DOMA, the Federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions, even if those unions are recognized by state law. For example, members of a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts cannot file joint Federal income tax returns even if they file joint state income tax returns.

Federal courts have interpreted the U.S. Constitution to place some limits on states’ ability to restrict access to marriage. In Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court overturned state marriage laws that barred interracial marriages on the basis that marriage is a “basic civil right…” and that “…the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.” The Supreme Court struck down a 1992 Colorado constitutional amendment that barred legislative and judicial remedies to protect homosexuals from discrimination solely on the basis of their sexual orientation in Romer v. Evans.

Some circuit courts have upheld state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. Notable among these cases was the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ affirmation of Nebraska’s constitutional amendment which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and states that unions of two people in a same-sex relationship as marriage or similar to marriage shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska.[3]

The most important Federal decision on same-sex marriage to date was the 1972 summary decision of the United States Supreme Court in Baker v. Nelson. When the issue of same-sex marriage came before the Court in 1972, it was dismissed for “want of a substantial federal question”. Unlike a denial of certiorari, a dismissal for “want of a substantial federal question” constitutes a decision on the merits of the case, and as such, is binding precedent on all lower Federal Courts. Baker has been cited as binding precedent in numerous lower court decisions since, and unless over-ruled, remains the law of the land in regard to this issue.

Based on what I have found marriage has been defined as between one man and one woman, not just in the bible. It is left to each state to decide for themselves.

In California currently there is a Proposition on the ballot to reverse the recent decision to allow same-sex marriage. In early 2008 a different Proposition (22) was overturned by the court. Proposition 22 had passed with an amazing 61% majority in California in 2000. With a majority passing the proposition it would seem that the will of the people was to place a definition on marriage. So now there is another Proposition (8) on the ballot to reverse the courts decision.

I am in support of Proposition 8. I do believe that the definition of marriage should be preserved.

I am not in favor of taking away anyones civil liberties. I do support civil rights. I just believe that marriage in the true definition is to be between one man and one woman, monogamous, for a lifetime.

Now here is another question. I got this email from the Yes on 8 campaign.

First Graders Taken To San Francisco City Hall For Gay Wedding

And this question goes beyond just asking if you believe in preserving the definition of marriage or not. But when has it ever been a school sponsored field trip to attend a teachers wedding during school hours? Especially for 5 & 6 year olds. Talk about some poor judegement with the administrators. And the No on 8 ad that ran the same week saying that what was taught in school would not be changing and they would not be teaching about same-sex marriage. Well, this just totally blows that one out of the water.

This No on 8 ad clearly says that this will NOT be taught in schools.

and here is the Yes on 8 ad warning that this could happen.

I want to be able to control what my children are exposed to. Not just to shelter them, but make sure that they learn in proper timing and context about these types of things. It is not the school’s place to indoctrinate our children with hot controversial topics. Where have the parent’s rights gone in having some say over family centered topics that are up for debate?

October 13, 2008 at 4:25 pm 7 comments

Boxer Response – Better than Eshoo

So today the email response (again, I know it is a stock letter) came from Barbara Boxer. I post this just to be in contrast to the Eshoo letter. While I may not agree with Barbara Boxer on many views, I respect and appreciate her response.

Unlike the Eshoo email, Boxer does not show partisanship in her response. She is respectful and appears to have crafted her response for all constituents. So kudos out to Barbara Boxer. Even though I still am not happy with the bill, I appreciate your respect and consideration.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. xxxxx:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the financial rescue legislation (H.R.1424). I appreciate hearing from you on this critical issue.

The fundamentals of our economy have been shaken, and Americans are deeply concerned. When Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke placed an urgent phone call a few weeks ago to Congress to say we needed emergency action to prevent a major financial meltdown, I expected they would come forward with a plan that was targeted and reasonable, with appropriate oversight and taxpayer protections.

Unfortunately, what they brought us was a $700 billion blank check, which they asked us to sign with no questions asked. This plan contained no oversight, no taxpayer equity, and no control over CEO pay. I strongly opposed this proposal – and thanks to your phone calls, e-mails, and letters, Congress stopped it in its tracks.

The Senate made major improvements designed to strengthen our economy and protect our taxpayers. Instead of a blank check, the Senate plan included significant Congressional oversight, equity for taxpayers, curbs on executive compensation, an increase in FDIC insurance protection for bank depositors, middle-class tax relief, and job-creating tax incentives for renewable energy. The bill passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 74-25 and the House by a vote of 263-171.

These were very important changes. But let me be honest: There were still aspects of this package that I didn’t like. I preferred the government acquiring more equity instead of toxic assets. I wanted the package to be put forward in smaller installments and to include more checks and balances to make sure it would work.

For me, the deciding factor in my Yes vote was information I received from the State of California. I was told by the Treasurer’s office that without access to credit, which is the goal of this legislation, California wouldn’t be able to sell voter-approved highway, school, and water bonds that are desperately needed for our economy and the creation of good-paying new jobs. In addition, I was told by the Governor’s office, that without action, our state might be forced to withhold funds for law enforcement, schools, and other needed services. This would bring our state to its knees and many middle-class families would be in deep trouble. Small businesses are beginning to tell me they cannot get lines of credit to meet payroll, as well.

Rest assured, I will continue to speak out forcefully about the failures that led us to this place and keep working with my colleagues to strengthen confidence in our markets, protect the American taxpayers, and enact regulatory reform to ensure that we don’t end up in this mess again.

Again, thank you for writing to me about this very important matter. Even though you may feel frustrated with the outcome of the legislation that passed, your voice absolutely resulted in the enactment of a better bill. Feel free to contact me again about any issue of importance to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

October 4, 2008 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

California Republicans – Where are you?

I have to keep reminding myself to keep my headphones on and not eavesdrop at what the people around me are saying. It creates too many temptations to try and argue with them. And based on the things they are saying there is not a chance that they would think I am right. They are being pretty nasty.

I am the minority. I wish my McCain/Palin shirt was clean today. I would have totally worn it.

I decided to search and see what percentage of the state of California is Republican. It was not a pretty sight. I found this article California Republicans: An endangered species? it did not do anything to make me feel better. Here are a few key excerpts in case you don’t want to click through.

  • Registered Republicans now constitute barely a third of the electorate in the biggest state — 34 percent — a decline from 39 percent just two decades ago.
  • Even in Orange County, regularly described as “the most Republican county in the U.S.,” Republican registration has fallen below 50 percent.
  • The Republicans haven’t controlled the state Senate since 1970. They have controlled the state Assembly for only one year — 1996 — since 1970.
  • In the past three general elections, Republicans have lost 20 of the 24 statewide constitutional offices up for election. In both 1998 and 2006, the GOP lost six of eight statewide offices.
  • In 2002, Republicans were shut out of all statewide offices for the first time since 1882 — despite a Democratic ticket led by an incumbent governor up for reelection with job approval ratings in the 30s.
  • Other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, the only non-incumbent Republican to win any statewide office whatsoever since 1994 was a multimillionaire high-tech maven who in 2006 was elected insurance commissioner.
  • Republicans have lost — count ’em — seven straight U.S. Senate races in California dating back to 1992, the last four by double-digit blowouts.
  • In the two most recent races in 2004 and 2006, the sad sack GOP nominees didn’t even have the money to air a single spot on broadcast television — a first in the modern era for either major party.
  • The Republican nominee against Sen. Dianne Feinstein in ’06 ran his own campaign out of his house.
  • Of the 53 members of Congress from California, only 19 are Republican, the party having lost four GOP-held seats in 2000, a newly created district in 2002 and another, supposedly rock-solid, Republican seat in 2006.
  • Republicans have lost the past four presidential elections in California, all of them by double-digit, landslide margins.
  • And George W. Bush’s job approval ratings in California are below even his historic-low national standings — and only a couple of points above former Gov. Gray Davis’ numbers on the day he was recalled in 2003.

Wow, it is much sadder than I thought. Here is a link to another document with California vote profiles. Maybe we moved to the wrong part of the state 🙂

Coming from what is arguably one of the most conservative, Republican counties in the country to this one has been a major eye opener. I have never been in the minority for anything in my life. I am used to my friends and people around me having very similar beliefs. Here it seems like a free for all and you cannot be sure of what anyone believes. There are so many more shades of gray in this state.

So please, if you are a Republican in California let me know I am not alone. I am a proud registered Republican in the great state of California and I am not ashamed.

October 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

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