‘Terrorists’ who oppose tax hikes: Prepare for the onslaught

Here we go again. As frenzied as the tax-hike obsessives have been in recent months and years, Jerry Brown’s weekend warning that the 2012-13 budget is $16 billion short is sure to ramp up their intensity. So get ready for the media/Dem onslaught, folks, and prepare to be reviled.

Will Jerry Brown get lots of blame for his $4-billion-in-extra-revenue fantasy that he concocted last June? It’s made a dire situation much worse.

The CTA’s pending good deed: It’s going to kill the bullet train

This Chris Reed fella, writing in the L.A. Daily News, has some good news about the California High-Speed Rail Authority:

Why would the [California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers] turn on their normal allies and oppose plans for the bullet train? Because of the growing evidence that Gov. Jerry Brown thinks the only plausible way to fund the project is with the fees that heavy industries pay for the right to pollute under AB 32, the state’s landmark 2006 anti-global warming law. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office expects the fees from the “cap and trade” system to generate billions of dollars annually — perhaps as much as $14 billion by 2015.

L.A. nears insolvency; Steve Maviglio oddly silent

The L.A. Times’ Friday report

Los Angeles’ top budget official raised the specter of bankruptcy on Friday in a sweeping report in which he called for new taxes, major pension reform and possibly layoffs.

Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said rising employee costs combined with flat-lining revenues have left the city in a precarious position. Even after reducing its workforce by 4,900 positions in recent years, the city faces a $222-million budget shortfall, he said, a number that is expected to rise to $427 million by 2014-15.

Schizo CalPERS ponders apocalypse while still mocking pension ‘myths’

Ed Mendel continues to break more juicy stories about CalPERS than the rest of the state media combined. Along with the Dans (Weintraub and Borenstein), he will be a first-ballot inductee in the Golden State Pension Coverage Hall of Fame. His latest scoop shows CalPERS officials being more honest than they’ve ever been, worrying that a big economic downturn could drive the giant pension agency down to just 40 percent of necessary funding. So why does CalPERS keep cranking out the happy talk and disinformation on its calpersresponds.com website? This, as the kids say, is wack.

Ugly pension power play pays off for union tool Kamala Harris

Are Kamala Harris’ parents proud of her today? Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist, and Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris had Kamala after emigrating to the U.S. from crypto-democracies in India and Jamaica, respectively. Is this what they hoped for from their daughter? That she’d use her law degree to move up the ranks of the state Democratic Party and help maintain California’s status as a crypto-democracy? That their child, in her role as the state’s attorney general, would betray democracy by writing slanted ballot language that doomed two pension reform measures that polls showed voters loved? The doctor and the prof must be proud. With this act of sabotage, Kamala Harris is now the equivalent of a made man in the mafia that run the Golden State. The sky’s the limit now. Who knows how much more Harris can achieve in her chosen role as union tool masquerading as public servant? She’s a thug in a dress.

Steinberg: Only ‘far right’ wants big pension changes. PPIC: 68% back shift to 401(k)-type accounts

According to legendary psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, a crucial stage of individual development comes from ages 5 to 13, as kids begin to develop complex interpretive skills and moral values and learn the importance of being industrious and serious of purpose. They leave childish fantasy, stubbornness and denial behind, adjusting to the world as it really is. Which brings me to Senate President Darrell Steinberg: Was he locked in a pantry from age 5 to 13? In asserting that only the “far right” want profound changes to public employee pensions, Steinberg is displaying a level of fantasy and denial more appropriate to a kindergartner than a powerful political leader. Yo, Darrell: A December PPIC poll shows 68 percent of the public backs switching new public employees to 401(k)-type benefits — including 64 percent of public employees!

Q: What best describes Dem lawmakers’ pay lawsuit? A) dumb B) doltish C) despicable D) all of the above

I have never enjoyed reading a Capitol Alert more that Tuesday’s item about Darrell Steinberg and John Perez suing to prevent the state controller’s office from being able to make state lawmakers honor the clear intent of Proposition 25 and forfeit pay if they could pass a budget on a simple majority vote but didn’t do so by June 15. Why do I enjoy it so? Because it blows the lid off the phony media narrative that the Republicans in the Legislature are the bad guys for not agreeing to raise taxes to fund a broken status quo. This story shows the true bad guys are the ones in charge — the ones who hold taxpayers in contempt and whose main job is to serve as tax collectors for the union state, enablers of trial lawyers and enforcers for the green cultists in the Bay Area and West L.A.

CalPERS posts mediocre 1.1% return. Safe prediction: The annual bonuses won’t be mediocre.

The news that the alleged geniuses who run CalPERS had a poor investment record in 2011 drew a strikingly tone-deaf response from master Dem spinner Steve Maviglio, who Tweeted, “@CalPERS +1.1% in 2011. How’d your 40lk (or should I say, 201k) do (minus expenses to Wall St.)?” Boy, Steve, in an era where local govs across the state are threatened by insolvency because of pension costs, that’s really reassuring. Maviglio is playing with fire here — because the more one looks at CalPERS, the more it looks like a corrupt institution. No, I’m not talking about the fact that it’s now involved in a pay-to-play corruption scandal involving former top executives. I’m talking about how whether returns are good or bad, CalPERS showers its workers with bonuses — self-dealing of the most obvious sort. If this is legal, it shouldn’t be.

Kamala Harris heeds union overlords and waterboards democracy

Thirteen years ago, the California Legislature approved SB 400, the measure that paved the way for mass retroactive pension spiking not just for state employees but for local governments up and down the Golden State. It was approved based on disinformation provided by CalPERS that suggested there would be little long-term cost to taxpayers because the stock market boom would never end. Now the sponsors of two ballot measures that aim to clean up this debacle are being screwed over by tendentious, dishonest ballot descriptions put out by Attorney General Kamala Harris. It has never been more obvious that the California political establishment amounts to a union front. Democracy in the Golden State has just been waterboarded — again.

How … unique: Honest reporting on UC tuition

I’ve whined for years about how poor a job California media have done in reporting on UC tuition issues. Every increase is depicted as an assault on students from low-income families. That’s bunk, at least if they sign up for an extremely generous program that is well-promoted on UC campuses, if not in the broader state media. Pretty much alone among state reporters in consistently mentioning this program is Nanette Asimov of the San Francisco Chronicle. Her article today once again points out realities that just about no one else in the California print media ever brings up.