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April 2nd 2010

Crazifornia Update

Posted by: Laer at 11:24 am

Hello … is anybody out there?

I last posted in July to say C-SM was going on hiatus so I could work on my book, Crazifornia, about how the liberal-environmentalist-public employee troika has tarnished – perhaps permanently – the Golden State.  That turned out to be a bottomless subject, and I’m still plowing away on it.

For regular updates and outrageous news of California, follow Crazifornia on Twitter.

Here’s an update on the book’s status:  In a nutshell, I’m 50 to 60 percent done and I have a hard-working agent, Frank Breeden of Premiere Authors.  He has represented Mike Huckabee among other notable conservative writers, and their affiliated speakers bureau handles Huckabee, Glenn Beck and Ben Stein, among others.

Frank has been busy placing my book proposal before editors.  We’ve gotten very encouraging words from some, and one is now giving it a good consideration.  We’re just getting started, though – this may well be just the learning cycle, taking from the feedback we get, tweaking the proposal and moving to round two.  Or the one who’s considering it may see its genius.  It’s in God’s hands.

I’ve also been collecting endorsements.  Here are three:

Hugh Hewitt, host of the Hugh Hewitt Show, Town Hall columnist, blogger.

Laer has a terrific ideal in Crazifornia - in fact, when he ran the idea by me last summer, I wished I had come up with it myself.  I talk a lot about California on the Hugh Hewitt Show, even though my audience is national, because what h appens in California does matter deeply to the rest of the country … and because it makes great radio.  My audience loves to hear about what a train wreck the state has become, and is always eager to hear the next great story.

I’ve know Laer for 15 years; he’s a genuinely wonderful guy with a big heart that’s being broken by California’s decline and he’s the right guy to write this book.  He’s one of the few people who has a firm grasp on the complex issues facing the state and the ability to write about it with clarity and humor. I think Crazifornia has the potential to be a very popular book, not just here in California, but with politically engaged people around the country. As soon as it’s published, I’m looking forward to having Laer on the show, because I know his stories will fascinate my readers.

Jon Fleishman, publisher of California’s top conservative news aggregator, California Flash Report and vice chairman of the California Republican Party

Laer Pearce provided me with two sample chapters from his book, Crazifornia, and based on them, I believe his idea of exposing regulatory overkill and legislative inanity in California has the potential to tap into a meme that could assure the book’s popularity.   As the publisher of FlashReport, the leading Conservative news portal on California politics, every day I see stories about new bills and regulations that would make California less competitive, less functional and less free. Bringing this insanity to light has proven to be a successful business model for FlashReport because there is both an un-ending flow of outrageous news from Sacramento, and an insatiable desire from my growing readership to learn more.

People in California are hungry for information they can use to turn the state around – or justify a decision to get the heck out.  And people around the country want to know what’s going on here so they can fight California’s influence when it comes their way.  A book like Crazifornia will be of great interest to these people, as it is to me. I can’t wait to read the rest of it.

Lucy Dunn, CEO, Orange County Business Council, Former Director of Housing and Community Development for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California State Legislature “Woman of the Year” in 1997 and in 2009, and blogger.

In my career in both government and private industry, I have tried to champion freedom and innovation, especially in a time when burdensome government regulations cripple economic growth.  I have worked with Laer on so many issues and know him to be an insightful and creative problem-solver of the most difficult issues. Laer has one of the best strategic minds in his business, but he also has a sharp wit that frequently makes laughter break out in the midst of tense meetings.  He has a special knack for digesting numbingly complex issues and writing about them with clarity, so I know that Crazifornia will be an entertaining and important book.

I’m always looking for new stories about over-regulation and legislative ineptitude in California, so please contact me with idea – and recommendations … or an interested publisher!

That’s all for now.

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July 12th 2009

Hiatus

Posted by: Laer at 01:27 pm

I

am putting Cheat-Seeking Missiles on hiatus so I can devote all my spare time to a writing project that needs to proceed in all due haste so I can wrap it up while it’s still as timely as it is now.  This was a hard decision to make since C-SM is my therapy, but I’ve got a psychiatrist’s number handy if I need it.

Please do click the RSS feed button. That way you’ll know if I lose all discipline and post something, and you’ll also find out when the big project is wrapped up, and unwrapped … all at the same time!

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July 9th 2009

Arguing On Thin Ice

Posted by: Laer at 06:30 am

P

alin-bashers are jumping on a post in Greg Sargent’s The Plum Line that supposedly debunks one of Sarah Palin’s primary stated reasons for resigning – the burden the endless, phony, Dem-fired ethics claims are putting on the state’s budget, which is already teetering from lower oil revenues.

Here’s what she said:

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

And here’s the dismissal of the claim by Sargent:

But David Murrow, a spokesperson for the Governor, said in an interview that much of this money was budgeted to the lawyers in advance and would have gone to them anyway, even if state lawyers hadn’t been defending against these ethics complaints.

In response to our questions, the Governor’s office provided us with a detailed breakdown of the millions Palin has claimed has gone to defending against ethics complaints. It does list roughly $1.9 million in expenditures.

But Murrow, the spokesperson, acknowledged to our reporter, Amanda Erickson, that this total was arrived at by adding up attorney hours spent on fending off complaints — based on the fixed salaries of lawyers in the governor’s office and the Department of Law. The money would have gone to the lawyers no matter what they were doing. The complaints are “just distracting them from other duties,” Murrow said.

We can assume, given the harsh spending cuts Palin has imposed since oil revenues dropped, that the state attorneys’ budget was established because there was a certain level of caseload that needed their attention. State attorneys’ case loads are not the sort of thing you can put off until another day. Draft bills and regulations have to be reviewed by a date certain to keep up with schedules that are set in law; only so many days are allotted for appeals to be filed and writs to be responded to.

Sargent doesn’t ask how the state attorneys managed to deal with that while fighting back the wave of frivolous ethics claims, and where the money came from to handle it. Such subtleties are lost on the Left as evidenced by this intro to Sargent’s post in one Leftyblog:

Far be it from me to call Sarah Palin a liar.

I kid. It’s not far or be it or from me at all. I call her a liar on a regular basis. See, Miss Personality Disorder? See how I did that? See how easy it is to tell the truth?

And off the blogger tramps into the quotes I cited above.

Sargent is right on one score: There is one pot of attorney budget money and another set of pots for “teachers or troopers – or safer roads,” so you can’t draw a bright line connecting them, as Palin did in a bit of harmless rhetoric. But in a state like Alaska, which is struggling to fill a $1.25 billion budget shortfall, you can’t blow out one area of the budget without having impacts elsewhere.

The larger question is why weren’t the media asking questions about who was bringing these ethics claims, why they were doing it, and how they justified the costs incurred by taxpayers as a result.

It’s clear Palin saw herself as a target, and a rather costly one at that.  None of this was her doing, as the defeated ethics challenges prove. It is the fault of the hate-mongering Left, and for a small-budget state like Alaska that’s fighting deficits, expensive targets are unquestionably a burden. But, as usual, the Left is skipping along, believing themselves to be utterly blame-free.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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July 8th 2009

Just Can’t Stop That Palin Bashing

Posted by: Laer at 03:10 pm

W

here did Time magazine go to find such a nasty picture of Arnold and such a smug one of Sarah?  Probably not too far because their photographers are trained to shoot uncomplimentary shots of Republicans and wonderful shots of Dems.

But I digress.

The new Time is using these two photos over a lead story on its Web homepage titled, After California, which states are in the most peril? Given Palin’s proximity to that headline, you’d guess Alaska would be right up there, right?

No you wouldn’t; you’re smarter than that.  And you’re right. Alaska is mentioned, but it’s fleeting as a summer breeze in Nome.

Two of the worst-off states by that [revenue shortfall] count are Alaska and Nevada. Each of them will need to spend 30% more than what state tax officers think they’ll be collecting. And neither has a state income tax, relying on oil and tourism taxes, respectively, for most of their revenues.

While the Left has been quick to pounce on this, the fact is the state is projecting a $1.25 billion shortfall because of volatility in oil prices – decidedly downward volatility – but has reserves of $6.8 billion, so unlike California, it won’t be sending out any IOUs any time soon.  Plus, she’s doing her part to manage it, recommending cuts of $268.6 million, an additional $17 million in reductions to state departments’ budgets, and has implemented a salary freeze.

And the Time article goes on to say Nevada, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Washington all have problems at least as bad and in some cases much worse. (Especially those states with Dem govs.)

Yet there she is, pictured with Arnold.  It’s obvious the anti-Palin media bias is alive and well.  (And it’s also obvious that editors will put readership about fairness any day.  Would you be inclined to read a story with David Patterson’s or Jim Douglas’ mug on it?)

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July 8th 2009

Greenpeace Dishonors America’s Greatest

Posted by: Laer at 09:51 am

T

hree of America’s greatest presidents – no way am I counting Teddy Roosevelt in that group [thanks, Coop!] – were dishonored by Greenpeace today when the group defaced Mt. Rushmore with a banner portraying FDR wannabe Barack Obama.  The message is ludicrous:  “America Honors Leaders, Not Politicians. Stop Global Warming.”

The banner seems to imply that Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln were not leaders.  The Greenpeace idiots should be very, very glad we have First Amendment rights in this country.  I won’t dispute that Obama’s a leader; it’s just a disagreement with Greenpeace over the way he’s leading us.  I don’t believe “honor” should be ascribed to a person who is leading America towards socialism and economic ruin.

And as for stopping global warming, pshaw.  All Obama’s policies will do is make everything more expensive; they will do nothing to significantly alter the atmosphere or the globe’s climate.  His “leadership” on cap and tax is better described as “ruinship.”

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July 8th 2009

Let Government Do It – That’s The Answer

Posted by: Laer at 07:19 am

F

ox News Radio on Sirius doesn’t get many paying advertisers at night when I frequently listen to it while driving home from meetings, so I get to hear a lot of public service announcements from the federal government.  Oh, joy.

One that’s running a lot nowadays features a little girl who’s afraid to go to sleep.  It turns out she’s afraid because of what happened during Hurricane Katrina, but don’t worry, the soothing voice of the announcer tells us, just bring the little girl to us, the government, where there are caring people ready to make everything all better.

What?! Isn’t that the family’s job? The pastor’s job? When did America become so trusting of the government that a parent would hand a frightened child over to a bureaucracy?  Surely they know that this is the sort of thing you should expect from government:

A multi-million pound initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies more than doubled the number of girls conceiving.

The Government-backed scheme tried to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.

But research funded by the Department of Health shows that young women who attended the programme, at a cost of £2,500 each, were ‘significantly’ more likely to become pregnant than those on other youth programmes who were not given contraception and sex advice.

A total of 16 per cent of those on the Young People’s Development Programme conceived compared with just 6 per cent in other programmes. (Daily Mail)

That’s what that mom with the frightened child should consider – if the rate of little girls going crazy in the general population is six percent, it’ll be 16 percent for those given over to the U.S. Department of Love & Caring.

Now let’s see … the Prez tells us we’ll be healthier if we just let government take care of our health care ….  Sure – that sounds like a great idea!

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July 7th 2009

“60″

Posted by: Laer at 02:18 pm

I

n celebration … no, that’s not the right word … in recognition of the seating of Al Franken as the Dems’ 60th Senator, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has just released this spot:

Yeah, I know the GOP is hardly perfect and has a ton of lessons to learn, but I have to say, this message motivates me to open my wallet.

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July 7th 2009

The Left Uneasily Re-Confronts The Bush Doctrine

Posted by: Laer at 04:58 am

S

ix very long paragraphs into a seven-paragraph column in Slate, Christopher Hitchens finally gets around to the big question, as if it was an intellectual breakthrough of such import it needed a hefty introduction:

Which brings me to a question that I think deserves to be asked: Did the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the subsequent holding of competitive elections in which many rival Iraqi Shiite parties took part, have any germinal influence on the astonishing events in Iran?

Oh, you mean like the Bush Doctrine?  Show them a little Democracy and stand back? Hitchens hedges his bets, saying “one swallow does not make the summer,” and subheading the article (possibly by editors, not Hitchens), “Given the connections between Iraq and Iran, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds).

Unlikely? One swallow? Iraq has a Shi’ite majority and Iran is a Shi’ite country.  Iranians know what the condition of Iraqi Shi’ites was before the war, and they know their condition now.  They see elections that are fair and open being held just across the border, and they know of candidates now holding office in Iraq that would never be approved by the Mullahs to even run in Iran.

The Bush Doctrine meme has been remarkably thin in all the coverage, blogging, punditry and tweeting over the Iran elections, but it stands in the middle of the story like an 800-pound gorilla no one wants to write about. Bush’s war in Iraq so obviously led to the deep yearning for freedom in Iran that the leftist readers of Salon are howling in defensive, unsustainable protest:

Trace192 lays out the familiar diatribe:

Hundreds of thousands of American injured.. millions of innocent Iraqi civilians displaced or killed.. billions of taxpayer’s money wasted..

And there’s Hitch, still desperately grasping at straws in an attempt to justify it.

The loss of life in Iraq, while exponentially smaller than leftists predicted prior to the war, remains tragic and the Left refuses to let a single one of those deaths stand for something.

Candoxx has a disbelief of biblical proportions:

Well well well, not since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has the extrication of one man and his sons from the planet resulted in so much, eh?

On planet Hitchens.

Philadelphia Steve is so sure of his worldview that he doesn’t want to be bothered by being asked to think about any opposing view. He’ll just remain 100% sure of himself about everything, despite history, despite events:

Do the Neocons ever give up their attempts to justify Bush’s bungled, incompetent, wasteful invasoin and occupation of Iraq?

No.

And they never will.

The only question is why Slate, or anyone else, continues to waste space on people who have been 100% wrong on everything.

why?

Sir Real turns logic on its head, seeing a democracy (of sorts) ruled by Shi’ites as a threat to Iraq just like that big bad Sunni Saddam was:

On the one hand, it’s self-evident that people’s experiences (with, say, a brand spankin’ new neighboring government) color their perceptions.

On the other hand, are you effing kidding me?

You could, AT BEST, argue that the Iranian people are willing to demonstrate because they no longer have to fear Saddam on the border. (The Iran-Iraq war killed 188k+ Iranian men and boys- not the kind of thing you want to re-occur by, say, destabilizing your current government). But to imply that Iraq is some sort of democracy showroom, and that the events of June ’09 are the Iranians just itchin’ to buy is deeply self-serving, especially on the part of those who cheerleading led us there in the first place.

Geopolitics as dominoes- Stupid then (RIP McNamara), Stupid now.

And of course there’s always the leftist who can’t put together a thought without profanity, like the commenter blahblahblah, who’s so jaded, so cool to it all, so above it, so blithely unbothered that he/she actually comments as if thinking in poems; obscene poems to be sure, but poems nonetheless:

Every f****** Iranian you know
believed in the lie that was Moussavi’s lie
which he enunciated at a press conference before the g**d*** returns came in
when he declared that he was the winner of the election,
when in fact every lucid fact and number
before and after the election nationwide spoke otherwise.
So why the f*** should I care about your f***** friends,
when you’ve all become just a bunch of wishful thinking lying b******.

Give me change or a revolution based on the f****** truth
and not the hopeful lies with which you peddle so dearly hateful sir.
Good f****** grief.

I’ll leave out the obscenity, since it’s just not needed: Good grief.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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