Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Governor’s Build It Plan Should Include Toll Roads Becoming Freeways

The Orange County Toll Roads eventually are to become freeways; let’s do it immediately.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Strategic Growth Plan for California's Future should include paying off the toll road bondholders so we can eliminate the not directly elected Transportation Corridor Agencies, and be able to use the available funds to improve other roads.

- The toll road approach was pursued only after years of Orange County getting short-changed
in transportation funding
- Toll road are to become freeways when the bonds are paid off – pay them off now
- Toll road bondholders are protected by agreements not to improve competitive routes

Let’s take the “Sucker” sign off our backs. If the State of California is to spend “$107 billion total investment in transportation infrastructure over the next decade”, a portion of that should pay off the toll road bondholders and be spent in Orange County improving other routes.

More information including links to elected officials at

Contact these folks and let them know how you feel.

Contact Orange County Elected Officials

Orange County Supervisors
Supervisor Lou Correa 1st District: (714) 834-3110

Supervisor James W. Silva 2nd District: (714) 834-3220

Supervisor Bill Campbell 3rd District: (714) 834-3330

Chris Norby 4th District: (714) 834-3440

Thomas W. Wilson 5th District: (714) 834-3550, (949) 249-5228

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)1st Floor, State Capitol Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 445-2841Fax: (916) 445-4633

Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D)

Assemblyman Bob Huff (R )

Assemblyman Tom Harman (R)

Assemblyman Van Tran (R)

Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D)

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R)

Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R)

Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher (R)

Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (R)

en. Dick Ackerman (R)

Sen. Joe Dunn(D)

Bill Morrow (R)

Congressman Ed Royce (R);

Congressman. Gary Miller (R)

Congressman. Dana Rohrabacher (R)

Congresswoman Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D)

Congressman John Campbell

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Abramoff Scandal – Was There Corruption?

I received an email stating “Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients”.

By stating that Democrats as well as Republicans have taken Abramoff money reinforces the idea that there is corruption in Congress. As far as I can see the list is one of legal campaign donations. The money is spread around to many from many sources. Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy (Teddy’s son) received something like $100,000; do you think he could be bribed for that amount? Particularly, when it’s over five or six years?

I keep on asking what the Tribes and Jack Abramoff got for their money?

I don’t accept access as an example of corruption. I don’t, but many politicians genuinely feel that the monopoly gambling is a good thing to give the Indian tribes.

In my reading Abramoff fleeced money from the Indian tribes and should go to jail. He has also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to bribe public officials. He committed this crime whether he successfully got anything.

He may very well produce some damning evidence as the prosecutors have 500,000 of his emails. To date, I have read that Republican Congressman Ney placed something in the Congressional Record and his House Administration Committee voted for some contract and we do need to know the details. I read that Democratic Senator Harry Reid wrote a letter in support, and shortly thereafter got a $5,000 donation.

No country (no time in American history) has enjoyed purer governance if these are egregious examples of corruption.

Now if you want corruption, just go to big City politics. Say, New Orleans where several hundred Police officers, although costing the taxpayers, were non-existent and provided the citizens no protection.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Big Spending Has It Right

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger initiated his recall campaign of former Governor Gray Davis saying "The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing”. After being beaten overwhelmingly in Schwarzenegger’s reform initiative ballot measures November 2005, how’s he doing?

What do you think of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Strategic Growth Plan for California's Future?

If you think his new budget containing big increases in education spending, canceling the scheduled fee increases for University of California and California State College students, and his proposal for bond measures indebting California for $68 billion is strange…..consider this:


Now that you understand that, spending the money on roads, levees, water systems, school buildings, etc. is the practical conservative approach. Thanks to the Bush economy and Schwarzenegger’s more business friendly policies, the tax revenue is rolling in. If all the money is going to be spent (no chance for considering tax reductions), let’s spend the money on things that will actually improve the quality of life of Californians.

The Democratic party priority is to spend money to reward their public union, tort attorneys, and the poor constituencies to obtain campaign donations and solid voting blocks in return. Their priority will be to create programs, expand existing programs, provide higher compensation packages that will help the Democrats politically, but would not help the quality of life of the average Californian.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot reform initiatives were noble, and it is a shame that the public union deceitful big spending attacks led to their defeat. Trying it all again would be noble but dumb. The smart approach is what the Governor is doing. I think he has an excellent of succeeding.

Conservatives should support the Governor and go read “Wedding of the Waters” by Peter L Bernstein. The books subtitle is “The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation”. Bernstein says that New York Governor DeWitt Clinton and all that just looked at the geography of the United States would of course conclude that New Orleans would be the greatest and most important city in the United States as river transportation brought goods down the mighty Mississippi River. What change that? What was the transformative event. It was the building the Erie Canal that connected New York City with the Great Lakes. Immediately the transportation costs from Chicago to New York dropped tremendously.

What would be transformative projects for California? That’s what conservatives should concentrate on. Obviously, it would be easy to squander the money. The construction and private sector unions will be allies of the Governor and happy to build any project. We ain’t gonna get tax cuts. The money is rolling in. Let’s try to figure out what projects would provide the biggest improvements in transportation, education, and environment so we get the very most for our money.

Oil Excise Tax if Oil Falls Too Low – a Good Idea

Pretty good idea if you believe in the law of supply & demand and want to encourage alternate fuels to move the United States towards energy independence. See Wall Street Journal (subscription required) The Upside of the Oil Curse by Marc Sumerlin January 10, 2006

- “The most rapid gains in energy efficiency in the U.S. took place when prices were very high.”
- “Since [1973], the amount of energy needed to produce each real dollar of GDP has fallen by 50%, a decline of 2% per year.”
- “Unfortunately, the pace of progress slowedl after prices dropped markedly in 1986.”
- “Over the last three years in Brazil, the share of new car sales that can run on high-content ethanol fuel has risen from 4% to 67%. Its sugarcane-based ethanol is priced competitively with gasoline.”
- “Until recently the futures market converged on a long-term oil price of $20 per barrel, and memories persist of the collapse of the oil price in 1998 to just $10 a barrel.”
- “Entrepreneurs don't know whether the price of oil in the next decade will justify the costs of investments they must make today in new technologies”
- “The U.S. government could approximate a guarantee by taxing oil imports (and other petroleum products) dollar for dollar when the world oil price falls below $35. In effect, the government would be picking up the hedging costs by guaranteeing a long-term "put option" on oil 40% below the current market price.”

The price per barrel of oil fell to $10 per barrel as recently as 1998 rose and then fell to $15 per barrel as recently as 2002. Alternative energy alternatives need some minimum price to encourage significant investments. We normally think of alternative energy as sonar and windmills, but it could also include clean coal and nuclear energy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Democracy and President George W. Bush

On January 20, 2005 in President George W. Bush’s 2nd Inaugural Address, he said:

The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. Our goal … is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.

So, how is President Bush doing?
- Egypt – 1st Presidential election with opposition candidates
- Saudi Arabia – February 2005 - the country's first nationwide municipal elections.
- Lebanon – Cedar Revolution - June 12, 2005 Lebanese General Elections were the first elections in thirty years without a Syrian military or intelligence presence in Lebanon.
- Afghanistan - September 18, 2005 Parliamentary Election for the Wolesi Jirga or House of the People were conducted on. This was the first parliamentary election in Afghanistan since 1969. 2707 candidates, including 328 women, competed for 249 seats.
- Iraq – Elections October 15, 2005 referendum approving the constitution, and December 15, 2005 parliamentary election

This was all after:
- Georgia – Rose Revolution - March 28, 2004
- Ukraine - Orange Revolution - December 26, 2004 Presidential runoff election
- Palestine Authority - January 9, 2005 Presidential election

Of course, President Bush should like democracy and elections:
- United Kingdom – May 6, 2005 – Bush ally Tony Blair won a historic third term
- Japan – Bush ally wins big – September 11, 2005, Prime Minister Koizumi Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) increases seats in Parliament from 237 to 296.
- Germany – Bush critic loses September 18, 2005 - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is now out of politics

Which followed:
- Australia - October 9, 2004 – Bush ally John Howard wins reelection with increase margins
- United States - November 2, 2004, Bush wins election with 51% of the vote a percentage higher than Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, or either election that Bill Clinton won.