California

Trump signs memorandum diverting more water to California farmers

President Trump on Wednesday signed a memorandum directing more of California’s scarce water supply to farmers and other agriculture interests in the state’s Central Valley, a Republican stronghold. Speaking alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the lawmaker’s hometown of Bakersfield, Trump boasted of how his administration reworked environmental rules to assure more water gets to farmers, while also taking shots at his political rivals – from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to Democratic presidential primary hopeful and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “For too long water authorities have flushed millions of gallons into the Pacific,” Trump said. “I ordered the administration to update outdated opinions which determined water allocation in this state.” Trump added that he is going “to put a lot of pressure” on Newsom to enact the changes and if the California governor doesn’t follow through then “you’ll get a new governor.” Trump has long criticized the environmental rules governing the flow of water in California – calling the rules “insane” during a campaign stop in 2016 and pledging that he’d be “opening up the water” for farmers. The environmental rules are meant to ensure that enough water stayed in rivers and the San Francisco Bay to sustain more than a dozen endangered fish and other native species, which are struggling as agriculture and development diverts more water and land from wildlife. Environmental advocates and the state say the changes will allow federal authorities to pump more water from California’s wetter north southward to its biggest cities and farms. The Trump administration, Republican lawmakers and farm and water agencies say the changes will allow for more flexibility in water deliveries. In California’s heavily engineered water system, giant state and federal water projects made up of hundreds of miles of pipes, canals, pumps and dams, carry runoff from rain and Sierra Nevada snow melt from north to south — and serve as field of battle for lawsuits and regional political fights over competing demands for water. Environmental groups say the changes will speed the disappearance of endangered winter-run salmon and other native fish and make life tougher for whales and other creatures in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. After an initial study by federal scientists found the rule changes would harm salmon and whales, the Trump administration ordered a new round of review, California news organizations reported last year. The overall effort “ensured the highest quality” of evaluation of the rule changes, Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest director for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement Tuesday. “We strongly disagree that the proposal will reduce protections for endangered species,” Souza said. Beyond operational changes in the federal Central Valley Project water system, the administration’s changes allow for more habitat restoration, upgrades in fish hatcheries and the water system itself, monitoring of species and other improvements, Souza said.

While we do not know the specifics, it appears that this decision was made after much thought and consideration.  California is controlled by the Democrat party in Sacramento with a supermajority / veto-proof majority in the state legislature and a VERY liberal Democrat governor who are all beholden to the extreme enviro-wakos there.  And, the state is so far in debt that it’s on the verge of bankruptcy.  So, it’s more than reasonable to assume that a little pushback by Trump for the benefit of those poor farmers trying to feed all of us is probably a good thing.  Of course we’ll continue to monitor this developing story and report any more details we hear about.

Protesters wreck College Republicans’ info table, spit on US flag, at UC Santa Cruz, video shows

In the latest act of violence against conservatives, protesters at the University of California at Santa Cruz recently smashed a College Republicans information table, according to reports. A video posted on social media shows two protesters tearing up placards and ripping down signage – with one of them appearing to spit on a 13-star “Betsy Ross” American flag that is seen lying on the ground. “I think this guy’s trying to assault me,” one protester says, laughing, as someone tries to grab an American flag away from him. The man attempting to take back the flag later falls to the ground during the struggle. “Get a life!” those fighting off the protesters say at one point. The video starts when the incident is already underway, so it’s not clear exactly how it began. But Dylan Temple, president of the College Republicans chapter at UC Santa Cruz, told The Post Millennial it began when one of the protesters grabbed one of the group’s flags. Temple said he immediately reported the matter to campus police. Subsequent posts on social media gave a name for one of the protesters, but it was unclear if that person was charged with any crimes. The Santa Cruz incident appeared to extend a recent wave of violence against Republicans and supporters of President Trump. Other recent incidents have included a driver smashing his van into a GOP voter-registration tent in Jacksonville, Fla., and an unidentified woman fleeing after allegedly punching a retired New York City police officer who was wearing MAGA-style attire in a Tennessee bar. In New Hampshire, a man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old Trump supporter and two adults near a polling site during the state’s primary election.

This sort of thing is becoming more and more common, unfortunately.  For more on this story, click on the text above.

Mexican cartels poisoning US national parks through hidden pot growing operations: report

Mexican cartel members – who for years have carried out large scale, hidden pot-growing operations in U.S. national parks in California – are poisoning water and wildlife through the use of illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report published Tuesday. Two Mexican nationals and suspected cartel members were arrested in September during a raid on an illegal marijuana operation hidden beneath the thick tree canopies in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Authorities found 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana, Monterrey, Calif.’s KQMS reported. About 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years, National Public Radio reported. “The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.” Though California’s national parks have been plagued by illegal pot-growing operations in the past, some of which were operated by hippies, the cartel operations are usually larger scale, well organized and use heavy-duty, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their cash crop from rodents and insects. Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called in to survey the operation after September’s raid, told NPR she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran at the site. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, European Union, Canada and Brazil for all legal purposes. It is produced in the U.S. by Pennsylvania-based FMC Corp and exported to Mexico, India and other nations. “It is incredibly toxic,” Wengert told NPR. “A quarter-teaspoon could kill a 600-pound black bear. So obviously just a tiny amount can kill a human. It remains in an ecosystem for a long period of time.” She said she’s detected these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can prove deadly for humans and wildlife alike. A California coalition – made up of environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and members of the legal cannabis industry – have joined forces to clean up the pollution caused by illegal cartel operations, according to NPR.

Wow..   Consider the irony here…  The next time you see someone smoking pot, tell them they’re hurting the environment.  When they go, “huh?”…point them to this article.   🙂

California city denies Straight Pride rally permit

A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park. Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park. Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization. Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities. City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use. However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.

Hmmm..  Let’s wait and see if this group can provide it has the insurance…and then IF they have it, what the City of Modesto will do; whether or not it’ll issue the rally permit.  Regardless, just fathom a universe in which ANY city in California would deny such a permit to an LGBTQ organization to have their gay pride rallies and marches.  Of course, that’d NEVER happen.  And, we all know it.  One thing we love to do here at The Daily Buzz is show the brazen hypocrisy of the left, which includes Democrat politicians and the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  This is such an example.  The National Straight Pride Coalition has every right to have their rally.  It is their constitutional right, just as it is for the other side.  Freedom of association works both ways; not just for one side.

Cash or cigarettes?: Nine face vote-fraud charges, bribing homeless for signatures

Authorities in Los Angeles have indicted nine people on felony voter-fraud charges, accusing the defendants of using homeless people to forge signatures on voter-registration and petition forms. According to NBC News, the indictment involves 14 felony counts related to electioneering in the 2016 and 2018 political cycles, though none of the nine defendants has been charged on all of them. The charges in the indictment include, according to NBC, “circulating an initiative with forged or fictitious names, signing fictitious names, registering fictitious persons, and making payment for signatures.” The suspects are accused of bribing homeless people on Los Angeles‘ Skid Row with cash or cigarettes in exchange for the signatures, transactions that were observed by beat police and then by undercover officers. Seven suspects pleaded not guilty Friday in Los Angeles; the other two persons charges have not appeared in court yet, NBC reported. The charges could result in up to four years imprisonment.

California pot taxes lag as illegal market flourishes

Deep in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget is a figure that says a lot about California’s shaky legal marijuana market: The state is expecting a lot less cash from cannabis taxes. The Democrat’s proposed spending plan, released Thursday, projects the state will bank $355 million in marijuana excise taxes by the end of June. That’s roughly half of what was once expected after broad legal sales kicked off last year. Industry experts say the diminished tax income reflects a somber reality: Most consumers are continuing to purchase pot in the illegal marketplace, where they avoid taxes that can near 50 percent in some communities. Tax collections are expected to gradually increase over time, but predicting what that amount will be remains something of a guess. Tax collections for “a newly created market are subject to significant uncertainty,” the budget said. Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association credited Newsom with taking “a realistic look at the challenges” after a bumpy first year of broad legal sales. Newsom also recommended a sharp increase in spending for regulatory programs, although it’s an open question whether it will be enough to help steady the state pot economy. The budget recommends just over $200 million for marijuana-related activities in the fiscal year that starts July 1, which would be over a 50 percent boost from the current year. Initially “the state was too optimistic about how the implementation of legalization was going to work. This governor has paid attention to that,” Drayton said. That said, Drayton added that legal businesses need a break from hefty tax rates that are driving consumers to the illicit economy. Various proposals have been made to cut state pot taxes. State taxes include a 15 percent levy on purchases of all cannabis and cannabis products, including medical pot. Local governments are free to slap on taxes on sales and growing too, which has created a confusing patchwork of tax rates around the state. The state’s top marijuana regulator, Lori Ajax, has said the state intends to get more businesses licensed and operating in 2019, while cracking down on rogue operators who continue to proliferate across the state. At year’s end, California’s effort to transform its longstanding illegal and medicinal marijuana markets into a unified, multibillion-dollar industry remained a work in progress. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of sales in the state remain under the table, snatching profits from legal storefronts. Drayton said more than half the municipalities in the state do not have laws governing the industry. That means pot businesses cannot locate there, since companies are required to have a local license before seeking one from the state. The budget also includes an additional $2.9 million for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to help chase down tax cheats. Meanwhile, the courts budget includes nearly $14 million for resentencing of thousands of drug offenders whose offenses are no longer crimes since California legalized recreational pot. Newsom, an advocate for legalized marijuana, said it has long been expected the new market would take five to seven years to settle in, with twists and turns along the way. The issues he intends to look at include the distribution pipeline and claims that local governments are gouging the industry. The state will “move expeditiously at licensing more and more dispensaries, making sure we go after the bad actors,” he said.

Wow..  What a mess..  Typical California big government.  It only knows how to raise taxes; not how to solve anything.  The whole state is under solid Democrat control from the governor to the state legislature which has a supermajority of Dems…  No wonder the state is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Los Angeles County agrees to purge up to 1.5 million voters from its rolls in settlement

Los Angeles County has agreed to conduct a purge of its voting rolls, in a move that could strip perhaps 1.5 million inactive voters from the lists of those eligible to cast ballots. The county made the deal in a settlement last week with Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest firm, saying that under a recent Supreme Court ruling, it has a duty to remove names of people who appear to have either died, moved from the county or lost interest in voting. The county committed to mailing hundreds of thousands of voters already deemed inactive to see whether they are still eligible voters, and to removing names of people who don’t respond to notices and who miss two subsequent federal elections. The county also agreed to try to weed out dead people still on the rolls. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was also part of the settlement, committed to send notices to all registrars informing them that they, too, must take steps to cancel voters who miss voting in repeated elections and fail to respond to follow-up notices. Judicial Watch called the settlement, involving both the nation’s biggest state and the biggest county, a significant win for conservatives who have been trying to harness the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, better known as “Motor-Voter,” to try to clean up voter rolls even as Democrats use the law to expand voter access. “This is a major NVRA victory — probably the biggest in the history,” said Robert Popper, the Judicial Watch lawyer who fought the case. He said he expects most of the more than 1.5 million names on the county’s inactive voter list will end up being removed.