California Roundup: Troubled Waters, Movie Bombs, and Why Free Speech Shouldn't Apply To Twitter


* I know this little girl, her name is Maxine: What will Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-California) decision to face trial for fencing TARP funds mean? MinnPost.com's Patrik Jonsson considers the danger for Democrats as Waters fights the white power structure that has oppressed her through all ten of her Congressional terms. At FlashReport, Shawn Steel reports on Waters' political challengers and recalls how the pride of the 35th District has been fighting the power since before the "rebellion" of 1992.

* Can you help out a guidance counsellor who's down on his luck? Ed Mendel at CalPensions.com continues his excellent how-we-got-here work on the Golden State's pension apocalypse, and comes up with a telling factoid: The largest bloc of workers—38 percent—in the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) are non-teaching education employees. That's more than 600,000 of the most useless human beings on this planet, eligible for 100 percent-plus pensions, with at best token employee contribution demands.

* Schnook looks at pols' books: Who needs free speech when you've got Dan Schnur? The head of California's Fair Political Practices Commission is soliciting new methods for suppressing speech on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

* Movie pooper: At Fox & Hounds Daily, the Milken Institute's Kevin Klowden looks at the hemmorhaging of film production jobs and draws the wrong conclusion: that California needs to provide more incentives to keep production in state. These incentives have proven to be losers for every state that provides them. Given that Southern California already has an immense infrastructure around production, it makes less than no sense for Sacramento to get any further into what is a mug's game for both taxpayers and producers. (I've been in the Motor City this weekend starting production on a movie, and it sure looks to me like the unions are able to cornhole producers with abandon, no matter where production runs away to.)

* And another offer we should refuse: San Diego Union-Trib's Michael Gardner reports on the one attractive thing in the EZ-Tax ballot initiatve Prop 25. The measure would suspend pay for lawmakers when they're late on a budget. It's an attractive gimmick, but it's still a gimmick: The thrust of Prop 25 is to eliminate the two-thirds requirement to pass a budget, one of the few protections for taxpayers the state still has. And ultimately, no productive citizen has ever missed any sleep or eaten a bite less because of a stalled budget.