McClintock on the Propositions

By Jon Huey on October 18, 2008

Prop. 1A High Speed Rail Bond.  NO: This is the most outrageously expensive boondoggle in California’s long history of outrageously expensive boondoggles.  The ultimate cost of this project could end up exceeding $90 billion – or $10,000 per family – all for a train that goes from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours longer than it takes to fly.  It’s brought to you by the same folks who botched Boston’s “Big Dig.”  (I’m one of the official opponents of this measure.)

Prop. 2 Farm Animals.  NO: Sorry, but farm animals are food, not friends.  Plan on somewhat happier cows and much higher grocery bills if this one passes.

Prop. 3 Hospital Bond. NO: Here’s a rather cynical measure that uses children as a front in order to lavish taxpayer funds on private hospital corporations.

Prop. 4 Parental Notification.  YES: Parents must give written consent before their teenage daughters use a tanning booth or get their ears pierced.  This measure simply requires them to be notified if their daughter is having an abortion.

Prop.5 Non-violent drug offenses.  NO: The fatal flaw in this otherwise decent measure would allow criminals to use their drug offense for leniency for other non-drug-related crimes.

Prop. 6 Police and Law Enforcement Funding. YES: This is a tough call.  My favorite provision is prohibiting the release on bail of illegal aliens charged with violent crimes.  Its principal purpose is to lock up an increasing portion of the state budget for local law enforcement.  Law enforcement should be government’s top priority, but I don’t like auto-pilot spending or using state resources for local programs.  I also don’t like its weakening of the hearsay rule.  On balance I think it does more good than harm, but it’s a very mixed bag.

Prop.7 Renewable Energy Subsidies.  NO:
This will send electricity prices through the roof.  It requires the most expensive energy generation to comprise 20 percent of our electricity needs.  Government should get out of the way and let simple economics determine the mix of energy generation in this state.

Prop. 8 Defense of Marriage Act. YES:
Marriage is a unique institution in which a man and a woman summon a child into the world – creating a unique tapestry of responsibilities.  Our marriage laws are designed to support those responsibilities and are simply inapplicable to any other kind
of relationship.  Lincoln asked, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog?  The answer is four.  Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”  And calling a homosexual partnership a marriage doesn’t make it one.

Prop. 9 Parole Reform. YES:
This requires the victim to be considered when a suspect’s bail is being set or a criminal’s parole is being determined.  About bloody time.

Prop 10 Fuel Subsidies.  NO:
This $5 billion bond will cost taxpayers $10 billion with interest to subsidize “alternative fuel vehicles” and “renewable energy.”  I’m all for alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy as long as the consumers who want them pay for them.  But don’t reach into my pocket to pay for somebody else’s choice.

Prop 11 Redistricting.  YES:
This should be the all-time no brainer: voters should choose their politicians and not the other way around.  This measure takes redistricting out of the hands of the legislature, removing an obvious conflict of interest.

Prop 12 Veterans Bond Act.  YES:
This is a self-liquidating bond (meaning taxpayers aren’t on the hook) to assist veterans with home purchases.  The state has done this for many years and it has never cost taxpayers a dime.  I co-authored this one.

Thank you , Senator, for your

By Bea (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Thank you , Senator, for your recommendations. With the possible exceptions of Prop 2 and possibly Prop 7 (I'll have to study the latter more), I already planned to vote along those lines.

With regard to Prop 8, I'd just like to note that the so-called rollback of rights is actually the return of respect for the majority of voters who already made it crystal clear they did not want marriage to be extended beyond its traditional base. There never was an "right" of marriage for same-sex couples until few judges took it upon themselves recently to unilaterally "legislate" it. This was an abuse of judicial power. It was an forced imposition of a new judicially mandated broadening of marriage. It is government by undemocratic fiat, and as the mayor of S. F. said, it was done whether the public at large liked it or not. The passage of Prop 8 will simply restore the definition of marriage and its exercise to its proper and long-recognized sphere. I totally agree with Senator McClintock that marriage is is not applicable to same-sex partnerships. Marriage is a special relationship reserved for one man and one woman and their conjugal union. Those who claim this issue is one of equal protection under the law don't understand that equal protection only applies in equal situations under equal conditions; this is not one. Marriage is not an elastic institution that can or should be devalued by blurring its meaning and boundaries. Same-sex unions have domestic partnership legal rights, and have had for some time. No one is attempting to deprive them of those. I'm proud to vote "yes" on Prop 8.

@Ben Since thievery has a

By Michael Burns (not verified) on October 21, 2008

@Ben

Since thievery has a victim, we outlaw thievery. We don't make "certain types" of thievery legal.

Likewise, we should outlaw abortions as it too has a victim. We should not make "certain types" of abortions legal.

@joHN

Today, the Government prevents Churches from discussing the candidates.

What will prevent the Government from "requiring" Churches to perform homosexual marriages? What will prevent the Government from banning all discussions related to homosexuality within the Church?

@curt

"Separation of Church and State" is a fantasy. As stated above, the Government already has a hand in Church affairs. And, as the Courts continue to force "beliefs" onto the populace, it is only a matter of time before the Government extends it reach into the affairs of the Church.

-- On a separate note ...

@Ben

I agree, it would probably be best if the State got out of the marriage business.

Prop 2? Farm animals are not

By Ben (not verified) on October 19, 2008

Prop 2? Farm animals are not mere commodities. They are living, breathing beings and the torture they experience is completely unnecessary, number one

Number two, the veal and pork industry aren't fighting this one. They lost in Arizona, and as a consequence, they are making the humane practices UNIVERSAL. As far as the eggs, it's less than a penny per egg more. If you call that "much higher grocery bills," I don't know what isn't.

Even the Union-Tribune is for this. Just to give you a little perspective

Prop 8? Ok, fair enough. Let's outlaw marriage for any infertile couple. After all, marriage is only for those raising a child. Let's require a signature for those who get married that they will have a child. Please, spare me. It's been legal for months now and the sky is still up there. For someone with a libertarian streak, I'm amazed you're for it

Prop 4? Abortion is fundamentally different from tanning and piercings. One of them is a private medical procedure, the others are something completely different. If your family has developed such a relationship with your daughter that she'll tell you if she's getting an abortion, more power to you. In fact, it's a much bigger testament to you if that's the reason as opposed to some law forcing them. If your daughter doesn't tell you, it's a result of your failure and I have no sympathy. Don't force the government to pass laws that make up for your failure and even worse, put your daughters in danger.

To respond to the proponents' argument that "no parental notification law has resulted in a coat hanger procedure," yes they have. See Becky Bell. http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=becky+bell&gwp=13 What hasn't happened is underground piercings and tannings due to parental consent laws. Privacy isn't an essential element of piercings and tannings, it is with abortion.

Mary, Prop 8 has nothing to

By Ben (not verified) on October 19, 2008

Mary,
Prop 8 has nothing to do with churches or other houses of worship. It is a lie perpetrated by the proponents of Prop 8. All it has to do with is whether the STATE will discriminate on the basis of gender.

If marriage is a religious institution, then the state get out of it (separation of church and state) and needs to just have civil unions for anyone and leave marriage to the houses of worship. If it's not a religious institution and the state should be involved, then they need to abide by the Constitutional principles of equal protection under the law and not discriminate on the basis of gender.

If you want to vote for 8 because you believe the state should continue handing out marriage licenses in a discriminatory way, suit yourself. But don't introduce the unfounded claims game

RE: Prop 2 I grew up farming

By Zach Clout (not verified) on October 18, 2008

RE: Prop 2

I grew up farming - and we did the best to be good to the animals. With farming comes respect for the animals and the land. You would do our entire district a favor by considering that and not just the interests of big business and greed.

I going yes on prop 2.

I say let same sex couples be

By curt (not verified) on October 21, 2008

I say let same sex couples be married the church may not like it but they don't pay taxes so they need to stfu. besides its supposed to be separation of church and state, not only that but religion is obsolete even those who claim to be religious don't follow the teachings unless its convenient or its Sunday so lets cut the crap already. what it boils down to is people want to force a way of life on others because they are insecure which they shouldn't be if they were living true to their nature in the first place.

and when I say "you" in Prop

By Ben (not verified) on October 19, 2008

and when I say "you" in Prop 4 I mean "whoever's reading this", not Senator McClintock specifically

@Ben Minors do not have a

By Josh (not verified) on October 21, 2008

@Ben

Minors do not have a legally-protected right to privacy (even adults hardly do). Parents are responsible for their children, and as such they should have to consent to *any* medical procedure that their children undergo. The testament to whether their parents did a good job will be evident once they are adults; that doesn't mean we should treat them like adults before then.

Dear Tom, Thanks so much for

By Kris Saba (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Dear Tom,
Thanks so much for serving the public by running for office we need you there. My family and I, are hoping that you make it into federal office, if not, how about being mayor of San Jose?
We wish you and your family well, and we plan to donate to your campaign.

Ben - Betty Bell's situation

By Laura (not verified) on October 20, 2008

Ben - Betty Bell's situation was the result of a law requiring parental CONSENT. Prop 4 is about parental NOTIFICATION.

Laura, That's a complete

By Ben (not verified) on October 20, 2008

Laura,
That's a complete non-sequitor. Consent or notification makes no difference to the situation. The same logic that applies to consent applies to notification:

"Said to be unwilling to tell her parents about her pregnancy for fear of disappointing them, or go to court to receive a judicial bypass, Bell sought an illegal abortion"

Nothing to do with consent there. Next

[...] places I’m looking to

By The Blarg » Blog Archive » California Election 2 (not verified) on October 20, 2008

[...] places I’m looking to for how to vote. A great resource for a conservative point of view is Tom McClintock. You can also read the pro and con arguments in the Voter Guide. I’m even looking at the LA [...]

And I'm supposed to feel

By nathan118 (not verified) on October 20, 2008

And I'm supposed to feel sorry for Betty Bell that she's a dope and endangered her life? Maybe if her parents had been notified they could have helped protect her. Oh, but wait, when people turn to illegal activities like "backalley abortions," the easiest thing to do is just make it all legal right? I heard there are people who rob stores even though theft is illegal. Maybe if we just made it legal those people would feel better about their stupid behavior.

Thanks Tom for the great guide. I always come to it first each election year!

Ben: When you have a teenage

By evets (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Ben:
When you have a teenage Daughter, and you find prescriptions in her room under someone else's name that she was given by the Dr. who performed the abortion you knew nothing about because the school talked her into it, supplied her with false ID, and drove her to the clinic...then you can come back here and tell us how "notification" is a "non sequitor" , pal.

You can give your children to the State if you like, I will not. The more authority you grant the State, the more they become the parent, and you become someone who just pays the State's bills.

When you look around and see the mess this Country is in, and see youth that are out of control and living pretend adult lives without responsibility, do you ever get the feeling?

We need more alternative to

By Christopher (not verified) on October 21, 2008

We need more alternative to flying and driving in this country. More airports and highway lanes have only failed. The day highways pay for themselves is the day they pay for the external pollution damages.

And why would people drive to

By Christopher (not verified) on October 21, 2008

And why would people drive to San Fran if it takes longer than flying. Dunno but they still do it. And people will use this too.

Thanks, TOM!! Very clear on

By Sergei (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Thanks, TOM!! Very clear on everything! Perfect as usual. Always with you.

Ben, go away.
It is clear who you are and absolutely clear that you will chase personally everyone who disagree with you, right?
Your set of arguments is WELL KNOWN and it sometimes works well(see Massachusetts).
That's because you always have that advantage: extra money. You just don't have to raise your kids, why you have some extra for campaign like that one I see on my TV every day.
But you know what? You simply have to understand that FAMILY does exist. And it is GOOD.
And please, don't answer on that post. Please. It is just too difficult to read what real people think because of your huge posts!

Mary, Prop 8 is an attempt to

By joHN (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Mary,

Prop 8 is an attempt to roll back the concept of equality under the law. Religious institutions will still have the right to condemn same sex relationships along with premarital sex and divorces. No one can force any religious institution to perform any unwanted ceremony. The Catholic church can never be force to officiate a marriage ceremony for a Mormon couple and vice versa, much less for same sex couples. The same sex couples are not seeking religious approval for their relationship but they are seeking to receive the same financial and legal benefits granted to monogamous couple by our government. The rights granted under civil union approached that of a marriage but is still not as encompassing as marriage. Furthermore, the concept of separate but equal for civil rights proved to be a failure.

I am very disappointed by Tom's position on Prop 8 given that I thought he was the libeterian type of Republican who favors a fiscally responsible government that minimizes intrusion into its citizens' lives. Our founding fathers knew the importance of equality under the law in a religious diverse nation and the concept of equality under the law is fundamental of our sense of fairness and justice. I urge you to reconsider and vote no on prop 8.

John

Cheat-sheet: McClintock on

By Stephen G (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Cheat-sheet:

McClintock on the Propositions
Prop. 1A High Speed Rail Bond. NO
Prop. 2 Farm Animals. NO
Prop. 3 Hospital Bond. NO
Prop. 4 Parental Notification. YES
Prop.5 Non-violent drug offenses. NO
Prop. 6 Police and Law Enforcement Funding. YES
Prop.7 Renewable Energy Subsidies. NO
Prop. 8 Defense of Marriage Act. YES
Prop. 9 Parole Reform. YES
Prop 10 Fuel Subsidies. NO
Prop 11 Redistricting. YES
Prop 12 Veterans Bond Act. YES

Evets, I'm loving this "out

By Ben (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Evets,
I'm loving this "out of context" game. I said the difference between notification and consent is a non-sequitor in the point I was making and the example I gave.

Now, to your point, the state is not our parents. I would certainly want to know about a daughter of mine receiving an abortion, but if push came to shove, I would rather not know and have her still alive than know because she went to the back alley and died from complications. If she wants to tell me, that's the biggest testament to the job I have done. If she doesn't want to, I am more than partially responsible for that. If your (anyone's) daughter does not feel right telling you, it's due to your failure to build a trusting relationship, and the solution isn't to treat the symptom (not telling you) rather than the disease (the lack of a trusting relationship). Attempting to treat the symptom not only covers up a much bigger problem, but it increases the danger from the disease.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, trusting relationships with parents are the biggest deterrent to irresponsible activities such as drugs, promiscuity, etc...

Parental notification is a reactionary proposal in an attempt to cover up a much bigger problem

Nathan,
It has nothing to do with feeling better about their behavior. It has everything to do with people's safety. Making thievery legal would remove protection from deviants. Making abortion illegal or requiring parental notification would do the same thing. They both increase the likelihood of victimization. Thieves are far more dangerous than no thieves, and back alley abortionists are far more dangerous than abortion doctors.

[...] Filed under: Posts —

By California Propositions « Buttle’s World (not verified) on October 21, 2008

[...] Filed under: Posts — buttle @ 10:19 Once again, Tom McClintock is channeling me and making exactly the recommendations I would. Well, at least I think I’ll go along with him on Prop 6. His reasoning on each seems solid. [...]

Tom, Your positions on the

By paul caraher (not verified) on October 21, 2008

Tom,
Your positions on the Propositions are very much appreciated, thank you.
Regards,
Donna & Paul Caraher
Santa Ana

Bea, That's how

By Ted (not verified) on November 7, 2008

Bea,
That's how constitutional rights work. They exist whether the public at large likes it or not. I'm not calling anyone racist, Michael, just using an example. When Brown v. Board of Education was decided, a lot of people had the same complaint about activist judges and the will of the people. Well, wasn't that an example of the will of the people being wrong? It wasn't about whether people wanted segregation, it was about whether it was constitutional. Some racists don't call it a marriage if it's not between two white people, they don't have to, but that doesn't mean the law should reflect that bias.

Tom (McClintock), I've been a

By Barry (not verified) on October 23, 2008

Tom (McClintock),

I've been a big supporter of you for years. You are one of the few politicians that I find both consistent and ever watchful of our rights.

Continue to fight for our freedoms.

As for Ben, cage free farming is actually associated with much higher salmonella poisoning that caged farming. This is due to the droppings on the ground mixing with the bird seed, and, in caged farming, the eggs are whisked away so no droppings land on them either. I know it's counterintuitive, but please do your research on this one.

As for animals having rights, I think attributing human feelings and responsibilities to animals is strange, misguided thinking. Animals raised for food are, uh, food. That is the reason we raise them. If people want to buy veal, then I'm not going to stand in their way. If we ban this practice (and other practices as outlined in this proposition in California), the only result will be higher prices and more expensive, imported food from other places that might not have the same standards...

To continue your Econ 101 theme (See externality comment above) this is what economists call "The law of unintended Consequences". Ever tried veal from South America? Want to try some eggs from China (which has a much higher rate of salmonella)? Are you (or your wife) really going to check the country of origin on these products every time you buy them? Want Bird Flu to spawn here in the states?

Those who can't speak? Did you just finish reading Dr. Doolittle?

Wow Ben, if you fail to build

By David (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Wow Ben, if you fail to build a relationship with your daughter so that she would feel safe talking to you about her pregnancy then you failed as a parent.

If you failed to build a relationship with your daughter so that she would feel safe talking to you about her pregnancy rather than seeking a back alley abortion, well then... you are a great parent because you voted against parental notification so you do not have to worry about those uncomfortable conversations.

Children have no right to privacy where their parents are concerned.

Sergei, I will respond to

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Sergei,
I will respond to anything I disagree with. I am not going to leave just because you told me to

Josh, The testament to

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Josh,
The testament to whether their parents did a good job is apparent even before the kids are adults. In the end, if the parents have failed to build a trusting relationship, it's their fault, and we should not attempt to mask the symptom, let alone in a way that lets the disease do more harm. We ought not be taking out their failures on the kids. Nobody knows your family better than you, and the one-size-fits-all approach in Prop 4 is the wrong approach. If the teen is unwilling to tell her parents, it's likely they have given her a legitimate reason over the years, and forcing her to justify it to a stranger (a judge) is the wrong way to go. I realize your principled position and I respect it, but especially when it most likely leads to more underground procedures, self-induced abortions, domestic violence, teens being thrown out of the house, or even teenage suicide, you lose me.

I don't know about you, but if a daughter of mine didn't feel right telling me, I'd rather never know about it and for her to have her whole life ahead of her than to know about it because she decided to risk a back alley procedure instead of telling me and ended up dying from complications.

Michael,
That's an entirely different debate. We're not debating the legality of abortion, we're debating parental notification. As far as your point, if it turns out not to be a human life at conception, I am sure you would agree it's the woman's choice to do what they want with it. If it turns out to be, I would agree that abortion is only ok in the case of the woman's life at risk.

I do not believe it's a human life at conception, and many people who are far more devout than I am share that view, and to impose a view that says otherwise violates the principles of separation of church and state. Likewise, I am against public funding for abortion, because that imposes a view the other way.

I too am sadden with Tom's

By Jim M. (not verified) on October 22, 2008

I too am sadden with Tom's decision to vote yes on 8. Let's defect 8 and work to change all laws by removing "Marriage" and replacing with "Civil Union". Marriage is a religious ceremony. Anyone should be able to get a civil union. If you want to get married, go to a church. Separation of church and state. Libertarian view. Thanks Ben for your comments.

The only ones I disagree with

By Shane (not verified) on October 22, 2008

The only ones I disagree with Tom on are:

Prop 6: He said it's a tough call and I agree with that. I'm voting no because I dislike the negatives more than he does.

Prop 8: When I talk about abortion or gay marriage on the federal level, I go with the argument that it should be a state issue. This is a state issue, so there's some level of immunity on Tom's part. :-) So, now that this is a state issue, my opinion is more defined and it's simply this. I don't believe government should be involved with marriage at all. There are churches that have no problem marrying homosexuals and I don't see why the government should have the power to dictate how their church should be run.

Prop 9: I view this as punishment being emotionally driven instead of driven by logic. Victims are often too traumatized to think rationally or intelligently and from how I'm reading this prop, irrational thinking will play more of a role into a criminal's fate. Worst case scenario I envision is people getting life imprisonment for petty offenses. Doubtfully, that will happen, but this prop would swing more that way.

That's it. Just three props I disagree with and one is with agreement on just about everything but the bottom line. Well, there is one I originally thought one way, but got convinced otherwise.

Prop 11: This morning I had my mind set on a no vote, however, this prop was one I didn't care much one way or the other. Tom's yes (along with two other people's yes I've read whom I respect) got me to change my mind. Persuasion in a changed mind was easy for this prop. The only one where it was easy. Key word now being "was".

Ben, you are arguing that

By Bobby (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Ben,

you are arguing that farmers should be forced to treat their animals a certain way, yet think that an underage person getting an abortion should not be forced to tell their parents?

If you don't like the idea of animals in cages, or don't like to eat caged chicken, then DONT BUY IT. I buy free range meat because I support humane farms, but i'm not going to support a proposition that will force farmers to be humane. For the same reason, I don't support the abortion proposition either. Let people make their dumb decisions themselves.

And (not directly addressed to Ben) if a priest doesn't want to marry a gay couple, let him refuse. Don't make gay marriage illegal by passing a law against it. That is just ridiculous. If a priest supports marrying gay couples, let that priest marry them. Marriage should be private, between the couple and the priest. The same goes for abortion: just because they are a minor doesn't mean we should undermine their ability to make a dumb decision. Let the doctor make that call. While I strongly disagree with abortion, my disdain for government intervening into people's private lives is much much greater.

@Jim M. I hate the phrase

By Michael Burns (not verified) on October 22, 2008

@Jim M.

I hate the phrase "separation of Church and State". It does not exist in the Constitution and Thomas Jefferson was merely pointing out that the Government could not name a "state religion", hence the "wall of separation".

Anyway, I agree that the State should get out of the "marriage" business. However, if Proposition 8 fails, then there will be no reason for that to happen. It would require an uprising from those who oppose "homosexual marriage". And, if they were to rise up, the homosexual community would label the effort as "racist" as they try to do now (that's the "equal protection" argument).

If you really want the State to get out of the marriage business, vote Yes on Proposition 8. Then, the homosexual community will drive the effort to get the State out of the marriage business without them be labeled "racists".

@Ben

We wouldn't be debating "parental notification" if abortion were illegal. But, since "certain types" of abortion are legal and the abortion industry has convinced many that it is a "private matter" regardless of age, a parent's only recourse is to require notification. And, this is notification, not consent.

Besides, when something goes wrong following the abortion procedure, who will be held financially responsible? The State? Not a chance. It will be the parents who will rush their child to the hospital due to hemorrhaging or some other issue. Only then will they find out that their child had an abortion without their knowledge. Then, it is too late for them to counsel their child.

And, placing the blame on the parents is a cop-out. We all know that teenagers are desperately trying to separate themselves from their parents. When they find out their pregnant, their natural tendency will be to try and "handle the situation themselves". This plays right in to the hands of the abortion industry who will counsel them that this "unwanted" pregnancy can be terminated easily without their parents ever finding out. What choice do you think most teenagers would "lean" toward?

David, I'm loving the

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

David, I'm loving the unfounded claims game. This has nothing to do with "uncomfortable conversations." It has everything to do with the daughter's safety and the responsibility of parents. The fact that she is even engaging in these behaviors is a sign of something going wrong at home. Again, if you fail to build a trusting relationship with your daughter, the failure is yours, and it's not the government's job to compensate for your failure by requiring notification

Michael, I think they would

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Michael,
I think they would lean toward the right decision. Over half of them already DO tell their parents. About 80% already tell a trusted adult. Those who don't likely have a legitimate reason.

"Besides, when something goes wrong following the abortion procedure, who will be held financially responsible?"

I'm loving this misleading vividness. A back alley procedure is far more likely to go wrong than in a clinic. This proposition is more likely to result in a back alley procedure than the status quo.

Taking it out on the parents isn't a cop-out. They are responsible for their kids' behavior. The fact that their kids are engaging in acts that would lead to an abortion is already a sign of the parents doing something wrong, and prop 4 is a blatant attempt to cover up the symptom while letting their failure continue to run wild.

Even though you're for this, will you admit this fails to look at the root causes?

@Ben <> Yes, but things can

By Michael Burns (not verified) on October 22, 2008

@Ben

<>

Yes, but things can go wrong in the clinic. Every other "medical procedure" requires parental "consent". For some reason, this "medical procedure" must be treated differently.

<>

Are you saying that it is wrong for "teenagers" to be engaging in sexual acts?

The were supposed to be

By Michael Burns (not verified) on October 22, 2008

The were supposed to be quotations. Since this system doesn't allow you to preview your comments, I only see after the fact that the quotations were not in an acceptable format. So, lets try the quotations one more time.

Quote 1:

A back alley procedure is far more likely to go wrong than in a clinic.

Quote 2:

The fact that their kids are engaging in acts that would lead to an abortion is already a sign of the parents doing something wrong

Michael, A few things: 1. I

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Michael,
A few things:

1. I am not sure that's even the case, with all other medical procedures needing parental consent

2. I wouldn't support all those laws if that was the case.

3. It wouldn't be inconsistent to support those laws and oppose this one. Abortion and other medical procedures may be on the same side of medical procedures, but they are not on the same side of what's likely or not to cause disastrous impacts. When it comes to making laws, safety needs to be the bottom line. Teens do a lot of stupid things, there's no need to encourage they do something stupider

4. I am saying that in families where the relation of the teenager and parents is closer, sex, drugs, etc... are much less likely to occur. The fact that she's engaged in sex and is pregnant and refuses to tell her parents is a sign the family is already broken down. No law will fix that, but this one will result in dangerous side effects.

We need to rebuild the family, open the communication, and reduce the amount of teenage pregnancies. We should not pass a law that pretends that isn't the problem.

Micheal, just flip it around.

By Jim M. (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Micheal, just flip it around. If you really want the State to get out of the marriage business, vote NO on Proposition 8. Then, the RELIGIOUS RIGHT will drive the effort to get the State out of the marriage business without them being labeled “racists”. Again, push to change all laws to remove Marriage and replace with Civil Unions. If you want to get married, go to a church that accepts you.

Bobby, Apples and oranges.

By Ben (not verified) on October 22, 2008

Bobby,
Apples and oranges. There is zero inconsistency in being for Prop 2 and against Prop 4. Animals have rights, though less than humans, they still have rights. The reason the farmers engage in these various practices is because it costs less to them and the consumer. It's called an externality, and the market can't fix that.

Why not just buy cage free eggs? Never mind the animals that will still be infringed on

Not all government intervention is bad. This proposal is sensible and protects the rights of those who can't speak.

why should the taxpayers pay

By Real American (not verified) on October 23, 2008

why should the taxpayers pay for the high speed rail when very few people will actually use it because it is going to cost a lot more to use than flying or driving? It will cost a lot more than the current projected price tag and how much "pollution" will be created just building this thing? It will also be a security nightmare.

Anyway, this high speed rail prop doesn't pay for the whole thing. it just gets things started and every few years they're gonna come back and ask for another $10 billion or so. it is just a big expensive toy we don't need and can't afford it.

Barry, Spare me from "the sky

By Ben (not verified) on October 23, 2008

Barry,
Spare me from "the sky is falling" rhetoric. If you genuinely believe animals are mere commodities and businesses have a right to do with them as they please, then by all means vote for this. But don't spread widely refuted claims.

Cage free farming associated with higher salmonella? Nothing could be further from the truth. Factory farming as it currently stands, is a breeding ground for salmonella. Think about it, when the chickens are held close together, germs spread easier, and there you go. The European Food Safety Authority came to the same conclusion in a study.

Higher prices? The veal and pork industry aren't fighting this proposition. They lost in Arizona, and instead of packing and moving elsewhere, they're making the humane practices universal. I expect the same will happen with the egg industry. Production costs will also be less than a penny per egg more.

I have heard it all, I am not fooled. If you don't believe in animal rights and believe business's bottom line trumps it, vote for this. But don't serve me B.S. and expect me to eat it

Mr. McClintock, as a

By Cind (not verified) on October 24, 2008

Mr. McClintock, as a registered republican I would like to hear your thoughts on how you plan to deal with the rampant FRAUD that is purveying in our Government, banking and Securities.

The Fraud is SO DEEP right now that it threatens the sovereignty of our United States! We are at the brink and ready to 'blow up' just like Iceland did and like Russia is weeks away from. Please read the information (not written by me) from the link below. I will post following (by the way, the Senate gets these faxed to them by the author)

and to all reading this— you should be very scared because the ones that know what is going on are!

http://market-ticker.org/archives/626-To-Our-Government-CUT-IT-OUT-NOW.html

To Our Government: CUT IT OUT NOW

Let's start with AIG: $122 billion may not be enough.

Why? Because the CDS they wrote keep going down in value and forcing margin calls for more collateral (money).

First question: The OTS is their primary regulator. Why aren't the people running the OTS being strung up by their toenails in Congress?

Second question: Why isn't AIG's management in leg irons if they did not properly disclose this risk to both shareholders and regulators - and if they did, let's see the proof.

Next up, let's talk about Freddie Mac and Lehman.

"Freddie Mac, the mortgage lender that was seized by federal regulators, has asked a bankruptcy judge to investigate the whereabouts of $1.2 billion that Lehman Brothers borrowed."

...

Freddie Mac loaned the money in two chunks -- first $450 million then $750 million -- in mid-August.

Huh? Since when was Freddie Mac a bank or other firm that had free rein to loan money out to various entities? Why would Freddie Mac loan Lehman money? Where was this disclosed in Freddie's corporate filings? In its quarterly reports? How many more loans have been made, to whom, and why? And why aren't the executives of Freddie in the dock on this - right now?

Oh, you know how everyone was up in arms about "naked shorting" stocks? Well how about naked shorting Treasuries?

"The latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that cumulative failures hit a record $2.29 trillion as of Oct. 1. The federal settlement period is T+1 (trade date plus one day). The outstanding U.S. public debt is $10.3 trillion.

"Current [fail] levels are at historic levels," said Rob Toomey, managing director of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's funding and government and agency securities divisions. "There's been significant flight to quality" with the market turmoil, he said. "

Oh, so because people want to buy what they can't acquire without paying up for them, we just short into that and pretend securities exist that really don't?

And you'll love this on "what we're doing about it":

The Department of the Treasury has a buy-in rule for the cash markets, but the repurchase markets rely on contracts, Mr. Toomey said. Currently there are no penalties for failures, and regulators to date have not required disclosure whether the dealer or the client fails to deliver.

Nothing like a bit more fraud. After all, the fraud we've seen thus far isn't all that much, right? We should encourage more of it. Oh wait - we are.

Never mind that THIS fraud is on sovereign United States Debt. Ain't that grand?

You know what the really cute part of it is? If you "bought" a T and it was FTDd, the counterparty is required to pay your coupon to you on the failed T. When its a bill yielding 10 basis points (as has been the case of late) who cares - the money is inconsequential, right?

Ok, now what happens if the counterparty goes under?

Hint: He has your money, and the bond doesn't exist. How do you spell "100% loss"?

Now, one tiny little inconvenient question - Treasury Money Market Funds - you know, the ones we all think are quite safe because they hold ONLY short-term Treasury paper?

Do all those T-bills they allegedly hold really exist? And if not, uh, exactly what is my "money market" fund holding? You do know that a lot of those funds use repos, right? That's those "private contract" things they're talking about. You know, the kind where they lie and then rip you off behind your back?

Now let's talk banks. You know, those things that are supposed to hold reserves against deposits when they make loans? Well guess what - there are no reserves. The non-borrowed reserves have been negative for months - since the turn of the year, in fact, and now total over $300 billion dollars.

What does this mean? Simple - the banks lost (blew, speculated with and got caught on the wrong side of, issued or purchased crap securities with, paid bonuses with, paid the light bill with, etc) the reserves they are supposed to hold against deposits. This would usually result in them being declared insolvent and the FDIC would seize them, but that would be inconvenient. So instead they went to The Fed which loaned them reserves so it appears they have some. It appears they have subsequently lost some of that money as well, because the "non-borrowed" reserve number continues to increase in the negative direction (that is, its a negative number - a very large negative number.)

But wait - where did that money they borrowed come from? Why Treasury issued debt against which was issued money, cranking The Fed's balance sheet up. So in effect, what were bank reserves held back from your deposits are gone (kaput, vaporized, in some banker's yacht at The Hamptons, etc) and have been replaced by debt issued by Treasury against FUTURE tax collections to be levied against you!

That's right - your reserved deposits were lost, and replaced by an IOU from Treasury against YOUR FUTURE EARNINGS.

You not only gave your money to a bank which lost it, they then (by the magic of the Treasury and Fed) then turned around and enslaved you going forward to get it back from your tax payments.

Circle, meet jerk. Isn't life grand when you can lose your customer's deposit money speculating and then recover it by taxing them?

I guess that's supposed to be ok, since its the same thing that Congress did with the EESA/TARP right? The banks don't have enough capital so instead of forcing them to sell assets and/or go out and get it on their own (possible on Guido terms if they can get it at all) Treasury forcibly enslaved all of America to provide that capital via a "call" on future tax revenues, and give it to the bankers so they could pay bonuses and play "corporate raider" with one another.

And how did the banks that are "benefiting" from the TARP lose the capital in the first place? The same way they lost the reserves - by speculating in property markets, by making imprudent loans to people who couldn't pay them back, and by getting wound up in fraudulent transactions like Credit Default Swaps that were in fact a fancy game of "pick pocket" - a game gone horribly wrong. Oh, yeah, and by bonusing out $70 billion dollars - half of their revenues - to their staff.

For all of this YOU THE TAXPAYER is expected to pay.

Still trust banks and our government?

This much is true - you can trust 'em to rob you blind and you can trust the government to hand them the guns necessary to do so. You can also trust The Fed and Treasury to conspire to cover up the losses and stick the lot on your tax bill; they've been doing a great job of it thus far, to the tune of nearly $3 trillion dollars in the last nine months, or an expansion of 30% in the Federal Debt.

Back to my previous Ticker today and Greenspan's testimony:

"The longtime Fed chief acknowledged under questioning that he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks in operating in their self-interest would be sufficient to protect their shareholders and the equity in their institutions. Greenspan called it “a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.”"

That is a bald-faced lie. Again, from the Ticker this afternoon with the reference to the original testimony given before Congress in the early 90s:

"""If Congress again opens up banking to Wall Street speculation, as it opened up S&Ls and banks to real estate speculation, regulators will quickly lose control over the complex series of events that a pervasive marketplace will immediately set in motion. Insider abuse, self-dealing, and back scratching relationships between institutions will run rampant""

This was not an error, as Greenspan and Congress were both warned in plain, blunt English. It was an intentional act of willful blindness - nothing more or less, and it is an outrage that we the people, say much less Congress, tolerate this sort of intentional falsehood in testimony.

Now Bloomberg says Congress is "starting to question" the bailout?

"Shelby, an Alabama Republican, questioned why Paulson shifted tack and decided to use the first batch of the $700 billion plan for bank-stake purchases. The Treasury chief originally had asked Congress for authority to buy distressed assets from financial companies. "

Heh Richard! Yes, you, Shelby. You got personal faxed copies of several letters, The Genesis Plan, a white paper, a half-dozen petitions with hundreds of signatures on them and several Tickers in the days, weeks and months leading up the passage of that abortion you call the EESA.

You were told dead-on that it would not work and guess what - it isn't and can't. Oh, and by the way, what Paulson is doing now with the money is worse.

See what happens when you don't read the damn bill before you vote on it and refuse to read the material people take the time and money to send you?

Congress signed a blank check to Paulson and now you're questioning him when he cashes it?

How about if you (collectively) did your damn job before the bill was voted on and recognize the facts that I and others faxed and emailed you about, specifically, that the bill gave Paulson the right to spend an unlimited amount of money on anything he wanted and also allowed him to compel any firm to do anything he wanted?

Oh no, that would require taking responsibility for that piece of crap legislation you and your cronies in The Senate rammed down the throats of every American through the use of parliamentarian tricks - legislation you apparently did not even freaking READ!

Nor did you, apparently, bother asking other people from The Federal Reserve System before you passed your bill. Only Ben Bernanke was asked, and that sucks, because not everyone in The Fed system agrees with them.

There are in fact other voices - like this one from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota:

"1. Four Myths about Quantities

The financial crisis has also been associated with four widely held claims about the nature of the crisis and the associated spillovers to the rest of the economy. The financial press and policymakers have made the following four claims about the nature of the crisis.

Bank lending to nonfinancial corporations and individuals has declined sharply.
Interbank lending is essentially nonexistent.
Commercial paper issuance by nonfinancial corporations has declined sharply, and rates have risen to unprecedented levels.
Banks play a large role in channeling funds from savers to borrowers
Uh, myths?

The conclusions are interesting:

3. Conclusion

Our analysis has raised questions about the claims made for the mechanism whereby the financial crisis is affecting the overall economy. We emphasize that we do not dispute that the United States is undergoing a financial crisis and that the United States economy maybe in a recession or may experience one in the near future. Our analysis is based on publicly available data. Policymakers have access to other sources of data as well. Policymakers could well believe that bold action is necessary based on data that are different from that considered here. If so, responsible policymaking requires that they share both the data and the analysis that underlies the need for bold policy with the public."

Oh.

You mean The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis can't find justification for the "extraordinary" actions in the data they examined? You mean all this extra debt for taxpayers and all this extra authority for Paulson and Bernanke wasn't necessary?

So just what was the real reason for all these "interventions", if the stated reason wasn't the actual reason?

Let me posit a theory that happens to fit with the facts.

Markets do just fine on their own - provided you let people blow up when they deserve to blow up.

But we can't have that, you see.

If we let people blow up that deserve to blow up, then the entire scheme of ponzi layering of debt upon debt would come to an end immediately. No longer could individuals and corporations play that game, because all the non-serviceable debt would be forced into the open and default, bankrupting the participants who could not meet their obligations. We would be forced as Americans to live within our means and buy only that which we can pay for, and take only that debt which we can pay down and extinguish in a reasonable period of time.

That would put a permanent end to the idea of 30:1, 40:1 or higher leverage, it would put a permanent end to low or zero-down payment mortgages and it would expose the millions of Americans and thousands of business that are over-levered and, in fact, bankrupt.

It would force debt issue to be based off savings, and that would mean you couldn't live off your plastic and then HELOC out the money to pay that down (effectively layering debt upon debt yourself, just like these banks) because nobody would issue you that debt, as they would (justly) understand that you are unlikely to be able to pay.

You would have to save and invest, and as you did so, you would provide the foundation for capital formation - a real foundation instead of the void space now claimed to be "The Great Accomplishment of American Capitalism" - which has led us to the brink of The Greater Depression.

Of course getting rid of Ponzi Finance would mean no billion-dollar bonuses for Wall Street banks, it would mean no billion dollar payouts to ratings agencies to slap phony-baloney "AAA" labels on trash securities and it would mean less power and money - a lot less - for the Wall Street types and other "money changers."

And finally, and perhaps most important, it would mean that Congress could no longer operate under the charade that it can spend more than it takes in via taxes on a permanent basis, nor can government make promises that can't possibly be kept, like, for instance, the promise to pay $53 trillion in Social Security and Medicare benefits, none of which we actually have as we've stolen the entirety to fund other spending.

So when Bear Stearns got in trouble in August of 2007 there was a "wink wink nod nod" that The Almighty Fed and Taxpayer have their back, so they didn't have to face the music that comes from too much leverage and speculation.

Instead of taking down risk across the spectrum of firms at that point, fully six months later Bear Stearns actually blows up and is "rescued" via an "inside baseball" deal where there are allegations that a Federal Reserve Loan from the NY Fed was pulled at the 11th hour to force Bear into a merger on favorable terms to JP Morgan - a firm who's CEO is on the board of that very same NY Fed. Inside dealing? Perhaps. Fraud? Maybe.

Where are the cops who are supposed to figure this stuff out? We the people would still like to know what really happened and why that supposedly-secure NY Fed borrowing facility was suddenly yanked over the weekend - and whether the way it happened was proper.

But it doesn't stop there! Fannie, Freddie and AIG also get bailed out!

Along with these four firms we of course must bail out money market funds that made imprudent investments, banks that can't manage to access credit because they have intentionally-opaque balance sheets stuffed with dodgy collateral and dozens of firms writing commercial paper that also have dodgy collateral behind those issues.

As we bail each of these "things" and "firms" out we simply create the need for more bailouts at an ever-increasing rate. Why? Because the money flows immediately to the "saved" and that impoverishes where it was previously, and they (of course) then demand "their" bailout.

Down this rabbit hole lies The Greater Depression, and soon if it is not stopped. Like trapped rats The Fed, Treasury and Congress are scampering around afraid of the dark - or the next bank that says "boo!"

Yes Richard Shelby, I understand you voted NO on the ESSA.

Guess what - you still didn't do your job because I didn't see you in front of a TV camera explaining that this bill was going to screw our nation.

You along with the other few in the Senate who likewise voted against didn't spend 1/10th of the time on TV as did Bush and Paulson cheerleading, nor did you call either of them out in public on the obvious conflicts of interest.

There are times when a vote is not enough - like when our nation's future is at stake. This was one of those times.

There is nothing wrong with "free market capitalism" so long as when you do stupid, imprudent things you go bankrupt! That is called "market discipline" and is what we should be enforcing across the board.

We're not because Congress and The Fed have created this bubble of an economy and banking system over the previous twenty years and none of them want to confess to the truth, which is that all of this so-called "prosperity" was nothing but a farce and a fraud, based on debt being issued to consumers and businesses that they could not pay it back with real earnings and productivity, relying instead of a "greater sucker" to be able to roll over the payments into yet more debt.

Now we're out of suckers, the check is on the table, and Congress and The Fed have as their solution taking all of the leverage onto their own balance sheets instead of forcing it into the open! The Fed is now geared at nearly 40:1 itself, and the obvious response to "how come this isn't dangerous?" is "because we can (and by implication will) simply print as much money or debt as we need to make sure we don't blow up, and we'll make damn sure your children and grandchildren get socked with the bill.

Let's put in stark relief why Congress and the rest of our government must cut the crap right here and now:

"The FSC has not only limited insurance company exposure to Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie bonds and mortgage-backed securities, but has decided that existing credit ratings are meaningless.

The Insurance Bureau at the Financial Supervisory Commission in Taipei announced revised rules on how insurance companies can treat investments in mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The FSC says it cannot see how the United States will develop a valid mechanism to assess the credit quality of MBS issued by US federal housing loan agencies, namely Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae."

That's right folks. Taiwan's primary regulator for insurance companies has ruled that:

Ratings issued by our so-called "agencies" are worthless.
Agency securities can no longer be considered sovereign, "money good" debt.
Now maybe you think this is funny.

It is not funny. In fact, there is absolutely nothing funny about it.

This is how we lose our credit access worldwide.

It has now officially started and what Taiwan has done will spread.

Count on it.

Russia may be about to have exactly that happen:

"Russia's financial crisis is escalating with lightning speed as foreigners pull funds from the country and the debt markets start to price a serious risk of sovereign default.

The cost of insuring Russian bonds against bankruptcy rocketed to extreme levels yesterday. Spreads on credit default swaps (CDS) reached 1,123, higher than Iceland's debt before it sought a rescue from the International Monetary Fund."

....

"This crisis is starting to look like the Black Wednesday in 1992. Unless we see an extension of central bank swaps in dollars and euros to Eastern Europe within days to stop this uncontrolled process of deleveraging, this could get out of control and do serious damage to Western Europe. We could see the euro fall to parity against the dollar by next year," he said.

And once again the "solution" is for Uncle Sammy to ride to the rescue? More "swap lines" with the ECB eh? To bail out Russia? The very same Russia that just got done rolling tanks into Georgia?

I think not; how much do we have out in swaps already? How many dollars have we printed and how much debt have we issued against dodgy collateral (at best)?

Too much.

The difference between Russia and The United States is that Russia has plenty of oil and gas and doesn't have to buy it on the international market with its currency.

We don't, and we may not be far behind them.

I know most people in

By Mary (not verified) on October 18, 2008

I know most people in California are for Prop 8 and I completely understand why and i feel like a jerk in a way for supporting proposition 8. My reasoning is this. It is clearly a desire for gays to have religion sanctify their way of life. It can not be so. Any good religion will not sanctify stealing or murder or adultry or premarital sex and yet people want to force religion into sanctifying homosexual relations. It is clear homosexuality is not condoned by the bible. Because of that, homosexuals should not want the religious symbol of marriage to bind them. If i was a homosexual i would not want a religious term to bind me to my lover. I would want a union established by a secular source. Because if religion says my way of life is wrong, why would i want any part in it.
Likewise, to those that are religious, marriage is sanctified and allowing it to homosexuals would debase it. Churches would be sued for discrimination and they aren't discriminating. They are just choosing friends that are like them. Not that they don't like gays, they just don't condone their behavior and so like a person who is totally opposite from you, you don't hang out like you are best friends.
I feel like homosexuals are trying to make religion and sin best friends.

thank you so much for your

By mike n (not verified) on October 24, 2008

thank you so much for your proposition voting guide. i always vote the way you recommend. same with my whole family. in fact, i send your recommendations to all of my friends. keep it up. thanks, tom.

Ben, If I buy cage-free

By Bobby (not verified) on October 25, 2008

Ben,

If I buy cage-free animal meats and eggs only, and never buy factory farmed products, and if everybody else has the same capability, than the market can sort it out. The cage-free farms would profit from the increased business of moral consumers, and the government wouldn't have to do anything. If you feel strongly about this issue, I encourage you to educate others about the problem. Using the government to reinforce your own morality is as bankrupt as any of the other propositions being discussed here. If consumers want to eat happier, arguably "healthier" meats, than they can make that decision for themselves. See? I didn't even have to use the "they're just food" defense.
I'd also like to point out that the government rarely if ever decides to shrink itself. With one regulation usually come a chain of many others in the future, none of them necessarily benefiting the consumer. If there was a prop to end all meat and poultry farming because animals have rights and therefore we shouldn't eat them, a sort of enforced vegetarianism, I'm sure all of the vegans would jump on the opportunity to vote for that. Sure, that's an extreme case scenario and would likely not pass, but let's leave the decision to the consumer and the recourse of those decisions to the market, not the government.

Bobby, Fair enough. Let's

By Ben (not verified) on October 25, 2008

Bobby,
Fair enough. Let's remove all child labor laws. After all, they are just enforcing morality, and if people don't like it, they can sort it out with the market.

Getting off of that sarcasm, please. I think you can see how ridiculous that would be, yet you are applying the same logic to this situation.

Lastly, I know this may be a weird concept to you, but the market can't be counted on to fix the very problems it creates. Externalities, by their very definition, are created by market failures and need government correction. The market can't fix that, and we can either dig our head in the sand and hope it will, or we can face reality and correct it.

Don't try the slippery slope on me. I eat a lot of meat, and I am voting for this.

Sure Ben, child labor and how

By Bobby (not verified) on October 26, 2008

Sure Ben, child labor and how your food are processed should go hand in hand. I can see where you're coming from on THAT one certainly. Yes, the government has been so GREAT at enforcing the morality we as a people lack. while we're at it, since we have drunk driving laws let's abolish MADD, and after we set up laws to fight farm animal abuse, we can get rid of PETA and all of those other non-profit institutions set up to educate people about the problems of farm animal abuse. Boycotts never worked, you're right. Let'
s get the government to boycott it for us Ben!

Bobby, It's the same argument

By Ben (not verified) on October 26, 2008

Bobby,
It's the same argument in principle. If you don't like child labor, just boycott companies that employ children. If you don't like slavery, just boycott companies that use slave labor. If you don't like animal abuse, just boycott companies that abuse animals. The question becomes whether something is an infringement on rights, and if it is, it doesn't need to be boycotted, it needs to be illegal. Child labor, slavery, and animal abuse are all examples

too bad Tom is against Prop 2

By nick (not verified) on October 27, 2008

too bad Tom is against Prop 2 ... he needs to do a little more reading on the subject ...
it's a disgrace the way we factory farm in this country.
Tom, try reading "The Omnivor's Dilemma" ... open your mind and see what really goes on in the factory farms and feed lots.

thanks

.... ps, I'm a Libertarian

By nick (not verified) on October 27, 2008

.... ps, I'm a Libertarian and would normally vote no on a prop like this ... only problem ... most people in this country are too stupid or just plain ignorant of the facts.
something has to be done....

Regarding Prop 2, here is an

By Laura (not verified) on October 28, 2008

Regarding Prop 2, here is an interesting column from the Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/pattyfisher/ci_10787557?nclick_check=1.

Although the writer is voting yes on Prop 2, the article actually convinced me to vote no on it.