California's Gavin Newsom wants to lead the way to a post-Bernie, post-Hillary party

“As a politician and former mayor, I know better than that,” he said. He laughed again. “You guys almost got me.”

Gavin Newsom with barber Brandon ThomasGavin Newsom with barber Brandon Thomas


Newsom, 50, has been a politician nearly half his life. In public, at least, he’s always seemed like a man with one eye on the mirror — hyperconscious of himself and his surroundings, and skillfully, seamlessly adjusting the former to more favorably reflect the latter.

So far, his silken self-awareness — his ability to sense what you want from him and adapt accordingly — has proved to be an asset. In fact, he’s never lost an election. But if he wins this one, actually governing California — and trying, at the same time, to lead his party by example — will test the limits of his suppleness.

When Newsom first surfaced in 1997 as a 29-year-old wine-and-hospitality entrepreneur who had been appointed to a vacant seat as a San Francisco supervisor, he touted himself, in the fashion of the time, as a “dogmatic fiscal conservative.” Running for reelection, Newsom paid to appear on a GOP mailer and accepted the endorsement of the city’s Republican Party. After election as mayor in 2003, he shifted leftward, making headlines the following year by becoming the first public official in America to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Then, at the height of Web 2.0 mania, he wrote a book called “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government,” which was so optimistic about outsourcing state services to individuals, via apps, that Newt Gingrich called it “a blueprint for the Republican Party.”

Now, as a candidate for governor at a time of fake news, rising populism and a progressive base that has responded by turning against both Davos Democrats and Silicon Valley, Newsom no longer stumps about “Citizenville.” (“Every time I talk about participatory platforms,” he tells Yahoo News, “my campaign team literally tries to choke me.”) Instead, he is promoting a liberal wish list that would, if enacted, represent one of the largest government expansions California has ever seen: a statewide single-payer health care system; universal preschool; full-service community schools, open every day; hundreds of thousands of new affordable housing units per year; a state energy grid run solely on renewable energy; and a state bank dedicated to financing infrastructure projects, small businesses and the burgeoning marijuana industry.

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

Newsom insists that his core values have never changed. “I take a back seat to few in terms of my progressive policy positions on social issues,” he says. “I’ve always had those. And I haven’t budged in terms of being someone who believes in fiscal discipline.”

“But it’s always about what we emphasize,” he explains. “And it’s about what we’re allowed to emphasize as well.”

What Newsom has decided to emphasize — along with when and where he’s emphasizing it — could shape the future of the Democratic Party. The next presidential contest is more than two years away; the next generation of party leaders is stuck in the Senate, where Republicans will prevent them from accomplishing much of anything. Meanwhile, rank-and-file Democrats are searching for a model of post-Obama progressivism that can transcend the tired debates between Bernie Bros and Hillarybots, populism and identity politics. Resistance to President Trump shows no signs of subsiding. And California, home to the world’s fifth-largest economy, more people than any other state in America, and a totally powerless GOP, is emerging as a kind of alternate reality to Trump’s Washington: a place, that is, where progressive solutions to America’s most pressing problems, from income inequality to education to health care, could actually be implemented, on an unmatched scale.

In other words, the state’s next leader has the potential to be a lot of things to a lot of people. A pacesetter for progressive policy. A template for Democratic unity. Trump’s Twitter nemesis.

“As a gubernatorial candidate in the largest state in the country, and as a Democrat, I would be hard pressed to tell you what the Democratic Party’s message is, outside of our opposition to Donald Trump,” Newsom says. “That’s a pretty damning statement, and I’m sorry I have to make it.”

Campaign event for Gavin NewsomCampaign event for Gavin Newsom

“If the Democratic Party writ large is not the opposition party, then California must be the opposition party,” he adds. “And we can’t, in that light, just be the resistance. The future happens here first. We have to be the positive alternative that is missing on a national level.”

Newsom, as usual, knows what the moment wants. And as usual, he’s promising that he can provide it — all of it. The question is whether he’s promising too much.


Before Stakely’s, Newsom’s bus had stopped at the Mizell Senior Center in Palm Springs, the first and only municipality in America with an all-LGBTQ city council, for a town hall co-sponsored by Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization. It was a kind of homecoming.

“You know him for his courageous, principled stand on marriage equality, way back in 2004 — before it was popular, other than in the LGBT community, and when most folks in the Democratic Party thought it wasn’t time to support full marriage equality,” said Equality California executive director Rick Zbur in his introduction. “Gavin Newsom put his career on the line because he knew that when it comes to fighting for civil rights, for equality, we can’t let politics get in the way of doing what’s right.”

The crowd went wild. Everything Zbur said was conveniently on message; Newsom’s slogan is “Courage for a Change,” and exhibit A is always his decision, as mayor, to defy state law and open city hall to thousands of same-sex weddings. “Today we can confidently say is the first day in the state of California that we are providing marriage equally and fairly to everyone, and denying no one their right and their opportunity to live their lives out loud,” Newsom announced in his campaign’s debut digital ad, which begins with 14-year-old footage of gay couples exchanging vows. “It takes courage to make real change,” a voiceover adds. “That’s Gavin Newsom.”

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

Politics aside, though, everything Zbur said also happens to be true. Newsom’s decision wasn’t popular at the time — not in California, and not in the Democratic Party. After George W. Bush won reelection and 11 states passed anti-gay-marriage amendments in 2004, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, himself gay, accused Newsom of helping to “galvanize Mr. Bush’s conservative supporters … by playing into people’s fears of same-sex weddings,” as the New York Times put it. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of Newsom’s early mentors, concurred, claiming that the “whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon.” It would take another eight years for a Democratic president, Barack Obama, to finally come out in favor of full marriage equality.

By getting ahead of his party and his state, Newsom imperiled his political ambitions as well. Yes, the mayor’s approval ratings soared in San Francisco, perhaps the most socially liberal city in America. But the rest of California lagged behind. Just four years later, backers of Proposition 8, a measure to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, cut a campaign ad that began with a cocksure Newsom declaring victory. (“This door’s wide open now,” he says in the clip. “It’s gonna happen — whether you like it or not.”) A few months later, Prop 8 passed with 52 percent of the vote, and just like that, California outlawed same-sex marriage for the next five years. When Newsom tried to challenge Jerry Brown for governor in 2010, he flopped; polls routinely showed him trailing by 20 percentage points or more. He bowed out seven months before the primary.

Today, the rest of the Democratic Party, and much of the rest of the country, has caught up with Newsom. “History has proven that Gavin Newsom made the right decision, a very bold decision,” Feinstein recently told the Los Angeles Times. And that’s how the candidate, now vindicated by the march of progress, has been selling himself to the electorate: as a “bold” visionary with the “courage” to do “big” things.

But Newsom’s maneuvering on marriage wasn’t simply about boldness or courage. Neither were the other ahead-of-the-curve achievements he likes to tout, from the universal health care system he implemented in San Francisco to the ballot initiatives he championed to legalize recreational marijuana and require background checks for ammunition purchases. They were also examples of something more clear-eyed, and possibly consequential, than that: Newsom’s willingness to leverage his most powerful asset — his position of privilege — to promote cutting-edge progressive causes.

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

When Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, first heard that Newsom was planning to unilaterally legalize same-sex marriage in San Francisco, she was afraid it might be premature. But she quickly came around. One of the reasons, she later told the Los Angeles Times, was that Newsom himself lent the issue a kind of crossover appeal. “This move by Newsom played against type,” she explained. “People did not expect this Irish Catholic, straight … middle-of-the-road moderate to do something so audacious.”

In effect, Newsom was operating from a position of both personal privilege (as a “mainstream” figure validating a “fringe” cause) and political privilege (as the mayor of one of America’s most gay-friendly cities), and he was using that privilege to push an envelope that other politicians felt they couldn’t afford to push. Similar, if less dramatic, moments followed: his decision to side with workers during a citywide 2004 hotel strike, even though hotel management had contributed generously to his campaign and the union had bitterly opposed him; his successful 2007 push for countywide universal health care accessthe first system of its kind — despite his initial reluctance, as a businessman himself, to ask employers to pony up.

Newsom’s biography suggests that privilege has always been a double-edged thing for him — an advantage and a weapon. Perhaps that’s because his own privilege is shallower than it seems.

A recent New Yorker article described Newsom as “the scion of a wealthy San Francisco family.” That’s not quite true. Newsom’s father, retired state appellate Judge William A. Newsom III, is well connected in Democratic circles; his son got his start in politics when one of Bill’s friends, party power broker John Burton, convinced another Newsom pal, then San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, to appoint Gavin to a vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors. The elder Newsom is also a longtime consigliere and money manager for his Catholic school chum Gordon Getty, whose fortune is estimated at $2 billion. Getty helped launch Newsom in the wine business by investing in his upstart PlumpJack brand, which expanded rapidly into restaurants, wineries, hotels and clothing stores, and eventually made Newsom a millionaire. In 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Getty was the lead investor in 10 of the younger Newsom’s 11 businesses; he also spent $233,000 on Newsom’s first wedding reception and lent him $1 million to purchase a home.

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

Yet Newsom was acquainted with the opposite of privilege as well. His parents divorced when he was young. Neither was wealthy; there was “tremendous financial stress,” Newsom once told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Our most terrible family moments were always around money.” Struggling with severe dyslexia — he has said he was “terrible at school” and admits that he still has to read newspaper articles twice to understand them — Newsom grew up mostly with his mother, Tessa Menzies, in San Francisco, delivering papers, busing tables and later working construction. Tessa opened their home to foster children and boarders, and to make ends meet she often held down several jobs at once: waitress, secretary, bookkeeper, assistant buyer at a local department store. In 2002, she died of breast cancer shortly after being evicted from her rented apartment.

As a teenager, Newsom occasionally traveled with the Gettys, and the contrast between their lives and his left a lasting impression. In 2005, he recounted one particularly powerful experience.

“We were in Spain — somewhere fancy — and all the Getty boys came in,” Newsom told the Chronicle. “I was about the same age … about 14. A couple of people there assumed I was one of them. And I will never forget how I was treated: ‘You’re the best!’ Until the moment when they realized I was not a member of the family.

“It was — whoosh,” he continued, making a chopping motion. “‘Get out of my way — you’re nothing to me.’ I realized again who I was. But I also realized how difficult it was for [Gordon’s sons] Billy and John and Peter. Because they have a false sense of reality.

“I swear to you when I say this,” Newsom concluded. “No exaggeration: I’ll never, ever allow that to be me — the people who did that.”


In conversation, Newsom is anything but a pitchfork-wielding populist.

Asked whether he would write a book like “Citizenville” today, now that a foreign power has allegedly hacked a U.S. election and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been forced to testify on Capitol Hill, he doesn’t flinch.

“Yeah, I would,” he insists. “The notion we can amplify civic engagement by the use of [web] platforms — look, I think that’s more evident with Trump and Trumpism than I could have ever imagined. I think he’s really made the point.”

Newsom boasts about balancing his budgets as mayor. He praises the man he hopes to succeed, Jerry Brown, for disproving “the Republican narrative that you can’t grow your economy and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, or that you can’t grow your economy and, as we did a number of years ago, increase taxes on your top earners.” He says this lesson — “you don’t have to be profligate to be a progressive,” as he frequently puts it — is the most potent thing that national Democrats can learn from California, where Sacramento is currently debating how best to spend the record surplus Brown will leave behind.

And he is skeptical, even critical, of fellow progressives like Bernie Sanders, who he says want to “tear other folks down” — presumably richer folks — in order to build their movement.

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

“I’ve done 36 or so town halls, all over this state,” Newsom says. “You feel it. There’s an intensity coming from the progressive base of our party. There’s no question that the base is pulling its leadership in that direction. There’s a lot of pressure.

“But I have 23 little businesses I started out of college, with 800 employees,” he continues. “The one tendency I have not succumbed to, that I don’t embrace, is begrudging other people’s success. Some people in our party, their rhetoric comes across as particularly crass in how it relates to economic development, entrepreneurism, business growth. I just caution against that. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing for our party. I hear everyone say, ‘I’m pro-job,’ and then I hear us bashing the private sector. I’m not there.”

Yet Newsom is still promising an agenda far more progressive than Hillary Clinton’s or Barack Obama’s — and far more expensive than any state, even California, has ever shouldered. In interviews, he often mentions his “entrepreneurial bias” and how “a willingness to take risks — not be reckless” — is a “consistent” part of “the way [he] think[s] politically.” This, it seems, is the risk Newsom is taking in his gubernatorial run. From his privileged position as the top Democrat in the biggest, most Democratic state in America — “California is America’s coming attraction,” he likes to say — Gavin Newsom will show his party the way. Not by choosing sides — between moderates and liberals, fiscal hawks and progressive firebrands, the coastal elites and the rest of the country — but rather by being more of everything than anyone else. A scruffy Democratic socialist from Vermont calling for single-payer health care is one thing, he seems to be saying; a budget-balancing entrepreneur on a first-name basis with Sergey and Larry is another.

It remains to be seen, however, whether California’s would-be governor can maintain this precarious balancing act long enough to actually enact such an ambitious agenda. Even now, signs of strain are showing.

Near the end of the Q&A portion of the Palm Springs town hall — a Newsom staffer kept snapping “30 seconds” and “this is the last question, for real” every time the candidate tried to answer anyone — a friendly voter asked Newsom to “spend a moment on [his] health care plans.”

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom

It was an opportunity for Newsom to expand on the issue that had most distinguished him from Villaraigosa. Early on, Newsom decided to be the “single-payer candidate,” and early on Villaraigosa decided to run as a reality check. “Pie in the sky doesn’t put food on the table,” Villaraigosa would say, citing objective estimates that put the annual cost of a statewide single-payer system at $400 billion, or twice as much as Gov. Brown’s entire 2017-18 budget. “It’s snake oil.”

At first, Newsom seemed to rise to the occasion. “It is my commitment to you to advance the conversation on universal health care anew,” he said. “I have studied the Beveridge model. I have studied the national health insurance model. I have studied the models of Germany and other countries, which have distinctive health insurance policies, all in that vernacular of single payer. All with different components, different attributes, different liabilities. And I am convinced California can achieve this goal of single-payer health insurance.”

The crowd roared. No one seemed to notice how carefully Newsom had chosen his words: committing to “advance the conversation on universal health care anew” isn’t the same as committing to pass single payer, and saying that California “can achieve this goal” isn’t the same as promising to implement it. Implicit in his hedged rhetoric were the caveats Newsom had already voiced elsewhere, in less rousing settings, about how single payer would not “occur by the signature of the next governor,” but rather take “years,” with “litigation,” “setbacks,” “constitutional questions” and “propositions on the ballot — maybe multiple” — not to mention an unlikely waiver from the Trump administration. Yet Palm Springs chose to hear what it wanted to hear, and the candidate moved on.

Ever conscious of the zeitgeist and how his own image can better reflect it, Newsom knows that boldness, or courage, or whatever you want to call it, is a good look for a Democrat at a time of Trumpian bombast. And he has been bold, even courageous, in the past. But how bold can a governor — even a California governor — really be?

Gavin Newsom with prospective votersGavin Newsom with prospective voters

Two months before Stakely’s and Palm Springs, Newsom campaigned in East L.A., a lower-income, heavily Latino section of the city, and walked along Cesar Chavez Avenue. He greeted supporters at Moles La Tia and El Gallo Grill; he shopped for his wife at Nataly Fashions. On the street, he encountered a young community college student battling homelessness and depression. She came from a foster home, she said, and lived in her car while attending school. He told her his family had fostered children too. He seemed moved by her story.

A perennial problem in California, homelessness was the issue that propelled Newsom to the mayoralty in 2004; as a candidate, he championed the controversial Care Not Cash program to slash county welfare checks in exchange for services and housing, and it eventually became part of his “Ten Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness,” which succeeded in reducing the city’s street population by about 40 percent.

But Newsom’s record was mixed. Though he delivered an annual State of Homelessness address and constantly visited homeless people, service providers and shelters, activists criticized him for busing the homeless out of San Francisco, and his tax incentives and pro-development policies would later make matters worse by luring tech companies and their wealthy employees back to the city. Today, San Francisco and the rest of California are experiencing yet another homelessness crisis; statewide, the homeless population jumped nearly 14 percent from 2016 to 2017, bringing the count to 135,000 people, or a quarter of the national total.

As he rallied a few dozen voters in El Gallo Plaza, these numbers seemed to be on Newsom’s mind. He described homelessness as “the ultimate manifestation of our failure as a society,” and vowed to “be audacious and to move, candidly, in a direction we haven’t moved in decades.”

Gavin Newsom with supportersGavin Newsom with supporters

“Economic growth in this state has been a spectator sport for too many people,” Newsom said. “We are living in a state that is the richest and the poorest state in America. That’s happened on our watch. We own that. We have got to step up our game. Eight million people living below the poverty line. Forty-six percent of our children at or near the poverty level. This is the issue. This is the ‘why.’ It’s why I’m here; it’s why I’m running for governor. We can do more, and we can do better. And so I commit to you, at the core of my soul: This is what drives me. This is my passion.”

Two months later, in Palm Springs, the subject came up again. About halfway through the town hall, Sundra Holden, a 64-year-old black woman with close-cropped gray hair, wire-rim glasses and an aluminum walker, grabbed the microphone from the emcee. She had driven two hours from Downey, Calif., to ask her question.

“I have been homeless twice,” Holden said. “I worked for 42 years in this state. Rent in California has gone outrageous. Nobody can work a regular job and rent an affordable apartment. I am sick and tired of looking at people on TV living in tents and stuff. It’s sickening to see. These are regular people that’s trying to make it every day. What can we do to give a rental that somebody can go live in and be comfortable when they work more than 40 hours a week?”

“I’m sorry for what you’ve experienced,” Newsom said. “And I’m sorry to say you’re not alone.”

“Yeah, I know,” Holden said.

Sundra HoldenSundra Holden

Newsom recited a litany of stats about the unsheltered population and shuttered acute psych facilities. He talked about “brain health.” He said that “shelters solve sleep,” while “housing and supportive services solve homelessness.” But he didn’t say that homelessness — California’s crushing economic inequality — was his “why.”

“In the interest of getting to all the questions, I want you to know the sincerity which I bring to this — the nuance,” Newsom said. “We laid out a detailed plan on the issues of behavioral health, on the issue of substance abuse. And we laid out a 15-point strategy on SSI [Supplemental Security Income] advocacy, whole-person care strategies, these blended interventions around homelessness.”

All of that was true; Newsom has plenty of plans to address homelessness and affordability. But with the primary only a few days away, and other voters to woo, he no longer sounded like the guy who’d come to El Gallo Plaza. He sounded, instead, like a politician with too much to do, and too little time.

Which is what he will be, every day, if he’s elected governor. That’s the problem with promising more than anyone else: People will expect more of you. More boldness. More courage. More audacity. Progressives will expect progress. Moderates will expect moderation. These things aren’t always compatible. And if the lesson the Democratic Party learns from Newsom is that sounding bold wins campaigns, it will be a lesson fraught with risk. Actually governing boldly will be hard enough in California, with its surpluses and its single-party rule; delivering on a national level would be even tougher.

After the event in Palm Springs, Sundra Holden seemed content with Newsom’s answer on homelessness — at least for now.

“Yeah, I’m cool,” she said.

“You believe Newsom would make a difference?”

“He said he would,” Holden replied. “And I’ll find a way to get to him if he don’t.”

Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom


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California Found to Be Harvesting Newborn DNA For Decades Without Parental Consent


Every individual who is born in a hospital in California now has a sample of their DNA stolen and kept in a state-run database. What used to take a court order now happens regularly, and the disturbing invasion of privacy takes place with hardly a whimper of protest from the nation’s most populous state.

According to a report from CBS San Francisco, the DNA of every person born in California since 1983 is stored in a state biobank. Police, the government, and outside researchers have access to it. While parents can request that their children’s DNA samples be destroyed, the state is not obligated to honor the request or to report if it has been carried out.

In what may seem as far-fetched as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelation that the government is spying on all Americans, such DNA could potentially be used against children in a court of law, or be sold to potential bidders much like Planned Parenthood reportedly does with aborted baby body parts. What scientists can do with one’s DNA is limitless.

The news that California has been quietly collecting DNA since the early 80s comes on the heels of the news that the “Golden State Killer” was apprehended using DNA evidence collected through According to CBS San Francisco, few parents are fully aware of the DNA collection practice:

“State law requires that parents are informed of their right to request the child’s sample be destroyed, but the state does not confirm parents actually get that information before storing or selling their child’s DNA… most parents are not getting the required notification. We’ve also discovered the DNA may be used for more than just research.”

To answer the question of just how the state has managed to collect and log every new resident’s DNA, it is taken during a simple blood test meant to identify and potentially prevent congenital disorders called “The Newborn Genetic Screening Test.” The simplistically titled exam belies the very real practice of collecting DNA samples from every human born in the state.

Upwards of 5,000 babies benefit from the test as various life-threatening congenital conditions can be diagnosed and treated using the test and thereby saving lives. But what happens to the DNA once the congenital health of a baby is known? Few know the answer to that question and those who do aren’t talking. The report noted:

Some states destroy the blood spots after a year, 12 states store them for at least 21 years. California, however, is one of a handful of states that stores the remaining blood spots for research indefinitely in a state-run biobank.

While some states allow parents to opt-out of to the genetic blood test, California does not.

In California, however, in order to get the potentially lifesaving genetic test for your child, you have no choice but to allow the state to collect and store the remaining samples.

The DNA collection process falls under California’s “Newborn Screening Program,” and according to the program’s website, a list of rights is granted to the parents. The website claims, “You have a right to ask the Newborn Screening Program not to use or share your or your newborn’s information and/or specimen in the ways listed in this notice.” But it adds the following caveat which reads, “However, we may not be able to comply with your request.” In other words, you can ask the state not to use the DNA collected from your child’s blood test but they may not grant your request.

If genetically modified foods (GMOs) scare you, the reality that human DNA is currently being modified may be enough to keep you up at night. While modifying DNA shows promise in being able to help individuals and groups with genetic illnesses, modifying one’s DNA also runs the risk of causing unpredictable DNA mutations for the future lineage of one’s family tree.

In the wrong hands, DNA can be used as a tool for genocide or targeted killings. CRISPR, a gene editing tool is already being used to modify human DNA. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned in 2016, “Research in genome editing conducted by countries with different regulatory or ethical standards than those of Western countries probably increases the risk of the creation of potentially harmful biological agents or products.”

Daniel Gerstein, former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Defense, went one step further in his assessment of how DNA could be modified into a bio-weapon. “We are worried about people developing some sort of pathogen with robust capabilities, but we are also concerned about the chance of misutilization. We could have an accident occur with gene editing that is catastrophic, since the genome is the very essence of life,” he said.

As is the case with every other revelation that sounds like a conspiracy theory, people will likely dismiss these facts as conjecture or fear mongering without ever becoming duly outraged that their government has been harvesting, cataloging, and possibly selling their DNA for decades.

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California is now a place where you MUST agree to vaccine injections, but you’re not allowed to take a long shower in your own home

Image: California is now a place where you MUST agree to vaccine injections, but you’re not allowed to take a long shower in your own home

(Natural News)
To put it bluntly, California is one messed up state. It has been the victim of liberal policies, and corrupt, far-left politicians for decades now, and as a result, it is teetering on the brink of collapse. Freedom does not truly exist in California. Virtually everything is under the control of the government, from small ponds and streams flowing through citizens’ backyards, to medical treatment and vaccinations. But while living in California requires you to agree to vaccine injections (even though there has been a substantial amount of evidence that suggests that vaccines often do more harm than good), residents are simultaneously not allowed to take too long of showers in their own homes.

New CA law limits how much water people can use

In an unprecedented move that greatly expands the size and scope of the government, California has passed a new law that limits how long people can spend in the shower each day, how many times they flush the toilet, how many loads of laundry they do, and really anything else related to water consumption.

As reported by The Blaze, “Starting in 2022, California will limit water to 55 gallons per-person, per-day. By 2030, the amount falls to 50 gallons. To put this into perspective, just one eight-minute shower (17 gallons of water) and doing one load of laundry (up to 40 gallons) is enough to exceed the 55-gallon limit. Taking a bath can use 80 to 100 gallons of water.” That means that if a resident of California wants to take a quick shower and then do a load of laundry, for example, they will no longer be able to use any more water for cleaning or even drinking for the rest of the day. Taking a bath is, in effect, outlawed, since is exceeds the 55-gallon cap by anywhere from 25 to 45 gallons. (Related: Crazy California lawmakers will soon begin treating homeschooling parents like they are all child abusers.)

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According to Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, the state of California is doing this “so that everyone in California is at least integrating efficiency into our preparations for climate change.” Apparently, the idea that some California residents might not want to contribute to preparations for climate change isn’t a thought that even entered their minds. (Related: A new California law would criminalize book stores for selling the Bible.)

Many people are outraged, while others are just confused as to why their state would ever even consider such preposterous and unrealistic a law in the first place. “With a child and every day having to wash clothes, that’s – just my opinion – not feasible,” said Sacramento mom Tanya Allen, who has a 4-year-old daughter, in an interview with KOVR-TV. “But I get it and I understand that we’re trying to preserve, but 55 gallons a day?”

California is proof that liberalism does not work

Liberals have been and always will be all about massive, bloated government. Just earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech at Georgetown University, where she declared that government is the best and most effective tool to bring about opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. But if this is true, then shouldn’t the state of California be paradise by this point? The entire state is a petri dish of liberal policies; it has been for decades. Taxes are through the roof, regulations are in place that deal with just about every aspect of daily life, and the government is massive – these are all things that liberals firmly believe in. The only question is that if they haven’t worked for the state of California, what makes them think that they will work for the rest of the country?

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California Senate Passes Revolutionary Bill to Bypass Federal Reserve, Create Cannabis Banking Industry


Sacramento, CA — In states with legal marijuana, dispensaries and retailers are forced to operate in legal gray areas because the federal government still wants to lock people in cages for possessing this plant. One particularly troublesome aspect of this prohibition is that legal marijuana business cannot accept credit cards and are blocked from using traditional banks. Thanks to a new bill in California, however, all that could be about to change.

In January, Sen. Bob Hertzberg, (D-Van Nuys), along with a bipartisan coalition of nine cosponsors, introduced Senate Bill 930 (SB930) which would create a self-contained banking industry solely for the cannabis industry inside the state of California.

Last week, the California Senate passed the bill. If the bill makes it through final approval, the implications are revolutionary and would aid in further nullifying the federal prohibition of cannabis.

Passage of SB930 would bypass the federal banking system entirely and pave the way for competition in the industry outside of federal control. The current system makes it against the law for banks to accept money from what the federal government considers “illegal activity” even though the state has legalized it. The federal government can and likely would prosecute banks who service the cannabis industry under the Bank Secrecy Act, the USA Patriot Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

As the Tenth Amendment Center reports, under the proposed law, the state would license “cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions.” Cannabis businesses would be able to deposit funds in these institutions and write checks on their accounts for limited purposes, including paying state or local fees and taxes, rent on property associated with a cannabis business, paying vendors, or buying state or local bonds or warrants. These checks could only be deposited or cashed at the issuing cannabis limited charter bank or credit union, or another cannabis limited charter bank or credit union that agrees to accept the check, keeping them outside of the federal checking system known as the automatic clearing house (ACH).

These cannabis banks would not be allowed to interact with regular banks or credit unions. Instead, they would form their own banking networks and would also be allowed to provide accounts to people and other entities outside of the cannabis industry.

“The status quo for our growing legal cannabis industry is unsustainable,” Hertzberg said in a press release. “It’s not only impractical from an accounting perspective, but it also presents a tremendous public safety problem. This bill takes a limited approach to provide all parties with a safe and reliable way to move forward on this urgent issue.”

Showing the overwhelming support for such measures, the bill passed the senate and received only 6 nays. SB930 will now move to the Assembly for further consideration.

As the Free Thought Project previously reported, cryptocurrencies are also stepping up to free the cannabis industry from federal banking control.

As TFTP reported last month, since blockchain technology is still developing, the point of sale options for retail locations have been slim, but a new platform called Alt Thirty-Six is hoping to change that.

Alt Thirty-Six has since announced a partnership with the cannabis software company WebJoint, which they say will allow for more widespread cryptocurrency adoption in cannabis retail locations thourghout the United States, not just California.

“Our goal at Alt Thirty-Six—to bring secure digital payment solutions to the cannabis industry—perfectly aligns with WebJoint’s innovative, cannabis-specific software technology. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with [WebJoint], providing more cannabis businesses with access to our platform and changing the way the industry as a whole handles payments,” Alt Thirty-Six CEO Ken Ramirez said in a statement.

The service will not be using Bitcoin since the legacy blockchain of the pioneer crypto has been riddled with scaling problems that have resulted in high fees and slow transactions. Instead, these services will utilize Dash, a top cryptocurrency that works much better for point of sale payment systems due to its high speed and low cost.

What the bill in California and the Dash projects illustrate is the ability of ingenuity and innovation to create new systems to foster change. Instead of merely trying to tear down the old systems, thinkers and innovators build new ones which show the obsolescence of the old.

DASH cryptocurrency and The Free Thought Project have formed a partnership that will continue to spread the ideas of peace and freedom while simultaneously teaching people how to operate outside of the establishment systems of control like using cryptocurrency instead of dollars. Winning this battle is as simple as choosing to abstain from the violent corrupt old system and participating in the new and peaceful system that hands the power back to the people. DASH is this system.

DASH digital cash takes the control the banking elite has over money and gives it back to the people. It is the ultimate weapon in the battle against the money changers and information controllers.

If you’d like to start your own DASH wallet and be a part of this change and battle for peace and freedom, you can start right here. DASH is already accepted by vendors all across the world so you can begin using it immediately.

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California to Fine Citizens Using Over 55 Gallons of Water as Nestlé Pumps Billions of Gallons for Free


California has become the first state to pass a law severely limiting the amount of water residents can use on a daily basis, and while politicians claim that the restrictions will be enforced in the name of conserving water, Nestlé is illegally stealing millions of gallons of water each year and the state is doing nothing to stop it.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 into law, both of which set new standards for “water management planning.” The restrictions will fully take effect by 2022, limiting residents to 55 gallons of water per person, per day. That number will decrease to 50 gallons per person, per day, by 2030.

“The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified. The bill would also authorize the board to issue a regulation or informational order requiring a wholesale water supplier, urban retail water supplier, or distributor of a public water supply to provide a monthly report relating to water production, water use, or water conservation.”

To put the allotted daily amount of water into perspective, a report from CBS Sacramento noted that “an 8-minute shower uses about 17 gallons of water, a load of laundry up to 40, and a bathtub can hold 80 to 100 gallons of water,” meaning that residents would have to give up showers on the days they wanted to wash one load of laundry, and taking a bath would be nearly impossible.

That is not to mention the fact that each time an individual flushes a toilet, up to 7 gallons of water is used, and around 6 gallons of water is needed for a full dishwasher cycle. If a family fails to budget how much water is being used by each child during the course of a day, or their home has a water leak they are unaware of, they could end up facing massive fines.

Residents will face fines if they fail to comply with the initial 55-gallon per day water limit, and water districts will be required to set targets for water use with outdoor water allowances based on the region. The Pacific Standard also noted that “beginning in 2027, districts that exceed their annual budgets will face fines of $10,000 per day.

Residents told CBS Sacramento that they are concerned about the new regulations and whether they will be able to comply without giving up basic necessities. Tanya Allen, a mother who lives with her 4-year-old daughter, said, “With a child and every day having to wash clothes, that’s, just my opinion, not feasible. But I get it and I understand that we’re trying to preserve…but 55 gallons a day?”

While California residents prepare for a new crackdown on water usage that could cost them thousands of dollars in fines, it raises the question: Is California conserving water in all aspects, or are residents being forced to cut back while corporations have free reign, and the government fails to intervene?

In December 2017, The Free Thought Project reported that Nestlé has been illegally extracting more than 60 million gallons of water per year from California’s San Bernardino National Forest—which amounts to billions of gallons of water stolen over the last 68 years—even though it lacks the legal rights and has never provided a valid basis of right to the water.

The glaring misconduct was detailed in an investigation conducted by the California State Water Resources Control Board, which revealed that Nestlé reports “diversions under 11 groundwater records under the State Water Board’s Groundwater Recordation Program,” and from 1947 to 2015, Nestlé’s reported extractions “averaged 192 acre-feet, or 62.6 million gallons, per year.”

“The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), Division of Water Rights (Division) received several water rights complaints against Nestlé Waters North America (Nestlé or NWNA), starting on April 20, 2015. The complaint allegations included diversion of water without a valid basis of right, unreasonable use of water, injury to public trust resources, and incorrect or missing reporting, all regarding Nestlé’s diversion of water from springs at the headwaters of Strawberry Creek in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) for bottling under the Arrowhead label. Many of the complainants emphasized their concerns about the impacts of Nestlé’s diversions during California’s recent historic drought.” 

Multiple complaints have been filed against the corporation, and even after an investigation by a state agency revealed that billions of gallons of water have been stolen over the last 70 years, no one has been charged for their role in the illegal scheme, and Nestlé continues to steal the drought-stricken state’s most precious resource.

As is typically the case when big government turns a blind eye to the corrupt actions of big corporations, the residents of California—who are forced to fund their government through taxes—are the ones who suffer from the lack of water. At the same time, the new regulations that are being put in place in the name of conserving water are actually the latest cover-up to shield both the state and the corporations it is protecting from any form of legitimate accountability.

DASH cryptocurrency and The Free Thought Project have formed a partnership that will continue to spread the ideas of peace and freedom while simultaneously teaching people how to operate outside of the establishment systems of control like using cryptocurrency instead of dollars. Winning this battle is as simple as choosing to abstain from the violent corrupt old system and participating in the new and peaceful system that hands the power back to the people. DASH is this system.

DASH digital cash takes the control the banking elite has over money and gives it back to the people. It is the ultimate weapon in the battle against the money changers and information controllers.

If you’d like to start your own DASH wallet and be a part of this change and battle for peace and freedom, you can start right here. DASH is already accepted by vendors all across the world so you can begin using it immediately.

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California crucial to Democratic hopes of retaking House in 2018

Rachel Maddow explains why districts in California where Hillary Clinton won but Republicans hold the congressional seat have national significance as Democrats decide which candidates to put up against incumbents in those districts.

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California votes today, with control of Congress in play

We’ll find out Tuesday whether this Democratic nightmare comes true.

In CA-49, two Republicans — state Board of Equalization representative Diane Harkey and state Assemblyman Rocky Chavez — have regularly finished at or near the top of the polls. Retired Marine Col. Doug Applegate was the early Democratic favorite, having surprised everyone by finishing with a mere 1,621 votes, or 0.6 percentage points, behind Issa in 2016. But Applegate has been fading amid chatter about a contentious divorce, and environmental lawyer Mike Levin has emerged as perhaps the party’s leading contender, with several key endorsements and a first-place finish in the most recent public survey.

The problem is that two other well-resourced Democrats are running as well: 29-year-old Sara Jacobs, who has benefited from $1 million in super-PAC donations from her grandfather, Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, and Navy veteran and businessman Paul Kerr, who has so far spent more than $5 million of his personal fortune — in part on controversial ads attacking Levin and Jacobs. All these candidates, including Applegate, are still viable, as are both leading GOPers. Unless Democrats turn out in unprecedented numbers — and/or throw the lion’s share of their votes to one of their party’s four candidates (most likely Levin) — they could end up sending two Republicans to the November runoff.

CA-48 is a similar story. At first glance, Rohrabacher didn’t seem like one of the most vulnerable House Republicans. In 2016, he defeated his Democratic opponent by more than 16 percentage points, and registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by more than 10 points in his district, which stretches from Seal Beach to Laguna Beach and includes some of California’s whitest, wealthiest and most traditionally Republican towns. In fact, Orange County has long been known as the birthplace of the conservative movement.

But this time around, changing demographics, local antipathy toward Trump and Rohrabacher’s own strange relationship to Russia lured seven Democratic challengers into the race. Since then, many have fizzled or dropped out, leaving two strong candidates — stem-cell pioneer Hans Keirstead and real-estate entrepreneur Harley Rouda — as the last men standing. Keirstead was initially considered one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top recruits nationwide, and he earned the state Democratic Party’s endorsement earlier this year. But Rouda seems to have gained late momentum — and the committee’s official support — amid questions surrounding Keirstead’s exit from a UC Irvine lab. Despite his vulnerability, Rohrabacher is still likely to finish first. The question is whether Rouda and Keirstead’s increasingly vicious infighting will help boost one of them past Baugh for second place — or whether it will keep both of them out of the runoff.

Whatever the Democratic Party’s worries in CA-49 and CA-48, however, they’re nothing compared with the situation in CA-39. With four viable Democrats and three viable Republicans (frontrunner Young Kim, a former state assemblywoman; former state Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff; and Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson), the top-two math in Rep. Ed Royce’s district, which stretches northeast from Fullerton, is more daunting for Dems than anywhere else.

By all accounts, Kim is a lock for first place. But no one has any clue who will join her in the general election. Both Huff and Nelson are well known and well liked in the district. The Democratic frontrunners, meanwhile, are a pair of largely self-funding, and less familiar, millionaires: Gil Cisneros, a former shipping and distribution manager at Frito-Lay who won a lottery jackpot of $266 million with his wife in 2010, and Andy Thorburn, a Villa Park health insurance executive and former teachers’ union leader who loaned his campaign $2 million right out of the gate. Cisneros has the Congressional Campaign Committee’s backing; Thorburn was endorsed by Our Revolution, the Bernie Sanders super-PAC.

Further dividing the Democratic vote field are a pair of political neophytes: pediatrician Mai-Khanh Tran, a Vietnamese-American immigrant who worked her way through college at Harvard as a janitor and later survived two bouts of breast cancer, and former Obama administration Commerce Department staffer Sam Jammal. Unlike several other lower-tier Dems, both Tran and Jammal refused to bow out when pressed by national party leaders.

And then there’s turnout to consider. As David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report noted Monday, “A big reason why Democrats are nervous [is that] 22 percent of 39th CD Republicans have returned ballots versus 17 percent of Democratic voters (unlike in the 48th and 49th CDs, where Democrats have [turned] out at higher rates).”

The result could be a Democratic shutout in one of the most flippable districts of 2018.


The governor’s mansion 

Unlike in House races, there’s no chance Democrats will get locked out of the gubernatorial runoff; former San Francisco mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has led in all but one poll released since March 2017.

The question is whether he’ll be running against a Republican or a Democrat in the fall.

At first, former state Assembly speaker and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa seemed like the other favorite to advance. The thinking was that Villaraigosa’s potent base — more Latino and Southern Californian than Newsom’s — would propel him past whichever candidate California’s shrinking Republican Party eventually put forward.

Unfortunately for Villaraigosa, that’s not how things have been playing out. Two single-digit Democratic hopefuls (state Treasurer John Chiang, who boasts more money than Villaraigosa, and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin) have been splitting the party’s non-Newsom vote and, as a result, the leading Republican candidate, millionaire businessman John Cox, has been inching ahead of Villaraigosa in the latest polls.

The final days of the primary campaign have been dizzying. Newsom has been running ads that tout Cox’s conservative credentials — a backhanded way of trying to boost him into second place and ensure an easier path to victory come November. Supporters of Villaraigosa have been promoting the candidacy of Cox’s more conservative rival, state Assemblyman Travis Allen, in hopes of depressing Cox’s share of the primary vote and helping the former mayor advance. And charter-school advocates — including Netflix chief Reed Hastings, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — spent $13.7 million on Villaraigosa’s behalf in less than a month, all but wiping out Newsom’s fundraising lead with the largest infusion of outside cash in California political history. Hastings alone donated a whopping $7 million.

Still, the outcome isn’t settled. After flirting with Allen, Republicans seem to be coalescing around Cox — Trump included. (Never mind that Cox refused to vote for the Manhattan mogul in 2016.) “California finally deserves a great Governor, one who understands borders, crime and lowering taxes,” the president tweeted Friday afternoon. “John Cox is the man — he’ll be the best Governor you’ve ever had.” But strong Latino turnout could help Villaraigosa squeak through.

If he does, the November election — a fight between two Democrats to lead the world’s fifth largest economy — would be one of the most fascinating and revealing in the country.

With an activist base that’s veering leftward in reaction to Trump and a Legislature that’s largely sympathetic and no longer requires Republican votes to pass laws, a like-minded governor could quickly transform the country’s most populous state into the negative image of Trump’s Washington: that is, a place where policy responses to America’s most pressing problems, from income inequality to education to health care, could be implemented.

As we’ve noted before, Newsom is the most progressive of the leading Democrats and the most detailed in his policy prescriptions. His platform includes a number of proposals that national progressives are pushing the party to adopt: a statewide “Medicare for All” single-payer health care system; universal preschool; full-service community schools, open every day; a vast expansion of affordable housing; and a state bank dedicated to financing infrastructure projects, small businesses and the growing marijuana industry. He frequently cites his early decision as San Francisco mayor to grant the nation’s first official same-sex marriage licenses as evidence that as governor he would have the “courage” to push for trailblazing reforms.

Long considered a moderate figure, Villaraigosa is running as Newsom’s more pragmatic, centrist foil. “Pie in the sky doesn’t put food on the table,” he likes to say of the frontrunner’s single-payer plan, which would require an unlikely waiver from the Trump administration. “It’s snake oil.” On education, Villaraigosa is advocating for more charter schools (hence, the independent expenditures) and stricter rules for teacher tenure; as mayor of Los Angeles, he tried to seize control of the city’s public schools, arguing a dramatic overhaul was needed.

The choice facing Californians, then, would be stark: How far to the left do they want the state to go? As far as it has gone in the past? Or further? As it happens, this is the same choice confronting national Democrats as they struggle to respond to Trump. In that sense, California’s gubernatorial contest could foreshadow the risks ahead for the party, and the possible rewards.

A GOP shutout could have down-ballot consequences as well. State Republicans fear that if Cox fails to advance — if there’s no Republican at the top of the ticket for the first time in California history — rank-and-file GOP voters won’t show up to vote for the party’s imperiled congressional candidates. According to the Sacramento Bee, an internal poll conducted by the Cox campaign showed that “barely more [than] half of likely GOP voters in California would turn out” in that scenario.

If Cox, on the other hand, makes the runoff, Newsom would be all but guaranteed to succeed Jerry Brown in the governor’s mansion. The Republican has gained some traction by railing against California’s recent gas-tax increase, which raised prices by 12 cents per gallon, and its so-called sanctuary state movement, which has seen various jurisdictions push back on Trump’s aggressive immigration agenda by directing state or local police not to assist federal enforcement efforts. But the president lost here in 2016 by 3 million votes, and a new poll shows that two-thirds of Golden Staters disapprove of his job performance; meanwhile, “decline to state,” or independent, voters just surpassed Republicans as the state’s second-largest bloc by registration.


Scramble for the Senate 

There’s zero doubt that incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein will finish first in Tuesday’s primary, bringing her one step closer to a sixth term in the U.S. Senate.

The real question is by how much.

Initially, Kevin de León, the former president pro tempore of the state Senate, was seen as a serious challenger — a pugnacious progressive who could capitalize on long-standing left-wing frustrations with Feinstein’s bipartisan instincts and relatively hawkish foreign-policy views and rally Democrats who had become especially eager to unseat her since last August, when she refused to call for Trump’s impeachment, arguing instead that he “can be a good president” if “he can learn and change.”

In the state Senate, de León had worked overtime since Trump’s election to transform California into ground zero for the resistance — and to cast de León, by extension, as one of the movement’s leaders. On Nov. 9, 2016, de León and his counterpart in the state Assembly, Anthony Rendon, released a letter proclaiming that California would “lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution”; in January 2017, they hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to shape their legal strategy. And de León in particular went on to push bill after bill designed to thwart Trump’s agenda.

On the trail, de León hasn’t pulled his punches. He frequently mentions “congressional seniority,” a thinly veiled reference to the fact that Feinstein, 84, is the oldest sitting U.S. senator and would be 91 when her next term concludes.

For a time, de León’s flanking maneuver seemed to be working. He won the endorsements of many of the state’s top unions, and California Democrats voted in February not to endorse Feinstein, making her the first incumbent senator in decades to compete in a Golden State primary without the official backing of her party.

But the polls never budged. The earliest head-to-head surveys showed de León at around 15 to 20 percent, with Feinstein in the 40 to 50 percent range; the latest surveys, which include several additional progressive challengers and a handful of obscure Republicans, peg de León’s support around 10 percent — roughly 30 percentage points behind his chief rival. One even showed a Nazi with no real campaign infrastructure running ahead of de León (though his support has dissolved in more recent polling). Another Republican, businessman James P. Bradley, seems to be within striking distance.

In part Feinstein’s lead is because Feinstein has massively outspent de León, raising $10 million and chipping in an extra $5 million of her own money. (De León has rustled up a mere $1.3 million so far.) In part it is because she has tacked to the left on marijuana and the death penalty, seemingly in response to de León’s attacks and the larger leftward shift among Democrats they reflect. In part it is because Feinstein’s name recognition is sky-high — she won reelection in 2012 with more votes (7.75 million) than any other senator in U.S. history — which tends to help in an enormous state with several exorbitant media markets.

But mainly it is because the vast majority of Californians aren’t as unhappy with Feinstein as de León assumed. At a #MeToo moment, she is the first and only woman to have chaired the Senate Rules Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence. Before joining the Senate, she was the first female mayor of San Francisco; before that, she was the first female president of the city’s Board of Supervisors. In 1994, Feinstein authored the federal assault weapons ban, and she has continued to fight for gun control amid the recent spate of school shootings; during President Barack Obama’s first term, she led a groundbreaking investigation into the CIA’s controversial post-9/11 interrogation program.

De León’s supporters insist that the dynamic will different in the fall, should he advance. But unless he makes a surprisingly strong showing Tuesday, it’s unlikely that he will be able to gain much momentum. Ultimately, then, de León’s candidacy may prove to be a case study in the limitations of resistance politics, rather than its power. Feinstein may not be popular among self-styled resistance fighters, but how many resistance fighters are there, really — even in California? And how many are just as upset about moderate Democrats as they are about Trump Republicans?

Perhaps not enough to unseat a trailblazing woman who has been serving the state for decades.


Parts of this story were adapted from the author’s earlier coverage of California’s 2018 elections.


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How They Do It–Neo-Nazi Republican Patrick Little Gets 1.2% In California Senate Primary

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