Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Hunter Biden Pushes Back Against Allegations of Burisma Money Laundering

Hunter Biden on ABC, 10/15/2019

Hunter Biden is pushing back against claims made in Arkansas court that he is the subject of a criminal investigation relating to money laundering with Burisma Holdings.
On Monday, Biden’s lawyers made a motion to strike documents recently filed by a private investigator hired by Lunden Roberts, a woman suing their client for child support in Arkansas circuit court.
In a filing, made public last week, the private investigator alleges Biden “established bank and financial accounts with Morgan Stanley” for a “money laundering scheme” involving Burisma Holdings Limited, a Ukrainian natural gas company. Biden served on the company’s board of directors between April 2014 and April 2019, despite lacking a background in either Ukraine or the energy sector.
According to the private investigator hired by Roberts, Burisma transferred millions of dollars to an account controlled by Biden and his business partners. In total, the investigator claims, Burisma transferred more than $156 million to the account, resulting in an average monthly balance of more than $6.7 million. Nearly $6.8 million was transferred by Burisma between March 2014, around the time that Biden joined the group’s board of directors, and December 2015 alone.
The private investigator claims that Biden and his associates “utilized a counterfeiting scheme to conceal” the payments.
When requesting on Monday the investigator’s findings be struck from the record, Biden his stated they were inaccurate and part of a “scheme … to make scandalous allegations in the pending suit to gain media attention without any material or pertinent material.”
The revelations come as Biden’s role with Burisma continues to draw scrutiny, especially in light of the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Congressional Democrats claim that Trump’s suggestion the government of Ukraine looking into Biden’s work with the natural gas company amounted to asking a foreign power for dirt on a political opponent. Trump and his allies, on the other hand, have countered that Biden’s appointment, coming around the same time his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, was tapped to lead Obama-era policy towards Ukraine, and his relative inexperience in the energy industry warrant investigation.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, detailed in Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden’s background in investment banking, lobbying, and hedge fund management paled in comparison to that of current and past members of Burisma’s board.
The elder Biden claims he has never talked to his son about his business in Ukraine, but the former vice president has yet to answer questions about a photograph showing him, Hunter, and another Burisma board member playing golf together in 2014.
Adding to concerns is the fact that, at the time Hunter Biden joined Burisma, the company was seen as actively courting western leaders to prevent further scrutiny of its business practices.  The same month Hunter Biden was tapped to join the group’s board, the government of Great Britain froze accounts belonging to Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, under suspicion of money laundering.
A Ukrainian official with strong ties to Zlochevsky admitted in October the only reason that Hunter Biden secured the appointment was to “protect” the company from foreign scrutiny. The claim has credence given that at the time, Joe Biden was tasked with leading the Obama administration’s policy towards Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
It is in the context of Burisma and Zlochevsky’s legal troubles that Joe Biden’s political influence has raised the most red flags. The former vice president has particularly drawn questions over his conduct in demanding the Ukrainian government fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in 2016.
Joe Biden, who has publicly bragged about the firing, reportedly threatened to withhold more than $1 billion in U.S. aid if the Ukrainian government did not remove Shokin. He has claimed the demand came from then-President Barack Obama, who had allegedly lost faith in the prosecutor’s ability to tackle corruption.
Unofficially, though, it was known that Shokin was investigating both Burisma and Zlochevsky for public corruption. It is uncertain if the probe extended to Hunter Biden, although Shokin has recently admitted that prior to his ouster, he was warned to back off the matter. Regardless of what occurred, Shokin’s successor, who is now himself being investigated for public corruption, dropped the investigation into Burisma and Zlochevsky.
After the investigation into Burisma was closed, Hunter Biden remained on the company’s board of directors, where he was paid as much as $83,000-per-month for his services.

China and the 2020 Election

On April 25, 2019, Joe Biden declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Seven days later, on May 3, 2019, the Chinese sent a diplomatic cable to the Trump Administration blowing up a 150-page draft agreement that had taken many months to negotiate.  The cable was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands.  In each of the seven chapters of the trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: theft of intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.
A coincidence or a premeditated scenario?
Joe Biden, in his days in the Senate, was very partial to China, as he voted against revoking China’s most-favored nation status and in 2007 opposed the idea of applying any tariffs on China despite their obvious unfair trade practices.  However, it was as Vice President that he became wholly enamored with the country and its leadership.
For example, while in China, Biden, in August of 2011, defended and approvedof China’s one-child policy which brutally used forced abortions to implement the law.  In the same year Biden was given the assignment, by Barack Obama, to be the point man on China due his close personal relationship with Xi Jinping, then Vice-President and heir apparent to the Presidency.  (Xi Jinping is currently President and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the most powerful figure in China’s political system).
Due solely to Joe Biden’s influence, in 2011, less than a year after starting Rosemont Seneca Partners, essentially a three-man investment firm with Chris Heinz (stepson of John Kerry), Biden’s son Hunter, who had no previous experience in private equity, was in China to explore business opportunities with Chinese state-owned enterprises.  These meetings occurred just hours before Joe Biden met with the Chinese president in Washington.  Later in the same year, Hunter had a second meeting with many of the same Chinese financial powerhouses -- just two weeks after his father, the Vice President, conducted U.S.-China strategic talks in Washington with Chinese officials.
Joe Biden and Xi Jinping dine at the State Department, Valentine's Day, 2012
(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann, croppped)
Meanwhile Joe Biden never missed an opportunity to downplay China’s threat to the United States.  In May of 2013, during a commencement speech he assured those concerned the Chinese were “going to eat our lunch” that they had nothing to be alarmed about as China had immense problems and an inability to think differently.  In May of 2014 Biden described China as a nation incapable of producing innovative products and ideas.  (Two weeks after declaring his 2020 candidacy Biden, in Iowa, said, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man…they can’t even figure out how to deal with the corruption that exists within the system.  I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks.  But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”   After a massive backlash, he walked back some of those comments a few days later by saying “I don’t suggest China is not a problem.”
In December 2013, Biden flew to Beijing on Air Force Two with his son Hunter on an official trip ostensibly to discuss tensions over disputed territories in the East China Sea.  Joe and Hunter were ushered into a red-carpet meeting with a delegation of various Chinese officials.  Hunter remained with the delegation while his father met with President Xi Jinping.  During these meetings Joe Biden struck an extremely conciliatory and friendly tone with the Chinese leadership -- much to the dismay of America’s allies in the region.
Ten day later, Hunter’s company, Rosemont Seneca, signed an exclusive $1 Billion (later expanded to $1.5 Billion) deal with the state-owned Bank of China, creating an investment fund called Bohai Harvest, with money guaranteed by the Chinese Government.  As Peter Schweizer, who was the first to unveil these conflicts of interest, wrote in his book Secret Empires “the Chinese Government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers”  Rarely has there been a more stark illustration of being “compromised by a foreign power.”
And in 2014, another arm of Hunter’s budding business empire, Rosemont Realty, began negotiating multi-billion dollar deals with Gemini Investments, a Chinese firm with ties to the China Ocean Shipping Company Ltd. which reportedly operates as an extension of the Chinese military and who eventually acquired 75% of Rosemont Realty in order to purchase commercial real estate in the United States.
Anyone who has dealt with the Chinese Government or the myriad of entities controlled by the government can attest: any foreign business transaction with China always has a requisite or implied quid pro quo that oftentimes does not involve monetary considerations.  Once entangled in this web it is nearly impossible to escape.  It would be naïve to believe that the Biden family, particularly Joe, are not embroiled in this labyrinth of expectations and demands.
In the years and months before he decided to throw his hat in the ring, it had to be obvious to Joe Biden and in particular those close to him that his mental acuity is rapidly failing, not to mention that his and Hunter’s questionable business activities in China and the Ukraine would be exposed on a grand scale.  Why then would he willingly take on a grueling 18-month marathon of running for president?  As the timing of Biden’s announcement and Chinese abrupt volte face on the trade agreement implies, one must, therefore, assume he was coerced into declaring his candidacy as a pawn in the chess game the Chinese are playing in order to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
If Xi Jinping coerced his old friend Joe Biden into running, then he placed his prestige and fate on the line that China would be able to hold out in the ongoing trade war and achieve a favorable outcome in any negotiations with Biden at the helm.  While Xi Jinping is powerful, he still is one of seven members of a standing committee of the Politburo (25 members) that can oust him.   At this point Xi Jinping cannot be perceived as losing face by caving to Donald Trump and reinstituting the agreement made in the spring of 2019. 
Therefore, while the threat of further escalation in the trade war will recede there is little chance of anything substantive happening as intransigence will be the rule the day between now and November 2020.  However, China’s growing internal problems and failing economy will dramatically escalate, which could force the Politburo to either remove Xi Jinping, or accept, with clinched teeth and a renewed determination to defeat Donald Trump, the basic terms of the May 2019 trade agreement.
Joe Biden’s everyday performance on the campaign trail reinforces the reality that he will not be the Democratic Party presidential nominee.  Thus, whoever is nominated by the Democratic Party will, by default, be backed by the Chinese -- who will do whatever is legal, illegal or unethical to defeat Donald Trump.  The actions the Russians were falsely accused of in the 2016 election will be child’s play by comparison.
It appears that the Chinese may have made a major blunder in April and May of 2019.  A blunder with potential major ramifications for China and, if Donald Trump is defeated in 2020, the United States.

Senate Finance Committee Probes Biden-Linked, Chinese Military-Boosting Tech Sale

Tom Brenner/Getty Images
 15 Aug 20192,058

The Senate Finance Committee is probing the Obama administration’s 2015 decision to approve the sale of a U.S. company with insight into “military applications” to the Chinese government and an investment firm run by former Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, Hunter Biden.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the committee’s chairman, sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday requesting documents relating to the sale of Henniges, a Michigan-based automotive company, to Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). The latter was formed in 2013 by a merger between a subsidiary of the Bank of China and Rosemont Seneca, a firm started by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
Since AVIC was a subsidiary of the Chinese government and Henniges, the producer of “dual-use” anti-vibration technology with military application, the deal required approval from the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The panel — made up of representatives from 16 different federal bodies, including the departments of State, Treasury, and Defense — is required to review any transaction that could lead to a foreign person gaining control of an American business.
In question is whether CIFUS was influenced by Obama administration officials, most notedly Joe Biden and John Kerry, who had an interest in seeing the deal move forward.
“The direct involvement of Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest,” Grassley wrote.
The senator noted in his letter that AVIC’s bid for Henniges should have immediately set off alarm bells in the Obama White House. In 2007, AVIC “reportedly involved in stealing sensitive data regarding the Joint Strike Fighter program,” which it later “reportedly incorporated … into China’s J-20 and J‑31 aircraft.”
Even more troubling, however, is that bid was facilitated at the same time China was staking out a more adversarial role in global affairs. At the time, Beijing was suspected of undermining U.S. cybersecurity by underwriting hackers stealing governmental data. There was also simmering tension over disputes in the South China Sea.
Despite the threat to national security, the $600 million deal was approved by CIFUS, with AVIC purchasing 51 percent of the company and BHR taking ownership of the other 49 percent. Upon purchase, an industry newsletter stated the deal was the “biggest Chinese investment into US automotive manufacturing assets to date.”
In his letter to Mnuchin, Grassley compared the deal to the Uranium One scandal, which arose when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the sale of a Canadian mining company to Rosatom, the state-owned Russian nuclear energy conglomerate. It later emerged that both investors in the company and Russian energy officials had donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation.
“As with the Uranium One transaction, there is cause for concern that potential conflicts of interest could have influenced CFIUS’ approval of the Henniges transaction,” Grassley wrote. “Accordingly, Congress and the public must fully understand the decision-making process that led to the Henniges approval and the extent to which CFIUS fully considered the transaction’s national security risks.”
This is not the first time that Hunter Biden’s ties to China have caused grief for his father’s political career. As Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden signed the $1.5 billion deal creating BHR in 2013 only ten days after visiting China aboard Air Force Two with his father.


Eight Things to Know About the Biden Family’s Culture of Corruption

14 Aug 2019386

The family of former Vice President Joe Biden has earned millions of dollars since the start of his political career, often from dealings with heavy political overtones.

Biden, the frontrunner among 2020 Democrats, often touts his middle-class bonafides on the campaign trail. Although Biden did not become a multi-millionaire until he left the White House in 2017, the same cannot be said of his family. In fact, several members of the Biden clan became immensely wealthy over the span of the former vice president’s 40-year political career.
Breitbart News is providing an in-depth breakdown of a few instances in which Joe Biden’s political career and his family’s financial interests seemed to intersect.
1. Joe Biden’s younger brother, James Biden, secured generous bank loans.
In the wake of Joe Biden’s upset election to the U.S. Senate in 1972, his younger brother James was able to secure a series of generous bank loans to start a Delaware night club.
Although James Biden had no business experience and a net worth of less than $10,000 at the time, he was able to arrange more than $160,000 in start-up capital for the venture. When the nightclub proved to be unsuccessful, generating more than $500,000 of debt by 1975, James Biden and his business partners were thrown a life-line by a Pennsylvania bank that loaned him a further $300,000.
During the same time period James Biden was receiving the extensive lines of credit, Joe Biden was sitting on the Senate Banking Committee, which had purview over the financial sector. A specific jurisdiction of the committee was the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides bailouts to banks if they should become over-leveraged.
2. Joe Biden’s top campaign contributor hired his youngest son Hunter right out of law school.
Shortly after Joe Biden was reelected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, his largest campaign contributor, the credit card issuer MBNA Corp., hired his son for an undisclosed role. The job raised eyebrows from good government groups because MBNA employees had just donated $63,000 to Joe Biden’s reelection campaign in what appeared to be a coordinatedmanner to sidestep federal campaign finance regulations.
Clouding the picture even further was that, at the time, Hunter Biden was a 26-year-old recent graduate of Yale Law School with no prior banking or business experience. Both father and son defended the job offer, claiming nothing improper had or would result because of the arrangement.
“Unfortunately, no matter where I went to work, some people would make an issue of it,” the younger Biden told the Delaware News Journal in November 1996 when the job was announced.
Despite his role being unknown at the time of his hiring, when Hunter Biden left the company in 1998 to join the Clinton-era Commerce Department it was as a senior vice president.
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Joe Biden was championing bankruptcy reform legislation endorsed by financial interests and credit card companies like MBNA.
3. An MBNA executive purchased Biden’s house for the full asking price in a deal that appeared facilitated by the company. 
A senior MBNA executive purchased Biden’s 10,000 square foot colonial mansion in the Wilmington, Delaware, suburbs for the asking price of $1.2 million in February 1996. The sale garnered notice because larger and newer homes in the vicinity sold for less. The issue became a minor campaign problem for Biden’s reelection but was quickly dismissed when the senator provided local media appraisal forms showing his home was worth the value for what it was sold.
Byron York, however, investigated the matter in an exposé for the American Spectator and found that properties appraised around the same value in the vicinity had “sold for a good deal less” than at what they were valued on paper.
“In comparison, it appears [the MBNA executive] simply paid Biden’s full asking price,” York wrote. “And, according to people familiar with the situation, the house needed quite a bit of work; contractors and their trucks descended on the house for months after the purchase.”
As York also noted, it appeared that MBNA may have played a role in facilitating the purchase. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that “in 1996 MBNA reimbursed [the executive] $330,115 for expenses arising from the move.” Of that total, $210,000 “was to make up for a loss [the executive] suffered on the sale of his Maryland home.”
4. Hunter Biden remained on MBNA’s payroll while Joe Biden was writing bankruptcy reform legislation. 
Throughout the early 2000s, Hunter Biden remained on MBNA’s payroll as a consultant while his father was writing and pushing the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. The arrangement, which did not become public until after the law was passed, started in 2001 after Hunter Biden had left his position in the Commerce Dept. MBNA was paid monthly consulting fees, with some claiming they ranged upwards of $100,000, to advise the company on online banking issues.
The 2005 bankruptcy tightened regulations to make it extremely more difficult to declare bankruptcy. It was heavily favored by MBNA and other giants in the banking and finance sectors. Many consumer protection advocates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have claimed the bill benefited special interests at the expense of consumers. Some have even suggested the law only served to hasten and aggravate the recession of the late 2000s.
As previously reported by the New York Times, Biden worked against many of his own fellow Democrats in Congress to ensure the final version of the bill was free of provisions opposed by companies like MBNA.
Biden “was one of five Democrats in March 2005 who voted against a proposal to require credit card companies to provide more effective warnings to consumers about the consequences of paying only the minimum amount due each month,” the Times noted.
5. Joe Biden paid his family members with campaign cash.
During his failed 2008 presidential campaign, Joe Biden paid more than $2 million to his family members and their business. According to the Washington Times, the money went to a company that was a long-time employer of Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens. Biden also directed funds to a law firm started by his old campaign treasurer, which at the time also employed his youngest son Hunter.
6. James and Hunter Biden sought to monetize off Joe Biden’s political standing. 
In 2006, close to when Joe Biden assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launched his second presidential campaign, James and Hunter Biden purchased a hedge fund called Paradigm Global Advisors. Although neither man had a strong background in finance, James and Hunter Biden reportedly believed they could leverage Joe Biden’s political connections to their benefits.
“Don’t worry about investors,” James Biden purportedly told Paradigm’s senior leadership upon taking over the fund, as reported by Politico. “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.”
Paradigm’s executives claim that James and Hunter Biden saw the hedge fund as a way to “take money from rich foreigners who could not legally give money” to Joe Biden’s campaign account.
“We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company,” James Biden allegedly told Paradigm’s staff.
Hunter and James also tried to solicit labor unions to invest their pension funds in Paradigm by relying on Joe Biden’s long record of advocating in favor of collective bargaining.
The efforts proved to unsuccessful, though, with James and Hunter Biden choosing to strip and sell the company off by 2010 after a number of bad decisions, including partnering with a Ponzi scheme.
7. James Biden’s received a $1.5 billion contract to build houses in Iraq while Joe Biden was overseeing the region. 
After his foray into the world of high finance ended disastrously, James Biden joinedHillstone International LLC as a vice president in 2010. The company, a subsidiary of Hill International, at the time, was pursuing technology and construction projects around the globe.
Although the company had been losing money for some time, James Biden’s arrival resulted in something of a reversal in fortune. Within six months of James Biden joining the firm, Hillstone was the recipient of $1.5 billion dollar contract to build 100,000 houses in war-torn Iraq. The deal, which was never finalized because outside funding failed to materialize, quickly caught attention as Joe Biden was overseeing the Obama administration’s policy in the region.
Both the Obama White House and Hillstone denied Joe Biden had anything to do with the deal, pointing to the fact the contract was awarded through a South Korean group working to build homes in Iraq. Despite the denials, Irvin Richter, the founder of Hill International, did admit James Biden may have had something to do with the deal.
“Listen, his name helps him get in the door, but it doesn’t help him get business,” Richter told Fox Business in 2012 when discussing James Biden. “People who have important names tend to get in the door easier but it doesn’t mean success. If he had the name Obama he would get in the door easier.”
Complicating matters was the fact James Biden was likely to get rich if the deal went through. Fox Business reported that a group of minority partners, which included James Biden, owned 49 percent of Hillstone. The other 51 percent was owned by the company’s parent group, Hill International. Given Hillstone’s profit breakdown structure, James Biden and the other minority partners would have been eligible to split more than $735 million after the deal was completed
8. Hunter Biden’s firm scored a $1.5 billion deal with the Bank of China only days after Joe Biden and his youngest son visited the country. 
Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends that Hunter Biden’s firm signed a multi-billion dollar with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China only ten days after he visited the country with his father aboard Air Force Two.
In a SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight radio interview from last year, Schweizer explained how the Biden-China deal unfolded:
“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China,” said Schweizer. “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”

So Hunter Biden followed his dad around to Romania, too?

Hunter Biden was quite the devoted little sproutling, following his dad around wherever he went.
According to this NBC News report:
In the final year of the Obama administration, an American lawyer traveled to Romania to meet with a businessman accused of orchestrating a corrupt land deal.
The businessman was Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, a wealthy Romanian real estate tycoon. The lawyer brought in to advise him was Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Hunter Biden’s work for Popoviciu in 2016 went unreported at the time, but Joe Biden’s involvement in Romania was very much public. The vice president was among the leading voices pushing the government to crack down on corruption.
At Fox News, Sean Hannity called it a "pattern." Hunter Biden following his dad around -- to China, Ukraine, and now Romania -- and somehow always came away with big-dollar business deals. Kind of the way then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used Bill Clinton as her bagman to scarf up donations to the Clinton Foundation after Hillary made some foreign policy decision. That's certainly the way it happened with the 2011 passage of the U.S.-Colombia free trade pact, according to Peter Schweizer in his book, "Clinton Cash."
Hillary had her Bill. Joe had his Hunter. It's worth it to take this pattern where it goes, which is an emerging picture of modern bribery.
Imagine what it must have been like in the not-so-long-ago years when Joe Biden was vice president of the U.S. -- big, powerful, full of demands to advance the Obama political agenda.
You're a scruffy post-Soviet regime or third-world country.  You need some kind of help from nearby predators, you want to avoid sanctions, or your country's just generally a hellhole.
In comes Biden, who just happens to be the guy assigned as 'point man' to handle your case, with his cocaine-using son in tow.
In order to get what you want from Joe, you need to set up some kind of meeting with sonny boy - who's traveling with Joe, supposedly there to do "business deals." Sonny boy doesn't know anything about business, or the industries he could be dropped into, or for that matter, following the rules on cocaine use in the Navy. He's unemployable. But he's there with dad, waiting for his post-dad meetings, too.
And he walks off with big-dollar business deals, often from no-show jobs, nice big money streams, the flying dollar-bill wake of Joe Biden's tour. After about the first or second one, you'd start to notice a pattern.. Joe blows in, a payoff will be required.
The strange passage of Colombia's free trade pact in 2011, based on a sudden change in Democrat sentiment of being utterly against it to being at least grudingly for it, was also reportedly enacted through a payoff. The Clinton Foundation got a big $800,000 payment with Hillary Clinton as sitting Secretary of State and voila, Clinton was in favor of passage. In a way, the House Biden setup paralled the Clintons-Clinton Foundation setup. It's now worth it to check now if that, or any trade pact passed during the Obama years -- and there were several -- also could have involved Joe.
Because obviously, word would have gotten around. You're a scruffy third world country, your job is to watch the gringos closely, see how you can get them to help you, see what it takes. You'd watch one, two, many international transactions with comparable countries. You'd watch closely to see what it takes.
I know this, because I've spent a lot of time in such countries, speaking with their officials. "What do we have to do?" is the most commonly asked question I've heard the world over.
As John Hinderaker at Power Line notes - the answer was bribery, an updated modern-day version of bribery that can't be pinned as bribery by the long arm of the law the way walking into a smoke-filled room with a black bag full of cash can. He writes:
Joe Biden didn’t do anything wrong? A time-honored method of taking bribes is having them paid to a family member, usually in exchange for nominal or nonexistent services. It is comical to watch “reporters” pretend not to understand this. 
They all know this, which is why this sort of thing happens. For Biden, the first shakedown of the scruffy foreigners is the hardest. But by the third or fourth, Biden doesn't have to say a thing. He just jets in with his son in tow and the everyone knows what to do.
This is how hideous the House Biden operation got to be. As Hannity noted, the cash that followed the visits was quite a pattern.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and make a forecast. With Ukraine, China and Romania being brought up, it's likely these aren't the only countries we are going to be hearing Joe and Hunter Biden's name attached to. They had a heckuva Pop-and-Junior tag-team racket.


Wage inequality is surging in California — and not just on the coast. Here’s why


Wage inequality has risen more in California cities than in the metropolitan areas of any other state, with seven of the nation’s 15 most unequal cities located in the Golden State.

Gavin Newsom Brags About His Record Fighting Homelessness in California

Gavin Newsom Getty

California Governor Gavin Newsom boasted Thursday about his state’s effort to fight the crisis of homelessness in the state, as President Donald Trump criticized California politicians for the second day in a row for neglecting the problem.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released statistics showing that in the year ending in January 2019, homelessness in the U.S. had rise 2.7% — driven “entirely” by California’s rise of 16.4%. Though homelessness had actually declined in most other states, California had seen a dramatic increase.
Newsom, speaking to Breitbart News in the spin room after the Democrat debate in Los Angeles, admitted that the state was facing a severe problem: “It is an embarrassment, it is unacceptable. And we’ve got to own it, we’ve got to own up and solve it.” But he also told reporters that the Trump administration was to blame because it would not provide more funds for housing, — though many experts say that the problem is caused by mental illness, drug addiction, and other factors that the availability of free or affordable housing, by itself, would not actually resolve.
On Christmas Day, in a belated response to Newsom’s criticism the week before, President Trump tweeted that Newsom had  “done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California” and threatened — as he has done before — to “get involved,” presumably using his emergency powers to take over state and local policy.
Trump reiterated his point on Dec. 26, arguing that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — his main opponent during the ongoing impeachment battle — was neglecting the problem in her home town of San Francisco:

Another line they cut into: Illegals get free public housing as impoverished Americans wait

Want some perspective on why so many blue sanctuary cities have so many homeless encampments hovering around?
Try the reality that illegal immigrants are routinely given free public housing by the U.S., based on the fact that they are uneducated, unskilled, and largely unemployable. Those are the criteria, and now importing poverty has never been easier. Shockingly, this comes as millions of poor Americans are out in the cold awaiting that housing that the original law was intended to help.
Thus, the tent cities, and by coincidence, the worst of these emerging shantytowns are in blue sanctuary cities loaded with illegal immigrants - Orange County, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York...Is there a connection? At a minimum, it's worth looking at.
The Trump administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development is finally trying to put a stop to it as 1.5 million illegals prepare to enter the U.S. this year, and one can only wonder why they didn't do it yesterday.
According to a report in the Washington Times:
The plan would scrap Clinton-era regulations that allowed illegal immigrants to sign up for assistance without having to disclose their status.
Under the new Trump rules, not only would the leaseholder using public housing have to be an eligible U.S. person, but the government would verify all applicants through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database, a federal system that’s used to weed illegal immigrants out of other welfare programs.
Those already getting HUD assistance would have to go through a new verification, though it would be over a period of time and wouldn’t all come at once.
“We’ve got our own people to house and need to take care of our citizens,” an administration official told The Washington Times. “Because of past loopholes in HUD guidance, illegal aliens were able to live in free public housing desperately needed by so many of our own citizens. As illegal aliens attempt to swarm our borders, we’re sending the message that you can’t live off of American welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.”
The Times notes that the rules are confusingly contradictary, and some illegal immigrant families are getting full rides based on just one member being born in the U.S. The pregnant caravaner who calculatingly slipped across the U.S. in San Diego late last year, only to have her baby the next day, now, along with her entire family, gets that free ride on government housing. Plus lots of cheesy news coverage about how heartwarming it all is. That's a lot cheaper than any housing she's going to find back in Tegucigalpa.
Migrants would be almost fools not to take the offering.
The problem of course is that Americans who paid into these programs, and the subset who find themselves in dire circumstances, are in fact being shut out.
The fill-the-pews Catholic archbishops may love to tout the virtues of illegal immigrants and wave signs about getting 'justice" for them, but the hard fact here is that these foreign nationals are stealing from others as they take this housing benefit under legal technicalities. That's not a good thing under anyone's theological law. But hypocrisy is comfortable ground for the entire open borders lobby as they shamelessly celebrate lawbreaking at the border, leaving the impoverished of the U.S. out cold.
The Trump administration is trying to have this outrage fixed by summer. But don't imagine it won't be without the open-borders lawsuits, the media sob stories, the leftist judges, and the scolding clerics.

Los Angeles County Pays Over a Billion in Welfare to Illegal Aliens Over Two Years


In 2015 and 2016, Los Angeles County paid nearly $1.3 billion in welfare funds to illegal aliens and their families. That figure amounts to 25 percent of the total spent on the county’s entire needy population, according to Fox News.
The state of California is home to more illegal aliens than any other state in the country. Approximately one in five illegal aliens lives in California, Pew reported.
Approximately a quarter of California’s 4 million illegal immigrants reside in Los Angeles County. The county allows illegal immigrant parents with children born in the United States to seek welfare and food stamp benefits.
The welfare benefits data acquired by Fox News comes from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services and shows welfare and food stamp costs for the county’s entire population were $3.1 billion in 2015, $2.9 billion in 2016.
The data also shows that during the first five months of 2017, more than 60,000 families received a total of $181 million.
Over 58,000 families received a total of $602 million in benefits in 2015 and more than 64,000 families received a total of $675 million in 2016.
Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow who studies poverty and illegal immigration, told Fox the costs represent “the tip of the iceberg.”
“They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend,” Rector said. It can cost the government a total of $24,000 per year per family to pay for things like education, police, fire, medical, and subsidized housing.
In February of 2019, the Los Angeles city council signed a resolution making it a sanctuary city. The resolution did not provide any new legal protections to their immigrants, but instead solidified existing policies.
In October 2017, former California governor Jerry Brown signed SB 54 into law. This bill made California, in Brown’s own words, a “sanctuary state.” The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the State of California over the law. A federal judge dismissed that suit in July. SB 54 took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
According to Center for Immigration Studies, “The new law does many things: It forbids all localities from cooperating with ICE detainer notices, it bars any law enforcement officer from participating in the popular 287(g) program, and it prevents state and local police from inquiring about individuals’ immigration status.”
Some counties in California have protested its implementation and joined the Trump administration’s lawsuit against the state.
California’s campaign to provide public services to illegal immigrants did not end with the exit of Jerry Brown. His successor, Gavin Newsom, is just as focused as Brown in funding programs for illegal residents at the expense of California taxpayers.
California’s budget earmarks millions of dollars annually to the One California program, which provides free legal assistance to all aliens, including those facing deportation, and makes California’s public universities easier for illegal-alien students to attend.
According to the Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers 2017 report, for the estimated 12.5 million illegal immigrants living in the country, the resulting cost is a $116 billion burden on the national economy and taxpayers each year, after deducting the $19 billion in taxes paid by some of those illegal immigrants.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more than 22 million non-citizens now live in the United States. 

 "The good news: some Californians are waking up. A recent PPIC poll found that increasing proportions of Californians believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction—a figure that exceeds 55 percent in the inland areas."

On its current course, California increasingly resembles a model of what the late Taichi Sakaiya called “high-tech feudalism,” with a small population of wealthy residents and a growing mass of modern-day serfs.

California Preening

The Golden State is on a path to high-tech feudalism, but there’s still time to change course.
December 20, 2019
Economy, finance, and budgets
“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.” When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree? The idea of California as a model, of course, precedes the former governor’s tenure. Now the state’s anti-Trump resistance—in its zeal on matters concerning climate, technology, gender, or race—believes that it knows how to create a just, affluent, and enlightened society. “The future depends on us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at his inauguration. “And we will seize this moment.”
In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-

feudal kingdom, with 
the nation’s widest 

gap between middle and upper incomes—72 

percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 

percent—and its highest poverty rate. Roughly 

half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles 

San Francisco, which now has the highest 

property crime rate among major cities. California

hasn’t yet become a full-scale dystopia, of 

course, but it’s heading in a troubling direction.

This didn’t have to happen. No place on earth has more going for it than the Golden State. Unlike the East Coast and Midwest, California benefited from comparatively late industrialization, with an economy based less on auto manufacturing and steel than on science-based fields like aerospace, software, and semiconductors. In the mid-twentieth century, the state also gained from the best aspects of progressive rule, culminating in an elite public university system, a massive water system reminiscent of the Roman Empire, and a vast infrastructure network of highways, ports, and bridges. The state was fortunate, too, in drawing people from around the U.S. and the world. The eighteenth-century French traveler J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur described the American as “this new man,” and California—innovative, independent, and less bound by tradition or old prejudice—reflected that insight. Though remnants of this California still exist, its population is aging, less mobile, and more pessimistic, and its roads, schools, and universities are in decline.
In the second half of the twentieth century, California’s remarkably diverse economy spread prosperity from the coast into the state’s inland regions. Though pockets of severe poverty existed—urban barrios, south Los Angeles, the rural Central Valley—they were limited in scope. In fact, growth often favored suburban and exurban communities, where middle-class families, including minorities, settled after World War II.
In the last two decades, the state has adopted policies that undermine the basis for middle-class growth. State energy policies, for example, have made California’s gas and electricity prices among the steepest in the country. Since 2011, electricity prices have risen five times faster than the national average. Meantime, strict land-use controls have raised housing costs to the nation’s highest, while taxes—once average, considering California’s urban scale—now exceed those of virtually every state. At the same time, California’s economy has shed industrial diversity in favor of dependence on one industry: Big Tech. Just a decade before, the state’s largest firms included those in the aerospace, finance, energy, and service industries. Today’s 11 largest companies hail from the tech sector, while energy firms—excluding Chevron, which has moved much of its operations to Houston—have disappeared. Not a single top aerospace firm—the iconic industry of twentieth-century California—retains its headquarters here.
Though lionized in the press, this tech-oriented economy hasn’t resulted in that many middle- and high-paying job opportunities for Californians, particularly outside the Bay Area. Since 2008, notes Chapman University’s Marshall Toplansky, the state has created five times the number of low-paying, as opposed to high-wage, jobs. A remarkable 86 percent of new jobs paid below the median income, while almost half paid under $40,000. Moreover, California, including Silicon Valley, created fewer high-paying positions than the national average, and far less than prime competitors like Salt Lake City, Seattle, or Austin. Los Angeles County features the lowest pay of any of the nation’s 50 largest counties.
No state advertises its multicultural bona fides more than California, now a majority-minority state. This is evident at the University of California, where professors are required to prove their service to “people of color,” to the state’s high school curricula, with its new ethnic studies component. Much of California’s anti-Trump resistance has a racial context.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra has 

sued the administration numerous times over 

immigration policy while he helps ensure 

California’s distinction as a sanctuary for illegal 

immigrants. So far, more than 1 million illegal 

residents have received driver’s licenses, and 

they qualify for free health care, too. 

San Francisco now permits illegal immigrants 
Such radical policies may make progressives feel better about themselves, though they seem less concerned about how these actions affect everyday people. California’s Latinos and African-Americans have seen good blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and energy vanish. According to one United Way study, over half of Latino households can barely pay their bills. “For Latinos,” notes long-time political consultant Mike Madrid, “the California Dream is becoming an unattainable fantasy.”
In the past, poorer Californians could count on education to 

help them move up. But today’s educators appear more 

interested in political indoctrination than results. Among the 

50 states, California ranked 49th in the performance of low-

income students. In wealthy San Francisco, test scores for black students are the worst of any California county. Many minority residents, especially African-Americans, are fleeing the state. In a recent UC Berkeley poll, 58 percent of black expressed interest in leaving California, a higher percentage than for any racial group, though approximately 45 percent of Asians and Latinos also considered moving out.
Perhaps the biggest demographic disaster is generational. For decades, California incubated youth culture, creating trends like beatniks, hippies, surfers, and Latino and Asian art, music, and cuisine. The state is a fountainhead of youthful wokeness and rebellion, but that may prove short-lived as millennials leave. From 2014 to 2018, notes demographer Wendell Cox, net domestic out-migration grew from 46,000 to 156,000. The exiles are increasingly in their family-formation years. In the 2010s, California suffered higher net declines in virtually every age category under 54, with the biggest rate of loss coming among the 35-to-44 cohort.
As families with children leave, and international migration slows to one-third of Texas’s level, the remaining population is rapidly aging. Since 2010, California’s fertility rate has dropped 60 percent, more than the national average; the state is now aging 50 percent more rapidly than the rest of the country. A growing number of tech firms and millennials have headed to the Intermountain West. Low rates of homeownership among younger people play a big role in this trend, with California millennials forced to rent, with little chance of buying their own home, while many of the state’s biggest metros lead the nation in long-term owners. California is increasingly a greying refuge for those who bought property when housing was affordable.
After Governor Schwarzenegger morphed into a progressive environmentalist, climate concerns began driving state policy. His successors have embraced California “leadership” on climate issues. Jerry Brown recently told a crowd in China that the rest of the world should follow California’s example. The state’s top Democrats, like state senate president pro tem Kevin DeLeon, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, and billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, now compete for the green mantle.
Their policies have worsened conditions for many middle- and working-class Californians. Oblivious to these concerns, Greens ignore practical ideas—nuclear power, natural gas cars, job creation in affordable areas, home-based work—that could help reduce emissions without disrupting people’s lives. Ultra-green policies also work against the state’s proclaimed goal of building more than 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In accordance with its efforts to reduce car use, the state mandates that most growth occurs in already-crowded coastal areas, where land prices are highest. But in cities like San Francisco, the cost of building one unit for a homeless person surpasses $700,000. California’s inland regions, though experiencing population gains, keep losing state funding for decrepit highways in favor of urban-centric, mass transit projects—yet transit use has stagnated, especially in greater Los Angeles.
The state, nevertheless, continues its pursuit of policies that would eliminate all fossil fuels and nuclear power—outpacing national or even Paris Accord levels and guaranteeing ever-rising energy prices. Mandating everything from electric cars to electric homes will only drive more working-class Californians into “energy poverty.” High energy prices also directly affect the manufacturing and logistics firms that employ blue-collar workers at decent wages. Business relocation expert Joe Vranich notes that industrial firms account for many of the 2,000 employers that left the state this decade. California’s industrial growth has fallen to the bottom tier of states; last year, it ranked 44th, with a rate of growth one-third to one-quarter that of prime competitors like Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida.
Similarly, the high energy prices tend to hit the interior counties that, besides being poorer, have far less temperate climates. Cities like Bakersfield, capital of the state’s once-vibrant oil industry, are particularly hard-hit. High energy prices will cost the region, northeast of the Los Angeles Basin, 14,000 generally high-paid jobs, even as the state continues to import oil from Saudi Arabia.
California’s leaders apply climate change to excuse virtually every failure of state policy. During the California drought, Brown and his minions blamed the “climate” for the dry period, refusing to take responsibility for insufficient water storage that would have helped farmers. When the rains returned and reservoirs filled, this argument was forgotten, and little effort has been made to conserve water for next time. Likewise, Newsom and his supporters in the media have blamed recent fires on changes in the global climate, but the disaster had as much to do with green mandates against controlled burns and brush clearance than anything occurring on a planetary scale. Brown joined greens and others in blocking such sensible policies.
Few climate advocates ever seem to ask if their policies actually help the planet. Indeed, California’s green policy, as one paper demonstrates, may be increasing total greenhouse-gas emissions by pushing people and industries to states with less mild climates. In the past decade, the state ranked 40th in per-capita reductions, and its global carbon footprint is minimal. Renewable energy may be expensive and unreliable, but state policy nevertheless enriches the green-energy investments of tech leaders, even when their efforts—like the Google-backed Ivanpah solar farm—fail to deliver affordable, reliable energy.
It’s not so surprising, given these enthusiasms, 

that progressive politicians like Garcetti—who 

leads a city with paralyzing traffic congestion, 

rampant inequality, a huge rat infestation, and 

proliferating homeless camps—would rather talk

about becoming chair of the C40 Cities Climate 

Leadership Group.
Reality is asserting itself, though. Tech firms already show signs of restlessness with the current regulatory regime and appear to be shifting employment to other states, notably TexasTennesseeNevadaColorado, and Arizona. Economic-modeling firm Emsi estimates that several states—Idaho, Tennessee, Washington, and Utah—are growing their tech employment faster than California. The state is losing momentum in professional and technical services—the largest high-wage sector—and now stands roughly in the middle of the pack behind other western states such as Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. And Assembly Bill 5, the state law regulating certain forms of contract labor, reclassifies part-time workers. Aimed initially at ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, the legislation also extends to independent contractors in industries from media to trucking.
At some point, as even Brown noted, the ultra-high capital gains returns will fall and, combined with the costs of an expanding welfare state, could leave the state in fiscal chaos. Big Tech could stumble, a possibility made more real by the recent $100 billion drop in the value of privately held “unicorn” companies, including WeWork. If the tech economy slows, a rift could develop between two of the state’s biggest forces—unions and the green establishment—over future levels of taxation. More than two-thirds of California cities don’t have any funds set aside for retiree health care and other retirement expenses. The state also confronts $1 trillion in pension debt, according to former Democratic state senator Joe NationU.S. News & Report ranks California, despite the tech boom, 42nd in fiscal health among the states.
The good news: some Californians are waking up. A recent PPIC poll found that increasing proportions of Californians believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction—a figure that exceeds 55 percent in the inland areas. And voters dislike the state legislature even more than they dislike Donald Trump. Newsom’s approval rating stands at 43 percent, placing him toward the bottom among the nation’s governors. A conservative-led campaign to recall him is unlikely to succeed, but surveys reveal growing opposition to the new tax hikes proposed by the legislature. There’s a growing concern about the state’s expanding homeless population.
And a rebellion against the state’s energy policies is already under way. Recently, 110 cities, with total population exceeding 8 million, have demanded changes in California’s drive to prevent new natural gas hookups. The state’s Chamber of Commerce and the three most prominent ethnic chambers—African-American, Latino, and Asian-Pacific—have joined this effort.
Californians need less bombast and progressive pretense from their leaders and more attention to policies that could counteract the economic and demographic tides threatening the state. On its current course, California increasingly resembles a model of what the late Taichi Sakaiya called “high-tech feudalism,” with a small population of wealthy residents and a growing mass of modern-day serfs. Delusion and preening ultimately have limits, as more Californians are beginning to recognize. As the 2020s beckon, the time for the state to change course is now.
Joel Kotkin is the presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His latest book is The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of UsHis book on the return to feudalism will be released next year.

Report: California ‘Entirely’ Responsible for Nation’s Rise in Homelessness

Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty
20 Dec 20192,076
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Friday that the nation’s homeless population rose 2.7% as of January 2019, an increase it said was “entirely” driven by a rise of 16.4% in the state of California.
The Associated Press reported:
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is reporting its third consecutive increase in its homelessness projection, based on a summary of its annual report obtained by the Associated Press.
President Trump has been highly critical of the homeless problem in California, and HUD said the increase seen in its January snapshot was caused “entirely” by a 16.4% increase in the state’s homeless population.
“As we look across our nation, we see great progress, but we’re also seeing a continued increase in street homelessness along our West Coast where the cost of housing is extremely high,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “In fact, homelessness in California is at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency.”
In the January 2018 count, almost 553,000 people were counted as homeless. That number rose to about 568,000 this year.
The number of homeless veterans, and the number of homeless families with children, dropped.
It is not clear whether the rise in California is wholly California’s fault. Homeless people from other states often relocate to California, partly because the winter weather is more tolerable (though also because of generous welfare benefits).
President Donald Trump has proposed federal intervention in California to help solve the problem. HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently visited the state to assess the problem.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom told Breitbart News on Thursday evening that the homeless crisis is “an embarrassment, it is unacceptable. And we’ve got to own it, we’ve got to own up and solve it.”
Volume 90%

However, he has pushed back against federal intervention, saying more federal money is needed, but not federal control.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Illegal Immigration Is the Reason California Is Burning

Illegal Immigration Is the Reason California Is Burning

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop over the Easy Fire on October 30, 2019, near Simi Valley, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)
By Wayne Allyn RootThursday, 31 October 2019 01:12 PMCurrent | Bio | Archive

California is collapsing in front of our eyes. Everyone with the money and common sense is running for their lives. The question is why is this happening to such a rich and beautiful state?
Let's start with a comparison of the taxes in California with my state of Nevada (right next door to California). While California was burying its citizens with among the nation’s highest personal income taxes, highest corporate income taxes, highest sales taxes, and highest gas taxes, Nevada’s citizens have enjoyed among the lowest taxes in the country.
That could be why millions of people have left California in the past decade — almost all for the low tax states like Nevada, Texas, Florida, Utah, Colorado, Washington, and Arizona. Those states lead the nation in population growth, while California and other high tax, blue states lead the nation in population loss.
Keep in mind this was all before the nonstop blackouts and $6 per gallon gas in California.
Who can live in a place where the electric utility company shuts off the power to homes and businesses for days on end, multiple times per year? Because the wind is blowing hard? California has truly become a Third World Nation.
Keep in mind, this is what you got for all those high taxes.
So why is this happening? I lived in California for 15 wonderful years. The winds howled back then too. We had 80 MPH Santa Ana winds. And plenty of fires, floods, mudslides, and earthquakes. I lived through all of them. My home almost burned three times. My car was almost carried away by a massive mudslide.
Yet in my 15 years in California, no one shut off electricity because the wind was blowing. No one shut off electricity because there was the threat of a fire.
I’m not a California hater. I loved my time in California. It is the most beautiful state in America, with the greatest weather. But something has dramatically changed since I left. Today I wouldn’t live there if you gave me a $5 million oceanfront mansion for free.
What’s changed is disastrous liberal policy.
Lots of liberal ideas ruined California: high taxes, stifling regulations, climate change policy, permissive policies towards homeless encampments, the highest welfare benefits in the nation, a $15 minimum wage. It’s impossible to run a business in California. Restaurants are closing by the hundreds.
And did I mention poop, pee, and drug needles in the streets? And homeless camps everywhere.
Now add in blackouts that make life 
miserable and bankrupt businesses. 
California has become an unlivable third-
world hellhole.
But despite all those liberal policies that have contributed to the rot of California, one issue is at the root of California’s current problems. One issue stands heads and tails above all the rest.
First and foremost, illegal immigration is the problem. Since I left two decades ago, California has collectively spent hundreds of billions of dollars on illegal aliens and their bills — public schools, free meals at school, special bi-lingual teachers, healthcare, housing allowances, low income energy assistance, aid to families with dependent children, prisons, cops, courts, public defenders, welfare, food stamps, and a hundred other government handouts. And don’t forget special lower college tuition for illegal immigrants.
Can you imagine if all those billions of dollars were instead spent on new infrastructure, moving power poles underground, upgraded electrical equipment, modernized electrical systems, homeless vets, more cops, and better schools for children born in California. Can you imagine what a better place California would be for its own citizens?
Think about it in personal terms. What if a husband and father has a drug problem. He's addicted to cocaine or heroin. He spends $20,000 a year on his drug addiction for 20 years. That's $400,000. But his life remains in control. Until one day he finds out his child has cancer. The bill is $100,000 (after insurance pays). But he doesn't have the $100,000. His child is dying. If only he had the $400,000 back that he wasted on drugs.
That's California and illegal immigration. The state has squandered hundreds of billions on illegal immigration in the 20 years since I've been gone. They could use that money today. They desperately need it back to pay for the hundred billion dollar job of upgrading and modernizing their electric grid.
But they don't have the money. It's all 
been wasted on illegal aliens. And it's 
gone forever.
I guarantee you one thing Californians: if you had all that money back, you wouldn’t be sitting in the dark.
In my next column, I’ll get to Part II of the disastrous mistakes of liberalism that have destroyed California. Think idiotic environmental policies and climate change fraud.
That's another few hundred billion dollars wasted — and gone forever. Think about that, as you sit in the dark, shivering or sizzling, with your food spoiling.
Think about that as you fill up your gas tank with $5 our $6 per gallon gas, driving on crumbling highways, in massive traffic jams.
All the money to fix your misery was spent
on illegal aliens, not you. How does that 
make you feel?
Trust me, if you impeach President Trump and elect Democrats to run the country, Democrats will turn the whole America into one big crappy, miserable, unlivable California.
Except you won't even get the sunshine and perfect 75 degree days.
Wayne Allyn Root is the host of "The Wayne Allyn Root Show" on Newsmax TV, nightly at 8 p.m. ET, found on DirecTV channel 349, Dish TV channel 216, or at NewsmaxTV.com. He is also a nationally syndicated radio host. Wayne Allyn Root is a former libertarian vice presidential nominee. He is the best-selling author of "The Power of Relentless." Read more reports from Wayne Allyn Root — Click Here Now.

Wage inequality is surging in California — and not just on the coast. Here’s why


OCT. 10, 2019
Wage inequality has risen more in California cities than in the metropolitan areas of any other state, with seven of the nation’s 15 most unequal cities located in the Golden State.
San Jose, with its concentration of Silicon Valley technology jobs, had the largest gap of any California metro area between those at the top of the pay scale and those at the bottom. It ranked second in the nation after the suburb of Fairfield, Conn., home to wealthy New York financiers, according to a new analysis of 2015 U.S. Census data by Federal Reserve economists. San Francisco and Los Angeles also ranked high on the list.
More surprising, perhaps, is the inclusion of Bakersfield, where high-wage engineering jobs are juxtaposed with poverty-wage farm work.
The heavy concentration of California metro areas is a striking turnabout from 1980, when just three figured in the top 15.
As inequality has soared across the United States, most sharply since the 1980s, it has been the focus of widespread debate and become a hot political issue. But less attention has focused on dramatic geographical differences in inequality.
“Wage inequality … has risen quite sharply in some parts of the country, while it has been much more subdued in other places,” wrote Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who titled their report, “Why Are Some Places So Much More Unequal than Others?
“Rising inequality in the United States has largely been an urban phenomenon,” they added.
Large cities with dynamic economies tend to have higher wage disparities, while midsized cities with “sluggish economies” are less unequal because they attract fewer high-wage workers, the authors found.
Nationally, outsized executive pay has become a major issue. Under President Obama, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission ordered corporations to publicly report the ratio between what top executives are paid and what their median workers earn, drawing attention to big compensation packages. But the new tax law backed by President Trump and congressional Republicans cut income taxes for top earners.
The new Federal Reserve study only addresses wages and does not examine growing disparities in assets such as real estate and stocks, the focus of recent calls by progressive politicians to impose a wealth tax on the rich.
U.S. wages have grown “much more rapidly for highly skilled workers at the top of the wage distribution than for those in the middle or at the bottom,” the authors wrote. “A worker in the 95th percentile of the wage distribution earns more than three times what the median worker earns and more than seven times the earnings of a worker at the 10th percentile, well above what these ratios were just a few decades ago.”
Comparing wage data from 1980 to 2015 in 200 metropolitan areas, Abel and Deitz documented a disproportionate rise in inequality in the most populous cities, like Los Angeles, New York and Houston. By contrast, the pay gap has remained largely flat in midsized Midwestern and Southern cities, such as Wasau, Wisc., Fort Wayne, Ind., and Ocala, Fla.
The report focused on what the authors call the 90/10 ratio: the difference between the earnings of workers in the 90th percentile of wage distribution and those in the 10th percentile. But the disparities were reflected throughout pay levels.
“In 1980, there was virtually no relationship between city size and the level of wage inequality,” according to the report. “None of the 10 largest metropolitan areas ranked among the nation’s most unequal places.… By 2015, five of the 10 largest areas ranked among the most unequal in the country.”

A scene on the streets of San Francisco.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
In San Francisco, inflation-adjusted wages grew by 18% between 1980 and 2015 for the bottom 10% of the workforce. For those paid at the median — with half of wage earners making less and half making more — pay rose by 53%. And for those at the top, earning in the 95th percentile, pay rose a whopping 122%, according to the paper.
In Los Angeles, over the same 35 years, inflation-adjusted pay rose by just 3% for those in the bottom 10%, and by 18% for those at the median wage. For workers at the top, earning in the 95th percentile, pay rose by 69%.
Ranking 200 metro areas by pay disparities over time, Abel and Dietz found that San Francisco skyrocketed from 128th most unequal in 1980 to eighth in 2015. Over the same period, San Jose jumped from 70th to second and Los Angeles rose from 26th to 12th most unequal.
If the explosive inequality in the Bay Area is easily attributable to a massive expansion of high-paid tech jobs, the fact that Bakersfield ranked in the top tier for unequal pay in both 1980 (12th) and in 2015 (fourth) may be less obvious.
Cal State Bakersfield economist Richard Gearhart said inequality is pronounced in the city of 380,000 people because it has “a highly segmented labor market — either really well paying or really poorly paying. We don’t have a flourishing ‘middle-class’ economy for IT, managers, and finance.”
With robust oil and agriculture industries, the city has six-figure engineering and science jobs. But it also has some 40,000 local farmworkers, many of whom are paid on a piece rate, earning below the legal minimum wage, Gearhart added.
As for Los Angeles, Christopher Thornberg, a partner at the consultancy Beacon Economics, said the city has “high-income folks in entertainment and some in tech. But it also has an enormous low-skilled population working in restaurants, hotels, janitorial services and back offices.”
The fact that Los Angeles rose in the inequality ranking over 35 years can be partly attributed to “a huge influx of low-skilled Latin Americans into L.A. County since 1980,” he said. Moreover, he added, “L.A. was once an enormous manufacturing center. But since 1990, manufacturing jobs have dropped from about 850,000 to 350,000.”
According to the Federal Reserve study, growing inequality in large cities is driven by the contrast between rapidly rising wages of the best-paid workers, and far more modest increases for medium- and low-wage workers.
Several factors explain the trend, the report indicates:
·         Big cities have more need for skilled workers. Think programmers in San Jose and San Francisco, and finance executives in New York. On the other hand, as automation and globalization have cut the demand for middle- and low-skilled workers, cities such as Detroit and Youngstown, Ohio, where thousands of auto and steel industry jobs disappeared, experienced wage stagnation.
·         What economists call “urban agglomeration economies” — the way that companies in related businesses cluster together in dense metropolitan areas — spurs higher productivity and higher wages. This clustering tends to favor higher-skilled workers, research shows. Think Hollywood.
·         The weakening of labor unions led to less worker bargaining power to create middle-class jobs. And the erosion in the inflation-adjusted value of the federal minimum wage over decades has kept pay low for those in the bottom tier, although many states are now raising pay floors.
·         Migration within the U.S. is changing the employment mix, with better-skilled professionals moving to cities to earn more. “Since the early 1980s, those with college and graduate degrees have flocked to large cities, while lesser-skilled workers have increasingly been priced out of such places, in large part because of high and rising housing costs,” the authors write.
In California, the migration trend has been pronounced. The state attracts a steady stream of college graduates, especially from the East Coast, even as many less-educated residents move to neighboring states — and to Texas — in search of a lower cost of living.
In 2017, according to the latest U.S. Census migration data, the Golden State lost a net 86,890 residents without bachelor’s degrees, and just 4,443 with four-year degrees. It gained 11,653 people with graduate degrees.

"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."