$6 Million in Fiscal Year 2014, Up to $30 Million Over Next Five Years Available
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will make $6 million in grants available this year, and up to $30 million total over the next five years as part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges. The grants will be used to develop management practices, technologies and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality.
Legislature Moving to Center Since Voters Approved
Top-Two Primaries, Redistricting Commission Reforms
LOS ANGELES, February 24, 2014 – A study commissioned by the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy shows that the California State Legislature has become less partisan and more moderate since two key electoral reforms were instituted prior to the 2012 election cycle.
The results were announced today at a Government and Leadership Conference, “People Over Politics,” hosted by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the event, political strategists, commentators and national advocacy groups joined Schwarzenegger, who championed the reforms as governor.
By Sandy Fitzgerald
The United States’ “geopolitical taper” is having long-lasting, significant effects on the country’s national security strategy, as world powers stop taking President Barack Obama’s warnings seriously, says Niall Ferguson, Harvard history professor and Stanford University Hoover Institution senior fellow.
“The world remembers the red line that Mr. Obama once drew over the use of chemical weapons in Syria…and then ignored once the line had been crossed,” Ferguson writes in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal.
Ferguson’s use of the phrase “geopolitical taper” is a play off Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s use of ”taper” last June, when he announced modest reductions in the Fed’s large-scale asset-purchase program, creating repercussions worldwide..
By Greg Richter
Making her first Sunday morning appearance since the Sunday after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, National Security Adviser Susan Rice says she has no regrets on her words that day which have drawn scrutiny ever since.
“Because what I said to you that morning and what I did every day since is to share the best information that we had at the time,” Rice told “Meet the Press” host David Gregory.
Rice, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on all five Sunday morning news shows, blaming the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States.
By Drew MacKenzie
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who blew the whistle on the federal agency’s plan to study purported bias in the news, says the survey has been “suspended,” not canceled as the FCC has said.
The Federal Communications Commission declared last week that it had shelved a controversial survey on how newsrooms cover various news stories, which was derided by critics as a threat to the First Amendment right of press freedom.
But in explaining the decision, FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said that “the pilot will not be undertaken until a new study design is final,” suggesting the program could be brought back at a later date.
By Todd Beamon
Four Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have demanded that FBI Director James Comey answer specific questions regarding the “routine review” of campaign filings that led to last month’s indictment of conservative commentator and best-selling author Dinesh D’Souza on campaign-finance charges.
The letter, dated Wednesday, was signed by the committee’s ranking GOP member, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah.
The letter, which was reported by The Weekly Standard and other news organizations, quotes former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz’s recent column in The Wall Street Journal attacking D’Souza’s indictment. “I can’t help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. … It smacks of selective prosecution,” the letter states.
By Andrea Billups and Todd Beamon
The Federal Communications Commission said on Friday that it was scrapping a controversial study derided by critics as a threat to the First Amendment right of press freedom.
The plan to look at how news organizations choose which stories to cover “overstepped the bounds of what is required,” admitted FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson.
“To be clear, media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the Columbia, S.C., pilot study,” Gilson said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.
By Melissa Clyne
President Obama is going back on his promise to compromise on reducing the federal debt with a budget proposal for 2015 that would increase spending by $56 billion.
His move, an apparent effort to bolster Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections, abandons the “grand bargain” he offered last year to appease Republicans, The Washington Post reports. He had promised to put a lid on spiraling retirement spending by reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients in return for an increase in taxes on the richest Americans.
Obama’s 2015 budget proposes increased spending on programs to bolster the middle class, including funding for early-childhood education initiatives and job training.
As budget details leaked out, a spokesman for GOP House Speaker John Boehner said it’s more proof the president never intended to make good on his promise to work across party lines to trim the deficit.
SAN BERNARDINO - In partnership with Covered California, the County of San Bernardino, San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department and San Bernardino Valley College, Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) will convene two Covered California town halls on Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Business Conference Center at Valley College.
Constituents will have an opportunity to sign up on site and review their healthcare options with enrollment counselors. Seminars will be held in both English and Spanish.
SACRAMENTO, CA - The Kashkari for Governor campaign today announced releasing “Leadership,” the fourth video in “The Real Neel” video series, in which Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari talks about his first real leadership experience: leading a group of graduate students in designing and building the Photon Torpedo, a solar-powered car that raced in the 1,000-mile Sunrayce challenge.