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The long-awaited book on pensions by top business writer Roger Lowenstein is now out and being reviewed. Its prescient title is "While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the NYC Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis." New York Times reviewer Jeff Madrick says, "San Diego's municipal workers were also granted generous pension benefits. The city management then deliberately skimped on the annual contributions, hiding the underfunding from the public while the union knowingly looked the other way. The result was near bankruptcy for the once thriving metropolis." Lowenstein puts the blame on labor unions, but Madrick says management deserves blame, too, as it always does. "San Diego, as Lowenstein states, could have raised taxes to meet its obligations -- it is one of the lowest taxed of major cities in California. But the politicians refused." Full disclosure: I was interviewed briefly by Lowenstein. I told him that excessive union benefits were a large part of the problem, but money diverted from the pension fund went to corporate welfare and the Republican convention. I have not read the book, so I don't know that this interpretation made it into print.

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Comments

Don Bauder May 7, 2008 @ 6:41 a.m.

Response to post #13: I agree that the decline of California's higher educational system is a disgrace. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 May 5, 2008 @ 3:48 a.m.

There's that "B" word again. When is the U-T establishment that caused all this going to be held accountable for "corporate welfare" larceny? Or are too many judges far too corrupt to allow justice to be served in San Diego.

That's why we need a list of Davies' judges, they are obviously indentured servants to the corporate welfare ruling class in San Diego who aided and abetted the entire fraud to steal money from San Diego taxpayers to satisfy their own lusts for power and greed.

Until we clean out the U-T establishment sewers clogged with corrupt judges we can't begin to save San Diego.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2008 @ 5:44 a.m.

Response to post #1: Davies plays a major role in the selection of local lawyers to run for judges' posts in the case of state court. It's a bit of a stretch to call them "Davies judges," because they are elected. Overall, Davies is probably the single most powerful person in influencing the makeup of the San Diego judiciary. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas May 5, 2008 @ 10:40 a.m.

Pensions bankrupted San Diego....Nahhhh...who would have thought that???....Bwahahahahhahahaha.

Where is JF to spin the facts when you need him????

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JohnnyVegas May 5, 2008 @ 1:57 p.m.

I think that the vast majority of judges, especially federal judges, try their best.

But I also think that personal bias affects everyone, and this is also true of judges who swear to uphold the law and not their personal views.

Bottom line is that some judges are down right stupid morons who should never have been allowed to sit on the bench, and this is expecially true of state court judges because they are elected.

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Anon92107 May 5, 2008 @ 11:34 a.m.

Response to post #2:

RE "Davies is probably the single most powerful person in influencing the makeup of the San Diego judiciary." That is one hell of a lot of power for someone who is as demonically evil as you described in “Brash Cash.”

You have exposed Davies, so we must now to know the judges “the single most powerful person” controls. You and former Justice O’Connor have exposed judges as an out of control local and national problem.

When shall we ever learn from the many lessons of history, since Arcon Solon in 594 B.C. Athens, that corrupt judges who defeat the Rule of Law aid and abet the overthrow of Democracy, corrupt judges are the Achilles Heel of Democracy.

Corrupt judges throughout America are the #1 threat to American Democracy and San Diego today. That’s why San Diego politics is a cesspool of corruption and honorable people like Mike Aguirre don’t have a chance to champion We The People in court.

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Anon92107 May 6, 2008 @ 1:16 a.m.

Response to post #5:

Agreed, "down right stupid morons" class judges usually are the ones that are produced by U-T/Davies machine politics and are the most corrupt.

It's time that corrupt judges are exposed so that San Diego taxpayers and families can know which ones are causing our never-ending political corruption and deadly financial crises that have bankrupt San Diego already.

Don Bauder does a great job exposing corrupt politicians and their Brash Cash Bloodsucker controllers, but until we know who the corrupt judges who aid and abet the Bloodsuckers are we cannot begin to fight back.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 2:40 p.m.

Response to post #3: Pensions, corporate welfare, corruption -- all contributed to San Diego's financial woes. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 2:43 p.m.

Response to post #4: There may -- repeat, MAY -- be preliminary signs the worm is turning. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 2:47 p.m.

Response to post #4: The judges are morons? Remember, it's better to plead stupidity than plead guilty. "I didn't know the gun was loaded." Etc. "I'm a fool. Not a knave." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 2:54 p.m.

Response to post #6 (the previous entry was in response to post #5, not #4; my error.). Let's get off the judges and talk about Lowenstein's acknowledgment of a truth San Diegans refuse to admit: the City is on the brink of bankruptcy. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas May 6, 2008 @ 4:03 p.m.

Let's get off the judges and talk about Lowenstein's acknowledgment of a truth San Diegans refuse to admit: the City is on the brink of bankruptcy.

The hole is too deep-we cannot get OUT. BK is the only answer.

The worst part, as deep as the hole is, WE KEEP DIGGING!

We have not even put the shovel down to stop digging the hole deeper, much less find a way to dig out of the hole.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2008 @ 4:26 p.m.

Response to post #11: Yeah, but Mayor Sanders believes that if he talks long and loud enough about how he is doing something, the people will believe him. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 May 7, 2008 @ 1:59 a.m.

Response to post #10:

Don, we cannot simply "Let's get off the judges" because it is judges that are deciding the ultimate fate of San Diego and American Democracy today.

We must not ignore paramount tests for the success of Democracy, as defined by Will and Ariel Durant, are equality of legal justice and educational opportunity. Today we have neither.

FYI, relative to the equality of educational opportunity imperative, the latest issue of “CALIFORNIA” alumni magazine documents our educational failures in California and America in a most important article: “Wrong Trajectory” by John Aubrey Douglass “America is losing its higher education advantage, with enormous repercussions” http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california/200805/freespeech.asp

Don, we must keep our eyes, minds and efforts focused on the big picture, because your almost daily exposures of our Bloodsucker political and judicial culture of corruption keep proving that the course of far too many political, economic and socially destructive events are drowning us.

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Anon92107 May 7, 2008 @ 12:09 p.m.

Response to post #14:

Our failed education and justice systems are two of the most unacceptable consequences of U-T/Davies Ruling Class political corruption overthrow of San Diego Democracy, and the greatest reasons for X & Y generations to join with Obama, Francis and Aguirre to end the era of corruption before their future reaches a point of no return to acceptable quality of life, liberty and opportunities.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2008 @ 1:14 p.m.

Response to post #14: Failings of the educational and judicial systems are national phenomena -- particularly pronounced in California. San Diego's problems may be bad, but they are part of a nationwide tapestry. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering May 7, 2008 @ 1:30 p.m.

"...The city management then deliberately skimped on the annual contributions, hiding the underfunding from the public..."

"San Diego, as Lowenstein states, could have raised taxes to meet its obligations -- it is one of the lowest taxed of major cities in California. But the politicians refused."

"...Labor groups looked the other way..."

Well it seems there is plenty of blame to go around and for once I agree whole heartedly with Johnny V/Billy Bob...we need to stop digging the hole deeper.

Don does beating this horse do any good? Sure we shouldn't forget and the electorate will have its FIRST REAL chance to say something on JUNE 3rd. The outcome of primary vote will be very telling.

But what we really need is leadership with a PLAN! Something that causes pain to ALL three parties. In my humble opinion, responsiblity rests will all at this table, City Management, Labor and Taxpayers share equally in this mess and ALL must pitch in to solve it. If not, with the City's municipal assets, bankruptcy is a pipe dream and climbing out of this hole will take 20-30 years.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2008 @ 6:08 p.m.

Response to post #17: How do you stop digging a hole when you have a bunch of clowns on the council that only know how to pitch manure? That's excepting Donna Frye, who is trying to untangle the mess, but gets no cooperation from the clowns. Best, Don Bauder

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