A record-breaking number of cargo ships are off the coast of California, waiting to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Over 60 ships are waiting to dock and unload, further contributing to supply chain issues and delays in the US. There are 146 total ships in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Of the 146 vessels, 92 are container ships.
“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.
Last month, congestion at the ports reached an all-time high as disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic continued to impact the industry, Insider reported. Changes in consumers’ purchasing habits during the ongoing pandemic, labor shortages at the docks, limited warehouse space, and trucking issues once goods are ready to reach their final destinations are contributing to industry-wide shortages in the US.
Import volumes at the California ports are only expected to increase in the coming weeks, according to data by the Port of Los Angeles. Wait time at the ports is currently estimated at 8.7 days, and will likely go up.
Ports on the West Coast operate as the primary location to receive goods imported from China, with containers bringing in everything from furniture to auto parts, clothes, electronics, and plastics, Shipping rates between the US and China are at an all-time high, and prices between the two regions have jumped 500% from this time last year, Insider reported.
As a result, holiday shopping this year is expected to have major disruptions related to the problems within supply chains. Experts are recommending shoppers get ahead of the curve by doing their shopping ahead of Black Friday, shop locally, and purchase only domestic goods.
Villanueva’s Tesla hit a wall late on Thursday night and then continued to move until a California Highway Patrol car pulled in front of her, which then slowed and stopped it. Authorities proceeded to wake up Villanueva.
Her husband, who was driving behind her, reported to the dispatcher that his wife was “unconscious in a Tesla” and that the vehicle was “driving itself,” according to audio from a dispatch call obtained by KABC-TV.
Villanueva was arrested Thursday and released Friday on her recognizance.
She is due in court in January 2022. It wasn’t immediately clear whether she had an attorney to speak on her behalf.
In recent months, Tesla crashes have come under scrutiny after several fatal crashes occurred while the electric cars were on Autopilot, enabling the vehicle to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane.
At least three Tesla drivers have died since 2016 while driving with Autopilot engaged.
Two of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s children tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, a spokesperson said.
The Governor, his partner, and his two other children have tested negative, Erin Mellon, spokesperson in the Governor’s Office told Insider in a statement.
“The family is following all COVID protocols,” Mellon said. “The Newsoms continue to support masking for unvaccinated individuals indoors to stop the spread and advocate for vaccinations as the most effective way to end this pandemic.”
Politico reported that all of Newsom’s children are under 12 and ineligible to get vaccinated.
The children don’t appear to have been exposed to COVID-19 at their private school or at any campaign events, Politico reported.
The identity of the two children who tested positive was not released to protect their privacy. They currently have mild symptoms and are quarantining.
To put that sum into context, we took a look at how much California is spending on some of its key issues this year, from homelessness and battling wildfires to combating COVID-19. Figures on California’s spending have been sourced from the state’s 2020-2021 budget.
Per California’s 2020-2021 budget, $550 million was allocated to the Department of Housing and Community Development for Project Homekey, a sum intended to provide housing for homeless individuals and families. The $276 million spent on the recall election could have funded more than half of this amount.
The average cost of building a single unit of housing for the homeless in Los Angeles rose to $531,000 in 2020, according to an audit from City Controller Ron Galperin. Based on this metric, with $276 million, the state could have financed more than 500 units of housing with the cost of the recall election.
The state’s 2020-2021 budget allocated $50 million to a general fund to mitigate the effects of power shutdowns, in a bid to reduce the risk of wildfires sparked by utility-owned equipment. The AP reported that the state approved a $1.5 billion budget to prevent wildfires – nearly a fifth of which could have been funded by the recall election’s cost.
Additionally, $276 million could have gone a long way to funding programs to battle smog and climate change. According to a report from local news site CalMatters, key environmental programs saw funding cuts of nearly $105 million in July 2020. These funding cuts hit programs that promoted green vehicles and tackled methane excretions from cows.
A large part of the state’s 2020-2021 budget focused on measures that could mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state’s 2020-2021 budget shows $716 million was set aside for COVID‑19 contingencies. Another $3.5 billion was allocated for direct COVID-19 related expenditures. This sum is being earmarked for spending on personal protective equipment, expanding the surge capacity at hospitals and medical facilities, providing hotels for healthcare workers who need to quarantine after coming into contact with COVID-19 patients, and improving statewide contact tracing.
The $276 million from the recall election could have paid for more than a third of the state’s COVID-19 contingency fund, or funded slightly over a tenth of its state-wide COVID-19 related expenditures.
Donald Trump’s team released a statement from the former president via email blast on September 14, alleging there was “rigged voting” in California’s recall election.
Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the race for Gov. Gavin Newsom at 8:21 p.m. PT. Newsom survived the recall and beat 46 other candidates, including controversial leading GOP contender Larry Elder. Insider received the email from Trump’s team less than an hour after the polls closed in California.
“People don’t realize that, despite the Rigged voting in California (I call it the ‘Swarming Ballots’), I got 1.5 Million more votes in 2020 than I did in 2016,” Trump wrote in the statement.
Trump went on to acknowledge that Newsom will “probably win,” while zeroing in on the governor’s handling of California’s drought.
“The place is so Rigged, however, that a guy who can’t even bring water into their State, which I got federal approval to do (that is the hard part), will probably win,” Trump continued.
“Billions of gallons of water coming to California from the North is being sent out to sea, rather than being spread throughout the State. This is to protect the tiny delta smelt, which is doing far worse now without the water,” Trump wrote.
Trump also did get federal approval to divert water to irrigate farms in 2019, but The New York Times reported that this entailed lifting protections for fish like the delta smelt. In fact, Trump’s actions might have driven the fish further toward extinction, per a 2019 Guardian report. In October 2018, Trump signed a memorandum asking federal agencies to slow the water to Central Valley farms, which could have left the smelt without the fresh, cold water they need to survive and thrive.
In the statement, Trump went on to claim there are similarities between California’s recall election and the 2020 presidential election.
“Many people are already complaining that when they go to vote they are told, ‘I’m sorry, you already voted’ (Just like 2020, among many other things),” Trump wrote.
According to the Poynter Institute’s Politifact fact-checker, there were two instances of voters being mistakenly told that they had already voted in this year’s California recall election. However, they were allowed to cast provisional ballots, and there is no evidence that GOP voters were targeted.
Less than an hour after polls closed, Insider and Decision Desk HQ projected that Californians overwhelmingly voted against recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom. The speedy outcome left many wondering why the effort to recall public officials is so easy, and if it should be reformed.
Five attempts to recall Newsom failed before a sixth petition, led by retired sheriff’s sergeant Orrin Heatlie and his California Patriot Coalition, collected the required number of signatures and triggered the recall election on July 1.
US Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., told ABC News anchor Linsey Davis that it’s too easy to recall officials in California, citing more than 68 recalls happening throughout the state targeting officials in various levels of government, including school boards, city councils, and district attorneys.
California is one of just 19 states that allow recall elections. Within 60 days, petitioners recalling a California official must collect signatures from 12% of the electorate from the last election, and from at least five counties.
“This could be a strategy to essentially grind government to a halt, to paralyze government,” Bass said. “I’m very interested in analyzing who started all these recalls. Who’s funding them? You can’t just recall someone without significant financial backing.”
In the report, three-year poverty level averages were calculated for each state and the District of Columbia using the supplemental poverty measure, which found that 15.4% of California residents lived in poverty from 2018 to 2020. Only the District of Columbia had a higher rate of poverty – 16.5%.
The supplemental poverty measure expands on the official poverty measure, which was developed by Social Security economist Mollie Orshansky in the 1960s, by accounting for cost of living, work and medical expenses, tax credits, and government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals.
Social Security transfers and stimulus payments prevented a combined 38.2 million individuals across the US from falling into poverty, while medical expenses caused the largest increase of the number of individuals in poverty, according to the Census Bureau report.
“You saw what happened in Texas, and the fact that we have other Republican governors that hope to model that Texas legislation as it relates to denying women the right to choice,” Newsom said. “We may have defeated Donald Trump, but we have not defeated Trumpism; Trumpism is still on the ballot in California.”
Biden took the stage and endorsed Newsom as one of the “best governors in the country,” while dubbing Elder a “Trump clone.” He listed several reasons to keep Newsom as governor, including his respect for women, belief in climate change, and respect for scientific guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The eyes of the nation are on California because the decision you’re about to make isn’t just going to have a huge impact on California. It’s going to reverberate around the nation, and quite frankly – not a joke – around the world,” Biden said.
California’s recall election for governor is set for September 14. If more than 50% of voters vote “yes” to recalling Newsom, he will be replaced by the opposing candidate who garners the most support. In the event that he is recalled, county officials would have 30 days to count votes and on the 38th day, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber would certify the election results.
Calls for a recall began prior to the pandemic when Newsom’s adversaries grew discontent with California’s “homelessness crisis, high taxes and cost of living, immigration, and rationing water and energy use,” according to Insider’s Lauren Frias. But the calls grew louder after COVID-19 took hold and Newsom implemented mitigation methods.
Ballots went out on August 16. The gubernatorial ballot asks, first, should Governor Newsom be replaced? and second if Newsom is recalled, who should replace him?
Gov. Newsom commenced his “Vote NO” Weekend of Action campaign on Friday, August 13, in San Francisco, saying the stakes of this recall election “could not be higher” in reference to Elder’s plans.
Elder, a conservative radio host, announced his participation in the recall in July. Here is what voters need to know about Elder’s background and candidacy.
What is Larry Elder’s background?
Laurence Allen Elder was born in 1969; his father was a Republican and his mother was a Democrat. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles and attended Crenshaw High School. His household was abusive and growing up he was stopped by police between 75 and 100 times he said, according to a Los Angeles Times podcast “The Times.”
Elder left South Centra and attended Brown University for his undergraduate degree, followed by the University of Michigan Law School.
After college, “The Sage from South Central,” as he calls himself, wrote several books, worked at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey before starting his own firm (Laurence A. Elder and Associates), and currently hosts his own radio show “The Larry Elder Show.” Elder also hosted “Moral Court,” a one-season television show which wasn’t a “court of law, but a court of ethics,” according to IMDB.
“I’m a business owner, talk show host, author, and a son of California,” Elder, who does not have any political experience, said of himself in a tweet. “I won’t continue to watch Gavin Newsom destroy our state.”
What does Larry Elder believe, politically?
“The biggest challenge in California, in general, is the intrusiveness of government,” he said to CalMatters. “I believe that a government that governs less governs best.”
Here are a few of the candidate’s political positions:
Elder told Insider that he loves California and wants to see it thrive. “Unfortunately, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s failed policies are running this beautiful state into the ground,” he added in a written statement to us.
The candidate also holds controversial views on women and race
In a 1996 ad, Elder said, “Blacks exaggerate the significance of racism.” He has also blamed some high-profile instances of police brutality on Black victims.
“Be polite. Comply. Jacob Blake could’ve been avoided had he complied; Eric Garner could’ve been avoided had he complied; Michael Brown could’ve been avoided had he complied,” Elder says about Black victims who lost their lives to police brutality.
Elder’s ex-fiancee, Alexandra Datig, claims that he flashed a gun at her in the midst of an argument while he was under the influence of marijuana, Politico reported. Elder denies this claim and referred to it as “salacious.” In a string of tweets, he said “I grew up in South Central; I know exactly how destructive this type of behavior is.”
CNN reported that Elder was accused of sexual harassment twice – denying both allegations on his radio talk show in 2011.
The first incident, as CNN reports, occurred in the 1980s. A woman who worked at private practice attempted to break the contract and accused Elder of “hitting on her.” Elder said in the episode, “That’s how, that’s how she put it. If you had seen her, you would know that the picture would be a complete defense. I’m just saying.”
Elder, who used to host a television show in Cleveland, was also accused of asking a male guest to expose his butt tattoo in the presence of two camerawomen.
“I think I was making a joke, making light – no, I don’t [remember],” Elder told CNN. “The whole point behind your series of questions is, do I disrespect women, and I don’t. I have a great deal of respect for women. My mom was a woman. I had her on my show every Friday.”
“I’ve never been accused of sexual harassment. I’ve never been accused of sexual abuse. I’ve never been accused – I worked with hundreds of women throughout my career,” he added.
What are Democrats worried about?
Democrats, including Newsom, have been comparing Elder to former President Donald Trump – and sometimes saying that he’s the more extreme of the two.
“You have someone who’s not just opposed to women’s right to choose, but actually wrote an op-ed saying women aren’t as smart as men,” Newsom said in reference to Elder.
One Los Angeles City Councilmember, Nithya Raman, tweeted that if a Republican was elected they could slash funding for many programs “that are holding the state together right now.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed recall challenger Larry Elder for sowing mistrust about California’s recall election when Elder called on his supporters to report election fraud ahead of September 14, Politico reported.
On his campaign site, Elder added a “report election incident” link that leads to StopCAFraud.com, an anonymously registered website apparently created on August 27th that allows people to submit tips about ballot fraud.
“It’s just an extension of the Big Lie and ‘Stop the Steal,'” Newsom told reporters while voting with First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom at the California State Archives in Sacramento on Friday. “We’re four days out, the election hasn’t even happened, and now they’re all claiming election fraud. I think it’s important to highlight that.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that Elder also threatened a lawsuit to challenge the election results. The election is set for Tuesday.
“We have a voter integrity board all set up – most of these are lawyers,” Elder said Wednesday, according to CNN. “So, when people hear things, they contact us. We’re going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion.”
Newsom told The Bee that “there is a thread within the Republican Party that, if they don’t get what they want, they are willing to assault the core tenets of an election in ways that have far-reaching consequences. It’s very, very damaging and baseless, absolutely baseless.”
“The ballots… are mail-in ballots… I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens, nobody’s gonna win except these Democrats. The one thing they are good at is rigging elections, so I predict it’s a rigged election,” Trump said in an interview with Newsmax.