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They Weep in West Hollywood:
The Bee reports that the cat declawing bill didn’t make it out of committee. Thought you’d want to know, just in case you were packing to move to another state to save your furniture. | Scrap the Primary: The Bee’s editors that the dumb idea of a March primary has caused too many problems and spending $60 million for a split primary is even dumber. [Why pay more to drive voters away from the polls? A better solution would be to return to California's old June primary. In those rare years when the presidential nomination race actually lasts long enough for a March primary to matter, a June primary will matter just as much. Lawmakers should jettison a failed experiment, and go back to what worked, not give us two primaries voters don't want and taxpayers can't afford.] | Vast Anti-Urinal Conspiracy: The Times has an opinion about why a flushless urinal has stalled in a bureaucratic bog [Because these potties lack flushers, you see, there's no flush valve to break. That means no flushers to repair. Plumbing and pipe-fitters unions don't cite that as their objection, of course. Instead, they've been wringing their callused hands about such horrifying possibilities as toxic fumes or, in the case of a building fire, the urinals erupting (we kid you not) in flames.]



At Least They Can Grin:
The Times notes that those looking for a couple of legislative bucks got this instead [“I went to the Senate Appropriations Committee and all I got was this lousy T-shirt," said the red, white and blue shirts handed out by committee Chairwoman Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) and Vice Chairman Jim Battin (R-La Quinta). The footnote printed on the back of the shirts was more telling: "Not Printed at Taxpayers Expense — They Can't Afford It."] | Gray’s Shadow: The Spectator says that DiFi is considering going after Gray’s job [Dianne Feinstein has indicated to several longtime supporters in San Francisco that she would be open to filling the California governorship if the recall of current Gov. Gray Davis goes forward. | Feinstein was thought to be a possible early retirement candidate from the Senate just a few months ago. Her desire to go back to California may increase or decrease depending on the outcome of several stringent anti-gun ownership bills she intends to put forward in the next three weeks.] | Hanoi’s Annoyed: And the Register doesn’t care [Needlepoints: The communist government in Hanoi is upset at Sunday's dedication of a new Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster, arguing that it will poison relations between the United States and Vietnam. | Granted, the Vietnamese government operates in a sort of time warp, in which anything its leaders can't control is deemed counterrevolutionary. | But Hanoi needs to learn a basic concept. It can have as many memorials to Ho Chi Minh as it wants in its country, and we can have a memorial to the brave American and South Vietnamese soldiers who, side by side, battled the communist regime in Vietnam. | That's called national sovereignty, and all the bluster in the world won't change anything.]


Right in Their Face: In the Times a raucous campus GOP rally smack in the heart of the UC Berkeley [As street vendors and merchants looked on in disbelief, delegates attending a state college Republican convention here marched two blocks to People's Park, site of a widely publicized protest incident in 1969, where they chanted "Bush! Bush! Bush!" and sang "America the Beautiful."] Left-Handed Endorsements: Patt Morrison in the Times reports at a LeBoxer fundraiser this past weekend, one of the West Coast’s famously Progressive senators had this to say [Washington's Sen. Patty Murray cast it thus: "My definition of patriotism is to fight for what you believe in. My favorite patriotic senator is Barbara Boxer."] Oh, we were wondering what the definition of patriotism was… Big mouthed socialists are patriots. It all makes sense, now. | What If? The NY Times reviews scenarios in case the Davis recalls get enough signatures. [Others in the Davis camp have been sending more direct signals to fellow Democrats, suggesting that any collusion in the recall drive would be tantamount to political treason. "Let's assume the recall qualifies; whoever takes his place is going to be dead politically," said Gary South, a longtime political adviser to Mr. Davis. "That person is going to be seen as an illegitimate usurper who staged a coup d'état."] | A War Ago: They remembered in Little Saigon - a memorial dedicated this past weekend to those who fought for Vietnamese freedom. In the Register [Such memorials serve as reminders of the human toll in wars. It has been said that the strengths and weaknesses of a society are demonstrated in war, and memorials to those wars often mirror those qualities. Those who survived wars have a duty to remember those who served - especially those who fell.]



JurisNike: Deroy Murdock in the National Review goes after California’s statutes stifling corporate free speech - a matter being currently in front of SCOTUS. [These firms oppose a California Supreme Court decision that empowered San Francisco activist Marc Kasky to sue Nike over what he calls falsehoods in its press releases, newspaper pieces, and other communications that defend Nike's allegedly harsh foreign labor practices. Kasky never claimed he was injured by Nike's words. Nonetheless, California's court would require Nike to surrender profits tied to declarations found to be false.]



Chronicle Woes: Uh, you can have liberal bias, but it’s a problem when you demonstrate and get arrested. The SF Examiner details that the Chronicle has cracked down on reporters who make the news with their views.
| Good Riddance: In LA radio hosts John and Ken at KFI went on a campaign to get rid of a website that hosted slurs, innuendo, and gossip about high school kids. And they did it. The Times reports that it’s gone. They couldn’t take the heat and they are whining about it with their last posting. | Center Line Squabble: Improper influence on the public with public funds? In the OC Register [Orange County Supervisors Chris Norby and Bill Campbell are understandably furious at the Orange County Transportation Authority's taxpayer-funded effort to influence a coming election regarding the fate of the CenterLine rail project.]

[Nicholas X. Winter]
Berkeley Bazaar: Mock suicide bombers and checkpoints from competing sides of the Israel/Palestine debate. Jews vs. Jews. Mass confusion at Berkeley as ideologically confused Jewish students defend Palestinian terrorism reported at FrontPage. An “atta girl” to one Miya Keren wearing a sign that said "Wherever I stand, I am standing with Israel." And I like the attitude of this group Dafka (means something like “in your face”) made up of pro-Israel activists who are émigré kids from the former Soviet Union. Maybe they can turn Berkeley around – or at least shake things up.



Campbell Grenade: The Dems thought they had part of the budget plan all wrapped up, but John Campbell sent his liberal peers back to the drawing board. In the Times […late in the day, Assemblyman John Campbell of Irvine, chief Republican spokesman on budget issues, splashed cold water on the Wesson plan, asserting that the cuts Democrats proposed were not bold enough to get their votes for raiding the pension system. | Campbell also criticized the plan because the cuts would come in the next fiscal year instead of the current one, which ends June 30. | "You cannot make reductions in a budget that doesn't exist yet," he said, adding that Democrats could reverse the cuts Wesson proposed on a whim as the budget debate drags on.] Recall Mo: Momentum for the recall movement. Darryl Issa has announced that he’ll become aggressive to recall Lord Gray. In the Bee [U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, a multimillionaire Republican car-alarm magnate, said Wednesday he will devote himself personally and lend financial support to the recall campaign against Gov. Gray Davis and announced his interest in replacing the governor.] Dem Slip: The Bee reports that the electorate is growing more disenchanted with the state’s Deminatrix Party. [A year ago, 47 percent of Californians approved of the job Democrats were doing, while 34 percent disapproved. Those numbers slipped to a 42 percent approval rating and a 40 percent disapproval in the early April survey.]

[Nicholas X. Winter]
Gray Lady Down: The New York Times comes out strong against California’s Judge Carolyn Kuhl. The Times has the peculiar notion that Judge Kuhl is out of step with the citizens [senators must oppose candidates with views well outside the ideological mainstream, including Judge Kuhl]. Of course, there are two things wrong with the Times notion. The first qualification should be how in step are her judicial opinions with the Constitution. As to the second, how “mainstream” she might be is a peculiar notion for the Times editors to explore - the Flat Earth Society of the Times editorial board sees a “mainstream” that looks very much like NOW, PETA, GLAAD and Earth First!



He's The Best of Us:
This from [Robbins Named Alumnus of the Year at UCLA Actor and anti-war activist Tim Robbins, who last week said that "it is time to get angry" over the Bush administration's alleged reprisals against opponents of the war with Iraq, has been chosen Alumnus of the Year at UCLA. According to a story from the World Entertainment News Network, UCLA theatre professor Gary Gardner said the former student was being honored because "Tim reflects who we are and what we try to teach in an undergraduate theater education at UCLA."] |
I do…Gotta Go: In the Chronicle [California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was celebrating his third marriage, to Nadia Maria Davis, last week when he ducked out of his East Bay wedding reception -- to address millions of Americans at a nationally televised news conference on the riveting case of Modesto's Laci Peterson.] Yes, we did need to hear from Lockyer, didn’t we? | The Brits Got it Right: Columnist Peter Schrag is all twisted in the Bee about the Economist’s dismissal of our “Left-Out Coast [CALIFORNIA has always prided itself on getting to the future first—on pioneering the suburban affluence of the 1950s, the tax-cutting revolution of the 1970s and the high-tech boom of the 1990s. So consider a horrible possibility: that now it is the “new America” in the west that just doesn't “get it” (in the infuriating phrase of the 1990s' cyber-gurus) and the “old America” in the east that is grappling with the future. | Ever since September 11th Californians have been out of the American loop, flummoxed by the war on terrorism and locked into a pre-September 11th mindset. Far from pioneering the future, the Californian upper crust seems stuck in the 1990s, maybe even the 1960s. And now the war is widening the gap.] | Nickel and Dime: The Progressives in the Legislature are threatening to put a “fee” on all the little things we buy – not a tax, mind you. In the Times ["These are simply a way to try to increase taxes and avoid the constitutional requirement of a two-thirds vote," said John Campbell (R-Irvine), vice chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. "It'll do horrific damage to the economy."] | Boiling Point: The PC hands off approach to policing is getting to be too much for even hard-core Progressives. Najee Ali of Islamic Hope in today’s Times [Los Angeles' black leadership today faces other tests, other questions. Can you stop petty quarrels with one another long enough to help save your own people's lives? Can we all rise to the challenge to protect our families and community? | Our leaders must confront the black civil war head-on. It is the most complex and dangerous one we may face, ever. We knew what the Ku Klux Klan and Bull Conner looked like. But in this war, the enemy looks like us. We can't afford to lose.] |Hassling Hanoi: The old flag of South Vietnam is the preferred symbol in Orange County’s Little Saigon. It’s got the government of Vietnam all twisted. In the Register ["The more we annoy the commies, the more it means we're doing a good job," said Andy Quach, a Westminster councilman who sponsored a resolution to fly the southern flag at city functions.]



Softened Up: The Field Poll reveals that Lord Gray’s plan is working. Remember how fond the Governor is of overstating the deficit? It’s paid off. Now most Californians think that higher taxes are on the way. In the Bee [By a margin of almost 2-to-1, poll respondents said they do not believe that the budget shortfall can be resolved without higher taxes.] See? The tradeoff is that 58% have “not much confidence” in his ability to solve the problem. Uh, that recall thing… | Get to Work: Dan Walters in the Bee observes [The mounting public disgust at the Capitol's foot-dragging, coupled with a spate of newspaper articles about Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson giving high-paying jobs and consulting contracts to out-of-work politicians, appeared to be penetrating the building as legislators returned from their vacations.] | Hardball Legislation: It’s kinda tough doing business in a progressive state. Weintraub in the Bee [The Legislature last year quietly passed a measure to all but prohibit schools and community colleges from entering into new contracts for things such as bus transportation, janitorial services, cafeteria help or landscaping. Now a drive to repeal that measure is laying bare the kind of hardball politics increasingly practiced in Sacramento. | The message going out from the Legislature to private industry can be summarized as this: Cooperate with us and you will minimize your pain. Cross us and we will destroy you.]



Bay Secession: In the Chronicle clear self-examination and exultation on the core values of the West Bank of the Seine political worldview [Bay Area politicos would fit comfortably under the rubric of European "social democrats," favoring a humane welfare state, multilateralism and a ban on offensive military force. Yet in the skewed political structure of America -- where minority political parties are effectively silenced at the national level by the country's winner-take-all system -- the distinctive voice of the Bay Area vanishes into thin air.]



Ben Stein's Prayer
: In his Morton's column at Eonine Ben Stein mentions [a prayer I have been repeating night after night for a long time now. "Dear God, please watch over each and every soldier, sailor, pilot, marine, every SEAL, every CIA agent, every policeman, every firefighter, every FBI and INS officer, everyone who offers his or her life in defense of our liberties, and please send comfort to their families. And please make Saddam Hussein leave and go to France. And if he doesn't, please make the war short and save the lives of the innocent. And please send your wisdom to your servant, George W. Bush."] | Robbins & Sarandon: There's kinda an apology from the Baseball Hall of Fame for canceling the dynamic duo without at least a phone call, but we still like this comment from a former Dodger & Angel in the Chronicle [Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton supported the decision and said, "I think Petroskey articulated it perfectly."]



Liberal Bedfellows
: Not that anyone should think this a strange political circumstance. He's 61, she's 31 and pregnant with his baby. He's gonna run for Governor. She wants to run for the Assembly. In the Bee ["Post-Bill Clinton, some of the old rules from two decades ago clearly have changed ... but with the governor in California, voters have tended to opt for the bland choice, the less-risky choice," said Jeff Flint, who worked on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon's 2002 campaign. "A politician making a sort of a semisecret wedding under these circumstances is not the steady, don't-rock-the-boat choice.".] | Hewitt's Scheer Lunacy: The radio host takes another shot at the Times' resident fifth columnist [The always amusing Robert Scheer, "columnist-fanatic" for the Los Angeles Times, never fails to grasp any straw that gives him a chance to rant about the Bush administration.] | LA's for Suckers: The LA Daily News doesn't think much of the maor's budget [Mayor James Hahn thinks he has the people of Los Angeles all figured out: We're all a bunch of suckers. | That's why he's come up with his budget plan for 2003-04, a scheme wrapped within a gimmick. He thinks we're gullible enough that we just might buy it. | And he's probably right.]
| AB 17: Assemblymember Patricia Bates has a warning in today's Register [Sometimes bad ideas just won't die. During the last session of the California Legislature, time ran out on legislation that would have mandated many private businesses that contract with the state government to provide same-sex "domestic partner" benefits for all of their employees... Freedom-loving Californians everywhere who detest command-and-control liberalism must rise up in opposition to AB 17 and let their voices be heard in Sacramento.]



LeBoxer Slips: Our demure Senator is suffering from the fact that the voters are possibly recognizing her out of the mainstream ideology. In the Bee [Forty-three percent of California voters say they are not inclined to support her in 2004, compared to 38 percent who support her, according to a Field Poll conducted April 1-6.] | Brass Knuckle Consultants: The Chronicle is annoyed that candidate for mayor Gavin Newsom is hiring Jack Davis to rough up the competition. [Davis would be gone from San Francisco's political scene -- to the betterment of civic discourse -- if only our politicians had the courage and dignity to decide that his scorched-earth tactics were no longer welcome here. It's regrettable to see Gavin Newsom added to the list of politicians that have given in to this political extortion.] Please, that’s so petty. When the entire political machine in San Francisco is organized like a prostitution ring, you gotta have a few enforcers. | Workers Comp Nugget: Here’s Daniel Weintraub’s conclusion on the dire mess of the state’s workers comp disaster in the Bee [California employers pay premiums that are among the highest in the country. Truly injured workers, meanwhile, receive some of the lowest benefits. It's past time to refocus the system and eliminate the leeches who live in the middle, sucking out the money for themselves before it ever gets to the people who need and deserve all the assistance they can get.]



Bushie Cal? Things ain’t all so bad here on the West Bank of the Seine. The Bee reports that the Field poll shows good news for the President - at at least for the moment. [Were the election held now, 45 percent of all California voters would choose the Republican incumbent, according to a Field Poll released Tuesday. Another 40 percent said they would prefer whoever emerges as Democratic nominee, while the remaining 15 percent either were undecided or planned to support a third-party candidate.] | Handicapping Boxer: In the Bee, Dan Walters reminds us that the strident anti-Bushers of the California Democratic Party will live to regret their recent “no blood for oil” strategy [If Republicans nominate a moderate for the Senate, and chances are increasing that they will -- perhaps even Pete Wilson, a former senator and governor -- and the war is the chief issue, with Bush's popularity still high, Boxer could have a whale of a fight on her hands. It's what South was saying when he watched Boxer and other Democrats denounce the war to the cheers of liberal activists, and worried about the party's image.]



Asleep at the Switch: With 65% of voters disapproving of Lord Gray’s governance in the latest Field poll, you’d think he would be demonstrating at least a whiff of leadership. In the Bee, those same voters aren’t sure about a recall, but [Despite their reservations about the wisdom of a recall, however, 46 percent said they would vote to remove Davis if given the option, while 43 percent would not and 11 percent were undecided. Among Democrats, 28 percent said they would vote to recall their own party's governor.] Hello. | And Furthermore: In the Bee’s Weblog Daniel Weintraub an observation about the public’s feeling [This tends to confirm the current conventional wisdom in the Capitol that the recall might not qualify, but if it does, Davis is toast. Interesting. | These numbers also could build on themselves. The governor already has shown virtually no ability to get lawmakers to follow his lead. What chance does he have of doing so now that he's been exposed as the object of such widespread derision? And if, because of his inability to lead, the state descends further into fiscal chaos, even more people will view Davis unfavorably. If that's possible.] |Faulculty: The faculty senate at UCLA needed 200 of the over 3,000 faculty members for a quorum vote denouncing the Iraq war yesterday. Well, the Daily Bruin reports that getting to 200 was a little tough [Faculty began to get restless about an hour into the discussion, and some started asking the moderator if they had reached quorum. John Tucker, chief administrative officer of the senate, replied that they needed one more. | Suddenly, a professor who refused to give his name entered, and Tucker announced quorum had been reached. | The man then marched to the front of the assembly and demanded an official count by the moderator. As suddenly as he had come, he left the room, bringing the count back below 200. | A heated debate ensued, with members yelling at each other over the validity of the now absent man's quorum call. | Eventually, senate officials made an official count and Chairman Duncan Lindsey announced, "We have achieved quorum," eliciting wild cheers from the crowd.] Who was that masked man?



Give Us Some Love! About 3,000 devout anti-Bushers slouched down a mile of Hollywood Boulevard yesterday creating a rare opportunity for tourists. In the Times [As the marchers passed the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue near Grauman's Chinese Theatre, protesters withstood boos and jeers from tourists, and then booed back. Some spectators threw eggs at the protesters, police said. | No arrests were made, police said, but in one incident near the rally stage, pro-war demonstrator Matt Frazier got into a scuffle with protesters over his large sign, which read, "Bomb Saddam, Liberate Iraq." Activists tore at his sign and shoved Frazier to the ground, forcing police to surround Frazier and escort him away. | "This is a peace rally, right?" Frazier said.] | The California Divide: The Washington Post takes a look at the political chasm that the Iraq war has widened in the state [The ideological gulf between the activists of Marin and El Dorado counties epitomizes what University of Michigan political scientist Ronald Inglehart has characterized as the clash between "post-materialist" communities, in which affluence has shifted public priorities to such "quality of life" issues as the environment, peace and personal fulfillment, on the one hand; and, on the other, more traditional "materialist" communities, in which the focus is more on military security, economic growth and fighting crime.] | Deregulation In a Nutshell: Dan Walters in the Bee [Although labeled "deregulation," the 1996 scheme did not create a truly unfettered energy market in California, in which producers would freely vie for consumers' business. It was a conglomeration of markets, mandates and subsidies created to satisfy the demands of various political constituencies, rather than an integrated whole. And its collapse four years later may have reflected its absurdly complex, internally contradictory structure more than it discredited deregulation as such. Deregulated energy markets have worked well in other states and other nations, but their structures did not have the excess baggage that weeks of backroom political maneuvering attached to California's scheme.]



Nancy Backwash: The Washington Times reports that this weekend in SF the charming Ms. Pelosi will receive limousine liberal honors while getting the treatment from the Save Saddam street crowd. ["She's doing the absolute wrong thing," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, a women's antiwar group based in San Francisco. "She's in that office because she was elected by us and she's supposed to represent us. I say, if we wanted to elect hawks, we'd vote for Republicans."] | Herb Souffle: The heat was too much and Speaker Wesson was forced to back out of the “consulting” contracts he parceled out to political pals. In the Times [Assemblyman Ray Haynes, (R-Murrieta), credited newspapers with prompting Wesson's decision. | "It was clear what he was doing from the beginning and he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar," he said. "Now, he is trying to minimize the damage that was caused by his own lack of judgment in the first place."] | Baghdad/LA: Ah, the Times reports that LA city council wants to make Baghdad a sister city. Gee, we thought it was already a sister city along with Damascus, Havana and Pyongyang. [Councilman Jack Weiss seemed taken aback. "There are days when I feel like I'm living inside a real-life political cartoon," he said.] | Murphy Running: The San Diego mayor is back in the race and the Union Tribune tells him to get cracking. [Now that he has restarted his re-election campaign, Mayor Dick Murphy has a lot of work to do. | First, he must dispel any lingering doubts whether he possesses the passion and drive to lead San Diego for another four years. His flip-flop-flip over whether to seek a second term implanted the notion in the minds of many that he lacks enthusiasm for being mayor.]



Diced Herb: The Speaker is getting worked for his largesse. In the Bee Dan Walters observes that Mr. Wesson is just a mere shadow of his idol Willie Brown [Wesson has alternated between defending the contracts and jobs as vital work, and refusing to say what that work might be. His stonewalling has just whetted the appetite of the media -- effectively making Wesson a poster boy for clueless behavior in a period of fiscal crisis.] Elsewhere in the Bee we find that Mr. Wesson has yet another “consultant” who’s getting a double state whammy through two full-time staff jobs – here some wiggle-words from a spokesman ["We were aware Ms. Havice was teaching classes at Cerritos," he said. "We were not aware it was a full-time position. We're going to have a discussion with Ms. Havice to resolve this issue."] Oops. | Herb On Weintraub's Weblog: From the Bee [I am beginning to think that Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson will go down as one of the worst legislative leaders in California history. The latest flap over his habit of putting pals and former lawmakers in do-nothing jobs on the state payroll is only one blemish on an already lackluster record.] | Red Faced: The Bee reports that the state’s GOP is taken aback by its new found connection to Chinese espionage in the person of donor Katrina Leung [Leung's beneficiaries were stunned Thursday to learn federal officials had arrested her the day before, alleging the 49-year-old woman, code named "Parlor Maid," was a double agent who used a romance she'd carried on with an FBI agent since the 1980s to obtain secrets for the Chinese government.]



My Lips Are Sealed: Herb Wesson wants to make sure that nobody gets anything about what his “consultants” are doing. In the Bee [Asked to provide specifics on $350,000 worth of consulting contracts for his friends, Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson has essentially given the taxpayers the back of his hand.] | Practical Health: Daniel Weintraub in the Bee takes Eurocrats to task for fixing the wrong healthcare problem [If the Legislature really wants to help, it should stop giving consumers false hope about the power of rate regulation and start looking at what, if anything, can be done to slow the growth in the core cost of health care. That might include more incentives for individuals to control their own medical expenses, or ways to increase competition among hospitals and other providers.] | Run, Please: The Union Tribune reports that business interests want San Diego Mayor Murphy to get back into the race. [Underlying the group's motivation is the spoken fear of a rough-and-tumble campaign season, as well as the unspoken fear that California's second-largest city could elect a mayor less friendly toward business than Murphy.]



Silent Herb: From the Bee [After extending nearly $350,000 in consultant contracts to longtime friends and associates, Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson has decided not to publicly release any reports or documents that could show how hard they worked or what they accomplished.] Yeah, like that’s gonna work. | The Embarrassment of Van Nuys: The LA Daily News calls neighborhood councils a joke perpetrated by LA City Hall. [So it should surprise no one that at least one neighborhood council has become an embarrassing laughingstock, as inept as it is impotent and as contemptuous of the flag as it is of the basic tenets of good government. This is precisely the kind of local control City Hall wanted all along -- the meaningless kind.]



California, USA: The Chronicle reports that the Golden State joins the rest of the country. [The first statewide survey published since the war began last month found that 3 out of 4 Californians support U.S. efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power, a figure that mirrors national polls on the same question. The poll also found that California's opinion of President Bush had risen since the war began, reversing a yearlong downward trend.] And even 63% of San Francisco residents agree. This must depress the Bay Area’s Save Saddam crowd. | SF Cops Mad: They aren’t too happy with the DA and they’re vocal about it. In the Examiner The Mayor had a couple of unkind words as well. ["The district attorney's questionable judgment, his questionable motivations, will ultimately be for the people of San Francisco to judge," Brown said in a statement. "But it's clear that the ordeal ... could have been avoided if he'd simply faced up to his duty as a responsible prosecutor."] | Visa Required? Within an peculiar Times editorial about the New Yorker magazine’s coverage of the state this telling comment from the magazine’s spokeswoman ["We'll treat California as a small country," the spokeswoman said. The magazine does, however, accept California currency for subscriptions.]



Anti-war Libertarians: Gee, the OC Register is in a crack-up. What is it with Steven Greenhut and Alan Brock and the editorial board? You only need to read Greenhut’s latest opinion piece to understand the problem. | Creeping Literary Progressivism: Advanced students in Modesto’s high schools are getting a nice lesson in how to think like a real liberal and some parents don’t like it. [At a March 3 Board of Education meeting, LaChapell objected to "The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende, "Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson and "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. | Since then, she has added "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier and "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood to her list. She said she is adding books as complaints roll in from like-minded parents.] Modesto Bee | Light Rail, Wrong Track: OC Register finds that the OCTA is slinking away from its enthusiasm for light rail in Orange County.



SD Mayor Race Heats: Since Mayor Dick Murphy’s not gonna run again, the SD Union Tribune reports it’s a long list of possible contenders including Steve Peace, Lord Gray’s finance director.



SFDA Ouch! The presiding judge in the SFPD conspiracy case threw it out of court yesterday with choice words for the city’s Progressive DA Terence Hallinan. In the Chronicle ["Given the situation, the court is troubled by the district attorney's failure to abide by the ethics code, to dismiss this case, when they themselves felt there was no evidence to support the charges," she said.] Oh, yeah, the ethically-challenged Mr. Hallinan is running for reelection. | The American Street-Jay Talking: Ken Masugi’s observation from The Remedy [Jay Leno's monologue can be overrated as an insight into the American soul, but last night's (4/3) was a marvel whose reception should horrify liberals who oppose the war. And that doesn't include his guest, war supporter Dennis Miller, who bashed Michael Moore and assorted other bubbleheads. Among other thoughts, Leno wondered whether the Third Division was rushing into the airport to meet the two-hour pre-departure check-in time.]



Wesson’s Consulting Books: The LA Times does a review of the political pals that Herb Wesson has accommodated as part of his staff – drawing more than a few connections between key votes in the Assembly and new positions on his staff. | Practical Art: The state’s own Dana Gioia, poet and new head of the NEA in the Times ["I plan to serve by building a huge new consensus to support the arts," he continues. "I am not going to do that by dividing people, by polarizing people. Arts education" -- by which he means broad-based proselytizing for the arts – “is not a left or right issue, a Democratic or Republican issue. It's good civic common sense."}



Marin v. LeBoxer: The White House is and the national party are backing U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin to race against LeBoxer in ’04. In the American Spectator ["She's the one we'd like to have," says an RNC staffer. "She's already got White House support, she's moderate, and has strong Hispanic roots in the state. She also has a great personal story to tell."] We like the sound of that. | LeBoxer Block: Our little fireball says she’ll stand in the way of a full vote on confirmation for the President’s nominee for FERC in a little senatorial extortion to help out Lord Gray. In the Chronicle [The California Democrat said Wednesday she has placed a hold on the nomination of Republican Joseph Kelliher -- at least temporarily blocking a Senate vote to confirm him. She said she won't lift the hold unless FERC increases the $3.3 billion in refunds it ordered energy companies last week to pay the state.] | Bennett at UCLA: Bill Bennett brought a teach-in on the war on terrorism to UCLA. The Times concluded their coverage of the event with this curious contrast [Andrew Jones, chairman of the UCLA Bruin Republicans, the student group that sponsored Bennett's appearance, said, "It's a reflection of how far gone the campuses are that you have to bring in outside speakers simply to present something that 70% of the U.S. population agrees with." | More conservative viewpoints "ought to be something presented in the classroom," Jones added. | But Joyce Appleby, an emerita professor of history at UCLA, disputed the notion that conservative or hawkish ideas are marginalized on campus. She also questioned whether students are more conservative than their professors. | Appleby said the main difference is that "members of the faculty have a good idea what they think about foreign policy, America's role in the world, the Cold War and the war on terrorism," while most students still are forming their opinions on those issues.] Well, we think we like this Andrew Jones guy.



Scalia in a Skirt: The Washington Times reports on yesterday’s funfest in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Evidently, LeBoxer did not return her “blue slip” for the nomination of Carolyn Kuhl for the 9th Circuit and Orrin Hatch doesn’t care. [ "Judge Kuhl is way out of the mainstream on choice and privacy, with writings that call for the outright repeal of Roe," Mrs. Boxer said in a press release, referring to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. "I will oppose these nominations."] Hatch is pressing on anyway, ignoring the “blue slip” tradition. In questioning, Senator Kennedy accused Kuhl of being anti-woman – like he ought to know. WashTimes also reports that liberal groups were papering the Senators with fliers that called Kuhl “Scalia in a skirt.” | Eurocrats Rule: In the Bee today Dan Walters describes the amazing rush of the Legislature to the left. Despite the fact that state voters as a whole are fairly middle of the road on issues, the politicians they elect live in a progressive utopia of social engineering and rule by taxation. [The flood of bills on gay rights, immigrant rights and dozens of other specific liberal issues poses a problem for Davis, who drifted to the left last year as he sought re-election support from liberal groups but is more comfortable driving in the middle of the road. Liberals are betting that he'll sign the bills that reach his desk, but they also believe that his attitude will depend largely on how the budget crisis plays itself out and whether a new drive to recall him reaches the ballot.] | The People is Stupid: So what if the state’s voters want marriage reserved for a man and a woman and showed their will by proposition? The enlightened Eurocrats in the Legislature will do what’s best for the progressive agenda. [AB 205, by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), would grant gay and lesbian couples -- as well as heterosexual domestic partners -- many of the same rights and responsibilities that California gives to married couples.] LA Times | After LeBoxer: The Times mentions briefly that U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin is seriously considering running for LeBoxer’s seat making speeches actively critical of Lord Gray’s deficit problems. | High and Mighty Times: The Editor of the Times makes a big deal of the firing of a staff photographer who merged two photographs against policy. That’s fine. Now, maybe the Editor of the Times can fire columnists like Robert Scheer and John Balzar who alter reality in order to promote a Progressive fantasy?



Puff Nancy: The NY Times has an April Fool’s Day valentine for Nancy Pelosi. [As the the first woman to lead a party in Congress, Ms. Pelosi, elegant and energetic, has the kind of star quality that many say makes them again excited to be Democrats. Young women come to the Capitol to have their picture taken in front of her office. Donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have increased by 30 percent, officials there say, since her signature began appearing on the direct mail.] We are treated to the angst she went through to guide the House minority to craft language to support the troops and – ugh – the President. But she isn’t universally loved by her fellow Democrats. [But some moderates complain that Ms. Pelosi has surrounded herself with a "California kitchen cabinet" that will push the party to the left, a complaint that has become heightened now that she has emerged as a leading Democratic opponent of the war. "It's not helpful," Representative Charles W. Stenholm of Texas, a leader of the Blue Dog coalition, a moderate group, said, referring to Ms. Pelosi's stance on Iraq.] And Martin Frost called her out for stalling on support for the President. | Underdog Vindicated: Well, he didn’t unseat Lord Gray, but at least Bill Simon was right when he said he’d prevail in his S&L lawsuit. It was an issue that Lord Gray and his strategists used to portray Simon as an incompetent. The Times reminds us [Garry South, chief strategist of the Davis reelection campaign, stood by the criticism, saying that Simon had tried to play down his role at Western Federal. South said the S&L remains a demonstration of Simon's pattern of taking credit for business successes while denying blame for failures.] Hmm. Do we think that South is strategizing an apology?

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