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6/30/03 [Monday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:16 am
A Progressive Pal: In his statewide roadtrip, Speaker Herb Wesson got beat up by both Orange County and San Diego County's Boards of Superviors. But the Register reports that he was welcomed one place in the Southland. [Irvine Mayor Larry Agran's office was one of the few pockets of support for Wesson. If Agran appeared at all ambiguous in the Register's Wednesday report on Wesson's visit, he was wholeheartedly behind the Democrat's proposal in a subsequent conversation with The Buzz. "There are going to have to be tax increases, and we need to stop the game playing," said Agran, a Democrat. "This is why Orange County has so little influence in Sacramento."] Gee, we'd guess that Irvine is all for sending more taxes to Sacramento. Cash or check? | Competing Op-Ed Budgets: Today the Register and the Times have their own suggestions for the Legislature about fixing the budget. Gee, no surprises...

6/28/03 [Saturday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:22 am
Budget Bashing: It was a shouting match in the Legislature on the budget. Progressives were all uptight about being called tax and spend - in the Bee ["Don't accuse us of spending willy-nilly, because you took the trip with us," Wesson told Republicans. "It takes two to dance, and you danced with us."] Yeah, right except it's like dancing with Godzilla... And the Progressives produced a budget that they said was the Republican budget and said "let's vote." Only problem was nobody had seen it. ["You do (a budget bill) in the dark of night and throw it on our desk in the middle of the morning and say 'Vote on this'?" asked Assemblyman John Campbell, R-Irvine. "This is not productive; this is a drill."] So, the Republicans are supposed to put their bill up for vote on Monday. Do we seriously think that the Progressives will give cave? No way... they are not gonna cut up the credit cards.

6/27/03 [Friday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:19 am
Cutting Monday: The Bee reports that Senate Republicans are strategizing to force a Monday debate about spending cuts. The are going to have a line by line proposal on cuts to force the issue to the light of day. Well, now... That should be sorta interesting – Hmm, sounds like a good idea, but how is that going to be reported and Op-Eded in the Times, Bee and Chronicle? Probably something like “rather than take the simple and sensible route of a half-cent sales tax hike, GOP members propose crippling the state’s vital services and education infrastructure for their own ‘no new taxes’ hubris.” [How did you like that ‘hubris’ part? Not bad huh? Maybe I could get a part-time gig with the Times?] Like We're Surprised: The FBI testified against the matricula consular cards that our Progressive legislators like so much. In the Times ["The Department of Justice and the FBI have concluded that the matricula consular is not a reliable form of identification," said Steven McCraw, assistant director of the FBI's intelligence office. "There are major criminal threats posed by the cards and [a] potential terrorist threat."] Come on, don't the Feds know that sort of stuff doesn't fly here?

6/26/03 [Thursday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:15 am
Hysteria: The Times is all upset with the GOP in the Legislature. The Budget is stuck because the Republicans still don't see enough cuts and the Times doesn't like the brinksmanship of it all: [California is racing to fiscal chaos. In the lead are a few damn-the-torpedoes Republicans in the Legislature who refuse to consider imposing even a temporary half-cent increase in the state sales tax.] Oh, dear. And the Times goes on to wish for that simple majority vote that other states have...sure, why wouldn't they? It would make Conservatives permanently irrelevant - which would make the Times very content indeed. | Progressive Cat Fight: Progressive Mayor Larry Agran is mad at Progressive Mayor Jim Hahn. The El Toro option is heating up again. In the Register [Mayor Larry Agran fired off a letter Wednesday to Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, telling him Irvine and a majority of Orange County residents are "outraged" at Hahn's attempt to turn the closed air base at El Toro into a commercial airport. Besides terming Hahn's effort "unconscionable," Agran also told the L.A. mayor that Irvine is "not a land-use colony to be exploited by Los Angeles."] | A Political Lesson: A Newport Beach councilmember is in deep trouble and doesn't know why. Gordon Dillow of the Register tries to explain [Now, as I've said before in this space, there is a double standard of racial outrage in this country. White guys seem to get in a lot more trouble for alleged racist remarks than anybody else. And allegations of racism are thrown about far too freely...But I do know this much: Politeness and civility in racial issues are important.]

6/25/03 [Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:10 am
Shouting Match: They're yelling at each other in the state Senate. Interesting quote via Dan Walters of the Bee from the leader of the Progressives. [The other came from the Senate's top Democrat, President Pro Tem John Burton, who said he and other Democrats were just as opposed to more spending cuts as Republicans were to new taxes. "These are core values," Burton said. "This is where we're at, and this is where we're going to stay. ... This is the best we can do. This is where we're drawing the line."] Ah, no spending cuts is a core value. More taxes is a core value. That must mean that "tax and spend" is a core value. See, this stuff isn't that complicated. On the Road: Speaker of the Assembly took his roadshow to the Orange County Supervisors and didn't exactly get the "attaboy" he wanted for raising new taxes. In the Register ["I've never heard of a statewide campaign by legislators to raise taxes," Spitzer said. "We think the plan is going to backfire – that Democrats are going to hear that people don't want to raise taxes." Supervisors took the opportunity to reiterate longstanding complaints about with state funding formulas. County and city governments and special districts in Orange County receive a combined 40.3 percent of property taxes paid here – 40th out of 58 counties. San Francisco County gets 67.1 percent, and Los Angeles County gets 59.7 percent.] Hey! What's this about that San Francisco and LA thing?

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:01 am
Stuck: The Legislature is mired in budget mud wrestling and we ain't gonna see a budget by the July 1 deadline. It's too bad things have to come to this, but the people of California have refused to see there's a problem until everything totally breaks down. It's not like it's new - even though Lord Gray was hiding and denying it before the October election.

6/24/03 [Tuesday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:20 am
Tax Shift: The Progressives in the state Senate are going to make a calculated move. Times - [In an effort to back Republicans into a corner, Democrats are expected to vote unanimously in favor of a state spending plan with just one more new tax: a temporary half-cent sales tax to back bonds that would pay off $10.7 billion of California's budget shortfall over the next five years.] Uh... well, that might play well in front of the tv cameras, but the point has always been cuts before taxes. No new taxes. Get it?

6/23/03 [Monday]

[Hugh Hewitt] 6:15 am
UnWorking Comp: Listeners to my radio program will already know this, but the New York Times reports on California's job-killing worker's compensation laws.  One of the results, as put by reporter Joseph Treaster, is that "dozens of businesses in California -big and small- have laid off workers....Some businesses have closed and a few have moved to other states where insurance costs have not risen much." The article is an overview of the nation-wide problems with workers' comp, but the clear emphasis is on the Golden State's out-of-control system.   Please note, because the article didn't, that in the past five years when the system spiraled out of control, Democrats controlled both house of the legislature, the governor's mansion and every statewide office including that of insurance commissioner.  (A Republican was elected insurance commissioner in 1998, but Chuck Quakensbush resigned in a scandal and was replaced by a Gray Davis appointee.)  Needless to say the trial lawyers and the workers' comp leeches have been left to run amok, and they have. [go to Hewitt's site]

[Streetsweeper] 6:02 am
Progressive LA... Finally: Peculiar op-ed in Sunday's Times. Here's the first paragraph [With the election of Antonio Villaraigosa and Martin Ludlow to the Los Angeles City Council, progressivism has reached critical mass in city government. On July 1, the two newcomers will join ideological and political allies Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes in bringing a broad social vision of equity and justice to such city problems as housing, jobs, transportation and public safety. Although these four liberals do not constitute a majority of the 15-member council, they may be able to shape and implement a progressive agenda for the city as a whole.] Gee, we thought the City Council was stacked to the ceiling with Progressives. Musta got it wrong. | El Toro Undead: Huh? We thought the airport issue was in the grave. Wrong. Los Angeles is making a play to the Federal government to keep the issue on life support and now comes the SD Union Tribune singing the same song. [Los Angeles' proposal to run El Toro as a civilian airport is the best option. The land is available and has served as a military air base. To allow this land to be turned into more houses, cars and freeways is unacceptable to the region.] Yikes! Irvine's Progressive mayor Larry Agran has got to be scrambling now. Maybe he needs to talk to all those Progressives who just arrived at the LA City Council for some moral support.

6/21/03 [Saturday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:57 am
Shadow Governor vs. Car Tax: Tom McClintock leapt to action yesterday when the trigger was pulled on the Car Tax - which he called "absolute horse manure." In the Ventura Star [Within an hour after the decision was made, McClintock filed two proposed initiatives with the Attorney General's Office. One is a one-sentence initiative statute that would set the annual fee at $1. The other is a more complex constitutional amendment that would abolish the fee and at the same time guarantee that local governments would receive a like amount of revenue from the state General Fund. / It takes 373,000 signatures to qualify an initiative statute for the ballot. A constitutional amendment requires nearly 600,000 signatures. / McClintock said he is confident he can meet the lower threshold, but said he will strive to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for the November 2004 ballot.] | Campbell vs. Car Tax: In the Oakland Tribune [Assemblyman John Campbell of Irvine, the ranking Republican on the Assembly's budget committee, said Thursday that a new opinion from the legislative counsel supports his contention that Gov. Gray Davis is wrong about state law and the car tax cannot legally be raised -- either by the governor or at this point. / "I am not going to sit around and let one of Davis' phantom bureaucrats triple the car tax. It won't fly in the courts, and it won't fly with taxpayers," Campbell said.]
| Steel on Brulte: In John Grizzi's column at Human Events this past week he drops an insider tidbit [(During a conversation at breakfast at the state party convention in Orange County last fall with then-State Chairman Shawn Steel, a strong conservative, the topic turned to Master of the Senate, the latest volume in Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, which we were then both reading. Without missing a beat, Steel said to me "Johnson reminds me so much of Brulte!") Interestingly, Steel himself was unanimously censured by the board of directors of the state party last December for publicly vowing to recall any Republican legislator who voted for a tax increase to close the state’s deficit. Now, with the Republican Senate leader throwing the gauntlet down, the cries on the right are "Right on, Brulte!"]

6/20/03 [Friday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:11 am
Spend and Stall: The Times mentions that if the Republicans stop the car tax increase the lack of revenue will shut down the government. John Campbell, Vice Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, sees it a different way. ["We don't believe it will be us that shuts down the state government," he said. "If [Democrats'] insistence upon having tax and spending increases in this budget drives the state to the point of some shutdown or whatever, that will be a decision they choose to make."] And the Register reports that Campbell and other Republicans proceeded to sign onto a lawsuit to stop the Car Tax ["This is an abrogation of the responsibility of the Legislature and governor," said Assemblyman John Campbell, R-Irvine, who signed a statement of support for the lawsuit, along with virtually all of the Assembly's Republicans. "The Legislature lowered this tax. It can't assign the duty of raising it to an administrator."
] | A Winning Strategy: The LA Daily News reports that brave Progressives are going to get the message out [At the same time, a group of Democratic members of the Assembly, including three who represent the San Fernando Valley, have announced what they called a "progressive" agenda to fight any more spending cuts unless a system of "fair" taxes is imposed. Assembly members Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, Cindy Montanez, D-Mission Hills, and Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, are all part of the Democratic Study Group that plans to campaign against any further cuts.Levine said part of the problem has been breaking through to offer the Democratic explanation of the budget problem.] Yeah, that will probably work just great with voters. Education Marvel: The LA Daily News reports that our 4-8 grade readers are just about the worst in the nation. [Only Mississippi, the District of Columbia and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands fared worse than California on the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress.] On page 2 of the Progressive Playbook the correct response to this situation is to...Right! Increase Taxes!

6/19/03 [Thursday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:49 am
A Big Ole Car Tax Tomorrow? Lord Gray is about to get his poison pill. In the Bee [State finance officials are preparing to "pull the trigger" Friday to raise the state's vehicle license fee and pump billions of dollars into the California treasury, as a new fiscal year approaches with lawmakers locked in a budget battle.] Senator Tom McClintock has promised he’ll file an initiative to stop the car tax within minutes of that trigger. Kerosene for the recall fire.

6/18/03 [Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper] 9:17 am
Got Some ID? Well, well, the matricula consular bill is moving along in the Legislature. While some might think that foreign national identification is a Federal issue, our lovely state will get in the business of legislating new recognition all by itself. And thank goodness – the Times reports that it will also have safeguards [The bill also underwent a last-minute amendment that succeeded in turning some opponents into supporters, among them the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Council of La Raza, an immigrant rights group. / They switched when Nuñez wrote into the bill a requirement that security standards for acceptance of a foreign identification document could be no more stringent than those used for California state identification cards. / The immigrant rights groups said they are trying to reach an agreement with police to prohibit sharing information obtained from a matricula consular with federal immigration authorities or other third parties.] Yeah, we wouldn’t want those federal immigration folks getting info about… uh… immigrants.

[Hugh Hewitt] 9:10 am

No Go: [First posted at Hewitt's site - Editor]
Two California office-holders have pledged to stay out of the recall fray according to Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times. Veteran GOP consultant Ken Khachigian, who is advising recall maestro Darryl Issa, doubts that Bill Lockyer and Phil Angelides will sit out the fall campaign and watch Cruz Bustamante become governor when the doomed Gray Davis is toppled, and I agree. Lockyer especially has always had a keen eye for number one, and a personality made of shards of rusted steel. If Bustamante succeeds Davis, Lockyer's public career will be over in three years, and he has no greater ambition than to be Governor. Put yesterday's announcement into the "let's check again if Diane Feinstein doesn't run" file.

6/17/03 [Tuesday]

[Hugh Hewitt] 8:00 am
Gray Who? [First posted Monday at Hewitt's site - Editor] Why aren't any of the Democratic Presidential candidates rallying to Gray Davis' defense? He could be a key ally in next March's primary, and as governor of the state with the biggest haul of electoral votes in November 2004, he ought to be a key component of any strategy to unseat President Bush. Trouble is, he's toast, and the pros know it. Michael Finnegan in today's Los Angeles Times is rightly treating the recall vote in the fall as a done deal, and profiling Darryl Issa, the man who made it happen. Davis has no way of surviving the avalanche, and state and national Democrats are divided on how to respond. The heavyweights in the presidential field (well, the middle-weights, considering who is running) are avoiding the meltdown. Davis might be able to get Kucinich to say a few, kind words about him, but none of the serious contenders.

[Streetsweeper] 7:00 am
No Moderation: Even the “can’t we all just get along” crowd in the Legislature can’t agree on a way to fix the budget. In the Times [Providing a vivid example of just how far apart lawmakers are on closing California's $38-billion budget shortfall, a bipartisan coalition of moderates who vowed to get past political bickering and selflessly work to solve the problem has fallen apart.]

6/16/03 [Monday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:07 am
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Chronicle reports that Lord Gray’s strategy is to paint the recall as a right wing coup [The first phase kicked off this past week with a series of pro-choice "demonstrations" across the state -- including a rally Friday on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall. / The message: Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of San Diego County -- who wants to replace Davis, and who has funded the recall to the tune of $800,000 -- is an extremist who would represent "a giant step backward" for the pro-choice state. / There will also be "demonstrations" on education, the environment, gay rights and just about anything else that will help define a "right-wing conspiracy."] Gee, that sounds more like a vast left wing conspiracy to us. | Déjà Vu All Over Again: The Times notices that this whacky budget stuff isn’t new…[In many ways, this year's budget crisis is a predictable hangover from 2002. Last year, with the state's shortfall pegged at $24 billion, the budget standoff lasted until September, two months beyond the July 1 start of the fiscal year. When Davis finally signed the spending plan, few believed the state's financial problems were solved. Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) called it "a get-out-alive budget."]

6/14/03 [Saturday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:14 am
Lovely Economy: The Times reports that our state lost 21,500 jobs in May while the rest of the country gained. [Since February, California has lost a net 54,300 jobs, or nearly 0.4% of its nonfarm jobs, double the national rate. More worrisome, the pink slips appear to be accelerating at a time when many economists had predicted they would level off in anticipation of employment growth in the second half of the year.] You don’t think that the Progressive policies of our Progressive legislators has anything to do with it, do you? As one small business man whacked by worker’s comp costs said ["We have to find a way to grow without adding employees. California makes it too expensive."] Ah, such a surprise. | Get Out of Jail Free: In a move that surprises nobody, the SF board of supervisors decided to pay for all the policing costs of anti-war demonstrations. As noted in the SF Examiner at least one responsible adult disagreed [Supervisor Tony Hall, who has been most critical of demonstrators, said he was upset by the wave of dismissals. / "I want to know why these people are being let off without being fined. I want to know why the District Attorney is writing these as infractions, why there was no DA there to argue," said Hall in a phone interview. / He believes the protesters cost The City millions and should have to help pay that back. / "Now these people are being let off scot-free without any accountability," Hall said.] Hmm. Guess ANSWER doesn’t have to answer.

6/13/03 [Friday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:07 am
“Diverse” Fathers: Conservatives in the Assembly get caught on all sides - this time having to vote against Fathers Day. Why? Because Progressives thought the very diverse Christine Kehoe’s “diverse” acknowledgement of the holiday was in order. In the Bee ["If all they'd said was 'we honor all fathers,' and left it at that, then every single father would have felt we were honoring them," said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta. "But they have to inject all this extraneous garbage into it."] And just what “garbage” was that? [Controversy centered on wording that praised the "wonderful diversity" of America's fathers, saying they include "single fathers, foster fathers, adoptive fathers, biological fathers, stepfathers, families headed by two fathers, grandfathers raising grandchildren, fathers in blended households, and other non-traditional fathers."] Ah, Johnny has two daddies, don’t ya know? | SF Litter Box: The City, in its wisdom, created a giant litter box in Ocean Beach by creating an ecologically correct sand dune in the middle of an empty patch of land. In the Chronicle [The idea was to return the lot to nature and create an ecological wonder. Instead, what's there looks more like a neglected, weed-and-litter-strewn lot.] Oh, yeah. Somebody really artistic forgot it’s pretty windy there…

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:00 am
This from Daniel Weintraub’s Weblog at the Sacramento Bee:

Truth in budgeting | I’ve been trying for a couple of weeks now to answer this question: How much might the state spend next year compared to this year, on an apples to apples basis? There are so many shifts, transfers, loans and gimmicks in the budget that it’s difficult to tell. But the Assembly Republican Caucus has offered an analysis that seems right to me. I’ll put it out there as the working assumption until someone knocks it down or comes up with something better. | The bottom line: General fund spending this year will be $78.9 billion. Spending on the equivalent programs next year will be $82.2 billion, after making all the required adjustments to keep the story straight. Obviously that’s a little different from the line we’re hearing from the administration, that they’re making the biggest year-to-year cuts in modern times.

Weintraub goes on to break it down chunk by chunk.

6/12/03 [Thursday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:15 am
Now, Why Tax? After the quick sale on bonds yesterday it became apparent that new taxes may not really be Wall Street’s issue. In the Times ["There were a whole lot of people today who wanted to buy California debt and didn't get a chance to because it got sold out," Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chairman John Campbell (R-Irvine) said Wednesday. "That says there will be plenty of people to buy without a new tax."]

[Streetsweeper] 6:45 am

Lookee what we found at Hugh Hewitt's blog on Tuesday... Thanks Hugh! | Carol Platt Liebau is emerging as one of the best observers of California politics. Liebau is the first woman to have served as managing editor of the Harvard Law Review, and pops up as a participant in the cable wars from time to time. Her time as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and her years on the Hill should make her a regular guest on one of the big gun shows, but she suffers from West Coast bias --the tendency of New York/Washington producers to ignore West Coast public intellectuals. If John Carroll is serious about bringing some balance to his papers, the Los Angeles Times should put a call through to Ms. Liebau. In the meantime, her columns are carried at, which is putting itself in a position to own the center-right internet space in California with its attention to the recall and other Golden State political news. | The other new entrants in the blogroll of California is LAObserved which is comprehensive, and the revamped The former is straightforward gatherer of Cal content, the latter a very wacky collection of stuff reflecting its editors' very slightly imbalanced brain chemistry. | These and other sites like the Volokh Conspiracy and the Claremont Institute's offering are outgrowths of the West Coast's emergence as an opinion center independent of Atlantic pressures. A Pacific Alliance, like the Northern Alliance, is a pipe dream because there are (1) too many West Coast blogs and (2) many of the operators are crazy. But television producers could find many, many more interesting guests from our side of the world if they would spend a weekend bouncing around the Pacific Rim blogosphere --starting with Carol Platt Liebau.

6/11/03 [Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:58 am
What Budget? No progress. Progressives are getting themselves all twisted with this “no new taxes” thing from the GOP. And they’re getting testy… In the Bee [But Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, known for his volatility and cursing, abruptly left after less than 15 minutes, declaring, "I just don't think talking, talking, talking is going to do it anymore."] Sure it would. Just talk cutting, cutting, cutting… See? | Arnold Watch: Steve Lopez at the Times has a nice line about the possibility of a recall [Schwarzenegger says he can't make a decision on a political career right now because of the exhausting demands of his film career. He's busy gearing up for the marketing of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," a true story based on the political ascent of Gray Davis.]

6/10/03 [Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:57 am
ChronWhine: The Editors of SF’s paper of record thinks that Jim Brulte is bad, bad man. He’s almost Newt Gingrich quality of bad. He doesn’t play nice. He isn’t being bi-partisan. ["It's pure, brazen intimidation," Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-S.F., said of the Brulte threat. "This guy's a big bully." / A responsible leader would be looking for bipartisan solutions, not line-in-the-sand pronouncements that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to pass a budget by the end of June.] Yikes! But, hmm, why this upset from the city paper where the mayor is Willie Brown? You’d think they’d be used to “brazen intimidation” by now. | Philerbuster: Always trying to look gubernatorial ‘cause he’s eventually going to run, State Treasurer Phil Angelides sent a nasty note to Jim Brulte and John Campbell saying that they were the budget problem. The Times says Brulte fired back a note himself [After reminding Angelides that he had opposed Davis' previous spending plans, Brulte added: "I am also disappointed that, while many conservatives like me were raising the flag to warn about overspending, you remained, either on the sidelines or actively encouraging liberals to spend even more."]

6/9/03 [Monday]

[Streetsweeper] 9:45 am
Jim Brulte threatened - uh - told GOP assembly members that he would actively campaign against anyone breaking ranks by voting for new taxes. With 6 days to go to approve a budget, it’s made a difference. In the LA Times [Now Democrats, who have a majority of both houses as well as the governorship, are desperately searching for a way to get out of the budget mess without new taxes. Their ideas include a legally questionable attempt to pass a "revenue-neutral" measure that would raise taxes for a few years and then cut them just as much a few years later. The point: Such a plan theoretically could be approved without Republican votes. / But the larger question in Sacramento is this: Are Republicans trying to force a government shutdown, do they believe Democrats will cave on spending or are they holding fast on taxes because they believe Democrats can find a way to sneak around them to raise an unpopular source of revenue?] Now, what exactly would be the problem if the government shut down? How could we tell?

6/6/03 [Friday]

[Streetsweeper] 6:58 am
Common Sense Prevails, Barely:
The Assembly couldn’t quite get the minimum number of votes to kill Indian mascots for state sports teams. That’s right, no Warriors, Comanches and the like. The Bee reports there were skirmishes on the Assembly floor [Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, characterized the legislation as much ado over nothing. / Tongue in cheek, Haynes said the measure didn't go far enough because it didn't ban words like buccaneers, Gaels or Trojans, all of which could be offensive to someone. / "We ought not trivialize ourselves by engaging in trivial argument," Haynes said. "And quite frankly, this is trivial." / Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, said he is a proud former Arcadia High School Apache. The name provided an opportunity to learn about American Indian history and culture, he said. / Leslie sang his alma mater on the Assembly floor, ending with, "All hail, Apache sons and daughters, all hail, hail, hail."] All this and musical comedy too!

[Nicholas X. Winter] 6:45 am
That's Us, Alright! James Taranto’s long arm has reached out to our state and whacked us in the Best of the Web at Opinion Journal. All we can say is “Well, yes, this is educated Progressive life in California.” | The Education of Elisa Haro From the Highlander, the student newspaper at the University of California, Riverside, comes a hilarious example of how diversity is actually practiced in higher education. It's a report on a student senate meeting: At the meeting, the senate also voted to approve a mural to be placed in the Commons. There was some concern voiced by the senate about the contents of the mural. / "I see some pilgrim invaders here," said Elisa Haro, academic affairs director. "It kind of reminds me of my colonization, and I don't like that." / The artist of the mural said that the pilgrim invaders were meant to be Shakespearean actors and that he would try to make that more clear. / Other concerns with the mural included the depiction of white cranes, which the senate demanded be changed to color cranes. / They were also concerned with the lack of a same sex couple depicted, which the artist agreed to add. The senate voted to approve the mural in light of the adjustments being made.

6/5/03 [Thursday]

[Streetsweeper] 8:07 am
Hardball: The Bee reports the state senate minority leader is pulling out all the stops to keep the troops in line. [Sen. Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga said Tuesday at a meeting of Republican legislators that he would go to their districts to debate them on the issue of tax increases and raise money for their opponents. / He showed them a sample of a direct mail advertisement that could be sent to voters in their districts if they crossed party lines on the budget.] Rough going… stay the course. We say, “Cut, Cut and No New Taxes.” | Mere License: The immigrant driver’s license bill is headed to Lord Gray’s desk. In the Bee [Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Simi Valley, called the bill "utterly useless" and said its passage would "destroy the validity of every other California driver's license."] Ah, Lord Gray has a tough decision with a recall upon him. Make the Latino caucus mad or make voters mad…tsk, tsk. | Home Invasion Called Off: For now… The bill that would have allowed schools to poke into family privacy without permission is on the ice. In the Bee [Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, said she chose to drop AB 661 because Republican foes vowed not to allow late amendments or procedural rule waivers on any Democratic bill until it was killed.] Thank goodness for “Republican foes.”

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:05 am
Like Gay Marriage, But Different: More special rights for gays are coming down the pike. The incrementalism of liberal theology has scored another round in the state assembly. The Progressives will chip away and eventually gay marriage will be a California reality. The latest gives parenting rights to domestic partners. In the Bee ["If I could bring a bill recognizing marriages by people of the same gender, I'd do it in a hot minute," Goldberg said. "You know me well. I'm not shy. But it's not possible."] Not possible, Ms. Goldberg? Surely there is an incremental way to get there.

6/4/03 [Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper] 8:16 am
No Centerline: The voters in Irvine put a rock in the OCTA’s road to light rail by defeating the plan to run what Hugh Hewitt calls the “drain train” LA Times

6/3/03 [Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:15 am
NO A YES B: A reminder from the OC Register [Vote to Derail CenterLine Voters in Irvine have an opportunity to do what the Orange County Transportation Authority wants to deny the rest of the county: the opportunity to vote, yea or nay, for a $1.4 billion-plus boondoggle known as the CenterLine light-rail system. / As it is, the election Tuesday isn't exactly clear-cut. Two measures are on the ballot. Measure A permits the construction of CenterLine in its current configuration. Measure B says no to CenterLine. CenterLine supporters created A as a means to undermine support for B. But having two separate measures raises interesting questions, such as what happens if both pass or both fail. / There's an easy way to avoid that possibility. Irvine voters should vote no on A and yes on B.] ‘nuff said you Irvine folks.

6/2/03 [Monday]

[Streetsweeper] 9:21 am
Home Invasion: AB 661 is one more Progressive maneuver to get around parental consent and let the state take over parenting. You’ll know it by its friends with Jackie Goldberg at the front of the pack. In the Bee [Supporters of AB 661 include the American Civil Liberties Union, Children NOW, California Women Lawyers and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. Opponents include the California Catholic Conference, Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council and a conservative advocacy group called the Committee on Moral Concerns.] | 13 Arrrgh: The Progressives want to get to the money, ‘cause money means more spending. That grinchy Prop 13 always stands in the way. There is a solution! Get rid of it! Unfortunately for them the public doesn’t agree with the politicians. In the Bee [That was the conclusion of the February poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in which 57 percent said the initiative's overall effect had been good. Among homeowners, an even greater majority -- 65 percent -- said that it had been "mostly a good thing." | Casey’s Web-ganza: It was supposed to be one of those high-tech web-based whiz-bang events to kick off Toni Casey’s run against Barbara Boxer. In the Bee [The problem with her announcement was that few people knew about it, and Casey now is convinced that the splash she had hoped for was instead a digital dud.] | And Trigger Too? We didn't know...The NY Times reports that one more cultural memento has departed the state. [The Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, an old-West cavalry-style fort on Highway 15 in the high Mojave Desert, picked up and moved. It has resettled in Branson, Mo., the transplanted heart of country-western life and culture.]

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