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21/25/40: California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

The 13-Percent Solution
The state's financial health means tightening the belt...
[Tom McClintock]

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[12/31/03 Wednesday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:55 am [link]
Thank You! This New Year’s has special meaning for us at We’ve been operating for a little over a year and we owe a great 2003 to our editorialists and readers.

To our editorialists: Thank you for your great thinking, insightful Op-Eds, and crisp CRO Blog posts. [And special thanks to Hugh Hewitt for helping us to get off the ground.]

To our readers: Thanks for your encouraging comments – and thanks for signing up for our [almost] weekly email alerts.

To the CRO staff: Thanks for all the diligent work...and extra special thanks to our editorial director and senior columnist Carol Platt Liebau.

It’s our vision to become the significant web destination for conservative thought and opinion coming out of the West. We believe the major part of our mission is to lend a hand in raising up a generation of conservative West Coast opinion shapers. CRO has taken the first steps and we have bigger, bolder plans for the future. We’re looking forward to expanding our opinion journal over 2004 and your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks again. nxw

[12/30/03 Tuesday]

[Doug Gamble] 6:53 am [link]
Dean Factor: The statement by Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean that he won't pre-judge the guilt of Osama Bin Laden in the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals him as one of the most dangerous politicians in recent times. Dean's remarks presumably mean that if he had been president on 9/11 his response would have been to do absolutely nothing, unless or until Bin Laden could somehow have been apprehended, put on trial and convicted. And they presumably mean that as president he would do nothing whatsoever to respond to future attacks on America. Every terrorist in the world must be praying five times a day for the Lee Harvey Oswald lookalike to make it to the Oval Office.

The more I hear from Dean the more I consider him a dispicable human being. At a time when the lives of Americans are at stake, this stain on humanity has nothing to offer but hatred of President Bush and the benefit of the doubt to terrorists, even including those who have bragged about their evil deeds such as Bin Laden. In terms of national security, I never dreamed I'd see a Democrat who makes George McGovern look like Ronald Reagan.

Dean was wrong when he said the capture of Saddam Hussein does not make America safer. And America will be safer still if Dean is either denied his party's nomination or is defeated next November.

[12/29/03 Monday]

[Streetsweeper] 7:25 am [link]
Break the Prison Guards Grip: The Wall Street Journal reminds Sacramento that it can get around the union that had Gray Davis in its campaign cash spell... But don’t wait...

Like Marley's ghost, the spirit of Gray Davis continues to hover over California even after his repudiation at the ballot box. For unless something happens soon, taxpayers in that state are going to find themselves on the hook for one of his last favors to a pet special interest: the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

Three of California's private state prisons will close at the end of this month absent some immediate intervention from Sacramento. That's just fine with the state prison guards union, of course, since it's always been opposed to competition. But at a time when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is scrounging for ways to close a $14 billion gap, he might want to take an interest in the benefits of privatization for public prisons that already cost $5.3 billion a year.

And why keep the private prisons in operation?

According to Department of Corrections figures, each year it costs Californians $28,439 to house an inmate in a state prison. Privately run prisons do the job for about $17,000, an $11,000 savings per inmate. In a state with the largest prison population in America, that means hefty savings to the taxpayers.

Buy union, live union...

[12/26/03 Friday]

[Bill Leonard] 5:08 am [link]
The Silly Season: The silly season is already here for the 2004 elections. (Yes, that assumes the season had end.) I had to laugh at the accusation by Republican Senate candidate Rosario Marin that Republican Senate candidate Bill Jones got special treatment by Democrat Secretary of State Kevin Shelly. Not only is this far fetched, it is also a 'so-what'. Marin and Jones were both given the same amount of time after their filing for the Senate to submit their candidate statements. The fact that Jones filed for the office later than Marin did meant that his deadline was later, but not any longer. I would really rather hear from Marin how she would vote differently than Jones in the U.S. Senate. I would really rather hear what the candidates consider to be the biggest issues facing the next Congress and how they would handle them. I would really rather hear how they plan to confront U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer with her bad votes. Jones has always campaigned on issues, which in this day and age makes him a stand out candidate.[From Leonard Letter 12/22]

[12/24/03 Wednesday]

[Streetsweeper] 11:01 am [link]
Very Merry Christmas: On behalf of the folks at CRO we wish all of our readers and their families a most blessed Christmas Day...

[Bill Leonard] 10:49 am [link]
Lessons Learned:
I feel the pain of Republican legislators. The good news is that they have a Governor of their party. The bad news is that they have a Governor of their party. The sooner they learn that it is better to have a Governor of your own party the better off they will be. Most legislators have never served with a Republican governor, so they are only used to direct negotiations with Governor Davis. Now both parties‚ legislative leaders need to shift to negotiations with Governor Schwarzenegger. When I was Assembly Republican leader I used to joke that I served as staff to Governor Wilson. As with all humor, people laughed at the line because it had such truth in it. My role was to give the Governor a sense of the Republican caucus on the issues and to encourage the Governor to position himself in concert with the legislative caucuses. I worked to convince the Governor and his staff about the merits of our position and how that would also benefit him. But when the Governor announced a position that was different than the caucus‚s, then the Republican legislators were put in a difficult position. To vote with the Governor meant compromising on some important policy point, which is always hard to do. To vote against the Governor just handed greater political leverage to the Democrats, which is not very politically smart. (And it often made the Governor mad, which is also not very politically smart.) Republican legislators need to adjust their role of confrontation with the Governor, which they did very well against Governor Davis, and work with the new Governor and his staff to persuade them of the best strategies and objectives. This is much more of an inside process than their relations with Davis, but with a friend in the corner office, Republican legislators can be much more successful. [from Leonard Letter 12/22/03]

[12/23/03 Tuesday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:15 am [link]
Illegal Costs: SoCal radio hosts John and Ken pointed out yesterday that the LA Times actually attempted to report the true cost of illegal immigration. The heart of the matter is buried in the article around paragraph 28, but here it is with typical Times weaseling.

So here's the bottom line: The total the state spends on illegal immigrants is no more than $4.6 billion a year, with CalWorks being a judgment call. This is a substantial amount, but clearly not enough to account for all of the state's budget gap, which is running $8 billion to $12 billion annually.

Hmm. There's a whiff of progress in the state... the Times admits there is a real cost to illegal immigration...whaddya know?

[12/22/03 Monday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 5:54 am [link]
Arnold’s Army: CRO contributor Martha Montelongo called our attention to this Op-Ed by Joel Kotkin in Sunday’s LA Times. Kotkin is of the opinion that entrepreneurs and small business will make the difference for the new Governor and rational fiscal thinking... Here’s how Kotkin concludes:

Big business may write some checks, but to defeat Democrats who are in the Legislature, especially after the budget compromise fades into memory and next year's fiscal deficit becomes pressing, the governor will need a grass-roots army to keep them at bay. On such issues as regulatory relief and workers' compensation, it will probably be prolonged trench warfare between Schwarzenegger and liberal Democratic legislators. The governor already faces a generally unfriendly mainstream media, and the unions, trial lawyers and pro-regulatory advocacy groups have yet to get serious. As the state's small business constituency enlarges, it could supply the shock troops that can allow the new governor to reshape the political landscape of the Golden State.

[12/19/03 Friday]

[Martha Montelongo] 4:05 pm [link]
The action hero Governor comes through in the 11th hour!
The statists and the juvenile delinquent-like tax and spenders thought they had him cornered. Many of his own supporters were disappointed that he'd been out negotiated. Californians could vote for the $15 billion dollar bond to fix our bad debt financing in the March primary election, but we would not be able to vote on a measure to restrain the Democrats from future reckless spending. Squelched was the key measure to tie future spending increases to not go higher than incoming revenues, to force the legislators to live on a budget, like the rest of us.

Demonstrators concerned about their social services being cut served up as bad press and were heavily covered by the media. Cities, near fiscal meltdown, moved to initiate a class action suit against the State, further humiliating the Governor in the media. City governments were outraged over there lost revenues as a result of the Governor fulfilling his campaign promise to overturn the car tax increase, and not getting a deal with the Democrats to replace the funds with general fund monies.

With cities near fiscal meltdown, the Democrats left on break. Things looked grim. "Ah ha ha!" they thought, "he'll have to raise Californian's taxes now for sure!" But wait! No.... "Foiled!" He would not punish the tax payers for the Democratic legislators reckless behavior. Schwarzenegger uses his trump card and by the powers vested in him, saves the day for local governments without raising the people's taxes.

Like many newspapers, an AP news story reports the Democratic leaders cry foul. They say they were caught off guard. They say this could generate hard feelings given the bipartisan accord reached just last week. I say, excuse me? What bipartisan accord is that? The Democrats' idea of a bipartisan deal is one where they call the shots and the Republicans sign on. They gave nothing, left the cities and the Governor in the lurch, and left town to let the Governor hang. The Democrats pushed his hand to take action. And that he did. Played in his signature style, a big breathtaking surprise move, just in the nick of time.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and thank you Mr. Governor!

[Nicholas X. Winter] 5:45 am [link]
Grateful in Tinseltown: CRO Columnist, Hollywood entertainment publicist Michael Levine has diagnosed what celebrities are thanking themselves for this holiday season.

1. Martha isn’t your broker.
2. Kobe’s not your husband. Or Scott Peterson.
3. You can identify tuna.
4. Michael Jackson is not your babysitter.
5. You didn’t invest in Gigli.
6. You are not a server at Rocco’s.
7. You aren’t Paris Hilton’s parents.
8. You dress better than the victims of Queer Eye.
9. You spent $10 on Pieces of April instead of Matrix 2 or 3.
10. Joe Millionaire is not your type.

[12/18/03 Thursday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 5:05 am [link]
Workers Comp: Andrew Gloger sent us an email yesterday about a new study he's co-authored for Pacific Research Institute - How to Fix California's Broken Workers' Compensation System... Basically five common sense steps to reshape bad policy... Of course, common sense is wasted on the Progressives in the Legislature...from the ebag:

If you haven't seen it already, here's a link to a PRI study I just completed with my colleague Lawrence McQuillan on Round II of workers' compensation reforms. Please feel free to pass on to any and all.
Andrew Gloger

[12/17/03 Wednesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau] 6:45 am [link]
Whine Factor: Both the Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee ran stories about the Rosario Marin campaign's complaints that Kevin Shelley had somehow unfairly advantaged the Bill Jones campaign by giving it a later deadline to hand in a statement for a state web site. If this is the quality of the debate that we're looking forward to among Republican contenders for California's U.S. Senate seat, it's going to be a LONG primary campaign season. The Marin camp comes off seeming whiny, lacking in self-confidence, and more than a little petty. Why didn't the campaign just dismiss the whole issue with a pithy remark about how Marin knows what she's saying and what she stands for -- and doesn't need a later deadline to put it all together? If the people of California want a whiner to represent them in the U.S. Senate, they can stick with Barbara Boxer. Republicans are supposed to be offering an alternative.

[12/16/03 Tuesday]

[Streetsweeper] 6:25 am [link]
The Deal: Sac Bee's Dan Weintraub has the best take on the budget “deal.” His comments Saturday (Giving Away the Store) and yesterday (Never Again?) are great dissections of the pitfalls in the deal. Here’s Dan’s summary:

The outcome suggests that Schwarzenegger is not as good a negotiator as he thinks he is, or at least those skills weren’t evident in this round. He was smart to demand more than he needed and then scale back from there. And he was smart to abandon the concept of a formula-driven spending cap. But in the end, he swung too far in the other direction. This looks as if his only bottom line was ending the negotiations with a deal, any deal. And now, to make it worse, he has begun to try to sell this package as more than it is.

So, does our Governor believe that “done is good?” Or is he going to drive to get what he promised? Since the Legislature won’t pass a spending cap, will he stand behind an initiative that will force a spending cap? Will there be a more rational rainy day fund?

I sure hope that he puts this deal behind him and starts the people’s work of getting real fiscal reform in place – if it takes initiatives to hog-tie the Progressives, then do it. The spending lobby has driven the liberals mad with a taxing lust that’s worthy of France or Sweden... I hope that Schwarzenegger is more Reagan than Chirac...

Gee, maybe our friend John Campbell can assure us that there's a plan to incrementally bring more restraint into play... and that "done" ain't good...

[12/15/03 Monday]

[Doug Gamble] 5:33 am [link]
The Dems and Saddam: The capture of Saddam Hussein is such an obvious plus for the U.S. and the Bush administration, one would think there is no way the Democrats can put a negative spin on it. One would be wrong.

If it hasn't already happened by the time this appears, here is what the Democrats will essentially say: "Since we now know it is possible to locate a single individual hiding in a small hole in a country the size of California, it should have been easy to find weapons of mass destruction if they had existed. That they have not been found proves they do not exist, which means President Bush lied to the country and took us to war under false pretenses."

Two other predictions: Saddam will join Al Gore in endorsing Howard Dean for president and Mark Geragos will turn up in Baghdad as Saddam's lawyer.

[12/12/03 Friday]

[Steve Bainbridge] 3:45 pm [link]
Budget Deal? Governor Schwarzenegger campaigned on a promise to curb spending - cutting the legislature's credit card in two, if I remember correctly. Once in office, he came forward with a great proposal to impose a spending cap initially limiting annual state expenditures to $72 billion, a cut of over 15% from where we are now, with subsequent spending increases limited by a Colorado-like formula based on growth in state population and per capita income. The Governor, however, has swapped that plan for a milquetoast constitutional amendment precluding the legislature from borrowing to balance the budget. I don't get it. The state constitution already provides that bond issuances of more than $300,000 must be approved by the voters. Granted the legislature has repeatedly end-run this and other existing constitutional budget provisions, but isn't that an argument against this compromise - what's to stop them end-running this one too? In sum, unless there's more to it than the press accounts suggest so far, this deal looks more like a surrender than a compromise to me.

[Steve Bainbridge] 5:45 am [link]
SCOTUS & Campaign Finance: Southern Appeal blawgger Ricegrad thinks that the Supreme Court's decision in upholding the BCRA is a key reason why conservatives and libertarians alike must make re-electing President Bush Job 1:

This opinon signals to me that libertarians ought hold their nose and vote for Bush. Given that the Supreme Court is supreme among our three branches of government, it's foolish to vote for anyone who would appoint another Souter, Gisburg, Breyer or Stevens (yes, I know Republicans appointed Souter and Stevens, but that will not happen again. The base is engaged on the issue, and will punish that president to an extreme.)

I couldn't agree more. If two Republican appointees like O'Connor and Stevens could foist this monstrosity upon us, can you imagine what Dean appointees would do? I disagree with a number of President Bush's policies, especially his failure to rein in Congress' free-spending ways. I was very disappointed his decision to sign the BCRA, which I view as a rather cynical political move made in the (erroneous) belief the courts would bail him out. Despite all that, however, control of the Supreme Court is one of the two key issues to be decided in this election. (The other being the war.) Any sensible conservative or libertarian has to prefer that Bush be the one choosing new Justices, no matter what other policy disagreements one may have with him. Bush promised to pick people like Scalia and Thomas, both of whom wrote great dissents from the BCRA decision, and - like Rice grad - I think he'll keep that promise. [For more of my coverage of Election 2004, go here]

Editor’s note: The 5:30 am section of Friday’s posts below are dedicated to comments about Bob Dornan’s plan to challenge Dana Rohrabacher for Rohrabacher’s Orange County congressional seat. Many thanks to the CRO Q&A Panel.[link]

Dornan v. Rohrabacher?

[Doug Gamble - CRO Contributor, Speechwriter & Columnist] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? When a skunk shows up at a garden party, I often cheer for the skunk. I believe politics needs more rabble rousers such as Senators John McCain and Zell Miller, not fewer. But the intention of former Orange County Congressman Bob Dornan to challenge fellow Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher for his 46th District seat is not welcome.

For one thing Dornan won't win anyway, so a race against the GOP incumbent will serve only to force Rohrbacher into spending money that would be better spent on the race against the Democratic nominee, if there's a meaningful challenge, or used to help Republicans in other races. Also, it's simply not the same Orange County it was when Dornan was last in Congress in the mid-1990's and, frankly, his time has passed.

I enjoyed B-1 Bob's tirades against President Clinton and assorted liberals when the Democrats controlled the White House. I got a kick out of his giving the finger to political correctness. But there is no reason for Dornan to believe his presence in the Republican-controlled Congress would be of any significance, nor would he serve constituents any better than Rohrabacher has. The fact is, Dornan's taking on Rohrabacher is purely personal, based on seething animosity that goes back to Bob's second loss to Loretta Sanchez in 1998 when he accused Dana of not helping him enough.

I love you, Bob, but forget it. Your place among legendary California conservatives is assured.You have to know most voters are going to stay behind Rohrabacher, so, please, stay behind your radio talk show microphone.

[Jill Stewart - Columnist] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher:I think Bob Dornan is doomed to failure if he goes after Dana Rohrabacher's Congressional seat. While Dornan is quick on his feet and fun with wacky quips that get him plenty of press during a campaign, he not nearly as thoughtful or as appealing to average Republican voters as is Rohrabacher. With the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Party in California is finally grasping how it can grow if the far-right is not the tail wagging the dog. While Rohrabacher is clearly a conservative, Dornan conjures up the fringe feel that has held the party back all these years. Rohrabacher showed tremendous poise and clarity in backing Schwarzenegger on national TV talk shows. I believe he will translate that into a message to voters about why enlarging the tent is proving to be far smarter than closing it.

[Tony Quinn - Political Analyst] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher: Dornan is clearly off his meds. Maybe he should seek out one of Rush Limbaugh's pill pushers before the men in white coats arrive to take him away.

[Martha Montelongo - commentator, radio talk show host] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? When I heard about Bob Dornan’s decision to go after Dana Rohrabacher’s Congressional seat, the words narcissist, spoiler and saboteur came to mind, for starters.

Was he in a coma during the recall? Did he miss the gallantry of Darrel Issa, the grace of Bill Simon and the united effort of conservative and moderate leadership, of elected officials at all levels of office, behind one candidate, predicated on the unified commitment to a cause bigger than anyone’s own personal political agenda?

One of the most noted victories and exposed schisms among the politically-chastised party of the special interests, was the number of Hispanic voters who voted Republican. They embraced the battle cry against the car tax and rejected the pandering and politicking based on the myopic view of Hispanics as a monolithic voting group. Hispanics proved with their votes that they were just as incensed by the cavalier chauvinism of leaders who lacked any fiscal or political accountability or restraint, were loose and easy about giving us tough love as a salve for tripling our car tax and enabling an immigration policy that has no limits boundaries or restrictions. Among the briar patch of the chastised politicians, there exists a cadre of Hispanic elected officials at the State and Congressional level, whose playbook consists primarily of class warfare, special interests and ethnic identity politics.

There are twenty Hispanics in the US Congress. Sixteen are Democrats and seven are from California. The number of Californian Hispanic Republican voters is not represented in these political numbers. We are ripe for change.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher recognizes this distinction, is in close proximity to assist, and understands this opportunity better than most. He has offered to support and could be a great help to two formidable Republican Hispanic candidates, Tim Escobar, and Alexandria Coronado. Both have impressive credentials and name recognition in their districts, both are viable and committed, and both are in need of the support from established leaders and mentors such as Rohrabacher and his congressional colleagues.

Escobar and Coronado are battling to take out two Democratic Congresswomen who should be a thorn in the side of Bob Dornan, the Sanchez sisters. One beat him twice, and the other got elected on her sister’s coattails. The sisters have well establish track records for being anti-business, and strongly loyal to special interest groups including the teachers union, trial lawyers, labor unions, and the environmental conflict industry. Additionally, they are strong ethnic identity politicians who pander to Hispanics but who consistently vote against policies that reflect Hispanic core family values, and interests vital for Hispanics to really have a shot at individual financial success and independence.

Enter Bob Dornan, acting out an arrogant fantasy, he is indifferent to the warriors he is stepping on. Tim Escobar, who is running for the 39th Congressional District against Linda Sanchez, is a Reserve Officer Pilot with the Army National Guard. Married for 15 years with four children, he is a successful investment advisor and community business leader. Alexandria Coronado is running for the 47th Congressional District. A strong pro- school-choice and reform advocate, she is an Orange County school board member. She has won two separate elections to office covering two thirds of Loretta Sanchez’ district. The untried third part of the district is predominantly Hispanic and just this year recalled “Nativo” Larry Lopez from their school board for pushing bilingual education against the will of the parents. Loretta Sanchez personally campaigned in his defense. Nativo, who is president of Hermandad Nacional, and now, also president of MAPA, is the same man who handed our now Recalled Governor Davis the pen with which he signed AB60 and his fate, and who spearheaded the call for the statewide “huelga” or strike, by all undocumented workers and their children for today Friday, December 12.

Dornan could have run against Loretta again, or against her sister. That would have been poetic. Instead, by pulling important financial and political support away from the Sanchez sisters’ opponents, he is helping the woman who beat him out of his congressional seat in ’96, and her sister, Linda, who would never have been elected, if not for her sibling relationship to Loretta, and there is no noble silver lining.

Capriciously, Dornan is going after a conservative with high ratings from the American Conservative Union, the Christian Coalition, Concord Coalition, and the National Tax Limitation Committee to name a few.

What idea is Dornan running on? It looks like it is about his hurt feelings because he doesn’t think he got enough support from Rohrabacher when he last ran for Congress. How is that for being small and running on a bankrupt idea?

[Matt Klink - CRO contributor & political consultant] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? Bob Dornan is making a big mistake in challenging Dana Rohrabacher in the upcoming 2004 Republican primary. Dornan's desire to return to Congress shows, once again, that he is an incredible ego-maniac. B-1 Bob's window of electability closed when he lost to Loretta Sanchez but he's arrogant enough to believe that he's got a shot against Congressman Rohrabacher.

What's truly unfortunate about Dornan's doomed-to-failure primary campaign is that he'll force Dana Rohrabacher to spend time and, more importantly, money to defeat his has-been opponent. These resources could be better utilized in a number of ways, such as trying to increase the number of Republicans in California's Congressional delegation.

In sum, Rohrabacher is a solid Republican member of Congress. He has seniority and represents his district well. And, you've got to love a Congressman who surfs!

Dornan should realize that his time has passed and go back to talk radio.

[James Crean - South Bay LA County GOP Precinct Chair] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? It is a shame if it is true that Bob Dornan is running against Congressman Rohrabacher out of spite. The people of the 46th Congressional District deserve more than representation by vendetta, particularly from an elder statesman such as Dornan. Congressman Rohrabacher works hard and is accessible for discussion of the issues. Internal Republican debate on the issues is healthy; internal Republican squabbling is deadly. Personal conflicts should not be the subject of Republican primaries.

[Chris Stetsko - Fresno Republican] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? Dornan in my opinion is yesterday's news. He was fun back in 1990-94, but his actions, mannerisms, and rhetoric is what CNN/MSNBC pops up as a stereotype for Republicans, Conservatives, and the Right. When he opens his mouth, the Hollywood Left open their checkbooks. How Loretta Sanchez beat him in 1996 was a travesty, but his behavior afterwards was equally appalling and how he conducted himself in 1998 wasn't any better. Rohrabacher is a good Republican (from what I've seen here in Fresno, and if there's any rumblings about the congressman I don't know). But Congressman Rohrabacher has always been a good guy, I think this is just "B-1 Bob's" attempt to get back in the game, and he has to carpetbag out of his old district... He hasn't been in California for sometime, he opposed Gov Schwarzenegger's campaign, and is out of touch with the state let alone the district he never lived in as far as I know. I have a friend that lives in Lake Forrest (formerly El Toro, wonderful Marine base, what a shame!) and he once said there is "Orange County" and then there’s "The OC". So which will he represent? If he wanted to run for Congress again, why isn't he running for the district in Maryland he's lived in since 1998??

[Bob Holmes - South Bay Lincoln Club President]
5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? It is rather sad that Bob does not realize that his time has come and gone. It is much like the professional athlete who doesn't know it is way past time to retire even though the coach doesn't put him in the starting line-up anymore and he hasn't been the clubhouse leader for several seasons…Even though the terrorist networks today are, in their own way, extremely dangerous I think Bob's future went the way of the Berlin Wall with the fall of Communism. That was his era.

[Matt Harper - Huntington Beach Union High School District, Board Member] 5:30 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher? They got my quote in the OC Register accurate: “I don’t even understand why anyone who would say they are conservative would run against Dana Rohrabacher. There are plenty of other fish to fry throughout Orange County and California. It’s a wasted effort. And it’s disappointing because Bob Dornan is someone who voted right while he was in Congress. It will suck conservative resources away from where the fight needs to be.”

[12/11/03 Thursday]

[Carol Platt Liebau] 2:05 pm [link]
Weaseling: Calpundit charges the White House with being "clueless" (among other things) because President Bush has had to call the leaders of France, Germany and Russia to seek forgiveness of Iraq's debts, even though these countries are being excluded from bidding on the $18 billion in American-financed Iraqi reconstruction projects.

The basis of the criticism is hard to understand -- does anyone really think these countries would somehow be so grateful for the opportunity to bid that their decisions about whether to forgive the debts would really be influenced? Time for a reality check. We rebuilt Germany, twice liberated France, and played a vital role in freeing Russia from Communism, all in the last 85 years. Even so, they can't do enough to obstruct and hinder our efforts to help yet another country and protect ourselves. The people in charge clearly don't understand the concept of gratitude -- or honor, for that matter. And yet we're supposed to believe that they'd be so thrilled at the chance to participate in the bidding that they'd do the right thing on the debts -- especially when, as Calpundit concludes, "the vast bulk of the reconstruction money would have gone to American firms. Only a small amount would have gone to France, Germany, and Russia"? Please.

[Matt Klink] 11:25 am [link]
An absolute 10 on the outrage meter! Today's Los Angeles Daily News discusses a study from UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center that advocates giving 4.6 million noncitizen adults, including illegal aliens, the right to vote in local elections.

That's exactly what we need in California -- give more rights to people who are here illegally and completely disincentivize the necessity for them to learn English, obey our laws and become citizens. The mere thought of giving illegal aliens the ability to participate in our most fundamental right simply because "they're here" is beyond comprehension.

At a time when University of California and Cal State students face tuition increases, the thought that your and my tax dollars go toward funding such a study instead of educating our students reaches the outer limits of stupidity.

The study's author, Joaquin Avila, advocates a public dialogue on this subject. Bring it on! Let's see how many Californians, even the most liberal elements of California society, favor this grossly misconceived idea.

[Nicholas X. Winter] 11:05 am [link]
Q&A - Dornan v. Rohrabacher: At the prompting of part-time columnist Shawn Steel we asked the CRO Q&A panel for their comment about Bob Dornan intending to challenging Orange County's Dana Rohrabacher for his Congressional seat. Their responses will be posted as they arrive...

[Streetsweeper] 9:05 am [link]
Xrlq Sprawled: First Ozzy Osbourne crashes his bike (albeit a four wheel one...) and now our pal Xrlq dumps his cycle and is in the hospital... Godspeed for a quick recovery. Hmm... possibly the episode has shaken out some of his libertarian tendencies... Patterico: the right headline at his blog .. he tells us that the LA Times editorial headline on the SCOTUS campaign finance decision should be “First Amendment Repealed”

[from Streetsweeper's bin] 9:03 am [link]
Our friend Hugh Hewitt dwarf tosses Howard Dean into the conspiracy theory ranks with Dean's nutty comments about Bush and 9/11 at the Standard today and follows up at his blog. Sneak Attax: The Register’s editors tell us to read the fine print on any budget deal because Tom McClintock says it could contain a way to unilaterally raise taxes...hmm. Free Speech? the Register editors called the SCOTUS decision a “truly appalling” and that about says it all. Miseducation: Alan Bonsteel – in the Register – calls the California Teachers Association the “800-pound gorilla of California education.” ReMap: Ted Costa – in the Times – says it’s time to shake up legislative districts and get rid of all those “protected” legislature seats... NoGore: Deb Saunders is really thankful for the electoral college... 98: Dan Weintraub writes that the Governor is going to have to take on Prop 98’s guarantee’s of education funding if the budget is gonna work – howls from the education lobby...

[Carol Platt Liebau] 5:45 am [link]
Campaign Finance & Supremes: It's true that yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill is a victory for the Republicans -- at least in the short term -- because they are able to raise "hard" money more easily. But any advantage is short-term; like water, money will always find the path of least resistance to flow into the political system. The 527 entities and independent billionaires like George Soros will gain in stature and influence -- hardly a desirable outcome. Above all, it's hard to see how the Supreme Court decided that the appearance of corruption (not even the actuality, just the appearance!) could justify upholding a law that limits political speech, when the First Amendment plainly states that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." All of a sudden, one could feel quite out of place in a jurisprudential system that can ignore those plain words, while somehow finding a right to homosexual sodomy in the Constitution's text, as the Court did earlier this year.

[Bill Leonard] 5:43 am [link]
Workers’ Comp Redux: Workers’ comp is a big problem for businesses in California. It is expensive and had been growing more so lately, but injured workers were not getting improved help and businesses were seeing an increase in fraud. The legislature finally got around to addressing some of those issues this summer in a bill that then-Governor Davis signed. Yet, new-Governor Schwarzenegger and the business community labeled the reform bill as a sham, pointing out that the measure did not go far enough to solving the system’s problem. Indeed, businesses did not notice a decrease in their premiums, leading to charges that the insurance companies were keeping the potential savings for themselves rather than passing it onto their customers. Senator Burton, a critic of the new administration even before the Governor was sworn-in, introduced a bill to repeal the reform. The business community opposed the repeal bill, saying that even though the reforms did not go far enough, they were better than nothing. Governor Schwarzenegger may be facing his first veto as Burton’s measure is moving through the legislature. The veto message may simply say, “A sham is better than no sham at all. P.S. Get to work on fixing the rest of the problem.” [from this week's Leonard Letter]

[12/10/03 Wednesday]

[Steve Bainbridge] 12:05 pm [link]
Unocal Trial: With the controversial Unocal human rights trial about to get started in a Los Angeles superior court, one of the key legal issues will be whether Unocal is the "alter ego" of the subsidiaries that were directly involved in the Burma pipeline project. I reviewed the relevant California law in a post over at my blog Unocal, Human Rights, and Alter Ego Liability

[Carol Platt Liebau] 5:54 am [link]
Dembate: Yesterday evening's Democratic debate demonstrated everything that is wrong with the Democratic Party. Rather than putting forth any constructive proposals of their own (or showing how their policies for "inclusion" of other, non-coalition countries would work in the real world), the candidates chose simply to bash the President and his policies in Iraq. Marginal candidates -- who should either be politely ignored (Moseley Braun), laughed off stage (Kucinich) or roundly criticized (Sharpton) -- are treated like statesmen. And worst of all, the candidates made it clear that their top priority has nothing to do with protecting and helping the American people. They are there to win the nomination and then the White House. And that's all. They're a bunch of people who want to BE President, with only the vaguest notions of what they would want to DO as President -- after all, raising taxes and protecting Democratic special interest groups don't really constitute an agenda.

[Bill Leonard] 5:53 am [link]
There They Go Again: As Ronald Reagan used to say, “There they go again.” California’s legislative liberals have once again proved their stubborn unwillingness to control their spending habits. By rejecting Governor Schwarzenegger’s fiscal plan they have shown that they have always been more of the problem than even Gray Davis. Now that the Governor has tried friendly persuasion, it is time to bring out the big weapons: the people.

This reminds me of a Hollywood script. In fact, most of Schwarzenegger’s movies start with the bad guys winning, creating havoc and destruction on innocent people far and wide. The hero seems outgunned and must resort to extraordinary measures to overcome the antagonists. We need to put that script into action in California right now.

It’s time to put all of the Governor’s reforms on the ballot. It’s time for people to help the hero win the battle. And in classic Hollywood fashion the Governor can pull the rug out from under his opponents by calling a special election for June so that his reforms can be adopted this fiscal year. The liberals are counting on a November election, which they know is too late for the Governor to properly implement his reforms. Calling an election for June will keep the momentum going on this historic rescue. [from this week's Leonard Letter]

[12/9/03 Tuesday]

[Carol Platt Liebau] 6:50 am [link]
More Gore: Well, there's big news from the presidential race: Al Gore has offered Howard Dean his endorsement. On the one hand, it's great news for Dean -- support from the party's 2000 standard-carrier, who enjoys excellent relationships with the African-American community, offers his candidacy an aura of inevitability. On the other hand, it's Al Gore -- which means that Dean will be forced to sit through Gore's interminable speeches on a regular basis. Both men share a sort of intellectual arrogance (completely unmerited, judging by the quality of their policies and pronouncements) and a certain condescension toward both their political supporters and opponents. And so their joint appearances will prove to be either wryly entertaining or gratingly irritating, depending on one's turn of mind.

With this endorsement, Al Gore is trying desperately to rid the Democratic Party of its domination by the Clintons -- one thing Howard Dean has made abundantly clear is that he can't wait to fire Clinton bag-man Terry McAuliffe. In this sense, Dean's winning the nomination would be a shame, as McAuliffe is a gift to the Republicans that just keeps on giving. It's also a desperate bid on Gore's part to remain on the political stage and to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming the presumptive 2008 nominee by default.

But in the end, it's just more proof -- as if any were needed -- that Howard Dean is willing to put his own best interests ahead of ordinary Americans'. What other explanation could there be for his willingness to inflict a prime-time Al Gore convention speech on the U.S.A.?

[Bill Leonard] 6:49 am [link]
Legislature: Strike One The Governor's key aides have made their first appearances before the Legislature. The Legislature's hostility to the Governor's programs and, in some cases, the incivility has been a real wake up call to the Governor's team. I think the legislators may have done Schwarzenegger a favor. I believe he will be more committed than ever to bypassing the Legislature and going directly to the people with his agenda of reforms, as he has indicated he will do on his budget borrowing proposal and spending caps. [from the Leonard Letter]

[12/8/03 Monday]

[Doug Gamble] 6:33 am [link]
Arnold Stalled: When the enormously popular President Ronald Reagan was fighting for tax cuts in 1981 he took the issue directly to the people with speeches around the country on behalf of his plan. He urged voters to pressure their representatives in the Democratic-controlled Congress to support the cuts, and voter response subsequently played an important role in their passage.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, also popular, tried the same tactic on behalf of his budget and its important $15-billion bond measure to eliminate the state deficit. But his stumping for his financial plan, including personal appearances and interviews on radio talk shows, failed to generate support. Even Republicans voted against the governor Friday night when the Senate rejected his proposals 34-0.

This shows that some battles can be fought in front of audiences around the state while others have to be fought in the trenches in Sacramento. As much as I hate to agree with Senate President Pro Tem John Burton on anything, he was probably right in suggesting Schwarzenegger's time might have been better spent negotiating the budget with lawmakers instead of trying to rally support by traveling the state. Reagan had a "hot button" issue in tax cuts. It was an issue that demonstrably touched the lives of every working American and so his proposed cuts grabbed their attention. Most Californians may like Schwarzenegger, and are ultimately affected by decisions on state finances, but talk of the ins and outs of state budgeting makes their eyes glaze over. Many probably think a “bond measure” is action taken by Agent 007.

The budget is not an emotional issue such as tax cuts or driver's licenses for illegal immigrants and does not play to Schwarzenegger's charm and communications strengths. Instead of trying to convince the voters why fiscal plans should be approved, perhaps he should spend more time in Sacramento trying to convince the people who actually vote up or down. He has already proven he can connect with the voters. Now is the time to prove he can also connect with his fellow office-holders.

Of course, if Schwarzenegger anticipated, even hoped, his budget would be rejected, it leaves the way open for what he may have wanted all along - the opportunity to govern by initiative. But this is a lengthy process and not every measure can be handled this way. At some point he will have to concern himself less with crowds of voters adoring him and more with state lawmakers respecting him.

[12/5/03 Friday]

[Carol Platt Liebau] 5:50 am [link]
Wrong on two fronts - MA Supreme Court & Gay Marriage: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legislated gay marriage -- or rather, they found a right to gay marriage somewhere in the state Constitution, which was originally drafted by America's second president, John Adams. We all know that Mr. Adams was a skilfull writer, but who knew that he had used invisible ink, so that the full text of the document would only become clear 216 years later, and to only 4 judges of the 7 on the court? But that's what happened. The judges located the gay marriage "right" purportedly inherent in the document, and then ordered the legislature to create law specifically creating the right to gay "marriage" within 180 days.

Many of the most outspoken advocates of gay marriage speak of marriage as nothing more than a legal arrangement that gives rise to a certain host of prescribed benefits. If that is the case, many of these benefits could be conferred or arranged without using the term "marriage" -- which has been between a man and a woman from time immemorial -- to refer to same-sex unions, for example by enhancing medical powers of attorney (to ensure that one's partner can visit in the hospital).

And if the demand for same-sex unions in order to access benefits is so overwhelming, why is it that only one-one hundredth of one percent of all GM workers chose to extend their health insurance to a same-sex partner, according to Maggie Gallagher, the president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy? (She reports that GM was the only "gay friendly" company that would even respond to the inquiry). Even in Vermont, where civil unions have been available since 2001, Gallagher reports that no more than a quarter of Vermont same-sex couples have even sought them.

No, it's clear that homosexuals seeking "marriage" and nothing less are doing so in an effort to redefine the institution itself. But before anyone rushes to hop on that bandwagon, it's worth remembering that marriage -- as it has always been understood -- has long served as the most effective means for encouraging the formation of families composed of a man, a woman, and their biological children (and this family form, not incidentally, has been found to be the best structure for raising children).

But in the end, whether or not one agrees with the substance of the decision, surely all Americans can agree that in the process of creating it, the Massachusetts court acted unconscionably.

What happened two weeks ago is reminiscent of an episode during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Then, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the citizens of Georgia were prohibited from entering Cherokee territory. Responding to the ruling, Jackson said: "The Supreme Court has made its decision, now let them enforce it."

Like that incident in the 1830's, this gay marriage decision, which features a court ordering a legislature to make law, threatens a standoff between the legislative and judicial branch -- a profoundly dangerous moment for democracy. Judicial overreaching like that in Massachusetts does nothing but breed contempt for the courts and strain the system of separation of powers upon which the framework of American democracy rests. Whatever one's political views on the merits of gay marriage, everyone should be able to agree that any judge willing to wage such a wholesale attack on separation of powers doctrines, and thereby precipitate a constitutional crisis, has no business sitting on the bench.

[12/4/03 Thursday]

[Matt Klink] 5:59 am [link]
Dems Upset About Nixed Projects: Don't you just love it! California Congressional Democrats are piqued at getting their pet projects axed by Congressional Republicans in the upcoming Appropriations cycle. CA Dems' sanctimonious attitude almost makes one's heart bleed. "It's not fair," they cry. Or, "we should be building bridges," claim disgruntled Democrats.

Maybe these same Democrats should remember their cries for civility and reasonableness when they verbally assault Republican priorities on Capitol Hill or attack President Bush for his economy-growing, job-creating tax cuts or his war against global terrorism.

[Eric Hogue] 5:58 am [link]
Governor Schwarzenegger on Show Yesterday! The Governor was his usual self Wednesday morning on my KTKZ show. He is perfectly on message and ready for another victory come this Friday inside of the Beast here in Sacramento. A two-thirds vote places his first "major" legislative proposition on the March 2nd ballot and the people will finally have a direct voice in the matter of the 'tax and spend Democrat's' past debt in California. His leadership qualities are impeccable.

During our 15-minute conversation, I played a sound bite from State Treasurer Phil Angeldies, and then asked him to respond...Governor Arnold said, "I don't respond to Phil Angeldies, I respond only to the people of California!" Whoever is coaching this governor should get a raise, uh...but wait 'till after the new budget has been decided in January!

I brought up the repealing of SB60 and the governor hedged a tad. He was caught somewhat off-guard, complimented Gil Cedillo for standing with the repealing of the bill then mentioned that there would be a fair 'replacement piece of legislation' offered by Cedillo in the near future. Like I stated on the show, there WILL BE a compromised bill for 'illegals' to acquire legal driver's license in California.

This type of compromise will enrage the ultra conservatives of the Republican Party, but hang on...what if the 'new driver's license legislation' has a strict background check process? Will "illegal immigrants" want to run through this type of process? Will they trust the system? Remember, ALL of their information and personal data will be made available to the INS. Could there be a strategy of 'The INS Boogieman'...high hurdles in background checks, finger prints, personal data and exact location that will keep the 'illegals' from wanting to apply for a driver's license in the first place?

When, not if, the new legislation is tossed around in the Beast - sometime next month - be prepared to hear that Schwarzenegger 'compromised' with the Democrats, but know that the imposed qualifications to apply will keep MOST immigrants from doing so. I'll stay on the case!
Oh, we also asked the governor about the Christmas Tree. As you know, for the past five years, former Governor, Gray Davis, called the tree the "Holiday Tree". I've been asking Arnold to name the tree the "Christmas Tree". We've been playing the Vienna Boys Choir to encourage him to do so.

Today, at the close of our allotted time together, I asked him about the tree. He said the lighting of the tree...the Christmas Tree...will be this Tuesday evening at the Capitol. He called the tree the 'Christmas Tree' three times in the conversation. I believe we will have a Christmas Tree for the first time in many years here in Sacramento. Yet, some callers thought I caught him off guard, that he wasn't ready for the question - didn't understand it - and will fall to the diversity police and name the tree the "Holiday Tree" once again.

Stay tuned, it seems the Christmas Tree mission may not be solved yet! Delivering recalls and "Christmas Trees" to the "Belly of the Beast"...all in a day's work!

[Xrlq] 5:56 am [link]
Gay Marriage: [re: Nick Winter's 12/03 post] FYI, I blogged about the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment last June. I oppose that measure on federalism grounds, and propose instead an alternative amendment that would guarantee the right of every state to define marriage as it sees fit.

[Nicholas X. Winter] 5:55 am [link]
Stonewall Pelosi: CRO contributor Stefan Sharkansky may have left the Bay Area to tumble in political wars in Seattle, but his heart still belongs to Nancy Peolsi because she’s one of The Democrats' Fighting Heroes.

[12/3/03 Wednesday]

[Nicholas X. Winter] 6:55 am [link]
Gay Marriage:
Reader Scott D. didn’t like Eric Hogue’s Massachusetts Brings Thankfulness Op-ed published last Friday... “Reading Mr Hogue's column on the "need" for a constitutional amendment to "protect" marriage was quite a let down from your usual quality editorials. I simply don't understand why a Republican, who wants to keep the government out of everybody's business, is so willing to inject government into the most intimate of relationships. My solution for this "problem" is the following: when a heterosexual couple unites you may call it ‘marriage’. When a homosexual couple unites you may call it ‘oogabooga’. Everyone goes home happy.”

To that Hogue has replied, “Well...what can I say, ‘oogabooga’ is a solid concept, hmmm?”

Hoover fellow, Thomas Sowell has referred to gay marriage as “one of the many signs of sloppy thinking of our times... Homosexuals were on their strongest ground when they argued that what happens between consenting adults is nobody else's business. Now they want to make it everybody's business by requiring others to acquiesce in their unions and treat them as they would other unions, both in law and in social practice.”

Now, this business of a constitutional amendment is something that has a lot of people troubled. For my part, I say desperate times need desperate measures. The onslaught of progressive ideology has turned the simplicity and elegance of the Constitution against the principles of the Founders and society. Progressives want nothing more than complete transformation of society into their world view. It is absolutely clear that the Founders world view relied on a moral society to underpin the basics of the Constitution. When that common morality is undermined the very foundation of the Constitution is undermined... So, when things have gone so far astray that we are making a wholesale change in society by leveraging a liberal judiciary, you need a roadblock. Unfortunately, that roadblock may very well require an amendment...That’s how I see it.

But how do constitutionalists see it? Well, Thomas Krannawitter at Claremont Institute had this to say (an 11/28/03 post lifted in total from Claremont’s The Remedy blog)

Protecting Marriage with a Constitutional Amendment? As he explains in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, "One Man, One Woman," our friend Robbie George thinks such a drastic step is necessary. Personally, I am finding the argument increasingly persuasive. I doubt there is a court in the land willing or able to examine the assaults on marriage in light of the moral principles that have supported that sacred institution for millennia. Our institutions of higher learning, including virtually all our law schools, are dominated by the moral relativism of modern philosophy. The jurists who sit on our court benches were trained that the only moral good is individual human autonomy, and that, correspondingly, what is right and wrong is merely a matter of personal preference: to believe there is a moral distinction between lyric and obscenity, freedom fighter and terrorist, morality and license, is to believe in myths and outdated prejudices. That is why the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court can think of no rational basis for public policies that channel sexual passion into monogamous, heterosexual marriages, and are designed to secure for children the love and care that only a mother and father can provide. The moral chain that used to link love, sex, marriage, and children, has been broken. The only moral precept among our intellectual elites today is the belief that morality is arbitrary and subjective, that one cannot know what is right or wrong for someone else. In terms of public policy, this means that no one can say what marriage ought to be for someone else, that marriage is or ought to be anything people want it to be, that it can and perhaps ought to include same-sex unions, and maybe unions of three or more people. A marriage amendment is an interesting prospect, and may be the best thing to do at this time to shore up traditional marriage. But, ultimately, marriage will be saved only when Americans remember and affirm the moral law that has been the bedrock of marriage and Western civilization, and they elect politicians who believe the same and who are willing to appoint like-minded judges.

And Claremont’s Ken Masugi (and CRO contributor) added with this post at The Remedy:

Strategies on Same-Sex Marriage: Further Thoughts on Robert George's Op-Ed... Let me add my thoughts to Kran's on the distinguished legal scholar Robert George's argument for a constitutional strategy on same-sex marriages. A political one, going through Congress, would be better, even if the Court strikes these laws down, time after time. First, forcing votes on this issue would provide the division on principle that governance requires. The electorate could cast informed votes.Second, Supreme Court opinions overturning these laws would, first, pave the way for a constitutional amendment, if needed. More important, such opinions would delegitimize the Court's authority on this issue. They would make the appointment of justices who would overturn these decisions a primary political goal. And such errant opinions would make likely congressional action to modify the Supreme Court's ability to review lower court opinion, further curbing the Court's power.

To my mind when strict constitutionalists start talking about an amendment, you know it’s as serious as it gets...

[12/2/03 Tuesday]

[Eric Hogue] 5:05 am [link]
Can Arnold "Clean and Jerk" the State's Legislature? The SF Chronicle reports, "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday he doesn't have a backup plan if the Legislature or voters reject his proposal to sell $15 billion worth of bonds to pay off the state's existing deficit."

"Failure is no option. It just doesn't exist," the Republican governor said. Without a backup, he said, "that means it has to happen."

This is a big test for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He needs a "two thirds" vote by the end of this week - Friday - in order to start the constitutional amendment process for a structural spending cap and the $15 billion borrowing bond to clear out the past debt closet.

Make no mistake about it, Governor Schwarzenegger has chosen this route. He picked this plan with the legislature, to push through this project quickly so to make it on the March Primary ballot. It's not a popular option with conservative Republicans due to the borrowing and the cuts have the Democrats crying on every street corner.

Yes, this is bold leadership...but how bold? Is it bold enough to be reckless?

Arnold has great political capital, recall equity and he is showing that he is willing to spend it. But has he set himself up for a fall? He set the timetable, he framed the agenda and he - and his administration - created the content...what happens if he fails to gather the "two thirds" vote this Friday? Will he have dealt himself an early blow?

As much as this is a test - a real test - for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it is also a test for the citizens of California. It begs the question, "if Arnold is willing to spend his capital three weeks into his administration, are you willing to do the same come March and November?"

If...that's 'if'...Arnold cannot deliver a victory this Friday, it will be a damaging blow to his early administration. But there should be more damage to follow. If the Democrats play with this proposal come Friday, it is time once again to do more damage to the Democrat's control on the state's legislature this election season.

Make a note this week and keep score in every District. Yes, Arnold could lose a major battle - so to the people of California. If this is the case, it is time to inflict more damage upon the Democrats come election season, they still would not have gotten YOUR message from the recall!

[12/1/03 Monday]

[Carol Platt Liebau] 5:50 am [link]
Patriot Act: The big story in the Los Angeles Times yesterday trumpets the doubts expressed about the "sustainability" of portions of the Patriot Act, voiced by former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh. It's difficult to know what to make of this. Viet and I were at law school concurrently, and our tenures on the Harvard Law Review overlapped for a year. A very bright man with a remarkable life story (he came to America from Vietnam with his parents in the aftermath of the war), he has always shown all the hallmarks of being a savvy political player, as well. That's why there may be more to this story than there appears -- it seems uncharacteristic for Viet to have so publicly bitten the political hand that has fed him so well. It would be interesting to know if he voiced any of his concerns to the administration before expressing them to the Los Angeles Times -- or if the administration as a whole is already rethinking the challenged policy (regarding the detention of a citizen as an "enemy combatant"), so that the "concerns" voiced today end up appearing prescient.

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