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contributor commentary
Cal Dems gonna split on war? Nah.
Hillary fundraiser gets nailed.
Lahane snatched.
UCI prof dazed and confused by Prager.
SFPD Chief wakes up in a totalitarian state
KuehlCare bad. SF DA bad. Vietnamese flag bad. Lockyear bad.
go to CRO Blog

The Shadow Controller
...blogging mcclintock
“The policies that turned a $9 billion surplus to a $24 billion deficit in just 18 months are continued and expanded in a state budget which, though just three weeks old, is already unraveling before our eyes."
-Tom McClintock 2/23/02
The plea to save police and fire services is a disinformation scam to let loose the Car Tax.
A history lesson: raise the sales tax and watch retail sales plunge.
go toThe Shadow Controller's the spending, Stupid.
Times says “cut,cut,cut”
GOP gives Lord Gray a hatchet.
Progressives will get their car tax.

go to The Fabulous Budget

The President of the Left

Fund calls out celebrity pundits.
Casting for Saddam: The Movie.
Poor reviews for Farrell’s performance.
Hollyweird's Own Star Wars
go to Celebrity Brigade

Save Saddam at the Cal Dem confab.
Anarchists for Saddam.
9/11 La Habra memorial restored
Board of Education has a foreign policy.
go to The Western Front

Visionless/ Opportunistic?
64% unfavorable, but recall lacks momentum.
Guerilla war. Also, Issa “pessimistic”
go to The Recall Follies

9th gets an adult.
Debra Saunders and 3 strikes. Chemerinsky makes the wrong case.

Volokh on Megan’s Law
9th Circuit now has its own special view of parole.
go to JurisImprudence

The Week: 3/9/03 – 3/15/03

OC Register Budget Index
Today's deficit index: $65.9 million, the amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance the budget. Fluctuates with changes in the economy, taxes and state service levels, and the time remaining to find a solution.
Budget Update at OC Register

SAVE SADDAM: the celebrity brigade

The President of the Left
No, he’s not president. Martin Sheen only plays one on TV. But ...
By Andrew Stuttaford
Posted 3/14/03

If there is anyone more sanctimonious than The West Wing's Jed Bartlet, it's the moralizing old ham who plays him. But prissy, preachy Martin Sheen wasn't always this way. There were times, back in the depths of the wicked, whacked-out 1970s, when today's straitlaced star was a boozer, a three-packs-of-cigarettes-a-day man, and who knows what else. It was also the decade when he gave two of the greatest performances in the history of American cinema. As the restless, murderous Kit Carruthers, Sheen was an astonishingly convincing guide to the beauty, brutality, and strangeness of Terrence Malick's hypnotic Badlands. In Apocalypse Now, he took audiences on a different journey, this time deep into a heart of darkness so profound that it engulfed not only the character he portrayed but also, ultimately, Sheen himself.

The making of Apocalypse Now was — like the war it described — a chaotic, prolonged nightmare, with the tropical heat of its Philippines location only adding to the pressure on an actor "interiorly confused" and also busy partying far, far too hard. By the end of filming, Sheen had suffered a heart attack so severe that he was given last rites. But the "white light" that was, reportedly, a part of his near-death experience seems to have had an effect roughly equivalent to that more famous light seen on the road to Damascus. He cut back on the drink, reconnected with the Catholic Church, and, in the ominous words of a profile in the London Daily Telegraph "took up politics." While his movie career seemed doomed never to regain its former heights (forget Damascus, the road from Apocalypse Now to Beverly Hills Brats can't have been easy), when it came to politics, Sheen shone.
more at National Review

Car Tax Distortions
The Shadow Controller says that the Car Tax is not linked to police and firefighters.
By Tom McClintock, Shadow Controller
posted 3/14/03

California's spending lobby has recently erupted into a veritable Mount Vesuvius of misinformation over the state's car tax. It amounts essentially to this: Unless the car tax is immediately tripled, police and fire protection will be decimated.

Come now.

In the five years since the car tax was reduced, local governments have not lost a penny of funding, and they won't in the future. It would take a vote of the Legislature to approve such a reduction, and both houses have already unanimously rejected the idea outright.
more at The Shadow Controller

Bay Area Activism
Robbing the Cradle for the Revolution
By Brian Sayre

Sarah Sloan is a bespectacled young woman in her early 20s, who looks like a typical college student. When she is speaking to audiences whom she wants enlist in the movement that has become her life, she presents herself as one of the chief organizers for International ANSWER, the main group behind the anti-war protests. She speaks both at rallies and in high schools to oppose the war.

But there is much more to Sarah Sloan than this. International ANSWER, is a front for the Worker's World Party, a self-styled "Communist Party," whose mecca is North Korea. Sarah Sloan is a functionary of this party. This is how she can make statements that seem more appropriate to an al-Qaeda communiqué, than to a "peace" organizer: "This is our task: to abolish NATO. And, moreover, to abolish the Pentagon."
more at FrontPage Magazine

Spike Strip Tragedy
by George Neumayr

Last Sunday 22 illegal immigrants from Mexico piled into a stolen Chevrolet pickup and led the California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Border Patrol on a chase near San Diego which reached speeds of 95 miles per hour. The wobbly vehicle darted on to a central divider, traveled eastbound on a westbound interstate, and then spun out of control after the driver tried to bypass a police spike strip. The car flipped, resulting in the death of the driver and one other passenger and injuries to the other 20 passengers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Guess who the Mexican Consulate in California is blaming for the crash: the reckless bordercrossers who imperiled innocent motorists and their own lives? No, Mexican officials lay the blame on U.S. authorities. The CHP and Border Patrol are guilty of "gross negligence" for using spike strips, says Consul General Rodulfo Figueroa.

This is crassness of staggering proportions. And yet such crassness largely defines Mexico's policy toward the United States. Mexico says its policy is based on "self-interest." Try shameless selfishness. In their mindless nationalism, Mexican officials won't give even the slightest nod to justice.
more at American Prowler

On the Tinseltown Beat
Hollywood Honors A Stupid White Man
By Jan Golab

By awarding Michael Moore for his film “Bowling for Columbine,” The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has once again demonstrated Hollywood’s leftist gulag mentality. “Columbine” is filled with inaccuracies, deliberate misrepresentations and outright lies, a fact already detailed in numerous published reports. A “documentary” filled with fiction, “Columbine” is an entertaining (and admittedly well-written) work of anti-gun propaganda.

Like most organizations on the left, the WGA has chosen to pursue agenda over truth. Like the Pulitzer Prize, this award was granted for excellence in the pursuit of liberalism.
more at FrontPage Magazine

Two Worlds
By Hugh Hewitt, Principal CRO Contributor

March 9 was a beautiful, sunny Southern California Sunday, with tip-off at 12:30: Lakers vs. 76ers at Staples. Nearly 19,000 in attendance. A match between Kobe and Iverson, a test of Shaq's returning game.

CAMP 93, Kuwait – Navy construction battalions are finalizing plans to quickly build camps in Iraq for thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war, in an effort that is also designed to keep Saddam Hussein from being able to claim that captured soldiers are being mistreated ... Using aerial reconnaissance and other intelligence, Navy Seabees have already picked tentative locations for POW camps, although those plans could change depending on what happened on the battlefield.
–Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2003

The crowd is always the same. Penny Marshall with her baseball cap under the basket. Dyan Cannon wandering down behind the players. Barry Diller next to Jimmy Smits. And Jack, of course, though he was late. Church must have gone long. And thousands more of L.A.'s finest rising and falling stars and players and deal-makers, excruciatingly casually dressed.
whole column

Why Hollywood Hates Conservatives III
By Steve Feinberg

Being a conservative never has been easy in Hollywood. Being anything in Hollywood never has been easy. Now, things have been ratcheted up a notch and Hollywood is going after conservatives with frenetic bloodlust. Conservatives think that a war with Iraq is the only way to rid the world of the terrorist thug, Hussein, and to free a tortured and frightened people; that they may live their lives without the threat of being annihilated by that psychopathic clown with a hat fetish. Hollywood believes that UN inspection teams should go on forever -- like taxes, Route 10, and The Tonight Show. It believes that we are rushing to war; we believe that twelve years of broken resolutions are enough. Hollywood has forgotten about September 11th. Conservatives haven't. Hollywood is concerned that terrorists are being mistreated by America; conservatives are concerned that America is being mistreated by terrorists.
more at FrontPage Magazine

Big Man on Campus
by George Neumayr

Ronald Reagan was "America's version of Adolph Hitler," says Todd Boyd, a tenured professor of hip-hop at the University of Southern California. Reagan was "a sad-ass actor" and "white in the worst possible way."

The Los Angeles Times calls Boyd "Notorious PhD." He will show up for class in sunglasses and a cravat, or more casually "wearing a blue Orlando Magic jersey over a gray T-shirt," reports the Times.

Tenure has given Boyd the green light to behave like a jackass, says the Times: "He says it was upon winning tenure six years ago that he decided to follow his instincts, figuring he had nothing to fear."
more at The American Prowler

The Terrorist Popular Front
By David Horowitz

…At Stanford University, to pick one site, hundreds of students went on "strike" and 26 Stanford professors cancelled their classes in sympathy with the strike.

The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition has a website ( where the Stanford organizers of the strike are plainly listed ( as the Stanford Labor Action Coalition and the Young Communist League - the youth branch of the Communist Party, U.S.A. Clara Webb, the president of the Stanford Young Communist League is listed as the contact person for both organizations…
more at Front Page Magazine

Feds Shouldn't Bail Out State
Aid from D.C. would only prompt lawmakers to overspend even more
by Richard Vedder
Adjunct scholar with the American Legislative Exchange Council

Facing an unprecedented $26 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Gray Davis and state lawmakers are clamoring for a massive federal bailout. Some sympathetic congressional leaders offer support, arguing that a federal bailout would relieve the state's deficit while providing economic stimulus. Don't believe it. A federal bailout is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
more at OC Register

The Week: 3/2/03 – 3/8/03

San Francisco's Police Scandal: The Ayatollah, the Ex-con D.A. and the Cops
By Adam Sparks

SAN FRANCISCO – It's fun to see a political battle raging by the left against their own. We love to see them tear themselves apart.

District Attorney Hallinan has been arrested more often than most of the defendants he prosecutes. So it's not surprising that he now has his office bringing charges against the police chief and the entire command staff.

He hates them. He has now aimed the full power of his office against the police. And why not? He ran for district attorney on an anti-police and anti-jail platform.
more at

Why the Hollywood Left Hates Bruce Willis
By Norman Tines

While Bruce Willis proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with President Bush and the First Lady, unabashedly discussing the needs to nurture American children, his Hollywood peers are foaming at the mouth.
more at Front Page Magazine

From SF Chronicle
Kuehl-Care is wrong Rx for Californians
Sally C. Pipes, President Pacific Research Institute

A new plan for a system of government health care in California is being touted by its author as a grand idea. That is a strange description for a measure that would be costly, counterproductive and a danger to the well being of all Californians.
more at Pacific Research Institute

American Prowler – The Life of David Gale
None Dare Call It Idiocy
By George Neumayr

Kevin Spacey, who stars in the anti-death penalty movie The Life of David Gale, made a blunder on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago. He told the truth. Rose was interviewing Spacey, the movie's director Alan Parker, and a few other members of the cast. Spacey said the movie's message in the end is "muddled." The others quickly corrected him. The proper word is "ambiguous," they told him.
more at American Prowler

Boycott Jim Hahn's L.A.
by Arnold Steinberg

"We ought to focus on sidewalks, not Saddam," prudently observed Los Angeles Councilman Jack Weiss. "I didn't run on a foreign policy platform."

Yet, nine of the 15 members of the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution against U.S. policy on Iraq.

"We're not a bunch of crazy councilmen," argued Councilman Ed Reyes, who inexplicably can discern stupidity from mental illness. Further, council members are not pro-Iraq, just pro-United Nations. How convenient.
more at The Washington Times

The San Francisco Creep
By George Neumayr

San Francisco's latest fiasco -- the city's police chief and three of his top commanders have been indicted for allegedly covering up a police brawl over steak fajitas -- revolves around the city's crackpot district attorney Terence Hallinan. San Franciscans are asking: How did things come to this? The answer is simple: You elected a cop-hating former felon as your district attorney! more at American Prowler

World Magazine – The Hours
It's All About Me
The Hours offers a bitter, venomous form of nihilism that goes beyond simple feminism
By Andrew Coffin

The Hours is gaining the sort of critical momentum of which studio marketers dream. Because the film had the potential to be a very difficult sell, Paramount released The Hours selectively last year just in time for Oscar consideration, then slowly built up the number of theaters in which it was showing over the past few weeks—coinciding neatly with the Hollywood awards season.
more at World Magazine


And some
Lingering Observations

We Must Always Remain Critical
by William E. Hudson

I'm drowning in bias. When I came to Stanford, I was hoping to find an intellectually stimulating and diverse body of students and faculty that would challenge me to present my take on the world and then respect that opinion insofar as it would make sense. My first two years have found a diverse and brilliant student and faculty population, but one dominated by the Left. This should come as a surprise to no one -- as Dan Flynn, author of Why the Left Hates America, presented at a talk on the Stanford campus earlier this year, liberals far outnumber conservatives in nearly every discipline of academia. Here at Stanford, the liberal-to-conservative faculty ratio is greater than 9 to 1, and we should consider ourselves lucky in that regard when compared to institutions such as Dartmouth and Columbia.
more at Stanford Review

Betting the House on Matsui
By The Prowler
Published 2/24/2003

Moderate House Democrats continue to voice concerns and doubts about leader Nancy Pelosi's selection of Rep. Robert Matsui to run the party's Congressional Campaign Committee. The worry is that Matsui is not up to leading the Herculean fundraising effort facing Democrats in 2004.

"With McCain-Feingold setting in, we really could have used someone who knows the ropes a bit better than Bob appears to," says a former DCCC staffer let go after the last election. "From the outside looking in, it's not clear we're doing anything different from last time, and that was a disaster."
more at American Prowler

From the Washington Times
As Pesky as France, But with Better Wine

By Wesley Pruden

SANTA MONICA, Calif. Not so long ago California was the mother lode of American politics, the place where both parties came to find issues, candidates and luck. Think Earl Warren, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan. Even, for one brief shining five minutes, Jerry Brown.

The only California pol with pizzazz now is Martin Sheen, the ersatz president of television's "West Wing," and his pizzazz is ersatz, too. But he's a celebrity, and celebrity is about all California has left from the glory days.
more at the Washington Times

From The Weekly Standard
The Boxer Rebellion

by Hugh Hewitt

CRO Contributor Hugh Hewitt previews the political climate facing the reelection of the Senate's most liberal member - our very own Barbara Boxer.

...If there were intelligence, grace, or good humor behind this hard left record, Boxer might be a more formidable candidate, but she lacks any of the qualities that can soften a fanatic's edge. Weekly Standard


Gray Davis and the Bare Cupboard
By Peter Hannaford

MATTOLE VALLEY, Calif. -- From coast to coast state governors (including some Republicans) and state legislatures are wringing their hands over budget deficits, acting as if these had been caused by a sudden and random Act of God.

The cause of the deficits is more earthly: reckless spending of surpluses during the years when growth seemed unstoppable and endless. The best -- that is, most egregious -- example took place in California where Democrat Gray Davis inherited a surplus from his predecessor, Republican Pete Wilson in January 1999. Rather than return the surplus to the taxpayers or sock it away in a "rainy day" fund, Davis put the money into increased spending. At the time, he declared that this would involve only one-time expenditures, committing the state to no new and undue burdens. Sure.

Four years later, upon being reelected, the now-unpopular Davis solemnly declared that the surplus had mysteriously metamorphosed into a $35 billion deficit -- more than the combined annual budgets of several other states.
more at American Prowler

From The American Spectator
Have You Hugged Your Tree Today?

By George Neumayr
January/February 2003 issue

Environmental activist John Quigley spent November and December perched in an oak tree near Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. Taking tree hugging to a new level, Quigley commandeered the old oak as a protest against John Laing Homes, a developer with plans to cut down the tree as part of county-ordered road widening for a new housing development.

Naturally, Quigley’s ludicrous stunt proved effective. Indulging such left-wing pranks is the media’s forte. Within days, the New York Times and other prominent media outlets had dispatched reporters to Santa Clarita to cover the fate of “Old Glory,” a sympathy-inducing name enviros quickly concocted for a tree few had ever visited before the controversy began. The Times discerned in Quigley’s tree sitting an important statement about “suburban sprawl."
more at The American Spectator

Saving Democracy in California
by Ken Masugi

The opening of the California State legislature should strike fear into friends of liberty. While it is true that this particular legislature will be more inclined than previous ones to regulate and tax, and encourage moral license, similar fears have moved Californians going back to the Gold Rush days. whole column at


Alistair Cook Letter from America
Mr. Cook on California water, Pat Brown and budgets.

Gray Davis and the Fleecing of California
by Lawrence J. McQuillan Pacific Research Institute

This Land is Costco’s Land
Cities steal property, and give it to Costco.
by Ramesh Ponnuru
National Review

A Boy Catches a Terroist Gang
SLA brought to justice
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Deregulation: Lights Out
Why was there a shortage of power in California? Largely because there was a shortage of common sense.
by James L. Sweeney Hoover Institute

Eight Ways To Solve The Budget Crisis
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Why Simon Lost
From the beginning, and in the end.
By Arnold Steinberg National Review

The Authoritative Guide to Why Bill Simon Lost
What Really Happened in California
By Arnold Steinberg Human Events

Simon Should Have Won
The state GOP has lost track of its responsibility to voters, letting extraneous concerns crowd out attending to political basics.
by John Kurzweil
California Political Review


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