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contributor opinion inside


K. Lloyd Billingsley
John Campbell
Jon Coupal
Doug Gamble
Ray Haynes
Steven Hayward
Hugh Hewitt
Lance T. Izumi
Harold Johnson
Carol Platt Liebau
Ken Masugi
Tom McClintock
Michael New
Stefan Sharkansky
Shawn Steel
Guest Contributors

Who Lied?

Bob uses slieght of hand for a cover up of his own...
NEW TODAY [Stefan Sharkansky] 0905/03 |
It would be fascinating, I think, to observe a day in the life of our favorite Canardmeister, Robert "Three-Home" Scheer. In the meantime, I have to make do with my mental image of him -- waking up at the crack of noon, groaning and scratching himself as he fumbles his way out of bed. Still in his underwear, he opens the front door to look for the newspaper and has to walk all the way out to sidewalk to get it because that's where the never-been-tipped paperboy tosses it now. Peering at the newsprint through the smudged lenses of his spectacles, Scheer makes out only the words "Bush", "Iraq" and "mislead". "Aha!", he says to himself, "I knew Bush was lying", and then he sets his Canard-o-matic to "800 words", presses the PRINT button and crawls back into bed for his afternoon nap. | I can't think of any other explanation for Scheer's latest column: Bush Was All Too Willing To Use Emigrés' Lies, which cites a Los Angeles Times story that the case for war with Iraq was largely based on lies...[more inside]

Bird-Brained Justice

Justice is not served...again.
NEW TODAY [Xrlq] 09/05/03 |
Death penalty opponents frequently cite the large number of reversals as evidence that the death penalty is flawed. Anyone who seriously buys that argument would do well to read this case (PDF file) from last week, in which the California Supreme Court reversed - "because the trial court improperly dismissed a juror during jury selection" - the death sentence of James Matthew Heard, who had been convicted of the extremely grisly and depraved murder of 11 year old Katrina Brown. Indeed the murder was so depraved that readers with weak stomachs probably should skip this piece entirely. | Heard's rampage began at 2:00 a.m., when he left the apartment for a birthday party where he threatened to kill three people before being asked to leave. At 5:00 a.m., he returned to the apartment, picked a fight with his girlfriend, and then proceeded to attack her 11-year old daughter, Katrina Brown. Neighbors heard a screaming match for an hour but did not call 911, and went back to sleep. The next day, Katrina's cousin came to pick up Katrina for school, only to discover her naked body on the floor instead, and returned home. Her grandfather called 911. [more inside]

The Return to Partisan Politics

California, get ready for the coming Dean melt-down...
[Chuck DeVore] 9/5/03 | I stopped reading the New York Times a few months ago, as I prefer my fiction properly labeled. However, when the O.C. Register ran a piece by the NYT’s Adam Nagourney about the Republicans and Democrats shifting their focus from independents to partisan voters, it commanded my attention. |
The article details an interesting shift in the political landscape – a shift that we should all consider before moving headlong into the pivotal 2004 election cycle. | Both parties see “an increasingly polarized and evenly divided electorate,” according to Nagourney. For this reason, both major parties are returning to pre-1992 strategies that focus on motivating their base to increase turn out among partisan voters. | The party that can make its base “emotional” and therefore obtain better “turn out” on Election Day will, according to a senior political advisor to President Bush, have a much higher likelihood of success. All this is leading strategists in both parties to plan ambitious and expensive get-out-the-vote operations for November 2004 that play upon the heightened emotions in the electorate. [more inside]

An Instinct For Survival

Does anyone else sense the tide turning for Davis?
[Doug Gamble] 9/4/03 | There occasionally comes a time during an election campaign when political observers get a gut feeling, independent of any polls, that change is in the air. My gut tells me that while Gov. Gray Davis is a milquetoast, he may not quite be toast after all. |
The polls are no help anyway. Of two recent surveys, one showed 50 percent of voters favoring the recall of the governor while the other said 64 percent want him gone. | This may be one election where instinct means more than polls. | My instinct says a number of Democrats who had intended to dump Davis may be having sober second thoughts as the election draws closer. Much like a man who considers leaving his wife for his mistress only to end up thinking better of it, these Democrats could be concluding they are better off sticking with what they have. A dalliance is one thing; a divorce is another. | If there is in fact a below-the-radar movement back toward the governor, he has to be given some of the credit. Although still displaying a demeanor so awkward it makes Richard Nixon look like Cary Grant, Davis performed much better in two recent town hall meetings than in his much-criticized UCLA speech, with more town halls planned before Oct. 7. | Then there's his tenacity. While Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cruz Bustamante soak up most of the media spotlight, especially the actor, Davis brings a tortoise and hare quality to the race by just slowly plodding along at a steady pace. And we remember from the childhood story what happened to the hare. [more inside]

They Just Don't Trust Us

Liberal elites don't want power to the people
[Jon Coupal]
9/4/03 | In the early part of the last century, the Southern Pacific Railroad owned the California Legislature in all but title. To break the hold of special interests on state government, Republican Governor Hiram Johnson managed to push through a progressive agenda that included the initiative, referendum and recall. (This was back in the days when the word "progressive" meant something good.) | These powers, enumerated in the state constitution, were intended to insure that government would ultimately be responsible to the citizens. If the Legislature proved to be too indolent, incompetent or corrupt to address important issues, the people had the ultimate power to pass legislation of their own design. If a lawmaker or state constitutional officer proved to be indolent, incompetent or corrupt, the people were entitled to fire that official using the recall procedure. | The classic example of the importance of the initiative is from 1978. When government refused to temper property taxes that were escalating so rapidly as to make home ownership untenable, the people took matters into their own hands and passed Proposition 13. | It has been said that Proposition 13 is to a liberal as sunlight is to a vampire. Recent events show that liberals are averse to anything that remotely resembles citizen control of political power. [more inside]

An Oration over the Career of Tom McClintock

With apologies to the Bard...
[Hugh Hewitt] 09/03/03

Friends, conservatives, Californians, look up from your screens;
I come to praise Tom McClintock, not to bury him;
The mischief that some men make is forgotten;
For others it becomes their only reputation,
So might it be with Tom McClintock.

There are many at FreeRepublic and elsewhere who claim that only Tom deserves a vote;
If that were so, for him I would surely vote;
But grievously would our state answer for that vote,
With Cruz enthroned and ruling.
[more inside]

What are the Differences Between MEChA and Nazism?
[Stefan Sharkansky] 9/3/03 | California gubernatorial candidate Cruz Bustamante remains steadfast in his refusal to denounce MEChA, which he joined as a university student. | For anybody who is still wondering why this is such a big deal, herewith are key quotes from MEChA's founding document El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (cited by many MEChA university chapters as being "fundmental" to the organization) juxtaposed with the Nazi Party's founding platform ("The Twenty-Five Points", which were first read in public by Adolf Hitler on Feb. 24, 1920) | Twenty-Five Points: 4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the State. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation | El Plan Espiritual: Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada | Twenty-Five Points: 7. We demand that the State shall make it its first duty to promote the industry and livelihood of citizens of the State. If it is not possible to nourish the entire population of the State, foreign nationals (non-citizens of the State) must be excluded from the Reich | El Plan Espiritual: Aztlán belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. | Twenty-Five Points: 8. All non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who entered Germany subsequent to August 2nd, 1914, shall be required forthwith to depart from the Reich. | El Plan Espiritual: economic control of our lives and our communities can only come about by driving the exploiter out of our communities, our pueblos, and our lands [more inside]

Who’s Dragging Down Who?

California’s Real Impact
[Ray Haynes] 9/2/03 |
I think it is important people know what is happening in California government. One in seven people who live in the United States live in California. California constitutes ten per cent of the entire national economy, and it is the fifth (or sixth or seventh or eighth) largest economy in the world (our ranking shrinks each year Davis stays in office). When California’s economy hiccups, it causes a national economic earthquake. A large, diverse, and powerful economic actor is important not just to those of us who live here, but to those who walk the halls of Washington power as well. | Government at any level can’t do much to help the economy. The economy is driven by people’s needs and the endless effort of private companies to meet those needs. Government, however, can screw it up. Using tax and regulatory policy, and government subsidies, government impacts individual preferences by increasing the price of one product or service (or decreasing another), and shifting limited social resources to government-preferred activities. If these preferred activities aren’t beneficial to the economy as a whole, government causes the economy to falter. Jobs are lost, people are hurt, and the economy shrinks. Given these facts, it would be important to cover any government function that affects ten per cent of the economy. Sacramento should be the focus of a lot of media attention. | It is not, however. In fact, it is very difficult to find out what is happening in California state government. So—as a public service—I will help. [more inside]

Tough Love, or Tough Luck?

More high tax schemes from the Davis-Bustamante team...
[Joe Armendariz] 9/02/03 | It insults the intelligence of taxpayers to be told that they need "tough love" and that this inevitably means paying higher taxes. And yet, that is exactly what Cruz Bustamante, Lt. Governor turned sadistic political schizophrenic seems to believe. The man is sadistic because he truly subscribes to this bizarre notion called tough love. And the man is a political schizophrenic if he can actually say with a straight face: vote No on recall, but vote Yes on Bustamante. |
Taxpayers don't need, nor do they want Bustamante's love. Moreover, tough love isn't an economic policy, it is something a father shows his rascal teen-ager who refuses to obey his rules. In the case of Bustamante and the state bureaucracy he has devoted his political life too, it is they who need some tough love. A tough brand of fiscal love imposed by state taxpayers who are sick and tired and simply refuse to take it anymore. | And by the way, if the size, cost and general size of government is any indication, the taxpayers of this once great state have already received their fair share of this so-called "tough love". Exactly how much love have we been given? Let us count the ways...[more inside]

We’re All “Working People” Now

When Public Sector Unions Take Over, Who Looks Out for Taxpayers?  
[Carol Platt Liebau] 09/01/03 |  As we celebrate Labor Day 2003, it’s worth asking: Who, exactly, are the “working people”? The term probably has its genesis in the old sociological term “working class,” encompassing those who labor manually or work for hourly wages. But as used today primarily by Democratic politicians like Gray Davis, it denotes solidarity with lower income workers, especially when Democrats are trying to exploit a sense of class grievance – against tax cuts, for example. | Used this way, the expression is, and should be, deeply insulting to those at higher income levels who certainly have not gotten there by sitting on the veranda, eating bonbons. By the Democrats’ criteria, professionals – and countless small business owners throughout the United States – are certainly not “working people;” they’re the “rich.” And that’s even though typical Americans with $1 million in assets are self-employed and work between 45 and 55 hours a week; earn their wealth, rather than inheriting it; drive used or mid-priced domestic, not foreign, cars; and live in homes worth far less than they could afford, according to the New York Times best-selling book, The Millionaire Next Door. | No, “working people” has become an honorific reserved almost exclusively for one of the Democrats’ staunchest constituencies, organized labor. And among organized labor’s many constituents, perhaps its most loyal is Governor Gray Davis. | It’s well recognized that Davis’ tenure as governor has been very, very good for unions, especially those in the public sector. After all, since Davis came to power, he has added a net 44,500 employees to state payrolls – a 15.7% increase, even though total non-farm employment has risen only by 7% statewide. | The unions have rewarded him accordingly, with chests full of campaign funds and strong support. But in an ironic twist, it may just be Davis’ fealty to the public sector union bosses that has created the conditions igniting the voter anger behind the recall. [more inside]

Recall Crackup ...

The rise of the blogs...
[Hugh Hewitt] 09/01/03 | The California papers are full of horse-race stories, Bustamante profiles, MEChA-mongering, and unsolicited advice for AS (AS = Arnold Schwarzenegger). The blogs continue to outperform print and electronic media, with Kausfiles and Dan Weintraub having set a standard of relevance and timeliness that the dinosaurs can't begin to hope to match. Incredibly, the Los Angeles Times still doesn't have a blog on the recall --perhaps because they have no reporter capable of running such an effort? PrestoPundit, Tacitus, LA Observed, Priorities & Frivolities, The California Republic, CalBlog and SoCalLawBlog provide everything the interested reader needs to know, and do so hours if not days before AM catches up. (AM = Ancient Media.) |
The blogging of the recall is a preview of the effect of the new media on the presidential race, and smart papers will be watching the Weintraub/Kausfiles success for a model on how to proceed. Short answer: Arm your three best correspondents with blogs and turn them loose to post. Weintraub, like Kaus, is the rare journalist about whom it can be said that fairness permeates their work. This might be the precondition of a successful campaign coverage blog, but not necessarily. If a lefty reporter gets a blog and runs it to the advantage of one candidate, that could hurt a paper's credibility, but only if the reporter's bias was undisclosed or unbalanced by a righty getting his or her own blog. | But now the criticism: The underlying story of the recall remains largely unexplored by all media, new and old. That story turns on these questions: Is the California legislature churning out a large number of new and very radical statutes, judging by the standards at work in the other 49 states? Does the California legislature appear to have even a minimal grasp on economics, or does it seem to act as though there is no such thing as a business climate? Do special interests dominate Sacramento to an extent unparalleled in other state legislatures, with the result that enormously unbalanced legislation is arriving on Gray's desk (and has been for five years) without the ordinary moderations enforced by two-party rule? These and similar questions should be the foundation upon which all recall reporting is done, but no serious look at them has occurred in any of the state's major media. [more inside]

Legislative Break

It can't come soon enough...
[John Campbell] 8/30/03 |
Countdown: On September 12th the legislature will adjourn for the year (or until a special session is called) and the people will be free from new bad laws for a little while. Democrats are hurrying to pass all sorts of terrible legislation that is continuing the legacy of the last 5 years of Davis/Bustamante and rewarding their union and other special interests at the expense of jobs, the economy and the state budget. Today was the last day to pass bills that Gray Davis would have to sign before the recall election. Any bill passed from now until September 12th doesn't have to be signed or vetoed until 5 days after the recall election. Since the new Governor, if there is one after the recall election, would not be sworn in for probably at least a week, Davis can hold all sorts of bills until after you vote in the election if he wants to. | But he may have pressure to sign all the bad stuff from the unions and others that have bankrolled his previous campaign and upon whom he is relying to bankroll this one. | He has already signaled that he will sign the absolutely hideous undocumented alien driver's license bill. [more inside]

Splitting the Roll, Splitting California

Big business kowtows to Sacramento
[Jon Coupal]
8/30/03 |
The relationship between grassroots taxpayers and the business community has, at times, resembled a roller coaster. Virtually all the business organizations in California (agriculture was a notable exception) opposed Proposition 13 in 1978. Since then, business groups have moved from outright hostility to grassroots taxpayer interests to at least some instances of sympathy. Nonetheless, until just a couple of years ago, the standard modus operandi of corporate California was to "go along to get along." In other words, feeding the alligator of big government. | Open and direct confrontation by the business community to liberal policies can still scarcely be found. And look what happened. While businesses have struggled, state government has grown 36% in three years. At taxpayers' expense, bureaucracies have ballooned like the high-tech companies of the 90s with one major difference: government isn't accountable to stockholders. | What is the reward reaped by California businesses for this complacency (and sometimes complicity) in the extraordinary rise in power of big government interests? An absurd workers comp system, sky-high unemployment insurance premiums, regulatory requirements that make no sense and, of course, higher taxes and fees. [more inside]



And some
Lingering Observations

Another Earthquake Coming
And it’s a good thing too...
[John Campbell] 8/27/03

Hasta La Vista Bustamante!
Campaigning to take the state further down the wrong road...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/26/03 .[]

Running to Win
The Recall and Republican Redemption  
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03 []

A Marriage of Convenience
Conservatives should accept Schwarzenegger to help rejuvenate state GOP   
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03 []

Dear Tom McClintock Supporter ...
Arnold may not be ideal, but first you have to win.
[Hugh Hewitt] 8/21/03

The Purpose of a Great Party
McClintock is true to conservative principles
[Joe Armendariz] 8/21/03 []

California Gives Junk Bonds a Bad Name
[Joe Armendariz] 8/18/03 []

Trumping the Race Card
Republicans Can’t Let Democrats Win the “Race” to the Bottom
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/18/03 []

Recall Choice Really Between Tom, Bill, Arnold
[Shawn Steel] 8/15/03 | []

Prop 187 Revisited
[Joe Armendariz] 8/14/03 []

This Conservative Is Voting For Arnold
[Hugh Hewitt] 8/13/03

When Chaos is Good
Finally, we can all see the result of failed leadership
[Ray Haynes] 8/12/03 []

Our Glorious Recall
Or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love California”
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/11/03 [more inside]

King of the Ring
Big-time strategists, a jungle recall/election, and Democrats scheming over a live microphone. You won't believe what's happening in California.
[Hugh Hewitt] 7/24/03 [Weekly Standard]

Recall Strategy
The California GOP Needs to Stay Flexible – and Above All, Unified
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/21/03 []

Highway Robbery
Illegal taxes are what political revolutions are made of.
[Tom McClintock] 7/9/03 []

California's Coming 100-Year Political Storm
[Tom McClintock] 6/18/03 [more at Claremont Institute]

People Must Demand Recall
After the Damage Davis Has Caused In One Term, Can State Afford to Go Through Another?
[Shawn Steel] 6/2/03 [more inside]

Memo to My Wife
A household budget - Gray Davis style
[Tom McClintock] 5/29/03 [more inside]

Recalling Our Principles
Why the Davis Recall is Worth Reconsidering
[Carol Platt Liebau] 5/9/03 [more inside]


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