national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]
















Opinion Today-
STEEL 3 choices... Recall Follies- WHALEN Clinton's comin'... Streetsweeper's Bin- NR Editors Arnold ain't no conservative... CRO Blog- HEWITT AS vs Cruz...

a weblog of
contributor commentary

[Carol Platt Liebau] 9:51 am
Team Arnold:
So far, Arnold has shown everyone that he can attract prestigious advisors -- Warren Buffett, George Shultz, and for an entirely different crowd, even Rob Lowe (at least according to today's LA Times). But nowhere is there a name that really gives confidence to the conservative wing of the party, once again raising the suspicion among some in conservative circles that Arnold may be trying to craft an "inclusive" image that "includes" everyone but them. It's great that Arnold can put together a bipartisan "A" team, but if he's wise, he'll make sure it includes people from across the spectrum of his own Republican Party.

[Hugh Hewitt] 6:38 am
Easterly Recall: The New York Times attempts to infuse the California recall with some drama by focusing on the fact that there are more Republicans running than Arnold.  Dean Murphy  gives it a shot, but truth be told, unless AS is felled by some meta-scandal, the race is over, and most California political reporters know this and acknowledge it to each other.  The contest will still be fun, especially the collapse of Gray as the starch goes out of the empty suit, but all the GOP candidates other than AS have as their grand strategy hoping that AS --one of the most disciplined individuals in California-- will make a giant misstep.  At least they have a strategy, though, as the Dems do not.  AS v. Cruz -- yeah, that will be close.

more at CRO Blog

OC Register
Deficit Index

$87.4 million
The amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance budget.
OC Register
Recall Choice Really Between Tom, Bill, Arnold

NEW TODAY [Shawn Steel] 8/15/03 | The wild but wonderful recall phenomenon has acquired its near-final form. The Oct. 7 ballot will feature scores, if not hundreds, of Californians vying for the highest office in the state. | OK, that's not really true. | Only a handful of those candidates will impact the vote, and only a few of that handful actually stand a chance of winning. The choice really comes down to three candidates: Tom McClintock, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Simon. | For some, the choice will be a no-brainer; for many others, regardless of their ideological bent, that decision is more complicated. I understand this feeling completely, and have devised a checklist of sorts I believe will guide the recall proponents to the strongest candidate. | The populists who created the recall would lose any chance of restructuring state government if Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante were to eke out a victory. Bustamante is supported by the same special interests as Davis, special interests that have terrorized our economy and obstructed reform movements. | Because Bustamante is on the ballot, the electability of one of the top three Republicans should be our foremost consideration. After all, the point of this recall is replacing Davis with a reform governor who will push goals of economic growth through lower taxes, less spending, business-friendly rules and real workers' compensation reform. [more inside]

Car Tax Redux

With a recall breathing down their necks liberals concoct a tax fraud
NEW TODAY [John Campbell] 8/15/03 |
Isn't it fascinating. Suddenly, now that Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante is running for Governor, he and many of his Democratic allies in the Legislature, now believe that the car tax is an unfair tax. Where have they been for the last 2 years!! As many of us were fighting this illegal tax increase over the past year, most of these Democrats were speaking in favor of it! Every Democrat in the Legislature actually voted to increase the tax legislatively even before the Governor raised the tax administratively. Now that the collective voice of your anger has been raised, they appear to be backing down. | But they only appear to be doing so. In fact, their proposal is part of another elaborate scheme to raise taxes without getting the constitutionally required 2/3rds vote. | What they did, was to administratively (and illegally) triple the car tax. Then they propose to trade that car tax increase straight across for an increase in the income tax and tobacco taxes. This straight across trade is not a net tax increase (since the car tax has already been raised) and therefore they believe that it does not need a 2/3rds vote either. The net result is a $4 Billion annual tax increase on you without the constitutionally required 2/3rds vote. [more inside]

Prop. 209 Imperiled

Special interests are back and hungry for racial spoils
NEW TODAY [Stephen R. McCutcheon] 8/15/03 |
Seven years ago, California voters emphatically endorsed the principle of equal treatment for all, regardless of race or sex, by passing Proposition 209. It amended the California Constitution to prohibit the state from discriminating or granting preferential treatment on the basis of color or gender in public schooling, hiring and contracting. As the ballot pamphlet explained, Prop. 209 was drafted in response to the fact that "special interests hijacked the civil rights movement," and that "instead of equality, governments imposed quotas, preferences, and set-asides." | Unfortunately, the "hijackers" are back; they're trying to return us to the days when government could play favorites by race. The California Legislature has passed Assembly Bill 703, which would go far toward gutting Prop. 209. The bill is on the governor's desk, so the decision of whether to defy the voters' will and bring back a system of racial spoils now rests with Gray Davis. [more inside]

The Billion Dollar Fairy Shrimp

Finally environmental common sense seeps into government agencies
NEW TODAY [Gregory T. Broderick and Denise Davis] 8/15/03 |
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently roped off three-quarters of a million acres of California land for Endangered Species Act protections supposedly needed for microscopic fairy shrimp. While you'd think the environmental crowd would be overjoyed at this massive designation of so-called "critical" habitat, they are typically unsatisfied, already claiming that the feds have not gone far enough. In what is becoming a one-note song, these groups respond to every environmental decision from the Bush administration like Chicken Little: "The sky is falling." | Last spring, FWS proposed listing 1.7 million acres in California and Oregon as protected fairy shrimp habitat. Laughably, the government determined that the designation would cause only $120 million in negative impacts on the community over 20 years; less than $4 an acre. All too familiar with the damage critical habitat restrictions cause, California's Central Valley communities got together, held meetings, and sent thousands of letters to FWS detailing the devastation they would suffer. [more inside]

Prop 187 Revisited

Campaign season has begun, but, don't feed the Pander Bears...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/14/03 | In the opening salvos of the battle to replace Gray Davis, Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Arnold Schwarzenegger has been coming under fire for his support of Proposition 187 from the Democratic Party's chief Latino racemonger, Art Torres. | As long-time Californians will recall, Proposition 187, which appeared on the ballot in 1994 as the "Save Our State" initiative, would have excluded illegal immigrants from access to public services, including an education for their children. California voters -- including a large percentage of Latinos -- supported Prop 187 and the measure passed overwhelmingly, only to be subsequently overturned in the courts. | Predictably, Torres -- who called Proposition 187 the "last gasp of white America" -- is busily reminding the Latino community that Gray Davis opposed 187, as did Cruz Bustamante. Well, they're not alone. Many, like me, also opposed Prop 187 for reasons having less to do with the merits of the measure than with its politics. The Democrats have tried to use Proposition 187 as a "silver bullet" against Republicans ever since. But that was then and this is now. | Today, illegal immigration is even more out-of-control than it was nine years ago, and the federal government has been ignoring its responsibility to California taxpayers to protect our state's border. Add to this the implications of allowing unrestricted immigration after the tragedy of September 11, and any voter would have to be out of his mind to deny that our country's immigration policy is in desperate need of reform. | But Bustamante, Torres, Davis and the rest of the Democrats are going to continue to wallow in their unadulterated ignorance and try underhanded tactics of racial division. [more inside]

Scheer Recall
Stickin' with Gray
[Stefan Sharkansky] 8/14/03 (Editor's Note: Stefan Sharkansky provides a valuable ongoing service deconstructing LA Times "columnist" Robert Scheer.) | Robert Scheer devotes this week's column to the California recall election. | "'
Take him, he's yours.' That was my initial response to the California recall, aimed at a conservative Democratic governor who often has betrayed the state's large progressive base of voters -- the same folks who held their noses to elect and then reelect him." | Gray Davis was endorsed in his first gubernatorial primary (1998) by the ultra liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Those "progressives" for whom Gray Davis is too "conservative" consist mainly of Robert Scheer and a handful of other geriatric hippies from the Kim Il-Sung fan club. | Scheer goes on to blame George W Bush and the Republicans for the California energy crisis, which, as we discovered a few weeks ago, took place while Gray Davis was governor and Bill Clinton was president. | He also blames California's budget woes on Republican tax cuts. On the other hand, while Robert Scheer earns a fine income by writing that other people should pay more than their fair share of taxes, Robert Scheer doesn't always pay his own taxes. [more inside]

This Conservative Is Voting For Arnold

[Hugh Hewitt] 8/13/03 | Last week Arnold declared his candidacy for governor of California. I was broadcasting at the time, immediately endorsed him, and immediately began to receive a steady flow of mail from Tom McClintock and Bill Simon fans. Tom and Bill are fine guys, and both have been my guests on countless occasions. I endorsed Bill over Dick Riordan last March and stand by that choice. When it comes to elections, I am a single-issue voter: I support the most conservative candidate who has the most realistic chance of winning. | In the Republican California primary of 2002, that was Bill Simon. | In the recall election of 2003, that is Arnold Schwarzenegger. | Here is my analysis...[more inside]

California Muggin'

A Golden State Debate...
[Eric Metaxas] 8/13/03 | The following is a transcript of yesterday's fractious debate in California among some of the candidates hoping to replace Governor Gray Davis, who is being recalled. On the dais were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arianna Huffington, Gary Coleman, and Larry Flynt. It begins after they have each been asked to make opening comments... | TEXT:
Gary Coleman: Um, yes. First of all, with respect to how I plan to conduct my campaign...the good people of California should know that while I will conduct it with civility, let there be no mistake: I will also most certainly go upside the heads of my opponents. (He mugs.) [Laughter] | Arianna Huffington: With all dyoo ree-spect...I am not con-veenced that Mr.Coleman is capable of ree-tsing the hheads of hees opponents...| Gary Coleman: (Mock seriously) Say what? I should jack you up right now... [Laughter.] (He pretends to leave his podium...) | Arianna Huffington: Em, that would be very eem-politic of you, Arnold. | Gary Coleman: (Arms akimbo, mugging) Don't choo be callin' me Arnold! [Wild laughter.] Just 'cause you got a hair-do like Mrs. Garrett! [More wild laughter.] [more inside]

When Chaos is Good

Finally, we can all see the result of failed leadership
[Ray Haynes] 8/12/03 |
Politicians always have an odd definition of chaos. In their minds, a political structure is in chaos anytime they are not in charge of it or they are in danger of losing power. Gray Davis, for the first time in his tenure as Governor, is finally worried about the breakdown of state government, and the cost of a government program. He has complained about the cost of the recall, and how the recall will affect the stability of California state government. I say it’s about time. | This past week another bond company reduced California’s bond rating. With the latest downgrade, California’s bonds are only slightly more desirable than the bankrupt (and out of business) Enron Corporation. He has tried to blame the recall. But the truth is, California’s bond rating has been on the ropes for over a year. When Davis took over as Governor, he inherited a strong economy, a strong budget, and a strong credit rating. Governor Wilson, who took over in the midst of a recession, had strengthened the business climate in California, reduced regulations and worker’s compensation costs, brought the state out of record deficits, and moved it to record surpluses. If there were any complaints about Wilson, it was that he did not reduce taxes enough when the state started seeing record increases in its revenue. He was faced with a Democrat-controlled Legislature, which was hostile to tax cuts, so his lack of success in that area is understandable. In any event, no one could complain about the strength of this state in those years. | Now we are in chaos. [more inside]

Our Glorious Recall

Or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love California”
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/11/03 | As a little girl, I distinctly remember reading that Mark Twain had once said, “When God made the world, he tipped it and all the nuts rolled to California.” No Twain collection records the quote, so perhaps I was misinformed – but to me, the quip was witty, and, I thought at the time, quite apropos. | After all, viewed from the vantage point of a Midwestern childhood in the mid-1970’s, California really did look crazy. Every flaky trend, from marijuana smoking to tie-dye to nude pool parties, all seemed to originate in the Golden State. Whenever television shows featured silicone-enhanced blondes in microscopic bikinis, they were always roaming the beaches of California. In fact, “The Brady Bunch” was being rerun on Nick at Night before I realized that the palm trees surrounding the home of this very normal family indicated that they lived in California – not Florida, as I had assumed as a child. | The Beach Boys might have wished that everyone could be a “California girl,” but I was quite happy where I was, thank you very much. Even as a college student on the east coast, witnessing the excitement of the California kids at the first snowfall elicited from me a wave of pity – clearly, beneath their façade of “California cool,” they were feeling the effects of a childhood bereft of sledding and snow days off from school. | So six years ago, when a mutual friend introduced me to my husband – we were all visiting Arizona at the time – I remember being skeptical. He seemed pretty wonderful, but I was convinced that the heart of a wild and crazy playboy lay beneath his intelligent, sensible demeanor . . . after all, he was a native Californian, third generation at that! Well, there can be no doubt that a sense of humor infuses the intelligent design shaping every life – 23 months later, and a mere13 days after a wedding in my home town of St. Louis, I found myself returning from a honeymoon to my new “home” in California. I worried about fitting in either with the statuesque blondes in the south or the hippies up north, but I decided that if my hero Ronald Reagan had loved it here, I could certainly thrive, too. | Since November of 1998, I have learned about California’s people, its politics, its climate, its geography and its traditions. But I never knew how much I had come to take pride in being a Californian until this week, when – in the midst of discussing the recall -- a friend on the east coast asked me, “Aren’t you embarrassed?” | Well, NO, I’m not. In fact, I’m proud. [more inside]

All Eyes on California
The recall is a sign of our recovery...
[John Campbell] 8/9/03 | You can't turn on any television station or any talk or news radio program this week and not hear about California politics. The recall is like a great shadow blocking all light coming from anywhere else. It is historic. It is fascinating. It is a bit bizarre. | Arnold is in, Simon is in. McClintock is in. Bustamante and Garamendi are in. Issa and Feinstein are out. And the twists and turns will continue until the deadline for candidates to file for the election on Saturday. And then they will continue in a different form for the next 60 days. Legal battles are still being waged although they are unlikely to change the election now in place. | Taking aside the issue of who might win the recall, what does all of this mean for California? It means the current Governor will likely continue to sign every ridiculous anti-freedom and anti-enterprise bill put in front of him through at least October 7th. So, our economic climate will get worse before it gets better. It means news channels and newspapers will have no end of material for the next 60 days and beyond. It means some will harp on this as more signs that California is a crazy place. | But on the other hand, this is the beginning of a populist revolution in California. This is the start of people rising up against an unaccountable and incompetent government. [more inside]

The Reagan Effect

Book Review: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life by Peter Robinson
[Michael J. New] 8/9/03 | The past few years have seen a number of books written about the life of our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. However, Peter Robinson’s How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life offers a different perspective. Instead of writing a biography or a call to arms defense of the Reagan Presidency, Robinson instead demonstrates why Reagan was such an effective leader. In the book, Robinson talks about 10 important lessons that he learned from President Reagan and shows how he was able to use these lessons in his own life.| Robinson served as a speechwriter during the Reagan administration and is best known for writing Reagan’s famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate in April of 1987. During this speech, President Reagan questions Gorbachev’s commitment to openness. He tells Gorbachev that if he is serious about reform, he should send an unmistakable signal. He should come to this gate and “Tear Down This Wall!” | Not surprisingly, this speech figures prominently in the book. In fact, Robinson devotes a chapter of the book to four of the most famous speeches that Reagan made about Communism. The address to British Parliament in 1982, the speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983, his speech at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, and his speech at Moscow State University in 1988. | Interestingly, these speeches were drafted by three different people. However, Reagan always sounded like himself. “How could this be?” wonders Robinson. Indeed what gave Reagan’s speeches a trumpet like quality was his insistence upon telling the truth. In his speeches, Reagan always stood up for his beliefs and spoke with conviction because he knew people would always respond to the truth. [more inside]


Into the courts
[Jon Coupal and Trevor Grimm] 8/9/03 |
The effort to recall Governor Davis is a war. As in most major military conflicts, there are several fronts. There is the battle among Republicans posturing to replace Governor Davis (a battle that appears to be civil, for now). There is the battle among Democratic strategists over whether to run a candidate on their side. And, of course, there is the huge public relations battle being waged by all. | The battles less known are those being fought in the courtroom. A review of just one of those legal battles gives the public insight into just how complicated, confused and convoluted the recall litigation can be. | In July, Governor Davis launched an onslaught against the recall initiative before it had been certified by the Secretary of State. The governor's attorneys filed what purported to be a "class action" on behalf of all voters in the state of California. They asked the court to prevent the county registrars in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties from continuing their signature counting until such time as the plaintiffs had the opportunity to further "investigate" the qualifications of the signature gatherers. [more inside]

Politicians In Bond-Age

If bonds are part of the budget, voters must have a say
[Harold Johnson] 8/7/03 | [EDITOR'S NOTE - This piece was originally posted at CRO on 6/27, however, the problem of constitutional issues for the budget are front and center and little understood - so we've reposted.] For all the rancor in Sacramento over how to fashion a budget, Gov. Gray Davis and Republican leaders are in accord on one element: big borrowing. Both sides favor floating more than $10 billion in bonds, to be paid off over five years or longer, to shrink the state's mammoth deficit. The two sides differ only over the source of the funding for this new debt. The GOP would use existing revenues; Davis proposes a hike in the sales tax. | But even if this difference is reconciled, another, more significant obstacle to closure exists, courtesy of Democratic Sen. Eugene Casserly. | If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's because Casserly died more than a century ago. His influence extends across the decades, however, through a plank he added to the California Constitution at the drafting convention in 1879. The rule he sponsored -- Article XVI, section I of the Constitution -- prohibits the state from borrowing more than $300,000 unless voters approve in a statewide election. | Unlike many of the blithe spenders in Sacramento today, Sen. Casserly and other delegates to the 1879 Constitutional Convention were no-nonsense folks, deeply skeptical of the idea of government paying its bills by saddling future generations with debt. Accordingly, the Constitution is quite restrictive in the purposes for which multi-year borrowing is allowed. Under Article XVI, debts of more than $300,000 are permitted only for a specific, "single object or work." Borrowing to buy parks or build schools passes this test. But long-term debt to meet payroll and to keep government buildings open, does not; clearly, the general operations of government do not constitute a "single object or work." | Not surprisingly, the players in Sacramento don't seem eager to acknowledge the electorate's role in the process. [more inside]


findings in today's web trawler

RECALL FOLLIES/From Weekly Standard
Guess Who's Coming to the Recall

Bill Clinton comes to California to help Gray Davis and give him lousy, self-serving advice.
[Bill Whalen]

A Brazen And Dishonest Scheme

Tax hikes must win OK of two-thirds of Legislature - 'swap' or no swap
[Brian Janiskee]

MEXIFORNIA/From SD Union Tribune
No City Sweeps

Handcuffing Border Patrol makes no sense
[Editors SD Union Tribune]

and more in the bin...

Your Car Tax Estimate
posted at OC Register
Say you bought a new Toyota Camry in October 2000 for $20,360.
Here’s how the new vehicle license fee will affect you.

$ 105.87
You paid this in 2002

You’ll owe this in October

Last Week's Front Page
[go to Front Page Archive Index]


Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005