I loved doing Calwhine but couldn’t figure out how to monetize it, even as the opportunities to freelance kept popping up. So I made the call to go for the money, even though Calwhine was great fun.
I may revive it — if I can figure out how to make money on it!
Thanks to the many emailers who inquired about what was up. I should have posted an explanation much earlier.
Here we go again. As frenzied as the tax-hike obsessives have been in recent months and years, Jerry Brown’s weekend warning that the 2012-13 budget is $16 billion short is sure to ramp up their intensity. So get ready for the media/Dem onslaught, folks, and prepare to be reviled.
Will Jerry Brown get lots of blame for his $4-billion-in-extra-revenue fantasy that he concocted last June? It’s made a dire situation much worse.
It was 33 years ago today that Newsweek famously put Jerry Brown and then-girlfriend Linda Ronstadt — who were en route to Africa — on its cover. The headline: “The Pop Politics of Jerry Brown.” Let’s look at what Newsweek wrote back then about the once and future gov and feel sorry for ourselves. Jerry circa 1979 was a quirky and different politician. Jerry circa 2012 is just a quirky spokesman for a failed status quo. Bring back old Jerry!
Expect sporadic posts through April 8.
Last week, I wrote the following about the California media’s peculiar media dynamics:
The old theory was that any significant reform introduced by a Republican state lawmaker was DOA. So now a Democratic state lawmaker is proposing a freeze on the pay of state workers making more than $100,000, an audit of the Legislature’s spending, and an end to the practice of allowing current and retired state lawmakers to get vanity plates for free. So what is going to happen to these populist, sure-to-play-well-with-the-public proposals? They’re going to die without a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and not just because the lawmaker behind them, Anthony Portantino, is a thorn in Speaker John Perez’s side. They’re going to die because all the talk about spending and restraint and a new era in Sacramento are pure bunk. And because Appropriations Committee Chairman Felipe Fuentes, above, is yet another Los Angeles Latino Democrat who talks up social justice on the campaign trail but in office defines social justice as protecting a status quo devoted to helping public employees, especially teachers. If the safety net is shredded, so be it.
In 2006, when the California Legislature was considering AB 32, Arnold was so worried that the bill forcing a shift to cleaner but costlier energy would harm the economy that he demanded it include a provision that would allow the governor to suspend the law during times of economic distress. Within three years, however, the lunatic idea began to spread from the green cultists to the regular media that AB 32 was actually a jobs program, not a dramatic government interference in the free market that would make energy much more expensive than in rival states and nations. The warning of U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was ignored in favor of happy talk. Now, thankfully, someone is admitting that what was obvious to Arnold in 2006 and to Chu in 2009 is still true in 2012. Shockingly, it’s the California Air Resources Board. What are the odds of that?
Lots of cities in America have problems, but is there one anywhere that has the combination of nightmares seen in this California burg? Its schools were declared insolvent in 2003 and the district will be under state oversight until 2023 — at least. Its streets are home to the most chaotic and anarchistic Occupy protests in America. Its unemployment rate was estimated at a staggering 16 percent last year. And now comes news that a judge tired of its police department’s years of misconduct and brutality is contemplating a federal takeover. One would think the guy who was mayor for eight years during this city’s descent into worst-in-the-U.S. status would be a pariah. Nope. Here in California, we call him governor.
So the Peer Review Group tapped by the Legislature to review the bullet train project looks at the latest iteration of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s business plan and, as the L.A. Times reports, “raised serious doubts about almost every aspect of the project and concluded that the current plan ‘is not financially feasible’” — the latest in a “string of negative assessments from the state auditor, the state inspector general, the legislative analyst, the UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies” — and what does the gov do? In an e-mail, Brown spokesman Gil Duran said the report “does not appear to add any arguments that are new or compelling enough to suggest a change in course.” Sheesh. What would Brown accept as a “compelling enough” argument? The bullet train causes pancreatic cancer in a quarter of all riders? The bullet train will turn California into West New Jersey? The bullet train will make people like Sarah Palin?
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is such a multifaceted debacle that encyclopedias will someday have to be compiled to capture the breadth of its boondoggletood. But even by the standards of the rail authority, the fiasco that played out this spring and summer with its main spokesman and its high-powered PR firm was particularly odd. The same officials who gave their blessings to a 12-year disinformation scheme, to an illegal business plan and to building the first link of the project in a lightly populated area in the Central Valley decided there was no good reason the bullet train had a bad image — so it must be the flacks’ fault. Now a top figure in the PR industry has responded — publishing an enjoyable takedown of the rail bureaucrats who make the gang that couldn’t shoot straight look like champion marksmen.