Great news, for once, on the AB 32 front, with a Fresno federal judge blocking part of California’s 2006 law mandating a switch to cleaner but much costlier forms of energy on the grounds that it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by requiring changes in “farming and ethanol production practices in other states.” This is the same clause, of course, that offers the most hope of blocking the multilevel fiasco that is Obamacare. It’s also helping in the legal fight against California’s manmade drought. Such utility. Can we also use it to take down Donald Trump and PETA?
The San Jose Mercury News’ wonderful takedown of politicians who spouted the insane claim that the bullet train project would create 1 million jobs triggered some odd reactions. For its part, the California High-Speed Rail Authority quickly acknowledged how misleading the number was. But bullet-train defenders have drawn a line in the sand. This farcical claim isn’t really a farcical claim, and if it is, well, the people who think so are fat nerds!
The writer Gertrude Stein’s famous quip about her hometown of Oakland — there is no there there — increasingly seems to apply to the fellow who was Oakland mayor a few years ago and is now, alas, governor of California. I listened to Jerry Brown’s post-mortem on the first year of his third term as governor and was flabbergasted at how consistently our alleged Zen master gov offered up slick disinformation about what ails California, then reiterated the Dem-media conventional wisdom that our problems would be solved if only taxes were higher. In so many key ways, Jerry Brown = Gray Davis. A Gray Davis who talks funny.
For years, I’ve gotten emails from retired teachers who accuse me of making things up about CalSTRS being in poor shape financially. Why? Because the newsletters from the nation’s second-largest pension fund pretend all is well — and because the Sacramento media basically went along with this crock for years. Now the head of CalSTRS finally admits that disaster looms, with 30 years of pain the result. It’s time for Sacramento journalists who covered CalSTRS back in 2006 to make like Otter and admit the following to their California readers: “You f—-ed up. You trusted us.”
In fall 1972, legendary New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael expressed amazement after reading that Richard Nixon was a heavy favorite for re-election. Why? Because she didn’t know anyone in her Manhattan circles who was voting for the president. In his Monday column, the L.A. Times’ George Skelton exposed his Kael-style bubble for all the world to see, and in so doing confirmed what I’ve been writing for years: Sacramento’s Democrats and the Sacramento media establishment generally believe the exact same things. So much for any hope we’ll get honest, neutral coverage of state government.
The $500 million-plus in taxpayer funds that the Obama administration threw away on the doomed Solyndra green energy project in the Bay Area triggered investigations that showed Solyndra received unusual attention from the White House, with bureaucrats pressured for quick OKs to clear the way for celebratory photo opportunities for top officials. The president and his allies strongly pushed back at this narrative. Now we learn the Solyndra approach was’t just an anomaly, it was the norm: “Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.”
The narrative that holds that Jerry Brown is a slick operator who is playing chess while the rest of Sacramento is playing checkers continues to hold sway in state media circles. That narrative looks ridiculous when you consider the inept way the gov’s staff responded to a San Jose Mercury-News story Thursday that tore apart the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s claim that the bullet train project would create 1 million jobs. The authority promptly admitted the claim was wrong. The governor’s office? It basically defended the lies. Dumb de dumb dumb.
The idea that Barack Obama Jr. wasn’t born in the U.S. is so painfully stupid I barely know where to start. Here’s one obvious way to refute it: His parents’ presence at the University of Hawaii was well-documented. Arriving in 1959, his father was celebrated as the university’s first African-born student. His mom’s arrival the next year is also documented. So what did Obama’s poor graduate student mom purportedly do? Fly to Kenya or Indonesia in the summer of 1961, with or without Barack Sr., so she could have their kid in Third World conditions instead of First World Oahu? People really believe this? Really? Sheesh. I hope Thursday’s court ruling kills this moronic myth for good.
Eleven months ago, the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., by a deranged lunatic touched off an orgy of mainstream media attacks on the tea party movement — absent any proof it had anything to do with the tragedy. The contrast with how the media cover Occupy — whose members have done idiotic things on camera that hurt the middle class, not the “1 percent,” and then bragged about it — is the worst case of rancid media bias I’ve seen in decades of watching American politics. This is most acutely evident in Oakland, where fools are waging war on the truckers and businesses who rely on the city’s port for gainful employment, but who are given a pass by the same national pundits who were so eager to libel the tea party over the Giffords shooting based on ….. nothing.
For the past five months, California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro and some other high-profile GOPers have been saying something was seriously screwy with the electoral maps approved by the state redistricting commission. The California media, however, saw a commission consisting mostly of naifs and regular Joes and found it hard to buy conspiracy talk, so much so that they mocked GOP gripers as paranoid fools who overlooked other, obvious reasons for the party’s declining influence. Full disclosure: Based on the totality of my radio and print remarks, it’s fair to say I was part of this group. Whoops. Talk about a spectacular reversal of fortune. ProPublica’s powerful investigative report detailing how California’s House Democrats manipulated the overwhelmed amateurs in charge of redistricting vindicates the GOP’s concerns a thousand-fold. Kurt Cobain was right: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”