FAQs

Q: You’ve seen Arnold up close. How tall is he?

A: He’s supposed to be 6-foot-2 (74 inches). I’m 74.6 inches tall. I was clearly taller than him when I stood next to him, and he had boots with heels that were easily 2 inches. I’d say 5-foot-10.

Q: What color is he?

A: Once I saw him fresh off what I assume was a fake-bake, and he looked like orange leather. Kind of Zaiusy. Normally, though, I would say he looks tan like a Phoenix anchorman in July. Think Dan Majerle in the Suns’ playoff runs of the mid-1990s. Which is good.

Q: What language does he think in?

A: I actually asked Arnold this, to the disbelief of Aaron McLear, and Arnold told me he thought in English — except for math, which he thought of in German. Insert your own joke about California’s budget problems here.

Q: What was it like to be intellectually seduced by Jerry Brown?

A: At the time, pretty interesting. After the betrayal, well, I was …. peeved. In 2006, when Jerry was running against Chuck Poochigian for AG, he told me during an interview with the U-T editorial board and then twice later in phone interviews that he wasn’t going to be a grandstanding AG like Bill Lockyer who used the job for political causes and to help or hurt interest groups and ballot measures he liked or loathed, respectively. Jerry repudiated Lockyer for suing automakers for their alleged responsibility for the reduced snowpack in the Sierras cuz of auto emissions’ role in global warming. He said it wasn’t exactly shrewd legal thinking to see clear, litigable causation in the relationship between what Ford and GM were doing — legally — and what was happening in the mountains.

I believed him. I laid off him in my old blog, which had some following in Sacramento, and also wrote an editorial touting him as a welcome maverick after the U-T editorial board decided to endorse him.

I got an email from, I think, Ken Khachigian telling me I was a fool.

Ken was right. A few days after his election, Brown said he would support Lockyer’s goofy lawsuit after all. JB’s original analysis was right. The courts threw it out. But Brown didn’t care. He used his four years as AG to systematically flatter and seduce every interest group on the left, then coasted to the governor’s job.

In early 2007, he told me that had changed his mind about the lawsuit after the “professional staff” of the AG’s Office made the case for the it.

As the 1969 Seattle Pilots would say, “Yeah, surrrre.”

Q: If an average-sized Rockus bigboulderi fell in the Cleveland National Forest, would Steve Maviglio say it was just one more sign that secretive billionaires were waging a war on middle-class trees?

A: Know your place, questions, know your place. The jokes are supposed to be in the answers, not the questions.

Q: What does FAQ stand for?

A: Flippant Aberrant Questions.