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10.29.2008
At Least They’re Good at Something

At Least They’re Good at Something

One would think after their abysmal performance this year that California’s lawmakers would slink away in shame, spend long hours in self-flagellation, donate generously to a domestic violence center, hand out groceries at a food bank or scour bedpans with Mother Teresa’s nuns in Calcutta – some repentant act to atone for their 2008 sins against the People of California.     Read more »

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10.28.2008
Budget Badness Postscript — The Face of California’s Economy

Budget Badness Postscript — The Face of California’s Economy

To put a more human face on the October 27 posting on the state budget:

The landlord of California’s Capitol, is an education lobbying firm. It is in the process of hiring a new receptionist. An ad was placed on Craigslist. 

They stopped counting after 298 applicants. Of the 298, 200 were logged in just 24 hours.     Read more »

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10.28.2008
On Gumbo…

On Gumbo…

“Its a little like religion and a lot like sex — You should never know when youre gonna get it next.”

                                                        — Jimmy Buffett, “I Will Play for Gumbo”

(The song is the final track on Little Feat’s rousing new CD, Join the Band, coincidentally produced by Mr. Buffett.)     Read more »

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10.27.2008
A Quick Look at How Truly Awful the Budget Is Going To Be

A Quick Look at How Truly Awful the Budget Is Going To Be

Recently, representatives of the Schwarzenegger administration told Wall Street investors that, absent corrective action, California’s budget would have a $3 billion gap between revenues and spending commitments by June 30, 2009. 

That estimate was ridiculously low. The governor acknowledged as much after a meeting with legislative leaders on October 27. Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata, D-Alameda, said afterward this year’s gap is closer to $10 billion.     Read more »

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10.24.2008

Something Old That’s New in Capitol Park

There’s something old that’s new in Capitol Park.

Walk out the rear doors of California’s Capitol and head toward the pathway that runs straight through the park to 15th Street. On the left, just before the trout pond, is a sign — a replica of the sorts of signs that stood on the corners of Sacramento streets in around 1910.    Read more »

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10.23.2008
Confessions of a Women’s Conference Escort

Confessions of a Women’s Conference Escort

I was a Governor and First Lady’s Women’s Conference escort. 

Like Las Vegas, some conference sights, sounds and experiences stay at the Long Beach Convention Center. 

But there are some wonderful moments that can be shared. One would be standing within easy earshot of Gloria Steinem and Billie Jean King discussing Sarah Pallin’s vice presidential candidacy.     Read more »

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10.16.2008
Predictable Proposition 2 Campaign

Predictable Proposition 2 Campaign

It was inevitable. 

A doleful, cute-as-a-button piglet stares out from the cover of the direct mail piece paid for by the Humane Society in favor of Proposition 2, the initiative the Humane Society placed on November’s ballot to ban what it considers inhuman treatment of calves, pigs and chickens. 

Above the piglet voters are exhorted to remember “You Are Their Only Voice.” On the back are photos of a sow, a calf and a chicken.    Read more »

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10.15.2008
A Couple Things Senators McCain and Obama Have In Common

A Couple Things Senators McCain and Obama Have In Common

One recent Wednesday morning, Sen. John Sidney McCain III of Arizona wrote a one-page letter. It arrived in an envelope that said in red: “EMERGENCY NOTICE.” 

Sen. McCain begins: 

“We’ve reached a critical juncture in the campaign. The Obama Democrats and their left-wing special interest allies have come together in a united front, combining their enormous fund-raising arsenal.    Read more »

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10.09.2008
Septic Snafu

Septic Snafu

California’s Water Resources Control Board is trying to adopt regulations aimed at cleaning up the state’s 1.2 million septic tanks.  

It has been trying to adopt the regulations since the fall of 2000. 

Even after eight years, realtors, rural homeowners and local officials continue to complain that the regulations are costly and too cookie-cutter to appreciate local or regional differences.      Read more »

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10.02.2008
The Greening of Napa Valley

The Greening of Napa Valley

Mrs. Lucas and I recently spent the night at the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa. The hotel is the world’s first and, to date, only LEED Gold-certified hotel. 

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a set of environmentally friendly, so-called green building standards created by the aptly named United States Green Building Council.    Read more »

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