May 21 Open Thread

I (Brian) will be on Your Call Radio tomorrow morning at 11 AM to discuss the news of the week in the weekly media roundtable. You can listen on 91.7 FM in San Francisco, or stream it online. I’ll post a link to the podcast afterwards. Now, to our collaborative link efforts:

• As a coda to Tuesday’s election, we still don’t know who won the Los Angeles 5th City Council District.  Paul Koretz won on Election Day over David Vahedi by 335 votes, but there are about 3,000 provisional and late vote-by-mail ballots left to be counted.  Stay tuned.

• A big victory for Henry Waxman, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed his energy and climate bill, which includes a cap and trade system for carbon emissions and a renewable energy standard.  Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) actually voted the bill out of committee, the only Republican to do so.  Ultimately, the bill is compromised and could do with being strengthened – the Sierra Club has some ideas – but clearing cap and trade from the committee loaded with coal-state Congresscritters and headed by the Dingellsaurus for decades is significant.

• First Lady Maria Shriver planted a garden at the Capitol. If this budget gets any worse, we might need to expand that garden and sell the produce to pay off some of the state debt.

• It’s not so much that the SacBee posted a kind of childish op-ed on their website, it’s that they tried to scrub it unsuccessfully.  A lot of newspapers post bad op-eds, I don’t know what they were afraid of.  Nevertheless, the far right is in a tizzy about it, because they’re victim addicts and everything’s about them.

• The California budget will be the same size as it was in 1999 assuming the current projections are accurate. Because there hasn’t been any inflation since then.

Health Access released a report (PDF)showing that at least half a million Californians have lost their insurance over the past 18 months.

6 thoughts on “May 21 Open Thread”

  1.   I think it should be clear to everyone now, with Schwartz’s budget plans, that we are in a full war for

    the future of this state.  We need to do the following.

    1.  Pass a majority-rule fee swap/tax increase.  The tax increase is only on the wealthy/corporations.  This should bring in 8 billion/year.

    2.  Announce at the same time our support for a constitutional convention.  The fee swap/tax increase is simply to buy time until the convention is held.

    3.  If Schwartz vetos and lets the state run out of cash, let it.  At the moment, only the poor and kids suffer from services cuts.  The state running out of cash means everything stops–prisons, police, public safety, etc.

    4.  The support for the convention is meant to gain support for the majority-rule fee swap.

    5.  Also, if Scwartz vetoes, all Democrats should join in

    the recall against Schwartz.

     It’s fairly obvious we need a constitutional convention.  The losers in such a convention are likely to be state employees (their retirement will be hacked) and anti-tax Republicans (the 2/3rds will go).  Also, the existing legislature will go (replaced by a unicameral house of, hopefully, a large number of members so the districts can be won by an individual rather than a mail/tv campaign).

     Still, the alternative would be to live in Texas or Alabama.

  2. It would be very, very unlikely for the remaining absentee ballots to reverse Koretz’ lead.

    First of all, Koretz won the absentee votes counted before election day 53-47.  Vahedi won the results on election day by roughly 51-49.  Assuming the figure of 3,000 absentee ballots remaining to be counted, Vahedi would need to win about 55.6% of those ballots to be able to win by one vote.

    While we’ll have to wait for the official canvass to settle things one way or another, the pure numbers tell us that we’re very unlikely to see those numbers change.  But we’ll know starting on Friday morning when the official canvass updates start getting posted.

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