Tag Archives: John and Ken

Republicans can’t cover up policy failure with diversity outreach

Reposted from my Sunday feature at Daily Kos. Since it’s mainly California content, I think it deserves a place here too.

Los Angeles conservative radio hosts

California right-wing radio shock jocks John and Ken. Diversity!

Immediately after the November election, I wrote about the overwhelming victory Democrats enjoyed in California, where Governor Brown’s tax measure was passed, the union-busting Proposition 32 was soundly defeated, and Democrats claimed a supermajority in both chambers that will allow them, if they so choose, to pass budgets and submit initiatives for voter approval without a single Republican vote.

Since the time of that writing, things have gotten even worse for Republicans in the legislature, as Democrats picked up two additional seats in vote canvassing in races which their candidates were trailing on election day: Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani came back to beat her colleague Tom Berryhill for a hotly contested State Senate race to pad Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s margin. And lastly, in perhaps the shocker of elections in California, Democratic candidate Steve Fox completed a comeback on the very last day of canvassing when the Los Angeles County Registrar counted the last 1,601 votes in Assembly District 36. Fox gained 463 votes from that final update, giving him a 145-vote win in a traditionally Republican area and padding Speaker John Perez’ majority to a 55-25 count in the 80-seat chamber.

Republicans have held minority status in Sacramento ever since the turn of the millennium, but it’s only now that panic is really starting to set in. Because of Proposition 13 in 1978, which began California’s so-called “tax revolt,” it takes a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass tax increases or put referendums on the ballot; while still a minority, Republicans had always held at least one-third of one of the two chambers, which allowed them to effectively control the terms of the debate for budgetary issues and continue to extract major cuts and concessions every single election cycle. But as the extremist Republican agenda of decimating the public sector and social services continued to cripple the state, cracks started to show. During the red wave of 2010, California Democrats not only held all their seats; they actually expanded their legislative majorities. Meanwhile, team blue also swept every single statewide office that year, despite the millions of dollars that failed CEO’s Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina spent trying to buy a governorship and Senate seat, respectively.

In 2012, the dam burst. A variety of factors combined to create a Democratic wave in California: nonpartisan redistricting created a series of competitive districts; the creation of online voter registration led to a surge of turnout by young and minority voters; and voters who had had enough of budget cuts began to believe in a different vision for the state. It all adds up to one reality: when the rounds of special elections are over and all the vacancies are filled, Democrats will be able to do what they want in Sacramento without a single Republican vote, provided that they can keep their caucus unified.

The shocking results are leading California Republicans to engage in the same refrain being used by their Washington counterparts. It’s not the policies, they claim, but rather the message:

California Republicans in the Assembly looking to revive their party have a new team on their side.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway on Thursday announced a new “Diversity Outreach Team” made up of government staff members. A news release says the group will focus on “helping strengthen Republican ties with women, ethnic communities and young people.”

“We know that most Californians share our common-sense ideas, but we need to do a better job communicating that message,” Conway said in a statement. “To become the majority party again, we must not only talk to diverse communities but also listen and that’s what our Diversity Outreach Team is all about.”

It takes a special brand of chutzpah to claim that most of a state’s voters agree with you when you hold no statewide offices and less than a third of the seats in both houses of that state’s legislature. But it also takes a special brand of either arrogance or blindness to believe that having your party be rendered entirely irrelevant in the most populous state in the nation is simply a messaging problem that can be fixed by token figures to head up a “diversity outreach” program aimed at all the various groups of voters who simply cannot stand what you represent.

It was the unified opposition of the Republican Party, after all, that thwarted Speaker Perez’ best efforts to eliminate a corporate tax break for multi-state businesses and use the money to cut the cost of higher education. Republican legislators and governors have consistently opposed efforts to make life easier for immigrants and their children. Republicans are the ones who have consistently worked to hold California’s budget hostage to painful budget cuts to social services and health care programs for the poor. And no amount of “outreach” to women will help undo the damage done at the national level by Rush Limbaugh and the constant efforts to strip away reproductive rights.

It’s not that California Republicans haven’t done a good enough job explaining their values. Quite the opposite: They’ve done too good a job. As a matter of fact, they even have their own equivalent of Rush Limbaugh in the form of John and Ken, archconservative radio shock jocks who enforce discipline against any Republican even contemplating lenience on tax issues or undocumented immigrants and who make a habit of crude insults against the very groups Republicans are now appointing a diversity team to reach.

If Republicans want to know what future they have to look forward to, all they have to do is see what has happened to them in California. The only thing saving Republicans nationwide is simply that the country as a whole doesn’t quite resemble the demographics of California. Yet.

John and Ken’s Failed Fatwah Against Jeff Miller

Crossposted from Orange County Progressive

So, Jeff Miller of Orange has the fatwa issued against him.

Assemblyman Jeff Miller, whose gerrymandered district includes parts of Orange County, has been targeted for recall by heads-on-a-stick radio shock jocks, Ken Dumb and John Dumber.

We were delighted to see them launch this campaign, because it’s going to show how impotent they really are. Just as Rush Limbaugh is now the default leader of the national Republican party, these drive-time blowhards are the true spokesmen for the California Republicans.

Here’s their plan as it unfolds:

1.) Hold a live drawing on-air to choose a human sacrifice.

2.) Issue a fatwah!

3.) Call for a taxpayer revolt to rise up against Jeff Miller.

4.) ……….

5.) Crickets

Their egos were inflated when their ranting fueled the taxpayer revolt against the car tax, the recall of Gray Davis and the election of the Governator.

While they gave these campaigns massive free publicity, the heavy lifting, signature-gathering, and election were all funded with huge expenditures by millionaires like Darrell Issa and other skippers from the Yacht Party.

Without the big money and their hired guns, this  effort is rapidly becoming a sad little joke, nothing more than a website, forum, and Facebook group.

The Jeff Miller Recall attempt will show that these savages, who have adopted the language of Muslim extremists, are just as out-of-touch and irrelevant as Limbaugh.

And just when you think there’s nothing happening, you can do a little research and find this event promoted on the internet, part of the new Republican sophistication in using technology to communicate.

On Saturday, March 7th, there will be a massive anti-tax rally at the Slide Bar Cafe in Fullerton held by KFI AM 640’s “shock jock jihadists” John and Ken. We are protesting the recent passage of the largest single tax increase in any state in the 232 1/2 year saga of these fruited plains by the Effeminator formerly known as the Governator formerly known as the Terminator formerly known as a steroid-injecting, pot-smoking, tittie-groping, knuckle-dragging “forehead”. Are you going to let this thick-skulled Austrialopithecus run you and your loved ones out of the greatest state in the greatest nation in the history of mankind? HELL NO! Neither will we suffer the continued tyranny of his cronies – especially those in the Republican Party – who either voted for or were complicit in this steaming horse turd of a budget.

This is only the first of many.


P.S. Homeless and illegal alien riff-raff welcome.

Death Cult Simmers Throughout The State

I’m reading the accounts of delusional maniacs from across the state with not a little bit of bemusement.  The lack of economic thought is matched only by the lack of recognition that Republicans got far more out of this budget than they deserved to get, thanks to the anti-democratic 2/3 requirement.  Here’s a sample of this Algonquin Roundtable:

“The Republicans should have stood their ground,” fumed 70-year-old Tony Dragonetti. “Abel Maldonado is sick, and so are the other Republicans who voted for this. They give the you-owe-me crowd everything they need, but the poor slob who is working day after day paying taxes gets nothing.” […]

“I think they could have held out. There are a lot more cuts they could have made,” said Steve Pyle, 61, who said he was so unhappy with the country’s direction that he seriously was considering moving to Australia. “They could start by getting rid of all the illegal immigrants and the teachers unions.” […]

“I don’t believe everything would have stopped if this budget wasn’t passed,” Sanders said. “I support what the Republicans did.”

Local GOP activist Adele Harrison predicted new taxes would push the state and country into a depression […]

Terry Carter, 65, just smiled behind the counter and kept pouring coffee. The boisterous regulars have helped keep him in business for 22 years. As for his own opinions, he keeps those to himself.

“Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is listen,” he said.

Well, that depends on who you’re listening to.  For example, listening to talk radio is most definitely NOT the smartest thing you can do.  I’ve been tuning in to a lot of this down in Southern California, and the ignorance abounds.  A typical commenter is a well-off suburbanite bitching about $700 bucks in new taxes for their $126,000 salary (that was an actual conversation).  Roger Niello, one of the Yacht Party’s own who voted for the budget, got hammered on a Sacramento station.

John in Sacramento warned, “You’re going to bankrupt the state with taxes.”

And Dave in Cameron Park told Niello he was “outraged that you, as a Republican, caved in and voted with Democrats.” […]

“You should have let (California) fall off a cliff,” John from Sacramento told him. “Then, we pick up the pieces and put this state together, the way it used to be.” (emphasis mine)

This is the suicide cult politics played by the GOP.  And it features a lot of righteous anger and talk of censure and recalls and primary challenges.  There’s even some Ventura County Supervisor and anti-tax nut who’s mulling a run for Governor as the conservative alternative.

But I’m not sure it’s such a force anymore.  The John and Ken show ended Thursday with the two musing that “somebody should do something about this” and asking listeners to find each other to fight against the turncoats.  In other words, they’re not going to lead it.  Ultimately, these are lazy people shouting at the end of the bar.  Independents have turned dramatically against them, and the leader of the party won’t show up at their convention.  I don’t know that they’re entirely coordinated, after years of mismanagement and an almost broke state party apparatus, to even pull off the enforcer role.  If someone like Anthony Adams survives a primary challenge, that would be a powerful signal that the Yacht Party is all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

In fact, in maybe the most pathetic rallying speech I’ve ever heard in my lifetime, neo-Hooverist South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford argued for losing now, losing tomorrow, losing forevah!

“We are at the incredible gut check point for what happens next in American civilization,” Sanford said in the introductory address for the state party’s three-day Sacramento convention […]

“Would you be willing to lose? Would you be willing to support folks who may likely lose,” Sanford told the gathering at the Capitol Hyatt. He went on to say that it was paramount for party members to support the GOP “at a time when it may look like a losing cause” because their efforts will be “pushing the ball forward in the larger conservative movement.”

California Republicans: Willing To Lose.