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Saturday, August 16, 2003

Canterbury Calls,
Colbert Castigates...

Tony Adragna
Mr. King has a bit of advice for the "Primates of the Anglican Communion"
What is it about Anglicans and sex? With millions of children starving around the globe, thousands dying each day from AIDs and sections of world capitals such as Baghdad and Washington turned into free-fire zones, bishops in the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church USA, have been summoned to an extraordinary meeting in England by their spiritual leader, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury. Once gathered, they will take up the subject of fleshly union between consenting Anglican adults of the same gender, one of whom happens to be an Episcopalian bishop.

One would think that Anglican clergy had better things to do with their time...

First, the archbishop.

He isn't exactly a direct gift from God, having come to his job by way of a good word from the British prime minister and a final sign-off by the queen of England. In fact, on the Anglican table of organization, Queen Elizabeth occupies a slot somewhere between the archbishop and the Almighty, inasmuch as Her Majesty holds the title of supreme governor of the Church of England, thus making her the person who appoints the top Church of England mucketymucks including archbishops, bishops and deans of cathedrals. All of which would be rather nice to know but not essential to one's spiritual journey except that in the Anglican world, having the British royal family in the hierarchal loop poses a ticklish problem.

It is called Charles, the Prince of Wales...

[T]o my African brothers.

Bishops of the Anglican Church in Africa, with a few exceptions, seem the most ruffled by the thought of sharing their exalted positions with newly confirmed, openly gay American Bishop V. Gene Robinson. They, along with their conservative counterparts in the United States and England, would probably take a walk if the Anglican Communion ever got around to sanctioning same-sex unions.

But how far does their puritanical streak extend?

Well, it seems they are on board with the idea of marriage between a man and woman in lifelong union -- that "monogamy is God's plan," as delegates to the Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference put it in 1988. But some of their flock on the African continent (and, it is said, one or two of the bishops themselves) are also into the practice of stretching God's plan to make marriage an arrangement between a man and several women -- or polygamy as it is otherwise known. And what sayeth the Anglican Communion to that?...

Recognizing that they couldn't stop the practice -- and not wanting to lose converts to the growing African church -- the primates of the Anglican Communion bought the argument, posited by Africa's polygamy proponents, that it would be unkind for new converts to Christianity to discard their extra wives; that putting away the extras would cause social deprivation and be regarded as rejection of African culture. I can imagine trying out that argument on Gwen, my wife of 42 years.

Ah, but the growing cultural acceptance of gays and lesbians in some Western communities and in Episcopal parishes cuts no ice with our African brothers. The concept of "pastorally sensitive compromises with culture" works just fine for them and their needs. To hell with everybody else. Of course it's all said with due regard for the redemptive power of unmerited suffering and for making the church a welcoming place for everybody.

If I were a bishop, I'd stay home . . . and begin drafting a second Declaration of Independence.
No comment... said what I had to already...

On the same op-ed page, Robert Bauer writes of "The Recall as Reform Politics" He's the same problem I do with " media commentators" for whom the recall "seems to be going over badly." I think this says it all
The recall is indeed an offense against the political order -- it is a revolt against electoral politics and not, as its advocates would claim, its purest form. It is fueled by all of the contemporary shibboleths of contemporary reform politics: the dark role of special interests and negative campaigning; the role of money; the vices of partisanship and political parties; the virtues of political amateurism and unfettered electoral competition.
Again, nothing more to add... Well, I do: You'd think those folks — like George Will — upset with trying to unconstitutionally restrict political activity — laws like the recent campaign finance reform — would welcome this type of reform...

Friday, August 15, 2003

They Get C-SPAN in Jamaica?

Tony Adragna
Sorry, I know the folks in Jamaica get C-SPAN, but if I was there I'd be spending my time doing something a bit more fun than watching me on t.v....

Anyway, here's email from Kingston, Jamaica
I thought you and your colleague did very well. At least you weren't as glib as some I've seen. I hope your joint reasonableness will serve as a good example for some of the intemperate callers (mostly Republicans) who can hear no merit in what others think and say. I had thought, however, that either of you might have pointed out that last night's blackout demonstrated that the Homeland Security people have not really done anything to address the practical things that should happen immediately there is a dangerous occurrence. If it had been a terrorist strike, millions would have died in the subway tunnels and on the street! For one thing, all commercial buildings, particularly high rises, should have generators so that people can stay inside rather than have to contemplate sleeping on the streets! Second, I can't believe that there is no efficient plan in place for getting people up from underground swiftly, or for moving large numbers of people from the epicentre of the occurence. The focus on airport security may be an example of racial contempt, because it seems to assume that the terroists are only 'one-idea people'. If all the brainy people who are working on how to "weaponise space" would put their genius to helping their own people on earth, the future for all of us would look less grim.
Yea, we're still debating over how much money to get to first responders we count on to deal with mass casualties in the case of an actual terrorist event, and there's the question of how the money's gonna get to the line folks — through the state governments, regional entities, local governments...

Definitely, Homeland Security ought want to invest in fixing some of problems related to responding situations like the blackout, because these same issues will present in extremis in a large scale terrorist attack.

And believe it, there simply is no efficient way to move the numbers of people were talking 'bout here — New York City alone has a population of around 8 million ... that's roughly 3X Jamaica's population in roughly 1/10th the square mileage... NYC 303 square miles: Jamaica 4,244 square miles

I could go on...


Tony Adragna
Just finished watching the tape, Will — you got some good quotage in there! Especially your advice to conspiracy theorists... LOL!

When Mr. Lamb said "Italian" & I said "Sicilian" and he was like "close enough," I'm surprised I didn't strenuously object — that's a sore spot in the cultural ego of we swarthy island folk who've more in common with North Africa & Greece than with those conquerers from the mainland...

I'm still cracking up over the callers....

p.s. I also didn't want to correct Mr. Lamb on air — I probably wasn't very clear with Andrea, but I was actually born in Sacramento, and I was stationed aboard a Sub tender forward deployed at Guam... just gotta keep things honest...

Restructuring the Restructuring...
FERC Maybe Should Do Some Rethinking, Ya Think...

Tony Adragna
Via the source Will turns to first, we've got clues to what happened
MICHEHL GENT, PRESIDENT of the North American Electric Reliability Council, or NERC, said in a conference call with reporters that investigators had determined that a section of the power grid known as the Lake Erie loop experienced a “oscillating power phenomenon” that lasted nine or 10 seconds at the outset of Thursday’s outage.

That event — which saw a 300 megawatt eastward flow of electricity quickly reverse into a 500 megawatt flow to the west — caused other transmission lines and power plants on the grid to shut down as protection systems automatically disconnected them to prevent damaging equipment, he said.

Gent cautioned that the investigation is in the early stages and said the team of experts he is assembling may not be able to pinpoint the cause until next week.
And further on
Despite the clues pointing to Ohio, investigators cannot explain why safeguards designed to isolate such a problem had failed to prevent the power failures from hopscotching around the regional electrical grid.

“If we’ve designed a system for this not to happen, how did it happen?” Gent said during Friday’s conference call. “I can’t answer that question and I’m embarrassed that I can’t, and I’m dedicated to finding out what the answer is and taking action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Well, at least one "safeguard" worked — that which is designed to protect equipment from catastrophic damage when overloaded by demands not designed to meet. But, it doesn't seem that the "interconnection" puzzle that was at issue during The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 has been solved.

Sure, "a single disturbance can be detected thousands of miles away," but are we any better prepared to respond in a way that keeps the juice flowing.

Maybe FERC ought give some more thought to reliability issues before going further...

C-SPAN Was Ready For Us

Will Vehrs
Tony, I was pleased with our joint appearance. We didn't know quite what to expect (I thought we'd get booted before we even started because of blackout coverage) and it's always easy in retrospect to think of what we might have said differently.

The folks at CSPAN were fantastic, though. They calmed our nerves and explained everything well--we even got souvenir coffee mugs. Brian Lamb is a great guy--he powdered my nose before we went on camera.

One semi-quibble--I'll take our Refuge posters over the callers we had any day!

PS Just for the record, I'm posting this from work--I came in a little early, so I hope it's okay. Governor Warner, did you hear my plug?

Were We Ready for C-SPAN?

Tony Adragna
Dude, I'm glad I couldn't see the monitor — that would've totally whacked me out... I had fun! And it was really cool that guy on the street told us he watched and thought we did good! I'll hafta watch it...

Didn't even bother me that I was called "wishy-washy" — better than being told that I was clueless...

Just checked the email — got some reaction already
I'm sure you're patting yourself on the back right now; my, I was so kind and sweet! Everyone loves me! You know there's a heavy leaning toward the right as compared to '92-'00 where the press would lambast anything
associated with Democrats or anyone who wasn't falling in lockstep with the persecution of Bill Clinton. For crying out loud, they've turned Liberal into a cuss word and being conservative into an attribute! It's obvious you have a brain, it's just too bad we end up having our side represented by such tiny, desperate people like yourself who, by hoping not to offend anyone, educate no one!
Hey, I'm patting myself on the back just for not passing out. "Hoping not to offend" isn't for any kind of cynical reason — it's of a virtue called charity. But I've never shied from writing something folks may find offensive. I like to be more thoughtful, rather than stirring the pot just for the sake of making a stink — so, I won't respond to the "tiny, desperate" bit.

Another correspondent writes
Congratulations on a very interesting appearance this morning!
I have a question for you gentlemen.

A European friend of mine asks me, "why is it that the most powerful nation ever has a) a health care system that doesn't work, b) a k-12 public school system that doesn't work, c) election vote counting systems that don't work and d) an energy system that doesn't work?" and all this before yesterday's event where 50 million people lost electrical power.

Can either of you suggest a response?
All good questions — no easy answers... I'm sure we'll touch on those topics in due course...

And I've been given another reading assignment
If you do not read, you surely should. I would direct your attention to and article by Belva Ann Prycel. The article is titled "Impeachable Offenses"/ She speaks in this article for millions of Americans.

Also if you are not checking the website Of William Rivers Pitt, you should.

You may already know about
Mark Morford's column, since you are from CA, but if you are not, you might want to read it also.

I enjoyed your visit to C-SPAN. You did real well for someone who has never been there before. You might want to consider non-glare glasses if you go on TV again.
I'll certainly read their opinions, but I'll speak for myself, thank you... and thanks for the pat on the back, too...

Also got a comment at our old discussion forum
May I assume that the Democrat who formerly was a Catholic seminarian is either no longer a Catholic or is a Catholic in name only since no Catholic who believes in the tenets of the Church can be a member of a party which espouses abortion. Otherwise, I guess this is another case of his being a cafeteria Catholic who picks and chooses among the commandments.
Well, first, there are plenty of pro-life Democrats who oppose abortion & plenty of pro-choice Republicans who don't want to make abortions illegal. Also, I'll refer the writer to the answer I gave a moment ago...

And we've a first time poster who expands on your "more reasons" line, Will — makes sense...

The only thing I regret is having said I'd never vote for a Republican — that's what happens when I've not thought through my response. 'Course, I'd never not vote for someone just because they're the Republican candidate, just as I'd never vote Democratic just for the sake of the party... I'm interested in The Candidate, and last election cycle I didn't vote for either of the two-parties' candidates... I'd vote for A.S. despite being nominally a Republican...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

A Mini Baby-Boom in the Future?

Tony Adragna
Hey... no t.v. or internet access, how 'ya gonna keep entertained? Hmmm....

I didn't hear 'bout this blackout 'til I got home — I thought everybody already worked out procedures for keeping these problems localized. As interconnected as transmission is, there is still supposed to be an ability to cut the connection at nodes.

I 'spose it's not quite that simple, but it does seem to me that the outage spread further than the point at which we're supposed to be prepared to isolate the problem...

Oh, well...

Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Tony Adragna
I found this bit of Brother Bob's commentary interesting
It is no secret that President Bush's political advisers were cool to recalling Davis. They relished the thought of the universally disliked governor twisting in the wind throughout 2004, helping Bush win in a state that surely would smother Democratic presidential hopes. But that delicious prospect has disappeared. The question is: Who will replace Davis?
Well, Davis' continued "twisting in the wind" carries with it continued problems for the good folks of California — would these same "political advisors" reslish that, too? Hey, this is Mr. Novak — he's got good source...

I remember a certain "star poster" taking to task another certain "star poster" on that same sort of political reasoning vis a vis Mr. Bush's handling of the economy...

Anywho, I think the last graf is right on
... Schwarzenegger's posture as a pro-business social liberal is similar to what former Gov. Pete Wilson advocated as the last Republican elected to high office in California (in 1994). No genuine conservative has been elected in California since Ronald Reagan in 1970. Arnold Schwarzenegger may not be much of a Republican and not conservative at all, but George W. Bush welcomes anybody invigorating a comatose California GOP.
I don't think the outcome means as much as some argue re Bush '04. Pete Wilson had just been elected in '90 when Bush the Elder was campaining against Gov. Clinton — Clinton carried the state. Wilson was reelected in '94, and so was Clinton in '98.

California is gonna look at Bush in '04 and make up their minds then...

Update: via The Ben File, here's the cast of characters[pdf] — 135 isn't as bad as expected...

Is C-SPAN Ready for Us?

QP Staff
Fans of the Q-spot — we know there are some few of yous out there — may want to tune into WASHINGTON JOURNAL tomorrow morning at 8:00 [or earlier if you want — it's always a good program]... that's all we're saying for now!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Obesity Suits You!

Tony Adragna
Can't think of anything to write, so I'll share some Dahlia Lithwick with you
There is something creepily paternalistic in the arguments put forth by the food nannies. They tend to say that while they are smart enough to read labels or look up fat contents on the Wendy's Web site, the poor, disadvantaged single mommies are not that sophisticated. One would hope that even the poorest single mom knows that eating McNuggets every day is unhealthy. And—since obesity doesn't happen in a day—one would hope that even the most unsophisticated parent would cut back on the KFC if her child started to split her Wranglers.

But there is something equally creepy in the efforts to stave off the Big Food suits either with ridicule or with legislative action—including the "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" now in markup, which would limit liability for food producers from obesity lawsuits. Even frivolous lawsuits deserve their day in court. That's why we have judges: to throw them out.

The best solution doubtless lies someplace between the absurd extremes. As Ben Kelly points out in today's Washington Post, Big Food will likely survive just by moderating its behavior, posting warnings, and taking it easy on peddling their junk to the kiddies. But we may want to keep an eye on the John Banzhafs of the world, who have observed that their next target may well be "Big Milk"—full of saturated fats and cholesterol and not nearly as healthy as those moustache commercials would suggest.

Got a lawyer?
I did read Benn Kelly's op-ed this morning, and did intend to write something 'bout it, but Dahlia just has such a way with words... Gotta go eat my daily fix pork fat now...

Chucklehead Nose Bloodying

Will Vehrs
Tony, you've got nine "chuckleheads" trying to bloody President Bush's nose. The only way to stand out in that crowd is to bloody one or more of the other nine noses, too. I'm actually surprised that the Democrats haven't done more bloodying of each other, but hear me now and believe me later--if Howard Dean opens up a decent lead and holds it, you'll have Terry McAuliffe calling Ferdie Paecheco, "the fight doctor," for references on good corner cut men.

Dean, Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman will fight to the death for this nomination. Lieberman is the only one that I think would consider bowing out gracefully, although Gephardt might settle for the VP nomination. This is probably the last chance for these four. I'm not including Edwards in the fight to the death group because of his relative youth and the chance he has to run again in NC or take a high profile "candidate in waiting" job when his Senate term expires.

PS: I hope I haven't "Ueckerized" Ferdie's last name and I hope the old Ali confidante is still in the arena ....

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Now Back to the National Desk...
Will Rogers' Party is Still Disorganized

Tony Adragna
You can read Dan Balz's report on last night's episode of Who Wants to be the Democratic Nominee [when are the chuckleheads gonna stop bloodying each others' noses?], or you can read observations from the first[?] press credentialed blogger, Adam at Throwing Things. "Senator Palpatine" is my pick, too. What Adam wrote 'bout Sharpton is interesting
Sharpton closed by recounting how his grandmother told him that the only way to move a donkey was by slapping it around, and he intended to keep slapping around the Democratic Party across the country. The party needs his message . . . but as for the messenger himself . . . .
I also appreciate Howard Dean's "needling of Sen. Kerry on his vote in favor of the present war." Here's what Balz wrote of Kerry's defense
Kerry defended his vote for the resolution, saying he voted to give Bush the threat to use force "to hold Saddam Hussein accountable," but that Bush "didn't understand how to do that properly." He said his reservations about going to war when Bush did so have been justified by the post-conflict instability that continues in Iraq. "We're now learning they went to war without an adequate plan to win the peace," he said.[emphasis added]
Remember, I urge[d] the members to vote no back on Oct. 8, and Kerry is stuck with having voted Aye on the resolution. To argue now that he was only voting for the issuance of a"threat to use force" is as unserious as Mr. Bush's then argument that "this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable."

Kerry bloodied his own nose, there...

Revise & Extend: I'm just recalling that, as noted in commentary on the resolution's passage, "some senators stood up in the chamber and actually made the argument that this resolution moves us further from the realization of a war" — that is, they bought Mr. Bush's argument. Don't recall that Kerry was one of those, but if it was, then his then defense of the vote was just as lame as that he makes now. Joe Biden, whose decision to not run has some folks gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle[not meself, as I never expected himself to run] tried to impress upon his colleagues the import of that vote, even as he was convincing himself to vote Aye...

California's Clothespin Contest,
or, Agreeing with Mickey — Musta Lost My Mind,
or, Tony Prefers Peasant Food...

Tony Adragna
I'll start with Larry Sabato's opinion
[...] Gray Davis is not in as bad a position as many think. Virtually the entire "good government" elite of all parties, newspapers, and commentators are opposed to the recall--even if they detest Davis. If Davis is smart, he won't try to win this as a personal endorsement (he can't possibly) or even as a partisan witch hunt, with the claim that it's all a plot by the bad old Republican right-wing to take over. Instead, he can win by pretending he's not really at issue. It's the process, stupid. The symbol of the Davis "campaign" ought to be the clothespin and his supporters should hand them out by the hundreds of thousands on October 7 at the polls. By wearing the clothespin, a voter can say to the world, "Like most tasteful people, I dislike Gray Davis, but I dislike the recall process more."[emphasis original]
Prof. Sabato starts with the intent that "[t]his Progressive Movement innovation of the early nineteenth century was to be used only in extremis," then tells us of what an extreme circumstance consists. In Sabato's opinion, a recall in the instant case unwarranted. But, I'm of a mind that those same Progressives might just as well look at the current state of the political process and decide that the recall process is the indicated prescription.

The Progressive reformers were about putting government back into the hands of The People.

All of those things that Sabato's admits of Gov. Davis — "patently unappetizing politician ... almost consistently taken the low road in demonizing opponents and politicizing issues unnecessarily... a toll-booth for special interests in the governor's office, and [he] actually enjoy[s] the compromising fundraising that most politicians privately abhor" — made the '02 gubernatorial race a clothespin election
[Davis'] re-election campaign in 2002 didn't help his image. He raised more than $70 million in what some described as a voracious and unseemly pursuit of contributions, and then he launched one of the most negative campaigns in recent memory.

Facing a potentially formidable opponent in Richard Riordan, the former Republican mayor of Los Angeles, Davis took an unprecedented step. He spent $9 million on ads scathing Riordan in the GOP primary, clearing the way for a much weaker candidate, Bill Simon, to win the nomination.

It was a tactical masterstroke from a pit-bull campaigner. But it so soured voters that turnout in the general election hit an all-time low for a California governor's race. Davis won by a slim margin and called the whole episode "a humbling experience."

"It was your classic clothespin election, when people on both sides put a clothespin to their nose and made a choice," said John Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

One leading Democrat had a harsher rebuke: "It was a puke campaign," Attorney General Bill Lockyer told the Sacramento Bee recently, underscoring just how isolated Davis is even within his party.
"Humbling", huh? Davis doesn't seem to be any more humble than he was prior to the '02 election — that's why he's about to get humbled right out of office.

"[A]ll-time low" voter turnout in the political-process-as-usual campaing of '02 — why is that? Maybe, um... voters are tired of successive clothespin elections? There's gotta be something better than the choice between two versions of ugly [my belief in that assertion being why I voted for Spear Lancaster in Maryland's gubernatorial race last November — I want more than the two-party system offered on that ballot].

Notwithstanding that Issa got this ball rolling for what only a naif would deny are partisan political reasons, 'tis a badly paved road that's got more good than ill at its end.

George Will's "plebiscitary cynicism" translates into a plebeian revolution against all those "'good government' elite of both parties" that Sabato says we ought emulate if wanting to be "tasteful people." Let me tell you something about taste — I much prefer braised veal shank, instead of "osso buco."

Revolutionary, I say it is, and there are potential dangers not to be dismissed lightly. But those dangers, too, are a "feature, not a bug" — politicians have become much to comfortable in their seats...

Now, if I could just figure out how to start one of these campaigns against Gov. Ehrlich...

Addendum: George Will is right about the "multiplication of government-imposed costs [to business], such as paid family leave." I think, though, that businesses have more pressing cost containment issues, like the rising cost of unemployment insurance premiums — they've been speeding along at about the same pace the average California motorist sets on Interstate 5 between Stockton and the Grapevine...

A Plague on Everyone's House, or Recall's a Beach

Will Vehrs
The two strains of thinking on California's recall are starkly contrasted by two of my favorite columnists today.

In this corner, wearing a bowtie and appearing to have swallowed a lemon, is George Will, eviscerating Arianna Huffington, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the whole recall enterprise. Will says the few conservatives in California will vote against the recall "to protest its plebiscitary cynicism." He wants California's Republican Party to come out of the recall badly. His cause, conservatism, will come out well only if there is "ruin all around."

Heading for the red corner, after having just stepped out of a flashy sports car, is Mickey Kaus, energized and engaged in the wild free-for-all that is the recall. I cannot do Mickey's breathless style justice as he examines, re-examines, and then turns conventional wisdom on its head. He loves this story and it shows.

I guess I'm in the middle . . . I largely agree with George Will, but I love riding with Mickey. Where'd he get that idea of using "American Idol" as a model to winnow the California field? Not from a guy suggesting "Last Comic Standing," I bet ....

Sunday, August 10, 2003
Updated 1:20 AM 8/11

California & France — Comparable?

Tony Adragna
There are similarities. Going back to that economic forecast[pdf] I looked at ealier, it's got a table on page 18 listing the world's 21 largest economies as of 2001. France & California are tied for fifth
France 1,310 billions
California 1,309 billions
France's state budget deficit is looking like 3.5% of GDP — California's $38 billion would be about 3% of GSP[Gross State Product].

The French economy certainly suffers from slow growth, but there's also been criticism of overspending on social benefits and a surrender to unions. Ditto California.

Not trying to really make something of the comparison, just thought it interesting for some reason...

Update: Just remembered why it's interesting. Here's something Darrell Issa said on Meet The Press
[T]here will be a mandate for whoever is the next candidate to be different, to be positive, to be assertive and to bring California back from what is, in fact, being a financial laughingstock of the world. You know, we’re the fifth-largest economy, but we’re not run like the fifth-largest economy.[emphasis added]
But, it appears that California is being run like the fifth largest economy — the other one.

I also read over DiFi's words, Will — she's reading off the same page as the economists. Funny that...

Justice Kennedy on Mandatory Injustice

Tony Adragna
Here's Justice Kennedy speaking to the ABA about prison sentences
"Our resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long," Kennedy said in remarks prepared for delivery to the annual meeting of the American Bar Association.

"I can accept neither the necessity nor the wisdom of federal mandatory minimum sentences," Kennedy said. "In too many cases, mandatory minimum sentences are unwise or unjust."


The justice asked the ABA to lobby Congress to repeal mandatory minimum sentence laws, even though they have withstood court scrutiny.

"Courts may conclude the legislature is permitted to choose long sentences, but that does not mean long sentences are wise or just," Kennedy said...

Kennedy also urged the ABA to consider working to extend pardons for state and federal prisoners serving harsh terms.

"The pardon process, of late, seems to have been drained of its moral force. Pardons are infrequent," he said. "A people confident in its laws and institutions should not be ashamed of mercy."

Kennedy asked lawyers to think about the consequences of the current prison system, including what he called its "remarkable scale" of about 2.1 million people behind bars nationwide and the fact that about 40 percent of the prison population is black.

"It is no defense if our current system is more the product of neglect than of purpose," Kennedy said.
A good place to start on reductions in the prison population & getting rid of unjust sentencing would be doing something about drug laws...

California's Recovery Does Not Save Davis

Tony Adragna
DiFi is correct — California's economy is turning around for the better. According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp's 2003 - 2004 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook[pdf]
While many forces will be at work on the California economy during 2003 and into 2004, most of the local headlines will be focused on the state budget deficit and the impact of remediation efforts on cuonsumers, business and government. Further complicating the economic picture will be the slowq recovery of the Bay Area which the national media often use as a proxy for the state as a whole. California's economy will continue to struggle during the early months of 2003, but will start to show some life as the year progresses. Growth in 2004 will be more robust. [pg 12]
That comports with reporting on last December's UCLA Anderson Forecast, and the State of California Economic Forecast as of July '03 still sees improvement despite the recovery's sluggish performance so far.

What's interesting is that, at least the way I read the forecasts, it looks like the forecasters are basing their positive predictions on the stimulative impact of national fiscal policy. What does DiFi put as the reason for the turnaround in California's economy. If she can make the case that it's due to the program of Davis & California Democrats, then she can still bash the national GOP's economic program. If she accepts the turnaround is due to federal tax cuts & spending, then she has to admit that her vote for the '01 tax cut was correct.


Either way, Davis isn't safe. Again, I tell 'ya, Davis' problem is just plain 'ol vanilla lack of leadership ability.

Celebrities v. Pols Just heard Jerry Brown on Harball. He reminds how his own father — Gov. Pat Brown, 1959 - 1967 — made the error of underestimating actor Ronald Reagan, then lost.

Democratic Disconnect

Will Vehrs
Senator Diane Feinstein (D, CA) was on Meet the Press this morning, defending Governor Gray Davis. According to her, the California economy is turning around!

Do the Democratic presidential candidates know about this?