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Archive for 2009



Swap Meet: Milk Carton Alert for Obama

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

barack-obama-is-on-fire“The Battle for America 2008,” the new memoir of last year’s presidential campaign by Washposters Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, is a terrific read that, among other things, serves as a reminder of how consistent, clear and disciplined Team Obama was in delivering his message throughout the race.

Which leads Calbuzz to the obvious question: What ever happened to that guy?

The president-elect met with Balz and Johnson at his transition headquarters in Chicago six weeks after the election and offered this post-game assessment of his own campaign:

“What was remarkable in my mind about our campaign was we never really changed our theory,” the president-elect told them. “You could read the speech we gave the day I announced and then read my speech on election night and it was pretty consistent.”

True enough, but then how in the world can a guy who runs one of the most masterful message campaigns in history manage to do such a dog-ass job of explaining the two most important and defining initiatives  shaping his presidency: 1) How the economic stimulus is supposed to work and 2) What he’s trying to accomplish with health care reform.

Sure, the Republican attack machine is doing its best to create confusion and misapprehension. But it’s the White House Office of Communications’ job to explain things in simple language, lay out the general and specific issues at hand and rally support for these ideas. And this time, Team Obama is getting outflanked at every turn by naysayers, wingnuts and imbeciles, not to put too fine a point on it.

The message really ought to be fairly straightforward: The people versus a) rich investment bankers and b) the insurance companies.

Anything else makes the issues clear as mud. We’re just sayin’.

chuck devore

Welcome to the NFL, Carly: If Carly Fiorina is watching gal pal Meg Whitman’s head-stuck-up, uh, in-the-clouds campaign for governor and thinking –- Hey, this whole politics thing looks easy! — Chuck DeVore just delivered a smack upside her skull that might bring her back down to earth.

Devore, the red meat Republican Assemblyman from Irvine, is a long shot contender for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat who’s been limbering up for the race by taking some not-half-bad cheap shots at Babs, but set aside a couple minutes this week to take a few whacks at Fiorina, who’s been sending signals from her Peninsula manse about seeking the GOP nomination.

Chowing down in D.C. with some true believers from the staff of The American Spectator, DeVore dissed his future party rival as a squish and a “self-funded dilettante” who got canned as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and booted off the McCain-for-President campaign for being a bonehead. As the conservative rag’s Brian O’Connell reported:

“‘Never in California’s history has a self-funded dilettante ever won any top office, Governor or Senate,’ the candidate said this morning at a breakfast sponsored by TAS and Americans for Tax Reform, when asked about a potential primary challenge from Fiorina. DeVore pointedly told attendees that Fiorina was fired from Hewlett Packard and from the McCain campaign for making several gaffes. He criticized her for supporting the financial bailout and said her views on most  policy issues were unknown. Moreover, he questioned whether Fiorina’s wealth, which he estimated at around $40 million, would even allow her to self-fund in a state such as California, with a population of 37 million and many expensive media markets. He also took issue with Sen. John Cornyn, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for ‘already making up his mind’ to support Fiorina, even though she hasn’t declared her candidacy.”

There were no injuries.

samiam

Holy Pocket, Sam! We LOVE this item from Anna Handzlik at Politico, who got a tip that a Good Samaritan found Congressman Sam Farr’s wallet in a Santa Cruz men’s room and returned it to him. But only after noticing that the Democrat from Carmel had in his wallet “a card marked ‘confidential’ that describes rendezvous points for congressmen in case of national emergencies.”

The finder, who described himself as a “supporter of single-payer health care,” reported that when he asked Farr’s aide if he’d noticed his wallet was missing, the aide nodded and said, “It’s been a real crazy morning.”

dr-hackenflackYe Old Mailbag: Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, who 40 years ago this weekend found his bliss while writhing in the Woodstock mud, tore himself away from his synthetic mescaline flashbacks long enough to pick the Top 5 comments of the past seven days from Calbuzz readers, the crème de la crème of California’s cognoscenti class.

1-sqrjn-sqrin said, of Tuesday’s rant assailing Obama’s reported pact-with-the-devil deal with the pharmaceutical industry:

“The Obama letdown continues. At least their secret deals aren’t with Oil execs right? Big Pharma’s better than Big Oil, right?

I don’t know which is worse. A.) the white house is making closed door deals with industry people and then lying about it B.) they didn’t make a deal, but this is a symptom that they are totally frazzled and disorganized, progressing quickly to screwing the pooch on a major reform.”

2-Divebomber responded to Berkeley professor Geoffrey Nunberg’s “Fresh Air” essay on political linguistics thusly:

“I disagree with Prof. Nunberg that the GOP successes to this point in the debate about state-run health care are the result of an implied negative view of the term ‘government’…

“In reality, boiling the issue down to simple semantics speaks to the real issue with the democrats and their proxy’s such as Prof. Nunberg – arrogance. They refuse to believe (and in many cases, simply are unable to conceive) that those with logical opposing positions to theirs have any real intelligence or critical analysis ability, and thus are easily swayed by simple word games.”

3-Prospero offered this take on Monday’s analysis of the new Field Poll report on changing patterns of partisanship in California:

“Don’t misunderestimate the effect of the meltdown of the state GOP in nailing down the color chart. In large part, we elect Dems to statewide offices because the GOP has become content with their second-string in the legislature, and aren’t even interested in fielding moderates who might some day grow up to be contenders. That’s why so many of their recent gubernatorial candidates have to come from outside the legislature – or even elected office.

“Independents swing blue here because the the GOP likes being isolated with the right wing who will continually whisper sweet red nothings in their ear. On fiscal issues in particular, California’s voters might very well take a serious GOP candidate seriously. It’s no accident that they repeatedly reject blue-ish proposals from the Gov that didn’t seem very fiscally prudent.

The collapse of our state GOP leaves the field blue by default. But the Dems shouldn’t be flattered by that into thinking the DTSs are equally blue.”

4-cavala provided an historic coda to Calbuzz’s Big Think piece on Jerry Brown’s eyebrows:

“And i can remember when Jerry was accused of dying his sideburns gray to add gravitas to his run for Sec. of State.”

5-And, finally, pdperry questioned the accuracy and authenticity of Calbuzz reportage about ’60s fashion sense:

“head band”?! I’m sure you meant head bang…

Which drew a rare response from Dr. H. himself:

“Actually, in the olden days, long before there were head bangers, some young men actually wore head bands.

To which pd riposted: “oh, dude… i get it now.”

Oh dude, only 298 days until the primary.  Enjoy your weekend.

Friday Fishwrap: Polls, Pols, Snoozers and Gems

Friday, August 14th, 2009

MarkosScrewEmMoulitsasThe most intriguing point in the curious new  Daily Kos survey  is the odd finding that half of California Democrats say they are undecided between Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom in the 2010 primary for governor — a reported factoid that is likely to fuel speculation about a third candidate entering the race.

The survey of 600 likely voters (400 Democrats, we think*), done for the influential lefty web site by Research 2000, shows that  General Jerry  leads Prince Gavin, 29-to-20. (Note: the survey also shows gay marriage in a dead heat, with a whopping 54% of independents in favor — another puzzling result.)

Half the voters are also supposedly undecided on the GOP side (400 of them, too?*), where Meg Whitman leads Tom Campbell, 27-to-21 and Steve Poizner brings up the rear at 9. In general election match-ups, Brown leads all three Republican wannabes, with margins between 6 and 9 points, while Newsom ties all the GOP contenders.

With some Democratic insiders unhappy about the choice between Brown and Newsom — “What’s that old Leiber-Stoller song: ‘Is That All There Is?’” one grizzled SoCal pol told Calbuzz –- there’s been a spate of stories in recent days about a late entrant into the race, with the names of rich techie  Steve Westly and Rep. Loretta Sanchez thrown around most often.

But Westly couldn’t beat Phil Angelides, fercrineoutloud, and Sanchez has about 12 cents in the bank despite the good optics her campaign could present. If forced to name a long shot, Calbuzz would grudgingly go with Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who’s at least sitting on a wad of campaign cash. But we lean towards today’s conventional wisdom, propounded by our friend John Wildermuth that “the speculation is for entertainment value only.”

“Like them or not, the folks out there on the campaign trail right now — and that includes you, Jerry Brown –- are the ones you’re going to see on the primary ballot come June,” John Boy posted over at Fox and Hounds Daily.

Calbuzz has some questions about the poll’s methodology, but it reports data about both the race for governor and Barbara Boxer’s re-election bid, so at the least it’s fun to talk about. While Newsom and his faithful cheerleaders will doubtless trumpet the survey as proving that the race with Brown is tight, they’re unlikely to mention that the poll shows Prince Gavin is viewed negatively statewide: 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion while 40 percent view him favorably, which compares poorly to Brown who has a 48-to-37 percent positive image.

* Pollster weedwhacker questions: Research 2000 says, “A total of 600 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone. Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county. . . There was an over sample conducted among Democratic and Republican primary voters totaling 400. The margin of error is 5% for both.”

Calbuzz, with considerable experience at statewide polling in California wants to know: 1) If the survey had 600 “likely voters who vote regularly in state elections,” was the sample drawn from the voter list or was it a random distribution of telephone exchanges (RDD)? If the former, what’s the deal with a “cross-section of exchanges”? If the latter, how were likely voters identified? 2) Were voters called who only have cell phones? 3) If quotas were assigned, what’s with the “over sample” and how did the survey come up with 400 Democrats and Republicans from a total of 600 likely voters? 5) The demographics say there were 271 Democrats, 180 Republicans and 149 Independents (600) and also that there were 172 Democratic men and 228 Democratic women (400) and also 208 Republican men and 192 Republican women (400).  We don’t get the math. 6) How did the surveyors decide that 21% of the sample should be Hispanics? 7) Why are voters age 60+ only 19% of the sample? 8.  Were independents included in the primary match-ups?

If it’s news, it’s news to us: In what we thought at first was an exercise in  self-parody, the By God L.A. Times ran a Monday piece discovering the Parsky Commission, which has been laboring for months to rewrite California’s tax code, amid widespread reports and analysis of ideological battles within the group.

Earnestly hewing to the Times’ unwritten code – OK to write it last, as long as you write it long – Eric Bailey churned out a 1,000 word snoozer including such astonishing scoops as this:

“A 14-member panel of political appointees dubbed the Commission on the 21st Century Economy has been meeting quietly since the start of the year to ponder potentially revolutionary changes.”

(Uh, actually, not all that quietly, bro).

“As envisioned by Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders, the notion was to bring together a collection of mostly apolitical wonks to settle issues that deeply divide the Capitol.

It has not been easy.”

Stop the presses, Maude – the Times says there’s politics afoot at the Parsky Commission!

Why Tterry grosserry Gross should be enshrined: Calbuzz pick for smartest political piece of the week is Geoffey Nunberg’s NPR essay on Terry’s  “Fresh Air” about the Republican success in reframing political debate by reinventing  usage of the word “government.”

Nunberg, a professor of linguistics at UC Berkeley, said the GOP is winning the fight over health care reform primarily by deriding Democratic proposals as medicine-by-government:

“In sickness and in health, Republicans have always been better than Democrats at singing from the same hymnal, and right now they’re all turned to the page that’s headed “government takeover.” The charge makes supporters of the Democrats’ health care plans apoplectic. There’s nothing remotely like that in the plans, they say — it’s like equating the provision of public toilets with a takeover of the nation’s bathrooms. Even so, the supporters would as soon leave the word government out of the conversation, which is why they describe the proposed federally run insurance program as the “public option.” Public is the word we use when we want to talk about government approvingly, by focusing on its beneficiaries -– as in public schools, public servants, public lands, and public works.”

Nunberg traced the roots of “government” as epithet back to Wendell Wilkie, but credited Ronald Reagan with finishing off the partisan task of turning it into a curse word:

“Reagan’s real contribution was to shrink the cast of characters to a simple opposition between government and “the people.” Big business was eliminated from the political landscape, absorbed into “the market,” where everyone was free to shop around for the ripest tomatoes. You could no longer ask the question, “Whose side is government on?” — government simply was the other side.”

The transcript of the piece is here and a podcast is here.

056686h1

Not so fast there: Chronster Carla Marinucci had the best second day story on the decision by Equality California, the state’s leading gay rights group, to delay until 2012 a new gay marriage initiative, reporting on the anger amid more populist gay groups determined to push a measure for 2010.

Equality California set forth all the political reasons for waiting until 2012 in an analysis you can download here and took a bunch of incoming fire for their trouble.

Equality California “is following the wishes of some of its donors who have cold feet, and not the wishes of the grassroots and the common man and woman in the community,” John Henning of an L.A. group called Love Honor Cherish told Ms. Carla. “They’re ignoring an enormous amount of momentum that is out there. People want this to be voted on and they expect it to be — and soon.”

Calbuzz says:  Careful what you wish for.

Three Dot Thursday: Cheap Shots at the Wounded

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

photos2Memo to Methuselah: Jerry Brown airily dismisses Gavin Newsom’s bid to make a generational contest of the Democratic primary, but maybe that’s because Crusty the General hasn’t looked in the mirror lately.

Calbuzz was shocked – shocked! – while viewing a TV report on Brown’s recent visit to the Central Coast to realize that the 71-year old former everything really, really, um, looks his age on the tube.

Since we’re a solution-oriented outfit, we immediately dispatched some recent photos of Brown to the Calbuzz Division of Superficial Issues and Cosmetology Fixes for some quick action step recommendations.

ebsenAfter a full-body scan, in-depth analysis that lasted until a few minutes before lunch, our highly-trained and highly paid technicians reached consensus that Brown needs some work on those geezer eyebrows, which make him look like a cross between Jed Clampett and the prophet Isaiah.

Yo Anne! What – they don’t sell products in Oakland?

Using the latest in online, web-based, digital era technology, Calbuzz herein proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a little dye job would take 20 years off the guy’s face; once you’re done with that, General, we can discuss those white-as-snow sidewalls . . .

gay_marriage_210

Gay Marriage – The Long March: Same-sex marriage advocates made a smart calculation by pushing plans for a new initiative to roll back Prop. 8 into 2012 instead of next year.

For starters, there’s the boost in voter turnout guaranteed in any presidential election; beyond that, recall that Kuwata’s Law holds that every campaign includes three fundamental pieces: money, organization and message. Two years provides a much more realistic time frame than a 2010 rush job for assembling the first two and for carefully framing the third in a way that addresses the pro-marriage side’s political weaknesses within religious and minority communities, which proved fatal in 2008.

As for the governor’s race, the move takes a little steam out of Newsom’s gov run by nulling his signature issue, but also makes it easier for him to appeal to Latino and African American voters, who supported Prop. 8 in large numbers last year. Although it won’t be an issue in the June primary, gay marriage might still provide a little traction for whoever the Democrat candidate is in November, assuming either Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner wins the GOP nomination (Tom Campbell favors gay marriage).

Without gay marriage on the ballot, the wannabe governors will be forced to focus more than ever on state finances as the dominant and driving issue of the campaign; in scoping out a distant second, don’t discount illegal immigration, legalization of marijuana and, of course, the constitutional convention; initiatives on all three subjects are either circulating, or sitting at the Attorney General’s office awaiting title and summary.

megsteve

Poizner vs Whitman, Round 62: While Meg Whitman’s top priority on a recent visit with Santa Cruz Republicans appeared to be barring Calbuzz from the event, chief rival Steve Poizner was busy scoring grassroots points elsewhere on the Central Coast.

While eMeg basks in being the darling of Beltway Big Feet, Poizner keeps rolling up the backing of street level pols, the kind of guys and gals who’ve, you know, actually run and won elections in California. His latest list of Central Coast endorsers includes former Assemblyman and current Assessor Tom Bordonaro Jr. of San Luis Obispo, Councilman Jim Monahan of Ventura City, Vice-Mayor Jim Reed of Scotts Valley, Vice-Mayor Victor Gomez of Hollister, Councilman Glen Becerra of Simi Valley, Councilwoman Charlotte Craven of Camarillo, Councilman Leo Trujillo of Santa Maria, Trustee Robert Huber of Ventura County, and former Councilman Jim Heggarty of Paso Robles.

Of course, Fred Barnes and George Will have never heard of any of these people.

Three dot special: Over at Calitics, Dante Atkins reports that he was awakened last Sunday morning by a poll-taker for Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin and Associates who was apparently testing lines of attack for PXP oil company, in its continuing efforts to win state approval for an offshore drilling lease at Tranquillon Ridge, off the coast of Santa Barbara. This one ain’t going away anytime soon, sports fans . . . Hardcore junkies will want to check out Politico’s early line on what the wannabes are up to a mere 1,182 days before the 2012 presidential election . . . News that stays news: LiveScience.com reports that the average dog is as smart or smarter than a two-year old curtain climber; the key question remains unanswered, however:  how much smarter are Rex and Fido than the average teenager? . . . Norm Pattiz, founder and chairman of Westwood One, America’s largest radio network, UC Regent, Joe Biden buddy, Democratic donor and mongo Lakers fan gets inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Calbuzz is impressed .

Expert: How Lee-Ling Saga Affects US-Korea Affairs

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

KimBy Evan Wagstaff
Special to Calbuzz

Kim Jong-Il got “100 percent” of what he wanted from the imprisonment and release of California journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who were held merely as “bargaining chips,” according to the author of a new book on North Korean labor camp conditions.

But the United States also benefited by sending former President Bill Clinton to bring home Lee and Ling, said Associate Professor Suk-Young Kim, of U.C. Santa Barbara, author of Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor. The U.S.  gain was an improvement in relations,  she said.  “There’s something to be gained for North Korea and the U.S.”

Professor Kim said it is unlikely the North Korean government ever meant to imprison the two, who were released last week to Clinton, followed by a joyous homecoming at Burbank airport.

“I think North Korea’s plan was not to keep them, but use them as part of a bargain to ease the tense relationship between North Korea and the US,” she said. “North Korea tried to use them as bargaining chips, and I think they got 100% out of that bargain. They wanted to say, ‘We’re not that crazy, we’re reasonable people; if you listen to our Kim-Jong-Il101voice we’re willing to cooperate with you.’”

Dr. Kim’s book, released in June, is based on her interviews and conversations with Kim Yong, the first known survivor of a North Korean labor camp, which she describes as a “death camp.” The book recounts Kim Yong’s experience as a dedicated lieutenant colonel in the North Korean military until he was accused of treason and sentenced to Camps 14 and 18, where he spent six years.

Lee and Ling were both sentenced on June 4 to 12 years’ hard labor at such a camp for purported “hostile acts,” after being captured in March for allegedly entering North Korean territory while researching a story on political refugees for the cable network Current TV. They were released shortly after Clinton’s arrival in North Korea.

Professor Kim said that beyond its intention to reach a global audience with the dramatic release of the journalists, the government also used Clinton’s visit for internal political purposes, as a self-glorifying rallying call, trumpeted by the North Korean media, to bolster its image as an international power player.

“When there is a foreign dignitary that visits, North Koreans conduct political education sessions,” she said. “Clinton would have shown the political clout of Kim Jong-Il to the North Korean people, who would’ve likely been told that even a great leader of imperial America like Clinton has come to pay respect to the dear general.”

She also said that the American media greatly oversimplifies issues relating to North Korea. For example, she said, Kim Yong has expressed a desire to return to his home country, even though he was severely punished by the government he spent his life serving. Professor Kim said that while the former prisoner would like to see the North Korean government collapse, he still feels an an important connection to the North Korean people.

“If you talk to people who lived in North Korea, it opens up your view beyond what you hear on Fox News or CNN,” she said. “It’s a human society just as complex and twisted as the US or South Korea or elsewhere. The American media for the most part only shows one story consistently, and it’s a story of failure. That’s the way America is portrayed in North Korea and I don’t think Americans would like that.”

Relations between the U.S. and North Korea have long been strained. In April, North Korea attempted to launch a three-stage long range rocket; this was followed by a successful nuclear test in May. Both actions came in defiance of international warnings and past agreements. Also, North Korea has insisted that it would reprocess nuclear fuel rods for the purpose of creating a nuclear arsenal.

Dr. Kim said that the recognition on the international stage the North Korea gained from the Lee-Ling saga could prove very important in repairing the broken relations with the U.S.

“This was a way to ease up that tension, to sit down with Clinton face to face and jump start those relations that have deteriorated,” Kim said.

“Although I understand it is a harsh and terrible regime, if we want to improve our relations with North Korea, we should talk to them and deal with them with patience. It doesn’t mean I endorse what they do, but there is no other way than to engage with them and Clinton’s visit is a good example. It yielded positive results.”evan

Calbuzz intern Evan Wagstaff is Opinion Editor of The Daily Nexus at UCSB.

Dog Days: Manson, Nixon, Woodstock & Big Pharma

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

mansonBack before the Earth cooled, it was an unquestioned article of faith among those laboring in the fields of the Fossil Fuel Media that August was “a slow news month,” especially for politics.

With schools, Congress and the Legislature all out of session, the highly-paid, glass-office suits headed for Tahoe or Bora Bora, leaving the peons behind to mind the city desk and confront long weeks of desperate striving to devise something – anything! – to fill the vast, barren stretches of newsprint strung between the Macy’s underwear ads.

Veteran members of the Calbuzz Content Production Team fondly recall their papers running massive, front-page color photos of rug rats sucking water from a garden hose – festooned with “How Hot WAS It?” headlines – or ersatz stories about alligators mysteriously spotted in urban lakes , or “Dear Reader” editor’s columns about the dearth of news in August (sort of like this one).

But now, it appears, the traditional slow news month has gone the way of other civilized newsroom traditions, like the pica pole, the early slide and the liquid lunch.

In California, partisans and pols have barely paused for breath in the 100-year war over the state budget , while wannabes disdain the quaint notion of taking a summer siesta off the campaign trail or halting tit for tat attacks.

And on the Right Coast, the Biggest Foot columnist for the New York Times
has declared that this month – August! – to be a make or break month for President Obama, a theme embraced, echoed and embellished by other powerful pundits:

obama“July proved the most difficult month of (Obama’s) young administration,” Dan Balz, the Boswell of Big O’s Administration wrote in a widely noticed WashPost piece:

“His approval ratings dropped. Disapproval of his major initiatives rose sharply. Neither the House nor the Senate met his deadline to pass a version of health care. Finally, the White House and its allies at the Democratic National Committee ended up in a high-pitched argument over whether citizens protesting health care were expressing real or manufactured anger.

That raises the stakes for August. As Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg put it: “Everybody understands they [Obama and his Democratic allies] have to be in a new chapter when they come back at the end of August.”

While Balz’s piece provided a characteristically clear and conscientious survey of the current political terrain, Calbuzz looked in vain for discussion of a crucial point about the perils facing the president: his closed door deal with Big Pharma.

Beyond the howls and shouts about the town hall meetings over health care, it is the ongoing White House double talk and conflicting reports about what Obama did or did not promise the pharmaceutical industry in secret confabs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue which pose the greatest risk of self-inflicted political damage to the president.

Throughout the campaign, Obama famously promised that when he came to tackle the intractable problem of health care, he would broadcast on C-Span his meetings with Big Pharma, which he vowed would bend to the full power of the federal government in negotiating prescription drug prices for Medicare, perhaps the single most important and practical consumer reform at stake in the health care debate.

If reports are true, however, that Obama promised to cap the concessions on promised savings by the industry at $80 billion -– in exchange for a $150 million advertising campaign backing whatever plan the president supports — Obama will swiftly lose the mantle of political and personal integrity that was the crucial factor in his election as a tribune of new politics. Without that, his Yes-We-Can rhetoric about fundamental change will grow ever more empty and hypocritical.

Slow news month, indeed.woodstock2

P.S. Amid all the real news, it’s good to see that leading media organizations have not forsworn that hardy summer perennial, the August anniversary story. Here are three of our favorites:

1. Jon Pareles of the New York Times churned out a delightful essay on the coming 40th anniversary of Woodstock, accompanied by a cornucopia of multi-media delights that reminded Calbuzz of our head band and love bead days.

2. Speaking of head bands, the Post also made good use of what you like to call your multi-platform storytelling in a 40-year look back at the Manson Family and the Helter Skelter murders.

3. And lest we forget, the By God L.A. Times reminds us that the Big Dick, who almost screwed the pooch on Manson’s conviction by declaring him guilty before the verdict, resigned as president 35 years ago this month.