If the Giants and Dodgers can go all warm and fuzzy on each other in the interest of doing the right thing, we innocents at Calbuzz just have to believe the Reps and the Dems in Sacto can still pull off a similar feat.
The hometown S.F. nine and the dog-ass visiting L.A. club got together before Monday night’s game at AT&T Park as a show of unity for Giants fan Bryan Stow, the Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two little kids who is in a coma after being severely beaten by two Dodger “fans” in the parking lot after the teams’ season opener in SoCal on March 31.
It was a nice, if unlikely, moment in a long and bitter rivalry that reminded everyone that there are at least a couple things in life more important than whether you’re wearing blue or orange and black. (Well, almost everyone – at this point, the late Kam Kuwata would surely remind us of the unbridled idiocy of dogass Dodger owner Frank McCourt ).
For once, we have to disagree with our cartoonist Tom Meyer, a crafty veteran right-hander, who doodle posits today that Governor Gandalf would face a bigger challenge negotiating peace on the diamond than in the Capitol, a tough position to support given the lunatic rantings of Assembly members Jim Nielsen and Diane Harkey, not to mention the tedious whining of menopausal Senator Bob Dutton.
But while the smart money says the most likely budget scenario remains the Hobbesian “war of all against all,” our Department of Rosy Scenarios and Guileless Green Shoots keeps reporting signs aimed at keeping hope alive:
Our friend Adam Nagourney offers an excellent Sacramento situationer which, between the lines, suggests that not having a deal on tax extensions would be worse for all Sacramento pols than having one; the resourceful Shane Goldmacher provides a nifty, right-place-at-the-right-time report on how the good fellowship feelings needed for a deal were on full display in an after-hours gemutlich bash this week; and Cap Weekly’s Allen Young even shows how such a deal might be structured.
Meanwhile, if you’re one of those people who do the right thing, the San Francisco Police credit union has set up a fund to help out the family of Bryan Stow. Play Ball!
Taxing times: Kudos to Timm Herdt, our favorite Sacramento-based Ventura County political writer, for yeoman work on answering the eternal question: How does California’s tax burden compare to other states?
Anti-tax, anti-government types never tire of spouting the canard that “California has the highest taxes of any state in the nation,” but as Herdt is at pains to report, the matter is considerably more complex:
One indication that the taxes paid by Californians don’t match the rates, at least on a relative scale, is to measure taxes as a percentage of personal income. By that measure, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, California ranked 15th among the states in 2009-10, at $6.63 in taxes per $100 in personal income.
On a per-capita basis, the national Federation of Tax Administrators ranks California 12th among the states in taxes collected.
Herdt contacted so many sources that we were exhausted and tucked in for an afternoon nap by the end of his piece; those less strenuously inclined may wish to check out “Who Pays Taxes in California,” the hot-off-the-presses report from the California Budget Project. Yeah, we know, CBP goes all bleeding heart about poor people, but it’s sure hard to argue with the clarity of the cold hard numbers and data they present.
The Ayn Rand chronicles: Obama won near-universal huzzahs from center-left pundits for his big speech on federal finances, as he drew sharp contrasts with the Republican long-term budget proposal on three fundamental points: 1) keeping Medicare intact instead of privatizing it; 2) letting the Bush tax cuts on rich people expire; 3) whacking the Defense budget more than the GOP wants.
Well and good, but as we said in our advancer on the speech, we’ll wait to see whether he walks the talk or once again caves the first time Boehner and McConnell say “Boo.”
In the meantime, Washpost whiz kid Ezra Klein does the heavy lifting on the competing policies and political philosophies behind the two proposals and also gets deep in the weeds for those who just can’t enough about the Medicare issue. Hard-core junkies can find the text of Obama’s speech here while utterly hopeless cases can watch the video here.
Calbuzz: Your full service cure for insomnia.
Calbuzz goes chrome dome: The latest issue of the California Journal of Politics and Policy, published by the good folks at Berkeley Electronic Press under direction of the estimable Jerry Lubenow, focuses on the state’s budget mess and features our very own ruminations on communications and campaign strategems that could redefine the debate.
You can read it here or download it through the journal’s guest access gateway. We’re also in line for some actual paper copies in the near future, so send us $25,000 and a self-addressed stamped envelope and we’ll try to to get you one. Suitable for framing autographed editions only $5K more!
In case you missed it: Lady Gaga falls hard on her noggin but doesn’t miss a beat…Carlos Gonzalez and Mike Kepka edit the Giant’s incredible home opener down to a very cool 2:11…Beta version of the Calbuzz laugh track getting close to being ready to go.
One more time: A toast to Kam Kuwata, one of the great ones, who passed this week at 57.