As regular Calbuzzers know, we are normally a model of probity and rectitude. But today we’re feeling the urge to vent about some of the things that have, frankly, pissed us off, including:
— Mitt Romney’s infuriating assertion that a) government has grown under Barack Obama and b) reinstating the Bushonomics that crashed the system will restore it.
— U.S. Brad Sherman’s smarmy attempt to take credit for stuff he never did.
— California university officials who are finally advocating for a tax hike after blowing a chance to help get a measure on the ballot last year.
— Gov. Jerry Brown’s secret disappearances.
Romney’s Big Lie: In a recent op-ed, Romney asked: “Where are the jobs?”
“Mr. President, forgive me for being blunt. But when it comes to economic affairs, you’re out of your depth. Unlike you, I am not a career politician. Unlike you, I’ve spent more than two decades working in the private sector, starting new businesses and turning around failing ones. Undoing the damage you’ve done will be a daunting challenge. But I’ve learned a thing or two about how government policies can kill private investment and stifle job creation, and I have a plan to get government out of the way.”
This is such deep horse manure, starting with “I am not a career politician” from a man who after running for the U.S. Senate and serving a term as governor of Massachusetts has been running for president continuously.
Even worse is the utter distortion of the economic facts as reported by the New York Times:
For the first time in 40 years, the government sector of the American economy has shrunk during the first three years of a presidential administration…
The private sector grew faster in the first three years of the Obama administration than it did in three of the previous five administrations – the exception being Bill Clinton’s administrations, when private sector growth was more rapid.
Here’s a nifty chart the New York Times published, showing the change in GDP over the first three years of each presidential term that, based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
What drives us crazy is that the BIG LIE – told by Fox News, the Romney campaign and the armies of Republicans seeking to advance the 1-percent agenda – is so widespread that average folk are utterly confused about how we got into the mess we’re just now getting out of.
The truth is, had Obama used his electoral capital to press for a bigger stimulus and had the Republicans in Congress not made defeating Obama their top priority (and thus throttled virtually every economic proposal he has advanced), the economy likely would be doing even better and we might have avoided decimating federal support for cops, firefighters, schools and other state and local services.
For a well-argued, balanced analysis of Romney’s assertions versus Obama’s record, check out Paul Krugman. If swing voters ever catch on, in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and other battleground states, they’ll realize what a smarm Romney really is.
Sleaze Knows No Party: Speaking of oleaginous individuals, we were delighted to see Congressman Brad Sherman get pantsed on his claim that “without my effort, we wouldn’t have that additional lane on the 405 freeway.”
In actual fact, it was the other Democrat seeking to represent the new 30th CD, Howard Berman, who was crucial to getting that additional freeway lane built. HT to BuzzFeed for exposing Sherman’s weasely lie.
BuzzFeed turned to the expert: former Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar, who was the ranking member and then chairman of the House Appropriations Committee during the period in question.
Oberstar’s verdict: It was Berman.
“Howard Berman was the driving force behind this issue,” he said. “He talked to me at least once a week and for a while I said, ‘Howard, look, we’re going to help you, but don’t be a pain in the ass.”
Sherman, less so:
“We invited members to testify on projects of importance and significance to them or their state and a number of members of the California delegation came in a group, testified together. Brad Sherman was among them,” he said. “It was one shot.”
Sherman is “right to say he supported it, and that’s fine, but the real driving force behind this project was Howard Berman,” Oberstar said. Berman “had the strategy to move ahead with it, he had the persistence and heart in the mix , and so I made the commitment of $100 million.”
“These are the facts, this is the reality, and happily the project is nearing completion,” Oberstar said.
BTW, if you haven’t caught Berman’s cable TV spot with Betty White, Wendie Malick and an adorable puppy, don’t miss it.
Cowards Finally Come Forward: And speaking of missing an opportunity, we found it maddening when Dick Blum of the UC Board of Regents, Mark Yudof of the University of California, Charlie Reed of the California State Universities and Jack Scott of the California Community Colleges finally got off their sluggish butts and came out for Jerry Brown’s proposal to raise income and sales taxes.
Seems they finally understand that unless Brown’s measure passes, further debilitating cuts will have to be made to California universities and colleges, reducing faculty, staff and resources and driving up tuitions even further. As we noted back then, these gutless characters should have been pushing Republicans in the Legislature for a few votes last year when a measure to extend taxes that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had passed could have been placed on the ballot.
Instead, they were missing in action. So it’s about time they made themselves useful.
Gandalf Disappears in a Puff of Smoke: One more missing in action item that infuriates us off: Jerry Brown once again took off out of state without telling people where he was going. Back in November, the only reason anyone figured out where Jerry and First Lady Anne Gust Brown had gone was because Calbuzz tracked them down at Rancho La Puerta near Tecate, Mexico.
Hey Jerry, you’re governor of California – not some private citizen. It’s time for the Legislature to pass a bill (and override Brown’s veto if necessary) requiring that the governor must make public his travel plans when he leaves the state – whether or not public funds are involved in his travel. (Don’t tell us his security detail didn’t go on the taxpayers’ nickel.)
Some Republicans might even vote for that one.