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Archive for 2016



Trump Says His Penis Qualifies Him to be President

Friday, March 4th, 2016

trumphandsThe Republican presidential debate on Thursday night demonstrated again that the front runner – narcissistic billionaire Donald Trump – has no serious domestic or foreign policies and at the same time, that none of that matters to the authoritarians who are supporting him.

Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and especially Gov. John Kasich, spoke with considerable specificity about their plans for taxes, the economy and international affairs, while Trump responded to most questions with insults, slogans and word salad. (Kasich was the only adult on the debate stage.)

So what? Nothing changes, except that following Mitt Romney’s speech Thursday calling Trump a fraud and a con man, it’s now clear that Republican regulars – beltway GOP elites and their patrons – are desperate to find a way to prevent Trump from winning a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. That would make it possible on a second, third or fourth ballot to throw the nomination to someone else.

delegatesAs we noted the other day, this is the crucial battle for the GOP regulars right now: Their drive to prevent Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates needed for a first-ballot victory in Cleveland. That wouldn’t — as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and other beltway bloviators argue — subvert democracy:  to win the nomination, you have to win a majority.

It would, however, tear the Republican Party apart. But Republican Senators and Congressmen who now enjoy majority control don’t really care: They’d rather have a Democratic president and control of Congress. Their fear is that with Trump at the top of the ticket, they’d lose seats and likely control of Congress.

Most importantly, Trump guaranteed us that despite what Rubio has alleged, his hands and penis aren’t small : “Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And, he referred to my hands, if they’re small something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.” So clearly he’s qualified to be president. He trashed “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted.” He deflected every substantive question. And none of that is likely to affect the current standings in the Republican race.

The putz is still the favorite.

littlesmokiesP.S. Trump even lied about whether he’s ever heard the charge that his hands (and by implication) his penis are small. “He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands,” Trump said.

But as ABC reported:

Nearly 30 years ago, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair magazine, described Trump in Spy magazine as a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

In an editor’s letter in “Vanity Fair” last November, Carter said that he wrote the Sky magazine comment in 1988 “just to drive him a little bit crazy.” And according to Carter, it still does. “Like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer,” Carter wrote in November.

“To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers,” Carter wrote. “I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby.”

“The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination,” Carter continued. “Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: ‘See, not so short!’ I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, ‘Actually, quite short.’”

GOP Elites Would Trash Party to Throttle Trump

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

trumpchinYes, horse race fans, Donald Trump is marching steadily toward the Republican nomination for president, with a new cache of delegates from Super Tuesday’s contests and a steady swath of supporters drawn to his authoritarianism and eclectic, anti-Washington message.

So traditional Washington-based elite establishment Republicans (with lawyer Ben Ginsberg as their scout) now are calculating how they could, in state-by-state guerrilla warfare, line up enough delegates to block Trump from becoming the GOP nominee, even if it means tearing their party apart at their national convention in Cleveland this summer.

Exhibit A: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Trump for president, causing heads to snap up and down K Street. Over the following 24 hours, Christie was savaged by establishment types, led by our old pal eMeg Whitman, and looked like a mistreated POW while standing behind Trump last night.

Exhibit B: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told  his colleagues the Congressional Republicans will drop Trump “like a hot rock”  if he wins the nomination, the better to save their own skins.

Exhibit C: Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman (joining others, including Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012) said she’d vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump.

WTF? you might ask.

Here’s WTF.

christiebossChristie’s endorsement is all about Christie and has nothing to do with Trump.

New Jersey’s Mr. Beef was pissed off at Marco Rubio and wanted revenge. He sees Trump as a potential financial patron, either in New Jersey or for a possible Christie presidential campaign in 2020. If Trump gets the nomination, Christie would have a shot at being his running mate. Or if Trump should win – the least likely scenario in the real world – Christie would have a shot at becoming Attorney General.

The only down side of Christie is incurring the wrath of the rest of the GOP Establishment, and he’s clearly calculated that’s worth even less than “a bucket of warm piss” which is how former Veep John Nance Garner famously described the value of the Veepency.

sulky-McConnellCongressional Republicans have all but given up on the presidency.

For McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the rest of the D.C. Republicans, it’s now all about survival and maintaining their majorities in Congress. They’re smart enough to understand that if Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, he will have a toxic effect on Senate (24 GOP, 10 Dem) races and, to a lesser extent, House races across the country.

If Trump goes into the GOP National Convention in Cleveland this summer with less than a majority of the delegates needed to win nomination on the first ballot, Washington Republicans and their Establishment patrons would rather take the nomination away from Trump and give it to someone who would do less damage to the rest of the Republicans running even if it splinters the GOP.

A divided Republican Party – and a Democratic president – would do less damage to the GOP agenda than would having Trump lose, and drag down other Republicans across the country. So the party regulars would rather purge the GOP of the Trump wing and suffer the divisions, than lose control of the Senate and weaken their power in the House.

On the other hand, Trump could rack up enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland. In which case, Frankenstein’s monster wins.

Pardon our schadenfreude.

Harris and Sanchez Both Duck on Apple vs. FBI

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

apple-vs-fbiMore in sorrow than in anger, Calbuzz regrets to report that on the issue of Apple vs the FBI both Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez are evasive, elusive and equivocating pettifoggers incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question.

That is the conclusion to be drawn from our unstinting efforts to bring clarity to the positions of the leading U.S. Senate wannabes on the most crucial issue now pitting civil liberties against the power of the state: Apple’s resistance to the FBI’s demand for new software to let the feds break into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist killer.

At a time when Sen. Dianne Feinstein has unambiguously (and wrongly, we think) come down foursquare on the side of the FBI, it was more than a little depressing to watch Harris and Sanchez bob, weave and duck when we asked each whether, as a U.S. Senator, she would or would not defend a California company against an unprecedented law enforcement demand.

As the transcripts show below, there are small differences between the two in terms of emphasis and process: Harris, implicitly criticizing Feinstein’s stance, suggests there should be a negotiation between Apple and the FBI to find a solution (hey, why not try that with the Israelis and Palestinians while we’re at it!). Sanchez says she supports Apple’s right to appeal (How brave is that!) but that the answer is for Congress to hold hearings and then do . . . something.

Done on the fly at last weekend’s Democratic convention, the brief interviews are worth a quick read, if only to get a sense of the dodgy language and behavior in store from whoever wins the seat now held by Barbara Boxer. (Note — Boxer had been silent on the issue, as far as we know until we asked for her position and got this weasely statement: ”We have to find a way to prevent a crime — whether it is terrorism or murder — by getting into a phone without jeopardizing security and privacy for everyone. It needs to happen on a case-by-case basis, and each case should be decided in a court of law.”)

We caught up with Sanchez at her Friday night welcome party for delegates. Harris was a bit more of a challenge: we had to pull an old school Sam Donaldson ambush on her as she sidled out the back door of the San Jose Convention Center after a brief appearance at her own Friday bash, heading for a black SUV parked at the curb.

It would be fair to say that she did not seem delighted to see us.

kamalaharris2Kamala Harris

Calbuzz: We’re told that you haven’t taken a firm position on Apple versus the FBI and we can’t believe that the Attorney General wouldn’t take a position. Where are you on that whole thing?

Harris: I don’t think it’s that simple so I’m not going to chose one over the other because it’s not that simple.

There’s no question that we’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do in terms of protecting peoples’ privacy, that’s the work that I’ve done as Attorney General my entire career as Attorney General and I have a lot of examples of that work. But most of the progress that we’ve made has been because we’ve brought the technology in to sit down and deal with their responsibility and knock heads when we have to.

We did that over mobile apps we’ve done it on the work that we’ve done on cyber-exploitation. That has to happen. There has to be some understanding and some give that’s going to be the result of these two groups coming together to figure this out.

CB: But they’re not coming together, they’re in court. Do you feel that the FBI has a legitimate position to say that Apple’s basically got to invent this new software in order to get into the phone?

KH: I believe we’re always going to see a tension between the need to protect individuals’ privacy and the need for law enforcement to have the tools that we need to investigate crime and hold people accountable. That’s always going to be a tension.

CB: If you were in the U.S. Senate, you’d be expected to say whether you think the FBI is overreaching here or not or whether you are defending a company from California.

KH: I am the Attorney General of California and based on everything I know, I can tell you that it is not that simple. So that’s my answer and there are a lot of variables that have to be discussed and figured out and it’s not as short as picking a side. That’s not the answer.

CB: Well, somebody’s going to pick a side in court, aren’t they?…C’mon, when you weigh those two things (privacy vs. law enforcement) where’s the 51% and where’s the 49%?

KB: It depends on the facts of the case. It’s not that simple

CB: Are you familiar with .  . .

KH: I gotta’ go.

All righty, then.

lorettasanchezLoretta Sanchez

Calbuzz: Where do you stand on Apple versus the FBI?

Sanchez:. You know, if you look at the history of Apple, when we have had a warrant from the government asking for information, they have generally tried to comply with that. My understanding is that this is a different issue and I really do believe it’s a new issue.

And the issue is that of the policy implications of, do you go back, when you’ve made an airtight system so that hackers and others don’t get into it, do you go back and make the key to open it up? And if you open that up does it make you more susceptible to hackers and others.

It’s new ground on the issue. And I believe that Congress is more capable of holding hearings, of investigating, we have the budget to do that. The court system opines on a very narrow issue in one case, I mean it really takes into account one thing…

I completely agree with Apple that if they want to go back into court and appeal that they should. They have the right to do that and they should go and do that. But the reality is that I think Congress is more capable and really should take this subject up of this new ground-breaking: Do we require someone to make a key if they’ve never had a key.

CB: Isn’t that the difficulty in the whole thing, that the government is trying to compel a private business to create a product that they have not created?

LS: Exactly. And I think that it’s new ground and that the Congress should study, we certainly have the investigative funds to do that that the courts don’t have and that’s a responsibility of some of Congress to look at the implications of that.

CB: So are you saying the FBI should back off until Congress has had a chance to look at it?

LS: No, I’m saying Apple should appeal what is going on and I think Congress should take this up and investigate to decide what the policy implications are.

CB: In the meantime, should the FBI back off, or what?

LS: Well, the executive branch is going to do what the executive branch does. I think they’re not going to back off. But certainly Apple has the right to, and should, appeal and I think Congress should take it up as an issue.

CB: So as a U.S. Senator, going into hearings, would you be looking through the lens of protecting a California company or would you be looking through the lens of supporting law enforcement?

LS: Well, if you look at other votes that I have taken, for example, there were some really great things in the Patriot Act, but I have voted against the Patriot Act and its continuation consistently in my time in the House because I am a big believer in civil rights. So that might give you an indication of which way I might approach it but it all depends on the issue at hand and what we find out about it.

Then she was whisked away by an aide and we headed for the free cookies.

Late breaking news from Politico: 

A federal magistrate in Brooklyn, New York, has denied the government’s application to force Apple to help law enforcement gain access to an iPhone belonging to a man who pled guilty in a meth conspiracy.

The ruling is likely to bolster Apple’s resistance in California to a separate FBI request that the company help investigators circumvent security features on an iPhone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shootings.

In the New York case, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein rejected federal prosecutors’ claim that a 1789 law authorizes the government to obtain a court order seeking to bypass a passcode-lock on an Apple phone.

“Nothing in the government’s arguments suggests any principled limit on how far a court may go in requiring a person or company to violate the most deeply-rooted values to provide assistance to the government the court deems necessary,” Orenstein wrote.

Apple originally cooperated with prosecutors in the Brooklyn case, but reversed course after Orenstein asked the company’s lawyers to weigh in with a formal legal position.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/federal-judge-apple-doesnt-have-to-unlock-iphone-in-ny-case-219999

Kamala Clobbers Loretta: Full Convention Report

Monday, February 29th, 2016

kamala-sanjose Kamala Harris simply crushed U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez at the California Democratic Party state convention over the weekend: the state Attorney General had a bigger, fancier, livelier reception for delegates; more energized and organized volunteers; an infinitely more polished and compelling speech to the general assembly, and a landslide 78% vote for the CDP’s endorsement for the U.S. Senate.

Other than that, it was a lovely weekend in San Jose for Loretta.

A Tale of Two Speeches

In her speech to 3,200 attendees, Harris looked and sounded like a U.S. Senator, calling the GOP presidential campaign “a race to the bottom, a race to anger, a race to blame, a race to fan the flames of nativism in our country.”

trumpwithhatShe said Republican Donald Trump’s cry to “Make America Great Again,” begs the question: “for who?” The Republicans, she said forcefully, want to reverse gains in civil rights, voting rights, marriage equality, humane immigration policies, labor rights and environmental protections.

“They promise to go back to a time when even a victim of sexual assault did not have the right to choose. But the stakes are too high in this election. We are not going back to that back alley,” Harris said to rousing applause.

Her best line (h/t strategist Sean Clegg): “We the people understand our unity is our strength and our diversity is our power.” (Memo I to Hillary Clinton – see, it’s about “us,” not about you.)

And to her credit, Harris ditched the fancy entourage in favor of walking around shaking hands with delegates usually accompanied only by press secretary Nathan Click (Calbuzz gets results!)

Loretta_Sanchez_official_photo-800x430Sanchez, for her part, told the compelling story of her own gritty upbringing and touted her credentials, as pro-labor, pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-gay rights and more. “I connect with working people and Latinos because that’s who I am,” she said, noting that she was one of the first Head Start kids in U.S.

She called immigration reform “the next great moral imperative of our generation” and advocated a “path to legal status” (not “citizenship”).

Sanchez was well received – although the hall lacked the cheering, stomping, sign-waving troops Harris deployed — but her delivery was unskillful, at times even clumsy, and there was way too much “me” and not enough “we.” Worst of all for Sanchez, when the endorsement vote was tallied, she got just 19% of the 2,139 ballots cast. Ouch.

Dolores.Huerta.2014_300Which makes Harris the official candidate of the Democratic Party. Almost certainly, in a top-two primary in June, Sanchez’s challenge will be to come in second, ahead of thinking man’s Republican Duf Sundheim who – if his game plan works out – will by then have virtually buried former state GOP chairman and snake handler Tom Del Beccaro. The wily Sundheim even managed to steal a little press over the weekend by showing up in San Jose to generate a couple “in the belly of the beast” type stories.

Calbuzz had more than an inkling that Harris was about to crush  Sanchez among the delegates on Friday night, when we ran into Dolores Huerta, the graceful, diminutive giant of the United Farmworkers, outside of the convention hall. We asked who she was backing for Senate and without a second’s hesitation, answered, “Kamala,” dismissing any question that suggested identity politics would determine her vote.

mikehondaHow to Lose By Winning

There was never any question that 74-year-old Mike Honda, the embattled eight-term congressman from Silicon Valley, would win the endorsement of the CDP: Incumbents must only win 50%+1 while challengers have to get 60%. It’s rigged for incumbents, who usually control who the delegates are to the state party convention.

But Rho Khanna, the 39-year-old former deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama, who took 49% against Honda in the 2014 general election, is running an even tougher and more effective campaign against him in 2016.

Honda is under a House ethics investigation for giving favors to donors, and President Obama has yanked his previous endorsement of the longtime incumbent, while a slew of local elected officials have gone over to Khanna. Still, Honda had the party endorsement in the bag.

Which made it all the more bewildering why anyone – and it had to be a Honda supporter if not, as the congressman insisted it was not, someone from his campaign — would distribute a no-finesse hit piece at the CD17 convention voting site accusing Khanna of being a Republican puppet whose “backers” also funded a slew of unpopular Republican candidates and causes.

Ro-KhannaWith no identification of the sponsor of the flyer except for a union bug and a recycle symbol. “For a person being investigated on ethics charges to have his campaign passing out something without ‘paid for’ on it is shocking,” Khanna said, noting that would be another ethics violation.

Said Honda, who was actually awake for the proceedings : “It’s easy to say things without proof.”

It also didn’t help that Honda worked so hard to avoid reporters, including an embarrassing scene when he waved his arm in the face of Politico’s Carla Marinucci and ran away, a scene Costco Carla captured on her iPhone and promptly tweeted.

So Honda easily won the endorsement but lost the moral high ground. Again.

gavin2A 2018 Update

With almost every politician except Jerry Brown himself already angling to replace Gov. Gandalf two years hence, there was plenty of early maneuvering, some subtle, some not so much, among the platoon of gubernatorial wannabes. Here is how they fared, best to worst:

1-Gavin Newsom — Hair Boy gained the most by staying away. His wife, Jen, had baby #4 on late Friday — hello Dutch! — so in Saturday’s speaking rotation, the lite gov  substituted a saccharine video of the parents looking gaga shortly before the birth, actually a big improvement over seeing him in person.

Tom-Steyer2-Tom Steyer — The Silicon Valley billionaire and heavyweight environmental crusader was everywhere. He’s still playing coy about his elective ambitions but his genuine commitment to the party and high-volume advocacy on some of its most important issues could go a long way in helping him break the curse of rich guys trying and failing to buy the governorship.

antonio3-Antonio Villaraigosa — Tony V., former Assembly Speaker and L.A. Mayor, showed up Friday and made a strong appearance at the Latino Caucus that showed he still has some campaign chops, before lurking around the back of the Labor Caucus (where he’s in disfavor because of his embrace of charter schools and dis of the CTA) before beating feet out of Dodge in advance of Saturday’s festivities. No runs, no hits, no errors.

ericgarcetti4-Eric Garcetti – The L.A. Mayor won political points for strong arming his way onto the Saturday speech lineup, after earlier being relegated to the Sunday morning hangover slot. Unfortunately he forgot to change the time reference in his boast about his town hosting the Oscars, and thus read from the teleprompter that they were “tonight” instead of “tomorrow night,” leading to much snickering and tweeting. Staff work, people, staff work.

johnchiang5-John Chiang — After walking onstage to the Main Theme from Star Wars — Seriously?!? — Mr. Treasurer promptly turned into the world’s leading cure for insomnia by presenting a dry-as-dust lecture on state finances that would have perfect for a weekend conference in San Antonio on Changing the Tax-Exempt Status of Municipal Bond Interest.

westly6-Steve Westly – The other Silicon Valley Master of the Universe eyeing 2016 kept a low profile, still smarting from the scandal over his emailed recommendation to a woman-beating business associate that the scumbag hire Willie Brown, the widely-know San Francisco Chronicle News Page Columnist, to help him beat the rap. We didn’t see Westly, and claim absolutely no knowledge of such matters, but a well-placed, high-powered source in attendance swore Steverino recently has had Some Work: “I’m from L.A. and, believe me, I know a face peel when I see one.”

bidencdpBiden Lays an Egg

Joe Biden, who was the Senate Judiciary Committee hero who borked Robert Bork, spoke for 55 never-ending minutes and never once mentioned the Republicans’ obstruction of President Obama’s up-and-coming, dead-on-arrival nomination to the Supreme Court. Go figure.

Biden’s talk included virtually every personal anecdote he has ever told on the campaign trail, a one-man human highlights reel that somehow reminded us of Wayne Newton playing “Spanish Eyes” on the guitar. Plus the cliches: Possibilities define America, compromise is not a dirty word, our politics traffics in division, 80% of what we do is question motive not judgment, we need consensus, our people aren’t the problem — our politics is the problem, zzzz… And that was before he got so deep into the weeds on the economy that he sucked all of the air out of the cavernous convention hall.

We were, however, delighted that Biden credited Bobby Kennedy with the quote , ”Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” Last time he spoke to the CDP he quoted RFK without attribution, adding to his problem of having borrowed British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock’s life story as his own.

It was, however, more than a little annoying that he kept directing his remarks to Minority Leader U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi — “Nancy, you remember,” and “You know, Nancy,” — as if looking for confirmation for the most routine and mundane remembrances. Get a room, you two.

edemersonPaging Ed Emerson

Biden’s presence required the set-up of full-bore White House-level security operations, but the coordination between the Secret Service, TSA, local law enforcement and state party staff left juuust a bit to be desired.

Saturday morning’s session opened with the hall only about one-third full, as many delegates, reporters and various hangers-on waited in four lines that each stretched many hundreds of people, and well over an hour, long.

The operation lacked what you might call your common sense: for example,  it was impossible to leave the hall in order to attend any of the countless and, presumably, important caucuses taking place a floor below, without leaving the secure area and then being forced to return to the security lines.

Things were so bad that Burton from the podium basically recommended people skip the party’s official, ticket-in-advance lunch and “just grab a sandwich” in order to avoid TSA purgatory. Sadly, there was no place to “just grab a sandwich” inside the secure area — except the press room, where the grub delivered for Actual Reporters was swiftly consumed by a bunch of hungry delegates who descended like locusts, without the bother of anyone from the state party checking to see if they had, you know, a press credential. But we don’t complain.

Perhaps the security perimeter might have been established at, say, the entrance to the hall? Just a thought.

browniemarySwag and Food Report

The weekend’s two most in-demand giveaways were the free boxes of “tax-free tampons” handed out at the Women’s Caucus, in support of legislation by Assembly Members Cristina Garcia and Ling Ling Chang to exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales tax, and Mardi Gras-style marijuana leaf necklaces from the Brownie Mary Democratic Club (named after the late cannabis activist Mary Jane Rathbun).

Alas, Brownie Mary’s Saturday night bash was a bummer, featuring a dreadful clip of a musical comedy about legalization, produced by some (surprise, surprise) independent producer, which perhaps made sense to the several dozen members of the gray ponytail stoner brigade on hand, and some plain old brownies that definitely were not Brownie Mary grade.

Kamala’s big party creamed the competition in the free food category, with a two-level spread at the Tech Museum that featured multiple open bars, dim sum and dessert tables with oodles of goodies, including Little Cupcakes in half-a-dozen varieties.

xavierbacerraNo, We Don’t Know Everything 

Calbuzz found two events especially enlightening.

A seminar on the politics and voting of millennials – a fluid term meaning voters generally younger than 35 but sometimes focusing on voters in the 18-25 bracket – demonstrated that political campaigns seldom realize that to make contact with these voters you have to go where they are – in classrooms, places of leisure and even job sites.

Messaging has to be brief and simple, campaigners have to establish rapport and avoid being patronizing. They’ll engage, the experts said, more likely on presidential issues, but occasionally on local and state matters, if you make a compelling case.

They care about 1) jobs, economy and wages 2) education and college debt 3) foreign policy and 4) gun safety. (Note to Tom Steyer – climate change and the environment is NOT a top-of-the-mind issue for these folks yet – not by a long shot.)

More than six in 10 millennials get their news from search engines, which means they’re looking things up themselves after hearing or seeing something in traditional news outlets, online sources and social media. They’re not necessarily disengaged – but they’re disillusioned with the idea that going to the polls will change anything.

H/t Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc; Shwetika Baijal of 50+1 Strategies and Alex Evans of EMC Research.

(Memo II to Hillary: Bernie’s got a message millennials understand; you don’t have one at all. See  http://www.calbuzz.com/2016/02/strategic-memo-to-hillary-call-for-real-progress/).

And over flash-fried calamari at McCormick and Schmick’s, across the street from the convention center, U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra — on a pathway to become House minority leader in the House after the clutch of septuagenarians expire or retire — sat down with a gaggle of reporters and explained why no Republican running for president will get close to 40% of the vote from Latinos – the target for success set by most political demographers.

“Immigration is a personal issue for Latinos,” he said. “You know who they’re talking about.”

He never saw a sign outside of a restaurant that said “No dogs or Mexicans allowed.” But his father told him about them.

Said the Stanford Law congressman: “It hurts to be told that I’m still part of the ‘them.’”

john_burton_stdChairman John Speaks

Will the race for president between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders be decided before California Democrats get a chance to weigh in and deliver delegates in June, we asked CDP chairman John Burton.

“I don’t fucking know,” he told us in the nicest possible way. As for the power of Bernie’s message: “If you’re not mad at what’s going on in this country, you’ve got your head up your ass,”

Burton’s lookin’ better after a spate of health problems and we were glad to see he hadn’t lost anything off the fast ball.

The Calbuzz Primary

Some of the most ADD-afflicated finest minds in the news business and a couple of the smartest political consultants we know gathered for dinner Saturday night at Il Fornaio and after ample lubrication voted by secret ballot on five key predictions (regardless of partisan sympathies):

Next U.S. Senator from California – unanimous 12-0 vote for Kamala Harris

Next California GovernorNewsom with 5, Villaraigosa 3, and one each for Steyer, Garcetti, Kevin Faulconer and Ashley Swearingen.

Democratic Presidential Nominee – 11 for Clinton, with one for Joe Biden

Republican Presidential Nominee – Nine for Donald Trump, two for Marco Rubio and one for Mitt Romney.

Next President of the United States of America – Hillary Clinton with 7, two for Trump, one each for Rubio and Michael Bloomberg.

For those into statistics, this poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5,280.