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Archive for the ‘California Politics’ Category



GOP Debate Advance: Trump! Trump! Trump!

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

trumpwhIn 2010, Donald Trump called President Obama’s chief political adviser, offering his services on the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, then befouling the Gulf of Mexico and depressing White House poll ratings.

“Listen,” Trump told Obama strategist David Axelrod, “that admiral you have down there running this leak operation seems like a nice guy, but he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“I know how to run big projects,” the Donald added to the David. “Put me in charge of this thing, and I’ll get that leak shut down and the damage repaired.”

Alas, the strategist passed on the offer with a thanks-but-no-thanks, losing an historic opportunity to scuttle the Obama presidency in one swell foop.

As recounted in “Believer,” Axelrod’s excellent recent memoir, the episode nonetheless provides a splendid, behind-the-scenes exemplar of the singularly surreal mindset and boundless self-regard that have plunked Trump atop the Republican presidential field — and center stage for Thursday’s GOP wannabe debate, the first exhibition game of the political preseason.

Not since 1992, when Ross Perot’s wingman, Admiral James Stockdale, unforgettably raised the eternal questions – “Who am I, why am I here?” – have Beltway blatherers and conventional wisdom peddlers expended more words and energy expressing less certainty and more uninformed speculation about a prime-time debate performance.

As the estimable Ana Marie Cox put it, in a must-read, yeowoman piece that rounds up dozens of worthy examples, “acres of pixels have been burned out by people writing about Trump, but what’s remarkable is how relatively little we have to say about him. “

annamariecoxA surfeit of excess. From Cox’s compendium: “There’s no doubt his persona inspires descriptions as florid and memorable as the man himself. He’s ‘a barking carnival act’ and ‘bloviating Godzilla,’ He’s ‘a Mobius strip seamlessly moving from perception to reality,’ ‘the world’s greatest troll’ and a ‘superhero—but not in a good way.’ 

“He is a ‘loose-haired agent of chaos,’ with ‘the complexion of a Creamsicle,’ whose ‘hair swirls atop his head with disconcerting translucence—a cotton candy sculpture in the shape of a vending machine honey bun.’ Trump’s ‘suits have a cut and sheen as if they came from the trunk sale of a visiting Bombay tailor staying in a cheap hotel in Trump’s native Queens and taking a nip between fittings.’

“His stage presence is the result of ‘method acting that eventually supplanted whatever human-like personality he once possessed.’ He is a ‘fat-haired yapping caricature of capitalism’ currently ‘yelling crazy shit on his way through a Republican presidential primary while sporting a sad trombone haircut’ as he serves up ‘a smelly soup of billionaire populism and yahoo nationalism, flavored with a tangy dollop of old-timey racism.’”

Clunk.

Moloch-at-War_612x380A more measured view: Far be it from Calbuzz to join the braying, over-reaching, hyperventilating, purple prose-wielding media hordes.

So we’ll simply say, in the subtlest, most nuanced and understated way possible, that Trump looks to us like nothing less than the Republican reincarnation of – MOLOCH!!! – the mighty karmic angel of political retribution come to avenge decades of right-wing civic sins and campaign immoralities.

From the Old Testament to Milton and Ginsburg, Moloch!!! has been the lieutenant of Satan to whom the most shameful child sacrifice rituals have been offered, in exhortation of prosperity and power.

And from Lee Atwater to Karl Rove and Sean Hannity, Republican political pagans have sacrificed children, minorities, immigrants, the old, the sick and the environment on the altar of greed, plutocracy and ruthless capitalism.

(Well modulated male NPR voice: “And now a brief poetic interlude.”

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius!

(“Thank you”).

Most treacherously and most harmfully of all, the forces of Tea Party and reactionary Republicanism have sacrificed the value and integrity of truth itself, in order to win elections by appealing to the most base political instincts among us, as we presciently and frequently have argued here, here, here, here and here.

Cynicism, of course, breeds further alienation and disgust, causing a downward spiral of disengagement from the process, leaving voting (and caring) to the true-believing wing-nuts who are certain they know the truth because they read or watch it at one of the ideologically-determined web sites or stations that conclusively confirms their prior held beliefs…

It’s now clear that a candidate with unlimited resources can and will blow off complaints, critiques and factual analyses of those who dare to speak up and will instead declare that the truth is whatever he or she says it is — in their paid advertising and the assertions of their mercenary prevaricators.

And, in Trump’s case, from his own, massive pie hole.

jeb-heyHow Jeb should handle The Donald. It seems the non-Trump wannabes are spending many hours preparing, war gaming and wool gathering about how to handle him in the debate.

Most of the Republicans are wary of taking on Mr. Trump because he seems impenetrable, yet they also do not want to look weak in the face of his attacks. The best they can hope for is that Mr. Trump will attack their biggest perceived opponent…

Stagecraft is critical, especially for Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker, since they are expected to be standing on either side of Mr. Trump and often in the same camera shot. Advisers say they are confident that Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker will not scowl or stiffen in reaction to anything Mr. Trump says, but rather will seek opportunities to look and sound more presidential than he does…

For our two cents, the best thing the others can do is not overthink this thing. The first time MOLOCH!!! Trump breathes fire, Jeb or John or Scott should turn to him and very calmly say:

“While I admire Mr. Trump’s skill as a businessman, I simply disagree with him on some fundamental issues: he’s supported a woman’s right to an abortion, he’s given campaign funds to Hillary Clinton in the past, he’s spoken out for single-payer universal health care. That’s fine. He’s entitled to those views. But as a conservative Republican, I have different views.”

Don’t forget to smile.

P.S. A few weeks after Trump’s oil spill offer to the White House, Axelrod reports in his book, the two of them spoke again, and Donald had a second proposition:

“I’ve got another thing for you. I build ballrooms. Beautiful ballrooms. You can go to Tampa and check one of them out for yourself.”

Not being much of a dancer, I didn’t quite know where this was heading. “I see you have these state dinners on the lawn there in these shitty little tents. Let me build you a ballroom you can assemble and take apart. Trust me. It’ll look great.”

So there’s that.

Trump Has Done to the GOP What Wilson Did in CA

Monday, July 20th, 2015

donaldtrump61815Even before he shot himself in the mouth by denigrating Sen. John McCain, the obnoxious mogul Donald Trump had done for the national Republican Party in 2015 what former Gov. Pete Wilson did for the California Republican Party in 1994: poisoned  it among Latino voters for decades to come.

In case you’ve been face-planted on the beach in Puerto Escondido after one too many mezcales, Trump’s signature immigration statement is this:

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Just over two decades earlier, an unpopular Wilson linked his re-election campaign to the drive for Proposition 187, which sought to prohibit undocumented immigrants from obtaining health care, public education and other services in California.

It worked: Prop. 187 – fueled by TV ads of Mexicans sneaking across the border with a narrator intoning “They keep coming” – won with 59% of the vote and Wilson, who had trailed in early polling, beat former Democratic state Treasurer Kathleen Brown 55-41%.

Pedro pendejo: Despite Wilson’s personal, short-term triumph, Prop. 187’s provisions were later overturned by the courts – and Latino voters, who had been warming slightly toward the Republican Party, turned sharply away. Wilson became known as hijo de puta on the streets of Mexico City and the Republican brand name was mierda de perro among Latinos throughout California.

The California Republican Party ever since has tried in myriad ways to “reach out” to Latino voters. But their problem is not a failure to communicate: with a party platform that still opposes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the GOP brand remains reviled among Latinos.

Ironically, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – fluent in Spanish and married to a Mexican woman – or with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio –himself a Cuban – as potential nominees, there was an outside chance that some Latino voters might actually consider voting for a Republican for president.

Of course neither of them supports the one issue that’s of overriding importance to Latinos – a pathway to citizenship for those without documentation. As Calbuzz has explained many times (see here, here, here and here for example), while immigration is not the No. 1 issue for Latino voters, it is the threshold issue: if a candidate is opposed to a path to legal status for immigrants, Latinos don’t even want to know his or her position on the economy, jobs, defense or anything else. That candidate is disqualified.

meyerlatino vote

 

As Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, the most famous Latino journalist in the U.S., explained in an open letter to Republicans:

The Republican Party has been complaining lately about how some Latino journalists, including me, only ask them about immigration. That is correct, but what Republicans don’t understand is that for us, the immigration issue is the most pressing symbolically and emotionally, and the stance a politician takes on this defines whether he is with us or against us.

Fun with numbers: A recent survey by the non-partisan Pew Research Center shows that 72% of Americans say immigrants here illegally should be allowed to stay if they meet some requirements. That includes 42 percent who say those immigrants should be allowed to become citizens and 26 percent who say they should only become permanent residents.

Even 56% of Republicans support a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants. In other words, a majority of Trump’s own party disagrees with him on his most basic contention about immigration.

immigrationchart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the damage Trump has done to his party’s image among Latinos is gigante. A recent poll fielded for Univision tells part of the story:

Univision’s exclusive interview reveals that Hispanic voters overwhelmingly reject Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants and give him bad grades as a presidential candidate. 79% of respondents consider Trump’s comments offensive. Only 18% don’t consider them that way. As a result, 71% have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, only 17% have a favorable opinion, and 12% have no opinion of him.

If the Republican primaries and caucuses were held today, Trump would receive just 7% of Hispanic Republicans’ votes, way less than Jeb Bush’s 38% , Marco Rubio’s 22% , and Ted Cruz’s 12%.

And if presidential elections were held now, Hillary Clinton would easily beat Trump among Hispanic voters. She would get 70% of their votes and Trump 16%.

Bottom line: Things will only get worse when it becomes apparent to Latino voters that attacking John McCain caused other Republicans to denounce Trump but that attacking Mexican immigrants was OK with them.

Calbuzz predicts that when future polling examines Latinos’ views about the Republican Party, they will have deteriorated even further.

Op Ed: Why Labor Should Attack Democrats on Trade

Friday, July 10th, 2015

trumkaBy Steve Smith
Special to Calbuzz

A recent Calbuzz post took unions to task for having the audacity to call out Democratic elected officials when they take stands or cast votes that are not in the best interest of working people. The fundamental flaw of this argument is that it assumes that labor is an arm of the Democratic Party and, as such, we should never criticize Democrats because doing so is harmful to the party.

While we strongly support many Democrats – we’re talking about the party of FDR, after all – we don’t do so blindly. Ultimately, our support or opposition of any candidate is based on what he or she does in office or what they promise they will do. And when someone like U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, who promised that he would protect middle-class jobs, votes for a trade deal that labor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and the vast majority of his fellow Congressional Dems say would be harmful to those jobs, we have the duty to hold him accountable. It’s that simple. We don’t apologize for it. We don’t backtrack from it.

beraWhy We Attacked Bera Bera’s own constituents, according to a poll by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake were against the fast track deal by a 2-to-1 margin. He, along with only four other California congressional Dems, cast votes that were in conflict with just about the entire Democratic coalition including environmentalists, human rights organizations and many others. California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton also criticized the deal. Somehow I doubt if Burton thought speaking out against it was harmful to his party’s electoral chances, he would have taken the strong stand that he did.

Yes, labor ran some ads ensuring that voters in Bera’s district knew where he stood on an issue that could affect their jobs. For that, Calbuzz compares us to the Tea Party? C’mon.

The truth is, we work hard to help elect candidates based on their support of issues of economic security. Trade is a core issue for us. Many economists link flawed trade deals to our growing inequality in America. So yes, we held Democrats who support flawed trade accountable for their votes in an effort to make these deals better for workers going forward.

Why We Attacked Glazer Then there are Democrats like Calbuzz favorite, state Sen. Steve Glazer, who, by his own admission, is not a progressive on economic issues. During the campaign, we argued that his support by the Chamber of Commerce was legitimate reason for concern. Should labor have just sat back and ignored his attacks on unions? Of course not.

steveglazer1In the first major test on an economic issue as a legislator, he took a walk on raising the minimum wage. Even the San Francisco Chronicle, which endorsed Glazer, blasted him for failing to have the courage to stand up and cast a vote on this core issue for Democrats. We hold out hope that unions and other groups fighting for economic justice will be able to find some common ground with him on some issues. We’ll see.

As for pensions, while voters have expressed their concern, polls show they reject the draconian measures to eliminate retirement security that have been put forth in statewide ballot measure attempts. This year’s measure, being spearheaded by Tea Party favorite Carl DeMaio, is being touted by the Koch Brothers-funded Reason Institute and other right-wing groups as a way to undermine unions. No surprise there.

Why We’ll Keep Attacking Labor is the last line of defense for working people in a world increasingly dominated by corporate interests. When we see Democrats drifting away from working people and toward corporate special interests, we’re going to act. We could have responded by shrugging our shoulders when Bera announced in an op-ed – lifting language directly from the Business Roundtable – that he was going to vote for fast track. Instead, we took him to task.

stevesmithAs corporations get more powerful – and they do with each passing year – it becomes increasingly important that activists and constituencies like labor remind Democratic elected officials about the core values that got them elected. Being a progressive means more than being good on social issues. It means fighting for working women and men, sometimes against enormous odds.

That’s what labor has always done. And that’s what we’ll continue to do because if we don’t hold folks accountable, pretty soon there’ll be little difference between Dems and Republicans on economic issues. And that’s exactly what the all-powerful corporate special interests want.

Steve Smith is Communications Director of the California Labor Federation

Why Labor’s Dem-on-Dem Attacks Are Foolhardy

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

LBJ2In 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson famously posed a political question to moderate civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young, then quickly answered it himself.

”You know the difference between cannibals and liberals?” the president asked. “Cannibals eat only their enemies.”

LBJ’s formulation comes to mind as we ponder the recent eat-your-own behavior of the dominant, union faction of the California and National Democratic Parties, which seems, oddly, to ape that of Tea Party Republicans.

Ideological rigidity, unwillingness to compromise, incendiary rhetoric, unreasonable demands, infuriating inconsistency and scorched earth tactics: these are just some of the characteristics of Tea Party types, whose stranglehold on Congress has so enraged liberal and moderate Democrats and Republicans alike.

Yet they’re exactly the characteristics – albeit on the left not the right — that now infest the Labor Union Wing of the Democratic Party, in California and Washington.

From Elk Grove to East Rockaway, Democratic members of Congress, from Ami Bera to Kathleen Rice, who have dared to stray from Big Labor’s take-no-prisoners stance on trade, have been pilloried as traitors to working people and others. Their mortal sin: bucking organized labor’s line on just a few issues, while hewing to it on most.

Art_Pulaski

Art Pulaski

Off with their heads: It’s understandable that Big Labor feels threatened, across the nation, by the decline in the influence and membership of industrial unions, as the manufacturing economy gives way to the cyber-service economy.

However, when crusading unions recently poured millions into a failed attempt to defeat Steve Glazer, a lifelong Democratic progressive who spent years working for Jerry Brown, in a special state Senate election — because he departed from party orthodoxy in opposing some public employee strikes – it seemed a bridge too far.

Likewise the nonstop attacks on another Democrat, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, for his sponsorship of a proposed ballot measure to give cities the right to revise taxpayer-financed pension plans.

At the recent California Democratic convention, Art Pulaski, secretary-treasurer and CEO of the California Labor Federation, vilified pro-trade agreement Democratic incumbents, denouncing by name Rep. Bera, who last year eked out a GOP ex-congressman, by the underwhelming margin of 50.4 to 49.6 percent

“It’s time to call them out,” Pulaski thundered from the podium, charging that Bera “bowed to corporate interests and kneels at the altar of profits.”

“Our message is this – you’re choosing sides,” he shouted, adding that come next election, “we’ll choose sides” against Bera. “Let’s kick ass together.”

You go, Art. Sic temper tyrannis.

samfarr

U.S. Rep. Sam Farr

Why trade is good for California: Inquiring minds want to know: when did the Democrats give up the concept of a united front – wherein a variety of legislators who agree on 90% of the issues could tolerate differences on 10%?

For decades, labor union Democrats – in the building trades, for example – mostly have managed to remain allies with environmental Democrats, even though to the former, progressive policy might mean new housing development, while to the latter that might look like urban sprawl.

Throughout California, in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County, and elsewhere across the country, Democrats of different stripes – some with jobs as their first priority, like miners or autoworkers, others with protection of the environment and social services as theirs — might disagree on specific issues, but never lost sight of their common interests.

Take U.S. Rep. Sam Farr of Monterey – as reliable a liberal Democratic vote any party purist could ask for about 96% of the time, according to the National Journal. (Nancy Pelosi scored 86%, Zoe Lofgren 78%). He has fought against offshore oil drilling off the Central Coast, which would provide jobs to union workers in construction and oil field operations. But he’s always had labor union support. He’s also one of those who dared support the Democratic president of the United States on trade.

Here’s Farr’s take on trade, from a post to constituents. We quote at length because it makes great sense to us:

The strength of the Central Coast’s economy lies not in maintaining the status quo. It lies in our ability to adapt and change to meet the demands of a global community. The Central Coast is connected to that international community. We are the home of the Defense Language Institute, the Naval Postgraduate School and many other world renowned colleges and universities. And our local businesses rely on access to new markets around the globe to compete.

Trade opens up those markets. It puts the goods we produce and the crops we grow here in California into the hands of more buyers around the world. More sales abroad create more jobs here at home. Trade is good for the Central Coast. 

I trust President Obama to deliver a better trade deal than Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell. Under TPA, any deal brought to Congress by the President will be made public and reviewed for 60 days. At the end of that time period, Congress will hold a simple up or down vote. Without TPA, the Republican controlled Congress would be able to strip out any of the tougher standards put in place by the White House.

spitting-432799We expectorate on you from a great height: Labor unions may spit on this kind of thinking, but Farr’s logic – similar to arguments made by Bera, Scott Peters and Susan Davis of San Diego and Jim Costa of the Central Valley – is not anti-working class or even anti-union; it’s a liberal Democrat’s take on the politics and policy needs of his district and the nation.

“It’s disappointing that we had a few members vote in a way that we would say was against the interests of working people in California,” Steve Smith of the California Labor Federation, told Cathy Decker of the LA Times. “And this is something we’re going to remember.”

Oy. Again with the threats.

Can’t we all just get along? Let’s behold for a moment some members of the Senate lineup who voted to support President Obama’s fast-track authority on the trade deal: Dianne Feinstein, the reigning queen of California Democrats, plus Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Not exactly a murderer’s row of right-to-work crusaders.

232354991_Fat_cat_boss_001_xlargeIn California, labor leaders are enforcing strict discipline simply because they can, in a state where Democratic power approaches hegemony. More broadly, however, the moves come at a time when unions have lost membership and influence across the nation – most significantly in Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker has busted unions and won approval of right-to-work legislation, despite the state’s history of progressive politics and trade unionism. All of which makes the Democrats’ labor wing appear desperate to hold on to whatever vestiges of power it can.

It is a plain fact that in California, public employee unions — teachers and prison guards, especially — long have been the Democrats’ number one special interest group, shoveling cash and other campaign resources to lawmakers in exchange for their knee-jerk obeisance.

“Mindful of the millions they spend electing Democrats, the public employee unions expect legislators to act like the old Soviet-era nomenklatura, compliant toadies who do what they are told,” said Tony Quinn, a former GOP political consultant who now co-authors “The Target Book,” a comprehensive collection of data on every district in the state. “So when one gets out of line it’s a big deal.”

We get that Big Labor is in decline, public support for unions has weakened and their leaders feel they’re fighting for survival. And to some extent, they are — the most powerful labor unions in the country are no longer industrial trade unions but public employee unions.

And where they’re wrong: the leaders see trade as a fundamental threat to unionized American manufacturing jobs, but their members increasingly view trade as consumers who benefit from lower-cost goods.

glazer2

State Sen. Steve Glazer

Adapt or die. Several trends in California, beyond Glazer’s convincing 10-point victory, suggest the labor Dem strategy of eating their own is, er, uh, shortsighted.

The Top Two primary system has created a friendlier political landscape for pro-business Democrats, plus incentives and openings for traditionally Republican interests, like the Chamber of Commerce, to gain favor with them through campaign backing; with the loss of partisan primaries, moderate Democrats now can succeed by courting independents and some Republicans, as Glazer proved in his successful state Senate district race.

Also, recent polling suggests widespread unhappiness with financial packages for public employees: More than eight in ten registered voters said that money spent on public pension or retirement systems is either a big problem (43 percent) of somewhat of a problem (39 percent) in a Public Policy Institute of California survey done last year.

For Democrats, this poses a huge challenge: some of their most loyal and important interests are threatening to set the big tent on fire. Sure, it’s important to draw lines from time to time. But compared to the alternative (see: Walker, Scott above) Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Ami Bera ought to be seen as on the same side of that line.

Secret bottom-line memo to labor Dems: Stop the Tea Party purges.

What Catalyzed SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

Monday, June 29th, 2015

anthonykennedyBy Hank Plante
Palm Springs Bureau Chief

Many times, familiarity breeds respect.

Look no further than Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote and author of the landmark majority opinion affirming same-sex marriage nationwide.

A Ronald Reagan appointee, Kennedy has a vacation house in the Palm Springs area, which the real estate website Trulia says has some of the most heavily concentrated “gayborhoods” in the U.S.

This means that Kennedy, who also has a gay law clerk and was mentored by a semi-closeted gay law school dean in Sacramento, lives in the real world, alongside LGBT friends, neighbors and co-workers.  And in that regard he is like most Americans… even the President of the United States.

On his trip to Palm Springs last weekend, President Obama reportedly stayed once again in the Rancho Mirage home of a gay couple.

If the Obamas buy a retirement home in the Desert, as is rumored, it surely will be in part because of the hospitality and good taste of his Thunderbird Heights hosts: Ambassador James Costos and his partner, White House decorator Michael Smith.

That’s a long way from 1953, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order banning gays and lesbians from working for the federal government. Ike’s edict also forced private companies who did business with the government to fire gay employees.

But this is a very different country.

costos-smith homeSome of my best friends…A CBS News poll taken in 2010 found 77% of Americans know someone who is gay or lesbian. That number has surely risen in the years since then, as more people come out of the closet.

None of this, of course, is news to millennials, who have grown up among close gay friends. But it remains a dilemma for Republican presidential candidates, every one of who opposes same-sex marriage, and several of who immediately and aggressively pledged to fight Friday’s ruling.

But their fight is likely to not only turn off Democrats and Independents, but many members of their own party.

The Washington Post earlier this year reported on what the paper called “the most surprising gay marriage poll we’ve seen in a long while.” The survey, by NBC News and Marist College, showed half the likely GOP voters in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina say opposition to gay marriage is “unacceptable” in a Republican candidate.

What’s good for business… Their position also puts the Republican candidates at odds with some their biggest financial backers: keeping and attracting customers is why CEOS of 379 U.S. corporations authorized support for the the Supreme Court case seeking marriage equality – a record number of amicus briefs in any case.

It can’t be comfortable for Republican presidential candidates to be at odds with names like ConAgra, Dow Chemical and General Electric?  Not to mention millennial sacred shrines like Apple, eBay and Google.

HankPlante2Of course there is more to be done.  Twenty-nine states still allow LGBT people to be fired or denied housing simply because they’re gay.  To put that another way, thanks to the Supreme Court, a gay person can get legally married in the morning and fired in the afternoon if he or she talks about it.  But Friday’s ruling should give new impetus to a bill to rectify that, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Bottom line: Gays, lesbians — and those 77% who know them — are feeling their power today.  What was once called “The love that dare not speak its name” at Oscar Wilde’s indecency trial today won’t keep its mouth shut.

Hank Plante is an Emmy and Peabody-winning journalist who has spent three decades covering California politics for the CBS TV stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  He is the Palm Springs Bureau Chief of Calbuzz.