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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’



DiFi Shocker: Whadya Mean She’s Not Running?!?!?

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Feinstein shocker: We were floored – floored! – at Dianne Feinstein’s announcement in Orange County Tuesday that she’s decided not to run for governor.

Not because she turned thumbs down on the campaign, but because as a Convent of the Sacred Heart girl, we expected she would have the grace and courtesy to hold off until the official first anniversary of the piece with which we launched Calbuzz – “Why Dianne Feinstein Won’t Run for Governor” – so we could mark the momentous occasion in a properly flamboyant manner.

Madeline Sophie Barat would be soooo disappointed in you, Dianne.

We did, however, get a kick out of the world-weary tone of Dena Bunis, the Register’s DC chef de bureau, in reporting the news:

I don’t know anyone in political circles who really thought Feinstein was going to give up the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee – she’s the first woman to hold that post – to try for another run for California’s chief executive.

Ha! Excuse us while we build a stadium big enough to hold our laughter. Yeah right, no brilliant California cognoscenti insiders had that thought for a second – which is why stories speculating about DiFi jumping into the race got recycled through the California press (and blogosphere) with the regularity of the garbage guys picking up the cans on Monday morning. Sheesh.

There we were, out on the limb, as everyone from Costco Carla to the Oracle of Cruickshank seemed hell bent on sawing off our perch just to see if they could send us crashing to the ground. (Memo to Scott Sabatini at examiner.com: We’ll take our Momo’s martinis very dry).

What’s the matter – Larry King wasn’t available? So after months of bashing Meg Whitman for spending all her time talking to national media types instead of the greasy grubs of the California political press corps, Steve Poizner now decides to nominate a couple of Beltway Wise Guys to moderate the one and only debate he knows he’ll get with the elusive eMeg.

In a letter to the New Majority, the band of fat cats who are sponsoring the debate on March 15, Poizner campaign manager Jim Bognet tells the group’s leaders they have “an opportunity to raise the profile of the New Majority and you are in the rare position to garner significant statewide coverage for the event. “

Fortunately, two well-known and respected journalists have already expressed interest in moderating the debate:

–Juan Williams, Fox News and National Public Radio
–Mark Halperin, Time Magazine and Author of “Game Change”

We feel strongly that this debate should be viewed by as many Californians as possible and involving either of these journalists would greatly increase the likelihood of national cable news coverage or statewide coverage from network affiliates. Having this debate widely televised is key to giving Republican voters across the state the opportunity to learn about the candidates.

You gotta be kiddin’, Bognet. Putting aside the most obvious choice for neutral, well-informed, if not well-groomed, moderators (we name no names) there’s a whole batch of distinguished California types who’d not only do a superb job of making the trains run on time for the TV cameras, but actually know something about  state issues. Think John Diaz, Jack Kavanagh and Warren Olney for starters, not to mention the esteemed Dr. P.J. Hackenflack who, we have on strong authority, is free that evening.

At least she’s consistent: Joe Garafoli’s tape of eMeg cutting and running after one question from the reporters who showed up to cover her Baja Commonwealth Club appearance in Lafayette the other night is an instant classic. Although the quality of the video is only slightly worse than a 7-11 security camera might get of the guy cadging cookies over in Aisle 3, the spectacle of Whitman being hustled away, as if being chased by hyenas, while Costco Carla is in mid-follow-up mode, is priceless.

The volcanic Sara Pompei, one of the cutters-and-runners featured in the tape, insists eMeg is getting a bad rap on the whole she’s-afraid-to-talk-to-informed-reporters meme, noting that the candidate doled out a couple minutes each to several Bay Area TV types this week, including our old friend Hank Plante, who managed a couple nuggets out of her, including her claim that she can identify $15 billion in savings in the budget.

(Hey Meg, here’s a thought: If you really know where to trim $15 billion why not send a note to H.D. Palmer over in Finance and tell the poor, ignorant bastard where he’s overlooking the obvious savings that you, in all your wisdom, have divined.)

Even as eMeg starts to ease into talking to reporters who actually live here, however, communications director Tucker Bounds let the cat out of the bag in talking to Steve Harmon of  the CoCo Times:

The simple truth is this: California voters watch their local TV news a lot more than they read their local newspaper, and as a result, Meg Whitman has been interviewing with local newscasts at virtually every stop along the campaign trail.

Wait ’til the by-God L.A. Times reads that!

Foy coy no longer: Few Californians statewide have likely heard of Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, but his endorsement of Poizner this week was a nice little pick-up for The Commish. A darling of the Tea Party set, the name of the conservative Foy was widely batted about early this year as a possible movement conservative to challenge the squishes Poizner and Whitman.

The endorsement of the pro-life Foy will capture the attention of right-wing believers among GOP insiders, folks who actually work on political campaigns:

As much as anything else, we need to have confidence in our governor and a belief in the values and principles he or she will bring to the job. But I ask you today to consider something perhaps even more important: We must also evaluate the judgment and instinct of our candidate and give special consideration to how they will approach those challenges and circumstance we do not foresee today. Whatever the issue, I am confident Steve Poizner will not veer off the conservative course.

Unlike a certain Van Jones-loving, Delta Smelt-coddling, Barbara Boxer kissy-pooing, other so-called Republican he could name but chooses not to in the event she wins the nomination.

In other news: Don Ringe today presents an exclusive interview with Sarah Palin, opining why Foy would have been just the ticket for the state GOP.

Never trust Husband #9: The AP finally tumbled to the fact that “Prince” Frederic van Anhalt, ninth spouse of Zsa Zsa Gabor, has decided to throw his crown into the ring as an independent candidate for governor.

Those who think he’s just another amusing goofball candidate, may wish to check out his background, chronicled in graphic detail by TMZ here, here and here.

How Climate Change Law Shapes the Gov Race

Monday, January 11th, 2010

megkissingsarahAlthough a 12.3% unemployment rate and $20 billion budget deficit ensure the economy will dominate California’s race for governor, Republican front-runner Meg Whitman has guaranteed that the environment will also be a high-profile issue in the campaign.

Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, declared in September that her first act as governor would be to suspend the state’s pioneering climate change law, AB32. It was a high-risk political move for Whitman, putting her campaign at odds with the views of a large majority of California voters while, more broadly, re-igniting a statewide debate about the impact of strong environmental regulation on economic growth.

AB32, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law in 2006, sets increasingly stringent caps on greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a 25% reduction by 2020. The governor’s office described the bill as “a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases.”

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Percentages in favor. Source: PPIC

That’s not how Whitman sees it. The law, she says, “will lead to higher energy costs at a time when we can least afford them. They will discourage job creation and could kill any recovery.” Schwarzenegger, who encouraged the measure, answered Whitman’s statements with sharp criticism for all those who assert a conflict between the economy and the environment:

“I think there are people that just don’t believe in fixing and working on the environment,” he said. “They don’t believe there is such a thing as global warming, they’re still living in the Stone Age.”

Whether the measure is the best approach to reducing greenhouse gases – about which there is considerable debate – Whitman’s stance against it flies in the face of California political trends in recent decades. Like abortion rights, environmental protection is strongly favored by independent, decline-to-state voters, as well as by large majorities of Democrats. As with the issue of choice, taking a stance in opposition to popular opinion can kill the general election chances of a statewide candidate.

Already, the liberal Courage Campaign has attacked Whitman in a radio ad, comparing her position on carbon reduction targets to that of Sarah Palin. Significantly, Whitman used the ad by the leftist grassroots organization as a fundraising tool, positioning herself as a free market champion under attack.

As a political matter, the candidate’s AB32 opposition may make some short-term tactical sense. Her first challenge is to win the Republican primary contest, where right-wing voters dominate, and where she faces Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former Rep. Tom Campbell. The Public Policy Institute of California recently reported that, among Republicans, support for AB 32 has fallen in recent years, from 65-to-20% in favor in 2006 when it was passed to 43-to-46% against the measure in 2009.

As an aside in the GOP primary but a harbinger for the general election, Democrats in the state stand 78-to-12% in favor of the law and independents are 67-to-23% in favor of it.

And while 89% of California Democrats and 75% of independents say “it is necessary to counter the effects of global warming right away,” Republicans are split on that issue, with 44% favoring immediate action and 46% saying it isn’t necessary to take steps yet.

Whitman’s strategy could ultimately backfire. It is difficult to see the environment as a determinative issue in the GOP primary, where Poizner more quietly takes the same position as Whitman while Campbell favors AB32. Republicans historically have not picked candidates according to their positions on the environment

But Democrats and independents do, and they will be voting in the general election.

PPIC reported that about nine in 10 California Democrats and eight in 10 independents say the government should regulate greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories to reduce global warming. Whitman might call that a “job killer,” but she would do so at her political peril: even 54% of Republicans favor such measures, according to PPIC polling.

It’s not hard to envision an anti-Whitman ad quoting Schwarzenegger:

Some have challenged whether AB 32 is good for businesses. I say unquestionably it is good for businesses. Not only large, well-established businesses, but small businesses that will harness their entrepreneurial spirit to help us achieve our climate goals.

While Whitman has been raising the issue’s profile, the state Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB32 Implementation, headed by Sen. Fran Pavley, a Democrat who represents Malibu, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and other L.A. beach enclaves, has begun hearings on Schwarzenegger’s implementation of the measure.

“It’s time to figure out whether we mean what we say or not,” said committee member  Sen. Joe Simitian, a Democrat from Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz.

Further driving the environment onto the front burner is Gov. Schwarzenegger’s renewed effort to gain approval of the controversial Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil project in Santa Barbara which — whether is has merit or not — will almost certainly serve as a rhetorical line of demarcation between environmental purists and appeasers.

At the same time, the governor’s Office of Planning and Research has been instructed to promulgate guidelines by which cities and counties can evaluate the effects on global warming of new development – a result of lawsuits brought by Attorney General Jerry Brown. The presumptive Democratic candidate for governor, Brown with his actions has forced consideration of global warming into local planning decisions.

Whitman may please Republican conservatives on the issue, but she is up against broader political forces that favor policies to slow down climate change, including a huge portion of general election voters who want California to lead the way.

A version of this post was published today in the Los Angeles Times.

Fishwrap: Poll-pourri, Scofflaw Sarah, Prince’s Pay

Friday, December 18th, 2009

schnurhitherWhen our old friend Dan Schnur outlined results of the USC-LA Times poll last month, he made a special point of noting that Democrats are not all that happy that their only choice in the governor’s race is Attorney General Jerry Brown.

In a conference call about the poll, the ex-Pete Wilson mouthpiece and Republican strategist who now directs the Unruh Institute of Politics, said he knew this because the pollsters inserted the following question while they were still in the field after SF Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped out of the race:

As you may have heard, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped out of the race to become the Democratic candidate for governor on Friday, leaving former Governor Jerry Brown as the only major political figure seeking the Democratic nomination. Are you satisfied with Brown as the only major figure seeking the nomination or do you think it is important for Democratic voters to have additional choices in who to nominate to be the Democratic candidate for governor?

As Calbuzz noted at the time, this was a loaded, partisan question. Given the wording, we were surprised that about a third of Democratic primary voters said they were satisfied while only 65% said it’s important to have more choices. It was hard to believe that Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Public Opinion Strategies – the prominent Democratic and Republican firms hired to do the survey – could have allowed such a dog-ass question.

But LMAO: Now comes PPIC’s new poll with this question – for all respondents:

In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June?

And guess who’s the least satisfied? Schnur’s fellow Republicans.

Democrats: 38% satisfied and 41% not satisfied – 3% net not satisfied.
Republicans:  25% satisfied and 43% not satisfied – 18% net not satisfied.
Independents: 29% satisfied and 45% not satisfied – 16% net not satisfied.

You can’t always get what you waaaaaant . . .

And another thing: Just between us, Dan, what’s with the come hither promo photo? We’re just sayin’.

goingrouge

Next time you’ll get the buzz cut: Our Arthur Godfrey Memorial National Talent Scout Team went far afield for this week’s winner of the coveted Investigative Punditry award, which goes to Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune, for his piece telling the story of a local hairdresser who got royally screwed over by the loathsome Sarah Palin.

Rolly scored an interview with one Rhonda Halliday, proprietor of the widely-known Images Hair Studio and Day Spa, who got an early morning call from a friend helping out the purse holders in the entourage of Palin, who was breezing through SLC for a book signing.

Come at once, Halliday was told, Sarah needs her hair done, and pronto.

Dumping a scheduled trip to the dentist with her 3-year old, she hustled to the Monaco Hotel, where she parked her car with the valet, as instructed,  then ran up to work on the Great Woman’s tresses – after being told “Don’t talk to her unless she talks first.”

Then the Palin party left to get to the book signing at Costco on time. Halliday was the last one out of the room because she had to put her equipment away, then watched as they all drove off without anyone mentioning payment or a tip, which is common when the hairdresser travels to the client for the appointment.

When the valet attendant got her car, he said that would be $10. She said she was with the Palin party and assumed they would take care of parking. That was news to him, so she had to fork over the $10.

Hockey mom, indeed.

Speaking of the stupidity of Sarah Palin, thanks to Cenk Uygur for “The Irrefutable Stupidity of Sarah Palin,” where he pointed to Sled Dog Sarah’s recent interview with Bill O’Reilly in which the Big Fella asked her is she’s “smart enough” to be president and got this astonishing response:

I believe that I am because I have common sense and I have I believe the values that I think are reflective of so many other American values, and I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the um, the ah, a kind of spineless spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite, Ivy League education and, and a fat resume that is based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans are could be seeking something like that in a positive change in their leadership, I’m not saying that that has to be me.”

There were no injuries.

BTW:  If you don’t want to support Palin by purchasing her “Going Rogue: An American Life,” you could consider buying a copy of “Going Rouge: An American Nightmare” (did you catch that in the photo above?), the work of Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, editors at the progressive magazine The Nation.

matierandross

No wonder he’s unbearably conceited: Underscoring the Rolly Rule that all good columnists are first of all great reporters, the Chron’s joined-at-the-hip boys, Phil Matier and Andy Ross, rolled out some jaw-dropping factoids in their Monday piece that deserve a second look.

Seems that Gavin Newsom, erstwhile candidate for governor and current pouty mayor of San Francisco, would have taken a 30% pay cut had he succeeded in his misguided attempt to be elected California’s chief executive: Amazing but true, Prince Gavin makes $246,464 as Baghdad by the Bay’s Alcalde, compared to the $173,987 salary that Gov. Schwarzmuscle doesn’t take each year.

And his snout’s not alone in the trough, not by a long shot, according to M&R: S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris, for example, faces a $76,212 slash in her $227,339 salary should she be elected attorney general. Lucky for the little people,  she takes a noblesse oblige view of things: “If I had gone into law to make money, I wouldn’t be here in the first place.”

kamalaharrisFortunately for Harris, she may not have to struggle to make ends meet on the AG’s pay, once her rivals get around to making Alexander Izaguirre a household name.

As reported  by the LAT’s Michael Finnegan, Izaguirre was among an unknown number of illegal immigrant felons that Harris’s office diverted into a much-ballyhooed jobs program as an alternative to prison;  while so enrolled he was busted on multiple felony charges in a vehicular assault case, in which 29-year old Amanda Kiefer was mugged by Izaguirre, then suffered a fractured skull after he jumped into the passenger seat of a car driven by an associate, who ran her down.

“If they’ve committed crimes and they’re not citizens, then why are they here,” Kiefer later told Finnegan. “Why haven’t they been deported?” Two questions we expect campaign consultants for the numerous foes of Let Them Cake Kamala are mulling with great interest.

Three Dot Lounge: Calbuzz welcomes to the blogosphere Bill Whalen, former Pete Wilson speech writer, who’s just launched Politi-Cal. Here’s hoping that Whalen, who hangs out at the Hoover Institution, where Wilson is also encamped, doesn’t turn sock puppet for Pedro protégé eMeg Whitman…046-510

Nice work by Josh Richman of the Coco Times  and Andrew McIntosh of the B-  for penetrating the mysteries of Steve Poizner’s personal wealth and sundry  political contributions…

Must read of the week: A terrific situationer on the state of state Republicans by Washpostman Michael Leahy, who used the controversial recall of GOP Assemblyman Anthony Adams as an entry point.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Sarah Palin meets Miss Teen South Carolina.

Humpday: What Sarah & eMeg Have in Common

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

palin winkThere’s always a local angle: Amid the all the media frippery about Sarah Palin’s new cash cow memoir, Calbuzz has been desperately searching our beat for any bit of trivia to let us horn in on Sarahmania. Finally, our Betamax, Eight Track Tape and Historic Video Research Department unearthed from the vault a classic bit of on-air political combat featuring a key player  in California’s race for governor.

Tucker Bounds, who currently serves as Meg Whitman’s deputy campaign manager for communications, in 2008 was signed on to the “McCain for President” effort, which at one point dispatched him to defend Palin on CNN in an appearance that quickly became a You Tube classic.

Just four days before, what your political writers like to call your Republican Standard Bearer had picked the then-obscure Alaska governor as his running mate, and the first wave of white-hot media scrutiny was still focused on her, um, credentials as a potential Commander in Chief. CNN’s Campbell Brown greeted Bounds with a ferocious assault, demanding he support the McCain camp’s argument that Palin was far more qualified for executive office than Barack Obama.brown bounds

When Bounds cited Palin’s alleged experience leading the Alaska National Guard, it was on. Brown spent the next several minutes ripping his face off, repeatedly taunting him to name a single action Palin had taken in that role that remotely qualified her to be president. Without a shred of supporting evidence for his claim, Bounds gamely hung in through the rest of the “interview,” but when it was over, McCain’s furious handlers abruptly canceled the candidate’s long-scheduled appearance with Larry King as retribution for Brown’s slashing performance.

Next up: Having established Palin’s national security cred with the Alaska National Guard, Bounds qualifies Whitman for national duty by noting that  countless armies of toy soldiers have been bought and sold on eBay.

Palin Redux: We saw only snippets of Palin’s long-awaited appearance on Oprah (slight digression: we hadn’t caught sight of O. since the inauguration and she appears in recent months to have been seriously working out with the knife and the fork) but that was plenty.

oprah.0.0.0x0.360x381Putting aside her utter lack of self-awareness and full-blown case of narcissistic personality disorder, the fact that she’s making MILLIONS OF DOLLARS with her inane book set off a round of Calbuzz tooth-gnashing that cracked a couple of old amalgam crowns dating back to the ’80s.

Among the commentariat, Alessandra Stanley’s account in the Times seemed to best capture the excruciating experience of watching Palin’s insufferable, self-absorbed mugging and posing:

On the show Ms. Winfrey treated Ms. Palin the way she handled former child star and self-described incest victim Mackenzie Phillips — with guarded civility and thinly veiled skepticism.

When Ms. Winfrey asked about her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston, who has been saying unflattering things about Ms. Palin and may be shopping a book of his own, Ms. Palin tried, and failed, to stay on message. She began by saying that “national television is not the place” to air grievances against the father of her first grandchild, then proceeded to call him “Ricky Hollywood” and say that his plans to pose for Playgirl magazine amounted to “aspiring porn.”

When Ms. Winfrey asked if she would invite Mr. Johnston to Thanksgiving, Ms. Palin gave one of her trademark wandering answers: “You know, that’s a great question,” Ms. Palin said. “And it’s lovely to think that he would ever even consider such a thing.”

As for Johnston & Johnson, Levi is The Man in producing this week’s sign the end of civilization is near here.

It’s Willie’s williebrownspeakingWorld, the rest of us just live in it: Speaking of world-class egomaniacs, Willie Brown offered a defining look into his political soul in his Sunday offering for the Chron (still running in the news pages for reasons that remain unfathomable).

Defending Speaker and home girl Nancy Pelosi against criticisms that she ceded too much to conservative Democrats (including passage of the strongly anti-abortion Stupak Amendment) in moving health care reform through the House, the Ayatollah opined:

Nancy knows that the first thing on every Democratic House member’s mind is getting re-elected. In turn, as speaker, her first and foremost job is to ensure they get re-elected.

She also knows that the most important vote they cast once they are re-elected will be to keep her as speaker.

And if that means letting them be a Republican now and then, so be it.

Ah-ha. Forget a strong public option, abortion rights and cost containment, what really matters is who gets to wear the crown. Got it.

billwatkins

These are the good old days: Bill Watkins, California’s sharpest  economist and FOC (Friend of Calbuzz) has moved his formidable financial forecast operation south, from UC Santa Barbara to the campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

There, his newly ensconced Center for Economic Research and Forecasting has just delivered a doozy of a downer prognosis for the state, which translates from econo-speak to: grim, grim, grim.

Among the more striking features of the report is the vehemence of its criticism of state government amid the painful recession:

California’s economy –burdened by endless budget deficits, high taxation, declining spending, onerous regulation, and what seems to be a generalized lack of concern about the economy – continues to underperform the United States economy in every measure. It is amazing to us to watch the political class during this business cycle.

The political problems with Sacramento have become too obvious to ignore, hence, the various proposals to change state government. The economic problems are apparently not so obvious. They continue to be ignored. There seems to be a consensus that California will bounce back, ‘just as we always have.’ We don’t believe California will bounce back without a positive effort…

Balancing California’s budget over the long run would be a good initial step in a positive effort to encourage growth. As it is, the State will face another budget crisis this winter. Based on past performance it is a safe bet that they will not provide a permanent solution that is consistent with long-term economic growth.

Yeah, but other than that they’re doing a helluva job up there, no?

Weekend Swap Meet: Taxes, Death & Sarah Palin

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

carbontaxA bump for Keeley: One largely overlooked finding in news coverage of this week’s much-discussed PPIC poll was evidence of strong statewide support for a pollution tax on carbon-based fuels.

As a political matter, the finding is significant because the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy – aka the Parsky Commission - is considering such a levy as part of a package of liberal proposals, as the group works towards a formal recommendation for reforming state tax policy.

In the poll, 56 percent of those surveyed said they support a carbon tax, with 35 percent opposed. Democrats – 73-to-20 percent – and independents – 52-to-39 percent – both back the idea, while Republicans oppose it 60-to-33 percent.

The carbon tax question was one in a series that PPIC asked to test public attitudes about global warming. Six in 10 Californians believe that the effects of global warming have already begun, while 75 percent say immediate steps are needed to counter its effects.

The poll-takers also asked whether people favor a “cap and trade” system of regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Although Californians also favor such a plan, they do with only a plurality of 49-to-40 percent, with both Democrats and independents backing it by smaller margins than the carbon tax; Republicans oppose it, but like it slightly more than the carbon tax.

fred keeley_0102A tax on carbon-based fuels is one element of a plan for overhauling the state’s tax system that has been presented to the Parsky Commission by Santa Cruz County Treasurer Fred Keeley, a former Assemblyman, who leads the commission’s liberal faction. Keeley’s proposal calls for the “pollution tax” to move inversely with the price of crude oil, in order to put a floor under the price of gasoline.

“As proposed, the fuel tax will help to stabilize state revenues and reduce volatility by providing a steady source of revenue,” Keeley said in a presentation to fellow commissioners. “By supporting the clean energy and transportation industry, which many investors view as the next growth industry, this proposed tax reform will advance California’s role as a leader in the clean energy sector.”

(Memo to Fred: Hey, clean out your cell phone voice mail, man – how are we supposed to get a fresh quote?)

milton-friedman

Shock doctrine: threat or menace? Calbuzz bets that Tom Campbell, the Dudley Do-Right of  California politics, is the only candidate in America to issue a press release in which he gets all misty on the occasion of the, uh, third anniversary of the death of Milton Friedman.

“This Friday would have been Milton Friedman’s 97th birthday,” Campbell announced to the state’s political press corps, many of whose members, remarkably, might have remained otherwise oblivious to the occasion (we name no names). “He passed away in November, 2006, vibrant and insightful to the very end of his life.”

Ah, Milton, we hardly know ye’.

Nothing if not terminally earnest, the Republican wannabe’ governor recounted his long, personal history with the hard line conservative economist, who served as Campbell’s faculty adviser at the University of Chicago, before finally getting around to the political pandering: “On his birthday, it is an appropriate moment…to take a warning from his life’s work about current attempts to inject government regulation more and more into our country’s economy.”

Indeed.

Coincidentally, a very different view of the late Professor Friedman was propounded yesterday by state labor leader Willie Pelote over at California Progress Report.

“…economic shock therapy is based on the theories of University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman, who strongly believed that governments should play no role in the economic sphere other than to protect the rights of property owners…(S)ocieties in which these policies have been enacted are generally characterized by increased poverty, an ever widening gap between rich and poor, and a widespread host of social and economic problems most commonly associated with Third World countries.”

Boy, we just can’t wait for that constitutional convention to Bring Us All Together.

SarahPalinWavingGoodbyePalin Redux: As Politico was reporting Friday that Sarah Palin has decided to stiff  the Simi Valley Republican Women by backing out of her previously announced speech at the Reagan Library (Palin let them know via Facebook), Calbuzz was still trying to get our heads around the erstwhile Alaska’s governor farewell address.

To us, she mostly sounded like your teenager, who wrecks the family car, then insists you should loan it to her again because if she thought she was going to wreck twice, would she even ask?

“It is because I love Alaska this much, sir, that I feel it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session in one’s last year in office. How does that benefit you? With this decision now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right and for truth.”

What…evvverrr…