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Posts Tagged ‘The Onion’



Ironic Potheads, Obama Mojo MIA, EJ in the Zone

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Pot post-mortem: Who knew the most interesting, intriguing and ironic question of the entire election would turn out to be: WTF did North Coast potheads vote against Proposition 19?

Calbuzz kudos to Bob Salladay of California Watch for breaking it down in a nice piece that reports how the dope legalization measure lost big in weed-rich Humboldt and Mendocino counties, which mirrored the statewide vote of 53-to-46 against, while Trinity County smoked Prop. 19 in a 60-40 landslide.

Prop. 19 undoubtedly failed because some of the state’s largest counties voted against it, not sparsely populated areas in Northern California. But that’s not stopping supporters of the initiative from lashing out at pot producers in the so-called Golden Triangle. Here’s one comment that has been getting attention:

“Lets grab machetes and head up to Humboldt… Humboldt, your little community just pissed off a ton of people who are sick of paying your inflated crop prices!”

The arguments against Prop. 19 centered in part around the layers of regulatory oversight imposed by the initiative. Some worried about a provision restricting growing to a 25-square-foot plot of land, even though the initiative allowed for larger cultivation amounts approved by local authorities….

Many felt that asking pot growers to vote for Prop. 19 was like asking bootleggers to overturn Prohibition: Why would they give up such enormous, tax-free profits?

Bottom line: the free spirits who’ve built the market in California don’t want the damn government hassling them with taxes and regulations. In other words, they’re Republicans, as Calbuzzer cartoonist Tom Meyer aptly demonstrates today.

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P.S. Also check out John Hoeffel’s look-ahead political analysis which seems to point to the inevitability of legalization, perhaps as soon as 2012.

What ever happened to the guy we elected? As Democrats across the nation, at least those without the good sense to live in California, descend ever-further into a pit of political despair following the Republican wipeout, perhaps the most depressing development has been the total weenie act being performed by a self-pitying Barack Obama.

After a sulky, day-after press conference in which he more resembled a spoiled teenager stuck in detention than what you call your Leader of the Free World, Obama sunk to new depths in a sad sack appearance on “60 minutes.”

As Huffpost blogger and business executive coach Kathleen Reardon excellently reported:

I waited last night for the confident Democratic President of the United States to appear on 60 Minutes but he never quite arrived. In fact, the president who did arrive said when asked by Steve Kroft about his promise to change Washington:

“That’s one of the dangers of assuming power. And you know, when you’re campaigning, you, I think you’re liberated to say things without thinking about, ‘Okay, how am I gonna actually practically implement this.’”

What? Nah! He didn’t say that, did he?

Washpost columnist Gene Robinson took a broader and politically more  trenchant look at the president’s woe-is-me session with Kroft.

Obama was reasonable, analytical, professorial – but also uninspired and uninspiring. I’m just being honest, if not generous; when Kroft asked whatever happened to Obama’s “mojo,” the president gave the impression that he’s been wondering the same thing.

“Do you get discouraged? Are you discouraged now?” Kroft asked.

“I do get discouraged,” Obama replied, according to the transcript of the full interview. “I thought that the economy would have gotten better by now. You know, one of the things I think you understand – as president you’re held responsible for everything. But you don’t always have control of everything, right? And especially an economy this big. There are limited tools to encourage the kind of job growth that we need. But I have fundamental confidence in this country. I am constantly reminded that we have been through worse times than these, and we’ve always come out on top. And I’m positive that the same thing is going to happen this time. You know, there are going to be setbacks, and we may take two steps forward and one step back, but the trajectory of this country is always positive.”

Well, it may be unfair, but presidents aren’t allowed to be discouraged. They aren’t allowed to talk about the limitations of the job, or the fact that they are held accountable for everything from inclement weather to the lack of a championship playoff system in college football. Presidents are not permitted to acknowledge familiarity with the concept of “one step back.” And good things aren’t “going to happen,” in the presidential lexicon. They’re already happening.

We keep wondering when the Democrats will get serious about pointing out that the Republicans who went before them — like George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger — have left behind them a path of utter devastation, from the national economy to a $25 billion California deficit. Wonder if Jerry Brown is studying what a weak-ass job President Obama has done making it clear that he’s had to clean up a pile of doggie doo left on his doorstep?

Meanwhile, truly masochistic erstwhile Obama fans won’t want to miss Politico’s take out on the president’s political perils (warning: do not attempt to read this if you are a Democrat taking Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft or suffer from suicidal ideation), although Jason Linkins helpfully lightens things a bit with a nice takedown of the piece’s extraordinary Beltway-centric perspective.

E.J to the rescue: Our old friend E.J. Dionne, who long ago set down the theoretical framework for Bill Clinton’s Third Way centrist politics, appears to have been taking an extra helping of progressive pills in recent weeks, as he’s been on a real roll with columns urging Democrats to stop whining and stiffen their spines.

After his world scooplet interview with Never Say Die Nancy Pelosi, his  smackdown of the post-election instant conventional wisdom industry and his lead-the-way analysis of some of the actual factual reasons behind the GOP House takeover, our boy outdid himself on Thursday with a terrific piece in which he picked the docile and doleful Dems up by the scruffs of their necks and tried to shake some sense into them.

Funny that when progressives win, they are told to moderate their hopes, but when conservatives win, progressives are told to retreat.

Worse, Democrats tend to internalize the views of their opponents. Already, some moderate Democrats are claiming that all would have been well if Obama had not tried to reform health care or “overreached” in other ways. Never mind that Obama’s biggest single mistake (beyond the administration’s projection that unemployment would peak around 8 percent) was giving in to Senate moderates and not demanding the much bigger stimulus plan a weak economy plainly needed.

In fact, moderate Democrats would do better calling attention to how extreme and out of touch the conservative program actually is. Moderates should be more offended than anyone that the GOP’s ideological obsessions (health-care repeal, tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation) have little connection to solving the country’s problems, particularly the economic difficulties in the electorally pivotal Midwest..

Give Republicans credit for this: They don’t chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser’s game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance..

A working class hero is something to be: If, like us, you’ve been too busy with the Odyssey of eMeg to have caught The Onion’s recent series lampooning Joe Biden, NYT biz writer Jeremy Peters is on the spot, explaining the nuances of the counter-intuitive humor behind these very funny pieces, and pointing to the best examples.

Poll: Ma’am Babs Widens Lead Over Hurricane Carly

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has expanded her lead slightly over her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who remains unknown to nearly a third of California voters, the Field Poll reports today.

Babs, who has sought to define Fiorina as a greedy former business tycoon who laid off thousands of workers and enriched herself in the process, holds a 47-41% lead in the race. And she has a big opportunity to further shape public opinion about her rival, because 28% of voters  have neither a favorable nor unfavorable view of Hurricane Carly.

Boxer’s level of support has not moved since July and those with an unfavorable view of her (48%) still outnumber those with a favorable view (45%). But her negative TV ad attacking Fiorina appears to have had some effect, with Carly’s support dropping from 44% in July, and undecideds increasing to 12%, from 9% since then.

In addition, Boxer has dramatically increased unfavorable views about Fiorina: voters with a favorable view (34%, the same as July) are outnumbered by those with an unfavorable view (38%, a big jump from 29% in July).

At the same time, Boxer’s positive ad may not have brought her more voters, but it appears to have improved her favorability. In July she had an 11-point net negative favorability of 41-52% and today her net negative is 3 percentage points.

Boxer Fiorina
Likely voters 47 41
Democrats 76 11
Republicans 10 79
Independents 46 40
Men 48 42
Women 46 40
Whites 45 47
Latinos* 48 29
LA County 47 38
Other SoCal 43 46
Central Valley 31 55
SF Bay Area 67 28
Other NorCal 41 33
Coastal 52 37
Inland 33 51
*very small sample
Field Poll 9/13/10

Both candidates are running well within their party bases: Boxer has 76% of Democrats and Fiorina has 79% of Republicans. But Boxer is also beating Fiorina 46-40% among the crucial independent voters.

And while Boxer enjoys a 46-40% lead among women, she holds a surprising  48-42% lead among men as well. This may be one of the reasons that Fiorina’s first TV spot, released Thursday, goes after Boxer as arrogant, using a clip of the hearing in June 2009 where she interrupted Brigadier Gen. Michael Walsh and asked him to call her “Senator” instead of “ma’am” because, as she put it, “I worked so hard to get that title.”

Fiorina needs to fuel the anti-Boxer anti-Washington sentiment evident in the Field Poll’s finding that while 67% of Boxer supporters say they are voting FOR her, 65% of Fiorina supporters say they are voting AGAINST Boxer. Maybe that explains the oddly off-point tag line in Fiorina’s ad where she concludes: “I’ll really go to work to end the arrogance in Washington.” (Huh?)

The Field Poll suggests there may only be a small audience for that pitch as views on Boxer – who has been in Congress for 28 years, including three terms in the Senate – are well established: only 7% of voters have no opinion about her.

Moreover, while Fiorina has a small lead among white voters (47-45%), Boxer has a huge 48-29% lead among Latinos (although the Field Poll sample of Latinos was unreliably small in this survey).

There are several issues Boxer has not yet put into a TV ad defining Fiorina in ways that are out of step with a majority of California voters. These include abortion, climate change, offshore oil drilling and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. If Boxer unloads on some or all of these, it is almost certain to affect a significant portion of the 28% of voters who as yet have no opinion about Fiorina.

Fiorina has a tough challenge: finding a way to reverse her standing with independent voters who, in California at least, tend to be politically moderate – and to the left of her – on those issues that Boxer has yet to include in her advertising.

Calbuzz is somewhat hampered in analyzing the survey in that the Field Poll has refused to allow us to become paid subscribers, with access to crosstabs until after they have been published. The data in this report come from sources.

The Field Poll surveyed 857 registered voters, including 599 likely voters, Sept. 14-21. The overall margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.1% and for likely voters it is +/- 5.8%. The data for this article are based on likely voters.

The future of print: As daily newspapers keep steadily shedding circulation, The Onion closely analyzed market conditions for the industry, and offers a a pretty damned funny hard look at the inevitable conclusion of this sad and regrettable trend. It’s here.