Fishwrap: Arnold Weiner Meets Barbra Baldassare


Bottom line on the new PPIC poll: The most dysfunctional element of California’s dysfunctional government remains its dysfunctional voters.

As we keeping carping and caterwauling, the  You Can Have It All economic mythology, famously propounded by Ronald Reagan, so continues to beguile and enchant state voters that stubborn things like facts and reason just melt away:

As much as politicians, government geeks and bureaucrats — not to mention “the media” –  get blamed, deservedly, for the mess the state is in, there stands a mountain of evidence showing that the polarized partisan gridlock in Sacramento perfectly reflects the sentiments of the electorate.

The plain fact is that California’s litany of problems is underpinned by an everything-for-nothing ethic among voters that is both conflicted and contradictory.

This just in:

1-Nearly two-thirds of voters favor Krusty’s budget proposal; over half oppose what’s actually in the proposal.

2-Seven in 10 Californians say they’re willing to pay higher taxes to support K-12 education; big majorities oppose actual higher taxes.

3-Three of four voters really like the initiative system; 8 in 10 say it should be changed.

With his usual, hyperbolic language, PPIC polltaker Mark Baldassare offers this over-the-top opining:

Californians have favorable views of the governor’s revised budget plan and his special election ideas. Yet the fact that fewer than half support his tax and fee package raises questions about the outcome if the voters have their say.

Kudos to Walters and Myers, the only guys who got the lede right, as Big John ekes out Big Bad Dan in the Little Pulitzer competition, thanks to his way awesome hed: “Let us vote, watch us say no.”

Is that a Twitter in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? We suspect the Beltway obsession with Rep. Anthony Weiner’s crotch shot tweet has more to do with their love of completely lame puns and double entendres than with their dirty raincoat, heh-heh-heh looky-loo lust for a cheesy sex scandal. Or not.

In our tireless effort to raise America’s level of civil discourse, we strongly recommend you forego reading anything about this matter except Julie Soderlund’s professional and high-minded opus on how Mr. Weenie violated every possible rule of political communications (h/t: Flash).

That said, after reading her piece, we were forced to email Ms. Julie with one key question: WTF are “chonies”?
Herself replies: “Underoos. :-)”
At least she didn’t tweet it.

Toldja! Kudos to Calbuzz pal and network morning show get Ann Louise Bardach for her prescient, now back in circulation 2004 Los Angeles Magazine piece – “Taming the hydra-headed carnivorous tabloid beast” – which threw an early warning flag on Arnold Schwarzscandal’s multiple love children while detailing the damning case of how Conan and his scary lawyers succeeded in squashing such reportage in the tabs.

There he goes again: All-Madden Newshound Team superstar Timm Herdt once again laps the field with his coverage of the soon-to-break story about the first-look new reapportionment plan.

This time, not-so-tiny Timm reports great hard gritty stuff about the violence the (all rise) California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is about to do to his home turf of Ventura, an important harbinger of how the rest of Southern California will break down:

Citing the imperative of protecting minority voting rights in Monterey County, members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission on Wednesday said they see no choice but to carve up Ventura County as they piece together legislative districts farther down the Central Coast.

The options presented by their technical staff included Assembly districts that split both Oxnard and Thousand Oaks nearly in half.

Complete look at the preliminary new lines comes a week from today. Should be an interesting summer.

People who need people: For those who can never get enough about rich people’s real estate, this addendum to Calbuzz coverage of the newly simmering controversy over state ownership of Barbra Streisand’s Malibu Palace in the Park.

Turns out that  a year after Babs gifted the 22-acre property to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, she had Her People send an eyes-only angry letter to agency honcho Joe Edmiston, complaining that media reports about her donation claimed that the Funny Girl herself had “personally supervised the decoration of each of the houses at the ranch.”

Buried in the April 6, 1994 edition of the By God L.A. Times, a lovely little Myron Levin story with the way-cool headline “Letter Clears Streisand of Bad Taste in Home Decorating”:

Barbra Streisand took umbrage at reports she personally decorated the Malibu estate she gave the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy…

There have been several errors in media reports dealing with Barbra’s gift to the conservancy,” including the “statement that Barbra personally supervised the decoration of each of the houses at the ranch,” began the letter from Streisand business manager Susan Keenberg.

The Barwood House was decorated by ‘professionals’ when Barbra was in Europe, making the movie “Yentl” (released in 1983), Keenberg wrote. “She (Streisand) had virtually nothing to do with the selection of materials and colors for the Barwood House and was terribly distressed upon her return to California to find the house decorated in a manner that certainly was not consistent with her own good taste. In fact, the Barwood House had been built with the intention of using it as a place to do the film editing for ‘Yentl.’ When Barbra returned from Europe and saw the Barwood House, she was so shocked by the colors that she did not use the house for film editing or any other purpose,” Keenberg wrote.

“I am bringing all of this to your attention today as a preface to the following requests: 1. It is Barbra’s fervent hope that the Conservancy will cover the yellow and burgundy tiles in the living room with a rug. (A pale pink to match the walls would be a good color.) Barbra has always found these tiles to be very offensive and she cannot bear the thought of them being exposed to view by those who will be visiting the property. 2. Barbra is equally hopeful that you will paint the fireplace in the living room of the Barwood House one color.  She thinks it looks just awful the way it is right now.”

Eyes only memo to C.D.:  Great stuff in the clips.

Debtors prison: For those earnest and responsible citizens determined to fend off sleep, the better to pay close attention to the debate over the federal debt ceiling, don’t miss Gretchen Morgenson’s  useful information piece. And cue the sound effects man.

News that stays news: Scientists discovers fat guys sit down too much.

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  1. avatar tegrat says:

    There must be a dozen well-documented blogs out there demonstrating without a doubt that the weenie shot was a complete scam (even if they are his -correct term – “choners”). Why Weiner has handled this affair in such a jacked up way is certainly befuddling.

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