Posts Tagged ‘Milton Friedman’

Swap Meet: Google Text Ads Meet Health Care Riots

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

stevepointingAt least he’s not defensive: Thanks to the anonymity-please Calbuzzer who forwarded a Steve Poizner Google text ad encountered during a no-doubt vigorous session of web surfing. It reads, in full:

“Be Well Informed in 2010 – www.StevePoizner.com –Meg isn’t the only candidate. See the alternatives.”

To which the alert member of the Calbuzz Insider News Tip Team smartly opines: “A little defensive, don’t you think?”

Yes, we do, though it’s not hard to understand the frustration that led Team Poizner to post it. While the Insurance Commissioner has begun to make  himself accessible to the press and is offering substantive speeches and policy proposals on issues like water, Meg merrily captures national attention by doing little more than flashing her Cabbage Patch smile.

Latest example of eMeg’s duck-the-press strategy is freezing Calbuzz out of a “Lincoln Speaker Series” fundraiser tossed by the Santa Cruz County GOP, a move which likely has Honest Abe spinning in his grave.

“I’ll be sure to let you know when there’s another event in the area that will be open to media,” Whitman flack Sarah Pompei told us.

Hey thanks a bunch for your faux sincerity, Sarah, we’ll be sure to hold our breath. Sorry about that whole volcano thing, BTW.

Milton_FriedmanWhat would Milton do: Speaking of defensive, Joel Fox over at Fox and Hounds Daily risked dislocating a hip by leaping up and rushing forward to respond after Joe Matthews Mathews wrote a smart column on the same site suggesting that the late, iconic economist Milton Friedman would see the present need to amend Proposition 13.

“I think it is safe to say,” Fox wrote, with a bit of a protests-too-much tone, “that if Milton Friedman were asked today if he would vote for Proposition 13, his answer would be ‘yes.’”

The brainy Mathews isn’t so sure.

He recounted an interview he had with Friedman four years ago in which the great chrome dome said that Prop. 13 had turned out to be a “mixed bag.” Even though Uncle Milton supported the tax cut measure at the time it passed – even making a TV ad for it – he said in the interview that “it’s a bad tax measure because the property tax is the least bad tax there is” adding that it helped bring about an over-reliance on sales and income tax revenue.

Mathews’ otherwise thoughtful piece was badly flawed, however, by his gratuitous inclusion of the fact that he – Mathews, not Friedman – was just five years old when Prop. 13 passed in 1978. A bushel of big fat raspberries from the Calbuzz AARP and Geezer Auxiliary Division for that crack, pal.

Assembly’s Hidden Ball Trick: The By God L.A. Times finally caught up with Capitol Weekly’s Anthony York, who first reported last week on how the political geniuses in the Assembly expunged the official record of the big budget vote against Arnold’s offshore oil drilling proposal. True, the Times did broaden the story to talk about the mischievous practice of dumping vote tallies on other controversial legislation (leading widely-known media critics to suggest their newsroom still operates on its pre-digital principle: “it doesn’t matter if we write it last, as long as we write it long”). But it was left to the reliable Timm Herdt to actually report the damn vote on his blog for the Ventura County Star.


Say it ain’t so Mark: Calbuzz has been second to none in bashing Senator Leland Yee for his preposterous notion to turn over governing authority of the UC system to the clown show of the Legislature. But even we have to admit that the Regents offered up a big fat argument in favor of the notion with their latest let-them-eat-cake move, awarding comfy raises and bonuses to top administrators at the same meeting that President Mark Yudof presented the board his plan to whack the salaries of every other UC employee through a mandated furlough policy. The relentless Nanette Asimov dug out the story for the Chron.

A shameful spectacle: All Right Thinking People agree that the recent spate of thuggish shout-downs and near-riots at town hall meetings, convened to talk about health care by members of congress across the nation, are a pure and simple disgrace, orchestrated in part by the kind of vicious-minded reactionary consultants who doubtless find amusing the dangerous ranting of the lunatic Glenn Beck and the repulsive Michelle Malkin.

These Brown Shirt exhibitions of George Wallace throwback behavior fuel not-so-latent racism and visceral fear of the rapidly changing economy among white working class folks who scream with fury when asked about a public option for health care insurance one minute, then shout out huzzahs for Medicare the next.

Always solution oriented, Calbuzz has a small but substantive suggestion for lowering the volume: require attendees to show some form of identification at the door to prove they actually live in the congressional district where the town hall is being held.

Breathless anticipation: Only 305 days to the 2010 primary. Have a great weekend.

Dr. Hackenflack Answers Your Questions

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, Calbuzz staff political psychiatrist, has received a boat-load of letters from anxious Californians. At the urging of the Calbuzz Senior Executive Advisory Board, he agreed to share a few with our readers.

Dear Dr. Hackenflack,
I heard somewhere that Gavin Newsom had a bitter falling out with a former top aide. What was that all about?
— Tom A., Sacramento
They had a rather strong disagreement on the issue of heterosexual marriage.

Hey Doc,
Antonio Villaraigosa said he was too busy solving LA’s budget problems to attend the Democratic convention in Sacramento, but he found time to go to the White House correspondent’s dinner. What gives?
— John B. San Francisco
He preferred spending Saturday night with Demi Moore instead of Debra Bowen.

Dear Dr. H,
Some people say Jerry Brown is too damn old to be governor again. How old is he anyhow?
— Garry in South Park
I’ll let you know when the carbon dating results come back.

My Dear Doctor Hackenflack,
These ballot propositions are, like, totally confusing? And my little sister keeps pressuring me to, like, make up my mind about them? And she wouldn’t stop until she totally stressed me out about it? What should I do?
— Dianne in DC
Never let them see you cry.

Am I crazy or does Steve Poizner look like the guy playing Spock in the new Star Trek movie?
— L. McCoy, Beverly Hills
Are you out of your Vulcan mind? I’m a doctor, not a casting director.

Greetings Dr. H,
Meg Whitman is coming to speak to my Rotary Club next week, but a friend said that if I try to ask her a question, I might get tasered. Should I risk trying to get an answer?
— Kevin in Cucamonga
No worries – since you’re not with the press, her advisers will probably only have their tasers on stun.

Dear Dr. Hackenflack,
What does Tom Campbell like to do for fun?
— B. Herschensohn, L.A.
He curls up with the Collected Works of Milton Friedman and swills green tea.

Many Californians feel the Legislature showed they weren’t serious about budget cuts when they refused to axe the Integrated Waste Management board, a dumping ground that gives huge salaries to burned-out hacks. What’s your view?
— Jon in Flashattan
Where do I apply?

Dr. Hackenflack,
Governor Schwarzenegger says that if voters don’t approve his ballot props, the state will burn down. Is he really serious?
— Barbara S. Los Olivos
Serious? When was the last time you watched Terminator 2?