links for 2009-01-06

  • When it comes to statewide politics, the biggest question this year is: Dianne Feinstein – senator or governor?

    Actually, Dianne would love to have both jobs. Ultimately, however, my bet is that she stays in the Senate to head the intelligence committee and passes on running to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010.

    There's another bet, and this one's a sure thing: Jerry Brown is running for governor, regardless of whether Feinstein is in the race. He's already too far down the tracks to turn back.

    The main challenge for Brown in the coming year will be how to send the message to Feinstein that he isn't budging, but to do it in a way that doesn't offend her. Because even if he succeeds in keeping her out of the Democratic primary, he's going to need her support to get elected.
    Di Fi would whip Brown in the Democrat Primary and might just run after Panetta was appointed to be CIA Chief.

  • Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor and legendary speaker of the California Assembly, dropped an intriguing suggestion — seemingly out of the blue — in his column yesterday in the San Francisco Chronicle. He suggested that Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell would be the instant favorite should he decide to run for lieutenant governor in 2010. The suggestion is intriguing for two reasons: (1) Brown has been a long-time mentor to O'Connell. The two have been close since their days in the Assembly, when O'Connell, who represented Ventura County in the Legislature for two decades, served as speaker pro tem under Brown. And, (2) O'Connell has publicly insisted that the only political office he's interested in seeking in 2010 is governor.Was Brown using his column to tell O'Connell that he should lower his sights? Or was he using it to prop up a fallback position for his protege?
    Gavin Newsom could beat Jackl in a heartbeat in the Dem Primary election.
  • Vandals spray-painted swastikas on a Catholic church in San Francisco's Castro District Saturday night.

    It appears the vandals are upset about the Catholic church's support of Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California.

    But, the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Diamond Street is gay-friendly. Many parishioners voted against Prop 8 and they are upset their church was targeted.

  • Vandals may have marked up the wrong church Saturday night in an apparent revolt against Proposition 8 supporters.

    Black spray-painted swastikas marred the front of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco's Castro district. Though the church itself is gay friendly, the proposed ban on gay marriage had support from prominent Catholics up to and including Pope Benedict.

    Pastor Steve Meriweather told KCBS his parishioners actually share the vandals' sentiment against Prop 8. "I think it's unfortunate that they selected our community to attack," said Meriweather, "because it's the wrong one."

    Some attending mass at Holy Redeemer in the heart of the Castro are calling it a hate crime. San Francisco Police have been called in to investigate.
    Oh the tolerance…..

  • The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sent out an e-mail this morning urging Catholics to call San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to protest vandalism over the weekend at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the city’s Castro District.

    The e-mail claims that opponents of Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban gay marriage, defaced the church with swastikas alongside the names of Pope Benedict XVI and the San Francisco archbishop.

    (tags: gaymarriage)
  • Waterford Wedgwood said on Monday that its 10 British units and 4 businesses in Ireland were placed into administration, similar to bankruptcy protection in the United States, after running out of money and failing to find a buyer. The remaining subsidiaries, including those in the United States, Germany and Canada, remain unaffected.

    The auditor, Deloitte, was appointed as administrator of the troubled businesses, which employ 2,700, or more than half of Waterford’s 5,000 employees. The units will continue to operate until the administrator decides to sell, close or reorganize them.
    Damn Flap loves their crystal……

  • The action concludes the recount, with Democrat Franken ahead by 225 votes. No election certificate can be issued for at least seven days, and the Coleman campaign has said it plans a legal challenge.
  • Charles Krauthammer has an absolutely compelling, and completely unexpected, argument for a gasoline tax in the Weekly Standard. He proposes a $1 per gallon tax that would be revenue neutral, 100% redistributed into payroll taxes and social security checks. This is not a new idea. (I wrote a column proposing a gas tax-payroll tax swap a few years ago; others came well before me.) And Krauthammer is, not surprisingly, more sympathetic to the national security arguments for higher gasoline prices than the environmental ones–Krauthammer remains unconvinced that global warming is man-made. But it is fascinating to see this proposal on the cover of Bill Kristol's magazine. (And yes, one might argue ulterior motives–let a Democrat self-immolate by imposing a gas tax…one wonders where Krauthammer was on this issue the past eight years?)
  • Americans have a deep and understandable aversion to gasoline taxes. In a culture more single-mindedly devoted to individual freedom than any other, tampering with access to the open road is met with visceral opposition. That's why earnest efforts to alter American driving habits take the form of regulation of the auto companies–the better to hide the hand of government and protect politicians from the inevitable popular backlash.
    A ridiculous notion indeed.
  • The number of Americans who consider themselves to be Democrats inched up again in December to 41.6%. That’s up two-tenths of a point since November and the third straight monthly increase in the number of Democrats.
  • "Besides Republicans, it was the minority voters voting for it," DeVore said. "You're not necessarily going to win all the African American and Latino vote by supporting these social issues, but you're sure not going to win them by abandoning these issues. You're not going to appeal to them solely with limited government and tax cuts."

    However, DeVore is less eager to tackle immigration.

    "Immigration is already declining as an issue as the economy struggles and many people repatriate themselves," he said, adding that anti-immigration stances deter Latino voters.

    "The future of the Republican Party isn't in white voters," he said. "That demographic is dying."
    Chuck DeVore is becoming a RINO Panda Bear like Arnold in order to beat Barbara Boxer.