links for 2009-01-07

  • The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., this afternoon raised the level of his rhetoric in questioning the "character" of President-elect Obama’s nominee to be Attorney General, Eric Holder.

    Specter suggested that he’s concerned that Holder would be too much like former Attorneys General Harry Daugherty (of the Teapot Dome scandal), Homer Cummings (of FDR’s court-packing riff) and Alberto Gonzales – more loyal to the President than to the rule of law.
    Eric Holder should NOT be confirmed

  • Though California has little more than a month's worth of cash left in its treasury, budget negotiations between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature have collapsed, Democratic leaders said this afternoon.

    The Democrats said they have given up on getting the governor's support for an $18-billion package of tax hikes and cuts they pushed through the Legislature last month. They sent that proposal to the governor this afternoon, they said, even though he has vowed to veto it.

    The news comes as the state is spiraling so deep into the red that officials are preparing to halt billions of dollars in payments beginning Feb. 1. In the absence of a fiscal agreement by then, tax refunds owed to Californians will be suspended, along with student grants and payments to vendors.
    So, what else is new?

  • I asked Feinstein whether her reticence about Panetta's lack of ties to the CIA would be mitigated by having Steven Kappes, her preferred choice for CIA director, stay on as the agency's No 2. "I believe very strongly" that Kappes should stay, Feinstein said, adding that Panetta's standing would be "very much enhanced" were Kappes to stay his deputy.
    The LEFT is not happy with Di Fi.
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will immediately veto the Democratic plan to reduce the budget deficit by $18 billion and urge lawmakers to use his January proposal as a template for implementing midyear cuts, according to Schwarzenegger communications director Matt David.

    The move forces leaders to start over in their efforts to close a budget deficit estimated at $40 billion over the next 18 months. It jettisons — for now — what Democrats hailed as "the only game in town" — because it included tax increases approved without Republican votes.
    Tax increases will be hard to swallow in time of California recession

  • The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), more than 40 state legislators opposed to higher taxes, and John Eastman, dean of Chapman University, have filed suit to block the implementation of new taxes approved by the Legislature without the constitutionally required two-thirds vote.

    Proposition 13 — now Article 13A of the California Constitution — mandates that the imposition of new or increased state taxes receive a two-thirds vote from the members of each house of the Legislature. (The two-thirds vote to approve a state budget is a separate matter dating back to the 1930s.) This provision was placed in Proposition 13 by authors Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann to make sure that, as they were saving people's homes by limiting annual property tax increases, state government was limited in its ability to increase other taxes that would deny taxpayers the savings they would achieve with the passage of the landmark initiative.
    Save Prop 13

  • A prominent businessman caught up in a grand jury probe whose political donations ended any role for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in the Obama administration also was a generous contributor in support of the president-elect.

    David Rubin gave $26,200 to the Democratic Party on Sept. 19 and $2,300 to Barack Obama's campaign on Sept. 30, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. Last February, Rubin gave another $1,000 to Obama's campaign.

    Rubin and his company donated $100,000 in 2003-2004 to the political committees of Richardson. The contributions came both before and after Rubin's company won a state contract in New Mexico to help finance $1.4 billion for highway and transportation projects, a contract that brought $1.5 million in business for the company, CDR Financial Products.
    Obama will refund the $$$$ and throw richardson under the bridge

  • New Ventura County Sen. Tony Strickland, who ran this fall as a "renewable energy businessman" promising to promote the development of alternative energy, has taken the first step to show that he meant what he said.

    Strickland told me last month that he does not agree with the provision in his fellow legislative Republicans' budget proposal that calls for a delay in implementing California's landmark global warming law. That regulations to implement that law, AB 32, call for aggressive steps to promote alternative energy, including a requirement that utilities purchase a third of their electrical power from renewable sources such as solar and wind energy.

    Furthermore, Strickland said he intends to soon introduce a package of clean-energy legislation.
    As long as it promotes business and doesn't kill it like Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposals do.Tony must keep in mind it was his GOP base that put him in office not the LEFT.

  • A day after news broke that former Meg Whitman was dropping posts on corporate boards to position herself to run for governor, the former eBay chief executive was trolling the halls of the state Capitol.

    Whitman, a Republican, was meeting today with members of the GOP caucus not yet aligned with anyone in the 2010 governor's race.

    They're harder to find than you might think, as Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has stumped hard among Republican lawmakers for their support.

    Poizner, who first won elective office in 2006, has already garnered the support of 31 of the 44 GOP state legislators.
    Meg Whitman has perhaps waited too long. Might she be persuaded to run for U.S. Senate or Lt. Governor?

  • Conservative author Ann Coulter will appear on Wednesday’s “Today” show, according to an NBC spokesperson.

    Coulter has been talking up being bumped by NBC for the past two days, both on other networks and the radio. A controversy erupted when Drudge splashed that she’d been “banned for life,” leading NBC to deny that she was banned, and later offering her a new segment.

    On her website, Coulter writes that "Drudge gets results: Today show changes mind." She'll be appearing during both the 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours.
    A win-win…..

  • Presumably a last minute replacement for the possibly NBC banned Ann Coulter, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow appeared on Tuesday's "Today" show to drop invective about the Bush administration's "torture" policies. Instead of the rousing bit of Barack Obama bashing and criticism of the fawning coverage of him by the liberal media that would've surely been delivered by Coulter, "Today" viewers were treated to the following slam of Bush policies via a Maddow defense of Obama's choice of Leon Panetta as CIA Director:
    Bush only has a few more days in office. What then?
  • Stop speculating: Chris Matthews isn't running for U.S. Senate. At least that's what his brother told

    Jim Matthews was left with that strong impression after speaking with the MSNBC host when he returned from a two-week vacation in Jamaica.

    "There's no hint of him running for office," Jim Matthews told in an interview Monday. "That's 1,000 percent true."

    Jim Matthews, a Republican commissioner in Montgomery County, emphasized that it's his opinion — he didn't hear it directly out of his brother's mouth. But he said his brother was very upbeat about returning to "Hardball" and already had a new contract offer in hand from the cable news network.
    No shock here.His lifestyle on MSNBC is far superior than duking it out in the trenches against Arlen Specter.


  • Ling

    Feinstein was very quick on the draw. She’s gone off the reservation, and supported Burris staying on. Bet that was payback for Obama snubbing her about Panetta. Doesn’t look like Feinstein is going to stay for long in the Senate. Gov. Feinstein?

  • Flap

    Di Fi might indeed run for Governor of California. The prospect of her candidacy has Jerry Brown worried anyway.

    California’s budget is in such a mess I doubt an old pol like Feinstein or Brown can beat the younger Steve Poizner or Meg Whitman.

    Di Fi’s time has passed and the Obama snub is just the beginning of the Obama disrespect.