• One Scandal, Two Scandal, Red Scandal, Blue Scandal

    You know what was fun? Last month's scandal where Arnold's second job as magazine publisher nicely intersected with his first job as pretend-governor when he signed off on a bill protecting their advertisers. But you know what's going to be even more fun? This month's scandal . Cause this time, there's hush money: Days after Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped into the race for governor and girded for questions about his past, a tabloid publisher wooing him for a business deal promised to pay a woman $20,000 to sign a confidentiality agreement about an alleged affair with the candidate. American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, signed a friend of the woman to a similar contract about the alleged relationship for $1,000. American Media's contract with Gigi Goyette of Malibu is dated Aug. 8, 2003, two days after Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on a late-night talk show. Under the agreement, Goyette must disclose to no one but American Media any information about her "...
  • Soapbox Strategies

    Looks like NARAL's pulling their ad . Fair 'nuff. I think, after Leahy rebuked them, that we can safely judge that one a flop. But the discussion it created was interesting, and raises some issues we should be thinking about. The ad, for those who don't know, linked Roberts to violent antiabortion protesters because he defended them in a nonviolent context. It was hardball, to be sure, but nothing batters haven't seen before. The shock, awe, and surprise came mostly because the Roberts nomination washed such a warm glow of comity and calm over all involved, and so NARAL's frontal assault caught both the left and the right unawares. For my part, I figured it par for the course. The one danger was that Roberts, who almost certainly will be confirmed, would take it personally. Much of what we've seen seems to show him a fair-minded jurist willing to seriously consider opposing arguments. But if NARAL really enrages him, it's possible he'd take it out on their cause during later trials,...
  • I Hart Him

    I first entered politics in 2003, to work on Gary Hart's (quickly aborted) run for President. This is why .
  • Back to Basics

    In the latest LA Weekly, Marc Cooper has an extraordinary article on California's hordes of immigrant farmworkers. While he was in the Central Valley reporting it, two of the workers died from heat exposure. We are, quite literally, working these people to death. Cooper writes: exactly 40 years after Chavez’s UFW exploded into the national consciousness by leading the great 1965 Delano grape workers’ strike and forced America to recognize the plight of those who put our food on the table, nothing could be further from the truth. The golden years of California farm workers lasted barely a decade and then sharply began to fade. “Since the late 1970s, it’s all been downhill, it’s all been on the defensive,” says Oxnard-based CRLA attorney Jeff Ponting. The landmark 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) that passed during the Jerry Brown administration promised a New Deal for farm workers. Today it is little more than a historical asterisk. Wages among California’s 700,000 farm...
  • You Are!

    Can't you just imagine Jonah stepping up to his bathroom sink, looking into the reflection, and saying "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most honorable party of them all?" What he seems to see in his party (and in ours) is so totally outlandishly false that either wizardry or drugs have to be involved.
  • Miniblog

    Furl, the service I use for the miniblog on the right, has been slowing the site recently. Worse, I'm not sure anybody even uses it when it's working. So I think this is going to be the end of it. From here on out: the site's left is capitalist corner, full of blogads (or it would be full, if folks would buy more of them) and pleas to buy me things from my Amazon Wish List (which never happens but, hey, hope springs eternal).
  • Pay to Play

    Props to Villaraigosa for stuffing the NFL's demand for public stadium financing back in the face of the owners making it. LA is the second largest media market in the country, we've got a population that could pack more stadiums than public financing could possibly build, we're a damn good place for a football team and the only reason we don't have one is that owners elsewhere have been spoiled by sweetheart deals from city councils and local pols and refuse to bless the City of Angels unless we give them the same payoffs. Well, fuck 'em. The economic arguments for public financing of stadiums are, on their own merits, wrong. Reason's demolished them a couple times ( here , and, particularly, here ) but that shouldn't even be necessary. The fact of it is, sports teams make money for sport team owners, not cities. And when they stop doing that, owners move them. Sports teams are not a publicly owned resource committed to the good of the city, and the city should not pretend as if they...
  • Cheney 08

    Please ? Pretty please? I mean, Woodward was wrong about the Saudis-opening-the-spigots thing, but I'd forgive him if he were right about Cheney. Please please please let the GOP run a 69-year old with multiple heart attacks, business ties that make Bush look ascetic, a history of extremist statements, and all the charm of a table leg you just stubbed your toe on. Let Cheney lumber up the stage, mumbling from that impossibly limber half inch on the right side of his mouth and sneering at pesky questioners, reporters, and air particles. I'm sure he'll be quite a hit. The Democratic party has proven one thing, and one thing only, in its last couple of elections: you don't run candidates who scoff at charisma. Cheney makes Kerry look like a laugh party, he makes Gore look like Hitch. They can run him, but for a party whose main task ("compassionate conservatism") is convincing folks that they're not evil, nominating this artist's rendering of a corrupt plutocrat would be a hell of an...
  • A Fatalist View on Roberts

    You know, you'd think these sorts of experiences would make conservatives more anxious to have their Supreme Court nominees answer direct questions, not less: At the time, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) had written a letter demanding to know O'Connor's views on Roe v. Wade . According to a 1981 memo by Carolyn Kuhl, also a special assistant to the attorney general, O'Connor wanted help in formulating "reasons for declining to answer questions concerning Roe v. Wade , and several other topics." "John Roberts and I worked on a response to that letter" from Helms, Kuhl wrote. O'Connor never did answer specific questions about her position on Roe v. Wade . Helms voted to confirm O'Connor anyway, and once on the court O'Connor voted in favor of abortion rights. Here's a question though: why can't the prospective Justice just lie? Why can't s/he cook up the most compromise position imaginable and say what's necessary to calm the interrogation committee, then move to the Court and do whatever the...
  • Comment Rules

    Things have been lively round here lately and I love it, but one thing: no matter who offends you, swiping their name and posting ridiculous comments is off-limits. The only way these boards can function without some sort of registration system is if we respect each other's monikers. Argue, attack, fisk, debunk...but play clean. The conservatives on the boards, infuriating though they may sometimes be, do put out another viewpoint and do keep us on our toes. The goal, then, is to have better arguments, not drive them away by screwing with their identities.