The great race for the 52nd …. Yesterday’s debate on KPBS (midday on the radio, evening on TV) with Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray, and Democratic challengers Port Commissioner Scott Peters and former state Assemblywoman Lori Saldana was a good one. A few zings, a few zangs and a level of passion from all three candidates throughout the debate showed us why this is going to be one of the races to watch here in California. For the most part their positions were predictable: Bilbray and Saldana were willing to go the full disclosure route on personal finances, Peters—who has spousal investment issues—not so much. Saldana (who has the backing of Emily’s List) landed a left hook on Bilbray’s chin, accusing him of participating in decisions that led to the giving away of public lands at Liberty Station.
Tax Deal Reached: then there were two… Gov. Brown and the backers of the “Millionaire’s Tax” reached a compromise yesterday on a proposed initiative that will help raise taxes to pay for California’s schools. The GOP, as expected, was quick to label this latest move as bad news for State taxpayers: The LA Times quoted GOP operative Rob Stutzman: “It’s a strong display of the governor’s weakness. He gets his knees buckled by a backwater union. It’s not even one of the powerhouses.” The “backwater union” mention in that statement refers to the California Federation of Teachers, which represents nearly 300,000 teachers throughout the State and is usually the first union the GOP talks about when complaining about excessive labor power in Sacramento… Brown originally proposed raising income tax rates on those making at least $250,000 while increasing the state sales tax by half a cent. Under the compromise plan, sales taxes would go up by a quarter-cent and those making more than $300,000 would have to dig even deeper into their pockets. A third proposal to raise taxes, backed by LA lawyer Molly Munger, is still headed for the ballot.
Goldman & Sachs shows us How to Create a Smear Campaign: Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith told his former bosses to take this job and shove it in a New York Times Op-Ed yesterday. No sooner was the ink dry than the Wall Street spin control crew went into full attack mode. Seeing what they did (mumble, mumble… disgruntled employee, wink, wink) and how they did it is worth the effort that it takes to read about it. I suggest Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article (even he was amazed at the speed and intensity of the blowback) and Pat Garofalo’s piece up at Think Progress. And perhaps the bosses at Goldman might want to consider purchasing some of these “Office Vader Suits” (real name: Damascus FX1 FlexForce Modular Hard Shell Full Body Crowd Control System) now on sale at Amazon for a mere $545.95. (H/T Boing Boing.)
Oregonian Editorial Karma: Bob Caldwell had fatal heart attack Saturday evening at the apartment of a college student he had been paying for sex. Caldwell was the editor of the The Oregonian’s editorial page and the driving force behind that paper’s decision not to run with Doonesbury Comic strip this week. He is, however, not the same Robert Caldwell who used to pen editorials for the Daily Fishwrap (SDUT). Several readers thought we should know, but we think they were wrong. We found pictures of both Bob Caldwells and they didn’t match.
Here’s the Issue the NRA has been waiting for… Over the past four years we’ve heard weekly warnings, accompanied by pleas for money, from the National Rifle Association about the Obama administration’s deep dark secret plan to suspend the Second Amendment to the Constitution and confiscate all the AR-15’s from right thinking Americans. Here it is, at last. On Tuesday, according to a report in Mother Jones, one hundred environmental groups petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the lead used in bullets and shot.
Back at Ya… As the guy who oversees the OBRag Blog Facebook and Twitter (@OBRagBlog) accounts, you’d think I’d remember to put in a plug from time to time urging you to sign up. Last night, as I was finally cleaning up the coffee that came shooting out of nose earlier in the day while perusing the conserv SDRostra, I happened upon a plug in that blog suggesting FB/Twitter that used moi as an example of why you should sign up for their stuff. See? We scare the crap out of dose guys, so you’d better sign up for OBRag Facebook and Twitter today. PS-My daughter busted me for having coffee by the computer station. (: