In a cheap attempt to promote fratricidal strife, Adam "Ron-Brownstein-could-eat-me-for-lunch" Nagourney quotes my further-left brother Steve's blog post on Nancy Pelosi's Meet the Press appearance. Stephen Kaus is a trial lawyer and makes a good point many heavily-consultanted national politicians bizarrely ignore on TV:
Anyone who has seen a trial or a political debate knows that if you are to appear trustworthy, you have to answer the question. At least say, "I don't know," but for God's sake, say something that appears to be non-evasive. Ms. Pelosi does not do this. After Pelosi gave a list of Democratic programs, Russert asked her if the Democrats would repeal the Bush tax cuts to pay for all this and Pelosi simply refused to answer the question and went into a series of vague "everything is on the table" roundelays...
Afraid the other side will use the video clip of an honest answer against you in a campaign ad? Then embed a poison pill of propaganda in the middle of the sentence. Steve's suggestion: "[I]f we need to restore the taxes on the wealthy, like the President of Exxon-Mobil, to balance the budget, that is what we will do?" 5:06 P.M.
Remember those headlines last year about "Schwarzenegger's Star Dipping" and "The Fall of Arnold." It now appears that the candidate most likely to assume the governorship of California after the voters' rejection of Gov. Schwarzenegger's much-ballyhooed reform initiatives is ... Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bill Bradley senses the shift in momentum. How'd Schwarzenegger do it? Largely by acting like a Democrat (including cutting a deal with the teachers' union). ... 12:35 A.M.
Sorry, Ron! A bill in the California Assembly to allow either party to a divorce to restrict public access to financial data--"widely viewed as a favor to Ron Burkle, a billionaire grocery magnate and financier, who is fighting to shield records in his own divorce"--has been placed in the "inactive" file, according to the Bee papers. Women's "advocacy" groups were opposed. ... This is only one reason the Burkle story is so not dead. [Thanks to alert reader J.P.S. of N.Y.!]3:06 P.M.
Robert Wright accuses me of enjoying it when Democrats get bad news. Well, here's some! Despite the Democratic lock on both houses of the California state legislature--or maybe in part because of the Democratic lock--the Democratic percentage of the state's registered voters has been steadily declining. Steve Bartin flags Dan Walters' lede in the Sacramento Bee:
State election officials released new voter registration data late last month and they were bad news for Democrats.
The Democrats' share of the state's 15.6 million registered voters, 42.7 percent, is 2.5 percentage points lower than it was four years ago, 4.1 percentage points lower than it was eight years ago, and 6.2 percentage points lower than it was 12 years ago. There are, in fact, about 200,000 fewer registered Democrats than in 1994, even though the number of potential voters has risen by nearly 4 million since then and the number of registered voters is up by 1.5 million. [Emphasis added]
Walters thinks he knows why: "[T]he slower-growing _ but very populous _ urban counties along the coast are becoming increasingly Democratic, while the faster-growing inland counties are becoming increasingly Republican." But the urban counties are mainly filling up with immigrants--and they "are either ineligible to vote, or vote only scantily." ... The real growing group of voters--jumping from 10 to 18 percent in a decade--is independents. They're a sleeping giant! ... P.S.: Or maybe not so sleeping, as the former Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner, union favorite Phil Angelides, is about to discover. ...5:53 A.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
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This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.