Buried lede of the week

A mostly political Weblog.
July 18 2006 3:52 AM

Buried Lede of the Week

Did Clinton hint we went to war for Israel?

(Continued from Page 2)

She told People that she knows she's not suffering from the common eating disorder because her grandmother and great-grandmother suffered from it. Um, o-kay ...

2:34 A.M.

Skelton in the Dark?  Last Fall, L.A. Times state politics columnist George Skelton urged his readers to vote against the redistricting reform Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had placed on the ballot (as Prop. 77). Skelton conceded reform was necessary to prevent self-serving pols from carving out safe seats--the current system was "indefensible," he declared. But Schwarzenegger's plan, which relied on a panel of retired judges to draw the lines, had some "Rube Goldberg gadgetry."  Sure, but wasn't it the only proposal likely to come along for a while? Don't worry, Skelton said--the Democrats who control the legislature had "pledged to pass a sane, bipartisan plan next year."

[E]ven Democratic lawmakers are pledging to strip themselves of their redistricting power. Very few politicians still are arguing that the Legislature should keep drawing its own maps.

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Well, now it's next year and, gee, the Democrats are somehow unable to agree on a redistricting reform plan!   Skelton tells us that unless they are offered the "sweetener" of weakened term limits, "it's not likely that Assembly Democrats will surrender the right to shape their own districts. "

"It's very difficult for members to give up any power," notes [reformer Alan] Lowenthal, who argued fruitlessly for his proposal at a Senate Democratic caucus just before legislators adjourned for a five-week vacation.

Here's a question: Is Skelton such a fool that he actually believed the Democrats would pass a redistricting reform once they'd defeated Schwarzenegger's? Or was he swayed by a not-so-subtle not-so-subconscious anti-Schwarzenegger bias--perhaps a desire to deny the governor a victory, or to see him humbled, or to please layoff-prone LAT bosses who might entertain those anti-Arnold impulses? Either way, doesn't Skelton owe his readers an apology for his pathetically bad judgment and advice? Any idiot (e.g. me, and Kos) could see at the time that Prop. 77 was probably the best shot Californians would have to end safe-seat gerrymandering for many years.

7/14 Update: Schwarzenegger now publicly advocates a weaker term-limit/redistricting reform combo. I don't quite see how it helps the semi-popular cause of redistricting reform to add to it an even less popular anti-term-limit cause. But Schwarzenegger has been forced to appease Democratic legislators who've reneged on their anti-gerrymandering pledge. ... 1:35 A.M. link

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Plano Con is back. Once again a leftish movie is claiming "red-state" embrace simply because it's doing good business at a metroplex in what one kf reader calls a

"ritzy, upscale, SUV-choked, conspicuous-consumption-driven Dallas exurb populated by more east-coast 'expatriates' than native Texans."

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