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Surprising Feedback



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So far the response from readers to today’s G-File has been interestingly mixed. Many liked it, many think I’m flat-out wrong. Quite a few think I’m a prude of some kind for my description of Schwarzenegger’s past behavior. One guy in full spin-denial angrily asked me if I ever “touched” a woman’s breast without “asking for permission first” — which is a bit of a distortion. But most of all, I get the sense that a lot of people wanted me to do something more ra-ra for Ahnold. That’s cool. It’s a good thing to defy the expectations of your readers from time to time. But, the next time one of you guys want to send me an email calling me a shill for the GOP, please think twice. Also, I am fully prepared to become rah-rah for Arnold if he turns out to be a good governor. He apologized and he got elected so he gets a fresh start in my eyes.

Nomenclature



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I have made the point before, but I will make it again, since Andrew Sullivan persists in calling Schwarzenegger an Eagle–his name for patriotic, fiscally conservative, social liberals. This is a flatfooted creature for an American political bestiary. There is no trace of mockery, as there is in Thomas Nast’s donkeys and elephants (and Nast was a Republican). Gee, Andrew, why not call your soulmates Kings of the Jungle, or Unicorns, or Thrones, Dominions and Powers?

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More Prop 54



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I am still not saying it is enough to sway the tally a great deal, but I’m getting a lot of these emails now:


EEEk! I just realized that my husband marked our sample ballots just that way, NO on 54, and that’s how I voted, because I didn’t take time to look at it…I’m sure that’s what he was thinking, that we were voting against the classification by race, etc…..

Completely ashamed and embarrassed in CA

Web Briefing: January 30, 2015

From The Source



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Still no apology or defense or even explanation for Richard Just’s knee-jerk liberal racialism. But I did get this from Kenneth Calvert, the headmaster of Hillsdale Academy:


Jonah,

Thank you for defending us in the recent hubub surrounding our National Review advert. It is interesting that our minority population at the Academy is 12% compared to 1% in the local, Hillsdale public schools. The “minorities” in Hillsdale County obviously choose us because of the rigor we provide rather than the condescending, pandering, liberal gibberish provided by those who thought our advertisement was too “white.”

Best,
Ken Calvert
Headmaster

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France Sucks



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Sorry to be indelicate, but if you can come up with something more sophisticated to say after you look at this picture, I salute your temperment.

Pangloss in California



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Here is my from-afar and probably too-optimistic take: 1) Arnold ran a more conservative campaign then he might have, thanks to the presence of Tom McClintock in the race, and he might, MIGHT, be good for the state and the GOP; 2) Gray Davis, the representative of nearly everything that is cringe-making and wrong with American politics, is gone in a well-justified voter revolt; 3) Tom McClintock acquitted himself well and emerges with his reputation in general—if not his reputation for being a team player, as John points out—enhanced. So, maybe what you smell at the moment is everything coming up roses…

Words Didn’t Get in The Way



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Robert Alt writes:


I disagree that Prop. 209 was “unfairly worded.” The reader assumes that there is a set definition for affirmative action–either legally or in public parlance, and that therefore the use of the terms “discrimination” and “preference” is some less fair. But there is vast disagreement in both the legal and popular uses of the term affirmative action. For example, do stark quotas constitute affirmative action? While there have been lawsuits in which employers and educators have argued that programs amounting to quotas were nothing more than affirmative action, it is not clear that the general public or the legal community views such programs as “affirmative action.” Thus, to use the term “affirmative action” would have been to use a term that was less precise, both as a matter of law and as a matter of usage.

Opponents of the measure did want to use the term affirmative action, because the term is ambiguous and sounds positive, while the terms “discrimination” and “preferences” forced voters to think about the actual operation and effect of affirmative action policies.

Among Grizzlies



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From the Anchorage Daily News website:

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) — A California author and filmmaker who garnered national media attention for his films of close encounters with brown bears was killed and partially eaten by his subjects, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
A bear, or bears, killed Timothy Treadwell, 46, and girlfriend Amie Huguenard, 37, this week near Kaflia Bay on the Alaskan coast, the newspaper said, citing Alaska State Troopers and National Park Service officials. The couple had gone there to live among the bears that were the subject of Treadwell’s 1997 book, “Among Grizzlies.”
Treadwell, a self-proclaimed “eco-warrior,” had developed a cult following among bear lovers. He appeared on David Letterman’s show, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and “Dateline NBC,” to talk about bears, the paper said.
The bodies of Treadwell and Huguenard were discovered Monday by the pilot of a Kodiak air taxi that was to pick them up and return them from the wilderness. It isn’t known when the attack happened or what led to it, the paper reported. The couple’s tent was flattened and bears had buried their remains, the Daily News said.

Red Sox Vs. Yankees



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Kerry vs. Dean. Race gets nasty!

Re Pro-Choice But Pro-Life



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I’m certainly glad Arnold is against pba and for parental notification, but, still, one of the roles of bishops is to make things clear. Abortion is an evil that a Catholic should not tolerate or aid and abet. And every election season, Catholic shepherds should be reminding people of this–candidates and voters. The making things clear thing is what gets me so mad about Panetta–what kind of message is that…anyway…you know.

Props and Wording



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Another interesting email:


Your reader has a point about the unfair wording of Prop. 54 on the ballot. You should know, however, that Prop. 209 (banning affirmative action) was unfairly worded in the other direction– the description mentioned nothing about affirmative action or even racial preferences, even though that’s what the proposition was supposed to address– it just said it would ban “discrimination or preferential treatment” based on race, national origin, sex, etc. I realize that the voter CAN figure out what that means (just as a voter COULD figure out what 54 was going to do), but an honest ballot would have said that it was an initiative to dismantle affirmative action or racial preference programs, or programs that give preferences to minorities, etc. After all, that really was what the issue was.

There is one other example of this. A few years ago, there was a ballot initative sponsored by insurance companies to preclude uninsured motorists from suing for pain and suffering in auto accidents. The law was written, however, to say that “felons, drunk drivers, and uninsured motorists” could not sue– felons and drunk drivers, however, were already prohibited from suing; the only change in the law was to add uninsured motorists to the list. The ballot description was written to emphasize felons and drunk drivers and deemphasize uninsured motorists, because the uninsured motorist issue was a lot more controversial, even though the only actual change in the law was to prohibit suits by uninsured motorists. The measure passed.

Basically, it comes down to whoever’s in charge of the Secretary of State’s office. During the times when Republicans were in charge, the ballot texts were slanted towards the right, and now with Democrats in charge there, they are slanted towards the left. And you are right to point this out– it does have an impact. I would have thought going in that the Proposition 54 would have passed by a similar margin to 209 (or at least that it would have passed), given that it broke down along the same lines politically, but it didn’t, and the ballot text has probably got something to do with it.

Such is the peril of direct democracy.

Pro-Choice But Pro-Life



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K-Lo, a reader makes a couple of good points, and makes them very well:

“I am under the impression that if a Catholic politician is for an abortion regime more protective of life than the current one and takes steps in that direction he can remain in good standing with the Church. Arnold is for parentical notification (and I bet parental consent) and against partial-birth abortion and is very unlikely to be for judicial fiat on these matters. Gray Davis was for government paid abortion in all cases and without parental notification. Moreover he was for laws that would force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or disallow them from taking over failed government hospitals. Arnold, no doubt, is not for that either. Is it your impression (which I gather from your Corner post) that the Church requires a maximalist position at all times and in all circumstances by a political office holder? I think the accurate position is that the Church requires a Catholic politician to move the law in the direction of protecting unborn life and it is for them to determine what is politically possible. While Arnold calls himself pro-gay and pro-choice in what he actually advocates on the ground, given the political possibilities, I think he is operationally pro-life and pro-family. I think the Bishop will have to wait and see what he does.”

How do we answer that one? There are certainly distinctions to be drawn between Davis and Arnold, I figure, and no doubt the Bishop will indeed draw them. But Arnold has made it clear that he is pro-choice in principle, not merely because political circumstances leave him with little choice. The Bishop really ought to take him to task for that, no?

That Hilarious Washpost



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Yesterday’s front page headline: “On Eve Of Vote, California Race Remains Fluid.” (Exit polls didn’t exactly gibe with that bit of wishful thinking.)

Today’s front page headline: “Voters Turn Davis Into The Fall Guy.”

Reminiscence



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Jonah’s query about Arnold and Jesse both becoming governor reminds me of a speech I gave in Minneapolis in 1999 as the token conservative at a conference at the Hubert Humphrey Institute. I knew that earnest Minnesota liberals were embarrassed and horrified at Ventura’s election, so I decided to twit them by opening with: “Out in California were are very jealous of Minnesota for having Ventura as governor. We have boring governors like Wilson and Davis these days, and Californians look at Minnesota and say, ‘Damn, why didn’t we think of that?’”

Well, now we have. Only I expect Arnold will be a better governor than Jesse.

Re: Bishop & Arnold



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Peter, I agree entirely; actually, little ol’ me said just (something like) that on Vatican Radio this ayem. I’m a fan of bishops telling it like it is, to Dems and Reps alike. And, the Vatican is too.

The Bishop and The Governor-Elect



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K-Lo, the next time you’re on the horn to the Vatican, could you ask what advice they’d give to the Bishop of Sacramento? This past January, you’ll recall, Bishop William Weigand let Govenor Gray Davis have it:

“[P]eople have been asking questions,” Weigand said, speaking in the cathedral in Sacramento. “They asked ‘how can a Catholic be in good standing and still hold [the pro-choice] point of view?’ I’m saying you can’t be a Catholic in good standing and hold that point of view. The governor’s position is very public and contrary. … You can’t have it both ways.

“As your bishop,” Weigand said, “I have to say clearly that anyone — politician or otherwise — who thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his or her soul at risk, and is not in good standing with the church. Such a person should have the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart.”

This seems to have had no effect on Davis–as best I can make it out, he’s a Catholic of only the most nominal kind. But there’s pretty good evidence that Schwarzenegger takes his faith much more seriously–he, Maria, and their four children attend mass every Sunday, a couple of friends who belong to their church tell me–and if Bishop Weigand confronts him, then Schwarzenegger might at the very least find himself with a troubled conscience. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think the Bishop has much choice. Confront a Democrat but not a Republican? What sense would that make?

54 Bias?



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First complaint like this I’ve heard, from an e-mailer. I’m oretty sure 54 would have lost anyway, but interesting:

Very unfortunate ballot heading for Prop. 54: “CLASSIFICATION BY RACE,
ETHNICITY, NATURAL ORIGIN.” Following that bold heading was some fine print
and then the big YES/NO boxes. Even though I knew what Prop 54 was, my
instinct was to check the NO box (as in “no, I would not like to be
classified by my race . . .”). I had to do a double-take as a result of the
visual presentation. Not to play Fla politics (I did get it right), but I’m
willing to bet that heading cost the measure because the heading presents
exactly the opposite of the goal of the proposition.

Tommy McC



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John Miller, I’m with you: I half wish McClintock had pulled out last week, throwing his support to Der Arnold. By doing so he could have a) claimed a place in Arnold’s budget councils, b) ended his reputation as a loner and spoiler, and c) signalled that he intended to remain a player for years to come. And he could have earned comparison with Reagan himself. The Gipper, after all, established his basic approach to politics as president of the Screen Actors Guild. What does a union leader have to know how to do? Stake out a position–and then settle for the best deal he can get. On tax cuts, on arms deals–Reagan displayed this pattern again and again.

McClintock, alas, seems to know only how to stake out a position, not how to cut a deal.

He’s still young, of course–a decade younger than Der Arnold–so he might become a force yet. I hope so. But in the meantime I’d urge him to study up on the Gospel admonition. We are called to be not only innocent as doves, but wise as serpents.

Media Clueless On Recall



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The media is depicting the recall as just being about voters angry about the deficit. There is some truth to that, but it misses the primary cause of Davis’ overwhelming loss: S.B. 60 that gave illegal aliens driver’s licenses. Once that bill was signed, it was over both for Davis and Cruz. Indeed, the Democratic Party in this state now calls illegal aliens “immigrants.” This is insulting to the millions who came here legally and earned their residency and citizenship. This includes Latinos who “surprisingly” voted in large numbers for the recall. Yet, the media doesn’t mention it and has only barely reported the issue at all. But the people know.

Illegal immigration is a huge issue. Too bad that the political establishment refuses to address it.

In Brief



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My pal Bill Whalen sums it up:

“Evvvvvvvverything seemed to break Arnold’s way in recall. Short election, no bruising primary. Perfect foils in Gray and Cruz, judicial arrogance by the 9th Circuit, media arrogance by the LAT, political arrogance in the form of the car tax increase. And the overall timing: CA’s political earthquakes are ‘66, ‘78/’80 and ‘94. Recall was the right time for Arnold, if you believe that political rebellions out here are like cicadas that pop out of the earth after years in hibernation.”

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