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April 2009 Archives

Candidate Shawn Stern Declares For Congress

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Shawn Stern has announced he is running for the nomination of the Democratic Party for the 24th congressional district. The seat is currently occupied by Elton Gallegly, who may or may not retire.

Many people think this is a safe Republican seat but the truth is Barack Obama won this district and there are many districts with a higher voter registration gap represented by Democrats in congress.

I sent in an email request and a phone call to the campaign to schedule an interview. What questions do you think I should ask him?

Go look over his website and tell me what you think. I really like his slogan.

Santa Barbara Democratic Awards Dinner

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Das Williams ( City Council Member and Candidate for State Assembly), Gina Fischer, Cheryl Herman and The CTA will be receiving awards from the local Democratic Party at an event headlined by State Senate leader Darell Steinberg.

Click on continue reading for details.

Get your press release published and events noticed

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I will be moderating a forum on how to work with the local media. The forum will provide you with the background and skills to get your press releases printed, your events covered, and increase the attendance at your press conferences.

Representatives from The Ventura County Star, KEY TV, Daily Kos, and more will be on the panel. The discussion and training is open to the public but it geared towards political activists, campaign staff, and candidates for office. The event is going to be a night to network with local activists and to understand how to better communicate your message to the public.

David Atkins, a blogger for the Ventura County Democrats and for Daily Kos recently wrote his thoughts on the Tea People protests.

Click on the image to see his blog entry.

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David Atkins does focus groups and polling for political causes. I expect him to be a major player locally in the coming years.

Moorpark City Council Race

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Moorpark City Council candidate Nathan Sweet has updated his website. Click here to check it out.

Have you seen any websites for the other candidates? Leave a link for me and I will post their websites also.

Click here for the website of Republican Party activist and Insurance Adjuster Jon Miller. Has the Republican Central Committee endorsed any candidates in this campaign?

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The straw poll continues to be open. Last time I checked Nathan Sweet and David Bagwell were the top two candidates.

Tony Strickland Does What Elton Gallegly Refuses To Do

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What is it that Elton Gallegly refuses to do? Release his schedule and host scheduled town hall events.

I have been calling his offices for months asking when the next town hall event is and they have transferred me, asked for my number, sent me to voicemail, and told me to call a long distance number to Washington DC. They even claim the local office doesn't get a copy of his schedule even when he is in the district.

Wouldn't it be easier and more friendly to your constituents to post your events online?

Here is an excerpt from State Senator Tony Strickland's website:

Senator Strickland's Upcoming Events

Strickland Hosts Community Coffee Event

Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, 28460 Ave. Stanford #100, Santa Clarita, CA 91355


State Senator Tony Strickland recently introduced legislation that would ban paying money to a spouse to be a consultant on a political campaign. In the past Tony Strickland took money from contributers and paid his wife to work for him. Elton Gallegly has been paying his wife to work on his campaigns for years.

Here is a quote from Timm Herdt's article on the legislation:

Westlake Village political activist Bob Larkin, who has loudly criticized the Stricklands for having paid each other's companies out of their campaign funds, said the practice should have always been illegal because it's already against the law for an elected official to transfer campaign contributions into their personal accounts.

"When it's illegal to move money from Point A to Point B, and you move it from Point A to Point C and then move it to Point B -- that's money laundering," he said. "If someone took a check from Chevron and put it in his personal account, he'd go to jail."

The proposal isn't likely to become law but it does show there is a difference between Elton Gallegly and Tony Strickland on this issue?

Who do you side with on this issue? Tony Strickland or Elton Gallegly?

Do you agree it would be a decent idea to post events that are open to the public on a legislators website?

Our elected representatives should have to take tough questions, with follow ups, from the public.

In blog news The Star has enabled me to allow TrackBacks on my entires. I will be using them for most future posts.

Also, when you leave a comment use the URL feature to drive traffic to your favorite blog, business, or cause.


Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.


Timm Herdt Gets Personal

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Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt has written a real personal reflection.

Go read it. The time will be well spent.

Thurlow Partridge Goes After The President

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( This video is from a past election when Thurlow Partridge ran to serve on the school board. He was supported by the union representing teachers but he lost to current board member Jeanne Davis.)


My former 7th grade science teacher and former candidate for school board Thurlow Partridge wrote a letter to the editor attacking President Obama for shaking some hands at a conference headed by leaders of many countries.

Here is his letter:


Obama channels Chamberlain

It took 38 years to get Neville Chamberlain last century. This century, it only took nine years to get Neville Chamberlain 2 -- Barack Obama.
-- Thurlow Partridge, Simi Valley


Thurlow Partridge, traveling to Munich for a conference with Adolf Hitler wasn't appeasement. The appeasement was giving in to Hitler. Meeting with our enemies isn't cowardly and running away if someone we disagree with walks up to us at a meeting isn't brave.

President Obama met with some leaders that don't share our values, but he didn't appease them. Quite the contrary he is pushing them to reform. Let me know if he cedes territory to Hugo Chavez.

I might have missed your previous letters where you expressed your outrage that previous presidents met with dictators that don't share our values. From FDR to Reagan and beyond it is nothing new to work with people that don't share all of our values.

Thurlow, did you object you Reagan meeting with soviet leaders? Did you object to making an alliance with Iraq? Where was the letter attacking Bush for working with the Saudi Royal family?

I want our President to meet with foreign leaders IF he thinks it will improve relations, protect our interests, and improve human rights. That doesn't mean every meeting is a good idea, nor is every meeting appeasement.

Republicans Admit Defeat?

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For many years Ventura County was a Republican or Red county. But last year with combination of enthusiasm for change and the disappointment that was George W. Bush total voter registrations for Democrats surpassed Republicans. Click here for the news story from Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt.

Last week while looking at the Ventura County Republican Central Committee website I saw that they scheduled an event in an English pub the night before the Tea Parties.

This week I was looking at the Ventura County Republican Central Committee website when I noticed that their logo of Ventura County is blue!

Anyways, here is the link to the new VCRCC website which new features including links to follow them on Twitter, join them on Facebook, and check out their schedule of events.

They have phonebanks set up to urge people to vote no on 1A, even thought the State Republican Party gave money to the governor to support it, but that's of course before the State Republican Party voted to endorse a no vote on all of that ballot propositions.

They state and local Republican committees even endorsed a NO vote on the ballot propositions that their own party urged as a way of balancing the budget without raising taxes or borrowing more money.

Click here to register to vote in time for the May elections.


Moorpark City Council Campaign Update

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Polls

This poll is not scientific.


Endorsements

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Republican Supervisor Peter Foy ( who supported Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan for president in the past) has endorsed David Bagwell in the May special election for a seat on the Moorpark City Council.

Click on continue reading to see the press release.
State Senator Tony Strickland and leader of the Ventura County Republican Party also endorsed David Bagwell.

Here is the endorsement from State Senator Tony Strickland:

"Bagwell is a very successful businessman who has been very involved in community activities, and I think we need more people like him to come forward," said state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Moorpark resident.

Moorpark would benefit greatly from Bagwell's leadership, Strickland said. "I think he would be a tremendous councilman."

Click here for The Acorn article with State Senator Tony Strickland's endorsement.

Click here for his website.

I will post the endorsements for any candidate that sends them in or posts their official endorsements. Nathan Sweet was endorsed by the Moorpark/Simi Valley Democratic club.

Campaign Finance

Click here for a recent article in the Moorpark Acorn covering campaign finance in this race.

The latest campaign finance reports show Firefighter Nathan Sweet raising the most money with Bagwell in second.

The article said:


Campaign finance statements filed with the city on April 9 show that Sweet had gathered $11,485, which is more than any other candidate.

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I have heard that Nathan Sweet and his volunteers have knocked on an amazing amount of doors already. Because some voters have already received their absentee ballots a portion of the campaign is already over. Some candidates wait to spend money until the end not realizing the campaign is already in the process of ending.

Click here for Nathan Sweet's website.

Send in any other updates from the campaigns if you want me to post them.

Guest Blog by Martin Breen: It's a Wonderful Lie

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Posting guest blog entries doesn't mean I necessarily agree with them. To write a guest blog entry send me an email. I challenged Martin Breen to mix in his thoughts on local politicians for his next entry. What local politicians would you have included in this article?

It's a Wonderful Lie by Martin Breen

Do you remember that scene in everybody's favorite holiday movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," where the town has heard that George Bailey's (Jimmy Stewart) Building and Loan has no cash and the town folks make a run on it? You remember the scene where the evil banker, Mr. Potter, is trying to buy up all the Bedford financial institutions by calling in the B & L's loan and is paying pennies on the dollar. Since the Regulators just happen to be at the B & L conducting an audit, if George runs out of money by the end of the day, the B & L will probably be closed for good. So George uses his honeymoon money and asks his neighbors and friends, "how much do you really need?" praying that he will have enough cash to finish the day. Nearly everyone in town takes just what they need to make it through the week, except that one guy, Tom. Tom wants all of his $242 and he doesn't care if his money was loaned to build his neighbor's house or a hardware store, he wants it anyway.

When I was nine years old watching that movie for the first time, I hated Tom. Of course, the lie that we tell ourselves is that we are George Bailey and that we hate Mr. Potter. In the real world, we're either closer to Mr. Potter or Tom then we are to George Bailey. Indeed, as far as I can see, I do not think there are many George Bailey's left -- those that use their own money to help others and sacrifice their own desires for a better community. And, this is why shared sacrifice will not work in America because the Potter's of the world will never participate if they cannot control their own wealth. On the opposite side of the ledger, those that perpetually live off the entitlements funded by our tax dollars, the takers of the world, will never stop taking and they will take more and more than they actually need which will ultimately doom us all. Don't you see how these two extremes are closer to each other than to us, as both do not contribute to the maintenance of society? For Potter, we are to be used as a means to generate more money for himself and the takers do the same by asking for handouts based upon their own self-interest without regard to actual need. Ask yourself if the Octmom will contribute to society or take from it?

That's how free-market capitalism works, it recognizes that human nature is such that people act in self-interest and it attempts to allocate common human interests so that it produces maximum efficiency and wealth. It is similar to our legal system that uses an adversarial system to produce the truth. Of course, in this process, often lies are told and they must be scrutinized. This is the same with capitalism, where excess and greed must be scrutinized in order to discover its truth: self-interest can help everyone. No one is better at knowing what is best for you, then you.

This is where the fiction of "shared sacrifice" comes into play. I would suggest to you that there is no such thing as "shared sacrifice." Indeed, the definition of sacrifice is based upon "forfeiture." Forfeiture is a concept of property ownership. So by definition we cannot all give up something we don't own. If we were being intellectually honest we would admit that there's really only "self-sacrifice." In other words, stop asking others to give up what's not yours and focus on yourself and what you're willing to give up. In this way, we may be able to change the conversation and turn America around. Yes, I am willing to offer a helping hand to assist those down on their luck but I am not willing to assist those that never try to help themselves up. At a certain point, if my offer of assistance gets abused, it should be revoked. But the government never revokes anything, it just grows and grows and spends much of its time and resources on perpetuating itself. Indeed, in this way it ceases serving me, or even the less-fortunate, but rather it only serves itself.

Another fiction is that Congress is on your side. It's not. It sold out to Potter a long time ago. The fiction that Democratic bankers are better than Republican bankers would be laughable, if it wasn't so tragic. Congress pretends to care so it can be reelected and keep its gravy train going. To me, Pelosi and Bush are cut from the same cloth as both represent the worst America has to offer. Don't be fooled into thinking that the Democrats care more about every day Americans because if they did they wouldn't be taking your money and giving it to Tim Geithner's college classmates.

America, the lies we tell ourselves just to get us through the day. Here, are but a few of them: (1) Social Security is part of the social contract and will protect all those that enter retirement from poverty. I wish. Social Security is another ponzi scheme where current contributors pay off current recipients - very soon, current contributors will be unable to fund current recipients and the whole thing will collapse. But we keep lying to ourselves that nothing needs to be done and it will be there for us when we need it. Sorry, it won't, plan accordingly; (2) Funding for Medicare and Medicaid does not affect our ability to fund infrastructure and education. Again, sorry, but every funding decision means that some other program will go unfunded. Put simply, American tax dollars spent on Medicare and Medicaid will mean fewer dollars for roads and a quality education. But let's stop lying to ourselves and telling ourselves that the kids will just do fine. They won't because they're already far behind.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that President Obama has to use our money (and future generations) to save the banks so he can free up credit and fix the economy. Stop and think for a moment. They're taking our money and giving it to the banks so they can loan it back to us. That's totally asinine. How about I just keep my money and maybe I won't need a loan? I have even heard some folks from the Left express this same sentiment but with a twist, they say why doesn't the government cut out the banks and just loan us the money directly. Or the government could just let me keep my money and then (again) maybe I won't need a loan? Or is the real reason they need to save the banks is because "credit" has become another entitlement program, especially when it doesn't have to be paid back?

Click here for past guest blog entries from Martin Breen.

Simi Valley Tea Party: Where Was Barack Obama Born?

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These polite women shared their thoughts on Barack Obama, the stimulus, bailouts, the Mexico City policy, local politicians, and snakes. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions. The Simi Valley rally was orderly and compared to the wild signs at other rallies these signs stayed on their message.

Snakes on a sailboat! Watch the video to understand.

Thank you for your service. This man helped to defeat fascism. That alone means you should listen for at least a few minutes.

More videos in the next few days.

You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy. I delete foul language and other over the top comments. If you see a problem email me.

Tea Party Coverage Simi Valley, Ventura and DC

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Thanks for reading my blog. If you are new here let me make a few things clear quickly.

1. This is a news and commentary blog. That means I include my opinion with the news. If you want traditional news go to the front page of The Star.

2. Many people get confused by that first point because I post information from many different views, factions, or parties. I believe that if we see what the different sides have to say we will understand issues better.

3. You don't need to register to comment. You don't need to use your real name either. Some people will pay more attention and respect to your opinion if you use your real name, but is it totally up to you. If you see an opinion you like, let the person know by leaving them a comment to show it.

4. My blog is read mostly by political insiders including activists, journalists, staff members of elected officials, and candidates. Many of them even blog under pen names. You might be arguing with your neighbor, your party leader, or a local lobbyist.

5. Thanks for reading my blog. Leave some comments but keep it classy! If you see anything that goes over the line send me an email. I regularly delete comments to keep it clean.

I am uploading my videos but Youtube is really slow.

Here are a couple of videos to get it started:


Republican State Assembly Candidate Jeff Gorell:

Look at the archives to see more on Republican State Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell.

Here is a video from my friend Owen Paun who worked on the McCain campaign from a Tea Party in DC:

Owen posted:


I recorded footage of the police shutting down the DC Tea Party at Lafayette Park. At approximate 2:15 pm, the police shut down the tea party and moved everyone off the park to the street and set up a security barrier. The reason given was that somebody had thrown a box over the fence onto the White House.

It is not clear who threw the box, or what was in it. It could easily have been pro or anti-Tea Party people. Considering the online chatter, my first thought was that a Leftist had phoned in a threat to get the tea party shut down.

Update: It appears the object thrown was ... a box of tea.

I wonder if they secured the area and threw John Kerry out when he dumped someone else's medals over the fence.

I just uploaded it, so it's still unedited. Around minute 6 an organizer explains what's happening and thanks the police for their courtesy and accommodation.

Republican Leaders ATTENDING Local Tea People Parties

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Republican Leaders will be speaking at Tea Party events to protest higher taxes and spending.

Why do the organizers go out of their way to say they are nonpartisan events and then line up a whole list of conservative activists and Republican politicians to lead the events? The group that invited someone that called First Lady Michelle Obama trash lost all of my respect.


Rep. Gallegly

After passing budget after budget with increased entitlements and supporting the start of the war in Iraq, Rep. Gallegly is really upset at spending and taxation increases. He will be speaking at a Tea Party event in Ventura Wednesday. If you are going please take some video.

Ask Rep. Gallegly what he thinks of the new prescription drug entitlement added to Medicare passed by his party. Ask him how large the total cost over the next few years will be for that program. Ask him what he thinks of the budgets Republicans passed and George W. Bush signed over the years. You should also ask him why he voted against President Barack Obama's tax cuts.

But please ask him when he will hold a town hall forum that is scheduled and announced so that his constituents can ask him questions.

UPDATE: I Called Gallegly's office and they again said they didn't know his schedule but to call DC. I called DC and they said the scheduler wasn't in.

Turns out Gallegly wasn't at the event, but as his office doesn't tell people his schedule that isn't surprising. His local office says they don't even get a copy of his calendar.

In other Gallegly related news he wrote an editorial published in The Star that included this paragraph:

"Pelosi and Reid make it more expensive for Americans to purchase or afford a new home -- an essential part of the American dream -- by limiting the mortgage interest tax deduction. Their cap-and-trade energy proposal will increase the energy costs for every American household by up to $3,128 annually."

Click here for the entire editorial.

Politifact, looked into Rep. Gallegly's claim and said it was untrue and gave it their pans on fire award.

Here is what they reported:


"It's just wrong," said John Reilly, an energy, environmental and agricultural economist at M.I.T. and one of the authors of the report. "It's wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin."

Not only is it wrong, but he told the House Republicans it was wrong when they asked him.

"Someone from the House Republicans had called me (March 20) and asked about this," Reilly said. "I had explained why the estimate they had was probably incorrect and what they should do to correct it, but I think this wrong number was already floating around by that time."

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Click here for their website.

The DCCC sent out a press release going after Rep. Gallegly for voting against the budget. They pointed out that the budget funded an increased level of services for veterans. Click on continue reading for details.

Republican Elton Gallegly didn't speak ( I don't know where he was yesterday, as his local office doesn't release that information ) but Republican Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell did. Check out my other entries for a video filmed of him speaking.

Rep. John Boehner

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, will headline the Bakersfield Tea Party tax protest at the Liberty Bell 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Organizers bill the Bakersfield event, part of a nationwide series of events the day taxes are due, as a peaceful and non-partisan protest of government bailouts, stimulus and increased taxation without representation.

Yet another "nonpartisan" event headlined by partisan Republicans.

I don't know how a budget passed by congress and signed by the newly elected President is taxation without representation. Someone needs to explain how the election of Barack Obama doesn't count.

Click here for the full story from The Bakersfield Californian.

UPDATE: The Republican leader attended the event but he didn't speak.

In the same area the nonprofit American "Family" Association will be rallying against higher taxes. The AFA is a far right social conservative group opposed to gay rights, doing something to stop human influenced climate change, and stopping higher taxes.

Later that day a group of people are protesting the higher federal taxes some gay people pay because they do not receive equal treatment under the law. You don't have to approve of gay people to think they shouldn't be taxed more for being gay.

Supervisor Peter Foy

Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy is the chair of the California branch of Americans for Prosperity. Their group is a major organizer of the Tea Day parties. Peter Foy is a very conservative politician who supported Alan Keyes for president. If you read my blog often you will recall that Alan Keyes sued in court to stop Barack Obama from taking office because of the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States of America.

Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy will be out of the area at a Sacramento Tea Party event. Here is the list of people attending their event, according to Flashreport.org:


Leading the rally, besides Cavuto, is Mark Meckler, the California Statewide Coordinator of the Tea Party Coalition. On hand will be radio talk show host Michael Reagan (son of the former President), syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Peter Foy of Americans for Prosperity, conservative leader Steve Baric, and others...

Two, and only two elected politicians are slated with coveted speaking roles at the Sacramento event - Congressman Tom McClintock and State Senator (and FR blogger) George Runner.

Someone from Fox News is leading the rally?

Looking at the list of people sponsoring, attending, and speaking at the rallies it is clear these are not nonpartisan events.

There are two tea party events listed for Simi Valley, one in Thousand Oaks, and one in Ventura.

If you go send me any photos or videos that you want posted.

The Legacy Of Abu Ghraib To Be Discussed At CSUCI

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Coming soon after a Spanish court has announced it might prosecute six former Bush officials for war crimes a group at CSUCI is sponsoring an event to discuss the Abu Ghraib scandal.

Here is the information for their event:


California State University Channel Islands will be hosting a two-evening event to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of the photographs from Abu Ghraib. On Thursday, April 23 from 6-8 pm in Broome Library 1320 there will be a panel of professors and students discussing torture and the impact of the photographs as seen through the lens of their disciplines, from political science to poetry. Refreshments will be served. On Friday, April 24, from 6-9 pm in Aliso Hall, there will be a showing of the critically acclaimed documentary "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib," followed by a discussion and pizza. The events are free and open to the public.

Earth Day This Friday At Simi Valley Town Center Mall

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( A quick way to convince people to support doing something to halt human influenced climate change.)


Do you have a bag of e-waste that you are waiting to get rid of like me? My bag currently has a bunch of batteries and a few phone chargers. This Friday the Simi Valley Town Center Mall has an event to help you get rid of them in a more environmentally responsible way than throwing them in your trash.

Do people really hold onto batteries until there is an e-waste event? I have a feeling that most people toss the stuff out. What happens to those batteries other people throw in their recycling can?

The Simi Valley Town Center Mall is holding an Earth Day celebration this Friday. Click on continue reading for details, including a list of sponsors and events.

Are you going to any Earth Day events? Post the information as a comment. You don't need to register to comment.

Tutu's Hawaiian Ice Cream Raising Money For The Simi Valley Free Clinic

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Tutu's Hawaiian Ice Cream is helping to raise money for the Simi Valley Free Clinic. Print out the coupon and bring it with you Friday to show your support.

Click here for the Simi Valley Free Clinic blog.

Click here for the Simi Valley Free Clinic website.

Click here for Tutu's Hawaiian Ice Cream on Facebook.

What's State Senator Tony Strickland been up to lately?

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Here is a run down of some recent events he has attended, media coverage, and policy proposals from State Senator Tony Strickland.

Basketball

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Does the uniform look familiar? Click on the image. Click here for the details of State Senator Tony Strickland's upcoming basketball season. Click here for a recent story of him playing basketball against a radio DJ.


Rescheduling A Meeting with Education Leaders

Before the vote on the state budget Ventura County school district Superintendents held a meeting to discuss the impacts of different proposals on local schools. State Senator Tony Strickland, State Senator George Runner, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland did not attend. State Senator Tony Strickland was at a card table event meeting constituents, State Senator George Runner didn't release a statement on why he didn't attend, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland had to deal with a family emergency. None of them sent staff to sit in the audience and take notes.

Local Democrats have been calling on State Senator Tony Strickland (R), State Senator George Runner (R) and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland (R) to reschedule a meeting. Democratic elected officials that represent Ventura County in the legislature attended the last meeting .

Click on continue reading for the latest email from the Ventura County Democratic Party on the issue. Their website uses new techniques to help organize grassroots activists. Even if you aren't interested in this story the technology they are using is very promising for online organizing.

Obviously the Superintendents are advocates for public education but their goals and policy priorities don't always line up with those of the California Teachers Association (CTA). Meeting with the local superintendents would allow them to listen to what exactly is going to be cut in local schools under different budget proposals, including the impacts of the May ballot propositions. I spoke with State Senator Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff and he said he was against Proposition 1A and is split on the rest of the proposals. He supports taking money from mental health for the general fund but hasn't announced his position on the lottery proposal yet. I expect we will see his opinion on all of the proposals soon.

Not going to meetings like this reinforces the public perception that Republicans aren't concerned with public education as much as Democrats are concerned. The trio should take this opportunity to bring their ideas for education funding and reforms and see if they can convince some local education leaders to support them.

I don't know why Assembly Member Cameron Smyth was not included in the email blast even though he represents a major portion of Simi Valley.

Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff said they were in the process of scheduling another meeting with the Ventura County Superintendents that State Senator Tony Strickland will be attending. One goal of such meetings is to inform elected officials of the impacts of their choices. With that in mind it would be best before he announced his position on all of the May ballot propositions.

Click here for a past entry from Making Waves blogger Marie Lakin explaining in detail the frustration from many over the failure for local Republicans to schedule a meeting. Marie Lakin is a progressive Democrat that supported Hannah-Beth Jackson in the last election. But she is also a leader and fundraiser for local education causes.

I didn't call and ask Assembly Member Audra Strickland's office but I assume the meeting will include other area elected officials like the last meeting did.

I reported here that Audra Strickland opened an account to run against Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Thanks to Timm Herdt for giving credit to me for breaking the story .

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I don't expect her to run as Debra Bowen is a popular elected official without much controversy in the office of Secretary of State.


Alternative Energy

State Senator Tony Strickland does have time to ready his alternative energy proposals but the cynic in me wonders if they are going to go anywhere in the state legislature. If they are good ideas and can gain enough support to pass wouldn't the Democrats put up a slightly different version and pass theirs instead? Add to that highly limited budgetary options and the chances of passage don't seem strong. Am I too cynical?

Here is a video of State Senator Tony Strickland briefly explaining his legislation:



Speaking and tweeting at a Tea Party w/ Tammy Bruce in Santa Barbara

Tony Strickland spoke at a recent Tea Party protest where people were encouraged to send tea bags to their elected officials to complain over government spending and taxation. To see his Twitter page click on the images below.

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The Santa Barbara Independent write a recap of the event. Here are a few key quotes:

"...believes the protest's aims should be seen without party bias. "It's the elites versus the masses," he said, articulating his reasons for protesting on Saturday. "It's not a partisan issue."

And...

Among the speakers on Saturday were California State Senators Tony Strickland and George Runner; Carpinteria City Councilmember and head of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Joe Armendariz; Andrew Caldwell of COLAB (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business); Lompoc Mayor Dick DeWees; screenwriter Andrew Klavan; and UCSB student Gabriela Murillo. Political singer Lloyd Marcus also contributed to the protest, singing songs attacking President Obama. "Mr. Obama," sang Marcus, "don't talk down to us!"

And

President Ronald Reagan was remembered and missed again and again as speakers cited him as the greatest president in memory. Reagan was quoted at the rally more than any other figure from American history.

So much for nonpartisan and aimed at bringing in people from across different political ideologies.

Click here for the rest of the story from the Santa Barbara Independent.

The Santa Barbara event was emceed by Tammy Bruce. Recently Tammy Bruce called Michelle Obama trash as she was ranting over Michelle Obama telling young African-Americans that she was ridiculed when she was young for trying hard in school.

Listen to the audio:

Sharing a stage with someone doesn't mean you agree with everything they have ever said. But that isn't the type of person he should associate with if he is serious on fulfilling his campaign platform of reaching across the aisle and working with the majority party to pass legislation. Bruce is bitter and will twist anything to make a nasty personal attack to sell a few more books or stay in the public spotlight for a few more minutes. Her appearance at this Tea Party shows that it really was a gathering of conservatives and far right activists, instead of the grassroots groups from all walks of life like they tried to pretend.

I remember people for the last eight years demanding civility and respect for President Bush because he was our president. Somehow many of those that demanded a high level of respect have lost their voices in less than a hundred days of a new presidency.

Tony, to show that you strongly disagree with the lack of class Tammy Bruce showed for the President you could let people know your feelings on this type of gutter politics. A press release, blog post, or news story might be too much, but could we get a Tweet on your Twitter account? If your basketball practice schedule is included I am sure you could find the time and room for a few supportive words for the first family.

You have more class than Tammy Bruce. Your Twitter update will be posted on my front page and will stay at the top for a week if you take me up on the offer.

Did any of my readers attend the Tea Party in Santa Barbara? How was it? Did you see mythical ACORN protesters? Who did you enjoy listening to the most?

Simi Valley Campaign Finance Issues

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The United States Supreme Court in landmark case of Buckley v. Valeo dealing with Watergate era campaign finance reforms ruled that campaign expenditures were constitutionally protected free speech and cannot be limited but that campaign donations, because of their ability to either cause corruption or because the government has a substantial interest in stopping an appearance of corruption.

For the government to function our elected officials must safeguard the public trust, however little it might be at times, in our institutions and the people that run them.

Elected officials must keep in mind that even if they know that large donations haven't influenced them and even if all of their supporters trust that they aren't under the influence of their donors, that doesn't mean the general public trust you. When the general public hears of large, suspicious donations their natural reaction is to trust less in government and it diminishes their desire to get involved.

For the rest of the entry click on continue reading.

Young Republicans Meeting At British Pub

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Ventura_County_.jpg

The Ventura County Young Republicans have been hosting frequent events to energize their base and bring new people into their party. They have been blogging, updating the central committee website, using social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and going out for drinks to connect young Republicans to each other.

Here is a photo from their website of a recent mixer they hosted with guests Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy and Ventura County Republican Central Committee chair Mike Osbourn.

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Go the Ventura County Young Republican website for more pictures from their last mixer. Do you recognize the blogger in the photo above? Click here for the answer. BTW, you owe me some comments for linking to your blog.

Click on continue reading for a photo of Peter Foy from their website. Try to caption the picture in a humorous, but classy way. The best submission will be posted on the front page.

In my ongoing poll Peter Foy and Tom Campbell are the top candidates. I don't think Peter Foy will run for governor. Do any of you?

Their next event is tomorrow night. The Ventura County Young Republicans are gathering the night before the Tea Bag protests at a British pub for a mixer. Here are the event details:

This Month's Mixer:
Date: Tuesday April 14th, 2009
Time: 7pm
The Crown and Anchor
2891 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 497-0070
Dress: The Crown and Anchor is a British Pub. No Coat and Tie Required.

According to their Facebook RSVP list State Assembly candidate Jeff Gorell will be there. Somebody should ask him where he stands on the May ballot propositions.

Pirates and Critics

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While the US military, with authorization to use force, was pulling off a heroic rescue effort the video above captures what conservative commentators like Glen Beck and Newt Gingrich had to say before the news came in that it was a success.

The problem with the 24 hour cable news system includes forcing people to have an opinion on an unfolding event when they don't have all of the information yet. Glen Beck attacking our president for calling in hostage negotiators in to minimize risk to the American captain just shows he was more interested in partisan politics than the actual story. Newt Gingrich also had harsh criticism for the president, which now looks really funny.

I would guess that past presidents would have handled the situation in much the same way. Why do people keep giving presidents either too much credit or blame for every situation?


The true heroes are the US Navy SEALS for rescuing an American held captive.

Simi Valley Tea Parties

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The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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The video from John Stewart of The Daily Show explains the feelings of the Tea Bag protesters very well.

The Tea Bag Parties are coming to Simi Valley this week with two different events on Wednesday.

Click here for the Simi Valley Civic Center Tea Party. The Civic Center is the shopping plaza where Regal Cinemas is located.

Click here for the event in front of the Ronald Reagan Library. The organizers put on their website that reservations are required.

Click here for past entries on local Tea Parties.

The protesters are asking people to bring tea bags to send to politicians that they blame for all sorts of problems. Some of the protesters are even protesting against George W. Bush and the Republican Party for the unfunded mandates added to Medicare.

On a side note the House of Representatives is in recess which means Rep. Elton Gallegly will be in the district. If you get me a picture of Elton Gallegly at a Tea Party I will donate $20 to a local widely respected charity of your choice. $25 for a video if you give me the rights.

Have you seen any news what Rep. Gallegly will be doing this week? I have been calling his office to see if he has any upcoming public events but for the many months the answer has been no.

That doesn't mean he isn't in the district. I saw him at The Hat in Simi Valley recently. But both Audra Strickland and Tony Strickland hold many more scheduled events where the public can ask them questions.

I am beginning to think the lack of public events is a signal that Elton Gallegly is going to retire soon.

Who agrees with me that Rep. Gallegly should hold more scheduled events where we can ask him questions? You don't need to register or use your real name to comment, but many people give more attention to those willing to use their real name.

Anti-WalMart Campaign Using The Latest Technology

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( The Employee free Choice Act is a proposal law in congress that would make it easier for unions to organize. Like many corporations Walmart is against it. For many unions it is their top legislative priority. Click here for a summation of the legislation on Wikipedia.


In the latest email from the coalition against a WalMart superstore in Ventura they have added a new feature that helps people send letters to their elected officials. Because I don't live in Ventura and don't feel the need to share my opinion on the subject I won't say much on the proposal.

But I am impressed with the way they are organizing the grassroots using technology. Click here to see the technology that connects people to their elected officials.

Here is their latest email blast:

WalMart Demands Special Treatment from Ventura . . .

As you may know, the multinational corporation WalMart has plans to move to the old Kmart site on Victoria Avenue, and intends to expand the original size of the store to create a huge megastore, vastly increasing truck traffic and hurting local retail businesses. They want Ventura to make some exceptions to the rules for development along Victoria Avenue, so they can build the kind of mega-store that will really change the neighborhood and our city.

As a concerned Ventura resident, we know you care about the special character of Ventura and would be willing to speak out to prevent a huge development that would be out of step with our careful community planning. Follow the link below and get more information and send an email to the Ventura City Council telling them no special treatment for Walmart, no changes to the Victoria Avenue Plan.

You can also forward this email to your family and friends by using the
Forward to Friend link below!
Thanks in advance for your continued support!
The Stop Wal-Mart Ventura Coalition
www.StopWalmartVentura.com

Simi Valley Democrats Organizing and Registering Voters

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Simi_Valley_democrats.jpg

The Simi Valley/Moorpark Democrats are recruiting members and registering voters locally and they are asking for help. Here is a recent message from a club leader:


we need volunteers to work the club booth this Friday at the Simi Farmers Market. Please let me know as soon as possible if you can take one of the shifts, either, 2:45 - 5:00 or 5:00 - 7:30. It's a good way to meet people and grow the club we really need your help.

Thanks,
John Strubbe

They have their latest newsletter out too. Click here to see it.

At their upcoming meeting they will be discussing local elections and the May ballot initiatives.

Without candidates appearing on many ballots many grassroots organzations have slowed down, but the Simi Valley / Moorpark Democrats are getting ready for upcoming elections.

Democrats Recruiting Candidates For Congress

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Ojai Post blogger Tyler Suchman caught a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting the 24th congressional district ( Currently Elton Gallegly.) The most important task might be recruiting a great candidate to either run if Gallegly retires or against him.

What potential candidates, from either party, would you like to encourage to consider running?

I have a surprising list that includes a firefighter, someone from the religious community, and a military veteran. There's also some elected officials in there. If my readers post a sizable list of names I will update this entry with the candidates I would like to see run. I will then put together an online poll to gauge intensity and interest in the different candidates.

Post a comment with names of Democrats you want to have nominated and I will forward them to the DCCC for you.

Click here for The Ojai Post.

Click here for The San Francisco Chronicle story.

Republican Youth Leadership Summit + TEA Party This weekend

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The new teenage Republican group is meeting tomorrow. Here is their meeting reminder:

Dear Friend, This is a reminder that this Saturday, April 4, is RECLAIM's first meeting from 10am to 12pm at the Thousand Oaks Republican Headquarters, 2219 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. This is an introduction meeting to RECLAIM and its goals. RECLAIM is an organization geared toward Teenage Republicans in Ventura County and its surrounding areas. The purpose of RECLAIM is to encourage teenagers to become more active in politics on all levels. Both Co-founders, Claira Guerra and Steven Page, will be in attendance to introduce themselves to attendees. Mike Osborn, the Ventura County Republican Chairman, and Chris Collier, the county party Executive Director, will be there, as well, to help commemorate the beginning of a new era in the county. A special guest speaker will be present to give a speech on the future of the Republican Party and its place in modern politics. Two workshops will be available to attendees on ways to become an effective activist and how the county party can provide you opportunities to bring effective change to America starting at the grassroots level. This time will also allow attendees to voice their opinions on important issues. You wont want to miss this great opportunity!!!!!!!!!!!!! RSVP's are not required but greatly appreciated. Inform all the teenagers you know about this momentous occurrence. Sincerely, Claira Guerra and Steven Page Co-founders of RECLAIM Address: 2219 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 103 Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 Phone Number: (805)557-1240 Email: reclaim@rocketmail.com

I hope the young people take this opportunity to tell the older Republican leaders how their generation differs on the issues of the day. Most people assume that Democrats have a lock on the youth vote but the truth is George W. Bush actually came within roughly a point of taking the youth vote in 2000.

This time Barack Obama earned their support by greater than a 2 to 1 margin. Some Republicans want to dismiss these voters as naive or caught up in a moment, but ridiculing them isn't likely to get them to stop supporting the president.

What happened? How did the Republican Party lose almost this entire generation to Barack Obama? Sure, some of them didn't understand the issues but I have talked to adults that thought he was a secret Muslim or forwarded me some really dumb and racist emails. Ignorance isn't confined to any age category or political party.

Many of the young people that I know were passionate, serious minded, and engaged in the process. That goes for conservative and progressive young people. I suggested to a few young conservatives that they attend this meeting.

America is best served by parties and candidates that compete for votes across the nation and in every demographic. We need these young people to learn from their party elders and most of all inform their party what needs to change.

Santa Barbara conservatives are also hosting a Tea Party to protest against liberal policies this weekend.

Here is their announcement:

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY TEA PARTY VENTURA COUNTY TEA PARTY LLOYD MARCUS STARS! SANTA BARBARA'S BIG, COOL TEA PARTY ADDS NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED MUSICIAN TO ITS UNIQUE TAX REVOLT EVENT Our city's unique version of the national grassroots tea party movement, Santa Barbara's Big, Cool Tea Party, has scored a musical coup. The tax savvy group has announced they have signed popular singer-songwriter Lloyd Marcus to perform at their rally this Saturday. Remembered by entertainment insiders as the man who gave Oprah Winfrey her start in broadcasting, Mr. Marcus will be flying in from Florida to inspire the tea party's expected crowd of 1,500. The musician's just released "American Tea Party Anthem" has become an instant hit after its national premiere last Tuesday on FOX TV. "I'm looking forward to my first trip to your town and excited to be participating in Santa Barbara's Big, Cool Tea Party," reported Mr. Marcus. "The organizers have put together an unusual event, mixing fun and drama with historical perspective. . . . the Paul Revere Ride is great . . . It's all a class act. I like their upbeat attitude." The dynamic singer is spokesman for Our Country Deserves Better PAC and President of NAACPC. He earned millions of fans with his smooth vocals when he toured the country during the 2008 presidential campaign; many from around the state will be driving hours to hear him this weekend. In addition to his performance at the rally, Mr. Marcus will be feted by Mary Belle and Tom Snow at a private party on Friday evening. The tea party is a family friendly event. Also getting star billing is the march's leader, "Paul Revere," who will deliver his 2009 warning to his fellow citizens as he rides on horseback through downtown. The American icon will be followed by a drum and fife band, colorful Revolutionary War characters and modern day patriots. The rally includes celebrities and tax experts, with Mr. Marcus as headliner. Participants are asked to assemble at the Courthouse at 2:30 PM. For registration and information, please visit www.santabarbaracountyteaparty.org.
The Tea Party has controversial conservative personality Tammy Bruce scheduled to speak at their event. Tammy Bruce recently went after Michelle Obama and said that we have trash living in the White House. Here is their post on getting Tammy Bruce

Talk show host Tammy Bruce has added national panache to Santa Barbara's Big, Cool Tea Party this Saturday. According to SBCTP Committee Member, Maureen Murphy, Ms. Bruce agreed to be join in the tax revolt group's event yesterday. "We was just thrilled she gave the OK. She originally couldn't come because of travel plans, but she changed it to attend the event."

Flagshipped at KABC Radio and nationally syndicated with 153 affiliates, Ms. Bruce's show premiered in Los Angeles in 1993 and has been running six days a week ever since. The popular, often witty communicator is the author of three best sellers on social issues, "The Death of Right and Wrong," "The New Thought Police," and "The New American Revolution." A native of Los Angeles, she is well regarded as a political analyst, who consistently argues that Americans' freedom of expression and personal liberty are under attack.

Other speakers include Hollywood screenwriter Andrew Klavan, COLAB Executive Director Andy Caldwell, Senator George Runner ( Editorial note from Brian Dennert: The same State Senator who has been avoiding meeting with Ventura County educators), Lompoc Mayor Richard De Wees, Past President of Santa Barbara Taxpayers Association Joe Armendariz, Gabriella Murrilo, and Erin Graffy de Garcia. The rally's headliner is singer-songwriter Lloyd Marcus, who will perform his latest hit, "The American Tea Party Anthem."

The ambitious local version of the growing national grassroots tax revolt movement begins with a march lead by American Revolutionary War Hero, Paul Revere (portrayed by Tony Browning), on horseback and ends with the rally. Organizers estimate the event will draw 1,500 participants from throughout the region and predict it will be an historic day for Santa Barbara. The tea party starts at the Courthouse at 2:30 PM. It is a family friendly event. Visit santabarbaracountyteaparty.org.

Maybe Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy will also attend. Here is a photo of him attending a anti-tax rally put on by John and Ken of KFI AM 640
Radio as the California leader of Americans for Prosperity:

Peter_Foy_governor_insurance_.jpg

Rumors are that he is thinking of running for either Governor or Insurance Commissioner. I think it is more likely he runs for Insurance Commissioner. In a campaign for Insurance Commissioner his past support for far right candidate Alan Keyes wouldn't be as powerful of a negative.

How do you think County Supervisor Peter Foy is going to vote on raises for government employees next week? Click here for a story from The Star that provides documents and details on the proposed wage increases going in front of the Board of Supervisors next week.

If you attend any events and want me to post videos or pictures send them in. Have a fun weekend.

I posted an entry on the Ventura County Tea Party earlier and I didn't notice this event wasn't on the same day until tonight. Click here for information on the Ventura County event. Read through the comments and add your own thoughts.

You don't need to register to comment or use your real name. I rely on my readers to help alert me when a comment crosses the line and should be erased. If you see a comment that should be erased send me an email.

Guest Blog Entry: Martin Breen Blames Nerf Balls For Bailouts

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Here is another guest blog entry from reader Martin Breen. To write a guest blog entry yourself send me an email. I don't necessarily agree with the guest blog entries I post.

Click here for past guest blog entries.


How the Nerf Ball Ruined America
by Martin Breen

Do you remember a time when footballs were a hard plastic and in the right cold climate, catching it could nearly break your hands? No one thought to complain because if you did your friends would not only think less of you -- but kick you off the team. Remember when going out to play with your friends usually meant that someone was going to come home crying or bleeding, or both? It was just the natural order of things. America was addicted to competition and not only did we mix it up on fields and rinks but in flipping baseballs cards and even playing miniature golf. There was just a constant stream of events that produced losers and winners.

Then in early 70's the nerf ball was invented. At the time, it seemed like a good idea - kids could play ball in the house or outside without breaking a lamp or a nose. The idea that you could soften the impact of contact sports caught on. Then, in the 80's, they stopped keeping score. Like if the other team had more goals or points than you, it would send you into some post-traumatic tantrum. Then it was snacks after every game, win or lose. I got to tell you that life doesn't give you huge gooey cupcakes even when you fail. In the real world when you fail, you get fired. It's a lesson you should learn before you hit the workforce.

Soon, they were making all kinds of nerf things and softening up sports in general. In the early 90's, no one was cut from the High School team because that might crush poor little Johnny. God forbid, Johnny learn that he was really bad at tackling and he needed to actually run to catch someone. Nope, the world was becoming a kinder and gentler place -- so there was a place for everyone - even the kid who couldn't really play football.

When I grew up there was one trophy - it was for 1st Place. Anything less and you got nothing except a cold dead stare from your father who wanted to know why you threw like a girl for the last inning of the game. Now, we have trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd , 4th , participation awards, coaching awards, team mom gift certificates, and gift certificates for the people who got the gift certificates - I mean it's ridiculous. Let's stop congratulating ourselves every three seconds and learn how to lose again. Not everyone should get a trophy for just showing up. Indeed, when you think that people will give you stuff even when you don't try hard it creates the illusion that your best is not needed - when in the real world, capitalism demands your best. In fact, the definition of just showing up without regard to results is called mediocrity.

We turned this cute simple nerf ball into a drive to make everything in life cushier and foamier. And, this leaked into all aspects of American life from education to boardrooms. Even at Yale Law, the bastion of old school money and power, they stopped giving letter grades and made every class, pass/fail. Why are we so afraid to declare a winner? Come on, even American Idol is not afraid to do that.

Folks, capitalism is a contact sport - people are going to skin some knees and shed some tears. But at least it will be real and not some foamy version of capitalism that doesn't really hurt. Because when you grow up thinking that nothing bad can happen to you, you get a false sense of security. It is this false sense of security that is being shattered now.

So how is the nerf ball relevant today? Well, here's how: You know that housing bubble that started this entire mess, well that's our economic nerf ball. In the real world, the bubble is just that, a bubble -- by definition, it's going to burst. People are going to cry and people are going to lose money. Put simply, the housing bubble was a mirage - it didn't really exist. You didn't lose 40% of your 401K, you never had the 40% to begin with -- it was a mirage. Your house is not worth 30% less, it was never really worth what you overpaid for it - you bought a mirage or a bubble and you got taken (don't feel so bad so did I). Time for us to accept our medicine. Caveat Emptor - buyer beware. We were not on guard and we lost our money. Chalk it up to a very expensive lesson learned. But I might suggest that the expensive lessons are the ones that you never forget.

But what we should NOT do is somehow short circuit this lesson or blunt it so it can have a softer landing or impact. Sometimes softer is not better. Indeed, here, we are not really confronting our problems; we're merely shifting them to new generations. Generations' who don't even have a say in what we're doing? Quite frankly, I believe it's cowardly (if that word is good enough for Eric Holder, it's good enough for me) and un-American. In fact, one of the main unwritten rules of our great nation has been the notion that we work hard so our children can be better off. Do you think giving our kids a $10 trillion dollar debt might break that rule?

So when President Obama (and his team of economic advisors) tells you he has to save the banks, the insurance companies and the auto industry (and I am sure by next week there will others), he's really telling you that he thinks you're not tough enough to play the game with a real ball -- you're too weak and you need a nerf ball so no one gets hurt. I, however, think he's wrong. I mean come on, if Marcia Brady is tough enough to get hit square in the nose with a football and still attend a dance, then so are we.

Brian Dennert here

This blog is dedicated to Ventura County politics. Send in ideas for posts to briandennert@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter Twitter.com/dennert The Facebook page for this blog is facebook.com/briandennerthere You do not need to register to comment but keep it classy. Report abusive language to me at my email address.

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