Personal note
At the risk of suffering great derision, I thought I'd share a glimpse into childrearing in this "conservative" household. Living in a rather homogeneous enclave of the country, our major exposure to other lifestyles is through our television. We generally watch together, except for the Disney/Nickelodeon stuff.

I watch both Will & Grace and Friends in syndication with the girls. Calblog husband disapproves. At this age (11 going on 25), he'd rather they not get regular doses of straight women living with gay men or Rachel and Ross having a baby and not getting married. He mutters and I point out how strong the friendships are and how well they treat each other, etc.

Last weekend, we watched Jackass the Movie. Calblog husband thought it very funny. The girls and I generally thought it gross and actually turned away a lot. (At one point, I started gagging and almost lost my dinner.) In one stunt, one of the young men puts a toy car into a condom and inserts it where the sun don't shine. The prank is to show up at a radiologist's complaining of pain and watch the radiologist's reaction at the reason. Toy cars, condoms, and bottoms. I tried to ban this from the children's viewing and cited the Calblog's husband's objection to the sitcoms with alternative lifestyles. His view was that this was not as problematic because it was a prank and so clearly gross that the girls would not imitate it.

The result of all this is that the girls watch everything and have to sit through the running debate and exchange of ideas. How are they turning out? Not much differently than their friends so far. When parents aren't involved, the TV turns back to the usual favorites, Lizzie McGuire and other preteen girl shows. Boys are still icky (though we spend a lot more time discussing just how icky). The highlights of life are the upcoming Girl Scout sleepovers, the dance they're rehearsing with their friends (to the Lizzie McGuire tune, "Hey Now", and summer vacations with cousins. Check back in ten years to see what damage we've done.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/30/2003 09:04:00 AM


Late recall note
California Insider has the latest on the price war on pro-recall and pro-Davis petitions. Keep reading down for a preview of an anti-recall Feinstein piece expected to run on op-ed pages soon.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/29/2003 11:02:00 PM

Cel Phone Limitations
The Assembly has approved a bill to require handsfree operation of cel phones. I have a hands free earpiece and I have a terrible time hearing with it. I regularly fiddled with it and got distracted by the fact that I couldn't hear. I went back to the cel because it was safer. But laws don't take into account individual variation and personal responsibility.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/29/2003 10:59:00 PM

Funny numbers
Ravenwood does an examination of a claim that the federal government has a $44 trillion deficit. He doesn't think that number is possible.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/29/2003 10:54:00 PM

The LA Examiner?
The LA Independent suggests that it is just not to be.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/29/2003 10:50:00 PM

The quick run through the recall news
The Girl Scout troop is still headed to SF tomorrow. I'm staying over for a board meeting in Monterey Monday and I have to be in court first thing Tuesday. As you can imagine, much office-based work needs to get done today. So here are the links to the articles. Reading and analysis must be done on your own (hint, hint, Calblog husband).

Davis Ally Says Issa Broke Law in Recall Drive

Davis makes pre-emptive strike on recall camp -- Bonus points to this article because it also mentions another interest of mine -- Indian casinos

Davis taking recall seriously -- Points off to this article for calling California "the land of movie sequels"

GOP sends clear signal in recall drive - The recall is a "partisan" campaign. Yeah, yeah, and the anti-recall campaign isn't? Besides that, a discussion of the interplay between the recall and the budget.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/29/2003 09:14:00 AM


Grumble, mutter and a sour grapes moment
Just a moment.

The LA Times memo has hit Lileks, who refers back to Hewit and the NRO online. None of them talked about how it was leaked. LA Observed had it first and I pulled it from them, posting it here, on LA Blogs and Political State Report. Since I am only a flippery fish, no one will, sniff, notice.

Having had the sour grapes moment, I am pleased it's getting the play it is.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 10:46:00 PM

It's Summer!
It's hot (especially in Pasadena -- I'm sure Calpundit was fine!) and we had a power alert.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 09:54:00 PM

Here's a Tidbit
From new blog, LA Observed:

LAT Editor Carroll declares war on "liberal bias"

Too bad xrlq is on vacation. He would love this. An LA Times editor sends a memo out and explains to his staff exactly HOW their article was biased, and acknowledges that although they live in a liberal world, not everyone does, and instructs them to pull the bias out. As far as I can tell, no one else has this memo and I hope the biggies in the blogosphere pick it up.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 08:45:00 AM

The headline on Drudge reads DOWD WARNING FATIGUE: 'Orange doesn't communicate anything to anybody any more'... This weekend, we were due to go to the Girl Scout Bridging event in San Francisco. Girl Scouts from all over the state bridge from being Junior Scouts to Cadettes by gathering and walking over the Golden Gate Bridge. Not only do the girls join in a longstanding tradition, but its one of those childhood memories of accomplishment that you carry with you.

When the alert level was yellow, all systems were go. When the level moved to orange, the large group permit was pulled and the traditional ceremony was cancelled. I had an evening arbitration and got home at 8:30 last hight. I barely had time to pull off the suit jacket before I was summoned to an emergency meeting to revamp the weekend that starts in 48 hours.

Glad to hear Maureen's life is unaffected.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 08:06:00 AM

Non-news of the Day
The new tax cut and aid to states package signed by Bush sends $2.4 billion to California. (Snide sneering comment of the day: I think that's more than we got from Davis' highly touted victory before FERC but don't expect the same sort of whooping from the unbiased CA press).

According to this shocking story, the Democratic members of the state legislature want to increase spending and the Republican members want to use it to lower taxes. (Now, in deference to my liberal friends who have indeed made a valid point recently, I note that there's been analysis showing that Republicans spend more than Democrats so the non-news corollary is that this is all rhetoric.)
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 07:42:00 AM

More on the recall opposition
The new anti-recall group, just launched today, already has a budget in the low 7 figures. According to the LA Times, they will raise $1-4 million to gather signatures on an anti-recall petition to to save the $25 million that this "insanity" and "anarchy" will cost the state. (Come on, admit it, the recall is as fun to watch as I said it was). Now, I am still searching diligently to figure out what this $1-4 million dollar anti-recall petition will do.

As far as I can tell, there is no initiative or other legal mechanism in place that would allow these anti-recall signatures to actually stop the recall. Nor is the person who signs whatever petition put in their face (I wonder how many of those there are) prevented from signing both petitions. Ah yes, here's the Bee confirming my suspicions and providing an explanation:

The anti-recall petitions have no legal standing and no ability to prevent a recall election should Issa and other proponents collect the nearly 900,000 signatures of voter support required to qualify for the ballot.

But the new campaign could have one significant effect: interfering with recall signature-gathering efforts by offering petition circulators better-paying work

Both the LA Times and the SF Chronicle headline that only 18-20,000 signatures have been turned in although recall supporters "claim" to have 200,000. Seems like an odd fact to trumpet. The recall supporters have been reporting numbers far behind what they had wanted or predicted. It seems to me that if you were going to lie, you'd do a better job of it.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 07:24:00 AM

Whatever Happened to Old News Stories
Some depressing followups today over at Fox News. Chandra Levy is buried and Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost two-thirds of its employees in 9/11 is now being sued for back rent on the WTC space it rented.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 07:03:00 AM

Carnival Time
The Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Dean Esmay's this week. With the variety of posts included, you're sure to find something of interest. Mention my name at the door and you'll get no special treatment.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/28/2003 06:58:00 AM


Recall Opposition
From the Bee:

The new effort, "Taxpayers Against the Recall," will formally launch Wednesday outside a Sacramento fire station.

In addition to Dan Terry, president of the California Professional Firefighters, other co-chairs of the new group are: Rev. Cecil B. Murray of the First AME Church in Los Angeles; Mary Bergen of the California Federation of Teachers; Fred Keeley, executive director of the Planning and Conservation League; and Miguel Contreras, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/27/2003 11:10:00 PM

I invented the recall
The recall is so popular now that there's argument over who started the ball rolling.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/27/2003 11:08:00 PM

A New Scam is In Town
From the SF Chronicle:

In recent months, hackers have been dialing into peoples' voice-mail boxes and trying to guess the password. If successful, they then record a new outgoing message. Later on, the hacker places a long-distance phone call and asks the operator (or a computer) to forward the charges. The operator calls the hacked phone number and gets the changed message, which tricks the phone company into thinking that the line's owner has agreed to accept the charges for a long-distance phone call.

In Steel's case, before she had a chance to change her phone message, the hackers had run up more than $20,000 in long-distance charges via AT&T, including 95 hours in overseas calls.

But what came next is even worse: Even though AT&T agreed Steel was the victim of fraud, it insists she is on the hook for much of the charges.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/27/2003 08:43:00 PM

Summer Water Cooler Preview
Here's what the talk will be about. Bravo to Keep Gay Reality Date

Similar in format to ABC's "The Bachelor," "Boy Meets Boy" features an eligible man looking for love in a pool of 15 potential mates. But in a twist worthy of the bogus baron on Fox's "Joe Millionaire," some of the suitors are actually heterosexual men who were paid by the program to pretend to be gay -- unbeknownst to the eligible bachelor.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/27/2003 08:41:00 PM

I've already posted anti-Scheer, so before the day's out, let's point to an anti-Dowd piece. Then I'll stop throwing stones before someone peers in my glass house. This one in the Rocky Mountain News (via Chronwatch).

Consider her May 14 column. She wrote: "Busy chasing off Saddam, the president and vice president had told us that al-Qaida was spent. 'Al-Qaida is on the run,' President Bush said last week. 'That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated. . . . They're not a problem anymore.' "

Dowd chastised the president for his smug overconfidence about al-Qaida being "not a problem anymore," just days before al-Qaida pulled off a major bombing in Saudi Arabia.

The problem, however, is that Dowd used ellipses to completely change the meaning of the president's remarks. The president never claimed that al-Qaida was no longer a problem. Rather, he said that the al-Qaida leaders who had been killed or captured were no longer a problem.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/27/2003 12:04:00 AM


From the Chronicle website: 3.4-magnitude quake today in SF means that all 3 big Bay Area faults have shaken recently.

If only news like that meant something.

About 5-10 years ago, there were lots of quakes in Mammoth CA. There was talk of imminent volcanic activity. Then it all went away.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 10:20:00 PM

The Scheer Story Won't Die
The LA Examiner, now a website but soon to be a newspaper, reports the attacks, official and otherwise, on the LA Times columnist Robert Scheer.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 09:56:00 PM

Non-news of the Day
Yahoo News is reporting a TV Guide article that says that Arnold Schwarzenegger may consider a run for governor later . . . or not.

Oh yeah, Drudge picked it up too.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 08:28:00 PM

As Molly would say, I be rich! Jeff of So Cal Law gave me 5 shares of his blog. Thanks Jeff!

I also got shares in each of two blogs completely new to me -- A Course in Miracles (300 shares!) and A Nickel's Worth of Free Advice (4000 shares!)
Thanks Linda JM! Please go check these blogs out.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 05:42:00 PM

Chicken autopsy
This morning as I was disposing of chicken eggs, I suggested candling the eggs before disposing of them. My husband suggesting just breaking them open since we were tossing them out. Cool. Just like CSI, I could figure out the clues to cause of death. If they had never developed, we'd know that they died in cool storage because UPS delivered the incubator late.

First, we broke open one of the three eggs in the jerryrigged footbath incubator. I was pretty sure those had not made it because the temperature was hard to regulate and it got too hot. Sure enough, there was cooked yolk and no embryo in the first egg. There did seem to be a covering to the yolk which isn't there when you hardboil an unfertilized egg. I suspected that it may be placenta which developed in the first day before the temperature got too hot.

This was great. a real science experiment. The twins huddled around me very curious about what we were learning. We decided to do one of the incubator eggs next.

Big mistake. Rule number 1: Children may not be present at chicken autopsy next time. Rule number 2: Reconsider having a next time.

I was reviewing the chicken material this am and realized that after the first week, I had forgotten all about the humidity instructions. So I had filled the water the first week but had plain forgotten after that. I wouldn't have done it the next time either if I hadn't reread the instructions. So my assumption on these eggs was they had died around then -- one week into a three week incubation. I figured we'd have yolk and a little embryo that would be of scientific curiosity.

Imagine my surprise -- and everyone's horror -- when we opened the egg and found a fully developed chick. No yolk left. Black feathers, closed eyes and a little beak. Two freaked out little girls and a mom sorry she'd come this far.

We decided not to break any others. The other two from the incubator went back into the incubator just in case we had miscalculated the dates.

Here's a tangent about why I put them back. At some point we raised tadpoles. Like all other small animals, the tadpoles had to be kept from the cats. (Eventually the cats did get the fullgrown frogs.) Since they were Madeleine's tadpoles, she kept them in her room in the closet. Since the cats liked to sleep with her, she would close the closet at night so the cats could troop in her room. In the morning, she'd shoo the cats out, shut her door, and open the closet so the tadpoles could get light. As you'd expect, many mornings, she would forget and the tadpoles got no light. We expected them to die but they didn't. They also didn't develop into frogs. According to the materials sent with the tadpoles, there was some period of time by which they had to develop -- a few weeks.

After a while, almost a year after we got them, I got tired of the tadpoles in the closet. So I moved them to my bathroom. Darned if those tadpoles didn't grow into frogs at a year old. They were happy, healthy frogs too until the cats got them.

So the last two chicken eggs get another week. Who knows?

Until then, I have to listen to the girls tell me how I "killed it".
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 05:29:00 PM


Some may view this as a continuation of my cheap ploy campaign. However, I was just in the mood.

Here’s the deal:

Prize is $10 sent via Paypal.

Deadline is July 4, 2003 (midnight PDT).

Entries only via the comments section to this post. Enter as often as you wish.

I am the sole and absolute judge.

Your task: Submit a question you would want to ask anyone. The one that I find most entertaining wins.

Reader’s (I read it for the jokes) Digest had three entries from a similar contest. Here they are, used without permission:

Who coined the phrase “to coin a phrase”?
Where do they send Siberian prisoners?
Shouldn’t brevity be a one-syllable word?

Now if this were a cheap ploy, the rules would say one entry per person but an extra entry everytime you mention me on your blog.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 11:49:00 AM

Boxer Watch
The San Diego Union Tribune has a roundup of the current Republican possibilities in the new hit reality show Search for a Candidate.

Toni Casey is in.

Rosario Marin, outgoing US Treasurer, is likely.

Wilson is unlikely. (I expect we'll hear his name for a while in the hopes that the outside world will take its shots at him which the party figures out who else to run.)

Other possibilities:
Rep. George Radanovich of Fresno
Assemblyman Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria
Pasadena attorney Gary Mendoza

POSTSCRIPT: The Union-Tribune article says the national money thinks CA is winnable but cost-prohibitive. They could probably fund four races that are today much more competitive for the cost of what [they] can do in California.

PERSONAL POSTSCRIPT: The article starts with quotes from a recent CA GOP email. I turned to my husband and said "I'm on every mailing list in the world. I even gave money to the state party. How come I don't get these emails?" His response: "they're disorganized." Oh yeah, I forgot.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 09:58:00 AM

Recall: Davis Strikes Back
From the Bee:

This week, the Davis administration will announce that Steve Smith will leave his government post as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency to work on anti-recall activities.

My prediction, for some time, has been that the recall will get on the ballot, but then will fail. I have been advocating this position despite poll results showing the opposite -- most Californians think the recall is a bad idea but would vote against Davis. The poll did not take into account the amount of campaigning Davis will do once the recall gets on the ballot.

Now that he's released his guy to start the fight early, I wonder what effect it will have on signature-gathering. Early in the signature gathering period, Davis' guys threatened to have anti-recall volunteers shadowing the the signature-gatherers to actively discourage people from signing. I have not had any reports, either firsthand or through the news media, of any such antirecall volunteers -- yet.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 09:36:00 AM

Commerce Casino
I made my first trek out there Saturday night. As much as I enjoy gaming, I am not a big fan of casinos. I actually prefer online poker play, where I can watch TV, talk to the kids, pet a cat. Two hours of sitting quietly, trying to see my cards but not letting anyone else see them, doesn't make for a fun evening. My husband and I play different games so we sit alone when we go.

Yesterday, this article appeared in the LA Times. Due to the casino revenue, the City of Commerce is awash in money. $33 million for 13,000 residents. Apparently, after the free trash pickup and the free bus service, the money is spent in interesting ways:

And then there is Camp Commerce, two hours away. A pine-shaded compound with seven A-frame cabins and a lodge with a stone fireplace, the 2.2-acre resort stays full through much of the summer and many winter weekends.

For a $6 fee, residents get transportation to and from the camp, three meals a day and bunk-bed accommodations. A staff naturalist is on site to guide hikers. Shuttles take shoppers to Lake Arrowhead Village.

"If other people find out, everybody is going to want to move to Commerce," Araceli Rivas joked while sunning herself beside the resort's 30-foot pool.

I'm tempted to draw conclusions from this -- other cities should do likewise, how is Davis going to steal, I mean appropriate, this money -- but they'd be shots in the dark. My only reaction is COOL.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/26/2003 09:15:00 AM


Recall: Who is Issa?
Margeret Talev has a profile in the Bee today. His last name means Jesus in Arabic. He has been planning his involvement in the recall carefully. His logic is still escaping me. If the recall gets on the ballot there will be challengers. Why does he think getting it on the ballot will help him in particular? Why not wait for 06? I would bet that your average Californian has not even heard of Issa at this point and he's already laid down a half a million.

Daniel Weintraub's column today is virulently anti-Davis. His closing line:
All of this makes the attempt to recall him from office almost redundant. At this point, it seems, Davis is governor in name only.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/25/2003 09:44:00 AM


Calblog Wildlife Update
Our chicken eggs did not hatch, unfortunately. We're not sure why -- whether they died in the cool storage before the incubator came or whether we did something wrong in the incubator. We're going to try again after some discussion with the hatchery.

We got a squirrel-proof feeder. The perches are set so that when the squirrel lands on one, his weight closes the door. A squirrel discovered it and made it his project. At first, he tried the obvious way and quickly learned that, although he could get some spillage on the lower tray, he couldn't get most of the food. After much trial and error, he hung from the tree branch with his hind legs, held the feeder with his front legs, and could get as much as he wanted. So we moved it to the end of the branch and the theory that the thin end of the branch could not hold his weight. Our assumption was correct but he quickly knocked the feeder to the ground in his efforts. Then we got a length of rope and hung it from a strong branch so it was too long for him to hang and grab. So far, we are winning.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 07:55:00 PM

My page has been down a lot the past few days. There's no problem with the post page, just the viewing portal. There's news that some sites are moving to the "new" blogger.

You know, Movable Type has those cool features like trackback and categories. I think I am almost ready to make the move.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 07:22:00 PM

Business Blogging
If you need a reason to visit Jay Solo, other than his quarter-blogiversary, he's got good stuff like this post about business blogs, which points to BusinessPundit. One day, I went out on a blogosphere safari and couldn't find many business blogs. I certainly never wandered across BusinessPundit.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 07:15:00 PM

Lend a hand
Jay Solo is looking to hit 5000 hits by tomorrow, his 3-month blogiversary. Drop by to help him out and post it on your blog if you have one!
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 05:02:00 PM

How Confidential is Mediation?
The Rojas case is the newest wrinkle in mediation law. In Rojas, the California Court of Appeal ruled that "raw data" evidence introduced in mediation is not confidential but evidence such as charts which are prepared just for the mediation are confidential. The opposing viewpoint is that anything in mediation is confidential -- period, end of story. The case has gone to the California Supreme Court.

The Southern California Mediation Association has filed its first ever amicus brief in favor of the Court of Appeal holding. The press release by SCMA calls its own position counter-intuitive but says it is necessary to preserve the integity of mediation by preventing the abuse of the mediation process. Actually, I never considered the position counter-intuitive. I long ago incorporated into my opening instructions a statement that while mediation is a confidential process, parties could not expect to hide otherwise discoverable evidence by bringing it up in mediation. It was mediation itself which is confidential and no one could point to mediation or discussion therein as evidence of anrything but if there were later proper discovery requests for the same information, it came out just as if there had not been a mediation. (The facts in Rojas are of course more complicated than usual.)

However, an interesting controversy has arisen, as some of the members of SCMA are 1. surprised that the board took this position and 2. not in agreement with the position. Stay tuned.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 04:55:00 PM

Recall news
Issa has put $445,000 into the campaign and paid signature gatherers are out on the streets.

Here's the website for Issa's group, Rescue California.

The signature count is now at 287,434 out of 898,157 petitions or 32%. I called my friend who had bet me a quarter that it won't get on the ballot and said I want a shiny new one.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 04:16:00 PM

Rosario Marin, the US Treasurer, has resigned as US Treasurer and is expected to take on Boxer. I saw Rosario speak about a month ago. She came here from Mexico when she was 15, unable to speak English. For reasons that were unclear, she was given an IQ test in English and scored 28 (70 is considered profoundly retarded). That spurred her to work hard, learn English, and do well in school. She has 5 children, the oldest of which is disabled (Down's?) and still manged to work her way up in politics -- from mayor of Huntington Park to the US Treasurer. She's moderate, pro-choice and Latina -- a combination which may be enough to take on Boxer in CA (assuming that the conservative end of the CA GOP doesn't decide that she's too liberal for them and she wins the primary).
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/24/2003 04:07:00 PM


Rick Leventhal is coming back! Memorial Day on Special Report with Brit Hume, there will be a panel interview of 4 embedded reporters including a wellrested-looking Rick Leventhal.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/22/2003 10:41:00 PM

The three lawyers of the Trevor Law Firm who had made money filing unfair competition lawsuits against small businesses have been suspended. I am looking for more coverage on So Cal Law, but it isn't there yet.

UPDATE: Shortly after 5 pm, So Cal Law did not disappoint.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/22/2003 02:02:00 PM

Yesterday, Amanda, 11 years old and in the sixth grade, brought home the book she had bought herself at the book fair. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. She likes Jane Austen but previously had read abridged versions reduced to an elementary reading level or had watched the movies. Sense and Sensibility was a thin copy so I thought it too might be abridged.

I opened the book to the smallest densest type I had ever seen and immediately used God's name in vain very loudly. (Two hours later, her father had the exact same reaction). Amanda asked what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. It just looked so . . . difficult. Still concerned, she said she had read the first chapter and she really liked it and was it ok if she finished it, please? Of course it was. Then I shared with her this story.

In 8th grade, Elena Kagan, who I thought was the smartest person I had ever met, announced she has just finished one of the Jane Austen books and now had read them all. Elena also understood the Cuban Missile Crisis before I had ever heard of it. I decided to read Jane Austen. I could not get into it at all and did not see why anyone would like them. I decided that I wasn't that smart.

Twenty years later, I figured out two things. One, I just don't like Jane Austen. I don't know why. She seemed to be in the same category as George Eliot and I love George Eliot. I did know that I did not want to read enough Jane Austen to figure out why I didn't like it. Two, what Elena had was self-confidence and vision. She knew what she wanted to do and was planning already to get there.

I shared all this with Amanda yesterday and wondered what happened to Elena. Had she accomplished great things and achieved those great things that I, at 12, was convinced she would achieve.

This morning, I was clearing through the pile of mail and came across my high school alumni newsletter. (Hunter College High School was a six-year school - 7-12th grade). I opened it and flipped through. There in the announcements section was the news that Elena Kagan was appointed the first woman dean of Harvard Law School.

I knew it. I always knew it.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/22/2003 01:45:00 PM

Ah, the Joys of Parenting
Lileks today:

How many buttons do I have? I have 473 buttons. How do I know? Because Gnat pushed every one of them today. I didn’t even know I had a button marked “No, you cannot have strawberry juice until you finish the orange juice I just poured, and do not stand in front of the open refrigerator pushing the door against the hinges” button.

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. My buttons have diminished over the years. I no longer get upset when they announce five minutes before school starts that they needed xyz today. I have 2 buttons:

Do not sit, stand, lay or otherwise put your body or any part thereof on top of the clean laundry that is being folded or has just been folded.

Don't chatter at me when I have that far away thinking look or when I am sleeping.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/22/2003 12:29:00 PM


Interesting contests
Build your human-powered flying machine.

Make a facsimile of the Jehoash Inscription that will fool the experts.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 09:42:00 PM

Pro Football
Ravenwood, who doesn't live here in the LA area, predicts we won't get a football team. A pox on his house!
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 09:11:00 PM

Here's an idea that I am sure I disagree with but darned if I have the argument back. From Calpundit:

Yes, rich people are often rich because of their innate talents and hard work. But as Buffett points out, they are also rich because the culture they live in helped them along. If Bill Gates had grown up in Pakistan, he might be worth a few million dollars, but growing up in Seattle he ended up worth $50 billion. So of that $50 billion, how much is due to his innate talent and hard work and how much is due to the fact that he grew up in America?

The answer is obvious. America was responsible for a big chunk of Bill Gates' fortune, which is why it makes sense that he should be asked to pay more to keep the country going.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 09:06:00 PM

Why pay federal taxes?
An interesting observation from Daniel Weintraub:

It turns out that 90 percent of the federal gas tax we pay to support highway and transit construction must, by law, be returned to the state. The rule was adopted to ensure that every state was getting its fair share, that no one became an obvious example of a donor state. So first we send the money to Washington, then they decide how we ought to spend it, and they send it back, minus postage and handling. The other 10 percent, I guess, is spent on interstate highways and projects in other states. Does that seem odd to anyone besides me? If the feds are required by law to return 90 cents on every dollar, what's the point of sending it to them at all?

Read the whole thing.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 08:55:00 PM

Business Blogs
I have expressed an interest on the use of blogs for business networking. At the time, I had trouble finding business blogs and getting feedback. Maybe the concept is taking hold. Here's an article that you may find interesting on the topic and the recent article that updates the topic.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 08:44:00 PM

The Recall: California 24
Those of us who watched 24 saw the President removed from office with an unusual reading of the 25th amendment. The Cabinet determined that the President was unable to carry out the duties of office when they disagreed with his decisions during a crisis. The usual reading of the Amendment is hat the President be physically incapacitated.

During the Clinton Administration, we discussed the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now Davis is claiming that the recall misuses the California Constitution.

"A recall is supposed to be for some abuse of office -- 'Something outrageous has happened and we have to recall him,' " Davis said.

For your independent analysis is the recall provision of the State Constitution. I have included the first sections only. The remainder deals with procedure:


SEC. 13. Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective officer.


SEC. 14. (a) Recall of a state officer is initiated by delivering to the Secretary of State a petition alleging reason for recall. Sufficiency of reason is not reviewable. Proponents have 160 days to file signed petitions.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/21/2003 08:14:00 PM


How Well Do You Do?
Houghton Mifflin has published the 100 words every high school graduate should know.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/20/2003 02:41:00 PM

Whose Idea Was It?
First the Republicans proposed borrowing to cure the deficit problem. Then Davis proposed the same thing as part of "his" budget, ignoring the fact that it was a Republican idea. Now the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's office attacked his plan saying it would solve the deficit this year but saddle the state with even bigger problems in the future. Davis' reaction is that he didn't want to propose that anyway. The Republican response is that Davis failed to combine big enough spending cuts with the borrowing. The Democratic legislators want bigger tax increases.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, state government is likely to shut down if there's no budget.

Let''s see, state government shuts down on July 1 and the recall supporters are trying to get their signatures in by July 17. Should be an interesting summer.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/20/2003 08:19:00 AM

Can't Follow the Players without a Scorecard
California Insider has lots of scoop these days. Ose will not challenge Boxer for her senate seat. That was quick. It was only a couple of weeks ago that he was the first to officially announce his intentions.

Dianne Feinstein may run on the recall ballot hoping that Republicans will vote against the recall for fear of having Feinstein take the governorship, dashing hopes of the GOP taking it anytime in the future.

Also interested in putting his name on the recall ballot is Bill Simon. (OK, all together now --DUH!).

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/20/2003 08:05:00 AM


Political State Report
I find the recall story fascinating but it's not the only thing going on in CA. PSR had nothing else from CA for a couple of weeks and i wasn't even the one posting the recall articles. So I have added something else. Let's hope I'm not the only one.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/19/2003 02:13:00 PM

Urban Life
Last week's travels took me to San Francisco. I grew up in New York City -- the upper East Side of Manhattan. Being in San Francisco reminded me of what I love and hate about living in the city rather in the suburbs I now call home. I really like being able to walk or take a cab to whatever I want. I don't like driving as much as many people do. The hotel I stayed at was near Fisherman's Wharf and I liked being able to walk out of the hotel and to the restaurants and shops. I did that when I lived in NY too. I much strolling along city streets with a lot of people rather than the solitary walk through my neighborhood. I was never crazy about busses or subways and I recall walking most places in Manhattan.

But night came and even with a sleeping pill, I could not fall asleep due to the street noise. Car alarms, sirens, and people yelling all night long.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/19/2003 11:20:00 AM

Recall Notes 5/19
No more roundup. There's a lot of news now and I'm cherrypicking instead of gathering.

Here's my eyebrow raiser: The Orange County Lincoln Club has put $250,000 behind the effort. The OC Lincoln Club has long struck me as an entity that only backs winners. The recall effort struck me as a longshot play. I think this news reflects the amount of influence that Issa wields among CA GOP despite the media efforts to paint him as a millionaire with a questionable past who wants to buy his way into office.

Petition gatherers were outside the local supermarket this weekend. The Calblog husband ran into them but did not ask the crucial question: Were they part of the initial wave of paid signature gatherers? I almost drove over to have that discussion myself but inertia won out.

The official campaign says they are ahead of schedule and expect to submit the required signatures by July 17. (I assume this is the deadline for getting on the fall ballot). The count shows them at only 17%. I hate to ask but what was the schedule? Meanwhile, our house has received the 4th mail piece from the Kaloogian group, none of which actually include the petition.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/19/2003 10:39:00 AM

Spam Zoo
Spam Zoo sent me a gift of 7 blogshares in his blog. What a good way to get people to come take a look. Unfortunately, his site is in Spanish so I won't be a regular visitor.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/19/2003 10:22:00 AM

A couple of new blogs
Some interesting new sites worth taking a look at:

Corp Law Blog is written by someone identified only as one who practices "corporate law at a Los Angeles-based law firm." I've eliminated the Calblog husband but other than that, it's up for grabs. Lots of good info but I detect a sense of humor -- my number one criteria -- in the disclaimer: This blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, you need to consult with a lawyer instead of a blog.

Prestopundit got a cool name this late in the growth of the blogosphere. How? I wonder if this is an older blog with a new home. Lots of interesting links but not much of the blogger comes through yet. What I see, I like.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/19/2003 10:20:00 AM


Down with Love
Amanda and I went to see this romantic comedy, making our way through the crowds for "Matrix Reloaded." It was just as advertised -- a well-executed 60s-style show in the tradition of Doris Day and Rock Hudson. If you like that (and we do), you'll have a pleasant two hours.

What amazed me though was how young and robust both Tony Randall and Florence Stanley looked. They're giving Dick Clark a run for his money.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/18/2003 04:00:00 PM

Minor Irritations
In the midst of a week of travel and meetings, the home computer had some sort of seizure. I have reinstalled Windows but need to locate the driver disk. Everything is too big and I can only view half of what I usually view. The Calblog twins' story of how it went from functional to permanent black screen was incomprehensible. I can only assume it was only of those computer moments that still defies explanation.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/18/2003 03:58:00 PM


Now back to the budget
Davis is proposing borrowing to fix the deficit. Last I checked, that was a Republican proposal but now it's Davis' plan.

Speaking of the Republicans, the Assembly Republican Leader Dave Cox sent out this week's newsletter and there's still no mention of the budget.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/12/2003 08:53:00 AM

Recall Roundup 5/12
The San Diego Union-Tribune has this:

What is Darrell Issa up to?

That is the question preoccupying California political circles as the wealthy Republican congressman from Vista appears to be hijacking the struggling grass-roots effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis.

The LA Times has a "how is Davis doing in light of this hardship?" puff piece in the news section. It is so sure to work xrlq up that mentioning it can be seen as another cheap ploy but it isn't. (I might get a bonus link from Molly though!) Here's an example:

Weekends, usually spent in their West Los Angeles condominium, revolve around dinner with friends and a movie at home. They go to Mass every week and believe that "faith in a higher power helps you get over the rough times," she said.

And some blogosphere sightings:

An interesting thread on Political State Report, replete with comments.

ChronWatch has a poll on the recall. You can view results here. UPDATE: ChronWatch also has an article on the recall, first in a series, that is also on Newsmax.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/12/2003 08:20:00 AM


Recall Roundup 5/11
I skipped over the various articles in all the papers about Issa's entry into the fray.

There are some older articles on the news section of the official site that you might find interesting. I was interested in the two points of view in today's Sacramento Bee.

Margeret Talev reports that Issa has put up the first $100,000 of the $1.5 million needed to get the signatures in from a professional signature gathering firm and that money has gone to the firm. Nonetheless, the headline is Long road for Davis recall try:
Despite a $100,000 boost to the flagging campaign, Democrats say they aren't worried.

On the other hand, Weintraub's column is titled Davis recall is like the crazy aunt that just won't go away and paints a more hopeful picture:

Using straight-line projections, they are well behind schedule in collecting enough signatures to force an election. They so far don't have enough money in the bank to finance much of a paid signature gathering campaign. They have little support among the big-name and big-money Republicans and virtually none from political figures outside the party. And their leadership is split, rarely working from the same page.

But there is something about the effort that will keep it from being declared dead unless the Sept. 2 deadline passes without them having collected enough names to move the question to the next step.

Maybe that's why I keep following this story. I always liked crazy aunts.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/11/2003 09:57:00 PM

Moving right along in a budget crisis
SoCal Law has an update on the White v. Davis case.

Interesting -- The Judicial Branch says that it is unconstitutional to pay state workers more than minimum wage if there's no budget (one of my favorite Superior Court judges originally said they could not be paid at all because if they continued to work, they were volunteers!).

The Executive Branch, specifically the controller Westly, said he had the discretion to pay them anyway.

Now the Legislative Branch is getting in the act with a bill to "correct" the problem (as opposed to, say, passing the budget). It seems to me, though, if it's the Constitution preventing the payment, the Legislature would have to amend it.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/11/2003 09:37:00 PM

Easyguru is back from India!
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/11/2003 04:26:00 PM

Cheap ploys R Us
Should we go for an Instapundit link?

Did you know Glenn holds the the top bass boat record at over 115 mph?
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/11/2003 12:53:00 PM

Cheap ploys continued . . .
Having successfully lured Calpundit into a link, I decided to continue my foolishness. Let's see if we can get xrlq to link. That will take more than cute pictures of cats and kids.

First, let's try a cheap Clinton swipe. How do we know this wasn't the real Bill?

If that doesn't work, we'll have to go for some German article that needs translating. How about this shocker?

UPDATE: Success.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/11/2003 12:44:00 PM


Another one

Maddy and our oldest cat, the short-tailed (you see all of it) Star.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/10/2003 03:22:00 PM

Just for Kevin

Yes, it looks like a cheap ploy to get a link from Calpundit. It's really just the first in a series of cheap ploys. This is our youngest, Patrick.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/10/2003 02:52:00 PM


Infotel Publications
Has anyone else had this problem? Having no idea of who they were, we started receiving bills from them. We called to complain and they insisted that we had told one of their telemarketers that we would buy a listing in their publication. Numerous calls and similar discussions later, one of the attorneys here wrote a letter, the kind we write for clients when there's a dispute. In response, we received another collection call. Previously, our letters always stopped the calls to out clients. Why won't it work for us? At this point, I'm sure they're thinking we'll pay the $300 to be rid of them.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/07/2003 11:23:00 AM

Blog block
Sometimes blogging feels too much like work. One reason I started this was to have the opportunity to delve into issues that nobody will pay me to delve into. So I have a stack of things to get to. One is the decision by the California Supreme Court discussing who and what the Controller can pay if there's no budget passed. It's actually an interesting decision which will provide a roadmap for what will happen come June 16th.

The only problem is that the decision is 72 pages long and very dense. I'm through about 50 pages. I tried to skim but then I run into interesting tidbits and realize it's all worth reading.

There are also a halfdozen news articles on the recall today, which also require reading.

There's also work stuff to read.

So blogging will either continue to be light or I will just start goofing off and blogging about the cats and the chicken eggs.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/07/2003 10:55:00 AM


The List
A list compiled by Senate Republicans of bills that propose raising taxes or fees. Link via California Insider.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/06/2003 09:39:00 PM

I have an article up at entitled "Settlements That Don’t Work . . . Or Do They?"
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/06/2003 04:03:00 PM

Recall Roundup 5/6
Well,well, well, from Rough & Tumble this morning:

Davis Recall -- Political aides to a wealthy Southern California congressman who aspires to be governor plan to file papers as early as today creating yet another campaign to recall Gray Davis, the incumbent who has plummeted in the polls since his narrow reelection last fall. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican multimillionaire from Vista, plans to provide a six-figure donation as "seed money" for the new recall effort called Rescue California, his political aides said. Dan Morain and Gregg Jones in the Los Angeles Times Margaret Talev in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/6/03

You can't tell the players without a scorecard:

There's the official campaign, headed by Ted Costa, that has filed a petition already and collected approximately 103,000 of the 1 million signatures they will need by Sept. 2.

Then there's the unofficial campaign, headed by Howard Kaloogian, which has not merged with the official campaign, but has supported it, distributing the same petition, working the talkradio circuit, holding one rally of 300-400 people, and running a direct mail campaign.

Now we have the Issa campaign, which currently does not have a website. The Bee speculates that Issa, who has money, is putting in "the low six figures", while the Times has Kaloogian guessing it will be $1 million. Early reports are that Issa will work with the official campaign as Kaloogian's group has done and he expects to pay a petition gathering firm to collect 700,000 to 800,000 signatures. Apparently, he did not want to give the cash to either of the two standing campaigns because they weren't "organized" enough. How organized do you have to be to pay a signature gathering firm?

UPDATE: A couple of good posts on the recall at California Insider written by Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub.

A 5/1 Wall Street Journal article posted on the official site.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/06/2003 06:41:00 AM


Boxer Watch
From the Contra Costa Times:

Republicans mentioned as potential candidates: at least 10. Declared Republican challengers: 0.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/04/2003 03:19:00 PM

Recall Roundup 5/4
From the LA Daily News:

The landmark passed last week was the filing of 100,000 signatures of registered voters who want to recall Davis -- the first threshold to qualify the measure by the Sept. 2 deadline for a statewide election.

"No one thought we would get this far," Russo gloats. "There have been 31 other recalls of governors tried in the past and no one has gotten this far."

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/04/2003 03:14:00 PM


Now's Your Chance
The Twins Tell the Truth is available for trading on blogshares. You too can own a piece of a blog run by 11-year-olds.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/03/2003 10:53:00 AM


The Budget Crisis
This decision should be a big factor in the budget negotiations. I was not going to blog at all until later but it deserves a heads up mention. Any longer analysis I have will likely end up on Political State Report, unless someone else hands in a piece first.

The California Supreme Court has decided that, if there's no budget agreed upon, and therefore, no appropriations bill, most state employees will be paid only the federal minimum wage. Here's the SF Chronicle article (including the state controller stating the decision gives him the discretion to decide) and here's the decision. It's White v. Davis, available in pdf and wordprocessing format.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/02/2003 08:11:00 AM


The Senate and the Judicial Nominees
Great post at Ravenwood's Universe today about Sen. Charles Schumer's suggestion that a bipartisan commission submit federal judicial nominees from each state to the President. Here's a taste of Ravenwood's criticism:

Talk about rewriting the Constitution. Schumer wants to cross out "advice and consent" and pencil in the word "permission".

Now I don't think the Democratic Senators are acting illegally by filibustering. Ari Fleisher suggested that and I thought it made the White House look stupid. Senators always always have the right to filibuster. The right way to stop it is to either run the Senate night and day until they tire or refuse to engage in any other business at all until that issue comes to a vote. But Bill Frist wants to play nice and nobody voted me Majority Leader. But Schumer's suggestion to take nominations from the President completely rubs me the wrong way, too.

BTW, I have it on good authority that there is such a bipartisan group in CA but I don't have enough details on how it was set up to really speak intelligently on the matter.

posted by Justene Adamec at 5/01/2003 03:50:00 PM

Recall Roundup 5/1
Think this recall has no chance? Apparently the governor doesn't agree with you. He's started fundraising again. The article mentioned that supporters have gathered over 100,000 but the countdown on the site says 80,371 out of 898,157 petitions.
posted by Justene Adamec at 5/01/2003 07:51:00 AM

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Comments on So California news, law, and politics by Justene Adamec. There are occasional forays into other topics because, after all, it is a blog. Offline, I am a lawyer and mediator. Email justenea -at-

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