GOP missed opportunities in California congressional races

Nov 25, 2014

Things are mighty calm in California, at least compared to the storm of fury that exploded in Missouri last night when a grand jury failed to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.  There are many questions that may never be answered about #Ferguson, not the least of which is: who thought it was a good idea to release the decision at 8:15 at night?  (Scratches head)


Last week we noted that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had fumbled the ball in California’s congressional races.  Political analyst Tony Quinn pulls no punches detailing their many missteps in a long takeout at Fox and Hounds:


“It was quite a feat.  Congressional Republicans had a chance to win nine Democratic-held House seats in California and blew every one of them – actually ending up down one seat in an election when nationally the House GOP has its largest class since the Hoover Administration….”


On Monday, Jerry Brown named Obama administration official Leondra Kruger to the California State Supreme Court.  Kruger, 38, like Brown’s two most-recent Supreme Court appointees, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Goodwin Liu, comes from outside the judiciary.  David Siders has the story in the Sacramento Bee.


“If confirmed, Kruger would join Cuéllar and Liu as the three Democrats on a court that still leans Republican – though increasingly less so under Brown.


“The court is also becoming younger and more diverse: Kruger will be the youngest member of the court, while Cuéllar, who was born in Mexico, and Liu, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, are both in their 40s.”


Pro Tem Kevin De Leon blames last week’s clearcutting of senate staff on fiscal austerity.  Dan Walters scratches the surface and finds politics as usual.  From his column in the Bee:


“It’s reasonable to assume that at the very least, a contributing motive for the staff cuts is to clear away some of those hired under previous regimes, not only previous political leaders such as Darrell Steinberg, who just stepped down as president pro tem, but previous staff administrators.


“When the Senate’s revenue picks up, as it surely will, the reductions will give de León and his new secretary of the Senate, Danny Alvarez, room to staff up with their own choices.”


Everyone predicted a low turnout for this month’s election – but no one predicted quite this low.  John Wildermuth has the numbers at SFGate.


“With almost every vote counted across the state, it appears about 42 percent of the state’s 17.8 million registered voters cast ballots. That shatters the previous low of 50.5 percent set in 2002, when Gov. Gray Davis won re-election over Republican businessman Bill Simon.”


Speaking of crappy turnout, David Sirota argues that part of the problem just might be the decline of the American press corps.  Also from SFGate:


“What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? Americans have now discovered the answer: You get an election with lots of paid ads, but with little journalism, context or objective facts.”


And, two amateur historians may have made the biggest historical scoop of the year, shattering the history of the most iconic photo of World War II.


You’ve probably seen Joe Rosenthal’s iconic image of six marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima a billion times.  It’s been the subject of books, movies and was the inspiration for a 60 foot memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery.  It just might be the most famous photo in history - what could possibly be new?


Eric Krelle and Stephen Foley believe they’ve found a pretty major error, claiming that one of the six men in the photo has been misidentified for nearly 70 years.  They have presented compelling evidence that just might rewrite the history books.  From Matthew Hansen at the Omaha World-Herald:


“Since 1947, the identities of the half-dozen young men raising this flag have been undisputed, six names known to the Marine Corps and to military historians in the same way the rest of us know that the flag they are raising is red, white and blue.


“But disputing the undisputed is exactly what Eric is doing. After months of research, he is standing in this classroom and arguing that a famous medic, long identified as the Navy corpsman standing smack in the middle of the famous photo, is in fact not in the photo at all….”

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