California's housing market has been in high gear for the last few years. What will happen to the state's already rocky economy if it tanks?1:15 PM, Sep 4, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
AS THE RECALL rocks along, reporters continue to ignore the underlying causes of widespread voter disgust, including Gray Davis' the tripling of the car tax this past summer, and the tidal wave of special interest legislation that ranges from workplace protection for cross-dressing employees to the bestowal of land use authority on California's Indian tribes over sites they determine to have sacred significance.
The Indian tribes haven't decided if they're going to stay, hit, or double down on the recall. But once they put their big stack on the table, it could change the picture.12:00 AM, Aug 19, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
HOW MUCH would you spend to protect and expand a business with $5 billion in annual revenues and no significant local competition? Is that protection worth 2 percent of one year's income? Or 5 percent? Maybe even 10 percent? Whether California's Indian tribes spend $100 million, $250 million, or even $500 million in the next 50 days is the biggest question in California's recall.
Sixty-one tribes already have deals with California on the specifics of their gambling operations. More such deals are on the way.
Catholics, Saudi oil, MagLev, and more.8:55 AM, Aug 11, 2003 • By
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Kudos to Irwin M. Stelzer for The Oil Mirage. The more said about the spread between competitive vs. market price the better.
However, there was no quid pro quo for the Saudi agreement to "pump enough oil to keep prices from spiking when strikes . . . political unrest . . .
Big media has been avoiding the new Democratic religion test, but the blogosphere has answered the bell.12:00 AM, Aug 7, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
CHARLES CHAPUT, the Archbishop of Denver, issued a stinging rebuke to Catholic senator Richard Durbin and concluded that "a new kind of religious discrimination is very welcome at the Capitol, even among elected officials who claim to be Catholic," and the national news media barely took note. A single Washington Times story cited Chaput's column on the William Pryor nomination, and the sole mention in the Washington Post was contained in a letter to the editor from C.
Big-time strategists, a jungle recall/election, and Democrats scheming over a live microphone. You won't believe what's happening in California.12:00 AM, Jul 24, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
GEORGE GORTON, Ken Khachigian, and Sal Russo are the three best Republican political consultants that California has produced over the past quarter century. Today they work for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Darrell Issa, and Bill Simon, respectively.
All three have played the part of key strategist to one or more of the California GOP's legendary big names. Each knows every serious money man and county party operative by their first name, and every newspaper and television station from Eureka to Chula Vista.
Why James Lileks (a) rules; (b) toils in relative obscurity; and (c) should be on every op-ed page in America.12:00 AM, Jul 17, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
Memo To: Editors and Editorial Page Editors
Despite what the quagmire chorus would have you believe, this isn't the first time America has tried to rebuild a war-torn, formerly fascist state.12:00 AM, Jul 10, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
WHEN GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS addressed his retirement ceremony audience on Monday, he didn't mince words. The news accounts focused on his striking endorsement of the president's "bring 'em on" challenge to Fedayeen terrorists attacking U.S. forces in Iraq, but equally important was his prediction of a "rough road ahead." Franks and his colleagues know better than to paint rosy pictures of the life of an occupying army in a war-torn, shell-shocked country ruled for years by an evil fascist.
Marty Baron would be a fine choice to replace Howell Raines at the New York Times. He learned long ago that sometimes conservatives can be trusted.12:00 AM, Jun 19, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
NEWSWEEK'S media reporter Seth Mnookin handicapped the race for the job of New York Times executive editor last week, putting Los Angeles Times managing editor Dean Baquet as the 2-1 favorite, Bill Keller (runner-up to Howell Raines in the last go-round) in the second position at 3-1, and Boston Globe editor Marty Baron as a reasonable 5-1 shot.
Baquet has widespread respect within the newsroom of the west coast Times, and Keller's writing since September 11 has often been riveting, but I'm hoping Baron gets the job.
How a small quartet of blogs is poised to remake the political landscape as the '04 election cycle begins.12:00 AM, Jun 4, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
JOSHUA MICAH MARSHALL is frustrated. He's the young-Blumenthal-in-training of partisan punditry, but in recent days his favorite story line can't get any traction. "It's amazing what it takes to start a feeding frenzy these days," he lamented at TalkingPointsMemo, his web log, last week.
Marshall has been flogging his Tom Delay-is-Magneto story for what seems to be a year, and it has been largely ignored not just by elite newspapers, but also by the blogosphere.
The Los Angeles Times rails against its defenders and shows how bad its editorial page is, too.12:00 AM, May 23, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
LAST WEEK in this space I described the Los Angeles Times's slide into mediocrity and agenda journalism. Some objected. The Nation's always reliable Eric Alterman condemned the column as "nonsensical," and then quoted one of my objections--that "columnists who deal regularly with politics outside of the editorial pages come in two varieties: left and far-left." To which Alterman replied: "Oh really. My goodness.
The prospect of a recall vote on Governor Gray Davis has the state's political establishment in an uproar.12:00 AM, May 21, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
THE STRANGEST SEASON in California's long, strange political trip has begun with a declaration of candidacy for a governorship that isn't vacant, a withdrawal from a Senate campaign that hasn't really begun, and a rumor mill spinning out of control.
The declaration of candidacy came from Congressman Darrell Issa, who has injected cash and leadership into the campaign to place a recall election before the voters in early fall. The target is Governor Gray Davis, whose approval ratings make Nixon's in August of 1974 look pretty good.
The spotlight is on the New York Times today, but things aren't going so well at the Los Angeles Times, either.12:00 AM, May 16, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
THOSE PROFESSING SURPRISE at the public collapse of credibility at the New York Times haven't been paying attention to Mickey Kaus or Andrew Sullivan. They haven't been reading the descent into fevers of Paul Krugman or the bitter stridency of Maureen Dowd. The deep sickness at the Times had many symptoms. Believers in the "mission" of the paper just chose to ignore those symptoms.
The very same symptoms are evident at the Los Angeles Times.
What a Cleveland Browns Visa card says about the future of online shopping.12:00 AM, May 2, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
I JUMPED AT the chance to replace my old Visa card with a Cleveland Browns Visa card. Who wouldn't want to telegraph appreciation for the Super Bowl-bound Browns with every purchase of gas? That was my first clue.
"Affinity" credit cards, like specialized California license plates promoting Yosemite or the arts, are just ways of connecting personal taste to the fabric of our lives. Much bigger connections are on the way.
I discovered this while flogging my new book. On my own program as well as during other interviews, I direct impatient customers to Amazon.com.
Critics of the war and critics of the critics of the war circle the wagons.12:00 AM, Apr 25, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
ACTOR EDWARD NORTON attacked President Bush as possessing a "low quality mind" this week, and thus joined a long list of stars, pundits, and professors who have elected to stand opposite three-quarters of American public opinion. Others who have done so--including Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Janeane Garofalo, and the Dixie Chicks--have discovered that a lot of folks listen closely when celebrities speak and respond in the marketplace by refusing to buy products or tickets or to sponsor speeches.
With Senate Democrats taking obstructionism to new levels, the president should re-read Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 3.12:00 AM, Apr 23, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
THE LEFT EDGE of the Senate Democratic caucus has taken control of the judicial-nomination process and has forced the entire Senate into what is, at best, an extra-constitutional swamp. With their filibuster of D.C.