PODS (full list coming back soon!):
- SacTown Talks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): What a Week with guest fmr Assemblyman Mike Gatto on his homelessness initiative. (2019-11-29) [YouTube | iTunes | Simplecast]
- SacTown Talks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): Noel Kammermann, executive director of Loaves and Fishes (2019-11-26) [YouTube | iTunes | Simplecast]
IN TODAY’S NOONER:
- The GOP
- Cameras in the courtroom
- CA53 (San Diego)
- Bay Area drug deaths
- Cakeday and Classifieds
Happy Sunday and happy December! It’s cold, wet, and windy in SacTown. As usual, the ghost of Chuck Todd was like a puppy with a wet nose getting me out of bed before Meet the Press. It was nice to see former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the show with John Kerry to talk about climate issues and Kerry’s World War Zero effort.
It’s a great segment and I strongly suggest watching it regardless how you felt as Arnold left office on January 3, 2011. “In Bakersfield now, there are more solar jobs than oil ones.” (Don’t have time to fact check that, but it’s certainly the case in industry job growth.)
Chuck should have had the two on for the entire hour and we could have skipped a presidential candidate today.
Of course, I was happy for the Chuckish early awakening on a day that bed and a comforted sounded far better, as I need to type these words out before the possible preview of Super Bowl LIV in Miami and a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
Adding this just before I need to send out words that you may not read today–what a flippin’ game!
While we can debate the math of whether or not this is the first day of the last month of the decade (it is not), there is no denying that it is World AIDS Day. The day used to be a huge thing in the United States drawing celebrity concerts and universal red ribbons. Fortunately it is less so domestically now because of advances in medicine and I’m thankful as it’s touched my own family as it likely has many of yours.
That said, with all this anti-billionaire talk from the Democratic presidential field, it must be noted today that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation continues to lead on the issue of HIV in the developing world where it is as deadly as ever. I’m guessing they have done more with the wealth generated than would have happened had it passed through Washington.
After all, I think we know about the politics of foreign assistance based on current political drama that returns with hearings starting again on Wednesday…
THE GOP: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes another article about the decline of the state’s GOP. Yes, we’ve seen about twenty-five such pieces over the last month because of the 25th anniversary of Prop. 187. I almost didn’t link to this one, yet he makes this important point:
[D]iscontent is fueling the emergence of Democratic subfactions which duel for dominance, leaving the GOP irrelevant for at least the foreseeable future.
The point is that it affects both the Republican and Democratic parties.
CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM: As much of a legal fanboy as I am, I did not know that the Supreme Court of California and Ninth Circuit provide video of arguments until I read this Bob Egelko article in the Chron this morning! The point of the article is that the Supreme Court of the United States maintains its long objection from doing such.
I’m looking forward to watching the SCOCAL oral argument in the Trump tax returns case just to feel really bad for the state’s attorneys arguing for a law that was patently wrong under both the federal and state constitutions. From my conversations with legislators that are off the record, most knew it was unconstitutional and said “We’ll leave it to the courts.”
And that they did. In this case twisting an oft-used phrase “The Legislature/Governor proposes, and the court disposes.”
CA53 (San Diego): I missed this great story by Joaquin Romero in Capitol Weekly earlier this week amidst the server chaos, but it’s a great profile of the progressive candidate to succeed retiring House Democrat Susan Davis.–who was in the race before it became a crowded field after Davis announced her retirement. Romero writes:
Jose Caballero, a military veteran, Bernie Sanders supporter and political consultant who describes himself as a progressive Democrat, is running for the seat. Davis said that her decision was driven by a desire to “live and work ‘at home’” in San Diego, although Caballero contends that her retirement came as a result of intensifying pressure from her primary challengers and from unhappy constituents. Caballero had announced his intention to run before Davis’s announcement.
A crowd of other candidates also want the job, including the presumptive front runner, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez, and Sara Jacobs, a former aide to Hillary Clinton and a scholar in residence at the University of San Diego.
But Caballero deserves a look and his story is unusual.
BAY AREA DRUG DEATHS: For the Chron, Erin Allday and Kevin Fagan report that drug overdose deaths in the Bay Area have surpassed 10,000, but it’s not predominantly the high-profile prescription drugs. It’s meth and, increasingly, synthetic fentanyl.
A couple of weeks ago, we had our Open California/Capitol Weekly board of directors meeting and we were talking about the conference plans for 2020. As we were talking mental health and addiction, a couple of folks who follow the issues more closely than I do spoke about just the above.
Most of the conversations about the “opioid crisis” often go to Oxycontin, because it’s a brand name and there’s the big bad evil Purdue Pharma and Sackler family. It’s also expensive and largely consumed by those who can afford it.
That is, until they no longer can afford it and look for cheaper heroin or, increasingly, synthetic fentanyl.
It’s no secret that I’ve been through rehab–twice. For me, it was only ever alcohol. Since legalization, I’ve had cannabis edibles to help with sleep and I’ve never had any interest in any other drug nor desire for a cannabis “high.” (This is heresy to say for absolutists in recovery, but I’m a Buddhist and can do my lifetime of recovery in the manner that works for me. Namu Amida Butsu.)
All that to say that I had dear friends in recovery who followed exactly that path of starting with things like Oxy and ending up with whatever the cheapest possible high/low was and it often was meth or heroin, even if they were different mind-altering effects. There’s a stereotype about meth addicts that we know from movies or television but the fact is that it’s far more prevalent “off the streets” than we like to admit.
And, like the Chron story reports, people are dying. Any given bad “trip” is a sad and quick stairway to heaven.