Hey, Nineteen: Did Eric Holder just elect Carly Fiorina (and Meg Whitman)? California Dems, faced with two close races, have been counting on a big turnout of young, largely Democratic, voters drawn by Proposition 19, the legalize-marijuana initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot. But now Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that, in effect, Prop 19 won't matter because the Feds will "vigorously enforce" anti-marijuana laws anyway. Prop 19 is "null and void and dead on arrival" declared L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca. Doesn't that kind of undermine the motivation of youthful Prop 19 supporters? . . . Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems hard to argue that Holder's statement is motivated by politics. At least California politics. . . . . 10:50 p.m.
Dirty Green Future: One of the weakest Democratic talking points, at least intuitively, is the idea of sending thousands of people to inspect and "retrofit" homes and buildings. Government loan programs to pay for weatherization sound like a festival of waste and corruption. If energy prices are high, don't businesses have enough of an incentive to retrofit buildings? Meanwhile, the jobs themselves sound unpleasant. Here's Kirsten Powers
If something doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. The idea that we'd revitalize our economy with what are essentially janitorial jobs was absurd from the beginning.
The administration promised that 900,000 jobs would come from building retrofits. Turns out, according to the Energy Department, just 13,000 such jobs were created in the last reported quarter.
Hey, but they met Davis-Bacon "prevailing wage" standards! ... (It's not just "shovel ready" our new President didn't understand. He also seems to have had no idea what it means to subject an industry to Davis-Bacon, which delayed the stimulus bill's weatherization jobs for most of 2009 while federal and state bureaucrats wrote wage rules.)
P.S.: Unfortunately, these are just the "green jobs" that California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown chose to emphasize in his recent debate with Meg Whitman ("thousands of people to work retrofitting buildings so they don't burn as much energy"). Maybe the jobs aren't "janitorial," but without more explanation the image you get is relatively unskilled workmen with masks ripping out toxic asbestos and replacing it with toxic fibergalass. It's one thing to advocate these unappealing jobs as a temporary employment measure in a bad recession. It's another, grimmer, thing to advertise them as California's future. . . . 10:48 p.m.
Time for the Harriet Miers Whistlestop Tour! You would think Karl Rove could have taken some of his mysterious millions and bribed Dick Cheney into taking a two-month Mediterranean cruise instead of announcing a 10-stop speaking tour? . . . There's the Democrat's October Surprise: A spate of victory laps by Bush administration figures who will only remind voters why they elected Obama. . . . . If DNC chair Tim Kaine is smart, he has already sent secret emissaries to suggest to various Bush icons that hitching a ride on the upcoming Tea Party wave represents the perfect chance for vindication. Don't you think Alberto Gonzales would be the perfect guy to rally Latinos to the GOP in the campaign's final days? Even if you don't, do you think he'd need much convincing? (What else does he have to do these days?) . . . 10:41 p.m.