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June 09, 2018

Thread before the Gardening Thread: California Report [KT]


Serving your mid-day open thread needs

A few random California topics after the primary election this week. With all due respect to our good friend Dr_No*, who created the design above, Detroit may currently be doing better in many respects than California. In a recent poll, nearly half of Bay Area residents say they want to leave.

People in some other areas of California would like to leave, too. But the weather's nice today.

June Primaries

The weather offered no excuse for skippint the voting booth this year. The "jungle primary", where all candidates run against each other, meant very large numbers of candidates on the ballot. With all those choices, we ended up with the airhead Gavin Newsom (who, in Dennis Prager's words, lives on "Planet Platitude) facing a rather uninspiring Republican candidate.

Gavin Newsom! Seems so inconsistent with nearly half of Bay Area residents wanting to leave.

Some Republicans switched to "Independent" status before running down-ballot this year. Seemed to work out in at least one case. Republicans have been mistreated in Sacramento for a long time. Democrats have been plagued by scandals. I'm wondering if an implosion might not be useful in the long run.

50th Anniversary of the Death of Robert Kennedy

Steven Hayward has a piece up about how the assassination of Bobby Kennedy enhanced his image. He notes a significant amount of in-figtiting in the Democratic Party at the time. Includes a lot of information I didn't know. Worth reading.

The popular outpouring of support for Kennedy on the campaign trail, usually carefully orchestrated by his campaign staff (and composed often of young people not then eligible to vote), masked a lack of enthusiasm for Kennedy among other large blocks of voters. A February poll of his (adopted) home state of New York found that only 36 percent would vote for him again for the U.S. Senate. By Spring, reporters Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, and Bruce Page (authors of one of the best chronicles of the 1968 campaign) wrote, "resentment of Kennedy's candidacy was nowhere stronger than in his own home state." Gene McCarthy actually snagged most of New York's convention delegates. . .

The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is drying up. Though it was sort of a mistake to begin with, the Powers that Be don't seem to be paying attention now:

An enormous blue void at the north end of the Imperial Valley, the Salton Sea once attracted more visitors than Yosemite. But California's largest lake is now mostly forgotten, and those who know of it don't have flattering things to say: they'll tell you about vast beaches where the sand is made of fish bones; about eerie, half-abandoned Mad Max-esque communities; and most of all, its noxious emissions. In 2012, the Salton Sea burped up a cloud of sulfurous odor so thick that residents in Los Angeles 150 miles away were hit by the nauseating smell of rotten eggs.

Though it's been shrinking for decades, on January 1st, 2018, the Salton Sea entered a nosedive. Thanks to a water transfer agreement with San Diego, 40 percent less water will now flow into the sea. It will recede dramatically, and its already shallow surface level will drop 20 feet. By 2045, its waters will be five times as salty as the Pacific Ocean, killing whatever fish still live there and scattering the birds that feed on them.

Think Gavin will get right on this problem? It's a dream project for a "futurist" with environmental leanings. Didn't all the Hollywood environmentalists take their private jets to that festival in the Coachella Valley recently?

Well, as noted above, here in the San Joaquin Valley, the weather is a little nicer right now than we have come to expect in June in recent years. I'm going to try to enjoy it this weekend. Hope your weekend includes something good.

* By the way, you can vote for some of Dr_no's other artwork here for a few days.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:26 AM

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