Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Night of the Living Pombo

Do you remember those old zombie movies? Well, I think Richard Pombo has been channeling his inner zombie. It’s pretty easy to conjure up the image of him walking out of a field, eyes glazed over, coming to gnaw on the flesh of the Endangered Species Act. Relentless and single-minded in his purpose — nothing else matters. Just grab the Endangered Species Act and rip it apart with his teeth.

Meanwhile, the residents of CA-11 face REAL problems. According to Vision 2030, the Draft Regional Transportation Plan for San Joaquin County, the population of northern San Joaquin County is predicted to rise from 630,000 in 2005 to 1.1 million by 2030. Concomitantly, the plan predicts that the number of jobs in the County will rise from 207,000 in 2005 to 289,000 by 2030.

So okay, let’s do the math. 500,000 additional people in the next 25 years — 80,000 additional jobs. Not promising.

The solution envisioned by the Vision 2030 team assembled by the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) is transportation, and lots of it. Utilizing additional buses, rail, road expansion, and even bike paths, SJCOG’s plan foresees sending hundreds of thousands more people out of the region to find work. To accommodate this growing army of commuters, Vision 2030 estimates the price tag for needed transportation projects in San Joaquin County will top out at $8 billion over the next 25 years.

So it’s good to know that in last month’s federal transportation bill, Richard Pombo was able to bring a whopping $2.5 million to the San Joaquin County portion of CA-11 for Fiscal Year ’07. Gee, only $7.997 billion left to go.

Herein lies the problem: Richard Pombo is not doing his job. As a matter of fact, he has taken a leave of absence. You see, it’s all a matter of priorities. Richard Pombo doesn’t care about traffic — unless he can route it through his family’s property and drive up their land values; otherwise, it leaves him cold. Here’s an excerpt from a SF Chronicle interview which Pombo has proudly posted on his House Resources Committee website:
Rep. Richard Pombo, sitting in a sunny conference room at his district office in San Ramon, listens to Danville officials plead their case for more federal money for transportation projects and a new veterans memorial.

Pombo, a Republican from Tracy who's served in the House since 1993, hears dozens of similar requests every time he's back in his district. He is polite and says he'll lean on his GOP allies to help Danville, but can't guarantee every request will be met.

But when Danville mayor Newell Arnerich complains that his city and other Bay Area communities could face millions of dollars in costs to meet stringent federal environmental rules for storm water runoff, Pombo springs into action.

"If it needs a change in federal law," he said during the meeting earlier this year, "we'll have to take a look at how we can make that happen."
All that talk about transportation projects and infrastructure and funding is just soooo boring when there are environmental laws to be struck down. In fact, that nasty transportation stuff can really get in your way when all you really want to do is devote your full energies to gutting the Endangered Species Act, selling off vast tracts of National Park and National Forest lands at fire sale prices, and drilling for oil both in Alaska and off America’s coastlines.

But what, exactly, are CA-11’s residents concerned about in their everyday lives? Well, an article in last fall’s Pleasanton Weekly had this to say:
"Transportation is the No. 1 issue wherever he goes in his extensive district," said Nicole Taylor Philbin, Pombo's press secretary.
So what is Richard Pombo doing about it?
Pombo is currently on leave from the Transportation Committee, Philbin said, while serving as the chairman of the House Resources Committee […]

Philbin said a priority for Pombo as chairman of the Resources Committee is to protect property owners by revamping the Endangered Species Act.
So Pombo, who is actually a member of the powerful House Transportation Committee and thus uniquely positioned to bring vital federal transportation dollars to his district, has taken a leave of absence so that he can focus all his energies on his work at the House Resources Committee. Of course, the fact that he just happens to be raking in ungodly amounts of money from mining, timber and big oil for his campaign is just a side benefit to his passion for eviscerating environmental laws.

And as to his constituents’ traffic woes? Sorry. Pombo is focused on his main priority — how to best devour the ESA.

”Zombies, man. They creep me out.”

25 Comments:

Blogger VPO said...

Wow, Babaloo, you have been hitting them out of the park lately! Great stuff. It is very clear how detached from reality Pombo has gotten in the last 14 years in office. (Maybe he was never too attached to reality, must have been all that pot smoking when he was younger.)

I noticed in the part about Danville and the storm water, he did not say "I will try to get you funding so you can keep your storm water, and therefore SF Bay, clean." No, his approach is to change the law.

Danville water drains northward through Walnut Creek (ever see that stream that goes under Macy's?) and then past the Buchanan Airport in Concord to the Carquinez Strait near Martinez. The oil-laden storm water then pollutes the Strait, some of which is carried into the Delta on the incoming tide.

But Pombo's solution is to change the law, not protect the Delta and fisheries there. It never occurs to him that there may be a reason for the regulations.

7:44 AM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo babaloo.

Rocky here. I gotta say I agree wit Mr VPO. You is whacking ButtaPombO so hard fer a minit Rocky thought you wuz Duh Fightin One.

You is Rocky's new hero. You keep it up and those friggin REPUBLICAN SPIES will go back to dere own blot.

Rocky out.

10:23 AM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, just for shits and giggles, can you provide the numbers for the entire bay area delegation district by district so we can compare it to Pombo? Bet Tauscher blew him away since shes on the Trans. committee.

1:01 AM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Anon --
If you have a point to make, why don't you provide some actual data and make it (along with links)? Innuendo is always easy but rarely productive.

I'm more intrigued by your use of idiom. I guess I have a lot to learn in this life from you Pombo trolls. I have to admit that I've never heard the phrase "just for shits and giggles." My entire image of you folks just changed.

10:37 AM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

"Just for shits and giggles" is a pretty common idiom. Crass, but common.

11:52 AM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't raise my gas taxes Jerry McNerney! poor mothers won't be able to buy milk for their children!

12:19 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

So are they not going to be able to afford milk for their children because of Jerry McNerney's non-proposal to raise the gas tax or Richard Pombo's vote to cut food stamps?

In case you forgot, let me remind you:

Of four Californians on the House Agriculture committee, only Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, voted for the food stamp cuts. Reps. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino; Jim Costa, D-Fresno; and Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced; voted against them.

Pombo and other Republicans on the committee voted for these cuts on the same day that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report showing that the number of households who don't have enough food has risen to 13.5 million in 2004. In California, 12.4% of households don't have enough food some time during the year. Yet to balance the budget, they're not even considering a rollback in President Bush's record-high three rounds of tax cuts — which have gone to the highest-income households.


I guess irony is lost on Republicans.

12:29 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, we just have jobs

12:52 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with an unpleasant note to our friend Matt)

Anon the troll is right -- McNerney is on the public record has having said he will raise taxes on gasoline, and other taxes as well:

Other Taxes:
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Increase b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Increase d) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increase e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Increase f) Inheritance taxes
No Answer g) Other or expanded categories


All of the above can be found here, where much of the rest of the Bay Area congressional delegation (Tauscher, Miller, Cardoza, Stark, Pelosi, Lofgren, Honda) smartly refused to vote on these loaded, and "tight-box-structured" gotcha questions (as I noted in an earlier posting in response to our friend VPO, I believe)

It's now WILLINGLY in the public record, and the troll and others WILL use it, and McNerney WILL have to defend those position statements, as WILL all of you who want to support him -- you can't just pick and choose to ignore that he also wants to punish folks would invest risk capital in alternative energy by raising the capital gains taxes said risk-loving, earth-loving capitalists would have to bear the burden of.

I'll go back to my comments from Ronny Raygun -- facts are stubborn things, they refuse to go away.

$.02 out.

3:02 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. $.02,

1) You're right that McNerney was stupid for answering these questions. But the troll is just being a troll. McNerney has a very detailed energy policy that does not include any proposal to raise the gas tax. So the Chicken Little, "McNerney's going to raise your taxes" talk is extremely disingenuous. It might be politically useful for Mr. Troll and his ilk, but it doesn't mean that I have to concede the thrust of his point.

2) I'm not sure why you think that income derived from capital investment deserves to be taxed at a lower rate than income earned through the sweat of one's brow. Furthermore, the bottom line is that McNerney has proposed tax credits for people who invest in renewable energy technology. Lastly, to the extent that tax incentives are necessary, they can be crafted irrespective of the capital gains tax rate for other types of capital gains. There's no reason that Daddy Warbucks needs to pay less tax on his sale of Haliburton stock to encourage someone to invest in clean energy.

3:42 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with some retail political tutoring for our friend Matt)

1) You're right that McNerney was stupid for answering these questions....Matt.

2) You're right that McNerney was stupid...Matt.

3) ...McNerney was stupid...Matt.

4) Unless McNerney gets mega moolabombs to fire above the jamming that the Dickster will use on the tellys and boomboxes throughout the Bay area, his message will NEVER get to the voters of the 11th CD who ultimately, unlike us bloggers, will determine the fate of the Dickster.

McNerney's digging himself into quicksand deep enough to cover his mouth with inane blunders (like the one you acknowledge is now forever available from anywhere on Planet Earth) doesn't help matters one bit in a district conservative enough that Barbara Lee couldn't win -- since only sound bites matter (see what I did to yours?)

I won't even bother answering your childish and uninformed comment about capital gains tax policy -- you clearly have no appreciation for the inventiveness of the private sector over nearly the past 30 years since capital gains taxes were slashed by a Democratic Congress in 1978 with bipartisan support.

$.02 out.

5:29 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
Your points are well taken. However, it is a complete non sequitur for our troll to go from "Don't raise my gas taxes" to "Poor mothers won't be able to afford milk for their children."

Look again at Matt's quote: "In California, 12.4% of households don't have enough food some time during the year. Yet to balance the budget, they're not even considering a rollback in President Bush's record-high three rounds of tax cuts." Instead, Pombo supports cutting food stamps.

I don't pretend to speak for Jerry McNerney. But speaking for myself, I think most Americans and most residents of CA-11 are savvy enough to know that we face some tough choices in our country today. We cannot continue, year-in and year-out, spending $300-500 billion more than we take in. That's just a fact.

That leaves us with two choices: cut spending on things like food stamps (e.g., make it harder for poor mothers to obtain milk for their children) as well as things like national defense, transportation, levee repair, education, healthcare, and air and water quality, so that we can keep taxes artificially low; OR generate the revenue for these programs that benefit our communities by asking both people and businesses to pay their fair share (and I would note that your list proposes slight increases on items that affect everyday people and great increases on those businesses that have benefited unconscionably from the Bush tax cuts).

This is an area that should be open to honest public debate, but unfortunately, the dirty politicians like Pombo (and their sycophantic trolls) simply point their fingers like petulant children and shriek, "He wants to raise your taxes" in hit-and-run fashion, and the conversation becomes untouchable. Arguably, McNerney is either incredibly brave or incredibly naive to have responded to that questionnaire. Either way, this is a subject that our nation desperately needs to address in a responsible and adult fashion.

5:54 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. $.02 I know I must be incredibly naive not to have read a newspaper opinion piece written when I was eight-years-old. Silly me, I know I need to prostrate myself at the feet someone like Warren T. Brooks, who was so articulate in expressing progressive economic policy that the ultra-Left Competitive Enterprise Institute named a journalism fellowship after him. I mean, I hope that when I'm your age, young bucks don't ignore the sage dicta of such lions of the Left like Robert Novak. Because that would be childish.

5:59 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and to our friend, Matt -- your sloppy diction is slowing -- misspelling names, missing commas and other punctuation, beginning sentences with the word "because" -- it that what they teach at Berkeley now? Words to live by: You should not post while pissed; it shows to all but you.)

Matt and friends:

Here's the really relevant (and factual) part of the hyperlink from my earlier posting:

...when the entrepreneurially minded U.S. high-technology industry came to Washington in 1977 to propose that the capital-gains tax rate be cut back to 28 percent, the late Republican Rep. William Steiger of Wisconsin got strong bipartisan suport for his amendment to make the reduction. Steiger's measure became law in 1978.

Matt, a question for you and your philosophical ilk: If I posted a quote from Josef Stalin stating that "the sun rises in the East...", would you ignore the blatent factual truth of that statement and simply, childishly, call me "a commie"?

$.02 out.

P.S. to Babaloo -- thanks for reading my earlier comments intelligently and your kind words of acknowledgement about the only points I am making: McNerney's political savvy or lack thereof.

I do not have time to delve into my own macro and micro-economic policy positions vis-a-vis budget and fiscal priorities at this time, but agree 100% with you on what you said about what is needed in this country:

...this is a subject that our nation desperately needs to address in a responsible and adult fashion.

7:23 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo all youse guys.

Rocky here. Now dis is what I like - a good spirited discussion amongst us Dems. Wit or witout duh friggin SPY, it don't matter none. Or even a little fer dat matter.

Rocky agree wit all youse dat tink it wuz dumB (wit 1 "B") for McNoiney to say he wuz gonna raise taxes, esp on gas. I mean dis alone could put Paulie in duh poorhouse, and may have cost him a vote. Butt he'll get over it, cuz look at the altoinative.

Meanwhile, Rocky tinks duh capital gains - and duh hole nation gains - if we elect McNoiney, even if duh district loses him to dis far away place. Butt what's duh big deal about duh 28% rate? I mean even ButtaPombO is only dere like 28% of duh time, cuz duh resta duh time he's traipsin around duh country inna RV tourin duh National Parks before he sells 'em, you know what I mean?

Rocky out. Yo Mr $.02 - you better watch yer budget. Yer gettin close to a friggin dime jest on dis one deal!

8:41 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and to our friend, Matt -- your sloppy diction is slowing -- misspelling names, missing commas and other punctuation, beginning sentences with the word "because" -- it that what they teach at Berkeley now? Words to live by: You should not post while pissed; it shows to all but you.)

I'm sorry my sloppy diction is slowing. It what they teach at Berkeley now.

Matt, a question for you and your philosophical ilk: If I posted a quote from Josef Stalin stating that "the sun rises in the East...", would you ignore the blatent (sic) factual truth of that statement and simply, childishly, call me "a commie"?

Now you're just being silly. You made an appeal to authority, but your authority was someone whose assertions are by no means a) objective or b) authoritative. Pointing that out is not, as you seem to imply, the same as making a genetic fallacy.

Oh, and for the record, I wasn't pissed in any way when I wrote my previous comment.

10:03 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (with a suggestion for our friend Matt, the philosopher king...)

Prove us all wrong, with evasive and obfuscating (I asked a direct question -- you ducked the answer) quotes like "You made an appeal to authority, but your authority was someone whose assertions are by no means a) objective or b) authoritative. Pointing that out is not, as you seem to imply, the same as making a genetic fallacy.

Prove us all wrong; run for office, any office, with pompous quotes like that and actually win a majority of votes of the people whose lives you would seek to have control over (i.e., democracy).

Prove us all wrong, oh mighty one.

$.02 out.

P.S. to Matt -- the grammatical errors I made were entirely in the first paragraph when I was making light of your challenged diction -- and were intended ("slowing" vs "showing"? -- "it that" vs "it dat"?) to see if you were as sharp as the others in the audience (none of whom have risen with indignity to your defense, by the way) to pick up on that advanced level of parody, and clearly, in your "greatest legend in your own mind" state -- a disease that afflicts many 25 year youngs -- you weren't.

I'll give you this: My sinful misspelling of "blatent" was not the only one committed on Earth -- others would have flunked the Berkeley spelling bee as well, but clearly not you!

$.02 out.

11:17 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Matt.

Rocky here. It ain't like Mr $.02 to ante up dis much dough on any single deal. You may have takin duh cheapskate past his limit, as to paraphrase what Lloyd Benson said to Dan Quail: "He ain't no Jack Abramoff."

All Rocky know is dat I'm leavin dese higher level debates to youse leadin ineffectuals. Yer way over my head. I'm just gonna bask in duh glow of my foist deal.

Rocky out.

11:26 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr $.02.

Rocky here. You is surprizing Rocky wit yer generosity on dis deal. You should save sum of yer hard-oined vasool to make sure you have suffishent dough to ante up on Rocky's deal. Dat's right: my very FOIST deal. Have you seen it yet? I respectfully request you and Matt stop argggh-uin and let Rocky know what you tink of his deal.

Anyways, all I wanna say is dat its a good ting Rocky ain't doin duh spell checkin on dis blot or I'd flunk all of youse. And yer friggin grammer is terrible, and yer sentences is way too friggin short, and yer predicates don't agree wit yer subjectives, and youse all use far too few negatives in yer construction of meaning.

Rocky out.

11:56 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Matt/Mr $.02.

Rocky here again. Now in all of dis blottin Rocky done tonite, I almost forgot to ask: What duh heck is a "genetic fallacy?"

Is dat anudder term for "mutant"? Would it be fair to use dis expression in a well-constructed sentence along duh lines of: "ButtaPombO ain't no friggin human bean - he's a friggin genetic fallacy."

Rocky out. And I mean it dis time.

12:04 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
Your comment has left me a little breathless. Frankly, I had no problem understanding what Matt said, and I thought he made valid arguments. Granted, he often uses complex sentence structure and polysyllabic words. After all, this is a blog, not a political campaign or a kindergarten primer. So shoot him.

I'm a little less clear as to what you're trying to say here: [T]he grammatical errors I made were entirely in the first paragraph when I was making light of your challenged diction -- and were intended ("slowing" vs "showing"? -- "it that" vs "it dat"?) to see if you were as sharp as the others in the audience...

Huh?

Okay, I'll confess that I don't get it. Instead of writing "is that," you wrote "'it that' vs 'it dat'" to test Matt's sharpness? What?

I can't help but wonder. Are there perhaps not bigger battles to be fought here?

12:05 AM, July 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and I can barely type straight at this hour)

Rocky, my dear friend -- you have a deal. I will post to your wonderful first "deal-o-rama" (not to be confused with "Pomb-O-ram-ya") in the morning when I am slightly more coherent -- congrats on making the big time (not to be confused with making the big house...;)

$.02 out.

P.S. to Babaloo -- see Rocky's comments directly above about "genetic fallacies" and then explain that this is understandable by the voters you wish to reach (that is the point, isn't it?)

12:13 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

$.02 --
If you're competent to blog, I think it's fair to assume that you ought to be able to use wikipedia to figure these things out. Come on.

12:27 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. $.02,

You posed a question to me and my "philosophical ilk." You also took a number of swipes at me and at least one at my alma mater. So I figured I'd respond using the rhetoric of a logician to demonstrates what they "teach at Berkeley now." I wasn't trying to sway any voters. I was responding directly to your churlish behavior. Apparently you didn't pick up on my advanced level of mockery.

8:10 AM, July 13, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Matt and babaloo.

Rocky here havin his mornin cuppa Joe, on accounta duh fact dat he wuz up late last nite blottin up a storm wit all my friends. And dealin too, fer all of youse dat ain't noticed yet. Take dat, you friggin SPY! Heh heh heh.

Anyways, Rocky wanna tank both of youse fer teachin Rocky new woids like "genetic fallacy" and dis new one, "churlish." Jeezus - I mean dis last wun is especially good cuz now Rocky can taunt Apollo fer bein a "Churly Man" after he called Rocky a "Girlie Man." I mean I wuz gonna call hin a Hurdy Gurdy Man, but seein as to how he's stuck in Low-di with duh friggin Memphis Blues again, I don't wanna confuse him wit too many songs. You know what I mean?

Anyways, Apollo is basically a good guy even though he can be a pain in duh arse sumtimes. Which is why Churly Man is duh poifect discription. Mr $.02 is OK in Rocky's book too, though Rocky tinks dat last nite he fell victim to dis "gotcha" sindrome dat seems to affect all youse longterm blotters. Cept as it toins out, youse pulled a gotcha on him!

All's fare in love and blottin I guess. Rocky still gotta lot to loin, butt in duh meantime I'm gonna be woikin on my next deal. Tanks again fer lettin me be a dealer.

Rocky out. Yo Mr $.02: you wuz outta line wit dis "gotcha" stuff last nite even if you did open yer wallet more den usual. You ought notta be throwin stones around duh friggin greenhouse when none of youse can spell and neither Rocky nor Kelsey ain't around to correct yer grammar.

10:41 AM, July 13, 2006  

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