California Scheming

From the Los Angeles Times:

Under President Bush, California Democrats often felt like Rodney Dangerfield.

But with Barack Obama headed to the White House — giving their party control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for the first time in 14 years — lawmakers from one of the nation’s bluest states are looking to gain more than just respect. They expect to wield more political clout as well.

Not only will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco preside over a bigger Democratic majority with a friendlier president, but Californians will chair four House committees, more than any other state.

Original DVD cover.

Among them is Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), the newly elected chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who will play a key role in moving forward Obama’s initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and curb global warming.

With California’s Barbara Boxer chairing the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the state’s lawmakers also will be at the forefront of shaping environmental legislation.

“Almost everywhere you look, someone from California is in a position of great influence,” said Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch. And Obama is expected to move quickly to carry out his pledge to reverse the Bush administration’s decision barring California from implementing its own global-warming law.


Reps. Howard L. Berman of Valley Village, George Miller of Martinez and Bob Filner of Chula Vista will continue to chair the foreign affairs, education and labor, and veterans affairs committees, respectively. Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland will be head of the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus. And Rep. Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles was recently elected vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.


Waxman, in vaulting from the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the Energy and Commerce Committee, gained influence over a broad range of issues of importance to the state, including the entertainment and high-tech industries.

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will continue to sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee and chair the subcommittee that writes the Interior Department’s spending bill.

Oddly enough, a Republican — Jerry Lewis of Redlands, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee — also could play a key role in bringing more money to the state by securing GOP support for spending measures.

Perhaps the biggest change for the state will come from the election of Obama, who carried California by the biggest margin of a presidential election since Franklin D. Roosevelt trounced Alf Landon in 1936.

“We now have a president not hostile to the state of California,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank).

California officials are heartened by Obama’s hiring of former aides to President Clinton, who heaped attention on the Golden State. Clinton traveled to California 56 times during his presidency (Bush has visited the state 22 times), lavished it with money and drew from it for appointments to his administration.


And Obama — who has selected Waxman’s former chief of staff, Phil Schiliro, to be his congressional liaison — is expected to tend to the state, if only because its economy is important to the nation’s overall economic health.


Perhaps nowhere will California’s clout be stronger than in influencing environmental bills. Legislation that would add thousands of acres of wilderness in California is expected to be among the first measures to clear Congress next year.


Filed under 2008 election, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Bob Filner, California, Chimpy, Congress, Congressional Black Caucus, Dianne Feinstein, Environment, Environment and Public Works Committee, George W. Bush, Global warming, Henry Waxman, House Appropriations Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, humor, Interior Department, movies, Nancy Pelosi, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs, Xavier Becerra

29 responses to “California Scheming

  1. Friend of the court

    I just hope that they behave better in D.C., than they do in Sacramento. The Governator declared an “economic disaster and fiscal state of emergency”, today. This was his welcome statement to newly elected assembly members.

  2. fotc! πŸ˜€
    all i am interested in is watching all the rethugs’ heads exploding when all the new chairmanships officially begin! πŸ˜†

    by the way, i didn’t realize ahnold was such a motivational speaker!

  3. Friend of the court

    He told them that they would have to work in December, instead of waiting until 2009.

  4. he probably just wants someone else to blame quicker.

  5. Too bad about Waxman’s unfortunate nostrils and rat teeth.
    With a face like that he could have led the Republican party.

  6. waxman looks like an elf. however, if i want an advocate, he’s the guy i would pick! he’s smart and he’s gutsy.

  7. jlms qkw - jenn

    yipee! thx nonnie!

  8. yipee! you’re welcome, jenn! πŸ˜€

  9. writechicpress

    I love Waxman! He stayed on Bush’s a$s documenting faulty intelligence in the run up to the Iraq War. Waxman was exemplary opposition leadership.

    And I have no problem with the idea of Californians in positions of power. It’s a big state, huge economy; they ought to be producing American leadership. Maybe our country will have the stick up its collective butt removed.

  10. Hey, I like Waxman myself. He’s just unfortunately bufugly. I’m just sayin.’

  11. jeb

    Well, as a native Texan, I can only point out; Thank God the Californians will be in charge and no one can ever do any worse than the Rethug Texans (Bush, Gramm, Armey, DeLay, et al) who’ve run the country into the ground.

  12. writechicpress

    Poor Waxman. I say courage and determination count as handsome points.

  13. Waxman is my little sister’s representative, as well as my mom’s when she isn’t in Utah. I’m glad they have him. Thirty years ago, their neighborhood was represented by Barry Goldwater, Jr. Talk about that for change!

    BTW, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and I had to look up Valley Village. Back then, it was still a part of North Hollywood.

  14. culturepress

    nonnie9999, Thank you for another great poster, and this insightful commentary! It’ll be interesting to see how Obama will relate to Schwarzenegger (who made fun of Obama’s “skinny legs” while on the McCain campaign trail). Governator’s asking for some serious federal aid right now, and he’ll probably have to eat his words when dealing with the Obama administration, as CA will be needing this cash and perhaps more in the coming year.

  15. wcp,
    i think that, if it was up to waxman, chimpy and deadeye dick and abu and the rest of them would have been impeached. i really wish the house would vote for someone else for speaker.

  16. karen,
    maybe waxman’s looks forced him to excel, and that’s why he is so smart and driven to do good things today.

  17. jeb,
    i didn’t know you were from texas. don’t worry. nobody here will hold that against you. πŸ˜‰

  18. omigawd! neon vincent is a valley boy! that’s like, gnarly!!!

  19. culturepress,
    i just saw ahnold on tv announcing that he is going to have to raise taxes and cut services. wonder how that’s gonna go over in rethug circles. all the governators had their tin cups extended. of course, the rethugs will go home and blame all the economic woes on the dems or obama or bill clinton or whomever.

    note** any commentary that is insightful is either from newspapers or from the raisinettes. i just copy and paste! πŸ˜‰

  20. i think mitch mcconnell is even uglier than waxman

  21. mitch mcconnell starts out ugly, and he gets uglier every time he opens his opens his mouth to speak.

  22. nightowl724

    Cool beans, nonnie – and, cool poster! I’m sure this group of Californians scares the you-know-what out of the Republican party base!

  23. nightowl,
    just the word california makes their little dinkies shrink!

  24. Yes, Nonnie, I’m a Valley Boy, and it’s like gnarly, dude, or in your case, dudette.

  25. dusty

    Damn skippy its our turn!!!! πŸ˜‰

  26. eat our dust! of course, in this economy, dust might be the only thing we will all be able to afford to eat! πŸ˜‰

  27. culturepress

    nonnie9999, yep, Gov had been pleading with the state GOP several weeks ago to pass a bill which would raise the sales tax (I think by 1%), but they turned it down. Gov said this is absolutely necessary, but the GOP wouldn’t let it happen. And now we’ve got to beg the Feds for cash.

    A couple of dumb Republicans online have been blaming Obama for the recent stock market dips. How retardo is THAT?! Do they know anything about economics, or what the stock market actually IS? Obviously NOT!!!!!

  28. cp,
    it seems that quite a few of the rethug governors, including their hopes to lead the opposition party, are having fiscal problems. a lot of states are in bad shape, and they are planning on raising ciggie taxes again (if i hadn’t quit 5 years ago, i would be out of the street today–either homeless or hooking for extra money to buy the damned things) in floriduhhhh and mississippi (i think it was mississippi). not sure what the other states are going to do, but it will be fun watching the rethugs tell citizens what services they will be cutting next.