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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016

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NIGHTMARE INCIDENT under investigation in Boonville. Late Wednesday afternoon, a group of children enjoying an after school party at the Anderson Valley Elementary ran playfully into the dark of the lower field at the school. It was about 5:30 and dark enough to obscure visibility. The child in the lead, a little girl of 10 or 11, upon reaching the lower field, was suddenly grabbed by an adult male described only as bearded and smelling strongly of cologne. The child's arm was said to be bruised where the man had grabbed her. The girl screamed, he ran off. The incident was witnessed by at least one other child. A search of the area did not reveal anyone who should not have been there. That area of the schoolyard is not illuminated and seldom used after school hours. The party was supervised by numerous adults, but the lower field at the school is a good fifty yards from the school playground and school rooms. The schoolyard is fenced on both sides as far west as Anderson Creek, but intruders could enter the back field from either side where the fence ends and the creek banks fall steeply off into the creekbed. There is an unworked vineyard on the far side of the creek, lightly inhabited properties on both sides of the field where the child was interfered with. The incident is under intense investigation by the Sheriff's Department.

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1,271 BALLOTS LEFT TO COUNT IN THE WILLITS CITY COUNCIL ELECTION: with only 627 votes counted in the "Final Election Night Report," at least 66.96 percent of the vote has not yet been counted! A higher percent than ever before. Plus an unknown number of provisional ballots (there are 1,160 provisional ballots countywide to "review and process." This according to a just-sent press release from Mendocino County Elections Office.

Press Release: Ballots Left To Be Counted, November 8, 2016, Presidential General Election

Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan M. Ranochak announced that as with every other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 25,407 Vote By Mail ballots to process, and 1160 Provisional ballots to review and process. Of the outstanding ballots left to count, the approximate breakdowns for the Supervisorial District are as follows: 1st Supervisorial District – 4,293 ballots; 2nd Supervisorial District – 5,400; 3rd Supervisorial District – 5,044 ballots; 4th Supervisorial District – 5,462 ballots & 5th Supervisorial District – 6,368 ballots. We have 7943 ballots to count that are within the cities of Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg and Point Arena — the approximate breakdown for our cities is as follows: City of Ukiah – 4,986 ballots; City of Willits – 1,271 ballots; City of Fort Bragg – 1,591 ballots and the City of Point Arena has 95 ballots to count. Per State law, we have 28 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819.

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The race for third place — the third seat on the Willits City Council — is very close: Saprina Rodriguez, owner of Imagination Station, is currently in third place, but only by one vote. Rodriguez currently has 235 votes (17.39 percent), and Councilwoman Madge Strong is in fourth place, with 234 votes (17.32 percent). Mayor Bruce Burton is in fifth place, with 225 votes (16.65 percent of the vote).

The only election I can recall (and voter registrar Sue Ranochack can recall) that flipped actual results with the final, certified count was the 2014 Fort Bragg City Council election, where the Advocate-News reported Mayor Dave Turner was in fourth place, losing with "18 percent" (rounded figure), but with final results, he came in third, winning the third seat, with 18.98 percent of the vote.

With so many votes left to count, even second-place winner (so far) Bill Barksdale, with 269 votes (19.91 percent) cannot assume victory. But I believe current Willits Police Chief Gerry Gonzalez (first-place winner so far with 378 votes (27.98 percent of the vote) can definitely make plans to retire to assume a Willits City Council seat in January.

Countywide, there are 25,407 ballots still to process. With 12,032 votes reported already, that's at least 67.86 percent of the vote not counted — again, a higher percentage than ever before!! Plus however many provisional ballots that are found valid and counted.

Sheriff Allman's mental health facilities initiative, Measure AG, may — in the final count, with so many countywide ballots left to count — gain the two-thirds majority (66.67 percent) needed to pass. Measure AG currently stands at 65.19 percent. The "enacting" measure, AH, currently stands at 62.86 percent, so it will have a harder time getting to 66.67 percent. If Measure AH does not pass, there is no way (according to the county's attorney) that the tax Measure AG approves can be counted.

Proponents of Measure AF, the Heritage Initiative are not conceding defeat, due to the numbers of ballots still to count, but it is not plausible, in my opinion as an election watcher in Mendocino County for many years, that AF could flip current results, with 65.19 percent of voters (7,251 votes) saying "No," and 35.89 percent of voters (4,059 votes) saying "Yes."

Why are so many ballots uncounted in the "Final Election Night Report"? Because floods of Mendocino County voters are dropping their ballots off at the polls on Election Day because many of them were forced into "mail-in-only" precincts by the former registrar of voters.

Let's get rid of the “mail-in-only” precincts, and go back to getting most of the vote counted on Election Night!

– Jennifer Poole, Willits Weekly

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 from Yes on Measure AF

November 10, 2016

 Sarah Bodnar

First, we want to thank every Mendocino County resident of who voted Yes on AF, supported our campaign, and stood up to protect small farms and our economic future.

Secondly, AF has not been decided, yet. The votes are still being counted.

As of 2am on Election Night the Mendocino County Assessor clerk reported Mendocino County voting stats were:

12,032 ballots counted, which equals 23.58% of registered voters. There has been no update to the count since that time.

What is not included in the above numbers:

  • Vote by mail ballots that were mailed in by November 8, that have not yet been received or counted.
  • Vote by mail ballots that were turned in at the polling places on Election Day.
  • Provisional ballots cast at the polling station on Election Day.

So far, AF currently has 35% voting yes. We do not know how many uncounted ballots remain, but Ranochak predicts 70-80% voter turnout in a presidential election, so there could be several thousand uncounted votes.

Given that these early votes include some of AF's strongest oppositional demographics, and that the huge number of yet to be counted mail-in ballots represent much of our rural support base, we can say with confidence that Measure AF can still win. Several media outlets, and even one of our electeds — 3rd district supervisor John McCowen — have stated inaccurately that Measure AF has lost, discounting a huge percentage of our potential voter base. This is not yet final.

We have posted a link on our website and Facebook page, where absentee voters can check on the status of their ballots and make sure it was received by the County. We also ask that volunteers interested in participating as voter observers at the County Clerk Assessors office contact us by email at

With the passage of Prop 64 and the shocking outcome of the presidential race, we have more questions than answers about the future of cannabis. One thing is certain: we all need to pay attention and remain involved, whether AF passes or not. This is the beginning and this campaign has started a crucial conversation about the future of cannabis regulation in Mendocino County. We are committed continued participation in the political process and help move our county forward. Election updates and information about how to get involved at

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JENNIFER POOLE of the Willits Weekly responds:

Not inaccurate Sarah, at least as far as Willits Weekly is concerned, our reports all mentioned likely large number of ballots left uncounted (much larger than the “several thousand” in your statement below), and cited the “more than 58 percent” of the countywide vote uncounted in the June 2016 election.

You are welcome to your own opinion, but the only election in Mendocino County that has ever “flipped” from “Final Election Night Report” to final, certified election results was a Fort Bragg city council election in 2014, where Mayor Dave Turner ended up winning third place, from his original fourth place finish, and there was less than 1 percentage point difference between his third and fourth place results.

It’s also not accurate to say that the many Mendocino County voters who were forced into “mail-in-only” precincts who drop their ballots off at the polls on Election Day (that’s the primary reason why many ballots go uncounted in the “Final Election Night Report”) necessarily represent “much of [y]our rural support base.” Many in-town precincts in Willits were switched to “mail-in-only” precincts – people who live a block from City Hall are in such precincts. Nor is it accurate to say all of “the hills” voters live in mail-in-only precincts – for example one precinct in Willits, the “String Creek” precinct, with plenty of cannabis farmers (not necessarily supporters of AF), votes at the Willits Community Center.

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SURPRISE COUNTY APPOINTMENT. Perhaps lost in the daily blizzard of press releases is the news that a fellow named Richard Molinari has been hired as sub-boss at the Animal Shelter. We published the presser without comment, but we think it's a good appointment and now we'll explain why we think it's a good appointment.


MOLINARI comes to us from Las Vegas and has a law enforcement background, meaning he's unlikely to be an anthromorph, further meaning he is likely to be reality-based. But the guy better hunker down because the four-legg-eds at our dog and cat orphanage will be the least of his problems.

THE SHELTER is constantly under attack by a relentless posse of female cat and dog lovers. And, of course, the Mendo Shelter is No Kill, meaning it's perpetually overcrowded with un-adoptable animals as lady cat and dog lovers form irrational attachments to them. (I hasten to say I like cats and dogs myself, and you can ask Little Dog if you don't believe me.)

MOLINARI will be the Animal Shelter Manager, replacing Mary Jane Montana, the interim Shelter Manager, and will be second in command to Shelter supervisor, the eternal Sage Mountainfire who is past retirement age by nearly a decade and really ought to permanently retreat to her fire pit deep in the Coast Range. Molinari and Mountainfire will be an interesting collision, which we hope Molinari survives.

AN ANIMAL PERSON put it this way. "He looks like a toughie, what with the bald headed thing. Here's what I hope: that he will be strong and fair, compassionate but realistic. That he will be able to communicate with staff and the people who yammer on negatively, constantly. That he will be able to work with women! I hope he can either get a formidable foster program going, and be able to get rescues to take more dogs, or if that doesn't work to decrease the population, then I hope he can figure out a way to send off dogs who are not very adoptable without a giant and major freakout. I heard the other day that the shelter had over 100 cats (not all at the shelter, but yipes!)"

THE SHELTER used to euthanize the obviously unadoptables, and staff and volunteers did not go nuts when that occurred. And nobody went before the Supervisors to whine and scream and keep the Shelter under constant surveillance to the point of gathering all the information about dog arrivals and departures through the County’s public records request site, and in so doing, hamstring the Shelter.

MARY JANE MONTANA did an excellent job as interim second-in-command at the Shelter, and the Supervisors backed her up. I hope they have Molinari's back when the inevitable keening starts about him.

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I DROVE TO WILLITS on Tuesday to see the Bypass for myself, meeting my tour guide at the landmark Willits restaurant, Gribaldo's, where I enjoyed the largest and tastiest omelet I've ever seen, let alone consumed. Bypass or no Bypass, do not bypass Gribaldo's.

Digital Camera

MY HOST was Jennifer Poole, whose brave start-up newspaper, the Willits Weekly, seems poised to out-compete the traditional town paper, the corporate-owned The Willits News, whose corporation is on life-support. I say "brave" because anyone who starts a print paper as print papers move on to museums is either brave or crazy, and Jennifer isn't crazy. The Willits Weekly is doing well.

MS. POOLE'S love for Willits, a civic monument to No Planning, borders on the unnatural, but if there's anyone in the sprawl of Little Lake Valley who loves it more.... (They say that places belong to people who love them the most, and by that standard Willits belongs to Jennifer Poole.)

STAGGERING out of Gribaldo's stuffed with enough calories for a week, and half of those in take-out styrofoam, Jennifer insisted on giving me a hurry-up tour of her town, as if I'd never been in Willits before.


DRIVING north on 101 earlier that in the morning, a thick tule fog obscured the road up to the ridgetops. I wanted to get onto the Willits Bypass before fog burned off to see if the Bypass is likely to be as hazardous in all kinds of inclement weather as I've heard it is likely to be.


FROM GRIBALDO'S, the gourmand drove back south out of Willits to get on the Bypass. To get on or off Highway 20 to and from Fort Bragg you've also got to drive half-way through Willits, but Fort Bragg was never a consideration in Bypass planning.

IT WAS OBVIOUS, though, that lots of through traffic in Willits itself on Tuesday had been diverted onto the Bypass. Traffic was light, so light, as Jennifer pointed out, it was easy to get all the way across Willits' main drag which, of course, doubles as Highway 101. That harrowing journey was seldom possible in Willits, pre-Bypass.

TRUTH TO TELL, I like the Bypass. (Please don't tell the Crone's Marching Society I said that.) I liked it so much I wished I could have sailed on it all the way to Covelo, and maybe on up the Mina Road to Alderpoint, a trip that always takes me back to the beginnings of Mendocino County's catastrophic history with Judge Hastings' murders in the Eden Valley, through a geography as blood-drenched as any in the United States.

BUT. Even though the tule fog had lifted by the time I pulled onto the Bypass at its southern end, when I reached the 1.1. mile-long viaduct stretch in the middle of the Bypass, it was clear that Caltrans has created a mile-long blood alley. There's a token margin on the viaduct but it's too narrow to accommodate most vehicles. To test it, I pulled over in the Silver Bullet (my Honda Civic) and it squeezed out of the northbound lane with maybe an inch to spare. A large vehicle won't be able to safely get out of either the south or northbound lanes. And there's no road divider. If the fog hadn't lifted, it would have been white knucks on that stretch. Even on a clear day, there are going to be some truly terrible head-ons on the viaduct. And a second disaster trying to get emergency vehicles to the vics.

WILLITS being franchised to the max, it seems to me a lot of businesses dependent on through traffic won't survive. Nor will any number of small businesses. Unlike Cloverdale, whose bypass coincided with a Del Webb development and new subdivisions at its south end, Cloverdale's town center remained small and coherent even during its traffic deluges. Willits has been strung out for miles since the Korean War.

INFLATED HYPE of the week from Willits city councilman Ron Ornstein as Willits debates whether or not to become Dope Town, USA: "A typical indoor grow would result in annual revenue of about $800 per square foot—that equals more than $17 million. So we're talking about some serious money here."

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On 11-07-2016 The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received information that four subjects were inside a red Toyota vehicle inhaling nitrous oxide from a container while parked in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah, California. It was also reported two females were seen getting out of the vehicle and going into different hotel rooms for a short period of time and per the reporting person believed there to be a situation of human trafficking. Sheriff's Deputies responded to the location and observed the vehicle pulling out of the hotel parking lot. Deputies noticed the driver of the vehicle to be Edward Esquivel, 31, of Willits, who was known to have a suspended driver’s license. The Deputies notice the vehicle was also occupied by one female passenger, later determined to be a juvenile. Esquivel pulled out into oncoming traffic forcing cars to stop and he drove into the Shell gas station across the street where a traffic stop was conducted. A Deputy approached the vehicle on foot observing numerous nitrous oxide canisters between the seat and a machete laying in the back seat area. Esquivel immediately became uncooperative and for officer safety reasons he was told to exit the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle a pat search of his clothing was conducted and when the Deputy was searching Esquivel's waist area he pulled back. Esquivel became combative when other Deputies arrived and a struggle ensued resulting in Deputies and Esquivel all falling to the ground. Esquivel was able to stand and tried to run away. At this time one of the Deputies deployed his Taser and Esquivel was incapacitated until other Deputies were able to handcuff him without further violence. Esquivel continued to be uncooperative and later during the course of this investigation it was found he was under the influence of a controlled substance. A search revealed Esquivel had placed a handgun down his pants as he was being pulled over at the gas station. The handgun was found to be loaded at the time of his arrest. It was also determined Esquivel was a felon and was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition All of the Deputies involved in the struggle with Esquivel sustained minor injuries. Officers with Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Mendocino County Probation Department arrived to assist the Sheriff's Office. The female juvenile who was in the vehicle was arrested by juvenile probation on unrelated charges. Esquivel was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Under the influence and in possession of weapon; Felon with a firearm; Possession of ammo by prohibited person; Carry a concealed firearm-vehicle driver; Loaded firearm in public; and Battery against a Peace Officer where he was to be held in lieu of $95,000 bail.

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LITTLE DOG WONDERS, "Does this Trumpet guy like dogs? I've never seen him with one."


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Dear Editor

In Jeff Costello's recent "Breaking News," he wrote, quoting Fran Liebowitz, "There are two kinds if people. Those who think there is such a thing as enough money, (sic) and people with money." I don't get it; this doesn't make sense from here. If it was said that there are those who think there is NO such thing as enough money and etc. etc., that would make sense to me. Could the writers for this fine publication explain this to me? Or perhaps a word from Mr. Costello? Fran herself?

Peter Lit, Elk

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Jeff Costello replies:

RE Peter Lit's comment: Fran Liebowitz was suggesting, or stating, that people with money never think they have enough, whereas those without money imagine there could easily be enough if only they could get some. Anyone realistically could live very well with a million dollars for instance, and not have to work if they didn't want to. This raises questions about human nature, acquisitiveness and greed, and that I think was Liebowitz's point. The obesity epidemic is similar. Some people in this country think they get enough to eat, and apparently some don't.

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ATTENTION! Before we proceed witih the rest of the news, the AVA requests that you rise, face Boonville, (salute optional), and silently thank Major Mark Scaramella, USAF (ret), and PFC Bruce Anderson, USMC and USMCR, and Bruce McEwen USMC, for their service, a combined total of over 20 years. Thank you.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 11, 2016

Butler, Campos, Delacruz
Butler, Campos, Delacruz

JOSELPH BUTLER, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

GABRIEL CAMPOS, Ukiah. Second degree robbery, dirk-dagger.

VICTORIA DELACRUZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Gonzalez, Hundley, Jones
Gonzalez, Hundley, Jones

SERGIO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

JARED HUNDLEY, Willits. Paraphernalia.

RAYMOND JONES, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, failure to appear.

Jones, Lopez-Nottingham, Petersen
Jones, Lopez-Nottingham, Petersen

SHERRIE JONES, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ALONA LOPEZ-NOTTINGHAM, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JOSHUA PETERSEN, Fort Bragg. False ID.

Pocza, Robinson, Villa
Pocza, Robinson, Villa

JOHN POCZA, Willits. Vandalism.

CHARLES ROBINSON, Carpenteria/Ukiah. Under influence, vandalism, resisting.

JUAN VILLA, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

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CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN: ‘Appalling’ display of confederate flats at Veterans Day parade.

The Confederate flags carried by three men Friday were a striking exception to an otherwise All-American display.

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Letter to the Editor:

Many of us are reeling at the results of the national election. But whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, there are fundamental questions about the fairness and integrity of our election process.

First, while Donald Trump swept the electoral college, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The electoral college is a relic of two centuries ago. It gives a handful of swing states all decision-making power, while voters in over 40 states are essentially ignored. One person, one EQUAL vote!

Second, every American must be able to vote: restore the Voting Rights Act. We should also have national standards, for example that (a) all ballots have an auditable trail; (b) any voters purged from the rolls be informed in advance; (c) adequate voting places proportional to population exist in each area; (d) no onerous ID requirements nor intimidation of voters; (e) all ‘returning citizens’ – those who served their time for felonies or misdemeanors – regain the right to vote; and (f) oversight to eliminate gerrymandering of districts.

Third, we must eliminate the ‘super-delegate’ system and reduce the monopoly of the two major parties on the debates. Ideally we should institute ranked choice (or instant run-off) voting, so voting your conscience is no longer a ‘spoiler’ vote.

Fourth, reverse the Citizens United decision that corporations are considered ‘people’ and unlimited campaign donations are considered ‘free speech.’ Require that ALL significant funds (say over $300) influencing elections be public record.

Fifth, reduce the election season from over a year to something like four or five months (including all the primaries). Enough is enough!

The ideals of our representative democracy need a major tune-up, and it has to come from we-the-people!


Madge Strong


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by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

The bubonic plague was a pandemic that devastated Europe in the 14th century. Fleas from the rats on ships returning from The Silk Road brought it back from the East. The spread of the bacteria Yersinia pestis was caused by the bites of these fleas, which lived in the seams of the fabrics: they did not make a distinction among the mink coats of princes, the worsted wool of peasants, priestly vestments, or the rags of beggars.

The pandemic wiped out half of the population of Europe. The whip of the flagellants accompanied by the Song of Sybil was the proposal of the Church to placate the divine wrath that revealed itself among the lymph nodes of the groin, the neck, and the armpits inflamed in the form of buboes, and after a period of fever and delirium, ended with black vomiting.

Some historians believe that the bubonic plague put an end to feudalism and led to The Renaissance because the extensive death toll produced an abundance of meat for the survivors. In any case, it appears that that bacterium, in different forms, has continued to mutate since then with the help of new rats, new fleas registered not necessarily in medicine, but rather in culture, politics, and morality.

The bacteria of the plague arrived in the midst of ignorance and fanaticism, breeding grounds that survive to this day. The clothes of plague victims were thrown into the flames; later heretics and scientists replaced the clothes in bonfires. The black vomiting was not very different from the barking of Hitler and other politicians on the rostrums, but today the fleas of the black plague have found refuge in the seams of the Internet, the links of which conflate a planetary imbecility with the fever and delirium of the majority of its users and continue to fill cyberspace with vomit.

New rats continue to arrive from the new Silk Road.

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

White light, white light goin’ messin’ up my mind
White light, and don’t you know its gonna make me go blind
White heat, aww white heat it tickle me down to my toes
White light, ooo have mercy white light have it goodness knows
— Lou Reed, “White Light, White Heat

Was Hillary Clinton felled by a “whitelash” at the polls? Did a stealth surge of angry white voters fueled by an incendiary racial animus fool pollsters (not to mention Robby Mook, who ran 400,000 simulations of the election) and overwhelm Clinton’s identity politics coalition on election day?

This Whitelash Theory is rapidly becoming the conventional wisdom in Democratic Party circles to rationalize Clinton’s shocking defeat. But is it true?

There’s no doubt Clinton lost the white vote. Lost it big: 58-27. She was even trounced by Trump with white women voters by a stunning 53 to 43% margin. Think about that for a moment. More than half of the white women who bothered to vote preferred a serial sexual predator to Hillary Clinton. (Hillary won the total women’s vote 54 to 42 percent. But that’s one percent less than the 55% Obama got in 2012!)

But did whites vote in such large margins for Trump because they feared blacks, Muslims and Hispanics? Some of them, surely. America is a racist country, has been and will be. But is it any more racist now than it was four years ago, when the Tea Party and what we now call the Alt Right feverishly tried to take down Barack Obama?

There’s no evidence to show that it is and plenty of data to suggest that it is not. For one thing, the voting age population is more diverse now than it was four years ago. This should have been a decisive advantage for Clinton, but it wasn’t. Why?

Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers. Clinton lost the white vote by almost the exact same margin that Obama did to Romney in 2012. Holding that margin should have been a huge advantage for Clinton because, demographically speaking, the share of white voters is falling and the share of black and Hispanic voters is rising. How could she possibly lose given that dynamic?

The problem, and this should come as a shock to the Whitelash Theorists, is that Trump did 2% better with blacks than Romney did and Hillary performed 5% worse than Obama for a total spread of 7% less than the 2012 margins.

Even more startling, given Trump’s vile Mexican-bashing, is that Trump won a higher percent of Hispanic votes (29%) than Romney (27%) and Hillary won a much smaller share of Hispanic votes (65%) than Obama (71%) for a total decline of 8% from 2012.

Even so, Hillary should have won the election. Why? Because Trump got 1.5 million fewer votes than Romney. There was no great white surge.

The fatal problem is that Hillary got 5.4 million fewer votes than Obama, many of those black and Hispanic voters, and lost 6 states that Obama won twice: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio. That’s pretty conclusive evidence that Hillary didn’t lose because of racism.

I think Hillary lost because she was on the wrong side of the class war. From the beginning of their political careers, the Clintons have been on the side of the one-percent against the rest of us, regardless of gender or skin color. Her allegiance to Wall Street finally blew up in her face.

But you could also fairly conclude that Hillary was taken down by a blacklash. Black Americans likely did not forget (and how could they?) Hillary’s support for the racist death penalty, the racist war on drugs, the racist crime bill, the racially-motivated welfare reform bill, and global wars against brown and black people across the globe. When someone refers to your son or grandson as a “super-predator” and never speaks an authentic apology, you’re unlikely to trust that person to run the country.

Blacks didn’t vote against Hillary the way so many Hispanics did, who were certainly mindful of Clinton and Obama’s merciless policy of mass deportation. Instead, most eligible black voters simply stayed home and in a kind of elegant negation exacted a stealthy retribution for two decades of political brutality, scapegoating and betrayal.

You Can’t Go Home Again

In 2000, Al Gore famously got blown out in his home state of Tennessee and then tried to blame Nader for costing him the election. This year Hillary got whacked 60-33 in Arkansas, and will no doubt blame the firm of Putin, Assange and Stein for her humiliation. You can’t go home again; they know you too well.

Crash of the Cash-Machine Politicos

HRC didn’t need the entire Obama coalition to win this election. She could have easily defeated Trump by simply holding the Kerry coalition of 2004, which won Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump got 3 million fewer votes than George W. Bush in 2004, when Bush’s popularity was at its nadir. But Clinton’s cash-machine politicos couldn’t even get out that old centrist-liberal Democratic to vote for her.

If the Clintons had any brains they would have hired some people to run the campaign who knew how to win elections without cheating…

Invitation to a Rigging

Though she did everything she could to lose the election, HRC still ended up winning the popular vote nationwide by more than 200,000 votes (a little less than Gore, but still a clear cut win). If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the election, his people would be out on the streets with their blunderbusses, pitchforks and muskets, squealing rightly that the election was rigged and demanding the abolition of the electoral college, an anti-democratic artifact designed to protect the slave-owning states. Barely a peep about this from the Democrats. Why? Because they serve other masters, the political plantation owners on Wall Street and K Street.

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Alexander Cockburn thought that the Obama Phenomenon was over before it even began, the moment when the freshly-elected senator picked Joe Lieberman to be his senatorial mentor. I was willing to give him more time. (Silly me.) For me it ended the moment he tapped Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. Obama made his bones on one issue: opposition to the Iraq war and brought on board to run his foreign policy one of the war’s chief cheerleaders. Then he let the Clinton team run the DNC, insuring that they’d back Clintonian neoliberals for every open House and Senate seat for the next 8 years. So now Obama’s legacy, what there is of it, is about to be wiped out because of the failures of the hawk he invited into his own house. Call it justice or call it karma, but it was just bound to happen.

The Confidence Man

According to the Canadian press, the US ambassador to Canada has stated that Obama will push for the TPP to be passed before Trump takes power. (And you thought Obama might use his remaining days to destroy the nuclear launch codes, turn the state of Idaho into a National Monument, pardon Leonard Peltier or something?)

Drowning in a Sea of Love

Almost every Democratic candidate who clung to Hillary’s coattails – even poor Russ Feingold, once the most honorable man in the senate – went down with her, not realizing, I guess, that like Virginia Woolf wading into the River Ouse, there were stones in that coat’s pockets…

The Great Awakening

Protests breaking out coast-to-coast. Great. I support them all. Also so fucking predictable. Now that a Republican has been elected it’s safe to get back out on streets. Where were they when Hillary and Obama destroyed Libya? Or launched wars on 7 other countries?

The Shadowboxers

No doubt your in-box, like mine, has been flooded in the last 24 hours with desperate pleas for money from the Dem NGOs all claiming that they will put your money to use on the frontline of their war against Trump. Really? Why give any of them a dime? They’ve been silent for the last 8 years. Worse, they’ve given cover to every transgression made by Hillary, from the war on Libya to the TPP to groveling before Wall Street to promoting fracking around the world to sabotaging the Sanders campaign. Why would we trust any of them to fight Trump? Fight anyone?

My friend Chris Zinda, a no compromise environmentalist, calls them the “failed collaborators.” That’s exactly right. The emphasis is on the failure. If you’re going to collaborate, you should at least win. But these groups only collaborate because they are weak and cowardly and on the dole. So there’s little chance of them ever really winning, even by selling out.

Give Peace, I Mean Hitler, a Chance

If the Clinton camp really thinks Trump is “our Hitler,” a theme they pushed for months, why would Hillary in her brittle concession speech now encourage the country to “give him a chance to lead?” This is the kind of two-faced bullshit people saw right through…They did attend Trump’s wedding, after all. Not even Neville Chamberlain or Joe Stalin went out on the town for Schnapps and strudel with Adolf and Eva, did they?

Nicholas Kristof (or his Bot) took time out from researching the conditions of brothels of Kuala Lumpur to dictate a column in the New York Times advising his liberal readers to take a deep breath, follow Hillary’s lead and give Trump a chance. Reading Kristof is a uniquely painful experience, like getting a colonoscopy while having a root canal.

Truth or Dare Politics

Elizabeth Warren, who repeatedly called Trump a threat to democracy, is now willing to work with Trump for sake of “democracy.” Did you really want her as Veep? Suddenly, it’s all about preserving the integrity of the System, as if the System had any integrity at all…

Thought Crimes

I love this little prose poem, Episodes in Recent American History, on how we came to this point by Jeremy Pikser. I’m glad he’s a friend. I’m glad he’s a CounterPuncher. He restores my faith in screenwriters (Reds, Bulworth et al). If he’d been writing in the forties and fifties he’d probably be bound to a chair next to Dalton Trumbo and Abraham Polonsky before HUAC. He may well be bound to a chair before Mike Lee’s Senate Select Committee on Thought Crimes six months from now….

Dept. of Silver Linings

Someone with the SF Greens just reported that: “All the celebrities moving to other countries should help lower Bay Area housing prices.”

Don’t Cry for Me, Kunduz

Edward Snowden has been sending around this gripping photo of weepy Obama staffers overcome at the prospect of Trump’s visit to the White House. Oddly, they never shed tears when of their drones bombed a Yemeni wedding party or their jets blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital.

Consolation Prize

HRC won the Wall Street precincts of Manhattan by 23 percentage points (about 90,000 votes) more than Obama in 2012. She’s got to feel good about that result.

On the other hand, less than 48 hours after the humiliating defeat of the Goldman Girl, the Dow Jones soared to record highs. There’s no loyalty on Wall Street. The houses of finance turned their backs on Clinton sans regrets and embraced the protectionist Trump. The party never stops…

Arizona, Why Didn’t You Go My Way?

The Democrats thought Hillary had a good chance to win Arizona. In the end, Trump beat her by more than 4 percentage points. However, Arizona is becoming more progressive on economic issues at least. Voters approved a hike in the minimum wage in the state by a 17 point margin, 21 percent more than Hillary’s vote total. Nobody bought her faux economic populism. No Ralph Lauren pantsuit could disguise the shape of her neoliberalism.

On Wisconsin

As far as I can tell from her schedule, Hillary didn’t make one visit to Wisconsin since April. She sent Tim Kaine instead, which was like sending a Tsetse Fly to spread sleeping sickness among the faithful. Lost by 1. Who to blame? Jill Stein or Putin?

Losing Michigan

On the vast victory stage at the glass-ceilinged Javitz Center, Hillary’s advance team made a map of the United States. It included Hawai’i and Alaska. Just one state missing: Michigan.


Deep Throat

Madonna promised oral sex for every man who would vote for Clinton. 29.5 million blow jobs in vain. Somewhere Monica Lewinsky is laughing.

Still One Thing to Do

Into my inbox has landed Hillary’s supplicant Michael Moore’s “post-election to-do list.” I stopped reading when item one on his list wasn’t “commit seppuku.” Of course, in Moore’s case I realize this might have required a sword as large as the one swung by Toshiro Mifune in The Seven Samurai.

The Short Happy Life of Paul Krugman

Paul (“Jill Stein cost HRC the election”) Krugman wasn’t good at math. That’s why he became an economist. He wasn’t good at logic either. That’s why he became a New York Times columnist.

The end.

Drill Me Baby One More Time

Sarah Palin is being mentioned as one of seven potential candidates to become the secretary of the Interior. James Watt with an Up-Do? (Palin’s the least worst of the contenders.)

No word yet on whether Joe the Plumber is on Trump’s shortlist for Sec. of Housing and Urban Development.

What is to be Done?

One of the juiciest results of the election is the state of operational crisis now confronting Alex Jones and InfoWars. How to lambaste the Jackboot State when your guy is now running the Jackboot State?

The Great Retreat

Three days after becoming President-elect, Trump gives an interview to the Wall Street Journal saying that there are portions of ObamaCare that he “likes very much” and that he is open to amending the law.

You didn’t really think Trump was going to abolish ObamaCare, did you? The Heritage Foundation wrote the law. If he abolished it, insurance company CEO would be taking to the streets…

By next week, the Wall may be transformed into a high-speed tunnel financed by Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.

Plan B

Don’t think things could get worse than Tuesday night? The Democrat’s Plan B: Chuck Schumer for minority leader. Keep this up and they’ll lose another 5 senate seats in two years.

I See No Evil

Big Pharma lobbyist and talking nitwit, Dr. Howard Dean is suddenly the leading candidate to head the DNC. He’s the perfect person to lead a party in need of permanent sedation. They could hold first post-election meeting in Oregon, the right to die state.

The Return of Lassie?

Bernie Sanders says he won’t rule out a 2020 campaign. Sheep have four years to run wild before the next big round up.

Goya and the Darkness


How prescient was Goya in his Caprichos? Here we have the Democrats’ animistic representation, the Donkey, feeding off the soul of its poor, unconscious adherent, who the Party abandoned to the darkness, as its leaders enriched themselves at the Golden Trough, while shadowy figures surveilled their every move…

Death of a Ladies’ Man

I first saw Leonard Cohen perform in the mid-70s at the beautiful old Murat Shrine Hall in Indianapolis. I went with my friend Charles the Potter, who was known to spend an entire weekend moulding clay pots while listening to Songs From a Room, over and over again, on an ancient reel-to-reel tape machine. The tickets cost $7.50. I still have the stub in a box somewhere. The last time Cohen toured the Pacific Northwest the cheapest seats in Seattle I could find were $250, far beyond my ability or willingness to pay.

Cohen was a leading member of that mercurial tribe: the singer/songwriter. The songs were better than the voice, but somehow they fit inextricably together. Unlike Dylan, no one could sing a Cohen song with as much conviction as Cohen – they all sound like covers, some better than others, but none better than Cohen himself.

There were many lean years for Cohen from the 1980s to the great renaissance in 2001 with the release of 10 New Songs, which is perhaps the best work of his career. I haven’t talked to Charles in decades, but I bet he’s listening to “Bird on a Wire” and “Tonight will be Fine” today. Me? I’m going to spend the rest of this savage day listening to “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” searching for consolation during a week in which so much has been lost.

Life During Wartime

Confession: I haven’t really slept much since Monday night. This probably shows in the ragged, disjointed nature of these “notes.” The world outside remains the same, even though we are told it has seismically changed. Tell that to the Lakota, in their camps on the cold wind-swept high plains of North Dakota, awaiting another barbarous confrontation with the armored goons of petro-capital. Same as it was, same as it ever was, same as it ever, ever was

Sound Grammar

What I’m listening to this week.

Bill Evans: Some Other Time: Lost Sessions From the Black Forest

Lou Reed: Live in Italy

Alejandro Escovado: Burn Something Beautiful

Wes Montgomery: Echoes of Indiana Avenue

The Lafayette Afro Rock Band vs. Ice: Afro Funk Explosion!

Booked Up

What I’m reading this week.

Alain Badiou: Cinema

Stephen Romer (Ed.): French Decadent Tales

Andrea Wulf: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

Long Time Dying

Alain Badiou: “The oppressed peoples of the earth are not objects for the exquisite turmoil of European consciences. They are subjects from which to learn how to exercise political intelligence and action. Obviously, colonial arrogance is a long time dying.”

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

* * *


To your readers,

Donald Trump is the inevitable product of a closed, corrupt political system. Had he not emerged in 2016, a Trump-like figure would eventually have come to power in 2020, 2024, or 2028. Last week's election was just a formal conclusion to the process. Trump actually became the President-elect months earlier when the DNC decided to take the long view that protecting the interests of their paying clients was more imperative than denying Trump the White House for the coming term. Just in case Sanders really meant the things that he was saying (as it turned out, he did not,) they couldn't allow him access to the use of the Party's organization and resources. The perception that an authentic voice of reform was emerging within the Democratic party would have jeopardized the hard won cozy relationships the party had cultivated with powerful financial institutions, oil industry executives, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and defense contractors over the last forty years after being shown the way forward by the Reagan GOP.

The good news is that your worst nightmares about a Trump presidency most likely won't come to pass. It's true that with the support of a Republican congress, substantial damage will be done to some of the progressive achievements of the 60's and 70's. But any element of his imagined agenda deemed to be eccentric or deranged enough to disrupt the status quo will be denied him, simply because a status quo advantageous to the interests of capital and ratified by the people is the sole reason for the maintenance of a closed, corrupt political system. And voting as we do, 94 to 96% to sustain the closed system, election after election after election, we send a clear message to the oligarchs that we're perfectly content to endure any regime they choose to install for us, just as long as it doesn't interrupt the flow of our Mountain Dew, Cheetos, and cable television. Or, in the case of those of us who fashion ourselves Liberals, our wine, cheese, and twitter-feed.

The other news is that, systemic corruption and our tacit consent notwithstanding, the status quo won't last forever. James Kunstler is correct in pointing out that a finite store of resources exploited by the unrestrained consumption and growth demanded by capitalism can no longer be rationally viewed as a viable path forward. And once we've relinquished our voice in the matter to the unyielding dictates of a diminishing resource supply overdrawn by recklessly manufactured demand, the steps we take backward, over which we will no longer exercise any control, will be much more precipitous and painful than need have been. But that's the maddening paradox of democracy — in the hands of a well-informed and rigorously intellectual citizenry with a collective sense of the long term value of shared interests, it might actually have worked. Pinot and brie, anyone?

Michael DeLang

Coal Creek Canyon, CO

* * *


* * *


I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers.

As much as I’d like to do these things, I won’t. Why?

Because I know you, perhaps better than you even dare to know yourself. I know you well because I have watched you with great and detailed care over the last three decades and have learned, sadly, that you are as much if not more about image and self-regard as any of the laudable values you claim to represent.

I have watched as you accommodated yourself to most of the retrograde social forces you claim to abhor. I have seen you be almost completely silent before the world’s greatest evil, unprovoked war, going so far as to embrace as your presidential candidate this year a person who cold-bloodedly carried out the complete destruction of Libya, a real country with real people who love their children like you and me, in order — as the Podesta emails make clear — to further her personal political ambitions.

I watched as you stood silent before this same person’s perverse on-camera celebration of the murder by way of a bayonet thrust to the anus of the leader of that once sovereign country, and before the tens of thousand of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of refugees, that war provoked.

I watched during the last eight years as you sought refuge in the evanescent qualities of skin color and smooth speechmaking so as to not to confront the fact that your "liberal" president was almost totally lacking in actionable convictions regarding the values you claim to be about.

I watched as you didn’t say a peep as he bailed out bankers, pursued whistleblowers and deported desperate and downtrodden immigrants in heretofore unimaginable numbers.

And I didn’t hear the slightest complaint (unlike those supposedly stupid and primitive libertarians) as he arrogated to himself the right to kill American citizens in cold blood as he and he alone deemed fit.

I monitored you as you not only completely normalized Israel’s methodical erasure of the Palestinian people and their culture, but made cheering enthusiastically for this campaign of savagery the ultimate litmus test for social and political respectability within your ranks.

I watched as you breezily dispatched the memories of the millions of innocent people destroyed by U.S. military aggression around the world and damaged police brutality here at home in order to slavishly imitate the unceasing orgy of uniform worship set in motion by the right and its media auxiliaries in the wake of September 11th, 2001.

In short, since 1992, I have watched as you have transformed a current of social thought once rooted in that most basic an necessary human sentiment — empathy — into a badge of cultural and educational superiority. And because feeling good about yourself was much more important to you than actually helping the afflicted, you signed off, in greater or lesser measure to almost all of the life-sapping and dignity-robbing measures of the authoritarian right.

And now you want me to share in your sense of shock and incredulity?

No, thanks, I’ll save my tears for all of the people, ideas and programs you heedlessly abandoned along the road to this day.

— Thomas S. Harrington

(Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently published book, Livin' la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.)

* * *


by Bill McKibben

Dear Friends

So, the question everyone's asking me this week is: What now?

I don't have a great answer--the Trump saga will play out over time, and we'll be learning how to resist as we go along. But resist we will.

I do know that the election last Tuesday made this Tuesday's demonstrations in support of Standing Rock even more important. We'll be gathering in nearly two hundred cities to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Obama administration, do their jobs and reject the Dakota Access pipeline's final permit.

[1] Will you join me on Nov 15th and take action to stop Dakota Access? Sign up for an action today--and if there isn't one on the map already, you can organize one where you live.

We don't know if we can make President Obama act--so far he's been noncommittal and vague. And we don't know if Trump would simply overturn his actions if he took them. But we do know that now more than ever we have to stand by our allies, and make our battles loud and public.

The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance--to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred.

Solidarity with Indigenous leadership--in Standing Rock and beyond--is more important today, not less. The original inhabitants of this continent have been pepper-sprayed and shot with rubber bullets, maced and attacked by guard dogs, all for peacefully standing up for their sovereign rights, and for the world around us. If we can't rally in support of them--well, that would be shameful.

[2] Join me and thousands of others on the streets to show solidarity with Standing Rock on Nov 15th.

I wish I had some magic words to make the gobsmacked feeling go away. But I can tell you from experience that taking action, joining with others to protest, heals some of the sting.

And throughout history, movements like ours have been the ones to create lasting change--not a single individual or president. That's the work we'll get back to, together.

See you on Tuesday!

Bill McKibben for

P.S. You can also join me--and other movement leaders from social, racial and economic justice movements--for a strategy discussion today at 7pm EST to chart out the broader fight ahead.

* * *

BOOK LAUNCH — The Sweet Life: Cherry Stories from Butler Ranch

When: Saturday, December 3, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Mendocino Book Company, 102 S. School St. Ukiah

Information: 707. 272.8305 or Mendocino Book Company 707.468.5940

On Saturday December 3 at 2:00 p.m., Mendocino Book Company will host the launch for “The Sweet Life: Cherry Stories from Butler Ranch.” Storytellers featured in the book will read and share experiences of George and Ella and their u-pick cherry ranch on Boonville-Ukiah Road. Audience members will be invited to recount their favorite memories of this unique and wonderful Mendocino County place. Cherry pie and other earthly delights will be served. For further information, email, call Landcestry at 707.272.8305, or contact the bookstore at 707.468.5940.

* * *


Hi everyone,

Notes from our last Broadband Alliance meeting are attached. They are also always posted on our website as well.

At the November 1st Board of Supervisor's meeting, AT&T made a presentation about their plans for using federal Connect America Funding for Mendocino County. They plan to deploy Fixed Wireless to provide broadband at speeds of 10 down and 1 up at 22 locations throughout the county in the next four years. To learn more about these plans, you can watch the video of the presentation (it starts at 1:27) at

Thanks, and everyone have a great weekend and remember our veterans today.

Trish Steel

* * *


by Dan Bacher

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the 2016 presidential election and the transition to the new Trump administration in the wake of one of the nastiest, most vitriolic and most bizarre presidential elections in U.S. history.

He said his administration would do its part “to find common ground whenever possible” while “protecting the precious rights of our people” and confronting “devastating climate change.

Brown stated, “Today we saw the beginning of the transfer of power to the President-elect.

While the prerogatives of victory are clear, so also are the responsibilities to ensure a strong and unified America. As President Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ With the deep divisions in our country, it is incumbent on all of us – especially the new leadership in Washington – to take steps that heal those divisions, not deepen them. In California, we will do our part to find common ground whenever possible.

But as Californians, we will also stay true to our basic principles. We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time – devastating climate change.


While I strongly support his call to protect people’s rights and to confront climate change, I fear that these are hollow words and he may in fact make a deal with incoming President Trump to support his “legacy project,” the environmentally destructive Delta Tunnels plan, the construction of new dams and the expansion of fracking in California.

While Brown poses as a “climate leader” and “environmentalist” at climate conferences, he is heavily backed by agribusiness billionaires and the oil companies — the same corporate interests that have funded Brown’s reelection and proposition campaigns, including Proposition 1 in 2014. These are the same corporate interests that Trump and his transition team represent.

I fear that the “common ground” that the Brown administration will find with the Trump administration will be on tunnels, new dams and fracking. We must stop Brown from working with Trump to weaken landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act in order to fast-track the completion of the California Water Fix before he leaves office.

Trump's “rumored cabinet wishlist” includes Sarah "Drill, baby, Drill" Palin as Secretary of the Interior; anti-EPA Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller as Secretary of Agriculture; and fracking billionaire Harold Hamm as Energy Secretary, according to Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

Trump hasn't taken a specific position on the Delta Tunnels, but his comments to date on California water have shown a strong embrace of the campaign by corporate agribusiness interests to pump more water from the Delta at the expense of Delta smelt and salmon populations. At a rally at the Selland Arena in Fresno on May 27, 2016, he appeared to agree with the claims of some growers that there is no drought in California.

“When I just left, 50 or 60 farmers in the back and they can’t get water. And I say, ‘How tough is it; how bad is the drought?’ 'There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean.’ And I said I’ve been hearing it and I spent a half an hour with them it’s hard to believe.” (

He also claimed that the subsidized water that growers should have received was washed out to sea in an effort to protect “a certain kind of 3-inch fish," referring to the Delta smelt .

“Believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” said Trump.

Alex Breitler, Stockton Record reporter, pointed out, “’Opening up the water’ implies increasing the volume of water exported south from the Delta, exports that are blamed in part for the long-term decline of the fragile river estuary west of Stockton. The Delta ecosystem suffers from a kind of perpetual drought because more than half of its fresh water historically has been diverted for human use.” (

Politico also reported Wednesday that David Bernhardt, a lawyer who co- chaired the natural resources department at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and served as a George W. Bush Interior Department official, is leading the transition's Interior Department team.

According to Congressional disclosures, his current lobbying clients include the Westlands Water District, considered the Darth Vader of California politics by Tribes, fishermen and environmentalists, and one of the biggest proponents of exporting more Delta water. Bernhart represented the Westlands Water District on litigation involving the Delta and the Endangered Species Act. (

Big Ag’s Nunes appointed to Trump transition team!

It gets worse. Today Representative Devin Nunes (CA-22), one of the most aggressive Congressional proponents of increasing Delta water exports to agribusiness, joined the executive committee of Donald Trump’s transition team.

“Today I was honored to have been named to the executive committee of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team,” said Nunes in a statement. “In this role, I will advise President-elect Trump on the appointments of his Cabinet members and on appointments to other top positions in the new administration. I look forward to helping to assemble an energetic and forward-looking team that will capably lead our country toward more economic growth, greater opportunity, and a safer homeland for all Americans.”

Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels/California Water Fix plan poses a huge threat to the ecosystems of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Klamath and Trinity river systems. The project is based on the untenable premise that taking more water out of a river before it reaches the estuary will somehow “restore” the San Francisco Bay Delta and its precious fish and wildlife species.

This project, featuring two massive 35 mile long tunnels under the Delta, will make the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, San Francisco Bay and our ocean waters into a giant aquatic graveyard. We must drive a stake into the heart of this project and stop it from pushing Delta and longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter- run Chinook salmon, green sturgeon and other fish and wildlife species into extinction — and prevent Brown and his administration from making any deals with the Trump that will weaken landmark environmental laws to push forward the tunnels, as well as new dams and fracking.

Background: Brown’s real environmental legacy exposed

While Jerry Brown often receives fawning coverage from the mainstream media when he appears at climate conferences in California and across the globe, his policies on fish, wildlife, water and the environment are among the most destructive of any governor in recent California history.

The California WaterFix is not the only environmentally devastating policy promoted by Governor Brown. Brown is promoting the expansion of fracking and extreme oil extraction methods in California and is overseeing water policies that are driving winter run-Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other species closer and closer to extinction.

As if those examples of Brown’s tainted environmental legacy weren’t bad enough, Brown has promoted carbon trading and REDD policies that pose an enormous threat to Indigenous Peoples around the globe; has done nothing to stop clearcutting of forests by Sierra-Pacific and other timber companies; presided over record water exports from the Delta in 2011; and oversaw massive fish kills of Sacramento splittail and other species in 2011.

Jerry Brown also oversaw the “completion” of so-called “marine protected areas” under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, overseen by a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate interests, in December 2012. These faux “Yosemites of the Sea” fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, pollution, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Brown spouts “green” rhetoric when he flies off to climate conferences and issues proclamations about John Muir Day and Earth Day, but his actions and policies regarding fish, water and the environment should be challenged by all of those who care about the future of California and the West Coast.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in September opened an investigation into the California Democratic Party in response to a report by a prominent consumer group, Consumer Watchdog, claiming that the party acted as a “laundry machine” to funnel donations from oil, energy and utility companies to Brown’s 2014 election campaign.

The report, “Brown's Dirty Hands, tabulated donations totaling $9.8 million dollars to Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor from 26 energy companies with business before the state. The companies included the state’s three major investor-owned utilities, as well as Occidental, Chevron, and NRG.

The report alleges that energy companies donated $4.4 million to the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party gave $4.7 million to Brown’s re-election between 2011 and 2014. Consumer Watchdog submitted its report to the FPPC as a sworn complaint.

To read Brown’s Dirty Hands, go here:

* * *


Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around. This is more than a great idea! Please read to the end.

The Way It Is Now

Salary of retired US Presidents $180,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of retired House/Senate members $174,000 FOR LIFE This is stupid

Salary of retired Speaker of the House $223,500 FOR LIFE This is really stupid

Salary of retired Majority / Minority Leaders $193,400 FOR LIFE Ditto last line

Average Salary of a teacher $40,065

Average Salary of a deployed Soldier $38,000

I think we found where the cuts should be made!

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: "I could end the deficit in five minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election".

The 26th Amendment ( granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds ) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 — before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven ( 7 ) took one ( 1 ) year or less to become the law of the land — all because of public pressure. Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.


Congressional Reform Act of 2017

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.
  2. Congress ( past, present, & future ) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
  3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
  4. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

  1. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  2. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

We must support this — pass it on and let's see if these idiots understand what people pressure is all about. If each person contacts a minimum of twenty (20) people, then it will only take three days for most people ( in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Don't you think it's time? If you agree, pass it on. If not, delete.



  1. LouisBedrock November 12, 2016

    Why Trump Won–one of several dozen reasons: Obama Care

    After previous administrations failed to privatize health care in the US, Obama succeeded with the Affordable Care Act—aka ‘Obamacare’. At a cost of nearly $1 trillion a year, covering less than 15 million of the former 50 million uninsured, Obamacare redistributed income to provide subsidies to those covered. In exchange the subsidized who bought Obamacare policies got super-high deductible, low coverage, health insurance. Health insurance companies in turn got tens of millions new customers guaranteed and paid for by taxpayers, and then continued to game the system for more profits.  Obamacare became less a health care system reform act than a health insurance company subsidy act.

  2. Lazarus November 12, 2016

    “INFLATED HYPE of the week from Willits city councilman Ron Ornstein as Willits debates whether or not to become Dope Town, USA: “A typical indoor grow would result in annual revenue of about $800 per square foot—that equals more than $17 million. So we’re talking about some serious money here.”

    The Nouveau dope… This is the same guy a year ago, who didn’t realized a significant portion of new business in the Willits is marijuana based…in some way.
    As always…
    P.S. And maybe now Trump will get the Costco built in Ukiah…

  3. George Hollister November 12, 2016

    “Per State law, we have 28 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819.”

    Incredible. The law’s minimum standard is a reason for inexcusable government dysfunction? This problem needs to be fixed before the next election, or heads should roll. Thirty years ago we functioned well and better with the same county population, and antiquated technology.

    • Eric Sunswheat November 12, 2016

      County elections ballot counting appears to be an extra help jobs program for a few selected individuals, employed in a months long procedure. In the past the funds were spread more thinly among a larger pool of volunteer stipend poll workers. The exact difference in costs may not have been quantified, nor buried, in the freshly inked pages of the AVA.

  4. Harvey Reading November 12, 2016

    Really good selection of articles and letter to the editor today.

  5. Jim Updegraff November 12, 2016

    Congressman Keith Ellison is one of several people being considered for chairperson of teh DNC. He would be an interesting choice since he is a Muslim.

    Just like the Wizard of Oz, Trump has no magic powers.

    Demonstrations continue in about 26 cities. They are not crybabies – a close look who they are show many African Americans, Hispanic, LGBT supporters, and women reproductive rights supporters. They are not going to go away and are making plans for a massive turnout in Washington, DC when Trump takes the oath of office.

    Turns out trump has an interest in about 500 companies and how does he avoid conflicts of interest?

  6. Rick Weddle November 12, 2016

    re: Hitting RESET on the Election apparatus…

    Just the mere appearance of so many, and such serious, irregularities and infractions fouling OUR elections processes is plenty cause enough to cancel these faux scrims. We need to back the scoundrels up a couple steps keeping their hands visible, and try again, as if we actually mean to be free and informed enough to cast our votes and count them like grown-ups used to do. Alas, appearance has been reinforced by manifest, televised chicanery by the DNC, its chair, HRC and her minions, sufficient to queer the process, and steal Bernie’s nomination from the winning combination of People. This feckless wrangling handed the ‘win’ to the Other Evil. Congratulations. If Trump had any honor anywhere on him, he’d have dropped the ‘win’ of this fake election like it was his trumpteenth bankruptcy. Do we have cause to de-certify this fraud election cycle? Damned right, we do. Do we have the Lawful Authority to do so, even with no precedent? Who else would, with ‘our’ public servants gone AWOL and worse? How would we go about such a democratic assertion? We’d have to figure that out, wouldn’t we…

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