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Stateside with Rosalea: Ssssmokin'!

Stateside with Rosalea


It was a bad election day for the Democrats in some parts of California yesterday: what with President Bush stumping around in the ashes of San Diego county's wildfires and a member of the Green Party elbowing his way into the run-off for San Francisco's mayor.

The fallout from the wildfires will continue for a long time. It's a puzzlement to me that people are allowed to build in those areas anyway, and that counties like San Diego haven't voted themselves the money to buy the equipment to deal with such an emergency. On top of that, the firefighters who are called in to help often have experience only of structure fires, which is a whole different kettle of ash to vegetation conflagration.

Speaking of which, CBS's plans to broadcast a mini-series about Ronald Reagan went up in smoke this week when folks who didn't like its alleged less-than-flattering portrayal of the former president urged advertisers not to buy time in it. This news surfaced the day after CBS broadcast its interminable 75th anniversary show. Just why television companies think an audience is interested in a bunch of people sitting around in evening dress patting themselves on the back is a mystery to me.

The show included a musical item by two performers the network sacked in 1969 for being too controversial. Still living up to their reputation, the Smothers Brothers did a lengthy joke about how researchers have discovered that people who are in positions of power wear more clothes than "average" folks. Researchers now refer to ordinary folk as Less-ons, while those in power are clearly More-ons.

So. The December run-off for mayor of San Francisco will be between Gavin Newsom - who appeared with his wife, looking very JFK and Jackie, giving a rousing talk from a podium as the results confirmed he is the front-runner - and Matt Gonzalez, who said he joined the Green Party so he could be independent of the Democratic political machine, and who always appears in a crush of people, down among them, instead of looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy as Newsom does.

The Newsoms really are relentlessly PHAT - Perfect Hair and Teeth. One iconographer of the San Francisco scene even turned up a Kimberly look-alike doll in a 99c store, as seen on this website: .

The mayoral choice for most San Francisco voters on December 9 can be characterised at this early stage as a choice between affirming either the Neiman Marcus crowd or the folks who protest outside that store because it sells fur coats.

But if the Newsom camp supposes that the Gonzalez support base is just young renters and activist progressives, I think it will be surprised at the amount of support Gonzalez will get from the people of all ages and nationalities who run small businesses in San Francisco.


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