Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John W

    Looks like Cantor is making his move by pulling the rug out from under Boehner.

    Very difficult to express my true feelings and also “keep it clean and impersonal.” We have a virtual civil war going on in this country. Too bad it isn’t divided along state boundaries so that we can each just go our merry way. However, we aren’t red and blue states. We are red and blue counties and zip codes. More like Lebanon.

    Whatever became of the Republican party? Moderate conservatives today are called RINO’s. But the real RINO’s are the Tea Party anarchists who have seized control of the GOP. They are no different than the Occupy bozos who stormed through Oakland or the UC-Berkeley tree-sitters. They don’t give a golly darn about the consequences. See, I kept it gosh darn clean!

  • Elwood

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.

    Woo hoo! Way to go guys! That’ll make everything all better! I feel so much better knowing that my government is doing such a wonderful job watching out for my interests!

  • Elwood

    Obama relishes the fiscal cliff deal:

  • John W

    Re: #2

    Yeah, I’ve seen that ridiculous 41 to 1 spin all over the blogs. But, now that the House is voting on the Senate-passed bill, I just watched Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) on CSPAN call this the biggest tax CUT in history. The Bush tax rates expired at Midnight, New Year’s Eve. The Clinton rates returned.

    This is not the “grand bargain.” It’s just a patch to stop the tax increases on all but the highest income people. It puts off the spending sequester for two months. So, that cliff remains ahead of us. We will be seeing this fight all year long, starting with the debt ceiling (we’ve reached it) and the spending sequester. It will be ugly and put everybody in a foul mood for the entire year. Not great for consumer and business confidence.

  • Elwood

    So now the CBO is guilty of a “ridiculous 41 to 1 spin”?

    I don’t think so. Get out your calculator, John. Maybe you can prove the CBO wrong.

    ” I just watched Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) on CSPAN call this the biggest tax CUT in history”

    Now THAT is some mighty fine spin for the folks back home. Members of Congress have no shame. Word all along has been that they wanted to let the tax rates rise so they could tell the folks back home that they voted to cut them. What a crock!

  • John W

    David Camp is pretty “hard core” on the conservative side. King Grover also was on CNN tonight saying it was okay for Repubs to vote for the bill.

    The 41 to 1 is ridiculous. Yes, it is factual, but out of context. This patch is designed specifically to keep us from the tax portion of the cliff and to take care of things like the doc fix, the AMT and extension of unemployment benefits. Nobody said it was a spending cut deal. That’s next. And, for better or worse, Repubs have leverage because of the debt ceiling.

    We need $4 billion of real cuts from projected deficits through 2022. My opinion is that it should be 50/50 revenue and spending (including entitlements). Obama’s opening revenue bid in negotiations with Boehner was $1.6 Trillion (less than 50/50.

  • Alcoahead

    Boehner is the new Pelosi.

    November 4th, 2014 can’t get here quick enough, especially for folks like Peter King.

  • Publius

    Living in California and seeing the worst state government in the union function has dulled my senses.

    RE#7-Boehner is the new Pelussy………

    Just look at what this deal brings,

    -$3.9 trillion in new debt
    -Higher taxes for all Americans
    -Continued subsidies for unemployment, the film industry, and yes that all important past time called NASCAR
    -No spending cuts
    -Continued unbridled growth of the federal government
    -No solution to the problem of government spending, and it sets up another crisis

    Going over the self manufactured fiscal cliff would be better than this.

  • John W

    Re #8

    Having lived in 12 states in different regions, I have to agree about California state government.

    Market likes the “deal.” Dow up 308. Why? Beats me.

    The $3.9 trillion in new debt is misleading. As I understand it, that is the additional debt over the next 10 years due to not letting all the Bush tax cuts expire. I favored letting the cuts expire for everybody or raising equivalent revenue via tax reform, but somehow I doubt you would want that.

    What have you got against pork for NASCAR? That’s un-American of you!

    You’re right about setting up the next crisis. Both the sequester and debt ceiling have to be addressed within the next 60 days. Should be fun.

  • Elwood

    “Market likes the “deal.” Dow up 308. Why? Beats me.”

    Don’t spend it yet. Up one day, down the next. Euphoria followed by despair.

    Chicken one day.

    Feathers the next.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Drew Pearson’s Washington Merry Go Round column put it best back in the Truman days when it referred to Congress as a zoo exhibit consisting of The Monkey House and The Higher Apes. I have also seen The House of Reprehensibles and The Senescence. Anyone else have nicknames for the August Chambers?

  • GV Haste

    Whats up with Pete Stark?

    Isn’t he still a member of congress?

    I see him listed as “Stark (D): Not Voting”
    He and Woolsey were the only 2 California members not voting.

    Any thoughts or explanations?

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    #12: who gives a flyin’ mouse tail about either one?

  • Elwood

    Well, both Woolsey and Stark are Congresscritters until tomorrow when the new Congress is sworn in.

    Stark has been towed to the mothball fleet, but why Woolsey did not vote I do not know.

  • John W

    Re: #10 Elwood

    Which is better, the chicken or the feathers? Reminds me of an old joke, but this being a family blog precludes me from repeating it.

    So, when the market goes up, it’s just normal ebb and flow. But, when it goes down, it’s Obama’s fault, right?

  • For Liberty

    This is all smoke and mirrors. The fact is that government spending has already pushed Americans over the cliff. Only serious reductions in federal spending will stop the cliff dive from ending in a crash landing, as our elected officials remain committed to expanding the welfare-warfare state.

  • John W

    Re: 11, RR, Senile ColumnistSays

    It’s not often that one sees either a reference to Drew Pearson or use of the word “senescence.”

    Funny you should use the word today. The science section of Tuesday’s NYT featured a story about a Harvard mycologist (study of fungi), who is studying why the species known as Armillaria bulbosa (“humongous fungus”) appears not to senesce, with possible implications for humans someday. In Michigan, there is a 38-acre, 1,000-ton Armillaria that is thought to be 1,500 to 10,000 years old. There is even an annual “Humongous Fungus festival in Crystal Falls, Michigan.

    Guess all this is too late for Pete Stark.

  • Elwood

    @ #15 John W.

    You are correct, sir!

    With your knowledge of the market you must be fabulously wealthy!

  • John W

    Re: 15

    Indeed. I park my yacht along side Larry Ellison’s. Only he has money to put gas in his.