VIDEO: Dan Walters says in today's report that there's no shortage of bills pending before the California Legislature -- and it could take months to figure out what lawmakers actually do with them.
It's T minus 18 hours until the end of the session, counting from 6 a.m. today, and that means the time-honored tradition of California legislative bingo has been going strong.
Capitol denizens aren't strangers to the game, which crops up during the session's last days. The object, as Jim Sanders tweeted Thursday, "is to slip preselected words into debate."
But what those words are can be anybody's guess. There's even a hashtag on Twitter -- #CaLegBingo -- so observers can compare notes. Here's a sampling of Thursday's tweets on the Assembly side:
". @Donn4assembly: 'Permission to read?' Speaker Pro Tem @fionama: 'Honey badger don't care!' @Donn4assembly: 'Pardon?' " tweeted Ben Adler, who's the Capitol bureau chief for Capital Public Radio. (He was using the Twitter handles for Assembly members Tim Donnelly and Fiona Ma.)
"@LindaHalderman knocked her legislative bingo out of the park!!! 7 dwarfs in one floor speech- and it made sense!!!" tweeted Diana Coronado, legislative aide to Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto.
"Most anticipated #calegbingo MT @johnmyers "Here's my number, so call me maybe." Asm. Richard Pan gets his mark on legislative bingo card," wrote Jeff Macedo, communications director for Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.
Other phrases reported via Twitter included "mouthbreathers," "two-and-a-half men," "bromance" and "ranch-tastic." By late afternoon, Coronado estimated that more than 25 Assembly members had participated.
"It's very obvious that the Assembly is playing #CALegBingo. So I must ask @tedlieu, does the Senate also do this?" tweeted Phillip Ung of California Common Cause. (He also mused, "I wonder if I can make a LORA request to figure out which members had which words. #transparency #CALegBingo.")
Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, tweeted back to Ung: "@Philrung #CALegBingo I'm not aware of it. I also don't think we talk enough in Senate to do such a thing."
Ung later tweeted: "Based on this message http://bit.ly/OCk476 @TedLieu denies #CALegBingo in Senate. Might be like Fight Club's 1st Rule." (Which is that you don't talk about Fight Club. Capitol Alert had to look it up.)
The ultimate purpose, of course, is to keep lawmakers and their staff members focused, especially as the clock approaches midnight tonight.
"Funny how #calegbingo makes me pay more attention to what people are saying," tweeted Elizabeth Stitt, who works in Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's press shop.
Capitol Alert will definitely be paying attention. Come back throughout the day as we follow the sausage makers in both houses.
CAKE AND CANDLES: Birthday wishes go to two members of the lower house: Democrat Ben Hueso of San Diego, who turns 43 on Sunday, and Republican Dan Logue of Marysville, who turns 62 the same day.