The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

About David Holwerk

David Holwerk has been The Bee's editorial page editor since September 2001. Before that, he spent 20 years in various assignments at the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader and three years as editor of the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune. Holwerk is a graduate of the University of Kentucky (and a devoted fan of Wildcat basketball). He is an avid (and occasionally successful) bass fisherman. The high point of his time in California to date was meeting Merle Haggard.

November 4, 2008
The president-elect speaks

Watching Barack Obama's speech to his supporters in Chicago, I was struck by what a welcome change it will be to have an eloquent person as president. After eight years of mispronunciations, malapropisms, and embarrassing rhetorical stumbles from the White House, it may take a while to get used to having a president who doesn't mangle the English language.

I have to admit, though, that I'll sort of miss hearing the leader of the Free World utter "nucular" as if it were actually a word ....   

November 4, 2008
Obama in the Red Zone

If you watched Monday Night Football last night, you saw opportunistic brilliance on display.

No, I am not talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense. I'm referring to Barack Obama's answer when Chris Berman asked him what single change he would like to see in sports. Obama's answer: "I think it is about time that we had playoffs in college football. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this and that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion."

Here, for those of you who are not fans of college and pro football or who have not followed the ins and outs of the presidential campaign closely, is why the answer was so brilliant.

October 31, 2008
Homage to Joe Bob Briggs

This morning's editorial on the state budget mess described the situation as "Ugly. Ugly. Ugly on a stick." The "Ugly on a stick" part was my contribution to the editorial. I rise now to give attribution where it is due.

As far as I know, the phrase"ugly on a stick" was coined by Joe Bob Briggs, the world's premier (if only) drive-in movie critic. Ugly was actually a recurring character in Joe Bob's work, which started out as newspaper columns and turned into TV shows (for cable channels in the high double digits, natch) and a one-man show.

If you are unfamiliar with Job Bob's, um, oeuvre, you can find samples at

In the words of the master, Joe Bob says check it out.

October 21, 2008
Tuesday memo

Today, The Bee's editorial board is looking ahead to some upcoming political endorsements. Stuart Leavenworth will be writing about the Roseville city council races later this week. Pia Lopez will be writing about the Sierra Community College board election races. If you have input for us on either these contests, now is the time to e-mail the writers.

October 20, 2008
Daily memo

Two topics are at the top of the editorial board's minds this morning:

One is the race for Placer County Fifth District county supervisor between Bruce Kranz and Jennifer Montgomery. If you have input on this, e-mail Stuart Leavenworth with your thoughts.

The second topic is the cutbacks by Sacramento city police and their implication for public safety and the city budget overall. Have some thoughts on the subject? E-mail Ginger Rutland.

October 13, 2008
Monday memo
Thumbnail image for DAVID HOLWERK 01[2].JPGLike everytbody else, we have our eyes on the financial situation, but not for anything immediate. On tomorrow's editorial page, we'll be endorsing in El Dorado County's Measure Y and in races for county supervisor there.
October 8, 2008
Wednesday morning memo

Today the minds of The Bee's editorial board are green -- not from environmental concerns but from thoughts of money. In particular, the money that is not in the state's coffers, the money that John McCain or Barack Obama won't have to work with, the money that is rushing out of people's retirement accounts, the money that has been lost in declining housing values,  the money that various ballot propositions would claim from the state budget -- well, you get the idea.

If you would like to help shape our thoughts on this all-consuming topic, e-mail David Holwerk (     

October 7, 2008
Tuesday morning memo

Thumbnail image for DAVID HOLWERK 01[2].JPGThe Bee's editorial board is thinking this morning about debates -- last night's between Sacramento's mayoral candidates and tonight's between John McCain and Barack Obama. We'll be writing an editorial for tomorrow's editions on deadline tonight about the latter. If you have suggestions as to what we should be watching for in tonight's debate, e-mail Pia Lopez.

We spent much of this morning's editorial board meeting discussing the terrible bus crash that claimed the lives of eight people headed for a Colusa County casino. Among the questions we talked about: Is state regulation of charter buses too lax? The driver of the bus did not have a license to drive a passenger bus, but should he have had a commercial license at all given his criminal record? Does locating casinos in rural areas with poor roads make such tragedies more likely? If you have input on these or other points, e-mail Ginger Rutland.


October 3, 2008
Welcome to The Swarm
Thumbnail image for DAVID HOLWERK 01[2].JPGWelcome to The Swarm, a weblog from the people who write The Sacramento Bee's editorials. The Swarm will give you a view of the discussions that go on among editorial page staffers every day and provide an opportunity for readers to join in. We will also use the blog to provide readers with a heads-up on what The Bee's editorial board is thinking about from day to day and to solicit opinions and advice for sources of information.

We had originally planned to bring The Swarm online during the week of Oct. 6, but the vice presidential debate was just too good an opportunity to pass up. So last night we started blogging live and are now onto other topics. Please join in the discussion. It's time to get this swarm buzzing.

David Holwerk

Editorial page editor, The Sacramento Bee



About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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