The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

April 9, 2013
Jerry Brown: 'Closing a $27 billion budget gap ain't bupkis'

Gov. Jerry Brown apparently wasn't so busy packing for China on Saturday that he couldn't fire off a response to a Washington Post column he found annoying.

The column, by Matt Miller, argued that Brown was getting too much credit for shoring up the state's finances. Wrote Miller:

I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but all the talk that Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has basically "fixed" California by balancing the budget through a tax hike on high earners seems laughably off-base, at least to this Los Angeles native.

In a letter published today in the Post, Brown says Miller knocked down a straw man argument but missed the point about Proposition 30, the tax measure voters approved last November.

After years of massive budget instability, Prop 30 -- when added to $20 billion in new budget cuts -- restored fiscal balance to California. Closing a $27 billion budget gap ain't bupkis, Mr. Miller.

According to the Wiktionary, the word "bupkis" is yiddish, deriving from bobkes, which means "large beans" and kozebopkes, which means "goat droppings."

So there, Mr. Miller. How do you like those beans?

April 3, 2013
Rise & Opine: Will they serve green beer at Sonics Arena?

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been playing the P.R. card hot and heavy in the walk up to Wednesday's meeting with NBA owners in New York. But Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, leaders of the Seattle investment team attempting to purchase the Kings from the Maloof family, haven't just been sitting on their emerald seat cushions.

Over the weekend, they produced drawings of their new arena. A very green arena!


If the NBA owners like green -- and they do, in the financial sense -- maybe they will be attracted to what Seattle is offering. But at least one survey shows that green is not a popular color, seen as unsafe, at least by purchasers of new cars.

The survey, conducted by Cheskin, MSI-ITM, and CMCD/Visual Symbols Library, found that the most popular color was blue, followed by purple. That's right, purple. Kings colors.

We will soon find out if the NBA owners feel safe in a green car. To drive it, they will need to junk a purple one -- a model that has proven dependable over the long haul.

Renderings courtesy of

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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