Lunch Buffet

It finally became obvious to me in reading the comment thread to yesterday’s Day’s End post that I’m annoying fellow residents of the central coast of California by making it sound so fabulous here that others might want to come here to live or play.

So on second thought:

* It’s crazy expensive to live here, as you might expect in a place where the real estate market is dictated by people rich enough to live in two or three or four places. Sotheby’s seems to be the top realty company.

* I’ve seen Iowans’ teeth chatter at the wind off the Monterey Bay, making them long for the warm climes of Cedar Rapids.

* We really are running out of water. The municipalities on the coast have been illegally tapping the Carmel River for years, and there’s a chance the state will bust us for good before we get an insanely expensive desal plant online.

* The local politics are completely irrational. People here are the Stalinists of NIMBYism. Every election season the “NO!” signs spring up like mushrooms, no matter what’s on the ballot.

* Last time the roads around here were repaired was probably during the Brown administration of 1975-83. There’s public transportation of a sort, but it’s all designed to bus domestic help from Salinas to Pebble Beach and Carmel.

* Remember Hitchcock’s The Birds? It was based on a true incident in Monterey. The very large crow population around here looks like it’s getting restless again.

So don’t move here, and if you visit, try to avoid the nine-month-long tourist season.

Okay, now that I’ve set the record straight, here are some midday news/views treats.

* Christie envy? Jeb Bush endorses gradual rise in Social Security retirement age.

* Rick Scott suing HHS for tying low-income funding for hospitals that conservatives used to complain about as “fraud” to Medicaid expansion.

* A second case on “religious liberty” exemptions from contraception coverage mandate is headed for SCOTUS.

* Carly Fiorina seems to be saying that it’s precisely her ignominious defeat in her one run for public office that most qualifies her to run for president, since she not tainted by politics.

* Charlie Cook points to recent Pew poll on partisan affiliation and suggests Republicans really do need to change the brand pronto.

And in non-political news:

* Sarah Jessica Parker gets new HBO seriesDivorce–eleven years after final episode of Sex and the City.

As we break for lunch, I’ll take a break from the blues to post Ry Cooder’s version of the Woody Guthrie song that made the don’t-come-to-California argument many long years ago: “Do Re Mi.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.