Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gaucho Men's Soccer Make Sweet 16

I just got back from seeing the UCSB Gaucho Men's soccer team beat Washington 1-0 to make the Sweet 16 tonight in front of 9,000 fans at Harder Stadium --- just one night after our basketball team beat rival UNLV with a 3-pointer at the buzzer that made ESPN.

Let's hope the Gaucho touch continues when they play Ohio State on December 2nd in the Big Dance. If they win, there will be another home game at Harder Stadium only because improbable Bradley beat #4 Indiana tonight. Will our Gauchos continue as national champions? Hard to say as the #1 seed Boston College lost to UMASS tonight in a surprising come from behind victory. Here's the bracket.

Perhaps the Gaucho's ultra-defensive posture in the second half of this game was the best move after all considering the trouble other powerhouses had in the tournament.


Get Well Soon, Marty!

Mayor Blum was hospitalized today after a fainting spell on an airplane. The plane was diverted to Las Vegas and a city news release says she is fine. Luckily, Dr. Joe was at her side. For more info, see KEYT's story.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

568% Increase in Foreclosures in CA

There's been so many comments on housing of late, I thought we could start a new thread based on this article from the Central Valley Business Times which points to foreclosures in California increasing 40% in one month. Some 12,300 properties represents a 568% increase over 2006.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moral Turpitude, Photos and Copyright Issues

A picture may be worth a thousand words but two court losses in one week means that The Independent is showing they have some mettle in refusing to turn over more than 300 photos from the day Luis Linares was killed behind Sak's Fifth Avenue in what was egregiously called a "gang melee" by the News-Press.

Judge Brian Hill ordered that the photos be turned over this past Monday by a November 28th deadline or allow photographer Paul Wellman to be faced with contempt of court charges. Well-known local constitutional attorney Michael Cooney is representing Wellman and The Santa Barbara Independent.

Also important on the front page of their web site is a story that was not entirely told by the News-Press about a copyright infringement case they had against The Independent. I, myself, read the headlines on the News-Press from a newspaper stand. Checking my pockets and considering my mores, 25 cents wasn't enough and I figured I'd catch the story later...kudos to The Independent for covering both stories so well.

From Matt Kettman's story in The Independent:

It’s interesting to see what the News-Press picked and chose to write about,” said Randy Campbell, The Independent’s publisher. “There were five different claims and the article mentioned one of them. And that one’s going to trial — the story made it seem like it was a done deal. It left out the other four claims, one of which is hanging on by a thread to go to trial, and the other three were dismissed by the judge.”

I am sure our friends that seem in such adamant support of the News-Press of late can explain why the whole story wasn't explained in the News-Press today....can they? I say that there is more bias in the newsroom now than ever was alleged before -- but perhaps one of you can defend their actions as defense against moral turpitude.

I looked back to see what we were talking about back then. We published Wendy's response in toto but somehow failed to link to Scott Hadly's piece in question that ran on The Independent's web site.

The News-Press' effort to get Nick Welsh to divulge sources is contrary to a bias-free newsroom.

What about the public good? Do we have a right to know? Perhaps more importantly, why should Nick Welsh reveal his sources? Why would anyone give him background or off-the-record comments ever again if Wendy and Arthur can get a hold of the sources screen name by simply spending the same they spend for a few tanks of gas for the Calixe to cross the pond?

Labels: ,

Can You Hear Me Now?

I guess The Granada (no longer The Granada Theater due to a new branding campaign) will do anything to preserve the historical site. Does anybody know about and can confirm the following? Thanks to ctgsb for sending in the query.

Community Post by CTGSB

Does anyone know about the new "crown" (cell phone antenna array) that has appeared on top of the Granada Theatre Building? What an eyesore! How can anyone look at the enormous effort to restore this historic theatre and building, and then allow this huge metal "thing" to be placed on top of it? Did the City approve this? Under what ordinance? This needs to be investigated, and if possible, removed.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Your Moment of Zen

A frequent reader pointed out this funny series of column headings over at The almost looks like a product sponsorship!

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show would love this if he had a few writers to write about it. Despite the strike, he actually does for a couple of weeks as he agreed to pay them during the first two weeks of the strike. Good for him!

Scientologists out there -- do what you will, but this is a rare sighting of your intention being made reality in the world. Clip it for your press packet.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ballot Signature Fraud at UCSB

Several readers today emailed me about a story that has already been reported at The Daily Kos. It turns out that paid signature gatherers are duping students at UCSB with a series of nefarious initiatives separated by a rubber band and assurances that one needs to sign the original initiative four times and that the other pieces of paper they sign have nothing to do with the first.

Arno Political Consultants should be sued for hiring, training and sending out initiative gatherers that don't understand the rights of voters. In the past, they have tricked Florida college kids into registering Republican and saying an electoral ballot initiative was an anti-war initiative. Perhaps worst was telling Massachusetts voters that an anti-gay initiative was actually an initiative that would allow wine to be sold in grocery stores. Yuck.

Community Post by a Dedicated Reader

So today I witnessed what I think is an incidence of ballot initiative fraud relating to the electoral vote apportionment initiative. Outside the UCEN (student center) at UC Santa Barbara, there were a number of people with cardboard clipboards soliciting people to sign ballot petitions for a proposal to spend $1 billion on cancer hospitals for kids. If you agree to sign, they tell you "you need to sign 4 times." What they do not tell you is that the three pages after the ballot initiative on concern hospitals are different ballot intiatives: the second proposes to abolish eminent domain, the third proposals to abolish rent control, and the fourth is the proposal to apportion California's electoral votes by district (the so-called Dirty Tricks Initiative).

I should note that the clipboard is arranged such that a rubber band holding the petitions to the cardboard is positioned on the top of the page, across the actual ballot language in question - thus, partially hiding the text of the ballot initiatives on pages 2-4 unless you actually stop and pull down the top of the page.

I agreed to sign the cancer initiative, but the comment about signing four times raised a red flag, because I'm familiar with the structure of ballot petitions, so I paused before signing and looked at the other initiatives.

However, I'm absolutely sure that most of the people signing, young college students on a rush to get their lunches and off to class, did not take this step.

What they are doing is getting people to sign for ballot initiatives without their knowledge or informed consent, using young peoples' desire to do a good thing and their lack of familiarity with the legal paperwork of initiative petitions. If this is not illegal it is certainly deeply unethical. The moment I realized what was going on, I told the petitioners that they shouldn't be telling people to sign for ballot initiatives they're not aware of. Immediately after, I called the school newspaper, the Daily Nexus, the Courage Campaign, the Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee, and the California Democratic Party. I have also contacted
the Secretary of State to report this.

Labels: , ,

Community Post: Suicide Barriers Alternative on Cold Springs Bridge

Unfortunately, I don't have a way of linking to the actual, alternative proposal, if anyone has one -- please pass it along.

--------Friends of the Bridge Community Post/Press Release-----------

Opponents of a CalTrans proposal to install barriers on the Cold Spring
Bridge today formally submitted to that agency a detailed alternative
project proposal that they claim provides superior suicide prevention and
life-saving measures at a small fraction of the $1,000,000 allocated for
barriers and which would not require potentially-defacing physical
alterations of the bridge. By law CalTrans will be required to incorporate
the alternative into its project review and evaluation processes and to
make a carefully considered determination about which approach to pursue.

The new proposal is based in part on the study recently released by UCSB
Professor Garrett Glasgow revealing the lack of any evidence that bridge
barriers do anything other than diverting the problem elsewhere. The
Glasgow report concludes that "there is no evidence that a suicide
prevention barrier on the Cold Spring Bridge would save lives."
Accordingly, the new proposal asserts that "the barriers proposal amounts
to nothing more than a misguided and costly suicide diversion effort that
bears almost no legitimate relation to any traffic safety problem within
the scope of CalTrans' mission and primary functions."

The new proposal discloses that the $1,000,000 allocated for barriers was
taken from funds budgeted for "Collision Reduction-Safety Improvements."

In formulating the new proposal, its authors from the newly-formed citizens
group "Friends of the Bridge" incorporated a number of the features of a
plan adopted earlier this year by the New York State Bridge Authority to
address the problem of suicidal behavior on the 5 bridges under its
jurisdiction. The New York plan rejected the idea of installing barriers,
choosing "instead [to] construct a 'human barrier' that will outperform any
physical barrier and save more lives" and concluding that "preventing
suicides on [the] bridges will most likely occur if we recognize the
situation for what it is: a mental health problem that won't be solved by a
technical 'quick fix' in the form of a 'curtain of steel'...."

Elements of the "human barrier" approach now proposed for the Cold Spring
Bridge include setting clear policies and training methods to assure the
safety of law enforcement officer and others when encountering persons
demonstrating suicidal behavior on the bridge, installing call boxes
connecting to a specialized Lifeline suicide prevention counseling service,
and installation of surveillance cameras to provide continuous monitoring
of activities on the bridge.

The proposal points out that its features could be fully implemented within
a very short period, whereas CalTrans has estimated that the barriers
proposal faces many months of review and design efforts. According to Marc
McGinnes, one of the authors of the new proposal, "The jig is up, we now
know for sure that barriers are boondoggle, and the time has come to
CalTrans to change its course."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Community Post: Plan Santa Barbara Update

A reader sent me an update on Plan Santa Barbara and a recent item before the Planning Commission last week --- interesting topic for discussion.

=============Community Post=====================

Did you catch last week's planning commission meeting? Staff gave an update on Plan Santa Barbara where the entire commission severely chastised them for their lack of progress and questioned the value of their work to date. It was painful to watch and I almost felt sorry for staff if most of it hadn't been true. I'm one who usually find myself supportive of staff on many issues. This time the planning commission has it right.

Plan Santa Barbara to date has been a failure in the sense that the city has put no real context to this effort and is doing a disservice, to what my be good recommendations moving forward, by not doing a quality job of framing the issues and explaining to the public what this all means to their quality of life. Their consultant, MIG, is either being ignored by staff or just phoning this in. I know they can do better. The reputation they have is excellent so either staff needs let them do their job or hold them accountable.

I guess accountability is what's really in order here. What will become of the commission comments and concerns? Will staff move on and ignore their comments or will the public be served by address this in a timely fashion?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is MySpace Tom a Gangsta?

If any of you have interacted with MySpace you know that "Tom" is your very first "MySpace friend" that sets you on your way to being a member of this free but very market-valued social network that media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought this past year.

But what about the flip side? Poor Tom is everyone's friend as he is the first photo sent to new MySpace users. I found Tom yet again on a tip from an avid reader about a recent stabbing we covered here at BlogaBarbara and in several local media outlets.

The Daily Sound, Santa Barbara News Press and KEYT reported that the Santa Barbara Police Department made arrests in the stabbing case discussed between us last month. It looks like the our men and women in blue did well.

Using the name 'Martin Mendez', as reported by the Daily Sound, here's
what you can find from Martin himself on

Our reader also pointed out that the profile Martin self-published is allegedly used by a 23 year old male claiming to be a member of the East Side Traviesos. Take a look at his MySpace friends and you can see some of their profiles as well. The MySpace friend 'That Chola Muneks' (picture from her page) has a slide show with many photos of East Side gang members. Our reader even points out that one looks like a Santa Barbara high school football player wearing a #55 jersey throwing up gang signs. I'm not keen on outing people but you have to know that when you publish on MySpace, it is for the world to see.

Does MySpace Tom know what's happenin' or is he keeping it on the down low? Also, I can't expect Rupert Murdoch to know that MySpace is "so yesterday" for most of us -- and why did he buy into a gangsta It will never appeal to anyone over thirty in the long run....

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Teamster/SBNP Contract Negotiations About to Begin - Baron Shoots First Salvo

More than a year after the News-Press employees election to join the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, contract negotiations are finally scheduled to begin this week with management of the Santa Barbara News-Press.

The negotiation sessions this week will be held Tuesday and Wednesday (11/13 and 11/14) at an undisclosed, neutral location in Santa Barbara.

Here is a portion of the letter sent to News-Press employees from Teamster Chief Negotiator Nick Caruso related to the upcoming contract negotiations. Conciliatory in nature -- let's hope the feelings are mutual between labor and management.

Until now, the fight has focused on ongoing disputes between employee and employer. Contract Negotiations are an opportunity for the participants to find common ground (if they so choose) and build an Agreement based on both the shared and distinctive needs of the respective parties. Labor brings the collective voice of the employees to the table and offers the expertise of these professionals with regard to more effectively applying their craft. In exchange we seek fair compensation and working conditions. Management will bring legitimate business concerns. Preferably, we can work together to resolve our differences and through the process of exchanging proposals and ideas, an Agreement can begin to evolve.

I have worked closely with the Union Committee Members to draft your expressed issues into proposals that we will present to the Employer. The proposals represent the collective vision of what the newsroom can and should be from the Employees’ perspective. The Committee Members are dedicated to that vision and will fight to whatever extent necessary to create a better workplace than exists today.

Up to this point, the Employer has adamantly opposed recognizing the employees’ legal right to bargain overcompensation and working conditions. Now that the day has arrived, we are hoping Management will begin to acknowledge that there may be some benefit in listening and discussing what the newsroom professionals have to offer.

The upcoming contract negotiations make me wonder if News-Press Co-Publisher Arthur Von Wiesenberger wasn't trying to begin a preemptive strike in the Pacific Coast Business Times this morning when he blamed the Teamsters for their significant drop in subscriptions. Of course it is always easier to blame others for your own mistakes.

Here's the quote:
When asked to comment Nov. 6, News-Press co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger wrote in an e-mail that a union-orchestrated “smear campaign” against the newspaper was to blame for the publication’s drop in circulation. The News-Press “will not bow to this intimidation,” von Wiesenberger wrote.

“These subscriber cancellations have demonstrated the relative success of the injury that has been inflicted on the News-Press,” von Wiesenberger wrote.

Isn't this great? The free market is at work! Both sides have had their say and the News-Press has certainly outspent The Organized by a factor of at least 10 to 1. Despite the amazing amount of funds that McCaw and Company have paid to defend their right to say what goes on the front page -- it seems The Organized have the upper hand. How long can falling subscriptions on Sunday be bolstered by hubris? Yes -- the free market works, but will neo-Libertarians like Wendy McCaw and Travis Armstrong admit that now?

For a more detailed analysis of the PacBizTimes article, you can see Craig Smith's post earlier today.

Labels: , , ,

Saint Barbara and the Housing Bubble

There's been a lot of discussion this week on this blog on the pending mortage collapse, home prices and surprisingly -- whether any of us have a right to live here and own a home. We've seen comments that have surprised me (like the assertion that a county or city job is lucrative) and a passion that only comes from either protecting your property rights and home value or staring at your pay stub every week and wondering how you could ever own a home in this town.

I want to give a shout to Saint Barbara over at Santa Barbara Housing Bubble -- a blog I've been reading for the last couple of weeks. She covers interesting tidbits about the real estate market. This week's post shows how Avery labels were used in a recent advertising circular to chase the market down.

Over the next six months, we will likely be seeing more home owners "chasing the market down". Are you ready? What does it mean to be ready anyway?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Community Post: Mortage Collapse Hitting SB County?

I received the following email from an avid reader who put words to something I've been thinking about for a few weeks and wanted to tackle after the election. So, here's something to think about today and I've been working on something else for an couple days from now. Perhaps someone could explain the foreclosure process and what the data on this web site means? -- Sara

Community Post from an Avid Reader Below:

The mortgage lending collapse isn't just a problem for investors and bankers who suddenly find they've lost a gazillon dollars. While a handful of CEO's will be forced to slink off under their golden parachutes, thousands of real people may be losing their homes in our county.

I just found 2,963 foreclosures listed in our county on

Can this be true?

Are almost 3,000 people losing their homes? If so, we've got a bigger economic disaster brewing here than San Diego County had in terms of wild fire destruction.

What does this mean to the county? What will happen to all these working families? Are we supposed to blame them? Are they just a write off for investors?

Why isn't this news?

Labels: ,

News-Press Circulation Down 14%

The article from Editor & Publisher speaks for itself. A 14% drop can't be good -- even with plenty of money to weather the storm.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Votes Are In: Barnwell Loses Council Seat

It's Williams, Schneider and Francisco with 100% of the vote counted.

Williams kept his lead at 7,300 votes, Schneider had 6,500 and challenger Dale Francisco had 6,300 votes. Barnwell barely trailed Giddens with 5,800 votes to his 5,700.

What does it mean? Far from a watershed moment, Barnwell didn't run a true campaign and his loss has little to do with policy and where he stands on the issues.

This election proved that laying low when you have vocal challengers isn't a good strategy. It also shows that putting your eggs in a basket with two other incumbents (each are individual candidates) may not have been the best strategy either. The weakest link will always break the chain.

Labels: ,

Early Voting Shows Barnwell in Trouble

With 26% of the vote counted it looks like Das Williams and Helene Schneider are well on their way to another term on council. At least with the mail ballots counted, Das has a commanding first place lead with almost 4,800 votes to Schneider's 4,200. She may see a candidate breathing down her neck by the end of the night but I think this ranking will hold.

As we all presumed, the third spot on council is a bit murky with Dale Francisco leading with 4,000 some votes, Giddens with 3,800 and Barnwell with 3,700.

Assuming current trends, one would have to assume that the third spot will be decided after all the votes are in.

The no vote on Measure A is soundly defeating yes thus far by about a thousand votes. This trend will likely hold.

There will be another post later tonight assuming I can find another anonymous hot spot or when I get home.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 05, 2007

Election Day Get-Out-The-Vote Info

Who gets to vote...
Only registered voters in the City of Santa Barbara have a ballot for this election. Voters who live outside city boundaries in "Noleta" (any home past Modoc Road and Hollister/State Street and before the City of Goleta), Mission Canyon, Hope Ranch, Goleta, UCSB and most of Montecito (unless you live on or very near Coast Village Road where you probably really live in the City of Santa Barbara) will not have a ballot in this election. Is that clear enough? This list may not be exhaustive so please feel free to add past the obvious like Carpinteria.

Not sure where your polling place is?
See this list of polling places in PDF format provided by the City Clerk or contact their office at (805) 564-5309. If you didn't get a sample ballot in the mail, you still can go to your closest polling place and will likely be on their list and be able to vote if you are registered.

Still have an absentee ballot?
You can take it to any polling place in the city on the list above until the polls close at 8 PM and make sure your vote is counted.

Want to see a sample ballot?
Here's what your ballot will look like -- again in PDF format.

What's at stake?
Three council seats and a measure which would change all city elections to even numbered years -- proponents say this would save money and allow for greater participation as even numbered years have more voters. Opponents say the council members want another year on their term. You decide what is more important in the long run....

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 04, 2007

POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK: Ball is in Your Court

The Political Player this week is you, Gentle Readers.
What are your predictions for the Santa Barbara election results Tuesday night?

Bonus Play of the Week: Helene Schneider cold-shoulders, with liquid nitrogen, News-Press-Less-Mess-Suppress Editorialist Travis Armstrong, who reacts through a pathetic attempt to take his dwindling readers out for a snipe hunt via his fabricated, factually-challenged, and less-than-candid wishful conspiracy theory he dubbed "Helene-Gate." His written temper tantrum early in the week so far has marked his lifetime editorial nadir and spanned two days of Travistorials, which only inspired more sympathy for Schneider and should gain her far more votes than would be lost. Thinking (if that is what it is) that he was hurting and insulting her, the Travisty quoted a dry, nearly bureaucratic, but polite email message from Council Member Helene Schneider:
"Travis -- I am sorry to say that I will not appear on AM 1290 with you at this time. While I would like to communicate with your listeners, I cannot trust that an interview (or its subsequent reporting in the News-Press) would be fair and unbiased. I'm also willing to respond (as I have been in the past) to News-Press reporters when they write stories on city-related issues. Helene."
Translation: Travis, you are full of shit and never can be trusted, but if you send a real reporter who cares about facts and will be allowed to publish them, then I might give an interview. (No such article about Schneider's "Gate" has been published anywhere.)

Now, back to the varsity game. What, Gentle Readers, are your realistic and serious predictions for the outcome of the City election to be final 46 hours from now?

For reference, here are the City Council election results from the past four Council elections, information from Smart Voter.

2005 (8 candidates)
Roger L. Horton ....... 13070 votes 20.05%
Iya Falcone .......... 12318 votes 18.89%
Grant House .......... 10914 votes 16.74%
Loretta Redd .......... 9316 votes 14.29%
Dianne Channing .......... 7075 votes 10.85%
Terry J. Tyler .......... 6574 votes 10.08%
Charles Quintero ......... 3091 votes 4.74%
Bob Hansen .......... 2565 votes 3.93%

2003 (9 candidates)
Helene Schneider ......... 8597 votes
Das Williams .......... 8169 votes
Brian B. Barnwell .......... 7955 votes
Babatunde Folayemi .......... 6933 votes
Scott Burns .......... 6622 votes
Michael Magne .......... 6557 votes
"Carlos" Quintero ....... 1337 votes
Bob Hansen .......... 1011 votes
Robert B. Cawley ......... 721 votes

2001 (12 candidates)
Iya Falcone .......... 8359 votes 17.33%
Roger L. Horton ...... 7954 votes 16.49%
Dan B. Secord ........ 6982 votes 14.47%
Babatunde Folayemi ...... 6755 votes 14.00%
Michael Purvis .......... 3419 votes 7.09%
Keith Coffman-Grey ........ 2717 votes 5.63%
Isaac Garrett .......... 2596 votes 5.38%
Joseph Luke Appleton ........ 2579 votes 5.35%
David Esparza, Jr. .......... 2142 votes 4.44%
"Carlos" Quintero .......... 1840 votes 3.81%
Marcia C. Sherman .......... 1410 votes 2.92%
Michael Faeth .......... 1339 votes 2.78%

1999 (7 candidates)
Marty Blum .......... 10,413 votes 21.5%
Gregg A. Hart .......... 9,652 votes 19.9%
Harold P. Fairly .......... 7,525 votes 15.5%
Joseph Guzzardi .......... 6,665 votes 13.8%
John C. Strawn .......... 6,546 votes 13.5%
Bruce Rittenhouse .......... 5,164 votes 10.7%
Robert Allen Hansen .......... 2,474 votes 5.1%

For past information about voter turn out and absentee vs. polling place ballots, our friends with Measure A provided a nifty table of the past 12 years of voting results.

PREDICT THESE, realistically and seriously:
  1. Council Member Election Ranking (first, second, third... through eighth)
  2. Number of votes per Council Member (absolute number or percentage)
  3. Results for Measure A (absolute number of votes or percentage)
  4. Total voter turn out (absolute number or percentage)
  5. Absentee vs. polling place voter numbers (absolute number or percentage)
  6. Time of night when all the ballots are counted from the polling places
Make your predictions and place your bets if you dare, Gentle Readers.

Protesting the Linares Case, Hip Hop and Star Wars

The Daily Sound is reporting that a group of high school students are planning to protest the District Attorney's decision to try Angel Linares' assailant as an adult.

The protest is organized by a new non-profit student-run newspaper called Shape of Voice. Their web site/blog has a resource center, a page for "shout outs" and a link for a coming media kit.

The blog itself is worth delving into as it has entries from several students -- an anonymous blogger posted the following:

I am disappointed with Ms. Stanley’s hasty decision on trying my friend, 14 -year old Ricardo Juarez as an adult. They don’t know this kid; he’s a hard working, honest, young boy. He’s not a killer - the reason I know this is because I’ve known this kid for 3 years now.

I'm not sure the decision is that hasty or that our DA has much choice the way things went down. Juarez' defense, according to the article above, is pointing the finger elsewhere...act like an adult, get tried like an adult? Can a 14-year old ever make an adult decision? or fully understand the consequences?

A little less controversial is another entry on the relationship between hip hop and Star Wars -- replete with a nice illustration of Yoda holding a mike. I'm wondering if there is any connection between Flava Flav and the Jedi; and, how does he turn that clock into a light saber?

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Harbor Dredge to Begin without Federal Funds

There's a story over at EdHat about the City of Santa Barbara's plans to dredge the harbor over the month of November. Interestingly enough, the Waterfront Department actually doesn't technically have money for it yet as the federal budget hasn't been passed.

The $1.98 million is in the President's budget and can still be spent because of something called the Continuing Resolution process (which is so important it needs to be capitalized). Basically, if you received funding last year -- you can go ahead and spend it this year until and unless they tell you not to. With rules like that, who needs a budget?

It would be interesting if the government would let taxpayers use this budgetary maneuver: "Sorry, I can't pay my taxes on April 15th because my spouse hasn't approved our household budget yet. I'm invoking the Continuing Resolution process until we have time to update our Quicken file -- I'll pay you then but I'm not sure when I'll get to it".