Virginia Postrel notes an article in the San Francisco Chronicle ("which seems like a much better newspaper when you read it online") describing some of the bills now on or heading to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signature or veto. Alongside hot topic legislation on subjects such as prescription drugs, business outsourcing and whether undocumented immigrants should be permitted California driver's licenses, this item catches the eye:
Here are [some of the] bills the majority Democratic Party may attempt to send to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk in the final days of the legislative session, many of which are targeted for opposition by the Republican leadership or business groups. The governor's response to them will more firmly establish his developing track record.
[Assorted bills omitted]
Foie gras (SB1520, Burton, D-San Francisco) -- Bans sale and production of foie gras, the fattened goose liver savored by some high-end diners but abhorred by animal rights activists because of the force-feeding method commonly used to produce it. Would take effect July 2012.
Before signing that bill, the Governor may want to look north to Oregon which, as Ryan Lizza of The New Republic reports, was visited just last week by one of those "high-end diners":
KERRY POOL REPORT: There are a few good tidbits in here, so this Kerry pool report from last night is worth posting in its entirety.
A few questions: If you were John Kerry, would you order foie gras on the campaign trail? If you were Teresa Heinz Kerry, would you tell the press your husband ordered foie gras? . . .
The Kerrys have dinner with the Rassmanns, and later hear from a few Bush supporters.
John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Andre Heinz dined with Jim Rassmann and his children, 27-year-old Jamie and 24-year-old Jeff. After a 22-minute motorcade, from the airport, the JK and THK wound up at a restaurant called Marche (with a little accent mark over the e).
We arrived about 9:23 p.m. Left about 11:41. Got to the hotel around 11:55 p.m.
The restaurant, with large glass windows and red awnings, specializes in Oregon Northwest Cuisine.
JK and THK emerged from Marche to applause from about 35 people who had gathered around the largely empty restaurant. They both spent a few meetings shaking hands and signing autographs. JK told one person he had been here before, but it was unclear whether he was referring to Eugene or Marche.
THK reported to the pool that she had lamb and tomato salad, while JK had duck foie gras and tuna.
She said the food was great: "Everything is from around here; everything was local."
Marche is located in an eating and shopping district called the 5th Avenue Public Market, which is maybe a mile from the University of Oregon. Across the street from Marche is a huge store belonging to probably the area's best known company: Nike. Mr. Rassmann politely declined to discuss details: "It was a very pleasant, quiet dinner."
At least Senator Kerry can be confident that even this won't drive PETA voters to cast a ballot for George W. Bush. Ralph Nader, however, may be looking to capitalize on this incident.
P.S., I am a foie gras neutral myself: it is one of those delicacies that just doesn't interest me, but those who wish for it should be welcome to obtain and consume it. Indeed, certain persons particularly near and dear to me (they know who they are) are very fond of foie gras, and 'twould be a dreadful thing if they were to be deprived of the opportunity to enjoy it in this our Golden State.
So to my state's Democratic legislators, I say: Back off, you zealots, and leave people's pleasures alone. And to the Democratic candidate for president I say: Enjoy your foie gras proudly, Senator, whenever and wherever you choose.
P.P.S., Portions of Ryan Lizza's piece relating to some taunting of Senator Kerry's spouse by some uncouth Bush supporters are omitted in the excerpt above, but only because they are not related to the main topic under consideration. Lest there be any doubt: the behavior reported is low and stupid and the yahoos in question do their own chosen candidate no favors by engaging in it. Politics are no excuse for bad manners, citizens.
Attribution: Post title with apologies to that fine metaphysical poet, George Herbert.