California Curriculum

If you are reading this blog, you are likely interested in California policy and politics, not just health care. Here’s two fun resources about our great state:

Scott Lay, who somehow manages both and the great daily update E-mail The Nooner, all as a side job, put together from his readers a list of books that would provide a university-quality education that would prepare you for a career in California politics or policy? has the list with active hyperlinks:

•A Disorderly House: The Brown-Unruh Years in Sacramento (James R. Mills)
•A Rage for Justice: The Passion and Politics of Phillip Burton (John Jacobs)
•Ask a Mexican (Gustavo Arrelano)
•Cadillac Desert (Marc Reisner)
•California: A History (Kevin Starr) (And, the whole series if you have time.)
•California Rising: The Life and Times of Pat Brown (Ethan Rarick)
•California’s Tax Machine: A History of Taxing and Spending in the Golden State (David Doerr)
•City of Quartz (Mike Davis)
•California Crackup (Joe Mathews and Mark Paul)
•Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (Lou Cannon)
•Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (Jim Newton)
•Nudge (Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein)
•Paradise Lost (Peter Schrag)
•The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy (Bertram J. Levine)
•The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) (Robert Caro) (And, the whole series if you have time.)
•The Secret Boss of California (Arthur Samish and Bob Thomas)
•The Third House: Lobbyists, Power, and Money in Sacramento (Jay Michael and Dan Walters)
•The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics (Greg Mitchell)
•Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Organization, and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement (Marshall Ganz)
•Willie Brown: A Biography (James Richardson)

So once you have studied at this informal university, test your knowledge.

Here’s a quiz, from Adam Bonin, the chairman of Netroots Nation (and a college classmate), who hosted a “pub quiz” contest when this conference of progressive online activists was in San Jose, California, earlier this year. He provided three rounds of questions, themed around the host city. The first round theme was “Saint,” the second on “Joe,” (the English translations of San Jose), and the third on California, although there were Golden State references throughout. Here’s the third round questions, with answers at Daily Kos:

Round 3: California
Welcome to wherever you are.  3pts each.

Q1: What year was the last election in which the Republican presidential candidate won California?
Q2: In 1948, WWII veteran Frederick Mellinger invented the push-up bra in what California town?
Q3: In 2012, the decennial Sight and Sound poll of the world’s leading film critics named what set-in-California film as the greatest of all time?
Q4: This abolitionist Californian, whose claiming California for the United States ended Bear Flag Revolt, was the Republican Party’s first presidential candidate.
Q5: What is the northernmost city name-checked in the Dr. Dre/Tupac hit “California Love”?
Q6: In 2004, students at UC Berkeley’s law school helped create fellowships for students interested in careers as a public defender, named in honor of what fictional tv attorney?
Q7: Based on acreage, what is the most-planted wine grape in California?
Q8: Rudolph Boysen came up with the hybrid between a red raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry, but who was his Southern California neighbor who began selling them in 1932 and made them (and himself) famous?
Q9: In the Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles,” a beloved song regarding Gov. Jerry Brown the first time around, the line “serpent’s egg’s already hatched” is a reference to what Shakespearean play?
Q10: The last time Californians elected a Democratic Governor without a color in his name, who was President of the United States? Bonus (2 pts): Name that Governor.
Q11: What United States President died in office while in California?
Q12: Name the only California resident in the top ten of Forbes Magazine’s current ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.