Speaking of California, this Sacramento Bee story invites us to feel the pain of a Merced County beekeeper, who just doesn't understand why the governor is making fun of the Democratic legislature for considering a bill that punishes his competitors:
Gene Brandi Apiaries in Los Banos, which once produced 400 drums of honey a year, has turned out just 20 drums so far this year as a searing drought has deprived wildland plants of the nectar that bees turn into honey.
And Brandi says he is facing competition from food processing companies that market sugar-added honey products as the real thing. "We've got people who take advantage of the good name of honey to try to sell their product," he says.
Now some agricultural producers and Democratic lawmakers say Schwarzenegger and his aides are unfairly exploiting the good names of honey, blueberries, pomegranate juice – and cow tails – to bash legislators for fiddling while California burns. […]
"We face a $26 billion deficit and I ask, over and over and over, the legislators upstairs to just focus on the budget," Schwarzenegger said. "And here they are, they're debating over the definition of honey. And a week ago, they debated over cow tails and, a few weeks before that, they debated over should we have a blueberry commission."
But to Brandi, the so-called "honey definition" bill is a critical matter that affects his livelihood and a significant sector of California agriculture.
Senate Bill 1216 by Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, would ban products with added ingredients from being labeled as honey.
"I hope the budget is fixed," Brandi said. "Lord knows, we need it. But that doesn't mean that all other business needs to stop."
The, uh, Bee's headline? "Many stung by lack of action on California's non-budget bills."
Link via Rough & Tumble.