California to Ah-nuld: DROP DEAD

Subtitle to this post: Schwarzenegger’s Revenge.
California’s about to go Third-World! 
Why you may be asking?
Well some of us haven’t received our unemployment checks for weeks. Others have actually had them BOUNCE. Yup, I don’t think anyone would have anticipated a check from the Federali with no legal tender but it has happened. Despite the funds having been released by them it would seem California may be holding on to that money because the State is BROKE-BROKEDY-BROKE! Since this is his last hurrah and HIS MONEY IS SAFE he thinks he can tell all of the non-wealthy, working-class and poor Californians to suck it. 
I guess he’s pissed about that little recall thing mounting…
Here’s an excerpt from the LA Times that ought to get your blood boiling:
With deficit forecasts growing darker by the day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a plan to slash California’s safety net for the poor by eliminating the state’s main welfare program, health insurance for low-income families and cash grants to college students. Advocates for the poor said elimination of those health and welfare programs would come at a steep price. Tens of thousands of families and children would be stripped of temporary financial help and health assistance, and the state would lose a huge pool of federal money that pays the majority of the program’s costs.
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said federal dollars cover up to two-thirds the cost of the Healthy Families program, which is for the working poor. The federal government pays about 58% of the cost of CalWorks.
“It’s beyond draconian,” Wright said. “It’s insane. Not just for dropping 1 million children from healthcare, but also for losing substantial federal funding.”
Okay, we get it Arnie. Nobody bought the Ballot Measure Sandwich you were offering. So now you’re playing hard-ball…but don’t count everyone out just yet. The blowback will be severe. Just watch. Trying to cut off your nose to spite your face will not have the desired results you may be seeking. Still, there is NO white horse riding in to save the State. 
So no offense to developing nations but this is how revolutions occur. The “powers that be” kill off the infrastructure after robbing a nation blind. They depose an (in)adequate leader for an even more corrupt and inept one. All hell breaks loose and things collapse. Then people get mad enough to bring out the pitchforks and kick some *ss. What exactly will the rich people do when they have no $2/hr workers cuz they chased everybody away? I have NO idea what these lawmakers are doing, but they are seriously gonna get it. It’s time for some heads to roll  – that’s all. Arnie won’t get elected for dog-catcher after this but he certainly deserves to be in the dog house for a long long time.
I just remembered to add the contact info to this post so it’s not simply one long (but justified) rant-o-thon. Phone calls, faxes and emails are so much more effective. Lots and lots of BAD PRESS!! California you CAN save yourself from tyranny and incompetence if you want to.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

Los Angeles Office
300 South Spring Street
Suite 16701
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213-897-0322
Fax: 213-897-0319

San Francisco Office
455 Golden Gate Avenue
Suite 14000
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-703-2218
Fax: 415-703-2803

Washington D.C. Office
134 Hall of the States
444 North Capitol Street NW
Washington D.C. 20001
Phone: 202-624-5270
Fax: 202-624-5280

Oh and don’t forget EMAIL.
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Arnie If You Want Real Reform Here’s Where You Start

So the Governator’s second round of ballot measures got the perverbial smack down last night. Every Propostion with the exception of 1F which called for cap on Legislator salaries in an economic downturn. With low voter turn-out California voters sent a very clear message they’re not happy with Schwarzenegger. Why should we be. He rode in on his “Savior Horse”, using the myth of his movie hero status and a wife part of a political dynasty promising to “PUMP UP CALIFORNIA”. Well now that such ideas have not only been deflated but kicked to death and stuffed under the baseboards – we can turn our attention to the 2010 election and who else people think is going “save” them. Hint: it will NOT be Newsom so try not to fall for the okey doke AGAIN people!!
In the meantime an second recall initiative is officially underway. For real this time. With an October deadline and a 1M signature requirement I think it will go through. The state is currently $21B in the hole for this year alone AFTER this past budget shortfall of $53B. Now I know other states have high unemployment, high taxes and Governors who may not be the most popular *cough New York cough* BUT their states are in no way near as bad shape as California. Patterson and the NY Legislature BALANCED their budget. What’s up with California? 
They can’t keep blaming it on the economy. Not with Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein being such poltical powerhouses. Not when the Governor and President have a cordial relationship. Not when the state is getting BILLIONS in stimulus funds. Sure we can point to individual politicians and the fact that passing a budget here requires a 2/3s majority – which is just plain FOOLISH. If Ah-nuld had run as a REGULAR candidate, mounted a great campaign and had won fair and square (ha) then perhaps we could take all of these other factors into consideration. Except his political ambitions got the best of him and he listened to the bees buzzing in his ear about how awesome he was….about how they could change OUR constitution to allow for a foreign-born to run for President….and the Republicans still had an iron grip on local, state and national politics in collusion with their corporate media bedmates. 
When Gray Davis was trying to get MILLIONS back to the state from ENRON who supported BUSH and BILKED us in fake fees, rate hikes and rolling blackouts, the Republicans planned for a little hostile takeover of California. And so many people fell for it that I still find it scary to this day. People were really sleeping at the wheel. Davis was no “saint” but he certainly wasn’t a villian either. As soon as Arnie got in office, the Enron recompense effort was halted and I bet many people would love to have that money back NOW. He also tried to go right-wing in California of all places, by going after the unions of teachers, nurses and fire fighters and cutting our vital services. It failed spectacularly! Can you imagine if the fire fighters had held a grudge and told us to bugger off with all the wildfires that have been unleashed? 
His first set of ballot measures FAILED and there was grumbling about getting rid of him less than two years into it. He quickly saw the writing on the wall, retreated and miraculously found money to put back into education that he’d taken away. How do you “find” $2B? By the way are you aware the state spends more on incarcerating people than education? Let’s think about that for a minute. Instead of PREVENTION the solution is to LOCK EVERYBODY UP. That Lynwood facility where they send all the celebs to, process and spit out due to overcrowding is one such example.
So we can blame nearly ALL the politicians for having their priorities askance. We can vote them out. But I take offense to the very idea that a man who had NO EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER made wild promises about fixing the State only to make it worse in every way possible. He should be held accountable because he said he could handle it. The budget should not be based on future projections of earnings and overinflated home prices. Non-violent criminals should be released (with discretion of course). We shouldn’t have to pay a fee on top of a fee with yet still another fee. 
Yesterday’s ballot measures failed because they called for an open-ended period of time of tax increases and a reduction of services to divert funds. There was no guarantee that IF the State did get that money that they’d be responsible with it. Now I know people don’t like the idea of paying more taxes but if there was an even exchange for vital services it could be argued to pan out in the end. These recent increased coupled with double-digit unemployment just are just a blanket pile-on because they can’t add and subtract. So now I’ve got to give serious consideration to living in a state that may soon resemble a third world country with the expense of the Soviet Union. 
I want to see a PLAN Arnie about how you’re going to turn things around and STAT! Taxes should be proportionate. Firing teachers at public schools when you send yours to private ones is NOT a good look man. Don’t threaten to “let criminals run loose” in (white) neighborhoods to manipulate votes. Don’t say you’re looking for buyers for State-owned properties that hold value with people. Don’t force the SEIU to work for minimum wage when the average politician earns six figures AND a per diem. You look desperate, undisciplined and just plain MEAN. use some of that charm to convince people we’re all in this together and you have solutions that are different from the ones you’ve proposed before. Otherwise I can see that recall effort picking up speed by July I guarantee it. 

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California Statewide Special Election: More Disdain for the Little People

There are times when I think the only ideology separation between the Texas and California Governors is Maria Shriver hitting one of them upside their heads when they get too right wing. That and quite a few of us rabble-rousers keeping the illusion of a liberal State going. I’ve written quite a few blogs about the Governator and how some voters made a poor decision by sending him to Sacramento. I try not to rant anymore but honestly what else can I do? The state is in shambles and he PROMISED TO FIX IT NOT MAKE IT WORSE. He can’t blame it ALL on the economy either. 
Regardless of political party affiliation it is a FACT the Republicans blocked ANY passage of the State budget that called for an increase in taxes for the rich and refused to cut spending on the Prison Industrial Complex.  The debt ballooned to $43B. After CA was on the verge of total collapse a budget was passed – in part thanks to the three (3) Republicans that broke ranks. Notice I said a budget not a good budget. Note all the teachers that got pink-slipped afterwards – and there was still a $9B shortage. If that wasn’t bad enough there’s now an additional $21B shortage for this year. What the HELL-O is going on? Please tell me why ANY of these politicians (barring Karen Bass and Debra Bowen) are in office?
If you’d like to read the Senate Bill the Governor signed calling for this ballot legislation you may read it in its entirety here. Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F are up on the voting block this go-around as well as local issues. Now I’m not here to tell you how to vote, but the turnout is expected to be low for a reason. The governor is on his way out while pushing for 1A-1E hard. 1F calls for barring any raise for Legislators during a time of recession so I think the average CA resident will have NO problem supporting that one. So if you consider the piss-poor job that’s been done by the same person asking for something it should give you pause. 
Here’s an interesting take from writer/activist Jasmyne Cannick: 
Why is it that when Californian’s are threatened with early prisoner release, the government suddenly finds the money to avert the current crisis at hand? But when the same voters are threatened with the unexpected release of thousands of teachers from our public schools, it’s business as usual.
What could be scarier than another generation of undereducated young adults headed into the workforce? Where do you think they’re headed after graduation and the harsh reality sets in that they aren’t qualified to even clean toilet bowls? Newsflash—most people don’t commit crimes for the sake of committing crimes. I’m not in support of raising or extending taxes, let me make that clear. Too many of us are living without an income to tax in the first place due to the current economic crisis. 

If you ask me, before we’re forced to vote, especially where our public schools are concerned, we should demand a piece of legislation be passed that mandates that all state, city, and county elected officials with children put their kids in a public school in the district they represent. And if their kids are headed to college, they have to first attend a 2-year community college or 4-year State University before heading off to the Ivy Leagues. If it’s good for the gander, it’s good for the goose and their goslings. Maybe then, they’d take this crisis a bit more seriously and stop playing Russian Roulette with the future of California’s workforce.

Voter Guide which explains the Propositions. By the way Election Day is May 19th BUT YOU CAN VOTE EARLY!!! You can go to your local City Hall and vote NOW. Don’t pass this opportunity up!

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President Obama’s Weekly Address

This should be subtitled the Good News/Bad News Scenario.
Well he’s letting us know the economy is in the crapper! He’s saying he showed up on Day One with things worse than ever. He’s telling us things will deteriorate before they level off. We’ve been warned. This address is total CYA for him and putting those politicians that would try to thwart his plans on notice. 
I recall the Republican talking points up until their Convention from their candidate John McCain stating the fundamentals of the economy were strong (and still claiming it mid-September when the ish started hitting the fan). I remember #43 telling us it was just a hiccup, a slow down. Mistakes are one thing, but they were lying and dumped everything onto Obama. I shudder to think what would be happening right now if it was McCain/Palin in office. No matter what Obama does – or doesn’t do – the bar has been set so low a mediocre Obama would still run circles around #43. Isn’t that just pathetic!
I’m all for accountability, but I find it very telling that a real plan for destruction and disruption that the Republicans and their infiltrators (agenda traitors) in the Democratic party are planning is fully present and visible. If the horse has run off and is heading towards a brick wall how can you claim you’re controlling it or that it’s not loose. Once the horse has been corralled and someone else has the reigns how can you then claim you have ideas about how to lead that horse to water? You had free reign for 8 years! If you couldn’t figure it then what makes you think ANYONE will believe you have any idea what you’re talking about NOW?! Too much greed, too much spending and living beyond our means has brought us here.  
Everything Obama’s saying about wanting to mend what I’m calling, The Great Big Financial Catastrophe sounds good. Unlike the Depression in 1930’s wealthy people today have made sure to modify the laws to protect their financial interests by and large. So the majority of people going down will be the working class. The working poor are already screwed. 
At least he’s speaking to the people directly instead of mumbling about abstractions to the press and claiming unqualified appointees are doing a “heck of a job”. I do believe that #44 wants to do the right thing. I haven’t seen any evidence that Obama is personally motivated by greed, avarice or ideology. If he didn’t think he could do the job he would not have run. 
I just don’t underestimate the obstacles we’ll all have to climb to get over to the other side. If enough people want real change they will make personal modifications and adopt a shift in attitude. Everyone is not going to be helped in the way they want. That American Dream fantasy was always a lie. People have to stop spending money they don’t have and live with less. Of course that will affect consumer-based retailers and other companies that depend on us buying every new gadget annually. It was never necessary and it needs to stop. Nor will I dismiss those shifty tendencies of  shady politicians looking to line their pockets or those easily influenced by evil. We’re watching. 

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Why Are So Many Companies Going Under?

Can we got some detailed explanations from economists WTH is going on with the economy?! I do NOT understand why all of these companies from Circuit City to Yahoo to the friggin’ Postal Service are reporting millions – and billions – in losses! What have they been doing the past 8 years? This isn’t all about bad mortgages and bank mergers either. I suspect this is the result of rampant greed that went unchecked and false religiosity cloaked in ideology by a lot of dishonest people.
It’s no coincidence these companies are hitting the bricks right at the beginning of the new Democratic Administration. You know #43 and his cronies and lapdogs have been hiding all the crap under the floorboards, way back in the closet and the levees are about the break (again). Why should #44 be considered a failure for not being able to waive a magic wand over all of this?! It’s a no-brainer that infrastructure should be part of the economic relief package because it’s BROKEN! You can’t build on quicksand
Tax breaks for the wealthy will do nothing for those of us on Main Street….or the Alley. This is so far from over it’s down right frightening. I sincerely hope all those blocking solutions because of partisan politricks get voted out of office. **Ah-nold still hasn’t managed to get his Rethug legislators in line to agree on a budget for California either. No state grants for school or tax refunds. It must be nice to be really wealthy but so divested from concern about the average wage-earner. Ah, but the let them eat cake motto led to a revolution.

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So Now the Rethugs Are Concerned About the Budget?!

President Barack Obama is pictured alongside House Speaker Nancy ...
It’s day 8 of the Obama Administration. He was sworn-in approximately one week ago. The President wants a huge stimulus package to make it’s way through Congress so he can sign it into law. The economy is in the toilet. While politicians want to add pork and hem and haw over semantics they are still being paid or come from family money. That does nothing for the ever-growing list of unemployed as more companies lay off workers and try to stay solvent. 
When the Bailout plan was initiated last fall, people were rightfully outraged. It was falsely rebranded as a “Rescue” package. As we see the only thing that happened was large corporations and their lobbyists got a very generous parting gift from Shrub. None of that money went to the people. President Obama is using diplomacy and perhaps “begging” all members of Congress to vote for his bill. He isn’t threatening martial law – unlike #43. 
So why aren’t the Republicans getting on board with this economic recovery plan? Why am I hearing the same rhetoric of how Democrats are “tax and spend” – minus the Republican motto of “fiscal conservation”? Well, they can’t claim it anymore. Shall we do the math? The costs of the world domination agenda is very pricey. Iraq has cost us at least 1 Trillion – and counting.   Add to that the Republican-led deregulation efforts of the banking industry and you see why we are here in this mess. 
Yes, individual people overextended themselves and need to clean up their financial messiness. But you couldn’t spend on credit unless you were given credit to begin with. The financial institutions made a fortune putting as many people into as much debt as possible. They set the prices for homes and intentionally over-inflated their value to bundle the mortgages and sell them. They offered those shady mortgages. It was the two-fold punch of exchanging paper with no real value, spending all the money in the piggy bank on war mongering and borrowing money from Saudi Arabia and China. 
Oh the Dumbocrats have to take their share of the blame as well, but the rampant disregard for any common sense or sound fiscal principles lay solely at the feet of the political party large and in charge for 8 years. I want to keep a list of all the members of Congress who support and don’t support Obama’s plan. Don’t try to hold it up because you don’t want a woman to have access to birth control pills or want $3M for a toilet. If it passes and is successful then President Obama has his first victory; if they can kill the bill on the floor it will be a setback. These politicians are forgetting something in their political posturing: their constituents are going down the toilet. They will not forget who stood in the way of them getting relief. Relief that had been promised by the last Administration but was not delivered. 
If the Rethugs (from Senator John McCain to Rep. Dave Camp) were so concerned about the budget and debt where we they nine days ago? One month ago? One year ago? They stood by and did nothing. So I don’t want to hear any of their BS now! Just sign off on the bill. If it doesn’t work it will be egg on the President’s face and he can fail all on his own. Of course I don’t think Obama would put a grossly flawed plan together. I would not underestimate him or rule out him playing hardball. He’s not quite the Magic Negro some may think. 2010 and 2012 is not that far away and they need a reminder they may not be in office if they keep this up! 
I urge everyone to contact their elected officials and gently remind them who they’re supposed to be working for! We need an additional extension of unemployment benefits, students need their financial aid for school, free clinics must remain open, the banks are supposed to be lending money freely again! It’s time to get with the program. He won – now move on!  
Update: From The Field blog: How Obama is setting up a GOP Fall.
Reuters photo of the President, Speaker Pelosi & House Minority Leader John Boehner 

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Ah-Nold Channels A Little Palin & Shrub in 12 Minutes or Less

Sigh. Big Sigh. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? During his latest State of the State address Schwarzenegger claimed the Dems and Repubs won’t play together to agree on a budget and yet – and yet – he keeps vetoing everything put in front of him. He wants all of the non-elites to feast on cake because they’ll be NOTHING LEFT after they’ve gutted EVERYTHING. California officially runs out of money in two weeks and he’s still making excuses!! I mean this is ridiculous. He wanted to be Governator and that requires REAL LEADERSHIP. All he does is flap his gums and make excuses. He had the nerve to try to suggest that our Constitution be changed to allow foreign-borns to run for President. California is one of the largest gross national products in the world. Can you imagine how badly he would’ve messed up this country? Well we already have our example of ineptitude and callousness from really rich people who could care less and are incompetent. We are NOT going there again. I have my concerns (and joys) about the Obama administration but I know he’s not anywhere close to some of the people running things. Geez. 
Photo: AP

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A California Carol for Our Gov

T’was the day before Xmas and all through the state, disgruntled citizens are sharpening their stakes. Is that Morgan Freeman I hear or a really good impersonator? Yup, it’s him. I am so relieved to know I’m not *crazy* about my outrage over the Governator’s failure to lead. He tried blatant right-wing tactics when he prepared to attack nurses, fire fighters and teachers but that was quickly slapped down. He’s let the budget balloon from $7B to $15B while ignoring the pending calendar year that adds on another $28B the State does not have. Now the State will run out of money in February 2009. He’s claiming that he’ll pass a budget without fellow Republicans to save Kah-li-fawn-ya. I’ll believe it when it happens. 

The Courage Campaign put out this satirical piece (note to all the racist regurgitaters who tried to be ‘cute’ with the Obamas – this is how it’s done) and is asking for our signatures. The end.

CA Wants to Cap Students But Give Admins Raises?

Ineptitude strikes again! The State is facing an $11B deficit but the Governor can’t make the legislators come together to fix the budget? There’s talk of slashing every vital service down to the bone, including limiting the number of new students attending State Universities and Community Colleges while raising fees. But wait for it, the Board of Governors is handing out raises like party favors. Not a piddly 3% cost of living increase but 10%, 13% and even as much as 19%!!! 
This is beyond infuriating. With the economic downturn it is even more important for people to beef up their education and remain competitive in the job market. This is not going to be ‘fixed’ any time soon either. Obama can’t wave a magic wand and cure all that ails the market. The Bush administration (father and son) along with the Clinton one (yeah I said it) proceeded to roll back every barrier to prevent a run on the banks and Federal Reserve. Shrub encouraged people to shop after 9/11. People have been living on credit. The gov’t lives on credit. It took years and years of concentrated plundering to make it this bad. That bogus bail-out was all for the benefit of the top 1% and the rest of us were forced to pay to keep them wealthy. 
Is this a blip, a speed bump or an asteroid hurling from space to destroy us?

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