• Arnold Schwarzenegger,  California,  California Budget

    Michael Lewis: California and Bust

    Photograph Courtesy of Art Streiber

    Read all of Michael Lewis’ excellent piece on California government and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    A ompelling book called Cal­ifornia Crackup describes this problem more generally. It was written by a pair of journalists and nonpartisan think-tank scholars, Joe Mathews and Mark Paul, and they explain, among other things, why Arnold Schwarze­neg­ger’s experience as governor was going to be unlike any other experience in his career: he was never going to win. California had organized itself, not accidentally, into highly partisan legislative districts. It elected highly partisan people to office and then required these people to reach a two-thirds majority to enact any new tax or meddle with big spending decisions. On the off chance that they found some common ground, it could be pulled out from under them by voters through the initiative process. Throw in term limits—no elected official now serves in California government long enough to fully understand it—and you have a recipe for generating maximum contempt for elected officials. Politicians are elected to get things done and are prevented by the system from doing it, leading the people to grow even more disgusted with them. “The vicious cycle of contempt,” as Mark Paul calls it. California state government was designed mainly to maximize the likelihood that voters will continue to despise the people they elect.

    But when you look below the surface, he adds, the system is actually very good at giving Californians what they want. “What all the polls show,” says Paul, “is that people want services and not to pay for them. And that’s exactly what they have now got.” As much as they claimed to despise their government, the citizens of California shared its defining trait: a need for debt. The average Californian, in 2011, had debts of $78,000 against an income of $43,000. The behavior was unsustainable, but, in its way, for the people, it works brilliantly. For their leaders, even in the short term, it works less well. They ride into office on great false hopes and quickly discover they can do nothing to justify those hopes.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger and His Love Child Not a New Story

    Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks after accepting an award during the 63rd Israel Independence Day Celebration at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles in this May 10, 2011 photo. Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child more than ten years ago with a member of his household staff, the Los Angeles Times reported on May 17, 2011

    As Mickey Kaus points out this story is NOT really new. Here is a September 2004 piece: Taming the Hydra-Headed Carnivorous Tabloid Beast

    To prove his case, Pecker cites an “Arnold exclusive” that ran in The National Enquirer with the headline “Arnold’s Love Child Scandal.” The Enquirer posted the story on its Web site on October 5, two days before the recall election, and published a heavily revised version in its print edition 14 days after the election. Certainly it was an incendiary story, but because it was posted so close to the election, the mainstream press had little time to follow up the account and confirm it. As a result, the story remained on the margins. Moreover, the Enquirer article cited as its source a story by a reporter named Wendy Leigh that appeared in the British tabloid The Daily Mail, indicating it was a lift-and-clip job.

    The Enquirer story, which was picked up by The Boston Herald, The New York Daily News, and The Drudge Report, claimed that the former bodybuilder had fathered a son with a woman from Orange County. She had worked as a stewardess on his Gulfstream jet for more than a decade. The Daily Mail also mentioned that one of the woman’s two sons has the same unusual name as one of Schwarzenegger’s film characters. The Daily Mail even ran a photo of the 11-year-old boy. The paper published a denial from the woman that Schwarzenegger was the father. (An attorney representing the woman said in October that he would file a libel suit against The Daily Mail in English court, but the paper has yet to receive a letter demanding a retraction or to be sued.)

    Read all of the story about the Tabloids protecting Schwarzeneger in his run for California Governor and their deals for Body Building Magazine endorsements.

    The 2003 Recall Election of Gray Davis has proven to be a disaster in so many ways. It is only now that Californians are seeing the chickens coming home to roost.

    Be prepared for more.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger: I Was Addicted to Being Governator

    It is all all about Arnold.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is pulling no punches in his first formal interview since leaving office, claiming that the highest office in the state left him “addicted” to its power.

    In a recent sit-down the former governor granted to the Austrian newspaper Krone, Schwarzenegger estimates that his seven years as governor cost him about $200 million – $70 million of that in lost movie roles.

    Schwarzenegger also laments the fact that Hollywood salaries have dropped since he left the business.

    He said his abysmal popularity rankings were “just a snapshot” and that “they would have rocketed to the top” had he not been forced out of office by term limits.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger was inexperienced and did not grow in the office. He should have done Californians a favor and retired after his first term.

    He was a very poor leader (finger in the wind) and an even worse Republican. He drove the California GOP into the ground.

    California would have been better served by Democrat Governor Gray Davis who Schwarzenegger replaced in a recall election. At least, Gray Davis would have been termed out and an open election may have brought some worthwhile and experienced GOP candidates to the forefront.

    Good bye Arnold. You won’t be missed.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Says California Governorship Cost Him $200 Million

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2010

    And, he did a lousy job too.

    Serving as California governor cost Arnold Schwarzenegger at least $200 million, the bodybuilding star turned actor and politician told a newspaper in his native Austria, insisting ‘it was more than worth it.”

    Counting expenses and lost income from acting in Hollywood films, “in all it is probably more than $200 million,” he told Krone when asked how much his two terms in Sacramento had cost.

    “But I’m not sorry. It was more than worth it,” he said.

    “What was much worse was the damage my time as governor did to the family. There is a lot there that needs to be repaired,” he said, recalling the many Sunday evenings when his wife, Maria, and children broke out in tears at his heavy work schedule.

    His Governorship made me cry as well.

    He ruined the California Republican Party Brand for at least a decade and California business for longer with his “green global warming” agenda.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hasta La Vista, FAILURE

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the fiscal emergency he declared during a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. Schwarzenegger asked lawmakers to meet in a special session to close an immediate $6 billion deficit

    After the disastrous California Governor Gray Davis and his recall some seven years ago, how could anything else go wrong?

    Well, it did and Arnold Schwarzenegger was it – a colossal failure.

    In his headier and hunkier days, Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke boldly about how “failure is not an option.” This kind of bravado worked well in the gym–and in a remarkable career that saw an inarticulate Austrian body-builder rise to the apex of Hollywood and California politics.

    But Schwarzenegger’s soon-to-be-ended seven-year reign as California’s governor can be best described in just that one simple world: failure.

    Read all of the piece.

    Arnold never was able to shake off the Hollywood persona and make believe. He has damaged California and the California Republican Party beyond belief.

    Good bye Arnold and don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you leave – Hasta La Vista, Baby.

    Good riddance.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Marijuana

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

    In his younger days Arnold Schwarzenegger smoking some weed

    Why, of course, Arnold would.

    The California Governor, Schwarzenegger, who opposes Proposition 19, this morning signed a landmark bill in the state of California which decriminalizes the possession of marijuana. For those wondering, this does not make marijuana possession legal, but it no longer will be a misdemeanor offense. Instead of the mandatory fine of $100 as well as the mandatory appearance in front of a judge, the outcome of being caught with marijuana will now simply be a $100 fine. The new law will be in effect on January 1st and include anyone caught with up to an ounce of marijuana. Basically the possession of the drug is seen no different by California now than speeding is.

    Schwarzenegger signed the bill because it will save the state a ton of money since there will no longer need to be a judge and attorneys appointed to each and every one of the misdemeanor offenses involving marijuana possession. Last year alone there were 60,000 Californians caught with the drug, and in the last decade approximately 500,000 offenders.

    I am trying not to be cynical here but really isn’t this a ploy to make sure that Proposition 19 which legalizes marijuana on the November ballot will NOT pass? The fact is the medicinal marijuana law is a mockery and the use of marijuana is very common place – like alcohol in California.

    I really don’t know how California will EVER solve its numerous problems with more stoned out citizens. But, the current law is really a joke anyway.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Ronald Reagan

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation Declaring Ronald Reagan Day in California

    President Barack Obama, seated, joined by former first lady Nancy Reagan, left, and others, signs the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act during a ceremony in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2009. From left are, Nancy Reagan, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., the president, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., and Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill.

    One of the few things the unpopular California Governor Schwarzenegger has done right.

    California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that the US state will celebrate Ronald Reagan Day annually on February 6.

    Gov Schwarzenegger said the move was to acknowledge the former US president’s life accomplishments and his contributions to California.

    Reagan – who was born on February 6, 1911 and died on June 5, 2004 – was governor of California from 1967-1975 before holding the office of president between 1980 and 1988. He was succeeded by George Bush.

    Governor Schwarzenegger said: “With this legislation, we celebrate Ronald Reagan’s incredible legacy and his spirit of optimism. Our nation is stronger because of him, and it is important for future Californians to learn about and acknowledge the extraordinary work he did for the state and country he loved.”

    On February 6, all public schools and education institutions will be encouraged to engage in exercises remembering the life of the former president, recognising his accomplishments and the contributions he made to California.

    The Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission will be tasked with honouring and promoting the celebration of the 100th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birthday on February 6, 2011.

    And, the 100th anniversary should be quite the celebration. Tickets will be hard to obtain but I hope to cover the celebration.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Chuck DeVore,  Glenn Beck,  Tom Campbell

    CA-Sen: Chuck DeVore Rips Schwarzenegger But Voted For Arnold’s Budget in 2005-2006

    Chuck DeVore on Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel yesterday

    But, Chuck, this is not what you were saying in 2005 when you were supporting the California Governator and voting for his 2005-2006 state budget.

    So, the question is:

    Is Chuck DeVore a fiscal conservative? Well, not in 2005 when DeVore voted for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disastrous budget. You remember the 2005-2006 budget that my then State Senator Tom McClintock opposed.

    I am sorry to interrupt the chorus of self-congratulations, but I feel compelled to state an obvious fact – that this budget is $6 billion out of balance; that the state’s chronic deficit spending is getting worse, not better; and that the growth of general fund spending is growing and not shrinking.

    Nor can I join applauding the “painstaking negotiations” that have produced this document. The fact is, in May the Governor proposed spending $88 billion (General Fund), the Democrats countered at $89 billion, and they have now compromised at $90 billion. I suppose it is a blessing that the negotiations didn’t go on any longer.

    Let me run through the vital statistics of this spending plan. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office in June, inflation and population will grow 5 percent and revenue will grow 6 percent. But according to the budget staff analysis, spending will grow by 10 percent. That makes it measurably worse than the plan the Senate rejected on June 15th.

    On June 15th, we rejected a $5 billion operating deficit. This budget spends $90 and takes in only $84 — for a SIX BILLION DOLLAR shortfall – THIS YEAR.

    On June 15th, we rejected a 9 percent increase in state spending. This budget is a 10 percent increase – averaging 7 ½ percent over the last two years. Spending increases under the Davis administration averaged 7 percent.

    Let me repeat: This budget spends $6 billion more than we take in. Last year we spent $2 billion more than we took in. That means that this year’s operating deficit is THREE TIMES bigger than last year’s.

    Now, I’m sorry to throw cold water on the celebration, but that is not progress. That is the opposite of progress.

    And yet, once again, we’re told that the budget is balanced. But the blunt truth is that it is only balanced with borrowed funds carried over from last year.

    And, a budget that the Howard Jarvis TaxPayers Association called overspending:

    “Overall, we’re pleased there’s not been any broad increase in taxes,” said Jon Coupal, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and a frequent adviser to the governor. “We do wish the administration would cut spending more but we understand given the makeup of the Legislature, that’s a difficult thing to do.”

    So, Tom Campbell is not the only politician in this U.S. Senate race who has problems with fiscal conservative credentials.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Climate Change,  Sarah Palin

    Climate Change, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Palin

    Schwarzenegger urges US to lead fight on climate

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged the White House to emulate California in taking a lead in the fight against climate change, saying “it would be good for the whole world . . . if the US becomes the power behind the movement”.

    The California governor told the Financial Times in an interview that he could sympathise with Barack Obama’s struggles in securing backing in Congress for national emissions targets. But Mr Schwarzenegger added “it would be incredible if America makes a commitment” that helps secure a global framework on climate change.

    “America within 10 years could get 20 per cent of its power needs from renewables,” he said. “We have sun, wind – you can even now get oil from algae. There is a green revolution [in California] but the whole US could be leading like that.”

    Mr Schwarzenegger, who flies to a UN climate change conference in Copenhagen this week, also called on cities, states and other “sub-national” governments, urging them not to wait for a binding deal before taking action to curb emissions.

    “International agreements, as critical as they are, will never do enough,” he said he would tell the conference this week.

    Well, Arnold has to say something since he has driven the California economy to the depths of despair and has bankrupted the state.

    But, his comments about Sarah Palin , the former Governor of Alaska are classic Arnold understatement:

    The California governor has become an environmental standard bearer for the Republican party, which is split on the merits of curbing emissions. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, has attacked cap and trade and questioned any link between man-made emissions and global warming.

    “You have to ask: what was she trying to accomplish?” said Mr Schwarzenegger. “Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the [Republican] nomination [for president]? You have to take all these things with a grain of salt.”

    Funny how Arnold has had to leave the country to recapture an audience for his political nonsense. Yeah, he has been a worse Governor than Jesse Ventura in Minnesota.

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