Michael Lewis: California and Bust

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Arnold Schwarzenegger, California, California Budget

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.

Video: How Arnold Schwarzenegger Muscled His Way Past His Womanizing Press

Posted Posted in Arnold Schwarzenegger

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I have written about this before but the video above is a good summary of how Arnold muscled his way past his family and womanizing baggage.

Here is the link to more of the story.

The lesson Arnold learned over the years is simple. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer (by buying them).

Arnold Schwarzenegger and His Love Child Not a New Story

Posted Posted in Arnold Schwarzenegger

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: I Was Addicted to Being Governator

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Arnold Schwarzenegger

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 Says California Governorship Cost Him $200 Million

Posted Posted in Arnold Schwarzenegger

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: Hasta La Vista, FAILURE

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Arnold Schwarzenegger

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.