• 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.

  • Al Franken,  Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Polling

    Poll Watch: 44 Per Cent Have Unfavorable View of Senator Al Franken

    Sen.-elect Al Franken, D-Minn., talks to supporters during a rally at the mall of the Minnesota State Capitol in St Paul, Minn., Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    No surprise here.

    Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters have an unfavorable opinion of former “Saturday Night Live” comedy writer Al Franken as he prepares to join the U.S. Senate as its newest Democratic member.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 34% have a favorable opinion of Franken, who will be sworn in next week as a senator from Minnesota. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure what they think of him.

    It is fairly typical for individual legislators to have negative favorability ratings on a national basis.

    There’s clearly more intense feeling among those who don’t like Franken. Twelve percent (12%) of voters have a very favorable view of the new senator, compared to 29% who have a very unfavorable opinion.

    Similarly, 19% of Democrats have a very favorable view of Franken, while 51% of Republicans and 32% of voters not affiliated with either party regard him very unfavorably.

    Al Franken is a far left comic that represents more of the Hollwood elite than every day Americans. But, hey he is a Democrat and they care, right?

    Flap wonders about the people of Minnesota. First, they elect that moron Jesse Ventura as Governor and now Franken.

    What are they thinking?

    Then again, California elected Arnold Schwarzenegger, so Flap should talk.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  California Budget,  Illegal Immigration

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “HAPPY” Illegal Immigrants Obtain State Services

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

    Well, Arnold removes all doubt.

    He is a MORON.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’s “happy” illegal immigrants get state services and says they’re not to blame for California’s $24.3 billion budget gap.

    Schwarzenegger, an immigrant himself, says the estimated $4 billion to $5 billion the state spends on illegal immigrants annually is a “small percentage” of the deficit.

    The Republican governor told The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board on Friday that it’s easy to “scapegoat” illegal immigrants. But he says the state’s budget has a much deeper spending imbalance.

    He noted the federal government requires California to provide emergency health care and education to illegal immigrants. And he says illegal immigrants often help pick the state’s crops and construct its buildings.

    NOte: California unemployment is the second highest in the United States and the state budget is bleeding red ink with no prospects of balancing it.

    California is essentially insolvent and teetering on bankruptcy.

    If Arnold did not have a short time remaining in office, he would surely be recalled.

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  • California,  Polling

    Poll Watch: 24 Per Cent Favor Federal Bailout for California

    And, 59 per cent oppose bailout funds for states like California that face serious financial problems. For California specifically, 66 per cent oppose a bailout.

    As for California specifically, again just 24% believe the federal government should guarantee the state’s loans. Sixty-six percent (66%) of voters nationwide oppose federal guarantees. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said the state may request such guarantees.

    Even given the most extreme example of bankruptcy, voters oppose federal subsidies to keep the state government going.

    Forty-eight percent (48%) say it would be better for the economy to let California go bankrupt rather than provide federal bailouts. Just 38% said it would be better to provide federal subsidies so the state can continue to pay its bills and provide services.

    California’s revenues have decreased to 1999 levels. Why not cut spending to match the revenue?

    Too simple, huh?

    California should cut government spending supported by the politically powerful public employee and teacher’s unions and get real about balancing its budget.

    Or, RINO California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrat dominated California Legislature can explain to California voters why they have bankrupted the state.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Marijuana

    Poll Watch: 41 Per Cent Support Legalization and Taxation of Marijuana

    While 49 per cent say no in the latest Rasmussen Poll.

    Forty-one percent (41%) of likely U.S. voters think the United States should legalize and tax marijuana to help solve the nation’s fiscal problems.

    However, nearly half (49%) oppose this idea, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

    These results show little difference from a survey conducted in February that asked Americans about legalization only. At that time, 40% said marijuana should be legalized, but 46% disagreed.

    While little movement has been made on the federal level, cash-strapped states – most notably California – have taken the idea of legalizing and taxing the drug into consideration. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state assemblymen are calling for a discussion on the proposal as a means to not only increase tax revenue for the state but to free up large sums of money invested in the legal system as a result of the War on Drugs.

    California voters are evenly divided on the issue. A recent survey found that 45% support legalizing and taxing marijuana to help solve the state’s financial problems, while 46% are opposed to the idea.

    A novel idea that pot could help California’s budget problems but it legalization and taxation will not occur anytime soon. In the meantime, California is racking up some serious budget deficits.

    So, if anyone thinks marijuana will help California with its government financing operations, they are just blowing smoke.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  California May 19 2009 Special Election,  Polling

    Poll Watch: California Budget Propositions Failing – Opposition Rising

    So says the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll on California May 19 Special Election Propositions.

    Here are the numbers:

    • Proposition 1A: 52 percent no, 35 percent yes
    • Proposition 1B: 47 percent no, 40 percent yes
    • Proposition 1C: 58 percent no, 32 percent yes
    • Proposition 1D: 45 percent no, 43 percent yes
    • Proposition 1E: 48 percent no, 41 percent yes
    • Proposition 1F: 73 percent yes, 24 percent no

    The full report is here (PDF).

    There is no surprise here.

    California voters do not trust RINO Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has reneged on his no or low tax pledges that swept him into office. And, voters do not trust the Democrat dominated Legislature who never met a tax they did not like and who have spent the state into bankruptcy.

    Governor Schwarzenegger now enjoys a 34 per cent approval rating and the California Legislature fairs more poorly with a approval rating of 12 per cent.

    You can see the out of touch California and Ventura County Democratic Party positions on the failing propositions here.

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger,  Marijuana

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Says it is “Time for Debate” on Legal Marijuana

    Arnold Schwarzenegger before his political days smoking a joint

    At least Arnold is consistent albeit wrong on the issue.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday it’s time for California to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use, though he’s not yet advocating for such a change.

    The governor was asked about a recent Field Poll showing that 56 percent of registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana to raise revenues for cash-strapped California. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, has proposed legislation that would legalize the drug for recreational use, rather than just medical purposes.

    “Well, I think it’s not time for that, but I think it’s time for a debate,” Schwarzenegger said. “I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I’m always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?”

    He said his native Austria is revisiting some of its marijuana laws, for instance. The Austrian Parliament last year authorized cultivation of medical marijuana.

    “It could very well be that everyone is happy with that decision and then we could move to that,” Schwarzenegger said of other nations’ legalization policies. “If not, we shouldn’t do it. But just because of raising revenues … we have to be careful not to make mistakes at the same time.
    Schwarzenegger previously has shown a casual attitude toward marijuana. He was filmed smoking a joint in the 1977 film, “Pumping Iron.” And he told the British version of GQ in 2007, “That is not a drug. It’s a leaf.” Spokesman Aaron McLear downplayed the governor’s comment as a joke at the time.

    For all intents and purposes, medical marijuana has already legalized “POT” in California. It takes very little effort to get “legal” marijuana in this state.

    All Arnold is interested in is to increase state revenues through marijuana taxes to bail out his disasterous overspending budgets.

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