Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mrs.CaliBlogger's Back at Home!

After a few very scary days Holly's back at home and is doing very well indeed. Our lives this past week have been a nightmare of horrors, and will likely make a great story some day.

But right now it's too soon for me to gather my thoughts on this in coherent form.

In the mean time I'll be returning to the vastly simpler world of politics.

Just a few quick thoughts on the past week.

Arnie's reforms.
The governator's recent set-backs seem to have demonstrated the dangers of running for office under false-pretences. He ran as a moderate, but as some previous Republicans (Pete Wilson comes to mind), felt compelled to make a stubborn right when in office.

California, its population, and its legislature are still heavily Democratic. Arnold attempted and end-run by going directly to the people using ballot propositions. And while this worked with non hot-button issues like Indian gaming and (here in California) stem-cell research, Arnold's 2005 agenda was mistaken from the beginning.

His ham-fisted approach was never going to fly when taking on the pension issues for some of the most powerful (and well-regarded) groups in the state: nurses, teachers, fire-fighters and police. For many Californians the movie-hero's attacks against these real-life heros would never fly.

And not surprisingly Arnold's initial stubborn insistence on trying for re-districting by 2006 has apparently doomed this much needed reform to failure. Here I believe Arnold's political inexperience truly betrayed him.

As the Prez has demonstrated, the easiest way to get difficult legislation passed is to put it's effective date at a point in the future where current politicians are unlikely to feel its effects. Had Arnold pushed for reforms to begin with the 2010 census he might, and may still, have better luck.

San Diego Mayor Murphy's resignation.
Before moving to Pasadena I lived most of my life in San Diego, and so have taken a bit of interest in the pension debacle facing my hometown (a nice rundown here). Some thoughts.

One of the problems with paradise is that no-one really pays much attention until stuff goes wrong. That and Republican San Diego's continued faith in unregulated capitalism. So stuff simmers under the surface until it blows up. No-one questioned J. David Dominelli's ponzi-scheme while he was paying 50% interest and donating enormous sums to local charities to bolster his image until too late.

And so it is with the current pension problem. In paradise only cranks complain, and so growing problems go unheeded by all but a few. And especially in a town where the media is as Republican as the government, no-one seems to have noticed the enormous deficits caused by San Diego's investment policies when the dot-com bubble burst. (No surprise BushCorp™ skipped San Diego on the Bamboozlepalooza tour. Even in heavily Republican San Diego the Prez may be unable to round even a few gullible souls to help him shill for Social Security privatization.)

Mayor Murphy has apparently had the wisdom to recognize the Peter-principal as it applies to himself and resigned. He's to be congratulated for this. And after the requisite finger-pointing and name-calling I earnestly hope my old home town can get its ducks aligned.

No comments: