Monday, November 8, 2010

Is California The "Lindsey Lohan Of States"?

Yes, it is according to former Californian (and still Birkenstock-wearer), Allysia Finley, in this Wall Street Journal piece, "California Is The Lindsey Lohan Of States." This is her assessment after the recent election.

I must say, she does make some good points in this article:
[snip] After enjoying ephemeral highs and spending binges, you suffer crashes that culminate in brief, unsuccessful stints in rehab. This cycle repeats itself every five to 10 years, as the rest of the country looks on with a mixture of horror and amusement. We'd feel sorry for you if you didn't constantly flip us the bird.

Instead, we're making bets on how long it will be before your next meltdown. Oh, wait—you're already melting down.

You've racked up nearly $70 billion in general obligation debt, and that doesn't include your $500 billion unfunded pension liability. Your own analysts predict you'll face a hole of at least $80 billion over the next four years. [snip]

This reminds me of something a friend of mine who lives in California told me. A family member of hers didn't understand how a business person like Meg Whitman could possibly govern California. As in, what would she know about running a state?


How is it that I know that California has one of the largest economies in the WORLD (8th, down from 6th), but someone who lives there doesn't get that? Isn't a business person EXACTLY who you would want to try and pull your state up out of its flirtation with bankruptcy?

To continue with Ms. Finley's piece:
[snip]It's not as if you don't recognize that you've got problems. Roughly three-quarters of you say you're headed in the wrong direction, according to a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California. You're even more depressed than Illinois and New York, and you've got sunshine 10 months of the year!

You appropriately give your government low marks—28% approval for outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 16% for the legislature—yet you continue to re-elect the politicians who got you into this mess. Not a single incumbent state legislator lost re-election this year, including one Democrat who died a month ago (no joke). What's scarier is that you've just given almost all of the keys to statewide offices to Democrats.

Jerry Brown will be your new (old) governor. This is the man who acted as a gateway drug to your spending addiction three decades ago when he gave public-sector employees collective bargaining rights. Helping enforce your wacky laws will be Lt. Gov-elect Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor who flouted state law by allowing same-sex marriage. On the plus side, he has nice hair and loves you just the way you are...{snip]

Isn't that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome? I'm pretty sure it is. And no doubt, that is why Ms. Finley concluded her article with this:
[snip] We've tried to help you, California. Some spent millions on campaigns to entice you to change your reckless behavior. And you told them to kick rocks.

So here's our final warning: When you inevitably crash and burn, don't count on us to bail you out.(Click HERE to read the rest.)

Amen to that. Whatever happens to you next, California, you brought it squarely on yourself. Time to grow up, and take responsibility for your actions (same goes for Lindsey Lohan).

And while we are talking about insanity, how about Massachusetts re-electing Barney Frank? No, I am not just talking about his post-election rant, but how many of you knew that his partner was busted in 2007 for growing marijuana? Not just was his partner, James Ready busted for it, but Frank was PRESENT at the time of his arrest. Oh, but wait - it gets better. In Jonah Goldberg's very good piece on Frank, Frank claimed that he "is not a great outdoorsman," so you know he, um, didn't recognize that the plants in front of him just happened to be pot 'cause he just doesn't know about plants and stuff. Riiiiggghhhttttt.

But it gets even better (I tell you, this Goldberg article is a wealth of hilarious information about Barney Frank - that is, if you think an elected official breaking the law repeatedly is funny). Yes, this also has to do with one of Frank's partners, and it's a doozy:
[snip] Twenty years earlier, Mr. Frank endured another controversy when his one-time partner, personal aide and roommate was revealed to be running a prostitution service out of Mr. Frank's home. The Massachusetts congressmen insisted he hadn't noticed anything amiss until informed by his landlord. [snip]

Are you freaking kidding me?? And this guy is SILL in office? I'm sorry, but what the hell is wrong with the people in Massachusetts that this guy keeps getting elected?

I mean, personal stuff aside (and holy moley), even more than the above is his involvement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, about which I have written previously. Not for nothing, but helping to send our country down the tubes economically is no small thing:
[snip] And when Mr. Frank helped fuel a housing bubble that nearly crippled the economy for a generation, he again failed to notice anything was awry until it was obvious for all to see. [snip]

But here is the crux of the matter with Mr. Frank (and a few other elected officials, say Rangel, Waters, et al):
[snip] While lesser men, perhaps those not dubbed the "brainiest" man on Capitol Hill by congressional staffers, might worry about accountability, Mr. Frank considers it an affront, given his personal and professional record. In short, Mr. Frank has a very solid record of obliviousness, denial and entitlement.[snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

I'll say. The same can be said for "Call me SENATOR, General" Boxer, and a host of other folks sitting in Congress. I reckon we can add Nancy Pelosi to the "oblivious" team given her desire to run for the Minority Leader position after many Democrats lost their jobs as a result of her heavy-handed, tone-deaf leadership. Yikes. Clearly, she thinks the "shellacking" the Democrats received in the recent election had nothing to do with her.

Oh, wait - she's from California. Yeah, okay - given the Lindsey Lohan-ness of that state, I guess this makes sense. It's not her with the problem, it's everyone else, I guess. Gotcha.

At some point, we have to stop the insanity. We have to stop keeping the same people in office who got us into the big mess in which we find ourselves. Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi both have a great deal to answer for in terms of where we are economically, yet both will be returning to The Hill.

All I can say is, don't come crying to the rest of us when things continue to go horribly wrong, especially you, California - you had your chance. And you blew it.


SFIndie said...

I couldn't agree with you and Ms. Finley more, Rev. California is sliding down hill, just like the houses in Malibu that slide down hill every year due to the rains...but people insist on building on the hillsides anyway.

People pour in from every state in the union; they get all caught up in the illusion of California. Once they get here, and reality hits and they realize there are no streets paved with gold, they go deeper into the illusion because they don't want to face the truth. That illusion is destroying this state.

Another face lift, another botox injection, more isn't working, California. The ravages of the freewheeling life you've been living are showing. It's time to grow up and get serious before it's too late.

California needs someone who can run it with a strong hand; it needs some tough love. Meg Whitman could have done that. Jerry Brown will just take us deeper down the rabbit hole of destruction. Gavin, who has bankrupted San Francisco, will help.

This is MY state. I was born and raised here. I resent all the people who've turned her into a shadow of what she used to be. Take those rose colored glasses off, people, and start facing reality. Or, go back to the state you came from. I want my state back.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Outstanding comment, SF. I can imagine how painful it is for you to watch the state you love continue to take this path toward bankruptcy. When given the choice to correct, it caves to organizations like SEIU (founded by the same guy as ACORN). It is truly sad.

I did not know Gavin Newsome had bankrupted SF. And now he is Lt. Gov.?

What is it with us that we continue to promote people who fail spectacularly at their jobs? I just do not get this mentality we've developed. It USED to be, people worked hard, and were rewarded for their hard work. Now, they get a good PR firm that tells you their failures are really successes, and people BUY it.


I'm sorry - I know you want better for your state than you're getting. And you are right - they need to grow up...