California Budget Deficit? What California Budget Deficit?

The Gubernator announced his last May Revise  this past Friday.  It was greeted with the usual rending of garments and gnashing of teeth now a customary part of the California budget blowout.   To close an almost $20 billion deficit His Arnoldness is now proposing freezes on local education, more slashing of government workers’ numbers and pay and huge cuts in social welfare and state medical care, including the complete termination of Calworks. Take that , you million mooching kids living off of state handouts.

But what are you going to do when the state is running almost 25% in the red?

And Our Last Action-Hero Governor can’t even depend on a last minute uber-dramatic rescue from Obi Wan Obama.  Washington’s response to  the Governor’s January request for $7 billion in reimbursements for Federal programs?  Drop dead.  Washington’s likely response to his new $3.4 billion beg?  Ditto.

Our Term(Limited)inator in Chief shouldn’t be  asking for a paltry $3.4 billion, anyway.  If the Feds have the audacity to insult the Golden State with such brass tribute he should throw it back in their faces.

No, what  one of the most successful businessmen in Hollywood History should demand is $70 billion.  That’s BILLION, with a big “B”. $70 billion is how much more California pays the Feds then the Feds give back in services and spending.

Californians get back about 78¢ for every dollar collected here by the Feds That means for the $313 billion  per year Californians pay the Federal government the Feds put back around $224 billion  in services and payments.  Which leaves California with that magic $70 billion deficit vis-à-vis  D.C.

Rather than running a $20 billion dollar budget deficit  in terms of revenues and spending  California actually has a $50 billion surplus. That is, if the Golden State got to keep all the gold it ships off to Washington.  Who then ships it off Red States like Mississippi, Alabama and all the others who get more back than they put in to the Federal slot machine.

I heard a commentator on the Dennis Prager show today compare Germany bailing out Greece to Texas bailing out  California .  Sorry but that’s the wrong comparison.  Texas gets back 94$ per dollar it sends.  Alaska gets back  a whopping $1.84.

So it’s Germany is to Greece as California is to Alaska, SAT fans.

Note to Feds: pay us our $70 billion, please.  We’ll take it in gold, if possible.

Note to Sarah Palin:  Shuttup already.  Your state takes more federal money per dollar sent than any other and you have the nerve to cry at your own Tea Party?  How about  you send us Californians—Real Americans who pay a lot more in shouldering the burden of being Americans than you and your mooching Alaskans—the $3.6 billion more you get back from that hated American government than you send in?

Consider it a down payment on monies owed California by a grateful nation.

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Boo Boo

When I read on Satuday that Sarah Palin was going to drop the puck at a Philly Flyer’s game I  told my wife (she’ll vouch for me!) that if the Alaskan Great White Hope got booed on the ice by hockey fans–her own  self-described peeps and homies–the election is over.  Obama wins by 5 to 10 easy.

Check out the U-tube of the booing here.

So, what are you going to wear to the Obama inauguration?

(And why isn’t the Hockey clip being run right now as an Obama ad?)

Spin This

Spin This

I was on panel with presidential historian Robert Dallek earlier this month.  He told me about a bumper sticker he’s seen all over Washington: framed in the Republican colors of the John McCain campaign, the sticker states, simply and elegantly, “Cheney/Satan 2008.” Watching the intellectual gymnastics GOP sympathizing political commentators like Bill Kristol have had to go through in putting good spin (dare one say “lipstick?”)  on Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be president,  I imagined the following scenario.  The set up: seeing the “I was a POW in a war that happened before most of today’s voters were out of training pants or even born so why don’t voters relate to me—I at least have a hot running mate who’s shot a moose” campaign of McCain-Palin wear out its electoral welcome in record time, the GOP high elders make a last minute desperate switch:  “Cheney/Satan 2008.”  (Which, given the rising “Dump Palin” sentiment, begins to seem even plausible.)  Brent Hume and the gang at Fox News “Special Report” respond.

Hume:  Today the Republican party stunned the political world by reconvening their national convention and, in a bold move, announced that the party of Lincoln is replacing its national standard bearers of McCain/Palin with Vice President Dick Cheney and his long-time co-counsel and mentor, Satan.  With me are  NPR reporter Mara Laisson, “Weekly Standard” editor  Bill Kristol and crotchety old guy Charles Krauthammer.  We begin with Bill Kristol.  What do you make of this, Bill?

Kristol:  Well, I have to say I was delighted today, Brett.  Absolutely delighted. It’s the kind of bold, decisive action conservatives have wanted to see from their party.  And, after all, it’s the direction the party’s been heading in certainly since 1968 if not even 1964.  To finally acknowledge the powerful and pivotal satanic wing of the GOP and give it voice is long overdue.

Hume:  Mara?

Laisson:  The Republican’s put Satan on their ticket, Brett.  Satan.

Hume:  Meaning?

Laisson:  S-A-T-A-N.  Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, Angel of the Bottomless Pit…

Krauthammer:  Now that’s just another example of how eastern liberal intellectual elitists media twist everything to advance their old and tired liberal socialist agenda. The democrats have always been the party of blame. Blame all of society’s problems on the rich.  Blame it on conservatives. Blame it on the Devil. But never blame it on their own tired liberal socialist agenda.  The real devil in this campaign is in the details of just how the social programs of Barack Osama Obama are going to bankrupt this country, not in the GOP’s choice of vice president.  And if there is one thing the Republicans need right now it is there own clever trickster to deal with lies, distortions and chicanery of Barack Osama Obama.  Did I mention his middle name is “Osama”?  Satan’s middle name isn’t “Osama.”

Laisson:  Obama’s middle name is Hussein, not Osama. And we’re talking about SATAN here?

Krauthammer: Osama, Hussein, their still the names of enemies.  And no-one can accuse Satan of being a Muslim.

Kristol:  Charles is exactly right.  Whatever the left doesn’t like they demonize.

Laisson:  That’s because he’s a DEMON!  We’re talking about SATAN! LUCIFER! The KING OF BABYLON!

Krauthammer:  Exactly, Bill.  They demonize and call people names.  But  it will nice to see a GOP candidate be able to give as much as he takes from the liberal mainstream media.  Look at the way Satan dealt with Wolf Blitzer at today’s press conference.

Laisson:  He burned Blitzer to a cinder in a hail of hellfire!

Kristol: Exactly.  It’s high time someone reigned the prejudiced media in.  If it wasn’t for the mercilessly slanted liberal press Republicans wouldn’t have had to drop the incredibly talented and successful McCain/Palin ticket in the first place.

Laisson:  The party dropped John McCain because Sarah Palin’s utter underqualifications  was dragging the ticket to electoral oblivion.

Kristol:  At least according to the slanted, liberal-biased polls.

Laisson:  Fox New’s own poll had the Republicans down by forty points!

Kristol:  My point exactly.  If even fair and balanced Fox has been taken in by the liberal media bias, what chance did poor John McCain have.  But with Satan on the ticket, the polls are gonna turnaround.

Hume: Will that be because the American people will embrace a Cheney/Satan ticket.

Kristol:  No.  It’s because Satan will send any pollster who reports him being behind in the polls straight to the fires of perdition.  Talk about your extraordinary rendition.

Hume:  Given Satan’s obvious name recognition, why not go with him at the top of the ticket?  Dick Cheney has his own gravitas but, after all, isn’t he sort of Satan-lite?

Kristol:  I think the Republican strategy is absolutely brilliant.  Given his heart, stone and all, Dick Cheney will be a one term president, if that.  By 2012 Satan will be at the top of the ticket and in the driver’s seat.  And I think nothing will terrify democrats more than having to face the big guy himself next time around.

Laisson:  The thought of Satan as president should terrify EVERYBODY.

Kristol:  See?

Hume:  But does Satan have what it takes to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency? What about foreign policy experience.

Krauthammer: Well Satan’s experience is certainly more extensive than Barrack Hussein Obama’s.  Hussein Obama has met with a handful of world leaders.  Satan has met thousands of world leaders including those who sold him their souls in exchange for power and, of course, the large majority of political leaders from the past who have died and gone to hell.  I mean, what he’s learned about foreign policy from Johnson and Nixon alone must fill volumes.

Kristol:  Look, we’re in a war here.  A war with our enemies. Who knows more about war and the other horsemen of the apocalypse than the Devil.  The only way to fight fire is  with hellfire.

Krauthammer:  And I think putting Satan on the ticket sends a strong message to all the muslims extremists, like Osama Barrack Bin Laddin.  They call the US the Great Satan?  Well, America’s enemies, the Great Satan himself is going to be in charge and he’s coming for you.

Laisson:  It tells the world America is going to Hell, Charles.  That’s what it tells the world.

Kristol:  You see,  that’s the liberals’ biggest problem.  You care more about being loved by the ‘world’ than loving your own country.  ‘Oh, boo-hoo-hoo.  The world doesn’t like us because we made Satan our vice president.’  Tough brimstone, I say.

Krauthammer: The world didn’t love us when Cheney had the number two spot.  What does he—or we—care about how they feel if he’s number one?  Especially backstopped by the devil himself?

Laisson:  Bush and Cheney have bogged the country down in two costly wars, made America the most unpopular we’ve been globally since Vietnam.  And driven us to the brink of a depression!  Making a principle architect of these policies President will help, how?  And, by the way, we’re talking about freakin’ SATAN here!

Kristol:  Being able to deal with the financial meltdown is precisely what Satan brings to the table. He’s got IOU’s on the souls of every investment banker and hedge fund trader in the world in his hip pocket.  They’ll tow the line and get things on track.  Or they’ll discover what a ‘meltdown’ really is!

Krauthammer:  Which is a lot more than you can say about Barack Adolf Atilla Pontius Pilate Hussein Jung Il Obama, I can tell you.

Hume: But how will a Cheney/Satan ticket play in the Heartland?

Krauthammer: I think the ticket will sweep the Heartland.  Good, real Americans are God- fearing Americans and who should God-Fearing America’s fear more than Satan himself?

Kristol:  Besides, the Heartland went for Nixon and Agnew in 1968 and 1972 and Bush and Cheney in both 2000 and 2004.  They were voting Satan by proxy then. They can vote for the real thing now!

Laisson:  [Stunned silence.]

Hume:  Well we’re out of time.  Final thoughts?

Kristol:  I do have to say that I was surprised, seeing Satan at today’s press conference, just how much he looks like Dick Nixon….

Hume: That’s all we have time for now.  Stay tuned to Fox for tonight’s Hannity and Colmes.  Sean Hannity will have an exclusive interview with the new Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

[Cut to Clip of Hannity]

Hannity:  How does it make you feel when liberals in the media say all those hateful, hurtful things about you, sir?

Satan:  You know Sean,  it really hurts.  You try to let your record speak for itself but there are always those that lie, distort.  I just try and rise above it and trust to the common sense of average Americans to prevail. That, and look forward to slow roasting my detractors over pits of fire when I eventually get my claws on their souls….

[Back to Hume]

Hume: Tomorrow on Special Report, Democrats respond to the Cheney/Satan switch by dumping Obama and Biden in favor of their own revised ticket: Jimmy Carter and Charlie Brown.  Will it work?  Good night.

What Obama Should Say II

Okay, he said John McCain’s recycling George W. Bush’s economic policies is like “putting lipstick on a pig.” And then all sexist-card claiming hades broke out.  My question is, where has the Democrat’s fast response team been?  (Oh, I forgot. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are off this week…).  Republicans had an ad out attacking Obama nano-seconds after his remarks.  An ad portraying Barack Obama as a wolf?  Any racist subtext to that one, intentional or otherwise, that could be revisted back upon the Republicans?  Of course there is.  But Democrats are too high minded to get down in the GOP muck and fight back.  Hey Dems, how’s that been going for you?  (Let’s see, 3 & 6 in the last forty years.  That’s decent .333 ball, ain’t it?)

Dems, pool your quarters—and grad students with google and lexus-nexus—and find one instance of John McCain and/or Sarah Palin using either the phrases “Night and day” or “Black and white.”  The ad you should have run immediately this week shows them saying those line, then says “Black and white? Night and day?  Are John McCain and Sarah Palin playing quietly being  racists while blasting Barack Obama?” Long pause with dramatic music. “Of course not.  And Barack Obama wasn’t being sexist.  And John McCain and Sarah Palin know it.  They just don’t want YOU to think about meaningless drivel like who’s got lipstick on what. And they DON’T want YOU to think about what’s really  important for America—and YOU. Like will you have a house, job or healthcare next year.  Election 2008—it’s too important to waste spending time on cr*p like this!”
And then Barack Obama, hugging a pig, can say he endorses the ad…..

I read with some pleasure that the Obama campaign is finally saying it’ll get a bit more down and dirty.  I’ll ultimately believe it when I see it.  You can lead a horse to water after all…but, then, one dares not use animal metaphors in this political climate.

Yes He Did/No He Can’t

Obama delivered.  Simple as that.  And the poll bump is now bumping.  Even before his Goldilocks speech last night (Goldilocks because it was “Just RIght” — not too righteous, not too soring, not to wonkish, not too churlish, not too congenial) Gallup showed him regaining momentum over McCain due to a Biden Bump.   By Monday that will be in firm double digits as his “We Can Not Walk Alone” speech works its way into the national zeitgeist.

This despite McCain’s best efforts to steal the limelight back today with his veep pick.  Even if McCain picks first term governor Sarah Palin as    For Republicans woman candidates and politicians are so much window dressing, just like Republican minority candidates.  They’re trotted out like so much chintz in  help to try and obscure the reality that the Republican party has, is and, seemingly, always will be a white man’s party. But after elections it’s the party  good ‘ol boys who run the shop.  Democrats give more than lip service to the efficacy of their female and minority candidates.  Nancy Pelosi is not window dressing.  She’s the whole window.  Ditto Barrack Obama.  He’s now the whole Democratic store.

McCain really has no choice but to go with Palin, just as the GOP really had no choice than to go with McCain.  Had the GOP nominated any of McCain’s primary rivals, candidates who, for the most part, were more in step with core Republican values than McCain himself, Obama would be up by fifteen or more points by now.

The simple fact that Republicans recognize but refuse to really act on is that Americans are finally souring on their anti-government, your on your own, you drown you drown, New Orleans, rhetoric. Republican call to dismantle government has amounted to the opening of our civic gates to the hordes of no-holds barred, loot what you can while you can barbarians masquerading as legitimate businessmen. (Fitting, in its own way, that this week also marked the 1,598th anniversary of the barbarian sacking of Rome in 410 AD. Thanks for the heads up, Mr. Colbert.)

That’s why McCain has been trying to walk the ultimately untenable tightrope of sounding  Republican enough to win his base without sounding so Republican he looses the independents and moderates.  Tain’t possible over the long haul, Johnny ‘ol boy.

Now comes the dropping of the other high heel.  Sarah Palin adds the balance in terms of youth and gender that the Republicans need which can help with the middle.  The Palin Problem is that once McCain picks a half term governor to be one seventy year old’s heart beat away from the Oval Office the whole GOP “Obama ain’t ready” campaign collapses in a heap of hypocrisy.  Once he picks a woman as running mate his luke warm support from social and religious conservatives who, not so deep down, still feel that woman should follow their men, support their men but never lead their men, turns positively tepid.  And once he picks a woman mainstream moderates, seeing the pick for the simple, political, opportunistic choice that it is, will realize that the Republicans really are that out of touch with mainstream moderates.  Diehard Hillary supporters will realize that the Democratic party really is the party that treats women as more than just wrist candy for powerful men.  Hillary Clinton was not run by the Democrats, nor did she get eighteen million votes, as a stunt, a sop to women

Last night Barack Obama proved he can.  Today, with his pick for Veep, John McCain underscores that, come November, he can’t.