Tag Archives: Karen Bass

What’s Your S.O.S.?

Governor Schwarzenegger delivered his final State of the State (SOS) address this morning. It was a mixed bag. Sober reality check. Wistful glorification of California’s can-do spirit. A vague, punch-drunk plan of attack for rescuing California.Protecting education, cutting prisons, tax breaks. They all sound wonderful. How this stacks up with financial and political reality is highly suspect. But give the Governor credit for connecting the dots and trying to move ahead in the face of insurmountable odds.

Depending on your viewpoint and situation, S.O.S. can mean a lot of things.

* For castaways desperate for salvation, it’s the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass – “Save Our Souls.”

* For soldiers sick of canteen food, it’s “Sh*! on a Shingle.”

* For cynics in the capitol press corps and in The Building, it’s “Same of Sh@#.”

* For liberals, to paraphrase Democratic ex-Speaker Karen Bass, it’s “Save our Shreds” of what is now the social safety net.

* For Arnold, it boiled down to the “Same Optimistic Speech.”

The Blue Dog thinks it was very well-written and delivered pretty well. But the feel-good tone evaporated minutes after the speech . . . just inventory the pitiful track record of a Centrist Governor sandwiched between too-far right Republicans and the dominant left-wing Liberals. They are all talking about collaboration now. But as Sacramento political pundit Steve Swatt so nicely put it: “By summer the olive branches will be fire wood.”

Achieving some measure of budget reform should now be Governor Schwarzenegger’s drumbeat to a proud legacy, It’s a worthy goal and the Governor should be applauded for that. The Legislature should, but of course, won’t, do anything meaningful or visionary to help him.  After all, a broken system cannot fix itself.

Yes, Governor, California is a wonderful place indeed. But her glow has faded and she can’t rely on her looks any more. The fresh-faced beauty queen is now a haggard middle-aged woman with missing teeth and a crack pipe in her hand.  Optimism alone is not going to change that fact.

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Filed under California Legislature, Healthcare Reform, Media, Politics, Reform

The Bass-O-Matic: Leadership or Abuse of Power?

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Years ago, Saturday Night Live’s Dan Aykroyd performed a skit about the Super Bass-O-Matic 76, a blender that churned up raw bass for a fish shake. Speaker Bass this week delivered her own version of the concoction she makes with the Super Bass-o-Matic 09. Instead of raw fish, her blender mixes bullying, intolerance, immaturity and questionable ethics to gin up a drink that is just as distasteful and even more putrid than Aykroyd’s fish beverage.

A few days ago, the Blue Dog lashed out at the Neanderthals in the Republican Party who ostracized the “Sane Six” after voting for the budget and tax hikes. Apparently Speaker Bass-o-Matic shares this inability to distinguish punishment from true vision and leadership. If you don’t think like Big Brother or Big Sister, goodbye committee chairmanships; that’s what the Bee Capitol Alert reported Bass did to three Dems who broke with the party caucus on spending caps and budget trailer bills. It’s like she knows just enough about Willie Brown to be dangerous.

Indeed, it’s a sad commentary when the Democrats so readily disrespect and drop the torch of tolerance. But Bass has reinforced the notion that free speech and tolerance — the once proud domain of the Democratic Party — is a total sham and feel-good myth. As a moderate Democrat, the Blue Dog is disgusted. Witnessing these Thought Police trampling all over moderates and free speech, I can’t help thinking Bass and her ilk are on their way to a book-burning street party. This is precisely what galls moderates from both parties.

And as long as everyone is playing hardball: What is the difference between this brand of leadership and vote trading, blackmail and bribery? The Blue Dog would be interested in what the Fair Political Practices Commission has to say on the matter. And what about you?

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Filed under California Legislature, Politics