Last week, KT posted an article that took an L.A. Times op-ed piece to task for ignoring the deplorable state of the state of California and choosing instead to focus on the politics of the state.
The entire article is about politics. Winning, losing, success, failure, it's all about the politics. There's no connection at all to real life where California is at the bottom of most non-political statistics - education performance, debt loads, credit ratings, shrinking tax base, etc. Reality doesn't enter into the equation at all. "More sentient Republicans" would focus on winning elections and stop worrying about all of this performance nonsense.
My boy would really love today’s op-ed from George Skelton in the pages of the very same L.A. Times. Skelton was opining on the voters of California granting the Democrats a super majority in California and passing a tax increase ballot initiative backed by the Governor a combination of which has put the Governor, according to Skelton, in a very powerful political position.
Contrast all that with Jerry Brown's year. He just bolstered his governorship by finessing rare voter approval of a riskily sought tax increase. At last count, Proposition 30 was ahead by a surprising 9.4 percentage points.
Brown's job approval rating among voters, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times post-election poll, is a respectable 49%. And 54% of people under 30 approve of the old guy.
His future is on the upswing. He's not even facing lame-duck syndrome, as he would be if he truly had been reelected to another term. And he should benefit from new supermajority Democratic control of both legislative houses.
Brown is in an extraordinary position to perform great deeds.
But where there was a lack of an agenda in the piece that KT was fisking, Brown’s press conference from last week offered up what he hopes to accomplish… and that is the entire problem. Here is the first of the five priorities:
•Business regulatory relief. Or, as he described it, "calibrate our regulations to ensure that they encourage jobs" while still protecting the environment, health and working conditions. "Are they retarding investment?”
We’ll assume he said that with a straight face because does anyone who can rub two brain cells together and who has also witnessed the scene here in Calfornia for any length of time think that is actually going to happen?
Sacramento has long been under the influence of the Big Green environmental lobby and the public employee unions. With this super majority now in place, who in their right mind thinks that any and all legislation coming out of Sacramento will not have to pass muster with those two groups?
And you’ll be pleased to know that high speed choo-choos are one of those priorities:
•Bullet train. "A lot to do there." Yes, like finding some financiers. Now it's running $55 billion short.
And right on the heels of bullet trains, here’s Brown on the state budget:
•The state budget. "We have to make sure … that we pay our bills, we invest in the right programs, but we don't go on any spending binges.... We've got enough money if we spend it wisely."
Now, he’s just showing off as you cannot take a man seriously who speaks of the largest public works boondoggle in the history of this nation in one breath and in the very next speaks of fiscal responsibility.
KT was right. There is such a detachment from reality that we don’t think Brown even believes what is coming out of his mouth. He won. And that is all that matters. He won and now he can pretty much do and say anything he wants as this state slips further and further into a fiscal, educational and economic abyss.