Arnold Schwarzenegger is packing up his office in the Capitol and finally, after 7 long years, leaving his post as governor of California. It comes not a moment too soon, as he has distinguished himself as the worst governor in California history by quite a wide margin. The Sacramento Bee’s readers agreed there was one word that encapsulated his misrule: failure.
George Skelton has recognized that the recall of Governor Gray Davis in the fall of 2003, which brought Schwarzenegger to office, was a colossal mistake. John Myers of KQED offered a more in-depth assessment of Arnold’s signature failure, his inability to fix the state’s budget mess. And he leaves office with approval ratings at record lows – at or below the numbers Gray Davis had when he was recalled.
We’ve been discussing the implications of the decline and fall of the California Republican Party here at Calitics in recent days – they have made themselves unelectable because their base hates 21st century reality, demanding white supremacy and destruction of the public sector despite the fact that a diverse population wants neither. Because of this, the CA GOP will struggle to win statewide elections, leading the corporate elite to bypass the GOP and forcing progressives to step up and ensure that Democratic majorities deliver for the base.
The most likely outcome of this is a state politics that looks like SF or LA, where statewide elections are contested between the left and a pro-corporate center, with the right-wing at the fringes of statewide politics, winning some races at the local and legislative/Congressional level but nothing more.
So how is the right-wing going to deal with their impending marginalization? By coming back to reality, embracing the diversity of 21st century California and the public’s desire to have strong public services?
Heh, no, don’t be ridiculous. Instead they plan to construct a 21st century Jim Crow, stemming the demographic tide that is swamping their movement by undermining the Constitution:
As one of its first acts, the new Congress will consider denying citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States….The idea has a growing list of supporters, including Republican Reps. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove and Dan Lungren of Gold River, but it has aroused intense opposition, as well.
This is a straightforward violation of the 14th Amendment, which explicitly states that anyone born in the United States is a citizen. These right-wingers are claiming they can violate the Constitution because, somehow, children born to undocumented immigrants aren’t “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US. I’m guessing that means McClintock and Lungren also believe that the undocumented aren’t subject to other federal laws, including deportation?
From Consumer Affairs:
Today’s California Progress Report – October 1, 2010
By Emily Rusch
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2666 (Skinner) Wednesday evening, a bill sponsored by CALPIRG and the California Labor Federation, that would have made corporate tax breaks more transparent. The measure called for the state to disclose who gets corporate tax breaks and how much they get.
Unfortunately the veto message entangled truth with myth. The governor’s veto message states: “The Franchise Tax Board and the Department of Finance already publish annual reports detailing all tax expenditures, their cost, their intended benefit and other useful information.”
California’s Climate Fight Heats Up
As temperatures reached a record-breaking 113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday — it was so hot, a National Weather Service thermometer stopped working — the fight for California’s climate future is also heating up. Come election day, California voters are in danger of undoing “one of the most progressive pieces of environmental legislation ever enacted,” thanks to a ballot measure pushed by handful of big out-of-state oil companies to kill California’s landmark global warming law. Passed by bipartisan majorities and with strong support from businesses and environmentalists alike, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, commonly known as AB 32, will guide the state’s emissions back down to 1990 levels by 2020, resulting in hundreds of fewer premature deaths each year. Since it passed, the law has catalyzed billions of dollars in private sector investment in clean energy in the state, helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Times noted, California has already “begun to feel the effects [of global warming], with rising sea levels, the disruption of habitats for plants and animals, and diminishing mountain snowpacks that are critical to the state’s water supply.” However, Proposition 23 — placed on the ballot and promoted almost exclusively by three big out-of-state oil companies — would essentially kill this hugely successful piece of legislation. In an attempt to confuse voters, the referendum says it will merely “suspend” the law until California’s unemployment rate drops to the unrealistically low level of 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. The state’s current unemployment rate is 12.2 percent, and has dropped below 5.5 percent only three times since 1970, so the initiative’s passage would effectively kill the law. Moreover, suspending the law would actually hamper economic growth, according to economists, further jeopardizing the law’s eventual implementation. Recent polling offers mixed forecasts of Prop. 23’s prospects, but the data suggests that voters are unclear about what the measure will actually do, thanks to its deceptive wording. Once respondents were read a short explanation of the measure, the numbers shifted with a majority disproving of Prop. 23, suggesting that voters need to be better educated.
McDonald’s Corp. is threatening to drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new health care law requirement. Sending “one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans,” McDonald’s claims the requirement to spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on benefits would be “economically prohibitive” to continue offering coverage.
The House yesterday approved a bill “to give up to $7.4 billion to workers sickened during the cleanup of the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” New York lawmakers said they would push the Senate to pass a similar bill once Congress returns for its lame-duck session.
CIA Director Leon Panetta told Pakistan’s intelligence community yesterday that the U.S. government is working to counter a terror plot to attack several public targets in European capitals. According to Panetta, the CIA learned of the attack — which was set to occur in November — after “capturing one of the prospective attackers en route from Pakistan’s FATA region.”
Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops yesterday, following a cross-border helicopter strike that killed three Pakistani soldiers. The blockade appears to be a major escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) “will not lift her hold on Office of Management and Budget director nominee Jack Lew,” continuing to demand that the Obama administration first lift its moratorium on offshore drilling. The senator met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday, but there was no resolution of her issues with the moratorium.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her Republican challenger, Carly Fiorina, traded charges that the other was too extreme for California during a debate last night. Boxer accused Fiorina of shipping jobs overseas as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and attacked her opposition to health care reform.
Yesterday, Senate Democrats “agreed to a Republican demand” to block President Obama from making recess appointments while Congress is out for midterm elections. In scheduling pro-forma sessions, Democrats prevent Republicans from forcing any of the 115 executive- and judicial-branch pending nominations from having to be resubmitted and reconfirmed in the Senate.
And finally: Obama said he’s “amused” by Jon Stewart’s rally. “I was amused — Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, apparently he’s going to host a rally called something like ‘Americans in Favor of a Return to Sanity‘ or something like that,” the president said. “And his point was, you know, 70 percent of the people…are just like you.”