Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Governor Moonbeam, Part Deux: The more things change . . .

Dreading the onset of the second incarnation of Governor Moonbeam, I suffered a brief moment of naivete, actually thinking that maybe, just maybe, the one-time minimalist Governor Brown might actually be able to restore order to state government in California. In the time it took you to read that run-on sentence, the moment passed.

For those of you living on another planet (besides California), we are a basket case.

Yet faced with a rising deficit, run-a-way spending and an entrenched union bureaucracy, the first act in the New Adventures of Old Jerry was to eliminate the state inspector general whose job it was to serve as a watchdog over the spending of federal porkulus money. Nice, huh? The one job designed to look out for wasteful spending is eliminated. And these before he was even sworn in.

And as if to prove that nothing changes in California, Moonbeam has recycled another retread from the past, former Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig, who he has appointed to the Board of Education.

Now I would not expect anyone to remember the former Superintendent who was caught steering school contracts to his wife's consulting business when he was superintendent. Oh, and in addition to being driven from office, he was originally convicted of a felony for this. (The Sacramento Bee has the story but I'm already linking to the N.Y. Times and I cannot bring myself to link to the Bee as well.)

Think on that. Phase 1: eliminate the stimulus watchdog. Phase II: appoint a convicted, corrupt politician to stick his dirty little fingers in the education system again. Phase III: profit! No, wait, that's something else.

Oh hell, I have no doubt the underpants gnomes would do a better job of running this s-hole of a state.

The Elder Waxes On: One of the unintended consequences of adding James as a contributor is that whenever I start feeling despair about the political climate in Minnesota--Mark Dayton sworn in this week as governor, Al Franken in the Senate, Keith Ellison as my House representative, etc.--James reminds us just how much browner the grass can be on the other side of the fence. And despite rumors about L.A. poaching them, we still have the Vikings too. Wait...I'm starting to feel that despair come on again...