Res Publica Californiae

I haven't blogged politics in a while. The situation in California is quite interesting right now.

First off, I read that today is the first day that diesel sold in California must be cleaner burning, and almost sulphur free. The improvement, though, mostly comes from newer diesel engines. My buddy Mitch follows this technology, even brewing his own bio-diesel. The fuel economy potential of diesel is far superior to gasoline. From an environmental standpoint, this is great news not just for reducing air pollution (and its myriad health problems), but consumers can now opt for diesel over gasoline. I'm all in favour of reducing our oil footprint.

Next, for the first time in a long time, the normal legislative session ended with a balanced budget and lots of new bills. The state raised the minimum wage, agreed to strict environmental regulations to curb global-warming causing pollutants, ban mobile phone usage while driving, and state-sponsored health care. Only the last of these measures s the governor expected to veto. I feel bad for the people of Monrovia, whose rep in the Assembly, Dennis Mountjoy, said, "I don't buy into this global warming hogwash." It sucks to not only be on the wrong side of history, but on the losing side of a debate.

Speaking of the governor, he's been getting a lot done by working with legislature. You may recall that last year he took five moronic proposals to the voters via our inane proposition system, and had his ass handed back to him (all five went down in flames). This year, instead of trying the end run around, he changed his staff and brokered lots of great legislation, putting California squarely back in the forefront of progressive politics. On the radio this morning, Dem and Rep consultants were arguing that this is best scenario for Dems: Arnold needs to shore up his legacy (since he can't be governor again after his next term, assuming he wins reelection), so working with the Dem-controlled legislature in an election year makes him look good before the voters and gives him bragging rights.

That said, I'll be voting for Phil Angelides in the fall election. Arnold might be willing compromise, but I think he's only doing it in the election year as part of a dog and pony show. If he wins re-election, he's go back to his race-baiting, gay-bashing, anti-poor people ways. I for one was very disappointed last year when both houses passed a gay marriage amendment (wow!), only to have it vetoed by the governor. He's unwilling to sign health insurance bill that would guarantee health insurance to all Californias. How is that a bad thing, again?


At 9/1/06, 8:27 PM, Blogger SummerofPlays said...

Plus this movie stars going hollywood thing, is making it too obvious we are a media democracy now. But the man does deserve snaps for what he has done but no doubt it was via consultants etc.


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