Letter From California
01/22/07 0600.31 pst
San Jose, California
One would think with the grand master Schwarzenegger health care plan for all emanating from Sacramento there would be at least a little bit of buzzing excitement in the populace at the chance of desperately needed real progress, but if anyone happens to pay attention perhaps a yawn and a shrug is the response. No one talks about the great health care plan, it isn’t in the news much, and no one expects our health care crisis to be obviated in any sense by Mr. Bicep—Californians have learned to ignore talk from Sacramento and wait to see what actually happens.
Schwarzenegger himself is the cause of this apathy, for like Bush in the 2004 election with Social Security, he never said a word about our terrible health care and how his election would beam forth grand solutions from Sacramento. No, like some policy jack-in-the-box, Arnold put on new political makeup and popped up with Healthcare Politician, he’s here to help, honest.
Just like Bush, no one credits Arnold with one whit of credibility or honesty in his perception to the problem and certainly not to any of his solutions. Like all cowards before him in the Mansion, Arnold refuses to fix our busted revenue base and plans a large amount of borrowing to finance his policy ploys, what is it with these Republicans and their total inability to handle money? Of course right on cue Arnold hit students and the poor with cuts for his schemes, angering many Democrats.
Then analysts came forward and said Schwarzenegger was essentially cooking the books with optimistic numbers. The terrible element to these revenue projections is that no one can say they’re wrong or lies, only the future can tell. One just waits to accept whatever budget rationalizations come from the legislature and governor and take what they spit out, always late, always screwing our children with lousy schools, always ignoring the busted revenue base.
This is the same legislature in very painful fresh memory that came up with the brilliant electricity deregulation fiasco, that in fact is hardly the same legislature at all since term limits wiped out all our experience and forced inexperienced nobodies to fill both houses. Layer Arnie over this pretty picture, a man who seems to come up with a new persona and political mission every week, and one can see how Californians wearily wait for the results from this fiasco and ignore all the meaningless yap until then. It’s extremely doubtful real progress will be eventually delivered from Sacramento with health care, but stranger things have happened.
A freeze has hit the state citrus crop hard, but since most Californians have gotten used to their navel oranges picked green and gassed the proper color of alleged ripeness the fruit won’t be missed much. A real navel orange picked ripe, easy to peel and misting a heavenly fragrance, is something not to be missed in this world, but since logistics are everything we get lousy oranges right where they’re grown, go figure. Waiting nine months for cheap baseball oranges from the early navel crop isn’t that big of a deal, life moves on.
Hunkered down with coats and parkas, up and down the state shivers and waits for spring and summer so California can be California again, land of sunsets at nine after baking dry heat, a heat that fueled so many dreams and crops in endless days of beaming sunshine, rain just a distant, fragmented memory of days long past. It's only January, nine more days to go just until February, but at least spring and the long days of sun are closer, much closer to making us real Californians again.