While the conventional wisdom is that we're heading for an easy budget resolution this year, not everyone thinks that's a good thing
. Take George Skelton, for instance.
"Most voters are living in a fantasy world of denial, expecting pleasure without pain — new highways without paying more, locking up criminals without building cells.
"Demagogic politicians and ratings-driven talk radio hosts feed the myth of "fraud, waste and abuse." Just eliminate that and there'll be plenty of money, they shout. Schwarzenegger, with great flourish, looked for the waste and embarrassingly couldn't find much.
"'I've never bought the idea that governors and legislators are unresponsive to the voters,' says Tim Hodson
, executive director of the Center for California Studies at Cal State Sacramento. 'A better argument can be made that governors and legislators are overly responsive.
"'It's not that they don't care what people want. It's that there really is no consensus about exactly what they do want.'
"What they need is representatives with the courage to lead — not with cold feet meekly following the confused.
And a good morning to you
The Bee's Aurelio Rojas profiled Carole Migden for your Sunday morning read
. "By most accounts, she was one of the most effective members in the Assembly, where she served for five years as chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.
"She also authored legislation to create California's landmark domestic partner registry, preserve the old-growth Headwaters Forest and protect borrowers from predatory lending practices.
"In the Senate, she pushed through legislation to provide mental health assessment for wards of the state's juvenile justice system and was a leader in the effort to locate the headquarters for stem cell research in San Francisco.
"But since May 18, when Migden sideswiped a freeway guardrail in Vallejo with her state-owned sport-utility vehicle and rear-ended another vehicle outside Fairfield during an erratic ride that prompted several 911 calls from motorists, her eccentric behavior has drawn increasing attention."
Migden can still count John Burton
as a fan.
"Burton, one of her mentors, said Migden 'fought her way up' the party ranks and does not 'suffer fools gladly.'
Too much has been said about her manner and not enough about her accomplishments, the former Senate president said. 'If being abrasive is a crime, I would never have been elected
,' Burton said."
That's for f'ing sure.
Meanwhile, it's time to talk redistricting. "The debate over who should have the powerful task of drawing legislative and congressional districts moves to the Assembly this week
as a committee takes up two very different plans to create redistricting commissions," reports the AP's Steve Lawrence.
"One proposal, by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez
, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Curren Price
, D-Inglewood, would give the job to nine members of an obscure government watchdog panel - the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy. It's commonly known as the Little Hoover Commission.
"The other, by Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines
, R-Clovis, would create an 11-member redistricting commission composed of registered voters picked at random from lists compiled by county and state elections officials. Voters' service on the commission would be voluntary."
We still think having the Superfriends draw the maps down at the Hall of Justice
makes the most sense...
The Bee's Kevin Yamamura writes up the effort to crack down on the state chiropractic board
. "Legislation advanced last week that attempts to strip the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners of the unusual autonomy it has held for 85 years. The two proposals would require voter approval, and the chiropractic industry sees them as a serious enough threat that it has launched a $2 million fundraising drive for a potential ballot battle.
"The chiropractic board had existed in relative obscurity until this spring, when legally questionable moves by board appointees became public. That led to an inquiry by lawmakers, who now want the chiropractic board to answer to the Legislature and the executive branch in the same way other health-related panels do.
"'This has come about because of the absolutely indefensible behavior of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners,' said Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas
, D-Los Angeles, author of Senate Bill 801, which would allow the Legislature to change chiropractic laws.
"But the association representing the state's 15,000 chiropractors sees the bills as an attack on the profession."
While the chiropractors fear losing some independence, some massage therapists are looking for greater state oversight.
"An association of massage therapists is the sponsor of Senate Bill 731, by Sen. Jenny Oropeza
, D-Long Beach, to set up a nonprofit organization to certify those who knead backs for a living
," reports John Hill in the Bee.
"The association says it is fed up dealing with a crazy quilt of regulation on the local level.
"Some cities and counties don't regulate massage therapists at all.
"Others, assuming that they're fronting for the sex trade, require therapists to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases or pass zoning laws to ban them from certain neighborhoods
, said Melissa Colburn
, who runs Innate Hands Therapeutic Massage in Carmichael.
"'We've got the gamut,' said Colburn, who is on the association's government relations committee. 'We're just trying to create some consistency.'"
The Roundup wishes the massage therapists a very happy ending.
"A controversial measure to allow some billboards along highways to be replaced with large digital advertising displays has been blocked
by Senate leader Don Perata
, who six years ago helped the Oakland Coliseum erect the same type of signage," writes the Chron's Greg Lucas.
"The billboard legislation by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
, D-San Francisco, easily cleared the Assembly on May 17. Two weeks later, Perata took the unusual move of sending Ma a letter saying he would keep the bill in the Senate Rules Committee, which he controls.
"'Instead of providing for analysis and public debate of the pros and cons of each digital display, the bill creates a broad exemption for all such advertisement along landscaped highways,' the Oakland Democrat wrote Ma.
"'I have received many calls and written communications from residents concerned about a proliferation of big screen electronic billboards. Some cited driver safety. Others cite a gratuitous commercial intrusion into public space,' Perata's letter says."
"Federal health officials determined a Los Angeles hospital had jeopardized the lives of its emergency room patients and threatened to cut off funding
if the problems are not fixed in 23 days.
"The review was conducted following a report in the Los Angeles Times about a woman writhing in pain for 45 minutes on the floor of the emergency room lobby at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital without receiving medical attention in May. She later died.
"Inspectors also were looking into another case from this year in which a man with a brain tumor waited four days in the hospital's emergency room when he needed to be transferred to another facility for life-saving brain surgery.
"The hospital has been cited more than a dozen times over the past 3 1/2 years for inadequate care that has led to patient deaths and injuries."
Now we know why dogs drink from the toilet
. KOMO news reports, "Middle School student Kyleray Katherman
had a hunch something was amiss with the school's drinking fountain water. And right he was.
"For an English assignment, he tested the bacteria content at four water fountains and one toilet to challenge a ban on students from bringing bottled water to class. It seems some were using it to sneak in alcohol.
"Guess which was cleaner? It wasn't the water fountains."