Maniacs and Morons and Robber Barons

Politics: Like I know what I'm talking about.

California Tradition

In order to bring a fresh take on the traditional Overdue Budget Party that California throws for several months, Governor Schwarzenegger last week signed an executive order recommending that the state cut pay for all state workers down to the Federal minimum wage, and lay off thousands of part-time and temporary employees. One hopes that he remembers he’s a state worker as well, and that his own salary is adjusted accordingly.

State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, has stated his intention to flat out refuse to implement any such executive order. He says that Schwarzenegger’s understanding of state law related to state workers’ pay is flawed. And even if Schwarzenegger is right, then the state simply won’t be able to implement the pay cut. The state’s payroll software was written twenty years ago, in COBOL, a language that nobody programs anymore, except for retirees and part time workers. It’s been patched together with duct tape over the years, and no one’s really touched it since Y2K. This is kind of funny. It means that the very people who would end up rewriting the payroll software to implement the pay cuts were themselves let go. Irony. Ur doin it rite.

Election News

Am I the only one who thinks John McCain’s campaign took a wrong turn on the way to nasty and ended up in downright surreal? The ad that called Obama a “celebrity” and compared him to Paris Hilton was, well, inspired, in its own back of the short bus kind of way. The best part of the ad, though, was Paris Hilton’s response. “I guess that means I’m running for President”. The real shocker, of course, was her coherent delivery of an energy plan which sort of makes sense (though I question whether limited offshore drilling will provide any short term relief). Here’s Hilton’s response, in case you haven’t seen it:

Response from the McCain camp:

“Sounds like Paris is taking the ‘All of the Above’ energy approach that John McCain has advocated — both alternatives and drilling. Perhaps the reality is that Paris has a more substantive energy plan than Barack Obama.”

This amuses me because the plan Hilton talks about is pretty much the same as Obama’s plan anyway. But that McCain’s team has chosen to view Hilton’s spot as a de facto endorsement only strengthens my notion that someone in there got their political science classes mixed up with their “Introduction to Surrealism” art class. It hasn’t quite got the Dada-ist feel that Mike Gravel’s ads did last year, but it’s bizarre nonetheless.

Or maybe I’m just too old for these newfangled politics.

I’ll leave Gravel to finish things off for you.