Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
So, looks like we’ve got another legislative standoff. What do you think the punishment should be for legislators not passing a budget on time?
Chapped in Chico

Hey Chapped,

I was just trolling through what I consider to be the second-most trusted source of political information – PerezHilton.com – and stumbled upon an interesting tidbit. Ann Coulter, it appears fell down and broke her jaw, and now it has been wired shut.

It’s almost enough to make you believe in Karma, or divine intervention. Though, of course, I’d really believe it if Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, and Bill O’Reilly also fell down their respective staircases.

Whether or not you buy this whole “fall” story is up to you. I, for one, am skeptical. My money is still on Adam’s apple-removal surgery gone wrong.

 Say what you will about Ann Coulter, but I will give him this: he knows how to get under people’s skin. When he called John Edwards a certain “f-word” that I think you actually can say on television, Edwards was so keen on defending his heterosexuality that he went out and fathered an illegitimate child.

Though I have to say this made me go from non-skeptical to thinking he maybe… I mean, what straight man would choose Rielle Hunter?

But that is neither here nor there, I suppose. The point, if there is one, is that Ann Coulter is now under radio silence. And it seemed, per your question, a perfect example of the punishment fitting the crime.

God only knows what Jim Nielsen did in his past live to receive a return trip to legislative purgatory. Perhaps his home life is unsatisfying, or he’s starting to go a little stir crazy in that home in Woodland, er, we mean Gerber. But whatever the reason, welcome back, Senator. Nielsen, it seems, is the quintessential state employee. He has come back to his old employer with a lower rank and higher pay. Well played, sir.

As for how to punish lawmakers and the governor for a delayed budget, I dunno. Death of the first born? Force them to watch Happy Days reruns on endless repeat? Frankly, I’m no great believer in letting voters get their ya-yas out by punishing legislators for nameless crimes when they can’t even tell you what it is legislators do, or can’t pick their own representative out of a line up. Heck, I’m guessing even the Assembly sergeants could probably pick 50 percent of the rookies out of a crowded room.

Speaking of crowded rooms, were you on the Assembly floor Monday? Geez, if you weren’t you were the only one. Sally Havice was in town. Kevin Shelley was there. It was like 1996 all over again, only, well, different.

But one could be forgiven for experiencing some déjà vu. I mean, didn’t we have an election five years ago to throw out the governor who had lost his way, had driven the economy into a ditch, raised spending and hiked the car tax?

And yet, lookie lookie, here comes the car tax, arising like some kind of corpse bride from the Thriller video, coming back to bite another governor in the butt. At that point, I suppose, we will have come full circle. The governor who railed against raising the car tax will have raised the car tax. The governor who declared his predecessor a failure will face similar accusations from his detractors. And that, like Ann Coulter’s wired jaw, would perhaps be the most fitting punishment of all.


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