Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,
In light of the great wisdom demonstrated by Paul the Octopus in this year’s World Cup, would the state budget be best handled by him?
– Darrell and Dennis in Downtown

Dear Darrell and Dennis,
Over the last few years of budget negotiations, we’ve heard a lot of dumb ideas. And upon further review, some of those ideas seem no less far-fetched than turning over the controls of the state’s $90 billion budget to a cephalopod with a knack for soccer clairvoyance. I mean, really, subbed out the legislative leaders’ budget role and replaced them all with an eight-legged bottom feeder with no backbone that was full of suckers, would we really be changing anything at all?

In fact, Dennis and Darrell, your question has unearthered some other similarities between Paul the Octopus and the legislative leaders. Octopi have three hearts, which you gotta figure is about the same number that exist between the four legislative leaders. Some of those budget proposals seem cruel and unusual, even for a self-styled realist like myself.
Also, octopi have a life expectancy of about six months, which is about the average tenure for an Assembly Republican Leader. (For more information, see entry under Plescia, George).

OK, OK, those were  softballs. But I’m sure at times, Darrell Steinberg and John Perez would rather not have to make some of the decisions they’re facing. The global financial meltdown seemed about as likely as a Serbian victory over the vaunted German side in the qualifying round. But apparently, this too, the octopus saw coming.
Just to interject, and for the record, all along I thought Paul was the walrus. OK, that’s two stinkers in one column. Shall I continue?
I thought you’d never ask.  

Do I want this octopus to decide the fate of Healthy Families? Well, let’s put it this way. I’m not sure I want Martin Garrick deciding that one, either. Would I want a venomous bottom-feeder making my tax policy? Let’s put it this way. Paul the Octopus would never ask for the open primary in exchange for his budget vote.

So, bring on the octopus! Last I heard, Paul was Octopoda non-grata in Germany, even though he tried to warn them about their fate against the Spanish side. So give him a cushy office on the second floor of the Capitol and hold his calls. Paul’s going to have some work to do.


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