Letters to the editor
Professor Galles hasn't been paying attention to what has gone on in the Capitol since 2004. From the time Gov. Schwarzenegger took office, the overriding message of his administration and the Republican anti-tax zealots in the Legislature has been: "We don't have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem." Their solution: Cuts, cuts, and more cuts. Now, however, because of the economic downturn, the Legislative Analyst's Office and every rational person in Sacramento understand that we have a serious revenue problem that cannot be solved just by slashing state programs.
Indeed, in many cases, the governor's proposed budget cuts will only make the state's budget crisis worse. For example, the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program keeps thousands of seniors and people with disabilities in their own homes and out of costly institutions. The LAO estimates that it costs less than $10,000 a year to provide home care under IHSS. If a person can no longer obtain home care because of the proposed cuts in IHSS, he or she will be forced into a nursing home or other institution, which will cost taxpayers at least $55,000 a year, according to the LAO.
So why on earth would you cut a cost-effective program that helps people remain in their own homes and communities when the alternative will cost the state at least six times more? That's not being fiscally responsible, it's being penny wise and pound foolish.
United Domestic Workers of America
Regarding the article about Obama's choices for Drug Czar and AG, as a medical marijuana patient myself, but a Republican one, let me be the first to say, "I told you so."
I say this here and have said it in the comments in the NORML blog article, the one which appeared in The Hill blog. The sick and dying are not an important voting block, and I can guarantee that President elect Obama's response to medical marijuana will be or already has been, "Pfffffffft," as he shoves the folder off his desk onto the floor, which will be followed by the Presidential directive, "don't let this come across my desk again, ever."
The scientific evidence is clear that marijuana has multiple medical applications, some of which the Federal government has patents upon, although President-elect Obama must not have seen or has refused to review any of it, as he is on record as doubting the efficacy of marijuana as medicine.
President-elect Obama's non-change on the (medical) marijuana front will show conclusively that prohibition and its drug war implementation is an uniquely bipartisan policy, which is loved, cherished and protected by both parties equally. Under Clinton millions were arrested on marijuana charges, and medical marijuana users, meaning the sick and dying, were made the central target and fodder for the Clinton-McCaffery reign. Under GW Bush, millions were arrested on marijuana charges, including, still, the sick and dying, just as under Clinton, during the Bush-Walters-rule.
Why on Earth should we have expected anything different? This is, incidentally, one more in the now countless examples of the baby boom generation's new credo under which it governs: "It was OK for me when I did it, but not for you, now that I am in charge."
Department of Corrections
Capitol Weekly listed an incorrect byline and photo credit for the interview with state CIO Teri Takai. The interview and photo were done by Malcolm Maclachlan. In the interview, the name of the computing language COBOL was misspelled.