Sunday, August 17, 2003

California Chaos, Energy Issues, and the Not-so-Hidden Agendas

Once again, California continues to reaffirm its position as the entertainment capital world of the world. This recall movement has provided an incredible array of absurd political jokes, with much absurdity based on actual California legislation. With 135 registered candidates placed on the ballot, arranged in a completely random non-alphabetical order, it's a winner-take-all situation for whoever gets the most votes. Despite the massive number of candidates, there will be no run-off election. Governor Gray Davis may be removed from office if only 49% of the voters vote against the recall, and his replacement may be placed in the office with a mere 20% approval rating.

A recall is one thing, but what we've got in California is downright insane.

There's been a lot of talk that this kangaroo recall campaign is something that was powered by Karl Rove and company. The Bush team would love to have a Republican in charge of California in whatever manner they can get, and Arnold the Terminator would definitely transform California into the laughing stock of the country. Arnie's really the perfect Republican when you come down it- he's all style, and no substance. Why bother providing ideas about useful government policy when you've a chance to do a photo opportunity?

The California budget is in shambles, and the citizens are very angry over the situation. Probably the biggest variable in the California debacle is the matter of energy policy. A deregulated energy situation in the state provided an open Petri dish for disaster. With the Bush administration pimping for Enron, and Duke corporations, these companies screwed California for billions of dollars, as residents paid outrageous utility fees. Between that, and a severely under-funded homeland security force that the Federal government demanded, but never paid for, California took a harsh penetration up the bloody rumphole like no other state government has had before. It wasn't pretty, and now we're paying for the morning after.

Perhaps what happened this week with the blackouts in the Northeast may be the best thing to happen to give the American people a wake-up call? The energy infrastructure in this country does need a major overhaul. Deregulation without corporate responsibility is at an all-time high under the Bush administration, as the rules shift to a voluntary mode of operation. We have a national energy policy is incoherent, mismanaged, and damned irresponsible.

The has an excellent article- Bush "Pioneer" Caused the Blackout!! This article discusses how FirstEnergy Corp failed to properly set safeguards, which in turn set off a chain of events leading to the blackouts. This article also discusses how FirstEnergy Corp donated a substantial amount of money to the Bush campaign, and were the recipients of looser regulations under the Bush regime.

Greg Palast takes this thesis one step further with his article "POWER OUTAGE TRACED TO DIM BULB IN WHITE HOUSE --- The Tale of The Brits Who Swiped 800 Jobs From New York, Carted Off $90 Million, Then Tonight, Turned Off Our Lights."

As more reports emerge regarding Arnold Schwarzenegger's friendship with Enron executive Ken Lay, the race for get curiouser and curioser.

I was never a fan of Gray Davis, and one of my biggest gripes with his administration was his non-disclosure of the closed-door, long-term agreements with the utility companies. Gray Davis made a lot of mistakes, but I think the Republican alternative is far worse. At least Gray Davis wasn't afraid to state that California was indeed screwed by the utility companies. Until the Republicans join the attempts to prosecute the companies that raped, pillaged, and plundered the state of California, they have absolutely no credibility in providing a coherent, efficient energy policy. just created a new bumper sticker- "Save California: Recall Bush."

I couldn't agree more.

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E.P. Sunday, August 17, 2003