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6 months of Arnold

How is Arnold doing as our Governor ? When he became Governator, the state was in a big mess.

bq. After his 2002 reelection, Davis had announced that California was confronted with a deficit of $35 billion — caused in large part by a gargantuan spending increase of 36% during his years in office, and an explosion of hiring in the public sector, whose unions were among Davis’ most reliable supporters. Among the people of California, there was an increasing sense that perhaps the state’s problems were insurmountable and that the state itself, controlled by Davis and a wildly left-wing Legislature, had become simply ungovernable. [“Human Events”:http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=4022]

But after Arnold took over, California’s rating was upgraded by Moody’s for the first time in four years. One of the reasons was the state’s political climate had improved considerably under the new Governor.

To cover the deficits he put a proposition on the ballot and the state is now issuing a $15 Billion dollar bond. Also according to an opinion poll nearly two out of three voters “approve his job performance”:http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/ca/election/polls/story/9441162p-10365310c.html. But now he will be forced to make “some tough decisions”:http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~1865~2182240,00.html.

bq. The Assembly endorsed increasing the minimum wage to $7.75, a 15 percent increase. If the more liberal Senate concurs, as expected, the governor will have to choose between being a champion of low-wage workers or signing a bill that small businesses and the California Chamber of Commerce say will cost the state jobs.

bq. The Legislature is also poised to approve a handful of measures that would encourage individual Californians and state agencies to import prescription drugs from Canada, where they are cheaper. The notion is popular among elderly voters and could save the cash-strapped state millions. But approving those bills would put Schwarzenegger on a collision course with the pharmaceutical industry and the Republican administration in Washington, D.C.

bq. Schwarzenegger may have to choose between politically appealing measures and some of his bigger campaign supporters in other areas. Car dealers, for instance, will strongly urge him to veto a measure that would allow used car buyers to return a car within three days of sale. The bill passed the Assembly this week. Automotive interests have donated $824,335 to Schwarzenegger, according to ArnoldWatch.org, a consumer activist Website.

Even though he sometimes is known as “The Exaggerator”:http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/ca/story/9480438p-10404413c.html, the public still trusts him to pull the state through.

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Outsource the Election

Come November and the voters of California “will not be using electronic voting machines”:http://weblog.siliconvalley.com/column/dangillmor/archives/010327.shtml to elect the next President of United States.

bq. Two weeks ago, California’s secretary of State banned or restricted the use of state-of-the art electronic voting machines purchased by 14 counties because of computer malfunctions and concerns about the installation of unapproved software. More than 20 other states are considering paper-backup requirements for touch-screen machines or are slowing plans to buy high-tech voting equipment because of worries about similar glitches. [USA Today: “High Tech hiccups ignored”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-05-13-our-view_x.htm]

Here is a suggestion. Why not outsource the elections to India ? Recently India held the “largest democratic exercise”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3704313.stm in the world when “Electronic Voting Machines”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3493474.stm were used all over the nation. One million EVMs, designed and built in India were used successfully and the results were announced in one day. No hanging or pregnant chads.

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Boom Time ?

The good news is that “Cisco is hiring”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20328-2004May12.html. WaPo’s Cynthia L. Webb is thinks that this coupled with Google’s IPO will bring back the boom in Silicon Valley. So far California has “not been doing great”:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-051404caljobs_lat,1,5086506.story?coll=la-home-business.

bq. California’s economy added a modest 16,300 net jobs in April, a disappointing gain that shows the state continuing to lag the recent surge in hiring nationally, according to an employment report released today. Economists were expecting double that number of new jobs, given that payrolls nationwide expanded by 288,000 last month. California accounts for 11% of the U.S. workforce, yet the state has produced only about half of its share in the last two months. And over the last six months, California has generated just 3% of the nation’s job gains.

Most companies are hiring now and I interview atleast 2 candidates per week for openings in my company. But then during boom time the motto as “Trespassers will be recruited”. Now the companies are lot more careful and prefer to get the candidates who match the profile as closely as possible.

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Kerry Wins

If you kept watching news or reading blogs, you would have thought that Howard Dean was going to win the Democratic nomination. But today I am surprised to see that “John Kerry won the Iowa Caucus”:http://www.madhoo.com/archives/002999.php#002999. John Edwards finished second and Dick Gephardt has decided to pull off the race. This is only the first step.

So far I felt that there were too many Democrats in the race and due to their fighting among themselves, they were losing focus in attacking the Bush Administration. But it is nice to see that the field is narrowing.

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Afghanistan has a constitution

Few days back we were talking about the “difficulty”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000303.html Afghans were having in coming up with a constitution. But now the Afghans “have ratified”:http://israpundit.com/archives/004110.html a new constitution

bq. In an enormous step forward, Afghanistan will now have a democratic presidential system, with a directly elected president, a two-chamber national assembly, an independent judiciary and new elections in just six months. In carefully balanced wording designed to combine democracy and Islam, the country will be renamed the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and will be ruled by civil law, although no law will be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of Islam. [“IHT”:http://www.iht.com/articles/123582.htm]

But if such a wide range of people could compomise on various topics, and agree on a constitution, I think it is a giant leap forward.

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