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Invading California: Bush lost in Lebanon but his victory over CA is almost assured

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Message Jane Stillwater
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Today was your typical "summer in Berkeley" chilly day. Dressed in jacket and scarf, I popped off to a garden party being given for Phil Angelides who is running for governor of California. Phil has an up-hill battle in front of him and needs all the help he can get!

President [sic] George W. Bush financed the invasion of Lebanon and the destruction of its infrastructure. You almost want to feel sorry for the guy. Here he spends BILLIONS of dollars (not his money, I don't feel THAT sorry for him) on the Israeli air force and totally decimates Lebanon and he STILL didn't win. However, not to worry, George. Lebanon is just a blip on the map of the world. You lost there. So what.

Why should Bush fret about losing in Lebanon when he has a very good chance of invading and conquering the fifth largest economy in the world instead! Yep. California. If the Bush-Schwarzenegger team wins in California, George's sorry defeat in Lebanon won't even matter.

So. Bush is marshaling his generals, preparing his troops and getting his Special Forces ready to invade us. You think I'm kidding? You think this is funny? You should live here! Bush has already sent his advance guard to California. He has already spent millions on the invasion. We are already under 24-hour bombardment by Swift Boaters and psy-ops operations! Help!

Meanwhile, back at the garden party, we were sipping coffee, eating cookies and preparing ourselves to Fight Back. I talked with some of the people I knew there. The general feeling was that we were in for a long, bitter siege.

After the refreshments -- never turn down free food! is my motto -- Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke. "Schwarzenegger's agenda is similar to Washington DC's," she said. "Cutbacks for the average American, young people unable to afford to go to college. Small businesses without tax breaks. First we need to take back California. Then we need to take back Washington in 2008."

Then former U.S. Secretary of Labor Richard Reich spoke. "In the 1990s we had 22 million net new jobs," he said. "Everybody got a raise. It was the best economy we had in decades. And now our economy is not working." I'd spent all last winter applying for jobs. I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about.

"What was it that the Clinton administration did that Washington is not doing now? To get a good economy up and running, you want to invest in education, close corporate welfare loopholes, help the middle class and reduce the budget deficit. Washington is doing the exact opposite. And Sacramento under Schwarzenegger is doing the same thing. This is a recipe for economic ruin. Only 900 jobs..." I didn't hear what kind of jobs these were, having been distracted by cookies, "...have been created in California. We have not seen this kind of inequality in opportunity since 1890!" Scary. Our economic infrastructure is being destroyed!

"Phil Angelides," Reich continued, " believes in education and opportunities for young people and the average citizen." Me too! I applauded. And dropped my cookie. Rats.

Then the guy who gave the garden party spoke. "I've listened to so many bad luck stories in the past two years in my work with the Berkeley public schools. These stories all started about two years ago -- when Schwarzenegger took office. He is using the Washington model here in California -- where 1% of the people benefit and the other 99% of us don't!"

Then the candidate himself was introduced. "When I was a kid growing up in California," he said, "we believed in education and the American dream. My grandmother was a seamstress. She worked 15 hours a day so my father could go to the public university and become an engineer." Phil was kind of a good-hearted numbers-crunching nerd up against a movie star but he was a deep thinker and, as the California State Treasurer for all these years, he knew his stuff cold -- and also where all the Schwarzenegger bodies were buried. I listened up.

"Now we see the economy growing but all the benefits are going to the people at the top. The oil companies are now making 350 million dollars A DAY. I'm running for governor to stop the gravy train." The K Street lobbies have run America for the last six years. Now apparently they are running California too.

"Our only chance to renew the promise of California is to take the high road -- not the low road. Schwarzenegger has spent 19 million dollars on ads saying that I was going to take us backwards? Yes. I am. Back to when we had the most affordable public colleges in America. Back to when the rich paid their fair share of taxes. Back to when California was a world leader..." and not just another potential Lebanon! "...back before the governor's agenda wasn't a public interest shopping list." Go, Phil!

"The Bush-Schwarzenegger agenda is to help multi-nationals instead of anyone else. I am going to give a tax break to those who make this economy hum. We are going to roll back college tuitions. Schwarzenegger says that he won't raise taxes? He's raised California State University tuitions by thousands of dollars. That's not a tax? We need to put government back on the side of hard-working people!" Hear, hear!

"Why is Schwarzenegger attacking me day in and day out?" asked Phil. Yeah. Why? "Because the rich are paying no taxes and I want to put a stop to that. Schwarzenegger is in Texas right now, having a fund-raiser. We are the only oil jurisdiction in the world that doesn't have an oil assessment fee when the oil comes out of the ground. Our economy is being devastated over the long-term by the pernicious drain on our wealth. We have to address this fundamental inequality. My tax plan helps middle class Californians," No wonder Bush and Schwarzenegger hate Phil!

"The Bush Washington DC election team has been sent out here to California to help Schwarzenegger because the last thing they want is a state that is asking corporations to pay their fair share. And they are running their usual campaign. Distort. Lie. Smear." Oh dear. Lebanon got off easy! They didn't have to deal with the Bush big-lie tag-team on TV day after day! The Bush campaign-ad tanks are amassed at our borders already. Sigh.

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Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She has recently published a book entitled, "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips For Touring (more...)
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