Politics

The Stars Align in Sacramento!

Sacramento Memorial Auditorium - Click for more images

Thursday night the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium was transformed into a glittering spectacle as actors, musicians, sports heroes, astronauts, authors, and politicians strutted down the red carpet, for the 2011 California Hall of Fame ceremonies. It was a scene right out of Hollywood.

The auditorium was bathed in purple with a dazzling array of lights, complete with television cameras and photographers covering the red carpet arrival of Clint Eastwood, Rob Lowe, Magic Johnson, General Chuck Yeager, Governor Brown, and more. To complete the ambiance of a Hollywood event there were police mounted on horseback and searchlights lighting up the night sky.

The California Hall of Fame was created in 2006 with the help of former first lady Maria Shriver, to help raise money for the California Museum. Now in its fifth year its welcoming inductees from all walks of life, including a man who walked on the moon and a man who’s so tall he can almost touch the moon, or dribble it.

Magic Johnson - Click for more images

The honorees this year were guitar great Carlos Santana, music legend the Beach Boys, novelists Amy Tan, NBA great Magic Johnson, civil rights leader Ed Roberts, Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, community activist Father Gregory Boyle, Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher, Supreme Court Justice Roger Traynor (posthumous award), and Buzz Lightyear.

Ooops! Did I say Buzz Lightyear? I meant to say Buzz Aldrin ““ you know, the other guy who walked on the moon. I think he taught Michael Jackson how to moon walk too, but I digress.

I was lucky enough to be one of the many photographers manning the red carpet. I will say I was extremely upset that Carlos Santana was the only no show on the red carpet. He decided to sneak in the back way and avoid the red carpet altogether ““ wimp, but still a great guitar player.

Governor Jerry Brown - Click for more images

As Magic Johnson made his way up the carpet you could hear kids screaming “Magic, Magic, Magic,” getting his attention. Thankfully my good friend Charr Crail, taking her cue from the kids, started chanting “Magic, Magic, Magic,” quite loudly I might add, so we finally got our photo-op with the gentle giant. Thanks Charr!

Magic was asked by a local reporter what he thought about California. He basically said it’s a great state because of the great people who live here, the weather, and we have great politicians from the Governor, to Mayor Johnson and to the mayor in Los Angeles. Sounds like Magic may be politicking.

Governor Brown said we have Google, Facebook, Twitter, HP, and Apple. He went on to say that people don’t come to California to do what’s already been done, but to create what hasn’t happened yet, to dream.

General Chuck Yeager - Click for more images

General Chuck Yeager was by far the most entertaining, jovial, and just an all-around great guy. With his daughter in toe, he went from one group of journalist to the next. His daughter had a tough time keeping up with him. It was as if he was still flying jets. At one point he came back out of the auditorium, so that he could meet his heroes the Beach Boys.

It was a fun time had by all. Well maybe not Santana, but we’ll never know, since he didn’t share.

 

 

 

 

 

From our WTF Department

Sacramento Politics

Major Jerk

Yesterday a funny thing happened in the California National Guard. I say funny, but I don’t mean in a haha kind of way. I mean in a WTF kind of way.

Some jerk in the National Guard, a guy by the name of Major General William H. Wade II was forced into retirement. You see he was caught double dipping ““ hold on ““ he’s a Major? Does that make him a major jerk? I think it does.

A Sacramento Bee investigation determined that “‘ole Major Jerk had received about $155,000 in improper double-dip earnings. Basically this guy was getting two day’s pay for a single day of work.

A Guard auditor concluded that Major Jerk did in fact owe the state $155,000, but due to the statute of limitations for recoupment (whatever!) they could only go after him for a tad over $88,000, which he has yet to pay anything back.

So as punishment for lying, cheating, and stealing from the National Guard ““ basically us tax payers – they have decided to “summarily remove” him from the Guard, forcing the poor schmuck into early retirement.

Really?

I can assure you if anyone in the private sector came under this kind of scrutiny, they would have been fired as in – Don’t let the door hit you on the way out fired. As far as retirement? How many people in the private sector have a sweet ass retirement waiting for them at the end of their career? I’m betting not many.

Let’s face it, this state and this country are in a sorry state. There are a lot of Major Jerks out there, each one destroying the very fabric of this country. For example, when confronted by federal officials the California Guard refused to respond to federal inquiries, claiming it amounted to undue federal intrusion. “We bristled,” a top Guard official told The Bee, because “we are very protective of our state status and state sovereignty.”

Bullshit.

The bottom-line is we need more people in office who are willing to clean up government.

I’d like to thank the Bee for bringing this to light.

Bill Maher

Sacramento Events

Click for more photos - make sure to click slideshow!

Political pundit, writer, actor and comedian Bill Maher played to a sold out crowd at the Sacramento Convention Center Friday night. Well he really didn’t play to a crowd as much as he ripped into the crowd, and only the way Bill Maher can.

True to form he jumped right into politics and attacked the current candidates campaigning for next year’s presidential election. Nobody was safe from his sharp tongue. He attacked every political party, and religion.

If there was anyone left in the audience that wasn’t offended at least once, I’d be surprised. For crying out loud he even had the audacity to attack Elvis Presley saying he was a pervert and druggie. The audience gasped while Maher went on to explain why it was all true.

I realize Maher has a sharp tongue and can cuss like a sailor, I didn’t expect some of the vulgarity that came spewing out. There was one point he referenced the relationship between a man and his dog. I won’t go into details other than the audience gave up a nervous laugh the whole time looking at each other trying to figure out if it was okay to laugh.

 

I wasn’t able to stay for entire show, but when I left Maher was well on his way to providing insight to everyone in attendance into the Politically Incorrect world of Bill Maher.

Bill Maher is currently making his way across the country to see just how many people he can offend, or in other words, just plain piss off. Will you be one of them? Check him out on tour and see if  you can take the heat.

Real Time with Bill Maher, Season 7 - Real Time with Bill Maher
Real Time W/Bill Maher

Sacramento City Manager $305,940 Package!

Stock PhotographyI do believe the Sacramento City Council has their head in the sand, or somewhere else.

You might recall that the Sacramento area is in an extremely tough financial situation. To pile on the bad news, a few months ago the Sacramento area was ranked fifth in the nation in Forbes magazine as one of the “20 most miserable cities” in the country. And it doesn’t stop there.

A couple of days after Forbes hit the stand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that Sacramento’s job performance last year was the worst among the nation’s major metropolitan areas. And let’s not forget about the real estate market. Home prices have continued their decline between the first and second quarters of this year, while most areas of the country realized gains during the same time period.

All this has led Sacramento to take some drastic steps. The forward thinking City Council approved a “crash tax” that was aimed at non-Sacramento drivers who were at fault in an accident within the city. The Sacramento fire department referred to this as a “scene stabilization” fee.  This was met with quite the backlash from both insurance companies and citizens of Sacramento. The main argument was that this would cause people to stop coming into the city and spending money. Thankfully level heads prevailed and the crash tax was rescinded.

The impact of this downturn has led to eighty Sacramento city police officers being laid off. Teachers and firefighters are also experiencing layoffs or hours being cut. Next year only three community centers and three swimming pools will remain open. Sacramento State students are  paying higher fees, adult health care facilities are shutting down, and the list continues to grow.

But wait! There’s some good economic news on the horizon, but only if you’re the newly hired Sacramento City Manager. John Shirey was recently hired with a total annual package coming in at a whopping $305,940! That’s the highest in the region and more than any other city employee in the history of Sacramento. Oh it gets better. You know ole mayor Kevin Johnson has been pushing for a “strong mayor” model for some time. If that were to happen Shirey gets a nice 6 month severance package. Crap – did I forget to mention he gets the 6 months severance even if he gets fired!!

What do we make of this? Well for starters Shirey is a good negotiator and the city council has their head up their wazoo and not the sand. What were they thinking? With a vote of 7 to 2 the city council gave the okay to hire Shirey at a 16% increase over the last city manager.

So I’m filing this story under our WTF department. How can members of the city council be so clueless when it comes to finances. Good luck negotiating with any of the unions such as the police or fire. While the police department and others are taking it in the shorts, the city council believes it’s business as usual and the economy isn’t impacting the city of Sacramento.

Wow! Really guys? Y’all need to get a clue. Do any of you read, watch, or listen to the news of any type? If you did, you’d realize that Sacramento is in a world of hurt and paying the city manager more than his predecessor is not going to bring more revenue into the city. Paying him more will only hurt any goodwill that you might have had with the people of Sacramento and city employees.

So to wrap this up I’d like to welcome the Sacramento City Council to our WTF department. Where we highlight the incredibly misguided individuals who have the ability to impact our lives – usually in a negative manner.

Free counters!