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Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns are satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

New York’s junior senator was justifiably excited by the release of her new book, “Living History,” last week. When one autograph seeker told her, “I can’t wait to read it,” Mrs. Clinton was heard to gush, “Me too!” The junior senator’s book already may have peaked. Out here on the West Coast, at least, one of the huge, national bookseller chains already had it marked down 30 percent last weekend.


The following correction would have made it into this column last week, but for some creative typographical errors by yours truly that rendered the draft incomprehensible to our estimable editor. This time, I’ll keep it simple: Rep. Connie Morella isn’t carrying the anti-horse-meat bill in Congress, because she lost her re-election campaign last fall. The measure lives, however, under different authorship. (If I make just 49 more errors like this in the next few months, I’ll be taking over as chief of the New York Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau.)


Total recall: It’s looking more and more like the Golden State will have a gubernatorial recall election, and opponents have gone from saying, “It’ll never make the ballot” to, “It’s irresponsible.”

Chief among their arguments: The cost of the election would exacerbate California’s budget deficit.

These are the same Democrats (did we mention they were Democrats?) who always argue that the cost of adding or retaining a social program would be “just a drop in the bucket.”

The “drop” represented by the cost of a recall would make a considerable splash, but not much compared to the state’s $38 billion budget gap, for which most Californians blame Gov. Gray Davis.

Another argument undergoing early testing: “We won’t solve our fiscal problems by changing governors. Why can’t we work together to solve them?”

Have your granny cross-stitch this in her next sampler: After your leader marches you off a cliff, don’t pick him to lead you out of the canyon.


It may be worthy of note that a Democratic legislator giving the commencement address at a California State University campus last weekend twice suggested tax increases. Both times he was booed. Could it be the students are learning the realities of redistribution of wealth – despite the tax-and-spend pap they hear in many classrooms? One such reality: Businesses are fleeing California, and taking jobs for graduates with them. We chatted once with a recent college graduate who had nailed down a rather high-paying job and had just collected his first paycheck. He asked, without the slightest hint of sarcasm, “Do you know how much they take out for taxes?”


But back to the governor: If Davis is ousted in November, what will he do for a living? The prosaic thing would be to become a lobbyist, but suppose he chose instead to get a real job, away from the government fantasyland he has occupied for his entire professional life. Think of the things he could put on his resume’:

  • “I ran the world’s sixth largest economy – into the ground.”

  • “I was considered of presidential timber – for a full 25 minutes!

  • “As the ‘education governor,’ I put more money into prisons than anybody.”

  • “During my tenure, California was so crowded with entrepreneurs, some of them had to relocate out of state.”

  • “Yes, we had an energy crisis, but I solved it by locking power companies into iron-clad contracts at prices that remain way above the market to this day!”

  • “Thousands of California public-school students still can’t read, but now they can’t read better than they couldn’t read before. (What do you mean, you don’t understand this?)

  • “Want your company to grow? Who else could add 37,000 employees during a hiring freeze?”

Since he will have to campaign to keep his job if the recall makes the ballot, the governor is welcome to use any of these as campaign slogans before he uses them in his job hunt.

If you Californians have other slogan suggestions, please send them in – we’d love to see them. Non-Californians are encouraged to participate as well. It’s a game anybody can play.

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