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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« March 24, 2006 | | March 28, 2006 »
March 27, 2006

Education budget

At Don Perata's request, a Senate subcommittee has approved a $500 million boost to the K-14 budget in the current year and made a commitment to increase funding above the Prop. 98 guarantee for the next nine years. The idea is to get schools back to the level they would have had under the deal Gov. Schwarzenegger made, and then broke, with the education lobby in 2004. Although the state doesn't have the money to do this (it's looking at a $5 billion or so structural deficit going forward), one wonders if an offer along these lines 16 months ago would have been sufficient to get Schwarzenegger off the hook for his education deal after he realized he couldn't keep it. If so, it sure would have avoided a lot of political pain for the governor. I still believe that his failure to keep that deal, while unavoidable, was the single most important event in his slide last year. He threw away his credibility, and after that, he couldn't sell anything to anybody.

Posted by dweintraub at 4:52 PM

Gov's first re-elect ad

Here is a link to Schwarzenegger's first re-election campaign ad. His team says it is running in Sacramento, San Francisco, Bakersfield, San Diego and Los Angeles.

The ad is visually interesting, showing a fast-motion cityscape as the screen flashes with examples of Schwarzenegger's accomplishments. An announcer notes them as they appear on the screen. The governor is never mentioned until the end, when he is shown speaking to a group of people in a room. But his voice is never heard in the ad.

The most intriguing thing to me about the ad is the understated beginning, when the announcer says that "Tomorrow is going to be a little bit better than today" for Californians. Maybe not an era of limits, but not exactly typical for Gov. Enthusiasm either. Looks like someone decided it was time to turn down the volume a touch.

Here is the text:


Tomorrow is going to be a little better than today for Californians ...

Because we've pulled our state back from the brink of bankruptcy.

We've dramatically reduced the state's deficit …

Cut the unfair car tax ...

Reformed the workers' comp system ...

And created 500,000 new jobs.


Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership is making California work again.

UPDATE: Bill Bradley says the ad is on a very light rotation. He also does not like the look and feel of the ad because, he says, it won't appeal to inlanders.

Posted by dweintraub at 1:21 PM

Gov's new ad team

Anthony York takes a quick look at all the Bushies on the governor's new advertising team.

Posted by dweintraub at 11:48 AM

Bed blockers

Interesting story here about the cost of treating premature babies under the UK's National Health Service. Some doctors are fretting that the preemies are taking resources that should be going to others.

PREMATURE babies who require months of expensive intensive care in neonatal units have been labelled “bed blockers” by one of Britain’s royal colleges of medicine.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says the huge efforts to save babies born under 25 weeks are hampering the treatment of other infants with a better chance of survival and a healthy life.

As the NHS faces an increasing financial crisis, with beds being closed and jobs axed, it says these very premature babies are “blocking” much-needed intensive care cots, sometimes forcing expectant mothers with potentially healthier babies to be transported by ambulance to other hospitals.

In a submission to a two-year inquiry into premature babies by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the college says: “Some weight should be given to the economic considerations as there is a real issue in neonatal units of ‘bed blocking’, whereby women have to be transferred in labour to other units, compromising both their and their babies’ care.”

The statement reflects a growing view among child specialists that babies born under 25 weeks should be denied intensive care and allowed to die. Next month the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will debate a motion at its annual conference that it is “unethical” to provide intensive care routinely to babies born under 25 weeks. In practice, they would only be saved in exceptional circumstances.

Posted by dweintraub at 11:45 AM



At Crossroads, a panel of experts and the public debate the future of health care in California. We'd like you to join the conversation.

Daniel Weintraub


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