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In the Wall Street Journal, Shikha Dalmia laments the dashing Arnold Schwarzenegger of yore, and considers how his crusade to reform government is in the same shabby state as his once-rock-hard abs.

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  1. That photo is a good reason to never eat lunch at my desk again.

  2. One more reason to hate Californicate. However, I think Shikha is simply documenting the bottom of the long slide that began after Schwarzengroper’s three tangled initiatives went down to inglorious defeat at the polls last election.

    TWC will not say I toldja so but I did. Okay, well not you guys, but everyone else. Arnie ain’t no different than any other politician here in the Golden State.

    I know I’m older than dirt but the budget in California is 100 times more than it was the year I was born. Nothing else costs 100 times more than it did then. Not houses, not cars, not tamales.

    Big Sigh.

  3. Does she mention that Arnold’s body produces more greenhouse gases than all of his Hummers combined?

  4. I hope you realize that photo has been floating around the internet for at least 3 years. In other words he was in that shape before he became Governator. And some have claimed it was even before he filmed T3 ( he let himself “go” and then trained back into shape for T3 and the Gove. run).

  5. That’s a real photo? Holy shit.

  6. I think that *is* a real photo. It was taken before he bulked up for T3. It was taken a little while after he had *heart surgury* and was forbidden to exercise (at least not strenuously) by his doctors. So he got fat. What this proves is that even Arnold’s muscular genetics only work when he makes them work. It proves that he works very hard for his normally excellent physical condition, and it should make us all respect his willpower and efforts even more.

  7. There is definitely way too much pork in California’s budget barrel. But claiming that money should be spent on road building instead of public transportation, because no-one uses public transportation is absurd. It’s a bit chicken and eggish no matter which way you look at it but, I lived in San Diego and LA for the first 20 years of my life, and have spent the last 2 and a half years in Tokyo, and am happy to swear by the fact that the reasons we don’t use public transporatation in SoCal are because there is either A. none to speak of, and B. what does exist is dirty, inefficient, dangerous and/or unreliable. Building roads is a short term, ultimately VERY ill-informed proposition. Anyone who has been to or lived in San Diego and used I-5 can tell you that there is not ROOM to expand the major arteries much more. The same goes for LAs most notorious congested arteries (I-5 and the 405).

    I also think that the similar kudos Shikha gives to state-private ventures is a reason for concern. These cooperative ventures stand to be potentially lucrative for both parties, but the example cited in the article mentions a school completed by a private developer for 2.5 million under the projected budget, that the developer then leased to the school system. Uh… disregarding what we don’t know about the realities of the ‘projected budget’, I don’t see how it is necessarily in the states (residents) best interests to set up a deal like this? My understanding (please correct me if I am wrong) is that the school board, or other appropriate entity responsible for the budget, will have to fork over for the lease every year; unless said lease is obscenely cheap construction, or the state only plans to use the school for a couple of years, savings at the outset will very quickly be trumped and nullified by subsequent payments on the lease. Anyway, isn’t every public works project like this essentially a collaborative effort between public and private entities? Doesn’t the state usually auction off building contracts for these projects to private contractors?
    (Seems like the best idea would be to get architects, planners and accountants to come up with the most efficient plans and streamlined budgets as possible, and then fix the budget and contract out the work to private companies. It would be in the company’s best interests to take care of things as quickly as possible. In any case, it is in the best interests of the state to construct a distibuted model for collaboration, in which the competition is not just horizontal (a bunch of contractors competing for a bid) but vertical as well, (architects and accountants first compete to produce the most streamlined, economic proposals, the winner of which is passed on for the bid, and is no longer subject to the possibility of additional subsidies or extensions). I wonder if this is already the way things work.)

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