Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm Really Going To Miss These Two

No, not making this up (h/t):
Introduced by Assembly Members Richman and Canciamilla

August 24, 2006
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Relative to Pluto's planetary status.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

HOUSE OR SENATE RESOLUTIONS DO NOT CONTAIN A DIGEST

WHEREAS, Recent astronomical discoveries, including Pluto's oblong orbit and the sighting of a slightly larger Kuiper Belt object, have led astronomers to question the planetary status of Pluto; and

WHEREAS, The mean-spirited International Astronomical Union decided on August 24, 2006, to disrespect Pluto by stripping Pluto of its planetary status and reclassifying it as a lowly dwarf planet; and

WHEREAS, Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an American, Clyde Tombaugh, at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, and this discovery resulted in millions of Californians being taught that Pluto was the ninth planet in the solar system; and

WHEREAS, Pluto, named after the Roman God of the underworld and affectionately sharing the name of California's most famous animated dog, has a special connection to California history and culture; and

WHEREAS, Downgrading Pluto's status will cause psychological harm to some Californians who question their place in the universe and worry about the instability of universal constants; and

WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects obsolete, and represents a substantial unfunded mandate that must be paid by dwindling Proposition 98 education funds, thereby harming California's children and widening its budget deficits; and

WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet is a hasty, ill-considered scientific heresy similar to questioning the Copernican theory, drawing maps of a round world, and proving the existence of the time and space continuum; and

WHEREAS, The downgrading of Pluto reduces the number of planets available for legislative leaders to hide redistricting legislation and other inconvenient political reform measures; and

WHEREAS, The California Legislature, in the closing days of the 2005-06 session, has been considering few matters important to the future of California, and the status of Pluto takes precedence and is worthy of this body's immediate attention; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly hereby condemns the International Astronomical Union's decision to strip Pluto of its planetary status for its tremendous impact on the people of California and the state's long term fiscal health; and be it further

Resolved, That the Assembly Clerk shall send a copy of the resolution to the International Astronomical Union and to any Californian who, believing that his or her legislator is addressing the problems that threaten the future of the Golden State, requests a copy of the resolution.
Especially amusing: if you look at the bill online, you'll see a lengthy list of co-authors. Yeah, um, guys? I think Richman and Canciamilla might have been mocking you, like, a little. Sure, sure, by "co-authoring" you can be all "ha ha, we're so in on the joke, see, it must be someone else hiding behind an interplanetary body, ha ha." But, yeah - not so much. Canciamilla's pretty reliable when it comes to balls-out candor (hey, CMR, you should call him) and he frequently partners with Reep Bad Boy of Moderation Richman. Canciamilla's only bobble on his rather high horse of legislative self-deprication: during his first term, he once commented with thinly veiled contempt that he felt local government was far better positioned to improve citizens' lives and set effective public policy. Immediately following that comment, he alluded to his presumed 6 years of tenure in the Assembly. So, he thought the body bumbled and stalled, but he was cool hanging out for his guaranteed (ah, term limits) 6 years. At least he's upfront.

1 comment:

cd said...

This is from the Capitol Morning Report by way of explanation from Richman. I didn't know the Legislature had 500k new residents each year either:

""The events of these final days of my last Assembly term, particularly those dealing with the independent redistricting measure, have galvanized my commitment to political reform. With 500,000 new residents each year, the Legislature's dysfunction is hobbling California's future and has pushed serious policy making to the ballot which often burdens voters with complex decisions elected officials are paid to make.

"Last year I sent out [a] Dear Colleague letter asking other members to reflect on their roles and commit to restoring our representative democracy. I received no response.

"This year I decided to use humor to make the same point with [a] satirical House Resolution 36 supporting Pluto's status as a planet. I got 53 coauthors.

"Political reform must be a priority for all who care about California's future. Sadly, there is probably a much better chance that the Assembly will vote on HR 36 than independent redistricting." Contact: Richman 916 319 2038"