Common sense solutions to stories where the mainstream media is not doing their job:

California IOU

California lawmakers have failed to close the $24 billion dollar budget gap. Now the state might have to pay creditors with IOUs.

Lawmakers rejected proposals to cut services and increase taxes. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting health care and closing some state parks, but as first lady Maria Shriver says, Californians are even telling her not to cut anything and not to raise taxes. Californians apparently want to have their cake, eat it too and have somebody else pick up the tab.

We don't even have all the details of the latest budget, but just to give you an idea what California is all about, the last budget proposed spending $128,000 on the California sea otter fund and $1.5 million on the Non-Toxic Dry Cleaning Incentive Trust Fund.

Hey California, you are about to write IOUs. You aspire to be one of the greenest states, but you just can't pay for it! Kermit was only half right: It's not easy being green, it's also expensive — and you can't afford it!

Dollar a Day

In North Carolina, a dollar a day keeps the babies away! A state-funded program pays one dollar per day to 12 to 18-year-old girls as an incentive not to get pregnant. The money goes into a college fund that the girls can collect when they graduate from high school.

The program director says so far, nearly 100 percent of the participants have gone on to college. Great! Can we expand this idea to other things kids shouldn't be doing? How about crime? Every time you don't kill someone or become a crack dealer, you get a dollar! Or a dollar for every politician who doesn't cheat on his wife! When we run out of money we will write them IOUs.

Ethics Investigation

The ethics investigation into Congressman Charlie Rangel's just got a little more complicated. The House Ethics Committee's investigation is entering its 10th month. They are already looking into his personal finances, failure to fully pay taxes on a vacation home, allegedly using official stationery to solicit money for the Rangel Center for Public Service and allegedly using his influence to get a tax break for one of his donors.

Now the committee is looking into trips Rangel took to the Caribbean to see if he violated House gift rules.

Every time I hear about Rangel's ethics probe, I remember something Speaker Pelosi said about it back on November 26, 2008: "I have been assured the report will be completed by the end of this session of Congress, which concludes on January 3, 2009. I look forward to reviewing the report at that time."

I bet she just can't wait. In other "alleged corruption" news, remember the investigation into Senator Chris Dodd's alleged sweetheart mortgage? That's been going on for a year. But why can't they get a subpoena for some important evidence? More on that tomorrow....

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