WHERE THERE’S SMOKE….Balta nominates this as perhaps the most egregious use of state money ever in the midst of a fiscal meltdown:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s cigar-smoking governor, is to tear a roof off the state capitol so that smokers can enjoy their vice inside the legislature.

The Austrian-born actor, elected governor last November, is facing protests for deciding to turn a courtyard in the building into a “smoking plaza”. It will include a drinking area. Part of the roof will be removed to get round a California law banning smoking in offices, bars and restaurants.

He’s right. Consider me suitably outraged.

But in reality this post is dedicated to my cigar-smoking friend Professor Marc, who hates every aspect of Arnold except for his cigar smoking. Maybe he can get an invite to the new smoking plaza someday and lobby the Governator about the value to society of highly paid university professors. (And lower cigar taxes too!)

UPDATE: Less here than meets the eye, apparently. I have to admit I thought it was odd that when I Googled this story the references were almost all from foreign newspapers, but when I found a CNN article I decided it was probably genuine. Live and learn.

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