BUDGET CRANKERY….Here in the Golden State, you need a two-thirds majority to pass a budget. Republicans, as it turns out, control slightly more than a third of the seats in the Senate, and with the usual efficiency of the monomaniac have banded together and unanimously prevented a budget from being passed for the past seven weeks. I don’t even quite remember what their obsession is this year, but the bottom line is that a group of 14 cranks has been able to grind all state business to a halt. Again. Including, of course, payments to nursing homes:

By the time a state budget is passed, Janet Rios will be at least $4,000 poorer. That’s the 19% in interest Rios says she must pay on loans to keep her two nursing homes afloat until lawmakers can agree on a spending plan.

….The state offered to guarantee the money in a letter she could take to her bank, Wells Fargo. But “they said that is not an acceptable thing to base a loan on,” she said, and classified her as a high risk, with an interest rate to match on two $100,000 lines of credit.

The state won’t reimburse her for the interest. Still, she said, she had no choice but to take the bank’s terms. “We have to take care of 15 residents in wheelchairs. We have people getting fed through tubes in their stomachs. Some have seizures. Some need oxygen. There are a bunch of things we have to do. Nobody cuts us any slack.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Karl Rove’s party of the little guy. The party of small business. The party of compassionate conservatism. Makes you feel tingly all over, doesn’t it?