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Even Thelma Can't Save California

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Even Thelma Can't Save California

MGM

Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise was a bear to cast. The movie featured two strong female leads with some controversial violence. And the chemistry had to be just right. Before landing on Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, there were multiple combinations.

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There is something perfectly appropriate about the appointment: an actress best known for going off the cliff in her car was tapped to take over a California commission that's out of money.

Welcome to this state in 2012.

And welcome to the story of actress Geena Davis, who was named chair of California's Commission on the Status of Women -- just as it was being defunded.

Gov. Brown had targeted the commission as part of his plans to save money and consolidate overlapping commissions. KGO's Nannette Miranda reports that the commission is running out of money and has begun to close down.

Davis had been appointed to the commission in 2010 by Gov. Schwarzenegger. She was elevated to chair by the commission as part of a last-ditch strategy to keep it alive.

The ironies are rich here, particularly for anyone who has seen Davis' performance as Thelma in Thelma & Louise.

That movie ends -- spoiler alert -- with Davis' character and Susan Sarandon's Louise driving off a cliff.

There's probably no better demonstration of California budget policy in this era than that final scene.

Elected officials, interest groups, and initiative sponsors are trapped by a system that doesn't work. The only thing they can do is try for desperate measures that end up making the system worse -- often an approach that's not much better than driving off a cliff.

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