Friday Rapture: Sarah & Oprah Vs. Arnold & Harvey


Foreseeing the future: Freely flinging metaphors about the Rapture, earthquakes, tsunamis and other apocalyptic, cataclysmic stuff, VC favorite son Timm Herdt brought an appropriately large volume of heavy breathing  to his analysis of the impending release of the Citizens Redistricting Commission’s first draft maps on June 10 — aka “the day when the realization fully hits the political class that a decade of safe, partisan-protected politics has come to an end.”

Amen to that, brother, but here’s the key question from Calbuzz: will the shock of seeing what new, non-gerrymandered districts look like (Hey, where did all those Latinos come from?) convince at least a few Republican sheep legislators to exchange their dead-ender fealty to Grover Norquist for a deal cut with Governor Gandalf by the budget deadline five days later? More: has this been Krusty’s double-secret plan from Day One? All will be revealed on Judgment Day.

Flash Monster: As Norquist lurched through the Capitol this week, in a manly effort to stiffen the spines of his legislative Grover-bots, we were both: a) sorely disappointed that no member of the press corps proved rude enough to dredge up his too-soon-forgotten links to convicted felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff and b) hugely entertained by watching our pal Jon Fleischman gaze with Nancy Reagan doe-like adoration while allegedly “interviewing” his hero.

Jeez, Flash asked us tougher questions when he inquired about the quality of press room food at last year’s U.S. Senate debate. Mike Wallace he ain’t.

Are there no prisons? Amid the reams of commentary about the U.S. Supreme Court’s order that California ease prison overcrowding, only Joe Mathews seems to have read deep enough into the decision to find  that Justice Anthony Kennedy not only spanked the state for its penology policies, but more broadly trashed it for being ungovernable. No word yet on whether Mathews and Mark Paul slipped a copy of “California Crackup” to Kennedy in advance of his ruling.

Also notable was George Skelton’s excellent take, which began when the L.A. Timesman serially referenced Andrew Jackson, Dred Scott, Cherokee Indians, Orval Faubus and Justice John Marshall, among others; his extended rant for a moment made us fear that the Sage of Sacramento had finally taken leave of his senses, before he tied it all together with a trenchant conclusion: “The conservatives’ twin mantras of lower taxes and tougher sentencing finally have been exposed as hopelessly contradictory.”

Well, there is that.

Feel the Hyatt Touch: We admit our eyesight ain’t what it used to be, but in the 8 million times we’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, the only “scantily clad” women we recall strolling through the lobby were handsome matrons waddling to the elevator from the outdoor pool.

So we remain unpersuaded by stories from the National Enquirer and its web arm, Radar Online,  stating that the cretinous  Arnold Schwarzenegger, while pretending to be serving as governor of California, had CHP officers escort skimpy-costumed ladies from a service entrance to his hotel suite, then take them out “through the hotel’s main entrance” after he’d had his way with them.

It’s not that Meathead wouldn’t think such a Hound Dog Clinton move was a swell idea, of course. Rather, it’s that: a) we have a higher opinion of the CHP than that; b) the Enquirer report hangs the whole thing on the hotel’s alleged former “chief of security,” whom the Hyatt seems never to have heard of,  and c) they seem a trifle shaky on their basic understanding of state law enforcement,  for example, describing the Attorney General’s office as “a branch” of the Department of Justice.

Still, the supermarket tab is sticking to its story, and even raised the stakes in a folo that claimed AG Kamala Harris is conducting a “criminal inquiry” of the matter. We could not confirm that assertion, which they attributed to “multiple department sources,” nor could the indefatigable Carla Marinucci, whose coverage of the allegations characteristically has been more energetic than her MSM colleagues.

If Arnold did in fact use taxpayer resources in furtherance of his own depravity, a question which  Democratic Party vice chair Eric Bauman raised the day the scandal broke, what quickly has devolved into a prurient story about Schmucksnegger’s putrid personal behavior would, of course, instantly be re-elevated to a matter of actual public interest.

Given the Enquirer’s track record on this stuff – see Edwards, John – it’s premature to rule it out; at this juncture, however, mark us down as  skeptical.

Why Brown needs more help, Chapter 27: Nice little gotcha’ by the online site Gay Politics, which takes issue with the accuracy of the governor’s “Harvey Milk Day” proclamation.

But whoever wrote Brown’s proclamation got history wrong in the section that reads, “In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man in the history of the United States to be elected to public office.”

Milk was actually the fifth out candidate elected to public office in the U.S., and the third openly gay man.  His victory in 1977 was preceded by the election of the following openly gay and lesbian candidates:

1st – Kathy Kozachenko (Ann Arbor, Mich., City Council)
2nd – Elaine Noble (Massachusetts House of Representatives)
3rd – Jim Yeadon (Madison, Wis., City Council)
4th – Allan Spear (Minnesota State Senate)

Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

How can we miss you if you won’t go away: Not since Francisco Franco has anyone had a farewell tour as long as Oprah Winfrey, whose 25 years on the air have by now been eclipsed by her endless good-bye.

Despite our hard-earned reputations as Sensitive New Age Guys, we conscientiously avoided the whole thing because of the inescapable ubiquity of media slobbering over the bon voyage, along with its treacly, slightly creepy, tone of Joel Osteen-type self-love Christianity.

Still it’s nice to know that if our offspring’s offspring ever look at us wide-eyed and ask, “Grandpa, what did you do when Oprah was going off the air? we can quickly refer to Jezebel’s all-you-need-to-know live blog of the 4,562nd show, or haul out our $11.99 copy of Oprah’s 148-page commemorative “bookazine.” Is this a great country or what?

All the news that fits: We’ve been paging through “Blind Allegiance” the new 382-page rip job on Sarah Palin by Frank Bailey, her ex-Alaska chief gofer and enforcer, which is based on his culling of 50,000 emails from the 2005-09 period of his sycophantic service to her.

Mildly amusing, the book is worth picking up for the schadenfreude-inclined who have a couple hours to spare and a) need further evidence that Palin’s a vicious, vindictive, money-grubbing psycho witch or b) can never get enough evidence that she’s a vicious, vindictive, etc. etc.

Minor slights, many of which would have withered under their inconsequentiality, became magnified obsessions that made governing the state of Alaska a lesser priority. An opponent uttering a statement Sarah regarded as an attack demanded retribution and, if possible, the destruction of that person’s reputation.


Nevertheless,  the Calbuzz First Law of Politics – the conventional wisdom is always wrong – all but ensures that Palin will jump into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, given that the Beltway Big Brains wrote her off months ago.

No sooner had the case against Palin been made again, then came word that she’s making a high-profile promotional bus tour this weekend, even as the current crop of Palinista Frank Baileys prepare to sanctify St. Sarah in a new documentary to premiere in, of all places, Iowa.

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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. avatar Beatrice says:

    I have never commented on a Calbuzz piece before although I am a frequent reader. The piece on Schwarzenegger and his security detail really struck a nerve. I have had a number of interactions with his detail while working for the Administration and the for me the Enquirer story is believable not only because Schwarzenegger himself was capable of such debased behavior, but more importantly because his security detail certainly was capable of fostering such an arrangement. The officers on his detail acted like hired guns and would readily do things that were at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst illegal, for those who made it into the Governor’s inner circle. The detail lived a charmed life under Schwarzenegger and doled out favors for those in the “in crowd”. I personally observed them giving full police escorts and transportation to folks who had no business getting these perks on the taxpayer dole. It was sleazy as sleazy can be. I was very happy to see those supposed officers forced back into real policing under Governor Brown.

    • avatar chrisfinnie says:

      Yow! It seems both Palin and Schwarzenegger were wrong to ignore the “little people” who were more than capable of watching what was really going on. Though it seems equally clear that both let the power of being governor go to their heads and allowed themselves to believe nobody could touch them.

      It is for this reason a free media and an independent judiciary are both important to maintaining accountability of elected officials. Too bad both seemed to be somewhat late to the party. But I suppose late is better than never.

      As for the Palin tour, I did find it somewhat hysterical that the organizers of the motorcycle tour she’s scheduled to join in her “Constitution” bus, have been all over the media saying they never invited her and she won’t be allowed to speak. They were gentlemen enough not to question whether Mrs. Palin knows more about The Constitution than was required to request it painted on the bus. Perhaps the high-school student who challenged Michelle Bachman to debate her on The Constitution should extend her invitation to Sara Palin as well. I would pay good money to see Amy (the student) debate either one. My bet would certainly be on Amy to know far more than either supposed defender of our founding document.

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