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Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category



Calbuzz Snubbed in GOP Debate; Payback Looms

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

This just in: Calbuzz was not chosen to be on the panel of reporters in the Great Debate between Republican candidates for governor Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner. We’re shocked – shocked! -  outraged and distraught. Cold revenge is on the menu.

For now, the debate is scheduled for 2 pm Sunday, May 2 at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, with KQED’s John Myers as moderator and panelists Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle, Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune, Jack Chang of the Sacramento Bee, Michael Blood of the Associated Press and Santiago Lucero of Univision. A solid enough lineup except for, well, you know . . .

Now Poizner is tweaking Whitman by arguing that she’s trying to limit exposure, and the California Accountability Project, sourcing a KTVU-TV report, is suggesting eMeg is lying about who picked the time. According to Sam Rodriguez at Comcast, the actual start time is still being discussed – by the campaigns.

Not that it’ll make much difference. Comcast is going to make the coordinates available to any TV station that wants them and they can broadcast it whenever they want to; Comcast will air it live on its Hometown Network, where it will be replayed many times; the California Channel is scheduled to air it live, as will others. Whether it’s at 2 pm or 5 pm on a Sunday makes little difference. More people will see it in the clips and the re-broadcast than will see it live no matter when it airs.

Why? Because it’s a “debate” between Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman ferheavensakes!

Which is why, for the entertainment value alone, Calbuzz is rooting for Jerry Brown’s drive – with a petition campaign started about 5 pm Sunday – to get eMeg to agree to join him and Steve in a series of three-way debates. Now that could be fun to watch.

So far, Meg’s not budging. (And why should she, really?) Even though Brown had racked up 4,500 signatures in the first 24 hours. “We’re hoping eventually to get 100 signatures for every million Meg Whitman has spent on her campaign,” said Brown flack Sterling Clifford. “We have 1,400 to go.”

Press clips – rant of the week: When we launched Calbuzz a little over a year ago, our Department of Churning It Out and Doing It Daily wrote that our role models were “Boys on the Bus” Hall of Fame partners Jules Witcover and Jack Germond (as noted at the time, we had little choice but to view ourselves as “the fat man in the middle seat,” the title of one of Germond’s campaign memoirs).

So we were delighted to find an online version of a dead-trees-and-ink column by Witcover, bringing his famed analytic powers  to the task of dissecting, um, online journalism.

Taking as his point of departure the recent announcement that the Library of Congress intends to start archiving hundreds of million of Twitter tweets, Witcover thundered against the evils of modernity, weaving into his screed the disgraceful case of CBSNews.com fronting a blog post that contained a quickly discredited assertion that Solicitor General and possible Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is a lesbian:

The tweet, which seems too often to be an unedited burp from the mouth of a diner overfed with trivia, strikes me as a poor cousin of the blog, that unlimited and too often also unedited vomiting of opinion, diatribe, rumor or just plain bigotry and hate.

The magazine Wired quoted one Matt Raymond, identified as the Library of Congress’ blogger, saying: “I’m no Ph.D., but it boggles my mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data.” One also can only wonder, however, what we might be able to learn from more fully expressed ideas, particularly when submitted to responsible, professional editing…

When rumor, prospective slander, libel or just plain inaccuracy gets through, the credibility of all journalism suffers.

We have no argument with our hero on that point. Despite Witcover’s lament that it was otherwise, however, the plain fact is that in the Wild West world of new media, it’s the content consumer who’s running the show, not the content provider. So the bottom line is: let the buyer beware, while the market sorts it all out.

Three reasons we love newspapers: Margot Roosevelt’s report detailing the big bucks efforts of oil giants Valero, Tesoro and Occidental Petroleum to qualify an initiative rolling back AB 32;  fellow LATimeser George Skelton’s takedown of PG&E over Proposition 16, its outrageously phony rip-off measure that would enshrine a monopoly for the utility under the guise of the “taxpayer’s right to vote act”;  the SacBee’s Kevin Yamamura’s smart takeout on eMeg Whitman’s proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax, likely to become a campaign issue.

Three reasons we love the Internets: The Oracle of Cruickshank’s trenchant, from-the-left post-game analysis of the Democratic convention over at Calitics;  Steve Malanga’s from-the-right indictment of the role of public employee unions in California’s budget mess, at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal;  Danielle Crittendon’s ordinary folks look at what a shameful dog-and-pony wheeze Sarah Palin performs for big bucks in the hinterlands

We wish we’d said that: Better late than never kudos to Chronicler Debra Saunders for a clear-eyed look at the dust-up at San Jose’s Mt. Pleasant High School over Steve Poizner’s memoir of the year he spent teaching there.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Jamie Jungers and Bombshell McGree, together again.

eMeg Invades Libraries; Commish Escapes Bondage

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Let’s hear another chorus of  “No Motherland Without You” Not content to road block the state’s airwaves, Meg Whitman has now opened another communications channel to force feed her campaign talking points to all Californians. According to Team eMeg:

Meg Whitman has mailed two copies of her plan, “Building A New California”, to about 1,400 public libraries throughout the state. The 48-page policy magazine concentrates on her three priorities: creating jobs, cutting government spending and fixing education.

“In an effort to provide California voters with the information they need to make an informed decision about which candidate has the right experience and leadership skills to be the next Governor of our state, I’ve mailed my plan for ‘Building A New California’ to our state’s public libraries,” said Whitman. “I encourage the libraries to display my magazine in their periodicals section so voters can gain a clear understanding of how I will govern, if elected in November.”

Such a deal. What’s next – framed oil portraits of Her Megness in every K-12 classroom? “Thanks Dear Leader, for all you do for us” signs erected by Cal Trans on every freeway exit? eMeg loyalty oaths sworn and signed by every faculty member at UC?

First Amendment sluts that we are, Calbuzz is all for widespread dissemination of information. But the idea of using taxpayer-funded institutions as distribution points for political propaganda strikes us as kinda’ creepy, and just doesn’t pass the smell test.

Poizner’s Eyes Wide Shut: Steve Poizner’s flack, Jarrod Agen, couldn’t put enough distance between his boss and Erik Brown, owner of  Dynamic Marketing Inc., whom Poizner’s campaign paid more than $10,000 for literature and mailings last May.

That’s ’cause Brown is the galoot who was reimbursed by the Republican National Committee for almost $2,000 in charges at Voyeur West Hollywood, a risqué, bondage-themed nightclub in Hollywood.

All the news about this, btw, was broken unflinchingly  by The Daily Caller,  conservative TV yakker Tucker Carlson’s DC online political site.

Records show Brown charged Poizner for more than $10,000 in services in May 2009, but a Poizner spokesman immediately distanced the candidate from Brown, the DC reported. Spokesman Jarrod Agen said Brown is merely a “direct mail vendor” and is not a consultant to the Poizner campaign. He says Brown hasn’t worked for them since June. “You can’t call someone a ‘Poizner consultant’ who we haven’t dealt with in nearly a year,” Agen said in an e-mail to the DC.

Catch up with the story, including RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s role, here and  here.

More guilty pleasures: Check out The Daily Beast’s close comparative analysis of Democrat and Republican sex scandals, which includes a ranking of the top 58 of the last 20 years, featuring three Californians – Kevin Shelley (#29); Gary Condit (#43) and Gavin Newsom (#53) – as well as Andy Borowitz’s blindingly insightful look at what l’affaire de Voyeur means for the RNC’s stance on gay marriage.

How about naming rights for the Wednesday edition? Our Department of Newspaper Credibility and On-Time Driveway Delivery has long found problematic the Chronicle’s practice of running Willie Brown’s column in its news pages.

We have nothing against the Sunday Mr. Speaker feature – in fact we’re often entertained or informed by one of his self-serving items. Given Brown’s impenetrable tangle of political, financial and legal interests and conflicts in San Francisco and California, however, prudent editorial  judgment would seem to err on the side of running the column on the op-ed page, where readers would understand up front that what they were getting wasn’t “news” in any sense of the word.

Now comes the Bay Guardian to report that Chronicle columnist Brown has been representing PG&E’s political interests before the state Public Utilities Commission, with nary a word of disclosure to readers. When the Guardian’s Tim Redmond called up editor Ward Bushee to ask WTF, he offered this see-no-evil response:

Our readers like his column to a large degree because he’s the Willie Brown with a long and colorful political history and many connections…Willie is not an employee or a member of the Chronicle staff but his columns go through standard editing procedures. He understands conflict of interest as well as anyone. I’m confident that he would not use his column to promote or benefit outside interests or clients. But if you feel differently, why don’t you contact him and ask him these questions directly.

Huh? In other words, the ethical standards of the San Francisco Chronicle are now left to the journalistic judgment and best intentions of Willie L. Brown Jr. to determine. And you wonder why newspapers are in the dumper.

And don’t call me chief: “The Wrap” is one of our favorite Hollywood news sites, but not necessarily the first place we look for serious media criticism. But Dylan Stableford delivered a well-deserved smack on the snout to the 15 dead tree newspapers in the nation whose editors decided that passage of health care reform did not merit play on the front page.

Among the papers that put the story inside, and the yarns they featured on the front instead:

Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach, Florida
“Census Forms Arriving in the Mail.”

Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Florida
A story on Hollywood’s suddenly feeble leading men pegged to Ben Stiller’s “Greenberg” character.

Commercial-News, Danville, Illinois
Photos of a maple syrup open house.

Don’t stop the presses!

Calling all wingnuts: Frank Rich nailed it with Sunday’s column in which he loudly called out the racism and sexism of the Arayan Nation Tea Party legions, noting correctly that their complaints about health care are nothing more than a gauzy curtain for their bottom line concern: there’s a black guy in the White House:

That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play…When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

Patriots, indeed. 

How Kavanagh Makes the R&T Daily Miracle Happen

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Rough & Tumble recorded its first hit at 1:08 p.m. on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002*. Since then, it’s racked up more than 35 million page views and today is the first internets stop of the morning for your Calbuzzers, along with the other 1,998 people who incessantly gossip with each other about state politics. The single most essential news source for California political junkies, it’s the brain child of 30-year veteran, Emmy-winning, political reporter and online seer Jack Kavanagh. With so many people taking R&T for granted, we thought we’d interrupt Jack’s weird sleep schedule to find out how his work actually gets done.

Calbuzz: What’s the mission of Rough & Tumble?
Jack Kavanagh: The mission is to save readers time with a one stop, free, snapshot of California public policy and politics. It must be balanced so all will feel welcome.

CB:Describe the process of how you put together the daily report.
JK: I cruise about 25 sites in California, Washington and New York and create links to important stories from reliable sources. The internet is a sewer bubbling with viruses and misinformation; you need a guide.

CB: It sounds pretty grueling to put it together seven days a week, with updates throughout – when do you sleep?
JK: The bulk of the site goes together between 10:00 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. at which time I slip quietly into a sleep-deprivation induced coma. My wonderful wife gently pours hot French Roast coffee into me later in the day and I crawl out of said coma… and update the site.

CB: What’s your traffic like?
JK: Rough & Tumble readers generate about 400,000 page views (for advertisers that means 400,000 impressions) a month. Traffic is event-driven; as news breaks, traffic spikes. The peak was 34,000 page views on the day Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was running for Governor.

CB: You seem to be pretty healthy with ads — do you think it’s possible for web sites to be self-sustaining with an advertising business model?
JK: Rough & Tumble is not about making money on the internet, it’s about giving readers the information they need. This is the information business. Give readers the information they need, and readers will find you. Advertisers will also find you.

Look at the Wall Street Journal. It knows its readers’ needs intimately and works that relationship daily. Readers pay about $150 a year for the privilege. The online Wall Street Journal is a profit center for Rupert Murdoch.

CB:What’s the biggest difference you see between print and online reporting? Do you favor print, or is there just more of it out there?
JK: There is no difference. Lazy reporting in print is lazy reporting online. Brilliant reporting in print is brilliant reporting online.

The reporting — the story telling — in the Voice of San Diego is stunning. And it’s online only. The investigative reporting by California Watch is major-league. It originates on the internet and is picked up by most major print outlets. Politico reporting is first rate. And it’s online only.

Snarky writing online is often entertaining but no different that snarky writing in print.  My sense is that readers like to be entertained, but they want to be informed first.

As newspapers closed their Sacramento bureaus, I noticed that they continued to follow the same stories and issues, they just did it locally.

Enterprise, balance, clarity and good storytelling don’t change whether the platform is print, the internet or the mobile phone.

CB: What did we forget to ask?

JK: What about pay walls?

Look for them to return soon. The Wall Street Journal thrives behind one. The Stockton Record is now behind a paywall. The Bay Area News Group (BANG) has a plan for a pay wall. The New York Times has a plan. Pay walls have been tried before and dropped at the San Jose Mercury and at Capitol Alert.

I have no idea whether pay walls will work this time. Pay walls may open up an opportunity to attract readers and advertisers to new alternative news producers on the internet.

Not every publication has the reputation — the brand — of the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. Many subscribers of print publications have dropped their subscriptions, maybe because they did not feel the information they received was worth the cost of the subscription.

Some of those same folks will probably be standing in line to pay $500+ for an Ipad.. and use it to read…Calbuzz!

* At least that’s when Jack started using Webstat to keep track of his online traffic. He actually began his site sometime in 1995, when he was still at KOVR-TV. It was “an effort on my part to expose young, newly-arrived-in-California news producers in the KOVR newsroom to the broad scope of public policy issues in California along with the depth of reporting on those issues,” Jack recalls. “That effort failed.”

Press Clips: Shane & Snitch Meet Maureen, Mutter

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Earth to Burton, Earth to Burton: In comments to the By God LA Times, state Demo party chief John Burton joined in the piling on of Martha Coakley, the humiliated-in-defeat candidate who ingloriously kicked away Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat – but JoBu draws a Calbuzz penalty flag for a bonehead comment in doing so.

Speaking to the redoubtable duo of Evan Halper and Shane Goldmacher, Burton referenced Coakley’s now-infamous mega-gaffe, in which she incomprehensibly referred to legendary former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling as a “Yankee fan,” freezing in an instant a public image of herself as a suburban matron utterly disconnected from the average concerns of those who follow the Sawx.

Having shot herself in only one foot, she soon finished the job by mocking GOP foe Scott Brown for showing up in the cold to shake hands with hockey fans headed for a Bruins game at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day, at a time when she was, um, on vacation. To wit Burton:

Democratic Party Chairman John Burton said the party’s Senate candidate in Massachusetts, state Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley, was just a bad campaigner.

“Nobody in California that is running for office would take off for a weeklong vacation before the general election after a tough primary, and they probably would be standing out in front of Dodger Stadium or Candlestick Park shaking hands,” he said, alluding to one of Coakley’s widely cited gaffes involving the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Memo to John: Baseball was last played at Candlestick Park on Sept. 30, 1999, when the dog-ass Dodgers hammered the hometown lads, 9-4. The Giants’ current facility, formerly known as PacBell Park, is now called ATT Park. We’re pretty sure you’ve been there, John, and just don’t remember. Time for your nappy, now.

Red Sox Nation: Amid the millions of trees sacrificed to the cause of explaining the victory of Republican Brown in Massachusetts, the Schilling incident stands out as the single most salient factor in the whole over-analyzed mess. Those inclined to more conventional, if not profound, analysis are directed to this swell four byline tic toc.

For our money though, Lisa Swan at The Faster Times nailed it in a well-reported take on how the Schilling Scandal became Coakley’s Snoopy-in-the-Tank defining moment, which included these comments from Schilling himself:

“It does reflect on an elected official’s relationship with her constituents. I don’t think that somebody who’s lived here their whole life, not understanding the importance of the prominence of the sports teams in this city, it’s a big deal to people,” he said.

“I think it’s another sign of her aloofness, and just the fact that she’s very out of touch, I think, with the people.”

(eMeg memo to staff: Why am I still waiting for that Power Point on the rosters of the Fresno Grizzlies and the Modesto Nuts?!?)

Heathcliff of San Francisco: Maureen Dowd’s kissy-poo column on SF Mayor Gavin Newsom stirred up a lot of cross-chatter about whether or not Prince Gavin had announced to MoDo his impending retirement from politics. Before we even get to that, though, one quick read of Dowd’s piece is all you need to know about why the Prince just couldn’t cut it in a tough, statewide race.

Self-important, self-regarding, self-absorbed and self-pitying, Newsom stops just short of taking to his fainting couch to comfort his sensitive soul from the cruel blows of an unfair world:

“I mean, oh, God,” he said, sipping green tea in his elegant office. “In a couple of years, you’ll see me as the clerk of a wine store.”

Oh, perish the thought. The overweening arrogance, condescension and utter contempt for working people found in that single sentence, and throughout the interview – “I mean, oh, God! ” – is difficult to overstate.

This is a guy who got carried by rich friends to some early success and now thinks the world owes him a ride in a sedan chair, an over-gelled poseur who screwed his best friend’s wife and now wants everyone to feel sorry for him cuz he didn’t have the stones to stick with a campaign he had no business starting in the first place.

We’re just sayin.’

As for the speculation that Newsom is getting out of politics:

“This is it. God bless. It was fun while it lasted,” he said of his career, with a rueful smile. “Guys like me don’t necessarily progress very far, which is fine.”

Yuck.  SF Weekly’s resourceful “Snitch” blog quickly squeezed a damage control quote out of Newsom’s mouthpiece, who insisted that, oh no, the Great Man is in it on behalf of the Little People for the long haul.

He was speaking tongue-in-cheek…He intends to have a very active career in public service after he completes his second term as mayor. … His point when he says things like that is that he isn’t dependent on politics in the next election, that he can stand on principle and doesn’t feel a need to compromise his beliefs. (Is it just us, or does that not dependent on politics claptrap remind you of Sarah Palin?)

The Chronicle once again dispatched the reliable Heather Knight, who got stuck cleaning up the mess the last time Newsom summoned a reporter for a national publication to share his thoughts on retirement. In a piece featuring exactly the same hed - “Newsom discusses his future” – she churned out a nice, all-you-need-to-know, 26-word lede:

Nobody seems to know what the future holds for Mayor Gavin Newsom after he’s termed out of office in January 2012 – least of all Newsom himself.

Calbuzz sez: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, pal.

Must read of the week: In a piece fraught with significance for Bay Area news types, media analyst and occasional Calbuzzer Alan Mutter dissects the pending bankruptcy of Dean Singleton’s MediaNews empire.

Among other things, Mutter’s piece offers new evidence of Hearst Corp.’s blundering since its ill-fated acquisition of the long-lost Old Chron in 2000.

After plowing well over $1 billion into a decade-long effort to salvage its ill-starred purchase of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Hearst Corp. now stands to lose another $317 million in the upcoming bankruptcy of MediaNews Group.

Hearst improbably put money into MediaNews, its direct competitor in northern California, in the hopes of reversing the almost continuous loses it has suffered since stepping up to buy the Chronicle in 2000. Instead of fixing the long-festering problem, Hearst became not just the biggest loser among the equity investors in MediaNews. It will be the only one.

The other big news from Fifth and Mish this week: its new, modified limited hangout print wall plan to keep some of their best stuff – like the Sunday Matier and Ross column – off the web until after the paper is printed, a head-in-the-sand idea if there ever was one, as the Oracle of Cruickshank made perfectly clear.

Just breathe into the bag: Our pal Steve Maviglio is usually pretty well-informed, which is why we made a couple calls about his post suggesting that the Coakley debacle will somehow trigger DiFi’s entry into the California governor’s race.

All but picking out the campaign signs and bumper strips for Herself, Maviglio spun his scenario deep into the heavens, going so far as to suggest a reprise of Feinstein’s 1992 Thelma and Louise act with Barbara Boxer.

Sorry man, it ain’t happening.

Scoop of the week: Nice work by Greg Lucas of California’s Capitol in scoring a copy of the internal Power Point presentation being used to try to reach agreement on a package of government reforms among the members of the two-house Special Committee on Fixing Everything in Sacramento in a Jiffy. Lucas reports:

A hearing of the Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Improving State Government to discuss the proposals was canceled January 19, apparently because of a lack of agreement over items on the list.

Howz that whole consensus thing workin’ for ya?

Fishwrap: Poll-pourri, Scofflaw Sarah, Prince’s Pay

Friday, December 18th, 2009

schnurhitherWhen our old friend Dan Schnur outlined results of the USC-LA Times poll last month, he made a special point of noting that Democrats are not all that happy that their only choice in the governor’s race is Attorney General Jerry Brown.

In a conference call about the poll, the ex-Pete Wilson mouthpiece and Republican strategist who now directs the Unruh Institute of Politics, said he knew this because the pollsters inserted the following question while they were still in the field after SF Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped out of the race:

As you may have heard, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped out of the race to become the Democratic candidate for governor on Friday, leaving former Governor Jerry Brown as the only major political figure seeking the Democratic nomination. Are you satisfied with Brown as the only major figure seeking the nomination or do you think it is important for Democratic voters to have additional choices in who to nominate to be the Democratic candidate for governor?

As Calbuzz noted at the time, this was a loaded, partisan question. Given the wording, we were surprised that about a third of Democratic primary voters said they were satisfied while only 65% said it’s important to have more choices. It was hard to believe that Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Public Opinion Strategies – the prominent Democratic and Republican firms hired to do the survey – could have allowed such a dog-ass question.

But LMAO: Now comes PPIC’s new poll with this question – for all respondents:

In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June?

And guess who’s the least satisfied? Schnur’s fellow Republicans.

Democrats: 38% satisfied and 41% not satisfied – 3% net not satisfied.
Republicans:  25% satisfied and 43% not satisfied – 18% net not satisfied.
Independents: 29% satisfied and 45% not satisfied – 16% net not satisfied.

You can’t always get what you waaaaaant . . .

And another thing: Just between us, Dan, what’s with the come hither promo photo? We’re just sayin’.

goingrouge

Next time you’ll get the buzz cut: Our Arthur Godfrey Memorial National Talent Scout Team went far afield for this week’s winner of the coveted Investigative Punditry award, which goes to Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune, for his piece telling the story of a local hairdresser who got royally screwed over by the loathsome Sarah Palin.

Rolly scored an interview with one Rhonda Halliday, proprietor of the widely-known Images Hair Studio and Day Spa, who got an early morning call from a friend helping out the purse holders in the entourage of Palin, who was breezing through SLC for a book signing.

Come at once, Halliday was told, Sarah needs her hair done, and pronto.

Dumping a scheduled trip to the dentist with her 3-year old, she hustled to the Monaco Hotel, where she parked her car with the valet, as instructed,  then ran up to work on the Great Woman’s tresses – after being told “Don’t talk to her unless she talks first.”

Then the Palin party left to get to the book signing at Costco on time. Halliday was the last one out of the room because she had to put her equipment away, then watched as they all drove off without anyone mentioning payment or a tip, which is common when the hairdresser travels to the client for the appointment.

When the valet attendant got her car, he said that would be $10. She said she was with the Palin party and assumed they would take care of parking. That was news to him, so she had to fork over the $10.

Hockey mom, indeed.

Speaking of the stupidity of Sarah Palin, thanks to Cenk Uygur for “The Irrefutable Stupidity of Sarah Palin,” where he pointed to Sled Dog Sarah’s recent interview with Bill O’Reilly in which the Big Fella asked her is she’s “smart enough” to be president and got this astonishing response:

I believe that I am because I have common sense and I have I believe the values that I think are reflective of so many other American values, and I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the um, the ah, a kind of spineless spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite, Ivy League education and, and a fat resume that is based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans are could be seeking something like that in a positive change in their leadership, I’m not saying that that has to be me.”

There were no injuries.

BTW:  If you don’t want to support Palin by purchasing her “Going Rogue: An American Life,” you could consider buying a copy of “Going Rouge: An American Nightmare” (did you catch that in the photo above?), the work of Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, editors at the progressive magazine The Nation.

matierandross

No wonder he’s unbearably conceited: Underscoring the Rolly Rule that all good columnists are first of all great reporters, the Chron’s joined-at-the-hip boys, Phil Matier and Andy Ross, rolled out some jaw-dropping factoids in their Monday piece that deserve a second look.

Seems that Gavin Newsom, erstwhile candidate for governor and current pouty mayor of San Francisco, would have taken a 30% pay cut had he succeeded in his misguided attempt to be elected California’s chief executive: Amazing but true, Prince Gavin makes $246,464 as Baghdad by the Bay’s Alcalde, compared to the $173,987 salary that Gov. Schwarzmuscle doesn’t take each year.

And his snout’s not alone in the trough, not by a long shot, according to M&R: S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris, for example, faces a $76,212 slash in her $227,339 salary should she be elected attorney general. Lucky for the little people,  she takes a noblesse oblige view of things: “If I had gone into law to make money, I wouldn’t be here in the first place.”

kamalaharrisFortunately for Harris, she may not have to struggle to make ends meet on the AG’s pay, once her rivals get around to making Alexander Izaguirre a household name.

As reported  by the LAT’s Michael Finnegan, Izaguirre was among an unknown number of illegal immigrant felons that Harris’s office diverted into a much-ballyhooed jobs program as an alternative to prison;  while so enrolled he was busted on multiple felony charges in a vehicular assault case, in which 29-year old Amanda Kiefer was mugged by Izaguirre, then suffered a fractured skull after he jumped into the passenger seat of a car driven by an associate, who ran her down.

“If they’ve committed crimes and they’re not citizens, then why are they here,” Kiefer later told Finnegan. “Why haven’t they been deported?” Two questions we expect campaign consultants for the numerous foes of Let Them Cake Kamala are mulling with great interest.

Three Dot Lounge: Calbuzz welcomes to the blogosphere Bill Whalen, former Pete Wilson speech writer, who’s just launched Politi-Cal. Here’s hoping that Whalen, who hangs out at the Hoover Institution, where Wilson is also encamped, doesn’t turn sock puppet for Pedro protégé eMeg Whitman…046-510

Nice work by Josh Richman of the Coco Times  and Andrew McIntosh of the B-  for penetrating the mysteries of Steve Poizner’s personal wealth and sundry  political contributions…

Must read of the week: A terrific situationer on the state of state Republicans by Washpostman Michael Leahy, who used the controversial recall of GOP Assemblyman Anthony Adams as an entry point.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Sarah Palin meets Miss Teen South Carolina.