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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Maddow’



Calbuzz Joins the Party with the GOP in Sacramento

Friday, March 18th, 2011

At least half of the Calbuzz Crisis Intervention and White Russian Affairs Desk will converge on Sacramento today to follow the progress of the Sovietization of the California Republican Party.

Our wall readers have been keeping close tabs on postings from secret members of the Comintern, and here are some of the key questions they’ve raised that may be answered this weekend:

1. Will the troglodytes triumph? Celeste Greig, president of the California Republican Assembly, has drawn widespread attention with her resolution to purge the party of the “traitors” who dare to take seriously their responsibility to govern. Next up: the CRA calls for exiling all GOPers who turn left at stop signs.

2. Will the GOP 5 be tarred and feathered? Senators Tom Berryhill, Sam Blakeslee, Anthony Canella, Bill Emmerson and Tom Harman are already being denounced for negotiating with Governor Jerry Brown about the shape of the table. If any of them shows his face at the Hyatt Regency bar, here’s hoping a rabies-ridden delegate doesn’t try to chew it off.

3. Will Sutter Brown show up to debate Grover Norquist? Party leader Ron Nehring backed down instantly when the governor’s office offered First Pooch Sutter to accept Mr. Chairman’s invite for a debate with anti-tax jihadist Norquist. Now we hear the cagey Corgi may be prowling the lobby in an effort to sniff out Muppet Man Grover.

4. Will the Stalinistas strike a blow for authoritarianism? Fiercely  determined to shrink the size of their party as much as possible, ideologically pure apparatchiks are sponsoring a rules change to put all the power to decide which candidate in any top-two primary is or is not a “real” Republican in the hands of the GOPs most conservative bureaucrats. This one’s so far out even the Tea Party’s against it.

5. What will Fleischman’s bar bill be? Jon “Ice Axe” Fleischman, the noted bitter-ender Bolshevik blogger, has promised to buy drinks for the entire press corps. It’s a small price to pay for the ink slingers’ outstanding efforts to make him a Big Deal. You like me, right now, you like me!

We can only wish that we were making this stuff up. In fact, our key questions align quite closely with the actual struggles being waged within the Grand Old Party.

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Convention cognoscenti tip sheet

Barbourian at the gate: Beyond all the turf battles and litmus tests, the biggest behind-the-scenes convention story has been been the hair-pulling and garment-rending by members of the so-called “news media” about the awful timing of the speech by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, which has prevented Dr. P.J. Hackenflack from organizing one of his spectacular dinners.

Instead, people on expense accounts – we name no names — will have to listen to and report on the pearls of wisdom offered by the corpulent drawler, even though the chance that he’ll be the next president of these United States is about as likely as finding a Union flag in Yazoo City.

The only presidential contender who decided to come, Barbour will be the keynote speaker on Saturday night, although reporters may be more interested in asking him about how he made a fortune as a lobbyist for big oil, tobacco companies and the Mexican government (just for starters).

He also is still trying to explain his relationship to some of the less savory racial forces in the South. As this Wiki excerpt accurately puts it:

In December 2010, Barbour was interviewed by The Weekly Standard magazine. Asked about coming of age in Yazoo City during the civil rights era, Barbour, who was 16 when three civil rights workers were murdered in the state in the summer of 1964, told the interviewer regarding growing up there, “I just don’t remember it as being that bad.”[54]

Barbour then credited the White Citizens’ Council for keeping the KKK out of Yazoo City and ensuring the peaceful integration of its schools. Barbour dismissed comparisons between the White Citizens’ Councils and the KKK, and referred to the Councils as “an organization of town leaders.” Barbour continued in his defense of the Councils, saying, “In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”

Barbour’s statement did not address the role of the white supremacist group in publicly naming and blacklisting individuals who petitioned for educational integration and how it used political pressure and violence to force African-American residents to move This led to a considerable outcry in which critics such as Rachel Maddow accused Barbour of whitewashing history. In response to criticism, Barbour issued a statement declaring Citizens’ Councils to be “indefensible.”

Calbuzz will attend Gov. Barbour’s press avail: inquiring minds want to know.

At least it’s not Michael Bolton: In addition to informative and enlightening remarks from the likes of Congressman Jeff Denham and Damon “Hard Hat” Dunn, Friday night’s main speaker will be John Bolton, whose star-spangled career has included: fighting reparations to Japanese-Americans interned during WWII; neck-deep involvement in the Iran-Contra affair; derailing a 2001 biological weapons conference in Geneva; pushing for inclusion of a false statement in President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address that British Intelligence had determined Iraq had attempted to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger (inhale) and being named U.N. ambassador on a recess appointment (after losing Democratic and Republican support), having argued that “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States.”

Saturday’s lunch speaker will be alleged pollster Frank Luntz. His sparkling resume includes being reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, censured by the National Council on Public Polls and called a “moron” by respected Republican pollster Bill McInturff for mocking Sen. John McCain’s inability to use a Blackberry (which he can’t because of the injuries he sustained as a prisoner of war in Vietnam).

Luntz is the wordsmith who coined favorites like “death taxes” (estate taxes), “energy exploration” (oil drilling), “climate change” (global warming) [he actually advised environmentalists against using "climate change"] and “government takeover” (health care reform). He also once argued in a radio interview that “To be ‘Orwellian’ is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening… and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever.”

We can hardly wait.

Meanwhile: Fully half of the Calbuzz National Affairs Desk will be in the Republican stronghold of the Central Valley, paying homage to the late David Broder by discussing the weighty matters being debated at the weekend confab with Actual Voters (and soon-to-be-in-laws). Vox populi, vox dei.

Meyer on Hair, Hitler; the Mysterious Boothby is MIA

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

It’s been a couple days since a California candidate stepped in muck or stuffed a foot in his mouth, but the indefatigable Tom Meyer won’t let that hamper the free exercise of his constitutional rights to vicious mockery of politicians.

The far-famed, well-coiffed and handsomely recompensed political cartoonist and Calbuzzer has spent his quiet time memorializing the best gaffes from the starting line of the 2010 general election races.

Today we present Meyer’s uniquely twisted take on Hurricane Carly’s Mean Girls complex, Krusty Brown’s Third Reich fetish and the all-star Houdini act of California’s voters.

P.S. If you’d like a full-color print of one of Meyer’s cartoons to frame and hang on your wall – just in time for the holidays! – send us a note at calbuzzer@gmail.com and we’ll fix you up in a jiffy.



Paging Ron Ziegler: General Stanley McChrystal had to perform career seppuku for the brain-dead comments he and his Animal House entourage made to Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings – but at least Canned Stan can blame his indiscretions on having been snot-flying drunk at the time.

But what about the press guy – what’s his excuse?

The big brain behind giving Hastings unlimited access to McChrystal and his guys is a somewhat shadowy figure with a limey accent named Duncan Boothby (a phony name if there ever was one), who’s described in news accounts as a “civilian senior adviser” to the general, and who previously worked in the region for Lt. General William Caldwell.

Caldwell became a proponent of using “new media” to communicate with targeted audiences, and he began collecting civilian public affairs specialists, including Boothby, to expand the work of the military’s rigid public affairs system and to maximize the “strategic impact of new media” through a program call CAC Stratcomms. “He wanted to use media as a weapon,” one officer explained.

How’s that workin’ out for you general?

Boothby (if that is in fact his name) got fired about 12 seconds after the Rolling Stone piece made its way onto the web, and appears to have escaped Afghanistan one step ahead of the posse.

But seriously, does being forced to leave Afghanistan strike you as sufficient sanction for such a felony stupid move? Shouldn’t Duncan have to answer for this bloody mess and explain, you know, WTF WERE YOU THINKING MAN?!?

Great news, sir! I’ve arranged for a Rolling Stone reporter to hang out with you and the gang for a month!

Rolling Stone? Isn’t that where Hunter Thompson worked?

No worries, sir. Completely different publication today. Plus, my sources tell me Lady GaGa and her machine-gun tatas will be the cover so no one will even read your story anyway.

But will the boys still be able to kick back when they’re off duty?

Absolutely, sir. No problem at all.

While an anxious nation awaits the big book contract and inevitable surfacing of the alleged Boothby, perhaps as a military affairs analyst for the Rachel Maddow show, we propose that the Public Relations Society of America endow an annual prize, called The Duncan, to be presented each year to the flack who screws up his boss’s career in the most hideous way.

If no one’s performance meets the Boothby standard of excellence, the association can present the award for outstanding historic work (What about the unnamed genius who put Michael Dukakis in the tank? Who thought it was a great idea to have Sarah Palin interviewed in front of turkeys being slaughtered? Or who told BP’s CEO, “no sweat, Tony, just relax and enjoy the yacht race”?) – or even posthumously:

“Nonsense, Mr. President, you and Mrs. Lincoln deserve a fun night out. You just have a great time at the theater.”

Next 10 California Budget Challenge: The California Budget Challenge is an online simulation that lets users make the same choices that legislators face, including issues ranging from education spending to corporate taxes. The latest edition of the Budget Challenge features the most up-to-date figures from Governor Schwarzenegger’s May Revise. Once you’re finished there’s the option to send the budget to your legislator and let them know how you think the state should be run. It’s a great way to educate readers and keep them engaged in the political process here in California.