eMeg’s Groundhog Day: MVF (Most Valuable Flack) honors of the week to the volcanic Sarah Pompei and a cast of thousands in Meg Whitman’s press shop, for extraordinary work in getting every mainstream media outfit in California to bite on the non-news that eMeg is “officially” running for governor.
Let’s recap: Seven months ago, on Feb. 10, the LAT’s Michael Finnegan filed a story that began: “Former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman joined the race for governor of California this morning…” Since then, Herself has raised and spent something like $20 million, including several large wads of personal cash, on her campaign for governor, all the while delivering platitude-packed perorations about her campaign for governor to captive Republican audiences across the state.
So why, suddenly, is it stop-the-press time for every newsroom (including Finnegan’s own) to breathlessly report that Whitman is now “officially” running for governor (not to mention giving the same speech she’s been giving all year)?
This just in: World War I officially over; Paraguay officially located south of U.S.; Disco officially still dead. We’re just sayin’.
If it’s news, it’s news to us: Awaking from a long summer’s nap, meanwhile, the mighty web site of the bygodlatimes finally figured out what the rest of the blogosphere determined weeks ago – that the Parsky Commission tax reform is DOA in the Legislature.
Timesman Eric Bailey correctly notes that the key stake in the heart for the plan is the damning letter from a group of prominent economists and other chrome domes dismantling Parsky’s pet proposal, the controversial Business Net Receipts Tax. What he doesn’t say is that the letter somehow never made it to the commission’s web site while the panel was actually in session, getting posted only after the final, final (we really mean it this time), final meeting of the group.
Calbuzz gets results: Kudos to Rick Orlov, the Southland’s best political scribe, for doing what no one else had been successful in doing – twisting Jerry Brown’s arm until the General finally ‘fessed up that he’ll soon form an exploratory committee to raise money to run for governor. Brown’s acknowledgement followed by a few days a serious bit of Calbuzz caterwauling about how borrrrrring his endless prevarications were getting.
“They are talking about spending $150 million,” Brown told Orlov, speaking of possble GOP foe eMeg. “They will buy up all the airtime with that kind of money.”
Which is exactly why Brown needs to cut the Zen crap and not only start dialing for dollars but also put together a campaign team that goes beyond him, Anne and the dog in the loft in Oakland. Are you listening, Joe Trippi?
Why North Dakota’s Senior Senator is a twit, Chapter 32: Kent Conrad, who makes Max Baucus look like a single payer socialist, will stop at nothing to trash the notion of a public option in the health care reform debate, including the rankest form of hypocrisy, as firedoglake makes perfectly clear.
Break out the decoder rings: Following our curiouser and curiouser update on Monday about the tangled tale of Hewlett-Packard sales to Iran during Carly Fiorina’s stint as CEO, iCarly flack Beth Miller emailed to “clarify” an earlier comment she’d made on the matter.
In that piece, we reprised a Miller quote, which first appeared in the blog of conservative writer and radio yakker Eric Hogue, describing would-be Senator Fiorina as “shocked, upset and totally caught off guard” in regards to the Iran issue; we reported that Miller said that was her candidate’s reaction to a question Hogue had posed, suggesting that HP may have violated a U.S. trade ban with third party sales to Iran during Hurricane Carly’s reign.
But the day after our post, Miller emailed Calbuzz to state that what she had meant to say earlier was that Fiorina was “shocked,” etc., not by Hogue’s question, but by ithe whole subject being raised in the first place by Mike Zapler, who broke the HP-Iran story for the Merc.
Miller’s a pro so we take her at her word, and at first her “clarification” seemed like a distinction without a difference – except that Hogue, who is popular among the Republican right wing that Fiorina is courting, had followed up our Monday story with yet another Carly-Iran piece, taking issue with Miller’s portrayal to us of his interview with her, and expressing bafflement at the construction she had put on it.
We recount this angels-on-a-pinhead tale simply because it underscores anew our original point: the Iran connection story represents a political quicksand pit for Fiorina. In a defensive stance even before her campaign gets started, she ‘s already parsing, recalibrating and clarifying, instead of stepping up to tackle the fundamental question head-on: what did she know and when did she know it about HP’s third party sales to Iran?
Greatest web site in the history of the world: HO to Merv “The Swami” Field, for pointing us, in his wildly popular Mill Valley Record column, to RunPee.com, a splendid consumer service site that provides in exquisite detail the exact points in first-run movies when you can run to the head and not miss anything important – along with the duration of the bathroom breaks you can safely take. With a memorable branding slogan – “helping your bladder enjoy going to the movies as much as you do” – the site can be found here.
Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: The whacky world of Lingerie Football.