The Blob

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Hasta la Vista, Baby

Memo to Gray Davis: Start packing.

It's about time. By now you've read the news of Arnold Schwarzenegger's smashing victory in the California recall election. The numbers are still coming in as of this moment, but the handwriting is clearly on the wall, despite any last-ditch dirty tricks courtesy of the DNC, ACLU or Gloria Allred.

Let's just say the voters were pissed.

The exit polls were telling. A snip from an AP story showed the depth of voter resentment to Gray Davis and his cold business as usual attitude:

"...Voters faced two questions - whether to recall Davis, and who among the other candidates should replace him if he was removed. They chose to get rid of the incumbent and put Schwarzenegger in his place.

Exit polling explained why: Many Hispanics and union members - two key groups in Davis' past electoral successes - deserted him as he suffered extraordinarily low job approval ratings amid widespread voter discontent about the state's economy.

Davis won election in 1998 with 70 percent support from Hispanics and a similar percentage of voters from union households, and he got about 65 percent of both groups in his re-election last year. But in the recall, about half of Hispanics and of voters with union members in their households voted to recall Davis, according to voter surveys conducted for The Associated Press and other news organizations by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

Seven in 10 voters disapproved of how Davis was handling his job. Nearly half of all voters strongly disapproved, and among them, nine in 10 voted for the recall and seven in 10 voted for Schwarzenegger, the exit poll found."

And this from

"Even though 69 percent of voters described themselves as moderate or liberal, the voters of California told two quintessential moderate-liberal Democrats -- Davis and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante -- to take a hike. Both men registered high disapproval ratings -- 72 percent for Davis, 57 percent for Bustamante.

The data suggested that Schwarzenegger's victory was set in stone some time ago, and nothing short of a complete meltdown by the candidate could have stopped it.

The Los Angeles Times uncorked an exhaustive investigation last week that documented allegations of sexual harassment by Schwarzenegger on movie sets for the last 30 years. Then, this week, he was hit by a report by the moviemaker who made him famous in the documentary "Pumping Iron" that he had spoken admiringly of Adolf Hitler.
It didn't matter. An astonishing 83 percent of California's voters said they had already made up their minds before those two bombshells were dropped. Only 5 percent said they waited until this week to decide, and they split 50-50.
Despite the sexual harassment allegations, as many women expressed a favorable opinion of Schwarzenegger as not -- 47 percent to 47 percent."

Voter sentiment is fragile at best. And Governor-elect Arnold will have a formidable opponent in a state legislature that collectively thinks the budget is their own personal ATM. I can only hope that the newly elected Governor can kick butt with the same gusto he has in his movies. Perhaps pushing a few legislators' heads in toilets might be a good thing. Or at least a thorough forensic audit of the state's books. That should get the rats to jump off the ship.

The night's winners:

- The people of California
- Arnold
- Mary Carey

The night's losers:

- Even more gray than Gray Davis
- Cruz Bustamecha
- Terry McCauliffe and the DNC
- The Los Angeles Times

It's a great feeling when the bad guys have their butts handed to them. If the Cubs had won tonight, it would have been perfect.

Monday, October 06, 2003

A big ship with a broken rudder

The editorial standards of the Los Angeles Times seems ever more broken as the California gubernatorial campaign winds down. I have often looked to the media for some guidance and independent thinking on important matters of the day. But the Los Angeles Times seems to have broken down entirely with highly partisan reporting and openly transparent editorializing.

Readers have noticed. The Times is being inundated with angry calls, letters and demands from readers to cancel their subscriptions. And for good reason.

No better example can be seen in the horribly written, angry rant by Times columnist Steve Lopez, Arnold vs. The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. Calling your readers idiots is not only a bad way to sell newspapers. It shows that the Los Angeles Times has become a rudderless ship, and has been reduced to a mere mouthpiece of Gray Davis and his minions.

I would think that a newspaper's editors would apply some brakes to an out-of-control columnist. It might even consider editing. In the case of the Times, when the smoke and passion of this ugly election clears, and their editorial review board (if they have any) looks inward, they won't like what they see.

From far away, I can say this: I don't like what I see now.

Cancel my subscription. Please.

Curiouser and curiouser still

In the waning hours of the California gubernatorial election, the rants and accusations of a dying governor's administration become more frantic. No better evidence can be found than to scan the stories on the Internet, like this news snippet:

New Sex Allegations Emerge Against Arnold

Rhonda Miller has hired L.A. attorney Gloria Allred to represent her.

Miller claims Schwarzenegger groped her while she worked as a stunt woman on the set of Terminator II and the movie True Lies.

Rhonda Miller, stunt woman: "I am speaking out publicly now because in the last few days, there seems to be suggestions from Arnold's camp that Arnold didn't do what he is alleged against him in the L.A. Times."

Miller says she reported the incidents to the Screen Actors Guild six months ago, before Schwarzenegger became a candidate.

Schwarzenegger has not commented publicly on this latest allegation.

There's just one small problem: It may be a complete fabrication.

A caller to a local Los Angeles radio station took issue with Ms. Miller's claims. The caller was a make-up artist on Terminator II and True Lies, and explained that it was he, not Schwarzenegger who took the photos, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger had nothing to do with it. More interesting is the fact that the caller said that Ms. Miller eagerly volunteered to have her breasts photographed, and her photo was included with dozens of other photographs of breasts taped to the ceiling of the makeup artist's trailer.

Is it just me, or is the irony of True Lies not lost on Ms. Miller and Ms. Allred? Or, for that matter, Gray Davis and his cronies?