October 04, 2003

Off to my 40th....

Kausfiles has an easy solution to the controversy over Ahnolt's "Hitler tapes": play them for one of his media shills (ie., William Bradley). After all, A.S. now has the ownership rights to the Pumping Iron outtakes.
Wonderful evisceration by Bob Somerby, on hatchet-job hypocrite Susan Estrich. I'm beginning to think that Michael Dukakis "lost" the '88 election for the same reason that the White Sox "lost" the 1919 World Series.

October 03, 2003

Another day, three more women with stories to tell about the next governor:
(Carla) Baron, then 28, said she was a stand-in for lead actress Kelly Preston. She said the stories reported this week about Schwarzenegger reminded her of the feelings of powerless and humiliation she experienced.

Baron said she was standing next to a food service table with Schwarzenegger and his longtime stand-in shortly after Shriver left the set. The men suggested making a "Carla sandwich," Baron said. The stand-in moved behind her while Schwarzenegger stood in front. "I said something along the line of, 'Boys, the sandbox is out back,' " Baron said.

"Arnold said, 'No, I think we should make a Carla sandwich,' " she said. With Schwarzenegger facing her and the stand-in behind, they squeezed her between them, Baron said. After they separated, Schwarzenegger, who had just been smoking a cigar, bent her over and pushed his tongue in her mouth, she said.

"There was this tongue just lunging down my throat," Baron said. "I am in shock at this point. I wanted to throw up from the taste. It was worse than licking an ashtray. It was like an ashtray of human flesh." (emphasis added)
Of interest is the fact that Kelly Preston, who co-starred with Schwarzenegger in the movie Twins, was one of the women who came to the support of Ahnolt after the infamous Premiere article two years ago, claiming that he was a gentleman on the set. I have a feeling A.S. probably doesn't make it a habit of groping A-list (or B-list) actresses; the power dynamics are much different.
William Greider gives his two cents on the recall:
Like many others, I hope Davis survives, but it won't be the end of history if he doesn't. It might even provide a new beginning if rebuked politicians absorb the message. Arnold may prove to be a clown or perhaps shrewder than people suppose. Either way, the Golden State will survive, still struggling with all of its deep problems. Given my understanding of where we are in corrupted representative democracy, we need more earthquakes -- lots of them. Who knows, maybe we will get another next year in Washington.
Two interesting, but opposing takes on the Limbaugh / McNabb controversy, by journalists David Neiwert and Allan Barra. As odious as I find Limbaugh, his politics, and his willingness to debase political commentary, I do not feel any sense of schadenfreude at his fall. Drug addiction is a disease, and I certainly hope for his recovery; I sense that neither he nor his dittoheads would feel much sympathy if the patient was Bill Clinton or Jesse Jackson.

He is not a new phenomenum, in any event. In the 30's, perhaps the most popular media figure of the day wasn't Clark Gable or F.D.R.; it was a radio priest named Father Charles Coughlin. One of the popular political writers was a gentleman named Westbrook Pegler. Like Limbaugh, each of those men had views that today would euphemistically be called "radical centrist"; that is to say, they were virulent bigots, who found easy scapegoats for the problems of society and used ad hominem attacks as a favored debating ploy. In the end, society turned their back on them, just as it has now begun to do with Rush Limbaugh.
Another woman has come forward:
Joy Browne, a psychologist whose advice program is syndicated to nearly 200 stations nationwide, described on the radio an encounter with Schwarzenegger that took place during an interview about the documentary, which was released in 1977.

Schwarzenegger fondled her legs under the table during the interview, she said. Then, she said, he left his Gold American Express card in the studio and insisted that Browne personally return it to his hotel room.

According to Browne, who was in her late 20s at the time, she took her young daughter along to return the credit card. Schwarzenegger, she said, answered the door in tight pants, wearing no shirt. He had champagne. He asked her if her daughter could "take a walk for a while?" She declined.

Rob Stutzman, a Schwarzenegger spokesman, said Thursday that the candidate had no recollection of the alleged incident.
Also, a woman who had been anonymous in yesterday's article is now on-the-record, further dispelling the myth that the Times story was based largely on anonymous sources. No word yet whether the Times will also report that Gray Davis has used the F-word on occasion.

An interesting follow-up to the piece last month on boxing: the LA Times interviews several judges about what it is they use to determine who wins a round. For anyone who follows the sport, the subjectivity involved is frightening. BTW, we may be getting the fight at my b-day bash tomorrow; all the more reason for my followers to attend.
From today's New York Times:
In a part of the interview not used in the film, Mr. Schwarzenegger was asked to name his heroes — "who do you admire most."

"It depends for what," Mr. Schwarzenegger said, according to the transcript in the book proposal. "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education up to power. And I admire him for being such a good public speaker."

In addition to the transcript, Mr. Butler wrote in his book proposal that in the 1970's, he considered Mr. Schwarzenegger a "flagrant, outspoken admirer of Hitler." In the proposal, Mr. Butler also said he had seen Mr. Schwarzenegger playing "Nazi marching songs from long-playing records in his collection at home" and said that the actor "frequently clicked his heels and pretended to be an S.S. officer."

Mr. Schwarzenegger, in a telephone interview on Thursday, said he did not recall making any of the comments attributed to him or engaging in any of the behavior described by Mr. Butler.
I have just one question: Is it possible that his memory is so bad he can't recall whether he used to goosestep to the beat of his favorite "Nazi marching song"?

October 02, 2003

Garry Trudeau is right. The next recall movement starts October 8. California is either going to elect a bully who is unable to keep his hands off women, or it will retain a governor that everybody hates. Lousy choice.

The latest Field Poll shows Ahnold comfortably ahead of non-candidate Bustamante, and the recall prevailing by a wide margin. Obviously, with the events of today, particularly the revelation that A.S. one time admitted to admiring Hitler, that poll is already out-of-date. Bustamante has quit even running a semblance of a campaign; one can certainly sympathize with a mediocrity who probably never intended to be governor, and found himself completely outmatched by the responsibility. More discouraging is the fact that McClintock has lost ground: even though I disagree with almost every position he's taken, his campaign has been one of the few honorable notes in this election. Even if Ahnolt takes a hit with his newfound backers among women and moderates, I doubt McClintock will be able to capture enough of their votes to prevail.

Although I have enjoyed watching the G.O.P. ditch all semblance of principle in backing a man whose licentiousness is more like the American Spectator fantasy version of Bill Clinton, and whose politics are to the left of Zell Miller, much less every other significant Republican in the country, the end result will probably be that my home state will be governed by this leech for the next few months. Let's just get this over with, get our petitions ready, and do it right next time.

Whether it be DiFi or Riordan, ALL IS FORGIVEN !!!
Mickey Kaus has been directing people to this bit of anti-Gray Davis invective from 1998, by "journalist" Jill Stewart. Unlike the L.A. Times piece, she relied entirely on unnamed "sources" to paint a picture of a violent and ill-tempered future governor, one who used the f-word and the like in front of subordinates. Loud and abusive bosses are a pain to work for, but it's not quite as bad as having to worry about your boss groping you in public (or your boss saying that he "admired Hitler"). Ms. Stewart should go back to stalking Kevin Murray.
Another woman has come forward to claim A.S. once demanded that she and a friend get in his car, or that he would rape her. No word yet as to whether this was one of the "playful" antics referred to earlier this morning.

At this point, what's really driving this story isn't the fact that the Times published this at the last second, but that Ahnold waited until election eve to confirm that these allegations were largely true.

UPDATE: The New York Times quotes a campaign spokesman for the actor, Todd Harris, as saying that some of the allegations in the LA Times article were true, and some were not true. He did not say which. It also mentioned that the woman, above, was heckled by supporters of A.S. with shouts of "lesbian" and "liar" after she made her accusation.
Men Behaving Badly: Ahnold denied the LA Times article, but "apologized" for being on some "pretty rowdy sets". LAME !! He has now given the press license to investigate what other incidents he might be referring to beyond what the Times reported, while validating the underlying inquiry.

The Times article names names and lists witnesses, and four of the six incidents weren't even on movie sets: one was at the gym; one, in an office; one, in a restaurant; and one incident, in a hotel room during an interview. He can hardly say that this is "trash politics", as his shills suggest, if he admits that he has something to apologize for, if not those incidents. In any event, since he doesn't refer to specific events or persons, it is hard to take his "apology" seriously. My bet is that while Republicans won't care at this stage, his gains amongst moderates and women over the past two weeks will disintegrate.

October 01, 2003

The LA Times reports that our next governor is a bit of a creep !! Anyone who has lived in this town could have told you that, and named five other actors who are even worse. [link via CalPundit]

With the baseball playoffs starting, ArchPundit has a timely scoop.

RECALL UPDATE: It's over !!! Davis is toast. Bustamante is an ambulatory stiff. Pete Wilson Ahnold is our next governor.

September 30, 2003

Comments are now fixed, so flame away.

While most commentators have seen the Valerie Plame scandal for what it is, as an attempt by the White House to intimidate a foe by potentially putting his spouse in danger, there is a dissenting view, one where the real scandal is the conspiracy that has been hatched by CIA spooks, "Arabists" in the State Department, and the lib'rul news media over this incident to bring down the neo-conservatives in the Pentagon. I'm still waiting for Christopher Hitchens to call Ms. Plame a "f***ing fat slag", or Lyndon LaRouche to weigh in on the role of the Council on Foreign Relations in this whole tawdry matter.
Surest sign that Cruz Bustamante has packed it in: his schedule has no campaign events today.

In what is a blow to soccer fans the world over, FIFA has rejected the joint bid of Libya and Tunisia to host the 2010 World Cup, in spite of the best efforts of Saadi Ghadaffi, number one son of the Libyan strongman. I guess we'll have to settle for North Korea's bid.

September 29, 2003

If I've seemed morose lately, my best and only excuse is that I turn 40 a week from tonight. This blog has been a good escape for me, but lately I seem to feel that posting is a chore. I'm not that into the recall election. I would rather watch sports than write about them. My law practice, such as it is, doesn't keep me occupied often enough, and there is only so much I can write about the local bankruptcy court. As hard as I try, I just can't motivate myself to have a take on those issues that seem to obsess others, like whether the Bush Administration is deliberately exposing CIA agents, or whether Howard Kurtz is a tool.

One of the nice things about my blog is that it's small; if "Smythe's World" were to disappear tomorrow, few would notice. So maybe I'll just give this site a rest for awhile. Or maybe not; it really depends on whether my sense of outrage can triumph over my feelings of melancholy and entropy.

For those of you who are interested, a b-day party is being thrown on my behalf (dig that passive tense !!) at 14-Below, in Santa Monica this Saturday. Hopefully, the hosts are providing an open bar, and since anyone who visits this site is a friend of mine, I would be honored if you ventured out that evening. I'll be the bald man in the corner, getting blind-drunk, and picking fights with younger men.
With Ahnolt opening up a sizable post-debate lead in at least one poll, it now appears that California may replace one a-hole governor with...an even bigger a-hole. Focusing on A.S.' past in the world of bodybuilding, this article reveals the character of the new darling of state Republicans:
"Sometimes, Schwarzenegger enjoyed disgracing his targets in full public view, veteran bodybuilders said. Gold's Gym regular Norman Williams recalled the time an earnest young man walked in seeking advice from his hero. No matter how hard he worked, he told Schwarzenegger, his muscles wouldn't grow.

Schwarzenegger told him to remove his shirt and slather his body with oil used to lubricate the weight equipment. He then ordered him to start flexing and to bellow louder with each pose. Only then, Schwarzenegger said, would the muscles bulge.

'Pretty soon, the gym was filled with this guy screaming,' Williams said. 'The guys were turning their backs trying not to crack up, but Arnold kept a straight face. He loved making a fool out of people.'

The young man, exhausted, wanted to wipe off the oil. 'Oh no,' witnesses quoted Schwarzenegger as saying. 'It needs to saturate the muscles. It's the only way to get bigger.' The guy walked out with oil bleeding through his shirt.

When asked to respond, Schwarzenegger's spokesman chalked up the incident to 'locker room humor.'"
Yeah, that's a thighslapper.

September 28, 2003