Monday, June 14, 2010

Little things I should have said and done

Special thanks to The Sailor for keeping it up here, while I've been dealing with work, a complicated move, in other words, life.

Things are slowly getting back to normal, which means the Right in this country are becoming more idiotic than ever. Witness the magical thinking from Orange County Register columnist Brian Calle about eMeg Whitman:
Meg Whitman's meteoric rise to the top of the California GOP ticket should leave Jerry Brown shaking in his sandals, but her candidacy also ought to cause many of the down-ticket Democratic candidates, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, some sleepless nights. Whitman has proven she is credible, viable and willing to spend as much money as it takes to get elected – and she has enough to do so. Oh, yeah. And after a nearly $100 million knockdown, drag- out primary battle with Republican Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, she is also "battle tested." Democrats beware.

Battle tested my ass. About as "battle tested" as The Donald after one of his "The Apprentice" episodes, where his money and hubris are enough to propel him to the bottom of reality show ratings.

Read the whole editorial, where she is painted as a successor to St. Ronnie, able to connect with moderate Dems. While Reagan did connect with "Reagan Democrats", who were fooled & foolish, that ain't gonna happen now. The only Dem who might vote for Meg is Mickey Kaus. And while I really like Mickey, his political instincts are pretty far right for CA.

No, Meg is that recent breed of MBA, who thinks that a CEO can be a CEO anywhere, and that California needs a CEO who has no clue about the flawed initiative process here that binds & restricts the legislature on spending.

All I can say is that at least she's not the incompetent nincompoop Carly Fiorina is. While eMeg's tenure at eBay was largely lackluster, she didn't nearly ruin the company the way Fiorina almost did Hewlett-Packard. But she'll prove to be an incompetent chief executive if elected the November.

Beware, California, of zealots masquerading as public servants.

For a prescient look at the idiocy that is Whitman, here are some quotes from a March 2009 Fortune article by Patricia Sellers:
  • She's appalled that California has nearly doubled state spending during the decade through 2008. (See: Initiative process. Voters voting for idiotic propositions)
  • Although Whitman was Fortune's Most Powerful Woman in Business in 2004 and 2005 (and eBay has christened its San Jose headquarters Whitman Campus), there's no denying that her performance as CEO sputtered in her last three years there. The company's growth hit a wall. Profits fell. The stock, as high as $59 in late 2004, now trades around $12 a share.
  • Whitman had no interest in a political career until the fall of 2006, when Mitt Romney, her boss at Bain in the early '80s, invited her to breakfast in Silicon Valley and asked her to help him run for President. Whitman became one of Romney's finance co-chairs and helped him raise $12 million in California, out of $72 million he raised nationwide. She also coached him on team building and, as he says, "making my message more clear."
  • She's pro-choice and anti-gay-marriage but supports gay civil unions. (Really? Really?)
  • Brown displays a mix of ridicule and respect when he describes candidate Meg's positioning this way: "'I ran a business. I can buy my campaign. I have zero experience in government. I want to take on the most difficult state government job in America. Therefore, make me governor.' That's her campaign."
  • To talk job creation, which she says is the key lever to lift the economy, she went to see the Texas governor, Rick Perry, last October. (When I think populism, Perry isn't who comes to mind)
  • To talk education, which accounts for half of California's $100 billion annual budget, she visited former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
  • Meanwhile, she's aiming to slash the state's workforce at least 10% and expenses an additional $15 billion.
Idiocy, ignorance, ideology. The Holy Trinity for Republicans.

And lastly re laMeg, my friend Robert Cruickshank has this @ Calitics:
Speaking of Meg Whitman, she's apparently well along in her training as a member of the dark side. In 2007, she physically assaulted an eBay employee who was trying to prepare her for a press interview. The employee pressed charges and later settled out of court. Here's the New York Times story:
In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay's headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter was delicate and was deemed to be strictly confidential.
The employee, Young Mi Kim, was preparing Ms. Whitman for a news media interview that day. Ms. Kim, who was not injured in the incident, hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit, but the dispute was resolved under the supervision of a private mediator. Two of the former employees said the company paid a six-figure financial settlement to Ms. Kim, which one of them characterized as "around $200,000."

The article goes on to describe how Whitman was reputed to bully her staff, "express[ing] sharp bursts of anger toward employees whose work or preparation she found lacking."

This is the same woman who now wants to be governor of California. Will she shove the Speaker of the Assembly when she doesn't get her way? Verbally abuse her Director of Finance when it becomes clear her "fire everybody" strategy only worsens the budget deficit? It certainly does not speak well to Whitman's judgement or her personality, which appears to be that of a pampered CEO who cannot deal with the rest of society as equals, but instead treats them like indentured servants.

Swell. We now have a governor who plays a tough guy in the movies, and we have a candidate who acts like a bully in real life.

For some relief from the pain, consider this, another perfect piece of music, having nothing to do with today's rant: