Erectile dysfunction

Terminated: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stumping for George W. Bush may have proven pivotal in Ohio (OK, maybe not as pivotal as those electronic voting machines that managed to count 4,258 Bush votes in a precinct where only 638 people voted), but it’s turning out to be a political liability back in Arnold’s dear old Austria.

According to the United Press International newswire, a consortium of private and public backers in Austria had put together funding for a $6.4 million steel statue of Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character to be built in his hometown of Graz, where it would stand alongside effigies of Wolfgang Mozart and Kaiser Franz Joseph.

According to project manager Herwig Hoeller, the project has been shelved because of citizen outrage over Schwarzenegger’s Bush-capades. “I think I must be the only one in this town that still wants the project to go ahead,” Hoeller reportedly said. Making matters worse, the Bush allegiance also has led angered Austrians to call for the renaming of the Arnold Schwarzenegger football stadium, a development that surely would sting worse than the two-week sex ban Arnold says he suffered after his Republican convention speech. (Note to Arnold: What you and other consenting adults do or don’t do in the privacy of your own bedroom is really of no concern to the rest of us. No, really.)

Come to think of it, Arnold’s latest bout of Bush-stroking isn’t the only public posturing that could come back to bite him in the ass. His post-election slagging of California’s Democratic legislators—“Why would I listen to losers?”—could jeopardize his own march toward the presidency. Arnold is forgetting what legislators are likely to remember: If Congress does pass Orrin Hatch’s constitutional amendment allowing Arnold to run for president, it then goes to the state legislators, where a three-fourths vote is required for ratification (anyone remember the Equal Rights Amendment?). In California, that means Arnold may need the support of said “bunch of losers,” who just might decide we have enough homegrown blowhard presidential candidates without having to import more from other countries.

Let freedom reign: “How many times have you heard, ‘I wish the Union was back,’” asks The Sacramento Union’s publisher, Jim Smith, in the revived publication’s “special preview edition.” The answer to that rhetorical question may depend, in large part, on your political inclinations. Founded in 1851, the venerable tabloid went on to do battle with The Sacramento Bee—whose roots were decidedly more liberal—until the Union closed its doors in 1994, adding Sacramento to the ranks of a growing number of cities with just one daily paper.

The revived Union—now making the transition from Internet only to Internet plus glossy monthly—may not be doing anything to turn Sacramento back into a two-daily town, but it clearly aims to reconnect with a conservative audience. From its “Conan comes to the Capitol” cover to an adulatory profile of KFBK personality Tom Sullivan, at least the trial issue doesn’t feign objectivity. As Editor Kenneth Grubbs writes in one essay, “Because of his commitment to worldwide liberty, George W. Bush serves the cause of authentic journalism far better than a media elite that hothouses so many little [Dan] Rathers. This publication hereby declares its bias: Life and Liberty!”

Of course, the Union’s take on life and liberty may have to be filtered through a board of advisers that could prove constricting. From millionaire developer Buzz Oates to the Karl Rove of Sacramento himself—Republican strategist Sal Russo—the Union’s board is flush with partisans who aren’t likely to be fair and balanced.

That said, at least the Union isn’t pretending to be something it’s not. Just check out its unmoderated blog, where, as Bites goes to press, a lead item headlined “Hey Allah, look out below! Fallujah falling!” finds KFBK’s Mark Williams breathlessly anticipating our military showing Fallujah “what the wrath of God REALLY looks like.”