Posted Aug. 30, 6:15 p.m.

Jim Gilchrist would like to be your 48th District U.S. Congressman--think Chris Cox's Newport Beach-based seat, without Cox in it--but he's getting no help from the California Secretary of State's office. Following complaints from other candidates, most noticeably Demo Bea Foster, Gilchrist was forced to abstain from using "Minutemen founder" as his ballot designation in the Oct. 4 special election. The Minutemen, of course, are the rolling band of rednecks patrolling the Arizona border for those goll darn, rootin'-tootin' illegals. At the time Foster got the state to un-Minuteman Gilchrist--the rules state you must go by your occupation and not bring into the mix any organizations you head up, lest you be unfair to the rest of the field--Gilchrist or his peeps or Clockwork can't recall who from that camp nearly characterized it as a death blow to the congressional campaign, because with the Minutemen, who in Hades is Jim Gilchrist?

Well, Gilchrist faxed over word just now that Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has rejected Gilchrist's request to be designated simply as "Minuteman" or "Minuteman Project Founder" or "Modern Minuteman." In his release, Gilchrist vows to now take the matter to the courts (you know, the ones with all those goll darn, hootin-and-a-hollerin', illegals-protectin' activist judges). "Minuteman is Jim Gilchrist's vocation and calling," states Howie Morgan, Gilchrist's campaign manager. "These terms hold significant value to the electorate in their ability to properly associate Jim's name with his active dedication to ensuring the safety and security of our nation. [CLOCKWORK: cue the pomp and circumstance.] These terms hold equivilent value to labeling another candidate plumber, lawyer, businessman or CEO."

Say, wasn't that an Aaron Spelling miniseries?

Now, that's all well and good, and we can somewhat see where the independent candidate is coming from. But didn't he help organize a huge grass-roots effort that drew nationwide media coverage and has turned him into something of the superstar on the NRA/NASCAR/NO N-WORD circuit? Wouldn't his same knack for getting out the 'necks serve him well in getting out the vote? Isn't that how folks used to get elected to Congress? Or is that sooooooo retro? Sounds like what the independents need is their own Tom Fuentes to scare all the moderates, womenfolk and straight men out of the race. But the closest thing Gilchrist has to Fuentes is B-1 Blog Dornan, who'll tell you he knows all there is to know about polling, grass-roots campaigning and knowing precisely how much more support he has in a district than his opponent, which is why he's cooling his red noggin' in Virginia these days.

Posted Aug. 30, 2:35 p.m.

According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, our overlords, Village Voice Media, and another alternative media company, New Times, have documents lying around that suggest we'll be merging soon--soon like in November soon. Now, the Guardian, which is in the midst of a newspaper war with the New Times' SF Weekly, thinks such a merger will be disastrous, as it would create an enormous (hah!) 18-paper chain owned by mysterious venture capitalists with no newspaper backgrounds. The documents the Guardian cites also show--allegedly--that more control of ownership and a nine-member board overseeing the new venture being in the hands of the people who run New Times and their investors, although the VVM's current president David Schneiderman would apparently run all internet operations. And, as your faithful daily blog who hopes beyond hope to still be around when the smoke clears, may A Clockwork Orange humbly mention right here how much we admire, respect and any other ass-kissy verb you wanna toss in Mr. Schneiderman. Oh, one other aspect of all this that may please our large and happy neocon readership: the New Times is generally neocon and generally plays a heavy hand when it comes to what you read in its papers. So goodbye Commie Girl, hello Fascist Girl! Goodbye Ask a Mexican, hello Ask a Patrician! And goodbye A Clockwork Orange, hello A Clockwork Red State!

Former Weekling Anthony Pignataro is stirring things up as editor of Maui Time Weekly. Here he takes on the island's daily Maui News for creating news by flying Jessica Lynch, America's favorite rescued Iraq war vet, to the island, then covering her visit like it was a real news event. Clockwork's favorite excerpt:

The story had no real news hook—no reason for its length, lavish use of photographs or even existence in the paper—save a single line that the casual reader probably skipped over without much thought:

"TheParkersburg News & Sentinel, a newspaper near her hometown in West Virginia, and its sister publication,The Maui News covered the travel expenses for her and two of her girlfriends."

Behold:The Maui News is now a travel agency! Who cares that Lynch hasn't been news for over a year--we'll fly her out here at our expense and then just write a story about that. This startling statement was matched by a note fromNews publisher Joe Bradley--who appeared in a front-page photo giving a lei to Lynch at Kahului Airport--attempting to justify why the paper was so generous:

Next Page »