"Secret Green Sex - Fat Money Cancer Cure"

In the interest of full disclosure, I cop right at the top to the fact that not even one of the seven words in the above headline is a subject of this post. However, I learned Monday that the words are to be used as often as possible, even when they don't necessarily apply, according to highly paid public relations consultants in desperate search of attention for their clients, quoted in a terrific piece in the Times business section. It examines how the brave new world of search engine optimization is affecting the not-so-brave practice of media flackery, as alleged professionals now use pretentious language and concepts like "strategic word selection" and "keyword density tool" to tart up what used to be known more honestly as press puffery. In that spirit, please understand that today's headline decidedly is not a cynical and shameless attempt to boost Google analytics for this space, but rather an innovative and enterprising initiative to use all the storytelling devices in my cross-platform media toolkit to enhance your personal interconnective experience.

If it's news it's news to us: In what may be a world exclusive, "Calitics," an entertaining if overly earnest lefty Democrat blog, reports that Barack Obama for the first time has taken a public position against Proposition 8, the November ballot initiative that would constitutionally ban gay marriage in California, overturning a recent state Supreme Court decision. According to the site, Obama stated his opposition in a "dear friends" letter to the (all rise) Alice B. Toklas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transexual Club. Republican John McCain earlier came out in support of Prop. 8.

The site quotes Obama's reputed letter: "As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states (itals mine)."

After reading the post early yesterday, I emailed the national Obama campaign press office seeking confirmation and comment on the report. As of last night I hadn't heard back, although I did receive an emailed fundraising pitch from campaign manager David Plouffe about six hours after I sent my question. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Will advise. (Update, 7:31 a.m. The Page, Time magazine's political web site, has confirmation from the Obama campaign).

DBI alert: To the surprise of no one, the governor and the legislature blew the deadline for approving a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and there appears to have been virtually no behind-the-scenes movement to date. In an unintentionally hilarious interview with the Sacramento Bee's editorial board, Assembly GOP leader Mike Villines reported that, in the closed door budget sessions among the four legislative leaders, "we've been doing meetings but we're not making a lot of progress."

"A lot of it is building a rapport," he added, apparently with a straight face. Somewhere, surely, Jesse Unruh, not to mention Artie Samish, is spinning in his grave.

Well, if rapport is what is needed, then, damn it man, rapport we must have: The governor should not wait another moment before summoning Oprah, Dr. Phil and Montel (let's get Sally Jesse on call) to the capital, so we might end the emotional limbering up phase of rapport-building and move directly and swiftly to the crucial stage of risk-taking authenticity and a round of full-on eye contact feeling sharing. May each of our political worthies shine the light of insight and self-forgiveness on the deep inner wounds inflicted by the cruel experience of not getting enough attention as a child. An anxious people wait in hope for their inner healing.

The six million or so folks in California without health insurance, meanwhile, may have some healing problems of their own. The Bee carries a solid report on how health care for the poor will be the first casualty of the annual budget outrage.

Still plenty of time to enter the Capitol Letters Budget Passage Pool: Email your best guess of the date and time when the governator will sign the fiscal year 2008-09 budget. Closest entry wins lunch at the Beachside plus a rare autographed copy of my 1994 biography of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Second prize is two copies of the book. Email entries to

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