CounterPunch Weekend Edition March 5 / 6, 2005 CounterPunch Diary Dr Arnold's Diet: Take a Steroid, Kick A Woman By ALEXANDER COCKBURN California's nurses have got him rattled, and it's already costing him. A February 23 Field Poll showed his approval ratings declining ten points since last September, a significant drop. One might have thought that it's a no-brainer to realize that kicking Florence Nightingale's butt is not a sure-fire way to the public's heart. But the Governor is so used to browbeating the press that he thought he could do the same to the California Nurses' Association (CNA), one of the most militant unions in the country, with 60,000 members and representing registered nurses at 171 health facilities throughout the state. Schwarzenegger has been trying to roll back the union's gains on nurse/ patient ratios, safety standards and kindred issues. Schwarzenegger's version of Howard Dean's scream came in December in Long Beach. As the nurses barracked him during a speech, he denounced them as one of the "special interests" and said, "I'm always kicking their butt." This witty response from the breast-grabber got plenty of play, and did the nurses nothing but good. At a January Capitol protest in Sacramento the nurses carried coffins and had a New Orleans jazz group play a death march. During the Super Bowl they flew a small plane over the steroid-swollen Governor's party at his Santa Monica home. When he was in Washington they took out a full-page ad in Roll Call flaying his record. During a Schwarzenegger speech in a Sacramento hotel, nurses held up a banner saying RNs Say Stop the Power Grab. On February 15, when Schwarzenegger and his platoons of body guards and flunkies trooped into a screening of Be Cool, 300 nurses demonstrated. Kelly DiGiacomo, 46 years old and 5'2", a nurse at a Kaiser hospital near Sacramento, had a ticket. She ensconced herself in the fourth row, wearing her nurse's scrubs. A bodyguard rushed up, and under the pretext of a possible meeting with the governor, led her to a room with a California Highway Patrol cop at the door and began to grill DiGiacomo. A few days later a CHP investigator called. DiGiacomo asked why she should be considered a threat. The investigator replied, "Well, you were wearing a nurse's uniform." "Oh, sure, the international terrorist uniform," DiGiacomo scoffed. Californians scoffed with her when they saw the news stories. At least Bush and Cheney can claim they're being targeted by hairy men from the dark side of Mecca. Here's Arnold hiding behind his goons from the woman who cares for you when you're in the hospital. http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn03052005.html Run Girleyman Arnold, Run! The Nurses Are Gonna Get Ya!