What's the Word? Ah, "politburo"


In Stalin's Russia, the Communist governing body was known as the Political Bureau, or politburo for short.

As he consolidated power, Stalin turned the politburo into a "supreme executive and legislative body" that was "entirely in command of its membership, decisions, and debates," according to the ever-handy online Marxist Encyclopedia.

I just can't help but think of a certain Boise company these days when I'm perusing politburo history. (You know, because I'm constantly pondering Russian history...ahem... )

Of course, it's Micron we're all talking about here. The company announced this morning that its outspoken board member Gordon Smith, he who dared speak ill of Steve Appleton, would be leaving the board.

Now that's what I call exercising some control over the message.

They've shown their ability to do so by yanking Smith from successive interviews with other media, and by allowing Appleton to speak only with KTVB, whose reporters lobbed softballs at Appleton, letting him spin the story about layoffs to his advantage.

And now? Smith has to make tortured statements about leaving the board "for personal reasons," which is akin to a politician, seared in the press for some scandal, saying he'll leave office to "spend more time with my family."