Monday, Dec. 13 Former Huntington Beach councilwoman and mayor Pam Julien Houchen pleads not guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the illegal conversion of apartments to condominiums. Houchen's trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 1, but the offers are already streaming in. I get a call today from Ralph Andrews, producer of the PAX network's Lie Detector. Andrews asks me about Houchen and if she'd be interested in being on the show, which premieres in February and has people accused of this or that take lie detectors to find out if they're clean, something Huntington Beach—two mayors having resigned in disgrace and under federal investigation—may want to incorporate into its inauguration ceremony. . . . In other political news, the Electoral College officially elects George W. Bush president of the United States when, as according to protocol, the chicken is beheaded by a barefoot virgin clad in raiment. As mandated by the Constitution, the Speaker of the House, a naked and painted Dennis Hastert, still shaking and frothing from his polling dance, releases the fatted iguana, and Americans rejoice by asking, "What's an Electoral College?"
Tuesday, Dec. 14 My apologies for getting all alternative press on your ass, but I believe puppies are good things, especially ones named Stanley, though they really should think about not eating as much dirt.