A CLOCKWORK ORANGE


Posted Aug. 8
GOOD SPORTS
The Sporting News will report on Aug. 12 that Boston, once again, whoop-dee-freakin'-doo, is the No. 1 sports town in America. As in Angels owner Arte Moreno's dreams, Anaheim gets lumped in, for reporting purposes, with, oh, whatcha ma-call-it?, oh yeah: La-La Land to take No. 5 on the list. That's actually a surprise given the East Coast dominated national media's usual spin that our sports fans are "laid back." Must have something to do with the Angels' rise, USC's football dominance and the Lakers' knack for overshadowing everyone in the NBA even when they suck, and, brudder, do they suck. Hard. But the biggest surprise of all on the list of best sports towns is Irvine checking in at No. 172. 172? Who knew it'd be that high? Go, Anteaters!


LETTER TO AN OUTTA TOWN EDITOR OF THE DAY
I knew it was here. The [San Luis Obispo] Tribune just put it on the front page of the Aug. 4 sports section. What, you may ask, is "it"? "It" is the Orange County- fication of San Luis Obispo! You know, with their big cars, big hair, big heads and big houses. Do they now outnumber us?

With all the great local kids we have, any number of whom can shred on a board, The Tribune chose to run a story from Orange County? The little, new school skater from O.C. said it's not even skating? Duh ... looked like he was on a board to me. We watched pro skater Danny Way practice bombing the mega ramp last week, and it was awesome. Although he didn't land it while we watched, you know it hurt. To all you little dogs ... skate hard, skate safe and to the big ones, skateboarding is not a crime!

Tobie Charles
(with help from Topher Charles)
Arroyo Grande


QUOTE OF THE DAY
"He's not even Chris Cox lite. He's Chris Cox ultra-lite."-- Harvey Englander on John Campbell, the Republican state senator who is campaigning for the congressional seat Cox abandoned to become SEC chairman, in the Aug. 8 Roll Call. Englander is a consultant for Campbell's opponent, former Orange County Supervisor Marilyn Brewer. The Roll Call item, about how the sleepy race is heating up, also included this little dittie:

Beyond the basic moderate vs. conservative divide, the ideological battle within the primary could be further complicated if more candidates jump in. Ex-GOP Rep. Bob Dornan (Calif.) is reportedly considering a third-party bid, as is anti-immigration activist Jim Gilchrist, who is best known for founding the Minuteman Project along the Arizona-Mexico border.


LOCAL LAWYER HAS HANDS IN DIRTY ABRAMOFF DEAL
Thanks to reader Ken Sadler who pointed us to this one: business editor Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno of Pacific Daily News, "Guam's complete source," piggybacked onto a Los Angeles Times article to report that a U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, only to have the probe end shortly after his pal President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor who'd held the Guam post for a decade. Yes, it's hard to keep all these probes straight without a scorecard, but we'll try: the Guam probe is separate from the one a federal grand jury in D.C. is embroiled in over allegations that Abramoff bilked Indian tribes out of millions of dollars--which, due to a recent NCAA ruling--we WILL NOT refer to as "heap big wampum." Meanwhile, back in Guam, investigators had been interested in Abramoff's secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court reform bill then pending in Congress. The legislation, which ultimately won approval, gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court. To disguise Abramoff's role working for the Superior Court, the lobbyist was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through Laguna Beach lawyer Howard Hills--that's Howard Hills for all your money laundering needs. In case you were wondering, yes, it is just as unusual having a publicly funded court in Guam hire a top-dollar lobbyist--or any lobbyist, for that matter--as it would be for a Superior Court stateside to do the same. Today's Pacific Daily News report has Hills, who cut 36 separate $9,000 checks totaling $324,000 to Abramoff, admitting he was just the middleman in the transaction. Once again, that's Howard "I'm in the book!" Hills. A new Guam inquiry has been opened; hopefully the Bushies will be too distracted by Iraq/Rove/Roberts, etc. to strangle this one in the cradle.

UPDATE: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the non-profit ethics watchdog group that was all over Tom DeLay's ass for his assorted (and, sadly, backburnered ethics violations), today urged the Department of Justice to investigate the Guam U.S. attorney's demotion.


MARTHA, MY DEAR
Cinema Confidential reports that Variety reports what I'm now reporting, based totally on their reporting: best-actress-of-her-generation Meryl Streep will play Martha Mitchell, Warren Beatty's better half Annette Bening will play White House correspondent Helen Thomas and Coldplaything Gwyneth Paltrow will play John Dean's wife Maureen in Dirty Tricks, a film about the wife of OC favorite son Dick Nixon's chief of staff John Mitchell. The trades also have Jill Clayburgh in the Pat Nixon role for the production that Ryan Murphy, who created F/X's Nip/Tuck, will direct and write, adapted from John Jeter's play. Young 'uns won't recall this, but Martha Mitchell had to resort to passing secrets about Nixon's shameful presidency to the media via a phone in her locked bathroom after essentially being placed under house arrest by her husband. The Nixon White House would go on to trash Martha as alcoholic and/or outta her gore (tags that also got applied to Trickie Dickie in the final days before his exile to San Clemente), and some pundits even outed her as Deep Throat, which we now know to be untrue.

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