By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
LAPD officers, apparently tuckered out from their last beating of black motorists and anti-globalization activists, will be on hand to train participants in peaceful resistance. A Planned Parenthood speaker will talk about Proposition 73, the parental notification initiative, and singer/songwriter/feminist Angie Evans will perform.
If she's taking requests, how about "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"? No? Okay.
OILY TO BED, OILY TO RISE
Why is Clockwork so smart and everyone else so stupid? Can you answer me that? Of course not, because you're stupid! So maybe that makes us stupid for even asking.
All we know is, everyone's little green panties are all in a bunch because Florida Governor Jeb Bush has apparently changed course and is now backing a House bill to permit offshore oil drilling off the Gulf Coast.
He doesn't really mean it, Einstein.
Like his big bro, Dubnuts, who recently called on Americans to conserve energy, it's all a smokestack screen. There won't be any more offshore oil drilling in the Gulf, and the Bushies know you're going to suck up just as much sweet stuff as you always have, America.
What this all is, of course, is a ploy to get you all riled up so you'll eventually swap the very idea of drilling and conserving for what they've wanted all along: to open the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to the Big Oil interests that put Bush and Cheney in the White House.
Now, come on, you did know that all along, right?
Posted Oct. 10, 1:30 p.m.
Your free-eatin' man in D.C.
Photo by Jack Gould
Before George W. Bush elevated him to run the Securities & Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox was Newport Beach's man in the House of Representatives -- and Dana Rohrabacher's evil twin. Despite his long-running support for term limits, Rohrabacher has represented the congressional district next door in Huntington Beach since 1988, and with Cox moving on -- he'll be replaced in a Nov. 8 special election -- we're wondering whether Rohrabacher will be next to go.
That's because Rohrabacher, it turns out, is closely -- you might say uncomfortably -- tied to two Republicans facing federal investigations: former House majority leader Tom DeLay and super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
We recently blogged on this curious simultaneity: DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority political action committee (ARMPAC)has funneled at least $20,660 into Orange County's congressional delegation and that OC Republicans turned around and gave $20,000 to DeLay's defense fund. (Rohrabacher did so within weeks.) Those five OC congressmen have voted with the disgraced Texan more than 90 percent of the time. Married couples should display such loyalty.
Rohrabacher hasn't been the biggest California beneficiary of ARMPAC's gifts -- that honor goes to Rep. Gary Miller, whose 42nd District includes Anaheim, Brea, La Habra, Mission Viejo, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita and Yorba Linda; Miller received $11,017. The $8,583 ARMPAC gave Rohrabacher places him fourth on the group's Golden State gift list, and he has responded by constantly standing by DeLay, and not just when it comes to voting with him 90.95 percent of the time.
"Everyone is grateful to Tom," Rohrabacher recently -- and unapologetically -- told USA Today while describing DeLay's financial aid to Republican House campaigns.
That sort of gratitude can be written off as politics as usual. And keep in mind that the grand juries are still out. But it's Rohrabacher's less-obvious ties to Abramoff that may prove more troubling to voters in his 46th District, which includes Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Seal Beach, Avalon, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills Estates and portions of Long Beach, Westminster, Santa Ana and San Pedro.
Abramoff has made $1,000 campaign contributions to Rohrabacher in every election cycle stretching back several campaigns. But their relationship goes beyond that. Abramoff has paid for many of Rohrabacher's trips abroad, and they have an unusual dining arrangement. Three years ago, Abramoff opened Signatures, an upscale restaurant in Washington, D.C. From his private corner spot, Table 40, Abramoff courted GOP lawmakers and lavished them with $74 steaks and a $140 tasting menu. Abramoff billed these meals to clients who hired him to lobby Congress on their behalf. Lawmakers allowed to dine for free -- even in Abramoff's absence -- were designated "FOO Comp," Friend Of Owner.
Rohrabacher was a FOO Comp, and has argued that his free meals at Signatures -- once or twice a month, he figures -- fall under the friendship exemption in House rules.
"Just because you are a member of Congress doesn't mean you have to give up your friendships," Rohrabacher told the New York Times in April, adding "it was dinner with a friend and I didn't think of it as a gift."
Now, facing the media about the federal indictments and investigations plaguing Abramoff, Rohrabacher steadfastly stands by his man.
"Jack has made some mistakes," he told the Houston Chronicle in April, "but he is not the dishonest, malevolent, arrogant, wheeler-dealer that people are portraying. He is a fine man."
That fine man and his friend, Dial-A-Mattress franchisee Adam Kidan, were indicted in August on five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy in their purchase of the Fort Lauderdale SunCruz casino cruise line. It's a deal that was smelly from the start, with allegations that the Greek immigrant who owned the business was pressured to sell, and that he didn't know Abramoff, who was arranging the sale, was also a partner to buy SunCruz. And then there's this: as the SunCruz deal was unraveling four years ago, the Greek immigrant, who was threatening to foreclose, turned up dead in a late-night, gangland-style hit in Fort Lauderdale.