Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, Oct. 25
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is stopped in Boise, and not for the usual reason that someone named Sanchez would be stopped in Boise—i.e., their name is Sanchez . . . oh, wait, yes, it is. The Orange CountyRegister's Peggy Lowe reports on the paper's blog that Sanchez was stopped because her name appeared on a terror watch list. She was informed that before she could board her flight, she'd have to be cleared; maybe the people checking her out called Sanchez's work colleagues on the House subcommittee on Homeland Security, on which Sanchez is the ranking Democrat. That would have been a good place to start. Sanchez was in Boise campaigning for other congressional Democrats since she really doesn't feel the need to be running at home, where "opponent" Tan Nguyen has been her most effective campaigner. Sanchez was eventually cleared—turns out she's not a risk to national security—and allowed to board the plane. Hmmmm. Shocking that something like this would happen in Boise, where the city motto is "You don't have to be white to live here but . . . Wait a minute, yes, you do." Actually, I just checked if Boise is the whitest city in America by Googling "Whitest Cities in America" and found that Boise isn't even in the top 10. Turns out the whitest city in America is Altoona, Pennsylvania, which is more than 97 percent white (the second-whitest city is wherever Larry the Cable Guy is currently performing). I found this information on a helpful website called Stormfront.org, where the motto "White Pride World Wide" is carved on a pumpkin, which is cute. Yeah, so now I'm on a terror watch list. Since I was there, I delved deeper and found that Stormfront offers a discussion of today's hot issues such as—and I'm not making this up—"Was Eisenhower Jewish?" and "How Much Do You Hate Black People?" Lest you think Stormfront is all about hate and prejudice, be aware that white supremacists are just as enamored of Hollywood as the rest of us. Witness their breathy piece about the approaching nuptials of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes; it's there under the headline "Hollywood Scum to Marry at One of Mussolini's Homes": "Many movie stars are advocates of whatever the majority of powerful Jews think. For instance, amnesty for illegals, curing AIDS in Africa . . ." Oh, Mr. Stormfront, you do go on.

Thursday, Oct. 26
Another day, another Democrat stopped at the airport. This time it's likely presidential frontrunner Snoop Dogg, who is arrested at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport when police find marijuana and a gun in his car. The arrest comes on the heels of another interaction with police, that time at John Wayne Airport in late September. There, a baggage inspection turned up Snoop's 21-inch retractable baton. Orange County prosecutors are still considering what, if any, charges they'll file. The arrests have left parents scrambling for what to tell their children. "Mater, is it true that Mr. Snoop was popped for ganja?" "Indeed, Leslie." "How ghastly, mummy. Spliff is ever so splendid!" "Fo shizzle." So, summing up: Snoop Dogg, who has been up on murder charges and arrested with what appears to be a weapon in his luggage, not on the terror watch list; Loretta Sanchez, member of the House subcommittee on Homeland Security, on the terror list. I feel ever so safizzle.

Friday, Oct. 27
The St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers. I don't care. Do you care? I don't care.

Saturday, Oct. 28
No, you don't. The TV ratings for the World Series are a paltry 10.1, the lowest ever. Of course, the previous low was last year's series, which got a robust 11.1. Some have tried to explain the poor numbers by saying that baseball had to go up against football a couple of times, a battle it never wins. Maybe. But it also got beat by Dancing With the Stars.

Sunday, Oct. 29
Go to pick up my Sunday Los Angeles Times, and I am assaulted by competing fonts, ink colors, post-card pictures over the masthead (industry term) and a general mishmash of gobbledygook (industry term). You know, I was one of those people who told everyone to relax when the Chicago-based Tribune Company took over the Times a few years ago. I figured, what are they going to do? The Times is one of the country's great papers, an absolute icon in Southern California; there's no way they can mess with it. Um, I was wrong. First came the layoffs, then the cutting of local coverage—the paper's Orange County Edition headquarters is currently being rented out for jai alai—then more layoffs, more cuts, changes in names of sections, more layoffs, resigning editors, sections folded into other sections, and now the redesigned paper, which looks like something Peter Max coughed up. "The new format looks like a ransom note. Please give back our newspaper," wrote Janis Salupo of Irvine when the Times asked for feedback on the changes it made to the look of the paper. "Dear Los Angeles Times," wrote April Ortiz-Marquez of Burbank. "Please have a talk with my delivery person. For some reason, Sunday he delivered USA Today." And there was Jerry Buck ("Love your bold sans serif headline type. Looks like something the New York Daily Mirror would use on a double murder in the Bronx") and Joyce Helfand ("The Times' new format is a mess, a visual babble!") and, well . . .

Monday, Oct. 30
According to FBI figures released today, St. Louis is the most dangerous city in America. The No. 2 city St. Louis beat out for the title? Uh-huh: Detroit.

Tuesday, Oct. 31
Happy Halloween (or Harvest Day if you're a born-again Christian, or the One Day We See Any Residuals if you're a member of Oingo Boingo). And apparently it's a very good day for Otto Bade, a write-in candidate for the state Senate in the 34th District. He's been getting some unexpected help from the campaign of Lou Correa, unexpected because Correa is the Democratic candidate running for the very same seat. Christian Berthelsen of the Times reports today that Californians United, which spent nearly $200,000 to support Correa in the primary, spent about $30,000 on two Bade mailers that portray him as more conservative than the Republican candidate for the seat, Lynn Daucher. One of them called Bade the "official Republican write-in candidate." It's all very nasty and underhanded and the kind of stuff we expect—as is Correa's reaction, which is to deny any knowledge of any of this. As we saw with the Tan Nguyen Show, this is the first stage of political underhandedness. Next is to blame someone in your office who, you say, acted without your knowledge, then comes blaming the media, your opponent and finally, depending on your party affiliation, Bill Clinton or Karl Rove.



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