Illustration by Bob Aul The UC Irvine fertility doctor who fled the country to avoid prosecution maintained his innocence during a Feb. 19 interview with Reforma Daily in Mexico City. Ricardo Asch, who was charged in 1997 with stealing women's eggs to help infertile women bear children, claimed others were trying to destroy his reputation due to "professional jealousy or envy" and because he is a "supersuccessful foreigner." Meanwhile, an outside panel reported on Feb. 25 that UCI's scandal-ridden College of Medicine needs more oversight—particularly in the form of a new associate dean. The Weekly has also suggested the med school needs oversight, but rather than pushing the hiring of another administrator, we've wondered how head guy Thomas Cesario has kept his job despite body-part-dealing morticians, accusations of fraudulent research and egg-stealing fertility doctors—supersuccessful foreigners or not.
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, HE'D RATHER BE IN ANAHEIM Pelican Theatre owner Bill Gammoh on Feb. 22 was sentenced to 24 days in jail and a $6,000 fine for repeatedly allowing lap dances in his La Habra club despite a city ordinance that prohibits nude dancers from getting within six feet of patrons. (This presumably applies even to patrons with six-foot laps.) Gammoh is now a May hearing away from a judge's final ruling on whether to kill Pelican. The same day Gammoh was led away in cuffs to join medical-marijuana providers, young teens tried as adults, Third Strikers rotting for swiping Tic Tacs and whoever else gets locked up these days, Anaheim officials dropped a two-year-old case against seven nude dancers from the Sahara Theater. The city had won convictions in Superior Court against the lapping ladies for violating the city's no-touchy ordinance and for "prostitution," which need not include exchanges of sex or bodily fluids under state law. Which tells you something about the state of sex in Anaheim. But an appellate court ruled that Anaheim's lapless law was too hardcore and that the jury should have been given the option of considering lap dancing a form of artistic expression —just like the Lambada, another forbidden dance of love.
POLITICAL FUTBOL For the first time ever, international monitors are coming to the U.S. to see if our elections are "free and fair." First stop: California, where representatives from Global Exchange, a human-rights organization, will check out the nation's largest primary, from March 1 to March 8. Said Silvia Alonso Felix, executive secretary of Mexico's largest electoral-watchdog group, "We know there are serious questions facing U.S. democracy—the campaign-finance system, voter apathy, media access and a lack of strong third parties." She could take a cue from her own country and add "not enough political assassinations."
BUSH WHACKING As you head into the voting booth on Tuesday, you should know that George Dubya Bush is:
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Underachieving: Florida Governor Jeb Bush whipped his brother in their Celebrity Deathmatch—Special Sibling Rivalry Edition on Feb. 24, when the Sunshine State lethally injected a man on death row several hours before Texas did the same to a great-grandmother. At press time, we could not confirm either inmates' last words or their United Colors of Benetton ad copy.
Scary: If he's trying to convert the Texas parks and wildlife system into a for-profit entity—Dubya wants hoteliers and resort developers to build and manage 24 "nature lodging" projects in state parks—what's in store for our national parks under President Bush II? Wal-Marts?
Scarier: He's donated to the Museum of the Confederacy, whose annual ball is held in a slave hall, and sent congratulatory letters on Texas-governor stationery to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which sponsors books written by extremists who minimize the slave trade, and Sons of Confederate Veterans, which raises steins with racists such as the Council of Conservative Citizens.
A freaking idiot: Dubya's dubbed "the English Patient" for saying, "There is madmen in the world, and there are terror," and "Put the off button on" (to curb TV violence), and "I understand small business growth. I was one."