Golden Smog

Illustration by Bob AulThe American Lung Association came out with a report card on May 1 that gave Orange County an F for air quality, but don't strap on that aqualung just yet. We got the bad mark for just 10 unhealthful-air days over a three-year period. Meanwhile, fellow flunkies Riverside and Los Angeles counties racked up 342 unhealthful days in the same period. Think of them as the cigarette-smoking stoners in the student parking lot who'll never learn. We're the nerdy, borderline retardos who'll someday get that D-minus that'll have Ma dancing through the trailer park. Of course, no matter what, we'll always get picked on by the stuck-up jocks and cheerleaders. We're not sure which counties those are, but they're undoubtedly in the Bay Area.

BOMBS AWAY May Day protests raged around the globe on May 1, including in the Weekly's adopted town of Long Beach. With workers of the world uniting and Commie-tinged rhetoric spewing from Russia, where there were 480 International Workers Day revivals, what better time for George Dubya Bush to usher in Cold War II? Shrub announced plans to scrap the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty so we can build the Mother of All Weapons Systems: National Missile Defense (NMD), a ground-based version of that Reagan-era laser-tag game known as Star Wars. If it works—hah!—the U.S. would be able to knock everyone else's missiles out of the sky, which is great unless you're everyone else. Bush's pipe-bomb dream produced chubbies among his fellow Republicans (even the chicks!) and the U.S. defense-industry giants who put them in office. Among those pushing Bush to develop NMD is former Steely Dan/ Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, who told the Washington Post he began advising Congress and the Pentagon on ballistic missile defense after "I wrote a paper a long time ago and gave it to a friend, Dana Rohrabacher." What's next, Dana: Sammy "I Can't Drive 55" Hagar advising Transportation on highway safety? Opponents of the "Son of Star Wars" include Canada, NATO, the Ruskies, Federation of American Scientists and the Orange County Alliance for Global Nuclear Disarmament, which had been riding high after persuading the California Democratic Party to pass a resolution on April 1 urging the U.S. and Russia to take nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert status. Now the no-nukers have another reason to hit the streets.

JUDGE DREAD One street the OC alliance will hit on May 12 is the one in front of Congressman Christopher Cox's (R-Newport Beach) office. Not moving into that office is James Rogan, the Republican attack dog who lost his Glendale-Pasadena congressional seat after bashing President Bill Clinton. Rogan announced on May 2 that he'll join Dubya's cabinet instead of running for Cox's seat after Chrissie is appointed to the federal bench. Why? Because U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer is promising a long and bumpy confirmation process for Cox. Why? Because Dubya broke protocol by not running California judge nominees' names by her and fellow U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein before announcing his appointments. Had Dubya asked, Boxer would have told him that Cox is too conservative and from too conservative a county (that's us, the F student) to be a judge. So much for right-wing scribe Robert Novak's recent New York Post column that had Cox on the fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court because he'll sail so easily through the Senate.

CAR WARS In a claim filed against Caltrans on May 3, the city of Corona alleges that traffic is damaging the cow town. Corona is trying to pressure the state into opening toll lanes that run parallel to the 91 freeway to all drivers. After taxpayers are done paying on both sides for this mess, can we file a claim against Corona for covering pastureland with the cheap houses that necessitated the toll lanes in the first place?

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