Mickey Mite Club

Illustration by Bob Aul All eyes are on Disneyland characters—somewhere around their midsections—following shocking news out of Disney World last week. Florida resort workers who climb into the sweat-inducing shells that transform them into Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy so gleeful rugrats can punch and pull on them mercifully scored a monumental labor victory: the right to clean underwear! And freedom from the tyranny of pubic lice and scabies! The characters' undies are doled out daily by Disney's wardrobe department, but the Teamsters union complained the Mouse House wasn't cleaning unmentionables well enough. Much nether-region itchin' apparently ensued. A management concession in current contract negotiations allows characters to take their drawers home and wash them themselves. So what about Anaheim characters and their BVDs? They aren't covered by a union, but Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez claims they haven't experienced similar problems. Workers are issued tights, but supply their own underwear and jockstraps. So, no Disney on lice here, Mouseketeers!

IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING On June 4, developer George Argyros was added to the civil lawsuit that alleges his Arnel Management Co. discriminated against minority tenants and withheld their security deposits. A former district attorney's investigator who worked on the criminal version of the case told the OC Weekly (Dave Wielenga's "The 'Just Us' System," May 18) that Arnel withheld millions of dollars illegally. If the allegations are true, one could easily connect the dots between ill-gotten gains and contributions over the years to Chapman University; Newport Beach society shindigs; the relentless pursuit of a 24-hour, noise- and-pollution-spewing international airport in South County; the Republican Party's soft-money war chest; and individual GOP politicians from dogcatcher on up to the dunderhead who nominated Argyros ambassador to Spain. Of course, the working-class stiffs who entrusted hard-earned cash to Arnel would have just blown their deposit refunds on food, gasoline and electricity. They're much better off having it go to King George or one of wife Judie's quarterly makeovers.

EXCEDRIN HEADACHE NO. 104 Writing in The Wall Street Journal about the June 5 Los Angeles mayoral election, Pepperdine University (!) and Milken Institute (!!!) think tanker Joel Kotkin delights in the "reverberations" that will sweep the land because a "liberal" (James Hahn) whipped a "left-wing firebrand" (Antonio Villaraigosa). Kotkin states that Los Angeles gave "a major migraine" to "California's struggling Democratic governor, Gray Davis, who placed much of his battered prestige and millions in party funds behind the Villaraigosa campaign." So that must translate into a minor head throbbing for staunch Orange County Republican operative Curt Pringle, who raised $15,000 for Villaraigosa.

HOT CHILD IN THE CITY Before heading off to face angry Europeans, George Dubya Bush (see "dunderhead," above) "fast tracked" a report on whether global warming really exists. Surprisingly—and correctly—the 11-member scientific panel that composed the report included UC Irvine professor and Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist F. Sherwood Rowland and his boss, the panel's director, UCI chancellor Ralph Cicerone. Despite previous global-warming pooh-poohing by such conservatives as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), who has called such evidence "globaloney," "liberal claptrap" and "junk science," on June 6, the panel declared it a real problem that's getting worse. Last year, Rohrabacher told the Weekly, "No report I've seen has said the minuscule increase in temperatures over the past 100 years can be traced to industrialization and human-economic activity," ("Globaloney," Feb. 11, 2000). Well, Dana, take a gander at this: "The changes observed over the past several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes are also a reflection of natural variability," states the report commissioned by the man whose election Rohrabacher once cited as evidence that God exists. Cicerone, who speaks on "Global Climate Change and U.S. Policy" Monday afternoon in UCI's Student Center, said panelists "expect the warming to continue because of greenhouse gas emissions." His panel should've factored in emissions from blowhards like Rohrabacher.


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