Saturday's Headlines & Surprises: Calling Nurse Ratched

  • UCI Cluster Fuck: News emerged today that Michael J. Schroeder, OC GOP heavyweight, participated with a group of 20 fellow Republicans to pressure the UCI Chancellor from hiring liberal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of the university's first law school. Michael V. Drake offered the job to Chemerinksy last month and this week withdrew the offer under murky circumstances. Now, Garrett Therolf and Maura Dolan at the LA Times write this morning that UCI is working on a plan to rehire Chemerinsky, who frequently appears as a commentator on national radio and television broadcasts. Orange County attorney Tom Malcolm told the paper of his involvement in in “high-level discussions” to organize a meeting between Drake and Chemerinsky. “If [they] have a meeting, they can come to some understanding, and [Chemerinsky] can become a good dean,” said Malcolm, a Republican. The Times also discovered that California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George tried to influence Drake against Chemerinsky. George was appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, a politician who has lived for decades in Donald Bren's right or left pocket. Bren is the richest person in OC, an outspoken Republican, a major contributor to UCI and a man who likes to see his wishes carried out by the governments, institutions and politicians dwarfed by his $10 or $12 billion fortune. Meanwhile, Mark Petracca--liberal head of UCI's political science department--is calling for Drake's resignation for the cluster fuck over Chemerinsky. Steven Greenhut, a conservative at the Register, also says Drake has lost credibility. Me? I'm enjoying the show.
  • Laguna Fascists: The Laguna Beach City Council will have a chance next week to overturn its fascist Planning Commission and the demand that Casa de Camino hotel stop serving drinks to the public on a popular roof top bar. Commissioners want only hotel guests served alcohol on the spot which offers some of the most sweeping oceanfront views in the resort town. Chris Keller, an owner of the 1927 structure, says the roof top bar should be available for everyone to enjoy. Commissioner Anne Johnson, who paused momentarily from deciding which color shades she believes are permissible for homeowners, told the Coastline Pilot that “just because people say it’s nice to go up there and watch a sunset doesn’t mean it’s a safe public venue.” In a past life, Johnson was morals boss Carry "Hatchet" Nation (pictured).
  • Prison Break: The Associated Press reported late yesterday afternoon that Orange and San Bernardino counties will serve as guinea pigs for a new plan to free non-violent parolees freedom of law enforcement supervision after only three months instead of three years. The Schwarzenegger administration hopes the plan will lessen prison overcrowding. Here's the logic: Tens of thousands of parolees each year violate their parole and return to prison. If the government ends parole supervision early, the ex-cons wouldn't face parole violation charges. Schwarzenegger crime consultant Joan Petersilia, a professor of criminology at UC Irvine, told the Times that plan will carefully select which ex-cons to free early. But state Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Brea), who will likely return to the Orange County District Attorney's office as a prosecutor after his term in Sacramento ends, said he is reserving judgment.
  • What's This Freak Smoking? In a recent letter to the Daily Pilot, Tom Williams of Newport Beach called Joe Bell, the paper's columnist, a “perennial Bush-hater,” “Mr. Windbag” and “Bumbling Bell.” Williams says Bell has biases and isn't happy that Bell won't acknowledge what a fantastic job George W. Bush has done in Iraq. “Within a few short years there will be a strong, self sufficient, vibrant democracy at work in Iraq that will be the showpiece of the Middle East and a beacon to every other Muslim dictatorship’s citizens,” Williams wrote. “But it will be no thanks to the Bush-haters like Bumbling Bell who can’t see 2 inches in front of his face (with or without the eye glasses he likes to tip up for us in his fake, sagacious gaze in his column picture each week). . . Wake up, you blathering buffoon!” Uh-huh. Nurse Ratched! Time for medications. But this time please skip the hallucinogens.

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