- Bud Light No More, You Pick Again: My-Thuan Tran reports this morning that the “Starbucks generation” of Vietnamese Americans “couldn’t stand dingy” Little Saigon restaurants and is building “stylish and spotless . . . swank” restaurants in response. Bao Tran, 34, quit a job in insurance several years ago and opened two places I recommend to non-Vietnamese: Quan Hy and Quan Hop. Ton told the Times reporter, “We wanted a place that was clean and nice, not a place where they throw a spoon at you and don't care about you.” According to Tran:
It's a bold concept in Orange County's Vietnamese American community, where the many pho houses along Bolsa Avenue have generally catered to locals, kept food at bare-bones prices and all but ignored such things as customer service, presentation and ambience.
Still, the older Vietnamese American generation prefers cheap food in settings that can resemble barely cleaned garages. Mai Tran, the owner of Pho 79, says her customers don’t care what’s on the wall if the food is tasty.
- Pipe Bomb Rocks Long Beach: KCBS reports that a pipe bomb exploded in a Long Beach parking structure near a crowded restaurant last night. The 7:45 blast occurred on West Ocean Boulevard near the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery on Pine Avenue, according to a police spokeswoman. Some bystanders thought the explosion was the sound of an earthquake. No injuries, thankfully. The Long Beach Press Telegram offered no additional information this morning other than saying that police want tips. Please call (562) 570-7250 if you have any information on the idiot(s) who did this.
- Biggest GOP Surprise: Mike Huckabee, who is coming to Newport Beach on Monday, joined Mitt Romney as the two top Christian conservative favored Republican presidential candidates, according to data released this weekend at the Values Voter Summit. CBS News reports that either man will likely “emerge as the conservative alternative to Rudy Giuliani” in the battle for the GOP nomination. An official with the Family Research Council, which sponsored the summit, said that Bible thumper interest in Huckabee is mounting rapidly. But Gary Bauer, a thumper, told the network that he’s concerned Huckabee’s campaign coffers make it impossible to defeat Mrs. Evil in November 2008. “I just don’t see how you go from having $600,000 in the bank one year before the election and go on to leap-frog everybody else, beat Giuliani and then go on to beat Hillary Clinton,” said Bauer. “I just don’t see it happening.”
- More Ridiculous Government Secrecy: The Associated Press tried to inspect public records detailing California teachers who had their licenses revoked or suspended because of sex-related offenses and found that state law shields disgraced teachers by deeming the information “confidential.” Orange County Assemblyman Todd Spitzer told the AP that the loophole is dangerous. “There is the possibility that one of these people could move to another jurisdiction, most likely another state, and you wouldn't be able to find out their history,” Spitzer told AP reporter Juliet Williams. Funny: the LA Times tried to inspect police officer records to check if rogue cops moved quietly to other jurisdictions and encountered the same secrecy. I’m betting that Spitzer, a likely future candidate for OC district attorney, wouldn’t call the cop loophole dangerous. (But I could be “wrongo.” Please see Spitzer's remarks in the comments section.)
- A Round of Applause for the Daily Pilot: It often takes a miracle for the mainstream media in OC to challenge a sitting politician–particularly Dana Rohrabacher, the pit bull of our congressional delegation. (Emphasis on the “bull.”) But the folks at the Daily Pilot have slammed Rohrabacher (R-Skipped Vietnam Combat Duty) for trying to disrupt the confirmation of Michael Mukasey, Dubya’s new nominee for attorney general. If Mukasey doesn’t agree to overturn a jury’s guilty verdicts against two Border Patrol agents who tried to cover up shooting an unarmed drug dealer on the Texas-Mexico line, he isn’t fit for the job, Rohrabacher reasons. The Daily Pilot: “Enough already.” Even better, they hinted that the loud-mouth congressman is a “political predator.” Excellent!
- Try Flying a Kite: In case you’re blind and deaf, we’re experiencing tremendous gusts of winds this morning in OC. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings because of expected Santa Ana winds racing 85 mph. If so–and it certainly seems likely based on the debris I’m watching fly by my window, we’ll have had hurricane force winds here today. High winds are expected to last through Tuesday, forecasters allege.
- Standing for Liberty: Steven Greenhut attended the recent Conservative Leadership Conference in Reno and concluded “conservatives and libertarians are marching to a different drummer, going on different paths, going in opposite directions.” Conservatives now want to expand government at home and abroad with nothing but cheap lip service about individual liberty, says the Orange County Register columnist. This new reality would disturb Ronald Reagan, who said “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” Greenhut sees the collapse of the “Humpty Dumpty coalition” as a green light to one certain end: President Hillary Clinton. Read his “The Republican Crack Up” column here.
— R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.