Thursday's Headlines & Surprises: Register Slams Sheriff
- A broken clock is right more often than Rohrabacher: Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher recently uttered that President George W. Bush deserves another six months to turn things around in Iraq. But the Huntington Beach/Long Beach representative has a shameful history on the subject. More than 1,120 days ago, Rohrabacher complained bitterly about “nit-picking” Americans who were then questioning the brilliance of Bush's Iraq War strategy.
“I say, thank God that we have a president who was willing to take this stand,” Rohrabacher (R-Skipped Vietnam Combat Duty) said in July 2004. “What we are seeing in Iraq is a historic strategic move to outflank the radical Islamists. We are turning a dictatorship in the Muslim world into a democracy. And we are, thus, pointing to this so that the young people of the Muslim world will have an alternative to radical Islam. We are doing what Ronald Reagan did. We are cutting our enemy off from its source of strength. If we do what is right and we stick to this, our enemy will collapse, just as communism collapsed, just as other evil forces collapsed. . . . We have a president who is a visionary.”
We'll turn Iraq into a democracy? Our enemy will collapse? We are doing what Ronald Reagan did? Bush is a visionary?
Geezus. And Bill Clinton was a fool? Have another stiff margarita, congressman.
In 1999, Rohrabacher — relying on Republican campaign talking points — had this to say about why Americans should reject Clinton's alliance with NATO forces in Kosovo: “The fact is the United States today is stretched thin throughout the world.”
And directly contradictory to his support of Bush's foreign policy, he said this at the time as well: “This idea that it's either isolationism or sending troops — or our willingness to send troops everywhere in the world to create stability is a false dichotomy."
Sadly, the ridiculousness of Rohracher's Iraqi predictions still hasn't sunk into his own lightly haired, thick, easily offended skull. While he, Bush and the GOP sound machine desperately pray for a miracle to save the president's legacy, on average, about 130 brave, young American soldiers and $10 billion are sacrificed each month.
- Batten down the hatches! Some 73 Transpac sailboats on their way to Hawaii could be on a collision course with a tropical storm. Included among the racers are Roy Disney and Graham Brant-Zawadzki, the 22-year-old brother of OC Weekly legendary contributor Alex Brant-Zawadzki (Toll Road Rage). Anyhow, the tropical system Cosme has forced the crews to alter their routes to the island. Brant-Zawadzki, who is on the Morning Light and is pictured here, explains to reporter Paul Drewes that the storm, which is south of the boats at the moment, brings stronger winds. No problem. He says, "If its going to be real intense, you batten down the hatches and try to ride it out, but if its something the boat can handle, you go for it.” Just what we'd expect from a Brant-Zawadzki.
- $40,000-per-night Vegas hotel room: Jane Engle of the Los Angeles Times profiles the $40,000-per-night Hugh Hefner Sky Villa suite at the Palm Casino Resort. According to Engle, it's a “two-story, 10,000-square-foot hideaway with a $700,000 cantilevered Jacuzzi that juts over the Las Vegas Strip, a rotating bed beneath a mirrored ceiling and around-the-clock butler service.” This sounds like something TBN's Paul Crouch would enjoy. She also finds that last year's most expensive room cost only $25,000 per night — at the Setai hotel in Miami and at the Palms' Hardwood Suite, “outfitted with half a basketball court, locker room and 95-inch-long (NBA-sized) bed.”
- Is a slowly rotting presidential corpse still spinning PR? Paid Nixon apologist John Taylor, a godsend to reporters looking for irony, continues to channel the late president's ax-grinding agenda from the Yorba Linda grave. Misguided college professors (most recently historian David Greenberg) and reporters (most recently Christopher Goffard of the LA Times) are toying with Tricky Dick's fine legacy as a “complex, gifted statesman,” writes Taylor this month. What's pissed him off is the lingering public belief that Nixon was probably responsible for the infamous 18-minute gap (likely an erasure) of taped discussions inside his slim-ridden White House during the Watergate crimes cover-up. Yet Nixon's “misdeeds” are “overblown,” claims Taylor.
This crap reminds me of a story I wrote more than eight years ago about Nixon and Taylor. An excerpt: “Defending any disgraced president’s legacy — particularly one filled with decades of treachery, deceit, anti-Semitism and racism — can’t be easy, but John Taylor tackles the job with relish. White House burglary operations? Illegal wiretaps on private citizens? FBI and IRS harassment of domestic political enemies? Selling of ambassadorships? Shaking down lobbyists? Blackmail? Witness tampering? Hush money to felons? Smear campaigns? Bribes totaling $549,000 from Greek businessman Thomas Pappas? No problem. According to Taylor, such facts are either gross fabrications of a liberal conspiracy or justified because of the hostile 'political climate' Nixon faced. Such a mindset isn’t surprising. After all, who is Taylor to contradict Dick Nixon, who went to his grave in 1994 without amending his infamous statement (made, by the way, in Laguna Beach) to British interviewer David Frost: 'When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal'?”
- U.S. Open of Surfing: Reporter Mike Sciacca of the Huntington Beach Independent writes that construction crews have been busy building bleachers for the 400,000 people expected to attend the upcoming Honda U.S. Open of Surfing (starting Friday through July 29). “More than 500 world-class surfers from a dozen countries are expected to compete in four divisions during that 10-day period, all after a portion of a $175,000 prize purse and the chance to grab a piece of U.S. Open glory,” says Sciacca. “Add top skaters and BMX and FMX stars into the mix, and more than 600 athletes will converge on Surf City.”
Dodger Kremel, H.B.'s 23-year-old champion surfer, adds that he's been waiting for this competition for a whole year. "For longboarding, this is one of the biggest events in the world, and to win it last year in my own back yard was an incredible feeling.” All events during the festival are open to the public, free of charge. Check it out.
- Register slams sheriff: In an excellent editorial today, the OC Register noted how Christine Hanley of the Los Angeles Times has revealed that Sheriff Michael S. Carona lost access to a secret police criminal database because of his associations with criminals. Those unsavory associations include two men currently serving federal prison sentences: Rick Rizzolo, a Las Vegas titty-bar owner with numerous ties to organized-crime figures including a Chicago hit man made infamous in the film Casino, and Joseph Medawar, a Lebanese-born con artist our sheriff incredibly let film top-secret anti-terrorist training sessions. Concludes the Reg: "It's ironic that Sheriff Carona continues to complain about a Board of Supervisors-backed plan to create a civilian oversight board of the sheriff's department, even as the sheriff serves as the poster boy for why more oversight is needed."
- Pulido accepts Reiff tenderness: KOCE's Rick Reiff recently interviewed Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, and I thought for several moments the two men might kiss while the cameras rolled. The (shamelessly) Republican journalist and the (shamelessly) Democrat-in-name-only mayor wasn't an event to miss for political observers. Reiff spent most of the time staring at Pulido, who — almost without interruption — offered countless platitudes: “We are doing tremendous, tremendous things [in Santa Ana for corporate America].” Nevertheless, he couldn't “devulge information” about Mike Harrah's controversial One Broadway Plaza skyscraper project. “Mike is on it,” said the mayor. “He's going to get it done.” At the end of the one-sided interview, Reiff — also an executive editor at the OC Business Journal — still looked enamored. He told Pulido to come back again to talk about his family. A regular Mike Wallace, he is.
- Dead man got his wish: To celebrate the end of his criminal probation for possession of drugs and a deadly weapon, Anaheim's Joe Whitehouse thought it'd be fun to party with booze and methamphetamines. But the 30-year-old might be alive today if he also hadn't been waving a butcher knife when police officers arrived at 2 a.m. on Monday. They killed him with a shotgun blast outside an apartment complex.
Now, Denisse Salazar of the Reg reports the Whitehouse family says the killing was unnecessary because the knife blade had broken off. “They didn't even try to Taser him,” said a witness. “They came straight at him with a shotgun." And besides, says Whitehouse's older sister, all Joe wanted was “one last go-around.”
- Last Comic Standing cheater at Improv tonight: You might remember Gabriel Iglesias. He was the fellow tossed off NBC's Last Comic Standing because he cheated during the contest. At joke telling, no less. Still, Iglesias is often hysterical. For more information, contact the Irvine Spectrum's Improv at (949) 854-5455, or visit the comedian's website: www.fluffyguy.com.
- And finally, today's little-known fact: In honor of my friend Amanda the detective wannabe/dog racer, you should know that 40 percent of all people who come to a party in your home snoop in your medicine cabinet.