Tuesday's Headlines & Surprises

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  • Top U.S. Secrets to Crooks, Idiots and Dopers: The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., reports this morning that the Pentagon, the guys running the Iraq War, now want Congress to allow national security clearances for government employees who are “ex-convicts, drug addicts and mentally incompetent.” Congress currently bans the practice. But Pentagon brass say the restriction “unduly” handicaps the Department of Defense and note that people should be forgiven for their sins—unless, of course, they are gay.
  • Can you afford a $1,070,180-per-month mortgage? Annette Haddad at the LA Times says the 1920s Beverly Hills mansion that belonged to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst was put on the market yesterday at $165 million. The pink stucco house near Sunset Boulevard has three swimming pools, 29 bedrooms, a state-of-the-movie theater and a disco on 6.5 acres. Hearst bought the property in 1947 for $120,000, writes Haddad. Plenty of Corona del Mar and Newport Coast folk aren't feeling so rich this morning.
  • Imagine My Surprise: Yesterday, I'm on the phone with Susan Kang Schroeder, public affairs counsel for District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Me: Anything happening today? Susan: Nope. I have a toothache. This morning, I see not only Susan's mug in the Register, but also a video of her at a crime scene yesterday. (Go chew some ice, Fibber.) DA investigators and the Orange Police Department raided Douglas Nissan in Orange in an major identity-theft investigation and invited the Reg's Kimberly Edds for the scoop.
  • OC Poor Suffering in Bus Strike: The Times OC writes that the impact of the strike highlights the gap between Orange County's “haves and have-nots.” According to reporters Tony Barboza, Ashley Powers and Christian Berthelsen, "Many of the Orange County Transportation Authority's 225,000 daily riders are telemarketers, fast-food workers, maids, landscapers and machine operators trying to eke out a living in a county whose median home price in May—$635,000—was the highest in Southern California."
  • Commie Girl Alive! Register columnist Frank Mickadeit, who is making money following the career moves of ex-Weekly staffer Rebecca Schoenkopf, says Commie Girl is now working for a new website called www.fourstory.org. According to Mickadeit, the site will advocate for affordable housing in Southern California. She's “doing the Lord's work,” he says. Mickadeit also mentions Vader (OC Republican strategist Mike Schroeder) and his love of the Santa Ana Zoo. Touching.
  • FBI Abuse Lies: The Washington Post says that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “received reports detailing legal or procedural violations of the Patriot Act by FBI agents in the months before he told senators that no such abuses had occurred.” Using records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Post found evidence that agents abused their powers with unauthorized surveillance and illegal property searches. And these are the guys who are supposed to be keeping Mike Carona's deputy goon squad in check. Oh, well.
  • What's for Dinner, Honey? When I want to know what's really happening in the world, I go to Fox News. They don't disappoint. Case in point: Fox reports today that cat lovers in Shanghai “mobilized” to save a truck load of 800 live cats from the cooking pot. “The standoff happened at a parking lot in a southern suburb of Shanghai," according to Fox. "It continued for hours while cat lovers spread word of the incident online, eventually raising $1,320 in donations to buy the whole load.” That's $1.65 per cat, or about the cost of a chewy protein bar.
  • Tired of Democrat and Republican Smack? The Libertarian Party of Orange County meets tonight at 7 p.m. at 1903 W. Wakeham, Santa Ana; www.lpoc.org.
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