Be there in a Minute, man: MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM
Posted Aug. 25, 6:01 p.m.
15 MINUTEMANS OF FAME
If your ears burn when someone, somewhere talks shit about you, what happens when you're treated to gobs of free press? Guess we'll have to ask Mission Viejo retired CPA-turned-co-founder of the immigrant chasing Minutemen-turned 48th congressional district indie candidate Jim Gilchrist about such sensations, if he ever stops long enough from the whirlwind he's on. In the past two days, he's been written up in the Moonie Washington Times (for trying to ride his Minuteman fame into Congress), those knuckle-draggers at the Weekly Standard (for turning his sights from undocumented folks to the people who illegally hire them, a stand that could win him bipartisan support come election time), and reams of catfish wraps in the Midwest, where he's engaged in speaking engagements at anti-immigration whoop-dee-doos. But he's not just getting attention from the media hounds. There are the other 17 candidates in the House race to consider. For instance, there are Republicans like state Sen. John Campbell (R-Blandland), who when he isn't devising ways to collect better endorsements than former Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer (I see your McCain and raise you a Schwarzenegger!), may be wondering how to prevent a split vote that would see an independent like Gilchrist take the prize, as was mused upon in the Moonie paper and OC Blog (where we read of the most-precious endorsement of all: BOB DORNAN!!! for Jim Gilchrist. Yeah, thanks to the favor there, Bob). Also taking a long look at Gilchrist is a Democrat candidate for the seat that opened with Chris Cox's ascension to SEC commissioner, teacher Bea Foster, who today threatened to sue Gilchrist for his ballot designation as Minuteman Movement Founder. Foster, who is getting some help making hay of all this from anti-anti-immigrant rabble rousing Greenie Duane Roberts, cites election code that stipulates such designations are meant to show a candidate's “principal profession, vocation, or occupation.” Foster claims the Secretary of State is reviewing the matter, but if that office rules in Gilchrist's favor, Foster is threatening to sue to the state election watchdog. Stay tuned.
Posted Aug. 25, 10:47 a.m.
YOU DISTORT, WE DERIDE
Ah, those Fox News hounds. Previously known mostly for kissing White House butt, condemning mommies who lost their sons in a war based on lies and heeeeeeee-lariously claiming to be impartial, Rupert Murdoch's wet dreamland can now add innocent home destroyer to its list of misdeeds. The Los Angeles Times broke the story in today's issue, picked up by the wire services internationally, that a La Habra family has been terrorized after their house was wrongly identified on an Aug. 7 Foxcast as the home of a terrorist. Randy and Ronnell Vorick have had profanities shouted at them, photos taken of their house and vandalism in the form of the word terrist being spraypainted on their abode, which says all you need to know about Fox News viewers. “I'm scared to go to work and leave my kids home,” Randy Vorick told the Times. “I call them every 30 minutes to make sure they're OK.” Ex-federal prosecutor John Loftus, who apparently slept with CNN's Nancy Grace through the law school class Innocent Until Proven Guilty, let alone Accuracy 101, gave Vorick's address on the Fox News show as that of Iyad Hilal, a 56-year-old grocer the FBI is investigating for alleged terror-group ties. But Hilal moved out of that house three years ago. Fox claims Loftus has been reprimanded–code for having to give Hannity sponge baths for a month. And the genius and the network both apologized to the family.
Posted Aug. 24, 7:27 p.m.
WHAT'S IN THE OFFING
Clockwork's poor little ears are bleeding from all the media chatter about extreme-Right nutbar televangelist Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Venezuela's president. Some have compared his suggestion on his Christian Broadcasting Network The 700 Club to the fatwas issued by radical Muslim clerics, and that former presidential candidate Robertson should be subject to the same treatment anyone else who makes terrorist threats would be. The condemnation has been so vehement–coming from everyone from the Rev. Jesse Jackson to Fidel Castro to even, if ever so gently, the White House and Donald Rumsfeld–that Robertson today backed off from his earlier statement, saying that people “misinterpreted” him and essentially claiming that when he said he wanted Venezuela's popularly elected but leftist president Hugo Chavez taken out, he didn't necessarily mean taken out. Never mind that his direct quote was, “You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it.” Oh, yeah, you were very vague there, Godboy. Gotcha. Kissinger oughta try this argument the next time someone tries to arrest him for masterminding the taking out (but he didn't mean taking out) of Chilean Commander-in-Chief Gen. Rene Schneider and quite possibly that country's former president Salvador Allende during those fun-lovin' Nixon years.
Now, while we agree with everything the Robertson critics are leveling, that it's pretty goddamn hypocritical for a man who spouts the words of Jesus to in the same breath issue death warrants, we've noticed something sorely missing in all this: the full context. For instance, if you go to Media Matters, you'll see Robertson's full quote from his Aug. 22 broadcast all right, but here is the part that the watchdogs boldfaced:
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. . . . We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
But, interestingly, in between those ellipses in his full quote was this:
And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United . . . This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly.
Why would the founder of the Christian Coalition of America be busying his head with concerns about the flow of oil? Well, that could well have something to do with one of the other hat Robertson wears as overlord of the Robertson Charitable Trust. Among the trust's holdings is Lakeland Development Corp., which until four years ago was known as CENCO, a company that in 1998 found itself in the cross hairs of local environmentalists, the Huntington Beach City Council and government regulators. CENCO had grand plans of nearly simultaneously opening an electric plant in Baldwin Park, an oil refinery in southeast LA County's industrial Santa Fe Springs and a dormant pipeline that would carry crude from tankers anchored off Huntington Beach's shore to a beachside terminal and then on underground to Santa Fe Springs. CENCO had seemingly arrived in Surf City out of nowhere with a $20 million bankroll to reopen the Golden West Refining Co. terminal. The concern was planning to dump another $200 million into un-shuttering the 62-year-old Powerline refinery in Santa Fe Springs. The Robertson trust was apparently had that kind of cash lying around after selling off some broadcasting holdings. The venture vowed it would produce up to 50,000 barrels a day, and they tried to sweeten the pot with local officials by promising to create 350 jobs, $500,000 in annual property taxes and untold profits to supposedly fund the Robertson trust's evangelical work. Robertson boasted the refinery would be “the most environmentally friendly refinery in the entire United States.”
A win-win-win? Hardly. Huntington Beach was less than eight years removed from the disastrous tanker spill of 416,000 gallons of crude. Many residents still recalled plucking seabirds slathered in black stuff off the sand and trying desperately to clean them off. Beachside merchants lost tons of business. Residents in Santa Fe Springs, which is composed mostly of working-class Latinos, were not too keen on the project's effect on their town. Many said there were still nasty fumes coming from Powerline even though it had been closed for three years. But CENCO pressed on. They began making improvements. They paid back fees Powerline owed the South Coast Air Quality Management District. They reached an agreement with the feds to reduce Powerline's previous emissions by 85 percent. And, critics charged, they began lining the pockets of various officials along the way. When it was pointed out that this massive, potentially eco-threatening undertaking would have to go through the normal environmental review process any similar new project would, CENCO balked, arguing that the pipeline and refinery should be grandfathered in under the same clearances that allowed the previous companies to operate. They also sought fast-track approval for the refinery and electric plant under a program then-Gov. Gray Davis had launched in the wake of the state energy crisis. That brought more threats of lawsuits from local agencies, a massive, grass-roots campaign by neighborhood activists in Santa Fe Springs and, surprisingly, given their notorious pro-business bent, the filing of a suit by the Huntington Beach City Council that would prevent CENCO from suppling crude oil to Powerline. By the summer of 2001, a defiant Robertson was claiming that California oil companies had conspired to kill his refinery by making it impossible for CENCO to obtain financing. Robertson hastily threw together a press conference to bemoan “the behemoths controlling the oil industry.” He told the New York Times, “I feel a little like David vs. Goliath. The majors are extremely big, and it looks like they are trying to stop our restart.” He wrote elsewhere, “Since the Spring of 1999, CENCO Refining, in order to raise capital for its restart, went out to the bond market and found that our efforts were being stymied. In one case involving a financial center bank, we were told that the head of a major oil company had sent work to the bank that if it helped finance the restart of the Powdering Refinery (sic), now CENCO, that the oil company would possible withdraw its business.” But the American Petroleum Institute called the allegation unfounded, and Robertson did not help matters by being unable to identify either of the banks who supposedly refused to loan him money. He couldn't even come up with the names of the oil companies who he claimed were behind CENCO's downfall. Investigative reporters were later able to find numerous instances of CENCO having cut corners, omitted key facts and misrepresented itself to speed up approval of its projects. After three years of essentially being put through the ringer, Robertson claimed that a company rep he sent out here to “re-assess” the situation had concluded that his Southern California holdings were “real-estate projects” not potential energy operations. CENCO first dropped the electric plant, then the oil plants. “This refinery will never, ever be switched on again,” Robertson sheepishly vowed before quickly changing the name CENCO (emphasis on sin) to the friendlier sounding Lakeland Development.
But let it be duly noted that there is no evidence Pat Robertson ever called for the assassination of any bankers or oil execs.
Posted Aug. 23, 4:47 p.m. Sorry, been busy today. Jeez…
LITTLE, WHITE, DIFFERENT
Clockwork's approaching or very near or thoroughly enveloped in that age where doctors must check, ahem, the butt. More specifically: the butthole. More, more specifically: inside the butthole. Using things colder than fingers wrapped in rubber. (That, I must pay dearly for). Whassat? Too much information? Well chew on this, anal wartsmen: news comes today that researchers have discovered long-term use of aspirin helps ward off colon cancer. The announcement does come with a major “but” for the butt, however: the aspirin must be taken in high doses, so high that the tabs could cause gastrointestinal bleeding. So you've got a choice, sports fans: rectal bleeding from the Big C or internal bleeding from the Big Bayer. I'll take my chances with the aspirin once these researchers answer my most-burning question: exactly how many aspirin must I ram up my butt to achieve “high doses”? And must I pay dearly for that?
ONE PILL MAKES YOU NERVOUS, AND ONE PILL MAKES YOU SMALL, AND ONE PILL MAKES YOU FEEL RESTED AFTER LYING AWAKE ALL NIGHT LONG, GO ASK ALICE WHEN SHE'S 10-FEET TALL
An Irvine company is developing an experimental drug that reverses the effects of sleep deprivation. According to the research journal PLoS Biology–you know, the one with the ripping swimsuit calendar (grrrrrr…)–Dr. Sam A. Deadwyler and his associates at Cortex Pharmaceuticals propose their Ampakine CX717 would particularly benefit individuals affected by extended work hours or night shifts. They have come to this conclusion by making monkeys perform repetitive tasks, keeping them awake, shooting 'em up with the CX717 and then having them perform the same tasks with amazing accuracy. Hey, wasn't this the plot of a Disney movie with a teen Kurt Russell? Or was it that earlier one with Cary Grant and a nubile Marilyn Monroe? All we know is, once this is perfected, expect 'round the clock updates of A Clockwork Orange. Of course, monkeys will be writing it then. And it'll make much more sense. And no heavy doses of aspirins up the butt required.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS, NOT THE 909
The surprising thing is not that it happened, this was as easy to predict as the August sun burning through this morning's haze. No, the surprising thing is it took this long to happen: the unveiling of the first The O.C. branded women's fashion collection. Amazon.com announced today that its virtual boutique will carry Necessary Objects for The O.C., designed by Necessary Objects' Ady Gluck-Frankel with participation from a wardrobe supervisor from The O.C., who was obviously so vital to the process that he/she was not named in Amazon's flacktacular release, which nonetheless did include this bullshittery:
The line captures the young, contemporary, chic look that is synonymous withThe O.C.'s characters and lifestyle.
Oh, so you mean you'll look like smoldering jailbait? Lipstick lesbians? MILF's trying to cram themselves into their hottie daughters' sizes? What, man, what??? Note my bracketed remarks as I continued drooling, er, reading:
Necessary Objects forThe O.C. is a 12-piece collection inspired by the diverse personalities and glamorous Southern California lifestyle of the show's fashionistas[UGH!], pairing unique casual and luxe[LUXE?] pieces to create standout looks that seamlessly transition from day to evening. The color palette includes the rich tones that are the hallmark of fall fashions–mallard[DUCK!], heather[ART DIRECTOR?], deep brown and basic black. The line features pieces with a feminine take on menswear looks[HUH?], such as extended-tab gauchos[STEELY DAN?], spectacular knit tops adorned with sequins and paillettes and an array of playful skirts, including a full-length satin peasant skirt that can serve as a beach coverall during the day or be dressed up with the tie-back halter vest for a stunning and sophisticated evening look.[SHOOT ME] The collection ranges in price from $38 to $78.[REALLY, PLEASE SHOOT ME NOW 'CAUSE . . . SAY, THAT'S ACTUALLY AFFORDABLE]
Amazon has definitely jumped on The O.C. bandwagon for the third season, premiering Sept. 8 on Fox. Besides The O.C. Boutique, they're pimping the complete DVD sets for the show's first [BEST] and second [WEAK] seasons, Music from The O.C. Mixes 1-4 and the ability to subscribe to The O.C. Insider, whatever the hell that is.
Of course, what good are the stunning fashions manufactured to look as if they are worn by actresses pretending to live here good for if you have ugly eyes? Thank the TV Gods, there's another connection to Fox's teen soaper to help you decide whose peepers you should have your Newport plastic surgeon create for you. Melinda Clarke, whose eyes are very pretty, and the rest of her ain't too shabby either, inhabits the bitchy character of mom-from-hell Julie Cooper-Nichol on The O.C., and she's joined Advanced Medical Optics, the maker of Complete MoisturePLUS multi-purpose contact lens solution, to launch a nationwide poll for the America's Most Beautiful Eyes, but this is for the Vision USA eye-care charity, because otherwise that'd just be too damn vain. Whew! Pack enough into that sentence, did we?
“As an actress, I know how important eyes are in how you look and how you communicate, and thought this would be a unique way to draw attention to eye care while supporting a great cause through the alignment with Vision USA,” the flack alert quotes Clarke as saying, without a hint of how much scratch this lame-ass gig is paying her. “As an occasional contact lens wearer, I also know firsthand that comfort is extremely important, and how you care for your contact lenses can make a huge difference in how comfortable your eyes feel at the end of the day.”
Especially a day spent reading crappy dialogue off cue cards, eh Lindy? From now through October, consumers can cast a vote for the celebrity they think has the most beautiful eyes right here. Entrants get automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win a year's supply of Complete MoisturePLUS MPS, whether you wear contacts or not! Put it in your eyes now, bitch! There are also other prizes, including a dee-luxe trip to . . . drum roll . . . ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA! We're there! Honestly. We're there. And we're ashamed. And our eyes hurt. But the butt? Feeling fine!
Posted Aug. 22. I guess I have to start noting the time now that Gustavo set the precedent in my absence: 5:07 p.m. Is that “2ish” enough for you?
WELCOME BACK ME!
So I let that Arellano kid take this virtual bird-cage liner over for a week and what does he do: he shows me the hell up, that's what! Blogging at all hours, linking to anything that moves, using complete sentences–folks, how the hell am I supposed to compete with that? He's made me look so bad that he's left me no choice but to do the obvious: call in Jim Gilchrist. Hey, Minuteman! Isn't that supposed to work as well as Hey, Culliganman? No? Not so much? Whatever. All I know is, in explaining my absence to leave cold, drizzly OC (swear to God, last Monday, Aug. 15, was one of those Twainesque coldest-winter-I-spent-was-a-summer-in… kinda days here. In the middle of fucking August!!! Who says global warming isn't screwing up the weather? Oh yeah, everyone from our own barely knee-boardin' congressman to that lone atmospheric scientist from Bumfuck, Iowa, or The Art Bell Show–you know, the dude The Right trots out every time they have to counter overwhelming scientific evidence of man-made global warming) for cold, drizzly Baghdad by the Bay, Mr. G.A. insinuated that I was haunting the Bay Area, looking for opportunities to go all Tonya Harding on the unsuspecting lower legs of members of the Oakland A-Holes, to increase the postseason chances for Your And My Anaheim California Los Angeles Angeles of Stanton, Ventura and Lower Cucamonga. Since, no, you did not read anything about an Athletic Supporter going down, I do feel it is my duty–and alibi–to likewise rule myself out as a suspect in the mysterious death of San Francisco 49er Thomas Herrion. I swear that I never laid an oven mitt on the dude. Furthermore, every season when the time comes that my beloved Oakland Raiders are eliminated from the playoffs (which has been happening earlier and earlier I'm afraid), I quickly switch allegiance to my second-favorite team: you guessed it, those Niners! (Check out their opening page.) Unfortunately, they've been getting eliminated even earlier than my Roiders, which means I don't watch a lot of pro football in January. But I've still got 'SC, the second-best pro team in all of Southern California (behind Mater Dei, but of course). The biggest difference between Frisco and here? I'd say it was the bumper stickers on the backs of cars. Saw a lot of Kerry-Edwards and Fuck Bush This and Fuck Bush That stickers up there. Driving up Fairview to work this morning, I had a car in front of me with FOUR!!! black W. stickers on the back and two identical stickers informing me to Save Social Security by reading up on the issue. (Funny thing is I have, and am not convinced Social Security needs fixing). In the lane next to that car was a Bronco with an Offroader for Bush sticker. Fucking A-Hole fans, no doubt.
TEAMING WITH TEEMU
In other sports news (you can see which section my head has been at on holiday; just call me Jimmy the Geek), it just broke (well, hours ago now) that Teemu Selanne is coming back to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Bell Gardens and Lower Etiwanda. Which brings up an interesting story. I enjoy hockey somewhat, go to a game or two each season and follow the standings in the paper, etc. But I wouldn't call myself nutso over the sport. For instance, watching hockey in person vs. on TV, I'd compare to having sex with a live person vs. having sex with a live person encased in glass. Blurry glass. And maybe the person isn't alive after all. Which is weird because when you watch hockey in person, you're watching it through glass. But it's better. Folks, the point is I was chatting with someone who is really, really into hockey. Ducks hockey. And to keep the conversation going, I mentioned how I liked the fact that the non-Disney Ducks at least seem to be building a team that plays to their roster strengths, which as I understand it would be best summed up as meatheads who skate well. In other words, they'll be fast and brutal, leaning more toward defense than offense. At least someone there at the Pond is honing in on one focus as opposed to the scattershot teams of the recent past, I reasoned. So this hockey fanatic starts going on and on about that, and brings up all these roster moves in Anaheim and elsewhere, and what that all means in the grand scheme of things when I ask, since I've been away from the local rags, if Selanne, as I swear I read somewhere, was thinking of rejoining the Ducks. The guy comes back at me with a blank look, wants to know where I heard such a thing, like I'm insane or something. Actually, I answered, fumbling and stumbling, the story may have been Kariya and Selanne were thinking of returning, but I do distinctly recall a possible Teemu Act 2. Again, I get the youse-crazy look. We switched subjects to dry walling. Well, who's the crazy mofo now, Zamboni breath?
BUSH LESS LIKED THAN DICK
Sad news from the Nixon Lie-brary and Fiddlesticks Center of Yorba Linda: It seems that new polling shows that the Trickie Dickster has been surpassed by George W. Bush. Yep, sports fans, that is correct: Dubya's popularity is now lower than Dick's was at the height (depth?) of Watergate. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Or should that be: Oh, how the fallen are mighty! Whatever. All I know is that with numbers as bad as these, there must be a lot of folks on the Right who have had it up to here with Bush. United States Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), COME ON DOWN! Hagel says Bush's made-up war has destabilized the Middle East and created a quagmire that's looking increasingly like Vietnam. Without the killer weed. Although the hash is righteous! And speaking of neighboring Afghanistan, it can't help those low poll digits that four more U.S. troops were killed in that piece of un-paradise. And it really can't help matters–including my beloved GOP's retention of the White House–that the Army is now looking at a worst-case scenario of 4 more years in Iraq. Woo-hoo! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! Remember all the Republifuckfaces yelling that at their GOP National Convention and Monster Truck Pull? You know, when they weren't praying at The Gays? No? Not so much? Whatever. But who knew this is what they meant by FOUR MORE YEARS?! To be fair, I must mention that while I was out, I did happen upon Charlie Rose's interview with Donald Rumsfeld, and that two things crossed my mind: Rummy kinda grows on you, like a more assholic Harry Truman. You can tell he really hates the media and politicians (as if he isn't one himself). The other thing was Rummy made some sense when he said that by going to war in Iraq, we've created a place to fight the war on terrorism, which before had been a war with no borders. So, by staging the fighting in Iraq, we've decreased terrorism elsewhere, most especially American soil. There's a certain amount of logic in that, I must admit. And it apparently makes so much sense that the same argument is now coming out of Bush's vacationing mouth. You know, maybe these guys aren't so wrong, maybe we should . . . hey, wait a minute: That's not how they sold The Whole Flippin' World this war in the first place. Remember: Iraqi ties to 9/11, then weapons of mass destruction, then evil regime change, then because we were on our period, then . . . And terrorism is as prevalent as it's ever been–my source? That other Dick: Dick Cheney!–though thankfully not on our shores (although almost). For insta-reaction to all this, I turn to the Talking Rummy Doll just inches away from my keyboard.
CLOCKWORK: Mr. Talking Rummy Doll, your new argument is that the war in Iraq was necessary to create a battleground to fight terrorism. But that's not how this war was sold. In fact, the reasons for this war constantly change. So why are we to believe you now?
TALKING RUMMY DOLL: Oh, it was your rhetoric that made you do it, and they did this before Bush came to office, well before the Axis of Evil speech. It's utter nonsense.
Uh, thank you Mr. Secretary. Guess that means Dick is Dead. Long live the new Dick. Is it worth mentioning that Rummy started with the old Dick? Yes it is. Maybe they'll give him his own wing there on Yorba Linda Blvd., in between the Fountain of Fibs and Subverting the Constitution Wedding Chapel.
THE HITS KEEP COMING
In scandalous behavior closer to home: your favorite Governor Not Girlie Man has now been lumped in with Tom DeLay, Ohio Governor Bob Taft and retiring-in-disgrace Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham when it comes to politicians using their offices for personal gain. Let's see: DeLay, Taft, Cunningham of San Diego, Schwarzenegger: Republican, Republican, Republican, Cyborg. And remember all that shit Arnie talked about not needing to raise money because of his personal fortune. They have a word for that in Austrian: Lying Sack of Struedel! Oh, and speaking of Ahnuld, take a look here for some disturbing gifts our Govenator accepted, courtesy of Mayor Sam's Sister City blog. You know, Sam Yorty taught Nixon everything he knew. Or was it the other way around? Or was it Dornan? Or both? I don't remember. I was teething.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.