Friday Fishwrap: Egon and Flash Meet Orly and Ron
Life in imitation of art: Anyone who’s ever raised a teenager knows what a pain in the posterior it is nagging them to get a summer job. But we have to ask: hasn’t soon-to-be-ex-state Senator Ron Calderon ever heard of kids waiting tables or stocking shelves on the night shift at CVS?
Of all the scummy things Mr. Beef is alleged by the feds to have done, none appears more reprehensible than dragging his offspring into the stinking mess he’s made of his own life. Soliciting no-show and low-show jobs while also procuring tuition payments, according to the FBI, he used them as his excuse for taking bribes from a sleazy hospital operator and an undercover agent posing as a movie producer with a hot girlfriend.
You can’t you make this stuff up. Oh wait, they did.
Calderon’s early response when his world began to crumble amid the FBI investigation a few months back was to feel extremely sorry for himself in public: “I would not wish on my worst enemy what I have been going through,” he said in responding to Assembly member Cristina Garcia, who had called for his resignation. “But I do hope that Ms. Garcia comes to understand that what has happened to me could happen to anyone in public office.”
To anyone? Really?
Now Calderone and Mark Geragos, his cheeseball cable TV lawyer, are huffing and puffing about the government “defaming” him. It’s not Garcia nor the government that have put him in this spot, however; it’s his own over-arching arrogance and sense of entitlement, not to mention innate stupidity, that have Calderon facing 396 years in Stony Lonesome, with the chance to talk to his kids every now and again, on visiting day.
Wright must go: Mega-kudos to our conservative pal Jon Fleischman for his smart and sustained editorial campaign on Flashreport, keeping the pressure on Republican lawmakers to move against Rod Wright, the other half of the Democrats’ continuing criminal enterprise in the senate.
Wright, who was convicted recently by an L.A. jury of eight counts of voter fraud and perjury for lying in official statements about living in his district, has suffered precisely zero political consequences for his crimes. Thanks to the disgraceful, circle-the-wagons enabling behavior of Senate President and fellow Democrat Darrell Steinberg, Wright blithely continues to take his salary, while on a self-imposed “leave of absence,” laboring on his legal defense on the public’s dime $95,291.00.
This after a brief but surrealistic effort to scale back his own crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, of which the less said the better.
Sure, Wright was convicted for a breaking a law that some other legislators have snickered at for the years. But Steinberg’s half-assed defense of His Pal Rod, on grounds that his crimes involved an “ambiguous” law, is the kind of political elitist bilge that is enough to make a hog puke, explains why people hate politics and succeeded in making our heads explode.
Let’s review: a) a jury of Wright’s peers presumably listened to the arguments of both sides while sitting through an Actual Trial, and apparently didn’t agree his offenses were No Big Deal; b) “ambiguous” or not, the live-in-the-district requirement, along with that whole perjury thing about, you know, not lying about it, is the law, and even someone as All Powerful and All Knowing as Darrell Steinberg doesn’t get to decide between good laws, which Capitol denizens should obey, and bad ones, with which they needn’t bother.
By week’s end, Fleischman’s crusade had succeeded in getting a handful of GOP senate types to bestir themselves enough to at least introduce a motion to force Wright out, which See-No-Evil Steinberg, to the surprise of no one, immediately sent off to procedural purgatory. Ah, what the hell, let’s keep paying the guy and let him stick around until his appeals run out in three or four years.
Do you want laughing gas with that? Rested and ready after her spectacular 2012 moral victory over Senate Dianne Feinstein, in which she won three point two – count ‘em, 3.2 – percent of the state primary vote, Obama birther superstar and noted whack job Orly Taitz is now limbering up to run against Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Key promise: “prosecute state officials who ignored all evidence brought by law enforcement and experts showing Obama to possess citizenship of Indonesia, fabricated Selective Service certificate, fabricated birth certificate and a CT Social Security number which failed both E-verify and SSNVS.”
Time’s running out on this issue, people: if not now, when?
While everyone knows about Taitz’s affaire du coeur with Donald Trump over the president’s double secret Kenyan birth certificate, few are aware of other shocking secrets in her background that could hand Ace Smith, Harris’s chief strategist and master of oppo research, plenty of hit piece fodder when things tighten up.
Loyal readers will recall that when Taitz challenged Difi two years ago, the Calbuzz Investigative Reporting and Dental Probe unit broke the story of Yelp reviewers giving harsh comments to her dental practice:
“DO NOT GO!” counsels “Ryan L.” [Caps his] in one commentary. “They will tell you one price and then charge you way more when you walk out. Also, the people working on you have horrific breath. “
“Crazy dentist who can’t stop talking about her quest to bring down Obama for his ‘failure’ to turn in his birth certificates,” adds “Serena J.,” a one-time only client. “I only got a consult, which was ridiculous. I’m just glad to have escaped with all my teeth.”
Now we’ve learned exclusively that 43 Dr. Taitz patients awarded her an average of just 1.4 stars out of a possible five, well below the national average, on a host of measures of her dental practice, including ease of scheduling appointments, office environment, friendliness, and “level of trust in provider’s decisions.” Biggest problem, as a political matter: way low marks for “how well provider listens and answers questions.”
Who you gonna’ call: We were saddened to learn of the passing this week of comic director, writer and actor Harold Ramis, who contributed to a host of great comedies, from “Animal House” to “Analyze This.”
While many obits and appreciations focused on Ramis’s direction of the classic Bill Murray vehicle “Caddyshack,” we will remember him best for his unforgettable portrayal of Dr. Egon Spengler, and his delivery of a single, three-word line in “Ghostbusters.”
As receptionist Janine Melnitz sits at her desk in the decrepit firehouse headquarters of the boys in gray, Egon suddenly emerges on his knees from underneath it:
Janine: “You’re very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too.
Dr. Spengler: “Print is dead.”
Now how did he know that all the way back in 1984? Talk about a genius.
I have two things on my wish list. First, I wish that Jon Fleischman would get just as righteous about Tim Donnelly as he has about Rod Wright. I find no fault with his piece on Wright. But Tim Donnelly “didn’t get around” to licensing his gun; he tried to bring it (loaded) on an airplane; he used someone else’s gun at a fundraiser (what???), in violation of his probation and explained that it was impolite not to fire a gun that someone gives you.
Secondly, I would like someone to make a movie about the life of Orly Taitz. I think the lead should be Kristen Schaal and it should be a musical. Perhaps Bill Murray as a dental patient.
You’re so right about Steinberg. Like so many others who suckle on the power teat, he’s wallows in mediocrity and favoritism at the expense of integrity and purpose.
As regards Ramis, the best quote from from Dan Aykroyd who wrote, “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”
I remember the story about a retiring Democrat not long ago who came under FBI investigation and it struck me how the speaker came up with $400,000 toward his defense fund. Someone good with names here will remember it. One can’t help but consider how many violations could be discovered if the reporting authorities had enforcing authority as well.
This is a distinction in wording intended to consume resources that could result in future cutbacks if you do your job better than intended.
Good stuff. I’m always disappointed with Dems who misbehave, but they should suffer the consequences. I’ve come to expect it from the other side…
I regret that I’m no longer surprised by this sh*t