Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Take La La Land ... Please

If there was ever any doubt why California is known as la la land, I offer these stories ripped off the wires.

1) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was heckled recently when he crashed a Democratic Party fund raiser, vetoed a bill authored by one of his hecklers and despite the fact the Legislature approved the measure unanimously. Here's the veto message. Now follow the first letter in each sentence. Here's the set up as compiled by the Wall Street Journal. In Left Coast politics, this passes as Hollywood humor. You be the judge.

2) -- Alex Kozinski is an insatiable jokester even sitting as the chief judge of the U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals. He sent emails to fellow jurists, law clerks, prominent attorneys and journalists that the Los Angeles Times described as silly to politically oriented to raunchy. The Judicial Council of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals took no action. Kozinski was admonished earlier this year in a separate case for being "judicially imprudent" and "exhibiting poor judgment" by placing sexually explicit photos and videos on an Internet server that could be accessed by the public. Kozinski "apologized for any embarrassment to the federal judiciary," said his lawyer Mark Holscher. No lame Polish jokes, please.

3) -- Paparazzi are blamed for a rash of burglaries at homes of Hollywood celebrities. No, not the photogs, but groupies who see the pictures and read the stars' Twitters, Facebooks and blogsites. Blair Berk, a well-known Hollywood attorney who represents some of the victims, blamed the paparazzi for "creating a very real danger in terms of mentally ill stalkers and criminals," she said. Nonsense, says Frank Griffin, the veteran paparazzo and head of the Bauer-Griffin photo agency. "You have to blame somebody, and you can't blame the ones who stole, can you?" he said. "You have to blame the villain." Don't jump to conclusions, folks.

4) -- Los Angeles Police detectives arrested four teenagers in connection with burglaries at the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson and Audrina Patridge. The group studied television shows, celebrity magazines and websites picking out clothing and jewelry they wanted. Then they figured out where the celebrities lived and, after casing the homes, broke in and took what they wanted, detectives allege. "This is a no-brains caper. There's not a lot of self-awareness," LAPD Det. Brett Goodkin said. The Los Angeles Times interviewed students at Indian Hills High School where the teenagers attended. "I've heard them girls are rich now," said Alex Badolato, an 11th-grader. An administrator said one of the arrested teenagers was a "spectacular student" who had won scholarships. Them girls aren't the only ones making news.

5) -- An old white guy is on the 10 Most Wanted criminals list in the San Diego FBI office for robbing four banks since August. The geezer is described as white, 60 to 70 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with a medium build and gray facial hair. He was wearing a gray tweed jacket, a dark shirt, dark pants with dark shoes and a black hat. Three cheers for the AARP candidate for its monthly publication "Modern Maturity."

6) -- Finally, The New York Times takes a lengthy look at the latest off-the-chart bill that would legalize marijuana -- not just for medicinal purposes but for everyone. We quote: "State lawmakers are holding a hearing on Wednesday on the effects of a bill that would legalize, tax and regulate the drug — in what would be the first such law in the United States. Tax officials estimate the legislation could bring the struggling state about $1.4 billion a year, and though the bill’s fate in the Legislature is uncertain, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has indicated he would be open to a “robust debate” on the issue." Said one San Francisco resident, “For a lot of people, it’s just another brand of beer.” Can't wait to read the governor's veto message on that one.

California may be broken, its teenagers and geezers taking the law in their own hands, its judges slipping dirty jokes to one another and the rest blowing smoke, but you have to admit, where else can one live on a daily diet of the absurd.

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