And Now For Some Good News! A Sunday Morning Essay

After reading the Desert Rat’s pithy and mordant post about the likelihood of having three antiquated and liberal repuglican geezers on the Fullerton City Council, I felt compelled to respond with my own message – a message of hope and good will to those who can only contemplate Ed Royce’s RINO triad with a sense of gorge-rising horror.

No, I will not dwell upon the morbid actuarial statistics for the American male. Rather I invite the Friends to contemplate, along with me, the New Reality. My grandfather Frank always admonished us to seek out the proverbial silver lining in bad news; and so we shall. The Economic Recession that has hit so many in the private sector, and that so far has barely affected the public sector at all, will, in 2011, deliver its overdue bill to government employees.

Can Obama keep cranking out money fast enough to preserve all the government jobs it has protected so far through the comically named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? The answer to that is likely no. Not after the November election. And even if he could, California had received barely 10 billion through the end of the last fiscal year – not nearly enough to grease all the bureaucratic skids in our dysfunctional state at the various levels. The presses just can’t print that fast.

The chances of raising local taxes, like Don Bankhead did (and McKinley and Jones would have likely joined him) in 1993 seems dim. Nobody’s going to stand for it. Not even the ignoramuses who voted them in.

And this leaves us with the spectacle of the public employees fighting among themselves for their share of the diminishing fiscal pie. And to that I say: Amen! Competition is good. It causes us constantly to assess our priorities. It’s true that the cops and emergency service providers will have the advantage, standing, as they already do, at the head of the line. But will the public stand for library or park closures in order to fund these people? The RINO mantra of “public safety” can only take its chanters so far. Sooner or later reality demands a check.

And hovering in the back of the room, like the chorus in a Greek tragedy is the specter of municipal bankruptcy, Vallejo-style – the game changing possibility that all public administrators and employees should want to avoid like a plague. But the public may have reason to be more ambivalent about that prospect.

So cheer up!

Fullerton Is Doomed!

Out here on Screech Owl Road, east of Twentynine Palms you can see things pretty clearly. Sometimes the heat causes shimmer mirages; sometimes the wind kicks up some devilish sand storms – the kind that can strip the chrome off your Hummer. But most of the time you get used to seeing a long way. Even as far away as my former home, Fullerton.

Pudding cups!
Banacek called. He wants his clothes back.

The City Council race of 2010 is already over. You will re-elect the brain dead sea cucumber known as Don Bankhead – pension spiker, staff stooge, abysmal decision maker. And you will also elect Pat McKinley – poster boy for pension abuse, supporter of the hideous Ackerwoman, repuglican de-jour, and yet another retired cop. And it won’t even be close.

Bankhead, Dick Jones, McKinley; please contemplate that triumverate of septuagenarian, lint-headed, RINO back washers and tell me why you aren’t in deep shit. Can anyone say gerontocracy?

In the two-year seat Bruce Whitaker has a chance, but let’s face it: he’s up against a bankrupt and a carpetbagging food poisoner. Really, I don’t see how he can pull it off.

Aw, none of those folks died...

Fullerton, the Education Community, has a special knack for electing the weak, the feeble-minded, the incomprehensible. Jeez, do I have to draw you a diagram? Molly McClanahan, Buck Catlin, Julie Sa, Peter Godfrey, HeeHaw Jones, Mike Clesceri, Leland Wilson, Pam Keller. This rougues gallery of incompetence even starts to make Jan Flory look good. Well, no, cancel that.

Yes, I believe you are doomed.

And Now for Nothing Really Different: Yellowing Observer Bemoans Loss of Fox Block Boondoggle

Dive! Dive!

The folks who write stuff for the Fullerton Observer are either really dumb, or really….

Aw, Hell I can stop right there.

Here’s a bit from page 5 of the recent edition of the bird cage liner noting the reconstruction of the McDonald’s outlet on Chapman and noting that the Council’s failure to blow six million bucks to move it a couple hundred feet has caused the Fox Block project to go belly up and implies that somehow this put the renovation of the Fox Theater in jeopardy.

Wrong! The council finally acted responsibly last summer when they pulled the plug on an emergent disaster of their own creation. And wrong about the “renovation” bullshit, too. Notice how the Observer casually insinuates the idea of “renovation” into the “Fox Block.” Apart from the theater there is nothing to renovate, of course. But the two things were never tied together – except to manipulate the under intelligent.

The whole monstrosity was tied to the Fox Theater restoration to tap into the emotional support for that and gin up support for another downtown monstrosity of corporate welfare. Of course the crew of the S.S. Observer is devoted to the idea that keeping Redevelopment bureaucrats and parasites employed is job one, and common sense be damned.

What? I can't hear you.

Added to the unintentional high-larity is the writer’s assertion that the developer “spent hours” designing a new Mickey D’s that matched the FHS architecture. Well, he may very well have spent a few hours. The product looked like it.

Instead of bewailing the loss of a sure-fire failure, the Observer should be asking what sort of accountability is going to be demanded of the idiots who cooked up the Fox Block mess in the first place – bureaucrats and electeds, alike.

Little Hoover Sucks Up County Pension Reform BS

Does it blow or suck?

California’s “Little Hoover Commission,” a sort of State-wide Grand Jury, showed up at the County HQ on Friday to learn all about the wonderful work the County has done creating its scintillating 1.62 @ 65 pension option. Naturally, all the OCEA spokeholes started to sing out hosannas to the hard work of the union in developing this alternative – an option that promises to reward aging executives, and that so far very few people have signed up for. Wonder why not.

Supervisors Bill Campbell and Janet Nguyen actually had someone write an editorial rebuttal for them that appeared in the Register on Sunday and that discounted the idea of a mandatory defined contribution plan that would include everybody – even Supervisors like themselves.

Just keep saying the same thing, over and over again. Maybe you'll get another $140,000 this year.

Here is our old friend Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC(EA) in a typical report. Notice the snotty observation that Supervisor Shawn Nelson wasn’t in attendance at the commission meeting. Following Santana’s predictable lead, Kimberly Edds, a new writer with the equally worthless “Total Buzz” perpetrated by the OC Register, also notes Nelson’s “conspicuous absence,” here.

Hey geniuses: the meeting was attended by Supervisors Bill Campbell and John Moorlach. Nelson’s attendance would have constituted a violation of the Brown Act. But of course what’s the point of attending a dog and pony show that touts an option that’s really hardly more than feel-good window dressing?

And speaking of brown acts, the jerkoffs at the Liberal OC naturally followed along in praise of supposed innovation, and even included this image of Janet Nguyen pulling the wings off insects.

Well, let’s hope that real pension reform is on the way before the State of California breaks off and falls into a sea of red ink.

Name That Image!

We got some flak-back from some folks who tried to defend psuedo-journalist Norberto Santana of the union-sponsored Voice of OCEA that has become another sounding board in the Dem-for-Hire – ‘Pug-for-Hire, union promoting echo chamber.

So today we re-run the image of Santana with his financial impresario, union honcho Nick Berardino, in what appears to be the VOC(EA)’s Santa Ana office. And we invite you, our loyal Friends to provide your own captions.

Okay, Friends, it's your turn...

Mickadeit Lunches On Italian Sausage & Ego

Extra, extra, read all about me!

Is there a limit to the extent one will shamelessly grovel in public? In case you didn’t see it, check out Frank Mickadeit’s column in the O.C. Register from a few days ago.

In this recent opus Mickey exhibits the fierce prowess that seems to drive journalism these days. Here is what Frank and his employers at the Register think the public wants to know all about; Frank’s lunch schedule:

  • having lunch with political consultant Christine Iger;
  • getting an olive-oil tasting lesson from restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo;
  • getting a liquor-tasting lesson from vodka czar Bill Eldien;
  • a slap-happy kiss-ass session with good ol’ boy Mike Carona.

Poignancy! Mick’s and Mike’s eyes meet across a non-smoke-filled room and Caroney waves his old buddy over to join him. Mickey describes his  soul mate, characterizing Caroney as “smiling, buff, color in his cheeks.” He points out that if Caroney is lucky enough to avoid getting nailed with a witness-tampering charge he’ll be able to down endless shots of booze with his buddies with his freshly-won freedom (Frank doesn’t mention that he would be doing it on a $200,000+ per year taxpayer sponsored pension, but well, that would just be mean).

So what does the reader learn from this hard-hitting expose? That the Mickster is chummy and swills booze with some pretty notorious and questionable company, the kind of people that would bring into question his credentials. Not only does he shamelessly bring this to our attention, he even gives credit to Caroney for providing him with leads to “interesting stories!”

Interesting stories? The fact is that during Carona’s amoral reign of terror over the Sheriff’s Department Mickadeit gave him a free pass, and was, well, just damn glad to be there!

A shot of whiskey and a cigar and I'll write anything you want.

Now there’s truth in journalism! Can anybody take this guy seriously?

Fullerton Observer Takes Dump On Self. Again.

On a clear day you can see forever...

In its page one retelling of events at the last Fullerton School Board meeting, Yellowing Observer Jan Youngman spun out this yarn about the District’s unconscionable arrangement with The Fullerton Collaborative for the services of FSD employee and soon to be ex Fullerton Councilwoman Pam Keller:

Five spoke in opposition to
continuing the relationship,
including the president of FACT
(Fullerton Association of
Concerned Taxpayers), a group
responsible for vicious hit mailers
in past school board and council
campaigns. (The group’s major
funding comes from Bushala
Brothers Inc. Tony Bushala heads
the group FFFF (Friends for
Fullerton’s Future) which has
made both Pam Keller and the
Fullerton Collaborative frequent
targets. FFFF is currently suing
the City of Fullerton.).

Hoo boy! Now there’s a mouthful of tripe, even for one of the Observer crew who can’t discern the difference between editorial and news reporting. We haven’t made Keller or her illicit arrangement with the Collaborative a “target.” Oh, no. That was all her doing – by a multiplicity of conflicts of interest as a councilmember, by skipping out without having to account to anybody for her time, and by remaining an FSD employee with the attendant benefits without having to set foot in a classroom. We only shed some light on the whole rancid deal.

Bad girl. Bad, bad girl.

But back to the egregious Youngman. Important fact, hon. FFFF  sued the Redevelopment Agency, not the City. I know it’s next to impossible for you people, but next time do please try to get your facts right. By the way, why is that even relevant to your story?

The Voice of OCEA Provides Forum For – OCEA

Bloggers of the world arise...

If you needed any more evidence of the evident symbiosis between the The Voice of OC and it’s paymaster, Nick “Bullhorn” Berardino of the OCEA union you need look no farther this blog post by Norberto Santa. Please notice that 30 of the 31 comments are just pro-union/OCEA propaganda. 30 of 31.

Aw, c'mon Norberto, nobody's buying that...

Could Berardino be instructing his troops to frequent the union-sponsored blog just to keep the traffic up? Why not? It’s all one big, happy family, and The Voice never claimed to be objective – just non-profit.

The Voice of OCEA Welcomes Federal Political Crimes Unit

Knows which side his bread is buttered on...

In a post today (or was it yesterday? Aw, who the hell cares?) the Voice of the County Public Employee Union passed along a story they got from the LA Times (no link thanks, you punks).

Of course they are doing it for the wrong reason. Their story is all about how their paymaster Nick Berardino was made to look like a chimpanzee for publicly attacking Webster Guillory and getting dressed down by the County CEO. The implication is clear enough: Rackaukas won’t investigate criminal wrongdoing by politicians. True enough. But why haven’t we heard a single word from the Voice of OCEA about Democrat Tom Daly hiring friends and the relatives of campaign contributors; about County staff withholding critical information from the BOS regarding the purchase of a derelict building on Civic Center Drive; about the Children and Families Commission hiring political hacks for bloated PR and lobbying contracts; about a political operative getting $48,000 to “study” a sports hall of fame; about a candidate for supervisor who committed voter fraud by perjuring himself twice on official documents?

Well, you get the point.