Angry Democrats

The news conference featured more than a dozen California Democrats mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.  The target of their ire: not their GOP colleagues. They were furious with the man at the top of their own party: President Obama. 

One in three Californians owes more than their house is worth. Members of Congress say they're hearing from those constituents.

Congressman Dennis Cardoza of Modesto accused the administration of not doing "a darned thing" to help homeowners floundering in the housing crisis, saying the Obama administration has "not gotten it right over and over and over."

Jackie Speier of San Mateo demanded, "Do something real, Mr. President!"

Jim Costa of Fresno said he doesn't want "to hear about tweaks" to federal rescue programs. He's looking for the White House plan to solve the housing crisis. 


Protest of the week: mimes on Capitol Hill

It's a lousy radio story.  But here's my vote for the most creative protest this week.

The press release from Consumer Watchdog promises "a troupe of mimes – dressed in white “Google Track Team” suits and wearing Google “Wi-Spy” glasses – will follow people around Dirksen Senate Office Building where the Judiciary hearing will be held. They will dramatize how Google is recording everything consumers do on the Internet."

Will post pictures when I spot them.


Security heavy in DC

They've really cranked up the security here on Capitol Hill as a result of the vague Al Qaeda threat made public just before 9-11.  The short metal fences that block cars from getting close to the Capitol are up.  I've seen two bomb-sniffing dogs this morning - one outside the office of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.  And there were security personnel of all stripes waiting outside the Congressional meeting room where US mayors were meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Bag checks are thorough.  Haven't spotted any of the submachine guns I saw the night President Obama came to address Congress.  Yet.


Dodger news mirrors fictional story

This morning's news that “certain state-owned investment institutions of the People's Republic of China'' are interested in spending money on the Dodgers sounds very familiar.  Back in the '80's, David Ritz wrote a novel called "The Man Who Brought the Dodgers Back to Brooklyn."  Back when he wrote it, the Dodgers were golden.  But he imagined a team that fell on hard times.  The stands were empty.  And as I recall, a German investor offered to buy the team.  A pair of die hard fans come up with a plan to bring the team back to Brooklyn, saving both the team and the borough.

There is one big difference between fiction and reality, though.  In Ritz' novel, Brooklyn is at the bottom of the barrel.  Today, of course, it's the hippest place to live in New York. 

The book appears to be out of print, but I see there's a copy still circulating at the library.


You know you've been away from LA too long

I jaywalked.  Without thinking about it, I crossed a busy street in the middle instead of walking 50 feet to the signal.  What was I thinking? 

It would be no problem if I was back in DC, where jaywalking is a right.  I've had pedestrians swear at me and give me the finger as they dash in front of my car near the Jefferson Memorial.  But here in LA, as it was me on foot, dashing in front of cars, they looked at me like I was mad.  And perhaps I am.

There are other signs that my Angeleno-ness is fading away.  My internal map is fuzzy.  I can't remember the name of Playa del Rey.  Is the Tujunga offramp off the 170 or the 101?  I haven't heard of any of the hip restaurants in town.  I even check the box scores for the Nats AND the Dodgers. 

But jaywalking was the wakeup call. We locals have been warning out-of-towners for years about tickets handed out liberally for the offense.   And yet, I didn't even notice I'd done it until an Angeleno pal pointed it out to me, shocked.