Friday, September 30, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton's 2016 Campaign in Trouble? In California?

Is Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign in trouble -- even in liberal California?

It might be. A few weeks ago a Clinton campaign office opened on Santa Monica's pricey Montana Avenue (1627 Montana, to be exact). This is highly unusual. The Democratic Party enjoys such a lopsided majority among registered voters, it hasn't bothered with any street campaigning for many years now. Indeed, in the nearly 30 years I've lived in Santa Monica, this is the first I've ever seen a presidential campaign office -- Democratic or Republican -- in this affluent but heavily Democratic town.

The GOP wrote off California long ago. In 1996 Bob Dole's Republican campaign was invisible in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, despite the GOP holding its convention in San Diego. In 1992 I heard radio reports of Bush campaign supporters active in Orange County. That was about it.

As for Democrats, they've long ago taken California voters for granted. Democratic candidates come to California to raise money from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, not to meet ordinary voters. Yet this time Hillary has opened a storefront office in Santa Monica, apparently trying to rally every voter she can find.

Do Hillary's people think that every vote will count this November -- even in California? It appears they do.

The Sacramento Bee is also reporting that Clinton is slipping in California.

The Clinton campaign office shares space with other Democratic candidates, whose street presence was likewise invisible in past elections.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Selfish Bicyclists Block Brentwood Wheelchair Ramp

The number of bicyclists is increasing on L.A.'s Westside -- as is their selfish, self-centered, self-entitlement. Bicyclists are notorious for illegally...

* Cycling on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians,

* Cycling side-by-side in the street, outside of designated bike lanes (instead of riding in tandem, as the law requires), blocking cars,

* Ignoring red lights,

* Ignoring stop signs, and refusing to wait their turn when it's a car's turn to go through,

* Passive-aggressively cycling in the middle of the street, blocking traffic, even when there's a designated bike lane available,

* Even polluting the environment and killing wildlife with their litter.

But these selfish cyclists reached new heights of arrogance when two of them chained their bikes in the middle of a wheelchair ramp at the Brentwood Town Center (a two-storey mini-mall located on the corner of 26th Street and San Vicente Blvd, in Los Angeles's Brentwood neighborhood).

The wheelchair "ramp" is actually a stone incline, leading to an upper level that is also accessible by stairs (for those lucky enough to still be able to walk or use a bicycle.)

As the photos attest (taken on Sunday afternoon, September 11, 2016), the remaining space was too narrow for wheelchairs to pass through.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AirBnB Abuse Rampant in "Rent Controlled" Santa Monica


Despite stringent rent control laws, the affluent city of Santa Monica, CA is plagued with rampant homelessness. Part of the reason might be that wealthy tenants are abusing rent control, illegally retaining their rent controlied apartments -- not to live in, but to price-gouge subtenants.

This was recently posted on

"A yoga instructor/model/single mom I know has a rent-controlled one bedroom in Santa Monica that’s a walk to the beach. She has outgrown the apartment but knows that on AirBnb that one bedroom will bring in ~$4500 in income. Her neighbor only pays $600 in rent and will not rock the boat. She plans on taking the $3000 in profit and using that as income to rent a house in nearby Mar Vista. The three bedroom house will run ~$4500. Her logic is that her monthly cash flow of $1500 stays roughly the same."

Was this the purpose of rent control? To protect the rights of (very lucky) tenants to price-gouge subtenants on AirBnB? Here's another post, from someone else:

"I have a friend in SM [Santa Monica] Canyon who turned his garage into a 1 bedroom unit and was renting it out for about $1800 per month. Then when the tenant left a few years ago, he posted it on AirBnB and is now fetching about $5K per month to vacationers with 1 week minimum stay. He intimated this to his neighbor one day in a moment of trustful conversation and guess what -- his neighbor told him he was doing the same thing with his garage."

No wonder traffic is an increasing nightmare. As if over-development wasn't enough, every other house, garage, condo, and apartment is being turned into a vacation rental.

Santa Monica Code Enforcement, are you listening?


Monday, September 05, 2016

Jimmy Fallon Welcomes Songman Matt Farley

Writer/actor Matt Farley shared a Tabloid Witch Award in 2012 with director Charles Roxburgh for their collaboration on Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You!

Farley continues to impress and amaze -- this time with an appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show:

 Farley has been the subject of several Hollywood Investigator reports over the years, covering Farley's early films, his award-winning Riverbeast, and his later, more autobiographical work.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

KFI's Gary and Shannon Think the U.S. Military Budget Was Slashed by 87.5%

KFI-AM's Gary Hoffman and Shannon Farren think the Department of Defense's budget was slashed by 87.5% after eight years of Obama!

While the figure is absurd on its face -- an 87.5% cut would effectively shut down the military -- the two Los Angeles radio "journalists" accepted that whooper at face value during an interview with Chuck Mcdougald, held on July 18, 2016, at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Mcdougald is the Western Region Director for Concerned Veterans for America. In short, he's an activist. It's his job to lie. And it's Gary and Shannon's job to catch lies -- especially when they're so obviously a lie.

Specifically, Mcdougald told Gary and Shannon that Obama had "halved" the military's budget (a 50% cut), "then halved it again" (to 25%), "then halved it again" (leaving 12.5% of the original budget).

In this brief clip, you can hear Mcdougald pass off his lie, which Gary and Shannon swallow whole.

And apparently, nobody at KFI (AM 640 in Los Angeles) had their brains turned on that day, because nobody rushed in to correct Gary or Shannon. During the following hour, Shannon repeated Mcdougald's whopper to KFI "political analyst" John Thomas.

Thomas, likewise, let Shannon's silly statement pass unchallenged (listen to the clip), indicating that Thomas too accepts Mcdougald's absurd claim.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

Tympanum Now Available on Amazon Prime

Tympanum is a sci-fi/suspense film, blending the old-fashioned "sense of wonder" of a 1960s Twilight Zone episode, with the emotional sensibility of a 1980s Steven Spielberg film.

Tympanum also won four Tabloid Witch Awards in 2013 -- Best Actor, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Honorable Mention.

And it's now finally available to the public! You can stream or download the film on Amazon Prime.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bill Handel's Historical Ignorance

KFI-AM's Bill Handel often brags about his lack of knowledge, legal and otherwise. But he really outdid himself on October 15, 2015, during his radio show's 7 a.m. hour.

President Obama has reneged on his promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The troops will remain. In defending Obama from the charge of "flip-flopping," Handel said that it is appropriate for presidents to change policy when circumstances change.

Fair enough. Whether that principle applies to this situation -- Do circumstances in Afghanistan justifies Obama's change of policy? -- is another matter. We'll leave that open to debate.

But it was in discussing past presidents that Handel displayed his vast ignorance of history. In particular ...

* Handel said that Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform of "He kept us out of the war." That Wilson then changed policy and supported a war against Germany in 1917. The reason for this change of policy, said Handel, was the sinking of the Lusitania.

NO, Bill. You are WRONG.

The Lusitania was sunk in 1915 -- two years before Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. The sinking of the Lusitania had nothing to do with Wilson's change of policy.

* Handel also discussed President Richard Nixon's attempt to curb inflation with a policy of wage and price controls. Handel then mocked Nixon's WIN button campaign -- WIN for "whip inflation now."

NO, Bill. You are WRONG.

Nixon did indeed call for wage and price controls. But the WIN campaign was sparked by President Ford. Not by Nixon.

You can listen to these examples of Handel's historical by clicking here. (The MP3 file is edited so that the Wilson gaffe is followed directly by the Nixon gaffe, removing some of Handel's other historical examples there were -- by some fluke -- accurate.)