I happened to pass the Roybal Building in downtown L.A. a couple of days ago . That’s the federal building . There was a string of news cameras on tripods ready to go , pointed at the entry doors . Small bunches of camera men chatted . I say camera “men” because I didn’t see any women .
I did see one woman reporter out in front of the L.A.P.D. headquarters building across the street and up the block a bit . She was interviewing a policewoman . The reporter was young and attractive . She wore a short and tight red dress . Maybe it wasn’t a dress . Maybe she was wearing shorts . I had to look again but try not to be too obvious . Dress , I think . She looked a little bored . Her trying-too-hard beauty-queen contestant appearance wouldn’t work so well on a police woman , probably , as on a man . She seemed sorry to have been stuck with a woman to interview this time . I assume that was the intent of going to that fashion extreme : to get a man’s attention , to woo the poor dumb cluck for a few minutes , maybe bat the long eyelashes a couple of times , to coo and to coax a few extra-juicy bits of information out of his mouth and immediately into her receptive microphone .
I went to the police station to see the old 1920s police car that had been there on display in the lobby last time I dropped by . The desk cops stared at me as I walked in , watched me as I looked around . ” There used to be a car here , ” I said , and they looked at each other . I knew that look . It was a now we gotta deal with another nut case look , or some version of that .
” A car ? ” one of the cops said , like that was the craziest idea he’d heard all day . They both smiled .
State senator Calderon was turning himself in at the federal building that morning , one of the cameramen told me . They expected him to come out for a news conference any minute . Another camera guy made a joke that he might bring Miley Cyrus with him , something about twerking , and the cluster of them laughed . They were bored , too , like the cutsie reporter interviewing the female cop across the street .
I’m retired . I’m just a casual downtown tourist seeing the sights . I started at City Hall , riding the elevator up to the 24th floor , then climbing the marble steps , then riding the smaller elevator up a couple more flights to the observation tower . The mayor wasn’t up there . The news conference room was empty , so I just walked outside into the air and looked around the city from above . Good clear day ; but not clear enough to see the ocean .
One of the city councilmen is in trouble , too , at the moment , for fixing up his garage at his home into a real classy office . He did the construction on the taxpayers’ dime as well as obtaining no building permit . When it came out in the local paper he ducked and weaved ; said council members are entitled to it ; said it wasn’t out of the ordinary ; said he was paying most of the cost back as if he’d always planned to ; then he got a little miffed when the reporters wouldn’t give up on the story .
Another state government guy was found not to live in the district that he represents . He had a place in the district that he’d claimed was his residence , but no one had ever seen him there ; they hadn’t seen anyone there within recent memory .
Calderon never came out to face the cameras , I guess , but I heard that his lawyer did . There was no twerking that I know of . I suppose that they all filmed the lawyer’s statement of outrage that his client wasn’t being treated fairly , that the timing of the indictment was suspect , that ………..
A report came out today that major corporations pay an average 19 per cent rate of income tax . I read that some of the most profitable corporations don’t pay any income tax at all . I watched a documentary about how corporations send their money overseas , often to an address in some non-taxing country where no one remembers ever seeing anyone there ever in recent memory ; but this is the giant corporation’s overseas operation , the corporate office , the mailbox where the American -earned profits go so as not to have to pay American taxes on them .
I’m reading a history these days , about the 1920s . Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Navy commented that American steel producers were selling steel to Russia cheaper than they’d sell it to the American government . He called American industrialists paytriots . I think paytriots fits .
This country’s full of paytriots .