Rep Katie Porter: an Elizabeth Warren protege and single mom who destroys bumbling, mediocre rich guys in Congressional hearings

In 2018, Katie Porter flipped a Republican safe seat -- it had literally never been held by a Democrat-- in California's 45th District, and since then, she has been a delightful, brilliant terror of a lawmaker, using her deep background in finance law (she's a tenured finance law prof at UC Irvine who literally wrote the textbook on consumer finance law in the wake of Dodd-Frank and Elizabeth Warren's establishment of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau). Read the rest

How the "Varsity Blues" admissions scam punished deserving, hard working kids so that mediocre kids of the super-rich could prosper

Propublica's latest longread is ostensibly a profile of two kids who attended Orange County's Sage Hill School, where tuition runs $40,000/year and where an estimated 25% of students get into elite colleges thanks to their parents shelling out for "independent counsellors" who run the gamut from people who help with admissions essays and strategic donations to the schools of their choice all the way up to William "Rick" Singer, who pleaded guilty to collecting millions to grease the path for mediocre rich kids to attend elite colleges by bribing coaches. Read the rest

Reminder: ousted California Republican Dana Rohrabacher is a filthy tenant from hell

Dana Rohrabacher was an oddity: a Republican lawmaker sent from Democratic stronghold to the California legislature he's now out of a job). Read the rest

Orange County Deputy Michael Higgins loses immunity for emptying his gun into motionless man, then head-stomping him

After a man called Connor Zion experienced several seizures, he became disoriented and attacked some of his family members, who called the police. Orange County, California Deputy Michael Higgins arrived, shot Zion nine times, approached Zion's motionless body, fired nine more shots into him at point-blank range, then, after a running start, stomped on Zion's head three times. Read the rest

Orange County's Seal Beach jail offers posh, $100/day accommodations to rich crooks

If you're convicted of a crime in Orange County, you can shell out thousands of dollars to be housed in Seal Beach's fancy "pay to stay" jail, which made $365,000 in the last fiscal year by aggressively marketing its "work release, flat screen TVs, computer/media room, clean facility, new beds" to deep-pocketed criminals, who pay $100 a night to stay there rather than one of Orange County's notoriously violent, dirty jails. Read the rest

Anaheim: the happiest surveillance state on earth

Orange County has many claims to fame: Richard Nixon, the S&L scandal, subprime boiler-rooms, Disneyland, an airport honoring a cowboy named Marion, and now, the revelation that its police force secretly uses low-flying surveillance aircraft to break the encryption of thousands of cellphone users, track their movements, and intercept their communications. Read the rest

Gingerbread AT-AT

This gingerbread AT-AT Walker is on display at Orange County's Discovery Science Museum. It's the creation of Black Market Bakery, and a fine addition to the AT-AT remixes we've featured over the years.

Another view of the AT-AT of gingerbread at the Discovery Science Museum...

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Orange County city council unanimous: Occupy tents are a form of speech

A five-hour Irvine, Orange County, CA city council meeting ended with the council unanimously agreeing that the Occupy tents on the town hall's lawn were a form of free speech and vowing to "add the needs of 'The 99%' to their official agenda." Afterwards, the mayor asked the protesters if they needed any more blankets.

The council members each spoke in turn to the civility, articulateness and peaceful process represented by the Irvine Occupation at contrast with the several other Occupational Villages in California, which were, at that very moment being tear-gassed. The general sentiment being: 'This is quite clearly the model. And the occupation most in tune with city needs.'

One councilman stated clearly, 'I disagree with most of what you're saying. But you've clearly shown that this is an issue of free speech. So if you need to sleep on our lawn, by all means, sleep on our lawn.'

Shortly after, a motion was brought to the council to grant license to the occupiers to occupy the public space overnight citing the unusual form of the movement. (Another first in council history.)

TEARS STREAM AS CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY AGREES ‘OCCUPY TENTS ARE A FORM OF SPEECH’

(via Beth Pratt) Read the rest