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The Passion of Lee Baca

EARTH TO MEL GIBSON: If you are serious about seeking full redemption for the anti-Jew, I-own-Malibu tirade that you spewed out when L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee arrested you for drunken driving on July 28, call the Sheriff to the Stars, a.k.a. Lee Baca. Tell him to call off the dogs who raided the home of Deputy Mee looking for evidence that he leaked your sorry-ass arrest report to the entertainment-news Web site TMZ.com. The person who released the records did the right thing — not only did the report expose the starfucker mindset of the sheriff’s brass, but the public embarrassment you suffered may have saved your life (and the lives of other motorists) by getting you into rehab. Not to mention that arrest reports — or at least the key information contained in them — must be released to the public under the Public Records Act. The leaker was just obeying the law.

And here’s free legal advice for Deputy Mee’s lawyer: File a whistleblower lawsuit against the sheriff. Gibson threatened to get your client fired for arresting him. If it turns out that Deputy Mee was the source, tell the judge that he was only trying to get the truth out so that Mel couldn’t make good on his threat to get him canned.

Deliver Us From Hodgman

This goes in the We Just Don’t Believe It file. The L.A. prosecutor assigned to bring to justice the godforsaken priests who had sex with boys and girls says he’s seriously considering filing charges against Cardinal Roger Mahony. The reason: He’s seen Deliver Us From Evil, the documentary featuring a chapter-and-verse confession by deposed priest Oliver O’Grady about his 20 years of misdeeds in Stockton, including a time when Mahony was the bishop overseeing the X-rated show there. Deputy D.A. William Hodgman told The New York Times, “The film does certainly charge the atmosphere here in Los Angeles. [The film] will fuel ongoing consideration as to whether Cardinal Mahony and others engaged in criminal activity.” What’s taken so long? Hodgman’s office files must be full of witness statements and depositions that show Mahony dealt with complaints about O’Grady like a good pimp: He just moved him out of the neighborhood and turned him loose on an unsuspecting parish. If Hodgman or his boss, Steve Cooley, were serious about getting the top man in the Catholic Church scandal, he’d be in jail by now.

We’re All Jihadists, Aren’t We?

No one expects local-boy-turned-al-Qaeda favorite Adam Gadahn to be the keynote speaker at an American Legion convention anytime soon — but it’s just as unlikely that he’ll ever be convicted of treason. The 28-year-old son of a Riverside goat farmer, and convert to Islam, made provocative, death-to-the-U.S. statements on some al Qaeda propaganda tapes. For that, he was secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana two months ago. Gadahn, who left the United States about a decade ago and is believed to be in Pakistan, says in one videotape that U.S. “streets will run red with blood” and in another refers to the United States as “enemy soil.” All bad and threatening and misguided, but the U.S. Constitution remains on his side. For starters, his alleged offense revolves entirely around the spoken word and is protected by the First Amendment. Plus, this is no traditional war, and the framers of the Constitution require an act of treason to be one “levying war” against the United States or providing “aid and comfort” to its enemies. Can words be construed as treasonous comfort?

The real question facing the Bush administration is why did the Department of Justice choose to unseal the indictment now? Gadahn’s indictment was unsealed with a dramatic flourish only last week, when it was updated to include the last of five videotapes, which aired September 11. The best explanation for the curious timing: The November 7 election, otherwise known as the national referendum on Congressional underage gay sex and cover-ups. The White House needed a quick headline on Fox to make it look like it was actually going after Osama bin Laden, and settled for the Karl Rove of al Qaeda. Now there’s an idea. Could Karl Rove be indicted for treason?

Shoot the Attorney

What? Los Angeles city government needs one more lawyer? Rocky Delgadillo’s office overflows with 520 of them, yet the city attorney still can’t deliver service that pleases the City Council? Certainly a case can be made that the City Council — and the rest of us too — deserves a better lawyer than Billboard Rocky. But the council’s hiring last week of its own attorney “for independent legal advice,” as different news reports put it, smells more like retribution and lawyer shopping than a sincere effort to build a better city. Rocky’s relationship with the 15 Mighty Egos fell on hard times with his memo outlining all of the legal problems riddling Measure R, the ballot question that would allow City Council members to serve three terms instead of two. With Rocky still recovering from his defeat in the attorney general’s race, maybe the council should have amended the ballot wording to include a third term for the city attorney.

The crippled measure remains on the November 7 ballot despite a Superior Court judge’s opinion that it should be thrown out, and an appeal court’s promise to dissect the measure if it wins. Bring on the scrutiny. Things haven’t been this rocky since, well, the term of the last city attorney, Jim Hahn. Remember the 1991 battle over whether Hahn faced a conflict of interest in advising both the City Council and Police Commission on whether to fire Police Chief Daryl Gates?

Point-Blank Range

. L.A. Times’ editors showed uncanny insight naming the psychoanalysis of their paper — the assigning of three of the paper’s investigative journalists to report on how Spring Street can connect better with its readers — after one of Edward Teller’s projects. But instead of the geographically misguided Manhattan Project, we recommend a name inspired by Teller’s 1983 meeting with President Reagan: The Strategic Defense Initiative — or, Star Wars on Spring Street.

. Phil “the Whiner” Angelides should have asked us how to upstage Governor Steroid’s appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. We would have told him to forget the equal-time argument made by Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra in a letter to the FCC (we hope it wasn’t done on the taxpayers’ dime) and advised the Whiner to book himself a week at the Improv to showcase his own act: “Best Impersonation of . . . Jimmy Hahn.”

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