When we left you last week, readers were in a twist over Mayor Villaraigosa's acceptance of more than $50,000 worth of free tickets, a pretty clear violation of the ethics pledge the mayor took upon winning office. After Tibby Rothman and Jill Stewart's follow-up story (“Villaraigosa's Vanishing Veracity,” July 1), readers are still squirming.

N Antonicello has had it: “The double standard here of selective outrage and justice is too much to stomach in this politically correct world of Los Angeles city politics. Had Mayor James Hahn done as little in four years as Villaraigosa has done in five, he would have been recalled. At what point is Mayor V labeled the worst chief executive in the history of the city of Los Angeles?

For VA, “the worst part about this whole affair is the smugness that the mayor exhibits as he brays that it's all perfectly legal ('Pass me another free ticket y'all'). We're in a terrible recession, and this guy can't even muster one iota of empathy for all of those Angelenos trying to make ends meet. Instead he prances around with his steroidal security detail in tow, just throwing it up in all of our faces.”

FooDog doth, we thinks, protest too much: “Are you f**king kidding me? Since when did this little puke have any veracity whatsoever? Y'all must be as stupid as all the gullible 'recent' immigrants that elected this embarrassment, who instead of making the city of Los Angeles into the “Venice of the 21st Century,” as he also promised, is presiding over its transformation into the first Third World city in the United States.”

Greggie takes a more balanced, sitting-around-the-fire approach: “My buds and I kicked this around this morning over 4th of July breakfast while camping in Mammoth. Consensus: Whoever is the mayor IS the ambassador of Los Angeles. We don't have any trouble with the perks; EXCEPT that there ought to be full disclosure. Failure to fully disclose the tickets/freebies ought to be right up there with the death penalty (i.e., recall). The political-conflict issue is the only one that matters to us, and it is manageable if the media does its job.”

We're doing our best, Greggie and buds, and to that end, this from Thinline: “Wonderful writing and a terrific piece of investigative journalism. This story is a prime example of what the traditional media used to be like until they became corrupted just like our local, state and many federal politicians and public officials. Please keep up this good work, the citizens of our city need you.”

What, more questions about impropriety by politicians? No way! Yes way, according to Beth Barrett, who points out (in “The Curious Case of Karen Bass,” July 1) that State Assembly leader Karen Bass missed 60 percent of assembly sessions during her campaign, yet collected more than $4,000 in per diem payments for the period. And then she followed up with giving 10 percent pay raises to assembly staffers.

California sucks!” cries Joel, adding, “L.A. sucks even more.”

But J.H. Canterbury puts the outrage in perspective: “Sorry I can't share your outrage about Karen Bass. The improprieties you rant about — $4,000 for per diem and 10 percent pay raises to assembly staffers (most of whom were underpaid women) — don't amount to a 'hill of beans' when compared to the millions and billions that Arnold is giving to his friends through corporate tax breaks, contracts and other so-called legal gifts. I am angry (furious, actually) at the political class — but not over the issues in this article. I'm angry because the legislators and the governor can't sit down without their preconceived attitudes and develop a responsible budget that reflects the goals and glories of this state and country we are celebrating today.”

Someone calling himself Bill Maher weighed in on Karina Longworth's review of Oliver Stone's new film (“Natural-Born Shillers,” July 1) about hanging out with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and other South American leaders.

Ollie Stone and Jess Ventura both served our nation in Vietnam and we thank them for that,” writes this Bill Maher. “That service does not, however, mitigate their abject douche-baggery!

Tara jabs back: “Ollie Stone and Jess Ventura are two of the few voices that can rise above the cowardice of the American media and be heard … on Chavez, 9/11 and many other subjects that would scare even the brave Bill Maher into agreeing that 'the emperor is indeed well clothed'!”

And then Elias Serna goes mildly berserk: “Longworth's bullshit rings right-wing. Is she boneheaded enough to convince readers that the U.S. military, the I.M.F. and the white-supremacist Venezuelan media are innocent, noncorrupt entities? Longworth should review Christian churches or something she knows.”

Of the nearly 100 comments posted on Erin Broadley's report that the comics convention banned the Suicide Girls' participation, one stood out for being so downright fluffy. “I always love seeing the Suicide Girls at Comic-Con every year,” writes a reader also named Erin. “They always have really cute costumes and are superfriendly to fangirls like me. Boo Comic-Con, this makes you guys look bad; give the Suicide Girls a nice booth and be friends.”

Yeah, like, c'mon, Comic-Con. Boo.

An April 15 story headlined “City Hall's 2010 Budget Debacle,” by Jill Stewart, stated that Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel predicted that the city would run out of money in May and then retracted her claim. The City Council dipped into the city's reserve fund in May to pay its bills, and Greuel did not retract her claim.KEEP 'EM COMING

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