The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted October 7, 2010 in News


Two hospitals that were about to get their comeuppance from the state end up being dealt a bit of saving grace (that’s deus ex machina, for you eggheads) after the California Department of Public Health announces that the Rancho Springs and Inland Valley medical centers can continue operating. As long as they stop screwing up, that is. It seems like these two medical centers were about as healthy for you as Lindsey Lohan’s drinking habits. In 2007, Southwest didn’t have enough on-call doctors. Yeah, that’s bad for those silly things like, oh, emergencies and life-threatening injuries. You know, the type of things they usually make medical centers for. Other problems included “lax treatment of some newborns” (not sure what his means, but it sounds pretty crappy—but only for “some” newborns), improper infection control (’cuz we all want our infections controlled, right?) and delayed care for some patients with life-threatening injuries (read: they let folks ever-so-slowly bleed out in the waiting room). Both hospitals were cited more than 30 times (You heard me: 30. Three-Zero.) And now that they’ve been given a second (or is that third?) chance, it’s time for the politicians to come in and talk about how everything is going to be just dandy. “It’s definitely good news,” Murrieta Mayor Kelly Bennett says. Suddenly, Kaiser sounds great.


He should talk. U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Deadlands) decides that Democrats and the White House (more Democrats) are being cash-wasting a-holes due to their federal spending—run amok! Hey, Jerry, you talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? Funny to hear Lewis talk so viciously about government spending . . . since he holds the world heavyweight title for—wait for it—government spending. They’re called earmarks, dude. Exhibit A: The more than $100 million Lewis personally steered to projects and programs in his district. Oh, but how can that be government spending run amok? “There’s a difference,” you can almost hear Jerry saying. It’s only wasteful spending . . . when Democrats do it. When Republicans do it, it’s called serving their constituents. And the biggest coincidence of all? With the GOP just drooling to get their elephant mitts in control of the House, Lewis is positioning himself for the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee. What’s the Appropriations Committee, you ask? Oh, it’s no big deal. It’s just the federal panel that’s in charge of government spending.


It looks to me like Edward Rosenthal’s got an angel looking out for him. Or maybe he’s just totally freakin‘ lucky. After spending six days lost in Joshua Tree National Park with what The Press-Enterprise’s John Asbury kindly describes as “a limited amount of water and food,” the 64-year-old Culver City real estate broker is found relatively unharmed. Rosenthal ended up being airlifted to Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, where his injuries appeared to be limited to heat exhaustion and “unspecified minor injuries.” I’m not sure what these “unspecified” injuries are, but my guess is that they have something to do with the damaged portions of Rosenthal’s brain that led him to believe hiking all by himself with only a Cliff Bar and a juice box was a good idea. But he’s not the only one that was so cavalier about the whole thing. “We maintained a fairly hopeful outlook on this,” Joshua Tree park spokesman Joe Zarki says. “He’s hospitalized; he’s OK, reading news accounts and getting reacquainted with family. By all measures, I think we have a pretty happy ending here.” Yeah, I bet that when Ed returned home to his wife, there was a (cough, cough) happy ending. You lucky bastard.


So I’m reflecting on Riverside County’s State of the County address and thinking, “Yes, it’s possible to spin just about any damn thing.” Case in point: Supervisor Marion Ashley. The Ash-man’s got the nerve to say that even though the county is screwed six ways to Sunday because of double-digit unemployment, foreclosures up the wazooh, dried up business and local government coffers that are about as dry as Edward Rosenthal’s parched throat, the supervisor thinks it’s totally appropriate to say that, “The state of the county is challenging and hopeful.” This obviously must be bureaucratese for “We’re still screwed.” You see, what makes Ashley’s positive-thinking circuit kick into overdrive is the fact that—despite the fiscal colonoscopy—Riverside County can still be proud to have been able to have—get this—constructed dozens of parks, community centers, libraries and other projects. Whatev.


All is well with the universe. Until I wake up.


I moved! Now, which box has my underwear in it?


The Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival is headed for the NOS Events Center and makes a proud-poppa announcement. Medical marijuana patients will be allowed—assuming they can provide the correct documentation and identification—to puff on their fave strain on-site. In a special designated area, of course. But one question haunts me: If you’re going to medicate to heal the body and soothe the mind—why do it in San Bernardino?


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