From the Publisher: We Should All Be so Relieved

0
243
Arnold G. York

We can all rest a little easier now that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have shaken hands and seemingly found in each something they like. We really shouldn’t be surprised because they saw in each other something that was immediately recognizable to both of them and I have five takeaways from this historic meeting:

  1. It’s apparent that their hairstylists must have trained at the same tonsorial institution because both have come away with coiffures that allow them to express their own individuality.
  2. They apparently have the same diet regimen because they are both kind of triangular shaped—sort of broader on the bottom and narrower on the top—and they’ve recognized in each other a weakness for large cheeseburgers.
  3. For both of them, appearance seems to be reality; that is, to look like you’re making progress is enough without going into the nitty gritty details of actually having to do anything.
  4. They certainly both agree that those nasty things they said to each other like dropping nuclear bombs were just a bit of foreplay before they actually met, and those statements are no longer operative.
  5. President Trump apparently made it clear to Kim Jong Un that he is no longer America’s No. 1 enemy now that Trump has finally uncovered American’s real No. 1 enemy: the country of Canada.

•••

Our very conservative, concerned and far-from-enlightened attorney general Jeff Sessions—who weekly, if not often daily, is berated by his boss, the president—seems to be hanging in there apparently to be absolutely certain that no criminal Spanish-speaking child, assuming they are old enough to speak, manages to slip through the net and become an American. The irony of all this is that Trump really does want Sessions to quit so he can appoint a new attorney general who won’t have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, and then the new AG can fire whomever he wants, Mueller included, assuming of course the senate would confirm a new appointment. The strategy is fairly blatant, although Trump can’t seem to find a first-rate or even second-rate candidate for the jobs in the Justice Department—because everyone knows it’s pretty much career suicide at this point in time to take one of those jobs.

•••

Locally, there is nothing new on the Jefferson Wagner searches. We can only wait and see if the district attorney decides to file charges or not or decides to give it a pass.

•••

The other day I went to the Wells Fargo website created to help customers get refunds in connection with unauthorized accounts and credit cards that were opened in their names, or unauthorized charges made to those accounts. It’s not clear to me who created the website, but what is absolutely clear is that whoever did intended to make it so complex, and demand information so detailed that no one could possibly fill out the form without hiring a CPA to audit all their own bank accounts first. This computerized information is of course readily available to Wells Fargo through their own database, but not available to their customers. The Wells Fargo culture seems to be unchangeable.

•••

The state legislature is trying hard to do something about the housing crisis in California. We simply don’t have enough moderate priced housing anywhere along the entire California coast and the costs of apartments is more than many people can afford. The result is that many young people are leaving the state and for many, the principal reason is that they’re never going to be able to buy a house here in coastal California. The legislature passed a bill that tries to make it easier to build additional dwelling units (called ADUs—also often called Granny flats) on single family lots. Many people locally and all over the state are opposed, although there are many legal and often illegal units already in the market. The state wants to legalize them and get more built. Many local governments have tried to block granny flats. Neighbors often complain and they create all sorts of local regulations to make it very difficult, if not impossible, to build a granny flat. This week, Malibu City Council is dealing with the new statewide granny flat law but, as they say, the devil is in the details. If it costs near as much to build a 900-square-foot granny flat (the legal Malibu limit) as it does to build a 3,500-square-foot house, no one can afford to build the small unit. It’s too early yet to know how the new rules are going to play out financially, but we desperately need some smaller cheaper units so people who work here can also live here.