The Not So Sweet Sixteen

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Senator Charles E. Schumer, please come forward.  


"Chuck, has Eric Garcetti defied his detractors (and common decency) and managed to escape to India?" 

"Not Yet."  

Smart speaker:  "Are you helping him?" 

President Biden and Jill adore, Eric Garcetti.   And Mr. Garcetti always did very well one on one, sometimes cross-legged on the sofa with a cup of tea.   He could connect with anyone including Chelsea Handler, who was always happy to provide free media coverage.  Everyone did.  The mayor was no Donald Trump at manipulating the media, but he’s very savvy.  

The real shame here is that the President, who would do anything for that kid,  is in this terrible position.   

Garcetti's confirmation was fraught from the get-go, and the President seemed aware that the idea was planted in.... quasi-contaminated soil.  

Careful city watchers wondered over the holidays, what dirty trick would the team-to-beat put together to get Garcetti on route to India.  Speculation about a recess appointment upset the holiday stomachs of a number of ethically-minded Angelenos.  

But nobody saw the heavy “cloture” curtain coming down, which effectively silences more debate, with a stipulation reportedly signed by sixteen Senators, refusing to identify them 

“This discussion is over.” 


This is not about a few Angelenos hating on the beleaguered former mayor.  People don’t want to torpedo his ambition, but rather legitimately believe that he knew what was going on with Rick Jacobs and if not, he absolutely should have known.    

Instead, Mr. Garcetti must have calculated, “If I perjure myself,  nobody will ever be sure.“  

One reader suggested, “Republicans will push through Garcetti’s nomination because, then, they will have an issue to beat the Democrats over the head with it during the 2024 election.”  

"No Democrat will ever have any credibility on Me too issues if they confirm Garcetti.”  

"On the other hand, India has been on the fence on the Ukraine issue and so maybe they're not worthy of anyone better being sent," another wrote.  

By running the clock, Senators, either don’t remember or don’t care that even President Biden balked and moved Garcetti offshore from various plum cabinet posts that he'd been dreaming about when the first of many lids came off of the can at LA City Hall. 

Very Punny: 

Mel Brooks is out, with a new Hulu show “History of the World, Part II,”  

Maureen Dowd wrote in an obituary-sized tribute to the 1000-year-old man, about one sketch called “Hitler on Ice,”  featuring three TV commentators ripping apart an ice-skating Führer who falls. One turns to the other, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you put concentration camps in people’s countries, you better be flawless on the ice.” 

Eric Garcetti is flawless on the Ice. Garcetti has no history of putting concentration camps in other people’s countries, but he has presided over Skid Row for more than a decade, and he knew what Rick Jacobs was up to.  

Mr. Brooks who is alive and kicking at 91, told Dowd of the New York Times that he originally tacked on “Part I” to the title as a joke, but then “I was plagued with about a billion calls, ‘Where’s Part II?’ I never intended to do Part II.”   

Eric Garcetti did not want Part II of his confirmation as Ambassador.  He was hoping to have been confirmed after he aced the Senate Foreign Relations committee exam, the first time.  It didn't work out that way. 

Part II resulted in 8 no votes. 

The Champs: 

The mayor's high school alma mater, Harvard-Westlake’s motto is in Latin “Possunt Quia Posse Videntur."  It means, "They can because they think they can," and presumably, as so many Oscar winners repeated last night, it serves as a reminder to artists, students and international leaders that believing in yourself is the ultimate ingredient to success.  

The elite college preparatory school and its graduates set their sights on something and then, frankly, they make it happen, often working together.  

Over the weekend, Harvard-Westlake boys won California's top high school basketball prize. The CIF championship.  Kudos. 

Everyone praised the very good team for winning the right way, sharing the ball, not caring who gets the points.   

Garcetti is a true Wolverine — if at first, you don’t succeed  "the right way," one can always go the "other way" or frankly, "any way" ... 

There is a way around almost any obstacle if you have a carefully articulated strategy and a broad array of willing complicators or in this case, Senators. 

A very credible whistleblower organization said of Eric Garcetti’s nomination heading for the floor as early as Tuesday, “The Senate has the power to demand a nominee who has not enabled a sexual predator and has not lied about it under oath. We urge Senators of both parties to use that power and do rot right thing when the nomination comes up for a vote.” 

The Metaverse: 

Last month, a report by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged that Adani Group companies had engaged in decades of "brazen" stock manipulation and accounting fraud. It also claimed its companies had "substantial debt" which put the entire group on a "precarious financial footing.”   

Adani quickly gobbled up broadcaster NDTV in December, which was previously known as one of the few media outlets willing to explicitly criticize India's leader. 

One vocal critic of Modi told Barrons he was "convinced" the recent purchase was aimed at silencing dissent. Zeitgeisty. 

Though India has nearly 400 television news channels, Modi's government generally benefits from enthusiastically positive coverage.  What's wrong with supportive articles? 

Critics say the Indian media's reluctance to probe the Adani allegations reflects the close ties between the two men. 

Made me think of Joe Biden and Eric Garcetti.  

Still, it would be nice to have an Ambassador in there,  with the short-sellers and the bigwigs, who is not compromised.  

Again, shut up, Mr. Preven.



March Madness:

Despite the fact that credible whistleblowers came out of the woodwork, now, March madness is here… and the term sweet sixteen is trending.    

No thanks to Charles E. Schumer, who appears to have created a “safe place” for sixteen senators to move forward Eric Garcetti’s confirmation vote, without being expressly identified by name.    

Technically, these 16 Senators who will eventually be outed publicly are willing to go along but have agreed with Schumer to do so in a murky way.  They may not be called by name.  

Q: Why would such a vote be anonymous?  

A: Because it is a flawed nominee and we don’t want any more discussion.  

Q: But silencing debate, where there is controversy and credible whistleblowers disarms the community who bravely attempt to hold the powerful accountable.  

A: Shut up, Mr. Preven.  

Q: So, If there is political cover these Senators are like, “I’m good.“  Quick question, for the boots on the ground press pool in Washington D.C., — 

A:  Not now, the President is sticking up for the people who had money deposited at Silicon Valley Bank before flying out to California.   

The White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, missed one great line from the President, “…in my administration…” Biden said,  “Nobody is above the law!”   Yet!   

Q: Before you shove this through without discussion, could the sixteen Senators who prefer to remain anonymous sign another stipulation with Angelenos that says that they reviewed and considered the credible whistleblower reports?  

A: Get him out of here!  

Incidentally, Silicon Valley Bank was very generous with the largest mayor’s fund in the world, and joined the illustrious Donor List $5,000 or more through 6/30/2021  


Truth to Power:

"Or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to NOBODY." #Oscars 


(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)