Watching City Hall #188, June 16, 2003
"Care not Cash is first step in final solution for homeless."
(Julie Lee speaking on 91.7 FM yesterday)
"Ill see you tomorrow unless one of us gets whats coming to us."
(my buddy, Jens Nielsen staggering out door)
What a weekend, huh? I was working on headlines
Daly does desert, drunk and demented, demeaning da downtown district!
I mean, does it fly for you? Ahhh, little corny. I think half the political junkies in town sent booze to the Daly Bachelor Party entourage in Vegas over the weekend. It was champagne from Angela Alioto and whiskey from Matt Gonzalez and Frank Gallagher. Trent Rohrer sent food stamps. The Exs new City Editor, Adriel Hampton dropped a dime on the Daly group, contacting the Vegas press to the presence of Daly and the other San Francisco luminaries. I tried to use my SEIU connections to have the partys food laced with LSD (hey, they dont need to thank me every bachelor party should have Dusk to Dawn elements to test that Vegas promise: "What happens here, stays here!"). Nawww, Daly deserves a few rewards after guiding the Budget Committee this season. Could be he and fellow Budget Committee member, Aaron Peskin who joined him Saturday evening in Vegas figured that maybe a few hours at the dry desert gaming tables might be worth a try. Word is they lost Coit Tower playing Black Jack.
How about that Lee statement though? Like I said, you dont have to make this stuff up. I thought I was a cold-blooded son-of-a-bitch until I started observing San Francisco politics. These people make me look like St. Francis. For those of you who have better things to do than watch the Brown/Burton machine sell the City, Julie Lee is the 4th District Democratic party hack who got Willie to run her teenage (OK, hes older 22, I think)
Willie took some of your money a year before the District #4 supervisor race and opened an office out there in the fog. He put Lees foul-mouthed son, Andrew (I like that in the kid he writes obscene rap lyrics kind of like I write obscene, foul-mouthed political columns)
so, they set this kid up out there in the office you paid for (Bevan Dufty got same kind of office, as did Roger Gordon in 6th District)
anyway, the kid sits out there for a year handing out freebies from downtown, then runs for District Supervisor
he collects more signatures supporting his campaign than anyone ever collected and collects them faster (pay attention now, Gavin)
Fiona Ma beats his ass anyway. I enjoyed that one.
Point is, Julie Lee has a radio show or something and Willie figured he better smooch her pooch. Nawww, you couldnt make this stuff up.
No one could.
The Newsom Plot
So, Care not is part of "the final solution" huh? What Care not is actually, is a brilliantly designed (though functionally useless) political campaign that cannot miss. I understand this. The reason I understand this is because I get $395 a month from the City cause Im too old and foul and obnoxious to get a job. (I do try - just last week I sent in my resume to be the Principal at the Sheriffs new charter school in the jail a friend said I probably lacked the moral character to teach crack heads and murderers.) Anyway, for the past year or so, Ive been one of the numbers Newsoms people will brag about rehabilitating.
You see, all Newsom has to do is show that the number of registered homeless people has declined due to his program. And, they will! Not because we all suddenly got jobs and apartments. Nope. What will, and already is happening, is that people will change programs to keep from getting their cash cut. I already did. All I had to do was get a letter from a friend saying I had a couch to sleep on in their place. Voila, Im no longer listed as homeless and Care not made me go get that letter and go have that meeting with my case worker to switch classifications. Key here is that the City didnt save anything. Actually, they lost by having to do extra paperwork. Also, the Department of Human Services is not above sharing information with hostile landlords about who is sleeping where. It is a dicey situation at best. Let me get down to basics. I got my twice-monthly check on Saturday and heres how I spent it.
How h. brown spends his welfare money
While Daly romped in the desert and the City played in the warm sunshine at the North Beach Fair, I headed off to cash my check and take in the energy of the town by shopping. I strolled from the check cashing joint on Polk on down to the Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza. I love that market. They should have it daily. There was a guy there carving vegetables into the most amazing sculptures. A group of poor latino immigrants sat around the base of a statue of a guy who slaughtered their ancestors. Other poor people arranged their clothing and shoes for sale along the wide sidewalk next to the Bart entrance. There were only 6 tomatoes for sale in the entire market. I bought 3 of them, slightly bruised for fifty cents and took a classic streetcar to the Castro for coffee at the Cheese shop next to the the Castro Theatre (best in town freshest & unbeatable @ $4.75 a bag)
then through the sunshine to another place for pot & then the streetcar back to the sun drenched Safeway on Church to bargain shop.
Like a normal person.
Like a normal person. Under Newsoms Care not I could do none of this. Under Newsoms Care not, Id be in line at Glide Memorial or St. Anthonys.
Heres where da money went.
Amount of check: $197.50
Check cash fee: around $5
Storage space: $50
Cable (gotta have for column): $40
Pot (also, for column): $25
18 lbs of cat food: $12
2 bags of cat litter: $5
2 lbs of coffee (French roast and Guatemalan): $9.50
Huge roast (3 lb on sale): $8
Big old chicken (5 lb on sale): $4
Bottle Merlot (also, for column): $7
Box saltine crackers: (large on sale): $2
Fresh French bread: $1
Toilet paper: (12 pack dbl ply): $4
3 tomatoes: $0.50
That makes: $172.00 (I think you check it)
That leaves me $20 for cheap bourbon for 2 weeks & with what my friends throw in, Ill eat and drink and party better than most of the gentry. Maybe thats what pisses them off.
Now, dont get me wrong, Id like to get that job running the school at the jail and get out of the couch surfing business, but until I do
the present welfare system has been very, very good to me. With the help of friends and family, I live a very comfortable and productive life. Ive managed to get some very powerful and evil people to hate me and Im proud of that. Thats what I came here for.
to be a part of making everything all better.
Thats enough for now. The corner liquor store is opening in a few minutes and I still have to finish Phil Matier & Andy Rosss column and read the second installment of John Kings fabulous take on the new San Francisco skyline (Daly City I call it). I should send an obscene e-mail to Matt Smith for insulting the local pot industry. He can be so stodgy. And, did you catch Adriel Hamptons editorial piece this morning in the Examiner
Whales, dolphins suffer for our fish? It pairs with an Associated Press piece by Joseph H. Verrengia to teach me (in a few minutes) more than I learned in school about the world fishing industry. Hamptons editorial motivates. The Chronicles John King instructs and ponders. David Lazarus (the Chrons best writer)
his piece in the Sunday business section on the impact of the Bush tax cuts is brilliant.
Good writers instruct and motivate. This town is full of them. They humble even an arrogant bastard like me.
If I make you laugh every once in a while
Keep your powder dry: