Friday, May 05, 2006

Elderberry Whine

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry, merry king of the bush is he,
Laugh, Kookaburra, Laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Leave some there for me.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra,
That's no monkey, that's me.


[Except in this case, it is an "elderberry" tree that Kookaburra Pombo is singing about.]

Mail Fraud:

Pombo mailed out a flier recently that perpetuated one of those "urban legends" about the ESA that he is so fond of. This one concerned "a clump of 41 elderberry bushes" that prevented levees along Feather River from being repaired. According to the legend, the levee breached in 1997 and three people died in the flood, all due to delays in repairing the levee because of "federal bureaucrats".

It all sounds terrible, and would make a great story, except for one inconvenience -- it is not true. But since when has Pombo ever let facts get in his way? His whole career has been built on one fabrication or another about the ESA, starting with his infamous Kit Fox Lie back in 1994.

The actual facts according to someone who was there:

Dr. Jeffrey Mount, professor of Geology at the University of Davis and a member of California's Reclamation Board, had this to say:
"Unfortunately, Mr Pombo has most of his facts wrong on that one. ... It wasn't because there was an endangered species there at the levee. In fact, at the site where the levee broke, there weren't any elderberry bushes, those happened to be upstream that he's talking about. So, no, it wasn't the problem."

And from Net.Org's debunking of ESA Horror Stories and Legends:
Numerous public and private investigations have found that there was no link whatsoever between the levee failure and environmental regulations. The Endangered Species Act contains a broad exemption for all potential disasters or public emergencies. Hearings by the California State Assembly confirmed that "continued levee and channel maintenance are affected more by the availability of funding than the impact from Federal or State endangered species acts... During an emergency, there are exemptions for emergency repairs... It was not demonstrated that any of the levee breaks in the January 1997 floods were the result of the endangered species or environmental quality acts." In fact, "the Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the emergency natural disaster provisions of the [Endangered Species Act] were in effect in 42 counties in California and will remain in effect throughout the 1997 flood season." The Assembly hearings concluded that the delay in repairs was due to a contested construction contract: "If the project had not gone out for re-bid, the construction would have started right away. In this case,... the delay was created because the contract was wrong."

But hey, why let something as inconvenient as facts get in the way of a good story? That has never bothered Pombo before.

4 Comments:

Blogger Delta said...

Don't you know, Pombo studied with Josheph Campbell: The Power of Myth. The real question is one of how to bet the public to believe that all Pombo does is sit around the campfire spinning yarns. The more far fetched, the more his audience eats it up.

Maybe we need to cast his in a remake of Death Valley Days. He would love to play Ronald Reagan. That would get his ego just fine, setting up the story, telling you the real meaning and allowing your imagination to journey into the never never land of corporate greed.

5:19 PM, May 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo VPO.

Rocky here. I remember dat song when I wuz jist a young punk - I think it was a guy named Elton John. Cept I wasn't sure he wuz a guy, if you follow my drift.

To tell ya da truth, me and Adrian, we wuz like imitating the song, you know, feeling fine after we shared a bottle of elderberry whine with her brother Paulie. Except Paulie, you know, he didn't know, but its like after he left for the packing plant dat night it was the foist time me and Adrian, well you know, lets jist say we put the turtle to bed early. Heh heh.

Anyways, fond memories. But like is there supposed to be a beetle in the bottom of the bottle like the worm in the tequila? I didn't see nuttin.

Just like I ain't seen that guy Ricky say nuttin nice about Jerry. Makes ya wonder why Stevey Boy hires a guy like Ricky, who probably gets paid big bucks to give him advice like make sure you remember to kiss all the babies, yet is so friggin dumb that he's never said a nice thing about the guy he'll need the most to win should he get lucky in June.

Dis Ricky guy, I'm telling you, its like Adrian said, his underwear is in a bind. That's what happens when yer brain's up yer ass and yer thinking is twisted.

Adrian - she's pretty funny huh? Anyways, sorry to be long-winded here and a bit off-track. If what you say is true, that Pombo guy is one lying SOB.

So what can we do to bring this SOB down? How do you deal with dese reporters, who seem to make excuses for the buttwipe? It reminds me of another low-life jerk me and Adrian knew from Long Island - Joey Butta-WipeO. He hired a young chick to off his wife or something like dat - any chance we can catch Pombo on the ranch wit any of his sheep? Maybe paying one of da sheep to off Annette? Would he have to disclose dat in a campaign expense report? Has anyone looked?

And VPO - you wouldn't be Vinnie P Ollavecchio from PS 32 in the Bronx, would you? Class of '79?

And yo Ricky - you gonna answer me, or what? You gonna say sumtin nice about Jerry?

I'm still putting in my $.04, cuz I ain't no cheapskate.

Rocky

6:54 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Arrest Pombo for mail fraud! That flier is one big lying propaganda piece (well, nothing unusual there for Pombo).

Will our intrepid reporters at the local papers do their job and refute Pombo's allegations? They could be winning Pultizers instead of being glorified stenographers.

The first place to start is with the FACTS, and I do NOT mean Pombo's spin or responses. Those are just more BS. I mean the facts.

Here is a place to start. I am sure any reporter worth his or her salt can dig up the actual truth on this, not Pombo's lying spin. LYING as in NOT TRUTHFUL.

[Rep.] Herger Exploits Flood Victims to Attack Endangered Species Act

A lie is a lie is a lie. How much longer are the papers going to let Pombo get off the hook with these outrageous distortions?

10:03 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

This may be stretching it a bit, but not much. Pombo's "elderberry whine" flier comes close to meeting the legal definition of mail fraud:

"MAIL FRAUD - 18 U.S.C. 1341, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to use the United States mails in carrying out a scheme to defraud.

A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved: First: That the person knowingly and willfully devised a scheme to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false pretenses, representations or promises; and Second: That the person used the United States Postal Service by mailing, or by causing to be mailed, some matter or thing for the purpose of executing the scheme to defraud."


Pombo is looking to obtain campaign donations (money) by false pretenses (lies about the Elderberry bush causing delays in the levee repair). That constitutes mail fraud, according to the definition.

8:54 AM, May 06, 2006  

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