Squid Fry for Aug 27, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Panetta’s Choice… You’d think that local boy-turned-CIA Director Leon Panetta was experienced enough in the ways of Washington to hold his tongue, particularly after his time as chief of staff and designated adult to Bill Clinton in the midst of the Monica-gate imbroglio. But apparently the recent decision to release an internal investigation into the agency’s practices during the late, unlamented Bush years – and Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to open a criminal investigation into those practices – has put Leon over the edge. It’s being widely reported that Panetta launched a profanity-laced screaming match after learning of the latest moves, and threatened to quit, and that as a result his days as Spook-in-Chief may be numbered. Obama, who has himself expressed a preference for not revisiting past wrongdoings, has an even stronger antipathy to in-house drama by anyone on his team. ABC News reports that a CIA spokesman quoted Panetta as saying “it is absolutely untrue” that he has any plans to leave the CIA. As to the reported White House tirade, the spokesman said Panetta is known to use “salty language.” CIA spokesman George Little said the report was “wrong, inaccurate, bogus and false.” Only The Shadow knows. The dispute could be a good potential panel for the Panetta Institute, though.
Salinas Chic… Squid doesn’t like to always point out Salinas’ downside (21 homicides and counting this year). The city has a big enough perception problem that some Peninsula peeps mistake Salinas residents for Iraqi refugees. Mayor Dennis Donohue is so desperate for positive news amid recent gang crossfire that library programs are tacked on to his Monday press conference, but the pens don’t start writing and cameras rolling until the crime briefing. This week the city announced that Salinas ranked third in U.S. News & World Report’s “10 Pricey Cities That Pay Off.” Technically, the Salinas metropolitan area ranked third, which includes all of Monterey County, but hey. The city still got a shoutout, ranking between Santa Barbara and above San Diego. The article says the county had the eighth-highest trade productivity (whatever that means) of the areas examined, and our formerly outrageous prices are offset by great weather: “Very hot weather tends to reduce the productivity of businesses and thus drive down value – possibly because high temperatures limit the ability to work. Salinas strikes the right balance of comfort.” Huh, so locals work more efficiently, despite the allure of leaving the job for catching a wave at Asilomar or hiking at Pinnacles?