West Coast, Messed Coast™ — In Court With 'Orenthal the Bus-Driving Murderer'

AP Photo/Daily News, Myung J. Chun, Pool, File

Welcome to this week's West Coast, Messed Coast™ report, where your humble correspondent reminds you that Gretna Green wasn't just a spot in Scotland where randy, underage 18th-century couples dashed off to get hitched; it was also the name of the Brentwood street where O.J. Simpson nearly cut off the head of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and Ron Goldman. 


This week, O.J. met his demise. He continues his search for the "real killer" in the afterlife. 

Take heart, America, there's no defaming the dead, so feel free to say "he's a killer" out loud. 

In this edition of the West Coast, Messed Coast™ report, some thoughts about being in the courtroom during O.J.'s trial, Oregon's unfortunately-named governor's ethical dike has sprung multiple leaks, Gavin Newsom's shocking profligacy, thoughts on racist birds, and the fix is in against gun owners in a move that leaves even the most cynical legal watchers stunned. That's a lot, so let's get started on this week's West Coast, Messed Coast™ report where we lead with "Orenthal the bus-driving murderer."

...but I understand

The death of O.J. Simpson this week sent me back to the Wayback Machine as it did every other American who watched Al Cowlings drive along the I-5 freeway from the OC to L.A. in 1994 in that infamous slow-speed "chase." The end of the road is where the former football great, Hollywood actor, sports announcer, and rental car pitchman would turn himself in for double murder.

O.J.'s epitaph could read Killer of People and Justice. 

And what a legacy. Running through an airport to get to a gate was and still is "doing an O.J. run."


Watching the trial is where Americans learned about O.J.'s other-worldly lifestyle of the rich and famous existence. We found out about expensive Bruno Magli shoes, his expensive alarm system, fancy home, and became familiar with the concepts of "chain-of-custody." We also learned about branding. Defense attorneys, needing a distraction from all the physical evidence against O.J., branded homicide detectives like Mark Fuhrman as racists. It didn't take much imagination for black jury members to buy it since the LAPD had a HORRIBLE reputation for racism. 

But a few years later, comedian Chris Rock would observe, "That s**t wasn't about race. That s**t was about fame. Because if O.J. [weren't] famous, he'd be in jail right now. If O.J. drove a bus, he wouldn't even be O.J.; he'd be Orenthal the bus-driving murderer." 


We learned that dumb prosecutors don't know that even dried-out expensive leather gloves won't fit an owner's hands right away, much less the arthritic hands of a former pro football player. But "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" became the brilliant slogan by lead attorney Johnny Cochran in his closing argument at trial. The gloves would later be memorialized as "O.J.'s Isotoners," in Kanye West's "Stronger." 


Emergent DNA technology was trotted out for the first time in a high-profile trial. DNA and blood evidence were ignored by the jury. On my radio show, DNA became known as "Don't Need Avidence," as sharper listener Bill Barnett put it pithily following the ridiculous verdict.

I think that I watched nearly every second of the case as it was covered wall-to-wall by a fledgling Court TV. It was the first time I would ever see the daily talking heads of Dan Abrams, Greg Jarrett, and Greta Van Susteren, and get a look for the first time at Nancy Grace, Jeanine Pirro, and Harvey Levin. It was the first time I would hear the names "Kardashian" and Faye Resnick, and hear the moniker Dream Team used for something other than Michael Jordan and other NBA stars being allowed to play in the Olympics for the first time. 

Related: Seattle Landlord Scores a Rare Win Over a 'Serial Squatter'

I was so spun up about the case that I spent countless hours on my Portland show talking about it. I'm sure it was a ratings winner. Not. A frequent guest from KFI Radio in Los Angeles had a seat at the trial and loaned it out to me to get a feel for the spectacle. I'm glad I got to see inside. Every seat was filled. Professional court watchers vied for seats. The rest were reporters and family members. 

The faces we saw every day on TV were suddenly in front of me, and even as a journalist who agitated for cameras in the courtroom, I realized what a colossal mistake it could be when the cast of characters were shown to be flawed, character-free frustrated actors. Later, I would feel ashamed to be there because I knew I was part of the problem. 


Marcia Clark was a huge disappointment. Her courtroom demeanor while I was there was that of a flirtatious coquette. On breaks, she sashayed in a flouncy skirt as if to say, "Notice me." Rumors of her and her fellow prosecutor Chris Darden having an affair suddenly made sense. 

I saw only the back of O.J.'s head. 

I tried to keep an open mind, but I saw the evidence. Even O.J.'s friend and "house guest," Kato Kaelin, thought he was guilty.

The only thing that would have convinced this box of rocks of O.J.'s guilt would have been actual recordings of him doing the murders.

Oregon's newest billionaire

The ever-shrinking Oregon billionaire's club has grown by one. Sort of. Joining Nike founder Phil Knight, Columbia Sportswear magnate Tim Boyle, and Dutch Brothers founder Travis Boersma, is JSG (just some guy) from somewhere in Oregon who's just won the $1.3 billion Powerball.

Of course, as Oregon tax expert, CPA, and former lawmaker Katie Eyre notes on a private Facebook post, that payday takes a huge hit by Oregon's multi-tentacled tax monsters.

Assuming the [P]owerball winner lives in North Portland, their marginal tax rates will look like this: 37% federal, 9.9% Oregon, 3% Multnomah County Preschool for All, and 1% Metro Supportive Housing.

If they take the $621 [million] lump sum payout, just a bit over one half will be going to the government (with Multnomah County and Metro getting a windfall of around $25 mm alone.)

So, a $1.3 B (with a B for billion!) is actually whittled down to a net after tax present value of $304 million. The net take to the winner is only ~ 22% of jackpot. It’s still a lot of money and life changing, for sure. But it’s not nearly the razzle dazzle that you think of when you hear of a jackpot worth over a billion.


We're sure the commies running Oregon will lecture that the new billionaire isn't paying his/her/their fair share. 

Under the rules, we'll eventually know this person's name or names, but hopefully that will be after they move out of state to either Nevada or Florida where there's no income tax and fair minded people where the money will go much further than in Oregon.

Don't go to California, bud. Gavin Newsom is likely to Hoover up what you have left over with his over-taxation to pay for his profligacy.  I wrote about that this week. Oy.

Unfortunately-named governor's unfortunate ethics debacle worsens

Tina Kotek, Oregon's governor, had another executive jump ship this week, the fourth suit to leave her office after she gave her wife a capitol office, staff, and stipend, whereupon the spouse began acting like Veruca Salt. 

Oregon Catalyst reports that Deputy General Counsel Lindsey Burrows became the fourth staffer to leave Kotek’s Executive Office in the past few weeks. He joins her chief of staff and two aides who found another job in government.

Two ethics complaints have been filed.

Washington's high-capacity lunacy

In Washington, as in other states on the West Coast, Messed Coast™, dim-witted lawmakers believe that if only lawful gun owners didn't have magazines of more than ten rounds to go with their lawfully obtained firearms criminals wouldn't shoot people. The high capacity law was ruled unconstitutional in a challenge brought by Gator's Custom Guns in Cowlitz County. Thursday, a judge ruled in a 55-page opinion that the gun law was unconstitutional under the state and federal constitutions. 


Eighty-eight minutes later, a speed reading and writing commissioner who apparently works somewhere in the state supreme court offices making copies, getting coffee, and issuing opinions, issued a directive ignoring the ruling and putting the law back on the books with a hearing.

As one commenter at Washington Gun Law put it: "Taking away our rights — Minutes. Returning our rights — Years."

Stay tuned. This one's getting frosty.


David Hogg, who has made the completely foreseeable school shooting his raison d'être for disarming all civilians was rhetorically destroyed by a People's Republic of China escapee this week. 

In one heavily accented question, the Chinese-American woman asked the boy wonder, "Can you guarantee me, a gun owner, tonight that our government in the U.S., in D.C., will never, never, become a tyrannical government? Can you guarantee that to me?" 

When he stated the obvious answer — no — this is what she said: "Well, then the debate on gun control is over because I will never give up my guns. Never. Never."  

Until next week, remember the words of a lady who lived under communism to stand up to the commies on the West Coast, Messed Coast™. Never, never forget. 


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member