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Ready, aim, fire: It's been that kind of news cycle

December 7, 2011 |  1:32 pm

MythBusters mishap

It's been kind of a "loose cannons" month.

First, everyone was all a-Twitter this week about Alec Baldwin being removed from an American Airlines flight. The actor apparently became surly after being asked to turn off his cellphone.  

It's not clear how it will all end, but the whole episode gives credence to the idea that Twitter is remarkably useful -- if your goal is to shoot yourself in the foot.    

And speaking of shooting, those wacky "MythBusters" guys, er, misfired Tuesday.  Testing something about cannons and alternative cannonballs, they shot something. That something went through one house, hit the roof of another house, skipped across a road and smashed a minivan's window.

I'm guessing if you want more info, you may want to check the Twitter accounts of the show's stars.

Closer to home, a guy in Pasadena who was upset about not having power after last week's windstorm allegedly threatened to kill city workers if they didn't turn the juice back on.

This followed an L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting at which members expressed annoyance at how long it was taking Southern California Edison to restore power. 

Now, I'm not defending Edison. But politicians need to be careful about throwing stones.  After all, you'll recall that the L.A. City Council has been pondering for six years now how to fix L.A.'s broken sidewalks.

And then, of course, there's San Fernando Mayor Mario Hernandez, who recently announced at a City Council meeting that he was having an affair with a colleague, Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre. And oh, by the way, his wife was sitting in the audience. (Please, please, don't let Hernandez anywhere near Twitter.)

Plus there's our old buddy Rod Blagojevich. The former Illinois governor got 14 years in the big house Wednesday.  His crimes? Trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat, illegal shakedowns for campaign cash and lying to federal agents. (Plus -- or so he told the judge before sentencing -- he was a bad dad and husband.  But he was really, really sorry.)

But the most ironic "loose cannon" news came from Florida.

Seems that the state's Republican-dominated Legislature has passed a law making it easier for people to carry guns in the Capitol.  Which could be a problem. 

As the story explained, in the bad old days, those charged with protecting the politicians and their staff used, uh, common sense:

Security officials used to ask holders of concealed weapons to put their guns in a lockbox when entering the Capitol, according to Michael C. Bender of the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee bureau. If a gun owner refused, he or she was tailed by a guard.

Under the new law, Capitol police no longer request that weapons be stored in a lockbox. Nor do they notify the sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate when someone is carrying a gun, as they did previously.

So, in what Democrats who opposed the law are calling a very interesting coincidence, panic buttons have been installed on the phone of every state senator and staffer. 

To which all I can say is, let's hope the power stays on in Florida.


Goldberg: Gingrich the compassionate

Steven Howards and the limits of free speech

Florida lawmaker calls for firing squads, electric chair

-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: A Dublin, Calif., police officer stands near the exit hole of a cannonball in a second-story wall after it traveled through a home in the city Tuesday. Credit: Doug Duran / Bay Area News Group

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