Chmielewski and Cunningham have a bit of FUN – at the expense of Anaheim, and humanity.





For whatever reason or none, there seems to have been some excess of Holiday Mirth in the Kleptocrat Universe these last couple days, leading the Pringle Ring’s two main Blog Shills to attempt – each in his own way – that difficult, ephemeral thing we humans call “humor.”

At the Liberal OC, Dan Chmielewski brought on the funny over the weekend with a little piece entitled “The Happy Puppet(s).”  The title refers to what Dan considers an embarrassing episode in the public speaking career of our own Greg Diamond – Greg’s whimsical but educational use of finger puppets in an exegesis of the Anaheim Council’s outrageous Angels giveaway, which Dan supports;  as well as Dan’s hysterical plan to give the Eli Home some money and finger puppets in Greg’s name (which of course Dan never actually got around to doing.)

The bulk of Dan’s piece is an account of the fun he had at Jordan Brandman‘s Wednesday fundraiser to retire his debt from his record-breaking 1/2-million dollar council campaign.  (Wait – Jordan’s got CAMPAIGN DEBT, after all the money Disney and the Chamber poured into him?)  And the gist of Dan’s piece is that he supports Brandman no matter what Brandman does and there’s nothing you can do about it, nyahnyahnyah; and also mainly that lotsa Democrats hate Greg and love Dan and Jordan.

“The future of the Democratic Party” in the minds of some.

It’s easy to believe and understand why a lot of Democrats don’t like Greg – that’s what happens when you’re the conscience of the Party.  But while Dan was busy dancing a happy fat-man jig fantasizing that anyone on God’s green earth actually likes him, he neglected to ask Jordan a few questions that I certainly would have if I had Jordan’s ear.  For one thing, why did this supposed Democrat represent himself on the Citizens Advisory Council with a woman – Amanda Edingerwho hates Mexicans so much that her Facebook page as far back as you can see has been dedicated to the cause of denying them citizenship?  (Dan actually promised our Ricardo Toro LONG AGO that he’d get an answer to that.)

Also Dan might have asked why was this supposed good Democrat Brandman so insistent on giving away $158 million to a millionaire developer crony with absolutely no guarantee that the jobs building that taxpayer-subsidized luxury hotel would be union, OR local?  And Dan also may have asked what’s so democratic about Jordan’s constant attempts to stifle dissent on the dais?  (Dissent which these days comes ONLY from Mayor Tait.)  My suggestion of these questions on Dan’s blog was met with more typical hilarious Chmielewski humor – a link to some country song asking me not to “get drunk on Christmas!”

The feud between Dan and Greg brings up lots of interesting issues actually, starting with what does it mean to be a Democrat?  (Similar questions could be asked on the Republican side.)  Are there actual Democratic values, and what are they?  Or is a Party just a club, where you unquestioningly support anyone the club picks no matter what their values are?  And oppose anyone from the other club even if they represent your club’s values better than your own club’s pick?  And are some Democratic values more important than others, particularly in a local office?  Should we support a Democrat whose main function 90% of the time is bleeding public, taxpayer money to further enrich the already wealthy, just because he’s pro-choice and pro-gun control?  And how is Jordan anything more than a Republican who happens to like abortion and want your guns?

Well, to move from the ridiculous and disgusting to the simply evil, Matt Cunningham – the actual paid propagandist of Anaheim’s kleptocracy – saw his own chance at belly laughs on the day after the four-year anniversary of the police shooting of Theresa Smith’s son Caesar Cruz, when he came across this burnt, torn-up teddy bear outside City Hall.  Since Matt always complains that I write about what he does without calling him, sometimes even speculating wrongly on his motives (“Hey I was there, you weren’t,” he likes to say)  I did him the courtesy of asking for his account of how he came to create this breathtaking satirical photo essay.

Good thing, too – I was ready to assume he was with a friend or two, who thought it would be a real LAFF RIOT to go and get religious votive candles and pose them by this messed-up bear in a clever parody of the shrines our Latino neighbors put up when one of theirs gets shot by a policeman or gangster.  It turns out, according to Matt, he did it ALL BY HIMSELF.  Went to the store, got candles, came back, set them up, LIT THEM, probably grinning and chuckling to himself, and clicked this photo.  Were there passersby and did they stare at him like he was insane?  Matt won’t say:

He then accompanied these side-splittingly funny images with a couple of parody quotes from some usual targets of his ridicule, Jose Moreno and Answer LA.  When the world discovered his nauseating post and the firestorm of outrage hit (and the only folks vouching for its humor were his usual anonymous commenter trolls) he churned out a desperate self-defense:

[NOTE TO READERS ]: A few humorless leftists have read the post and taken exception, so let me say a few things. I found the teddy bear as is on the sidewalk (the candles being the only added touch) – never touched it, never moved it. This post is satire. The subject is the leftist tendency to feed off of tragedies of violence – to contend they have wider social and political meaning behind themselves and exploit them to push their politics and usually a specific policy agenda. Frankly, I expected this reaction from some of these very commenters, given they lack a sense of humor about their politics.

[“Note to readers,” duh – nervous redundancy? And “humorless leftists” like Dave Zenger and Cynthia Ward?]  So there you have it – Matt’s self-justification for making a joke out of the mourning customs of the folks who have lost so many kids over the last few years to Anaheim police brutality.  We already knew what kind of a person Matt was, he has shown it time and again over the years, at least as far back as when he “outed sex-abuse victims.”

But it does leave us with a big question – it’s been established that the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce funds this poisonous blog of his, which spends most of its time propagandizing for the Chamber’s interests.  But how is this lampooning of murdered young men and the mourning customs of their families and friends in the Chamber’s interests?

We Jerbal-watchers HAVE noticed that this has been a SECONDARY theme of Matt’s blog from the beginning – the trashing of murdered minority youth and their families, and the uncritical celebration of aggressive policing.  You may remember Matt’s cheerleading of disgruntled Anaheim police sergeant Tony Montanarella’s Register column – the one that ripped acting Chief Quezada for supposedly “catering to a very angry, vocal minority with political agendas at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the population we serve who support us and appreciate what we do.”  Could it be that Matt’s blog is ALSO funded – THROUGH the Chamber – by the police union, the APA?  Something else we are looking into.  Expound on that more, Cynthia, if you care to.

The Anna Drive shrine in memory of Manuel Diaz. For some people, fertile comic material.

UPDATE: Matt has taken his offensive story down, with a weepy misunderstood note that you can suffer through at the old link.  I find the whole thing an instructive episode.  You?  I still have screen shots too, for what that’s worth.  Oh, I neglected to mention – Dan Chmielewski’s reaction to my outrage over Matt’s piece?  Once again, a link to the country song asking me not to “get drunk on Christmas!”  Two peas in a pod, those two.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.