Friday, September 7, 2018

Stub 4.5: The dog ate the homework

Ideka Nuffin breezed into the new, three day legislative session bouyed by her recent successes.

Technically, she was 1:1 against Rojas, but in practical terms the law he passed on monetary supply ended up cutting his throat after the “straw court” ruled. Before that, Nuffin had nothing but contempt for Kenny Lane’s innovation but now she saw how it could be used as a tool to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The primary purpose of this session was to hammer out details in Code Enforcement. Nuffin changed her strategy after she had failed to jam the entire, 400 page code regulation book through in the first session.

She had broken it down into 20 page segments and had a team of experts to testify on each segment. She was either going to pound them through one-at-a-time, or more likely, the opposition would lose heart and would simple vote them in en masse after losing the battle against the third segment.

Nuffin started lining up her experts when Raymond Rojas cleared his throat. “Zzz Nuffin, in case you have forgotten, this is my committee to run.”

Nuffin failed to notice that Rojas was not tired today. Rather, he was bright-eyed and busy-tailed and spoiling for battle.

Nuffin gave the little prick her death glare. “Well so it is, bless your heart.” she hissed.

Rojas said, “There has been a change of plans. The original plan was to add some meat to the bones of the code enforcement laws we passed two sessions ago, but events transpired that made that unnecessary. Therefore we will discuss the best way to reinvest rent moneys that come into Sedelia for economic development.”

“What the fuck!” Nuffin said with much heat. “What do you mean, ‘events transpired...”

“The Executive Branch, Kenny Lane to be exact, sent out the details of how they had implemented the law we passed two weeks ago. The work we had scheduled for today is redundant. It is a done-deal.” Rojas said.

“Bullshit. They haven’t implemented nothing.” Nuffin said. “I went past the Code Enforcement complex this morning and there was not a soul stirring.” In fact, she had directed her chauffer to drive the limo around the complex although she was so busy talking on her smart phone that she hardly noticed a thing. But then, a completely empty parking lot is difficult to miss.

An embarrassed silence filled the conference room.

“Did you read the email that Kenny Lane sent out?” Raymond asked.

“Shit. I was busy. He doesn’t send out anything but blah, blah, blah.” Nuffin said defensively.

“We can take a minute if you would like to open it and read it. It is very short.” Raymond said.

“I don’t care what it says. This” Nuffin said, holding up a sheaf of paper, “This is what it must be.”

Raymond sighed. Live-stream viewers who did not have a dog in the fight recognized it as a theatrical sigh. The legislators in meat-space were too caught up in the discussion to notice.

“Please bear with me while I explain the difference between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.” Raymond started.

Nuffin interupted. “I will NOT have you patronizing me!”

“As you wish.” Raymond said.

Turning to his ally from Irving, Raymond said, “Would you like to hear my thoughts regarding the difference between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.”

Playing along, the woman said, “I was hoping you would.”

Raymond said, “The Legislative Branch passes laws. Laws are ‘What'. The Executive Branch puts the laws into effect by creating rules and regulations. Rules and regulations are the ‘How’.”

“Two weeks ago we passed a law that declared ‘What’ must be done. In the intervening time, the Executive Branch moved quickly and implemented those laws. They created the ‘How’.”

“Bullshit!” I drove around the Enforcement Complex and there is nobody there.” Nuffin said, glaring at Rojas.

Rojas would have felt sorry for Nuffin if she had ever displayed even a drop of human kindness. But she had not.

“The Executive Branch’s implementation relies on self-certification and not an Enforcement Division of Inspectors.” Rojas said.

Nuffin snorted. “That’ll never work. People are gonna die and it is going to be on you!” Nuffin said.

“Why don’t you think it will work?” Rojas asked.

“People lie.” Nuffin said. “People going to lie through their ass. They are going to cheat and cut corners and scrape sub-standard construction and goods on unsuspecting citizens.” Nuffin felt safe on this ground.

“You realize that you are impugning the integrity of Master Trades people, don’t you. Unionized Master Trades.” Rojas asked.

Nuffin should have sensed the danger but she only had eyes for the kill.

“They have a vested interest. They cannot be trusted.” Nuffin said.

“Even if it is two Masters?” Rojas asked.

“Even if it is twenty.” Nuffin said.

There was silence, except for Nuffin’s heavy breathing for about five seconds.

“Do you realize that manufacture’s rely on self-certification?” Rojas asked.

“That does not matter.” Nuffin said.

“Do you know what the failure rate per discrete is for incoming material in the electronics industry?” Rojas asked.

“I don’t care.” Nuffin said.

“One-a-billion.” Rojas said.

“That ain’t construction.” Nuffin said. “Lives don’t depend on computers like they depend on plumbing and electrical and construction.”

“Computers are in medical devices. Computers run traffic lights. Computers make airplanes fly.” Rojas said, ticking off the items on his fingers. “One in a billion. That would be about thirty nails where the carpenter missed the 2-by-4 stud behind the sheathing, in all of Los Angeles.”

“I. Don’t. Care.” Nuffin said. She had been caught with her pants down but was not about to admit it.

“Since you, by your own admission, don’t care about delivering better, faster outcomes at lower costs, then I can only assume that you are serving masters other than the majority of your constituents.” Rojas said. “I move that we table any further discussion regarding Code Enforcement and move to the back-up topic, The Use of Rent Monies for Economic Development.”

The movement was seconded and passed 6-to-1 with Nuffin the only Nay vote.

Next Installment

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