Friday, October 06, 2006

'Course, three minutes to Wapner.

Overdroid made a great observation on my last post-

Sure, and things are so great in Russia now. Also - I'm not to worried about the social pendulum as I am in the scarcity and environmental pendulums. In fact, they aren't pendulums - they are finite resources that won't swing or bounce back when gone (take you pick - greenhouse gasses, oil, water, or all of the above).

He's right. Finite natural resources may not be able to wait on the political power pendulum (PPP) swinging back towards those that are more friendly to a scientific approach to the natural world.

Jerome a Paris has a diary up at Kos today that touches this very issue. Jerome takes apart a Financial Times column on politics and global warming:

Politicians have understood that appearing to be at least greenish is good for their election prospects, but to them it's just one issue among others. The message of the column is there: that "tick the box" approach is wrong, and the issue of global warming requires their full, total and undivided attention*.

And it comes from one of the most influential voices of the London "beltway". Not a green wacko. Not a single-issue activist. A respectable, moderate member of the establishment.

Outside of a few uber-conservative politicians who stubbornly insist on reciting industry talking points to cloud environmental issues those of who support stronger governmental action towards protecting natural resources are winning the fight for the hearts and minds of the general public. We just need to translate that into legislative action. This is where we have to watch the clock.

But what about conservatives? The recent spat about Civil Rights that emerged from political ads running around the country might give us a hint as to where they'll be on this issue in a few years. As an example; two weeks ago the National Black Republican Association ran ads in Maryland claiming that Martin Luther King was a Republican.

Conservatives have a tendency to drag their feet and stubbornly fight the reality of a given situation until the last minute where they gloriously pirouette and claim the opposite position, the position they've been fighting all along, as their own.

In twenty years conservatives will claim that it was they, not progressives, that fought to limit greenhouse gas emissions and warned of a looming peak oil crisis.

Then we can pat them on the head and tell them them "that's nice."

As long as we don't have to do it while standing in three feet of water.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

IN HELL! The dead world, infernal zone, damned house, tortures place, pandemonium, purgatory, avernus, fire, Satan, THE PIT!... and the pendulum.

Last week our friend Don Snabulus in an effort to pull me out of a small bout of reverie reminded me of the political pendulum. It's a kind of "Newton's Law of American Politics" that every reaction brings an opposite reaction. Nothing is permanent, everything swings back into place eventually.

I know that the forces of darkness arrayed against progressives also recognize the political pendulum and have expended great effort in an attempt to force the pendulum to hold it's current rightward position permanently. The rank and file that make up the typical viewers of the FOX network or listeners to Limbaugh, Savage or O'Reilly hold the pendulum in place through sheer force of will. To effort necessary to push back against that seems almost insurmountable. That's where I start to despair.

This week there was a small PBS episode of the "Secrets of the Dead" series entitled "Umbrella Assassin." It told the tale of Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Malkov who was assassinated in London in 1978 by a KGB agent using an umbrella tipped with a microsopic ball of sarin. The assassination was an effort to send a message to all outspoken dissidents of the Soviet regime. The idea was to instill fear on a subconcious level. On the concious level the Soviets had an enormous military machine and enough nuclear missiles to obliterate the West several times over.

There was a time in our history that the USSR seemed powerful and immortal. The party controlled all elements of the state: the government, courts and media. They had the pendulum firmly wedged in place. So it seemed.

We know now with the benefit of hindsight that the appearance of strength and immortality that cloaked the Soviet regime were illusory. We know that the even the most repressive regime cannot permanently crush dissent, they can only sweep it under the rug or hide it in the attic. It will eventually get out and ruin Thanksgiving dinner.

We know that once that happens and pendulum finally breaks free it explodes against the forces that tried to keep it in place artificially.

Here's a reminder of what that looked like when it happened to the Soviets from the band Jesus Jones:

(I know the movie quote doesn't tie into the post well but it did have the word "pendulum." They can't all be gems.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from this comes idiot children... and other lawyers.

GOP candidate for governor and Mr. Negative Commercial Guy Ron Saxton involved in unethical behavior?

Say it ain't so.

Ron Saxton, the Republican candidate for governor, played a more active role than previously acknowledged in his law firm's disputed 2003 decision to drop the city of Portland and help a Texas investment firm buy Portland General Electric.

The Oregon State Bar investigated whether actions by the Ater Wynne law firm violated conflict-of-interest rules. The bar's report criticized Ater Wynne but concluded it had to drop its investigation because the city did not want to reveal confidential information that might jeopardize its attempts to buy PGE.

First - I HATE PGE with a passion. Long waits whenever you have to call and overall horrible service at inflated rates are about the best you can expect from a monopoly like they represent in the Portland area.

But more importantly I'm not sure what the city of Portland's deal here is but what the hell is keeping them from turning over information because of "confidentiality?" I would assume Saxton had the confidential information anyway since he and his firm were representing the city before they decided to switch and represent Texas Pacific.

That's why the behavior appeared to be unethical to begin with. You don't switch sides midstream if you're a law firm.

We are prepared to go any way you make us. When we have achieved our aims you can either walk out of here... or be carried out.

Steven Benen at Tapped reports that somebody in Democratic Senate leadership has promised Lieberman committee senority should he win and that this would actually go against the precedent set by Frank Lautenberg who left the Senate to retire and lost all seniority upon his return.

It's pretty clear that Joe's holding the possibility of moving into the administration as Secretary of Defense (which would allow the Republican governor to appoint his replacement) or caucusing with Republicans as leverage.

He should no better than anyone that Americans don't negotiate with terrorists.

When I had an ulcer, I was farting razor blades.

Speaking of Optimus - he's getting up in the years and ought to be getting checked regularly or bad things might happen.

(I've been trying since this morning to blog the you tube video but it's not taking for some reason.)

Heroes never die. I, Optimus Prime, can never be conquered.

Ain't it Cool News links to contest sponsored by Paramount Pictures in which you can suggest a line of dialog for Optimus Prime in the live-action Transformers movie currently shooting. If you enter let us know what you suggested.

My entry: "These guys really stuff my muffler."

It was inspired by the Foley story.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lady, I may be a born fool, but you got ten absurd ideas to my one, an' don't you forget it!

Digby has exactly right:

The overarching reason for all this was that when the Bush admnistration took office they were determined to do everything differently than Clinton, Bush Sr even Reagan. The egomaniacs in charge (and the empty brand name in a suit out front) operated on a childish level that said nothing their predecesors did was correct, none of their priorities were right and they were determined to prove it.

Where Clinton and his appointees that held-over to the Bush administration were screaming that non-state actors engaged in terrorism were the biggest international threat to the United States the Bushies were certain that their cold war mentality of states-as-actors was the correct approach. Where Clinton felt the federal government should be balanced the Bushies didn't have a problem with running a deficit. Where Clinton believed in surrounding himself with competent, dedicated professionals Bush...

Wonkee chee sa crispa con Greedo?

It really doesn't bother me that much any more when Limbaugh goes of on another non-sensical tangent (via Digby) and blames Democrats for the Foley scandal. I'd be shocked if he said something marginally sane.

What does continue to bug me is this is exactly the sort of stuff Republican use to self-justify election fraud. They tell themselves that the damn, filthy Democrats set Foley up so they deserve to wait 8 hours in line to vote in Ohio, or have their ballots tossed in Florida or some other such nonsense.

Screw them and their faux outrage. What a pathetic bunch of flat-out losers.


Being the absolutely crazy dad that I am I took the kids to see the "King of B Movie Actors" this last Saturday: Bruce Campbell.

We had great seats as the pictures below attest but what was really the high point for me was my boy asking Bruce a question. I didn't see his hand go up and was surprised when Bruce pointed at the seat right next to me.

"What was it like in the Evil Dead when you spun around?" he asked.

Bruce said "You know when you eat a lot of cotton candy and you go on a ride at the fair and then you throw up? It was like that. Now, go home and clean your room."

Monday, October 02, 2006

I love you. You love me.

Woodward regarding Bush and Iraq on 60 Minutes:

Late last year, he had key republicans up to the white house to talk about the war and said, "I will not withdraw even if laura and barney are the only ones supporting me." Barney is his dog.

His dog?

We are talking about George W. Bush here.

Is Woodward sure about this?

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

I suppose that since I mostly blog about politics I ought to say something about the Foley scandal so here goes: this story gives me the creeps.

I recognize the political implications, particularly the cover-up by House Republican leadership, but that still doesn't forgive the fact that there's a victim here.

One of the things I've said over the course of the last couple of years is that we're going to have to get as nasty as the Republicans to beat them. I keep reminding myself this as more lurid details of this scandal make it into the press.

But I'm still really uncomfortable making polititical hay out of something that involves the victimization of a minor. I suppose that's what seperates us from the animals on the other side.

(On the other hand I just heard Newt Gingrich spout that the reason the House leadership couldn't have moved agressively against Foley was because they'd be accused of "homophobia." Get that? There's no difference between pedophilia and homosexuality in the minds of conservatives. Scumbags.)