"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."


Digby Sez:

Baby boomer elites are now that creepy old guy muttering at the kids to stop walking on his lawn or he'll call the cops.

Hey, I've been saying it for a while. We Millenials were the only age group to break solidly against Bush in 2004. Frankly, the "adults" in this country have been part of the problem all along.

To put it another way: Give me the keys, dad. You're drunk.

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From Tehran with Love

Is it just me, or does anyone else want to read for themselves this 18-page letter that Mahmoud "The Passionate Persian" Ahmadinejad sent Mr. Bush?

I find it somewhat unlikely that someone who was in fact elected president would declare that "democracy has failed worldwide," as the AP led with. There's a quote a bit later on that says "Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems," but it's quite unclear whether the subject is "democracy worldwide" or specifically our style of democracy in Iraq.

It seems to me that the press is playing along with the administration here, giving them cover for not engaging Iran in bilateral talks and, let us not forget, throwing former president Mohammad Khatami (who was a real reformer) under the bus with all that "Axis of Evil" crap, a huge softball for hardliners and clerics. One thing to remember as the war-talk with Iran ratchets up is that as an institution the media probably wants war. It makes for great television and helps them feel very important.

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Doored on Christopher

Took a yuppie (pink dress shirt) SUV door this evening on my way to my man Kevin's birthday dinner in the West Village. I almost dodged it, but there wasn't a lot of room to maneuver, traffic pretty tight for a sunday evening. I tried to break and cut around when I saw the door starting to open, but the edge clipped my front wheel, which stopped the bike, spilling me sideways and over the bars.

I came through without much damage. No fancy photos to show like before. Just a little bruise and scrape on my arm.

These things happen. It's part of the deal of riding in the city -- which I still think is safe. People are going to open their doors into traffic without thinking. We can't let that scare us off.

This guy who hit me was in the wrong. People are not supposed to open up their car doors into traffic. Since I was pretty sure when I got up that I didn't have any real physical damage, I just let it go, but I could have waited for the police and used my TransAlt spoke card (which has the specific laws you need to reference) to get him to write up an incident report. The pink-shirted yuppie guy would probably get a ticket and I would have a chance to collect something through his insurance agency should I have medical bills or need to replace part of my bicycle.

Still, I'm not gonna call the law on this guy. Maybe if he'd been a horrendus asshole I would have, but he was spooked and apologetic. I didn't want to be a dick about it, so I didn't try to guilt trip him into money for my wheel or anything either. Just walked it off and went to dinner. Selah.

So I'm fine, but the bike is going to have issues. The front wheel is a total loss, and there may now be enough damage overall to render it kaput. It's been through three real falls, a lot of rough riding and years of being locked up on the street, and that's just since I got my hands on it. The frame dates from the late 80's/early 90's, and it was originally owned in Hawaii, which I know because it still has the Honalulu bike registration sticker. I bought it from Pedal Revolutions, a used bike barn in the Mission, so it may have had other owners in California as well. Then I brought it to New York City, and now this.

Lately, it's been really pulling to the left and I've realized that the core triangle of the frame is out of whack. The headset is also coming loose, requiring daily hand-tightening. Now I think it might not be worth sinking any more money into. It's been my plan to give it to Frank to strip for parts when I take off in June anyway, so it seems like the bell is tolling.

Ok for now. Next week I'll be 27. Oh man.

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The Emperors Penis Is Small Ugly And Covered in Sores And I'm Tired Of Looking At It

Reading the preface to Glenn Greenwald's new book reminds again that a lot of people, smart people, are just now realizing that the emporer has no clothes.

This revelation is relatively fresh for a good third of the country, and because the revelation -- that many members of this Republican administration and Congress are incompetent, corrupt and duplicitous -- is "the truth," they're in for more of it as the GOP continues to reap what they have sewn.

Out here in the reality-based communty, we're so tired of looking at the emperor's wang it almost seems normal. The clusterfucking of everything, almost routine.

Don't forget: we can do better.

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Without Papers

Know this: the history of the United States is one of immigration outside the bounds of law. Every significant immigrant population in our history (from the Irish, the Italians, Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians to the Chineese, Koreans and Filipinos) have always had substantial "without papers" elements.

It's the most American thing in the world.

"Si se Puede!" goes the chant. "It can be done!" This is the American spirit. This is who we are as a nation. We're about striving, ambition, optimism, the "can do" attitude. This is what has made this country so successful: hard work, competition, meritocracy, and a willingness to take risks and embrace change.

We are the way we are in no small part because most of us (descendants of slaves and those on the Rez excepted) are here because somewhere back in our family history, someone decided to take an enormous leap. Many of our ancestors did not go through the bureaucracy and red tape of acquiring paperwork to make this process "legal."

This is important! It's good! People who make this leap, who are willing to grab life by the horns and make it happen, are the lifeblood of this country. They are inventive. They are entrepreneurial. They hustle. They do what needs to be done to make a better world for their children, infusing the economy and culture with energy.

This has always been how it worked, and it's no secret that this a large part of why America has worked as well. We also got a big statue as a present from France for our rockin' immigrant-loving ways. It's pretty nice.

It's not all wine and roses of course. Immigration is an essential part of what the US is, but it has always created problems, especially on the local level. It places strain on communities and creates change, which inevitably some people dislike.

However, our historical legacy has been to work hard on solving these problems so that we can grow and prosper as a greater whole. It's a part of our history we can be damn proud of, and one we turn away from at our peril.

I hope that people can see the current immigration hoopla for what it is: an election-year tactic cooked up by a corrupt and unpopular Republican congress looking to save their sorry asses in November. The nativists are on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the facts as well.

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Republican Party Needs To Get An STD Check

Bush's new director of the CIA, Porter Goss, just quit.

My guess is he's balls-deep in a growing scandal -- a whole other animal than the CIA Leak or Abramoff business -- involving crooked defense contracts, congressional bribes, and even.... wait for it... hookers.

This scandal took down SoCal congressman Duke Cunningham a little while ago -- he's spending eight years in jail, longest sentence ever for a congresscritter -- and it's been building steam since then. Apparently this cat Brent Wilkes has been directiing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of defense contracts through traditional lobbying, straight-up bribery, and apparently gettin' hard-up representatives some poon.

In a lovely twist, the limousine company owner who supplied the pros to the WaterGate hotel "hospitality suites" (and who also has a lengthy rap sheet), got more than $20M in Homeland Security contracts. What a wonderful cycle!

All this is small potatoes profiteering compared to Haliburton or the billions that the Pentagon just doesn't know what it did with, but it's proably more politically explosive because there's snatch involved. With 45% of self-described conservatives already upset with Bush and the GOP, this is likely to hurt them further, as it's harder to run on "traditional values" when your colleagues are getting busted for sleeping with pros.

And you know how that town loves to have a freakout over sex. Gonna be a long hot summer.

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New Lost

In the torrentfeed, yo.


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Biodiesel Summer

This summer, I plan to try to make some Biodiesel. First will be the quick/standard vegitable-oil extraction (which is super easy), but what I really want to get into is algae.

What I'll need to figure out is how to extract oil from algae. There have been methods for doing this since 1879, but I'm not sure if solvent-based extractions will really work. It's kinda expensive, dirty, and really aimed at small batches.

I have yet to find any information on larger-scale extraction, but I'll keep looking. Maybe I could build a centrifuge...

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Just watching some Law and Order CI while I eat my burrito... Donofrio is the MF man. His character work is damn tight. He's also real good in The Salton Sea as a brain-scrambled drug-lord, and in Steal This Movie as Abbie Hoffman.

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