Interesting. I stayed last night in the E-bay at the Landeman's house of Sociology -- three grads; one apartment; more bookshelves than you can shake a stick at -- and this morning while we're getting coffee he asks me what's been going on in politics.
And so I summarize:
Polling suggests that the Democrats may take a slim majority in the House and/or (slimmer possibility) the Senate this fall, making Bush a lame duck, which would be good in and of itself.
However, they're not going to really be able to do anything, so the energy crunch and housing-market slump (pretty much unavoidable) may get blamed on them.
On the other hand: free health care may be in the offing.
We didn't get into the international stuff, which doesn't really look too good either. Neo-conservatism seems broken, but I don't count out their ability to shoehorn us deeper into a middle-eastern war when we should be disengaging from the region militarily. We won't get a refferendum on new foreign policy vision until '08 anyway, but I'm pessimistic about how much of a check a Democratic House will put on Bush. Theoretically they can just cut off the money, but I don't think they want to play that kind of hardball. Don't seem to really care enough. Alternate visions are also sadly lacking in the leadership caste.
"Larrupin'" is a piece of American slang (new to me) that means "tasty good." It's also a restaurant about five miles north of Westhaven. It is teh awesome. Went there last night for a little datey dinner and had one of the best meals of my life.
Food is one of the few things that I don't feel any compunction against spending big money on. I'm a relative cheapskate on most other counts, and I sort of have a reflexive aversion to "luxury" items. I hate shopping. But good food and good drink is always a go for me.
And to round out the evening we saw A Scanner Darkly, the new rotoscope movie by Richard Linkleter. It's allright. I enjoyed the first half of the film -- with Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr. and Keanu being all paranoid and strung out -- more than the latter half. Keanu's too bland to really carry the rest, and while I really find the rotoscoping thing interesting, and hope it gets used more in future features, there were some choices made that I think were not so smart. It's entertaining and funny at points; definitely worth a rental when that time comes.
I'm not sure if this is coordinated or not (e.g. whether Bob Greenwald is going to do some kind of Colbert-related film or something), but it's remix fun, and I like that Eli is putting himself out there:
Great weekend coming up. Tommy, Chelsea and Greg are down for a visit from PDX, and Laurel's pug pup Frankie (video coming) is boarding with us/Hanna&Sarah for a bit, and I'm shacking up with The Peach to boot. Fun around the campfire, in the house. We're gonna hit up the Crabbies tonight too.
This is real smart: starting at the top-end of the value chain. I think these people's biggest problem will be mechanical support. Like, one of my biggest concerns is who can I take this thing to if it breaks down?
Refused to turn over protest footage of Anarchists vandalizing a police car. Prosecutors make a tenuous connection to damage done to property that's partially funded with federal dollars as a means of getting around California law which protects journalists against a compulsion to turn over unpublished material.
This is kinda bullshit and kinda scary for a number of reasons.
Vandalizing a police car is stupid. It's an egocentric act with null social impact, and it represents the worst-of-the-worst kind of black-bloc type activity. Stop it, kids. Your energy is being wasted.
However, the prosecutor's contention that any act against local police is a federal crime which superceeds state law is creepy and tenuous. I hope the ACLU's appeal on this matter wins out.
Finally, the worst is that jerk-ass federal prosecutors and DAs have this ridiculous hard-on for so-called Anarchists and are implementing police-state type actions and procedures in the hopes of locking some of them up. Almost as stupid as vandalizing a police car. You're supposed to be the grown-ups. Fucking act like it.
This is a conflict that doesn't need to escalate. Most importantly, the precident of these gestapo tactics -- that's not hyperbole: giving the State the power to force journalists to turn over their materials severely undermines the freedom of the press -- is very dangerous.