Friday, May 10, 2002  [!]

Signs Via Daypop Top 40 this L.A. Times story about an artist who altered some CalTrans signage to make driving in LA a better experience. No one noticed till his friend, a photographer, leaked the story. Love it. (as it happens, so does CalTrans!) I'll be driving by that stretch of the 110 freeway in downtown LA on Monday, so I'll have to take a look.

Makes you wonder.... John W. Dean in an open letter to Bush's advisor, Karl Rove: Ignore Nixon at your peril

Dear Karl:

Based on news accounts, I understand that you are a presidential history buff.

[...]It's unimaginable that the Bush Administration would want to risk repeating the mistakes of the Nixon presidency, yet the continuing insistence on secrecy by your White House is startlingly Nixonian. I'm talking about everything from stiffing Congressional requests from information and witnesses, to employing an executive order to demolish the 1978 law providing public access to presidential papers, to forcing the Government Accounting Office to go to Court to obtain information about how the White House is spending tax money when creating a pro-energy industry Vice Presidential task force. The Bush Administration apparently seeks to reverse the post-Watergate trend of open government.

Really makes you wonder... Let's see... that company that contributed so much money to W's election treasury, that contributed cabinet members to W's administration, that was the Wall Street darling and exemplar number one of what's good about the American System, that later took a nosedive, took a big accounting firm under, defrauded its employees of their retirement funds while the executives managed to flee with their golden parachutes intact, why, lookie here! ...that very same company manipulated the electricity market in California!

No, no no no. I don't believe in conspiracies. That ol' saying, "follow the money" will uncover no meaningful clues. It's all an amazing coincidence. Maybe, though, I should ask the attorney general and the other devout Christians in the cabinet a little question about the problem of evil, about corruption, and, well, would one of you please tell me where was God when this happened?

Speaking of Enron This NYTimes (reg required) article about the California problem says that the memos won't do much to get us our money back.

California has struggled both to obtain federal help in capping prices and to force the generators to return what the state has said are billions of dollars of overcharges.

So far, the state's claims that at least some of the generators and power traders manipulated the market and unfairly took advantage of shortages they fabricated have produced no substantial refunds, and California has had to bear billions of dollars in costs for buying power at inflated prices, harming Gov. Gray Davis politically. (emphasis mine)

I get it now! No federal intervention for Democrat Davis. Those Republicans want to see him wither. (Not that I care about Davis any). And to do so, all of California is gonna suffer.

I'm not the only one to see it this way. So does Matthew Miller. [via InstaPundit]

[T]he Bush administration continues a campaign of revenge on Golden State voters. Even with the new Enron disclosures, the White House stance on everything from energy to health care says one thing to California: Drop dead. In the extreme this may turn out to mean literally.
Now *that* is what I call Compassionate Conservatism! <clapping hands on cheeks> Oh. my. god. Look how he ends his article! Follow the Money he says. But... but... I said it was a coincidence, a mere coincidence!

We're all gonna die The wisdom for which the people of Texas elected Joe Barton as their representative. As noted in item #3 of Bob Park's What's New column, describing how the House backed the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste deposits. I hate to quote the entire 'graph, but it's short, pithy, and you should visit the site to see his disclaimer anyway.

The vote was an overwhelming 306-117. The debate carefully avoided logic on both sides. When opponents warned of the catastrophic consequences of possible leaks, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who is a supporter, responded, "We're all going to die." It was perhaps the only scientifically defensible statement of the day, but it failed to reassure anyone. It won't be that easy in the Senate.

Hey, Joe: here are some other situations where your scientifically defensible wisdom may apply: