Portland artist Alexander Rokoff painted a portrait of Modest Mouse frontman Issac Brock... standing in front of a boar whist wearing lederhosen. This is not that important, except for the part where it now hangs in the office of the mayor of the city of Portland, Oregon. Eat it, Eric Judy and Jeremiah Green!
Sean's off on a street corner, preaching from the bible he wrote and looking for "converts", so it falls to me to recount the things that happened today that weren't related to oil being everywhere. That doesn't leave much, so there's some oil stuff in here too. Fuck you if you don't like it.
Local Pittsburgh politician and future victim of having trash dumped on his lawn, Councilman Matt Drozd, has a bright idea for the Stanley Cup finals going on right now between Philadelphia and Chicago: he wants people in Pittsburgh to root for Philly based on some arcane tax revenue/yay Pennsylvania reasons. After my urge to stab him subsided, I decided to honor the Flyers in much the way I'm sure they did when the Pens were in the Finals the past two years... but then I decided against urinating on myself while decrying a league wide conspiracy against my team. Fuck you Drozd and don't ever suggest -even in jest- that we root for anything to happen to Philadelphia besides some epically Biblical smiting.
Let's check the score on BP and celebrities. Listened to Kevin Costner? Check. Listened to James Cameron? That's a negatory good buddy, with BP turning down the director/undersea documentarian's help in providing access to underwater equipment/technicians. Cameron responded by saying "those morons don't know what they're doing" and referred to BP's handling of access to video and the site as "asking the perpetrator to give you the video of the crime scene". Uh-oh, looks like I know who the thinly veiled, subtle as a sledgehammer, mustache twirling villains of Avatar 2 are going to be. Hurts, doesn't it, neocons?
In "Democracy" news, Diebold, the crooked, politically active, former makers of easily hacked and zero paper trail voting machines, had to pay $25 million to the SEC to settle a fraud case. The SEC will continue to pursue criminal charges against three of Diebold's executives. Gee, if this is the way they handle their books and their accounting, it really warms your heart to think about the way they handled all those voting machines.
In "This is how the world works" news, a recent lawsuit that attempted to sue pretty much every energy company for creating emissions and global warming conditions that helped exacerbate Hurricane Katrina -effectively a trial on global warming- will not be allowed to continue. Why? because so many of the judges on the 16 judge appeals court panel had to recuse themselves because of "conflicts of interest" with the energy companies, that no true majority opinion can be reached and thus the case cannot proceed. So that makes it pretty much all three branches of government that are completely entwined with private interests. I was worried it was only two.
A study recently published by two UCLA economics professors showed a surprisingly political effects between "nudging" people about energy conservation -i.e. providing energy saving tips as well as information on electricity usage to households- and energy consumption. Those who were registered Democrats who received the "nudges" tended to cut consumption by 3-6%. But those who were registered Republicans actually increased consumption as a result of the "nudges". They essentially scientifically showed that conservatives would actively act out against their own interests if they received what they perceived as a "liberal"/"pussy environmentalist" message on it. For further evidence of this phenomenon, I submit the past two decades in US politics.
Finally we close with the best orangutan/hound-dog buddy video of the week. Caution: you might overdose on cute and go into catatonic "Awwwwwww" shock.