Icy Tree

Yesterday it alternated between rain, snow, and sleet, the trees were coated with Ice for awhile.

Of course Icy Trees are best viewed in late afternoon sunlight…

Bill Gates on Energy, Climate and Poverty

Very important talk here, pretty much what I’ve been saying when I’ve taken the time to bash Gore and his anti-nuclear crowd in We.

It’s crucial that we create plentiful cheap energy – it’s also crucial that it be carbon free and safe. Bill thinks he knows a way.

Obama on Investing in Nuclear Energy

“We can’t keep on being mired in the same old stale arguments between the left and the right.” This is all too true – we have to have cheap clean safe energy in plenty if we are to cope with the problems of our future.

The Last Hurrah of the Holy Horde

and this is why you saw Glen Beck skate along the edge of the New World Order conspiracy theory chasm at several points during his speech. The fundamentalist right loves that stuff. When you look at Beck you have to say “There but for the grace of a bigger microphone and a bit of polish goes Alex Jones…”

Once again I have woken early on a rain dark morn while a distant train blares it’s horn across the plains as it hauls its hundreds of carloads of coal to the reactor for burning. This time I’m not pondering  mortality but rather the depths of depravity that my political party  has sunk to.

I watched bits and pieces of CPAC over the past few days in alternating bouts of despair and disgust. This is not the Republican party of the past, where people were pro capitalism, pro defense, and pro-liberty but generally minded their own business otherwise. This is the barking ugly underbelly – with Birchers invited openly, and even rumors that Nick Griffin of the openly Supremacist BNP was going to attend. (you can find reference to those unsubstantiated rumors at Stormfront, Amren, and in a press release from the newly formed “Sons of Liberty” at MSU – I refuse to link to those batshit sewers of hate and paranoia – if you don’t believe dig yourself, there are enough keywords in this parenthesized section to find what I’m referring to through Google easily enough.)

I’ve already spoken about what I think of politicians who would speak at this forum here , and here, but now it’s time to talk about the pudding head pundits who appeared. I watched Glen Beck play Kermit the doomsayer, and I watched him hearken back to one of our greatest presidents while trashing other great Republicans in direct opposition to Reagan’s dictum of never speaking ill of another Republican. Meanwhile Andrew Breitbart brayed in the lobby still fending off the accusations against him and his wannabe Alinksy-Right political operative, James O’Keefe.  The Oil and Coal lobbies were certainly well represented on the Global warming panel, but reason and science were entirely absent as one courageous questioner from the audience had the temerity to point out.

Early on in the conference Michelle Malkin was congratulated over the sale of Hot Air to Salem, and now there’s few voices on the right who are not owned lock stock and barrel by the religious right. This is why you see Jerome Corsi and the whirled nuts daily crowd widely accepted while the other right wing blogs make faint disclaimers to the general press (wink wink, nudge nudge.) This is why you see the nativist Vdare and Birchers accepted with open arms, and this is why you saw Glen Beck skate along the edge of the New World Order conspiracy theory chasm at several points during his speech. The fundamentalist right loves that stuff. When you look at Beck you have to say “There but for the grace of a bigger microphone and a bit of polish goes Alex Jones…” Then when you look at one of the spokespeople for Young Americans for Freedom, Ryan Sorba, you have to say “WTF, is that a member of Westboro Baptist?” At some point you have to ask yourself “if Glen Beck, Ryan Sorba, and James O’Keefe represent the future of the Republican party, what kind of debacle are we headed for?”

I’ve lived through dim times for the Republicans before. It was a disheartening day when political operatives nick-named “The Plumbers” tarnished the whole party and caused the resignation of a sitting Republican President. It was dark times when the only widely heard voices on the right were populist piss and vinegar pundits like Joe Pyne, and his obverse, the overly erudite William F. Buckley who turned average Americans off. I fear we are headed to those days again as I look at the plumbers who are now widely embraced by the right, and the Tit for Tat tu quoque  instead of direction and principle from the major outlets of the right. I see those days coming again as I watch Christians lie for the cause and throw principles and morals overboard in search of ends that justify their evil means.

It doesn’t phase me much, because I know that truth does win out over time and the American public will see through phonies like these eventually – for these hypocrite holy and culture warriors cannot help themselves from going many steps too far, and their support and funding will be drying up over the next few years since the fully fundamentalist loons are truly a dying demographic. At some point in the next decade or two the old curmudgeons will all be dead, and there’s going to be as many pundits on the right who wished they hadn’t destroyed all of their credibility during this period as there are people on the left regretting that tattoo they got. Personally although I choose neither, I’d rather have tattoo regret than to know my life was one big lie after another.

Update: More on Sorba the geek at The Atlantic

Miserable Mewling Puke of the Month: Ryan Sorba

MMPOTM for February is Ryan Sorba, I’ll let the bigotted YAfF’er* speak for himself:

*YAfF = Young Americans for Freedom

YAF=Young America Foundation

Politicians Who Suck for Signing up to Speak at a Bircher Sponsored Convention

Here’s the list from CPAC, where the John Birch Society and Oathkeepers are Cosponsors. All of the people below are listed as confirmed speakers at the CPAC website.  I’m a lifelong Republican, and I will not donate a dime to any of these people or their causes in the future. I will actively campaign against them and for their political opponents even though I will have to hold my nose in a few cases while doing so.

Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney – you suck. Mitt won’t be receiving any money from me in 2012 like he did last round if he speaks at a Bircher sponsored convention.

Hon. Dick Armey, Hon. John Ashcroft, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Amb. John Bolton, Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, Tucker Carlson, Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, Sen. Jim DeMint, Hon. Newt Gingrich, David Keene, Wayne LaPierre, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Tom Price, Hon. Mitt Romney, Hon. Marco Rubio, Hon. Rick Santorum, Hon. J.C. Watts, George F. Will

The Party is Over; Time to Take Out the Trash

While Tea Party groups fight for ownership of the fractured and fissured political franchise their popularity continues to plummet, and without a positive vision and direction they are not going to sway the masses.

In a fit of desperation after the debacle of last election the old coalitions within the Republican party split and several lobby groups and factions jumped aboard the Tea Party movement which became the only loud voice in the power vacuum on the right. Anger and acting out can only carry you so far however, and the latest Rasmussen poll demonstrates why the Tea Party movement will get Republicans the loose and help maintain Democrat superiority in an election cycle where Republicans should instead make huge gains.

Running for government office while decrying government as evil is a contradiction, and that contradiction is becoming clear to the public. The various factions of the Tea Party movement reached out to the extreme right to bolster their butt weight and to gather people passionate enough to show up and demonstrate, something average Republicans don’t usually do in large numbers. So we have the John Birch Society at CPAC, and the Council of Conservative Citizens, and Dominionist Constitution Party members running some tea party locals. The other flavor of tea is more Earl Grey, it’s the same groups that put Bush in office trying to gain control of the movement while disavowing all knowledge of their past (Duke Cunningham, Ralph Reed, Abramoff, etc. etc. etc.)

We have infighting from those groups over who controls the message; while the SoCon and Paleo-industry factions are trying to control the death spiral through traditional means the fringers are trying to redefine conservatism to fit their bigoted and exclusionary templates. It’s a clear formula for failure and it’s why if you care about the future of the right you better stand up now and haul out the trash like the birthers who were at the Tea Party convention.

While Tea Party groups fight for ownership of the fractured and fissured political franchise their popularity continues to plummet, and without a positive vision and direction they are not going to sway the masses. Constantly bathing in bile makes them stinky, and freely associating with known creeps isn’t going to get them elected.

It’s past time the Republican leadership recognizes the demographics I pointed out post election, and it’s time to start building a platform and direction the public will buy. Nihilism doesn’t gain you followers; it does however appeal to trash fringers – it’s certainly nothing equivalent to Morning in America, instead it’s more like Mourning in America and it has to stop.

Update: The state of affairs right now appears depressing – but there are signs of sunlight on the horizon. NRCC Young Guns

Update: More on the fractured Tea Party at the NYT, and LGF.

Thought for the day

Just because you can imagine Nothing, it doesn’t follow that Nothing actually exists.

Soup De Jour: Hot Quark

At RHIC they have created some very hot Quark soup or a “nearly perfect liquid” — leading to speculation that the early universe might have been partially or all composed of it.

More at ABC and Physorg.

Valentine’s Day Blizzard

We had a very short, but heavy blizard roll through the KC metro area shortly after 2 PM today, and it caused at least three large car pileups due to the sudden white out and slick conditions on an otherwise clear day.

The newscasters are saying “hundreds” of cars, but it’s likely less than 200 from the scenes I am seeing of the three separate pile ups, two of them on I-70, and one of them on I-35.  The snow was gone here in under fifteen minutes however I did get some pictures of the snowfall, and snapped a photo of the news broadcast. I was too late to get the massive pileup on the bridge, but one overpass had cars sandwiched in like tuna from one end of the bridge to the other, and they were some atop of others.

More on this at KSHB