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It's starting. Today in two diaries on Claire McCaskill and Akin we experienced two different idealists running the thread into the "I refuse to support her because she's too conservative and besides" (I kid you not) "she's an old biddy with a grating voice".

Fighting ensued. Long threads of personal insults and arguments that dredged up who was progressive enough and who lost this election or won that legislative battle.

Ugly, nasty, and certainly NOT in keeping with our goal of electing more and better Democrats.

This is an election season. We are up against the nastiest liars who've ever worked in politics. We need to find a way to discuss these issues without losing our edge--or the election. Toward that goal, I propose a few simple points to consider before firing that comment off in anger...

(Disclaimer: I'm just a user with no connection to Kos and Admin beyond my daily political habit and my Orange Fix [which sounds like a breakfast drink]. These are my thoughts on what has worked and not worked over the last few elections.)

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Being kinda' oldish at this point in my life, I've worked with a lot of people. I was blessed and cursed to work with two pathological liars in my career--experiences that were both fascinating and horrible.

As I watch Mitt Romney's performance as a candidate, his statements, speeches, press conferences, and debates, I was consistently reminded of the pathological liars I worked with. I've since spent a little time thinking about the parallels and doing a bit of research.

I wrote much of this diary today as a comment...but thought that as a diary it might be worthy to share and perhaps discuss.

Here are my thoughts on Romney as a pathological liar...

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Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM PDT

BAKING! The DK Pie contest!

by marksb

I'm proud to announce the April 2010 we're-all-going-to-chew-each-other-up-if-this-doesn't-stop Daily Kos PIE CONTEST!

For a change, we don't throw them, fun as that may be.

No, we bake them. Now I know that whatever our various flavors of progressive political belief system, whatever our levels of passionate dedication to our President, and whatever our respective, um, respect for our fellow progressives, one thing is pretty much true:

We do like our pie. So...

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Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 08:56 AM PDT

Fitness Monday: Running for My Life

by marksb

I’m going to admit it: I’m a runner and I can’t stop.

How bad is my addiction? This bad:
A couple of weeks ago while driving from Santa Barbara to Goleta, I was looking at the mountains instead of the road ahead of me (something we are all doing these days since we’ve had three fires in our hills in the last year.) I noticed there’s now a very wide fuel break (fire break) bulldozed up a ridge leading from the floor of our coastal valley up to the top of the ridge behind us. Hm, I thought, that’s a clear continuous trail, all the brush has been burned off it so it’s complete accessible, and I could run that! Of course I fired up Google Earth and measured the break (it’s somewhere between three and three and a half miles—with probably 2,500 ft elevation gain).

And I can’t get it out of my mind: I’m going to run that sucker before the summer’s out.

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Well here we are again, damnit.

A new fire started behind Santa Barbara at about 1:30 this afternoon, now called the Jesusita Fire, named after the Jesusita trail near where this started.

The most reliable source for news on last year's fires was The Independent, our great weekly paper. KEYT, the local TeeVee station is actually doing some reporting this time, but the Indy has been the best source in the past.

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Good morning.
Last night the winds died down, which basically saved parts of Santa Barbara and Montecito (to the south along the coast).
As the eerie morning sun rises we'll be able to see the damage and find out what the winds are going to do now.

I'd like to make this diary Friday's mothership for fire coverage and concern. Unrec last night's and rec this one up, if you find it worthy.

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Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:53 PM PST

Santa Barbara Fire

by marksb

Friday update: There's a new diary for Friday coverage here. Please unrec this and rec the new liveblog diary up. Hopefully we won't need it for long... Thanks!

Update: now called the "Tea Fire" (started at or near the Westmont College tea gardens)

This thing started a little before six tonight, up around Sycamore Canyon, and with 60+ winds forecast all night we may see our worst nightmare come true: Santa Barbara burning. We hold our breath every fire season as much of the hillsides behind us haven't burned in many years and our evacuation routes are often quite limited.

The foothills that make up the back of Santa Barbara are heavy with very dry brush. We've been at "red flag" alert status for months.

The small fire I saw at six has exploded into a major blaze in just over an hour. It's bad and the firefighters are up against jammed roads with evacuees, extreme winds, and rugged terrain. This is very serious.

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I was thinking about this while running this weekend.

It's clear that Palin's selection was partly about nullifying the effect of Obama's best-speech-ever performance at the DNC. And, to a large extent, it worked. The Speech is off the news pages and video reports and Palin and McCain are featured. The old adage "any news is good news" says that PR can keep the candidate's name and face front-and-center and in the public's eye. But I'm thinking this one completely backfired.

Obama gives a killer speech, the culmination to several killer speeches, including the best of Hillary's career (My wife the communications professor: "It's clear she's been watching and taking notes of Obama's style. She's combining the best of her style and the best of his.")

All the press, including conservative press and electronic media, note that quality and content of the speech, the details it offered, the way he held the attention and focus of 80K+ people--and 38 million viewers--and the way he delivered a newer, more populist message. One day of 90% positive reviews.

Then McCain nominates some unknown runner-up-beauty-queen moose-eating governor from the Alaskan wildlands, and the press, to a person, drops Obama and focuses 24/7 on our Bright Shiny Object, Ms. Palin.

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Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 08:12 PM PDT

How I Bought Bear Stearns

by marksb

Well, my daughter came home from college for Spring break on Saturday, and the rain never showed, so we spent quite a bit of time out in the sun and brilliant blue sky, having a lovely weekend.

This afternoon I was walking along Hendry's beach, a little behind my family, watching my youngest daughter as she danced around near the low tide on the rocks, and I ran across this guy in a rather nice Italian suit sitting on the sand. He looked like he was crying, so I asked him what that matter was. He sat up and quickly dried his eyes, honking on his monogrammed handkerchief, and blubbered out something about being completely broke.

Well, as you know, my business is down on Milpas Street, just around the corner from the homeless shelter, so I'm pretty familiar with this sort of thing, so I asked him if he needed a couple of bucks for bus fare or a beer or something.

He sighed and said while he appreciated the gesture, his problems were much bigger that two or three, or even five dollars. His problems were in the millions---billions, probably---and, as he said, "when the shit hits the fan, there's gonna' be a whole lot of guys in natty suits crying in the sand."

Oooookay, I said, so how bad can this be?

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Like many of us, I'm worried about the tone of many recent dairies, and I'm concerned that we may hurt each other to the point where supporting our candidate for the general election may fall victim to the passion we are experiencing now...

This diary will be long on opinion and recollection and short on facts. I haven’t the time to do enough research to make this a fact-filled essay, so I’ll just tell you what happened to me in 1972 during the primary and general election.

Let me start with one fact: in 1972 we got our asses handed to us. Nixon saw us tear ourselves apart in our inner-party war and took full advantage.

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My fantastic congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) responded in about three days to my email regarding the Markey amendment. Forgive me for just introducing and block quoting, but this is the kind of response we live for. I'm lucky, but those of you in other not-so-lucky districts, please keep the communications flowing.

I told her what that I supported her, that this issue was important to me, that I had a twenty-five year history of working in the network industry in some capacity, and that I wanted her to support this amendment and all efforts to keep the Net free.

This is an election year and every communication counts. Thanks.

Her letter:

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The LA Times Business Section has a column 1 article today about how Exxon is moving, before the report of their yearly numbers, to head off backlash from consumers and politicians.

Exxon Mobil Vice President Ken Cohen acknowledged that when the company and its industry brethren post fourth-quarter and full-year 2005 earnings -- a process that begins next week -- the results probably would trigger public outrage. That's what oil companies got when they reported record profits for the third quarter, a period that included post-hurricane gasoline prices above $3 a gallon.
More on the greedheads, and a modest proposal, on the flip...
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