Hey, Fixer….

Oh, man. You have to check this out:

On June 15, 1957, a new gold and white 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe was buried in a time capsule in downtown Tulsa, OK. The time capsule was part of Golden Jubilee Week: Tulsa‘s celebration of Oklahoma‘s semi-centennial. The car is buried under the sidewalk in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse, approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Sixth Street and Denver Avenue.

The car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization. According to event chairman Lewis Roberts Jr., the Plymouth was chosen because it was “an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now.”

The contents of a women’s purse, including bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, cigarettes and an unpaid parking ticket, were added to the glove compartment of the car shortly before burial.

How handy are you with a jackhammer? Wonder if we can tunnel in there and snatch that thing before anyone notices…

Well, I think I will have a cigar in their dishonour.

Skilling and Lay, or as they will soon be known, Trixie and Layla, found guilty on multiple counts.

The Enron jury just came back with its verdict. Ken Lay has been found guilty of all six of his jury trial counts, as well as having been found guilty of banking fraud charges in a bench trial portion of the charges. Jeffrey Skilling was found guilty of 19 of his 28 charges.

Now, if you were Ken Lay, and you were in on those Cheney Energy Task Force talks where they divvied up Iraq in August of 2001, wouldn’t you be thinking about getting Someone (ANYONE!) on the phone right about now?

Long-time readers (both of you) will remember my Grand Unified Filed Theory of the Iraq war, Plamegate and the foot-dragging on the Lay/Skilling trial….

With any luck, it will all come unraveled with one or two phone calls made by a man who REALLY wants to stay out of jail.

I’d like to punch this guy

Get a load of this lickspittle at CNN/Money:

I’d like to speak in defense of oil companies.

It’s not a position I generally like to take but here it goes: I’m SO tired of all this whining! I’m talking about gas prices.

First the oil companies scour the freaking globe, going to the most gosh-forsaken dangerous places on earth to find the stuff. Then they pump it. Then they ship the stuff in huge, complicated ships halfway across the world. Then in giant, expensive plants they refine the stuff through amazingly complicated processes and turn in into gasoline. Then they distribute it to rural Nebraska and Vermont and all over the USA.

And if you’re not good little boys and girls, Santa “Big Fucking Oil” Claus will just take his oil to little children in India and China.

This guy’s suggested solution?

Buy their fucking stock?

Don’t like the ass reaming we’re giving ya? Well, why don’t you suck our dicks, too?

eponymous, reading over my shoulder, points out that perhaps we should stop subsidizing Big Oil’s adventures in the “gosh-forsaken dangerous places on earth” with our military and massive tax breaks and let them compete with Venzuela and Bolivia on even terms…. wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment in this whole capitalism thing?

I spy with my little eye….

Something that starts with “HELL, YEAH….”

I live in a sleepy little town. There’s less than 240 of us, I think was the last count.

SO, there’s a little house right next to the post office, and I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but there’s a ’71 Dart Swinger that someone really loved at one time- it’s got the Bee stripe and some nice tires, now all flat… it’s under a tarp, just kind going south in a hurry. I have banged on the door a few times to see if the guy will at least let me pump up the tires and drive it around the block to keep it from going completely to hell. He hasn’t ever been home.

Until today.

Today, we was out washing his OTHER car….

I got some pictures with the phone. Sorry for the quality, but that’s camera phones.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the OTHER car:

Drives it once a month to give him an excuse to wash and wax it.

It’s CHERRY, too. 440 and all. He even cranked it and revved it good just so he could watch my eyes glaze over.

*sigh*

You can see the Dart under the tarp in the very, very back of the first photo. See the blue bump?

Slow weekend in Dartville

I have often made the mistake of assuming that if a replacement part for a car is cheap, then the repair itself is going to be a breeze. It’s a prejudice that makes no sense, unless you consider it in terms of major repairs: New transmission= very expensive part= very difficult replacement job. New motor? Same thing. Headlight? Cheap and fast.

Meet the paradigm smasher:

Motor mount for a 1972 Dodge Dart? $3.64. No big deal, right? It’s just a piece of rubber with two pieces of steel bonded to it that bolts into a bracket on the engine… which rests on it, so… yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I spent the better part of Saturday driving from parts place to parts place LOOKING for a motor mount. I finally found ONE at AutoZone. By then, I was starving, so I stopped at my favorite taqueria and got a plate of roast chicken, beans and rice. Then I went to Don’s shop.

I pulled the Dart up onto the ramps and borrowed Don’s motorcycle jack (which cradled the oil pan perfectly) and jacked up the motor. Everything went swimmingly until I made the novice error of novice errors: I put the socket INSIDE the bracket and then backed the bolt right into it, which captured it there. I couldn’t go forward and I couldn’t go back.

Don was in his shop working on something or other.

“Hey…. uh, Don? You got a second?”

We both hacked at it for about 30 minutes before I jammed a screwdriver in there, reversed the direction on the socket and made enough slack to get it loose. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After that, getting the holes on the bracket to line up seemed pretty easy, though a lot of crap fell off of the engine and into my eyes while I was doing it. (My kingdom for a lift.)

Don’s corgi, T.S., likes to come and see what you’re doing when you’re lying under a car, by the way. He likes to get right on top of your head and then look up. He’s a very cute dog. That’s what saved his life.

The old motor mount came out in two pieces. It had been destroyed by the constant dripping of power steering fluid from the leaky pump that I replaced. Once I had the old one in, we tested it by doing a couple of burnouts in the parking lot. So far, so good.

I still have a freshly dipped intake manifold waiting to be installed. It’s so clean you could eat off of it and I am going to paint it this week, but I didn’t want to get into pulling off the old manifold, the valve covers and all of that without nine hours of daylight to play with, in case I broke a fastener or something.

I spent Sunday running the tiller in our garden plot. We are already planting tomatoes and basil down here. More on that later.

Another Example of Right Wing bloggers being led down the path?

Remember when all of those Iranian Democracy logos popped up on the Instahackolyte sites? There was some nebulous organization called “The Blog Iran! Campaign” that seems to have gone dry some time in June of last year. (Mission Accomplished?)

I wonder if it was in any way connected with (accused war profiteer and defense contracting fraudster) Mitchell Wade and MZM industries, the fine folks who bought Duke Cunningham.

Wade — who’s facing several years in the big house for bribery, fraud, tax evasion and more — registered the “Iranian Democratization Foundation” in April 2004. Two months later, the White House signed the first of three contracts with Wade’s company MZM for “intelligence services.” In all, Wade’s contracts with the Executive Office of the President were worth $250,000. His foundation has since been dissolved.

We’ve called the White House three times asking for more information about the contracts, but they have yet to call us back. Meanwhile, a cursory check has turned up no other filings for Wade’s nonprofit: no employer ID number, 990 filing, or anything else. Nexis shows no mention of the group in any news coverage.

Pouring money down a rathole for fun and profit? I mean, you’d have to have not been paying attention to not notice the publicity arc of the “Iran Democratization” campaign being alarmingly similar to the “WMD in Iraq” campaign.

Whether MZM was involved in the whole blog campaign or not, I have to ask myself- Do these talking-points-barking right wing blogs EVER get tired of being duped?

Update:

WhoIs registration for the Blog Iran! site:
Cyrus ActivistChat
San Diego
San Diego, CA 43178
US

info@activistchat.com
+1.8586106666

Domain Name: ACTIVISTCHAT.COM

San Diego? Isn’t that where Duke Cunningham is from? Wasn’t there an MZM office in SD? Who’s gonna call that number and ask for Mitchell Wade?

(Another) Update:

Called the number. No Mitchell Wade there.

I just need a couple of bucks until this thing I am working on comes through

I swear, you know I’m good for it. Ain’t I always paid you back before? Except that one time, but… yeah….

Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told Congress last week that it had begun to use the TSP’s government securities fund to keep from hitting the $8 trillion debt limit. He called on congressional leaders to increase the debt limit by mid-March, suggesting that was when the Treasury might not be able to meet its financial obligations.

Let me descramble that transmission for you, if you’d like. It’s the third month of the year 2006, and the Treasury Secretary is essentially saying “Look, yeah, we’re dipping into the RETIREMENT SAVINGS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES… but it’s cool and shit. We can always print more money or something.”

The G Fund is one of the most popular investment choices for federal employees, in part because it provides steady returns (4.48 percent for the 12-month period ending Jan. 31). The fund, available only to government personnel, allows investors to earn rates of interest similar to those of long-term government securities without any risk of losing principal and with little volatility in earnings.

The G Fund has about $65.3 billion in assets, but a Treasury spokeswoman said officials “will just take what we need to get through each day.” Treasury began suspending G Fund investments Thursday, according to Snow’s letter.

Just a little taste to beat the shakes, man, that’s all I need.

I am not sure why they’re dipping into the G Fund to avoid the $8 Trillion line, unless it’s just to avoid all of those headlines that say “Fiscally Conservative Republican Administration Hits $8 Trillion Debt Mark.”

Numerous federal employees object to the Treasury maneuver, contending that it amounts to a raid by the government into personal savings accounts. But officials noted that the G Fund has been used to avoid defaulting on the national debt several times, including during the budget showdowns of 1995 and 1996.

I am not sure how the first half of that paragraph is negated by the second half of that paragraph. Unless, of course, you’re looking at this from a purely partisan perspective, and what you’re essentially saying is “IT HAPPENED UNDER CLINTON, TOO!” which is cute, but fucking stupid. Those budget showdowns were engineered to make some kind of point by Cobb County Machiavellian Newt Gingrich. They lasted, what, five days? Ten?

This is hitting the bottom of the barrel of federal money, breaking through and continuing to dig into the earth’s crust, because of the disaster in Iraq soaking up trillions of dollars.

Hat tip to Agent Little Bird.