Congratulations Senator-Elect Webb! Congratulations Senator-Elect Tester

Congratulations to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid! Great day in the Morning! Hallelujah!

Congrats of course to winners everywhere (most especially to those in the mainstream, majoritarian party, the Democratic Party). A Democratic-led House of Representatives! Speaker Nancy Pelosi! A Democratic majority in the Senate! Hoo-boy. Some hope, at last, that we may pull back from the brink.

In Virginia the Republican candidate for the Senate is the racist thug brownshirt liar George Felix Allen, and in Montana the Republican candidate for Senate is the corrupt firefighter-hating Abramoff flunky Conrad Burns. They’re backed by the full force of the Repubiican Bush/Cheney/Rove crime family, er, national party who rightly fear marginalization if not impeachment, trial and conviction if two more Democratic senators are seated, so don’t expect them to go down without a fight — a nasty, dirty, dishonest fight. But Tester and Webb and Reid are no patsies, and a fair count will prevail.

It will be easier to concentrate on my day job today. Somehow the dread is much, much less oppressive this morning.

NIMBY Indeed

Our neighborhood has small lots, plenty of common greenspace, energy-efficient homes, nature trails, no overhead wires, and multiple kids in very nearly every single home. Last summer, we received a letter asking whether we would prefer a new high voltage power line to be located alongside the left of our neighborhood or by the arboretum in the middle.

We started going to “community input” meetings in the fall, and the more we found out, the more we were enraged. My wife Robin put together a grass-roots organization, WireSafeWisconin, and now this short video. (The speakers in the video are a former electric industry executive and a state assistant attorney general. The non-industrialized landscape pictures are of our neighborhood.)

We’ve been getting traction on local TV, radio, and newspapers, but these guys are pretty well armed. Time to break out the nuclear weapons. Below the fold is a letter to the editor tying the evil transmission company to the Wisconsin state influence scandal that has already brought down several leading state politicians (including state senate majority leader Chuck Chvala). With this escalation, Robin and I are beginning to feel like the protagonists in Cory Doctrow‘s Nimby and the D-Hoppers.

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Farewell to Abernathy

Last Friday, December 9, marked the departure of Republican Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy. The FCC therefore briefly drops to a 2-1 Democratic majority. But the Senate should confirm Deborah Tate, a Republican Public Utilities Commissioner (and neighbor of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist) before it adjorns, bringing the FCC back to 2-2.

A few reflections on Abernathy and some thoughts about the likely new Commission below.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Golden Globes, former presidents and media ownership

The Reagans, the miniseries originally created by CBS and then moved to Showtime, has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Not bad for a series that CBS dumped to its sister property Showtime on the grounds that it didn’t have enough balance to air on broadcast TV. But was moving the Reagans off broadcast an artistic decision, or a financial decision by Viacom to curry political favor at a critical time.

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