an admission from john dingell that we were right

A few years ago, my friend Kerri and I, and some other folks, launched a campaign on this site, and in the editorial pages of a few local papers, asking Congressman John Dingell to stop fighting fuel efficiency standards and denying the severity of global warming, and instead turn his attention toward making Michigan a leader in alternative energy and next-generation transportation. We suggested that he embrace higher fuel efficiency standards, and turn his attention instead to bringing federal research and job-training dollars to Michigan so that we could remake the automotive industry. We made the case that Michigan, with him at the helm, could lead the country in a green revolution. It was a positive campaign. We told him that we realized that, over the past several decades, he may have been serving his constituents by protecting the interests of the Big 3, but that the situation had changed. We encouraged him to look at the facts and rethink what was now really in the best interest of the men and women of Michigan. We told him that we would stand behind him if he had the courage to look beyond the short-term interests of the auto companies and put Michigan on the right track for the future. And, as we now know, he chose to continue the course that he was on, which ultimately lost him the chairmanship of the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and cost us one of our most powerful voices in Washington. Well, it seems as though, now that he’s lost the power he once had to help determine the future of our region, he’s had a change of heart. The following quote came from John Dingell yesterday.

I should have held the automotive companies more accountable for their actions, or inactions, over the years. -John Dingell

If he’d only said the same thing a year or two ago, Michigan might have had a fighting chance… Now, of course, it’s too late.

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55 Comments

  1. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Dingell’s job isn’t to hold his constituents responsible, it’s their job to hold him. He represented. His district deserves the blame.

  2. Mark H.
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    OEC’s comment represents one side of long standing debate in American government: Should representatives merely echo what they take as the views of their constituents, or should reps. seek to lead the country (or state or city, depending on what level of representation we’re talking about) forward? It’s one of those debates in which side has weakness and strengths, neither is fully correct.

    But if leaders aren’t capable of identifying the tough problems and leading us into viable solutions for those problems, even if their constituents are thought to be opposed to such practical steps, then there is no actual leadership. The Congress ought to have leaders, not just deal-makers.

    I think Mark M. is right on about Dingell here — a full time congressman with a staff should have been able to be farsighted enough to realize that the status quo wasn’t sustainable for the auto industry. Heck, lots of auto industry employees knew that, as did millions of others.

  3. Posted January 9, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    If he’d only said the same thing a year or two ago, Michigan might have had a fighting chance… Now, of course, it’s too late.

    I don’t think Rep. Dingell’s actions a year ago would have made much difference at all for Michigan today. After all, what we’re experiencing now is the effects of at least the last 30 years worth of economic policy in Michigan, with threads of infrastructure and municipal structure going back 50-60 years.

    One year ago wouldn’t have made much difference. Auto culture (both building and using) is too ingrained into Michigan for any change to have come that quickly.

    Structural economic change is a long, slow process – it’s not about leadership now providing change a year from now, but about leadership now driving the change that comes 10 years from now…Because that’s how long it will take for change to percolate through.

    Rather than throwing up our hands and saying, “Hey – too late, never mind,” because some imagined singular deadline wasn’t met, why not recognize and support this nascent shift in attitude as the small but necessary piece of our decade(s)-long transformation?

  4. Posted January 9, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t see how Dingell could have done anything. It is not government’s job to tell businesses what kind of products they need to produce.

    Michigan auto companies dug their own graves. It’s not the fault of Dingell, foreign auto companies or Santa Claus. For god’s sake, let them fall.

  5. Paw
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    It is a leaders job to lead. It is a leader’s job to identify issues in advance and deal with them. A good leader isn’t solely reactionary. He or she anticipates problems and plans accordingly.

    John Dingell, by that measure, was not a leader. Some of you might not know this, but, until very recently, he was a global warming denier. When “An Inconvenient Truth” came out, he refused to see it. He fought fuel economy standards every step of the way. He was more interested in helping the American automotive companies make a fast buck than working with them to find a more sustainable solution. He owns a considerable amount of GM stock, and he was interested in selling large vehicles because it was good for the company’s bottom line, and good for him personally.

    And, Murph, you’re wrong that it wouldn’t have made a difference. If Dingell hadn’t fought change, he’d still have the chairman’s seat today. True, it wouldn’t have prevented the situation the automotive companies now find themselves in, but he’d still be at the head of the Committee.

  6. Curt Waugh
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    If Dingell had fought the auto companies in the way back, he probably wouldn’t have kept his seat for so long. He is the auto industry’s Johnny-on-the-spot. He is bought and paid for and his voting record shows it. What’s to quibble about?

  7. Robert
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    It reminds me of what I once heard a comedian say about driving in traffic; “Everyone going slower than I do is an idiot and everyone going faster than I do is a maniac.”

  8. Posted January 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Both sides of this debate have little understanding of why people aren’t buying “American cars” (a term impossible to define today with imported parts dependencies).

    Most people see cars as just necessary appliances (this explains why most Toyotas have the styling of pill-shaped dryers). And they want their appliances to last.

    Up until recently, US brands were perceived to be (and were) not as reliable as most foreign brands. Then, mileage / CO2 spew was not as much of a concern, but now Toyota’s US-initiated Hybrid Drive system is the agreed-upon path to reasonable environmental transport.

    Dingell is an old dumbass, but it was US engineers who gave Toyota its hybrid technology. Had he encouraged more American tech development to stay with US companies…wait those companies didn;t want it.

  9. Robert
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s mean that guys like Mark, Brackache, and Leighton keep depriving us of their superior leadership qualities. How long are you guys gonna make us beg?

  10. UBU
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Amazing he didn’t mention your name…

  11. Brackache
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Man, Robert. What’s your sensitivity to Dingell criticism all about? That’s what got you all hostile and acting like a tittie-baby last time, if memory serves.

  12. Brackache
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I mean shit, I hadn’t even commented about this one!

  13. mark
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve got to believe there was a different way all of this could have gone down. Michigan didn’t have to be where it is today.

    But I do agree with whoever it was that said I was being to fatalistic, or whatever, when I wrote that now it was too late for Michigan. I suppose there’s still a chance to turn things around.

  14. Mark H.
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I think Murph and Mark M. are both right, on the big picture issues, and everyone who’s saying Dingel is blameless for the auto industry’s problems is missing the boat. Dingel didn’t have to be “The Representative from GM,” as I recall he was dubbed by environmentalists three decades ago for using his power to block regulations on automoive generated air pollution.

    The american auto industry relied on political power in Washington for decades to head off pressure for safer, cleaner cars; this worked as long as there were few or no imports in the American auto market, but all that changed starting in the 70s. But the Big Three, instead of noting the evolving nature of the consumers’ taste in cars, which included both super large cars and affordable, efficient cars, went to Washington to delay having to get lead out of gas, delay installing safety belts and later air bags, and to head off improved fuel economy. And instead of making solid vehciles, the Big Three marketed Pintos and Vegas. As a result….lots of Americans decided to go for the imported cars that better suited their tastes and needs.

    Yes, this is history going back 40 years, but Dingel was there all thru those decades, helping to protect the worst instincts of the rulers of the Big Three. Meanwhile, other sectors of the American economy — in particular, the financial sector, which wanted to internationalize all markets — opened the USA up to a flood of imports.

    The result? Economic catastrophe for the Big Three, but management was decades slow to see the long term, and instead relied on a small sector of the market for all its profits (SUVs, trucks), and avoided investing.

    The political economy shaped the downfall of the American auto industry every bit as much as the “market” on its own did. Dingel is a very effective legislator, and he was devoted to protecting the Big Three as defined by those companies’ top leaders and lobbyists. That’s not leadership. It’s a certain kind of narrow representation of his district, or of a portion of his district’s short term interests.

    If Dingell had changed his tune 20 years ago, or a decade ago, it would have helped a lot. A year ago? Not so much, but it might have helped him keep his chairmanship.

    And Dude – your idea of how

  15. Mark H.
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    And hey Dude – it is government’s job to tell companies that their products must be safe and reliable. That was settled about a century ago in this country. Dingell agrees with that, and has been in some areas an effective advocate for safe products and the necessary regulations. Where he and the entire US Govt. failed was to apply that principle to automobiles in a way that recognized that the well being of the Earth is essential to the health and safety of all consumers.

  16. Mark H.
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    In fact, it’s the governments responsibility to hold our dicks as we pee.

  17. Posted January 10, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Mark,

    Hi! I’m the staffer trusted by Jogn Dingell to monitor your site. Right now he’s locked in the bathroom sobbing “Mark was right! Mark was right!” Is there anything you can say to cheer him up? Maybe we can get on board with that shipping container thing. John also does some lovely macrame in his spare time that would look great at you “Shad Roe” art fair — but does all the work have to be about fish in that?

    Yours,
    Manifex Saltmarsh

    P.S. I’d love to be on YOUR staff when the time comes. Don’t tell John.

  18. Posted January 10, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “And hey Dude – it is government’s job to tell companies that their products must be safe and reliable.”

    I don’t think that the left’s infatuation with creating restrictions on what products the car companies make has anything to do with being safe and reliable. I really think this issue is less about the greater good of society and more of a certain set of people feeling like they can stick it to the man.

    I know that’s sweeping but it’s a feeling I get when I read left-leaning blogs and editorials. The focus is always on small, efficient vehicles in urban areas. Farm and rural communities appear left out of the discussion so the whole thing strikes me as classist. Kind of like Mark’s earlier comment about how we “managed” when gas was $4.00 a gallon.

    I’m no Repub, nor am I a conservative, but I often feel that there’s a component of a desire for power inherent in these discussions. There are much bigger fish to fry.

    The car market will change on it’s own, at least in terms of fuel efficiency. It will have to, with or without laws.

  19. mark
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Go ahead and make fun. I do, however, think that we – those of us on the site who have worked to push Dingell on the issue over these past few years – we ultimately proven to be right. With all that said, though, I like Dingell. If you go back and read through the old posts, you won’t see attacks against him. I sincerely wanted him to be the guy to lead us in our turn-around. I think he had the power and the skills to do it, too. He was uniquely positioned to push for federal legislation to help the Big 3 make the transition. The day after 9/11, he should have said, “We need to get away from oil, and the automotive companies need to lead that change.” Instead we kept selling Hummers. And he refused to even listen to the evidence of global warming that was being presented to him. And, yes, we couldn’t have made the change over the past 6 years, but we could have begun it. Instead, we did nothing. And he’s a fault. He had an opportunity to play an important, historic role, and he chose to keep doing business as usual. It cost him the Chairmanship, and it cost Michigan its economy.

  20. Robert
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Is it “acting like a little baby” to say you’re full of shit?

  21. Brackache
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Tittie baby. The word was “tittie.”

  22. Robert
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Ok, Brackache, well that’s a little better. I am sort of a tittie baby, I admit. Ok, I’m a tittie-baby, and Mark H is a “chicken.” Now, you wanna get to something with some substance to it?

    In my first comment to this thread I was planning on attacking Leighton for calling Dingell an “old dumbass”. First off, that’s an incredibly bigoted comment. What would have you shitheads said if he called Conyers a “black dumbass” or Pelosi a “stupid bitch?” Second, Dingell is certainly not dumb, no matter what you think of his policies. Leighton, on the other hand, quite frequently gives the rest of us good reason to consider him a dumbass.

    However, I didn’t want to attack Leighton and leave Mark’s somewhat ego-centric silliness here untouched. His self righteousness is sometimes of the sort that only one far from actual decision making could spout so thoughtlessly.

    So I was going to tittie-bite Leighton and Mark. But why should I leave out the biggest bullshitter on this site? When it comes to easy-chair quarterbacking, you Brackache take the cake. You’re so full of shit I don’t know where to begin.

  23. Brackache
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Robert, you don’t know where to begin because I’m not full of shit.

    You get really riled when people criticize Dingell for things he’s actually done wrong.

    We were on friendly terms before I criticized Dingell for voting for the first Bailout, my strong opposition to which I’ve been vindicated on. Then you got super pissed about it and threw a tantrum. You strongly imply that to criticize him, we need to walk a mile in his shoes by being decision makers. That implication is absurd.

    Why the super sensitivity to completely justified criticism towards Dingell? It’s easy for you to call Bush names and justly criticise him, but you’ve never been President. I see a double standard.

  24. Mark H.
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I too respect John Dingell. A very accomplished and dedicated public servant. Like all politicans with long careers, his has much to praise and some to criticize. I personally recall writing him letters, 30 years ago as a novice environmental activist, at the behest of environmental organizations that found he used his then already considerable influence to restrict new environmental regulations on the automobile industry. His position then was mistaken, and a given away of the public interest.

    Look at the history, Dude, of federal relations to the auto industry, and you will see that my account of it has more validity than your impression that advocates of law and order for industry want to “stick it to the man.” It’s a well established fact that the industry resisted, for example, demands for lead free gas and air bags, and spent a fortune resisting such mandates. Lead free gas and airbags of course did much to make the products of the auto industry much safer.

    And for anyone who cares — someone other than myself made the vulgar comment in my name about Government helping people urinate. But when individuals may need assistance to perform such bodily functions, yes, I favor government sponsored health care programs that would aid such people. Health care for all!

    Safe cars too!

    What’s radical or left wing about such goals? Basic security for people’s well being is, in my mind, a rather conservative and entirely reasonable goal.

    Peace and prosperity to all human kind!

  25. the real Robert
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, I didn’t think pointing out how full of shit you are would put us on unfriendly terms. It’s the kind of thing I’d point out to any friend. For example, Mark and I have been on friendly terms for a long time, We each have always thought that the other one was completely full of shit.

    Anyway, you’re so off on so many things. Let’s go over just you last comment for example.

    No, I don’t “get really riled when people criticize Dingell for things he’s actually done wrong.” Mark H did just that in his last comment and I am not riled at all. Mark H gives respect where it’s due and makes intelligent criticisms. What I DO do, is get riled at stupid people making stupid comments. It honestly doesn’t have anything to do with whether I agree or not with the positions they seem to be taking.

    Then you say, “We were on friendly terms before I criticized Dingell for voting for the first Bailout, my strong opposition to which I’ve been vindicated on. Then you got super pissed about it and threw a tantrum.”

    If I threw a tantrum, Brackache, it was because your comments weren’t thoughtful criticisms, but instead your usual name calling, hollow self-righteousness, and disjointed logic.

    Then you say I “strongly imply that to criticize him, we need to walk a mile in his shoes by being decision makers.”

    “Strongly imply,” Brackache? Really? Does what you imagine I am strongly implying take precedence over what I actually said in response to the accusation, as it was made by Curt if I recall correctly? Do I need to say it again?…and how many times, may I ask?

    Ok, one more time for the slow ones…
    I don’t think people need experience in public office to thoughtfully criticize those who hold those offices. What I DO THINK is that a guy with your opinions wouldn’t last a minute in any of these actual positions. The stupid ideas you love to spout constantly would shatter faster than you can spit. That is my one any only point in my attacks on those brilliant “criticisms” of yours.

    So you see, you imagine a double standard, as you do a lot of things. I’ve seen you project other people’s opinions on them, as opposed to addressing their actual opinions. I guess it makes it easier to prove to yourself you’re a genius, over and over.

  26. Posted January 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    “Look at the history, Dude, of federal relations to the auto industry, and you will see that my account of it has more validity than your impression that advocates of law and order for industry want to “stick it to the man.” It’s a well established fact that the industry resisted, for example, demands for lead free gas and air bags, and spent a fortune resisting such mandates. Lead free gas and airbags of course did much to make the products of the auto industry much safer.”

    I agree! But these were issues of safety. A car with low gas mileage is not necessarily a more unsafe car. In fact, smaller vehicles are more unsafe. I stronlgy support government intervention in air bags to reduce fatalities, phasing out leaded gas to improve air quality and emissions control, but I don’t see how creating legislation to improve mpg falls under any under a safety umbrella.

    Sure, it’s good to have fuel efficient cars but the fact is, that many auto consumers in this country need large vehicles, which american companies are really good at making. Think commercial and farming, here. Why would Ford want to screw around making small fuel efficient vehicles when their market share is in trucks? Creating mpg restrictions is not fair to makers that cater to a particular sector of the market.

    Consumers will decide if they want to stop paying big bucks to take their kids to the soccer game and will buy a smaller car in response to the market, as was shown recently. Mpg restrictions force all car companies to make the same products, which is not wise from an economics standpoint in the least.

  27. john on forest
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Put a substantial tax on crude oil and mpg mandates for automobiles will not be needed. (Maybe.)

  28. Brackache
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. Well Robert, I’ll have to leave comparing our rationality, various pot-kettle accusations, and the truth of our statements to the individual objective observers, who probably don’t give enough of a damn about our arguments to follow along anyway.

    …seeing as how I don’t have a comment on the original topic to defend in the first place, before being dragged into a fight by you for no reason.

  29. the real Robert
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s like running around and flapping his arms saying he’s flying. I just want you to go over a cliff and find out how well you really fly.

  30. the real Robert
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    That was strange. My last comment posted without my backspacing and deleting edits. It should have read like this:

    It’s like watching a guy running around and flapping his arms saying he’s flying. I just want you to go over a cliff and find out how well you really fly.

  31. Brackache
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    ???

  32. Mark H.
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Dude, I don’t know if you believe global climate change is caused by human action, but I do; and i also believe that the USA has gone to war 3 times in the last 17 years for reasons that fundamentally come down to access to foreign oil.

    Therefore, reducing American oil consumption is a vital need for the safety of the American people. Thus mandating reductions in average MPG is a reasonable precaution for the Government to take to protect the health and safety of the people.

    I think the first radical to advocate improved MPG standards as a federal mandate was Richard Nixon — in reaction to the first oil shock of 1973. He wanted the US to be less dependent on foreign oil. Still a good idea. An even better idea is for the US to be less dependent on oil and all carbon based fuels.

    I am not defending how those mpg mandates have been crafted, as they were watered down in countless ways; but the principle is absolutely sensible, and it reflects the reality that the “market” responds to the totality of the demands created by the political economy. One of the tragedies of these mandates is that the Big Three did not take them seriously, as they were confident of getting them delayed and watered down before they became effective, thru their allies/supporters/puppets in Washington.

    And John on Forest_ yes, a high gas tax would do a lot of good. Good luck getting that thru Congress.

  33. Mark H.
    Posted January 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    excuse my error – I meant the opposite of what i typed, “mandatory reductions in average MPG.” Meant to say “increases” not reductions.

  34. Posted January 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all those things, but I also realize that climate change is a hard sell to most people and that the ways mpg requirements were constructed were unrealistic. Also, I see auto companies responding to consumer demand for higer mpg vehicles so I think that putting laws on the book might, in the long term, be superfluous.

  35. mepatrickyounot
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Dude wrote, “Why would Ford want to screw around making small fuel efficient vehicles when their market share is in trucks? “
    Maybe because they are a complete failure and have to beg the gov’t for dough?

  36. Posted January 11, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Ford only asked for the option to borrow. I wouldn’t call Ford a complete failure in the least. They handled the economic downturn much better than GM.

  37. Posted January 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Thank you SO much. I know it means the world to John to hear that you like him. And by the way, it turns out John wasn’t locked in the bathroom by himself after all — he was with Barney Frank. And those noises — they weren’t crying.

    Your campaign manager? (hint, hint),
    Manifex Saltmarsh

  38. Brackache
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I swear to God that wasn’t me.

  39. Posted January 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think so, Brackache. As low as I know you’ll go in insulting Dingell, I also know you wouldn’t insult homosexuals as that homophobe calling himself “Dingell Staffer.” Let’s get the penile plethysmograph hooked up to him.

    And as annoyed as I get at your arm-chair quarterbacking, Brackache, I still agree with you on more stuff than I do with the rest of the yahoos that infest this blog.

  40. Posted January 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Mark, God bless you and your pension for high diplomacy as relates to encouraging Mr. Dingell to do the right thing by his constituents.

    This particular incumbent is indeed the ultimate incumbent. While he has done some fantastic things it seems to me that he has failed miserably on 3 recent issues of importance: (1) the topic of this thread, the auto industry, environmental responsibility, etc.; (2) meaningful universal health care- sure he has introduced legislation for over 50 years, but that means for that years millions of Americans have gone with out the health care that they need- his best efforts have not prevented pain, suffering and death to those so unfortunate to get sick with out private coverage; (3) he has done nothing to hold Mr. Bush accountable for well documented High Crimes committed in violation of Federal & International Law.

    I’m happy to start working to build a campaign & fundraising infrastructure for an Independent candidate interested in replacing Mr. Dingell in 2010. A serious candidate has a lot of work to do, especially since they will likely be running against another member of the Dingell family on the Democrat ticket.

  41. Brachache flying
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    “It’s like watching a guy running around and flapping his arms saying he’s flying. I just want you to go over a cliff and find out how well you really fly.”

    Okay Real Robert, I’m doing just fine flapping, how about you? see if you can do better.

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1778399&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show
    _portrait=0&color=&

  42. Posted January 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    In my analogy, Brackache, “flying” represents actually taking some sort of leadership role in the real world.

    My point is that your ideas and attitudes would not hold up under real world conditions.

  43. Brackache
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    The flying guy wasn’t me. He spelled my name wrong, because copy/pasting or just addressing me as BA is too complicated. Not to mention just looking at how it’s spelled and spelling it right.

    Also I know how to make links. What a hairmarrier.

    I’m curious, Robert, now that you’ve picked another fight with me for no reason on a topic I’ve still not offered an opinion on, which of my opinions about Dingell’s voting record would not hold up in real world conditions… that he should have voted “no” on the first bailout, for instance? Because I can’t remember criticizing him for anything else.

  44. Brackache
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    So voting “no” on an obviously terrible bill that was wildly unpopular and has proven to be as shitty as predicted would not hold up under real world conditions.

    What real world conditions are we talking about here anyway?

    Pressure to vote a certain way by people who contribute a lot of money to your campaign, even if the bill sucks and screws over the rest of your constituents?

  45. Posted January 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Brackache. I should have known better than to think “Brachache flying” was actually you. Your comments are never THAT pointless and stupid. Please accept this link as a token of my whatever.

  46. Brackache
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    That was very generous of you, Robert, very generous indeed. Now we’re all friends again, untill we get to feeling fighty.

  47. Brackache
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone else watch that flying suit video? Holy shit. How do you practice that till you get good?

  48. mark
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the flying suit is pretty awesome. I wonder if anyone has ever tried it out of a plane.

  49. Brackache
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    That must be how they practice it before moving on to (more) dangerous cliff diving. I mean, they have to hit terminal velocity for it to work, right? Can’t just jump off your bed your first time.

  50. ol' e cross
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    BA. They float and flutter around a bit before pulling the cord on their parachutes. It’s just fancy falling. It’s skydiving in an evening gown.

  51. Brackache
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    No, it’s superhero flying and you’re jealous.

  52. Robert
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Yeah, brackache, every time I start fighting with you, it occurs to me how much less interesting this blog would be without you.

    And, yes, even “Brachache flying” made a contribution by linking that video. So even your impostors bring some value.

  53. ol' e cross
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Superhero flying cat.

  54. Brackache
    Posted January 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Watch the slow motion: the cat’s tail helicopters around, I assume acting as a gyroscope to stabilize its fall. Now we know the secret.

  55. Posted January 14, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    The Smug factor of some of these posts (including Mark’s) could seriously endanger ypsi. Dingell’s a class act and is a public servant in the truest sense of the word. I think a lot of folks do not know how good they have it with Dingell as their rep.

    I pray he continues to run in 2010 and beyond.

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