Hand the match*

In a complete coincidence having nothing whatsoever to with eye shadow or other heretofore smoldering fires in the D.C. area, this terrific digression on Smoke in The Paris Review, courtesy of the late great John Berger, with illustrations by Selçuk Demirel.

* another old-timey saying involving smoking, common among the hobo gentry when one too-many were gathered around your flame.

When I see you, I See Red

Sticking with the X theme, and why not. Today’s Pigment of the Day: Madder lake.

So… positive words from Big Oil and their patsies political allies on the heels of efforts by Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman to put together legislation capping global warming pollution. I guess ‘positive’ isn’t quite the right word – it’s kinda like the line in Raising Arizona:

Evelle: [about the balloons he just bought] These blow up into funny shapes and all?
Grocer: Well no… unless round is funny.

Ha. Ha.

Industry officials said they too welcome the discussions of a carbon fee as part of the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman effort.

“Clearly it softens the reaction and increases the likelihood that a number of people who’ve been forced to push back will be much more cooperative in the dialogue,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

Gerard said that the carbon fee approach would yield net environmental benefits, while giving consumers the most transparent signal they can get about what the costs are from the program. Unlike the House bill’s cap-and-trade system, oil companies would pass through the costs with signs at the gas pump letting people know they’re paying more because of U.S. efforts to deal with climate change.

As Grist reports, the energy companies like the fee because they’ll be able to complain about it as a tax ‘Americans cannot afford’. Actually, re-setting a highly mobile bar, they will be decrying the removal of $80 billion in loopholes and oil company subsidies as an “unprecedentled tax.” Dig it.

I mean, drill… or whatever. The oil companies see the handwriting on the wall. We can’t change underwear without taking off our pants – and they know what a zipper sounds like, as much as they will spend spin like crazy to try and tell you it’s bubbling brook.