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Bracing For Indictments

   We're all bracing for the indictments to be handed down. We're also steeling ourselves. How do we know for sure that Fitzgerald and his Grand Jury will bring charges, rather than simply throw up their hands and say it was all a (chuckle, shrug, turn palms face up) huge misunderstanding? Because journalists and veteran Washington observers and various old-timers and Wise Men and insiders have this uncanny ability to sense stuff that's about to happen. You can just smell it in the air, like mercaptan. On CBS this morning, a reporter quoted, or actually paraphrased, an unnamed former prosecutor (or some kind of insiderish smart-person unnamed anonymous official) saying he could feel the indictments coming in his bones. That's practically solid information. That's like data.

    [Developing, as more body parts sense indictments on the way....]

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 18, 2005; 9:26 AM ET
 
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Comments

I always get kind of creeped out when someone says, "I can feel it in my waters."

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 9:39 AM | Report abuse

How many different versions of that were floated before one stuck?

I can feel it in my ears, nope.
I can feel it in my nose, nope.
I can feel it in my knees, nope that's just rain coming.
I can feel it in my loins...wrong situation.
I can feel it in my bones, bingo!

Achenfan, all I can say about that one is ewwww.

Posted by: TV Presenter | October 18, 2005 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Achenfan

I've heard that a couple of times too. I think those people should see a doctor. Might be a gall stone.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Did everyone see this great story on Retired Husband Syndrome (RHS)?:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/16/AR2005101601145.html?nav=most_emailed

Posted by: Achenbach | October 18, 2005 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Joel,

That was a great story. I loved the end where the husband who was cleaning the house and cooking ONCE a week said it was the least he could do.

At least that is better than the other couple mentioned in the story. Sounded like she might be dropping something extra into his miso some night.

Posted by: TV Presenter | October 18, 2005 9:57 AM | Report abuse

My mother has been complaining about this "RHS" issue for some time, since my father retired nearly five years ago. She tells me she worries about her own retirement in a year or so, for some of the very reasons outlined in this article. I'm glad to read that there are men's groups in Japan that are helping with what really is a problem and not just a trite issue, the way it may look at first glance. We really do have to learn to manage our lives and relationships at this retirement phase--probably we've never spent at much time with our spouses as we do when we retire. You'd think this would be a good thing, but I'm sure it's an adjustment. Maybe the key is finding some individual time and interests apart from your spouse, and separate from the social activities one has through work, throughout your marriage, and continuing that individual time during your retirement. That way, the adjustment with your spouse can be healthier and more positive. Thanks for the reading material, Joel.

Posted by: Erica Snipes | October 18, 2005 10:07 AM | Report abuse


I can feel in my bones that it just doesnt matter.

Posted by: pete | October 18, 2005 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I can feel it in my obdulla obligata

Also a slight loosening in one of my many sphincter muscles.

Posted by: temecula | October 18, 2005 10:10 AM | Report abuse

While some sniff mercaptan
The White House is crappin

Posted by: golconda | October 18, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, oooh, I feel a rant coming on.

Let's consider that if indeed Scooter is indicted (along with that mood enhancer Karl Rove), might it be possible (oh, pleeeeze, pleeeeze) that Cheney might be involved? After all, he has shown himself to be a masterful control freak, and a nasty SOB, to boot. How unreasonable would it be that he wouldn't control his staff? Scooter boy really wouldn't have done this all on his own, would he??? Not without the backing of the boss, would he???

Let's go all the way up to the Boss, shall we? Makes my bones feel good.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 18, 2005 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Judy,Judy,Judy.

Truth,justice and the American way.

Posted by: IMJS | October 18, 2005 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Joel, your comment with RHS link brought tears to my eyes.

You Kit on probable impending indictments against WH staff, then post a comment that's completely off-topic inside of 20 minutes.

*Sniff* I'm all verklempt.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 18, 2005 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I feel the traditonal second-term scandel is about to bloom, and I am waiting at the edge of my seat for it. DeLay, Scooter, Cheney, the whole lot of 'em, off with their heads! It's gonna be fun...

Posted by: LP | October 18, 2005 10:30 AM | Report abuse

bc,

I am sure that Joel is hiding something... some key information that he, and he alone, has.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 18, 2005 10:30 AM | Report abuse

LP,

It can't be as much fun as in the old days, the Tidal Basin, strippers. You know, the good old days.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 18, 2005 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Now ,let me see if i have this straight;
Two subordinates acting solely of their own volition, without any malice aforethought,who just happened to have in their posession top secret information that they "discussed" with a member of the "liberal' media that just happened-by pure dint of circumstance-to discredit a major critic of their repective bosses.

Posted by: IL-logical | October 18, 2005 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What's more amazing is that this random release of secret information started even before Wilson's Letter appeared.

Two guys sortta had the same idea to discredit Wilson because they sortta felt that they needed to get ready for damage control. Sortta on their own.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 18, 2005 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Enuf. Now, time for this blogg to prolapse into recipes, TV sitcom reveries, and self-congratulating witicism and flagurbation.

1, 2, 3, go..........

Posted by: Detritus | October 18, 2005 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Interesting word history, mercaptan.

Of course, if it's stinkiness that you're after, a al sulphur, may I heartily recommend the Sulpher Works and Bumpass Hell (the largest geothermal feature) at Lassen State Park in California. Equally odiferous are parts of Valcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

(So, JA, did you consult Kaiser on this?)

Of course, the political stink emanating from this Rove/Libby/others in Washington is beginning to reach the fumarole level. If there is an indictment, then the pot boileth over to magma-force levels.

TV presenter, my response to your late evening post is back on yesterday's blog topic.

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 10:45 AM | Report abuse

One more thing - is that mercaptan you smell in the air, or has Karl been sneaking half-smokes with chili again?

Karl, waving his hands: "Do NOT go in there!"

bc

Posted by: bc | October 18, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Sulphur (not Sulpher) Works at Mt. Lassen State Park

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Flagurbation? Is that when someone goes in the midst of a campaign to be photographed in a flag factory? Or is it more like relating everything to 9/11 and Al Quaeda?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 18, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh, hell, I've dealt with RH?S just by marrying a never-before-married man late in life - - rigid expectations from the sheer experience of having never been married before. He's well trained now, though my medical adventures have really taken off.

Excuse me while I eat the lunch my husband packed for me....kidding!

Posted by: sisjen | October 18, 2005 10:50 AM | Report abuse

sisjen,

Dooo you perform the medical adventures on your husband, or what?

Posted by: mostlyjerking | October 18, 2005 10:52 AM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy,

No, that is the period where, in the flag factory, you are too green to do stars, but can still sew on the strips.

It's when you get paid onlyu 70% of what everyone else gets paid.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 18, 2005 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who had no idea what the hell "mercaptan" is? I suspect -- and might I say that I can feel this in my bones -- that I was not alone.

Main Entry: mer·cap·tan
Pronunciation: (")m&r-'kap-"tan
Function: noun
Etymology: German, from Danish, from Medieval Latin mercurium captans, literally, seizing mercury
: any of various compounds that contain a thiol functional group : THIOL 1

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 18, 2005 10:54 AM | Report abuse

leaves changing colors
while waiting for indictments
to be handed down

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 10:56 AM | Report abuse

SCC waiting:bracing
not my finest moment

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think flagurbation has more to do with the handling of the flagpole than the actual flag itself.

Oh my.. did I really say that?

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 10:59 AM | Report abuse

mercaptan is a sulfurous smell associated with natural gas.

As in a gas leak...

bc

Posted by: bc | October 18, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

http://www.columbiagaspamd.com/community_outreach/mercaptan.htm

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't help it. The juxtposition of events, inspired a little story. I hope not to kill the Boodle, just keep in on track.

Here goes.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 11:12 AM | Report abuse

more correctly, mercaptan is added to natural gas, which is itself odorless, as a safety feature to help detect leaks. People who "smell [natural] gas" are actually smelling mercaptan.

Posted by: PJ | October 18, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The two men sat near the fire they had made in the hollow beneath the underpass. One had discovered an ancient wooden Coca Cola box among the rubbish and claimed it as his chair and nightstand. The other had found a cardboard box that contained separators for wine bottles; when he shifted his weight the box threatened to crumple under his middle-aged girth. Chatting occasionally, the two would fall into total silence whenever the whine and drone of a siren could be heard from the overpass above, as if their mere conversation could attract the attention of police.

Eventually, John, who had been patrolling the weed strewn underpass, emerged from the shadows and sat cross legged on the ground near the fire. In his black suit, his face seemed to be the only part of him to capture the light of the fire, creating an illusion that his head was floating in the air.

"Find anything?" asked Karl. John turned his head to his right, gesturing to the darkness beyond the fire. "Just two. Over there, by the river. I think they lived here." Now, facing both men, he said flatly, "They're gone, now."

"Good, John. Good job," said Karl. John, smiled his pleasant, calm smile. "Thank you, Master," he said.

"From now on, John, you'll have to call me Karl, OK, John?

"Yes, Mas - Uh, Karl," replied John.

"And you'll call Mr. Libby, 'Scooter,' OK?"

"No, I don't want him - or anybody - calling me 'Scooter,' dammit. We're on the run, remember? Scooter remonstrated.

"Sure, you're right, sorry." Karl said contritely. "John, we'll call him..." Karl looked at Scooter imploringly.

"Rick, just call me Rick." scolded Scooter, now Rick.

"Rick," said John, and turning to Karl, "Karl -"

"Uh, no. Now you should call me, uh, Tom. I'm Tom, now, John."

"What's my name, now," asked John, looking bewildered.

"It's still John, OK? That work for you, 'Rick'?" asked Karl, now Tom.

Scooter, now Rick, shrugged and nodded impatiently. He stabbed at the fire with a stick. "Why did he come along? He's not in trouble," his eyes rose to John as he spoke.

"Oh, he's awful handy. He can provide considerable protection. You've noticed, I'm sure, that there aren't any witnesses here," said Karl / Tom.

"But he's the Chief Justice of the frigging Supreme Court!" sputtered Scooter / Rick. Everybody knows him! I could stroll through a Wal-Mart and no one would recognize me."

Karl / Tom snorted, "No one at Wal-Mart would recognize any of us. If we wore blue vests, they'd just ask where to find toilet paper." Karl / Tom produced a can of chili from his backpack. "And no one else can do this," he added. Karl / Tom carefully opened the can with his Swiss Army knife and placed in on the ground before John. John looked at the can with his amicable smile. A glint appeared in his eyes, and formed into a narrow white beam that now focused on the exposed chili. In seconds, the chili bubbled and steamed in the can. The operation was not without mishap, however. A couple of meat clumps had exploded under the beam and gently sprayed the three men with red-brown sauce.

"Works better than a microwave," beamed Karl / Tom, as he wiped chili broth from his face with a handkerchief. "And, consider what he can do if the cops should catch up with us."

Scooter / Rick grunted in reluctant agreement and fished in his bag for a bowl and spoon. "He's still a one-trick pony, as far as I'm concerned. He can warm things up, but he can't cook to save his life."

"I was not programmed to cook," stated John, "but I can learn."

"Later," Karl / Tom, said, "Later. Right now, you should recharge yourself. Got your iPod, John?"

"Yes, Mast - uh, Tom. Tom. I do. Tonight, it's Rush talking about feminism. Time to recharge." John installed his earpods and sat motionless, taking in the recording. Still grinning.

"So," said Scooter / Rick, sampling his chili, "The president calls you Turd Blossum. What's he call me?"

"Just Turd," replied Karl / Tom.

At that, both men laughed. Quietly.

Posted by: AMerryCow United | October 18, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Mercaptan is also the main thing you smell in some kinds of two-part epoxies (it's in the hardner part). I'm not sure if it is also the main ingredient in "skunk" smell, but it is close. In epoxies it isn't nearly that strong, but it's enough to make you wince. (Not all expoxies use mercaptan, though, so if you've smelled an epoxy and it just smells faintly like popcorn,m it's not the mercaptan type. Mercaptain hardners also tend to occur in expoxies where the resin-to-hardner ratio is about 4-1. If the epoxy is a 1:1 mix, there's seldom any mercaptain in it.

That's quite easily more than ANY of you wanted to know about mercaptan and epoxies. Let's get back to Libby and Rove ASAP, shall we?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Mercaptan is also the main thing you smell in some kinds of two-part epoxies (it's in the hardner part). I'm not sure if it is also the main ingredient in "skunk" smell, but it is close. In epoxies it isn't nearly that strong, but it's enough to make you wince. (Not all expoxies use mercaptan, though, so if you've smelled an epoxy and it just smells faintly like popcorn,m it's not the mercaptan type. Mercaptain hardners also tend to occur in expoxies where the resin-to-hardner ratio is about 4-1. If the epoxy is a 1:1 mix, there's seldom any mercaptain in it.

That's quite easily more than ANY of you wanted to know about mercaptan and epoxies. Let's get back to Libby and Rove ASAP, shall we?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Going off-tpoic, you decide?

In Sunday's San Antonio Express-News, on page 2B of the Metro section, there is a box titled "How to Reach Us," with the various page/section editors listed, along with their names and phone numbers. Next to the listings, there is another area of boxed text, same height, with the headline, "Managing Anger." Why one of our local newspaper editors decided to play Jack Nicholson (in the film "Anger Mnagement") is beyond me, but the box lists six suggestions from the U.S. Center for Mental Health Services:

Pick your battles: Don't argue about everything.
Take a deep breath; count to 10 before you say a word.
Go for a walk.
Use "self-talk" to calm down. Say something soothing to yourself such as "I need to relax and stay calm."
Reframe the issue: Does the person who is making you angry need help with another problem?
Use humor to defuse the situation; avoid sarcasm.

Would the Washington Post print such co-joined items in its paper?

I would find the following reply/thoughts (to be helpful to our own local newspaper) as lifted from Bill Maher's book, "When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden."

Eric Hoffer: "The mystery of our time is the inability of decent people to get angry."

Maher himself: "The problem in America is not too much speaking out--it's too little. We're not overrun with rebels here. We're overrun with sheep. We need more people, not less, to say out loud what at least some others are thinking. We need raw honesty especially in an age where we cannot expect statesmanship. Government can be trusted less than ever to tell the truth, because they are owned more than ever by moneyed interests, whose interest is money and not truth."

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Is mercaptan some kind of smelly stuff? Anybody know?

Just kidding!

(But not to overanalyze, or possibly to do just that, Joel is saying there is a smell in the air, a smell that means there is a leak. Ha! A leak! In fact, it's a potentially dangerous leak that could explode at any moment. Someone needs to call the gas company to check it out and, in the meantime folks, please, no smoking. Okay, I should have stopped at the leak.)

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 18, 2005 11:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC:
Typos galore today. Chalk it up to hubby being on a week's business trip to San Diego. I can play, play, play. Stayed out much too late on Sunday night at our local International Accordion Festival.

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael

The good times can be had again! We just need a pic of Karl Rove/Bill Frist/Tom DeLay/Scooter Libby/Dick Cheney drinking martinis with/smoking some dope/with Paris Hilton/ Judy Miller/ Michael Moore. And we'd be good to go!

Posted by: LP | October 18, 2005 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, I agree wholeheartedly with Maher here.

I am also angered by the Right's co-opting of patriotism. When my daughter and I went to the mall to protest the war last month, I made sure we wore the most patriotic, Wal-martish, flag-bearing clothes we could find in our closets (well.. on HER floor in her case).

Our "raw honesty" must be cast with patriotism and love for our country. That's why we need to find the proper statesman (or stateswoman) to speak for America, lead the way and make us all proud again. Where are you?

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.

JOHN ADAMS, SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
LETTER TO ABIGAIL, NOVEMBER 2, 800,
ON MOVING INTO THE WHITE HOUSE

Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

NOVEMBER 2, 1800

Posted by: SCC | October 18, 2005 11:44 AM | Report abuse

No post since 11:44 EST. I've killed the Boodle. It lies, lays, lay, mortally wounded, despite the best efforts of LindaLoo, Bayou Self, and others to revive it.

I'm so sorry.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Cow Town;

It was a great story! I think everyone must have left for lunch.

The laser beam eyes are always a favorite.

I'll go get the 'boodle defibrilator. (sp)?

Posted by: RA | October 18, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, you slaughter me -- er, I mean AMerryCowUnited (ha!).

"John installed his earpods and sat motionless, taking in the recording. Still grinning."

Ha!

Bravo, my fellow Boodlekiller. Bravo.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I think that SCC in the posted by, instead of the comments merely knocked it out for awhile.

Posted by: omnigoof | October 18, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of lunch...

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 12:17 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, there was a brief whiff of mercaptan when they heated up that can of chili. But I don't think that killed the Boodle.

Posted by: Bayou Self | October 18, 2005 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Besides, only Joel can kill the Boodle, eh Bayou?

Posted by: Tom fan | October 18, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The smell of mercaptan came later, after eating the chili. That's why 7 or so posts were made before the peeeeyewwww moment.

Posted by: omnigoof | October 18, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Lindaloo: Well, Cindy Sheehan is certainly angry and speaking out, but what are (can)the rest of us who support her do to help?

As to the Accordion Festival, surely someone played Lady of Spain. On the old Ted Mack Amateur Hour, there was always one young woman, almost always bespectacled and buxom (for some odd reason), who played LOS in single, then double and even triple time.

Posted by: Nani | October 18, 2005 12:22 PM | Report abuse

In an effort to revive the Boodle...

Several paragraphs below are from Tierney's NYT Select column today. I think I want a refund from the NYT for my cost of 11 cents (per day) for this particular opinion.

Comment from the Boodle? jw, you've read Melville's "Moby Dick" lately...reaction? Is Fitzgerald's inquiry really Nadagate, as Tierney conjectures? How does this excerpt from Tierney compare with reporting on the same subject today by VandeHei and Pincus, on the front page of the WaPo? Or Joel's Kit today, for that matter.
***

The lesson for the public would be: stop appointing special prosecutors. The job can turn a reasonable lawyer into an inquisitor with the zeal of Captain Ahab - even more zeal, actually, because he'll keep hunting even after he learns there's no whale. He'll settle for anything else he can scare up.

This case, if you can remember that far back, began with accusations that White House officials violated a law protecting undercover agents who could be harmed or killed if their identities were revealed. But it now seems doubtful that there was a violation of that law, much less any danger to the outed agent, Valerie Wilson.

The case originally aroused indignation because the White House appeared to be outing Wilson as part of a campaign to unfairly discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson, who accused the administration of ignoring his 2002 report debunking evidence that Iraq was trying to acquire material for nuclear weapons. But a Senate investigation [how independent?] found that his report not only failed to reach the White House but also failed to debunk the nuclear-material evidence - in fact, most analysts concluded the report added to the evidence.

So now the original justifications for the investigation have vanished, which is why I think of this as the Nadagate scandal.

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

For kguy,

It was a defective elision between flagellate and the flagpole activity mentioned earlier.
[Am dancing around Joel's sensitivity, or something]. In the old days, they indicted people for less.

Posted by: Detritus | October 18, 2005 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Did these same folks want Ken Starr to drop the Monica matter because he'd started out with Whitewater?

I think what we need, rather than a special prosecutor, is an "Independent White House Ombudsman" with a prosecutor's clout.

Or even, let's face it, an "Opposition Party White House Ombudsman" just to keep everyone on their toes.

I think that's what we were talking about the other day when we were haranguing the MSM for not doing their job in regard to keeping the government on the up and up.

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 12:40 PM | Report abuse

TBG,

You really go for the "vertical." Up and up?!!!!! Hee haw.

Posted by: Detritus | October 18, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

An Accordian Festival! If there is a hell, it is an Ashton Kutcher Film Festival interspersed with Lawrence Welk reruns. Even the possibility of such a place makes me reject the idea of an afterlife.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 18, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

And, Mr. Tierney has a background in espionage law and CIA procedures?

"[I]n fact, most analysts concluded the report added to the evidence..." This IS a revelation.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Mercaptan is also the main thing you smell in some kinds of two-part epoxies (it's in the hardner part). I'm not sure if it is also the main ingredient in "skunk" smell, but it is close. In epoxies it isn't nearly that strong, but it's enough to make you wince. (Not all expoxies use mercaptan, though, so if you've smelled an epoxy and it just smells faintly like popcorn,m it's not the mercaptan type. Mercaptain hardners also tend to occur in expoxies where the resin-to-hardner ratio is about 4-1. If the epoxy is a 1:1 mix, there's seldom any mercaptain in it."

Curmudgeon, you sweet talker you. This is music to my undereducated listening to engineers-and-construction-guys all-day ears.

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2005 12:45 PM | Report abuse

You're more likely to see me at an Accordian File Festival.

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Which will be held jointly with the Legal Pad Expo.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Lots of flagurbation at the AFF, I hear.

Posted by: Detritus | October 18, 2005 12:54 PM | Report abuse

IF AGNEW THEN NIXON KNEW.

Posted by: GS-H | October 18, 2005 12:58 PM | Report abuse

On a related note to this Kit:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/17/AR2005101701524.html?nav=hcmodule

Hopefully, this link works.

bc

Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2005 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm just back from talking to a scientist about how he reinvented the 1918 Spanish Flu virus. Very interesting stuff -- he says the virus has certain odd traits and he wonders if it came from a mammal rather than a duck or some other type of bird. (Apparently there was a theory published in 1979 that it came from outer space. From space geese, maybe.)

LindaLoo posts this from Tierney in today's Times:

"This case, if you can remember that far back, began with accusations that White House officials violated a law protecting undercover agents who could be harmed or killed if their identities were revealed. But it now seems doubtful that there was a violation of that law, much less any danger to the outed agent, Valerie Wilson."

I have no idea if Fitzgerald has anything close to a solid case to prove a conspiracy to out Wilson/Plame to discredit Amb. Wilson, but in a sense the case really had its beginning in the decision by the Administration to go to war. So I'm just wondering if there's a larger purpose to Fitzgerald's investigation, dealing with the way the W.H. dealt with the CIA and classified info. [I'm so glad I can clear these matters up for everyone.]

Posted by: Achenbach | October 18, 2005 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Boodle Killer Rides Again!!!!

OK, via Andrew Sullivan comes a link to this cat Tom Maguire who does the full roundup on Plame/Wilson/Rove/Libby/Miller:

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/10/rove_on_the_bub.html

Posted by: Achenbach | October 18, 2005 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Joel: Please, don't just tease us. "I'm just wondering if there's a larger purpose to Fitzgerald's investigation, dealing with the way the W.H. dealt with the CIA and classified info." Whoa, are you implying there was a much larger security breach - or something?

Please help me connect the dot here. I'm having RHS syndrome.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently there was a theory published in 1979 that it came from outer space."

Joel, remember back in 1979 when everyone blamed everything on the Skylab space station?

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I retract the portion of my last post having to do with RHS syndrome. I'm not retired, and I probably can't retire until I'm so old I can't find my way to the office.

Carry on. Thank you.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Skylab, stagflation, Son of Sam, Styx....The Great Satan...The Great Santini...There were just a lot of Ss back then.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 18, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

May I ask a serious question? What would the long term outcome for your nation be if indictments were handed around as some boodlers appear to hope? I am asking, yes as an outsider, and an unknowledgeable Canadian, but also as an intensly curious person who wants to understand long term just where this could take your nation.

I know that Watergate revealed and changed a thousand and one things, and that it is held as a litmus test against which all presidential actions seem to be held (an outsider view). Watergate changed how the media viewed Presdients, and how the average Joe saw the entire political process. Questioning can be very very good, and would that all nations were half as educated about their political systems and government as you are. But there have been some fundamental changes in the way the world has viewed you too. In a lot of ways, it made the world fear you less. Maybe that is not quite the way to say it, but internationally, nations do not hold you in the same regard you were once held. Internationally these kinds of storms are seen as a sign of weakness. Ultimately, you lose. If you lose, then my nation, which has absolutely no international cachet, loses too. We are in the minds of the international community, forever tied with either the British (i.e. both World Wars) or America (everything since).

In my neighbourhood (North America) you are still the big fella, and what you do affects us, so I am asking, outside of all the rhetoric and the partisan politics, what does your country gain if there are indictments, and what do you lose?

Posted by: dr | October 18, 2005 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I would rather other nations see us as a country who questions our government, holds our administrations to high standards and indicts/convicts them if they are found to have committed a crime than a country who invades another country for no reason, encourages and allows torture of prisoners, holds prisoners with no trial for undetermined time, lies and cheats to manipulate the population and gain (or keep) power and whose people allows its administration to reign unchecked.

Posted by: TBG | October 18, 2005 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Joel & Everyone: If you have time (uh, whenever that is) scan through the comments on the last link (justoneminute). There are a LOT of Rove-Plame junkies out there. The discussion got very convoluted and heated. I've seen simpler discussions about fantasy football (please don't go there).

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Joel, thanks for the link to the story about RHS. I'm glad to see another country is leading the way in recognition and treatment of this under diagnosed disorder. In a few years, as the baby boomers settle into retirement in large numbers, America may experience outbreaks of RHS in epidemic proportions. I face the specter of suffering from RHS myself in about 10 years. My friends and I have, of late, found ourselves talking about (and dreading) this very possibility: the unwelcome retirement of our husbands. Much in the same way we talked about and dreaded our children leaving for college (CLC syndrome) years in advance of their actual departure, we have recently begun to dread and plan for a future where we face endless hours of spousal company. Although I adapted quickly to my child's entry into the larger world, I fear I may not fare as well when it comes to RHS and believe it is never too early to start planning for this possibility. Hopefully, the RHS outbreak in this country won't be as severe as in Japan, as I'm not aware of many American women who would describe their role in their marriage as that of "servile attedant." Conversely, though, I have met some women who might at times describe their husbands' constant presence in the house as "sodaigomi -- or bulky trash." Nonetheless, I think we can rest assured that, unlike Japan, America's outbreak of RHS can probably be contained.

Regarding possible indictments of Rove, Scooter and other nefarious Bush players - my heart sings.

Posted by: Susan | October 18, 2005 1:53 PM | Report abuse

dr asks:
"...so I am asking, outside of all the rhetoric and the partisan politics, what does your country gain if there are indictments, and what do you lose?

There is an answer in Dan Froomkin's column today, pasted in immediately below. (Froomkin's explanation is of particular interest to me because, as I've mentioned on the Boodle before, Vice President Aaron Burr is a cousin on the Rev. Thomas Hooker branch of my family tree.) Also, see TGB's very good reply to you.
***

Froomkin:
All these news stories suggesting that Fitzgerald is drawing a bead on Cheney's office raise an interesting -- if almost entirely academic -- question: Can a vice president be indicted?

There are no signs that Fitzgerald is aiming directly at Cheney himself. And as far as we know, the vice president has not been called before the grand jury -- though he did have at least one very mysterious meeting with prosecutors early this summer. (See this June 5 New York Times story.)

Anyway, however ridiculous the question may or may not be, the answer would appear to be: Yes. Technically and legally, a sitting vice president can be indicted. In fact, there's a precedent.

Not long after he killed Alexander Hamilton in their famous 1804 duel, Vice President Aaron Burr was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey. No constitutional crisis ensued.

And as this 2000 Department of Justice memo lays out, the department researched the issue thoroughly in 1973.

Back then, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was trying to stave off a grand jury investigation into kickback, bribery and tax evasion charges by insisting that he was only answerable to Congress.

After all, only Congress holds the power to remove the president or vice president from office -- and presumably it would be impossible to function as vice president from a jail cell.

But none other that then-solicitor general Robert Bork concluded that, while "the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions," the vice president was fair game.

The "brief from the solicitor general argued that, while the president was immune from indictment, the vice president was not, since his conviction would not disrupt the workings of the executive branch."

Agnew ended up resigning his office as part of a plea bargain.

Civil suits of course are another story.

Richard Keil wrote in a Bloomberg story yesterday that he had recently spoken to Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband, and Wilson "said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.

"If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed -- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath -- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then- President Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time."

Posted by: Loomis | October 18, 2005 1:59 PM | Report abuse

dr: Fair question. What do we gain if Rove/Libby are indicted? At best, we'll obtain a vindication of the rule of law and reassurance that the law applies to all levels of goverment. The indictments could underscore the value of accountability, which has been given short shrift by the current administration.

But if the underlying cases are weak, the whole affair could look no better than Mr. Starr's long-lived but ultimately fruitless pursuit of President Clinton. It will look like a political inquisition and nothing more.

Beyond that, the worst it could be is an embarrasment for everyone. Our political system is stable enough that this is the most we would experience.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Tierney really grinds my gears. So square that he's a cube. Thanks BTW Linda for providing the citation.

His point is that since all the reasons for the investigation have gone away, then the investigation should go away. That's a fatuous moronothon track record to write a column, aside from being nasty disputable.

Just because Plame doesn't get harmed, doesn't mean her butterfly-wing-flapping network doesn't get hosed or noosed. I chalk it up to the Times' impeachable lack of credibility and sins against journalism in the whole affair to account for their bogus journeys into self-flagellation and reverence for the occult of preening hackdom.

Posted by: Peter Griffin | October 18, 2005 2:24 PM | Report abuse

DR, those who are unhappy with the state of our nation are I think in general like myself in that they see a big gap between the ideal and the real. I was raised and educated to believe in our country as a land of democracy and freedom where everyone was equal in the eyes of the law, where political power flowed from the consent of the governed, where elections were determined by a majority vote of those eligible, and individual success was not limited by anything except ability and effort. Perhaps the reality has never come any closer to the ideal than it does now, I don't know. But I do know that none of these principles are advanced by pretending that abuses do not exist. If the rest of the world thinks less of America because we try to hold honest elections and send powerful felons to jail and expose liars and thieves in elected office, so be it. I'm not much of a Bible quoter, but I do seem to recall something about removing the log from one's own eye before calling attention to the mote in another's eye. We're just workin' on some logs here.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 18, 2005 2:24 PM | Report abuse

dr raises some interesting questions.

Although many of us would get a certain "I told you so"/"We were right" satisfaction out of these indictments, ultimately, what will change? Bush/Cheney supporters aren't suddenly going to say, "Oh my gosh, maybe those liberals were right about the war!" Many either will downplay the seriousness of the situation (some will perhaps pay no mind to the developments whatsoever) or will try to put the blame on someone else. They will continue to focus on the issues that are important to them, e.g., "protecting family values," and will continue to support the party that is able to convince them that it stands for such values. There will be no happy, Hollywood ending.

Although it is indeed important to continue to be a nation that questions the government and holds the Administration to high standards, I wonder whether the U.S. can even be seen as one, united questioner/holder at this point. The current political divide in this country suggests that anything "good" that comes out of these possible indictments will not be viewed as "good" by everybody. The cheer will not be universal. And, as has been mentioned on this blog many times before, a lot of people simply won't care.

[Well, that's my two cents' worth. I could be way off here -- I don't consider myself to be a savvy political commentator by any means; that's why I usually talk about Seinfeld and turkey sandwiches. Carry on.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I think dr should get the Boodle Defibrillator Award today. (And RA gets a prize for coming up with the term "boodle defibrillator.")

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Someone send that defibrillator over here STAT.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else see the picture that the Roverrazi took of the inside of Karl's garage?

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/051017/480/wx10210171847

I want to know what is in the big wooden crate labeled "Fragile." Is that where they're hiding the ark? Must be Italian.

Posted by: irregardless | October 18, 2005 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan: I was typing up a nice reply to your post - basically agreeing with you - and I hit the F5 button instead of the Post button. I am an idiot. I fall off my chair and writhe on the floor, drooling.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm an even bigger idiot, CowTown: What does the F5 button do? (Don't hit me, mo.)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Ooo. ooo. Karl Rove's got a ladder JUST LIKE MINE!

And, what's in the big box, anyway? Huh?

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Thirdhand rumor--there's a crowd building at the DC Federal Courthouse.

I can feel it in my blovia pudeba.

Posted by: Detritus | October 18, 2005 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think I walked under a ladder like that just this morning. (I always make a point of walking under ladders. I'm lucky -- I can walk under ladders.)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 2:56 PM | Report abuse

As to any after shocks from potential indictments, the majority of the public won't really care enough to have any impact on the current administration. Those who do care will be split roughly 60 / 40 as to significance (along the lines of current opinion polls). There is a minor potential that the short-term impact could affect 2006 elections, but that is purely speculative.

The only long-term impact I see will be to completely shake up and sever the stranglehold that the White House has had over the press. This could cut many ways, but basically I see these events interrupting the hypnotic trance that the administration has had over the hithertofore lazy, misguided, or isolated WH press corps. This could be what sparks some decent journalism again.

Posted by: irregardless | October 18, 2005 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding RHS, I recall a Frank Muir "My Word" story in which he was working at home for some reason but his wife let him know that she had things to do and he was going to have to do some things for himself. She said, "I married you for better or for worse, but not for lunch."

Posted by: pj | October 18, 2005 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Karl got a Major Award!
There could be a bowling alley in there!

Actually, all of the souls Karl's captured are in the box. Karl's soul itself is kept in a briefcase, the combination of which is "666".

Sing it, Achenfan!

bc

Posted by: bc | October 18, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice song reference, Achenfan.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

ACHENFAN! the F5 button is the refresh! sheesh! sorry guys! i've actually been busy at work and it took me all day to catch up on the boodle...

rove/cheney - GREAT story cowtown! now i giggle everytime i see a pic of john! bc - very good question - one that i have 0 political know-how in order to answer - i hope it will improve the international impression of us that we go after criminals no matter how powerful they may be...

re: yesterdays boodle... I LOVE Nosferatu! i saw it once in an old church in nyc (near columbia u) that played creepy music on the pipe organ during the movie (sara - or whomever hasn't seen it, it's a silent movie and a MUST see!) and of course SHADOW of the VAMPIRE was FANTASTIC! i absolutely loved defoe in it! one of my favs! of course i love almost all vampire movies... i loved underworld... and i love love love scary movies - one movie that scared the poop outta me when i was a little kid was "play misty for me" - i haven't seen it since so maybe it's not as scary as i remember it! oh and the first nightmare on elm street scared me so bad that i had trouble sleeping for a month after i saw it! but now slasher movies just made me laff...

Posted by: mo | October 18, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Six! Six Six! The combination OF the Beast!"

[Ooh, that wasn't very nice now, was it? Please don't tell Dreamer I said that.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, my first Kaboodle prize! I'm thinking the acceptance speech will need some brushing up...

dr.
Most of us (I think)are republicrats or demopublicans. Those of us Republicans (yes, I admit it) that are paying attention are really sick of the power-mongering going on in the party right now, and I think you're going to see some interesting changes after our mid-term elections. (I hope) Then things should settle back down. That's the beauty of the system. Enough of us shift our vote and surprise our leadership back into some semblance of good behavior.

Posted by: RA | October 18, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

CowTown:
Maybe you remember when the golfer Jack Nicklaus walked into the propellor of a small plane and lost his arm, and some joke about Joan Trade-your-arm-in started circulating. I can't remember the joke now. Maybe there was a Drop the Pilot reference, although that doesn't seem to quite work (not that that ever stopped anybody).

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

[Or maybe that was an Aussie thing. We are weird.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Heah, that's the combination to my soul!

Zed's dead, baby.

Posted by: Marsellis Wallace | October 18, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan,

That was Jack Newton who lost his arm, not Jack Nicklaus.

Posted by: pj | October 18, 2005 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Doh! I'm a maroon!

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 3:48 PM | Report abuse

[No wonder I didn't get many hits when I Googled it -- and yet I did indeed get some hits suggesting that Jack Nicklaus was the one who traded his arm in. Guess I'd better brush up on my Googling skills -- as soon as I figure out how to use this here F5 button.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Marcellis Wallace as in Pulp Fiction? How you doing man? mo, Misty was pretty creepy. Fatal Attraction, a mediocre knock off.

Posted by: Nani | October 18, 2005 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Fatal Attraction wasn't in the same ballpark, haaail it's not even the same sport!

Posted by: Jules | October 18, 2005 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Why was Maria Callas? Did Arnold Palmer? Did he give Edith Head?

Posted by: Jack Nicklaus | October 18, 2005 4:06 PM | Report abuse

nani - maybe cuz i was a little kid when i saw misty that it scared me so bad - and didn't it have a song that went with it? i would get creeped out when i heard the song - i was older when i saw fatal attraction but glen close creeped me out so bad that i couldn't see her in movies for a while...

there was also this other movie - it was a trilogy i think, about this woman who had an african doll that had a belt and if the belt came off the doll would come alive - she ended up killing it by putting it in the microwave but after the doll was killed she became a killer - i just remember the scene where she was sitting in front of her apt door (waiting for her bf?) with a huge knife carving into the floor and an evil look in her eyes... now THAT scared me! for some reason i always remembered that movie when i heard the song "spending the nite together" (?) and it would creep me out...

Posted by: mo | October 18, 2005 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Rove should be immediately briefed on RHS. Perhaps it will turn out to be unnecessary, but the repercussions to the woman if adequate preparations are not made are simply to ghastly to contemplate.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 18, 2005 4:46 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk:
She'll just have to insist that he eat all his meals under the bridge with his pals, as in AMerryCowUnited's story. And even though his friend John "can't cook to save his life" because he "was not programmed to cook," well, that's just not Mrs. Rove's problem.

[Again: Bravo, CowTown. Brah. Voh.]

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Bravo, Vincent. Brah. Voh."

-- Elaine

"Ohhld! Mihhhll!"

-- Kramer

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

mo, I saw that trilogy too. I don't remember the other two but do remember that one. It was called "Trilogy of Terror" when I saw, but I don't think that was an official name for it, just what they called it because it was three shorts that weren't long enough to air on their own.

And Achenfan, just start pushing buttons and see what happens (save your data first). It's almost impossible to hurt your computer, trust me, I push random buttons all the time and I still have a job.

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I think she was waiting for her mother, but I saw this as a kid so maybe I don't remember correctly.

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Just googled it.

Last lines:

This is Amelia, mom. I'm sorry I acted the way I did. I think we should spend the evening together, just the way we planned. It's kind of late though. Why don't you come by my place and we'll go from here? No, I'm all right! Good. I'll be waiting for you.


So I was right, hehe.

And on the title it was also called:

Tales of Terror
Terror of the Doll

Right again. I guess I can trust my memory after all.

And when I said scary movies don't scare me...this one came the closest.

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok a 13 year old kid.

Posted by: omnigood | October 18, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

yeah omnigood - i've been reading the reviews on imdb and most ppl seem to have seen it as a kid and it scared the bejesus outta them... anyone else here? you had to see it as a kid tho i think for it to really scare you... i'm gonna see if i can get a copy and see if it still scares me...

Posted by: mo | October 18, 2005 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan: Thanks. These stories are inspired by the Boodle. Joel and my fellow Boodlers supply the impetus and material.

Posted by: CowTown | October 18, 2005 5:36 PM | Report abuse

dr: Shucks, I bet you say that to all the boys. Fortunately, I'm no engineer--I just talk like one once in a while.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 18, 2005 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, mo -- when you say the song still gives you the creeps, do you mean "Sharing the Night Together," by Dr. Hook? I've got that song stuck in my head now, and I'm starting to get scared too, even though I've never seen the film you and omni describe, and even though I don't even know if that's the right song. (But you two have really made me want to see that film.)

Posted by: Achenfan | October 18, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

yeah! achenfan! THAT'S the song! i tried to google the words but kept ending up with non-work related sights! yeah, the song gives me the creeps! i'm trying to find a copy of trilogy of terror but blockbuster doesn't have it and amazon wants a ton of $$ for it... if i get a copy i'll loan it to you. again, it's cheesy 70's horror but all the reviews i read of ppl seeing it when they were a kid, it scared them silly...

Posted by: mo | October 18, 2005 5:58 PM | Report abuse

kurow
It's the beam in the eye, not the log, I think. If the press is able to function as it should, then these indictments are good. Someone lied. A lie is usually the foundation of this kind of situation. One would think each generation that holds these important offices would learn from the previous generation, but they don't. They believe in their hearts that they won't get caught, but they always do, because a lie needs another lie to stand, it always calls for more.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 18, 2005 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Omnigood, I know this is probably too late to be seen on this boodle, but the doll show was originally part of a Night Gallery (Rod Serling) trilogy and starred Karen Black. Extremely scary, as I recall. That was back in the '70's. The one someone mentioned with a microwave was (LISTEN UP, ALL YOU YOUNG ONES) obviously the remake from the '90's, since WE DIDN'T HAVE MICROWAVES IN THE 1970's.

And I'll stop shouting now.

Posted by: suecris | October 18, 2005 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Suecris:
Litton then developed a new configuration . The new oven was shown at a trade show in Chicago, and helped begin a rapid growth of the market for home microwave ovens. Sales figures of 40,000 units for the US industry in 1970 grew to one million by 1975.

Posted by: ach | October 18, 2005 9:31 PM | Report abuse

CowTown:

Loved your "under the bridge" story in this boddle. It really enhanced my day.

bdl

Posted by: boondocklurker | October 19, 2005 2:07 AM | Report abuse

suecris - that was my bad - it was an oven she cooked the sucker in - i confused it with the gremlins where he cooks the guy in a microwave... to my knowledge there hasn't been a remake of that part of the trilogy although there was apparently a zuni doll scene in trilogy of terror II... haven't seen it tho'

Posted by: mo | October 19, 2005 9:24 AM | Report abuse

yeah my memory puts it in an oven, and though I saw ToT II, I really don't remember any of it. Gosh, I'm such an old geezer...

Posted by: omnigood | October 19, 2005 9:49 AM | Report abuse

My folks started working for the U.S. Gov in the late sixties. When we returned to the States in 1974, we brought an Amana Radarange with us. They wuz surely out there!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 20, 2005 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Seriously - the real investigation will be the one Unmasking Cheney's office, Rumsfeld, and John Hannah's ham handed efforts to forge the Niger documents, land them in Italy with Rocco Martina (however you spell that...) and request the CIA to "look into the documents"... Too bad for them an honest diplomat named Joe Wilson blew their party... Whattayaknow you can really learn something about the "cabal" just by reading the pages of the Post!

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | October 20, 2005 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Like many on the political left, I've grown increasingly concerned with the political right's apparent success. My immediate response was to try and stem the tide. Doing such things as offering letters to the editor, volunteering at a grass roots level, etc. I've also been watching for a reasoned response from the political left. Not so much a reflection of the political right's network, but an effort to redefine the left in terms of its values. But the more I thought about the crisis the more I realized that my response was largely counterproductive. The reasons being

• The right's response is a function of its network. The right's poles of interest (libertarians, religious right, etc.) are increasingly taking a back seat to its network's needs and consequently subjugating their basic values. AND the right's network is easily co-opted (neocons) by ideas that the network values and not its poles of interest.
• The right's network has become unstable. I believe that without the currently defined left it would quickly become chaos. It is vulnerable to swarm affects, its media apparatus is increasingly reflecting its network and its meta-message is losing its bite. This can be seen by the increasing volume and coherence to the network and not each pole's basic values. The left pointing out the right's crimes only helps stabilize the right's network.
• The right's network depends on the political left taking up an opposite position. The left has frequently done this to the effect of propping up the right's framework and forcing the right's poles (e.g., religious right) into an all or nothing response.
• I was defining myself and my network in context of the right's network. Therefore, not based on distributed values but opposites. A good example is that I could frame my concern for environmental issues in terms the religious right would relate to -- god created the heavens and earth before he created man. Therefore, it was a core value to take care of the earth as a prerequisite to man being healthy, etc.
• I realized that the left could talk directly to the right's value poles. The edges of the left and right's networks were essentially the eye of the hurricane that needed to be linked. Not a fight at the center as most folks talk about.
• Finally, I grew very concerned when I realized that the primary network model of the left would most likely be based on a venture capital market of ideas. And this sole configuration would most certainly become similar to the right's. Thus offering very little in terms of real solutions/relief at the personal level, i.e., our children's education, health, etc.
• So, the left needed a network model that could effectively link the edges of the right and left's networks. Not the center vs. the center!

My belief is that by defining the left's network into core value poles that are supported via a "venture capital model of ideas" a real sea change could take place, that the left must define these various idea pots as distributed core investment pools. The pools or funded services could be used by the left or right if they were in alignment. The reason being that the value poles would not know a left or right. It would effectively remove the center (current right's network) from control. And let areas of mutual interest be channeled in a manner that the left was not LEFT behind. This would mean that the edge of the left's and right's networks would determine the overall political landscape and not each party's political hacks. AND FINALLY, it was critical that the network not become the boss as demonstrated by the right's current situation.

john cook
louisville CO

Posted by: Left's Value Response | October 25, 2005 1:12 PM | Report abuse

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