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"Perjury" vs. "False Statements"

   To those of us with a firm grasp of the law, the difference between a charge of "perjury" and a charge of "making false statements" is as obvious as the difference between a creature that is active in twilight and one that is crepuscular. But a lay person might get confused as he or she reads the reports this morning that H. W. Scooter "Irving" Libby, the Vice President's chief of staff, will be charged with making false statements to a federal grand jury -- but not charged with perjury [though we now know he's been charged with both--JA]. Herewith, a primer on the laws governing non-truthful communication under oath:

   Perjury: Lying. Bald-faced prevarication. Telling one whopper after another in a brazen attempt to deceive investigators. Often accompanied by elevated heart rate, increased kidney function and crossed fingers. Punishable by life in prison.

   Making False Statements: Lying in a non-perjuritive manner. Usually involves strategic forgetfulness. The statement could be true if other factors were different and if standards of honesty were dramatically lowered. Often accompanied by bouncing eyebrows. Punishable by expulsion from the community.

  Making Highly Dubious Statements: A misdemeanor in which the testimony, though laughably absurd, nonetheless could conceivably be true on a planet somewhere in which, for example, millipedes are the most intelligent species. Often accompanied by sleepy half-lidded gaze. Punishable by widespread cultural mockery.

    Being Squirrelly: Dodging questions and trying to distract the interrogators by pointing out the window at allegedly interesting events in the distance. Not criminal, but widely considered to be bad form. Often accompanied by "sewing-machine leg." Punishable by subsequent debilitating bouts of self-loathing.

    Disassembling: Mangling of English language by a sitting president. Punishable by impeachment. 

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 28, 2005; 10:14 AM ET
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Next: Good News and Bad News at White House


[Doh! Typo at 3 o'clock:
"punishable by explusion [sic] from the community"]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 10:45 AM | Report abuse

But "explusion" is such a better word.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 28, 2005 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Explusion. Almost a portmanteau word combining expulsion and explosion. Clearly meaning ejection from the community. I like it.

Posted by: pj | October 28, 2005 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It *is* a better word, but it's got "disassembling" written all over it. (And disassembling is surely the worst of the five types of non-truthful communication described above.)

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Disassembling. I may have been guilty of being squirrelly, usually when trying to explain why it's not you, it's me.

Has anyone noticed how, um, squirrelly the squirrels are acting lately. I guess it's nut-hiding season. They've been doing a lot of digging in the ground, looking around suspiciously, and then hopping to another spot in an attempt to fake me out as to where they hid their nuts.

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the proper word "dissembling," not "disassembling?" We're not taking apart a toaster here.

Posted by: Logan | October 28, 2005 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, if you're the leader of the free world, it's "disassembling." And really, who are we to argue?

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You for 'being economical with the truth'....

Posted by: af | October 28, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Um, that's 'forgot'...

Posted by: af | October 28, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You're right. I'm starting to see how a person could be tempted to disassemble. Especially since I just realized that "explusion" incorporates not only "expulsion" and "explosion," but also "exclusion."

A new meme . . .

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

For people who aren't in on the joke (I'm so snotty!):

Bush, on 5/31/05, responding to some accusations of torture from Amnesty International:

""It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth."

Feel free to giggle snarkily.

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Which category would "I did not have sex with that woman" fall under. I'm thinking real squirrlley. Especially with your wife standing by your side. Kinda ballsy too.

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 11:07 AM | Report abuse

That's called creative use of the dictionary.

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 11:09 AM | Report abuse

yeah, he had a wierd definition of sex

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I really admire squirrels. They're so industrious.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I thought the difference between perjury and making a false statement was that if the guilty party is my opponent then it's perjury but if it's my allie then it's only a false statement similar to an innocent mistake

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Scc "ally" I knew allie didn't look right but I posted it anyway. Serves me right!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Squirrels are terrorists!

Oh, you want typos? In the print edition of the Post there was a story in the business section about "Misocroft"

Posted by: wiredog | October 28, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Not so ballsy. Hilary's probably heard that line so many times, it no longer fazes her. Now if Hilary had said "He did not have sex with that woman", now THAT would take some serious balls. But she didn't and she couldn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry. I cannot get past 'crepuscular'. A very, very nice double entendre.

Not only is it used wonderfully, it is so descriptive of governments everywhere who act in their own interests and not in the best interests of the citizens they purport to govern in its meaning, but also by its very sound. "Cre'pus'cular" government is something I am sadly familiar with. Its time to assign a new meaning to this word.

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The MFS virus is circulating. Cheney the index case? Ground Zero is Washington, D.C. Vectors? Biohazard is Cat 3 or 4? Biohazmat teams called out. Noted cluster case in NYC within journalism confines.

Symptom: bouncing eyebrows. Secondary presentation of virus: cognitive disarray, forgetfulness. No vaccine available. Quarantine measures to be implemented. Previous press immunity not helpful during earlier outbreak.

Mortality levels: more than 32,000 thus far, at various international (rather than domestic, locales) where viral load strengthens.

Posted by: Loomis | October 28, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Misocroft has a nice ring to it.

[I'm really getting into this disassembling thing.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I get it now, thanks to JA. And I can imagine the transcripts of his testimony.

Scooter: I did not divulge classified information about the identity of a CIA operative because:

Perjury: I would not do such a heinous thing. Ever. Especially not to a shrewish, social-climbing hack like Judy Miller, even if it meant I would no longer be invited to one of her A-list parties. In fact, I never even speak to reporters. Valerie WHO?

Making False Statements: I am quite certain I would never do that. I may have mentioned something to someone at some point, possibly to my dog. But he has a security clearance. Besides, Karl and Dick don't trust me with important stuff.

Making Highly Dubious Statements: I clearly said the name "Valerie Flame". Look it up in Judy's notes. And Flame and Plame are certainly two different people. Plus, if you take into account the fact that Judy and I share a mutual love of comic books, well, that explains it all.

Being Squirrelly: I, well, ummm, I didn't, ummm...... Hey look! Harriett Meirs is being tarred and feathered by Bill Kristol! Ummm, what was the question again?

Disassembling: I can assure you, nobody in my administration debulged any classical information at any time. I know because they told me so. Really. You can believe me. I'm the President.

Feel free to embellish or change as you like.

Posted by: kw | October 28, 2005 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Also, perjury has to do with *material* facts, i.e., facts which are critical and pertain directly to the matter at hand.

My Watergate juices are flowing in anticipation that this ain't over yet -- even after today's indictments. Yum, yum.

BTW, in my posting yesterday (and weirdly due to posting software issues) I advanced an (pardon me) incorrect message (which we can blame on the Detroit Free Press) about Rosa Parks and where we can go to pay our respects.

Remarkably enough, Congress *did* indeed seem to get its act together late last night and she will lie in *honor* in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building this Sunday (and maybe even Monday morning) from 6 pm to midnight. All of us boodlers who are local to DC really, *really* ought to be there to honor this great and wonderful woman.

Which reminds me -- one of the multitudinous and most striking differences between Rosa Parks and Bush (please, please, I know, I KNOW!) is that if you have to tell people you are a leader (Bush) you decidedly *aren't* one! Rosa Parks was and will remain a leader of her time, of our time and on and on into perpetuity, and her dignity and grace will shine a light upon us all which shall never go out (and I say that with the caveat that I follow absolutely no religion whatsoever).

All who can -- be there!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 28, 2005 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You're right, Hilary was probably thinking "yeah right"

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I love watching squirrels, they are crazy. I remember once on Boston Common, some people had gotten a frisbee stuck in a tree. There was a squirrel that kept sneaking up to it, getting nervous, and running away. It was very curious about that frisbee and what it was doing in his tree, but he never got up enough courage to actually give it a nudge out of the tree.

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I miss watching the squirrels in my yard (those darn spiders!).

Posted by: esskay | October 28, 2005 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The other day the dog got a hold of a squirrel in the back yard and had eaten the head. My wife and daughter being totally grossed out were chasing her around trying to get this headless squirrel away. Being the obedient creature that she is, she squeezed through the fence and disappeared with it. I didn't have to feed her that evening.

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 11:45 AM | Report abuse

But, but, you left out "misspeaking" and the making of statements which are "no longer operative"!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 28, 2005 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and my word for the day is "widdershins".

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 28, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I will be there firsttimeblogger, in spirit. My "heroes" the last few decades have been few and far between. Rosa Parks, Lech Walesca, my Uncle Claude.

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Disassembling"? What's wrong with that? Even George Bush himself as admitted that people "Misunderestimate" him.

Posted by: Danny Borgers | October 28, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Disassembling? Heck, in Bush's own words people "misunderestimate" him.

Posted by: Danny | October 28, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Have we discovered the origin of "Scooter?"

When my cat can't complete a bowel movement, he tends to "scoot" along the carpet, pulling himself forward with his forepaws, to complete the process, while making a mess.

Is this the origin of scooter?

Posted by: Golconda | October 28, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

WHen is a negative fact news? "Rove NOT charged by pack of wild ponies!" When someoneone is expected to get nailed, and all they get is a tee-shirt.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

one my favorite word mis-ueses is "disassembling." It makes me think of small people hiding in the wreckage of an incomplete bunkbed.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Our pet pug used to do that, "Golconda." We'd say, "Oh look! He's driving in his car again!"

Posted by: Achenfan | October 28, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Now that you say it, it does look a little like driving.

But do you think this was a stunt that ole Scooter performed in a marble frat house at Yale?

Or did he just have a Vespa or something?

Posted by: Golconda | October 28, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Your dog needed its anal glands pinched

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 12:18 PM | Report abuse

hey, you achenfan, you interrupted my conversation with myself.

My cat Scat would scoot on the rug and sing, "bibiddy bop bop flip flip calumny crimcram deebeedy deebeedy pippity poop plop bodobodity bop poop stickity strickity strip stripes on your rug."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, LB -- I remember there was some discussion of that, but I'm not sure what eventuated. (He was a rather unusual specimen and also a very persnickety veterinary patient -- the vet had placed a "yellow sticker" on his file.)

As for what Scooter may or may not have done in a marble frat house at Yale, I'd really rather not go there.

Posted by: Achenfan | October 28, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse


I know a good psychotherapist who specializes people who are fixated on their pets' bodily functions. Rates are cheap. Just mention Golconda. do you like that indictment?

Posted by: Golconda | October 28, 2005 12:24 PM | Report abuse

My vet told me that when you see your cat or dog 'scooting' along, it's time to pick up some worm medication.
This can be caused by eating squirrel heads (mine prefer rabbit).

Posted by: esskay | October 28, 2005 12:25 PM | Report abuse

OK, thanks.

But why is I. Lewis Libby "Scooter?" Can we see him eating squirrel heads and scooting on the Offal Office rug?

Posted by: Golconda | October 28, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

ooh ooh where to go to read about indickedments. sources my yahoo browser is talking about leaks and libby. My cat scat has anal leakage and Scooter IS anal leakage.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:29 PM | Report abuse

er, thanks, Anon. And have a nice day.

Posted by: Golconda | October 28, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

>Which category would "I did not have sex with that woman" fall under.

That would be in the "didn't cost us $300B and 2000 dead men" category.

Posted by: asdg | October 28, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, the 'boodle confirms my calendar--it's Friday.

Posted by: jw | October 28, 2005 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Scooter Libby needs his anal glands pinched.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

i just made seventy-five phone calls with my brethren and the Fitzgerald press conference needs papers towels. ooh ooh I got PT and TP mixed up on my cat Scat's laundry list of things to hunt in the woods.

Golconda, tx for the newswoirthy tips. i don't need a psychiatrist tho, i'm ungainfully employed with zero grudges, fifty-two cats, no alcohol, and a little lithium, and one lunesta.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Ok, kurosawayguy, I'll bite - what exactly is (are) "widdershins"?

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Just saw an AP photo of Scooter leaving the White House today. He is on crutches and wearing some type of soft cast or something. Is he trying to drum up sympathy? Or did he trip over his own words?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:43 PM | Report abuse

SCC: kurosawaguy.

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 12:44 PM | Report abuse

widdershins (wîd´er-shînz´) or withershins (wîth´-) adverb
In a contrary or counterclockwise direction: "The coracle whirled round, clockwise, then widdershins" (Anthony Bailey).

[Middle Low German weddersinnes, from Middle High German widersinnes : wider, back (from Old High German widar) + sinnes, in the direction of (from sin, direction, from Old High German).]

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that finds it amusing that Scooter is I.L.L.?


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"AP - Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby fell down the stairs in a Washington area parking complex. The location of the parking complex and the nature of his injury are classified. Sources in the hospital say that the White House patient "put his foot in his mouth."

Or, Judy Miller gave it to him from the beehind the way Ralphie liked it in the Sopranos. "Phoque with a man's intestines, and the bastard can't pull a cart for weeks, much less show his figs to the vice president."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Libby's Indicted:

Here goes another letter:

First Draft of Acknowledgement of Indictment Documents

Mr. Fitzgerald-

This letter is to inform you of the White House's receipt of the Grand Jury Indictments against I.L.Libby.

The White House will comply to the letter of the law with your prosecution of these indictments, and will continue to cooperate with any further Grand Jury investigations.

The White House regrets to inform you that we must request you courier over another original signed and notarized copy of the original indictment papers.

As you know, Mr. Rove suffers terribly from IBS. When the documents arrived at my office this morning, Mr. Rove grabbed them out of my hand, started reading them, quickly showed signs of an impending attack, and rushed to my office restroom.

When I withdrew my nomination for Supreme Court Justice, I also decided to take some personal vacation time effective at the end of this week. As a result, facility and janitorial service has been suspended for my office, leaving certain items such as toilet paper in very short supply.

Mr. Rove returned to my desk some time later empty-handed and somewhat red faced, but chuckled that he'd given the indictment the due consideration it deserved.

Please grant our request for new original copies of the indictment documents, for White House Office records.

As I will be out of the office on a vacation of undetermined length effective this afternoon, you will be dealing with some of the other WHC. I'm not sure exactly who will have lead on this item, and frankly, I don't give a damn.

H. Miers

PS. Did you guys really have to resort to such lenghts to get ILL to talk?

Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My pug does the exact same thing; nice to know the behaviour is not peculiar. Safety in numbers, as they say.

We've deemed it the "butt scoot". He has a tendency to spin 360 degrees (and sometimes more) while doing it, as opposed to promulgating (or "propulgating", for you fans of The West Wing) any forward motion out of it.

Posted by: Raoul Duke | October 28, 2005 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Friday is the traditional day for releasing bad news since nobody reads the paper on Saturday and it's not news by Sunday. Also the Bushies stage dog-wagging events to push bad news out of the cycle. So is the Rove non-indictment supposed to muffle the the Miers muffle? Or are the indictments going to be ignored and forgotten?

Or does the White House have something else up their sleeve to distract us? Maybe invading a country for no better reason than the bad people that run it make us look foolish and impotent on a regular basis.

And just what is the burden of proof for Bush to fire/accept-resignation-from anybody that leaked the name of a CIA agent? Indictment? Conviction? Supreme Court appeal? Now everything ties together. Harriet was supposed to be the swing vote on overturning expionage and perjury laws on constitiutional grounds.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 28, 2005 12:57 PM | Report abuse

it's contigency. The grand jury happens to expire on friday 0ct. 29. ANd the WH dumps their bad news on fridays for the reasons that you bring up. surely, you're not suggested they are in cahoots.?

i subscribe that it is the ongoin fart in the general direction of america why sociopathic clowns inhabit the WH. fitzgerald has a press conference at 2 pm today.

hopefully, the good guys will have an effigy, and the bad guys will have a martyr after such. to wit, scooter yalie cuntrageous libby.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 1:05 PM | Report abuse


Anyone read any good books lately? I'm reading "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," and it's wonderful. I don't think I've been so captivated and delighted by a book since I read "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" as a child.

[Knowing my luck, this will be one of those 'boodling-out-of-order comments that will appear directly below some serious, insightful comment by Achenbach. But somebody had to do *something*.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think that the "butt scoot" is the standard canine response to unrest south of the border. I particularly remember a German Shepard that belonged to one of my friends. She had a long running liason with a neighborhood coonhound-rhinocerus mix named Rufus and my friend Mickey would regularly turn the garden hose on the lovers in flagrante delicto to prevent further generations of Rufus's from overrunning the planet. Sometimes these enforced separations resulted in discomfort to both parties, and in those cases we were always treated to the sight of synchronized butt scooting in clockwise circles, followed by widdershins.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 28, 2005 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John Barry, story of the 1918 flu (i've read several other books on the same subject)--very good.

Just finished "The Fighter Boys," story of RAF pilots in Battle of Britain--excellent.

And just finished Robert Crais' most excellent "L.A. Requiem" (I'm a big Elvis Cole fan).

John LeCarre's "Absolute Friends" was one of best books I've read in a decade--really terrific.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 1:22 PM | Report abuse

i love browbeating the highbrow. reading recent, just finished "Tropic of Cancer" and Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian." i like two at a time to take breaks when warranted.

now it's Hiassen's "Sick Puppy" and "Gravity's Rainbow." I read Mason&Dixon by Pynchon over the summer, now it's time to read the lynchpin classic.

i'm waiting for "Anansi boys" and "Strange&Norrell" to come out in a single edition meant to promote the death of magical realism.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey LB,
I liked your dog story. Fortunately, my dog stays away from dead things and only goes for chasing live squirrels. Last night on our walk, we passed by a poor little dead squirrel on the sidewalk. I don't know what might have killed it, as it didn't look maimed or smashed. Maybe he just lost his balance and fell. I'm getting a morbid kick out of picturing that...

Beau scoots his butt along the carpet and has been known to *leak* like Scooter Libby. I have his anal glad expressed regularly, though. It's stiiiiinky!

Posted by: TA | October 28, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Raoul Duke, does your pug spin widdershins or clockwise?

Tom fan, one rainy weekend in my 20s, I read Crime and Punishment. When Roskalnikov, intending only to rob, accidently killed his evil slumlord, I was devastated. How awful! To take the life of another! Absolutely dreadful! Upon re-reading it last year, I was devastated again. Not by the murder, but by my reaction, which was "What the hell, she deserved it."

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hiaasen's "Sick Puppy" was great. He is, no surprise, a major pal of Weingarten and our esteemed blog host, JA, all of them being present or former Miami Heraldians. There must be something in the water in that building.

How was "Blood Meridian"? Keep hearing great things about it, but never got around to it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

i don't anyone who kept paging through after Rodya Raskalnikov's nightmare about the horse. grippiding stuff. deep breath a drink and cigarette, or a long walk, then continue. Crime and Punishment is best read in the spring, when you can turn to the outdoors without seeing death everywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Tom fan,
I'm reading "A Primate's Memoir" right now. A fun, low effort read that I'm letting drag out to make the enjoyment last.

My first thought when I saw Libby on his crutches is that he's faking. Pure and simple.

I liked your statement that "if you have to tell people you are a leader (Bush) you decidedly *aren't* one!" So true. And good comparison with the dignified Rosa Parks. I thought to myself that I would feel like such an ass trying to tell people I was a leader even if at times I have played that role.

Posted by: TA | October 28, 2005 1:40 PM | Report abuse

We called it "big wheeling" when our dogs would scoot around the house, same idea. Not to disassemble Scooters image but he's probably been the fall guy before and is used a little discomfort south of the border. To each their own, my dog always looks so happy on his big wheel.

Sick Puppy's a great read.

Posted by: esse | October 28, 2005 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Sicky Puppy came highly recommended from peers and parents alike. plus the miami herald connection. florida is a messed up state. it's not really the south.

i'm not real keen on book reviews, but blood meridian is a good book. it's bloody and graphic, but kind of a historical novel. set in 1849 american southwest. some of the chars are based on actual ex-army mercenaries on the hunt for scalps. mccarthy likes long sentences, sparse punctutation - none in dialog - but damn he has a flair for it. poetic imagery with quasi-prose language in every paragraph. vivid landscpapes. and ultimately philosophical.

good postmodern novel. it embraces Darwin and Nietzsche in a sometimes sad saga of blood, reinvention, and rebirth.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 1:47 PM | Report abuse

like a the racetrack voice: "it's official"

Libby indicted

Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2005 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading Hiaasen's new 'tweener book, "Flush" with one of my daughers.

We like it as much as "Hoot" (soon to be a Major Motion Picture).

"Sick Puppy"'s fine, but "Skin Tight", "Double Whammy" and "Striptease" remain my favorites.

Perhaps overambitiously, I'm currently reading Neal Stephenson's "The Confusion" and rereading Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5".


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness my dog doesn't butt scoot. He seems to stay pretty healthy back there. He does eat grass and finds roadside food that he shouldn't eat like chicken bones and french fries on an alarmingly regular basis.

Which leads to Scooter. This week on my blog: shameless plug
I published a silly internet quiz about what Muppet character you are. It turns out that I am Scooter, just like Mr. Libby. Which raises a bigger question. What muppet characters would other White Housers or politicians be? I see Cheney as Dr. Honeydew and Harriet Miers as one of Gonzo's chicken girlfriends. I bet there are a lot better ones.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 28, 2005 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Tom Fan--thanks for doing something. Between pets' eating habits and waste management systems, who's being indicted for what, and who the "real nominee" for SCOTUS will be--the news is not all that great. Thanks to all for the information and discussion on Rosa Parks, though. Definitely a role model and someone with great courage--gee, a true leader.

In any event, I just read Robert Hicks' The Widow of the South. An interesting depiction of the Battle of Franklin towards the end of the Civil War. Another book I read recently (though it's been out for a while, I think), is Queen Noor's autobiography. What an intriguing life she leads!

Happy friday and enjoy the weekend...

Posted by: Erica Snipes | October 28, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I like squirrels - why all the bad press. They're not nearly as weasely as weasels.

Posted by: cap girl | October 28, 2005 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Off topic: Nani, how's the great-grandbaby?Have you had a chance to rock him yet?

On books, I'm continuing in a streak on Jane Austen and her times. Latest read was a new biography of Admiral Lord Nelson. The Regency makes present times look positively moral.

Posted by: slyness | October 28, 2005 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Miers was a ploy to distract us from the impending indictment. I expect that on Monday, as the newpapers are churning out stories about the Leak investigation and indictment and speculating on whether Rove will be indicted in the future, Bush will announce a highly conservative nominee that will clear the front pages of the MSM for a month. Its kinda like watching a magician, or a con-artist. Yea, a con-artist is more like it.

Posted by: Sully | October 28, 2005 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Friday Afternoon Boodle Book Club:

There is no way to pick a best Hiassan book, but I am partial to Double Whammy and Striptease.

I just read Freakonomics and thought it was a little over-rated. I also finished Superstar: Or How I Became A 24-Year Old Virgin by Pau Feig. Funny stuff but a little TMI (not that you aren't warned).

I have Anansi Boys and Flush waiting to hit the nightstand table. I also started rereading Cat's Cradle by KV (America's Greatest Living Writer). At this rate I am never going to finish Quicksilver, let alone ever get to Confusion

Joel needs to enable italics and bold so bad. Is there a boodle policy on why not?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 28, 2005 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Been reading Hornby's latest...bit depressing so far and not nearly as funny as all previous efforts.

Posted by: irregardless | October 28, 2005 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Mr. Libby will find some solace in that his nickname has given rise to comments and observations about the boodler's pet's peculiar habits and anal hygiene.

Posted by: LB | October 28, 2005 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by:| the Libby indictment was noted on at 12:51, and on this blog at 12:53 (see above).

The text of the indictment itself is a good read, particularly Counts 4 & 5 (Perjury).


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all who contributed to this afternoon's book discussion. I've been reminded of the many books I intend to read but still haven't gotten around to -- and books I want to re-read, e.g., "Crime and Punishment" (thanks Nani).

That's disappointing news about Hornby's latest -- I'd been looking forward to it. (I loved "How to Be Good.")

You've got all those books going at once? I'm impressed.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for asking, slyness. Phillip Flavius is the light of my life and I hope the first of many great-g-babies to come. He smiles when I sing, coos, and tells me baby jokes.

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Tom fan, I didn't mention the periodicals I have going as well.

My night table looks like I'm recreating the World Trade Center complex out of magazines (ones I've finished reading just stay at the bottom of the stack). Well, except for the clock/radio and Maglite.

In summary, don't be impressed. I just have a short attention span.


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Intolerable crepusculations! Clearly the man perjuriated and promulgated misconfabulations.

Posted by: sharkmeister | October 28, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

sharkmeister, it's a three step process-
Fabricate, bloviate, widdershins.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 28, 2005 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Agree that the earlier Hiaasens are the best--Skin Tight, Double Whammy, and I liked Tourist Season a lot. I think the character of Skank is one of the funniest in all of literature. He makes only a one-page appearance in the latest novel ("Skinny Dip"? the girl is thrown off the cruise ship) but it made my day when he popped up.

Can you imagine what a madhouse the Herald must have been with Weingarten, Achenbach, Hiaasen and Dave Barry all in residence? The mind boggles. (And who was the idiot that let them decamp? Well, their loss was our gain.)

bc, what's the link to the indictment text? Thanks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

bc--never mind--just saw the link on the homepage of the Post. As Emily Littella says...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, Curmudgeon.

Gene mentioned the madness that was the Hearald Sunday Magazine (the name of which escapes me at the moment), when that bunch was there.

I concur with your assesment of Skank.
Skank kills. No, wait, he eats that which is already FORD.


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Goldangit, I leave the boodle for a bit and you hold a book club without me. I'm re-reading the Jane Austen biography by Carol Shields. As often happens when reading Jane Austen anything, you start talking a bit like her books sound. This is only ridiculous if you have to be businesslike. I also am reading 'The Stone Diaries' by Shields, re-reading a Tom Clancy and by my favourite chair I have a complete volume of Robert Frost that I am going thorugh slowly, savouring ever syllable he wrote.
What I read depends where I am stopping. Upstairs loo, downstairs loo, comfy chair, etc, you see where this is going. Everything worthwhile can be done in 15 minutes intervals, and my tombstone will say of me "When I finish this chapter...."

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

SCCs: "daughters".

Well, Curmudgeon, I tried...


Posted by: bc | October 28, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

dr, I adore Robert Frost. Are you old enough to remember his recitation of The Gift Outright at John F. Kennedy's inauguration?

Posted by: Nani | October 28, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I remember it, Nani. Frost was old and having trouble reading, and Kennedy stood up and came to the podium to help him.

I was student council president in 1963 when JFK was shot, and the following spring our class trip was a 3-day trip to DC. As sc president, I led the student delegation laying a wreath on JFK's tomb, which hadn't been build yet, but was still only a small grass plot with a flame.

Been a pissed-off Democrat ever since.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 28, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Though I doubt, Scooter, or Mr. Libby goes to prison, if he does, with a name like Scooter, I suspect he may end up doing that "thing" some of you have been talking about that your pets do at times. Some guys have it real bad in prison, especially those that have lived the good life out in society.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 28, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Not quite, though I do remember seeing JFK's funeral on TV, specifically the long cortege. I aksed my dad who he was, and dad said, he thought he was a good man. Its always been such a let down to find out that he was just a man like any other.

I found Frost's poetry when I was 12 or so. "The woods are lovely dark and deep but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

"Two roads diverged in yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference"

Something there is that does not love a wall"

I had a wonderful teacher/librarian who read them out loud in class, and I can still hear her saying them in my head. These might be his most famous lines, but they are so deeply personal to me, so very much part of my growing up. I may have come from a really really small town, but we had a library and a mentor with a passion for books.

Thanks for the tip, I shall search for the poem tonight.

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

By the way Nani, make sure you read aloud to your grandchild when he is older. Everyone reads to little children(I hope) but older kids love to listen too. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer boy and little house in the big woods are wonderful to read aloud, and Swiss Family Robinson is great, though just a little harder to bear as the reader! Don't forget these old books while you are reading Harry, and Lemonysnicket to him.

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 4:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC, capitalization on all book titles, and everyother word. Sigh, I wish I could see to edit.

Posted by: dr | October 28, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I *loved* "The Stone Diaries" -- and everything else Carol Shields has written, actually. So unusual yet so realistic. I'd love to go back and read them all, but then, there are so many other books I haven't read yet. (Oh, but "The Stone Diaries" is so good! I can probably squeeze in a re-read . . .)

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Here is a link to the Frost poem:

There was a heavy snow here the day before the inauguration. My dad and his carpool didn't get home until almost 11 p.m. But the next morning Pennsylvania Ave. was clear. I think they used flame throwers to make sure there was no snow or ice on the road surface and the ceremonies went off on schedule.

Posted by: pj | October 28, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Accidental one-eyed individual smiling at the end of my post of 4:34:37.

[My apologies if I've offended any one-eyed 'boodlers out there.]

[I once knew a one-eyed cat. He hung around our house on a regular basis. He was kinda old. We called him Old One Eye. What a great cat he was.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I appear to have killed the 'boodle with my terribly insensitive comment. I'm so sorry.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 5:35 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* what slave-driver makes someone WORK on a friday? my slave-driver thats who!
my dearly departed Gomez the cat was once in the middle of his toilet when my mother did something to scare him... he came streaking out of the bathroom and immediately scooted his butt across my off-white oriental rug. it was gross (and i had to clean it) but hilariously funny! i said "MOM! you scared the shit out of him! literally!"

(sorry for the late poop humour)

Posted by: mo | October 28, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Tom Fan, I think the blog is dead. I mean it may be just...over. Kaput. Everyone reads JW's blog now. Which is fine, I can go back to regular journalism. It was a noble experiment, this thing. It failed, but I'm glad we tried it.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 28, 2005 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You spoke too soon, Achenbach -- mo's here! (But yeah, jw's blog is pretty good.)

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 5:48 PM | Report abuse

No need to apologize for the poop humor. Your comment was pristine compared with some of the pet stories we've seen here today.

[I love phrases like "in the middle of his toilet," "on his person," etc.]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 28, 2005 5:52 PM | Report abuse

joel - he doesn't kit nearly as much as you! i'd die from boodle withdrawal if i had to rely on him! (tho' i'm just as bad - it's HARD to kit daily! my hat's off ya dude!)

Posted by: mo | October 28, 2005 6:14 PM | Report abuse

JA, don't think you can get out of kitting just because you think the boodle is dead! You had two - TWO - kits today, and we kept both going...the blog is not dead. Don't even think you can get away with that.

Posted by: Slyness | October 28, 2005 8:32 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger, Nani, others - I'm glad Rosa Parks is being honored in the Capitol. If anyone goes, please tell us about the experience here. She possessed such quiet dignity and courage, and she truly changed this country for the better. I'll be watching on CSPAN.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 28, 2005 10:40 PM | Report abuse

For the best uncensored news site go to:

Posted by: Che | October 29, 2005 7:24 AM | Report abuse

See this boodle did not die yet. Its Saturday and I'm still here! Of course I may have posted just for spite.

Posted by: dr | October 29, 2005 12:01 PM | Report abuse

   To those of us with a firm grasp of the law, the difference between a charge of "perjury" and a charge of "making false statements" is as obvious as the difference between a creature that is active in twilight and one that is crepuscular. But a lay person might get confused as he or she reads the reports this morning that H. W. Scooter "Irving" Libby, the Vice President's chief of staff, will be charged with making false statements to a federal grand jury -- but not charged with perjury [though we now know he's been charged with both--JA]. Herewith, a primer on the laws governing non-truthful communication under oath:
I do not agree.For more info go to

Posted by: warsaw hotels | September 27, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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