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Joe Biden Asks a Question

   Richard Cohen dismantles Joe Biden today, along the same lines as Elisabeth Bumiller in the Times and Dana Milbank in the Post, and some readers may think the journalists are being unfair. I would like to post the 12-minute question posed by Biden to Alito, but Hal the Schemer has told me many times that blog items have to be short.  But you can read it here.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 12, 2006; 12:17 PM ET
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Next: Dear Oprah: Truth Still Matters


Republicans should be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a Biden presidential campaign. The raw material he has given out over the years would make opposition research the cushiest job in the GOP. Guaranteed at the first debate, someone will say, "That's a great idea, Joe. Who did you steal it from?"

Posted by: yellojkt | January 12, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Katie Couric threw this sentence from Cohen's op-ed, "But his tendency, his compulsion, his manic-obsessive running of the mouth has become the functional equivalent of womanizing or some other character weakness that disqualifies a man for the presidency," at Biden this morning on the NBC morning show.

Biden seemed unflappable, but his grin at the end of the interview moments later was all teeth, much like a political cartoon. Knowing that he's being lampooned, lambasted and receiving the press's royal roasting and toasting, do you think he'll do better with the sound gigabytes?

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden would be a shoe-in for president of Bloviation Nation, but then how many really good speeches has anyone heard from a Demo in the last 30 years? I can only think of a few- Mario Cuomo, Barbara Jordan, Barak Obama, John Edwards at times. Carter was bad, Clinton was better, but way prolix. Everybody in the Senate is so swept up in the gentleman's club atmosphere and the unlimited debate notion that they forget the old saw about why you have one mouth and two ears. To paraphrase Thumper "If you can't say somethin' worth hearin', don't say nothin' at all."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 12, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It has long been my experience that those who talk the longest often have the least to say.

And those who say it concisely are more likely to be remembered, too.

This point came home for me years ago when I listened at length to Sheila Jackson Lee. She talks and talks and often says little. She thinks it makes her sound smart. To some folks, maybe it does.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 12, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey kguy - Did'ja get to that link of the video where the announcers were all getting into a limo?

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 12, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Joel is changin' Kits today faster than a hoop snake (hoop snakes being native to Texas...This large reptile curls himself into a loop, bites his own tail for balance, and rolls quickly out of harm's way. They are so fast no one has actually ever seen one.)

I second omnigood..."What heating bill?" It's the air conditioning bill that has us as crazy as a lizard with sunstroke. We had only one fire this "winter" and in summer, we tend to dress like tropical natives. The furniture is quite intact. However, we have rent all our clothing to vent. And the summer thermostat is set to 78 degrees.

Thanks for the stories, bc, and Science Tim. I so enjoyed your answers and they make sense--the grandfather working for NASA, bc, and the higher verbal than math scores, Science Tim.

SCC on everything I may have misspelled lately. The mountain cedar (actually, juniper) pollen, and my increasingly allergic reaction to it each year we are here in the Lone Star State, have turned my eyes into gully washers, which is more than I say for the weather, as of late.

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking of building a parabolic reflector for the back yard and beaming sunlight directly into the house for heat. I'm behind on this project for a few reasons: (1) sounds too much like work, (2) butt-ugly, (3) may shatter the window glass, (4) sunlight from a 4-foot wide reflactor focused onto a few-inch-wide area is actually dangerous, (6) I'm behind on all my other projects, why play favorites? and (5) sounds too much like work.

My wife thought the Solar Death Ray web site was pretty cool, so at least I might expect some spousal support for such a project.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 12, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Two words for you: e-glass roof.

*inserting tongue into cheek*
Loomis, I'm crushed to not have rated notice, even though I answered unasked. I may even stop boodling (a concept many may find worthy of rejoycing over).
*removing tongue from cheek*

And a several-Kit-late tip 'o the snorkeling mask to Curmudgeon for his maritime boodling.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I once prototyped a solar powered steam rocket for a science project in middle school, using a parabolic reflector.

It failed for several reasons, but I did manage to get the parabolic refelctor to burn a hole through the rocket's tin boiler, releasing a nice burp of steam...

To scotty's point, how about a roof made from fresnel lenses?


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you did answer, unprompted by me. Thanks. It is hard to learn all the stories--and I don't know why I don't recall more of yours. Now that we know your dad was an electical engineer and that you had many interesting things to read under your childhood roof, why not tell us more? Are you really involved with nukes? Do you have poetry in your soul, (which may have indeed been the prompt to ask my questions of Tim and bc)? And if not poetry, then what? What makes Scottynuke tick?

And as the Boodlers reveal more of themselves, we begin to bring each one into sharper focus. Nani's story of being the drummer in the all-girl band, was so Nani, as we are learning. And Reader, do you live today in Key West? (I just don't understand how Achenfan thought you-- Scottynuke, Bayou Self and Mudge were the same person? Bayou Self knows of Rick Casey of the Houston Chron, which I doubt the two others of you do, as an example.)

O.K., Scottynuke, are you ready for the spotlight? Nani, a drumroll please...

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

*adjusting my cumberbund and smoothing my hair*

Uh... Well... Ummmmm...

My love of science and technology can pretty much be laid wholly at my father's feet, although my brother, the physicist, gets credit too. Dad introduced me to computers (as I think I boodled a while ago), and his devotion to his work convinced me it was cool to be interested in science. As I didn't have the grades for a scientific degree, I settled for English/Journalism and focused on science reporting.

I certainly have words in my soul, but they come out as prose almost exclusively. "Doggerel" would be far too kind a word for the poetry I've attempted.

Yes, I'm involved with nukes, but not the warhead kind. What makes me tick is the desire to provide accurate information to people, therefore my journalistic career and my current position.

Did I pass the audition?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

To be curmudgeonly, I'll go back on-topic and recall the description of Biden when he ran for president some years back:

Deep-down, he's really shallow.

I think it's still true.

Posted by: pj | January 12, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

That's right, Joel.

Keep it Short. Sharp. Blogged.

Posted by: Karl | January 12, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll always like Biden because I got a chance to hear him speak when I was in college, and impressionable. We're talking 1979, maybe. It was the first time I'd ever seen a senator up close. He was funny, smart, self-deprecating. He admitted that he'd like to be president someday. But if you read this transcript of Biden, I think you'll agree that he really, really needs to try the decaf.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 12, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I just need to add that my dad is also a scientist. It seems there is alot of that going on around here.....

Posted by: LP | January 12, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse


(better late than never)

Posted by: Nani | January 12, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Biden can be funny and self-deprecating. And he does know some stuff. But I just don't understand how he can come up with those rambling statements/questions he asked Alito.

I watched an hour of the first day of questioning - 6 to 7 p.m. Schumer had the first half hour and Cornyn the second. If Alito spoke for a total of five minutes during the entire hour, I will be shocked. What the hell are these guys thinking? Cornyn spent most of his time criticising the other side and Schumer spent most of his time....well, I'm not sure what Schumer spent most of his time doing, but it wasn't asking questions. I realize political gamesmanship is being played on both sides in some of this, but what occurred there was simply ridiculous.

Decaf, Joel? Maybe he needs Ambien to slow him down a bit.

Posted by: pj | January 12, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse


I think it's a Pavlovian thing... Red light on TV camera go on, Senator talk.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Joel... if you are writing a column that includes using a dog to keep warm, you might be interested in an invention that my kids' 4th grade teacher has come up with (and patented!): an electric, heated, lap dog. If you're interested in finding out more (he's an amazing Mr. Wizard-like ex-lawyer teacher in the DC 'burbs) just let me know.


Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - In a newsroom where I worked, long ago, there was a cartoon near the head producer's desk. In it, a dog is with an editor, who is holding some copy and giving the dog a bad look. And the caption says "Of course it's doggerel. What did you expect?"

Also long ago, I covered some event where Sen. Paul Simon was speaking. I either dozed off or valiantly managed to barely stay awake. I forget. But I'm sure at the very least that I did the thing -- a bunch of times -- where your head is balanced on your hand and your hand or arm slips and your head falls and you awake with a sudden jerk. Is there a name for that?

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 12, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

On another note, here are some sure-fire tips for throwing a party.

Guests? Check.

Booze and beverages? Check.

Snacks and such? Check.

Political speech? Check.

Okay, I just got this e-mail ...

On January 31, President Bush will deliver his State of the Union Address, laying out his bold agenda for the coming year. That evening, thousands of Americans all across the country will come together for State of the Union House Parties. Will you join us by hosting a State of the Union House Party in your home?

We all remember the thousands of Parties for the President held across America during the last Presidential campaign. If you didn't participate in those House Parties and don't really know what a house party is, let me explain. A House Party is a great way to carry the President's message into your community, while having fun with friends old and new. Just go to, sign up, set up your party, and send the invitations - all in five minutes or less. Not sure who to invite? You can use our Web site to invite 5, 10 or 20 Republican volunteers near you. We'll give you all the tools you need to make your party a success.

Hosting a House Party on the 31st is a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and bring neighbors together as we kick off another year of making history. Get started now.

You've stood strong with President Bush as he has expanded freedom around the world and made America more prosperous. As always, thank you for your support. I hope I can count on you to continue to stand with President Bush by hosting a State of the Union House Party on January 31.

Ken Mehlman
Chairman, Republican National Committee

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 12, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo: I moved up north to America but still live south of the frost line. Lived in the Conch Republic for about 10 years altogether. Left my heart there.

Posted by: Reader | January 12, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bayou Self.. I got the same letter today from the Democrats!

Here are a few excerpts:

On January 31st, George Bush will deliver his State of the Union address. Tomorrow we'll be asking Democrats around the country to invite their friends and family to join them for a Watch Party.

People will gather to watch the president's speech and the Democratic response -- and immediately following the speeches, all the parties will be invited to join Governor Howard Dean, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for a rapid response conference call.

Throwing a Watch Party is simple. If this is your first time planning one, our online event tool takes care of planning your event and inviting others.

If every single one of us gets our friends and neighbors involved, we can make sure that when the president stands at that same podium in January 2007 and looks out at the new Congress, he sees more Democrats than Republicans.

Thank you so much,

Tom McMahon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee

So... Which parties do you thing will be more fun?

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Doggerel--interesting word choice by two of our Boodlers today.

On one of my visits to the Comfort (Comfort, Texas) Antique Mall (infrequent because I am not much a collector of antiques), I found a framed piece of old stitchery--cross-stitch and embroidery--in various shades of blue. At the bottom is an Oriental floral motif--very much a Dresden China blue-and-white-type pattern, with the following verse:

Come in the evening
Come in the morning
Come when you're looked for
Come without warning.

The words speak to me of love and passion, of the desire, perhaps youthful, to be with someone cherished.

Then I happened to buy the book by Simon Garfield, "Mauve: How one man invented a color that changed the world." The first chapter explains how Sir William Perkin, the Coal Tar Wizard, was to be feted on the 50th anniversary of his discovery at Delmonico's in New York City by the upper strata of New York City society.

The host for the evening was Professor Charles Chandler of Columbia University. Before the dinner was served, Perkin received many accolades. One of the early tributes of the evening is explained on page 7 of the text:

Then a man from the Mayor's office got up to read some old doggerel, which he dedicated to Perkin:

Come in the evening, or come in the morning,
Come when you're looked for, and come without warning:
A welcome and kisses you'll find here before you,
And the oftener you come, the more we'll adore you.

I'll never think the same of my stitchery piece--and its doggerel, which hangs in home, after having read this book about Perkin.

The first chapter ends on an interesting note, though.

Two weeks before the event [banquet], each of the diners received a brown envelope containing a new necktie, dyed for the occasion by the St. Denis Dyestuff and Chemical Company, France. The colour was often identified as a shade of purple, but for one night only there would be no mistaking its precise hue.

The men all wore it to the banquet, and now, well past midnight, they each removed it, and perhaps made a mental note to keep it safe, a prefect souvenir from a famous night in honour of a man who had invented the color mauve.

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the party that will be the most fun will be the one that I hope Robert Kaiser hosts online at the, where the public critiques the heck out of Bush's address--much like the "party" Kaiser held last year after Bush's inaugural address.

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2006 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Comedy Central used to show the State of the Union Speech with commentary and captions? That was fun to watch.

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2006 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I just wanted to point out that it was National De-Lurking Week (see or my blog at So in the spirit of National De-Lurking Week (since I have not posted here in a while), HI!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling we'll be having our own little Boodle SOTU Critiquing Party right here. *G*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

And I am a big giant dork and forgot to "sign" my post about De-Lurking. Sigh.

Posted by: PLS | January 12, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

LLoomis is our Joe Biden. I don't even have to peak beyond the second line to know the post is l o n g, with the point usually hidden at the end.

But they are usually informative, if windy. And it is an honor, of course, to have as a blogleague someone with all those fabulous genes from early American industry, agriculture, and finance; politics; military affairs; and religions.

Posted by: vulvix | January 12, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is a good senator, and a good family man (insofar as that's possible given the schedule of the Senate). But he's one lousy presidential candidate. I can't believe he's taken seriously after ripping off Neil Kinnock's "son of coal miners" speech.

It's not the number of scientists and engineers on this site that amazes me, it's the number of current and former journalists. What is it about Joel Achenbach that attracts journalists?

My work situation no longer supports boodling, so I will shift back to mostly lurker mode. It's been fun trying (in vain, mostly) to play; heck, I even got into a couple of kits. Something to tell the grandkids one day.

I'm astounded by the knowledge, creativity, and wit of the boodle, and even more by the speed with which they get displayed. Joel, you're doing something right (several thing, actually). Keep writing, I'll keep reading.

Posted by: silvertongue | January 12, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

wow - so many kits-n-boodles - not easy to keep up with everything!

just wanted to say thank you to S-Tim for explaining "keyhole". So...keyhole is not a scientific term, yet "baby universe" is?

okay - maybe we need to add all these definitions to mo's achenfaq...

Posted by: ot | January 13, 2006 3:24 AM | Report abuse

I posted a response to the thermostat question at the end of the last boodle and couldn't easily copy it here. (I don't get the permalink thing.) Basically I keep my home thermostat at 68 and office one at 70 and use a cat for warmth at home. I Like the purring, too, Nani

Heating bill varies from $150-$250.

Thought Biden was all gobbledegook (sp). Where are the orators like those of yesteryear - E. Dirksen, JFK, A. Lincoln, to name a few. I know there are more I can't think of at the moment.

I enjoyed all the great science answers and historical information.


Posted by: boondocklurker | January 13, 2006 5:10 AM | Report abuse


Here's an update on our discussion about Abramoff's buddies in Miami who are up on murder charges. Your comment:

The opening paragraph of today's news story:
Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty against Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, charged in the February 2001 slaying of Miami Subs and SunCruz Casino founder Konstaninos "Gus" Buoulis.

My comment: "Gus?" No wonder they offed him. Those Greek guys obviously are not clear on the concept of Mafia nicknames.

The whole story is here:

Posted by: Reader | January 13, 2006 7:05 AM | Report abuse

SCC, I retyped the paragraph (why didn't I cut and paste) and spelled Boulis's name wrong. Sorry, Gus.

Posted by: Reader | January 13, 2006 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Greek nicknames? Among my village-born grandfather and his brothers, only one of them ever attended school. His nickname? They called him "Doc."

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2006 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Sports nicknames...

I was known as "Stonefingers" in high school after stints as a soccer goalie.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 13, 2006 8:02 AM | Report abuse

vulvix, yes, LindaLoo wears many hats: historian, teacher, journalist, muse. For some reason, one comment she made in the first LL post I ever read stands out. Joel was in California, I believe, and LindaLoo asked if and I'm paraphrasing, "black bears still lumber down the mountainside." It was more richly descriptive than that of course, but I couldn't find it in the archives. It stuck in my mind and occasionally I see those black bears in mind's eye. Her most enjoyable posts are the ones where she displays her sense of humor: song parodies, the good natured bickering with bc, Curmudgeon, jw, scottynuke, and her recipe for panache is priceless. Her post explaining why she began tracing her family history revealed a little vulnerability, quite touching, brought a little tear to my eye (I don't cry easily).

Posted by: Nani | January 13, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo! Whew, thanks Reader, my world begins to spin on it's axis again, first principles are confirmed. Let's see now, it was "Never engage in a land war in Asia, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never trust a mobster without a nickname," right?

Oh, Nani, I'll bet you're as lacrimonious as all get out (but certainly not ululatory) when it comes to puppies, kittens, grandbabies, pandas, and Frank Capra movies with Jimmy Stewart.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 13, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is like every other loser that posts on this BLOG....He says too much and what he says is wrong.


Posted by: The Real Lonemule | January 13, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for sharing, The Real Lonemule. And thank you for your continued interest in the Achenblog comments section.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: CowTown | January 13, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting to me that no one seems to want to help to educate people that the next level of awareness might be the difference between what someone says and what they do.

If intelligence or appearance mattered for reasons of clarity or purpose how did the ill fitted one become president, much less leader of unprecedented WAR power?

It's called knowing the right really matters very little about the looks or intelligence in today's politics if you know the right people....Alfred E. Nuemann could run on the GOP ticket and has won if you compare your current leaders face and his.....except for the fact that A.E. Nuemann's face is guileless and doesn't have the same gila monster like slithery quality...

Have a nice day.

Posted by: It seems to be a commentary on appearances.... | January 13, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

such a sad little-endian.....

Do you think it's the littleputians or the balefftespewlians that need ur support....

carefull or I may tell them who you are....twit

Posted by: Hello mr bushmule... | January 13, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Since it is Friday and we are sick and tired of lame sentiments and bad writing, I offer something completely different-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 13, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse


are you referring to lame sentiments and bad writing by posters on this blog? how unusual, but very refreshing. it's time to raise the level of discourse in both the content and quality of expression. you can lead the way. we will succeed with the temporary relaxation in censoring and autoerogenousmasturbatory editing and endless quoting from empty experience and lives by some of those temporarily absent. I have no pity for them, but I do for scottynuke and curmudgeon. Mr. cowtown is much more civil and a lot funnier, however. have a nice day, sir.

Posted by: vulvix | January 13, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

he nails it with his liscentious honesty....

screams it across the net to smite his opponent directly above the browline....where it sits like a "suuni side up egg" on the forehead of her bemusement....

fried eggs of heaven.

Posted by: Lofting a pithy phrase into the air.... | January 13, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

keeping a low profile the meerkats crouched with glee....planning their next raid upon the locusts of love...

Posted by: back atcha scotty.... | January 13, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

moving closer she cuddled with his umberto...seeking solace in his squalid pallor...pinkertons of exuberance moved towards her...

Posted by: wombats loomed darkly, avoiding exposure to harsher elements of desiree' | January 13, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

why are we talking this way. was it the mekrob we ate last night, or the combustible elixer that has erotosensitized this blog with is lovejuices.

Posted by: Omodududancingwithachenfan | January 13, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The lame sentiments and bad writing are, alas, all mine own. I was just sitting here listening to Inti-Illimani and stirring through today's take of alien spleens and I said to myself, "Self, this day needs de-funking!" And it hit me (but I managed to get it back under restraint) that some TPB was just what the doctor ordered.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 13, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I feel overwhelmed by your underhandedness touching my bhagavagitaglans

Posted by: cownanitownlooms | January 13, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Something odd this morning. I walked into the lobby of my office building and found a group of employees standing around like a herd of apes, staring at something new that had been placed there. A sort of monument perhaps, but it looked eerily similar to the obelisk that appeared off and on in 2001 A Space Odyssey. "What is it? What's it for?" my co-workers asked. Trying to be funny, I rushed to the obelisk, slapped my hand on it, then rushed back to the group, but they didn't "get it".

K'guy, I outgrew Mr. Capra at about age 13, but enjoyed James Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder and Rear Window.

Posted by: Nani | January 13, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Tell me. I've got to know. Is everyone of the posters to this BLOG a gender confused, liberal with questionable personal hygene?

I mean this thing STINKS!!!!!!

Posted by: The Real Lonemule | January 13, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse


I'd noticed my sentiment was favoring one leg, didn't realize it had gotten that bad. I'll bring the doc in immediately...

Mr. Gumby: "Doc-TOR... Doc-TOR!!!"

Dr. Gumby: "Yes?"

"Are you... the BRAIN specialist?"


"No, no I am not the BRAIN specialist, no... Yes!"


"My brain hurts!"

"Let's have a look at it then."

"No, no, my brain in my HEAD."

"Oh. It'll have to come OUT!"

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 13, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

into the beingness of the north fork of the shoshone, the water having recently cleared from the spring runoff...coyotes danced...appearing freindly but not too

he couldn't see anything moving in the water but the view was gorgeous...

hot desert heat, mauve sufaces intermixed with pine trees...hard to believe pronghorn and buffalo shared the same site

Posted by: A hot wyoming day in cody, he ties on a black wooly bugger and casts downstream | January 13, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The Mule
© By Eulah M. Anderson

I want to tell you about our friend, I know he's touched in the head,
all he
ever talks about is this mule he keeps in the shed.
Now I know a little about old mules, and they like to be outside,
The only time he lets it out, is when he's in the mood to ride.

The way he raves about that old mule, why it's a dadburn sight,
He talks about getting it out, and riding thru the woods at night.
I said man you gotta be nuts riding where you can't see
He said OH NO it has a steering wheel, I miss every one of those trees.

So here he is on his old mule with a steering wheel in his hand,
I never knew, but I do now, something's wrong with this good man,
Now his wife just sit there smiling, as he rambled on an on,
I didn't know until right now, this guy is dumb to the bone.

He said my wife goes along when I go riding at night,
She feels safe riding on the back, My mule has good head lights,
I just listened while he talked, to the silly things he said,
Who in the world would ever believe, that a mule has lights in its head.

He kept saying such silly things, my poor ole loony friend,
He even ordered a part by mail, He has to work on the mules rear end;
Now a mule with lights and a steering wheel, that alone is a hoot,
But to work on the mules rear end that's right in front of the poopy shoot.

I ask his wife if she liked to ride, she said yes especially in the snow
She bragged on that old mule saying There is no place it can't go;
He had talked on for a while, his wife gave him a little pat,
Then she piped up with OH yes dear our mule now has a flat.

They started talking about checking the oil, well, that just made me sick,
Any pea brain aught to know a mule don't have a dip stick;
I said oh now I've had enough, now tell me what's the deal
He said no honest I'm telling the truth, my mule even has four wheels.

I'm thinking, oh my, they have both lost their minds,
I know something about mules, and there just is no such kind.
I said ok I've really had it, I can't take anymore;
come nine O'clock in the morning I'll be knocking on your door.

I was there right on time, Johnny on the spot,
They ask me in said take a seat, the coffee pot's still hot,
we visited like always over a leisurely cup,
Then a smile crossed his face, as slowly he got up.

AS we strolled out to the shed, I'm thinking, boy this is sad,
Then I saw tire tracks in the yard, and I knew that I'd been had;
When he opened up that shed door why I felt like such a fool,
There was a shinny new four wheeler, and on the front it said, THE MULE

Posted by: Anonymous | January 13, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Damn, Nani, that is funny. Even if they didn't get it, it's almost sweeter to read about them not getting it.

Posted by: Kane | January 13, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I can't speak for the others, but I think they'd all agree that I am the flaming liberal here ...

Posted by: Kane | January 13, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

A Plea for the Mule
In history and poetry, in music and in art
The horse has been a favored beast and played a
leading part,
And while I don't begrudge him the fame that he
has won,
There's been too little said about his sister's long
eared son.

We praise the foaming charger and weave him in a
But how about the humble beast that hauls the grub
He snakes the heavy cannon o'er muddy field and
And is never known to whimper or complain about
his load.

In times of peace as well as war the mule is not a
When Dobbin takes a balky spell, it's Jasper does
the work.
In many ways he proves himself much wiser than
the steed
He never takes an overdose of water or of feed;
And should he chance to run away when by ambition
He always makes his dash with care and stops be-
fore he's tired.

I know there is a prejudice against this humble beast
But those who hold him with disdain are they that
know him least.
Investigate his record with a calm, unbiased mind
And you will find, as I have found, that he has been
For even men who hold him up to scorn and ridicule
Might learn a wholesome lesson from the humble,
patient mule.
__Albert Stroud.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 13, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

asefitida lofted into her nostrils as his hand moved under her sari...permitting the hamsters of her desire to run free...

knibblign the kibbutzes of her fringe she sank into the feelingness of her hambone soup....drifting off, cornbread in hand.

Posted by: why is it necessary to killll when a good knobbing is painfull enought | January 13, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I've been out keeping the world safe for democracy, but wanted to jump in on the beer-cooling debate.

Best and fastest way, given that you have access, is a CO2 fire-exinguisher. One-second blast from it directly on the sixer will provide frosty brews.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

cross-gendered posting was removing the disticntknees of _certain_ scent...

sure that there was a rabbit lurking, he set for a moment, waiting for it to break cover...

crafting a disarming quality of effervessence permitted him the opportunity for self emmollation....lavender scents of neroli acted to open the gates

Posted by: cornelius funk squatted in the desert....searching for sign | January 13, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Anatomy of a Murder. Lee Remick Lee Remick Lee Remick Lee Remick as a tramp! What a doll. Watch the first five minutes of Experiment in Terror when the wheezing killer grabs her in the darkened garage, you'll love her forever. But, Nani, say what you will about Frank Capracorn, ya gotta love Meet John Doe, with Walter Brennan railing against the helots.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 13, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Nani, sometimes people don't get jokes unless you club them over the head with it (a thighbone).

jw, I concur and add that N2O can be equally effective, and has some additional side benefits. Fire suppression not being one of them, though...


Posted by: bc | January 13, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

qualities of life became more aware of his persistent beingness

something was familiar, but it wasn't the words it was the effect...

movement on the plane of effect...codification of essentialness.

Posted by: pierceing violets, mixing with orange haired scents summer breeze.... | January 13, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

china doll dresses of summer heat...

moss smells

essence of cedar...lebanon, dark haired beauties, present as ravens waiting to move.

Posted by: cooling sixers.... | January 13, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Luke go get cher maw, I need to talk to her...we got to go into town, now git....

the mr peabody whoa

Posted by: Smile when you say that pardner... | January 13, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Biden...looks like he was really softpedaling the "You probably are not as qualified to judge discrimination cases as you might think" angle. He could have been clearer, but gosh, it's a good point.

At this stage Alito is likely to be confirmed anyway, but at least Biden might have given him food for thought (hence the pussyfooting).

Did Alito ever make a reply or did he get lost listening for an actual question?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

from the omni gang of five, with our compliments, erp.

Posted by: andhecausedmetobendovertoexaminetheslitheringsilkinessofhisblog | January 13, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

being aware that you carry the response to words within good writing is like fingers touching the strings of her lute...

full bodied response to strums of presence...

dancing closer she swirled into his embrace at a distance.

Posted by: the semantic basis for communications is evocative rather than external.... | January 13, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

like living flames...

Posted by: check out some good flamenco dancers some time.... | January 13, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

From comedian Andy Borowitz ...

January 12, 2006

Talkative Lawmaker Creating Environmental Threat, Scientists Fear

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), who has dominated this week's confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito with his seemingly nonstop talking, is producing dangerously high level of carbon dioxide that could pose a serious environmental threat, leading scientists said today.

While many observers have found Sen. Biden's interminable orating tedious and wearisome, few suspected that the lawmaker was producing gases that could threaten the ecological balance of the planet.

But at a conference in Oslo, Norway devoted to the environmental challenges posed by Sen. Biden's endless nattering, scientists today said that the Delaware Democrat was producing levels of carbon dioxide that could prove harmful to many of the earth's species.

"Carbon dioxide is a necessary part of the photosynthetic process that allows plants to grow," said the University of Tokyo's Dr. Hiroshi Kyosuke.  "But the massive amounts of carbon dioxide produced by Joe Biden could prove to be too much for even the hardiest vegetation to process."

Dr. Kyosuke and his colleagues were mulling a number of proposals for reining in the ecological threat posed by Sen. Biden, including urging the Environment Protection Agency to issue tougher emission standards for U.S. Senators.

The scientist said his peers were also "deeply concerned" about a possible environmental threat posed by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass): "There is a serious possibility that Sen. Kennedy's head will block out the sun and cause all life on Earth to wither and die."

Elsewhere, at a press conference in Switzerland today, skiing champion Bode Miller made an impassioned plea for drunk skiing to be recognized as a official Olympic event.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 13, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse


Like I said, station a qualified animal researcher in te hearing room with an Anaesti-Dart gun. *G*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 13, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "in the hearing room"

Is it 5 p.m. Eastern yet? *G*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 13, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Best. Film. Review. Ever.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

rather period though, doncha think.

Posted by: that was pretty good, content hidden in ordinary language. | January 13, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Worst. Film. Review. Ever.

Reads like it's been written by a sophomoric 16-year-old. Having seen the trailer several times, Sewell of Middlesex, England, looks good in this, as do the kids. Best use of Sewell and Oliver Platt (having just seen Heath Ledger's "Casanova") in a period-costume drama: "Dangerous Beauty."

I recommend watching ABC's 20/20 tonight: What's going on in America's schools? Are American kids stupid or are schools simply failing them? Learn a thing or two about our kids' classrooms in John Stossel's special report, "Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids."

yellojkt's great post in the last 24 hours about the inequality of science education in our schools is really hitting home.

Posted by: Loomis | January 13, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Linda, I'm thinking that was the joke. Rather than just saying in the review, "You'll only like this movie if you're a 16-year-old girl." Pretty interesting, compared to the usual overly-pretentious reviews saying how juvenile a film is while missing the point that the movie was SUPPOSED to be juvenile.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

who would want to grow up, surrounded by 300 pound sad examples of consumerism..

while reality seems more interesting in an electronic format than the lying slatherings of your current leaders...

by the by, Enstein or Freund once said that you can tell someones intelligence by their ability to get a joke....or by their ability to connect seemingly disparate comments....big picture vs putting things within context of what the current agreed-upon reality consists of...

I like good writing of all styles including austen, or poe, or halbrook doing mark twain, as well as peter hamilton...or hazrat inyaht khan....but didn't she mean byronic? as in the hot and cold lord Byron?

Posted by: forget about schools, how about the media including advertising... | January 13, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I have to confess, I love it when Lonemule shows up. Every blog needs a Lonemule!

For what it's worth, I posted a new kit.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 13, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

No, Brythonic, as in having to do with Briton.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The whole science fair schtick bothers me because 95% of the kids are doing things like what shape rock falls faster and the kids with science connections are doing things like Effects of Various Nutrient Concentrations on the Cloning of the Eye of Solanum tuberosum at Multiple Stages and "Fractal Dimension Analysis of Putative Martian Coastlines.". (real national winners of different science fairs).

Posted by: yellojkt | Jan 12, 2006 11:44:40 AM | Permalink

Reposting yellojkt..

jw, I tease you a bit. Have you read "Tristan and Isolde"? One of my favorite young booksellers at B&N is named Tristan because his mom read the work and fell in love with the characters, and so named her son.

I see the movie as the classic love triangle (not as a movie *just* for 16-year-old girls. I definitely plan to see it.), except if you know your history of the Middle Ages, you will know that girls as young as 10 and 11 were betrothed and married at these tender ages. Of course, life was short for many.

How are you coming with DVC? I found Simon Winchester's latest yesterday and found myself immersed in his prologue last night.

Posted by: Loomis | January 13, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Loser
by Lonemule

People who read this Blog try to think.
But all they do is start to stink.

Some say I'm an odity and a BLOG abuser
I say anyone who reads and posts this stuff must be a LOSER!

This BLOG Stinks!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: The Real Lonemule | January 13, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Linda, finished TDC a couple days ago, thankfully. I'm trying not to sound condescending, because I truthfully love all kinds of pulp science-fiction and fantasy, but the fact that so much hype has been made about that book is really depressing, as is the number of people who still go on and on about how it's the "best book they've ever read."

First, the story is servicable at best--you're usual conspiracy theory thriller with a religious twist. But, would it hurt it to have had the story make sense at all? It's almost like Dan Brown had that plot twist at the end in his head, and just threw the rest of the story together so that he could write his great finale.

I'm not going to deconstruct the whole book, but just a few things I noted: if this secret society is so secret, and has protected the biggest secret in the world for over a millenia, why does everyone seem to know the inner workings of it? And, why, given the obvious suggestion that Sophie is the ancestor of you-know-who, why does he immediately after hinting at it (literally a page later) have Langdon contradict it by saying that there's no way she could be, since she doesn't have the same last name? If even a Harvard professor knows the supposed last name of the bloodline, then wouldn't he also assume it's not much of a secret and maybe had been changed?

Anyway, the whole book just frustrated me, because it could have been so much better, given the premise.

I just bought Simon Winchester's latest too! Although I'm debating whether to read that next or Jared Diamond's "Collapse."

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

SCC: You're for your and probably a lot more.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

TDC, is about as correct in it's understanding of what it's talking about as Josepfh Campbell was in his spewtings on mythology....

there is a closer connection to the religious experience, mythologies, alchemy and what not....

but having said that conspiracies are a seperate issue and have more to do with power and lineage period.

Posted by: actually if you wanted to call something sophomoric that would be it.... | January 13, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who's making these posts, but I like them.

Posted by: jw | January 13, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

that the acolyte be interred whilst undergoing the rite of initiation...while holding seeds to be germinated...

golden dawn, rosicrucian, masonic are all from egyptian mystery schools...d"The Most Holy Trinosophia" of the Comte De St.-Germain by Manly Palmer Hall....if you want to spin for awhile...I think you can go down to that bookstore off of M street in Georgetown if it's still there down across the street from the "Earth Star Connection."

oh by the by, looks like there's some of that in all of the washington...the monument, and did you know that the national cathedral has an all hallows garden guild and a statue of pan outside of their gift shoppe? The walled garden is beautiful when the roses are in bloom.

check out the statues relating to creation at the front of the cathedral...

check out the buddha scroll put out by Shambala, introduced by Thomas Cleary and look at the little pagodas over the heads of the saints/buddhas, compare it to the little cathedrals over the heads of the saints/gawds/archangels at the front of the cathedral.....

Posted by: egyptian mysteries and hopi kiva mysteries both require... | January 13, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

pentagon was burnt through during the current administrations power coming into being?

thus breaking the pentagon? what was unleashed that had been constrained?

ha ha ha ha hahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...oh's important to realize that most of the fear that you feel is the embedded fear of having lived lifetimes of constriction under zealots....since history is a contiuum then it's still in the current society, in word choice, world view, societal standards, "what is good and bad?" you're embedded within a judeo-christian matrix of acceptable behaviours...

most of's what you're born into

that doesn't make it real i tea.

Posted by: ps. do you think that it's symbolic that a leg of the | January 13, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

gabriella y cloves...nice eh?

woodin, sprang from his eye what?

in the garden of eden the apple of the serpents eye....

osiris, isis

shakti, yab/yum, angel, union...

lucifer, prometheus, loki

if you want a more interesting tour of mythologies that is more straightforward try..."The Ultimate Enclopaedia of Mythology" although it leaves out the Native American Mythologies...

I like the creation myth of the Indians of the Northwest....

raven walks...

Posted by: marquez... | January 13, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

the other writers here and enjoy what they put out too....otherwise I wouldn't be here...thanks...

I'm okay if you don't like my writing either....communication is evoke-active

the act of calling forth something from within the instrument of the audience...

not everyone contains the same experential connection to certain word choices and they may feel groans where I feel mirth and vice versa...I also get bored with straight on writing...but I enjoy reading it....

every snowflake is different

Posted by: for what it's worth, I like | January 13, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the current president would sound like, if instead a senator, on t.v., asking unscripted questions of a supreme court nominee

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | January 13, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the current president would sound like, if instead a senator, on t.v., asking unscripted questions of a supreme court nominee

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | January 13, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

jw, the Winchester book, or at least the first 70 pages or so, is bizarrely disjointed and self-indulgent. I mean it's like my blog. It's that bad. Honestly I think it's the worst book by a good writer in a long, long time.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 13, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

regarding Abu Ghairab,

I mean really, they have people that have laptops sitting around between isn't like someone thought that the public wouldn't find out.....the question is _why_ did they do it....why did the US vs them government do it?

IF there really isn't a war, are they trying to provoke one....gain some sort of credibility? stir one up?

how's about this about that olde tyme flavorite Omar Ben Ladden, sheaf from olde araby:

I mean really everytime the Bush administration needs a boost, more votes, wants to push something through, the 6'6" unseeable-diabetic arab manages to stagger out of his bed in Riadyh and tape another message for his boss....just in time to get the overly stimulated Amerikan public stirred up again....along with an infomercial from Colt about how having your own arsenal makes the ladies hot....c'mon.

I think I saw him in the runaway hit show "Runway" with Heidi Klum disguised as "Santino."

All this government has to do is tell you that there are monsters out there and you give away your right to think and question...fear-full babies, poseurs and those that have erectile dysfunction, are moved to patriotic fervor by such actions....not to demean those that actually have medical problems and not ego ones.

You're being invaded all right, by ludicrous notions that somehow that people that lie, steal, thwart justice and obey their own agendas...

have your best intersts at heart...

is that your soap over there?

Where's the evidence? When't the last time the president paid for your coke habit like his daddy did?

Who stands to benifit from controlling the oil in Saudi, Quwait and Iraq?
And think in terms of people that know each other, not nations.

Oh, that's right the Bushes do know the bin Ladins' maybe ee's raht 'arry.

If the Brits invade India and it's the 1600's is it to teach them democracy or to control spice trade?

The only problem is that YOU, supposedly come from a democratic country....and you have to be convinced that what your affluent, carefully disguised as goverment leaders invoking the power of a "GOOD GAWD" against the powers of the bad gawds of everyone else.....since youse have such simple minds agree must be the right thing.

bin Laden is an operative of the US government, obviously....think about it....look at the effect of things and quit letting others frame the way you interpret events.

Posted by: IF I were to conjure up an opinion about what the prison Abu Ghairab fiasco was about I wouldn't bother..

Posted by: Have a nice weekend....I posted this in the EarlyWarning forewarned | January 13, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

funny ringtones

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

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