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Cheney's Hunting Mishap: What Really Happened

    Notice that I have completely avoided referring to Dick Cheney for an entire day. Notice the restraint. Notice the Salingeresque capacity for silence. Why the clam-up? Because the incident has gotten more coverage already than the landing at Normandy, and I don't want to contribute to this climate of hysteria and conspiracy-theorizing and tabloid journalism. I'm above this whole thing, operating on a higher plane. And thus will mention only briefly my theory that Whittington was instantly killed by Cheney and the man in the hospital is an imposter.

    I'm not saying this is true, only that it has some potential latent truthiness, in certain dim light. I hope the gentleman in question is doing well and recovers quickly from his wounds, though I'm confident he's been dead since Saturday afternoon. Please, people, don't be pathetically naive, the man was obliterated with a shotgun. Don't be a bunch of suckers. Why haven't we seen hide or hair of Mr. Whittington? Because neither exists anymore. To get a photo of the guy at this point you'd need a panoramic camera.

    This whole thing reeks of a cover story. The fact that Cheney has claimed to be the gunman makes me wonder if he's covering up something even darker: Like, he killed Whittington weeks ago and this whole thing was an attempt to concoct a way to dispose of the body. By the way, notice that Cheney himself said he didn't speak publicly right away because no one would believe him. [Hume: " does raise the question of whether you couldn't have headed off this beltway firestorm if you had put out the word to the national media..." Cheney: "Well, who is going to do that? Are they going to take my word for what happened?"]

    It's simple. Cheney fires his shotgun, boom, Whittington's vaporized, and the Veep has to go into the kind of crisis-management mode for which he is famous. First he looks around and asks if the Secret Service plans to carry him bodily to a bunker somewhere. Then he realizes that he is fortuitously prepared to handle precisely this kind of disaster. He travels with a large entourage: military attache, personal doctor, heart surgeon, endocrinologist, podiatrist, sommelier, outrider, hair stylist, and so on, right down to the body double who, whenever Cheney hunts, is always standing by to play the role, if necessary, of "gunshot survivor." And so one thing leads to another, and here we are. And that's all I'm saying about it.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 16, 2006; 5:35 PM ET
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Next: Heating Bill Horrors


Can we even be sure that Cheney is still Cheney?

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 16, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I still adhere to the grassy knoll theory. See this guy I know heard it from another guy that the so-called "Peppering Pattern" is, like, totally inconsistent with a single shot coming in the direction of Cheney. It would have to be some kind of "magic quail shot." Plus this other guy I know said he heard that the CIA is like totally behind all of this on account of Cheney and the whole Libby Plame thing. Also, I think the Mafia is involved because, well, we're still working on that. But it certainly couldn't have been an "accident." I mean, how boring would that be...

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 16, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

can anyone tell me why cheney let his staff and the ranch owner blame poor mr. whittington for several days before stating the shooting was his fault and only his fault?

Posted by: frieda406 | February 16, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Guffaw with laurels award to Joel for the opening kit theory "...the man in the hospital is an imposter."

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The best reason Cheney gave for the delay: "I still think that the accuracy was enormously important."

I'm sure "Whittington" would agree.

Posted by: TBG | February 16, 2006 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I know there's a "Does a bear sh#t in the woods" analogy somewhere in this story!!

"Fleets...for gentle persuasion"

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 16, 2006 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Padouk has been nominated for a Guffaw, minus laurels, for an expansion of the grassy knoll theory.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Historical Note: The "Guffaw" is the successor award to an Esquire Magazine award titled "Why is this man laughing?" and consists of a picture of a president as an unrelentingly cheerful American, suitabley inscribed with the name of the recipient.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm noting the restraint in the small font in your first graf, Joel.

My husband and I have already discussed at some length the Whittington face transplant theory. Whittington's mug stuck on some available old, saggy Yankee Republican white-guy operative with clear, clean arteries.

G.O.P. makes up heart attack story in time for facial skin graft to heal in Mr. Unknown now lying in Corpus Spohn Hospital, then plastic surgeons embed buckshot in neck and shoulder area--faux peppershot-type wounds.

Bodydouble bones up on Texas law books, how to forge Whittington signature, plus speech coach to teach Texas drawl and mangled use of English language (George W. Bush tapes/videos made available to septugenarian pupil). Meanwhile seamstresses called in to alter wardrobe. PR people working on statements to press once the Faux Harry Whittington released from near-solitary confinement.

*Note: Check spelling of "publically," Joel in third graf. Of course, we know you're "California Dreamin'" of the Achencommune near Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2006 7:27 PM | Report abuse

About the blaming of Whittington, my guess would be that Armstrong went public with the story not because Cheney asked her to but because Karl Rove did. As Froomkin noted, Cheney was supposed to go public after visiting Whittington in the hospital but didn't. Realizing the story had to get out but that Cheney was too paralyzed to say anything, Karl called his friend and had her spread the word. Armstrong, in an effort to paint Cheney in as postive a light as she could, made some regretable statements about Whittington being to blame and not being hurt too badly. Once Armstrong's statements went out that was the storyline everyone had to go with.

Posted by: BillyBob | February 16, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Haven't we learned, Loomis, that the substance of a document is in the small print? Restraint, hardly, it is the gist of the kit in little letters. The Gestalt of the media personified by font.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Ok, here is what really happened. Cheney and Whittington throw a few back at lunch and then decide to go drunk hunting. Cheney is so trashed that he mistakes a quail for a 78-year old man and shoots him in the face. Realizing he is in a whole mess of trouble, Cheney decides to try to cover the story up. He makes sure he doesn't talk to the cops because he is so drunk he can barely talk anyway.

Soon, Cheney and his thugs realize that too many people already know, so they decide to release the story through their friend Armstrong.

Posted by: | February 16, 2006 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I think BillyBob's solution is more than plausible and realistic.

Also Microsoft research showed that guys named 'Bob' are perceived by the majority as friendly, competent helpers, so he's got that too.

*I'm* still going with the alien abduction line though.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 16, 2006 7:55 PM | Report abuse


I think got it right.

Posted by: x | February 16, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Birdshot doesnt have the mass to penetrate very far into the skin, I myself have been hit with birdshot in the face and though it stung there was no permanent damage at all

Posted by: Gabe | February 16, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I publically apologize for egregiously misspelling publicly and also for using adverbs promiscuously.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 16, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

great concept. this whole thing is malarkey. a play to cover the iran invasion that is going on as we type and leer. this is not just a coverup about some bogus shooting on the drunken field of higher hunting. it is much more.

need i remind you? here we are, an entire nation debating whether he was intoxicated or at fault for vaporizing his "buddy"

...what else is happening in the world?

Posted by: wingfinn | February 16, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

why was he hunting while he was suppose to be doing business. there a thousands of questions asked for this srory but only one truth. They arent going to give him the rightful punishment.

Posted by: asha | February 16, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

to remind you:

it is a diversion within a diversion, diverting anyone and everyone from something else wayyy more important.


Posted by: wingfinn | February 16, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Cheney will invite Joel on his next hunting trip.

Posted by: Get Over It | February 16, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

what an absolutely idiotic column. do you really get paid for this nonsense?

they should give your job. you don't deserve it.

Posted by: dagmarnyc | February 16, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I have it from a good source that Dick had been told by the CIA that The President of Iran thought that "W" was going soft. So the word was put out that Whittington had criticized Halliburton - and that Dick made it look like an accident but that the whole thing was a message to Iran that "W" the Dick had not gone soft and that they will enforce the "Strategery" even if they have to do it personally.

Posted by: Meanlife | February 16, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

why not send cheney to shoot binladen so we can withdraw our army

Posted by: paul | February 16, 2006 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the shot himself. The VP is covering up so we don't think he pals around with knotheads all the time.

Posted by: larry | February 16, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

So dead-eye doesn't see the need to alert the public in a timely manner about happened last Saturday. Makes me wonder how many others he has shot over the years without one of those pesky citizens about who like to go blathering to the press.

Posted by: lawnguy2001 | February 16, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Why does everybody else always have the "real" truth before me. It's downright embarassing.

Posted by: shadygrove | February 16, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

What no one is saying, but is blatently obvious is how similar Mr. Whittington and Hillary Clinton look from the back when stepping out of a glade....

Posted by: Big J in Gettysburg | February 16, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think someone was trying to kill Cheney but accidenatilly shot Whittington

If you look up Whittington on google it sais he died 16 years ago

Posted by: Afraid | February 16, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

There is no Whittington. Never has been a Whittington. Information has been skillfully given to media to make us think there is a real person named Whittington. Much like the orb-shaped alien we all imagine in our sub-conscious, which has been implanted via movies and TV stories. When you think of an alien, you see two larger-than-needs-to-be-for-the-heart-shaped-head eyes, no hair, imitation mouth, and practically non-existant body. Mindless hypnotism.

Dick really shot Saddam, who was replaced by Osama. Simple, really. And, it wasn't a shotgun.

Posted by: Houdi | February 16, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, in other news, here at HQ we're going back and forth betwixt the Lympics and Survivor, a foot in each camp. It will be interesting to see if the Lympics will once again get clobbered by much-lower-budget Reality TV (note last night's roughly 10-million-viewer margin in favor of American Idol). Gosh, maybe adding Football really is a good idea. Though I liked what Olbermann said today, that the the Olympics should add a singing competition. (What would that be called? The Croonathlon?)

Posted by: Achenbach | February 16, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

As I type this comment, this blog entry is the #1 story on Google News.

Countdown to LGF entry of "WaPo: Cheney killed Whittington" commencing...

Posted by: Jmac | February 16, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The whole thing was staged to make us appreciate George W. If the prez dies, Cheney becomes the President. If that doesn't make people like George W. and pray for him, nothing will. Kind of frightening isn't it. So let's all pray that the illiterate idiot lives for another two years.

Posted by: Menachem Assad | February 16, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

in future cheney goes for hunting the local people should be warned so we can take cover

Posted by: joseph | February 16, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I see no reason not to accept his comments at face value.

On a separate note, why is it that all newspaper reporters feel it that it is their "right" to receive information instantly at their beck and call.

Imagine announcing the death of George Washington,,, how long did it take to get out, and why does news have to be released in the first 15 minutes ?

Posted by: Galen | February 16, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

the column is not humorous.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think he should tell the truth as to what happened, I'm going to appoint a Commission to find the truth.
(Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than Cheney's gun)

Posted by: Ted Kennedy | February 16, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Whittington is in hiding in Scotland with Paul McCartney. The McCartney imposter is who went down in the tall grass courtesy of Mr. Cheney. All you need is love...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, birdshot penetrated to the heart- that would indicate a shot centered on the shoulder at 30 yds. (assuming) so this poor sob got hit with about 80 pellets of lead. Small shot, but....ouch, that did some damage!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Cheney Lies!! Break free of the Cult of Bush!!

Posted by: Veteran | February 16, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is pretty sick. And certainly overdone.

Posted by: DAVE MILLER | February 16, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

if cheney hits me my insurance says they will not cover me....can anyone help me.....

Posted by: babu | February 16, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

what aload of rubbish... cheyey's guilty as hell.. and an idiot as well... what a VP for USA to have to tolerate for 2plus more yearsof corruption.


Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Batten down the hatches!

Posted by: Achenbach | February 16, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Time for the real truth. It wasn't Whittington and it was birdshot that was shot. I was there and more political coverup is in the mist of all this. By the way anyone know how to get white stains off plaid clothing?

Posted by: monicalewinsky | February 16, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

oswald was also trying to kill a bird....
in tx ...

Posted by: paul | February 16, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Sure got a kick out of Hillary saying she was "troubled" by the Cheney incident. Apoparently she has forgotten about the time gap and secrecy surrounding her lawyer friend's having blown his brains out in a public park.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I would write something...but I am laughing so much that the tears are runnuning down my face!!
Of course I beleive the whole theory!! I mean...who wouldn't??
Hats off to you Joe...another scoop for the Post!

Posted by: glicka | February 16, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The tax payers are footing the bill for Channeys' stupidity. Channey should pay the entire cost out of his own pocket, after all he still received $168,000 per year as a consultant for Hailberton.

The entire security force for Channey should be fired for not insuring the proper safety conditions exsisted during the hunt. The security group was also involved in the cover up by not reporting the accident to the head of security at the White House. Wait a minute. If they did, then the President should of known. If they did not know at the White House then again the Channey security boys should be fired immediately.

While we are firing goverment goof offs, let include Channey. He sold out the American people with the oil industry and refuses to discuss what deal he cut with the industry. Everything Channey does, except National Securty items, is public. So why is he excempt for keeping the tax payers up to date on the deals he has made. After all he works for all tax payers. Right?

Posted by: Willie | February 16, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why he didn't accompany his friend to the hospital??? Wouldn't you if you shot your friend of over 20 yrs?

Cheney went to dinner:((( He was hungry after seeing so much blood I guess

Posted by: Only Idiots shoot into the sun | February 16, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I will take the appointment to investigate. Anyone have an extra $13M laying around and a small forest of trees for paper?

Posted by: KenStar | February 16, 2006 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why he didn't accompany his friend to the hospital??? Wouldn't you if you shot your friend of over 20 yrs?

Cheney went to dinner:((( He was hungry after seeing so much blood I guess

Posted by: Only Idiots shoot into the sun | February 16, 2006 8:41 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to add that among his highly populated caravan, he also has a hired "shotgun shooter" who's job is to have Cheney's hunting accidents for him. Come on, when the VP gets blamed for something, why lie under oath when he can pay for somebody to screw up for him? I also belive that Clinton hired a fake Mr. President and a fake Monica, Nixon hired fake Democrats, and Truman hired fake Japanese people.

Posted by: MrPuppet | February 16, 2006 8:41 PM | Report abuse

You can get hurt by birdshot?

Posted by: wile-e-coyote | February 16, 2006 8:42 PM | Report abuse

excuse me, the column is hilarious, Mr Cheney
i'm still waiting for the definitive
" cheney + vice president + Quail " joke

Posted by: Maxxi | February 16, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than drive with Ted Kennedy

Posted by: Roto | February 16, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the positive spin was that they were working on a plan to eliminate bird flu in the USA. Not sure plan B, shooting people with the flu should have been tried without more research.

Posted by: Tep | February 16, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

When's the dickhead gonna take king george hunting?

Posted by: trouble man | February 16, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather be shot by Dick Cheney than drive with Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: lol | February 16, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

No research is enough research!

Posted by: MrPuppet | February 16, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

u guys have it all wrong!

the nsa has it all recorded....from sat.

"C" is heard yelling "duck". "w" (little willie) by fault of his own, pooped up from a dump, to partake in the kill.

he just lost his head? "nobigdeal"~

Posted by: magoog | February 16, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Whooooaaaa, folks, c'mon now. All this wild speculation is totally irresponsible. These stories just keep getting crazier and crazier. As Occam's Razor says, look for the simplest explanation.

First, it's pretty clear that the guy in the hospital with the bandaged face, like Humphrey Bogart in Dark Passage, really isn't Harry Whittington at all. It's obviously Cheney himself, who has undergone plastic surgery, like what happened to John Travolta and Nicholas Cage in Face/Off. There obviously was some sort of accident during the transfer, and they had to do something to bide their time, until Cheney's new face heals. Hence that otherwise droll "I shot my buddy in the kisser" farce. What a sense of humor these guys have!

Now, sure, you have questions. Who was the zombie-like creature who held the press conference with Berty Hume? Did you notice that total lack of affect? Complete lack of emotion and feeling? Those dead eyes? That was (wait for it) Vince Foster. Yes, he's been dead for quite a while (suicide...sure. Whatever you say, OK?) and what you saw was Bret Hume interviewing a carefully rehearsed dead guy who had been given Dick Cheyney's old face right after Cheyney got the new one. Foster was a very highly placed, senior GOP operative who was carefully infiltrated into the heart of the Clinton camp by wily ol' Pappy Bush back when he was CIA chief. When Foster's cover and role as a mole was about to be blown, they had to pull him out in a hurry, so that whole suicide thing was faked. How was Clinton distracted during this whole episode? Think about it, people: two words. Monica. Cigar. See, it all fits.

And just who will the GOP nominee for president be in two years? Certainly not a mean, snarly, snappish, emotionless guy who had "other priorities" during Vietnam, has had about six "heart attacks," has a lesbo daughter, and thinks Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center. No, sir, that particular guy couldn't get elected queen of the Wyoming 4-H Club.

The next GOP nominee will be an affable, smiling Texas lawyer and good ol' boy fundraiser who's popular with his party and his state. A guy with a slightly pock-marked face that looks mighty like Harry Whittington. But isn't.

Just think about it, that's all I'm asking.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 16, 2006 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe cheney can take ol' Teddy hunting while they speed over some Texas bridge?

Posted by: trouble man | February 16, 2006 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes. I can hurt you.

Posted by: Birdshot | February 16, 2006 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Some pretty funny stuff!! However, I still can't get the image of Dick Cheney "wheeling around" and firing his shotgun with several other humans in the vicinity...scaaarrry!!! All part of the war on terror, I guess.

Posted by: Doug LaPlante | February 16, 2006 8:55 PM | Report abuse

this is a win win for the republikings because nothing harmful can happen to a lame duck nothing can come from the shooting situation and it takes folks minds off the heat from the escalating body count

Posted by: bodycounter | February 16, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the birds had been given the same variety of mind control drugs that chenney gives bush. Unfortunately, the birds had superior brain function than bush and reacted .differently to the drug. The quail wrested chenny's rifle from his arms and Chenny, in chenny fashion, used whittington as a human shield.
Chenny knows that it's easy to fool the american people twice or more, without shame.

Posted by: Revenge of the Birds | February 16, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

There is no Cheney. There is no Bush. There is no pilot. We are in for a wild ride.

Posted by: Mike Meyer | February 16, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"This column is hilarious" is so right on and those who don't see it so should Move on. The disinformation system cannot use every blog as its forum, unless it has a sense of humor. Grin and bear it, if you can't guffaw.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

cheney can shoot anyone he wants to because he is a true american! he got 5 deferments in vietnam to prove it!

Posted by: richard mellon scaife | February 16, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's mentioned the cyborg factor yet.

Wake up, people! Either Whittington's been replaced with a cyborg, or Cheney has. Or maybe the "accident" was caused by a time-traveling Terminator, with Whittington playing Cheney's Reese.

Posted by: Travis | February 16, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

This is just another one of those republo truthiness episodes. They'll call it absurd. The apologists will come out singing. And then they go to old reliable: blame the media. Oh and Abramoff is off the front page of THE MEDIA.

Posted by: trouble man | February 16, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

9/11, Katrina, Iraq, now Iran redux. A signature GOP danse macabre.

Posted by: Cuniegunde | February 16, 2006 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cheney's actions are questionable. Inconsistencies in the timeline, plus the WP reports that the sheriff's deputies were turned away from the ranch after responding to the scanner alert regaarding the ambulance dispatch, has led to rampant speculation to the true course of events. "...had a beer with lunch..." What else??? No comment from the hospital admin. regarding a BAC test for the victim...A tight lid on other comments...No wonder why credibility is an issue

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2006 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Cheney he's an idiot!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 9:10 PM | Report abuse

My experience is that bugmen cannot win, other than locally; however, a long nose goes a long way in getting a certain vote.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree Jack. Tonight I saw the witness Cheney was talking about. She informed the kops. Katherine Armstrong told the camera that she was 100 yards away and thought CHENEY was down. His alleged heart, you know. Is there more to this pile?

Posted by: trouble man | February 16, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

That's scary man. I guess when you're the VP, you don't have to follow the Rules of Engagement.....What a slap in the face for the NRA and the about damage control. See atleast Democrats shoot of their mouths not guns...ha ha

Posted by: What's a 78 year old man doing with a gun???? | February 16, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

does whittington have family? friends? where are they? i can't get out of my mind the picture of him in the hospital, lonely and in pain, worried about whether the v.p. looks bad and hes involved. cheney's not his friend but where are all the other people he has become close to in the course of his long life, why are they not rallying around him?

Posted by: iseult | February 16, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

On the next hunting trip he got to ask Rumsfeld tack along.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he was shooting at a bush for the other bush????

Posted by: Mistaken Identity | February 16, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's such a mystery - the "Blame Whittington" strategy was a classic example of a trial balloon. It couldn't be advanced directly by Cheney because (a) it would have looked too callous even for him; and (b) he would have had no way to back out if it failed. So instead, it was floated by Armstrong and Mary Matalin, neither of whom are actually part of the V.P.'s office.

Only when it was clear that this balloon wasn't going to fly, did Cheney come forward and admit guilt, sort of.

And don't expect the V.P. or anyone else to say that the earlier statements were wrong - they will simply clam up or claim never to have said them if asked. That part, of course, is pretty much standard operating procedure for this (and, to be fair, most previous) administration.

Posted by: Medeis | February 16, 2006 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tacit affirmation, troubleman. I yearn for the day that someone holds the Administrations collective feet to the fire for what is amounting to an assault on general and specific Constitutional issues. For a group that collectively prides itself on a literal interpretation of said document (i.e.: not reading things into it the authors "didn't intend", a la Justice Scalia) they have, in my opinion, pushed the envelope even further than the Nixon admin.. I wonder who will have the courage to finally call them on criminal abuse of power?

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2006 9:36 PM | Report abuse

say goodnite dick

Posted by: dingo | February 16, 2006 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Who let the the dumbacraps in this blog?

Posted by: hey | February 16, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I keep thinking that this is the party (Republican) that was going to bring respect and honor to the office of the Presidency. What a hoot!

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 16, 2006 10:06 PM | Report abuse

lol Casandra you gave up on the Dems too huh.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 16, 2006 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I have been laughing so hard my stomach hurts. Why can't I ever be funny? Are there lessons available or does one have merely to drink a lot?

One of the best comments was in the original blog on this subject: "Guns don't shoot people; Cheney shoots people." I thought I would bust a gut. . .or whatever.

Posted by: Chas | February 16, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dick if you are reading this thanks for taking the attention off what I said in Saudi about the Americans. I owe you one..

Posted by: Gore | February 16, 2006 10:14 PM | Report abuse

More.........That all you got?

Posted by: well | February 16, 2006 11:09 PM | Report abuse

It's a good thing this wasn't a different trigger his finger was on.

Posted by: Gentry | February 16, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel, that sounds like a great idea for a movie. :)

Posted by: samtheoldaccordianman | February 16, 2006 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow a crash course in capitalism...

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2006 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame ME. I voted for Kodos.

Posted by: The Litster | February 16, 2006 11:42 PM | Report abuse

After sleeping on it, I think Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" should give a clue to who is really in that hospital bed in Corpus. But, get the paperback version, it's less uncomfortable.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 5:49 AM | Report abuse

...feeling much assured after reading that
the american president was satisfied with
the veeps pr stance...somehow this story
has retained page one coverage far beyond
the initial summary...dick has been doing
this he-man stuff for years...huntin,fishin
and sneerin at dumbass tree huggers...
...gopboy gets off on cuttin brush and doin
lots of bikin...harmless gun-free pastimes
and great for personal virtue profiles and
a man on his ranch vignettes...
...after this last bad patch the veep will
likely be much more mindful of taking aim
before triggerpull...of course that may be
looking for too much...dick has a tendency
of impulsive trigger finger...he has
shown that plainly enough with the iraq war
...his scorn of public account and reveal
and use of fox news as his official media
outlet depicts an odd match of someone who
having sought public office would prefer
not to be very public about what he does
or has done...
...having been tasked by gopboy back there
pre-2000 election to scout a veep he took
the spot himself...seems often to be very
dour as veep...perhaps not as venal as
spiro agnew...but seems lacking in stature
of character...
he is no harry truman...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I leave work at 6 yesterday with the boodle drunk on fine Australian wine and wake up this morning to an new Kit and 90+ comments. What is going on here? Joel should know from the Rovestorm that this would happen. To keep up with this boodle, I'm going to have to call in sick and hire an intern to do nothing but write song parodies and research relevant Monty Python routines (Dead Parrot sketch as metaphor, anyone?). Quick Joel, post something about planetary atmospheres or the parallels between the current political situation and the 54-40 or Fight crisis. We gotta slow this thing down before it blows. Or STINKS.

Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. is obviously so close to the truth, no one will admit it. I wouldn't trust his e-mail for confidential transactions from now on. He was probably on the 300,000 member watch list already.

Wingfinn is also on the right track, but is not connecting all the dots. This has been a massive Reverse Wag The Dog. A minor domestic tempest complete with news blackouts has been engineered to disguise the news that we invaded Iran nearly a week ago. Since Sunday morning, we have flown 250 sorties destroying any known or rumored nuclear processing facilities and we have two divisions within 50 miles of Tehran. If we can keep reporters busy for two more days indulging their secret 2nd Amendment fantasies of shooting conservative politicians in the name of "demonstrating" the effects of shotgun pellets, we will have secured 50% of the country and can begin new free and fair elections by Wednesday. The thing you can get done without a pesky press corps hounding you.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Um, folks? This story is over? It is sooooooooo last week! Had your fun, now move on to the next distraction. Meanwhile, Karl Rove is stealing your clothes. How 'bout posting something POSITIVE about what your party believes in and wants to do?

Posted by: David from Augusta | February 17, 2006 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Friends: I am flapping to St. Louis to attend the annual AAAS meeting for a couple of days and will try to blog it some, but don't panic -- don't FREAK OUT -- if suddenly I go into radio silence. For all I know, they don't have the Internet in St. Louis. The cables haven't reached there yet.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 17, 2006 6:05 AM | Report abuse

This story is not over. The authors of "The Authoritarian Republic," a living history book with the pages unfolding before our eyes, have not revealed their final chapter. V. Woolf's massive methaphor for the history of the British Empire is being re-written, this time as farce. The metaphorical man in the hospital bed is all of us - and this time the authoritarians drew blood on these shores. More and more Americans are becoming POSITIVE that is the case.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Point taken, Joel. I won't FREAK OUT, henhenhen, in your absence. I may take this as an opportunity to address My Fellow Boodlers as an Unrelentingly Cheerful American. (nefarious giggle)

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, if Joel is out there flapping his way to St. Louis, how fast will he be going and how long is it going to take him?

Joel, shouldn't you just take a plane?

Posted by: dr | February 17, 2006 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh my God! Joel is LEAVING TOWN! I think I'm FREAKING OUT. I guess it's time to... back. away. from. the. laptop.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2006 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I am POSITIVE that my party believes in unfettered executive power that includes the right to widespread domestic wiretapping. Even George Will is alarmed by this attitude. At least that's what I think that's what he said yesterday. Someone stole the thesuarus I keep on the breakfast table. I guess I'll have to wait for Charles Krauthammer to translate it for me in his next column.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

What in the world is the AAAS and why would Joel be there? My guesses is American Association of Asinine Solipsists.

Man, I'm feeling snarky today.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 8:00 AM | Report abuse

SCC: My guess is...

My other guess is the Achenbachs Against Alliteration Symposium.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 8:02 AM | Report abuse

May be it's a warning! Mr. Whittington probably knew too much!

Posted by: Russell | February 17, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

For those wondering "Where in the hell is Joel?"

I posted a bit of a throwaway joke re. Cheney on my blog a couple of days back:


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I must admit to a certain amount of confusion. Cheney emerges from seclusion, shoots a guy in the face, and goes back into seclusion again. Does that mean an early spring or six more weeks of winter?

On a more serious note, victim Harry Whittington must have some redeeming virtues 'cause even Molly Ivins has a good word to say about him-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I think it means at least 2 more years of winter, k-guy.


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and a word to those who just drop in here occasionally to rant. The man's name is CHENEY, not Channy or Chainy or Chanay or Chaney. If you can not spell the name of the vice president of the USA, I for one am going to view your comments with a jaundiced eye (the one I keep in the drawer and only use on especially liverish days). After all, this is the Achenblog. We have standards. They are low, but we have them.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Look at the list of events at the AAAS shindig: Nanotechnology seminar! "Beyond Pi"! Joel sure knows how to Par-TAY!

That's just the sour grapes talking.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

>How 'bout posting something POSITIVE about what your party believes in and wants to do?

Sure "Dave from Augusta", here ya go:

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 9:16 AM | Report abuse


The link was great but not immediately helpful. It took me three pageviews before the acronym for AAAS was spelled out and that was in the copyright notice of the footer. I think it' a little presumptious of them to think *everyone* that visits their website already knows who they are. I'm still gong with American Aardvark Appreciation Society.

Also, "Brokeback Cheney" sounds like a great movie about a guy that is in bed with the resources extraction industry and just can't quit them.

Does that mean Chainy Bridge Road was not named for the VP?

The Vietnamese coffee is kicking in in high gear now. This is what, my tenth comment in two hours? If only I could channel this caffeine buzz into something productive.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

SCC: change "gong" to "going". The caffeine isn't helping my spelling any.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Totally off-topic to the Mac-heads here--anyone have iLife '06? Anyone try the blog software it comes with? I'm thinking of switching my blog over to .Mac--good or bad idea? I already have a .Mac account, so that's not an issue.

WHY I have a .Mac account in the first place is something I ask myself on a daily basis.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your assessment of the pages, yellojkt. Even when you go to their home page, you have to scroll down to the copyright info (in small font) to figure out the acronym.

Cheney talking to Whittington: "I wish I could quit your donations."


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Party in their quest for the White House said they would bring back honor and respect to the office of the Presidency, because as they saw it, Mr. Clinton, had demeaned said office by getting a blow job. It is my understanding that getting screwed is getting screwed, regardless of the form it takes. I could be wrong, have been known to be very wrong.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 17, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Dave from Augusta, it's not "my party," but try this on for size:

It's not my ideal outfit, but it'll do for starters.

What I'm POSITIVE about and want to do is get your clowns the hell outta there, and start undoing the mess your folks have made. Is that POSITIVE enough for ya? 'Cause I'm quite POSITIVE that's what I wanna do.

I'm pretty positive I'd like to see a fullscale investigation of the whole NSA wiretap business. Oh, pardon me--your guys in the Senate just killed that opportunity. Doesn't very positive of them, if you ask me.

I'm pretty positive I want every Bush-appointed apparatchik clensed from the ranks of FEMA with a very strong bleaching agent. In particular, I'd like the person who decided to buy nearly 25,000 housing trailers that were PROHIBITED from use in a flood zone and cost nearly a billion bucks (see today's Post editorial) identified, fired, and then publicly pilloried in stocks on the Mall across from the Air and Space Museum.

Then, thank you very much, I'd like to see FEMA and even DHS staffed with competent people, oh, pretty much like all the ones who've quit over the last few years in disgust.

I'm pretty positive I want Gary Berntsen, Paul Pillar, Richard Clarke, Michael Schoen, and a couple dozen other career professionals (mostly hard-core Republicans, but I really don't give a dman if they know their jobs) back in the CIA and other intel outfits, after Porter Goss and his crowd forced them out. I'd like to see our national security being run by career professionals rather than by neocon ideologues--in fact, I'm VERY positive about that one.

Let's see, what else? You really don't want to know what else I could come with, do you, Dave? Ya know, health care, environment, gasoline and energy policies, farm subsidies, corporate welfare, a stadium for the Nationals, reforming the education system so that every American child understands the infield fly rule...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Capitalism 101

Austin attorney Harry Whittington was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney for the sake of St. Valentine's Day. But not for any chocolate, but for Swiss chocolate.

Truth be told, it's more than just chocolate: It's the whole follow-the-money thing. Whittington's whack with birdshot was the work, actually, of a crafty cabal of three uppity Texas women interested in promoting both trade and tourism. Las Tres Senoras are: Katharine Armstrong, who owns the Armstrong Ranch; her sister, Sarita Hixon of Houston, and friend Pamela Pitzer Willeford, U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Since some of the best chololates in the world have been and are made by the Swiss--Henri Nestle, Rudolphe Lindt, and Jean Tobler--Harry had to go down. The Swiss simply want Americans to buy Swiss chocolates for Valentine's Day--and they've had vats-worth of free publicity coming out of deep south Texas after Cheney shot Whittington not with Cupid's arrow, but a 28-gauge Perrazi Brescia shotgun.

In fact the entire country of Switzerland rallied behind Ms. Willeford. The Swiss trade numbers, specifically exports to the U.S., are expected to take a Matterhorn jump after this weeks moutain-out-of-a-molehill press coverage.

Switzerland is considering establishing a national holiday--Dick Cheney Day--after sales of Swiss watches, and accounts in Swiss banks, tourism bookings, Swiss Army knives, Swiss cheese, Ricola candy herbs and cough drops have climbed to new heights.

Liechtenstein, too, is hoping for some economic benefit as well. What they are really hoping for is that the Average American Joe and Jane can actually locate them on the world map. Liechtenstein would give anything to let people know it exists. If their sales of stamps, artifical teeth and other materials for dentistry, and precision instruments increase just one percent, they'll be putting Dick Cheney on their newest issue of their national postage stamp.

(I shall give this lesson in capitalism in three parts. Next up: Sarita Hixon)

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, if what you say is true, now is the time for our Legions of Dark Chocolate to come out of the shadows and wage jihad against the sinister forces of milk chocolate, with their processed sugar running dogs.

The fate of our country hangs in the balance.

Posted by: CowTown | February 17, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

jw, haven't had a chance to upgrade to iLife '06 yet, also holding out the possibility I'll go mad and buy a new MacBook and get it bundled. I'm waiting until they really truly ship and someone gets a serious benchmark going. I'm not happy about the loss of the Firewire 800 port, but if I can get it via ExpressCard/24 that'd be OK.

I'm new to .Mac just put up some snow pics and whatnot. Unfortunately I'd need another account to post publicly, the other name could give away too much info.

Let us know how it goes if you pop for it.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I would love to know why those trailers are still sitting there, and folks are being evicted from hotels, and centers, with no place to go. After the media focus on those trailers, why are they still in that same spot? Sometimes I believe everyone in Washington is mad, and completely bonkers. Is anybody at work in the US capitol? The media talked about those trailers for days, yet they seem to be still sitting in the same spot. Lord, can't we get somebody with just a little bit of sense to do something? Has everybody lost their minds? It's like living in a nightmare and never waking up.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 17, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I've been saying for a while you uppity Texas women are a crafty bunch, Loomis. Before you're done exposing this cabal, we'll be calling it Nougat-gate. Those three chocolate mousseketeers will be indicted, all the zagnuts will come out of the woodwork with conspiracy theories (oh, we've already done that; sorry), and you'll make a mint of money on the talk shows. You have to be Ruthless, Baby.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If the American confectionary industry had kept up a competitive edge, we wouldn't need any protectionism. I don't see any Hershey boutique stores in the malls selling $200 Valentine's Day gift baskets. American cars, American beer, American chocolate. All ruined by cost-cutting corporate bean counters.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

That would be cocoa bean counters.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

So who does Cheney have to shoot for Belgian chocolate to get some love? Neustadt is so much better than Nestle/Lindt/Tobler.

"cocoa bean counters" -- heh heh.

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | February 17, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Cur, with laurels.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Capitalism 101

Sarita Hixon is married to Bob Hixon, an insurance executive in Houston, where they both live.

La bonita Sarita sits as the chair of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, which operates the San Jacinto Museum of History at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.

By the way, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is under the purview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, on whose board sits her sister, Katharine Armstrong.

What is the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, you may ask? Well, it's comprised on the battleground itself (more in a minute), the the San Jacinto Monument and Museum and the Battleship Texas. (Isn't that just hugely ironic when I queried the other night if there was enough beer on the Armstrong Ranch the afternoon of the shooting to float the Battleship Texas? *L*)

And what is Battle of San Jacinto? On the morning of April 21, 1836, shortly after the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, General Houston, who held back from joining the Aalamo fray, held a council of war. The majority of his officers voted to await Santa Anna's attack, closer to the Gulf Coast, in order to leverage their position. General Houston let each man in the council plead his case. Then he made a decision, which he kept to himself until that afternoon: they would attack.

Around 4:30 p.m., the Mexican soldiers awoke from their afternoon siestas to the smell of gunpowder and cries of vengeance. Flushed with victory from the siege of the Alamo, Santa Anna had failed to post sentries to monitor the Texans' activities.

In eighteen minutes the Texians were in control of the Mexican camp.

The Mexican soldiers were far more trained in martial field tactics and strategy than their Texian opponents. But they were unable to organize under the feverish surprise attack. And the short-range unorthodox brawling of frontiersmen with long knives and clenched fists did not work in their favor.

Over 600 Mexican soldiers were killed, and over 700 were allowed to surrender; nine Texians were killed or mortally wounded. Sam Houston was shot in the ankle. Santa Anna was found the next day hiding in the grass and dressed as a common foot soldier.

For Mexico, the defeat was the beginning of a downhill martial and political spiral that would result into the loss of nearly a million square miles in territory. For the Texans, their victory led to annexation into the United States and the United States' war with Mexico. In the end, the United States would gain not only Texas but also New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

As a result of the Battle of San Jacinto, almost a third of what is now the United States of America changed ownership.

Of course, some of Gen. Sam Houston's famous words are "Texas has yet to learn submission. Come from what source it may."

And it's rather amazing how much money has poured into elevating the history of that little patch of ground. In 1995, the Texas Legislature gave away $10 million to the site honoring all those who fought for "Texas independence."

Each year, about 100,000 people visit the monument and museum at the battle site, with 60,000 of them being schoolchildren. Not too long ago, the museum and monument received $4 million in federal and private matching funds. And in 2005, the Texas Legislature gave the historic site another $2.1 million to make repairs on the observation deck and the elevator that leads to it, as well as a new isitor's center.

Mind you, the historic site is home to the world's tallest monument tower, 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument, for those of you with a tape measure. Bigger in Texas, they always say. Of course, little known by most folks like you and me is that Kellogg, Brown and Root, parent of Dick Cheney's Halliburton, is the firm doing the design work on the visitor's center.

State and federal dollars are good as is the incestuous business relationship between Cheney, Hixon and KBR, but the publicity from the Dick Cheney Saturday evening shoot-up: priceless.

Will tackle Ms. Armstrong a little bit later this morning.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

SCC: parent

parent company

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Er...Shiloh, was there a little timing problem there? 'Cause it looks like the question was, "Who does Cheney have to shoot..." and your suggestion was, ah ... me.

Kinda hoping you BOOO'd on that one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I regret the misconception. Laurels were awarded to Cur by Shiloh at 10:39:20 for Cur's 9:55:20. I want to make this "perfectly clear, this is an historic occasion."

Posted by: S | February 17, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

By way of explanation (excuse) for the misconception: I am under a deadline to deliver information today to the local town council members before their meeting on Tuesday. That necessitates delivering a three page report in various forms, including one in braille, for the councilman who is blind to reason; two as talking books for the two who are illiterate; and two with interpretative notes translating normal English words into redneck phrases. I apologize if my haste created the misconception.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse


You still have doubled over ROTFLMAO from "mousseketeers" and "Ruthless, Baby". No one had better send you "hunting with Cheney". Waht a great new euphemism.

And Loomis, why am I not shocked that there are Cheney Cronies involved in federal line-item park funding in Texas when the Park Service around the DC area keeps getting shafted in the name of Homeland Security? Surely we can tie this to either DeLay or Abramoff in some way.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

This and that ...

"... feeling much assured after reading that the american president was satisfied with the veeps pr stance"

I believe that came from AmericaninSiam, but the poster didn't put in a name. Anyway, to pick a nit, Bush didn't speak to the PR and how Chaney released the info. He said he was assured by the shooting story itself. And while the White House has offered up some friendly thoughts on how Chaney handled the incident, there's every indication that the White House Press Office has blown more than a few gaskets behind the scenes.

Yello - Yes indeed, George Will is agin' it. He says claiming to have wiretapping aurhority based on a declarative resolution from congress flies in the face of an insistence in judicial matters for close word-for-word readings of the Constitution. I also didn't understand a few of the words he used. I was able to grasp the tenor of his comments nonetheless, despite the fact that no singing was involved.

Kguy - In your brief rant about the various spellings of the veep's last name, and in thinking about the various suggestions of changing identities and such, I had an epiphaney. A chaney epiphaney. It was a moment of clarity. Anybody remember Lon Jr.?

And why the hell does Chaney use an Italian shotgun?

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw Dick Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the Italian Shotgun

Okay, it needs some work.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well it's a very NICE Italian shotgun, and he makes about $34M/yr, so...

A quick look showed they seem to go from $5k to $35k. There were others at the same place that went up to over $100k, so maybe he was slumming that day.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

N.B. - Interpretative means that I am beginning to actually talk like some of the council members, who bear a striking linguistic similarity to Mr. Bush.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It should be noted that Kguy omitted the "Cheyney" spelling by Cur, which by way of clever wit, conveys the Cheyenne implicit in the name of the many from Wyoming.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

And now, great moments in history.

Loomis has already told the tale of the Battle of San Jacinto and its importance in history. Now, the story behind the story.

Sam Houston had been backin' away from the Mexican army for some time before the battle. Some of his troops were getting restless. Some thought Houston was a wimp. But Houston finally picked a spot and it turned out that he picked it well.

But history buffs, for many years, have gone back and forth on whether Houston made a tactical, informed decisions (working with the best intel he had at the time, but of course!) or whether he just got flat-out lucky.

Anyway, the Texian victory may have been a case of dumb luck. and history could have played out quite differently.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

What if, in the heat of battle, Houston and his forces, hearing sounds, turned and fired and shot each other!

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Bayou asks, "And why the hell does Chaney use an Italian shotgun?"

Because there's more Rome for error?

Because the Italian word for bird shot is "colpo dell'uccello" and it sounds much better to hit your buddy in the face with some colpo dell'uccello"?

Because he loved the scene in "The Godfather" where Tessio blows away Bruno Tataglia in bed with his girlfriend?

It was a gift from Jim Trafficante?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Bayou Self,
Quite accurate on Sam Houston, the backstory, and the historical debate.

(of course, I have a relative who, for a period of time, thought Houston should run for President of the U.S.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

SCC: whoops, that was Clemenza, wasn't it? I can never remember which was Tessio and which was Clemenza. But you know who I mean: Richard Castellano, not Abe Vigoda.

That woulda been pretty good if I hadn't screwed it up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Re: trailers.

I work with some people from DHS/FEMA on a regular basis, and this is what they have to say. The trailers are ready to go. They're ready to be lived in. However, FEMA is a government agency and has to follow regulations that may seem tedious and beaurocratic, but serve to prevent fraud and misuse as well as ensure publice safety. Basically, those trailers cannot be lived in until the is sufficient infrastructure to support the population.

Why is there no infrastructure to support a population? Because the county and state are responsible for making those repairs and improvements. FEMA does not have the resources or authority to go into a local jurisdiction and start building things. Contrary to popular belief FEMA doesn't DO things. They are a beaurocratic agency designed to organize disaster relief efforts and funding. They are not the doers, they are the check-signers.

The trailers sitting there has nothing to do with the Federal government--ample funding has been given to the state and parishes to repair infrastructure and allow FEMA to roll the trailers in. But FEMA will not allow thousands of people to move into a trailer park when there is not adequate water, sewage, electricity, safety services, and hospitals to serve the population. The checks have been signed--so the question you should be asking is, where exactly is the state spending this money?

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Bureaucratic and public. And more probably.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

SCC: It gets worse and worse. He shot Strachi. Ah, well...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

But wasn't Bruno Tataglia the one who made OJ's shoes? And Clemenza's the guy on Seinfeld? Right? Right?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Bless you, K-guy. More than any other boodler, you coulda skewered me like a shish-kabob on that one. I owe ya one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The Boodle is like a family. An Italian family. With Italian shotguns and stuff. But not a mob family. I hope.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, jw has explained the $17 million government funded morgue used for only 60 dead people. Apparently not enough graves had been dug by local and state government.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Joanie love Strachi?

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Hmm...I'm not exactly sure what the tone of that is Shiloh, and I'm sorry if anything I write sounds defensive. It's just that I take umbrage when people start to make generalizations about the intelligence level of people at DHS, considering that every day I bust my butt to keep the country secure and EVERYONE safe (not just the republicans, or white people, or wealthy people...)

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Bayou, your 11:45:18 has me LOL

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

jw: As you can plainly see from earlier posts, I pillory local and state governments with a eye towards elected officials and the political patronage appointed persons in charge. This is an equal opportunity pillory. And the "tone" was intended to pillory the lack of coordination and communication between and among levels of government, a chronic problem exacerbated by certain of the present administration's appointments.

My apologies for the alliteration inhrent in this post.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

jw, how exactly do you "bust your butt to keep the country secure and EVERYONE safe (not just the republicans, or white people, or wealthy people...)"

inquiring minds, black and white, rich and poor, democrats, republicans and libertarians wanna know.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

*Note to Boodlers:

Do no take curiosity nor umbrage that Mudge and I exchange the infrequent e-mail. Together, we pick the nits of history, and our exchanges are so arcane, insipid, and insightful *w*, that this slo-mo volley of e-mails rapidly and immediately puts both of us into sound slumber. Of course, I'm the one with the luxury of getting 40-winks in the afternoon.

When is the Achenbirthday, anyhoo? I have a neat idea, but only a virtual one. Wonder how good ot really is with Photoshop?

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Back to the ranch, the Armstrong Ranch:

First, a little background on Kenedy County in deep South Texas, and kudos to Jeralyn Merrit and her contributors, to whom I deeply indebted their perspicacious post of this Monday past:

Why does Kenedy County have a Sheriff and why is it a county?

More than 22 million people live in Texas. According to the Census Bureau, the population of Kenedy County is 407 persons. There are approximately 138 households. There are 4 non-farm privately owned businesses with employees.

But it has received 1,441 federal grants. Here are more statistics.

Did the ranchers buy themselves a county government? It sure looks like it.

Kenedy County is one of those peculiar counties created at the behest of wealthy ranchers (in this case, the King Ranch) so that the county can be run as a sort of fiefdom. About 400 people live in the county, most of them in the little town of Sarita. Only one paved highway enters the county: US-77, which makes a straight shot north-south. Aside from the few roads in Sarita, the entire county is essentially company land, and access is not permitted.

The county's ranches, which by 1945 numbered only 7, leased land for oil production:

Oil was discovered in the county in 1947, and in the early 1990s oil and natural gas accounted for the largest source of nonfarm earnings. Production of crude oil in 1990 was 643,446 barrels; between 1947 and January 1, 1991, a total of 31,800,494 barrels was produced.

How about the workers in the county?

...only 15 percent of the population over twenty-five had received a high school education in the mid-1970s. [What number today?]

Transcript of interviews at the Armstrong Ranch:

Kenedy County Police Capt. Charles Kirk at gates of Armstrong Ranch on Saturday night:
What happened out here? We heard something about a possible shooting.

Border Patrol Agent:
Shooting. We don't know nothing about no shooting.

Kirk: Oh, O.K.

Sunday morning:
Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas sends Chief Deputy Gilberto San Miguel to the Armstrong Ranch to interview Vice President Dick Cheney.

Cheney: It happened like this... a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,...

Sam Miguel: O.K. (asks Cheney for autograph)

Back at the ranch, Ms. Armstrong now has the publicity she needs to start her own javelina hunting outfitters and guide business enterprise. She now can not only get rid of the pesky collared peccaries on her own homestead, but make a tidy profit at the same time, thereby effectively killing two birds with one Perazzi.

(Lone Mule, this is for you: When this animal, the javelina, is excited or disturbed, it gives off a strong musky odor from a special gland in front of its tail. This is why the animal is sometimes called a "musk hog.")

Also, javelinas travel in groups or bands. They grow to be about 21 inches high. They mostly eat small animals. An interesting fact is that female javelinas usually give birth to twins.

So, I've hope you've enjoyed this lesson is South Texas Capitalism (and demographics) 101.

Mses. Armstrong, Hixon, and Willeford: It has been my extreme pleasure to have been able to satirize you so savagely. If I can be of further service to you in the short remaining term of President Blindeye George W. Bush and Vice President Deadeye Dick Cheney, please do not hesitate to call. I look forward to wallowing in your cash.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse


I'm happy to contribute another Great Moment From History:

The first kit that allowed for a caboodle was on April 7, 2005. Joel blogged about blogs. He posted at 3:56 p.m. and the first commenter, James, chimed in at 4:10. Joel responded 6 minutes later, and we were off and running.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

jw - As someone who has covered government extensively, albeit mostly on the local level, I'd like to chime in that I abhor the stereotype of the worthless bureaucrat, shufflin' papers and wasting money. Most of the people in the trenches do their jobs as best as they can, providing a service as best as they can and helping the public as best as they can. Yeah, there are some lazy dullards out there, but they are found in every line of work.

For example, yeah, we've all seen the public works crew standing around a hole in the ground, while one guy is in the hole doing something. It looks like a lazy scene. In reality, the one guy is probably figuring out what needs to be done and the other guys are soon back at work.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Folks, I really think we need to give jw a pass. I'm more than willing to believe he (or she, but allow me the grammatical simplicity) actually does bust his butt everyday, etc., along with many, many other people, and I can understand his defensiveness and umbrage. And I think it should be understood that criticisms of his (or any other) agencies are over-simplifications, and we don't mean to tar everyone with the same brush.

That said, there are two other issues, though. First, just because some people are smart and/or hardworking, busting their gut, doing their patriotic duty, yadda yadda, doesn't necessarily mean they are doing the "right" or "correct" thing. Smart people do stupid things all the time (viz. "The Best and the Brightest," ad infinitum). And in the view of many of us on the boodle, it is the "patriots" and super-patriots who claim to be defending the country yadda yadda (in this case, by invading Iraq, torturing people, wiretapping without a warrant, etc.) who are the most problematic. Let's toss in an old cliche: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" (in a few cases, anyway).
So just because somebody believes themselves to be acting in the best interests of their country doesn't necessarily make them right.

Second, although there are thousands of good people working at thousands of thankless jobs, just as jw may be, it is more perfectly fair to criticize the leadership, management and policies of those agencies without criticizing the staff people who run them on a day to day basis.

jw, you may indeed be working your butt off, and for that thanks. But your agency screwed up big time, and you ought to face up to it. Not you, not the people around you, but some of the people at the top. FEMA used to be a fine outfit, and now it isn't. That ain't your fault--but it's somebody's fault. So please cut us a little slack when we talk about it, and we'll cut you some slack, too.

The entire country recognizes that Katrina was not just mishandled, but continues to be mishandled, and on a monumental scale. You're going to have to come to terms with that, jw.

There's great people at NASA--but two shuttles crashed when probably they shouldn't have. There's great people in the military--but Bin Laden shouldn't have escaped Tora Bora. There's great people in EPA--but drilling in ANWR and loosening standards and restrictions on arsenic ain't gonna help. Et cetera.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Bayou Self writes:
For example, yeah, we've all seen the public works crew standing around a hole in the ground, while one guy is in the hole doing something. It looks like a lazy scene. In reality, the one guy is probably figuring out what needs to be done and the other guys are soon back at work.

Ah, so this explains it then, BS,--why it takes seven years to get a short stretch of road built in South Teaxas.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, and anybody else with an interest in Texas, you should go see The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada with Tommy Lee Jones. It's his first directorial effort and was filmed at least in part on his ranch near San Saba. It's pretty good, especially for a first effort. Not for the very weak of stomach, however, as there are scenes of decomposition.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ah...ok, pillorying is ok with me, as long as it's equal opportunity. I pillory myself on a regular basis.

And I work on an interagency team to assess vulnerabilities, consequences, and responses for critical infrastrure sectors to potential terrorist attacks. Not sure how many specifics are part of public record, so that's as much detail as I'll go into. Good times.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

if birdshot doesn't have the mass to penetrate far into the did it get to his heart??

Posted by: karenkh | February 17, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I meant that I myself pillory. Or pillorize. Or something. Not that I pillory myself. It sounds masturbatory.

And I don't work for FEMA. Or DHS, really. Coast Guard. Yay, Coast Guard!

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, some problems here in south Texas--on the WaPo home page for us flyover foreigners--it appears that Joel has posted a new Kit titled, "Bush's War Powers (and Language) Problem." When I try to link to it, it takes me to the search engine provided by my own ISP (Internet Service Provide).

Anyone else notice this, have this kind of problem (cause I know that you local yokels access a different WaPo server)?

K-guy, "The Three Burials" has gotten lots of good press down here. Have every intention of seeing it, because, as I've Boodled before, actor Tommy Lee Jones is San Antonio Mayor Phil Harberger's former son-in-law. Clips/trailer look excellent.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - It sounds as though that road would get built faster if better planning had been involved. That better planning would have put the job in Kenedy County.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, if I may be so bold, I absolutely adore you. Absolutely.

Posted by: Nani | February 17, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Woo-hoo, from Froomkin's column today:

As James Pinkerton writes in the Houston Chronicle: "The report seemed to contradict Cheney's televised account of the shooting in which he said he turned to his right to shoot the rising bird. . . .

"In the report, the vice president is described as turning counterclockwise, to the west, to fire at the bird. . . .

"Attempts to contact Chief Deputy Gilberto San Miguel about the seeming contradiction were unsuccessful."

Pinkerton spoke to ranch matriarch Anne Armstrong. "I promise you there is no cover-up," she told Pinkerton. But she also told him that the ranch employees who guided Cheney's hunting party, and presumably saw everything, will not be making any comments.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

There is a good commercial currently on the tube where three guys are eating chips and looking out the window of a high rise at a street repair crew below. One of them says, "Look at that. Three of them standing around while the one guy does all the work. And the second office drone says, "Yeah, you'd never get away with that in the corporate world." The camera pulls back to show a lone woman pounding away on a laptop behind them as they talk.

One of the many masterpieces of the great Akira Kurosawa is Ikiru, which translates as "To Live". It details the final days of a man who is terminally ill. He is a minor bureaucrat in a municipal government. After floundering around trying to inject meaning into his life with wine, women, etc., he finally throws himself into pushing through a project to build a children's park in a slum neighborhood. The night scene when he dies sitting on a swing in the finished park as the snow gently falls around him is as powerful an image as anything I've ever seen. A good bureaucrat, and there are many, is one who works the system for the benefit of his constituents.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Linda: You're right. A new Kit is trying to be born, so far without success. I just get a can't-open-page error message.

jw: You know, when you made your earlier comment about protecting us civilians, I'd thought for a moment you'd moved from the CG to FEMA. Thank God you're still with the CG, which by the way, is exempt from all Boodle criticisms regarding the incompetence of governmental units. The CG is the standard many of us wish the feds would follow.

I'm thinking of a scene involving Kenedy County law enforcement officials encountering the Armstrong / Cheney party. "Quail stamps? We don't need no stinking quail stamps..."

Posted by: CowTown | February 17, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Whittington to be discharged from Corpus Christi hospital this afternoon and to hold press conference.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... Let's see...The birdshot not only penetrated W's skin, it penetrated a bright orange hunting vest, probable two layers of additonal clothing, about an inch of skin and muscle, managed not to hit a rib or the victim's sternum (another big hard bone) and then continued on the vicinity of W's heart. Afterward it managed to move quickly enough to penetrate the heart muscle itself. All of this after traveling 30 yards through the air???

I've sprayed a lot of shot around in my day, and all I can say is we should send that kind of ammo to the troops in Iraq.

Or, maybe we should have sent Dick quail hunting in Tora Bora. Perhaps he would have accidentally shot Bin Laden.

Posted by: Snicklefritz | February 17, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ok with all the pilloring going on, I dug this up:

They pillory Hillary yet still blame Bill
for having grown women who consented their will.

Justice wastes time covering naked statues
while Halliburton eats big contracts like cashews.

The way The Right treats terror's a hoot; don't forget it was Reagan who pulled out of Beirut!

But you have to admit that they do what they can, like arms for hostages to the guys in Iran.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, they both knew Saddam.
Dick said we have an contract, cancel I can't.

Donny gave him chemical weapons long banned but said it's ok, he's fighting Iran.

So what if he kills a few thousand Kurds?
Back in Peoria they won't hear a word.

They say Dems are liars, wanton and craven
but how many Texans are born in New Haven?

They say we can trust George to lead us in fear but he can't even trust himself with a beer.

When they told him he won by appointment Supreme he just didn't realize it wasn't God that they mean.

I don't really know why I'm sending this note; when it comes to elections Diebold will just cancel your vote.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Aw, thanks CowTown!

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

>Hey, some problems here in south Texas

Loomis, not just south Texas, they just misspelled the hostname. It's in there as "washingtonpost.comO" and as there IS no such TLD (top level domain) named ".como", no one can see it.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they really DON'T have the internet in St. Louis.

That Joel, you just never can tell when he's kidding!

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

*&%$#, jw, you're a Coastie? Well why didn't you say so before this? Coasties are fine people. I know some Coasties, and ex-Coasties (I suspect "Post-Coasties" sounds too much like a cereal).

But then I don't know why you're so defensive, 'cause nobody I know of has so much as said "boo" about the job the Coasties have done and are doing. FEMA and DHS, hell, yes, but not you folks. Semper paratus, dude.

Hey, kbertocci, didja notice something pretty interesting about that very first comments-included boodle you linked to? (May we borrow a term from archeology and call it the Ur-boodle?) Not one single poster is still with us, and not one single "regular" on the current swat team is a charter poster. (At, least none under the current handle.) I did see mizerock in the Ur-boodle, but he/she hasn't been around her lately, to my knowledge (unless just lurking).

Anybody here wanna 'fess up to being a poster back there at the Dawn of Time?

Re Nani's 1:05:51: *blushing deep scarlet, and wondering how my wife would react if I wanted to take on, ya know, a mistress, or a concubine, or a bigamous second marriage, or even a "close companion," if ya know what I mean. And, uh, where did you say you lived, anyway? You don't have to give me the street number, just maybe the block, and a description of the house, and whether you prefer white wine or red wine, roses or lillies, long walks on the beach and pina coladas, stuff like that.*

Yeah, yeah, I know what the rest of your are thinking: Jeez, get a room. Well, I'm trying, dammit.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

jw, in a moment of self-examination, and having been a resident of CG protected and serviced communities, from Ft Lauderdale to Destin to Yankeetown and Cedar Key, I can honestly say that I have never had the opportunity to pillory the Coast Guard. That is not true of FEMA and several score of alphabet agencies at all levels of government. That speaks highly of the USCG (which was probably better off with the DOT).

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

...well, we certainly got more funding back then. Too bad we're not big enough to be our own Department.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Coasties were the heroes of Katrina. A lot of good press about a very flat orgnizational structure and a can-do attitude.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

My favorite comment from the Ur-boodle:

"The comment thing is just a phase. There is no way Joel keeps this going."
Posted by Nikos

Boy did he call it, or what?

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 17, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

My first post to the blog was on April 15, but under a nom de guerre, not as kurosawaguy.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

And now the rustling sound you hear is the sound of dozens of bloggers combing the archives for their first posts.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Hahah lol. I went back to reread that first boodle and here's there first two posts:

If I hit the "refresh" button on my browser a dozen times each time I visit the blog, would that help your page views?

Posted by: James | Apr 7, 2005 4:10:37 PM | Permalink

Wait, am I supposed to REACT to the comments????? Jeepers this comment experiment is going to last about 15 minutes. This is a nightmare. Who is "James" and is it my imagination or is there something snide in his voice? Why should I sit here and take this abuse?
Posted by: Joel | Apr 7, 2005 4:16:44 PM | Permalink

And another fave:

The comment thing is just a phase. There is no way Joel keeps this going.
Posted by: Nikos | Apr 11, 2005 11:02:04 AM | Permalink

Posted by: omni | February 17, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This article is extremely imaginable and highly entertaining.

Posted by: Kristen from Ohio | February 17, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Just great. Whittington's apologizing for being shot. I guess pretty soon the Indian tribes will apologize for being swindled.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Some fine reporting this morning by San Antonio Express-News reporter John Tedesco (but I'll be danged if I can find a link for it either at GoogleNews or about the investigation by Kenedy Co. Sheriff's Dept. at the Armstrong Ranch.

Sheriff and head honcho Raul Salinas III was elected sheriff in 2005 and had worked in the county's police department, housed in a one-story cinderblock building, since the mid-1990s. Prior to that Salinas worked as an auto mechanic in Kingsville.

As for Sarita, Texas, the county seat, there are no stores and no stoplights. Motorists who pull over to fuel up are constantly frustrated when they find there is no gas station. The tallest structure in town is a sleek water tower that hovers over the dry brush.

The perfect place for a very private get-away weekend, Mudge and Nani. Please, no quail hunting, though. Make love, not war on leetle birds.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse


I did notice that and I tried to express it but the inexactitude of identification had me all hung up! How do we define regulars, or who is "with us" today--

Corndog was there, and I think of him as a regular because he's on my blogroll, and he's such a blogster that he's probably reading even when he's not commenting.

I remember reading and laughing at that kit but I didn't comment that day. I've definitely been "around" virtually forever, reading Joel's articles whenever and wherever they were. Before I ever heard of the internet, I was an Achenfan.

I especially noticed the comment by "Margaret" who claimed to be this HUGE fan, but maybe she was a little flaky? Because so far as I know she was never heard from again?

Are you out there, Margaret?

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

jw and others, Habitat for Humanity International is doing a pretty good job toting building materials from St. Paul Minn. down the Mississisppi River to Louisiana and I believe, some homes have already been built and families moved in.

Curmudgeon, I live down at the end of Lonely Street at Heartbreak Hotel. Not much for long walks on the beach or pina coladas. But I've got a nice porch swing here. We could look at the stars, listen to the junebugs, sip my homemade lemonade while you sing parodies of my favorite tunes. I won't lead you on; although I heart you, I larf you, I lurve you, my love must remain pure. See, I have a Ghost and Mrs. Muir kinda thing going with Mr. Nani.

Posted by: Nani | February 17, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

ABJunkie beat me to to it, but in my defense I had to hit post a couple of times to get the damn thing to go.

Posted by: omni | February 17, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and just for the record, back around the turn of the year when we were nominating comments for awards, I nominated that Nikos comment. It could almost be a t-shirt. (kidding! don't sue me!)

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Just great. Whittington's apologizing for being shot. I guess pretty soon the Indian tribes will apologize for being swindled."

One of the saddest things I ever witnessed was Mary Jo Kopechne's parents' televised news conference where they held Ted Kennedy blameless for their daughter's drowning and for not contacting anyone until the next morning.

Posted by: Nani | February 17, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel's first comment reminds me of something I had meant to post a while ago--in Gene W's chat about the Great Zuchini article he wrote:

"I understood what his mom meant, and I am going to go off on a little tangent here to explain. Many years ago, I was asked to speak to a room full of editors about how to manage creative people (I was, at the time, editor of a magazine that regularly dealt with such brilliant people as Joel Achenbach, Madeleine Blais, Dave Barry, David Von Drehle, etc.) My main message was that the central goal of handling geniuses is to coax the best out of them without upsetting the delicate mix of qualities that seems to give them their inspiration. Geniuses are often eccentric. One may look like a homeless person. Another may be so crippled by anxieties that he is laughably self-conscious. Another may pick his nose all the time. The key is not to go in and try to "civilize" them or modify their antisocial or self-destructive behavior. You must compliment them on how WELL they pick their nose."

I think a fun game would be to match the names with his descriptions--I think I know which one is Joel, ha ha.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Well now, I commented that first day and I've been around since then. I just don't comment often.

On the other hand, I was wrong, SO WRONG, about the "chat" aspect and how there were too many already. Sorry. I was experiencing bloggers burnout. ... flame me once and all that.

Posted by: Annie | February 17, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News:

Shootee discharged from hospital.

Shooter ducks press gaggle and hides at secure, disclosed location at his Wyoming ranch for the weekend.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Annie! We have a winner!

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Annie, I've been trying to give away a size medium Achenshirt--if you want it, email me an address and I'll mail it.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

*Big sigh* OK, maybe it's just as well, Nani. I'm allergic to coconut, so no pina coladas. And my singing voice would guarantee a rapid end to any relationship (sometimes when I slow-dance with my wife, sometimes for a hoot I'll start crooning the lyrics (quietly) in her ear, "See the pyramids along the Nile..." and she starts laughing so hard her shoulders shake and people think she's going epileptic. I'm a fun date.

The lemonade and porch swing sound pretty good, though. But I understand...give my regards to Captain Gregg.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse


I definitely played that game when I read that paragraph.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

...and the person I pictured as the "homeless person" is nobody on the list, but a guy who is a brilliant and very funny writer still living and working in Florida, I am actually thinking of starting a fanblog for him because he's not on the internet and I wish everybody could read his stuff: T.M. Shine. He wrote a wonderful book called "Fathers Aren't Supposed to Die" which is funny and touching and true and which I can't recommend to anybody because the emotional content is too personal.

Shine writes a regular column called "Timeline" where he charts his day minute by minute, and it's always funny.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, some of the old Timelines are online; e.g.:

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

As a Chaldean to this Ur I have felt welcome and give homage to Joel- Mes-Anni- Padda for his benevolent rule.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The most important revealation from Cheney's "Gungate" tragedy was what he said in his interview with Brite Hume about Vice Presidents having the authority to declassify documents. When Hume asked if Cheney had ever declassified documents "unlilatterally" he responded that he didn't "want to get into that." Which suggests that he has. He's obviously scared about Scooter Libby who may not be willing to take a chance that Bush will pardon him. And he drinks. And he's a little erratic.

In Tip O'Neill's memoirs he has anecdote about Nixon during the final days of Watergate. During a congressional briefing with Nixon on foreign policy, O'Neill was alarmed by Nixon's mental state. He contacted the Democrats Senate leader Mike Mansfield who reassured him that they had a pipeline to Al Haig who was really running the show (ironic because he wasn't in charge after Reagan was shot).

Cheney however is the one really in charge of this White House. He's calling the shots to the point of declassifying documents on his own. And his mental state has made him devoid of humanity. Lincoln was manic depressive but his heart and head remained in the right place.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | February 17, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Getting a little impatient with WaPo's not fixing Joel's new kit link. Can't they, like, send out a repair guy and have him take off the back of the site, see if any tubes are blown, or take 'em to the tester down at the Walgreen's? I mean, this is the Age of Instant Gratification, right?

"Sorry, Mr. Achenbach. We'll send Hal the Schemer out tomorrow sometime between 8 a.m. and Saturday Night Live. Will you be home, sir?"

*grrr, snarl snarl*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse last posting as noted above in blog
at 11:04:15am was submitted without the
name box completed...not noticed until
after having posted...clicking the Post
icon is often an adventure in too late
discovery of misspells and omissions...:-)
when i wrote about feeling much assured to
read about the american president and his
comments it was a play on his penchant for
doing the "heck of a job,brownie" sort of
shrouded sound bite that leaves one feeling
he may be thinking much more than he lets
on or may really be in a bubble...
the nytimes 2/17/06 edition quotes bush2 as
being "just fine" with the veeps handling
of the shooting accident...bush 2 twice
also then said"i'm satisfied with the
explanation he(the veep) gave"...
i imagine bush 2 could have said "heck of
a job,dicky" but that may have not played
out too well...would have been more funny
tho in a THE DAILY SHOW kind of way...:-)

Posted by: an american in siam... | February 17, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Can I hog a piece of the limelight for the Coast Guard? I was a Coastie from '75 to '78 in Miami. My job was to try to figure out what happened to boats and ships that dissapeared in that little patch of ocean off of Florida called the "Bermuda Triangle". Maybe Deadeye Dick was hunting quail out there, too.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 17, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Swell, the link's now working...only it defaults to this kit, not a new one.

Guess I'll have to go do some work for a while. What a bummer.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Unresolved questions in the Cheney shooting incident

By Patrick Martin
16 February 2006

Last Saturday, Vice President Dick Cheney, an experienced hunter, was hunting quail with several well-heeled Republican acquaintances, including Texas lawyer Harry Whittington. The two men had been drinking throughout the afternoon, and at one point began to quarrel about a business venture of mutual interest which had gone awry. The argument became heated. Whittington sneered at Cheney's declining public standing and the most recent disclosure, by Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Libby, that Libby had leaked classified information to the press at Cheney's direction. When Cheney responded with an obscenity-laced remark, Whittington, a man who knows where many bodies are buried in Texas politics and business, suggested he might arrange for certain facts of a sensitive nature to become public knowledge. Cheney, enraged, stormed away, then turned, lowered his shotgun and discharged it, hitting Whittington's face and upper body.

Is that what happened on February 14 at the Armstrong Ranch in southern Texas? We have no idea, but it is no less likely than the official explanation. And the "angry drunk" scenario would more plausibly explain both the long delay in reporting the event--which made it conveniently impossible to perform the blood alcohol test that would otherwise be routine in such an incident--and the obvious disarray in the White House for days afterwards.

For all the media attention to the Cheney affair, it is remarkable that with virtual unanimity the official claim that the shooting was accidental has been uncritically accepted and reported as though it were established fact, despite the lack of any serious investigation or public presentation of the actual circumstances in which the vice president of the United States shot and seriously wounded another man.

Until the migration of one of the shotgun pellets lodged in Whittington's body triggered a heart attack on Tuesday, the incident was largely dismissed with joking references to the "gang that couldn't shoot straight" or criticism of a poor White House communications strategy. Even after the shift to a more serious tone, the major daily newspapers and the television networks continue to refer to the incident as an "accidental shooting," without either interviewing eyewitnesses or investigating any alternative theory of what took place.

With Cheney's interview Wednesday evening on Fox television, two conflicting accounts of the shooting have now been given. Kathleen Armstrong, daughter of multimillionaire ranch owner Anne Armstrong, a former ambassador in the Reagan administration, contacted a Corpus Christi, Texas newspaper Sunday to report Whittington had been shot accidentally. She put the responsibility for the incident on Whittington, indicating that he had wandered off the line maintained by his hunting partners and failed to announce himself when he returned from retrieving a quail.

Three days later, Cheney abandoned the "blame the victim" story and told Fox interviewer Britt Hume that he was the one responsible because he had pulled the trigger.

Cheney also admitted to having a drink earlier that day, although he said it was only a single beer at lunch, five hours before the shooting. He denied that any alcohol was being consumed on the hunt.

Cheney made an even more damaging admission, remarking that he "didn't know until Sunday morning that Harry was going to be all right." This throws a different light on the decision not to make public any information about the shooting for nearly a full day.

During that period, when Cheney and his aides could not be sure whether the vice president might be facing involuntary manslaughter charges, there were undoubtedly discussions about how to handle the story--perhaps even consideration of whether someone else might have to take the fall for the shooting. Only after Whittington was out of immediate danger was the press contacted with the news that Cheney had been the shooter.

The police were also kept away during the first critical half-day. Secret Service agents contacted the local sheriff's department immediately to report a shooting accident, but there is no indication that they supplied any details or identified the shooter.

A captain in the sheriff's department went to the ranch Saturday evening but was told the victim had been transported to a hospital in Corpus Christi. He left without interviewing any eyewitness.

Two local policemen also arrived at the ranch, after learning of the shooting, but they were denied admission by ranch security guards, and went their way. Finally, at 8 a.m. Sunday--after Cheney had been assured that Whittington would survive--the vice president was interviewed by a sheriff's deputy and made his first declaration that he had pulled the trigger.

What is known about the circumstances of the shooting cast some doubt on the accident theory, especially given Cheney's long experience as a hunter and the relative rarity of such incidents--only a handful during the most recent Texas hunting season.

According to the account Cheney gave to Fox, Whittington was partially obscured because he was standing in a gully lower than the ground on which Cheney was standing. This suggests that Cheney, in order to hit Whittington, would have had to fire his blast either level or slightly downwards--a strange angle for shooting at a flushed quail rising into the sky.

Press accounts suggest that Whittington was hit by as many as 150 to 200 pellets, meaning that he received nearly the full charge of birdshot from a single blast. This fact and the nature of the wounds seem to confirm the reports that Whittington was standing about 30 yards from Cheney when the vice president opened fire: any closer, and the wounds would have been far more serious; much further away, and dispersion would have caused many of the shot pellets to miss.

There are other aspects of the incident which appear to undercut the "pure accident" theory. How could such an accident occur when the vice president was accompanied by his normal entourage of Secret Service and medical personnel?

The role of the Secret Service is particularly puzzling: if Whittington was in range of Cheney's gun, then Cheney was likewise in range of Whittington's. How could the Secret Service have been unaware that a man armed with a loaded shotgun was approaching the vice president from an unexpected direction? If they were aware of Whittington's movements, how could they have allowed the vice president to open fire on him?

Whittington's turn for the worse on Tuesday morning raises the possibility that he could suffer long-term physical consequences from the shooting, or even death. In either event, Cheney could be liable for criminal charges involving at least negligence and recklessness, or even involuntary manslaughter, a felony charge never before brought against so high-ranking a public official. His continuation in office under such circumstances would be in question.

The press, however, has been virtually silent on this possibility. It has focused almost entirely on the subsequent handling of the public relations fallout, not on the underlying event in which a man was nearly killed by the vice president.

In a rare exception, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, in a commentary Wednesday devoted to the exposure of illegal NSA spying, remarked in passing: "Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law."

The comparison is an apt one, not only in its implicit questioning of the credibility of the account given by Cheney, but in its reference to the seeming immunity of the top echelons of American society from all normal legal and social constraints. There is indeed one law for the masses of ordinary people and quite another for the financial and political elite. If anything, this is more the case in the far more socially polarized America of 2006 than it was nearly four decades ago.

Cheney's four-day silence demonstrated the vice president's arrogant indifference to public opinion. His eventual decision to give an interview with Fox News expresses both contempt for the public's right to know and personal cowardice--Cheney is willing to be questioned only by a network which has repeatedly demonstrated a slavish political loyalty to the Bush administration and its ultra-right policies.

The rejection of accountability--for the 9/11 attacks, for the lies which were used to engineer the war with Iraq, for the failures in the response to Hurricane Katrina, for the devastating social and fiscal impact of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy--is the hallmark not only of an administration, but of the ruling elite as a whole.

In that sense, Cheney's conduct at the Armstrong Ranch and its presentation by the media provide a vivid example of the social relations that prevail in contemporary America, ruled by a financial oligarchy that feels itself as far above the common people as the Russian Tsar or the French aristocracy before 1789. There is one set of laws, one set of prerogatives for the modern equivalent of the ruling estates of the feudal past, and another for the rabble.

See Also:

Posted by: che | February 17, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Don--I did that one summer too!

So, for anyone who doesn't know, the Coast Guard investigates any report of missing boaters. The first step is issuing periodic radio calls for people to be on the look-out, while you start calling all the marinas wherever they were supposed to be headed. Based on a lot of different factors, this eventually escalates to a full-blown search and rescue operation.

Now, in Miami, this happens about 20 times a day. Some guy's wife calls and says, "My husband was taking his boat to the Bahamas, and he was supposed to get there last night, and he ALWAYS calls me, but he didn't, and now I'm worried!" Well, this was usually a pretty easy mystery to solve because all boaters would check in with Bahamas customs when they arrived, and there's only so many places you can get from Miami in one day. Nine times out of ten you'd find the guy after about an hour of calling around. Of course, we got so many of these calls that it became pretty obvious to me why these guys weren't calling their wives after they left on a boat trip which she was coincidentally not on.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, if they knew the CG's procedures, this would be a pretty nifty way to catch your husband if he said he was "going on a business trip for a few days."

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Don from I-270: Now that sounds like an interesting job. How would you go about investigating disappearances?

Posted by: CowTown | February 17, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I am yellojkt, and I am an AchenAddict.

I make no claims to charter boodledom. My path here is through my love of comic strips. I am a charter "Comics Cardinal" at Comics Curmudgeon (no relation to our curmudgeon (check on that, Loomis)) which led me to the Weingarten chat. I may have lurked the Kit once or twice based on random comments from the Weingarten chat, but my first comment was this permalink ( inspired by Joel's "The Tail That Wags The Blog" article in the Post Magazine. It prompted me to write a blog entry about the article and then shamelessly plug it ( on the Achenblog.

I saw the Achenblog as a great place to flog my blog since it had so many commenters and hence potential readers of my blog. Little did I realize it was the same five people using different aliases to annoy each other all day long. Since then I have been sucked into the boodle quagmire to the point I hardly ever blatantly blogwhore anymore since I assume everyone here already reads it or doesn't care to. Although my latest post is a nice capsule review of "Anansi Boys" if I do say so myself.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Che returns us to that interface between Jean Jacque Rousseau and Adam Smith at the founders deliberations, the MadisonJefferson Vs Hamilton/Washington futurity later described by deTocqueville in "Democrcy in America" (now lost in the Bermuda Triangle) and the present polarization of parties and society. What goes around comes around.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Re. Loomis post at 12:35 (OK, I was out to lunch (it's a good excuse, I promise) and then had a meeting):


Joel's travelling right now (I think), so we shouldn't expect him to be shepherding any lost links.


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

No joke in this. A guy divorces his wife, sells every stinking thing he owns (except his boat), makes his new girlfriend the beneficiary of his life insurance, and sails off, alone, into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from again.

With no dead body, no life insurance payment. My report could declare him "missing and presumed dead" in lieu of a death certificate. Like I'm going to write that.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 17, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I gotta say, Che, that Martin column was not only over the line (in the speculative first half), but also contained some of the dumbest arguments, specious reasoning and just plain BS I've seen in quite a while. Lord knows, I don't like the guy either, but there's got to be some intellectual honesty and integrity here.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, the original Che wasn't exactly a pinnacle of virtue either, despite what the college kids think.

Posted by: jw | February 17, 2006 3:15 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, that's the frustrating part of a job like that: you really can't do any kind of investigating. In the worse case, there's no material evidence, no witnesses, no body, no nothing. All I get is a grief stricken family with pieces of a story.

Other times, I might get lucky and have a survivor, or a witness to something, or bits of physical evidence. Like the time a big oil tanker got a hole poked in her, up from the very bottom, while moving at top speed in very deep water, just a couple miles off of Miami. Thanks to her (whe do we call ships "she"?) design, she didn't sink. When we looked at the hole, it was perfectly SQUARE, about 3 feet large. I could only think of one thing that could poke a perfect square through 1/2 inch steel plate, but nobody 'fessed up to a thing.

Don't get me started with sea stories....

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 17, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, I posted my first-ever comment to the 'blog on April 27, under the "Tom Befuddled by Speed of Light" kit [although it wasn't called a kit back then]:

Why is it that when we dream at night, our dreams can seem to go on for hours, but then we discover, upon waking, that only minutes -- or even seconds -- have passed? Do we dream with some timeless aspect of our minds? With our souls? Why is so much of what we dream erased from our memories so quickly? And why do our dreams seem so real, so solid? Why do we often fail to realize we're dreaming, no matter how bizarre the dream may be? Why do some people have prophetic dreams? It's funny that we know so little about this stuff; we just accept it, and treat it as a very minor, incidental part of life. But maybe dreams are more related to our lives than we think -- maybe our minds create our "real life" in the same way they create our dreams? Maybe we have lived past lives but have forgotten them, in the same way we forget our dreams? Maybe time really is an illusion?
Posted by: Dreamer | Apr 27, 2005 4:22:53 PM | Permalink

[I expected my comment to result in a mass flaming, but, amazingly, nothing happened.]

[Oh, and I'm still working on that list of questions I raised. Just give me a couple more weeks . . .]

Posted by: Dreamer | February 17, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I've often wondered if dreams aren't just the side-effect of our mind's eye "watching" memories as they're sorted and stored.

It would explain the juxtaposition of different items, people, etc. Perhaps they contain a marker from the the original elapsed time, which would explain why you seem to be actually living it.

Of course, it could be the aliens.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

By the next Tom's Dumb Question ("Tom Rethinks 1492"), I was a Tom fan. (I was inspired by a comment from one Linda Loomis: "Your editor Tom sounds brilliant-like someone I would LOVE to meet!"):

Hey Linda: Have you checked out Tom's book? ("Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives")
That book blew my mind; I couldn't put it down.
Posted by: Tom fan | May 3, 2005 2:54:19 PM | Permalink

[And then there was a whole bunch of grammar stuff, with much umbrage taken by someone called "High Anxiety." Ah, those were fun times.]

Posted by: Tom fan | February 17, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

[I apologize for the excessive self-absorption and self-promotion. (However, I will make no apologies for the Tom promotion.)]

Posted by: Tom fan and Dreamer | February 17, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on / and our little life is rounded with a sleep" -WS - The Tempest

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

OK, Don, you're making me a little crazy here. I'm a pretty nautical guy (very nautical, truth be told, he said modestly), and I can't think of what is 3-foot square and can poke a hole in a moving piece of half-inch steel, and from the bottom up. (Unless one of the parameters you've given is incorrect.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

My dream is always the same. I am in a dark place. I need to pee. Then I wake up. This is officially known as The Universal Dream of Male Maturity. Not to be confused with The Universal Dream of Male Immaturity which involves Jennifer Connolly and cannot be effectively verbalized on this site.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Totally off topic, but while going through my Secret File I found my vintage "You are my Special Friend" postcard Joel used to send to people in the 1990s. Does anybody else have one? Should I consider framing mine?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 17, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

>3-foot square and can poke a hole in a moving piece of half-inch steel

I assumed he was referring to a sub conning (sp?) tower.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

A great perspective on the Cartoon Calamity from the NYT Op-Ed page (the free part). Some good parts:

Even many Americans who condemn the cartoon's publication accept the premise that the now-famous Danish newspaper editor set out to demonstrate: in the West we don't generally let interest groups intimidate us into what he called "self-censorship."

What nonsense. Editors at mainstream American media outlets delete lots of words, sentences and images to avoid offending interest groups, especially ethnic and religious ones. It's hard to cite examples since, by definition, they don't appear. But use your imagination.

The Danish editor's confusion was to conflate censorship and self-censorship. Not only are they not the same thing -- the latter is what allows us to live in a spectacularly diverse society without the former; to keep censorship out of the legal realm, we practice it in the moral realm. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, but worse things are imaginable.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 17, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I understand how hard it is to verbalize both Universal dreams, Kguy.

Posted by: S | February 17, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, a dream is a wish your heart makes...unless it is caused by that leftover slice of pepperoni pizza you ate during the Letterman monolog, or involves trains netering tunnels, or falling, or skyrockets launch upward and upward and exploding in a shower of sparks, or dreaming you'r in front of a roomful of people giving a speech in your birthday suit. In those case, it isn't your heart but one or more other organs doing the prep work.

Hope this clears that up for you.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if I start my own blog I realized the perfect name for it: Blorph. Hahahaha (thanks to LP for coining this term)

Posted by: omni | February 17, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I could drink it a talk to myself. Like this:

Posted by: omni | February 17, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC: and talk to myself

I swear I haven't touched the stuff today (atleast not yet).

Posted by: omni | February 17, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, here's a little ditty for you. Take it away Satchmo!

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "i love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longin' to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars shining up above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "i love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Yes, dream a little dream of me


Have a good weekend everyone.

Posted by: Nani | February 17, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

A Proustian turn on the boodle signals a need for a new kit.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Nani, you have set up a mental hum that will haunt me all weekend. Have a good one, Indeed.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, EF, that's the first (and only) thing I thought of, too, except that the conning tower is about 20 or 30 feet long and maybe 10 or 15 wide, and not just 3-foot square. It would almost certainly have one or more periscopes up, which could punch a hole, but the 'scope would be pretty well sheared away, and maybe a pretty good chunk of the entire conning tower top (the tower is called a "sail" nowadays). The tanker would never even feel the bump (they sometimes run down small craft, and never know they were there; they are like bugs on the grill of a car). But the sub would sure as hell know.

I don't know what the Navy's reporting protocol would be to the Coasties (probably none), but the sub captain would soon be unemployed--surfacing under a tanker will get you placed in the time-out corner for quite a while.

Unless of course it wasn't one of ours, in which case...feh!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Just so I can be unjustly labeled as a homophobe for the rest of my life, can I say today's WaPo Style section is the gayest ever.

We have Washington Style (there's an oxymoron) editor Robin Givhan just raving about Cheney's pink tie:

Then there's Marguriete Kelly advice to the parents of a nineteen year old coming out of the closet, complete with a reference to LUG's (lesbians until graduation):

And finally there is the piece de resistance, an article that insinuates(hold on to your seat), there may be a closted gay male figure skater in the Olympics:
It is an exercise in catty bitchiness that makes Will and Grace look like Brokeback Mountain. I can't wait for the letters to start rolling in.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Yello, is "closted" a reference to cloistered, as in a unisexual religious community, or closeted, as in water closet denizens?

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I turned on the Olympics last night just in time to catch men's figure skating... I don't know who he was, but the little head twitch thing he did to the first few seconds of the music resulted in a loud guffaw followed by instantaneous channel switch. Nothing against gay skaters, but I'd seen enough in like 6 seconds.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "closeted" as in "Johnny, are you queer?"

I mean isn't outing figure skaters like shooting lawyers on a quail hunt?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Whittington is just a decoy. The plan was for him to shoot himself to distract attention from Cheney and Armstrong, who were in the backseat of the van. It took Cheney 4 days to catch his breath.

Posted by: backontrack | February 17, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The author of the gay skater piece, Hank Steuver, is an openly gay man from Oklahoma. Having lived in the Sooner State for a dozen years myself (although it only seemed like 100), I think I can promise you that Mr. S has paid his dues and then some.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 17, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Comments to the Boodle are reserved to those who show respect to and appreciate the dignity of fellow Boodlers. Comments like those of 4:29:02 PM are unwelcome.

Posted by: CowTown | February 17, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Saw Weir (the figureskater in question) being interviewed this morning, and he was refreshingly honest about his performance--said he wasn't very good and didn't deserve a medal. Gotta respect that kind of honesty, especially considered against all the usual sports cliches you hear.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I think outing figure skaters or any suspect profession is like painting balletomanes like Ed Villela with a broad brush.

I had hoped for (and it may be there as I type) a response that cloisters are monosexual. That would have allowed me to point out that "Portnoy's Complaint" is the monosexual epitome of water closet self-expression and homosexuality.

Cheney and Armstrong in the back seat of the van may be more reassuring.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Things that don't make sense, How did he get shot on the right side of his body if he was on Cheney's right side? How did the pellets get to his heart (on the left side of your body) if the shots were on the right? How does a man shooting a a bird flying in the air hit a man supposedly in a gulley or low spot on the ground? How was the sun behind him ( the victim) and if it was who shoots into the sun? How did the body fall towards the witness (who was in the car watching) that would mean the VP was shooting towards the car. I have more but this is bugging me.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Comments to the Boodle are reserved for those who show respect for GW Bush and appreciate the dignity and predilections of fellow Boodlers, such as Cheney. Comments like those of 4:29:02 PM are particularly welcome and exemplary of what we want.

What is a cockpit? em?

Posted by: Cow Towne | February 17, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Have a good weekend folks, kiss your children and your wife, perhaps not in that order, and tell them that you love them much, much. Give God some of your time, go to church on Sunday, and may God bless each and every heart through His Son, Jesus. I love you all.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 17, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt - I liked the story about Cheney's tie.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 17, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Are other homosexuals the only ones that have the right to snicker at ambiguously gay celebrities? I know I am on thin ice (so to speak) as a straight white male taking umbrage, but being openly gay doesn't entitle you use the snarky innuendo that this admittedly hilarious piece sinks to. But that's just my opinion. Obviously the Style editors thought otherwise.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Cow Town is right. The 4:29:02 comment should be withdrawn posthaste and deserves a "SCC" critique for grammatical and typological miscues. Ditto his 4:32:55.

Mayeb someone can tell us whey Ms. Shilh and Mr. Curmudgeon are dwelling on the sexuality of skater Weir. Is it a prurient interest? An invitation? An unpolitically correct inquiry? Or just a couple of people having funnn?

Posted by: Cow Towne | February 17, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

oh cheney cheney
cheney poo-t
will you ever
confess to it
will you snarl
will you swear
that you damn well
meant to do it
will you stomp
and snit and sneer
and spit and slobber
in your beer?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I liked the tie story too. I especially liked the invocation of Hillary Clinton as a fellow pinko.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

More: How did Cheney run to his friend 30 yards away (90 feet) with his bad heart? Why was the duputy turned away that night? What time does the sun set in Texas? What time is it legal to hunt till in Texas- Why aren't more "witnesses" coming forward? There had to be quite a few people around. Why isn't the vic talking? Can't get his story straight? 14 hours till anyone official talked to anyone, BAC would be much lower then I guess. My guess, he was reloading his beer, dropped his gun picked it up by the trigger and shot his buddy on his left (not towards the sun)who was calling the strippers and the liquor store for more refreshments. Then got some food in him to reduce the alcohol content, got a good nights sleep while everyone was scurrying around collecting beer cans and spent shells figuring out what story to tell people and blame the poor guy that got hit- but once the public got wind had to fall back on the it's my fault bit.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

now a Isee that yellojkt is a male. I always thought she was a female. But there is still some evident homophobia in the tone of his/her criticism. Would he/she please stop doing that. Just leave Weir alone. Does he threaten you?

This blog used to be dominated by women. I think the balance is changing to men with an unbalanced view. But so be it.

Posted by: a revelation for me | February 17, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse


I'm experiencing some serious AchenEnvy here. I do have a postcard from Dave Barry from that era, but you're ahead on points from where I sit.

It was almost cruel for you to say you had it without posting it so we could see.


Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

oh cheney cheney
cheney dear
will you confirm
the news we hear
will you whisper
will you leer
that you have always
been a "macho hog"

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I have a letter from Kurt Vonnegut from the 80s. Someday I'll scan it and blog about it.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Cow Towne imposter, I think you have me confused with someone else. I not only haven't "dwelled" on Weir, my one and only comment was I admired his refreshing honesting in admitting he'd not been very good.

(And I don't think the person you have me confused with has been out of bounds---unlike yourself.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"The next morning the papers came out and all of a sudden I was causing a stir because . . . I was wearing a chinchilla scarf that someone thought was a boa.

"First of all, boas are so out. Secondly, I would never wear a boa to a press conference."

Listen, be as gay as you want, but don't expect to be exempted from people laughing at you if you're ridiculous. I used to live in NYC between the East and West Village and have seen plenty of guys in leather hats and vests with bare chests and open chaps walking down the street together and it didn't faze me at all. Beacause at least they made the look WORK, y'know?

If you're going to embrace the most extreme stereotype of a lifestyle you shouldn't be surprised if someone notices and makes fun of you, whether it's a shotgun-toting VP or a flaming skater.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

oh cheney cheney
cheney poo-t
will you ever
confess to it
will you snarl
will you swear
that you damn well
meant to do it
will you stomp
and snit and sneer
and spit and slobber
in your beer?
oh cheney cheney
cheney dear
will you confirm
the news we hear
will you whisper
will you leer
that you have always
been a "macho hog"
cheney cheney
cheney bear
wipe your eyes
and comb your hair
a bright pink tie
and underwear
so right for
sporting fare

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Upon being gender outed by slyness and his (or her)gender perspicacity and by my own haste in responding to Joel, I have been attempting to either create doubt by reference to Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" or by posting a pix that will resolve that issue once and for all. Scotty may be disappointed, but matchmaker Cur will be vindicated. "Ms. Shiloh" may soon be revealed with the help of Amo, who I called upon for help yesterday evening. As to the unbalanced view attributed to men by revelation, I can assure her that the dominatrix Loomis holds her own.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

A good weekend to you, too, Cassandra.

Somewhere out there beyond the beltway, there's a Corona with a slice of lime with my name on it. Adios, peeps.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon writes, "Dreamer, a dream is a wish your heart makes."

Some would say our whole life is a wish our heart -- or our soul, or the Observer -- makes. We create our reality. It has been suggested that when we die and look back on our lives, we will see them as mere dreams -- as meaningless thoughts that we will quickly dismiss and forget, just as we do our nightly dreams.

And here's something else I've been wondering about: When a blind person dreams, does he or she "see" images? I guess it depends on whether the person was born blind or became blind later in life -- on whether he or she has a framework for visual images. Regardless, it seems we don't "see" the images in our dreams with our eyes. We lie in our beds sleeping, with our eyes closed, and yet we "see." The room is quiet -- perhaps we are even wearing earplugs -- and yet we "hear."

"So who sees then? Does the brain see, or do the eyes see? And what *is* reality?"

-- Joseph Dispenza, in the film "What the Bleep Do We Know!?"

All this raises the question, If our lives are but a dream that we might wake up from at any time, where are we *really*?

[I really am doing my darnedest to get that flaming, aren't I?]

[And yes, I'm still a Bleep Nut ;)]

Nani, thanks for the song. Have a good weekend -- I trust you'll be bach on Monday Monday (bah bah -- bah bah bah).

Posted by: Dreamer | February 17, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse


The Portnoy's Complaint allusion went right over my head. I don't think I have ever read past the first chapter. I understand the rest of it is very good.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

pathetic attempt at humor, a new low

Posted by: johannesrolf | February 17, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I am here now finally at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, but because I just got here I haven't had a chance to advance Science yet. I haven't even nudged it. But I will report back once the task is accomplished. I have already been to the Papers Room where they have printouts of the talks being delivered, with titles like "Genomic Sources for Rapid Speciation" and "What's Happening to All the World's Ice?" and "Computer Expression Engine Automates Sneers, Smiles, Stares, Shrugs," and so on. "What's Special About Language? Evidence from Preverbal Infants" sounds like a good one, though I'm skeptical that the babies know how to run a PowerPoint presentation. "Early Americans Faced Rapid Late Pleistocene Climate Change and Chaotic Environs" could be interesting (PLUS they had to fight off woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers). There was a film today that I missed, called When Languages Die, and the flyer shows a woman named Nina Tarlaganova who is one of the last speakers of Chulym. But I bet there are a few others Chulym speakers hanging around this Boodle.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 17, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

An on-topic article from the LA Times. It's funny, and everyone should read it.,0,1216758.story?track=hpmostemailedlink

Posted by: CowTown | February 17, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't feel bad for not having advanced science yet, Achenbach. I'm thinking I might have actually REGRESSED science with my 'boodling today.

[I used to work at AAAS, as a lowly proofreader for Science magazine. Never got to go to the annual meeting, though.]

Posted by: Dreamer | February 17, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"To sleep, perchance to dream,
ay, there's the rub....
For in that sleep of death,
What dreams may come."
-WS, Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"I got my feet on the ground and I don't go to sleep to dream."

-- Fiona Apple

Posted by: Achenfan | February 17, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

no need to wail
you missed that quail
and sordid Plamegate
will not pale
without a gun
life is a bore
release a salvo
on the poor

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Why is the link on the home page headlined "Bush's War ... etc...?" How come I leave town and everything goes to heck.

And a gentle reminder to please not appropriate the handles of others or take pot-shots at Boodlers. I don't want to police the blog.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 17, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

oh cheney cheney
cheney poo-t
will you ever
confess to it
will you snarl
will you swear
that you damn well
meant to do it
will you stomp
and snit and sneer
and spit and slobber
in your beer?
oh cheney cheney
cheney dear
will you confirm
the news we hear
will you whisper
will you leer
that you have always
been a "macho hog"
cheney cheney
cheney bear
wipe your eyes
and comb your hair
a bright pink tie
and underwear
so right for
sporting fare
no need to wail
you missed that quail
and sordid Plamegate
will not pale
without a gun
life is a bore
release a salvo
on the poor

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Skating is an important topic today, but not figure skating. your women's hockey team lost to Sweden in the semifinals. It was like Jack the giant killer was on the lose. My sympathies.

To be totally honest, and in the interests of an open boodle, I admit to just a tiny, teensy bit of joy that Sweden won today's hockey game, not that I'm shouting or anything. But your team would have been much much harder to beat. Now however I must go pray that our team does not assume we can just beat the Swedes. They did a fine job, and they have proven that heart will take you a loooong way. They are on an up that will be very hard to overcome.

Posted by: dr | February 17, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course I would have to post the hockey stuff just after Joel threatens to police the boodle gone bad. It was not my intention to lead to the need for further policing. I should have washed my feet first.

Posted by: dr | February 17, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

And just checking in if you are paying attention to curling. Your men's team is doing very well, and you should be shouting the house down. In curling you do it like this: Hurray Haaaaaaaard.

Posted by: dr | February 17, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Back from running errand and have been Boodleskimming.

Your post made me laugh. Can you tell me a little more about Tom's book, "Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives?

You said "That book blew my mind; I couldn't put it down." 'Preciate it if you can tell me why you enjoyed this book by Tom so much. Thanks.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Touche', Tomfan/Achenfan/Dreamer. How's HK?

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 6:27 PM | Report abuse

re: my post of around noontime today

Kenedy County Police Capt. Charles Kirk at gates of Armstrong Ranch on Saturday night:
What happened out here? We heard something about a possible shooting.

Capt. Charles Kirk *is* the real name of the Kenedy County Police Captain who went to the Armstrong Ranch on Saturday night after sundown. I am not making this up. Google NYT reporter Ralph Blumenthal's reporting yesterday (I think it was) on the timeline of the events of the past weekend at the Armstrong Ranch. You'll see Capt. Charles Kirk mentioned in Blumenthal's article.

I thought of the Star Trek connection, too, immediately upon reading the name. So it makes the alien abduction conspiracy theory of Whittington's body just a tad more plausible, don't you think? *L*

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2006 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I had a great story about hot coffee enemas but with all this Cheney talk I think there's even too much sh#t for me in this Blog.....

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 17, 2006 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I am coming around to your way of thinking, Lonemule, but to paraprhase Harry Truman, "If you can't stand the heat of the kit, stay out of the kithcen" Especially when the kettle starts suggesting that pot-shots are black.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I was referring to a comment that I deleted, not to one any that are still posted.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 17, 2006 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I would also vote for the Lonemule coming up with a new gag, or taking his current gag elsewhere. Not that I'm not a fan! I've been a Lonemule defender from day one! You know how some of those jokes on Hee Haw were funny the 99th time? They weren't the 100th. It might be time to branch out, is all I'm saying. To take a DIFFERENT joke for a spin. To see what would it would feel like to post a comment that was not scatological (sp?). Just a thought.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 17, 2006 7:45 PM | Report abuse

sp. correct. And I appreciate the honesty of the thought police role, imagining the censored comment to have been beyond the pale, within the previously discussed issue of editorial discretion. Whether valorous or not, we will never know. But, in all honesty, you do a great job of keeping the discourse civil, respectful, and within the bounds of good humor.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

You're probably right, but I think that we must to blame it on Bush.

Posted by: Rolf | February 17, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse

OK...OK...I get the message...No more BM references....I got to work on this...I'll be in my office...Someone hand me the paper and a pack of Camels...Damn, doesn't anyone replace the roll anymore!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 17, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Right, Joel.

Even Weingarten ventures away from the poop humor once in awhile to talk about Great Zucchinis, VPL and transcribe prank phone calls.

On the other hand, it's highly unlikely that women will ever throw their panties at me without expecting me to wash them.

Loomis, as I remember it Capt. Kirk is actually from Iowa, he only works in outer space. If there's an "alien abduction" in this case, it could only be from a hammy Shakespearean actor from Canada.


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

>Capt. Charles Kirk *is* the real name of the Kenedy County Police Captain who went to the Armstrong Ranch on Saturday night

I've been SAYING it's aliens, haven't I??? Hmmm?

Must be the Romulans. Never trust a Romulan. Go to bed with one, yes. Trust one militarily, no.

Just my $0.02.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I was going to apologize for going off topic but then I realized: what topic? Star Trek? toilet paper? freedom of expression? the Olympics? Never mind.


Yellojkt: I am very interested in seeing your Vonnegut letter. Don't make me wait too long.

I have a letter from Kurt Andersen

in which he as much as says that the letter I wrote him was the very first fan letter of his career. So that's something. But it's not Vonnegut.

I also have a letter written by Tom Robbins' assistant, on very interesting stationery, and it's highly Robbinsesque, although I didn't quite believe her when she said Tom was out of town but she had read my letter to him over the phone.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Vulcans, on the other hand, are very trustworthy, but a mind meld is not my idea of a good time.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2006 9:11 PM | Report abuse

No, I'll skip the mind meld, just pass the Romulan ale.

Don't know how I missed the handle on my last post.

Clearly my Contoller from Planet Error is trying to &#*@^!&#!

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt - I wasn't trying to flaunt my rare piece of Achenmemorabilia, but was honestly curious about how far back some of the boodlers go. My postcard dates from 1994 during Joel's "Why Things Are" phase. It would probably be rude to Joel to post it since it technically counts as private communication. Besides it has information on it that would probably blow my cover, and heavens know we don't want that.
I also have a postcard from the Queen Mother, but that's not quite as cool.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 17, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I think the first time I noticed the Achenblog was sometime around the "Tom Befuddled by Speed of Light" bit. It's a favorite subject of mine. I'm still trying to figure out how we know anything is still out there, given that we're seeing light from 13.8 years ago.

I also wonder about the physical constants and laws of the universe, given that we're never actually ever in the same place twice. Spinning on our axis, spinning around the sun, which is spinning around the Milky Way, which is spinning through the universe, which is...

Pass the Romulan ale.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk,

I have an interest in defending my position as a long-time reader. I lost track of Achenbach when he left Florida, only catching back up when he wrote Captured by Aliens. But I was reading Why Things Are back in the 80's.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

dr - I have been attempting to turn my offspring into curling fans, but have so far failed. My wife claims it is not really a sport. Perhaps if they wore more sequins she would change her mind. Anyway, the US men have been losing by a little and winning by a lot, so I am hopeful. The US women have had a rough Olympics, but I am impressed by their poise.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 17, 2006 9:52 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci - I bow before your seniority. You are clearly the Alpha Achenfan.
-but do you have a postcard?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 17, 2006 9:54 PM | Report abuse


No, indeed, I do not.

I need the right tone here.

Envious, but graceful. Happy for you that you still have your memento, proud to be a fellow boodler of yours.

Retiring now, turning out the light, dreaming my Achendreams.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2006 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Er, make that light from 13.8 BILLION years ago.

Interesting article today about museum tours and young-earthers.

Be nice if we could agree on that much.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 17, 2006 10:04 PM | Report abuse

My serious Achenreading dates from the Why Things Are era when it started at WaPo. A policy wonk who was acquainted with Joel pointed his work out to me, gosh, 1990 or '91 I think it was.

"Tom Befuddled by Speed of Light" was a big milestone for the Kit and Kaboodle, I think. And not because it was the first time I commented.


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading Achenblog since the column where Joel reprinted the snippets he had given his class to read. Came across the whole kit and kaboodle while trying to see if I might want to buy the GW book for my husband's birthday. Was so taken with the kits, and the boodlers, that I never (cringe) got around to buying a book. But I will! I promise!



Posted by: nellie | February 17, 2006 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I think I first heard Joel on NPR - and read the Why Things Are book, or columns, I'm not quite sure which...or both...

I rediscovered him in the WaPo last year when he blogged about snow in DC - having lived in DC, and survived snow experiences, I found it hilarious. I read the blog from then on - usually didn't have time for the comments - although the blog and comments about the ivory-billed woodpecker was a classic. Then last summer, I was drawn in by the humor and eventually was brave enough to post...and have been here ever since. The first comment I made was about tomato sandwiches...During the "dark blog" time while Joel was on vacation, I went back and caught up on the previous boodles...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 18, 2006 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Homage to Mes Anni Padda of the Ur blog is one thing, but groveling for a position of rank on the totem is a new low. Is the boodle so sweet and the blog so dear, as to be purhased at the chains of slavery? Forbid it almighty, Joel, give us liberty, or give us a kit.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2006 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Out for a few days when my internet access was disabled. It was like living in the 18th Century! (re: a boodle or so ago.)Especially when I need access to the internet for my job. Not a good week.

Took me a while to catch up but fun to see how long infrequent visitors continue to post when the boodle is on a "popular" subject and lasts for a day or two -not long. Glad to see you/we reverted to form discussing the ane and inane.

I first tuned into the Kit and Boodle when the subject was the Costco store (June or July, I think) and how big a size one could buy. It may have been a Rough Draft with comments but I was hooked. I learned about how to keep sneakers tied and other esoteric things. I lurked for a while before commenting.

For Archenfan: We have a balm around here called *UdderBalm* and it is found in grocery stores and Farm & Fleet or another chain Fleet/Farm. I have used it for years and it truly is great for applying to chapped and dry skin, though obviously formulated for bovines. I like it better than Bag Balm though that can be found also. There is a third kind I will try to remember, which does the same. These compounds are far better, I have found, than any other dry skin lotion. (Sponsored by Elsie the Cow.)
How is HK?

I look forward to hearing about the AAAS convention, Joel.


Posted by: boondocklurker | February 18, 2006 3:51 AM | Report abuse

For those that think they have known Joel for a long time, I've got you beat.
I was at his birth. Still have his umbelical cord in a jar somewhere.
I knew he was going to be special some day.
I'll auction it off on Ebay soon, since I need a pool built in my backyard this summer.
By the way I used a double Windsor knot on his belly button.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 18, 2006 4:29 AM | Report abuse

I've always told you that we Canadians are sort of subversive. We entered your popular culture with Captain James T Kirk, and now we are trying to subvert you with curling.

RD, the poise is something that seems tied to curling in the same way that it is in golf is. A sport of ladies and gentelmen, except for that hurry hard thing, which does not sound at all mannerly. Hope you are enjoying it. If not keep watching and you will. Try to catch the Brier on TV - CBC if you can. It is the finest curling anywhere.

Posted by: dr | February 18, 2006 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip dr. Perhaps good manners is a big part of curling because the Canadians set a good example.

And kbertocci, tone is a hard thing to convey in these little notes. Realize that everything I ever write here is tongue-in-cheek, and I interpret everybody else's comments in the same way. I think anybody who reads a lot of Joel's stuff understands the concept.

Now I gotta have a few more cups of coffee and see if the US can maintain their lead over the Germans.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 18, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse

You're right about the link between the "alien abduction" (Whittington conspiracy theory) and the hammy, *Jewish* Shakespearean actor from Canada, turned marketeer.

Capt. James T, Kirk is already poised to offer Whittington's kidney stones on E-Bay--Whittington's pound of flesh to the highest bidder. (I see, Eurotrash, that you've already beat me to the joke. Ya gotta be quick on this Blog.) Which is a good thing, if the money for Whittington's kidney stones, like Kirk's, also gets channeled to Habitat for Humanity. So all turns out well in the end.

You nautical types probably know how easy or difficult it is to tie a double Windsor knot?

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Why is it I get such a Jim Tenuto feeling about you. Some of the pieces fit--the background in comparative relgions, the background in money management, being well-read and well-versed. Even Cedar Key, Fla.

But the age of 66 is wrong, as is your location. Give up on San Diego and the Navy way of life there? Don't know whether or not Tenuto cooks with cats watching, though.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think it may just be a kind of dry run for the real Cheney mea culpa coming down the road.

Posted by: FCerabino | February 18, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Frank Cerabino is here? Hmmm..

His article *should* be titled:

Shooter Fesses Up to Hume about Scooter

A howl-every-few-seconds piece, whoever may have posted it.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Okay. The Cerabino piece is pretty funny.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 18, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Frank Cerabino is a name that is a blast from the past. There are a lot of funny newspaper columnists out there.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Frank Cerabino is a former colleague of mine at the Herald, a great man, ot only a terrific columnist but very funny in person, he's even done stand-up comedy. Whenever I somehow wind up covering a story in South Florida (say, a presidentially election dangling on the whim of some chads) I count myself lucky to run into Frank for the real dope about what's happening.

I have to go advance science now. I will attempt to post the Sunday column first.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 18, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Too many cooks, etc...The age is not quite right, but it also not the 500+ years previously alluded to. (I shaved off a few score in vanity -Aside to ET, I am still not old enough to have had a hand in the events at Potiers.)

Strangely enough, San Diego plays a minor role. I commuted from there to D.C. for a couple of years, but was never a full-time resident of Ft. Lauderdale's sister city.

Keep sleuthing. More will be revealed if Amo has any success in posting the digitalized and morphed Botticelli portrait: the transition from biretta to watchcap was particularly well done, with an artistic touch of fray to what was a new hat when the original was done.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The new kit is hilarious.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Bayou Self,
Cowtown linked at 5:39 to the Los Angeles Times Cheney/m. Moore satire and that was just about equally as funny as Frank Cerabino's Shooter/Scooter satire.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Whittington having died after the accident and replacing him with a double is perfectly reasonable. Even seen the movie "Dick"?

I maintain to this day that Dick Cheney has been dead for years and the man we see as 'vice president' is simply an impersonator.

Posted by: twbk | February 22, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

oh cheney cheney
cheney poo
you look so good
in deep doo doo
your aim so poor
evened the score
with buckshot in
his derri-ore
what really happened
were you so drunk
that Harry bird
looked like a skunk
your "explanation"
through your teeth
really stunk
so we thunk

Posted by: ohbaby | February 22, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ohbaby | February 22, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Cheney talking to Whittington: "I wish I could quit your donations."

I think bc had it right. Cheney was in the back seat with Whittington while all those Secret Service Men were looking on. Whittington tried to jilt him and Cheney, concerned that he wouldn't get his Swiss chocolate for Valentine's Day went "quail hunting" but accidently on purpose aimed quite too high. Then, Cheney, after seeing what he had done, used the opportunity to really "get into" Whittington's body leaving his body double to do the interview later, hence the 48+ hours delay...They had to rehearse the man before letting him speak in public.

Posted by: Kentucky | February 24, 2006 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Gabe, you may have gotten shot by birdshot, but I suggest you go get shot at a closer range, bird shot or not a shotgun still has a lot of fire power. I have a friend who shot of half of his entire left foot with his shotgun while turkey hunting... They said one of the BB's was impedded in the mans heart... The man is scared for life... to this day my friend still pops BB's out of the foot that he nearly lost completely... The man is dead, you do not get shot in the face with a shotgun at point blank range and live to tell of it...

Posted by: Nimsu | February 27, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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