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    What a beacon of liberty we are today! Makes you feel proud to be an American!

   Cindy Sheehan ("2,242 Dead: How Many More?") was hauled away, arrested, fingerprinted and jailed; Beverly Young ("Support the Troops") was escorted from her seat. Neither T-shirt was the slightest bit rabid, neither mentioned Bush, neither involved profanity or, worse, a pun. Perhaps the Capitol Police realized after arresting Sheehan that they'd made a horrible blunder (and instantly bolstered the notion that America has become a police state), and therefore did it a second time, nabbing a Republican, to make it look as though they were being deliberate and fair and non-partisan. Each side has its free speech rights abridged just once. (Or perhaps they were following the Woody Allen strategy that we cite many times here on the blog: If you stupidly fall out of the theater balcony, go back the next night and do it again, at exactly the same moment in the play. People will think you're an eccentric genius!)

    Given that the SOTU is entirely a symbolic affair at this point -- the result of collusion between the White House, Congress and the media to create a Major Political Event full of pageantry and drama -- the T-shirt fiasco will rightfully become part of the official history of the night. You could call it a sideshow, but isn't everything in this town? The capital of the United States manufactures words and gestures and symbols, and the War Against T-Shirts gives us a whole new set of images of a country in trouble. 

   Next on the Bush agenda: A National Dress Code.

    [By the way, yesterday in the Boodle I attempted to make a virtue out of a necessity, or, more precisely, a failing: I didn't watch the speech and subsequently suggested that this tactic, combined with a close reading of the text the next morning at the coffee shop, is actually the best strategy for grasping the central truth of the speech. By just reading the text, you're not distracted by the hullabaloo. No one appreciated this epistemological breakthrough. No one cared. No one cares a HOOT about what I write. I've become the Odd Man Out (OMO) on this blog.]

    [Cindy Sheehan writes that she was merely taking off her jacket after climbing three sets of stairs when a Capitol Police officer yelled "Protester" and roughly hustled her out of the House chamber. Here's her description of what happened:

  I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

   After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2,245, huh? I just got back from there."

   I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

   Here's blogger Glenn Greenwald:

   "[W]e apparently now have a country where the only ideas allowed to be expressed in our Nation's Capitol while the President is speaking are ones which glorify the Government and its Leader and where dissenting views are prohibited and will subject someone to arrest. Message cleansing of that sort belongs at a political rally in North Korea, not in Washington, DC."]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 2, 2006; 7:12 AM ET
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Next: Cat and Mouse (Updated With Boodling)


There are too tragic aspects to this fiasco-

1. It happened.

2. We are not surprised.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 2, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I love Lisa de Moraes! This from today's TV column-

"Though Bush clocked his biggest numbers on the Fox broadcast network, that's not to say he did such a hot job retaining the "Idol" audience. In its final half-hour, Tuesday's episode -- set in Las Vegas and featuring auditions of the above-mentioned Idol wannabes -- the singing competition logged 33 million viewers.
In his first half-hour of speechifying, Bush averaged about 9.5 million viewers on Fox. That's a lousy 29 percent retention rate, which would get him canceled faster than he could say "Emily's Reasons Why Not" if he were a TV series.
But, thankfully, he's not. And, by 9:30 p.m., which is how long it took another 3 million Fox viewers to realize the president wasn't just another bad audition for "American Idol," that network's contribution to the SOTU audience had plunged to 6.9 million viewers."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 2, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

When Ari Fleischer said Americans ought to be careful as to what they say, he wasn't kidding.

That was the day I took my own blog down.

Posted by: asdg | February 2, 2006 9:26 AM | Report abuse


You seem to parallel the president.
I noticed no one seemed to realy care about what he said aswel.
Maybe that's where your future lays. I'd vote for you if I could.

I actually do think that on "state" occasions it's normal that there is some sartorial(?)order.

Imagine what it would be like if everyone wore a slogan on a T shirt.
Where would one draw the line?
(My god, I'm a reactionary.)

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 2, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

One might say these incidents merely provided the second and third rings for the annual SOTU circus.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2006 9:49 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Joel, you're a Dad. You should be used to being ignored by your offspring and progeny. It doesn't mean we don't love you. We noted your epistemological breakthrough, and many of us didn't watch the SOTU either (yawn).

Now, can I borrow five bucks? Thanks, pops.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

T-shirts are speech, just as much as money is. The Bushies have a well documented loathing of off-message T-shirts at campaign events. The sordid stories included campaign officials impersonating law enforcement officers or vice-versa. No one will ever know the truth because the investigation underwent a very thorough rug sweeping.

This stuff was tolerated as an eccentric quirk of the very tightly controlled press events Dubya had as a candidate. Obviously that level of reaction and paranoia has pushed its nose further into the tent into his functioning as an elected government official.

Cindy Sheehan is acting disingenuously. You don't show a gun in the first act unless you intend to fire it in the third act. Of course she intended to disrupt the SOTU. Whether it would or wouldn't further cement her reputation as an unhinged nutcase now will never be known.

I thought the concept of "Free Speech Zones" at both conventions was Orwellian at its most absurd. If speech isn't free everywhere, it is free nowhere. Typical "Fire in crowded theater" and "fighting words" disclaimers apply.

Whether T-shirts are acceptable attire at an official function is an entirely different matter. You can regulate decorum, but not content. Where is the line drawn: t-shirts, buttons, lapel pins, silly hats?

All I know is that they will get my "Achenblog: We Click" t-shirt when they strip it off my cold dead body. Or sneak in and steal my laundry.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sheehan to Bush:

Cotton: The fabric for (y)our lies.

*O.K., so I play a leetle with ze old cotton marketing slogan*

Does this mean that when I go to see Pappy Bush speak here in town on April 4 at Trinity University, I can't wear my T-shirt from Crawford, Texas that reads "I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 in Crawford, Texas/Crawford Peace House" into the event at Laurie Auditorium, much less approach the mike with a question?

If I'm dragged away by campus police (I met them last night when an elderly woman with a cane fell and suffered a gash on the back of her head after connecting with a short limestone retaining wall. I felt I couldn't leave the scene until the ambulance came if I'm dragged away by campus police and yell "Cohen v. California", will it mean anything?

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Reader, any chance you can offer a "Achenblog" t-shirt wearer's Litigation Insurance Policy?

I may need some cash for my defense fund if I'm caught wearing my lime green t-shirt on the Hill...

Next: Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan film "Dubya and Me: I've Dialed 911 and I'm on 'Call Waiting'."


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Bless little Cohen's soul. Who knew Jay-Z and R. Kelly owed so much to a California hippie.

As for the upcoming fashion parade by the emperor, just walk-in and start singing:

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant

They'll think it's a movement and send you to Gitmo with all the other radicals.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"Making a virtue of necessity" is a great phrase, and it's also one of my hobbies. I always read the transcripts because I don't have tv, and I know I get more comprehension of what was said that way, especially because I don't hear the post-speech "commentary" where some network personality tells the viewers what they just heard and saw.

Now that I'm thinking about it, reading the transcript cuts out the middleman, and is an effective way for the speechwriter to communicate directly with me. I probably understand the content better than President Bush does.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of not paying attention:

I see that my not paying attention to "Commander in Chief" has forced it into hiatus:

Now I'm sorry I didn't skip the State of the Union address.

It really is about me!


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Lots of good stuff today in the Style section, including:

Kurtz on the Toles controversy:

Farhi on Mr. Tony as the prettiest belle at the ball:

And Hunter on Brokeback:

Posted by: Achenbach | February 2, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

What if someone had shown up wearing an "I'm with stupid" T-shirt?

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 2, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile ... So I'm driving into work this morning and I hear that Bush administration guys had a conference call where they explained that when the president gave out figures on cutting our oil use, he didn't exactly mean for us to take the numbers figuratively. Or something like that.

Oh, here's the latest from Mark Fiore ...

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 2, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

And Joel is acting like he owns the boodle again. He is supreme commander of everything above the word "Comments" but just a minor deity when he walks among us boodlers.

And contrary to his whining about none of us getting his point, I gave him a big wet sloppy one in this comment:

Many years I have used exactly the same rationalization to skip SOTUs, acceptance speeches and debates. The old story about radio listeners thinking Nixon beat Kennedy in the debate is one example of the shift in perception depending upon the source medium.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

bc, you wear that shirt at your own risk, if questioned I will disavow any knowledge of its origins and no warrantees are expressed or implied. Any other questions?

yellojkt has the right attitude: not insurance but righteousness is our best defense. Thank you, jkt, for bringing Arlo into the discussion. I for one will definitely be singing the Alice's Restaurant song when the time comes.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse


When was the last time Dan Froomkin wrote about the Denver Gang of Three? How did that "incident" ever end? Did it end?

As I recall, when Robert Kaiser and his Texas photog Lucian (Lucien?) Perkins went to cover the RNC in 2004 in NYC, there were a large number of protestors. Lucian photographed the high-society spoof in Central Park, but he didn't get any pictures (to the best of my recollection) of the large number of protestors held for an inordinate amount of time in a bus repair depot.

When I left Connecticut the first week of June, I could have chosen any route home. I chose to go to Harper's Ferry, Appomattox, and Vicksburg. At Harper's Ferry, the National Park Service had one wall in its building/exhibit devoted to the history of dissent that fascinated me: those individuals and groups who, throughout our nation's development, protested and whose causes, in retrospect, were just. Loomis descendant and abolitionist John Brown is there, as well as civil rights leaders, factory workers, women who wanted the right to vote, agricultural laborers. I can't recall if the exhibit depicted earlier acts of outrageous acts and everyday rebellions such as the Boston Tea Party of 1773, or, slightly later, Shay's Rebellion of 1786-'7.

Dissent is woven into the fabric of our republic.

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"...if you wanna end war and stuff, you gotta sing LOUD!"

Posted by: Reader (channeling Arlo) | February 2, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Joel's book "The Grand Idea" has an interesting secion on Harper's Ferry.

Plus, it's a nice place to do some river tubing during the heat of the summer, and it's only a 30 minute drive from my house.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Could the double standard in our national dialogue be articulated any more clearly than it was in the twin T-shirt incidents? After being removed for wearing the very same shirt, the wife of a Republican congressman receives an abject apology, while a Democratic mother of a fallen soldier is treated like a piece of dirt who should shut up and salute the emperor's gorgeous new suit.

I used to decry such polarizing talk, but anymore what I am learning is that the Republican party despises this country and all the liberties it once stood for.

Posted by: Mark | February 2, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Don and Mike, the self-proclaimed radio gods, have spent a good bit of time talking about the suitability of Tony Kornheiser as color commentator. Being fairly sports ambivilent and outside the broadcast range of WTK, I somehow miss his 80 hours a week of airtime.

My snap impression is that he is already spread pretty thin. When I do deign to open the WaPo sports section rather than immediately moving it to the recycling with the real estate ads, I don't find his little essays all that illuminating. When was the Golden Age of Tony and how long has he been coasting?

900K for pontificating while sitting on an ESPN sound stage instead of standing by a water cooler is good coin. Joel, you need to get a talk show on the Discovery Channel or something. Get ScienceTim as a regular guest. That'll buy some textbooks.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

re: Kornheiser, I don't read him, but I read the link ABOUT him, obedient boodler that I am. My comment: "Columnettes?" Nice work if you can get it, why don't you get on that waiting list, Joel.

My husband and I used to make jewelry. We would buy beaded necklaces, take them apart and out of one necklace we bought we would make 10 "designer" necklace/earring sets. Our motto (between ourselves): "A little less jewelry for your money."

The "Columnettes" idea reminded me of that.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

JA, on the Toles "controversy," did no one actually LOOK at the cartoon and see the name on the "soldier's" chart reads "U.S. Army"? And that therefore it's a direct satire of Rumsfeld's public comments? Jeezy-peezy, I'm an Army combat vet and the satire was plain to me.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

What is sad about this is that while most societies actually learn from their histories, we appear to just be getting more ignorant.

The Salem witch hysteria came to an abrupt halt when someone made the mistake of accusing the Governor's wife of witchcraft.

One might think then, that the accidental removal of an Imperial Senator's wife for merely wearing a humble tunic with words on it might cause the Empire to consider the low esteem in which it now holds the liberties of its class of serfs who wear the blue tunics.

One might reconsider, moreover, whether all the citizens of the Great Empire should be allowed into the Royal Liege's "Town Hall" forums (which are after all financed by the taxes of the vassals) -- not just those who have sworn allegiance to Caesar.

But instead, the whole thing seems to receive a collective shrug. None of the sovereign's subjects seem to realize where their civilization is going, bit by broken little bit.

Rome didn't die in a day either.

Posted by: Mark | February 2, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Are the Joint Chiefs tone deaf, humor impaired or preternaturally squeemish for professional warriors? It's a metaphor. They must not cover that literary device in English class at OCS.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Whew. I'm finally back! Good to see kurosawaguy, bc and the rest are still boodlin' away.

Here's that Morales link, btw:

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mark, you're making me laugh!

Judge Sewall's Apology : The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience
by Richard Francis, 2005

In this lively chronicle, historian Francis (Transcendental Utopias) offers a compelling portrait of the decline of Puritan ways in the late 17th century and the ascent of a secular spirit in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Although devout, Samuel Sewall (1652-1730) turned away from an early religious vocation to pursue a career in public office and married into the colony's aristocracy. He found himself catapulted into the limelight as one of nine judges who condemned the alleged witches of Salem in 1692. Francis calls this the turning point in Sewall's life and work. Never convinced that the condemned women were guilty, Sewall felt remorse; in 1697 he walked into a Boston church and offered a public apology, the only one of the three judges to do so.

As a result, he was rebuffed by his social circle. Yet, according to Francis, Sewall's courage is magnified by his taking a stand he knew would result in ostracism. In his later years, Sewall wrote tracts opposing the colonists' treatment of Indians and slaves.

Francis beautifully captures not only Sewall's personality and significance but also the shifting times in which he lived, when it was becoming no longer possible to "see the world as a simple allegorical struggle between... good and evil."

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Of course, the funny thing about the Joint Chiefs weighing in on the Toles cartoon, is that they have just brought that much more attention to Rumsfeld's comments. Maybe there is method in their madness? (I'm keeping Hope alive, though it be on a respirator and probably in a vegetative state. And no, I'm not talking about the same Hope that GWB was invoking in the SOTU.)

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 2, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Sewall sounds exactly like any other ex-administration person. Here's how it works:

1. Bush hires you because you lied on your resume.
2. You do a bad job because you are unqualified.
3. Because you do a bad job, you get to keep doing it until...
4. You accidentally zig while others are zagging.
5. Bush declares "I have great faith in you"
6. Bush cans you.
7. Out of office, you publically apologize for all the mistakes you made.
8. Hit the lecture circuit.

It would be refreshing to see a cabinet member admit a mistake *while in office*, instead of always toeing the line.

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Whether you like her cause or not, you have to admit that Cyndy scripted the perfect stunt to spread her anti-war message. I'm not sure if the dignity hit was worth it though.

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

the good people are staying their hand.

there are some people that have been elected that are not corrupt, why are all of them standing there like stunned jews in a concentration camp acting like they can't believe this is happening to them...

they are congress people, they're not all nazis and they can't all be that afraid...are they?

what can we do to help them regain their honesty and courage, send them money....

Posted by: you really have to wonder why.... | February 2, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

the dignity what...

and "gawd bless amerika" the dignity hit...

please what have you been eating, purple mushrooms?

Posted by: the dignity what? | February 2, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

32 posts to the godwin limit! That has to be a new record.

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the new world order phase II. I remember when I lived in America. I miss it very much and think fondly of it. Mind you, I haven't left Virginia; Virginia and all the other states are just in a different country than they were six years ago. It's profoundly sad to see what these people have done to America. May we see the error of our ways and stop them before the point of no return.

Posted by: bamagirlinVA | February 2, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

When you think of how the President controls his audiences for almost every speech he gives, it's amazing that he even permitted the Democrats to appear in the chamber!

I appreciate Cyndy Sheehan's actions. And why DIDN'T the police simply ask her to zip up her shirt?

Posted by: Anne | February 2, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Even if Tom Toles *were* "making light" of our veteran's war wounds, I don't get why that would be offensive. If you had asked me five years ago, I would have said sure. But I have learned otherwise in the past few years - thanks some wise guidance from my Republican betters.

Which brings me to another point. I'm concerned that, in following such a piecemeal approach to questioning the service, wounds and medals of our veterans - as they have with Max Cleland, John Kerry, Jack Murtha, etc. - the Republicans might be missing some combat veterans who need disparaging. Some who were not wounded as badly as others were, for instance, may be escaping needed denigration and minimization of their courage and sacrifice. It's simply inefficient to do this in such a onesy-twosy fashion.

Wouldn't it be more thorough for the Republican Congress to initiate a blanket investigation of every medal earned by Democrats who volunteered to serve our country in combat? That way they wouldn't miss anybody. Or perhaps there are other approaches to dealing with this urgent national crisis. I'm open to alternative suggestions.

I know we are all busy, but please do not let this issue slide off the radar screen. There may be an Over-appreciated Veteran living on your block. Your kids may even walk past his house on their way to school. Shouldn't we make sure his time in combat is examined for the over-rated sacrifice it might in truth be?

Posted by: Mark | February 2, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

what they are doing by

posturing about the nuclear threat of iran....

don't look at what they are doing to your country they are busy creating/manufacturing a threat to your lives from an external source...

please look over not look at how we are voting or not responding to corruption....

seperation of church and state- not
control of judicial system by legislative and executive branch

oath of office violated...and does congress mention this?

president has "war powers" gained by fraud, is congress revoking them? why not...

because they care about you, or because it allows them to get things done without over sight....

they just gave a subsidiary of halliburton $385 million dollars to establish detention campes in the united states....

who would they be detaining? you all?

Posted by: I guess what irks me is that they are trying to point you away from | February 2, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, based on a recent experience I had at the Capitol, this doesn't sound at all far fetched and seems in line with what the Captiol police at least 'believe' they are supposed to do.

I am in a singing group, The Phyllis Merritt Singers, which is a group of 40 to 50 year old adults who originally sang together in high school in the 1960's and 1970's. We are now a semi-professional choral arts group and this past December we embarked on a performing tour of Washington DC.

One of the activities was a tour (but not a performance stop) of the Capitol Building. At the end of the tour, the 50 or so of us on the tour were gathered in the crypt, the room immediately below the dome where you end up the tour. We asked our tour guide if we could sing a song, just for the experience of singing in the Capitol building. He said yes and so we whipped out "America The Beautiful" and sang two verses.

The rush and throng of people that immediately gathered around us was overwhelming! Mostly foreigners, all with cameras and camcorders clikcing away like mad.

Well we finished and as soon as the crowd dispersed, a Capitol police officer approached us and reprimanded us. "You know you're not supposed to be singing in here!" We asked why not? She replied, "Because political demonstrations are not allowed on the Capitol grounds!" We stood there dumb struck until one of our members said, "We'll we're sorry. We didn't realize that American The Beautiful constituted a 'political demonstration'. We hope it wasn't too controvesial for you."

She lowered her voice, looked around surupticiously and whispered, "I was going to stop you but you sounded so good I decided to let it go (wink wink)."

I also imagine that the prospect of having all those foreign visitors video and photograph a bunch of tuxedo and formal-clad citizens being reprimanded, cut-off midstream, and hustled out of the building for singing one of our nations greatest pieces of patriotic music didn't have much appeal for the officers on duty at the time.

So like I said, I'm not at all surprised by the "T-Shirt Gate" incident.

Posted by: gbchriste | February 2, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I mean we need to sound sonorous while we look away from the truth of a situation don't we?

can't get cheaper prescriptions from canada or mexico, because we need to protect our pharmaceutical companies? right

but we need to increase the amount the seniors pay on a fixed income by $30 dollars a month, which makes some medications inaccessible to them so we can
pay for your "containment of scarce resources by a military presence that has no idea that they are tools of the affluent that don't give a rats patooty about them?"

what do you do for a living beside spread manure and call it truth? have mercy I think I smell shinola or is that payola?

Posted by: that's extremely important isn't it? | February 2, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Off topic: Some bozo is suing Apple because iPods turned up too high can cause hearing loss and there is no warning on the packaging to that effect.

I guess I should sue Chevrolet because there's no warning on my car that I shouldn't run over my children with it.

Or maybe Maytag because they don't tell me to make sure my cat's not in the dryer before I turn it on.

Or perhaps the Consolidated Rope Company because the label doesn't say to not hang myself.

Posted by: TBG | February 2, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

was pointed at the sonorous and lovely tones of someone that wanted to investigate the legitimacy of medals as a way of pointing away from the stenchof the current congress and administration...

I'd like to investigate your connections with corruption......with a statement like that.

Posted by: that's extremely important.... | February 2, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Halliburton Detention Camps For Political Subversives

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison | February 1 2006

In another shining example of modern day corporate fascism, it was announced recently that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency.

Posted by: look at this, this is how they feel about dissent... | February 2, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

swift boats....

I'd like to put one where the son don't shine.

Posted by: sorry to be so depressing....the medal thing kinda irked me..... | February 2, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

i believe that the comment on investigating medals was done in the style of that wonderful literary device, satire. at the very least, it was certainly sarcasm.

as far as cindy sheehan and beverly young are concerned, who wears t-shirts to an event like that? at least as a matter of respect to one's surroundings, you would think slightly nicer attire would be in order. which is not to say that i don't think the whole situation was bunk...sheehan was trying to make a statement, but she certainly didn't go out of her way to make it heard or seen.

bye-bye, free speech...

Posted by: satirical song and dance | February 2, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The First Amendment's guarantee that "the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" appears to have been abrogated by this Administration. The Democrats and the media have quietly stood by and assented to this power grab. Look to the "Denver 3" and their being excluded from a presidential speech because they had a "No blood for oil" bumpersticker on their car. This event demonstrates that the Administration scrutinizes everyone who would attend any presidential event. Now fast forward to the NSA domestic spying program - again not objected to by Democrats when it was enactged.
Wake up, fellow Americans. Your freedoms are being stolen in the name of protecting freedom!

Posted by: muleman | February 2, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

the smell gives the clue....

that is what you were talking about isn't it....brown shirtin it?

I think if you viewed them as pre-french revolution royals that you'd understand better....the only difference being the attention to disinformation while they legitimize their work by changing the constitution....nullifyin it.

Posted by: at least you can tell how they are dying congressional shirts brown... | February 2, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

reading too quickly, remembered the murtha thing from a couple of weeks ago...

I've been reading a couple of groups where disinformants come in and insert bs to try and sway away from points...and did a kneejerk.

Posted by: you're right my apologies about the medal thing. | February 2, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The only thing more pathetic than Cindy Sheehan being manipulated for the amusement of the I-HATE-BUSH crowd is the constant "where has the America that I've known and loved gone?" B.S. coming from the losers on this BLOG.

Please take a moment to say something that doesn't STINK!!!!!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 2, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Eating purple mushrooms? Yes plenty of them. They are sprouting up everywhere from all the bull thats been spewed on Capital Hill. Not very potent though.

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Are you the REAL Lonemule? or just The Lonemule? We don't want to blog w anyone who is not known to us.

Posted by: omnigasm | February 2, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

as of today Cindy Sheehan is MY mom

Posted by: johannesrolf | February 2, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

in what sense, huh, was an umbilical connected, or what? mindmeld? extrahermatiformtelephathy? Tell us, please.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the medals, yes, that was my attempt at satire. I got so appalled yesterday reading about the latest swipe at Murtha that I sat down and wrote this below. I hope somebody else finds it as cathartic as I did. [Kinda sad how hard it's gotten to tell reality from satire recently.]

Veterans Group Questions Cleland's Wounds

Washington (AP) A self-described nonpartisan group of Vietnam veterans called the Georgia Organization of Patriots has recently begun airing TV ads questioning the authenticity of former Senator Max Cleland's war wounds. Cleland, whose Senate biography stated that he lost three limbs while serving in Vietnam, has repeatedly denied the group's accusations that he faked the lost limbs in order to gain an honorable discharge.

Cleland failed in his 2002 re-election bid amid charges by Republicans that he was not committed to defending the country. At the time the Senate was embroiled in a heated debate over the particulars of the new Department of Homeland Security. It is unclear why the group airing the ads is renewing the attack on Cleland now, when he is no longer in office. A spokesman for Cleland suggested it "might be an attempt to distract Georgians from questions they have about the president's reasons for invading Iraq, and the poor planning for the occupation."

The group's leader, Sully Weislander, says the organization is unconnected with any party, that its motives are nonpolitical, and the acronym purely coincidental. He maintains that they have proof the former senator faked not only the wounds he reported suffering but the amputations that followed.

"We're only trying to set the record straight for the public. We have plenty of evidence on our website for anyone to see", Weislander said. "We've challenged the senator to appear unclothed on live TV so that the public can decide once and for all whether those limbs are really missing. He always refuses, which I think speaks for itself."

"I don't know what to say", Cleland responded Friday when contacted at his home in Lithonia, Georgia. "I-- I just don't know how they can keep saying I didn't lose those limbs, when anyone can see they're no longer with me. I had them when I went there, and I came back without them. I've had the men who served with me vouch that I lost them there, and that's about all I can do. The news media keeps playing their ads, and it becomes character assassination by slow drip."

John Yossarian, a former platoon mate of Cleland's, concurs. "I was there. He clearly had those limbs when he arrived, and lost them in Vietnam."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was tortured while held prisoner of war in Vietnam, has declined to comment on the controversy. McCain is widely believed to be eyeing the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

The group said that they are "well funded" and plan to continue the ads "until the truth is out there."

Posted by: Mark | February 2, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

hindsight alone is not wisdom.and second
guessing is not a strategy. bush2 sotu 2006

...having stated this bush2 should perhaps
be reminded that the iraq invasion was on
his timetable,the prewar debate and outcome
very much shaped by his WH and his implied
urgency and control of known question marks
in policy formation...
...using terms such as "mushroom clouds"
or suggesting that saddam and iraq were
involved in the 9/11 attacks it is clear
enough that the bush2 WH was wandering far
into the wilderness of unknowns and simple
not so untruths...
...perhaps greater measures of foresight
and better first guessing with a more
anchored sense of what the timeline really
was,what was known fact and what was only
shadow or mirage would have allowed a more
measured stepping of going into iraq... now to voice thinly veiled scorn or
mockingly smear hindsight and the second,
third or fourth opinion seems at best a
very bad reading of the record and who was
driving the decision making speed,urgency
and point of destination in 2002 and early
it is the bush2 WH that has more that once
done the hindsight revising over iraq...
it is the bush2 WH that has demonstrated
well enough that guessing was a large part
of the prewar runup to invading iraq...
...that is on record as being fact...this
is the bush2 WH's it is indeed
a slippery slope to climb for bush2 to
want to push aside hindsight and others
inquiry and difference of view as being
negative...having steered into what clearly
enough were poorly charted waters that were
his choice to navigate in first place he
should understand he is deserving very much
of hindsight and second,third or fourth
question marks...

Posted by: an american in siam... | February 2, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I called Congressman Young's office yesterday and said I supported his wife's right to free speech as well as Cindy Sheehan, and the interns were very nice. When I read Congressman Young's comments this morning that he agreed with the Arrest of Cindy Sheehan because he didn't agree with what she had to say, I called his office back and told them the Congressman has failed to uphold his oath to God to Protect and Defend the US Constitution from enemies foreign AND Domestic, he is defending Tyranny instead of freedom, then I told them the Congressman can go to hell! Damn Politcos!

Posted by: Dubya Dubya 3 | February 2, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, Congressman Young spit on the memory of the men who fought and died for this country. They sacrificed to win freedom for all - not just Republican congressmen's wives.

Are there any Republicans left who do not despise what this country stands for? If so, I sure wish they would speak up and apologize for their fellow party members who seem to think this country's ideals are disposable.

Posted by: Mark | February 2, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Joint Chiefs of Staff are getting regular briefings from our dear friend, Mr. Rove. They are very apt pupils.

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

I'm lucky that I get to hear Mr. Tony once in awhile. I like like sports and Kornheiser's grumpy old self.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of sports, bc, on "Inside the NFL" on HBO last night, Sports Illustrated's Peter King predicted Daniel Snyder would be picking up...wait for it...Terrell Owens next season. Jeez, I can think of nothing worse. If it happens, Santana Moss will go ballistic-- and I'll hold his coat while he does so. What a horrible move that would be.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

wonder why this blog got pulled from the front of the Washington Post and replaced with Early Warning...

feel the chill of inspection by the head of "we care about you" wink, wink, nudge nudge.

as he destroys what you care about....truth, freedom, liberty, health, wealth, personal happiness, a country to be proud of.

see you in campe...

ahm goin out and buy some arabian stallions....opening up some blm land in wyoming to mah friends...heh heh heh...

Posted by: I can feel bush reading this.... | February 2, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Good piece on John Danforth castigating the Republican Christian Conservss at

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

Actually, Kornheiser called the 'T.O. to the Washington NFL Franchise' move on the air before the end of the regular season, 'mudge.

Joel may be able to confirm that Mr. Tony is strutting around like Mick Jagger during a Keith Richards solo (or a peacock, your choice) at the prospect of being right for once.

An example of TK being tragically wrong: the OBC hizzownself, Steve "I'm learinin' as I go" Spurrier.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

On a related note: we finally got our Augmented Reality system in place over at the 10th circle to review the SOTU.

See for yourself:


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "learnin'".



PS Joel - congrats on getting the "next page" thing figured out.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I read that Danforth article too, and yeah!

In other sections of the newspaper Metro, by Marc Fisher an excerpt:

The Olympic team is not a wholly original idea. Back when the Rev. Jesse Jackson was the city's shadow senator, the toothless job that exists to lobby for voting rights, he talked about seeking a D.C. team. But someone must have turned on a camera in some other state; Jackson hurried off, and the idea got lost.

Just love that last sentence.

Then there's this in the District section crime report under sexual assault:

NEWTON ST, 12:01 a.m. Jan. 3. A man and a 15-year old gril had sex, and a child was concieved.

All I can say is that is the probably the strangest sentence I've ever read in a crime report.

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

DAMN SCC: gril => girl.
concieved => conceived.

time for a walk...

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Mark, your sardonic satire on swift boat via Cleland is worthy of a Swift's modest proposal award nomination. Nice work is rewarded with guffaws. You got one.

Loomis, if John Brown was a "Loomis descendent" may I safely presume you mean a Loomis antecedent of Brown, and of Loomis instant?

Reader, what is the geographic region of the library you haunt in FL? I'm trying to work up a quartet for a porching with Amo. We are respectively Levy and Alachua counties.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Shiloh, as I said earlier, my home is Pennsylvania to your Maine. I'm in Miami Herald territory.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Reader, Hiassen country. Broward, from whence Carl hails, was once my home county, but it outgrew me. You would have made a good string instrument to a porch quartet.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If common/unisex dress codes were good enough for Orwell and Mao, then, hey, what's the argument?

Posted by: On the plantation | February 2, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, Cindy Sheehan is just the person we need as the "spokesman" for the anti-Bush point of view. Along with the jokers we have as "leaders" in Congress, weirdo Reid and Bozo Pelosi, the Democrats are sure to remain the political underclass no matter how much Bush and congressional Republicans screw up.

Posted by: Eric | February 2, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

That's right, Carl is still here, lives in Miami-Dade County, I believe, or maybe even Monroe, way south. Dave Barry still lives here, too. Just saying, not EVERYBODY cool from the Herald moved to DC to work at the Post.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering with all the comments being made about the Bush presidency, the war, the folks against the war (Cindy S), how many of you actually voted for Mr. Bush? I'm thinking most of you did, but hey, what do I know? And now you get to complain.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 2, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Them's fightin' words, Miss Cassandra. Vote for Bush? Not me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I would argue NOBODY cool deserted the Tropic for WaPo. Florida kept Barry and Hiassen and we get Joel and Weingraten. Not exactly household names. BTW, both Dave and Carl seem a little pre-occupied with gambling cruise boats in their latest books. They must have lost their advances at the blackjack table and decided to take it out on the gaming industry.

"Flush" is hilarious and definitely not just for kids.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

silly, silly cassandra. but you already know what i'm going to say in advance, right?

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Sheehan - The same thing happened last summer in Britain. A Labour Party member at the annual conference got up to protest Blair and Iraq. He was hauled off by the police, using the new draconian "anti-terror" law. Thus proving, on TV, that laws ostensibly for use against terrorists will indeed be used to crush political dissent.

Unfortunately for Blair and the cops, they racked up a PR disaster when it emerged that the 87-year-old man was a former German Jew and that the last time he'd been hauled off by the cops under anti-terror laws was in Germany in 1935, for protesting against Adolf Hitler. He called the parallel 'frightening'.

Way to 'defend freedom', Tony and GW!

Posted by: OD | February 2, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse


I prefer wierdo Reid and Bozo Pelosi to the infestation of Crafty DeLay, now self-exterminated, and the malpractice of Frightening Dr. Frist, who appears to be fashioning a Frankenstein monster.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you misjudge us. The only Bush supporters here are Lonemule and Kane.

OK, I exaggerate. They can speak for themselves, but I work hard in my family to rally the votes for the democrats--my husband likes to vote third party--Nader, Kucinich--last election I argued for months and finally talked him into voting for Kerry. And when Bush won anyway, he swore, "Never again!" so next time he probably won't vote at all.

It might sound facetious, but I'm dead serious: I consider it my Christian duty to vote for the party most likely to help the poor and otherwise helpless--handicapped, orphans, widows, elderly, etc.--and that is not the Republicans.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse


Get back! Next you'll say Tom Shroder is not a rock star, either. Blasphemy. Don't let Tom fan hear you talking this way.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree, yellojkt.

My two oldest kids, my wife and I all read "Flush". It's a - ahem - hoot.

BTW, I don't have the cinematic release date for "Hoot" (this year is all I know), but I see that Hiaasen and Jimmy Buffett (who has an acting role as the marine biology teacher) co-produced it. I think Carl learned his lesson by being hands-off on "Striptease".


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I should have added to yellojkt that I was kind of hoping that the grandfather in "Flush" was going to wear a flowered shower cap.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I saw a trailer for "Hoot" and it looked dead-on faithful. Let's hope it's funnier than "Big Trouble" which despite being just like the book, lacked enough zing and zaniness to make it work.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Heck fire, goldarn, consarned, dad blast it, shoot fire, bull pucky, hell's bells, son of a buck, dad blamed, fiddlesticks--I didn't even vote for Bush as gubberner, Cassandra.

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Not I, Cassandra. Not I.

Florida Resident and Visitor Alert: Senators Bill Nelson (D) and Martinez (R) have teamed up to introduce S.2239, a platform (pun intended) to permanently protect the Florida coast from drilling for oil within certain distances. It deserves bipartisan support as a beachhead (!) in the war on environmental degradation. Disclaimer: This posting is not a paid K-street lobbying effort.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

bc, does the grandfather also have one eye and wear an orange jumpsuit? Skink is my favorite Hiaasen character by far.

Joel and Gene not cool? yellojkt, you're pushing the edge of the envelope here. (But we know you're just being provocative).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how many times I've e-mailed Cousin George and told him NOT to send The REAL Lone Elephant Karl over here to play with us in the guise of The Lone Mule.

Heck fire, goldarn, consarned, dad blast it, shoot fire, bull pucky, hell's bells, son of a buck, dad blamed, fiddlesticks--you're getting me a-goin' to the point I could outcuss a veteran muleskinner on his best day.

(Bull whackers, men who drove oxen teams in the early days of freighting, and mule skinners were known to be among the most proficient cussers in the world, next to sailors, of course.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! Loomis said "consarned" and "bull pucky." I think you got her all riled up there, Cassandra.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

No, mudge, but the grandpa does have a very nice smile...

Ha, yellojkt - I wonder who would take more umbrage with your 4:12 comment: Hiaasen, or Dave Barry?


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Gene is brilliant, a WaPo jewel. Joel, the OMO here, is beginning to cast a shadow as he polishes his diamond in the rough. Carl is a colorful, semi-precious gem, indigenous to coral climes and most appreciated there. Are all columnists rolling stones?

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I still have the "Let's not elect him in '04 either" bumpersticker on my car.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 2, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's talk cool.

Dave Barry has won a Pulitzer Prize, written over 30 books, and has a side band that includes Stephen King and Amy Tan.

Carl Hiaasen has over a dozen books, one of which was made into a very bad movie starring Burt Reynolds and Demi Moore's breast implants. He has cowritten songs with Warren Zevon and appears on a Jimmy Buffet album.

Gene Weingarten has written two books, one about being a hypochondriac. His biggest claim to fame is being the ex-boss of Barry and Hiaasen. Despite have a syndicated column, the most newspapers he has ever been in was when Ask Amy printed his letter about his extensive research into visible panty lines.

Joel doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry and writes a blog that frequently discusses planetary atmospheres.

Whose table are all the cool kids going to sit at? You make the call.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, yellojkt are you saying we're not the cool kids?

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 2, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

No Wikipedia entry? I am deeply abashed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra and ABJ: I still have my bumper sticker and a desk card from THE NATION magazine in front of me as a daily reminder. Quoting The Nation: "George Bush is a Liar." During the first GWB campaign I routinely posted a Bush quote from TIME magazine: "There ought to be limits to freedom of speech." Let me repeat, Cassandra, Not I.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Despite having a syndicated column, ..."

And I work on the assumption that everyone here is cooler than I am.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Robinson, not Weingarten, is the jewel at WaPo. Are we mixing our Genes, yellowjkt?

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I did NOT vote for Bush.

Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker I'd love to have:


Posted by: Slyness | February 2, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

i was with everyone else not watching the sotus - i did however watch american idol and changed the channel immediately after it was over. i just can't watch bush speak anymore...

as for the t-shirt gate - whoah! this whole thing is getting so outta hand and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it!

Posted by: mo | February 2, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Bingo, CowTown, about the Joint Chief's response to Toles. Immediately after reading it this morning I thought I caught a whiff of Rove's stench.

Posted by: james | February 2, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I can't even imagine what makes you think that most of us voted for him. Even if he were the only one on the ballot, I'd write in Mickey Mouse before checking the W box.

Posted by: Pixel | February 2, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra: I've posted on various occasions that there are many elements of the President's charactor I admire. I'm sure he's a nice guy. I think his wife is a peach. His daughters are cute and he has a nice dog, too. But, no, I've never voted for him.

Posted by: CowTown | February 2, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I think message T-shirts are as silly as message bumper stickers. If your politics, religion, or philisophical underpinnings can be reduced down to catchy slogan, you've got problems. Don't advertise your opinions. Live them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

i'm finding this whole "american becoming a police state" thing ironic. being in dc and working for the government, i've always had to watch my p's and q's with clearances, et al... my life has had to become an open book so i guess in a way i'm used to a certain loss of "freedom" - i would hazard a guess that there are many other boodlers in the same boat (working in dc with or around the government). it's weird to see it happen to everyone...

Posted by: mo | February 2, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Cow Town here. There is much to admire. But I've never voted for him...because it would be illegal for me to do so, being Canadian and all.

Pixel, its illegal to spoil a ballot intentionally here. A crime with a jail term attahced. Considering we have sealed ballot boxes and no one looks at the stub, I'm not quite sure how they would know who did it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Quotes, on the other hand, Padouk, are more than catchy slogans. They are glimpses into the mind and soul and heart of the sayer. Voting is living them.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel has no Wikipedia entry? Surely someone here could fix that? It just seems so wrong.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Gene Weingarten is the Miami Tropic alumnus and a terrific writer, but no Rock Star. And someone should write Joel a Wikipedia entry.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Wikipedia means nothing, people.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 2, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Do not tempt me dr Fell. A Wikipedia entry could be hell.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse


help me create it!

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Sheehan seems a bit inclined to exaggeration. All the pictures I have seen (and there are a whole series) show her being guided out by one arm on hers. Both her arms are in front of her, one holding her jacket.

Why doesn't the WP publish the photos?

Posted by: John Lederer | February 2, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh - your point about quotes is well taken. A quote can intrigue you enough to read more about what the person quoted had to say. A good quote, even on a t-shirt, can be the beginning of an intellectual voyage. My objection is to the mindset where the contents of a t-shirt represents the end of the thought process, not the beginning.
My other objection is when a message t-shirt or bumper sticker is just used to pick a fight or say "up yours." Little good can come of this.
Joel is still a kid. A mere child actually. He still has many years to become a legend. And then we can say that he owes it all to the knowledge he received from this blog.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2006 6:10 PM | Report abuse

But we need personal details about the OMO, so if anyone knows any (birthdate, height, IQ) please edit the wikipedia page or better yet, post them here for all to see!

Posted by: edward | February 2, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse


You SO right about having an open-book life in and around D.C.

*looking over my shoulder*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

mo - you have no idea where some of us work.....and I wanna keep it that way!

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Sheehan is a great american hero whose courage should be an inspiration to us all.
I love you Cindy.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 2, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love Beverly Young's "They insult our troops" outcry. Can it get any shallower?

This just demands a bumper sticker:

"I insult your troops!!!"

Would look great on an X-Wing fighter attacking the Death Star, too.

Posted by: El Tonno | February 2, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Unlike some of you, and apparently most of America, I don't think GWB is a "nice guy."

I think he is the jerk we all disliked in high school. Remember the one who slouched in his seat and looked around to his minions for validation every time he said something he thought was clever? He perfected it in college.

He failed at one business after another. He drank and did drugs and broke the law. He joined the National Guard to avoid going to war (can't do that now, can you?) and then even shurked that duty.

I also seriously doubt that the man has any religious beliefs. I think he found a way to appeal to a big group of people. "Play the 'born again' role and they'll eat it up," he was told.

I think he is a very bad person. I certainly didn't vote for him. I don't watch him on TV. I can't listen to him on the radio. I'm ashamed he is my president.

I don't think he should be impeached. I would rather see his popularity dwindle and his party lose the old-fashioned way: vote 'em out!

We need to show the world that most Americans won't put up with him and his kind. We have the world's best way to get the government we need and deserve and we need to remember that and act on it. Stop complaining and VOTE!

Posted by: TBG | February 2, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

When Nixon put all the protester in jail (actually I think they put them in a big fenced in area) during an anti-vietnam war rally in DC, you know what really shook him up? All the DC area lawyers that went down there on their own time for free to get the protesters out.
Alas today, all we care about is money. You all are up to your necks in debt so you have no choice. Yes, they outlawed involuntary servitude but not voluntary.
So you're afraid to express your opinions??
I thought this was America.

A lot of new independent politians are running and there is a really good shot at a big win here, i.e., the CLEAN SWEEP MOVEMENT IN THE GREAT COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA were I was born and raised. I like that.
Politians everywhere are living in their own little bubble reality and have lost total touch with reality if they ever had it in the first place. I am hopefully this movement will catch on the CLEAN SWEEP MOVEMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA!! and that many new and earnst young people will win who express the hopes and needs of the people. If the new politians really care about the people, they will see that our problems are addressed:

Just for starters.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 2, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, we agree more than disagree. But the t-shirts and bumper stickers are nothing more to me than the broadsides that advertised the Federalist Papers, gained coin for them and made us what we are (were). The collective Publius chose anonymity for safety, as the blog allows, but we do live in a different time, and as mentors to Joel, have a responsibility to intellectual freedom, whether expressed in t-shirts, print or broadcast sound bites. And finally, 2,242 dead, is not an end, but an interim message, not an end mindset, but the pathos of heart and soul, of a woman bereft and courageous.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 6:42 PM | Report abuse

hi, just thought i would tell you that i read the text of the SOTU yesterday morning too. My friends tell me that all i missed the disapproving looks of the democrats, and the overly zealous applause of the republicans.

Posted by: jenny | February 2, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I, too, only read the SOTU address the following morning. And have done so since Bush, Sr. took office. Though now I also look forward to the recap by The Daily Show ;)

Seriously - I've done it for years. It becomes a bit more palatable that way.

Posted by: chasmosaur | February 2, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

When I was 15 I worked for Bill Bradley in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary. One day I went to a Bush rally just for kicks with some UAW people. I made a shirt that said "Lesbians for Bush" (did you catch that?)... and was promptly removed from the cafeteria of a nice New Hampshire elementary school where the rally was being held. I thought it was hysterical at the time; apparently the men in black suits didn't find it quite so funny :)

Posted by: Ashley Westerman | February 2, 2006 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Ashley, can we see some ID, please? We card in here. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Impeach Bush,

The "big fenced-in area" where Nixon put protesters was RFK Stadium. The courts were not impressed.

Posted by: pj | February 2, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Ashley, it may not have been so much the SS men in black or Bushies that objected, but the 'rents who cast a protective shield over discovery by their children, preserving belief in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, allowing them the joy of growing in the niceties of childhood. But, if no children were present, it seems excessive censorship of double entendre, consistent with the Bush quote from TIME: "There ought to be limits to freedom of speech." Presumably, Cheney was not also present at the event, or had his other face turned away.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I must retreat, I fear, to E-Prime. I do not find "message" T-shirts or bumper stickers pursuasive. I find them confrontational and intrusive. If others find them inspirational, then more power too them. I'm only expressing my personal interpetation.
Yes Ashley's T-shirt sounds funny, but I would also have a hissy fit if I caught my daughter wearing one....

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where did Afan go?

Posted by: melvin/a | February 2, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

One of the many byproducts of the 60's is the utter inability of the Left to comprehend tastelessness. Rude is better, to hell with House rules, Abby and Jerry would have done it. Exploiting a limbless soldier is bizarrely construed as acting on his behalf; imagine if you were one of these guys reading that at Walter Read.

Well, you lost to Nixon then and you're losing now. You are Losers, but your smug self-aggrandizing satisfaction prevents you from seeing it. You'll drag the Democrats down in the process. Nice going.

Posted by: Jersey Independent | February 2, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lonemule,

Where the hell did my country go?

Posted by: Tazmodious | February 2, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse


Voltaire (attributed) said "I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." Madison avenue, Rove and other strategic and tactical wordsmiths have long deduced that it not necessarily what you say, but how succinctly you say it (6 words or less on a billboard), how frequently you say it, or associate it with what you want the consumer to believe. T-shirts and bumper stickers lack the persuasiveness of orchestrated sound bites, well-funded political campaigns or paid advertising because they lack the repetition and consistency of message. They are not meant to be persuasive, but thought provoking.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure - I am not politically active, nor do I identify with either party much these days.

It's worth pointing out that both arrests were made citing a law that has been around since at least 1973, according to Westlaw. The prohibition against political demonstrations at the Capitol is hardly something that one can blame our current president for. In 1973 he was in two places at once - the Air National Guard and working political campaigns, and I doubt he could have managed this particular bit of legislation at the same time.

Also, the law is clearly aimed against political speech rather than just T-shirts. This is likely why the Republican got the apology (entirely properly so) and Mrs. Sheehan did not (she wasn't just "wearing a t-shirt").

The law seems to have been fairly applied. If you don't like that law, just imagine the next SOTU, well-attended by the people on the other side of your pet cause.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes - the citation is DC Code § 10-503.16. - Unlawful conduct.

Posted by: Reader | February 2, 2006 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Reader will recognize Dicken's Oliver Twist: "If the law supposes that" said Mr. Bumble,..."the law is a ass - a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience - by experience."

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, Thomas Jefferson: "A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless ONE of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not THE HIGHEST. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country, when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means." (emphasis in original)

Posted by: Shiloh | February 2, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I apologize to those that I have insulted by saying they voted for Mr. Bush, when they didn't.

Pixel, I laughed so hard at your comment, my side is still hurting, Mickey Mouse.
I have a doctor's app. tomorrow, but I'm still laughing, and it hurts so bad.
I just threw that out there, and I suppose in a way, my thinking was that some perhaps did vote for Mr. Bush, following the party line.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 2, 2006 9:52 PM | Report abuse

This is the first year I've read the transcript rather than watching the SOTU live-- practical reasons; I left America when I could no longer stomach what it had become, and where I am now the speech is not broadcast. I must say the transcript way is better; it's less sickening than watching the barely-suppressed smirks and hearing the self-deluded applause.

I'm glad more truth about the Sheehan incident has come out. Congressman Young's viewpoint is unsurprisingly sickening-- "I'm for free speech as long as it's speech I AGREE WITH"-- but once again it's the *reporting* of the incident with which I take issue, being more subtil and insidious an evil. Specifically, the lack of objectivity in journalism. So many articles have described the two shirts as if their slogans, in themselves, opposed each other (USA Today actually used the word "opposite"). Shame on the article-writers for contributing to the misconception that a wish for troops to stop dying is "the opposite" of supporting said troops.

And then there's the morbid question of whether the number on Sheehan's shirt is obsolete yet, but I guess we all know the answer to that one. If it's not already, it will be soon.

Posted by: Travis | February 2, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse


I never voted for either G. Bush, nor would I vote for a third Bush. I can't stand to watch the current Pres. but did listen to the SOTU on the radio. I thought he sounded dispirited and heard nothing new. What he didn't say was more significant than what he did.

Since I am of an older generation, I think that no one should wear informal attire such as a "T-Shirt" to an event in the Halls of Congress, but that is just an old-fashioned opinion. I know people wear blue jeans to church and everywhere else these days but yes, perhaps we should have a "dress code" in certain venues. That is not to say one couldn't have a slogan on one's blouse or button-down shirt. I support freedom of speech everywhere. The idea that one can't go to an event where the POTUS is speaking if one doesn't agree with his views is bad policy.

Speaking of Wikipedia as some were doing - I heard on NPR (or somewhere) that some congressional aides and offices were being shut out from posting to the site after they were found to be altering the entries for their congresspersons - deleting entries like divorces and other not so complementary info.

There were clouds in this area of the midwest today so I don't think our groundhog saw his shadow but I guess he did in PA. We had the second warmest January on record (the first was in 1933)so even if we have six more weeks of winter, it can't be all bad. I am beginning to get historical like L.Loomis so I better quit.

I always pay attention to what you say, Joel, so for me you are not an OMO. What is the Boodle without the Kit?


Posted by: boondocklurker | February 2, 2006 10:36 PM | Report abuse

bdl, thanks for mentioning Groundhog Day, as I was about to veer off topic (again!) to thank Reader for reminding me about it (she blogged about Groundhog Day Eve). I grew up near Punxsutawney, and love the movie. The WaPo had a nice article:
Words to watch for - borough, burg, and Punxy - a nickname for the town which I had all but forgotten.

And my current town is profiled too:
Look for "interloper".

I may as well mention the Tai Shan Timeline, a fine video retrospective of cuteness, linked on today's WaPo front page.

And Stephen Hunter's review of Brokeback Mountain is very good. I recommend seeing the movie to one and all - to me, it wasn't about homosexuality as much as about loneliness, and people's worth, and as Hunter says, a terrible sadness. He writes about the symbolism that I missed completely, but I guess I felt in its power and beauty and desolation. As I mentioned many kaboodles ago, I was sobbing at the end, and it has stayed with me. I'm glad it's getting Oscar recognition - it's a wonderful, terrible film.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 2, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

And just for the record, I could not, would not, did not, will not vote for Bush.

I turned on the Spanish channel for the SOTU, while I was almost out of earshot catching up on the boodle, but they didn't broadcast it.

Not quite sure what to make of the Cindy Sheehan incident - seems like she got more publicity than anything she might have been thinking about doing during the speech, so it probably worked out ok. But I thought her words about her reaction at the police station were quite poignant and sad. If Bush had any decency, he would just talk with her, already.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 2, 2006 11:10 PM | Report abuse

And come on, remember the Boodle Porching Hour on Feb 7! All you local boodlers should go - we out-of-towners depend on you! Hope it's a great one - mojitos all around on me!

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 2, 2006 11:16 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, I watched the Tai Shan timeline, too. He is so cute, climbing the rocks and playing with his ball. I'd love to go see him the Wash. zoo. When I was young we used to visit the baby pandas at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. I have a pinup of Tai Shan near my computer. Truly a great Archenmascot.

I also give a cheer for the bph!


Posted by: boondocklurker | February 3, 2006 1:18 AM | Report abuse

To change the subject somewhat:

I suppose the numbers are available somewhere: for one year, take all the passenger vehicles manufactured by (Ford,GM,Chrysler),(Toyota,Nissan,Mazda)and(what other groups?), and compute for each group, how many people-miles did they perform total, and how many gallons of gas did they consume total. A definition of "passenger vehicle" might be those that don't have commercial license plates. I'd like to see that.

Posted by: jg | February 3, 2006 1:47 AM | Report abuse

T-shirts are for little boys & girls, not for adults who mean to be taken seriously.

American car-makers have done exactly what I feared they would do, which is exactly what they did the LAST time gas prices started to become unstable, which is to ignore the inevitable market swing. Why can't I find the domestic equivalent of the Mazda Miata (sporty, but relatively cheap & dependable), or whatever is today's least overpriced hybrid? Why aren't these things being offered as prizes on the french (excuse me, "freedom") fries at McDonalds?

Posted by: Bob S. | February 3, 2006 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Mazda Miatas are for little girls and boys, not for adults who mean to be taken seriously. So are blogs, for that matter.

Posted by: Travis | February 3, 2006 4:47 AM | Report abuse

To refocus our thoughts, please make this a day to pray for our Presidente to turn over a new leaf.

Posted by: Vulvix | February 3, 2006 6:07 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Inpeach Bush | February 3, 2006 6:36 AM | Report abuse

That is a great start on the Wikipedia entry, funny and accurate, but it needs some polish. Wiki'ing is a highly specialized skill that takes some honing. Take a look at Gene Weingarten's
which is organized into Bibliography and External links. Surely someone has more time on their hands than me. I hope Joel appreciates all this devotion on the part of his minions.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2006 8:00 AM | Report abuse

General clarification:

8:49:49 and 8:53:01 were not by "South Florida" Reader...

I am really attached to being "Reader" now and hesitate to give it up, but I admit that it is generic and it's reasonable that someone else would want to use it too.

So I believe I'll go back to my original name, which actually is my name and is uncommon enough that the odds are a million to one anybody else would have a reason to use it.

Posted by: Reader AKA kbertocci | February 3, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse


It'd be nice if our Boodlenames were somehow linkable to our WaPo logon, so that we'd avoid the imitation problem...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Bob S, you might want to look at the new Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.

The Pontiac's a little more sporty, the Saturn is much more attractive, IMO.

I've driven both.


Posted by: bc | February 3, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Just added a link to the Achenfaq to JA's wikipedia entry. So cool.

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Public Service Announcement

Please take note of curling on the front page of Wapo online. Pay attention, because this much maligned(by Americans, much beloved by Canadians)sport is going to break out.

Seriously I don't understand how you can not like curling. Its a lot like golf. Anyone can do it, and it can take the rest of your life to perfect it. Its a mind game.

Gratuitous Canadian sport promotion is now complete.

Posted by: dr | February 3, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My log-in name is one of my private e-mail address which I guard pretty zealously, so I wouldn't want to be exposed to spam that way. Also, that might be pretty inconvenient to Mr. "ialwaysleaveverylongcrypticsayingsinmyname" guy.

Imposters and multiple personalities are the bane of open forums. As {blank}Fan realizes, the multiple personalities, just like real schizophrenics, tend to talk to and argue with themselves.

I have a Blooger account. Blogger despite being much maligned as "newbie" bloggerware has options which allow only other people with Blogger aliases to comment. I keep a dummy LiveJournal account just to comment on those blogs. I probably even have a Xanga name. Heaven forbid I ever need to use it.

Lots of blogs limit comments to "members" only. I think that would be too cumbersome and elitist to work on such a public place as this.

There are tools to monitor and restrict comments. I'm sure the NSA would be glad to help the WaPo set up some IP address logging software to control trolls and imposters.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2006 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Science Tim
How about a full report on the presentation last night?

Posted by: newkid | February 3, 2006 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Why are you so suspicious, Ms. yellojkt. If you don't want to rub shoulders and converse, figuratively, with a diverse set of others, why engage in blogging in the first place. It is a slice of life, no?

Posted by: Omar in Detroit | February 3, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

That's MR DiFranco to you.

In the words of George Jackson as sung by Donald Osmond and Aaron Carter, "One bad apple spoils the whole bunch."

On the internet no one know you're a dog. That tends to encourage anti-social behavior in some individuals for a variety of reasons. Civil discourse should be just that. And I refuse to feed any more trolls today.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2006 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Ok, Mrs. yellojkt, but you seem a bit hostile. Do you know why? Excuse me for asking you a reasonable question in a civil way. Is this the usual greeting for a new participant?

Posted by: Omar | February 3, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

From Howard Kurtz's online WaPo column today:

"But I wish this nugget were getting as much press as Mmes. Sheehan and Young:

"Fox News says a new provision slipped into the Patriot Act by Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican, would give the Secret Service virtually unchecked authority to make felony arrests of demonstrators inside a security perimeter at any 'special event of national significance,' even when the star of the show -- like Bush or Cheney -- isn't present. This would apply at any designated 'National Security Special Events,' even when the president is dead [Ronald Reagan's funeral procession] or not there [the Super Bowl.] What as once ranked as misdemeanor trespassing would be elevated to a federal felony. This is on top of FAA flight restrictions dictating that private pilots can't fly above Cheney's new Chesapeake Bay neighborhood even when the VP isn't home."

Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Omar, it is per usual, but that's because this blog STINKS!!!

Posted by: The Real Lonemule | February 3, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

TBG, are you implying that W is... Draco Malfoy?

Hmm, come to think of it, Rowlings was satiring Blair, so I could see Draco's constant failed attempts to get Dumbledore as an allegory of the war against terrorism.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 3, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

OK then, finished "False Profits" yesterday on my commute home. I thought it was a fine book, though I feel it had one mistake and one out character moment (won't divulge them here in case any one wants to read it). Made a mistake though in saying it was Patricia Smiley's latest paperback, when it's actually her first.

So anyhow, knowing I would finish it I headed of to the bookstore to get another novel. When I get there I realize I have no idea want to look for. Have a couple titles on a slip of paper but no author names (Do'h). So I head over to SciFi and notice a Gregory Benford I haven't read that looks interesting. But turns out it's actually a sequel. So I take a look at the novel that precedes it but can't make out if there was anything preceding that. Oh well. Just then I decide to take a look at Pat Conroy. I liked his book "Secret Agent" (slow start but picks up nicely after about 90 pages). But everything I look at doesn't really grab a hold of me. So I move on. Suddenly Ludlum pops into my head. I loved reading him when I was younger. So I pick up a book that looks interesting, but notice on the cover that it is a "A Covert-One Novel" which to me implies it is part of a series. So I look inside and sure enough the novel I'm holding is second in a series of four (so far). I look for the first and don't see it. So I continue looking and see a tile "The Paris Option". So I pick it up. On the way to the checkout something catches my I. A beautiful Chinese women on the cover of a book called "Shanghai Baby". I decide on impulse to get that to. So later when I get home I'm looking over my purchases and decide to read the Ludlum novel first. As I'm starting to read the prologue, a few sentences in, I for some mysterious reason decide to look at the cover. And guess what. That's right: I AM A COMPLETE IDIOT!!! The book I'm holding is also a "A Covert-One Novel". Third in the series. DOUBLE DO'H.



So anyway, I'm enjoying "Shanghai Baby". It was banned in China. The main character wants to become famous. I'm just now at the point where she's starting to write a novel. Very surreal feeling to me. The tone so far seems to have a childlike innocence.

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think I broke my record longest post with previous...

for the record SCC want is what and tile is title...but you all knew that.

feg and blorph indeed.

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, I can't eve SCC properly...

FEH and blorph
FEH and blorph
FEH and blorph

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt - I'm hearing the song in my head as I write this, damn you. But I'm hearing Donny and the boys singing that "one bad apple *don't* spoil the whole bunch, babe."

As to Sheehan, can we get to the point where the government can drag anybody off at any time, even if it's just because they looked at you the wrong way? Or are we already there?

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 3, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Oh Give it one more chance before you give up on love girl"

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 3, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

*humming "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Immigrant Song" and "Born to Run" simultaneously in an effort to ward off the Osmond's taking up residence in my head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

do you know that Donny once tried to put the moves on his sister, the parents intervened, and sent him to a shrink?

Posted by: omar | February 3, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

When my husband first came to the U.S. ten years ago, he was absolutely astounded to discover that you wouldn't get arrested for bad-mouthing the president in public. He has since whole-heartedly embraced the whole "freedom of speech" thing (including plastering bumper stickers on the car, RD). I hope that his enjoyment of living in a non-police state isn't shortlived.

On the bumpersticker topic in general, I don't see them as being particularly persuasive, and I don't see them as "up yours" kinds of statements either. Maybe they will be thought-provoking, maybe not. I know though, that when I read one I agree with, I automatically feel a kinship with its owner. I have a "thank god I'm not alone" moment. I can't tell you how concerned I was when I saw that my new neighbors car had a "Defend America" bumpersticker on it -- until I got close enough to see that the smaller print said "Defeat Bush." That said, having "No one died when Clinton lied" plastered on my bumper did make me a little nervous driving through rural North Carolina.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 3, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I plan to post a new kit around midday. Tentative topic: Cats bringing dead mice to the back door.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 3, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Well that'll pretty naturally segue right out of this boodle.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 3, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

And so, as this boodle marches toward the sunset, a cup of coffee in hand and wearing a plain T-shirt -- and a'hummin' The Osmonds "One Bad Apple" -- I give you the latest news report from comedian Andy Borowitz ...

February 2, 2006

White House Downplays Veep's Influence Over Seasons

Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his secure, undisclosed location to make television appearances following the president's State of the Union Address, but then immediately returned to his hiding place -- indicating that America may be in for six more weeks of winter, according
to experts.

While appearing with NBC's Tim Russert, observers say, the Vice President seemed distracted, looking over his shoulder repeatedly as if trying to see his own shadow.

A review of the broadcast indicates that Vice President Cheney, in fact, appeared to locate his shadow towards the end of his appearance.

He then abruptly concluded the interview, cancelled an appearance with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and returned to his secure, undisclosed location, which is believed to be underground.

Experts were divided as to impact of Mr. Cheney's brief appearance and sudden disappearance upon the duration of the current winter season.

"You can read anything you want into Cheney seeing his own shadow and going back underground," said Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota. "Yes, it may mean six more weeks of winter, but it may just mean that he's trying to stay as far away from this Abramoff mess as possible."

At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan attempted to downplay the increasingly widespread impression that Vice-President Cheney can influence the seasons.

"Vice President Cheney is a respected voice within this Administration, but he does not make the climate warmer," Mr. McClellan told reporters. "Only President Bush can do that."

Elsewhere, in order to increase revenue for "Brokeback Mountain," the producers announced that they would release a special heterosexual version on DVD.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 3, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, I thought Hunter's review of Brokeback was excellent, too, but I do have a major reservation: I haven't seen it yet, and in my view he gave away far too much of the ending. I did read the short story, the link to which which someone on the boodle was kind enough to post the other day, so I do have some idea of how the story ended.

Since I haven't seen it, I don't know how much of a surprise it is that one of the two guys dies--it surprised me a bit in the story, and presume the movie kept that. The story then tells how Ennis finds Jack's shirt (and his own)in the closet. Hunter's review discloses that not only did Ennis find the shirts, but took them, reversed them (put Jack's inside his own, the opposite of how he found them) and hung them in his own closet.

I liked Hunter's commentary and analysis of all this, but I'm not sure if it didn't spoil a lot of it for me when I do see it. (Of course, it's possible that there's enough foreshadowing in the movie that it really doesn't come as a surprise, but not having seen it I can't judge.)

Any other boodlers have a thought about whether Hunter disclosed too much?

Curse you, scottynuke. Now I've got an "In-a-gadda-da-vita" tune cootie.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 3, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Don't mention it, 'Mudge. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

omni, I too am an old Ludlum fan, but these new novels are not Ludlum. Ludlum died in 2001.

On the new books, as the website says 'There is no rule about which book should be read first, and each is more or less independent of the one before it.' So these are likely fine books being written, and you are good to go on whatever one chooses your fancy.

Posted by: dr | February 3, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I can only hope nobody skipped the review because they wanted to be surprised, and then read your comment...


Actually, I think the "spoiler" warning is a good tradition, and I always stop reading when I get that warning if I haven't seen the movie. Reviewers should feel free to say what they want, but warn us when they're about to enter that spoiler territory. (same goes for boodlers)

Posted by: kbertocci | February 3, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I do read Hunter's and Thomson's reviews. Reviews occasionally and trailers **always** reveal too much. I prefer seeing films acapella, so to speak. (About the reversal of shirts, for weeks after he passed I slept in my father's navy gabardine suit coat. His smell was so comforting)

Posted by: Nani | February 3, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks dr. I think I'll read it when I finish Shanghai Baby (man I love saying that). My biggest worry when I realized my mistake was that now I had a book I wouldn't read, or that I would have to start reading several 400-500 page books.

Shanghai Baby
Shanghai Baby

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

In response to your earlier comment (8:37:26 am), I'll miss your "Reader" handle, too. It was so . . . *you*. I thought of "Reader" not simply as a generic reader of the blog, or of the Washington Post, or of Joel's books and columns, but as one who Reads -- with a capital R -- as a way of life. Your "Reader" handle reflected the "Read" component of "Read-Think-Live," and it was far less generic than it appeared.

But here's to your new/resurrected handle. (If it gives you any trouble, perhaps you can go back to Reader.)

Posted by: Tom fan | February 3, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Joel, it's about time. And for all you pet-owners out there, I plan to go into business later today providing a much needed service. What, you ask? Why, bringing your beloved friends to that happy place in the sky, namely, wild wonderful abandoned mines in West Virginia.

Seriously, I thought the cat ladies were bad, but these people aren't crazy: they're sick.

Posted by: edward | February 3, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of tune cooties, I don't remember how the tune "One Bad Apple" goes, so I somehow ended up with "Crazy Horses".

Time to break out my Shakira CD. The wonderful thing about listening to songs in Spanish when you don't speak Spanish: NO TUNE COOOTIES!

Boy, I seem to be shouting a lot lately.

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Blogging would be so much easier if I didn't have a job.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 3, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't speak Spanish, either, omni, but I frequently get tune cooties in Spanish because I listen to a Gypsy Kings CD pretty often, and have "A mi manera" and "No volvere" swirling around in my head. And I don't even know half of what they're singing about. Disconcerting.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 3, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel says, "Blogging would be so much easier if I didn't have a job."

I was going to agree with you, Joel, but then I realized I get much more 'boodling done at work than when I'm home. I think that's probably true for most of the 'boodlers.

Posted by: TBG | February 3, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of music, RIP to Buddy, Richie and the Big Bopper. Today's the 47th anniversary of the Day The Music Died (speaking of tune cooties). (Dammit, just gave one to myself. Sorry, folks.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 3, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

double damn you 'mudge'

Posted by: omni | February 3, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Just to be vicious and since I mangled the lyrics earlier:

One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl.
Oh, give it one more try before you give up on love.
One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch girl.
Oh, I don't care what they say,
I don't care what you heard.

Adn if that earworm doesn't take, you can go here to pick up the tune:

As karmic atonement, I also give the lyrics to the other song allusion I made earlier:

guess there's something wrong with me
guess I don't fit in
no one wants to touch it
no one knows where to begin
I've got more than one membership
to more than one club
and I owe my life
to the people that I love
he looks me up and down
like he knows what time it is
like he's got my number
like he thinks it's his
he says,
call me, Miss DiFranco,
if there's anything I can do
I say,
It's Mr. DiFranco to you
somedays the line I walk
turns out to be straight
other days the line tends to

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Said I was sorry. (Had to put on Springsteen to chase McLean away.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 3, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks a lot guys. Not only do I now have a spanish tune cootie, but an image of Carmen Miranda in my head! "ma ma yo caro, ma ma you caro, mama yo caro mamama, ai doshupeta, ai doshupeta, doshupeta carma neta mamama!

Posted by: Nani | February 3, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

You guys are going to have to come up with better tun cooties than this if you want to get the Billy Joel stuff out of my head from Weintgartens chat the other day. Sigh.

I'd vote for a tune cootie free world.

Posted by: dr | February 3, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Cat kit posted. See you there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 3, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

...all that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men [and women] to do nothing.

Pyongyang, here we come!

Posted by: LC | February 3, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Sheehan is a hate-mongerer. Ask any soldier, and they will tell you she is hurting the troops. She has openly supported the insurgents, is an avid anti-semitic, and has sympathy for suicide bombers. The death of her son does not give her cover for criticism. She insults all military families whose children are alive and support the mission. She is a pathetic monster, and has lost any claim to honor. She is self-centered ego maniac, and has the blood of soldiers on her hands.

Posted by: Karen | February 3, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse


Don't you think that's a little strong? Could you back it up with some facts, please?

Posted by: Omar | February 3, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Karen, ask any soldier? For example, Murtha, Kerry, or any of the dozen Iraq War Vets running for Congress on a platform against the war?

The only insulting of military families I see is coming from Bush supporters, aimed squarely at Cindy and others who share her views about the war.

Remember the purple heart band-aids from Bush's 2004 campaign? The lack of body armor? Mission Accomplished? Bush is incompetent to lead our armed forces, and your anger is misplaced.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | February 3, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Hunter's review is revealing - sorry about that (Joel linked it!). I agree, Hunter should have forewarned his readers. I had read the short story before seeing the movie (thanks to Reader), but they add so much to it for the movie, and it is so spellbinding and powerful, that even though I knew what was going to happen, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. I may have to go see it again, so I can pick up the details that Hunter pointed out. As I said before, halfway through I was kind of wondering why it had gotten the accolades - it was ok, but...Then wham! - it breaks your heart. Larry McMurtry, who adapted the story, said Annie Proulx's short story is one of the best ever written about the West. I thought the acting was amazing - so much spoken without words - and the totality of the film was breathtaking.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 3, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. DiFranco-- yay for deviation and belonging to multiple clubs.

And now on to next boodle. Durn this time zone thing. I'm always a day late and a yen short...

Posted by: Travis | February 3, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

funny ringtones

Posted by: | September 8, 2006 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Are you sure 32645 about this?!?

Posted by: Flots Masriach | September 20, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure 32645 about this?!?

Posted by: Flots Masriach | September 20, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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