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White House Slow to Reveal Burr-Hamilton Duel

    A Washington Post researcher dug up this notice that ran on page 3 of the July 18, 1804 edition of the Gettysburg Centinel:

     "By a gentleman from Philadelphia we learn, that last week a duel took place at New York, between Colonel Aaron Burr, Vice President of the U. States, and General Alexander Hamilton, in which the latter was mortally wounded, and expired in a short time after he was taken from the field. The cause of the duel, or who was the challenger, we did not learn."

    So you see there's a long and noble tradition of delaying disclosure when the Vice President shoots someone. Then, as now, the White House understood that the proper way for the public to learn about a shooting involving the Vice President is through rumor and gossip.

    [By the way, forget the wild notions you've heard bandied about the Internet that Cheney might have been drinking heavily when he blasted his buddy. He talked to the Sheriff's Office just 18 hours after the shooting incident, and he would still have been measurably intoxicated at that point if he'd had, for example, 24 beers.]

     Back to Burr and Hamilton: And as in the Deadeye Dick case, there was much confusion about what exactly transpired shortly after dawn on July 11, 1804 on the bank of the Hudson River. Burr had challenged Hamilton to the duel after taking extreme umbrage over reports that Hamilton had disparaged his character and had referred to certain "despicable" conduct by Burr. Gore Vidal, in "Burr," speculated that Hamilton had alleged that Burr had an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Ron Chernow, in his recent biography of Hamilton, writes:

    "But Burr was such a dissipated, libidinous character that Hamilton had a rich field to choose from in assailing his personal reputation. Aaron Burr had been openly accused of every conceivable sin: deflowering virgins, breaking up marriages through adultery, forcing women into prostitution, accepting bribes, fornicating with slaves, looting the estates of legal clients." [And they said even worse thing about him in the blogosphere.] The precise slur didn't matter, however: "Their affair of honor was less about slurs and personal insults than politics and party leadership."

    So Burr called him out. They would settle the matter like gentleman, face to face, with pistols. Complicating matters was that Hamilton had declared an aversion to shedding blood in private combat and insisted that he would "waste" his shot, intentionally missing Burr. Was this suicidal? Henry Adams and various psychobiographers have argued just that: Hamilton was depressed and wanted to die. [New theory: Texas billionaire intentionally lunged into Cheney's line of fire.] Hamilton wouldn't practice with a pistol, while Burr practiced regularly. It was going to be a slaughter.

    On a ledge above the river, the seconds of the duelists marked off ten paces. The two sides drew lots and Hamilton won. He chose the position that would require him to stare directly into the blinding morning sun.

    The sequence of events remains controversial. Hamilton's second, a certain Pendleton, claimed that Burr fired first and Hamilton's shot was a reflexive spasm. But Burr and his second both claimed that Hamilton fired first. Indeed they claimed that several seconds elapsed before Burr returned fire. What's indisputable is that Hamilton missed far wide of his target -- severing a tree branch high above the ground -- while Burr hit Hamilton in the abdomen. Hamilton pitched to the ground and said, "I am a dead man," an accurate prognosis. Chernow believes that Hamilton intentionally fired first, wasting his shot in the most obvious manner, believing that Burr would have the chance, as Hamilton had written the night before, "to pause and to reflect." Wishful thinking. Burr was as sentimental as a copperhead.

   Here's Vidal's fictitious Burr, channeling his younger self as he re-enacts the moment he examines the mortally wounded Hamilton:

   "I saw terror in your face, terror at the evil you had done me. And that is why I could not come to you or give you any comfort. Why I could do nothing but what I did. Aim to kill, and kill."

    Burr later fled to the West and allegedly tried to start a breakaway republic in what is now Texas, but that tale, and any comparisons to what our own Vice President might have been doing in Texas this weekend, can wait for another day.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 13, 2006; 6:02 PM ET
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I think this kit does copperheads a great disservice.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 14, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Kurosawaguy is right. When I was about 5 or 6 years old I use to play with nice, friendly snakes in our backyard. When my mother came outside and saw me she was terrified and scooped me up and brought me inside. The snakes I was playing with were copperheads.

Posted by: Snakey | February 14, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This just coming over the AP Wire:

Cheney to Annouce Abrupt Exit from Office

Amblin' Entertainment Group has just signed Vice President Dick Cheney to a six-year contract to perform on the streets of a small, yet historically famous town in the southwest corner of South Dakota, in the state's Black Hills area.

Details of the pact are still sketchy, but Russell (Rusty) Shot, marketing and public relations manager, confirmed that Cheney would be performing under the stage name of "Deadeye Dick." Cheney will be paired in his act with a local actress who plays sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The gunslinging duo will perform their act three times a day against a backdrop of historic saloons that line the main street of Deadwood, a once gold-rich gulch. Cheney is expected to be equipped with Colt Widowmaker pistols as part of his colorful Western costume.

Cheney is expected to announce his resignation later today at a press conference. The press has obtained early drafts of the speech.

"Given the lastest reports so injurious to the reputation of the Vice President's office, a veritable character assassination--I can no longer continue in my post knowing that I have turned into administation deadwood," the vice president is expected to say. The press is expected to pepper Cheny with questions after his noontime address.

Lynne Cheney, Cheney's wife, said the couple plan to settle in Lead, a neighboring community to Deadwood. Plans are under way, she confided, to purchase additional land in the historic Mount Moriah Cemetery, resting place of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, in the event of a workplace accident.

The Cheneys, however, intend to keep their famous nearby ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, not far from actor Harison Ford's famous spread, she added, in case Cheney's new day job just doesn't pan out.

She also mentioned other future scenarios for her husband--the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction or overload of the electrical current in the soon-to-be former Vice President's pacemaker.

For additioanal information:

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I digress, but wouldn't quail hunting make for a fine Olympic sport?

By the way, Cheney didn't have a required stamp -- a license to kill quail -- and is thus an outlaw. I mean that only in a good way. In fact, I wish people had some reason to call me an outlaw. I should think that being called an outlaw would make one a veritable chick magnet, although it might not help one's aim when firing a weapon.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 14, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Love, *heart*, love, *heart* Ron Chernow--especially how he dissects The Loomis Gang in his book, Titan"--about a bunch of horse rustlers in early New York State--and how their horsey shenanigans helped underwrite the future success of the Rockefellers!

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I nominate Ann Coulter for the role of Annie Oakley.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

You know history. I love you. Will you marry me? Details to be worked out at a later date.

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Harison Ford

Harrison Ford

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The White House has demonstrated that it retains its full ability to flabberghast an already disbelieving public. First, Shrub indulged in some greater than customary Presidential overreaching, then compounded it by arrogantly failing to tell Congress or to ask it to fix the supposedly broken law that necessitated the grasping. As if the first transgression was not sufficient to wow us. Now, the administrations' own Darth Vader has done something novel, although not unique, in American politics, no mean achievement in itself. But, like his boss, Cheney could not stop there. He had to astound and confound us by withholding public announcement of the event by lots (fill in the number) of hours. These boys just don't know when to quit, do they?

Posted by: robindc | February 14, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I think you mean "rich field" instead of "reich field". We don't want any Freudian Slips letting people think you have a less than respectful attitiude towards gun-wielding vice-presidents.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 14, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I think there's a joke somewhere in all this about Cheney and firing and whatnot.

Ahh, I think I've got it:
Cheney retires to host a new TV show.

Sith Apprentice.

Cheney and his cabinet (ex-WHers all, with Special Guest Appearances by You-Know-Who (Rove)) manage a competition between Govt. Apparatchiks for the right to be The Chosen One.

Dick is still deciding what to call his tagline.
1. "FIRE!",
2. "Pull!" followed by shooting the eliminated contestant in the face.
3. #2 without saying "Pull".
4. Just flipping out and chopping the eliminated contestant's head off with his red lightsaber (Now *that's* "Real Ultimate Power").


Posted by: bc | February 14, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse


Do you REALLY want Ann Coulter to be armed??


If memory serves (not always a given in my case), Annie Oakley was usually depicted with a long rifle. Coulter would probably insist on an AR-15 these days. *shudder*

Oh, and I *heart* the whole Boodle. Don't wanna upset nobody nohow on this fine, chocolate-filled day.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 14, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

from the WP:

Democratic staffers on the Hill... [were] circulating a quote from Bush, in a 2000 interview with the Houston Chronicle, in which he hailed Cheney as "somebody who is going to shoot straight with the American people."

Posted by: mo | February 14, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Talk about the "gang that couldn't shoot straight"! If they weren't so dangerous, it'd be humorous.

Posted by: frankie frisch | February 14, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

and to re-iterate from the last boodle:

"as for vday - joel - i blatantly announce with great humility that i am short a valentine and you go and ask eurotrash to be your valentine! he's not even an american! i am burnt umber with umbridge!!"

Posted by: mo | February 14, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse


It's okay, we all love you. And some of us haven't forgotten that Joel commented on YOUR blog. That's an honor Eurotrash can only dream of.

Eurotrash was obviously feeling needy last night, so let's not begrudge him his moment of boodle glory.

<3 <3 <3 <3 to all...

Posted by: kbertocci | February 14, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I read a story several years ago where the dueling pistols were examined (I think they belonged to Burr) & at least one of them was found to have a hair trigger. I'm thinking that maybe Mr. Hamilton was a little nervous and accidently fired his (not knowing the particulars of the weapon) when he squeezed too hard on trigger.

Have heard that Aerosmith is going to update their old anthem into 'Cheney's Got a Gun'.

Posted by: Paul in KY | February 14, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Zither, Curmudgeon, zither.

Posted by: nellie | February 14, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Happy Valentine's day, everyone!

I'm glad that Joel and Loomis and others in this here Kit and Kaboodle are well-grounded in history.

We Americans show a remarkable lack of appreciation for history.

(must...resist...making...jokes...about... Bush Administration...and...2004 Presidential Elections...)

I should add that I considered calling Cheney's show 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', but I didn't know how many ppl were familiar with 'Fantasia'. Besides, that'd be Rove's show, anyway.


Posted by: bc | February 14, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

*blatant attempt at distraction* :)

mo, didja see the Tai Shan pic on the WaPo print front page??? OOOOOOOH, I wish I coulda seen that live!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 14, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So, what are you gentlemen getting your special ladies for v-day? Of course, vice versa, to be entirely correct about it all. It's just that I'm more attuned to ideas that I can use today. The floor is open for suggestions.........

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 14, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to add that I liked the use of "reich field", though I believe it's been changed.

A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about 'The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight', but I preferred "The Oil Dumpling Gang".


Posted by: bc | February 14, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Already gave her a early Valentine's dinner of carbonized steak and broiled scallops (it turns out she hadn't had scallops before and didn't like them), but the baked potato and salad went over well.

As immortalized on the wall of my mother's kitchen, "The best thing I can make for dinner is reservations." *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 14, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

A local DJ and comedian, Earl David Reed, had an interesting phrase yesterday:

"Weapons of Misdirection"

Posted by: DPR | February 14, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's my valentine (albeit second-hand) to the boodle. I sent it to Cassandra in the last kit, but am sure she won't mind sharing it with others.

Google Missionary Mary L. Proctor, then click "gallery".

Posted by: Nani | February 14, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hell no, I don't want Ann Coulter armed, scottynuke. I just want her to be in the vicinity when Cheyney is holding a gun during his Wild West show. Hilarity may ensue.

That was a zither, nellie? I never knew that. Thanks. Learn somepin' ever' day.

Historical note for Loomis: my grandmother was the daughter of a gunsmith in Philadelphia, and when she was a little girl, about 8 or so, the Wild West Show with Annie Oakley came to town, and my grandmother helped her father load shells for Annie Oakley's performance. (This would have been around 1900 or 1901.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse


Celebrated early--had a romantic Sunday with my guy, starting with church, the 10:45 service that he calls "High Mass" and I call "Big Church" in accordance with our respective early training. Then the video store, then dinner out, then watching the movie--a nice old-fashioned togetherness day. Valentine's Day is our romance anniversary because we first met around the end of January and two weeks later (this would be 1981) he asked me, "Will you be my valentine?" and the rest, as they say, is history...

This morning I gave him presents, since he paid for the day Sunday. A heart-decorated coffee mug filled with chocolate hearts and the "Moody Blues Gold" cd. He was very happy with his presents.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 14, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Ever played Area 51 at one of those arcades? Those innocent people just hop out in front of you! Of course, I never hit them, but the overzealous individual may not be able to help it.
Plus that birdshot sprays. I mean, maybe Cheney was trying to keep up his NOT shooting straight with the American people, but the stupid birdshot just spread out and hit the target anyway.

Posted by: twbk | February 14, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Quail hunting is tricky. Give it a try.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 14, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Don, depending on your location and the weather, hows about digging a circular flowerbed and filling it with blooming hyacinths or other perennial flowerbulb (paperwhites, narcissus, daffodils). When we lived in N. Fla., I had great success with these, they keep multiplying and blooming year after year.

Posted by: Nani | February 14, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Gore Vidal, in 'Burr,' speculated that Hamilton had alleged that Burr had an incestuous relationship with his daughter."

I guess no one's gonna allege that in the Cheney family, eh?

[Gawd, I'm awful. I'm so sorry.]

Posted by: TBG | February 14, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Happy Valentine's Day everyone, and lots, lots, of love and peace. Don't eat too much of the good stuff, chocolate.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 14, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Please guys, the thing with the vice-president, I can't stop laughing at some of these comments. Third man and the grassy knoll, I'm literally hurting, I'm laughing so hard. I'm sure the gentleman that got shot probably can't even laugh, I mean with a face full of whatever the vice-president was shooting, more than likely means his face has to be sore and maybe even hurting. In all sincerity, he really should rethink the hunting thing.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 14, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci gets the best Valentine's Day story award. OK, so the day isn't over yet. I nominate her story, OK?

Posted by: CowTown | February 14, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Joel has obviously hi-jacked today's Valentine's Day sentiment with a Kit about guns. Wimmen, doesn't that just figger for a man?

Well, in the true spirit of today, Feb. 14, I'm going to give you a mini-Kit (yes, with some history), more (just as much?) in the mood of the moment as Joel's offering.

"The Parliament of Fowls" is the first poem in the English language which celebrates "Seynt Valentynes day" and there is some justification for the argument that poet Geoffrey Chaucer initiated this festival in England in imitation of the Italian (and specifically Genoese) holy day. It is one of his greatest, if least known, benefactions to the English. (It is also likely that the poem was read at some kind of festive court ceremonial in honour of love's "maistre"; that would account for its relative brevity, and its general tone of intimate comedy relating to the rituals of love-longing and love-lament.)

[Yes, Geoffrey Chaucer *is* my distant great-uncle by marriage. Above passage courtesy of Peter Ackroyd's 2004 book, "Chaucer," p. 93.]

And so little Valentines greeting (or sketches if you will...perhaps even an introduction for newcomers who don't know us well) to convey how precious and valuable and special you all are:

americaninsiam, word Gifts from the other side of the GLOBE

asdg, GOOD Grief! We need to Get to know you

Bayou Self, GULF TV star

bc, grinning, Grinning, GRINNING

Cassandra, God-filled with GOODNESS

Cowtown, Mooos in many "GUY"ses

dr, GORDON Lightfoot's song,"Tomorrow Night I'll Be Alberta Bound"

Dreamer, GUNG Hay Fat Choy!

Eurotrash, BelGian GEM who also speaks German

firsttimeblogger: Boston LeGAL EaGle

Gosh, Have I left anyone out?

Guests, always so GLAD for your GAB

Jay Rosen, GIFTED press BloGGer

Joel, GURU

jw, GUARD of our coastlines
Kristen, GOSH so cute (these two go together like love and marriage)

k-guy, distant GREAT-cousin

Loomis, GOOGLES Galore!

Lone Mule, T.R., GRAB a clothespin for your nose, 'cause don'tcha know...this Boodle

'lopers, Don't forGET your meds!!!

mo, GOLDEN Oscar for you?

mostlylurking, GREEN thumbs Galore

Mudge, Billy Goat Gruff with a Heart of GOLD

Nani, G-G-Grandmother, full of GRACE

omni, ever so GENTLE and Geeky

ot, GIGGLES Galore for Photoshopping TLM into BPH photo

pj, GRAND piano and Gong, giving us Gregorian chants, Gershwin, Gospel, along with Goofy song lyrics

RD Padouk, GEWURZTRAMINER and wine Glasses

READER, GOOD for us in so many ways

sara, Where have you Gone, GIRL?

Science Tim, tour GUIDE of the Galaxies

Shiloh, Galloping GOURMAND de los Gatos

Snuke, all-around GOOD GUY

TA, alas GONE, too, but keeping track of GDP and Greenspan (now, too Gone)

TBG, G.O.P. DraGon slayer

trolls, Meet Billy Goat GRUFF. Billy Goat GRUFF, meet the trolls.

Twain, Mark, GODFATHER of the Boodle

yellowjkt, bloGGer and GOLD-star commentator

Happy Valentine's Day, Boodle! I love YOU!!!

(Have I left anyone out? Just let me know.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

What I can't believe is the intensity of the blame-the-victim comments about the poor guy he shot. Talk about throwing somebody under the bus... At what point does his respect for Cheney take a back seat to his own self-respect now that he's been pilloried as a bad hunter?

Mr. Bush was asked at one point of he could think of any mistakes in office, I'd like someone to ask Cheney: Can he think of any mistake he's ever made? Ever? They seem genetically incapable of admitting error.

Posted by: asdg | February 14, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Great love stories of the ages.

Another great love story for the ages. dr and Mr. dr. Mr. dr never actaully asked me to marry him, we just sort of came to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to do this. I've never held it against him. In return he puts up with me, my snoring, my lack of cooking ability (one slow day I will tell some stories about the kitchen and I), my inability to clean because I am too busy doing something way more fun. For 26 years he has listened when I thought we should build something or renovate, and he ends up making it twice as good as the picture in my head. He spends hours on weekends hiking, but when he comes back he brings me wildflowers. I **heart** him in every way.

Dave, any wildflowers out there where you are? They get me everytime.

Posted by: dr | February 14, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra S, Your comment, "In all sincerity, he really should rethink the hunting thing" made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 14, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For Cheney is an honorable man.

Posted by: hello | February 14, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I sure ain't no 'Mudge, but...

*To the tune of "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1903-34)"*

Some Veep with a shotgun shot old Mr. Whittington
In warm blood in the middle of a quail-hunting jag.

Shot him in confusion, a state he's not often seen in
Helped pull the trigger that cut short the trip.

And there's not many knew it for hours and hours
Sure enough he was a wild one, but then aren't most angry Veeps?

Now it's all over at the quail ranch
And the media close in;
Whittington's fine
I guess the Veep wins again.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 14, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the mention Loomis.

I have going to have the least romantic Valentine's Day in memory. After work I have a physical therapy appointment for my new ACL. Then I have to pick my son up from band practice. That should get me home in time to get to bed to get enough sleep for when my dog wakes my up at 5 am tomorrow morning.

All this doesn't mean I love my wife any less. I did buy her a nice bottle of perfume this weekend. And we are going out for a fancy dinner on her (and my) birthday next week.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 14, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Good to see there's t-shirts commemorating this one already....
"dick cheney shot j.r."

Posted by: di | February 14, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Good to see there's t-shirts commemorating this one already....
"dick cheney shot j.r."

Posted by: di | February 14, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

First comments of the day.

Joel, thank you.
You made me blush though.
The whole day I have been wondering what to wear. (Red stilleto's maybe?)
I won't go into the waxing of the legs and the chest. I cannot believe how painfull that was.

Note to self, next time ask for the attention of a female blogger. Much easier and less painfull.

I'll share Joel with you. He's more than I can handle. (By the way, do we know what Ms. Achenbach feels about this all?)

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 14, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

And I would also like to commend Shiloh for what I think was the best pun of the previous boodle:

"The Olympic games at Turin seem shrouded...."

Just brilliant.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 14, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse


I am bereft at being Valentine-less. Sigh.

And you left out boondocklurker.

Not to worry (in case you were going to), I don't hold a grudge.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone in boodledom!

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 14, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Historical footnote:

No surprise that Joel knows--or has come to know--the Aaron Burr story pretty well. The history of Princeton University (Joel's alma mater) is papered with Burr's antecedents (second and third presidents, respectively).

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC: scratch the first "have" in the first sentence.

And for the record, the spelling of my alias is "yellojkt" without a "w". Just in case people try to Google me, you will still find me, since I have made that same typo error myself. It seems there is a YellowJKT out there as well. You try for a totally unique name and it still can't be done.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 14, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse


I hope you have a veritable velvet Valentine.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 14, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

AB Junkie and boondocklurker:

Help me out here: Create your own words/taglines, keeping with the G alliteration?

*Must* turn to V-Day activities at home:

Take precious pet for warm walk in nearby woods.

Bake triple-chocolate cake for hubby.

Eager to see what you two--and anyone else I may have left out--come up with for yourselves.


Leaving Boodle now...

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

Huh? How can you dismiss the questions about whether Cheney was drinking by saying, basically, 'you know, he definitely did not drink 24 beers.'

What if he was legally drunk at the time of the shooting? I'm sure WP writers drink. They should know it takes about 2-3 in one hour to be over the driving limit. Not 24.

Posted by: DQ | February 14, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

So what was Cheney doing for 18 hours? Sleeping it off? Burying the other bodies? Hiding the rhino carcass? Getting the car pulled out of the river? This will make his energy commission look like the sunshine in government club.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 14, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This from MSNBC:

Doctors: Man Cheney shot had minor heart attack, birdshot lodged in heart

Sounds worse now then it did at the beginning.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 14, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

i would have donated five bucks to the republican party if i could have been video camera in handat the ready, at the quail hunt with cheney, video camera in hand. the cast-- two alte cockers ( yiddish for senior citizens), one
an electronic marvel with two blown out knees, the other a jaded, brooks brothers wearing nabob--both armed, surrounded by secret service guys, ambulance waiting. then the phi beta kappa spins, lets go a salvo with his 28 guage. the other guy grabs his face, slams his hat to the ground, and says, in an oliver hardy way, " now look what you've done".
by the way, i'm 79 and i'd know better than to go quail with another senior citizen.

Posted by: bushwacker | February 14, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

My heart swells with Texas pride. Hmmm, maybe that's not quite true as I'm not proud that Cheney can't tell a quail from a lawyer. But I am proud of that little-known region of Texas - South Texas. My Grandparents are from Kingsville, the town where Mr. Whittington first went to the hospital before he was transported to Corpus Christi.

My uncle managed a ranch very near the now-famous Armstrong ranch (well as near as you can be with at least 50,000 acres separating you) where he offered hunting for quail, deer, javelina, turkey, doves, and some kind of antelope.

It's beautiful country down there, despite people shooting at each other.

Go Kingsville A&M Javelina's!

Posted by: AJ | February 14, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dear Loomis, thanks so much. Maybe I can get to a BPH one of these days.

Posted by: asdg | February 14, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone pause to think of how much free publicity the Armstrong Ranch is getting. Wowsers.

Posted by: dr | February 14, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

So the "peppering" Cheney delivered to that nice old man caused a heart attack.
He has birdshot in his heart. Potentially more troublesome than just "peppering" which happens all the time". And the stall and coverup gets more and more foul. Cascade, one thinks.

Posted by: nanaloo | February 14, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, this is starting to look a lot more Burr/Hamilton that we first thought...wonder what the protocol is for an involuntary manslaughter rap for the VP? Anything to take the public mind off all the other administration messes?

Posted by: Slats | February 14, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Cheney LOVES his guns, and LOVES to shoot! Anywhere but Viet Nam or Iraq of course! I just had an amusing thought....Wouldn't it have been hilarious if it was Dan Quayle instead of the attorney who was shot on Saturday? Just imagine these headlines..... "Cheney shoots Quayle.... while trying to shoot quail at Texas ranch!"

Posted by: Amanda | February 14, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If those quail could shoot back, Cheney would give up hunting. He NEVER puts HIS precious butt at risk!

Posted by: Amanda | February 14, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Happy St. Ovaltine's Day to any of you who are dyslexic.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Give the animals a fair chance and all hunters would give up hunting. Although hunters do put their precious behinds at risk, from other hunters like cheney.

Posted by: Nani | February 14, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Coulda used this here Cheney feller in Vietnam back in 71....straight shooter like him woulda been a great asset !

Posted by: Neil B. | February 14, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, I have a good Valentine's story! My husband and I were married two years ago on Valentine's Day, so this is also our wedding anniversary. He took me out to lunch, and when I got back, there was a box in my office - containing an (approximate) replica of the bouquet I carried in our wedding (black magic roses). He had them flown down from New York. Awwww. And he says he still has one other surprise for me!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Neil B.... great ASSET.... hahahahah! yeah, the attorney was a great asset..... his got hit!! Isn't it funny how all those conservatives say they err on the side of life, but all love their guns. Guns do nothing else but KILL and maim! They always comment that "Guns don't kill, people kill!"... Well, if Cheney had been quail hunting with a club instead of a gun, the attorney wouldn't be in the hospital right now! People kill so much easier with a gun in their hands! Too bad it wasn't the attorney who misfired and hit Cheney, then just imagine what the headlines would be!

Posted by: Amanda | February 14, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Darn it, left my name off my V-day post. See above. :-)

Posted by: PLS | February 14, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Aaron Burr's mother was Jonathan Edwards' daughter. Yes, that Jonathan Edwards...His father, also Aaron Burr, was president of Princeton, but he and his wife both died when their son was quite young. Sad but interesting to think about how different he would have turned out if his parents had lived to raise him. His daughter Theodosia was lost in a storm off the Outer Banks of NC. Tragedy abounded in the family...

Posted by: slyness | February 14, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Jefferson saw Burr as a clear and present danger, and began a campaign to ruin his reputation, noting that "I never thought him an honest, frank-dealing man, but considered him as a crooked gun, or other perverted machine, whose aim or shot you could never be sure of." Jefferson penned perhaps the most devastating comment of all when he added that "A great man in little things, he is really small in great ones."

I actually think this sums up Cheney rather well. Uncanny, isn't it?

Posted by: amo | February 14, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

PLS writes:
Darn it, left my name off my V-day post. See above. :-)

See note to ABJunkie and boondocklurker. Create own tagline.

Back from many-acre park with pooch. Hot! Slowly sipping a cool Shiner(Bock) before moving on to warm Ovaltine. (Starting this Valentine's Day early.) Also before turning on oven to 350 and bathing in oversized bathtub filled with rose petals.

May you all have a bit of Godiva or Lady Godiva in your day. *wink*

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm duly impressed. (How did you know the J. Edwards bit?) Did I leave you off the V-list, too? Drat!

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

pls - that sounds so romantic! (normally, i'm not one for the gushy romance stuff but...) are the roses actually black?? or are they dark red?

Posted by: mo | February 14, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Too funny! See the following book, if interested in the backstory about Jefferson/Burr:

I first learned of this book (from Ranger Rick) when I was visiting the nation's only National Park on wheels, the traveling Lewis and Clark exhibition in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery trip.

Also where I met Lakota Ben Sherman, far more fascinating and powerful a figure than Ranger Rick, truth be told.

Ben is a friend and acquaintance of Dark Rain Thom, wife of Jim Thom, with whom I have a nodding acquaintance because he wrote the following book about the Lewis and Clark expedition from the First Nations' viewpoint:

Thom's personal story fascinates me. In short, he spins a heck of a story and writes like a painter.

And all of this story is feeling very circular (and/as the Shiner starts to kick in.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I may have just figured out why Cheney left it to Ms. Armstrong to make the press announcement: he was simply outsourcing the PR function to the private sector.

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart's dialogue with Rob Corddry last night, via Salon magazine:

"Stewart: Rob, obviously a very unfortunate situation. How is the vice president handling it?

"Corddry: Jon, tonight the vice president is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Whittington. According to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush. And while the quail turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Whittington's face.

"Stewart: But why, Rob? If he had known Mr. Whittington was not a bird, why would he still have shot him?

"Corddry: Jon, in a post-9/11 world, the American people expect their leaders to be decisive. To not have shot his friend in the face would have sent a message to the quail that America is weak.

"Stewart: That's horrible.

"Corddry: Look, the mere fact that we're even talking about how the vice president drives up with his rich friends in cars to shoot farm-raised wingless quail-tards [sic; sounded like "quail tarts" to me] is letting the quail know 'how' we're hunting them. I'm sure right now those birds are laughing at us in that little 'covey' of theirs."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Gorgeous Gourmet and Great Mother (I'm modest, aren't I?) :-)

Posted by: PLS | February 14, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

mo - they're dark red in the center. I'm a big romantic sap, and fortunately, so is my husband.

Posted by: PLS | February 14, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

In keeping with today's theme of love 'n guns, I recommend the 1949 version of Gun Crazy with Peggy Cummins and John Dall. The bank robbery scene is a classic, and it's hard to think of a film which makes the Feudian phallic connection with guns more plain. This film is in its way similar to (the infinitely greater) Night of the Hunter in the sense that the production values are beneath cheezy and you just don't care, because the filmmaking is first rate.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 14, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry; a slightly better, fuller Jon Stewart transcript (from the WSJ):

Jon Stewart: "Yes, as you've just heard, a near-tragedy over the weekend in south Texas. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt at a political supporter's ranch. Making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting VP since Alexander Hamilton.

"Hamilton, of course, shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.

* * *
The other player in the drama? Ranch owner and eyewitness Katharine Armstrong.

Katharine Armstrong: "We were shooting a covey of quail. The vice president and two others got out of the car to walk up the covey."

Jon Stewart: "What kind of hunting story begins with getting out of your car? As I sighted the great beast before us, my shaking hands could barely engage the parking brake. Slowly, I turned off the A/C and silenced my sub-woofers..."

* * *
Katharine Armstrong: "A bird flushed. The vice president took aim at the bird and shot and unfortunately, Mr. Whittington was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty well."

Jon Stewart: "Peppered. There you have it. Harry Whittington, seasoned to within an inch of his life.

* * *
Jon Stewart: "I'm joined now by our own vice-presidential firearms mishap analyst, Rob Corddry. Rob, obviously a very unfortunate situation. How is the vice president handling it?

Rob Corddry: "Jon, tonight the vice president is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Wittington. According to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush.

"And while the quail turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Whittington's face."

Jon Stewart: "But why, Rob? If he had known Mr. Whittington was not a bird, why would he still have shot him?"

Rob Corddry: "Jon, in a post-9-11 world, the American people expect their leaders to be decisive. To not have shot his friend in the face would have sent a message to the quail that America is weak."

Jon Stewart: "That's horrible."

Rob Corddry: "Look, the mere fact that we're even talking about how the vice president drives up with his rich friends in cars to shoot farm-raised wingless quail-tards is letting the quail know 'how' we're hunting them. I'm sure right now those birds are laughing at us in that little 'covey' of theirs.

Jon Stewart: "I'm not sure birds can laugh, Rob."

Rob Corddry: "Well, whatever it is they do ... coo .. they're cooing at us right now, Jon, because here we are talking openly about our plans to hunt them. Jig is up. Quails one, America zero.

Jon Stewart: "Okay, well, on a purely human level, is the vice president at least sorry?"

Rob Corddry: "Jon, what difference does it make? The bullets are already in this man's face. Let's move forward across party lines as a people ... to get him some sort of mask."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse


You failed to leave valentines for so many people who regularly contribute. But what did we expect. eh?


Yes, it's time to do some work. Or you could take out your ole '00 and hunt something. eh?

Posted by: achenslut | February 14, 2006 3:15 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, many years ago I read the biography of Jonathan Edwards' wife Sarah. She was a fabulous person in her own right, who deserves to be remembered as well as her husband.

Your Valentine's day sounds divine! My spouse thinks romantically in terms of great food, so he has reservations at the best seafood restaurant in town for tonight!

Posted by: slyness | February 14, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if there's an appropriate Guns n' Roses song for all this.

'Sweet Child o' Mine'?
'Used to Love Her'?
'Civil War'?

Posted by: bc | February 14, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This from Eurotrash/MSNBC:
Doctors: Man Cheney shot had minor heart attack, birdshot lodged in heart.
Sounds worse now then it did at the beginning.

This story is true, saw that it was posted to NYT website 40 minutess ago--I mention it since I was browsing over there. Hard to know on anymore on the Achenblog what's satire and what's not.

Valentine's Day reminder:
Remember to get up from your desks today, talk a walk, do some gardening, learn ballroom dancing, whatever gets your motor running and your heart rate elevated.

If you don't take care of your own heart, that heart thumping inside your chest, no one else will. (Cardiac events aren't pretty, folks.) Remember, many of you are part of the glue that holds your families together. Love ya.

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Leaving Boodle. Obviously not typing well, too borracha.

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

'Member the name of the book about Sarah Edwards, offhand?

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Wishful thinking. Burr was as sentimental as a copperhead."

Is that historical? Or is that just a parallel to the Cheney/Armstrong incident?

Though the comparison to Cheney is naturally unflattering to the copperhead . . . .

Posted by: Karl | February 14, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

your comparison of reporting in 1804 news reporting is very deceptive. this is the age of technology. did they have live coverage of the 1812 war? did cnn report in china of the declaration of independence as it happened? new in the 21st century has become instantaneous, as it happens...i admit, i haven't researched the average time for news to happen to when it was reported. but lets think about this for just a second, samual morse first proved that a electronic signal could be sent over long distances on wire in 1835...burr shot hamilton in new york in 1804. well before even the telegraph was invented. how fast were their horses? sure the dual took place on the 11th of july, but i doubt either party wanted this to be all that public, as i wonder if dual's were legal, so it would make sense that it would take awhile for this to be known...let alone the difference of speed of reporting...

Posted by: jf | February 14, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, thanks for the Valentine and really for all you post on this here boodle. (Boodlers, this gal works hard for the money, so hard for it honey, she works hard for the money so we better treat her right! Sorry Aretha)

I was going to mention that you forgot slyness, when **poof** she popped in. Ahhh seafood. Slyness, that sounds like heaven on earth.

Posted by: Nani | February 14, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Er, Nani, that was Donna Summer. Now I think you really owe Aretha an apology.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 14, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

jf, you've just inadvertantly uncovered an amazing Joel Achenbach secret: Joel has access to Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine. He was there. He saw it all.

Posted by: CowTown | February 14, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they were Quayle hunting, hence mistaking one lawyer for another.

That said, deer hunting has been proven to be the most dangerous activity a man with a heart condition can undertake, causing more heart attacks than any other activity (including the most deviant ones you can think of!).

When you're staying still as possible waiting for a deer to come by, close enough to BAM... your heart rate can hit 200 or more. Without moving a muscle. The blood pressure is through the roof as well.

And everybody knows men are completely rational and in control when their cardiovascular system is on adrenaline overdrive. That's how cows and other hunters get shot as "deer".

I don't know if quails are nearly as exciting, but I know that I would find it difficult to believe that Cheney, with his heart history, was ever recommended by a doctor to go hunting as a heart-healthy exercise.

Since my ticker left me
I found a new place to die
It's down at the end of quailing lane
At heart attack shoot-by

... I'm so quailing, I'm so quailing, I'm so quailing, I could die...

And though it's always crowded you can still find some room
for broken faced lawyers to lie there in the gloom

and be so quailed, oh so quailed,
oh so quailed they could die....

(Apologies to Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak hotel" and anybody's artistic sensibilities-- improve on this as you will)

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 14, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Coulda used this here Cheney feller in Vietnam back in 71....straight shooter like him woulda been a great asset!"

Oh, he had other priorities then . . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

jf, I believe it was 1844 when Morse demonstrated the telegraph. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will leap in with a correction.

Otherwise thanks for the contribution, though you might consider that my original point had an element of jest.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 14, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

OK now, I've actually had to work yesterday and today and just now managed to start catching up but I want to post a question to Curmudgeon about something from the last K&K. Are sure it's not aggara ame (two words)? I think this roughly translates "Love takes hold"

Posted by: omni | February 14, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo's heroic valentine makes me think that perhaps, when we upgrade this blog and add a blogroll and so on, we might have a place where frequent boodlers could be listed, with a sample comment. It would be voluntary, of course. But it would help impose some coherence and backstory on what must be, for newcomers, a bewildering forum.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 14, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

And moreover, these mini-bios could include links to the blogs of the boodlers (mo's, jw's, bc's, yellojkt's, kbertocci's, on down the line).

Posted by: Achenbach | February 14, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CRAP!!! I just got another asssignment that's going to have me working my tail off for the next couple of days. CRAPPPPP!!!

So long.

Posted by: omni | February 14, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok Loomis, how about:

Grateful for the knowledGeable and Goofy Gabfest

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 14, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

In light of Whittington's heart attack, I think he has earned a spot on the $10 bill right next to Hamilton. If he's vain, he need only show the salty, not peppered, side of his face as he poses for the artist (digital camera). Let's make the $10 bill a fitting place to memorialize the victims of our bizarrely murderous vice presidents. And if we squeeze in all the faces of innocent dead Iraqis, the bill will be impossible to counterfeit.

Posted by: dn | February 14, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

For those who might like to learn a bit more, a photographer with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times does a rifle demonstration for us and shows how the guy would've been hit ...

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 14, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo!!! Two New Hampshireites get National Medals of Technology!! *G*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 14, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

So, Cheney got liquored-up and shot one of his hunting buddies. Big deal!

At least we got some REAL MEN in charge!

"Remember, for chronic constipation use Ducolax!!"

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 14, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Since this is a day dedicated to romance, I think I feel a song in the air (no offense, Wilbrod). Why, yes I do. It's coming to me now. Let's see...I think it may go a little this:

Bang bang, you shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, Dick Cheney shot me down

I sent five grand to all your PACs
We fended off liberal attacks
I sent cash to Abramoff, you know
You promised me no one would know

Bang bang, you peppered me
Bang bang, with tiny little copper bee-bees
Bang bang, that stupid clown
Bang bang, Dick Cheney shot me down

Medics came, took me away
While you and Karl decided what to say
You would always laugh and say
The ****ing press can wait another day

Bang bang, got me with that double-ought
Bang bang, it's all your fault
Bang bang, there'll be no trace
Bang bang, Dick Cheney shot my face

You and Katharine made a vow
She'd call the press after you left town
After fingerprints from your gun
Were wiped down with some 3-in-1
Now you're gone I don't know why
Sometimes I cry
Dick Cheney didn't even say "Sorry"
Aplogizing ain't in your repertory

Bang bang, I was your quail
Bang bang, you finally got a piece of tail
Bang bang, word's gonna get around
Bang bang, Dick Cheney shot me down


My only source on agarrame, omni, is all the lyrics that I Googled. They were unanimous (though that means nothing, I agree). But agarrame is just one word in the "Hold that Ghost" translation, and it does exist as one word in dozens of other Spanish song titles, etc. In the context of the song, though, "Love takes hold" isn't as likely a meaning as "Hold me." He and Magdelana are already in love when the song begins, so there is no new love to take hold. Also, when you hear it, there's no glottal stop between the two words (though with Spanish that could be allided). Thanks for the suggestion, though.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Joel, your blog is a kind of Shangri La, bewildering to newcomers, but enchanting once they get the hang of it. Leave some of the mystery. (Jus a little bit - now ABJunkie, **that's** Aretha).

Posted by: Nani | February 14, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

No, darn it, LindaLoo, I don't recall the name of the book. I checked it out from the library and I bet it's out of print.

Yes, Nani, the seafood will be fabulous. This is one of those places that gets written up in Southern Living and foodie magazines. It's a special-occasion kinda restaurant. Right after it opened, we wandered in on a Friday night in shorts, not realizing that we woefully underdressed. They seated us way in the back, but they were nice to us anyway.

Posted by: Slyness | February 14, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

achenbach...yeah, i think i did miss most of the jest...i guess i am used to Gonzales , bush et al using fdr to justify ignoring fisa to break laws. and while i think when they bring such points up, it is in jest at the publics expense. and don't quote me as having Gonzales/Bush specifially claiming that, just the word around the campfire, so to speak. but i was just pointing to when sam morse first proved that such a device as the telegraph was posible: "While a professor of arts and design at New York University in 1835, Samuel Morse proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper - the invention of Morse Code. The following year, the device was modified to emboss the paper with dots and dashes. He gave a public demonstration in 1838, but it was not until five years later that Congress (reflecting public apathy) funded $30,000 to construct an experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore, a distance of 40 miles.

Six years later, members of Congress witnessed the sending and receiving of messages over part of the telegraph line. Before the line had reached Baltimore, the Whig party held its national convention there, and on May 1, 1844, nominated Henry Clay. This news was hand-carried to Annapolis Junction (between Washington and Baltimore) where Morse's partner, Alfred Vail, wired it to the Capitol. This was the first news dispatched by electric telegraph. "

thank you for the reply, it is always fun to be able to put my own two cents in.

Posted by: jf | February 14, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Mad props to 'Mudge for the Sonny & Cher!

Posted by: asdg | February 14, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Lonemule says:

"Remember, for chronic constipation use Ducolax!!"

I thought all you needed, TLM, was the Achenblog!

Posted by: TBG | February 14, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Linda, Amazon comes through! Try these:

Posted by: Slyness | February 14, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Nani does disco? Too cool!

Nani, I knew that any words that I put behind your name had to be better than being a lobbyist for the Asbestos Foundation. *L*

TBG--you just "crack" me up!

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh! a BIG improvement! I like the refrain a lot.
"Bang, Bang, Dick Cheney shot me down"

What IS the original title of the song that you are parodying anyway, so I can look it up? Thanks Mudge!

And we must make sure children are singing "Bang, Bang, Dick Cheney shot me down" in schoolyards immediately.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 14, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon - Nashville is calling for you. After that, the NSA and/or Secret Service will be calling you.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 14, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I swear I didn't write that song! It's all a lie! They are framing me! (Are you listening, NSA?) It was...let's see...Jon Lovitz! Yeah, that's it. Jon Lovitz wrote it.

The name is actually "Bang Bang," Wilbrod.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much! I will definitely pursue the leads you just provided me.

I tried your 2:40 p.m. link and it didn't work for me. Got an error page. *winks paranoidly* *L*

I know too much of the backstory of how the 200th Lewis and Clark commemoration was rigged, in a sense. Yup, the gov'ts on to me. Expect to be led away shortly and imprisoned in Alcatraz. I'll be chiaroscuro on the rock above the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. My prison of choice actually, but I'm still holding out on the Guantanamo option.

My last words before being led away by the NSA, federales, and local law enforcement (although we're still waiting for a new top cop to be named): "C'mon folks! Asking the 56 Native American nations that Lewis and Clark stumbled across is like asking Jewish people to celebrate the Holocaust!"

*muzzled. now silent*
Mre phfths fr cnvos. Gzy pzy.

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Do you think they'll put us in the same cell block? We could tap messages to each other through the walls. Using Morse code (developed in 1844).

Share a few beans and bread crumbs? Pass some methane together? Trade prison stripe fashion tips? Perhaps train a leetle pet mouse? Which one of us do you think will walk the Green Mile frist (channeleing Bill Frist, now that truly is a disgusting thought)?
SCC: first

Do you think Joel would come rescue us in his Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine?

Posted by: Loomis | February 14, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Agarrame would be Agarra(r)= taking hold + me., in the imperative mood.

Love takes hold= Amor se agarra.

So yes, "Hold me", "Hang on to me" etc. would be accurate translations depending on context and meter.

In honor of imperalism, may I submit the Latin refrain for Mudge's parody?

"Bam, Bam, Ad terrae, Ad terrae,
Bam, Bam, Dux Cheneus meum deiciat"

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 14, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Loomis, for the "Galloping Gourmand de los Gatos" Valentine. The cats appreciate it too and were served a jumbo can of sardines in lieu of chocolates.

I was going to send a V-photo titled "UNRELENTINGLY CHEERFUL BOODLER" but haven't yet figured out how to send it from the disc I copied it to when in Cedar Key today. It may take a few days for my learning curve to kick in.

ET, thank you for appreciating that pun. I drop a lot of them, but they are mostly ignored, deliberately, I suspect.

Historic Note: Hamilton was shot exactly 6 months to the day from his birthday, January 11th, which I share. As I child I learned early that we shared that day and when my grandmothers ask what I wanted I always replied "Engraved pictures of Alexander Hamilton." By the time I was in my teens I regretted not being born on Ben Franklin's birthday. Adding Burr to the new $10 bill would devalue the currency.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Vale! Wilbrod! Vale!

Don't worry, Loomis, I got us covered. I actually toured Alcatraz two years ago, with my wife and youngest son, during a vacation ("cased de joint," as we tunesmithing recidivists like to say). Saw the actuall cell Clint Eastwood escaped from, also saw Burt Lancaster's cell. If I lose a few pounds, I think I can squeeze through that duct and make it to the top of the block, where we can rendezvous. Then we find the tunnels Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage went through, til we get to the gift shop. From there we put on touristy clothes, swim across the channel past Angel Island to Sausalito (I once had the Boy Scout Merit Badge for Swimming), catch a bus up to Napa Valley (or steal an SUV; everybody out there has one), find a nice little vineyard, and start our own cooking show on the Food Network. Nobody'll think to look for us on Cable TV.

Start sharpening some spoons; we're going to need them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney's Top 10 Excuses For Shooting Fellow Hunter

From the home office in blue-state New York, here's Vice President Dick Cheney's top 10 excuses for shooting fellow hunter Harry Whittington on Saturday:

10. Sick and tired of Whittington's "Hey, I'm having a heart attack" jokes

9. Pushed over edge by Dixie Chicks and Streisand blasting on pick-up truck stereo

8. Ongoing dispute over whether it's acceptable to torture quail before shooting them

7. Thought he saw Michael Moore on other side of tree line

6. Bombed out of his gourd on Wild Turkey and Lone Star Beer

5. Companion's ill-advised decision to wear sweatshirt

4. Was trying to impress Jodie Foster

3. Whittington's repeated ribbing that Bush is actually the "real president"

2. Targeting scope on rifle made by Halliburton

And the number one excuse given by Dick Cheney for almost blowing away hunting companion Harry Whittington...

1. Because he's a wartime vice president, damn it

Posted by: mo | February 14, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

To mo: Guffaw provoking award of the day for "...ill-advised decision to wear sweatshirt."

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much Ms.Loomis for remembering me and my fondness for Gewurztaminer. Although tonight will feature Champagne, I shall raise a glass to you. I'm sure my wife won't mind.
As for Cheney...I used all my good material (such as it was) on the earlier blog. I got nuthin.
Happy Valentine's Day to all.
After 17 years of marriage I've finally figured out how to kindle the fires of passion. I'm gonna go clean the kitchen.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 14, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Loomis: You are amazing!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by: ot | February 14, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Loomis thanks for remembering me on Valentine's Day

Mudge, if I may call you that, I've laughed so hard at all your post concerning the vice-president, I'm just give out.

And I do hope that the gentlemen recovers and that he's going to be okay. His situation does sound quite critical, and I'm sure he does not find any of this funny.

And I really do wonder why we're not being told by our elected officials about this incident, why is it held so close, and being slowly told? I don't get that.

Hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day, all your dreams and wishes come true concerning that special someone in your life.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 14, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I forgot to tell you that I did view the gallery of the website you suggested. The art is in your face, for lack of better words. I think I would like to view it up close and decide then. Happy Valentine's Day, Nani to you, and your family.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 14, 2006 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh - thanks for the award but it twas not original - me thinks it could have been letterman... but thanks! :)

Posted by: mo | February 14, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'll be there with the rowboat on the far side of Alcatraz to catch you and LindaLoo when you make your break. As I recall, nobody has ever successfully made the swim. We can hide in the tops of the redwoods in Muir Woods till they forget about us...I'll do what I can with the food show; I have a little experience in video production.

Posted by: Slyness | February 14, 2006 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Mo: regardless of attribution or origin, your sharing is worthy of the guffaw award.

Sly: Marin, as I recall, is a farther cry county from SF and a longer swim. But Muir Wood would be a majestic hideout. Cur making it to the top of the redwoods would be a feat of equal majesty.

Historic Note: John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, wrote his "1000 mile walk to the sea" on his journey from Kentucky to Cedar Key, Florida, passing nearby.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 9:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm still behind on this boodle thing but just want to say:


that was the sweetest valentines:
gentle and geeky:that's me...

Posted by: omni | February 14, 2006 9:36 PM | Report abuse


Less than three to all boodlers...

Thanks Karen for this wonderful emoticon (thanks to your daughter).

Posted by: omni | February 14, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

"Today I reached the sea" Muir wrote in his journal, "and many gems of tiny islets called keys." That is a valentine to all naturalists.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, thanks for the offer of a lift. I had been planning on using the scuba gear Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage left when they arrived on the Rock, but yes, a boat ride would be more comfortable and in the lifestyle I've become accustomed to (not that I've done all that many jail breaks). Fortunately, since Alcatraz is no longer a working Big House, I don't anticipate too much trouble with the guards, most of them being Wackenhut and Park Service people. They just don't make screws like they used to, alas. And I don't think they had a gift shop and a snack bar back in the day. That will come in handy for Loomis and me, since we'll likely need some sun block and perhaps some granola bars to tide us over.

Speaking of tides, I was a little worried about that. It goes about 6 or 7 knots past Alcatraz, and if we'd caught the tide going the wrong way, Loomis and I would wind up on the Kamchatka Peninsula instead of Sausalito.

My wife's Valentine's present to me this evening when I got home from work was a professional grade stainless steel frying and saute pan, a big mutha, very heavy, and ovenproof up to 550 degrees. (In case you're scratching your head, it was the perfect present--I'm a pretty good cook, and good cooks need professional grade gear.) So before you come pick us up in the boat, stop by my house and grab the pan and my notebook of recipes, wouldja? We'll need them on the TV show. Much obliged, amigo.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 14, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Linda Loo, thanks for remembering me in your Valentine! And so apropos (hope that's spelled right - pardon my French). Hope all boodlers are having a good day.

I love this time of year - spring is around the corner (even though it may snow here), Valentine's Day, my birthday, President's Day - February is one celebration after another. I went to the Flower and Garden Show here on Sunday. One of the lectures I listened to was Dan Hinckley's trek through Bhutan in search of plants to bring back. He mentioned that Bhutan has good environmental practices, and that although it is a monarchy, the king is giving up power because he thinks it's the right thing to do - unlike our administration. Dan got a big round of applause.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 14, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

My husband had chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for me when I came home. I recommend them. I didn't get him anything, I'm sorry to admit - well, I got him a card, and I bought some chocolate hearts the other day. Usually we don't make a big deal about today, because of all the other stuff this month. And heaven knows neither one of us should eat chocolate...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 14, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Valentine's day for me is mostly a day of remembering. I worked for the American Heart Assn. for many years and February was "Heart Month." Because the duties of the time demanded so much time, I made the 14th of February especially special to my spouse. The memories of those Valentine Days will be mine to the end of mine. All of you have those moments to remember. Making them unique and memorable in your own way is better than roses or boxes of chocolates. The memories endure while the flowers fade and chocolates pass. (The last in deference to Lonemule). These are the days that memories are made on.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Good thoughts, Shiloh.

I have to say I didn't even associate the Shroud with Torino! Where is NBC's vignette about that? I'll have to go googling and see what the story is - I don't know why it is the Shroud of Turin, although it may be buried in the deep recesses of my brain...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 14, 2006 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Finally had some time to review today's Boodle. Linda Loo, that Valentine was wonderful. It's amazing how many "regulars" there are in this thing.

Anyway, good night. See y'all tomorrow.

Posted by: CowTown | February 14, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The shroud, or Veronica cloth, lurking, is the legendary fabric that was proffered in anodyne to suffering. It has been debunked by science, including sprectrographic analysis (SciTim). It's authenticity, based on the theses of Joseph Campbell, is less important than its legend. Campbell said that every era needs its myth, a focus that transcends the reality of a time. Perhaps at the time of its "discovery," Turin/Torino needed a renewal that could only be accomplished by a myth that restored faith and established tradition. There are modern myths and a modern need for myth to explain the unknown and unknowable. A shooting by a vice president is not just newsworthy and historic, but the stuff that myths are made on.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 14, 2006 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I realized I didn't know how the shroud had wound up in Turin. I found a website that details the history - it's been there since 1578:

Lots of controversy, that's for sure. I like what you said about myth...

G'night, CowTown. G'night, Shiloh. G'night, Boodle.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 15, 2006 12:48 AM | Report abuse

This just in --

An advance copy of the monthly newsletter of the International Paper Hangers Local 107 reports that Harry Whittington told emergency personnel that the recent weekend shooting which has landed him in the hospital was his own fault. Said Whittington of the incident in which he was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney, "I blame myself", according to sources who describe themselves as "purely social" witnesses to the hunting party. En route to the hospital, Whittington is reported to have said, "I should have known better than to wear the Cindy Sheehan mask."


Posted by: DoubleVision | February 15, 2006 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, lurker, for the link to the Barrie Schwortz shroud site.

ET, I again assure you that I was not at Potiers and never knew Geoffry de Charny. However, I did attend the exhibition of the shroud for that ugly personage Philip of Flanders (humorously called handsome) at Bourgen Bresse between the events at Granada and my departure for China. I heard nothing more about the shroud until 1946 when it fell into the hands of Umberto 2, and who, as we know, willed it to the church with the stipulation that it remain in Turin (Torino). My absence from the western world may account for that gap in knowledge.

Schwortz, as much as anyone, is responsible for keeping the legend of the shroud alive. His role in the creation of a Hagiographa of the shroud preserves the role of myth in society. Joseph Campbell is smiling somewhere.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 4:26 AM | Report abuse

The previous post was meant for "lurking" as in mostlylurking, and not, as posted, for "lurker" or boondocklurker. The similarity of surnames led to my confusion and I will confine myself to the more familiar and personal in the future, especially among those who have become familiar.

Posted by: S | February 15, 2006 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh, Thanks for clearing that up.

But honnestly I can say that Philip of Flanders (who like me is a Philippe and lived in Flanders) was less ugly then you thought him to be.

He had eaten some bad Mussles the day before you saw him.
Cartoonists picked up on that and thus had a field day depicting him looking a bit green and swolen. His image never recovered even though his face did.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 15, 2006 4:47 AM | Report abuse

ET, Philip was considered "handsome" only because of his long nose and its achorn which attracted women like flies. His philandering is legend, but his wife Johanna de Waanzinnige (Wahnsinnige) worshipped him. When he died at the early age of 28 her parents recalled her to Spain where she was said to have gone MAD. Gossips said that she was addicted to certain weeds, both c.sative and indica, which earned her the nic (Maria)Juana. Today she would be considered NORML.

Philips portraits may be doctored to show him as either handsome or ugly. Artists of the time were paid to do what the sitter wanted. My own portrait at my elevation to Msgr, was done in Florence by the aged Botticelli just before my departure for China. I recently had it digitalized - demonstrating the continuing ability to "morph" a painting. I had it retitled "UNRELENTINGLY CHEERFUL BOODLER" and was going to post it, but i'm not much of a techie and don't know how.

I apologize for rambling on, but the record of Philip the Handsome (HA!) should be clarified.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Coming in late (or early) as usual. I got behind a bit but had fun reading all the Valentine greetings. Happy Day after Valentine's Day to all.

GREETINGS from the GREEN ACRES of middle America. That's the best I can do, Lindaloo.

What I can't figure out from the Dick Cheney story is how someone 30 yards away, as reported by the MSM, can be thought to be "coming up from behind." Thirty yards away is pretty far - almost a third of a football field - and I would think if one turned around one would see someone, unless one shot first and looked later.

Good thought, Mudge, about outsourcing the spokesperson job. The third person in the hunting party was the US Ambassador to Switzerland, Pamela, something or other, can't recall her last name.

I'm watching as much of the Olympics as I can - taping some and watching it later or seeing the reruns of Prime Time in the early hours. Leftover habit from the sixties and seventies.


Posted by: boondocklurker | February 15, 2006 5:53 AM | Report abuse


If you attract women like flies, you are handsome, full stop. (If only I was.)

Anyway, Your statement "for that ugly personage Philip of Flanders" clearly puts you in the camp of Ferdinant of Aragon.

I'm sure that the estate flumoxing Ferdinant gave you in near St. Agustine was payment for your slanderous scandalmongering of my beloved Philips the Good. I'm sure you even had something to do with his untimely death.

Therefore, I throw you the gauntlet. Pistols at dawn, sir!
(I had to find a way to tie this discussion to the kit.)

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 15, 2006 6:18 AM | Report abuse

bdl: "The Dick Cheney Story" has a certain ring to it. When is is made into a movie (directed by Kurasawaguy, scripted by kbertocci, choreographed by Curmudgeon and Joel lands the leading role as the young Dick) I will remember that you proposed the title.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 6:20 AM | Report abuse

...although i am not very convinced of the
significance or magnitude of the cheney
hunting and shooting mishap story it is
plain enough that cheney has put a big
notch in his bio... could surmise from the WH press
corps activity level on this story that
if such intensity of pursuit was put forth
on a range of other issues facing this
WH,the current gop regime in washdc and
bush2 foreign policy question marks it
might be of greater public benefit...
...more of the gop strategy for the 2006
nov elections was revealed recently with
hilary being tagged with the "angry" label
...clearly the gop is very good at pulling
out these types of word and phrase stickems values,defense of marriage,all
the 9/11 inferences,stay the course,trust
us at keeping you safe,tax cutters...the
donkey party should really be able to nail
the gop on its record of the last 5 years
in the WH,the last 10 years in congress...
yet seems incapable of shaping the attack
or mounting a seige...
...linda loo, you surely are one the top
5 most active a-blog boodlers...the range
of your blogging is seemingly texas sized
...a late but sincere happy valentines day
to you ...:-)...when i first came across
the a-blog last year it was something of
an experiment to post comments...i was
wary of the outcome...yet early on i felt
it was a friendly place,and happily this
has been borne out by time and record...
when you find yourself abroad in another
land being able to keep in near daily
touch with other wordsmiths and viewers
of the passing parade is noteworthy...
while there may be blogs that are more
frontline on politics,event watching or
burning issues...the a-blog so often has
a nice conversational,share a smile feel
...a inet back porch place to say "hi",it
may lead to a stop and visit or
glad to participate here,and apprecitate
the society and sense of shared sensibility
found here on joels back porch...:-)

Posted by: an american in siam... | February 15, 2006 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the delay, ET. Another sub-freeze morning in rural Florida and as the town awakens the power demand shuts down the electricity. Rebooting takes a few minutes.

I make no pretense to being handsome, I was referencing Philip as attracted to and attractive to women who saw something in his long nose.

And yes, Ferdinand was involved in the miserable treatment of Juana de Loca, her name in Castile. But I disavow any connection to him after the surrender of Granada. St. Augustine was settled which I was in China.

I did not come to the Americas until after I left Peking (Beijing) in 1760, going first to Italy (Italia) where a disagreement (another story) led to my departure for Nevis in the West Indies. There I was fortunate enough to meet the orphaned Hamilton boy, Alexander not George, and chaperoned his sail to the American colonies.

I will not bore you with events leading up to Weehawken, but suffice it to say that I was somewhat involved in his later work on the Federalist Papers, in which he used the nic "Publius."

It amuses me that his prediliction for a term limited monarchical presidency is being restored by the present incumbent under the "unitary executive" doctrine. But, that too, is another story.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Let me emphasize and clarify that the Hamilton boy wanted an elective, non-heriditary, life-term president with virtually unlimited monarchical power. He lost gracefully at the Constitutional Convention, but his ideas persist to this day in some circles.

I cannot linger this morning, having a third meeting in as many days in another town. This one at the county seat EOC (Emergency Operations Center) where discussion will probably turn to how to handle a medical and political crisis if a county commissioner should accidentally shoot a citizen. Hunting is much in favor in rural Florida and the chance of such an event has heightened concern in recent days.

I'll be back this evening.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 7:06 AM | Report abuse

To americaninsiam:

It's wonderful to be able to carry on conversations with folks all around the world. Brings a whole new meaning to a wraparound porch, doesn't it?

When I spot those narrow columns, I always look forward to reading what you have to say. I'm glad you found the a-blog.

The thing I've learned about blogs is that you can't really count on them for hard truth, so you might as well find the ones that entertain. And even our new mascot, The Lonemule, will have to agree that this one certainly does that.

Posted by: TBG | February 15, 2006 7:17 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no, Eurotrash! If you fling down the gauntlet, Shiloh gets to choose the weapon! Be careful how you go about this; if one of you dies, the other is liable to arrest for murder...

Posted by: slyness | February 15, 2006 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, thanks for the warning. I should have thought about it.
I'm feeling more and more like a Hamilton today.
I hope he will refuse to pick up the gauntlet.

Posted by: Eurotrash | February 15, 2006 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Here's a nice timeline covering Hamilton and Burr and the duel.

[trivia: (1) Hamilton's son was killed in a duel, too. (2) Burr graduated from The College of New Jersey (Princeton) at age 16; Hamilton applied to the same college but was not accepted and attended King's College (Columbia) instead.]

Posted by: kbertocci | February 15, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Burr was a genuine American aristocrat -- LindaLoo surely could tell you that Burr's father and grandfather were both presidents of Princeton, and the grandfather was none other than Jonathan Edwards ("Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God").

I've been browsing the shelves at the local college library and found this passage written by Burr about James Monroe -- just for folks who think that gentlemen of yore were too refined to sling an insult: "Naturally dull and stupid -- extremely illiterate -- indecisive to a degree that would be incredible to one who did not know him -- pusillanimous and of course hypocritical."

American in Siam: Thanks for that great summary of the Blog-As-Porch. I concur. Great to have you here.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2006 8:35 AM | Report abuse

TBG, excellent "wraparound porch" concept. When we have the Boodler Bios we'll also have a map to show where the bureaus are located.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Here's Shiloh on Hamilton: 'It amuses me that his prediliction for a term limited monarchical presidency is being restored by the present incumbent under the "unitary executive" doctrine. But, that too, is another story.'

I do keep waiting for someone to say that Cheney's misfire in Texas is covered under "Executive Privilege."

Chernow's key theme in his biography of Hamilton is that in the post-Revolutionary era (1790s and so on) there were two competing visions for the young United States. One, advanced by Jefferson, foresaw an agrarian republic, with lots of little farms scattered across the continent, a boutique government, no standing Army or Navy, and emphasis on personal freedoms, particularly the freedom from the government meddling with one's life. The other, advanced by Hamilton, called for a commercialized society with a strong government, almost monarchical chief executive, strong military, and lots of money flying around from one banker and investor to another. These competing visions were furiously argued in an almost Red State v. Blue State kind of way. And you know who ultimately won the argument. As Chernow puts it, we live in Hamilton's America.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

This is just ridiculous! We are wasting time and energy on something that will be a complete non-story this time next week. It is a Karl Rove trap. Let's focus on saying POSITIVE things about our (liberal) programs and platform!!

Posted by: Dorothy from Columbus | February 15, 2006 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Did I just kill the boodle or merely pepper it pretty good.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm out the door, but can't resist one last post.

My late wife was a HS English teacher and one essay question in American Lit asked for the title of the Jonathan Edwards piece cited by Joel.

In helping her grade papers, a wrong answer by one student lingers in my inventory of amusing stories. He answered: "God in the Hands of Angry Sinners."

Until tonight.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Oops, Shiloh! You've revealed your gender!
Now we know.

Posted by: slyness | February 15, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

There is one Valentine I had every intention of "sending" yesterday via the Boodle, but couldn't fit it in because of the packin' heat (guns) and passion (roses) of yesterday's themes.

It is to an older gentleman, one of those types who is both intelligent and strong of character.

I met this man only briefly last spring, during a political debate of the top three mayoral candidates at our downtown library for the arts community. Little did I know all the questions for the debate that evening had been pre-selected, but since I was writing at the time, I was able, by sheer force of personality perhaps, and a sense of fairness, to get my question squeezed in at the end.

Crazy as it may seem, I wanted to get a feel for the three candidates' sense of internationalism, so I asked the question as a metaphor and made it quite plain that I was doing so.

To the Hispanic candidate, I asked, "Que color es su corazon?" For the two others of German-descent, I put forward, "Welche Farbe ist dein Herz?" The Hispanic candidate undertood the question in Spanish and gave the best answer, but he had the opportunity of answering first.

Today, my question, "What color is your heart?" hardly seems foolish at all--for the man to whom this Valentine goes has shown his true colors time and again.

I didn't vote for him, but now's the time to tell him how much I admire him--from afar and for these reasons:

First, the bumpy, rolloercoaster, rut-laden streets around our city's downtown library have been paved to be as smooth as silk.

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit late last summer, he opened as many doors and public spaces in our city as humanly possible to welcome those who were displaced and streaming in our direction from both New Orleans and east Texas. He personally visited a number of times with those left homeless in hurricanes' wake. Those who needed help were sheltered, fed, and clothed and the city rallied to the mayor's effort.

Mayor Phil now wants to tackle the problem of our homeless in a significant way, beyond just providing a downtown restroom so the homeless don't have to urinate where and when they can. Heading a new homeless taskforce just yesterday was former Mayor Ed Garza, whom I satirized severely on the issue.

Last, he grows in my heart as a result of this coverage in Monday's paper, in a story written by reporter Sig Christenson:

Our mayor, Phil Hardberger, has decided to attend the funerals of those from our city killed in Iraq, a presence that Hardberger feels will be mainly symbolic (rather than a photo-op).

As the article points out, Hardberger isn't the only officeholder going to military funerals. Govs. Edward Doyle and Theodore R. Kulongoski, Democrats of Wisconsin and Oregon, respectively, have attended numerous funerals, according to AP.

But Hardberger may be unique among mayors leading the nation's 10 biggest cities. Some of the mayors, including those in Houston and San Jose, Calif., have not atended funerals of fallen hometown heroes.

In Houston, the mayor has attended welcome-home events for the troops. The mayor of San Jose said that he would be available for funerals if asked. The mayor of Dallas attends the funerals of police officers and firefighters. Our Gov. Rick Perry typically sends notes of condolence. President Bush has not attended any funerals since Gulf War II began.

The idea of attending the funerals, Hardberger said, is rooted in his belief that the city show support for the military and those who perish in combat. He said there is nothing political about his funeral appearances and that it is not a commentary for or against the war.

"I think it's a good thing to do, but that springs from humanitarian reasons. My going to a funeral is not making a political statement but a human statement tht I appreciate what you've given up here and I appreciate your pain," Hardberger said. There are political debates that can go on, of course, but I don't really think that that's a timely thing to be doing in an hour of such pain."

(Now, if only President Sheehan had reached out to Cindy Sheehan yesterday on Valentine's Day.)

Mayor Phil, you have a heart that pulsates such a vibrant red. Happy Valentine's Day, a day late, from one of your ardent admirers. I love you.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2006 9:16 AM | Report abuse

A friend of mine had a funny line this AM:

"I had a dream last night that Dick Cheney wanted to take me hunting, and Ted Kennedy wanted to drive me home."


Posted by: bc | February 15, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Has there been any mention of Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game"? Cheney is a modern day Zaroff!

Posted by: ot | February 15, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ouch, bc! *L*

Historical footnote:
Jonathan Edwards is fascinating, for more reasons than I care to divulge, but his genealogy/marriage (so thanks again, Slyness) is one of them.

Suffice it to say, that Jonathan Edwards hails from East Windsor, just across the Connecticut River from the Loomis ancestral home in Windsor, Conn. Several Loomises were pillars in Edwards' pappy's church in East Windsor.

Mudge, so nice to know that we'll now be ferried from Alcatraz to Sausalito in a little boat. That relieves me of much worry today. You know, planning these prison breaks takes such a toll on one mentally.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Just a last note:

Those Loomises propagated like proverbial rabbits, so Windsor ran out of room, and the Loomises had to go somewhere (and they went everywhere--even into the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, in the area of Kenedy County--the site of this past weekend's Gungate), but in the early days, they just boarded a boat and forded the stream to help establish East Windsor, so to speak.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse

(Now, if only President Sheehan had reached out to Cindy Sheehan yesterday on Valentine's Day.)

You know how it should read. My two cups of coffee have not yet kicked in as a result of late Valentine's evening. (Note to self from last night's activities: write a note to Steven Spielberg on President's Day.)

Will be away from house today. Boodle on. Hasta la manana.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2006 9:47 AM | Report abuse

From the latest details the accident doesn't actually sound quite as egregious a lack of judgement. (He was in a dry pond bed, lower and in weeds, etc.) The disclosure still is of course.

In any case, while I never (alright, seldom) wish harm on another being I'm much less upset at Cheney's shooting his own financial supporter than I am of the continued refusal to let us know if Exxon got a vote in the Iraqi war.

Also, while we're on the subject of mortality I just found out my co-workers husband has got two weeks to live due to advanced cancer. He's 72, runs his own business and could never bring himself to retire, so they won't get to enjoy that quiet life upstate they were planning.

Don't put anything off to retirement folks.

Posted by: asdg | February 15, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Came across this little nugget in David Ignatius' column this morning, which is seriously affecting my umbrage quotient:

"The most recent example of politicized intelligence was President Bush's statement on Feb. 9 that the United States had "derailed" a 2002 plot to fly a plane into the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles. Bush spoke about four al Qaeda plotters who had planned to use shoe bombs to blow open the cockpit door. But a foreign official with detailed knowledge of the intelligence scoffed at Bush's account, saying that the information obtained from Khalid Sheik Mohammed and an Indonesian operative known as Hambali was not an operational plan so much as an aspiration to destroy the tallest building on the West Coast. When I asked a former high-level U.S. intelligence official about Bush's comment, he agreed that Bush had overstated the intelligence."


Sorry to learn that you're a widower, Shiloh, as many of us were sorry to learn a while back that Nani is a widow. Perhaps you two could... I'm gettin' all tingly just thinking about it--a little post-Valentine's Day matchmaking!

Of course, we'd hate to lose you two from the boodle. Look what happened to sara. She gets engaged...and we haven't heard a peep out of her since. Ah, er, wedding planning, I'm sure. Wink, wink.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 15, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh, my condolences on your loss.

'Mudge, sara's obviously devoting all her efforts towards obtaining THE gown for the nuptials...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Best duels on film:

Whole movie about dueling- Ridley Scott's The Duellists w. Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine

Funniest duel- Gert Frobe and Jean-Pierre Cassel in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, combatants in hot air balloons suspended over sewage lagoon fire blunderbusses at each other's ballon.

Most beautiful duel- a tie between the duel at dusk at Ichijoji Temple (one man with two swords against fifty!) in Part 2 of Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy and the sunrise duel on the beach of Ganryu Island that climaxes Part 3.

Most realistic duel- again a tie between Twilight Samurai and Harakiri. Both give a really strong feeling for what it is like to try to kill another with a yard of sharpened steel while avoiding same.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

asdg, my grandson-in-law tells me that Cheney broke an elementary rule of shooting quail or other birds. Hunters are supposed to wait until they see "nothing but sky underneath the bird, then and only then shoot".

kurosawaguy, are you fond of Miazaki's (sp)animation? TCM featured a series of his films which I found very entertaining.

Curmudgeon, thanks for the tune-cootie. I'll be humming "Matchmaker matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch" all blessed day long.

Cassandra, Mary Proctor's paintings are quite primitive and childlike. That's the charm of them (for me). She was literally living in a junkyard in Tallahassee, FL, with her door paintings lined up against a chain link fence, when discovered by a NY art critic who just happened to be passing through. That led to her showing in the Soho gallery.

Posted by: Nani | February 15, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

And as another Boodle wanders down its path, soon to be replaced with another, I give you the latest from Andy Borowitz ...

February 14, 2006

Stunning Comeback for Former FEMA Chief

Washington was abuzz today about one of the most stunning political comebacks in years as President George W. Bush named former FEMA Chief Michael Brown to a new Cabinet-level post, Secretary of Defensiveness.

In his new position, Mr. Brown will be responsible for coming up with excuses for all of the other Cabinet-level departments "whenever they screw up," Mr. Bush said.

After he was dismissed from his FEMA job in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina debacle, most
Washington observers had left Mr. Brown's political career for dead, but the former FEMA chief's nonstop stream of defensive remarks before Congress last Friday set the stage for his astonishing return to power.

"As I watched Brownie making all of those excuses and blaming everything on me, at first I got real mad," Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House. "But then, after about an hour or so, I thought to myself, dang, he's good."

The president said that Mr. Brown's first assignment as Secretary of Defensiveness would be to come up with some excuses for the way the war In Iraq is going.

But Mr. Brown warned that Iraq was "such a mess," making excuses for it would "take some time" and that "it could be awhile before the excuses arrive."

In response to Mr. Brown's warning, Mr. Bush expressed admiration for his new Cabinet officer:
"He can even make excuses for why he hasn't made excuses yet."

Elsewhere, elsewhere, President Bush's new Medicare drug plan will provide aspirin for people who attempted to understand the plan.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 15, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Very honorable mentions go to the many fine swordfight scenes directed by Michael Curtiz (he also did Casablanca) in Captain Blood, Sea Hawk, Robin Hood, etc.

Nani, I liked Totoro OK, but generally I'm not a fan of anime, nor do I like samurai films that emphasize fighting above all else and violate the laws of gravity and bushido simultaneously three times a minute. This keeps me in the 40's, 50's, and 60's pretty much, although the aforementioned Twilight Samurai is a rare and very good exception. Too many modern Japanese films focus on violence exclusively. The occasional bit of whimsy like Adrenallin Drive is a refreshing break from relentless 'splosions and blood spatter. It's a Hollywood disease too, of course.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

DOH (dope slap)

That would be Adrenaline Drive- boy meets girl, boy accidentally gets suitcase full of yakuza money, boy and girl are pursued by gangsters, hilarity ensues.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse


Please ensure you've put down the yard of sharpened steel before proceeding with the dope slap. We'd miss ya if ya didn't. Thank you.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy, I got a Japanese sword for Christmas from my favorite Viking buddy. He said it was approx. 300 years old, and somebody in China is selling these things cheap because they don't especially appreciate the Japanese. It sure looks old. Any ideas how one would check?

Guess I have to haul the laser disc out and watch Captain Blood and The SeaHawk again.

Still, my all-time swordfight favorite has to be Error Flynn against Basil Rathbone in Robin Hood. The huge staircase, the shadows...

Posted by: asdg | February 15, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that the Veep's first public comments on l'affaire Whittington will come in an interview on Fox News...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

[Boodle skimming from Kinkos whilst checking e-mails]

How serendipitous that I should pop in just in time to see "Error Flynn"! As a compatriot of the late Error [sic], I'm wondering whether to take umbrage. (Nah!)

[But you were probably kidding, right? It wasn't a real, er, error. Right?]

Also, just have to say I loved the pic of kbertocci holding THE "Hi Boodle!" sign. Fantastic; absolutely fantastic.

Posted by: Achenfan | February 15, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

SCC entry:
Kinko's. Actually, FedEx Kinko's, if I'm going to be persnickety.

Posted by: Achenfan | February 15, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh oh, now I've done it. Yes yes ErroL! Sorry, my normal copy editing was interrupted by, how you say: "Work"?

I grew up watching that stuff on Sunday afternoons.

Well, actually I grew up when I was 25 in Boston, but that's another story.

Posted by: asdg | February 15, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

So now it's AchenTomFan/Dreamer/Persnickety??? *L*

Hope your travels are going great!!! :)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If you're into Mr. Flynn, I'd check out Timothy Dalton channeling EF in The Rocketeer with Jennifer Connolly. Although Flynn was a womanizer and arch conservative, I don't think he was quite the Fifth Columnist and Nazi spy that Dalton plays here. I have a soft spot for this film because of the homage to Rondo Hatton.

This on RH from imdb-

Only child, born to Stewart and Emily Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland. Family moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1912, when he was a highschool senior and his father joined a family-owned business there. He was apparently popular and a good athlete, especially in football. After leaving highschool, he joined the Florida National Guard to pursue a military career, fought in the Mexican Border War and then in France in World War I. Here, he was exposed to poison gas, was hospitalized with lung injury and was subsequently medically discharged from service and consigned to a pension. Returning to Tampa, he took employment as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune where he worked until 1936, when he moved to Hollywood. At some point after his exposure to the poison gas, he also developed acromegaly, a slowly progressive deforming of bones in the head, hands and feet, and internal and external soft tissues, caused by disease of the pituitary gland which onsets after the individual has reached his full genetic height (under normal pituitary influence) and production of growth hormone resumes but the bone structure can no longer produce symmetric growth (as in giantism). According to all authors, his acromegaly was a result of the poison gas, though typically it is caused by a tumor on the pituitary. In any event, his worsening disfigurement is thought to have led to his first divorce, and certainly was responsible for his being noticed by director Henry King, who was shooting a movie, Hell's Harbor, near Tampa. Reporter Hatton was covering the filming, and King offered him a role. Hatton remained a reporter however until after his second marriage in 1934; in 1936, he and his new, more faithful wife moved to Hollywood. Thereafter, Hatton appears to have subsisted primarily on bit or extra roles, with an occasional role substantial enough to earn him cast acknowledgment, until being cast for the role of the "Hoxton Creeper" in Universal's Pearl of Death in 1944. Universal thereafter attempted to promote Hatton to horror film stardom because of his acromegalic appearance, including a burgeoning series about a spine-breaking maniac called "The Creeper". However, around Christmas, 1945, he had a mild heart attack (heart weakness, along with diabetes and blindness being common complications of acromegaly) and, seemingly recovered, a fatal one just over a month later. He was returned to Tampa for burial.
By all accounts a kind, sensitive man, Hatton was reportedly extremely unhappy at the crude, vulgar way Universal exploited his unfortunate disease, but, as he was under contract, he could do nothing about it. After his death, Universal--perhaps suffering a twinge of guilt--sold his last picture, "The Brute Man", to PRC. It was released as a PRC picture--Universal's name appears nowhere on it.

Rondo Hatton's legacy has endured far longer than even the best of his films. His likeness was the basis for the low-brimmed and brutish villain in "The Rocketeer (1989)." And in recent years, his memory survives in the fan-based Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, awarded each year for the best in horror research, appreciation and film restoration. Winners get a statuette based on the mammoth bust of Hatton as the Creeper, seen in Universal's "House of Horrors (1946)."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Let's say you lurk here and you've been thinking about jumping into the fray and posting a comment. You start to post and then freeze up. Oh, you've got some good comments to post. And you've taken a moment to clean things up. But you realize that you don't have a name. You could post without one, but that's a minor league way to go about it. You toy with several names, but don't come up with one that works for you. And so you give up and don't post.

Sad. So sad.

If that happens to you, I have the answer. Here's a name you could use, if you've been looking for one. I'm not picking on the person who made the typo that created it, I just think it's kind of funny and has a writerly element to it. So, in advance, you're welcome.

(Insert trumpet blare here.)

Error Flynn.

Posted by: Bayou Self | February 15, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

BS, good grief, never thought my typos would inspire a blog-name! "Error Flynn" might be good for a Jim Carey movie too.

In fact I do appreciate the overall attention to such things here, the complete opposite of my other blog handgout where *I'm* the spelling Nazi.

Interesting story about Rondo Hatten! I have actually seen The Rocketeer a couple of times, and just recently too. T. Dalton makes a good bad guy, I much prefer it to his James Bond. I also have a soft spot for that movie due to a ancient videogame on the Amiga computer. It was kind of a combination of The Rocketeer and Commando Cody, where you had to fight the Nazis by getting Lunarium back from the moon. I'm not really much of a "gamer" but the Amiga had some great stuff.

Posted by: asdg | February 15, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

is it true that Cheyney was shooting drunk and that's why they delayed the announcement....

is it against the law to kill a man hunting when you're drunk or are you exempt in Texas?

Posted by: some good comments... | February 15, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

But shouldn't it be "Error Frynn"?

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Name this movie quote- "I am feeling very Olympic today!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Since Bayou Self so accurately described the process by which I became "asdg" (except I riffed on the kbd instead of bailing) in my very best Elvis voice:

Why, Thank ya, thank ya very much.

k-guy: One typo per name. Usually the compiler catches it.

Posted by: Error Flynn | February 15, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

As famed Texas defense attorney Richard "Racehorse" Haynes once said, "If you can't prove you didn't kill the sumbitch, just prove the sumbitch needed killin'." Google up the case of Fort Worth millionaire Cullen Davis for a sample.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

For anyone still here, there's a new kit - and a good one too (as opposed to the usual shlock that I can't seem to drag myself away from).

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 15, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, that shlock comment was a joke. Can't be too careful.

Posted by: ABJunkie | February 15, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The best duel of all time, bar none, was Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye in "The Court Jester". It takes real grace do look that graceless.

Posted by: wiccan | February 15, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: to look that graceless.

Posted by: wiccan | February 15, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Your Burr-Hamilton reference means nothing. It was actually typical in that period for news to be distributed in that way, and to take that long for it to reach the newspapers, many of which were only printed once or a few times a week.
Also, at that time, the president would have no interest in shielding the vice president from bad publicity; the vice president was not a member of the same "party" as the president, but was selected by virtue of being the runner-up to the president in the presidential election.


Posted by: Inaccuracy Police | February 16, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Your Burr-Hamilton reference means nothing. It was actually typical in that period for news to be distributed in that way, and to take that long for it to reach the newspapers, many of which were only printed once or a few times a week.
Also, at that time, the president would have no interest in shielding the vice president from bad publicity; the vice president was not a member of the same "party" as the president, but was selected by virtue of being the runner-up to the president in the presidential election.


Posted by: Inaccuracy Police | February 16, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Commenting to what DQ wrote above: "Huh? How can you dismiss the questions about whether Cheney was drinking ..."

I thought Mr Achenbach's satire was right on .. and fairly obvious. He was NOT letting Cheney off the hook, but was hinting that 18 hours would have been plenty of time for Cheney to sober up (e.g. if the veep had had a typically/legally intoxicating amount of beer at lunch, say 6 or 8).

Posted by: launcher | February 16, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Now some truly frightening news. The History News Network at George Mason University has included this item in the weekly roundup of history news. Careful, Achenbach, you might be taken seriously here.

Posted by: ep | February 17, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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