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McCain-Levin Steel Cage Death Match

At the Armed Services hearing yesterday McCain and Levin got highly dyspeptic and seemed ready to take it to the next level (Steel Cage Death Match). They were seated right next to each other but didn't really look at one another as they exchanged a series of increasingly testy remarks about what to do in Iraq. McCain is outraged by the thought of passing a resolution opposing the president's "surge." He's visibly seething. Levin is one of the original proponents of the resolution. The specific trigger of the McCain-Levin dispute was whether to look at the old "benchmarks" for progress agreed to by the Maliki government (Levin demanding that the State Department produce said benchmarks pronto), or come up with new benchmarks set by the Senate (McCain's position). The exchange -- delicately described as "spirited" by Lieberman a few minutes later -- only came to an end when Levin, red in the face, abruptly called on Sen. Ben Nelson, then stood up and left the room. Nervous chuckles in the chamber.

McCain is not a happy man these days. In an interview with Roger Simon, in the new politics journal The Politico -- more on that in a moment -- he lashed out at Cheney and Rumsfeld. In another article, Simon writes about McCain's somber demeanor of late: "I suggested to him that the laughing, joking John McCain of his last presidential campaign seemed to be AWOL. "It's hard to make jokes; we are a nation at war," he said.

I don't think anyone should be shocked if the Senate fails to pass a resolution -- any resolution -- opposing the Surge. Appalled, maybe, but not shocked. Seems like the idea has a good chance of dying on the vine. Right now even people who think the surge is cockamamie, such as Voinovich, aren't willing to put their names to a resolution. Hagel thinks they're being wimps ("If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes"). Maybe some fear being accused of cutting-and-running. Conservatives still are trying frantically to frame the debate as a choice between wanting to win and wanting to lose. (See Hatch quote in Shailagh Murray's story on Hagel: "But playing around with resolutions when we all know we've got to stay and get the job done -- that doesn't make any sense. Most Republicans want us to win over there." This echoes the Bush talking point from October: "The Democrat approach on Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win, and America loses," [Bush] said. "The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq.")

Meanwhile Warner and Biden can't agree on compromise language, and hovering over everything is the question of whether it matters at all, since it's nonbinding, the troops are already on the way, and Petraeus says he has authority to call in even more troops if he wants them.

Back to The Politico: A number of my former colleagues work there and they're all wonderful people who I know will produce fabulous stuff and win the Nobel Peace Prize for Journalism and so on. And they've had some excellent stories so far. The website strikes me as a bit thin, perhaps because the history of the institution goes back all the way to Tuesday. Give it time. But right now you can read, in one sitting, everything The Politico has ever produced. I did a search on the name "Roosevelt," and was informed, "News and Blogs Search for 'Roosevelt': 0 records found." So maybe there should be an in-house contest at The Politico: 5 dollars for the first person to mention a Roosevelt, any Roosevelt, in a story. Ten bucks for the first Millard Fillmore reference. Twenty for Harold Stassen. And so on.

(I know what you're thinking: How much for Alben Barkley?)


Bill Keller says the Post is an educational company that happens to produce a newspaper.


Remember this name: Genarlow Wilson. This is the young man who is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Georgia, without hope for parole, because as a 17-year-old he had consensual sex with a 15-year-old. ESPN the magazine has the full story. Outrageous, heartbreaking.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 26, 2007; 8:38 AM ET
Categories:  Politics  
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Darn, that scotty is quick.

reposting from tail end of last kit:

Hey, is it just me, or has the "Name:" box for posting comments suddenly turned yellow? Might we expect more Curb Appeal Makeovers from Hal the Schemer? A mauve Comments box, perhaps? A periwinkle Preview button? A Submit button in Arbusto brown? Perhaps even (be still, my heart!) *italics*???? (the asterisks indicating italics, if we had italics)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not quick enough, however, to post before a co-worker came in and bent my ear concerning real work.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was Alben Barkley, not Alvin.

Posted by: pj | January 26, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

And I see no colors in the posting area. Perhaps 'Mudge's monitor had some of CulinaryTim's mushroom soup.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

And how many times was it that Barkley won the Senate rebounding title?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

*Wordless fuming and sputtering*
The ESPN piece on Genarlow Wilson is something. The logic in putting a promising young man into jail for 10 years for something like is what? To turn him into a *real* criminal in the process?

Posted by: Raysmom | January 26, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I saw Sir Charles on an NBA show when I got home late last night,He was falling asleep on the set,the other announcers said he shouldn't have eaten a whole box of Crispy Cremes.

Sir Charles is such a funny man,there is no BS in him,he says what is on his mind.

Didn't he flirt with the idea of running for the senate or governor of Alabama?

I also liked his nickname when he was playing*the round mound of rebound*

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 26, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh my dear heavens. The Genarlow Wilson case is something else. Boy I sure hope a lot of noise is raised about this.

Posted by: dr | January 26, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The Mudge is not losing his mind. The name window is yellow at home and Windows' teal at work. Got to be a browser issue.

The Senators are huffing and puffing but obviously don't want to bring down the house.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | January 26, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Sure, scotty, but what was Alben Barkley's record from the free-throw line?

I have a hunch if I read that Geralow Wilson story I'd have blood pressure problems all afternoon. Meanwhile, there's an almost-as-pathetic story out of Washington state that there's some kind of bizarre law that says not only can you NOT date someone in the medical profession WHILE you are being treated, you can't do so for TWO years after you've been treated. So if you are flirting with the nurse who gave you your flu shot you can't even TALK to her about a date; you have to wait two years, then call her up and say, "Remember me? You gave me a flu shot two years ago. How'd you like to go get a cup of coffee?"

And further meanwhile, there's this pretty interesting (OK, it's boring as crap, but being nautical I found it interesting) story that 15,000 or 20,000 years ago, the prevailing winds in this neck of the woods came from the east, not the west, and gradually shifted around 180 degrees, having to do with global warming, cooling, and indecisiveness.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Because any resolution would be 'non-binding' I wish the Democrats in Congress would just forget it and think of ways to win the fights that they have a chance to win. If there's a way to stop funding for non-troop related areas of the war or something, fine. Right now they're all just jabbering and people are still dying.

That quote from Bush has him using the term 'Democrat' instead of Democratic. No matter how many times I see or hear it, it's still fingernails on the blackboard to me. Bipartisanship my a$$, if you want someone's cooperation, you don't get it by butchering their title.

How awful about Genarlow Wilson. Especially since you know the thousands of other young men who, but for luck and the absence of video tape, would be in jail with him.

By the way, it's 14 degrees on my porch.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 26, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel that story is indeed heart breaking, I truly hope something can be done to correct the wrong. Mudge you are correct the story would raise your blood pressure.

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: ...something like that is what?
OK, doesn't make any more sense--still fuming.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 26, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Alben. Alben. That's what I meant. Alben. I typed "Alben" but different letters came out due to typographical mechanical dysfunction.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 26, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Am also a big fan of his son, Charles.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 26, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"typographical mechanical dysfunction" I now have the techinical term for errors in my posts. Really is not me :-)

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

OK, this kid is in jail for 10 years. Where is Mark Foley again ?

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | January 26, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who chose to read that case should note that the supreme court was divided by race in hearing a black teen's appeal.

Somebody I know would have something to say about how racism is still ongoing, especially in the South. It seems nobody wants to take responsibility for righting a wrong done to a black teen coming out from a videotaped party scene.

Not all the facts are there, though. I'm interested to know whether the videotaper was prosecuted for producing child pornography, incidentally.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Those who chose to read that case should note that the supreme court was divided by race in hearing a black teen's appeal.

A certain achenblogger that I know would have something to say about how racism is still ongoing, especially in the South. It seems nobody wants to take responsibility for righting a wrong done to a black teen coming out from a videotaped party scene.

Not all the facts are there, though. I'm interested to know whether the videotaper was prosecuted for producing child oprno, incidentally.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I remember the Wilson story from a while back, probably because he was an honors student. I believe that our justice system works well, in general, but has occasion to be ham handed with first offendees, lienient with repeat offenders or taken taken advantage of by those with seemingly inexhaustible resources for only the finest defense team. Some of these folks need to get the old Uncle Fester treatment.

Posted by: jack | January 26, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

My name box in Post has always been yellow.

Posted by: bh | January 26, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I just has to share this from Salon.

'Pelosi says she asked Bush why he thought this "surge" would work when two others have failed. The president's response: "Because I told them it had to."'

Posted by: Boko999 | January 26, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The Name box turned yellow when I installed the Google toolbar.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 26, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Ah! That's interesting, Boko. I installed that toolbar myself this morning. That explains it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Amen Shrieking Denizen amen.

Posted by: dr | January 26, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Amen Shreiking Denizen amen.

Posted by: dr | January 26, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Scc. Make that a double Amen and a name correction which seems to have posted first.

Posted by: dr | January 26, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd heard about that Wilson story in ESPN, and meant to read it before now.

I'm glad ESPN ran it, and I'm glad you picked it up, Joel. Outrageous and heartbreaking, indeed.

Boko999, that's a heck of a quote.

Speaking of Alben and Sir Charles, wasn't their dog on Sesame Street?


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey. If you can't do the time don't do the crime. Unless, of course, you have the right contacts.

Them Georgia Supreme Court Justices got even for OJ, now din't they?

What we REALLY need is a decision by our federal attorney general that those accused of sex crimes are unlawful enemy combatants. Then them libral MSMs would never know.

The undersigned thanks you for allowing him the opportunity to express a morning's worth of bitterness...

Posted by: Monaute | January 26, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, Monaute.

Yeah, they're assaulting our citizens, therefore they must be combatants. I was thinking that oral sex law (if it applies to adults, not just teens) sounded like a "Bill Clinton, don't be coming around Georgia Way" kind of law.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Totally off topic, yet extremely sobering: "Zimbabwe is facing a food deficit of hundreds of thousands of tons."--BBC reporting

I think a question that must be asked it whether by silence we acquiese to the terrible injustices that are being done; whether it is a young, black, male unjustly imprisoned, or an entire country being held hostage be its completely corrupt and parasitic government. Robert Mugabe has not allowed foreign agencies or journalists inside his country for years, eliminating any type of transparency or accontability, and his people are literally starving to death. He blames the west and uses that rhetoric to advocate the extreme isolationism that allows his dictatorship to exist.

Sorry for being off topic so early in the discussion, I just saw this story and got kinda ranckled.

Posted by: Tangent | January 26, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Just saw this article, wonder if Al Unser Jr., different offenses but will be interested to see how he is treated.

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC: acquiesce.

Posted by: Tangent | January 26, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Wilbrod, that type of statute usually dates from the 1800s or early 1900s (depending on the age of the state) and is very common. The perceived evil was homosexuality, encompassing oral & anal sodomy (to use another legal term). However, the legislators usually couldn't bring themselves to be even that specific. Until very recently, and maybe still in some places, you'll see people charged with "the crime against nature" or similar phrases.

Obviously the problems with this particular prosecution don't spring from that fear. I'm just giving you the probable history of the statute. This case is an outrage and an embarrassment, if you work in or even believe in the system.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Joel, I like the mental image of "steel cage death match". You're obviously putting your time on the Hill to good use. I don't agree with McCain on the necessity for the war or the strategy we should pursue. I do give him points, however, for being serious about it. Good for him, not making jokes and recognizing that the nation, meaning all of us, is at war.

Add in mention of Eugune Debs and William Jennings Bryan (surely there's a "cross of gold" comparison somewhere out there).

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Ivansmom that the new Kit name is much more apropo...


D'ya think Alben's descendant will have an irrational fear of transporters?


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I caught the bit about the State supreme court. Am I correct in thinking that they would normally only be able to rule on matters of law, such as whether any rules or procedure or laws were violated in the trial or processes ? Or can they overturn for other reasons.

Posted by: dr | January 26, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

When being married to an old battle-ax pays off...

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

For you locals, my wife just told me the courthouse in Upper Marlboro is on fire. (It was badly damaged in a fire about 2-3 years ago, too.) No other details.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Generally speaking, dr, appellate courts rule on matters of law. However, those may include both any legal questions which may come up during the trial and legal issues - such as constitutionality - arising from the statutes under which the defendant is prosecuted and sentenced. That is, questions of law include questions about the laws themselves. Very occasionally an appellate court rules on a question of fact; usually those jury determinations are not disturbed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Maher Arar, one of the guys whom was outsourced by the FBI/CIA to Syria for torture has settled for about cdn$10 millions.

He is still on the US "No Fly" list though. The US ambassador to Canada is p1ssed that the Canadian gunmint insist on removing him from the list. Wilkins first visit to Canada (or anywhere outside the US maybe...) was to take the job in Ottawa. He raised mucho pesos for el Arbusto though, that's nenough qualification for the job. The UK got the Californian version of the same guy, a very rich car dealer who collected vast amount of money for el Presidente. Let's just say that neither Foreign Affairs departments were plesed with the choices.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | January 26, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Ding, ding, ding! And the winner is Padouk.

A reasonable explanation re: the Estate of *insert name here* invoice--a nickname for the *first name* of the person was rolling around in my mind in conjunction with the last name but I couldn't tease out the source.

I found the ambulance company is well regarded, no complaints, so I called them this morning. They called the person who'd given them my information, and I spoke with her. They were all very apologetic; the phone number from the last place I'd lived (4 years ago) matched the contact number for this woman. That's when I remembered getting several messages from people trying to find "nickname lastname*, and why the name sounded a little familiar. The home and ambulance people are dropping my name now that they know I'm not her daughter.

When my aunt was in assisted living, one of us visited her every day. When we were moving her in, another resident said to us that they couldn't wait to meet her because most people's children weren't that attentive. For her nieces to be so meant she must be an exceptional person. I can't help but feel sorry for this poor lady who apparently didn't get visitors and whose caretakers had never even met her daughter, for whatever reason.

Wilbrod, did you catch that the mountain lion lady married him when she was 15 and he was about 20?

One hopes that outcry generated by the Wilson story will get him out of jail. Would he be eligible to play college ball or would the felony preclude that?

Posted by: dbG | January 26, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story about the mountain lion, Wilbrod. If it had been my wife, she'd had sprinkled me with some Adolph's Meat Tenderizer and basted me with lemon-pepper vinaigrette.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

dmd, Unser, Jr.'s had a long history of drug & alcohol problems. I spent a little time around him back when I used to cover CART and some of the support series, enough to know that the guy had some serious problems.

And that's saying something, since most top-line race car drivers are completely selfish self-absorbed jerks if they're any good. Al Jr. was pretty good in his day (geez, he's right about my age), but just couldn't handle the fame & fortune.

His name and wealthy friends should be able to keep Jr. from too heavy a sentence. An interesting contrast to the Wilson story, as you point out.

Scotty the "Alben's decendant" comment is the dorkiest reference i have detected so far today, and of course, I got it. Live long and prosper, dude.


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse


They don't get much dorkier than me, I tellya.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, great minds think alike.

If you were being attacked, I'd also hand the lion a bottle of A1 (to cover the taste) and tie your pants around its neck for a bib.

Bon appetit, kitty.


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, while you sound delish, it's just... well... I'd rather eat Hodges.

Posted by: byoolin | January 26, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I should have added that that lady who saved her husband is a hero.

And Scotty, I'm right there with ya on Maximum Dorkitude, buddy.


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Remember last weekend when insurgents drove up to that base checkpoint wearing US Army gear, passed through and killed 5 soldiers before getting away?

Here's another:
Four American soldiers were abducted during a sophisticated sneak attack last week in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and their bodies were found up to 25 miles away, according to new information obtained by The Associated Press.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad on Jan. 20, was conducted by nine to 12 militants posing as an American security team. They traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles - the type used by U.S. government convoys - had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English.

Posted by: byoolin | January 26, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

WTOP confirms the courthouse fire, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

bc, how can you not have issues when you are a grown adult but people keep calling you "Little Al" :-)

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Not "here's another" as in a second instance, but as in, "here's another report that adds a whole new level of terrifying detail..."

Posted by: byoolin | January 26, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse


With a gamey leg???


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse


byoolin, you know which post I was replying to.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This just in re: the Upper Marlboro courthouse fire: no piles of mulch have yet been implicated in the blaze.

We return you now to your regular programming.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

This just in re: the Upper Marlboro courthouse fire: no piles of mulch have yet been implicated in the blaze.

We return you now to your regular programming.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Does Senator Hagel have ANY IDEA how dangerous selling shoes can be? Obviously not. He's never tried to gently convince a 275 pound woman that she can't fit into a pair of Size 4 Ralph Lauren pumps. Or try telling the mother of a screaming nine-year-old that you're all out of the latest Nike supershoe in the kid's size. It's a jungle out there! I know shoe salesman who'd rather go into politics ANY time. That's my position, s'there.

Posted by: CowTown | January 26, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider it gamey, so much as well-ripened.

Posted by: Tim | January 26, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, saw this earlier today, a response from a former Canadian Embassador to Wilkins.

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the RAF who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the Argylls ate in Aden. Arabs? Yours etc. Captain B.J. Smethwick in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic."

Posted by: byoolin | January 26, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Fred! I think we've got an eater!


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, I can't help but think "never was so much owed by so many to so few."


This was their finest hour.


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Following this strange topic, I remember seeing a bumper sticker around town shortly after the incident where a Chilean rugby team had crash landed high in the Andes and the survivors had to resort to cannabalism: "Rugby Players Eat Their Dead."

Posted by: CowTown | January 26, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, that spirit is still Alive!


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

dbG - I'm just glad there was a happy resolution.

I am in PA Dutch country at my in-laws to celebrate my son's 16th birthday. The idea that a boy just a year older has been subjected to such an injustice is truly heartbreaking.

As Mudge and I discussed before, I think the "surge" question was settled in 1917.

Now, my beloved mother-in-law is going to make me something called an "Appletini" that she recommends highly. I have been lead to believe that they go surprisingly well with Diffenbach chips (fried in pure unadulturated lard.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Appletinis go great with everything except driving and operating heavy machinery.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 26, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, I believe you may be referring to these worthies:

As for the appletini: fasten your seat belt and place your snack tray in the closed upright position. And remember that your seat cushion can be used as a life preserver.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Dieffenbach chips are the pride of Womelsdorf, Berks County, Pa., I forgot to mention. But I guess everyone knew that.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

the interesting (to me) question about the Genarlo Wilson case is (1) there is no question the law said what it said and (2) there is no doubt that Wilson violated it. therefore, jailtime.

now, I am completely sympathetic to his situation. but that's because I'm not one of those fire-breathing "law and order" (meaning philosophy about society, not the show) types. to me, this would have been a clear case of prosecutorial discretion not to charge him with a crime.

but that also implicates another situation - how much leeway do you want to give the individual actors in the legal system? people rail against "activist judges" but also rail against judges that apply the law literally (as here). to me, this seems like the prosecutor should not have charged the young man in question, but allowing the prosecutor to make such a decision also leads to situations where the prosecutor decides not to charge the suspect because of a lack of evidence (I think Marc Fisher blogged on that recently). Catch-22 for all involved.

I am reminded of what my high school coach told us: don't put yourself in these situations in the first place and you won't have to deal with the consequences. now if only high school students were smart enough to listen to that advice...

Posted by: OD | January 26, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Not having been a wild kid and a lousy gossip, I can only suspect that what happened to Genarlow Wilson would never have happened to a non-minority kid from a suitably affluent/connected family. Except in a soap opera.

On a completely different topic, David W. Steadman's "Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds" (University of Chicago Press) arrived today. He's curator of birds at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville [which, by the way, is no podunk museum. Serious science, lots of butterflies, and amazing Florida fossils].

Steadman's massive 594-page book has a vast amount of information. Browsing, I noticed this "Final Word" on page 518:

"The trend in science away from natural history and toward specialization and theory is out of control (Wilcove & Eisner 2000). Graduate sutdents and undergraduates are funneled into theory-revising long before they know enough about nature even to evaluate whether what they're trying to support or refute has any biological merit in the first place. Our academic infrastructure has created legions of young biologists who scoff at description even though they cannot describe a natural situation themselves. Their professors are to blame . . .

[By the way, David Wilcove is at Princeton's Wilson School and Thomas Eisner is at Cornell. Eisner is a wonderful writer on chemical ecology]

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 26, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Theshe here Aptetini's is real good.

Time to lock down the 'puter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - you are quite correct. These high-quality lard-fried potato slices are produced by Dieffenbach. Not to be confused with Diffenbach. Or Achenbach for that matter...

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a segue from lurking -- I really, *really* don't understand what "they" mean when they start talking about "victory" and "winning" in Iraq. It makes me think that true victory will be achieved when Baghdad can boast of a McDonald's and Krispy Kreme on every street corner, with a Starbucks or two in between. This happens in all our idiotic wars -- that it's all about us (especially when it's not) and that *we* need to be the so-called victors (whatever that means). The fact that hundreds of thousands Iraqis have died means nothing. And as for the 3,000+ of our own soldiers dying, our little boy president thinks that if we just go shopping, all will be well. Geez!!!!

As for that tragic case in Georgia, it would have been interesting, would it not, if when the Bush twins were still minors that they might have, well, um, you know. . . with their boyfriends (consensually, of course). Un-you know- believable!

Back to the lurkosphere.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Gibble's potato chips from Chambersburg, Pa. are now available at local supermarkets, and I think I'd rate them highly in a blind testing. Still, I quail at lard. Even if margarine and vegetable shortening turn out to have been disasters.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Dave otC, I just had to say that the quote from Steadman is golden.

Posted by: Dooley | January 26, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger - The only legitimate definition for "winning" in Iraq is to be able to recall our troops and not have the country either descend into civil war, become a defacto satellite of Iran, or turn into another fundamentalist state with a deep hatred of the West.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Running for the bus. Everybody have a good weekend. Prolly be boodlin' tonight and tomorrow.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 26, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

// The only legitimate definition for "winning" in Iraq is to be able to recall our troops and not have the country either descend into civil war, become a defacto satellite of Iran, or turn into another fundamentalist state with a deep hatred of the West. //

That sounds like the situation before we invaded -- no civil war, unfriendly with Iran, secular.

Posted by: LTL-CA | January 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Interesting perspective on Iraq & Iran.

Posted by: dmd | January 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify -- I don't think anyone here is vigorously arguing that it was entirely acceptable for Genarlow Wilson, at 17, to have sex with a girl who was 15. Nor is it problem-free that this act was performed in front of a camera (handheld or on a tripod, I don't know). This certainly falls into the legal realm of statutory rape. Jurisdictions have had a long time in which to decide whether they think that consensual underage sex can be classified as something like rape-lite, and they have stuck by that definition, so there's really no room for individual fussing on that matter. The outrage is with respect to the extraordinary consequences for this act -- that it is (a) a felony, which means that this lad is now deemed unfit to vote in his lifetime, among other consequences, even though the modest difference in age suggests that this just can't be that major a transgression; and (b) 10 years without parole is excessive, especially considering that lighter sentences often are given for actual violent rape. This is paper "justice" that has no comprehension of the real world.

When I was 17, I dated a girl who was 15 -- she was a grade younger than me, and she had skipped 1st grade. We certainly skirted around the edges of sex, and wondered if we were ready. Ultimately, we decided we weren't -- especially, I felt that *I* wasn't ready, more than she felt that way about herself (I think). And I wondered whether it fell under the definition of statutory rape, which would have fallen on me and not her. Still, it wouldn't have taken much pushing for the decision to go the other way -- sex is an awfully strong motivator. Knowing myself, and knowing the situation from the perspective of a few decades, I just can't see that 10 years in the slammer, the loss of my college and graduate education, and the loss of my ability to be who I am today, would have been an appropriate response to my girlfriend and me deciding to get intimate back then.

Posted by: Tim | January 26, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Saw Gonzales defending the suspension of Habeas on TV. Got me thinking, he may himself be guilty of insurrection by attempting to end-run the Constitution. Which means, according to his own logic, that Habeas does NOT apply to him.

In other musings, I get the feeling we have lost all sense of what it means to "lose" a war. To lose a war means you are defeated, likely occupied, and the will of the enemy is imposed upon ones country. Just for clarity's sake. Which is not the same as saying we don't have vital national security interests tied to stabilizing Iraq. Many of which current problems were caused by the current administration, of course.

At the bottom of the comments section, the button "submit" has turned purple. I will not submit! I am not a number, I am a free man! (hears laughter...)

Posted by: Jumper | January 26, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

LTL-CA In my opinion your observation is absolutely correct.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

RD, even I have enjoyed an appletini - and I'm a bourbon drinker. A votre sante.

I'm still trying to stay away from the facts of the Wilson case (shudder) but OD brought up an interesting point. It is an open secret within the criminal justice system that local prosecutors have tremendous discretion over whether to charge a person with a crime at all, and what to charge. I say local prosecutors because for all intents and purposes criminal law is a state issue; the feds only come in on military bases, federal land & tribal lands. People talk about activist judges, but the die is cast in each case when the crime is charged, and that is in the hands of the prosecutor. Assuming a prosecutor can prove probable cause at a preliminary hearing or get a grand jury indictment, a trial court has virtually no ability to affect the prosecutor's decision. An appellate court will rarely if ever entertain a complaint that the prosecutor abused discretion in charging.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, if you should start to hear a peculiar hissing sound while packing for a trip, I suggest that you immediately open a window and jump out. And watch out for anyone who says "Be seeing you!"

Posted by: StorytellerTim | January 26, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The Wilson case may be a result of Georgia getting what it asked for. Many states, like Georgia, merged their statutory rape laws with child molestation laws. So, a person found guilty of boyfriend/girlfriend sex has to register as a sex offender the same as a pedofile. Legal absolutism can have odd results, as we are witnessing.

Posted by: CowTown | January 26, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm too old to be jumping out windows. I guess I'm doomed then. Oh well.

Be seeing you, then.

Posted by: Jumper | January 26, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Consider also the former Yugoslavia before Tito died. He kept an iron fist on all the disparate ethnic groups there -- he was, indeed, a dictator. It should not have come, therefore, as a surprise that when he died, all ethnic hell broke loose. Without that iron fist to keep it intact, the ethnic clashing oozed through that universe.

That the same could not (or *wasn't* (deliberately or not)) have been predicted in Iraq is laughable (and tragically so) after Saddam Hussein was brought down. All ethnic hell broke loose immediately. Yeah, Hussein was horrible, as was Tito, but the other side of that coin needed to be examined and taken into account (so to speak). A refreshing (mostly) contrast is the breakup of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Nary a drop of blood was shed.

Gonna go order some Thai food now (ah, yet another country heard from. . .).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 26, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

LTL-CA - let me backtrack just a bit. I don't think anyone would think we had suceeded if we end up with a murderous tyrant like Saddam Hussein. That said, Iraq being lead by a strong secular leader who can ensure stability, even if such a leader might not fulfill the western ideal of a democratic leader, would be considered a good outcome.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger: the Bush administration has employed a logical fallacy in framing Iraq as "Republicans want to win while Democrats want to flee and lose" (false dichotomy).

Is that the best argument the administration can muster? Why don't congressional opponents of the war point out the fallacy?

And that's putting aside the question of what win and lose mean anymore.

I'm sure the boodle has been all over what we're doing there in the first place, putting aside 9-11, WMDs, and freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein. I think the real PNAC objectives, never voiced by the administration, are now beyond reach.

Posted by: Fifty | January 26, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't there a John Wayne role as "Big John McCain"? He was an FBI agent rooting communism out of Hawaii. Had Marshall Dillon as his partner. Was obviously on a career path toward senator or dictator or something.

What would John Wayne have looked like had he survived?

Come to think of it, wasn't McCain's "return" from Vietnam sorta at the time Wayne "died"?

Good thing Biden snuck out. No one ever beats John Wayne in a fight.

Well, enough of this Cheney/Rove logic. I got chores to attend to.

Posted by: Monaute | January 26, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I have now had two appletinis and I can report that I don't feel a thing.
Don't feel my feet.
Don't feel my fingers.
'night all.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 26, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

'Night RDP! *taking his keys* :-)

Monaute: "this Cheney/Rove logic" *LOL*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert! And apologies if someone already noted same.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Reading this...

For some reason I'm not surprised the rocket's named for the god of war.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 26, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Excellent points, Tim. I think the response was disproportionate.

Should there have been no consequence, is not something I can safely say, never having been in the situation to be at a party where oral sex was given out freely.

What I WILL say is that a friend of mine was a teen alcoholic and she was at a party where alcohol was served freely to minors. She was chosen to drive because she seemed the least drunk. She was the only one who survived the accident; she lost 3 friends, and their families were pretty PO'ed off at her. She suffered broken arm and other injuries and had to learn to write with her other hand so she could do her school exams. Yes, she didn't go to prison for 10 years.

She got off with a punishment that was largely community service and public speaking to hundreds and hundreds on the dangers of drunk driving. And the parent who hosted that party was sentenced for serving alcohol to minors.

My friend was white, in a state known for its capital punishment penalties for murder, so it's not really a "soft on crime" state.

I would charge that subconscious stereotypes about black male sexuality played a very powerful role in this sentencing. After all, Emmett Till was killed for whistling at a white woman 40 years ago. I'm sure most of those judges were alive then.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

There are no guarantees that this will work.

Let me repeat:

There are no guarantees that this will work.

For the last time:

There are no guarantees that this will work.

These words were uttered by Jorge Salazar, environmental investigator with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, when discussing the new plan formulated by the TCEQ's Stike Force for quenching the mulch fire blaze that has raged for a month now in Helotes. The revamped plan calls for creating a 10- to 30-feet deep, 600-foot-long sluice pit on the old Vulcan quarry side of the fire. The San Antonio Express-News today provided an overview of how the new fire management plan is presumed to work. (I have provided two links in Joel's previous Kit.)

Salazar was being interviewed outside the larger of two Strike Force trailers at the far side of the parking lot at Helotes City Hall by 28-year-old reporter Andrew Mcintosh of Fox 29, our local Fox affiliate station.

When I approached Mcintosh and his cameraman, McIntosh said that he had come to the trailers to conduct an interview because of today's date, the one-month anniversary of the day the mulch fire broke out in this community northwest of San Antonio. When I questioned McIntosh about whether he had brought champagne, balloons, and streamers for the occasion, McIntosh laughed.

It was a comedic scene of sorts. McIntosh had phoned Terry Clawson (in Austin, I presume) shortly before he, Mcintosh, arrived at the trailers, to ask if he could interview Salazar. McIntosh and his camerman had to wait for a handful of minutes outside the TCEQ trailer in order for Salazar to phone Clawson to get Clawson's permission to conduct the interview.

Salazar did provide some additional details to McIntosh that the Express-News did not cover. Oil Mop will be responsible for digging the pit, plus how the burning mulch will be conveyed from the pile to the pit. Salazar did confirm the projected timeline for the job: two weeks for digging the pit and approximately another four weeks, perhaps more, for dismantling and dousing the pile in small lots.

I am getting a lot more anecdotal stories from members of the community in businesses and residences about they are being impacted by the ongoing conflagration and the Austin footdragging, but I'm going to keep my powder dry for a while regarding these.

It's Friday night, Loomispouse is home. We may party a little, have a night on the town. It is the first anniversary of the Helotes Mulch Fire after all.

Post-script: I did stop by both the Helotes Fire Department and Helotes City Hall and spoke to the two sources I interviewed yesterday. The two men still have not seen nor heard hide nor hair from the Helotes Mulch Fire Mega Mart online operator, John Largent, profiled in a story earlier this week on our local NBC affiliate station. Captain Quipp of the fire department went to the web and replayed the NBC video footage, trying to CSI-analyze the scene that is the backdrop outside T-shirt peddler John Largent's office window.

Thnaks, Fifty.

Posted by: Loomis | January 26, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

(And Tim, don't get ideas for the next BPH. Shame on you).

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

dang, RD.... you're a cheap date. ;-)

I was just killing some time over at and came across this pic that shows how GWB comes up with his war plans:

Posted by: martooni | January 26, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

More on the illogic of law: It's LEGAL to keep a panther in Miami and take them to birthday parties, but you can't keep a pit bull.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 26, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Afghan Taliban Poster depicting the American Taliban underneath the somber words: Why we fight:
Remember this name: Genarlow Wilson. This is the young man who is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Georgia, without hope for parole, because as a 17-year-old he had consensual sex with a 15-year-old. No American Taliban have been incarcerated for perpetrating this crime against humanity. Outrageous, heartbreaking.

Posted by: Jeb's Boehner | January 26, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Yup, those sneaky ol' American Taliban are ALWAYS getting away with the good stuff!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 26, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

There's an American Taliban? Why haven't we heard about this? Where can I join?

Oh, that's right. They won't let me join. Back to the infidels.

Time to watch terrible pre-teen situation comedies with the Boy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed the descriptive term "dyspeptic" in the first sentence of the Kit. Thank you, Joel, for taking us to another era with that fine and well-used word. One can almost imagine two older, well-nourished gentlemen, both in positions of power, red-faced and displeased. One can almost hear the word "umbrage", as well as the phrase "pistols at twenty paces". One can even see the scene, as the gentlemen and their seconds meet in the roseate dawn. Or, more likely, come to fisticuffs (another fine old word) on the Senate floor. Ah, those were the days.

I'll stop now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 26, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I vansmom, I think those older gentlemen would be enjoying a couple of shots of Dyspepsi to firm their resolve before the duel.


Posted by: bc | January 26, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I recall when the media (usually TV) referred to John Walker Lindh as "the American Taliban," which I always thought sounded grammatically incorrect to the point of being nonsensical.

Posted by: Tom fan | January 26, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

What bothered me the most about the Wilson story on ESPN was this: The prosecutor, when asked about the case and the unfairness of the punishment said (and I am paraphrasing a little here), "Wilson rolled the dice and chose a trial instead of accepting the plea bargain; he got what he deserved."

So, if I understand this correctly, because he "chose" to exercise his constitutional right to a fair trial, and his right to be presumed innocent, he is more harshly punished? At last, a real truth about the criminial justice system comes to light. Sentence lengths have nothing to do with the severity of a particular criminal act or the danger presented by NOT incarcerating a particular individual, only whether you chose to believe in your presumption of freedom or not and your right to be judged by your peers! That is so much BS I am astounded.

Posted by: Chris, Malmo, Sweden | January 27, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

gwen iffil was funny tonight on washington week - vowing to discuss any and all news released by the white house on fridays.

on the jim lehrer news hour, it was david brooks making the comment "and now returning to planet earth" following the clip of cheney touting successes in iraq. you've come a long way david. or should i say brooks.

veering wilding on topic, i've been thinking about mccain's position on the iraq surge. even though i don't agree with him, for some reason i'm less irked at him because i believe he's doing what he thinks is right, since it's at the expense of his own political ambitions.

arbusto, on the other hand, got us in this mess because he presumptuously wanted to change the world. whether or not he's doing what he thinks is right at this point is irrelevant. he's always been a bit too worried about his "legacy". but for some reason i don't feel that cynical towards mccain. at least not yet.

well, happy weekend to everyone.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | January 27, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy weekend, L.A. lurker!

This quote of an unnamed senior Bush aide from Ron Suskind's NY Times Magazine article "Without a Doubt" (October 17, 2004) underscores the "change the world" intentions:

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The Wikipedia entry for Reality-Based Community has an apparently free link to the full Suskind article.

Posted by: Fifty | January 27, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to stand up for Georgia lawn order. Is there no man who can lecture us on the appropriateness of Georgia justice?

Fifty, I've often wondered how many drinks Suskind bought before getting that quote. Not that it makes any difference. However, it does appear fortunate that the source was not hunting Texas quail and/or aged lawyers at the time.

Posted by: Monaute | January 27, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

The Post has an interesting opinion piece on North Korea's need for the US. As in, they're a small country surrounded by big neighbors that are inclined to push it around; the US would be the best counterbalance.

And thinking of the illogic of law, Florida needs a law banning big pythons as pets.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 27, 2007 4:54 AM | Report abuse

Happy Weekend, all! *waving*

Chris, part of the young man's reasoning for rejecting a plea was that he'd automatically be labeled a sex offender and be barred from living in the same house with his younger sister. And it sounds like perhaps his counsel wasn't always on top of the situation.

But one other things bothers me about that case... The kid's appellate attorney is sad because she "forgot" to ask the Legislature to make the new law retroactive to her client? Anyone ever heard of the ex post facto doctrine? Ivansmom, SoC, help me out here, but isn't our legal system designed to prevent ex post facto situations? Sure, pass a "law" specifically granting the kid a pardon, but changing the law after an act opens up the literal Pandora's box. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 27, 2007 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Joel, my deepest sympathies.

You don't explain in your Rough Draft how your daughter came by the new shower curtain--whether it was purchased by someone in your household or was given to her as a gift by a friend or family member.

However this particular shower curtain may have come under under your roof and made it into one of your bathrooms, may I offer a suggestion for a better one, a replacement, really an upgrade?

It probably costs a few dollars or a few British pounds more, but the Oxford English Dictionary Shower Curtain can't be beat. Or the deluxe CD ROM shower curtain of same--available in a variety of fabrics and hues to match any decor.

Dr. W.C. Minor would be one happy man, were he alive, of course.

Posted by: Loomis | January 27, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Here's the Rough Draft:

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 27, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I don't think I'd want concupiscence on my daughter's shower curtain.

If it were to go anywhere, it would go on the one in the master bath. However, there *is* no shower curtain in the master bath, alas.


Posted by: bc | January 27, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Moore's Law continues unabated for now:

I suspect it won't be too long before they have to consider quantum computing to make the next jump.


Posted by: bc | January 27, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Love Joel's Rough Draft umbrage at the test-ready shower curtain. I taught a college-level remedial writing class a few years back. One of the students spiced up his essay by substituting synonyms for every third word from an on-line thesaurus from the SAT testing system, and very proudly presented the result for my review. It was unintelligible, and unintentionally hilarious. I had to make a quick excuse and leave the room to compose myself before I could diplomatically address his sincere pride of accomplishment. When I returned, I actually got to use the phrase, "That word. You keep using it. I do not think it means what you think it means..."

Posted by: sevenswans | January 27, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Fanstastic and pertinent comment in the article about Genarlow Wilson.

There's a reason that southern red state inhabitants are "smeared" by others:

"It's disgusting," Cuban wrote to ESPN in an e-mail. "I can not see any way, shape or form that the interests of the state of Georgia are served by throwing away Genarlow's youth and opportunity to become a vibrant contributor to the state. All his situation does is reinforce some unfortunate stereotypes that the state is backward and misgoverned. No one with a conscience can look at this case and conclude that justice has been served."

Posted by: catzie | January 27, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

See this?,2933,247167,00.html

Posted by: nellie | January 27, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

One of my co-workers uses the word "exasperate" in place of "exacerbate" when the word "worsen" would do. It makes me smile every time.

Monaute, yes, that quote from Suskind *does* have a certain boozy clarity to it. I'd never thought of that. In 2009 when members of the administration settle down to write their "it wasn't MY fault" memoirs we can apply complex vector math on their accounts to figure out how this all looked like a good idea at the time.

Posted by: Fifty | January 27, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

sevenswans - That's just Inconceivable!

Look, someone had to say it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 27, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

RD - I wanted to mutter that word several times to myself - complete with lisp - while reading through the essay in question, but I was afraid I'd completely lose my hard-won composure...

Posted by: sevenswans | January 27, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

nellie, that's inconceivable! And un-American. But I guess we wouldn't want any terrorists disguised as tailgaters, now would we?

Posted by: Caged Rabbit | January 27, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Attention: Prime Florida Real Estate!!!!!

Prime Florida spots located 1 mile from Dolphins stadium.

I guess all the spots located exactly 1 mile away will be going for top dollar.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 27, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they just don't want beer bottles thrown on the field at the Superbowl, or drunken guys stripping naked for the camera in a massive wardrobe malfunction.

I had to snort at:

"Beget" is defined as "to give birth to" without any notation that no one has used the word "beget" in 2,000 years.

Considering that the number one source of "beget" in english literature is all the "begats" is of men who begat men in the bible (without any women's names mentioned).
I guess they got scrod, too.

Peccadillo literally does mean small sin. And I'd define hackney as a noun, referring to a type of carriage horse.

It also has an obsolete sense of "working for hire"-- from the hackney carriages that worked as taxis/limos in centuries past.

This is the origin of "hack" as in "hack writer"-- somebody who just does it for hire, no particular razzatamazz, no speed, just a broken-down hackney doing his beat around town before being retired to the stables for some inferior hay and grain and a rub-down.

If you hackney a phrase too often, you make it jaded; although nowadays we say "trot out a phrase" instead, since very few people under the age of 100 can spot a hackney by sight anymore unless they're horsey people. This verb should be considered obsolete by now.

Not to be confused with hacking from a cold, or hacking computers, which probably comes from "hack" meaning a hook, or cut with a hook. (whack is related).

"Millions were hacked down by Death's scythe in WWWII."

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 27, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... so does WWWII stand for World Wide Web 2.0? If so, then we all better keep an eye out for a tall skinny guy wearing a black robe while we're posting here. And make sure your spell checkers are on... it would really suck to kick the bucket before you can get your SCC posted.

"Martooni was a good man, but he apparently didn't know the difference between "their" and "they're". What a hack."

Posted by: martooni | January 27, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you're correct, Martooni-- it's WWII on the WWW. I was having an cyberprophetic moment. Now if I could only have a cyberprofitable moment, I'd be happy.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 27, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

FYI, I posted the Rough Draft column as a new kit.

Super humongous anti-war rally going on down at the Mall. I did a drive-by. They don't like Bush. Have dispatched teenage offspring to take notes.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 27, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel... as a fellow father, I hope their notes are more than just phone numbers from really cute young male protesters. Not that you need to worry or nothin' about that kind of thing. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | January 27, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Even Oliver North is against Iraq 'surge'

Do you think President Bush could be doing the "surge" just to hold off a civil war till he leaves office?

DP-Virginia is home to three gallant, patriotic men with much in common. They are all three ex-Marines. They are all three highly decorated Vietnam veterans. They all sought at one time or another to be our junior senator. One lost his bid, another won his, and the third both won and lost. Our state can be proud of all three, and grateful for their service to our country.

I refer, of course, to Chuck Robb, Jim Webb and Oliver North. Strange bedfellows, nicht wahr? One may challenge any suggestion that the similarities I cited can withstand the drastically divergent political paths they have trodden since Vietnam. Before Wednesday night, I would agree, they had nothing in common. Now, it appears, George Bush has given them common cause.

North writes, "Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: 'We don't need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops,' was a common refrain. They are right."

Posted by: John Konop | January 28, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

gregor love you!!

Posted by: gregor | February 19, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

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