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Obama Triumphant in Money Primary, Starts Picking Cabinet?

Obama out with huge numbers: $25 million. Almost all for the primary! Not for the general, which, as you know, is the crucial, all-important, political-geek distinction.

Hillary reported $26 million the other day, not to mention a cool $10 million more that she can roll over from her Senate campaign, but she didn't detail how much was for the primary and how much for the general. Plus there's the cash-on-hand issue: Supposedly she's been spending it hand over fist, McCain-style. We need more data from the Clinton camp. The public has a right to know.

Message: Obama wins. A clear, smashing victory over the Establishment candidate.

He should begin picking his Cabinet now. (Mental note: Offer Veep spot to HRC?) [Squeaky inner voice: Is it possible that we're jumping the gun?? Banish that thought!]

Now then: I've been crunching the numbers from the exit polls in the Republican portion of the money primary. Remember: Exit polls are not always correct. Sometimes people are not straightforward when interviewed by exit pollers. They say they gave one amount, but actually gave less, or to a different candidate, or were actually not invited but merely crashed the party for free booze. So take all this as what President John Kerry would call "preliminary exit poll data."

As expected, Romney did very very well with the Mormons, the Far Right, the Even Farther Right, the Wafflers, the Flip-Floppers and persons with weirdly prominent foreheads. Giuliani cleaned up among urban Northeasterners, Alpha Divorcees, and autocrats. McCain did well among World War II veterans and members of McCain's Senate staff.

The great thing about political coverage these days is that you can get all the way through a long story about the candidates without ever reading a word about the actual issues, positions, anything that might be termed ideologically substantive. I won't search for a link to use as an example, as Google might turn up one of my own articles.

The Post has a good story today about Romney's political base among Mormons. FYI, I just flew in from Utah, where the other day the Mormons got together for their biannual conference. A major theme, according to a story in the Deseret News, was that Mormons are Christians and shouldn't be viewed askance just because they believe that the Book of Mormon is a true account of Jesus among ancient Americans, etc.:

'He then offered followers his testimony of faith, defending the church's central text, the Book of Mormon, as a valid account of Christ's dealings with ancient Americans. Mormons believe church founder Joseph Smith translated the text from a set of gold plates delivered to him by an angel.

' "This is all recorded in detail in the Book of Mormon," Pres. Hinckley said. "I would think that every Christian would welcome this second witness of the reality of Jesus Christ. Strangely, they do not."

' Some mainline religious faiths discount Mormonism as not being a Christian faith, in part because of its reliance on Smith's text. Doctrinally Mormons also differ from other faiths, believing in a preordained existence and that man can progress to a God-like state in heaven.

'The debate is a sore spot for the church which in 1995 even altered its logo to place more emphasis on the inclusion of the words "Jesus Christ" in its name.'

Click here to find the church's official account of its history.


At Firedoglake, Christy Hardin Smith has an item on Fred Thompson that includes a link to a very disturbing story I wrote for Style a decade ago. Very disturbing because I can't remember writing it, and can't remember the "John Huang" scandal.

Oh, wait. Lincoln Bedroom. Whorish White House fundraising. Got it.


Von Drehle on Giuliani: " operatic personality and a tragicomic domestic life worthy of Boston Legal's Denny Crane."


Sports dept.: Excellent column by Tim Cowlishaw on the Gators who stayed in college.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 4, 2007; 9:43 AM ET
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Next: The Secret Life of Mitt Romney


Me? Good morning.

Posted by: daiwanlan | April 4, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, actually.

Here, anyway.


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama is certainly looking like a serious candidate. Good. Very good.

CNN has displaced Soledad and Miles O'Brian from their morning spots. The Post is reporting that they will stay on with the CNN family, but what, oh what, will they be doing?

Time to hit the shower and drag myself to the doctor's office. Perk up boodle, it's mid-week. Just think about that long weekend you're facing, and all the neat stuff you're going to get to do. The delicious dinner, the Easter egg hunt, the time spent with your offsprings, and that last one just tops the list, right? I know, I know, you can't wait for Thursday.

Slyness, I saw the interview of that lady that called the police about her brother. She was really upset that her call placed the police officers in jeopardy, as I can imagine I would be too.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Okay, folks, come out of hiding. I know everyone does not have doctor appointments. Okay, so you're eating lunch, but that has never stopped you from boodling. Swallow that burger, and get those fingers moving.

As for the doctor's appointment, I don't have any money so they just might send me on my way. Any other time I might be offended, but today I would smile. And smile brightly. I'm going to the guy that uses the light on both ends. Not good. Hey, I know you folks know this person because truth be told, you've been there too. So let us not get cute here, we're all like sailing in the same boat? Pray for me. *sigh*

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Naturally, I'm going to ignore the kit, except to focus on a single sentence toward the end of the decade-old story JA wrote.

"There are the rules, the protocols, the most annoying of which is that every senator, and there are 16 of them, gets a turn to hold forth and emit wind."

And of course, my first thought was: From whence does this wind emanate?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

This all reminds me of the hoopla surrounding Jimmy Carter when he ran in 1976. He's new! He's different! He's an Outsider! Bumper sticker policy positions but OK, People Are Hungry For CHANGE!! Change is good, don't sweat the small stuff. And he was elected. And I don't think anyone wants to go back to those days.

Posted by: Stick | April 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Think methane, Raysmom.

*helpful smile*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Has the shock of Obama getting so much money in his fund raising efforts silenced you folks? Come on let us hear your thoughts. It's not like anyone is asking for your address. I need to go. Hopefully, will talk later.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

And think "home page," everyone.

*straightening up the coffee table*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to me to say something inappropriate when we have guests...

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

And frankly, none of these folks' fundraising numbers do anything for me. Start putting some concrete proposals and policies out there.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Proposals? Policies? They couldn't possibly talk about things like that. They have a horse race to run. *sigh*

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Whose going to talk policies and all that good stuff? These folks don't want to run off their funders. They're trying to rake in the money. And it's not just Obama, but all the candidates. Need money to run for President, and lots of it. Of course, I'm sure most of you here over the age of three know that.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Why am I suddenly seeing the candidates all together at a carnival, aiming their money hoses at the targets to push their horse across the line first?

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Scotty! A fundraising opportunity for sure, 'cuz I'd definitely pay to see that!

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different...

In Chicago, no less!


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

All Presidential races are serious, some more so than others, and this one certainly falls in that category. I expect people do want a change, and change sometimes is not a bad thing. I'm sure also, that some folks would rather stick to the old, the old being something that they're comfortable with, and not so intimadating, for lack of a better word.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I have become both cynical about and leery of the presidential fundraising primary. To me, what it shows is that the candidate can raise money, or knows someone else who can. Good for the candidate. I keep remembering John Kerry, a man I truly forgot was even running for president, and who wound up as the nominee because "everyone" decided he was "electable".

Also, I dislike the fundraising primary because the numbers are just absurd. If we could get that many people to invest privately in civic development, schools, arts organizations, or projects fighting disease, hunger and homelessness, imagine the difference we could make. Instead, it will go for consultants, staff, and advertising ad nauseum.

Although I am usually a tolerant person, politeness prevents me from repeating my characterization of the classic form of the Mormon religion, as I explained it to the Boy. There are no bad words but I'm sure it would make someone unhappy. Really, mostly I just repeated to him the organization's own explanation, as mostly quoted in the Kit, about the gold tablets & Moroni.

On a more pleasant note, it turned chilly and early spring-like here, just in time for the Easter egg hunts. That is as it should be. Easter morning is a time to watch overdressed small children stumble frantically through yard and garden, fingers numb, bypassing the plebeian dyed egg for the brightly colored plastic variety which may contain candy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 4, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Another fine Easter tradition is Mom and Dad standing around, scratching their heads and trying to remember where they hid that last Easter egg. The hard-boiled kind, indoors...

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

For some reason I care less about who's elected in 2008 than I do about knowing that it won't be Bush.

The perpetual campaign wears me out.

Posted by: kindathinker | April 4, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Ivansmom, if that money was given for the things you mentioned in your comment, the world would be a different place. Yet we know that is not going to happen for the same reason that some will not contribute to the campaign of "whoever". The wrong people would be helped. Those that some think should not have a voice because they don't have money. And because some feel that certain people don't have a stake in the country because of their history. And if any thing makes that laughable, the history does. The President of a country sets the tone of the country. The way things are done or not done.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hum Mr. Achenbach,
This Guiliani guy, is he the same as the Giuliani who was mayor of NYC?

(me pointing out a typo to the boss is a sure sign that The End is near)

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 4, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about that to much Shriek, I believe Tom fan is an equal opportunity channelee...

Posted by: omni | April 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra I for one am just at a loss for words at the sheer amount of money spent on US elections. If I am not correct the amounts Joel mentioned are just the very start correct?

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Been putting out fires all morning, skipped breakfast, couldn't boodle, and now my blood sugar's bottoming out, so it's time to eat and catch up. I laughed my --- off at the link in the previous kit about the guy laughing so weirdly--great link, whoever posted it. And the coyote thing was also weird; but thanks, Scotty.

The thing that worries me most about Hillary and Obama and everybody else raising a gazillion bucks is that sooner or later we're all gonna have to sit through a gazillion bucks' worth of TV advertising, and I'm certainly looking forward to that like it was root canal.

I'm sure this news story will come as a shock to you all: Busg is going to ignore the Supreme Court ruling.:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush said on Tuesday he planned no new action to impose caps on greenhouse gases blamed for global warming despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate U.S. emissions.

"Instead, Bush pointed to his proposal to require cars to burn more gasoline made from home-grown sources like ethanol, and repeated his long-held stance that U.S. action is meaningless without changes by China and India."

I mean, what the hell, it was only the Supreme Court. Bunch of silly people in robes (uh, didn't Arbusto appoint some of them? Seems to ring a bell...). And anyway, isn't a Supreme Court ruling kinda like, yanno, just "advisory," or something? It ain't like it was the law or anything.

Jeez. Every time I think that man can go no lower I am surprised and shocked. But there are apparently depths beyond which even I can't imagine in my most cynical moments.

I have all along opposed impeaching this [sphincter] for purely tactical reasons, but I think I've just about had all I can take. I can't wait two more years. This idiot's got to be kicked out of the Oval Office ASAP. Let Cheney take over--he's been running things anyway, so let's just dispense with the damn masquerade, and let the GOP deal with a president with an 11 percent approval rating instead of a 29 percent rating. I'm just disgusted beyond words.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you may wanna skip Ruth Marcus today

Posted by: omni | April 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I appreciate that a lot of upstanding citizens today may have immigrant forebears that didn't bother with the legalities too much.

However, when I see my LEGAL immigrant friends go through hoops and pay lots of fees to get their application processed, physicals, even have their visas at the mercy of slipshod employers and other visa supporters... all this so they can be law-abiding citizens of America, I disapprove of those who short-circuit the process.

When I meet illegal immigrants today who are living in virtual wage slavery, taking the money and sending home, I have a sympathy for them. However, they are targets for criminal activity, either as victims or to be recruited into it as couriers or other means. When I think about the high rate of human trafficking across the world...

I am very against condoning anybody breaking the law. Illegal immigrants won't report crimes done to them to the police for fear of being deported. Let's face it, a lot of the 9/11 hijackers used the underground network to support illegal immigrants.

I don't know what the solution is, but the amnesty back in Bush I's reign did not solve the problem. If anything, it might have encouraged more illegal immigration. I keep thinking about how many Al Qaeda might have taken advantage of the amnesty to become US citizens.

I don't think the solution is NOT to tell legal immigrants they are suckers to try and play by the rules to become legit citizens, only to be denied or delayed for years on technicalities while illegal immigrants get to stay as long as they please, flying under the radar.

If we want this country to STAY a country of laws, we must not reward law-breaking.

Back in the early 20th century, America was a very different place than it is today. I don't condemn your grandfather for what he did. My own ancestors were back and forth across the border at that time. It was pretty porous between US and Canada then.

I however DO strongly condemn modern immigration laws and the lack of balanced enforcement, which allows our labor laws to be undermined by exploition of illegal labor.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 4, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It's the same Giuliani but I guess he was experimenting with a different spelling today before switching back to the original spelling.

Posted by: Achenbach | April 4, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Why do you say nothing about Edwards? He has made some excellent proposals about health care. He is the only candidate who talks about issues.

Posted by: Fourier | April 4, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Fourier -- you took the words outa my mouth. Edwards' health care proposal has actually appealed to many on Wall Street, even.

I've liked Edwards for a long time now, and even voted for him in the MD primary the first time around. I think an Edwards/Obama or Edwards/Richardson ticket would be very attractive.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 4, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

It appears that Bush agrees with the Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia (RATS) minority on the EPA decision. Some of the RATS reasoning was exquisitely humorous; Roberts, for example, holding that the case lacked standing in the US court because it is GLOBAL warming.

Posted by: Shiloh, Otter Creek, USA | April 4, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The money race is not always the same as the voter race. John Connally spent $12 million to get one delegate. And that was when twelve mill was a lot of money.

The Ruth Marcus article clearly points out one of my major themes about Dubya. His entire campaign and early presidency was solely about holding the door open for the foxes. He was a pawn of interests, particularly in the resource extraction industries, that hoped to buck decades of increased regulation. Incompetence was not a flaw, it was a feature of his goals with the civil service.

His seeding the bureaucracy with cronies and wolves is sheepclothing would have been eventually reversed and corrected. Unfortunately for us, events conspired to give him a historical role he was unprepared for. His inside sabateurs were in position when we required true competency in things like how to fight a war, provide disaster relief, and imprison enemies.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, an Edwards/Richardson ticket. Hadn't thought about that combo, first, but I like it. I can get behind that one.

omni, I read Marcus first thing this morning. And she's dead right, of course.

I deduce from the quick response that Joel's back from the Gatorama bash, has combed the tickertape from his fly-away hair, and has dutifully buckled himself to his office desk chair to resume work (and boodling). Welcome home, dude.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I've been really busy today too, Mudge.

Hi, everybody.

I'm a car guy, and even I'm disappointed in Bush's treatment of the SC ruling. He could utilize it to put some spurs to several industries (auto, technology, power generation, agriculture, etc.), *and* improve the economy while actively seeking to take action against Global Warming, but I guess he's intent on keeping the status quo while we're engaged in this War on Terra.

Sheesh. Even if he doesn't really buy into Global Warming, don't those folks over there realize that taking positive popular action in this area would help his Presidency, and his legacy?


Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I have been back-boodling to make up for my week long absence and have the following rejoinders to long dead boodle threads:

I lived on the Georgia Tech campus while the major I-75/85 expansion was under construction. Back-up horns were the alarm clock for the entire dorm. 7 am wake-up calls are cruel and unusual for college students.

There was, and presumably still is, a pedestrian tunnel under the highway at 3rd Street that connected the campus to a particularly cheap dive bar. When they closed the tunnel for safety reasons, us college students took to crossing the highway through traffic to get to the beer. Amazingly, nobody won any Darwin Awards in the process.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I've favored Obama since I first heard him speak at the Democratic Convention. At that time, I was behind Edwards for the primary, but since Mr. Long Winded Monotone won, I ended up voting for him in the election.

This time around, I'm torn -- I'd like to see Obama win the primary (and the Presidency) for many reasons. I'd also like to see Edwards win it for many of the same reasons. Both of them are all about the People, not the Presidency (as Shrub and He Who Must Not Be Named are).

In other words, unless one of them comes up with a better plan than the other for the issues that matter most to me, it may come down to "eeny-meeny-miney-moe" for me when it's time to choose between Obama and Edwards.

That said, I'd vote for Hillary in the election if she wins the primary, but I really have problems with this Bush/Clinton dynasty thing.

btw... almost 9 days now and feeling better than I have in a decade.

Peace out, my friends...

Posted by: martooni | April 4, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is none of the above. It currently houses the Exploratorium which is an amazing interactive science museum. It's a great museum for parents of active children. Sit down and let the little terrors run loose for an hour or two. They will be endlessly entertained and may even learn something.

The Palace is also astoundingly photogenic. Whenever possible I take photos of wedding parties that I have no connection to. Here in DC, the Jefferson Memorial is prime hunting. Well, it has nothing on the Palace of Fine Arts. I think it is city statute that all brides must have a picture in their wedding dress taken on its grounds.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, have you ever prowled the National Cathedral for wedding pcs?

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 4, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Something I meant to mention to mention to Ivansmom from earlier; "electable" or "least objectionable to the largest number of swing voters?"


Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I can dream of spending next year, from Super Duper Tuesday in Feb. until election day, in some nice foreign country, perhaps Chile or New Zealand. I can't believe Chile has fewer people than Florida. They must all live in Santiago.

Didn't the Romans elect whoever was rich enough to pay for the government without levying taxes? It'd be so nice to have artisan bread and no-animals circuses rather than all those TV ads.

Hogtown seems to have been reasonably peaceful Monday night, and Cowford was probably asleep by the time the game was over. Same probably goes for the cops runnng the speed trap in Waldo, in between.

Romney is mentioning possible VP candidates already, including Jeb Bush, who was recently turned down for an honorary UF degree. The Faculty Senate didn't think he was sufficiently pro-Gator.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | April 4, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I think I will skip hiding the easter eggs outside this year - yikes,

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, my family is onto me. The minute I raise my camera with a bridal gown visible, they confiscate the camera.

Amazingly, I have not been to the National Cathedral yet. We were driving by there one Saturday afternoon when I suggested to my wife that we crash the wedding that was going on that day. My wife thought the Gore and Schiff families, and more importantly, the Secret Service, would not appreciate the attempt.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Guess you'll have to settle for Las Vegas, then.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 4, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I used to work near the National Cathedral, and walk through it on nice days. It's a very nice place.

Plus it has cool gargoyles.


Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The issue is whether we will elect another mouthpiece of the industrial-military complex or a president who will respect and enforce our Constitution. Those profiting by the war have the money and manufacture the news and use their power to elect their chosen candidate; the people have the votes but not the facts. We need a legion of enlightend activists who will dedicate themselves to the Herculean task of informing the electorate of the real history of our foreign affairs since the end of the Cold War.

Posted by: Robert Castle | April 4, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Hiw many wives did Joseph Smith have? 27? I lost count. *a long, slow, heavy-lidded wink at Mudge*

The thing about Romney, should he be elected--and I think it's a long shot, is that he is probably the King of the Chameleons, not that some of his other Republican compadres aren't showing their change of colors recently. The penultimate flip-flopper from this crop of candidates? It remains to be seen.

I had a sweet little Romney (part of the clan), here in San Antonio as part of his LDS mission, knock on my door about two years. He and his fellow teen-aged Mormon partner--they go about in pairs--came back several times to visit and I saw them riding their bicycles through the neighborhoos several times a week, as they were sharing an apartment in the complex that borders our subdivision.

I wish Hagel would stop sitting on his thumbs.

Why are all the big buckeroos necessary these days? Dear ol' Ah-nuld and the rush to Feb. 5 primaries. The candidates may not be able to be everywhere simultaneously, but the dollars, probably budgeted for television and radio ads, can be.

However, more interesting, to me at least, than the totals is the question: Who's ponying up for the dollars?

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I know dmd, the forecast calls for four days of snow and rain here too. And it's all my fault; I put the summer wheels on the car last Thursday. Crocus tips and daffodil leaves were barely inching out of the ground then wham! 6 inches of snow, ice pellets & mush. It's depressing. But the spring is coming. I lost a boot in the quagmire of mud at the horse barn yesterday and had to do the one-legged skip dance in the mud to recover it, it's a sure sign. One of the kids lost a boot too but she them fell on her back and lost the other boot... A very muddy 13 years old can laugh it off pretty quickly though.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 4, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Boodleskimming backwards and seeing your 1:01 comment about the what-we-all-know-is-coming barrage of media ads. Comparing it to a root canal is far too easy. More like Chinese water torture, IMHO.

Since these 30- or 60-second spots are a waste of airwaves and television pixels, couldn't one of the candidates at least hire the Jib-Jab brothers?

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

About "electability", bc, what you said. I never figured out why Kerry was so much more electable than, say, Edwards, so it probably was that whole swing voter thing.

I agree, Cassandra, that some people won't give privately to charities, arts, etc., who give to presidential campaigns, because they don't like the potential recipients. I also think, though, that there is another factor. When it comes to big problems like hunger and homelessness, it seemslike people just become paralyzed. They think they can't make a difference, when actually working together they can. Actually, we can thank Arbusto and the Republicats (thanks, unattributed source! sorry, bad memory) for one thing: for a long time, people also felt that they couldn't do anything to influence their government. Now enough people, on all sides, are mad enough that we get ridiculous amounts of money raised for presidential primaries. Perhaps this is a sign of hope across the board. If folks start thinking they can influence politics, maybe they'll expand that to thinking they can influence local policy, and maybe even conditions in their own backyards. Then they'll put in some money and some time, and . . . wake me up, I must be daydreaming.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 4, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, that's a great report. Keep on truckin'.

Here's a spin for some pundit out there:

Obama's surprisingly big number is GOOD for Hillary, because it's never a good idea to campaign with a big lead, operating under the principle of inevitability. Make her work for it. My prediction: She'll bring her A game.

Romney, by the way, did quite well at that CPAC gig in DC recently, at least in the sense of trying to capture some Reagan magic with promises of tax cuts, smaller government, etc., whereas Giuliani (nee Guiliani) pretty much tanked in front of the arch-conservatives. Maybe he tanked intentionally, I dunno, but it was as silent as the crypt when he spoke. (McCain, meanwhile, simply went into hiding.)

Posted by: Achenbach | April 4, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

At least you're not in tassel he11!

Hope this link works to today's local paper and the main op-ed cartoon!

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, don't look at me, Loomis. I never so much as dated Joseph Smith (not that there's anything wrong with that), much less married him.

I would hide Easter eggs on Sunday except there'd be no one in my family to go search for them. On the other hand, I may still do it, because my Alzheimers and absent-mindedness make finding things I've hidden quite a challenge. And I'm so good at fooling me. The "hide the eggs" part of my brain seems to be much more alert than the "go find the eggs" part. If you think that's sad, I can never remember Memorial Day. (And my wife usually makes me work on Labor Day. I'm just not doing something right, am I?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It occurred to me that perhaps we shopuld amend "Republicats" to "Republicads."

Can I see a show of hands?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Keep on truckin', Martooni! *applause*

yellojkt, ever try the outside part of the Botanical Gardens, across from the Rayburn HOB?

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

My favorite bit on Mormons was the South Park episode in which a Mormon family moves to town. The episode goes on to describe Smith's revelation and translation of the Book of Mormon in precise (but extremely funny) detail. A classic episode.

Second place for me would be the fine film "Orgazmo," by the producers of South Park. An early film, a B-movie, but a good story about a nice Mormon boy who falls into the world of porn. Rent it today!

Posted by: Gomer | April 4, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Eat the hardboiled eggs and hide the chocolate eggs, Mudge. That way if you ahem, miss one or two by accident you won't be wondering what's causing that nasty smell under the sofa and blaming the wife's lack of colorectal hygenie.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 4, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm not at all sure eating a bunch of hardboiled eggs is going to do anything to improve the atmospherics at the Curmudgeon household, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the great wedding stalker tips. Saturdays in downtown Savannah are also a target rich environment. Every gazebo there has at least one wedding going on.

Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, who is Mormon, wrote a historical romance called 'Saints' with a fictional wife of Joseph Smith as the heroine. His treatment of the LDS founder is surprisingly candid, particularly concerning the logic behind the doctrine of celestial marriage.

The distance between cult and religion is one hundred years.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

At least the weather forecast doesn't look like drenching rains for Monday's easter egg roll. I always feel sorry for the little ones in their rain coats and wellies.

Sunday is another matter. While I do love a good Easter sunrise service, and the one at the Lincoln Memorial is grand, there is *no way* I'm dragging my sorry butt out of bed to go out in 22-degree temperatures. And as far as dragging Raysdad out for it, three words come to mind "grounds for divorce."

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Easter egg roll in 22 degree weather and snow, what a novel idea.

I suggest prizes for the ones who can make frozen easter eggs dangle off their tongues the longest.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 4, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

We still have the special Socks The Cat wooden egg from when we took my son to the Easter Egg Roll circa 1995. It was a cold drizzly day that year too. Must be a tradition.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 4, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing like warm and toasty towels fresh from the clothes dryer. Maysville KY.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 4, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Another day Another curling game. After totally skipping (mild curling joke, hahaha) out on live curling yesterday, Mrdr dragged me to the 'early show', the 8:30 a.m. draw. The early draw is the least populated of all, so in the entire arena, there are only 2 stations with coffee open, one serving local swill, and the other, wait for it...Starbucks!

The Germans and Americans were locked in a very good game this morning. The Americans won the tight game. The US team is now in a 4 way tie for second place. France, who really just wanted to win a game or two, is also in that tie, as is Germany and Switzerland.

Full cheering sections were again making themselves heard. The Swiss contingent is shouting and jumping up a storm, translated (loosely) they shout 'if you are not jumping you're not Swiss'. They also toss handfuls of boxed Swiss chocolates into the crowd at the end of practise sessions. These guys take their popularity seriously.

As a fan, its very important to dress properly, more so for this first morning draw than any other time of day. Local weather has been cold and stormy (springtime in Canada, eh?)and that makes what happens inside the arena worse. Its starts out freaking cold in there. We are talking serious layers. Long johns, union suits, woollen socks, full winter regalia. Only a few less hardy souls break down and wear toques. We'd likely all wear mitts, but that inteferes with absorbing the warmth from the coffee cups which is the only source of heat in the arena. The early draw is for the ardent, rabid, well layered fan, and today, me. This is not for the faint of heart, not even when your husband drags you out and promises you good coffee.

Because I am giving up my tickets for the rest of the day while I warm up, I can continue to be fully off topic all day.

Posted by: dr | April 4, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I hear you, Yellojkt and Raysmom. Been lovely here but the weather is supposed to change tomorrow. The low Easter morning is supposed to be 27. Ouch. I'll have to make sure everything is covered or brought in.

We're going to the mountains to finish installation of railroad crossties which my husband pulled up on the existing wall and we used rollers and a crowbar to put into place. I felt positively Egyptian helping him...He forgot the rebar, so he will drill and install that Friday. Weather permitting. The low is forecast to be 20 with snow a possibility. Spring?

Posted by: Slyness | April 4, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mitt The Malleable. So was Mr. Integrity lying when he said he was a moderate in favor of gay and abortion rights, or is he lying now?

Speaking of being off-topic, note to Heather Mills: You're not being villified as a gold-digger because you were in love with Sir Paul. You're being villified as a gold-digger because you're suing him for $400 MILLION after an entire 4 years of marriage.

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 4, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So that's how Heather can afford a brand-new prosthetic leg just so she can dance the jive.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to all for yet another pop culture reference.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

One could say she's been jiving for quite some time...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 4, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"It occurred to me that perhaps we shopuld amend "Republicats" to "Republicads." I kinda like my wife's term: Re-pig-licans.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 4, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Ah, Mitt The Malleable. So was Mr. Integrity lying when he said he was a moderate in favor of gay and abortion rights, or is he lying now?" Re: Romney--Has anyone else been following his skewering by Trudeau in Doonesbury this week? Pretty devestating stuff.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 4, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to come to the defense of Republicans here. When I refer to Republicats I am really lazily using this as shorthand for the current Administration and its enablers in its chosen party, the Republicads. I suspect this is true of others on the Boodle as well. In fact I know personally many Republicans, and know of others on the broader political stage, who are fine people, good citizens, and possess a respect for good gummint and a moral compass. I may not agree with them on how to resolve issues, but I can respect them and work with them for the common good. It is just these qualities which I perceive lacking in many in this Adminstration and their Repiglicans. So, please don't take offense, Republican Boodlers and lurkers. Chances are if you hang around here, you don't like the way things are run (or not run, per Ruth Marcus today) any better than I do.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 4, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I love what you said and how you said it Ivansmom. To take it a bit further, I know several Republicans of the Christian Right variety. While I may not agree with their politics, they are fine people who have raised productive children, served their communities well, are generous to good causes, and are kind and considerate friends and neighbors. I cannot and will not demonize them because of their politics.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 4, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama --- yes on money, charisma & ability to communicate and forget about HRC. First, she is not going to accept a VP offer; it's all or nothing, I believe and Obama has cranked the public' imagination
and is like a breXath gust of fresh air.

For VP, the man from the emergent Southwest, a man with a full resume and a Hispanic,to boot. He is the quintessential 21st century Democratic candidate.

Posted by: Bill O'Donnell | April 4, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Ivansmom. And to some (fairly small) extent I feel sorry for moderate and even liberal Republicans (once upon a time there used to be such a thing!! Yes, it's true! They weren't like unicorns.) People like Edward Brooke of Mass., Lowell Weicker of Conn. Richard Schweiker in my own home state of Pa., "Soapy Williams," and many others. I could name dozens of reasonable moderate or even liberal Republicans at Congressional and lesser levels who I used to cover as a reporter in Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pa.--Edward "Pete" Biester and Ed Howard, for example. Then the Goldwaterites came along, and somehow the Conservatives took over the party from the Old Guard. And then even worse, the incumbent crowd of Neocons came along and fooled even the orthodox Conservs into thinking they were kindred. And then Falwell go the Religious Right stirred up, and that added yet another wing of crazies.

What I "fault" the moderates and liberal Repubs for is allowing the radicals to take over their party--they should have put up more of a fight. But they basically just rolled over, and next thing you know the bad guys have coined the term "Rhino" [RINO, meaning Republicans In Name Only] and nearly driven them out of the fold.

But yes, when I excoriate Republicans, I specifically mean the incumbent crowd of hacks in the Neocon fold, as well as a goodly number of Conservatives in general. Moderates and liberal Repubs, if any such still exists, I don't have a problem with. But I wish to hell they'd get mad and take back their own party.

It's not MY political party, so to some extent I don't have the right to hold much of an opinion, but if I was a Republican I'd be ticked off about my party being hijacked to the Right, and about the Conserves winning the semantic battle of having the term "Conservative" become synonymous with "Republican." Those terms never used to be synonymous, and they shouldn't be.

But it ain't my party, so...too bad, so sad.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Of course, by the sam token I deeply resent the term "liberal" becoming nearly synonymous with "Democrat." The thing is, it wasn't the liberal OR the moderate Democrats who did this--it was the damned Conservs who kept using "liberal" as a curse word. Even the word "moderate" is disappearing; it seems to have become "centrist." I never got the memo proposing this change, dammit, and I don't approve.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ebnut,(I think it was you...)
How was the celebratory dinner?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | April 4, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Mr. Bill O'Donnell on Obama and Richardson. I'd go with that combination, no problem.

I'd like to see the MSM do more about Richardson's background and previous posts, it seems he's invisible at times.

I was never a fan of John McCain, but now that he's clearly lost his mind my guess is a lot of those reasonable moderate Republicans are going to be looking for a serious realistic competent candidate, and from what I've read so far I think Richardson should benefit from that.

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 4, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

There is a possibility that Obama and Hillary will be way over exposed long before the first primary. They will both run out of platitudes before then. Obama is a great personality but has not indicated what he would do about the war, health care or anything else. Hillary has a country full of people that hate her. Get the second team ready. Bill Richardson?

Posted by: c. perry | April 4, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The aggravating part of this election cycle is that we've got 10 months before people start actually voting, and so we really won't know diddly until then. It'll be 11 months before we see anything start to firm up. In the meantime, it'll all be this artificial horserace crap of judging candidates by their warchests, polls and other potentially meaningless chaff. (Unless some candidate or other implodes or has the wisdom to drop out, or whatever.) But basically we won't know didlly until people go into the voting booth and pull levers for or against Hillary, Obama, Richardson, Romney, et al. Hillary's strategy may be to "look" like she's invincible and inevitable, but it just isn't true --until people vote.

Actually, it all kinda makes me nostalgic for the good old days when a bunch of us sat around a smoke-filled back room huffing on our cigars in Chicago or Boston and decided all this stuff. Much more efficient, and we were more often right than wrong. 'Course, there was that whole pesky "democracy" thing, but we didn't let that stop us. Ah, those were the days.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the notion that candidates should offer lots of serious policies on the issues, is that it's way too early. The issues now, at least the specific facts of the issues, will be very different in a year. A candidate who offers a solid policy now is at risk of having to appear to flip-flop as changing conditions necessitate changing responses; alternatively, by advertising the best policy, it can be countered or co-opted by the Republicans, who still control the executive branch. At the very least, the present candidates lack inside information that is in the hands of the Republican executive branch and which enables the Republicans to pick away at the factual basis behind a policy position of anyone that they would like to see lose (Clinton, Giuliani, Guiliani, etc.). At this point, candidates can only offer an image of the principles and convictions that will drive policy decisions when and if the candidate gets the chance to put them to work.

Posted by: Tim | April 4, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Strap yourself to your writing chair indeed. Sounds like one of the best sports writers to tap a keyboard. Alas not writing sports anymore.

Posted by: Jumper | April 4, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say yesterday that early tulips are up and blooming:

red and orange shades of Kaufmania types; Bakerie species tulip in a luscious first-shade-of-lipstick-pink, suitable for confirmation, bat mitzvah, 8th grade graduation, etc.;

Daffodils continue, with the early ones fading, including the darling "Tete e tete" and "February Gold" petering out;
the "Ice Follies" daffodils are aging into white frosted blooms from their initial two-tones of yellow; the jonquil-type called "Jack Snipe" looks lovely in drifts under trees and azaleas.....this soldier-like daffy bobs in the jaunty.

I miss Henry Mitchell, that wonderful "Earthman" columnist in paper WaPo of yore.

Raysmom, I agree, that the birds busy with bawdy bobbling now are robins. I think the blackbirds are a bit subdued by the temps: too hot, then too cold. Isee the males perched. They still have that on-the-make look.

The seeds I planted of moonflower and morning glory are pushing up that first stem; such a ghostly white.

I see tiny feathers of lacey Nigella coming up. The common name is the poetic and sentimental "Love in a Mist.
" You can eat Nigella seeds in Armenian-style string cheese. Giant has it sometimes.

I believe that several men here admire the charms of Nigella Lawson, a Contessa of Food Stuffs.

Sigh -- how to connect to the kit. What do their gardens look like? On a more serious note, how would science fare under these admins....this would push me to Richardson on technology and energy efficiency.....

Posted by: College Parkian | April 4, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

CP, love the flower update - its snowing here.

Posted by: dmd | April 4, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

If anyone has taken Dr. Gott's readers' suggestion to try Castiva Lotion to help with arthritis pain, take the advice to wash your hands before rubbing your eyes Very Seriously!

(I hope I used the apostrophes properly!)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | April 4, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Who killed Cock Robin?

I did said the Maggie O'D

Posted by: Maggie O'D | April 4, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

The river in front of Chez Frostbitten North opened somewhat while I was in Tampa and the bald eagles have come to fish. Five were roosting in the tree in front of my kitchen window, until I went out to try to capture an image on my digital camera. Saw three river otters on my way home from picking up the mail at the PO. Every bit as cute as the ones in the Youtube video, though a lot bigger. More snow on the ground now than on Feb. 4. Sigh, daffodils are still a long way off.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The really interesting thing about the teams from elsewhere than Canada is the lives they lead to curl. Peja Lindholm from Sweden is about to run a marathon, Markku Uusipaavalniemi built and operates Finland's only curling rink, France has no curling rinks, and plays its national tournament in Switzerland, Hugh Milikin and the Aussie's curl out of the highly fictional Sydney Harbour Curling Club, and pay their own way to this event every year. Each and every one of the teams from beyond our shores has a story of grit and a lot of hard work behind them.

Winning is not the only point of being here.

Posted by: dr | April 4, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It seems the pundits parse the candidates' fundraising in a million different ways. How about the age of the donors? Frostdottir is plunking down $25 to see Obama on April 15th in Ybor City (Tampa). This is an enormous portion of her monthly expendable income and she is very remarkably willing to go alone if none of her GFs are up for it. It is beyond my powers of analogy to convey just how powerful his message/charisma/whatever must be to get results like this.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

What we need is a president with CHARISMA! One who can give a good speech! One who shows well on TV! One that inspires teenagers with her/his sex appeal! Someone TV talking heads like! One that will NOT wear earth-tone clothes, or cowboy boots, or say anything substantive! Someone with no substantive experience, so he can proclaim the inherent correctness of all his positions! What we need is Robert Redford in "The Candidate"!

I also favor the kind of guy that allows the head of his vice-presidential search team to choose himself. Would any Democratic candidate choose Bill Richardson as his vice-president search team head? --I'm reasonably sure any of the Republican candidates announced so far will choose Don Rumsfeld (or Don's close friend) for the position...

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | April 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: "Actually, it all kinda makes me nostalgic for the good old days when a bunch of us sat around a smoke-filled back room huffing on our cigars in Chicago or Boston and decided all this stuff."

Yes, indeed. In that scenario, candidates stood for the party platform and certain constituencies -- "Kid, we decided you can be the candidate if you'll do X, Y, Z." The candidates may have had personal qualities that made them attractive to voters, but they couldn't escape some ties to their party. Today they're free agents, simply bidding for use of the Elephant or Donkey logo(R). Who knows what they would do if elected -- no necessary connection to the so-called party whose label they use.

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 4, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Whew, MofF, for a minute there I thought you were going to end that with Sanjaya for pres! I hate to admit to live commenting on the AI results show but hair boy really stank up the joint last night, and yet he is not in the bottom 3.

If I didn't come out 100% secular humanist on the Belief-o-matic I'd be lookin' to repent for even thinking about jumping on the "vote for the worst" bandwagon.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse


" The latest massacre of Iraqi children came as 21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress."

Ambition seems to have half-switched the "Straight-Talk Express" again. Message to America: There is a Real World Out There. Pay Attention.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | April 4, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that Obama has done so well with his fundraising. I am considering donating to him and I've never, ever given money to a candidate. I do think the Democrats have a strong group of people running. I'd even be happy to see Obama as veep to any of the others, get him some experience and 8 years from now who knows. But the money raising and the obscene amounts needed to mount an effective campaign are ridiculous. We need financing reform, public funding, whatever it takes to level the playing field and weaken the influence of corporations and special interest groups, but I'm not holding my breath.

Martooni, it is so good to read your comments. I believe you have 'got it' this time and you will make it one day at a time. It is truly a gift to be sober. Keep up with the meetings and the positive attitude and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

All you people talking about flowers and trees blooming make me crazy with envy. It is just awful here, rainy, raw, cold, gloomy, in other words it's April in New England.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | April 4, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm told, and I don't know this to be a fact, that the Republican Party did not hit its conservative stride until Reagan pushed clear to the other side. And when I say the other side, I mean the race issue came into play big time. Now I know most of you feel that I harp on issues of race all the time, but in America that is the case so much of the time. It's not something I made up, it just is.

Now, Obama probably has backers that hate Clinton with a passion, but aren't so crazy about a man of color sitting at the White House either. The thing to do would be to choose the lesser of the two evils, and this is just thinking out loud, not my feelings here, and then when Obama campaign really gets started, swift boat him like they did Kerry. Problem solved, and everything moves along. Somewhere in America, someone is thinking along those lines just as sure as I am black. And for those of you that have not seen my face, it is black.

And as to issues and policies that has to take a back seat until much closer to voting time. Don't want to turn off would be financial support or backing. We still have a way to go. And Ivansmom, many of my people see Republicans as racists and money stealers. I know that perception is not one size fits all. But here in the South so much of the time, those of the Republican bent are out and out racists, and they're proud of that. Of course, that feeling is not limited to Republicans.

If this election coming up does nothing else, it will certainly get people to the polls, and that is good.

Here in this small town that I live in the sheriff of the county told the prosecutor of our district to kiss his you-know-what, and the local paper printed the story and it was the headline for the day. I have not heard one peep out any religious folks about what happened, and not one person has written a letter condemening(sp) this action. Everybody is quiet as a mouse. Now these are the folks that are in charge of our peace and to some extent our justice. I'm pretty sure these kinds of conversations go on more than less, but do we need this in the public domain. Aren't the criminals doing enough, does law enforcement need to join the circus?

One more thing, then off to bed. After Bible study tonight I went to get something to eat. A salad at a small place in the county seat, which is about five miles from where I live. It was busy, but I finally ordered. The people ahead of me got in a fuss with the workers, and the man in the bunch got really pissed off. He said something to me, but I did not understand. He was so loud, but I don't know one word he said. Anyway, I'm waiting for my order, and the guy that came in after me, the waitress is fixing his order. She gives him his order and apologizes profusely that he had to wait. I'm standing here waiting and finally she says to me, do you have your order.

I said you fixed his order before mine. She starts apologizing again, I say it's okay. The guy that fussing is outside with the manager. After they finish my order, the guy tells me they don't have a bag, so I got to carry all this stuff in my hand. The manager is at the door and he opens the door, and ask me about the bag. I tell him there are no bags. He goes back there and pulls out all these bags, and puts my order in a bag.

I'm saying all of this to say that the mood in the streets is not good. It's like a bomb waiting to explode. People are mad, and they're acting mad. And it isn't just this one incident, the newspaper has something like this happening every week. I'm just a tad worried.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, you may be envious now, but in June when it's lovely and hot in Boston, I will still have 50 degree days and rain. A lot of the flowers that CP mentioned are blooming in my yard too. And there are some spectacular cherry trees in bloom that I drive by.

I hate to admit that I'm getting charmed by Sanjaya - surely he can't last much longer. I can't believe that I'm watching AI.

Great news about Obama! I was afraid when they didn't release their total that it wasn't so good - but I guess they have a flair for the dramatic. He didn't seem to be gloating, either - but I bet there are some woo-hoos behind closed doors.

Posted by: mostlylurking | April 4, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, you know I am pulling for you, but while you're praying, pray for me too. I am so happy that prayer is working for you. And I am happy that you're feeling good. I know too well what you're going through, but you can with the help of the Almighty make it. Good thoughts your way.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Come on why *can't* we examine the Presidential canidates closely for the next 18 months? What else would we talk about if we didn't?



Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I will (foolishly) address Cassandra's point earlier, which you've all danced around delicately:

Cassandra, I'm actually a little ashamed of you. Yes, it's big news (in a dry, "Guiness Book of Political Records" kind of way) that Sen. Obama is the first black dude to score such huge swag in the fundraising race. But, the country has been ready for that for quite a while. You'll note that Sen. Clinton has had no trouble keeping up, and (you might not have noticed this) she's a CHICK!!

The country's not stuck on old white guys, and is quite willing to put up the money to prove it. One of the LEAST interesting things about Obama is that he's black. That racial crap gets real old, real fast (ask George Wallace or Jesse Jackson! Al Sharpton was eventually smarter than that, and was one of the most interesting candidates last time around). What he IS, is a candidate who seems genuinely bright, caring, and willing and able to combine principled positions with flexible politics.

How will it play out? Who knows who's gonna have the "juice"? But, at long last, I really believe that race and gender are becoming "flavor", rather than make-or-break "meat".

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, let's hope that the next candidate is better able to deal with his own Swift Boat-type attack, in whatever form it takes. My hope is that Kerry's successor will plow through it and even gain strength as a result. Kerry could have, but he is who he is. Not that he wouldn't have been a lot better than GWB at actually performing as president (probably).

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 4, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, thanks for bringing that up again.

I took it @ work, but the results were blocked. I figured I was probably a Druid, which actually isn't a bad approximation.

Whichever Catholic made the statement about give me a child until they're five and he'd have them for life (and no, I don't want to hear the exact quote or who said it) was wrong.

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. New Age (98%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (94%)
4. Liberal Quakers (84%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (83%)
6. New Thought (77%)
7. Theravada Buddhism (76%)
8. Scientology (75%)
9. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (73%)
10. Secular Humanism (70%)
11. Reform Judaism (68%)
12. Taoism (64%)
13. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (61%)
14. Sikhism (58%)
15. Bahá'í Faith (56%)
16. Hinduism (56%)
17. Jainism (54%)
18. Orthodox Quaker (50%)
19. Nontheist (40%)
20. Orthodox Judaism (38%)
21. Islam (29%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (29%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (28%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (15%)
26. Roman Catholic (15%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (10%)

Posted by: dbG | April 4, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Bob S, if you noticed I am playing the Devil's advocate, for lack of a better word. I am convinced that Obama is exactly what you say he is, but we cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend that race is not an issue here, because for some, that is all it is. It should not be, but it is what it is. I wish it wasn't so, but everything that I see tells me that we have not reached the point wherein race is not a factor. Personally, I think Obama is a breath of fresh air, and we need fresh air, and we need it bad.

I was trying to make a point, not offend. I so wish we could come to terms with the things that separate us, but it's a mean thing, politics, and I'm sure all here know that. I'm not endorsing such feelings or actions. Just throwing them out there, and trying to be honest. We need that kind of honesty. We need that breath of fresh air.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - In the grand scheme of things, we've learned recently a tremendous political lesson in the past couple of elections. The "flyover country", the "Great American Heartland", the "Red country", really IS less and less important in presidential elections. Even though that (theoretical) political audience was almost uniformly in favor of Bush in the last election, he still won only by the skin of his teeth. And that theoretical support wasn't worth much in the last Congressional elections.

Nope, ol' boy politics ain't worth bettin' the farm upon! White, black, boy, girl, and them what ain't yet decided... I think many, many voters are willing to consider all options.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

>I think many, many voters are willing to consider all options.

Don't forget, you can always Vote For Error.

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 4, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are right, Bob S. I'm going to try and follow the candidates, learn what their stand is on issues that are important to me, and to the country. So much of the time, voters are not educated about candidates, and we often don't make good choices.

And too, there is a language that is used by those that don't want to come out and say certain things, and that comes into play also. It's just a lot of stuff in politics, and much of it I don't understand, but I am learning. You guys are teaching me a lot.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think I killed the boodle this afternoon, and somehow have come back tonight and put the finishing touches on it. With that said, I am going to bed. I hope your evening is good. And that everyone gets a good night's sleep. Peace.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 4, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Just don't vote for Sanjaya!

Posted by: mostlylurking | April 4, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Robinson, the great Grambling coach, and a great American, has passed away. Excellent obit here:

Posted by: Achenbach | April 4, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

-- Vote for Error!! --

Cassandra, I'm chuckling here! : )
You can safely count on me to be... hmmm, how do I want to put this?... indelicately blunt from time to time. I'd like to think that I'm not ignorant or cruel very often, but I'm definitely blunt on occasion..

(And, of course, I knew fully well that you were tossing out bait for discussion earlier!)

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach - It is a fine piece. What took YOU so long to mention it? I mean, if he'd been a Florida guy...

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Error-I liked your comment in a previous boodle about becoming president of a small country to get experience before becoming POTUS.

I haven't decided who would get my vote yet, but I do know I'm not bothered by Obama's "lack of experience." He's experienced growing up bi-racial in a society where race matters, he's lived outside the US, he's done so many things that would inform his presidency. Short of being president of a practice country I don't think there's much he'd gain by punching the usual political tickets.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 4, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... a major correction to the above regarding "flyover country".

Not "less important". Not what I meant at all.

"Less monolithic" says it better, I think. As a counted-upon-bloc-of-votes, it ain't so dependable.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I've always been an admirer of Coach Robinson's. He'll be missed.


Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

And it's been a while since we took up the issue of the poor Sen. Clinton, victim of misogynist beasts who cruelly denigrate her by referring to her as "Hillary".

Oh, not such a big issue now?

Goodness, I AM in a mood! G'night, all!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

bc - A great, great guy! I never met Coach Robinson, but met a few folks who knew him somewhat well, and have (like all of us, I suspect) read a heck of a lot about him. A great, great man. My world is poorer without him.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and for mostlylurking -

I've done my best to avoid "American Idol", but have reluctantly come to the conclusion that America needs (and fully deserves) much "Sanjaya".

As soon as someone lets me know how to vote for Sanjaya without actually watching the show, I'm gonna do it, possibly repeatedly.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, Bob, if you insist, you could go to

All I saw there were ads, but maybe you can figure out how to vote.

Posted by: mostlylurking | April 4, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Story on educational software:


Posted by: Bob S. | April 4, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

My Belief-o-matic score:

1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (96%)
3. Liberal Quakers (86%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (82%)
5. Neo-Pagan (78%)
6. Nontheist (71%)
7. New Age (70%)
8. Reform Judaism (69%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (69%)
10. Taoism (60%)
11. Scientology (60%)
12. New Thought (56%)
13. Mahayana Buddhism (55%)
14. Bahá'í Faith (52%)
15. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (51%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (47%)
17. Sikhism (46%)
18. Jainism (38%)
19. Islam (34%)
20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (34%)
21. Orthodox Judaism (34%)
22. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (32%)
23. Hinduism (24%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (21%)
25. Roman Catholic (21%)
26. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (8%)

I'm not normally a big fan of TV commercials (to say the least), but saw a really cool one tonight two-thirds the way through "Friday Night Lights." It was the GE Locomtive manufacturing division. of all things, and used the song "Take My Breath Away" from the movie "Top Gun." The lyrics were changed and were funny, including a reference to filming things in slow motion. The singers were the various workers at the locomotive manufacturing plant. I know it all sounds weird, but you had to see it. (Now why GE feels compelled to advertise its locomotives I don't have a good handle on--maybe they want a better share of that all-important demographic of 18-to-49 diesel locomotive purchasing audience.)

I'm pleased to hear the 15 British sailors are going to fly home from Teheran tomorrow morning. Wonder what the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing were.

I watched the last half of "Lost," for lack of anything else on the tube, but mainly because I just like watching Evangeline Lilly. Even after she falls face-first into a huge muddle puddle, she's still the best looking woman on television. As for the plot of the show--I have absolutely no clue what's been going on, and don't care. I've totally bailed on the show. But I'd watch E.L. in anything, including the Home Shopping Network.

Doug Hill is saying we're gonna have a freeze tomorrow night down to 26 degrees, and maybe snow flurries Saturday morning. He says we have you Canuckistanis to thank. As Queen Elizabeth once said, "We are not amused."

Time to throw myself into the arms of Morpheus. 'Night, boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 4, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you beat me to the story about the British marines being released by the Iranian government:

I suppose I should run the belief-o-matic myself.


Posted by: bc | April 4, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

It was Queen Victoria who was not amused.

Yesterday, I watched more of "The Best of Youth", a six-hour Italian family saga made for television, but that went to Cannes and was feted. Sort of regrettably, the screening at the local museum was followed by a mostly-Rachmaninov concert by a real Russian orchestra. Between the two, I was too depressed to sleep. I'm hoping the remaining two hours of "Best" is a bit kinder and gentler. Unfortunately, Italy had a terrible time with corruption, the Mafia, and Red Brigades in the 1970s and 1980s. At least that's how Peter Robb's "Midnight in Sicily" had it.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | April 4, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra's 09:48 post wins. Wasn't there some Greek "Cassandra" too?

Posted by: Observer | April 4, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Diagram of a blog at the NYT. Has me laughing more than you know.

Posted by: Loomis | April 4, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

The GE locomotive ad is selling the brand rather than the specific product?

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 5, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Do y'all mean this particular quiz on Beliefnet?

It is probably the wrong night for me to take it, because I'm not so sure what I believe. I wonder what would happen if you checked "none of the above" to everything.

I'm not entirely happy with the answers I came up with, but here goes (and I vehemently disagree with number 13, 15, and 16 being ranked higher than Catholicism.).

It's nice to know I could probably enjoy listening to liberal Quakers, if I could find any.

1. Liberal Quakers (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (93%)
3. Mahayana Buddhism (82%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (81%)
5. Hinduism (73%)
6. Orthodox Quaker (73%)
7. Neo-Pagan (70%)
8. Theravada Buddhism (70%)
9. New Age (69%)
10. Taoism (67%)
11. New Thought (67%)
12. Sikhism (62%)
13. Scientology (59%)
14. Reform Judaism (58%)
15. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (57%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (51%)
17. Secular Humanism (50%)
18. Eastern Orthodox (48%)
19. Orthodox Judaism (48%)
20. Roman Catholic (48%)
21. Bahá'í Faith (48%)
22. Jainism (48%)
23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (47%)
24. Islam (41%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (37%)
26. Jehovah's Witness (36%)
27. Nontheist (20%)

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 5, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Loomis, that's why we avoid theses on this blog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 5, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Wilbrod - even if you could find some Quakers, I don't think you could listen to them. Don't they just sit quietly around and think as their worship? This could be wrong. I think sometimes congregants stand up and say something and then sit back down till someone else feels like talking. So I guess there would be *something* to listen to. Kinda sounds like the a-blog to me, in a way.

Posted by: Wheezy | April 5, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised how low Catholicism was in my score, too. Perhaps the scoring table is based on taking it all literally. Like, you say you think nature is an important value, and presto! you're scored high on several religions you've never heard of. (Happened to me.) I don't see how recognizing that destroying the environment isn't a good idea is necessarily anything beyond common sense.

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 5, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

And the question is, should or do you like your religion to emphasize nature as part of of its core value?

Personally I think you can interpret Christianity that way, with the charge to be stewards of the earth.

I think you'd get more accurate values if they asked people what they DIDN'T believe in ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 5, 2007 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Loomis - I'll be amazed if you were laughing much more than I was! Great stuff!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 5, 2007 1:23 AM | Report abuse

If only Christianity did mean being stewards of the earth -- that's compared to fundamentalists, possibly including GWB (signs are he believes that, but doesn't say so explicitly), who are waiting for the apocalypse and think there's no need to conserve or preserve anything because it's all going up in flames anyway. In a democracy, the real problem is the voters who elect people with such views to manage the environment.

Posted by: LTL-CA | April 5, 2007 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - The religion questionnaire could almost certainly be improved by refining the discriminators, and probably by altering the format a bit, but as a quick & easy pointer, it seems (judging from the results posted here) to do a halfway decent job of presenting more- versus less-likely philosophical fits.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 5, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

And maybe making people of dogmatic religions blush when they realize their nemeseses may not be so much different from their "true" religion after all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | April 5, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - I'm interested that you had so many "fits" at (or nearly) 50% or higher, and so few at 90% or higher. Quite different from mine (which I didn't bother to capture when I took it earlier. Maybe I'll do it again.) I think that I had four or five matches at or above 90%, and only five or six more above 50%!

It's an intriguing quiz.

Posted by: Bob S. | April 5, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

*waiting for caffeine to kick in before I attempt a coherent statement*

*Grover waves anyway*


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 5, 2007 4:42 AM | Report abuse

FWIW... AI results:,,20007868_20033743,00.html

*still waiting for caffeine*


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 5, 2007 4:48 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, boodle. 'Morning, scotty. After you find the caffeine, pour me a cup and fax it to me. Thanks.

Yes. Observer, there was a Cassandra in Greek mythology, but she herself was not Greek. She was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, and therefore brother of Hector. There are several major variants, but they all revolve around her being loved by Apollo, whom she jilted or offended in some way. Whatever she did or diidn't do to Apollo, he cursed her, giving her a two-part curse. The first part was she would become a prophetess or clairvoyant. The second part was, although she could foretell the future, no one would believe. (Which led to my high school Latin teacher, Mr. Mong, always referring toi her as "Crazy Cassandra" as we read the Iliad.) Cassandra predicted that the famous Trojan Horse was a trap--and of course no one believed her. Then as we now know, Kirk Douglas and his men emerged from the horse at night, conquering Troy and killing Brad Pitt.

After the Fall of Troy, with all her family dead and her city in ruins she went to Mycenae with Agamemnon (king or Argos, where that Jason dude hailed from) as his slave and/or concubine. Clymenestra, Aggie's wife, had been unfaithful two him, and one thing led to another--it was like watching the Jerry Springer show without people throwing chairs. Cassandra again made a prediction, that Aggie would die, but again nobody believed her, least of all Aggie. You can imagine what happens next.

Cassandra pops up in the Iliad, in the Orestes trilogy in the play Agamemnon, in Chaucer's Troilus and Cressida (as Troilus' sister). In that bodice-ripper, Troilus has a dream about his squeeze, Cressida, having hot monkey sex with a boar, and goes to his sister Cassandra for a little dream interpretation, which is pretty weird right there. Cassandra correctly interprets the dream to mean that Cressida has run off to Troy with a Greek dude named Diomede, whom I guessing was a bit of a bore. Or boar. Or was bored. Or made killer pulled pork BBQ. One of them. At any rate, true to form, Troilus doesn't believe her, and hilarity ensues when Ricky brings Richardo Montalban home for dinner at the Arnez household. Or everybody dies. (I may have the endings mixed up here.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Minor SCC: I suppose Brad Pitt was on the same team as Kirk Douglas, now that I think of it. But he died at Troy anyway.

(Hey, it was all before my time. I can't remember everything, ya know. I had enough trouble keeping Arthur and all those knights straight in my head. And Charlemagne and Harold Hadrata and Harold Godwinson. Jeez, cut me some slack, here, will ya?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 6:09 AM | Report abuse

SCC: to, not two. Jeez. Scotty, beam me up that coffee!!!!!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 6:12 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' 'Mudge a 55-gallon drum 'o coffee with an IV drip*


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 5, 2007 6:57 AM | Report abuse

First my apologies for the cold weather, but we have snow on the ground here, Scotty can you fax me up some coffee with Bailey's?

Posted by: dmd | April 5, 2007 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Bailey's??? I didn't get any Bailey's in MY coffee. *sulks, slinks off to shower, then sulkily catches bus to work*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 7:06 AM | Report abuse


Bailey's what? Bagels? Biscotti? Brown Betty??

*innocent smile*


*faxin' adulterated coffee*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 5, 2007 7:07 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge is taking a sulky to work now? What?? Where does he keep the horse?


Posted by: Scottynuke | April 5, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Brown Betty will always be a desert in my mind. Sorta like a crumble or a crisp: topping baked over fruit.

Regarding Quakers, I only know liberal Quakers. What other sort are there?

Tiny nibbins of ferns up. You can saute fiddleheads -- uncurling fronds of fern stalks -- but I have not tried that.

Spring will flow north as she always does. I understand how much some of you are ready for this. Montana gets a long share of the long winter.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 5, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Flash: four peony stalks are up. I confess that they are very overgrown with grass from last fall. Usually I see their red shoots earlier.

Frostie -- I love these "Festiva Maxima" more than anything else. The stand dates from the 50s. They smell of retro spring more than anything else. However, as you know, they fade so quickly in our heat. Still, gardens should be full of fleeting pleasures, rather than a stand of color that stays the same all season.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 5, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

C.P. - Best to keep it that way. You probably couldn't handle the intense glare or oppressive silence of the "Severe Quakers"!

Posted by: Bob S. | April 5, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Mudge, the name is the gift of my father. I know some of the history of the name, but still kinda like it in spite of the history.

Will try not to kill the boodle today. Hope everyone is feeling good, and hope your day is the best.

My reference to the mood on the street is not because of any "doom" theory, just noticing things. And the "9:48" is just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of stuff going on out there, and most of it not good. I don't want "doom and gloom" to be the answer. And as far as the religious aspect, I believe in love. Now, name one thing better than love, if you can?

Off I go. Have my regular routine today, and want to get started early. You don't want to know the results of the doctor's visit, but it does include that light. I think enough has been said in that respect.

Martooni, good thoughts your way.

Morning, Mudge, Scotty, Slyness, Ivansmom, and everyone *waving*.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | April 5, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

College Parkian, I concur with Bob S. on this. At the time we decided to get married, fiance and I had been attending Quaker services for about 6 months, and had no other religious affiliation. I contacted one of our Quaker associates to inquire what would be involved in having a "Quaker wedding." His response was in the "severe Quaker" tradition. He made it clear that although they tolerated our presence at their meetings, we were in no way qualified or entitled to consider ourselves candidates for any sort of Quaker ceremony or endorsement of our marital vows. Okie-dokie, then. We had our ceremony without the sanction of our Quaker friends, presided over by the manager of the local discount store who happened to be a notary, and with our own prayers and vows. We included a nod to the Quaker tradition by incorporating silence as a major part of the proceedings. And we stopped attending the Quaker meetings, although I have a lot of respect for their traditions and I am in agreement with their beliefs. I guess I just wasn't feeling the love.

Posted by: kbertocci | April 5, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Bob S. -- Would Nixon's mother be a severe Quaker? My Quakers, along with the Mennonite crowd locally, are very SoJo -- social justice types.

As Frosti knows, I have survived the intense quiet of Lutherans from Upstate Minnesota of the Swedish flavor. The daily live the idea that Silence Is Golden.

My Mennonites (funny posessive!) often refer to their parents and grandparents as bonnet-wearing plain people, similar to the Amish. I have not heard of Quakers referencing their silent elders. Come to think of it, many of the Neo-Quakers are recovering from other religious formation experiences. Or, being Quaker splits the diff in an interfaith marriage.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 5, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful Christmas morning scene here today. The trees re covered with a fluffy layer of pristine snow. Eh, wait, it's almost Easter, not Christmas.

You knew Charlemagne Mudge? Have you met his parents Pépin le Bref/Pippin the Short and Berthe au Grand Pied/Big Foot Berta? Got to love those High Middle Ages names.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | April 5, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi KB -- ouch! I think "My Quakers" would have responded differently. Perhaps they are not typical.

I have worked with both the Society of Friends and the Unitarian-Universalist crew -- along with the National Catholic Conference of Bishops -- on environmental issues and a faith response.

National organizations do not always reflect the posture of people in the pews.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 5, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Drinking coffee for warmth as much as avoiding the caffeine rebound head. 7F this morning and even the eagles are moving slowly.

CP-I will be frying fiddlehead furls, in June. Festiva maxima, truly the stuff of dreams. We do have bright red cornus sericea twigs swelling just a bit but moss that should be showing its fluorescent yellow green by now is covered by snow.

Posted by: frostbitten | April 5, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Frosti! Recipe? I have eaten day lily blooms in salad. Not as yummy as they look. Johnny jump ups are salad and died in sugar to be placed on wedding cakes.

Off to tutor -- the new SAT has grammar in it. Local high school kids really need grammar boot camps.

Film at 11.

Posted by: College Parkian | April 5, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Spring has sprung, but I'm watching a snow squall out of my window today. Sheesh.

Mudge, I thought Diomede was a boor.

Ready for a second cup of coffee, no Bailey's. Though I do want some.

I took the quiz, my results looked a lot like Mudge's.


Posted by: bc | April 5, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

1. Make sure you have actual edible ferns-ostrich, buckhorn or cinammon. (I have Ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris)
2. Break fiddleheads off above ground level while still tightly curled. Use within hours of harvest.
3. Steam about 8 minutes, or boil 5-7 minutes in a big pot of lightly salted water. The water will turn brown and you'll get a whiff of earth.
4. Serve lightly buttered or with balsamic vinegar and oil.

A good stinky cheese and crusty bread goes well. Many recipes online suggest pairing with morels or other mushrooms. Sounds good to me but I've never done it.

Our native MN ferns are threatened by irresponsible worm disposal! (I think JA could get a line or two out of that should he want to pick up an idea that is totally outside the beltway.)

Posted by: frostbitten | April 5, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon's Agamemnon brings to mind a Portland (Ore.) Opera production of Offenbach's "Belle Helene" in which the women mourning the dead Adonis place their flowers at at huge poster of Brad Pitt.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | April 5, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Ok, it's not Global Warming day in the Boodle, but I noticed this:

"Since the IPCC has already predicted the global temperature could increase between 1.8 and 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century, Palmer added, 'this will translate in terms of river and stream temperatures of [7.2 to 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit], which is a very significant degree when you think about temperature impacts.'

The new report estimates that 20 to 30 of the world's species 'are likely to be at high risk of irreversible extinction if global average temperature' rises between 2.4 and 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The scientists warn that humans could suffer as well, since hunger and the spread of infectious diseases could increase in a warmer world. Global agriculture production would probably increase in the near term as colder climates warm, the report says, but it would probably start to decline after an increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit."

Feel free to unleash Umbrage re. this week's SC ruling and the Arbusto Adninistracion's (non)reaction to it. Mudge, I know you've got some.


Posted by: bc | April 5, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Dave, that's funny. And reminds me that I meant to respond to Medallions of Ferret regarding Robert Redford, who was the Brad Pitt of an earlier generation. I wish Redford COULD run for President, playing the role of his character in The Candidate--the Elder Statesman version of it, anyway. The Reagan candidacy, redux. I would be glad to see everybody voting for him, thinking, "He's so Presidential. He's so Electable." Because once he was in office, it would be like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--we might have a chance to stop global warming, and at the very least the National Park system would finally get its funding.

Posted by: kbertocci | April 5, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

>Feel free to unleash Umbrage re. this week's SC ruling

Actually I found more umbrage in the recess appt of Swift Boatie Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium.

The best govt. money can buy...

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 5, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

bc, I did my umbrage number on the SC ruling yesterday. You were pretty busy and must have missed it in your boodle-skimming. Short re-cap: I want Bush impeached. Now.

Cassandra, we named our middle daughter Cassandra, mainly because we liked the short version, Cassie.

Oh, sure, I knew Charlemagne, Shriek. And I'm one of the guys who put the "high" in "High Middle Ages." Although if memory serves, Chuckie the Great came before the Middle Ages, no? Chuckie was crowned in 800, and High Middies started about 1000 and includes the Crusades, about my experiences with which I believe I have boodled (see the first part of the tale of the invention of naval signal flags, at

Ah, good times. Good times.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mugde, I didn't know if you'd gotten it all out.

EF, that's a good point (grrr). But I doubt that this is the best government money can buy. Sheesh.


Posted by: bc | April 5, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, bc. If this is the best they can do, I want a refund. And no damn "store credit," either.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 5, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

As usual I certainly do like your presentation of any topic. Its the Democratic primaries that I have the most interest in. I wish all the commentary about the various candidates would be as lacking of antagonism as this column. I know that at this point I am rooting for all the candidates and would much prefer to see this type of article which does not incur hostility on the part of the reader toward any candidate.
Ruth Beazer

Posted by: Ruth Beazer | April 5, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

>But I doubt that this is the best government money can buy. Sheesh.

Yeah, that's the problem, isn't it? But when you really look at it these positions go pretty cheap. Look at what people spend for some Star Trek props or number's-matching muscle cars these days!

This guy got to be Ambassador for a couple hundred thou. If you consider what swanky digs in Brussels would cost for two years that's probably not a bad deal.

Posted by: Error Flynn | April 5, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

LOL, Mudge. Wonder if we could buy a better government if we banded together and raised our own funds.

Probably not.

Oh well.

How many days till January 20, 2009?

Posted by: Slyness | April 5, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

From the Opinionater blog at the NYT...the NYT blogger lifting the material from yet another appear in this blog. below.

What I am most reminded of is author Oshinsky talk about polio last Thursday here in town. Most medical campaigns in the early decades of the 20th century were launched through philanthropies, say Rockefeller and Carnegie. Then came the power of the people through the March of Dimes. Bring a few celebrities on board to promote the cause. Then, strategize and launch the money-raising effort, not by going after the onesies and twosies with big bucks, but many people with small donations--dimes, in the case of polio. Oshinsky explains how FDR's face ended up on the dime.

Browsed Oshinsky's book on Joe McCarthy. Oshinsky seems to paint pretty much a straight line from the Klaus Fuchs spy scandal, and the fear *and the hype*, to the the duck-and-cover drills under our school desks (well, duck-and-cover oldsters like Mudge and yours truly).

On to Obama (when he came for a guest appearance earlier this year to Austin [no not the Texas Book Festival last fall] he pulled 20,000 folks from all over the state--unprecedented reach and numbers for a Democratic candidate):

The American Prospect's Ezra Klein fingers the critical question for Obama: Can he do what Howard Dean could not? That is, can he translate netroots fundraising into votes at the ballot box? Klein writes at his personal blog:

Given the remarkable 100,000 donors, I'd guess you're seeing widespread support from the "netroots," broadly defined. In other words, from computer literate, highly-informed, well-educated, fairly young, political junkies who, due to the sophistication of online fundraising techniques and their particularly high response rate to such appeals, are emerging as an actual funding bloc even as they remain weak as a voting bloc. That said, most primary voters, as we saw with Dean, are not computer literate, highly-informed, well-educated, fairly young, political junkies. We'll see whether Obama could build the bridge that Dean could not.

Posted by: Loomis | April 5, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I checked the date on Portland Opera's Hélène (I can't seem to make those elegant French accent marks work). It was spring of 2001, badly premature for the production's bold-faced suggestion that the new President would lead the country into a Trojan War. The final can-can was accompanied by newspaper headlines. Pretty chilling.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | April 5, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Slyness-get your Bush countdown clock, for blog, screen saver, whatever at:

Posted by: frostbitten | April 5, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

New kit and another link for slyness in the boodle!

Posted by: frostbitten | April 5, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Lets see, which candidate will raise enough to buy Diebold? That candidate will be our next president.

Posted by: Katharine Otto | April 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I have to say it here, because my friends are sick of hearing it.

I can't stand Barack. Can't. Stand. Barack. There is something about him that I do not trust, and I do not see why everyone loves him so much. Skeeze fairly drips from him - as it seems to from so many polis - but he cloaks himself in that holier-than-thou robe and ERGH! Mark my words - there is something bad about that man. It's like dolphins or Reese Witherspoon - everyone loves them/her and they give me the creeps.

I really would never have thought that misogyny was stronger than racism, but there you go...

Posted by: Violet | April 5, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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