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Rogue Operative

The Cheney series shows a man who is not so much a shadow president as a rogue operative in the White House. He functions outside any normal chain of command. He has no accountability. Everything about him is Classified. He has the kind of power normally associated with people who have a Cloak of Invisibility.

He writes policies without leaving fingerprints. By his own legal argument he's not even part of the Executive Branch. The Constitution is vague about the veep. Cheney has taken maximum advantage: He does what he wants, when he wants, where he wants, moving through secret passageways and darting into hidden rooms behind pivoting bookshelves. He sometimes transmogrifies into a bat and flies out the window.

He and his lawyers are preoccupied with redefining "torture" so that it doesn't include cruel, degrading, inhuman, appalling and fundamentally medieval treatments of a detainee. Cheney says, "We don't torture," and we can imagine the regret in his voice. He considers waterboarding to be a little dunk in the water, not much different from a Sunday trip to the pool. (A Cheney favorite is playing "Marco Polo" with waterboarded detainees.)

' In a radio interview last fall, Cheney said, "We don't torture." What he did not acknowledge, according to Alberto J. Mora, who served then as the Bush-appointed Navy general counsel, was that the new legal framework was designed specifically to leave room for cruelty. In international law, Mora said, cruelty is defined as "the imposition of severe physical or mental pain or suffering." He added: "Torture is an extreme version of cruelty."'

Got that? Inflicting "severe" physical or mental pain or suffering is not "torture," unless it becomes "extreme."

But maybe it depends upon what the meaning of "is" is.

We read of David Hicks, 31, who pled guilty to providing material support for terrorists after spending 6 years at Gitmo:

'At every stage since his capture, in a taxi bound for the Afghan-Pakistan border, Hicks had crossed a legal landscape that Cheney did more than anyone to reshape. He was Detainee 002 at Guantanamo Bay, arriving on opening day at an asserted no man's land beyond the reach of sovereign law. Interrogators questioned him under guidelines that gave legal cover to the infliction of pain and fear -- and, according to an affidavit filed by British lawyer Steven Grosz, Hicks was subjected to beatings, sodomy with a foreign object, sensory deprivation, disorienting drugs and prolonged shackling in painful positions.

'The U.S. government denied those claims, and before accepting Hicks's guilty plea it required him to affirm that he had "never been illegally treated." But the tribunal's rules, written under principles Cheney advanced, would have allowed the Australian's conviction with evidence obtained entirely by "cruel, inhuman or degrading" techniques.'

Two more installments to go.

Note "Branches of Government" diagram at Raw Story.

--

Yesterday on Face the Nation, John Harris (formerly with the Post, now at The Politico) had an interesting take on a Bloomberg candidacy (Ed Rollins had just opined that Bloomberg would hurt the GOP and Giuliani in particular):

"The larger environment right now overwhelmingly favors Democrats -- unpopular war, unpopular president, increasingly unpopular party on the Republican side. So anything that's a traditional two-party dynamic is going to favor the Democrat. A Bloomberg candidacy or some other third-party candidacy lends a big sort of volatile, unpredictable factor in that. So I would have to say it's the Democrats who shouldn't want that. They want a two- party race. They're poised to win it."

--

Big week for the immigration bill. Note this exchange between Stephanopoulos and Teddy Kennedy yesterday on This Week:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, some say that you should start again. You should break the bill up in many different pieces.

KENNEDY: Well, politically, I mean, what is their answer? Start again? You know over the period since the end of 9/11, we've had 39 hearings. We've had six days of markups. We've had 23 days of debate on the floor of the United States Senate. We've had 52 amendments. Where are they? We know what they're against. What are they for? That is what we have to do. We have a terrible problem in this country that demands an answer.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 25, 2007; 6:57 AM ET
 
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Comments

First?
Reposted from previous Boodling:

I was reading the second chapter of the Cheney story in the Post today, words from the Declaration of Independence popped into my head:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

To frostbitten's point, aren't all men (humans, in today's terms) created equal? Aren't unalienable Rights bestowed by their Creator and not some assignment of military status or country of origin?

I find it rather depressing to reread the Declaration while thinking about what's been going on with the Bush Administration over the past 6 years. There are several indicitments against the Kingdom in there that sound very familiar...

Sheesh.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 25, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

second

Posted by: omni | June 25, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It's probably old news for you Merkins but I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh on a NY registered car this morning "Anybody else for President".
EF, stewed groundhog is ok but here is a recipe for roasted GH. I can help with the translation if you wish. The GH looks cute with the chef's hat.
http://www.fapaq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/educ/pleins_feux/sept_2004_2.htm

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 25, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Roasted eh? Hmmm. He does cute with the hat.

Maybe I just need to get them to dress up a little more and decide that living under the garage is beneath them.

No wait, if I do that they'll want into the house - sleeping on the couch, hogging the remote control and demanding a fresh bowl of greens every hour.

Maybe I could get it on Fox as a reality show.

Posted by: Error Flynn | June 25, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

It really makes one think how the definitions of some of the most fundamental and self-evident concepts are being rewritten. I really wonder if these people seriously believe that they are telling the truth and adhering to the law (which they have the privilege to write). Sounds like the perfect philosophical question to tackle with a mug of coffee on a Monday morning...

Posted by: idle_on-looker | June 25, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Alamobama in town yesterday:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/stories/MYSA062507.01B.OBAMA.340432a.html

Local metro columnist's take on whether people were ruffled at all when paying $25 per head to attend Obama's "public event":

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/jcastillo/stories/MYSA062507.01B.Castillo.3403fde.html

Posted by: Loomis | June 25, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, idle, I'm not at all sure whether they really give a flying you-know-what whether they're telling the truth or not or adhering to the law or not. It is the power thing they're after, and with all the enablers out there (not to mention within the administration) willing to take delicious part in it all, or at least to acquiesce, Cheney and Bush really don't need to care about people like, well, us.

I must admit that I started reading the series, but my heart is no longer in it. During Watergate, I was glued to the tv set and read everything I could about it. I even remember where I was when J. Edgar Hoover (alias "Mary") died (under the US 23 viaduct on Washtenaw Road in Ann Arbor, MI). I let out a huge WHOOP in honor of that one. But now, I'm too fatigued and too disappointed that at the end of the day, nothing really changes. The bullies always win until they die, and the rest of us just march onward and try to stay out of the way.

Ah, it's a Monday. I'll be back to my ever so perky revolutionary self once I can get my arthritis more under control.

Geez.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 25, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Obama said he supports a total troop withdrawal from Iraq by March 31, 2008, and that the war 'has made the United Sates less safe and diminished our standing in the world.'"

Oh sure, call for it to be over before he has to handle it. I'm an Obama fan but if he thinks we could start removing troops yesterday and be out by March 31, 2008 he's clueless.

As Mr. F and I have often opined, the next president is going to be as lauded for success as the last several DC schools superintendents. People of admirable skill and reputation have been chewed up by that much smaller mess.

Thanks for the links Loomis.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/06/25/tech-google-censor.html

Google fights web censorship.

Posted by: Kerric | June 25, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Um, this is weird...

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Posted by: omni | June 25, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Cheney's obsession with secrecy implies an unwillingness to vet his ideas with others, perhaps because he considers such vetting to be wasted time. This is characteristic of someone who feels that he is surrounded by idiots and that only he knows the right thing to do.

While it is true that a strength of vision and a refusal to allow the paralysis of doubt to stand in the way of action are characteristics of great leaders, these are also traits shared by the most noxious of dictators.

Although Cheney may be counting on history to validate his actions, I am less optimistic.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 25, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Nice BPH pics. Great to see the new to BPH boodlers, and to officially meet mo's mom, and Mrs. Mudge. Does that mean she knows about imaginary real friends now? Obviously.

CP that's not just knitting is it. Its knitting with beads, correct. Nice. We are just going to have to teach mo to knit.

Posted by: dr | June 25, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Love that "Raw Story" link. For as someone who really is in the Executive Branch, I not only resent taking direction from this "Cheney" outsider, but I don't see why he should be siphoning off our funds.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 25, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

AP story on South Lake Tahoe from NYT:

It was less than 10 percent contained Monday morning, said Lt. Kevin House of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.

''This is far and above the biggest disaster that has happened in this community, I don't know, probably in forever,'' House told reporters in an early morning briefing.

Ummm, no, Lt. House.

On Nov. 25, 1938, Meyers was swept by a fire. It destroyed the old hotel and store which had catered to travelers for more than 70 years.

Ephraim "Yank" Clement, a Green Mountain Boy from New Hampshire and his wife Lydia were owner-proprietors of Yank's Station (now Meyers) for some years. Whenever Clement was asked how he received the nickname "Yank" he carefully explained: "There's none could pronounce Eph-aim ce-rect, so I'm handled with what marks my northern bringin' up."

On June 27, 1873, George Henry Dudley Meyers purchased the famous way station along with several quarter sections of land adjoining. Meyers, a native of Hanover, Germany, was the owner of Six Mile House above Placerville during the period of heavy teaming to the mines.

In the 1950s, the site of the original hostelry on the east side of Highway 50 was marked by a Pony Express plaque. Across the road and north of the fireplace marking the site of the old Yank's Station stood Osgood's Toll House, moved from the foot of Meyers grade (present-day Highway 50). (Is it stil there today?) The toll house constitutes one of the last proud reminders of the staging and bonanza days when the flood of humanity and animals, enroute to the Comstock, paused at its drop gate to pay for the right of passage--coming or going--over what is now Echo Summit.

The first Tahoe newspaper, the Tahoe Tattler, has coverage of a dashing young Loomis, but I'll hold off on this story for now.

Posted by: Loomis | June 25, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

How does this relate??

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Posted by: Kerric | June 25, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Rahm Emmanuel is my hero. In a qualified sense, of course. Wouldn't it be great if Darth Vader had annoyed enough no-count congressperson underlings (what? another branch of government?) that the House could pass that defunding proposal? He may not have to follow executive orders, and Congress may not be able to tell him what to do, but that means nobody has to fund him. Then we'd maybe see Halliburton et al step up and admit who's really funding the clandestine government.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm just happy this whole conversation has been BDDH-free so far...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 25, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Found at Pharyngula:
The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form
http://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php?

Folk might need a break after all the Chenesawing. Nasty work.


Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sanity prevails!!! :-)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/25/AR2007062500443.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 25, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There once was a man from Nantucket
This is brilliant!


(Limericks were never my strong suit.)

Posted by: byoolin | June 25, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

There once was a veep name of Cheney
Whose grasp of his power was zany.
His power exceeded
All previously heeded
For he and his lawyer were brainy.

Help me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How about "grasp of his duties" instead of "grasp of his power" on line 2?

Stop me now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Ivansmom a few soothing rabbits*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 25, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

How about "grasp of his doodies" instead?

*titter*

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's the actual pants verdict...

JUDGMENT
In accordance with the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law entered this date, it is by the Court this 25th day of June 2007

ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:
1. That judgment be and it hereby is entered in favor of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung and against plaintiff Roy L. Pearson, Jr. on Counts One, Two and Four of the Amended Complaint.*

2. That plaintiff Roy L. Pearson, Jr. takes nothing from the defendants, and defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung are awarded the costs of this action against the plaintiff Roy L. Pearson, Jr.


__________________
*Count Three was withdrawn prior to trial.

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

So glad to see that not only did Pearson get bupkis in the pants lawsuit, but that he may end up paying the defendant's court costs.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 25, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

And another momentous legal decision... Sort of...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/25/AR2007062500537.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 25, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Cheney shoots an Austin lawyer in the face.
The secrets of his energy task force are still in place.
'Tis a shame our shadowy Veep,
Is truly an American creep--
Protects Libby, guts cherished laws--an Executive Branch disgrace!

Posted by: Loomis | June 25, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

>And another momentous legal decision... Sort of...

Interesting they didn't label it free speech due to the religious content. ("Bong hits 4 Jesus")

I wonder if "Kill a Commie for Jesus" would be OK. Presumably killing is against school policy also.

Posted by: Error Flynn | June 25, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Whoever is the next President ought to have the courage to shine the light on every violation that the Executive and Cheney Branch have committed.

From redefining torture to suit "strategic interests" and flaunting that quaint document, the Constitution, to facilitating and then covering up the American Reichstag Fire of Nine Eleven, the buck-passing mass-murderers in the Executive and Cheney Branch will be called on the carpet by the next leader, if we elect one. Sanitize for sanity, instead of fun for funerals and more perpetual war.

Don't like signing documents? Don't like signed documents? Veep Chick Dainty and his omega-3 fatty acid deprived arteries require a nice boost of adrenaline, maybe some lapis lazuli blue ink coursing through his sytem to paint the crusty caves of his heart with images of bird shot and defense lawyer physiognomies. What is this? National Archives Day Off? Chik...chik...chik-a-chik-kaaah

Posted by: Simon D | June 25, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Follow the money. Where does the money come to fund Cheney's office. Is it attached to congress operations, or executive branch operations?


Recall if you will my robin's nesting in my flower basket. They are back but nested with better results.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62628983@N00/623720152/

Mrs. Robin tried building her nest all around the house. She tried on top of light fixtures, on the downspouts where it attaches at the wall, right by the front door under the deck. She was starting to get just a wee bit depserate before she settled on the far end of the deck. Now that she has built the nest, there is some hot and heavy flying going on. Near as we can tell, this heavy non fighting flying must be the procreation dance.

Posted by: dr | June 25, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to go off topic again but this one is just too good. Billy Graham's daughter can't understand this dog's miraculous powers.
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706230306
Where does PZ find 'em all?

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's Bart talking about the Ticking Time Bomb scenario:

Asheville, N.C.: I can't help but wonder what the outcome of all the wrangling and manipulating about policy was. Do you have any idea what the value of the intelligence gathered using these questionable techniques was? Has Cheney continued to champion them because he was seeing useful intelligence gathered using the cruelty? Thanks.

Barton Gellman: Very important question, no good answer available on the public record. Even among professional interrogators, the use of strong coercion (sometimes referred to as "fear up--harsh") is highly controversial. I've spoken to some who appear to believe sincerely that these techniques produce life-saving results. Others, including one who has served multiple tours overseas post-9/11 and has taught advanced interrogation courses in the "black" world -- i.e. clandestine operations and military special ops -- tell me that you lose much more than you gain because you give up on alternative techiques that prove more effective in the long term. There's also the controversy over whether you get more false leads than good ones when your subject is suffering. I tend to think it's a cop out to assert that cruelty never works. First of all, we don't have enough information to know whether that's true. And second, we have to make a decision as a society whether there are lines we won't cross even if doing so would produce results. The usual way that novices think about this question -- epitomized on Fox's drama '24' -- is the "ticking time bomb," in which you *know* someone has information that would save many lives, and that there's almost no time to extract it. Nearly anyone who knows this business seriously will say that scenario has seldom if ever presented itself to real life investigators. I'd commend to you this piece in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/02/19/070219fa_fact_mayer

Posted by: Achenbach | June 25, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I remember reading that piece on "24" Executive Producer Joel Surnow in the New Yorker, and thinking that he might not be the best guy to ask about the ethics of torture.

Some folks might regard watching "24" as a form of torture or cruelty, while others think it's the best show on TV. I suppose that's one of the cruxes of Cheney's arguments - how do you clearly define cruelty and torture? One man's intolerable pain might be something another guy would pay to have done. About the only thing we humans are consistent about is our inconsistency (see Cheney giving advice to James Baker III, then doing the opposite).

Surnow might make a good replacement for Scooter Libby, if he were willing to take a substantial pay cut.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 25, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Way to kill the boodle there you "Achenbach" person.

Seriously, we've discussed torture before, but that comment about the ticking bomb scenario is very good. We should never let unspoken assumptions drive a discussion.

Probably the trickiest thing to do is ferret out and expose the false premises upon which an argument rests. My favorite example of this is the notion that the existence of WMD in Iraq meant that we should invade. Back in the day there were some of us who believed that there were WMD and *still* thought it was a bad idea.

The real danger of folks like Cheney is that by circumventing the process of open discussion, they allow such unspoken assumptions to become accepted by both sides of any debate.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 25, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

bc - you raise an excellent point about how to define torture. And, at the risk of sounding flippant, I imagine that when Paris Hilton describes her ordeal, we might see the subjectivity of reality exposed in a big way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 25, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

boy oh boy, when you put something to sleep it goes comatose

Posted by: omni | June 25, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

RD - subjectivity indeed, sir.
Indeed.

I would consider Vegemite as an instrument of torture upon my person.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 25, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

This is so depressing. I don't know what I'd do in the ticking time bomb scenario, but I wouldn't torture someone. I hadn't read the entire New Yorker article before, either, and I've never watched "24" - and I guess I never will. There has to be a better way.

frostbitten, how long do you think it will take to get out of Iraq, once the decision's been made to do so?

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

of course I hit refresh a dozen times, even back out of the boodle on the kit, click on the link again, and still I only see JA's 1:57. but then when I make a comatose remark I see it has already woke back up. GAH

Posted by: omni | June 25, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The Boss says read, we read. At least it wasn't a writing assignment.

'Surnow once appeared as a guest on Ingraham's (Dr. Laura, arbiter of morals)show; she told him that, while she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, "it was soothing to see Jack Bauer torture these terrorists, and I felt better."'

I'm fumble fingered in amazmemt but smug recognition.
Tommy Douglas must be roiling in his urn.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

RD-good point that you could believe that Iraq had, or would soon have, WMD and still not think invading was a good idea.

You can count Mr. F among those who believe that harsh interrogation techniques are sometimes both necessary and productive, and that there were enough truly "bad guys" being held at Gitmo to justify the policies there in the early days of the GWOT.

However, despite our quite divergent thinking on those two premises we are in perfect agreement that indefinite detention with no hearing or appeal is wrong no matter who is being detained. As for the administration's parsing of the word torture, the military term for it is called quibbling. Quibbling is tantamount to lieing, and is really worse because it carries with it the coward's unwillingness to take responsibility. It's time for someone to "man up" but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Omni, we were just waiting for you to say something. Yeah, that's it, its all a conspiracy.

Posted by: dr | June 25, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Cheney flies low like a bat.
Says, "Executive Branch! I'm not that!"
Congress says, funny,
We'll give you no money.
So Cheney has Congress abolished.

I thought I'd get over this at lunch, but I didn't. Make it stop.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Boodlin' from San Antone. I was unable to get out of attending this meeting, despite strong efforts -- up to and including whining and pleas of stupidity. Right now, there's someone talking about plasma-wave propagation in Jupiter's magnetosphere during the Cassini flyby. It's beyond me. They have filled our schedule pretty well for this meeting, but any San Antonio boodlers (and you know who you are) who wish to catch a glimpse of planetary magnetospheric scientists in transit, just come on by the Menger Hotel. We are the nerdy pale people with long sleeves and name tags. We ingress at breakfast time. We are in flux at lunch time. We escape at about 5:30 to 6:00, flapping our little bat wings (Cheney-like).

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 25, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Admittedly only having skimmed the Mayer piece on Surnow - on the Hollywoodization of torture - I think it is safe to say that all the reader gets is a commentary on torture.

Or how depictions of torture can be sold on network primetime TV. And apart from opinions how it is used by the government, on the one hand, and by 24 writers on the other, there is no perspective given to its vicious reality. Notwithstanding plenty of good commentary by that gal Mayer at the New Yorker, there is no critique of torture.

Is it good for us and bad for them? Is it good for TV and bad for us in depiction? Is it good mostly? What do you mean by torture anyway? Does Hollywood seek to sell ads? Pray on fear? Shall we re-write the boundary of who counts as "one of us" versus "one of them"?

What's the point, Mayer? There are sadists in Hollywood?

We already knew that.

All commentary + no critique = crappy feature-writing, notwithstanding good writing.

Mayer should spend a weekend in Gitmo then she might have a critique to offer.

Posted by: Simon D | June 25, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The key thing about the torture question to me is they always assume you *know* the guy is guilty and has the information. If you know absolutely he was the one who planted the bomb then I'm guessing most people would be fine with all manner of torture.

The problem is when you apply the same rule to a shepard who had the bad luck to be in town when the strike force came through, or a Canadian named Mohammed foolish enought to attend a wedding in the US.

Personally I'm not interested in "24" any more than I'm interested in "House" or whatever. I don't enjoy the suffering part of the human condition.

Except of course in the "Three Stooges".

Posted by: Error Flynn | June 25, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Some torture our Bat-Veep is for,
Just like the guys on "24".
Geneva's refused,
the troops are confused,
and TV's a model for war.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Mostly-that's a good question. Pre-surge, one credible plan was to draw down by 60,000 troops in '06 and bring the rest home in '07. Though I must say, "the rest" was never 100% of US forces. I'd say 2 years is still a pretty good figure since much of the "surge" was really keeping people there longer.

It's important for Feingold, Richardson, and everyone else who thinks we can get everyone home both safely and quickly, to remember that soldiers still need safe places to sleep and eat, and operational vehicles and weapons. We can't expect to suddenly not be targets any more just because a withdrawal has been announced. Well probably just pi$$ a whole different bunch of folks off. The flow of forces and materiel to theater will slow, but won't end.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is only Monday and my mind is reduced to sheer doggerel. Someone is to blame for this. Heads will roll.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tidbit in the judge's decision in the pants case...

"In February 2003, shortly after Mr. Pearson left Legal Services, his wife filed for divorce in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia. Mr. Pearson represented himself in the divorce proceedings, and he contested certain of his wife's claims regarding their separation.

"According to Mr. Pearson, he spent much of the next year and a half on the divorce case. The trial court in Fairfax County made specific findings that the litigation was disproportionately long, despite the relative simplicity of the case, and that Mr. Pearson "in good part is responsible for excessive driving up of everything that went on here" and created "unnecessary litigation."

"Mr. Pearson therefore was ordered to pay $12,000 of his wife's attorney's fees. Mr. Pearson appealed, and the Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's finding."

Here is the decision (in PDF form)...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/documents/pearsonfindings062507.pdf

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Who knew the *frozed north* held North Koren funds?
Any of you up in the frozed north know about this?

Posted by: bh | June 25, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Ivansmaom, we'll help.
Everybody search for a multiheaded doggerel monger.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

A man with a White House vocation
Cried out from a secret location
I'm surrounded by fools!
so I'll make my own rules
'cause I know what's best for the nation

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 25, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse


"Are you Executive, legislative, judicial?"
so we start 20 questions with an official,
you must be one of three
if you want immunity
the dividing lines are not superstitial

Posted by: SonofCarl | June 25, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we can get the folks that were all for the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton for getting a blow job while doing his "job" on the phone, to "man up". You think?

I just keep thinking that no one actually wants to do anything about the current administration or else some one would do what needs to be done. I guess it's called "man up"?

Frosti, you can tell I love your take on that?

Hello, Simon D. And glad you're doing okay, Error.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney wears a pacemaker. There are over 8 million people in the Washington-Baltimore metro area. If we all turned our microwaves to high at the same time...

Posted by: I'm just sayin' | June 25, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm, I don't think you can kill the Undead that easily.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a steak through the heart- a T-bone!

Posted by: I'm just sayin' | June 25, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, guys. Doggerel loves company.

Dick Cheney's using his noodle
To sidestep the Congress caboodle.
Despite groans and wheezes
He'll do as he pleases.
He'll be no Executive poodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Pearson needs to be referred for anger management issues. Except he'd probably try and sue.

Interesting article on the dog counting. Dogs do have some basic math ability, and I can definitely see the math teacher teaching the dog; although when you get a dog doing a few languages, I get skeptical that the dog is working off voice cues alone.

I've done some math work with Wilbrodog, mostly working on comparative quantities (which number is bigger). Once I sorted 2 pile of coins out and stashed a larger pile behind my back, and wanted him to focus on the piles in front of me. "Which is bigger?" He went right for the pile behind me, and well.. that was right.

He was considerably sulky about being made to work ONLY with the piles in front of me after that.

I haven't really done a lot of number work with him; instead of that paw thing I've had him count 3 steps tapped out on the floor and he's taken the exact steps as marked out. If I had to guess, he can count up to 5 easily, other numbers would take practice.

But algebra and a few different languages? Count me as a major skeptic that the dog isn't being cued by the owner.

I think math ability will be testable only when the dog is trained to take tests on a computer.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 25, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

*secretly feeding Wilbrodog a couple of snack treats for successfully messing with Wilbrod's mind, like we'd rehearsed*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 25, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-I imagine the Humane Society would get involved if we started subjected canines to the same sort of testing we don on our school children.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-don't you think the Humane Society would have something to say about subjecting canines to the same pain we inflict on our school children? No Canine Left Behind? (shuddering)

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, look up "ideomotor reaction" or "Clever Hans". You might think that ideomotor reaction is that feeling you get at the stoplight when the kid in the Mustang next to you starts revving his engine, but you'd be wrong.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 25, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

%$&ing preview. SCC my entire 4:20

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom... I think it's catching...

There once was a real A-plus creep
He once said "Yourself you should 'bleep.'"
He helped run Big Oil
But Bush needed a foil
So he said, "Let's make Dick the Veep!"

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This just in to my email box:

Sorry for missing class lat Thursday, I chugged about half a carton of orange juice the night before. It landed on some vanilla ice cream inside me; my stomach has not been right ever since. I have a few questions regarding the papers that are due tomorrow. (Long list of Qs)

My all time favorite is this one (paraphrased and constructed from memory):

I am sorry that I will not be in class today. My roommates pennylocked me out of my room. I am writing this from the lounge, in a towel dripping wet.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 25, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Cassandra, if it's pretty well understood that Chaney is the Devil,then why won't people who can do something about him and his puppet President do it? Or, are there no people who can do something about this?

Posted by: Aloha | June 25, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TGB.

So Cheney you'd like to impeach?
Be careful. He has a long reach.
The length of his arm
Protects him from harm
But you'd better watch your back.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

DR -- not beads, but some confetti yarn left over from another (scratchy!) project.

Boodle limericks sound like the Carl Castle (Karl Kastl?) segments on NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! hour.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 25, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

*looking for the black helicopters*

After six years of making us sick
Cheney just don't give a lick
He's proven his worth
And endangered the earth
It's official: our VP's a Dick!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't enjoy the suffering part of the human condition.

Except of course in the "Three Stooges".
-Error

Georgie, Dickey and Bertie?
Woowoo Woowoo Woo

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry -Woowoo Woowoo Woo

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It's not clear that Cheney has broken any laws - even the series authors keep saying they're not saying any of this is illegal - and apparently Bush is going along with it. And when Cheney keeps everything secret, it's hard to know what's going on (makes me suspicious that he's hiding something). This is from the chat -

Los Angeles: Why are fellow Republicans who support strong law-and-order initiatives totally mute when members of the executives branch ignore or violate laws and statutes? I just can't understand it.

Barton Gellman: I won't endorse the "ignore or violate" premise, but a similar phenomenon has fascinated me in the Bush years. Why did a Republican Congress allow the Bush administration to step so hard on its oversight prerogatives? There were lots of examples of a GOP-chaired committee asking for information and getting stiffed -- without any serious objection. I don't think there's a huge mystery here. Partisan politics are so polarized in recent years that there weren't enough Republicans who were unhappy enough to do anything contrary to their party interests. It will be interesting to see whether Democrats behave any differently.

Sigh. Thanks for the limericks.

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Just a skinny lad with hands clasped for Paris Hilton: let's talk about the serious matters. Who on earth is taking care of her several puppies?

Crying out loud...this oversight strikes a tone of national crisis, "What about Mme Hilton's good toy puppies?"

What is America to do?

In the spirit of two party systems, how about the following two parties in devotion of Paris Hilton's pooches' caretaking:

(R) LA County Carbon Monoxide Party

(D) Nuzzler Party

(I) Freddy Mercury Queen party

.....fat bottom pooch you make the woofin' world go 'round...i've seen every blue-eyed floozy along the way

...oh you gonna take me home tonight, besides that red fire light...fat bottom pooch you make the rockin' world go 'round

Posted by: Simon D | June 25, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

What could this possibly mean? (Googleads)

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I tried limericking, but creativity seems to be kaput.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 25, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe it to be a "law and order" thing as much as a serious lacking. If there is confusion in reference to that statement, I will expand, but I don't think I need to go there.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This kit made me depressed. Not just because of the subject matter (I found myself praying for GWB's continued good health), but because I've HALF-WRITTEN a story involving Cheney, Alberto VO5 Gonzales, Antonio Scalia, and (of course) Karl. The president makes a brief appearance. I just can't seem to get it finished. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Have a great evening. Thank you for your kind attention.

Posted by: CowTown | June 25, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Changing the subject a bit, but Anne Coulter was on GMAC this morning, and made the statement or something to the effect that Rudy is the Obama of the Republican Party. She surmises(sp) that Republicans are sick of the status quo, so they pick a teenager like Obama, who is fourteen by the way, in the form of Rudy. You know she went the way of the remote on my TV.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

That's Good Morning America, not GMAC.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, maybe you can submit what you have so far and let the creative Boodlers (not me) finish it. Because we love your stories.

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person on earth who thinks Rudi was not at all heroic, nor any better at being mayor through 9-11 than anyone else who would have been occupying the office? Please. It's not like Independence Day where the prez actually joined Will Smith in the attack.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 25, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

From the comments on Marc Fisher's blog...

It began with pants.
"Satisfaction Guaranteed"
Be not Judge Mental.

Posted by: Pants Haiku | June 25, 2007 12:03 PM

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, no, you aren't the only one. It's all about being in place at the time there is a need.

Posted by: dr | June 25, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Was the "emergency BPH" talk for Tuesday for real?

Posted by: Raysmom | June 25, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

No, frostbitten, I don't understand the appeal of Rudy. Up until 9/11, I thought his policies were awful - the Diallo (sp?) case, where the guy was mowed down for reaching for his wallet, for instance. I thought he did do well in the aftermath of 9/11 - struck the right tones, said the right things. But why anyone thinks he could prevent a terrorist attack better than anyone else, I have no idea. Especially after the Bernard Kerik fiasco.

But I have a hard time understanding why anyone votes for these Republicans. It can't all be marketing, which they're so good at, can it?

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

TBG...loved the verdict, your haiku make me LOL.

(I needed the laugh, having spent most of the day with my half-brother, who is in Hospice care and declining rapidly. This dying thing is no fun for anybody.)

Posted by: Slyness | June 25, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

So you think things are going all koo koo?
and you-know-who's head's all full of doo doo?
Just be patient and wait
It's nearly 0-8
Says the electorate: "but first, the roo roo"

Posted by: SonofCarl | June 25, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't take credit for the haiku... I found it on the Fisher blog.

It is good, isn't it?

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... sorry about your brother. This is hard for you, I know. We're all here and caring.

But you know that.

Posted by: TBG | June 25, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

So sorry about your brother, Slyness. It is difficult, but prayers pulls us through the difficulty, and I will say one for you, and your brother.

I would suggest 9/11 works both ways. Did Rudy do anything in the form of prevention after that first onslaught? Like you, frosti, I don't make the connection. If I had been in New York at the time, perhaps I also would run for President, hailing 9/11 as my resume.

I'm told, and this may not be the case, that Rudy went to SC for the firemen's funerals, but was asked not to make an appearance. Anyone got the 411 on that?

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick question, and this has bothered me for awhile now, but just did not ask for help.

I'm not that familiar with laws concerning immigration, but how can so many people that don't have legal status to be here, be working? I mean aren't there laws regarding this kind of work ethics? Can an employer hire an illegal person to work a job knowing he is not legal? And if there is a law, why isn't it enforced? Isn't the employer just as illegal as the person that is not a citizen of this country?

And if illegal persons here aren't working, are they receiving help from state social services? Is that legal? Or federally funded services?

It just seems to be an intricate and complex situation, yet really at the core just may be quite simple. Greed over need.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your sweet words and prayers, TBG and Cassandra. I do know you care, and it means a lot.

Cassandra, I'm looking to see if I can find a list of dignitaries who attended the memorial service in Charleston on Friday. My understanding is that they placed everyone but the SC governor, who spoke, at the back of the coliseum.

Posted by: Slyness | June 25, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I see that Michael Chertoff spoke. That was certainly appropriate. I don't see a list of others who attended.

Posted by: Slyness | June 25, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, it is my understanding that he wanted to speak there, but was asked not to. My information could very well be wrong. This was told to me by word of mouth, and I don't get that a lot of the time.

Funerals, in my opinion should not be used as political forums as in running for office. It just kind of narrows the deceased person down to one thing, and people are so much more than their political sway, some of them are any way.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I believe I have killed the boodle! Dead, dead.

Sorry folks, it's my bedtime anyway. In fact, way past my bedtime. Have a good evening and pleasant dreams.

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I heard some chatter about Rudy at the funeral last week. This is from MSNBC's website:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19368409/

"Two presidential candidates, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, were also among the mourners, but South Carolina Firefighters Association President Joe Palmer said dignitaries would be seated at the back, well away from firefighters' families.

"This event is about the firemen who were lost -- honoring them and their families. It is not a political event and shouldn't be politicized in any way," said Jeff Zack, a spokesman for the International Association of Firefighters."

I ran across a blogger who was upset that Chertoff made an analogy to Sep 11, even though this wasn't an act of terrorism. Were these firefighters in a union? That might be why Rudy wasn't asked to speak, as I imagine he is anti-union - but then, I'm not sure he wanted to speak, or if he was told no before he could ask.

Notice how I refer to RG familiarly, by his first name. That's because I'm afraid I'll mispell his last name. (Misspell? Sigh.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if the individual firefighters were members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, mostly, but IAFF was all over the place. My husband knows the IAFF Safety Director, and he was there. So was the IAFF president. I didn't watch the service but I saw a copy of the order of service and was amazed at how many members of the FDNY were there. The FDNY pipe and drum corps played.

Posted by: Slyness | June 25, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

If you're interested, this story in yesterday's Charleston Post and Courier really sets out the issues the investigation must deal with. Basically, the firefighters should never, ever have been in that building.

http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/jun/24/local_federal_guidelines_conflict/

Posted by: Slyness | June 25, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, I watched Lou Dobbs for a bit today, and he says that illegal aliens (the term he prefers to use) often have fraudulent papers, so it could be that some employers don't know they're illegal. There are probably plenty of employers that know they're hiring illegals, but count on not getting caught. The same probably goes for getting services - if you can come up with documentation, you can collect. As far as medical services, I've heard doctors say that they don't want to be immigration police, and are probably under some sort of obligation to treat people, even if they can't pay. It's not like when hospitals could turn away someone for the color of their skin - at least I hope those days are over.

I don't know how I feel about the immigration issue either, except that something needs to be done. Just not sure what.

And then there's this:
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=votingdog22m&date=20070622&query=Dog+vote
(The headline: Woman registers her dog to vote; prosecutors growl)

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Check out the Columns and Blogs page at WaPo.

Rogue Operative
» Achenblog | Every so often there's a brief kerfuffle about the way the news media habitually refer to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as "Hillary." Posted at 6:57 a.m. ET, 6/25/07

Is nothing beyond the Cheney Cabal?

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/opinions/columnsandblogs/?nid=roll_opincolblogs

Posted by: Boko999 | June 25, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I brought this post from 'Mudge over from the prior kit because it was posted just before the new one and deserves reposting:

>I think I have to defend the Gellman/Becker piece about Cheney. Granted, there haven't been too many "revelations," per se (though there were two interesting new tidbits: Powell's revelation of Condi's Nurse Ratched routine when they both dressed down Albert, and Ashcroft's continued objection to Cheney, which he unfortunately never made public.) But I think the service it does provide is that it brings together coherently what previous had been snippets and factoids, and pieces of this and that, and weaves the overall narrative. And that's valuable right there. There was an introductory graf somebody wrote saying that the series doesn't give ammunition to the theory that Cheney was running the government. I think exactly the opposite: I think it shows that in fact Cheney WAS just about running the government, at least its largest section, the war and the whole national security business.<

I just don't get the people who are screaming more or less "why is this only being told now?" How clueless are these people. First, a significant portion of the information was known, if not completely; this is a brilliant compendium of information about a uniquely powerful "shadow master" in our government.

I think the hard work of distilling all of this was masterfully done and can't wait for the last two installments and various sidebars thereto.

Posted by: bill everything | June 25, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

On a more uplifting note, CBS News ran a story last week about an Army unit rescuing orphans in Iraq:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/18/eveningnews/main2946007.shtml

And this was a followup tonight:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/25/eveningnews/main2976559.shtml

This is the kind of thing I'm proud was done in my country's name.

And good for these kids, who presented BUsh with an anti-torture letter today:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1151AP_Bush_Torture.html

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 25, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

k'guy, I haff my methods of dodging the Clever Hans syndrome-- namely by not knowing the answer ;). That's what you call a double-blind test. It's not too hard when you're down a sense.

One easy way to rule out conscious knowledge is to have a dog go and see or smell what is in a room you haven't yet entered, then return the dog to you, and ask him; or to test a dog on a computer with suitable interfaces.

I am careful to avoid ideomotor reactions; given that I communicate entirely visually-kinetically, I know "tells".
Tells can be appropriate in helping teach a dog what you mean. Many dog trainers believe that one word commands are sufficent and that nonverbal cues are okay.

My rebuttal: "Look, if you're in a closed room and you sing out "fetch"-- the dog has no clue what you mean. He will probably fetch what is commonly asked for, or the nearest 'acceptable object'. But he is GUESSING."

ASL incorporates so-called nonverbal cues as part of its grammar.

Ultimately I think having a dog answer questions set by computer would rule out body language influence-- even visual ASL.

This can be amazingly difficult to rule out with dogs; dogs, when they are guessing, will take almost any abnormality in the environment as a cue, as benefits a predator. Sometimes they're going to be right, too.

And while I do shudder at No Canine Left behind, there is evidence from other animal studies that animals do have an umm analog sense of number-- like visual guessimates, although not necessarily an exact ability to count.

That's what I was working on with Wilbrodog-- working on what I knew he should be able to do, rather than forcing him into the land of guesswork.

If I'm ready to test Wilbrodog, it will be under circumstances far more rigorous than I've trained him in. :).


Posted by: Wilbrod | June 25, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

For Dooley or anyone interested in archeology. This obit of Peter Ucko is fascinating in content and style. The Brits do obits well.

And Dooly, I know you are a paleontologist. But Ucko is closer to you than say, a nanotechnology fabricating chemist.

http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2686806.ece

G'Nite Cassandra and every heavenly body.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 25, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

For Dooley or anyone interested in archeology. This obit of Peter Ucko is fascinating in content and style. The Brits do obits well.

And Dooly, I know you are a paleontologist. But Ucko is closer to you than say, a nanotechnology fabricating chemist.

http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2686806.ece

G'Nite Cassandra and every heavenly body.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 25, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I am sorry to hear about your brother. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

Just got back from my very belated Mothers Day dinner with daughters. We ate outside at a restaurant on a hill overlooking the distant Buzzard's Bay. The wind started to whip up as the dinner arrived and by dessert we were freezing and had to move inside. It's at least 15 degrees warmer here at home.

I can't add anything new to the chorus of frustration and anger concerning Dick. To think there wasn't one person in the administration with ba11s enough to come out publicly against his tactics makes me want to cry.

Cassandra, in some cases, the illegal aliens are doing work that no one else wants to do and they do it very well. It is tempting for a small business especially, to hire these people because they work hard and are reliable. Yes, there is the risk that the business, as well as the workers, will get caught, but sometimes the risk seems to be worth taking. Don't ask me how I know this, but I do. Greed isn't a factor in the small business environment, it's necessity.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 25, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Slyness,
Being in hospice is indeed no fun. Best wishes.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 25, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

slyness, sorry to hear about your brother.

raysmom, i'll be at m&s tomorrow at any rate.

haven't read the cheney stuff yet. a prof i know made an interesting observation about the lack of outcry over the erosion of rights, etc. - he took it as a sign of a declining empire. (this was particularly in reference to trying to get around habeas corpus.)

i may have said this before, but my take on the giuliani thing is this. he's got a lot of critics over 9/11 (preparedness issues, communication infrastructure stupidity, etc). since his leadership image is largely based on that, it would probably be pretty easy to "swift boat" him over it. all you have to do is negate the 9/11 hero image and you've killed his candidacy.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | June 25, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Things are not looking too good for the firefighting efforts at South Lake Tahoe tonight. Thanks to the WaPo for the photo feature of the blaze (Yingling, shown midway through the photos, with other members of his family is the sports editor for the South Lake Tahoe Tribune) and prominent photo displayed on the homepage.

From this source, an interesting story about another Tahoe fire almost 150 years years ago--with writer Mark Twain the culprit!

http://www.nevadaweb.com/cnt/r-t/laketahoe/index.html

By 1861 the Comstock's voracious need for timbers and fuel had prompted the beginning of a logging industry in the Tahoe Basin.

One of the early prospectors for productive timberland at Tahoe was young Sam Clemens, who hiked the twelve miles up to the east shore of the lake from Carson City in 1861. After locating what seemed to be a goodly stand of trees, Clemens and his companions spent several memorable days vacationing.

"So singularly clear was the water," he wrote years later in Roughing It, "that where it was only twenty or thirty feet deep the bottom was so perfectly distinct that the boat seemed floating in the air! Yes, where it was even eighty feet deep. Every little pebble was distinct, every speckled trout, every hand's-breadth of sand. Often, as we lay on our faces, a granite boulder, as large as a village church, would start out of the bottom apparently, and seem climbing up rapidly to the surface, till presently it threatened to touch our faces, and we could not resist the impulse to seize an oar and avert the danger. But the boat would float on, and the boulder descend again, and then we could see that when we had been exactly above it, it must still have been twenty or thirty feet below the surface. Down through the transparency of these great depths, the water was not merely transparent, but dazzling, brilliantly so. All objects seen through it had bright, strong vividness, not only of outline, but of every minute detail, which they would not have had when seen simply through the same depth of atmosphere. So empty and airy did all spaces seem below us, and so strong was the sense of floating high aloft in mid-nothingness that we called these boat excursions 'balloon-voyages.'"

Clemens left Tahoe to more business-like developers after inadvertently starting a raging forest fire in his camp, and rowing out into the lake for dear life.

Posted by: Loomis | June 25, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

L.A., Giuliani criticism does not require "swift boat" treatment. Other than maintaining a strong media presence on 9/11, he has nothing to offer.

There is no need to "tar" him, he is already unqualified.

Posted by: bill everything | June 25, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, just to clairfy if you're still awake; yes, emergency BPH tomorrow evening. The usual M&S, 5 PM EST.

Really.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 25, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

For my dog Mick the answer to any and every question is either "Food!" "Walkies!" or "Let's play!" These are the inevitable answers to all questions in Mick's universe, not because he cannot conceive of other answers, but because he desires no other answers. In the same way, in Dick Cheney's world the only answers are "That doesn't apply to me!" "That will embolden the terrorists!" and "We don't do torture!" The other striking similarity between my dog Mick and the Veep is a propensity for peeing all over everything that gets in his way. There the similarities end. Mick is a happy, friendly guy who gets along well with everyone and is widely admired for his looks, never snarls, and never ever engages in meaningless yapping.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 25, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

''This is far and above the biggest disaster that has happened in this community, I don't know, probably in forever,'' House told reporters in an early morning briefing.

Ummm, no, Lt. House. ... " (from last 'boodle)

I was starting to stockpile my umbrage, but had a suspicion that Loomis would cover this for me. Like many things in life, it's just another event in a long cycle of stuff. Thank you, Loomis! As you often do, you've brought a bit of historical perspective.

------------------

I hate you/we all for driving Cassandra to the point where she felt compelled to use "blow job" in a comment. You/we are bad, bad people!
*** see - (Posted by: Cassandra S | June 25, 2007 03:37 PM)
------------------

Ummm... Wazzup with this "Dick Cheney suddenly matters" thing? The man has been mostly held down in a bunker for a few years now, his ticker's going south, and a zillion folks are already scrambling over each other for the post for which (traditionally) he'd have been first in line, except, NOT! He's fading away fairly peacefully, what's with the uproar?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 25, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi everone!!! Interesting stuff going on, and I'm too busy and tired to enjoy all the good reading.

I'm just checking in from Atlanta. NECC is a really fun geek fest. I'm learning tons of new stuff and picking up lots of useless freebies for the kids when they return from Camp Gramp.

Stay cool everyone.

Posted by: a bea c | June 25, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

>He's fading away fairly peacefully, what's with the uproar?

Bob S., are you saying he's gained the power of invisibility now as well?

Posted by: Error Flynn | June 25, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

E.F. - Yuk! Not that, but I think that the energy may be somewhat misdirected. Laying of blame is satisfying, but not effective if it results in taking the spotlight off of those who are currently misbehaving.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 25, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Not that I think anyone was too concerned over it, but a vast right-middle-left wing conspiracy is apparently keeping me from attending BPH events. Eventually, I shall prevail over these forces!

(Once again, something came up that I couldn't really ignore. Sigh! Darned world!)

Posted by: Bob S. | June 26, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

You know, it's been a while since I did a good scan of the "full rules":
( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/liveonline/delphi/delphirules.htm )

They (the 'rules', I mean) seem to be awfully clear about the lack of power & rights of "third parties", but pretty fuzzy about who/what constitutes the "first party", and who/what constitutes the second.

As the provider of the content, hereinafter referred to as the "kaboodler", am I to consider washingpost.com a "third party" if it should, "use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed..." my comments in such a way that they, "violate the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party", or, "degrade others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification..."?

After all, context is everything!

Posted by: Bob S. | June 26, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

O.K., I'm gonna call it a night soon. I realize that the last bit was a little scatterbrained.

Anyway, I do understand correctly that WaPo.com is forthrightly claiming its right to disavow any knowledge of my actions, unless those actions should be worth some money, unless someone should try to claim some of that money through civil action, yes?

Posted by: Bob S. | June 26, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Hoy Hoy!!
I caught the Little Feat show at wolf trap tonight and those boys are still up to their Jammin ways.

I know we have a boodler who is a big Rush fan, can't remember who though. I wanted to see how their show at the Nissan went, while I was at the Nats BPH?

Nothin better then good summertime rock-n-roll.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 26, 2007 12:47 AM | Report abuse

greenwith... I'll check - a coworker of mine went to the Rush concert, he asked me to go, but I begged off because I was going to the BPH.

I attended neither.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 26, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

greenwith... I'll check - a coworker of mine went to the Rush concert, he asked me to go, but I begged off because I was going to the BPH.

I attended neither.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 26, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Bob
I am sure it was a Great show, everyone I have been to has been excellent. I think of them as top 3 Rock trios.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 26, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

My person will be in DC July 18-20 for any takers. Pleased to meet you. Wish you knew my name. And likewise, me, yours.

Some kind of Emergency Summit on Vehicle Rollovers is taking place during this time. My task is to take notes and shake hands during a litigation and engineering experts gathering on Capitol Hill.

Drama is the auto industry wants to pass a rulemaking before the Dems own both the Congress and the executive arm of transportation regulation. I believe this PR exploit will take place in the Hyatt.

I may keep the locals posted...

And hope the Nats are in town

Happy for an iced tea among compadres

si on voudrait faire un tour

Posted by: Simon D | June 26, 2007 3:04 AM | Report abuse

*posting via WiFi @ BWI*

*somewhat fatigued traveling Grover waves*

Simon, you never know what the Boodle might be able to do at that point.

Slyness, my condolences on your brother. *HUGS*

I'm off to the general vicinity of SciTim, give or take a couple hundred miles. I'll check in when I can.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2007 5:49 AM | Report abuse

The Rush concert was splendiferous, according to a friend. He waxed loquaciously into the evening, comparing Rush to Itzak Perlman twice, no less. Mr. Rush took his teen-aged guitar guy who apparently spoke in the same flush of joy to my drummer-dude.

A trip to PA to see Rush is under discussion.

SN -- please bring back something for the break room: expensive chocolate, saltwater taffy, buttermilk encrusted pretzles, Applets and Cotlets, etc. Your choice. We won't use your "Know Nukes" mug while you are away.

Thanks for the blue flowers report. A chemistry student is helping me sort out delphinium pigments and other cyan-chains. I keep wondering we don't have "blue roses" yet, when we can buy a geneticaly modifiend tetra fish that glows supernatural green. I hear, RD, that such a bunny exists: green fur, but perhaps this takes a blacklight, too.

I decided that modiFIEND as a pretty darn good typo should stay as writ.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 26, 2007 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I'm up and moving about, and the light is shining in the window, meaning it is daybreak! Rise and shine, my friends.

The argument that illegal persons are doing the jobs that no one want to do is hogwash with a capital H. How does circumventing the law or boldly defying the law hold up any reasons. Most judges tell us ignorance of the law is not an excuse. And when one is aware of that law and still defy it, sounds a bit like what Miss Hilton did and she went to jail. The jobs that illegal persons do in this country are the jobs that I occassionally do myself. That's an excuse, and it doesn't wash were I come from. And as to knowing whether the person is illegal or not, that is the job of employers to find out such information. Sounds like a case of not wanting to know. I hate it when people use "higher than God reasons" for mistreating people. And we mistreat people when we take advantage of their labor and don't give them what their work is due. It is still greed over need, no matter how one dresses it up.

Have a great day, my friends. Try with everything that is in you to put yourself in the person's place that struggles in this world. I realize there are layers to any argument, but so much of the time it really is about how we treat each other instead of the bottom line. I'm sure many among you may benefit from the way things are, and I myself probably fit into that too, but we don't have to call it something it is not. I'm not against business or business leaders, lets just not make it the Holy Grail, something it is not.

Time to hit the shower. I hope I have not completely killed the boodle.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all.*waving* Let us hear from you Martooni.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | June 26, 2007 6:53 AM | Report abuse

How about, 'L'etat, c'est Halliburton'? Yes, Dick 'Halliburton' Cheney is all about promoting and advancing his own 'la causa', which happens to most resemble an oil-soaked hundred-dollar bill, in most people's minds, that is, most people that don't profit from Cheney's enterprise, because there's definitely an insider/outsider perspective to this, I guess if you're making fat 6 figures working for an 'oil services company' that basically has its' own army, you might view the world somewhat differently than say, from the standpoint of people who have to use petroleum distillates to power their vehicles and basically have no choice about giving you their money or else face a long walk to work. Thus is the world we live in, and it explains quite a bit, actually, about the reticence of the Big 3 to put something on the road that gets better mileage. Dick Cheney's least-favorite car? The 1973 Honda Civic. God bless Honda, and to hell with these guys, I say...give me retro japanese engine technology and overdrive transmission, and the liberty to convert the entire mechanism over to ethanol, and a permit to brew my own in the back yard. Energy independence=economic independence=Dick Cheney, see ya, wouldn't wanna BE ya...

Posted by: Bert | June 26, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Trying to get caught up on last night but saw Slyness note about her brother.

Slyness have just recently gone through the decline of both parents, I know how stressful it is for the loved ones. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. The boodle was a great comfort to me during that time, hope it helps you as well.

Posted by: dmd | June 26, 2007 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Green bunny story; old but not stale

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn16

RDP -- I hope you get one for Xmas or any other giftaloopalaza.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 26, 2007 7:09 AM | Report abuse

June 26:International Day in Support of Torture Victims

This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable. It is long overdue that a day be dedicated to remembering and supporting the many victims and survivors of torture around the world. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle, and good thoughts going out to Slyness.

For those plagued by weather- to make it rain, get up early to bail boat and go fishing. To make it stop, come in and take the lid off the "rain barrel" (garbage can under the eaves).

The price of catfish: sodden clothes and a deer fly bite swollen to the size of a quarter.

Re: Bob S.'s note last night about Cassandra's use of the bj phrase. Knowing what I know of men leads me to believe that Clinton's antics while on the phone were criticized by only two types-the been there done that hypocrites, and the jealous.

It's going to be a long day. WAMU is observing radio silence in protest of an internet radio royalty scheme I admit I know not enough about.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 26, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

CP - I remember when they first developed those glowing green rabbits. Naturally I desperately wanted one. For who doesn't love the idea of genetically manipulated lagomorphs? Alas, the price tag and those pesky, pesky, regulations kept me from my dream.

I just finished reading the second installment on Cheney. It seems like a case study in bureaucratic power. That is, the power that comes from manipulating the vulnerable pressure points in a system. I imagine that every large organization has people like this.

Now, the existence of such people is not necessarily evil. Back channel techniques can provide the lubrication necessary to prevent the gears from grinding to a halt in an emergency. The danger, of course, is that routine reliance on such techniques can easily cross the line to fraud and abuse.

Fortunately, those who are experts in this dark art invariably also possess wisdom and self restraint. They apply such techniques sparingly, and only to relatively innocuous matters.

The argument could be made that Cheney is an exception.


Posted by: RD Padouk | June 26, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

[a comment that I somehow neglected to post last night:]

Slyness, I am sorry to hear about your brother. I'm thinking about him, you, and your family right now.

He's blessed to have his loving family around him at this time.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 26, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, back boodling I was saddened to hear your news. Best thought to you during this difficult time.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 26, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

My problem with genetically manipulated lagomorphs is that eventually someone will make some that dig through your yard looking for Pismo Beach and ask, "What's up, doc?"

Then there will be the invisible 6 ft. tall ones, and the scariest of all will be the white rabbit wearing a coat and bearing a pocket watch, muttering to himself, "I'm late!"

Somehow we'll have gone down the rabbit hole, not knowing how we got there.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 26, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Shyness -- about your brother, I hope that he and your assembled family experience the best of hospice care. Hospice people make us all believe in angels. I don't care so much if they dance in multitudes upon a pin head. But those kind women and men work wonders, in such a practical way.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 26, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

My person wants to know why no one seems to be working on genetic mutations to develop pets that use the toilet instead of drinking out of it.

Posted by: frostcat | June 26, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, like dmd says, we're all here for you and yours. Lean on us as you need

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all for your good wishes. CP, I couldn't agree more about Hospice. They do wonderful, wonderful things.

I can't help but contrast our current experience with that of my eldest half-brother, who died in 1968 of lung cancer, before anyone ever heard of Hospice. He spent three of the last six weeks of his life with us and it was incredibly stressful. He was in the hospital for his last weeks, and we all know how tough that can be. I remember one particularly bad day, the duty nurse gave my mother a Valium to help her get through the day.

As hard as the situation is with my half-brother today, it's so much easier with Hospice support. He is at home, he is comfortable and eating well, there is a DNR order posted on the fridge, the Hospice nurse comes twice a week and checks in more often than that. If we have problems, it's because we are inexperienced in this sort of thing, but Hospice is there to give us the guidance we need. How much easier and more pleasant this is, than going through the dying process in a hospital.

I can even blog and receive the comfort of *imaginary* friends and still say that Dick Cheney is...okay, I won't say it.

Posted by: Slyness | June 26, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, did you know that Buzzards Bay is actually misnamed: http://www.birdsofprey.blm.gov/img/Osprey-NASA.jpg

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Greenwithwenvy saw Littlefeat? I'm green with envy. I saw them a few years ago at the Ottawa Bluesfest and the crowd was aboppin'. They had the original lady singer fronting them, I wish I could remember her name (must g oogle her).

I never got Rush. Huge yawn, but I'm glad your friends enjoyed them.

BTW Here's the lineup for this years Bluesfest:
And this is just the Main Stage there are four other venues.
Wednesday, July 4
7:30 pm Van Morrison
Thursday, July 5
7:00 pm Jimmie Vaughan
9:00 pm Bob Dylan
Friday, July 6
7:00 pm Gary U.S. Bonds
9:30 pm George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Saturday, July 7
1:00 pm Jeremy Fisher
3:00 pm Steve Marriner
5:00 pm Ryan Shaw
7:00 pm Sarah Harmer
9:00 pm Manu Chao
Sunday, July 8
1:00 pm Pascale Picard
3:00 pm Power Hour with Tony D
5:00 pm Amanda Rheaume
7:00 pm Joel Plaskett Emergency
9:30 pm The White Stripes
Monday, July 9
7:00 pm The Grass
9:30 pm Hedley
Tuesday, July 10
7:00 pm moe.
9:00 pm George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars
Wednesday, July 11
7:00 pm Grady
9:30 pm Steve Miller Band
Thursday, July 12
7:00 pm James Hunter
9:30 pm Blue Rodeo
Friday, July 13
7:00 pm The Cat Empire
9:30 pm INXS
Saturday, July 14
1:00 pm Superjuice
3:00 pm The Trevor Finlay Band
5:00 pm Chris Cain
7:00 pm Carlos Varela
9:30 pm Kanye West
Sunday, July 15
1:00 pm The Canton Spirituals
3:00 pm HiLoTrons
5:00 pm The Mannish Boys
7:00 pm Power Hour with Tony D
9:30 pm Solid Gold Dance Party

Posted by: Boko999 | June 26, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Um, I meant: 'most likely misnamed'

Talk about your SCCs...

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

That's a long list, eh?
Add Ten Years After, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians and Buddy Guy (he's the live one, right?)

Posted by: Boko999 | June 26, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Nationals schedule July 18-20 is Houston Astros on the 18th and Colorodo Rockies 19th and 20th

And bad news for the Nationals: Guzman's injury in Sunday's game will likely end the season for him.

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Boko that is quite the list, Van Morrison is almost worth the drive to Ottawa.

Saw this fun article about gardening, however, as I got to the end it was very moving - just a warning.

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/229408

Posted by: dmd | June 26, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, stay strong. I'm thinking of you. And EF. And so many many more.

Posted by: dr | June 26, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Blue Rodeo is also worth the drive to Ottawa. The Joel Plaskett Emergency is good too.

Slinger is always worth the price of a Toronto Star.

Posted by: byoolin | June 26, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.,
You're right. I did convey some historical perspective about Meyers and South Lake Tahoe. But there's more to the story than that. Tahoe is home.

I was conceived at Lake Tahoe. I spent almost every summer there while growing up--mostly camping, and only several times times did our family stay in small cabins that belonged to acquaintances of my parents. So, in a sense, I grew up there--as well as grew to love the outdoors, outdoor recreation, and the beauty of the Sierras. I worked at the South Lake Tahoe Tribune. I married my current husband on the lakeshore.

I actually began to work at the Tribune one spring in the display advertising department. I could make more money as a teacher, so left at summer's end to take a job teaching in the Sierra foothills. It was a tough school far off the beaten path. I was unhappy, so resigned my teaching contract in order to take a junior reporting position at the Tribune, on the editorial side of the house. The person who stepped in to fill my shoes--and who only stayed at the school for several months, although the job was offered to him for the remainder of the school year--was Sam Garamendi.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is presently traveling and not at the capitol in Sacramento. The person who declared the Meyers/Tahoe fire to be a disaster area on Monday is California's Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, Sam's brother. So, in a roundabout way, it was a Garamendi who enabled me to be a reporter.

Tahoe simply defines me.

Posted by: Loomis | June 26, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I only recognize 9-10 on that list. Prolly heard less than half of that...sigh

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

um, is Schwarzenegger ever in Sacramento?

Posted by: omni | June 26, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. It is raining here again. You can't uncover the rain barrel when it is floating away. Ark, ark.

Slyness, I'm so sorry.

You know, I don't think anyone has to defend this Post series on the Dark One. It may very well be reporting of things many people assumed, or suspected. However, it is great reporting and ties things up very well, confirming what were merely dark rumors. I also don't agree that Cheney is losing significant power. The point of the series, particularly coupled with his recent bizarre declaration that he isn't part of the executive branch, seems to be that he's still one of the misbehavers-in-chief and well worth a closer look. I do find it interesting that people are finally telling tales. This confirms a loss of power in the Administration generally.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The Daily Show has last night's "Non-Executive Decision" video up at:
http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/index.jhtml

Posted by: frostbitten | June 26, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Right omni, the Gubernator was in Ottawa and Toronto a couple of weeks ago. He was hard to miss as he got the full VIP treatment from the US embassy, including the four Cadillac Escalade convoy. The US Ambassador movements in the city are about as much in-your-face as it gets with those chromed-wheeled, dark windowed behemoths. This is your environmentally friendly tax dollars at work as well folks.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 26, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, most of the illegal immigrants in Oklahoma are working, and they do pay taxes and pay into Social Security (a bonus for the government, since they never collect). Here many essential but low-paying jobs are held by Mexicans. This includes landscaping (mowing neighborhood yards as well as for businesses), roofing, basic construction, and restaurant dishwashing and busboy work. Also, lots of women work as nannies and maids. Many of the workers are here legally, but some are not. Many of them have fake green cards, so appear to have good ID. Of course, there's no way to tell by looking whether someone is illegal. The bigger plants, like hog and chicken factories and manufacturers, have more sophisticated ways of checking IDs than the small employers. While it is true that some of these jobs could be done by U.S. citizen workers, the fact is that most U.S. citizens around here aren't taking those jobs. This is partly because there are other jobs citizens will take first. In the jobs illegals tend to get, the hours are hard and the pay is low. In many ways "Mexican" labor is essential to our local economy; the problem is figuring out who should be here and who shouldn't, and what to do with the latter without crashing everything.

About services: most state laws require hospitals to treat every emergency case without regard for citizenship, ability to pay, etc. Public schools are required to enroll school age children. Some other state services are usually available to non-citizens. Several states, including Oklahoma, passed laws this year that severely limit the ability of illegals to use state services. Some states even passed laws prohibiting church groups and charities from using non-state money to help people who might be illegal.

One public policy question regarding state services, especially for children, is driven by circumstance. These people are here. People argue that, no matter what the adults may have done in entering the country illegally, it is in America's best interests to educate their children, keep them healthy, and help them on a path to citizenship. There's been a big problem with the immigration roundups because illegal parents have been here so long they have citizen children, who are Americans, but who must either be separated from their family or be deported with them to a strange country with a lower standard of living. Nobody really knows what to do with those kids.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom | A Modest Proposal?
http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

Posted by: BadBoko999 | June 26, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I read that a monkey in France
Had been bothered by carpenter ants
Til they rubbed him with fat
And gave him a top hat
And now he's the Lard of the Dance

Posted by: shameless | June 26, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Sadly Boko, many today would not catch the irony in Swift's story. They would say sending the kids for life to Gitmo is fine but roasting them is a little too much.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 26, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I've about decided I don't have much use for Richard Cohen's columns. I only read him about half the time anyway, and when I do I usually come away thinking "ehh" anyway. Today's column is what I would regard as a typically boneheaded Cohen column. I think sometimes he tries a little too hard to appear to be "independent," or a "free-thinker," or whatever. Yes, he's on the moderate-to-liberal side of the spectrum, but just because he's on "our side" doesn't make him "better" than somebody on the "other" side. He may be "our" bonehead, but he's still a bonehead. Case in point: he fears that the GOP may win the 2008 election based on what happened in 1972 when Nixon won re-election over McGovern. He (correctly) points out that Nixon was an incumbent, and that 60% of the electorate approved of his handling of the Vietnam War 9at least according to Cohen's own data)-- and then proceeds to dismiss all that as unimportant compared to the fact that McGovern was a flaming liberal who was Swift-Boated as being weak on defense, in spite of the fact that he was a bona fide war hero.

A boneheaded, boneheaded, boneheaded analysis. Overlooking being an incumbent with a 60% approval rating. Jeeeeeeeez.

The piece that *really* scares me is Sally Quinn's piece on the remove-Cheney-and-replace-him-with-Thompson scenario, which I've been touting for a while (at least without Thompson's name in it, but I agree he'd be the guy). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/25/AR2007062501038.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

I'm going to post a few questions to Gene Robinson's chat; if he takes them, you'll recognize it's me. Keyword: Iago.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 26, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

Slyness: Thoughts of Peace, Strength and Grooviness are being transmitted in your general direction.

I've been following the Cheney series and all I can say is that BDDH is too good a name for him. I would suggest "Humongous Fording Icehole Bastage", but even that falls short.

It's no secret he's been doing everything possible to concentrate and secure power for the Executive branch. What really worries me is "why?".

Somehow, I find it hard to believe he would want all this power in the hands of a Democrat (a very real possibility, considering the current political climate). When you consider the Republican contenders, I doubt he would want *them* to have that kind of power either.

The tin-foil-hat side of me says there is much more to this than meets the eye.

Is there some "event" on the horizon that will somehow extend the Bush/Cheney regime past 2008? If a nuke went off in a major U.S. city, say, right before the elections, would Martial Law prevent the elections from taking place? Would some "national emergency" invoke some sort of "Commander In Chief" power where they could basically say "ford the elections"?

Which just brought a strange question to my mind: Who has the keys to the White House front door, anyway? Does it even have a lock? Is it a mostly "ceremonial lock" like they have on 24-hour convenience stores?

[no counter today... I am in what might be described as a state of flux]

Peace...

Posted by: martooni | June 26, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I know we have a problem with illegal immigration, and with people overstaying visas but I've been mulling a couple thoughts.

I am intrigued by this idea that some posit that the undocumented are by definition criminals because they broke a law to get here. Among this group are people I know who take cash for their own work so no taxes are paid, or who will offer me cash "so you don't have to report the income." I'm still forming my opinion, but am leaning toward regarding the criminality of entering the country illegally on a par with speeding. It's wrong, and shouldn't be done, but doesn't brand the speeder as a criminal ever after.

My other observation is that people in our town, where we have no recent immigrants from anywhere, have a pretty warped view of cities "where no one speaks English." Few of them have been to a city recently but they see Spanish on the signs at the local convenience store, and phone cards advertised with great rates to Latin America, and think we have a bunch of Mexicans living down the street. What they are seeing is not immigration come to town but the homogeneity of modern life. The sign at the convenience store was printed to be used nationwide, the ad for the phone cards was produced for cities and now that we have cable TV up here people get to see commercials for things besides harvesting equipment and chain saws.

Posted by: frostbitten | June 26, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

How about "Extremely Vindictive Imperialistic Liar"?

Posted by: martooni | June 26, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'm sorry to hear about your brother. I'll be thinking of you.

Boko, that's an impressive list of acts for the Bluesfest. Even if I only recognized just over half of them.

Hang in there, martooni. *Sending thoughts of Peace and General Grooviness back your way.* (Hmmm, would Terry Southern written about a Pentagon character named General Grooviness?)

Posted by: pj | June 26, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: dmd | June 26, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, stay strong, dude. Kisses on the forehead, punches in the biceps, if you get them in, is what brotherhood amounts to. Or as that one dude, Horatio said to dying Hamlet, Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Good-bye Norma Jean

I believe in the key of E, four sharps, or C sharp major - Bernie Taupin may have had his way with this tune like Axl Rose in "November Rain," shifted down from C in sheet to B in recording...

"Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid"

Would've liked to have known you
[OH Yeah!] But I was just a kid....
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Posted by: Simon D | June 26, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Counters are all very fine 'Tooni but they are a reflection of the past. Perhaps you should focus on the future and weigh possible outcomes and consequences.

Peace

Posted by: Boko999 | June 26, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Dmdcat, aren't those genetic mutants called CATS?

I never drink from the toilet tho'. Once you see what people ACTUALLY do with them.. repeatedly, it curbs your thirst, you know?

As for using 'em, I prefer the outdoors where I can get a healthy breeze going around my privates.

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