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Bill O'Reilly Ankle-Bites Chris Dodd

[From Federal Document Clearing House]

O'REILLY: ... As you may know we've been reporting on most of the Democratic candidates attending the Kos Convention this weekend. Despite the fact that Web site is full of hateful postings including this picture of President Bush and Senator Joseph Lieberman which has been on the site for a year. Now yesterday I spoke with Senator Chris Dodd who is running for president and will be at that convention.

[Cut to taped interview]

O'REILLY: You've known Senator Lieberman for 30 years. You know President Bush. I'm sure you respect both men as patriots. And you see something like this [doctored photo of Lieberman kneeling before Bush as though he's about to perform oral sex] Why don't you distance yourself from it, sir?

DODD: Well what I'm stunned at, Mr. O'Reilly, is the fact that you spend as much time going after an online community gathering where there are 500,000 people visit who visit that site on a daily basis here, to identify five, six, seven, objectionable offensive cartoons or comments that people are making here. I find that stunning to be quite honest, here.

O'REILLY: This is the worst stuff on the Internet.

DODD: Let me finish.

O'REILLY: There isn't any worse than this.

DODD: You're missing the point. You ought to be far more candid with your viewing audience and tell them that your real objection is the ideology of Daily Kos not what's -- this is silliness for you to be suggesting that of 500,000 .

O'REILLY: If you went to the .

DODD: Out of 500,000 people appearing on that -- let me finish here .

O'REILLY: Hold it.

DODD: Out of 500,000 people every day. Why are you attacking like this?

O'REILLY: Because it's vile that's why. It doesn't matter how many people go in, go out, have a cup of tea.

DODD: There are a lot of things you say are vile on a daily basis.

O'REILLY: What about that cartoon, senator, what about it.

DODD: No. Listen.

O'REILLY: What do you mean no? It's up there for a year. What about the cartoon.

DODD: Mr. O'Reilly, you are not listening to me. The mere point here is you are not being candid. Your objection is to this community gathering here. You don't like their politics.

O'REILLY: I don't like their Web site.

DODD: That's a legitimate criticism. Why don't you focus on that and recognize that 500,000 people.

O'REILLY: I'll ask you the question again. Are you OK with that cartoon, sir?

DODD: Of course not. That's not the issue, Mr. O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: Of course. It's the issue. That's what they do on the site. They do hate stuff all the time.

DODD: You suggested that we ought not to participate in the convention.

O'REILLY: Correct. Distance yourself from them.

DODD: Because six or seven or eight or 10 people have said something on the site that's objectionable.

O'REILLY: What are you crazy. There's thousands of vile postings on that Web site. Thousands.

DODD: There are thousands on your posting as well.

O'REILLY: No there aren't any on my posting. We take them off.

DODD: Talking about Al Qaida attacking San Francisco, blowing up San Francisco.

O'REILLY: When did I say that, senator?

DODD: You said it in 2005 I think is correct.

O'REILLY: What forum? When?

DODD: Right here I believe on your show.

O'REILLY: You are wrong. I didn't say it here. You don't know what the hell I said with all due respect. You got it from Media Matters. You didn't hear it and you don't know.

DODD: Focus on your legitimate criticism.

O'REILLY: Look, you are a propagandist senator. You're a propagandist. I used to respect you. I don't have any

respect for you. And if I were Joseph Lieberman I would never talk to you again. Because this is vile and you're legitimizing it.

DODD: You are not Joseph Lieberman. If you would just be honest about your criticism rather than focusing on a few specific instances that everyone I know would find objectionable. That's not the issue here.

O'REILLY: The idea is that you are legitimizing a hateful Web site.

DODD: Can I please finish a thought with you here? You object to the fact that 1,500 people are going to gather in Chicago representing hundreds of thousands of people who utilize this community gathering, this Internet site as a way to express their views which is not bad .

O'REILLY: It's hard to believe.

DODD: The fact are objectionable people who show up on the site doesn't discredit everyone else who participates this in a wonderful way to share their views on a variety of subjects.

O'REILLY: So why don't name it the Little Bo Peep site because .

DODD: Why are you continuing to attack this?

O'REILLY: You talk about being disingenuous. Your description of that site is so opposite from what it is. And anybody who has been on it knows the hate that they peddle every day. Look, senator, I appreciate you coming on here but you are so dead wrong on this and I'm going to give you the last word. You are so dead wrong on this and you ought to apologize to Lieberman.

DODD: No, listen to me, Indiana University has suggested that once every 6.8 seconds .

O'REILLY: Yeah and it was bogus and we discredited it.

DODD: Let me finish. You make derogatory comments about individuals and groups once every 6.8 seconds. That's nine time as minute. That's your history.

O'REILLY: And you believe that? You believe that?

DODD: That's a legitimate point. For you to attack the ideology .

O'REILLY: It isn't a point. It's bogus study. We've already discredited it.

DODD: Don't suggest this is a real debate you are having about Daily Kos. You object to the ideology and are using a few instances that everyone would find objectionable as a way of suggesting we ought not participate. That's terribly wrong in my view.

O'REILLY: OK. I want everybody to go to that site and remember what Senator Dodd said and make up your own mind.

DODD: Five hundred thousand visits a day.

O'REILLY: They'll make up their own mind. We appreciate you coming in and taking the fire though.

[The transcript doesn't quite capture O'Reilly's red-faced hysteria, which begged for a tranquilizer dart to the neck. You can see the interview here.]

[Here's E.J.'s rather more thoughtful column today on DailyKos. E.J. points out that Kos tends to be partisan more than purely ideological ("The key litmus tests for Kos and his many allies in the blogosphere involve not long lists of issues developed by the American Civil Liberties Union or the AFL-CIO, but loyalty in standing up against Bush and doing what's necessary to build a Democratic majority.")

I find that Daily Kos provides a reliable take on what the Left is thinking and doing, and is actually rather low-key compared to many political web sites. Here's a particularly smart post, I thought, by someone named Meteor Blades on Obama's terrorism speech and some of the differences within the Left about the future role of America in the world. Excerpt:

'Among progressives, foreign policy is always difficult to discuss for more than three minutes before the shouting starts. Because progressives (that is, liberals and those of us further to the left) have divergent goals (although these often overlap, as in, say, Darfur), and we don't have the same analysis, although there is considerable overlap. It's that overlap which makes us allies. Over the past few years, we've been more or less united around getting out of Iraq and staying out of Iran, but when the talk turns to the details, and when we go further afield, our differences cannot be submerged. In part, that's because some progressives choose words that make other progressives (and especially the full spectrum of Democrats) squirmy: words like "imperialism" and "hegemony."

'That debate is further complicated by the fact that left progressives themselves are divided. There are those who believe that the terrorism promoted by Islamic extremists is purely blowback that would disappear if Western empire building were to be curbed. And there are those of us who take a less sanguine view, but wonder how - given the ferocity of the debate - we can express ourselves in favor of a foreign policy which deals effectively with the violent behavior of extremists (and the retrograde social views of many of the societies in which they operate) without contributing either ammunition or cover to the hegemonists.']

[I'm one of the people who gets squirmy when someone says "hegemony." Maybe because hegemony is one of my biggest goals in life. I'm also very nervous when conservatives like Gerson use the word "eschatology."]

--

Meanwhile, speaking of roads, bridges, etc., here's an excerpt from a talk in June by DOT undersecretary Jeffrey N. Shane at something called the U.S. P3 Infrastructure Finance Forum 2007 (courtesy again of Federal Document Clearing House):

'The cost of wasted time and fuel for travelers in 2003 was over $60 billion, about five times the amount in 1982. If we add the extra time people must allow in planning for congestion delay and the lost productivity associated with it, the annual costs rise to roughly $170 billion. These costs have been growing at about 8 percent per year, almost triple the rate of growth of the economy.

'The duration and intensity of delay associated with these costs have all skyrocketed over the past two decades. For example, between 1982 and 2003 U.S. highway congestion increased from affecting 33 percent of travel in 1982 to 67 percent of travel in 2003. Rush hours increased in duration from 4.5 hours per day in 1982 to 7 hours per day in 2003. And the delay associated with the average rush hour driver's trip increased nearly three-fold, from 13 percent of normal trip time in 1982 to 37 percent in 2003.

'We are far too tolerant of this deterioration. Too many people assume that nothing can be done, that congestion is just a fact of modern life. But if we allow this deterioration to continue, it will have real and significant effects on our economy and quality of life.'

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 3, 2007; 11:10 AM ET
 
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Comments

This O'Reilly character is something else. Isn't he one of Murdoch's boys?

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

So Joel, how 'bout them local sports teams?

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Have patience, Yoki... this is a long kit to absorb. I just finally got into the office and it's taking forever to do the important stuff like check the email, the WaPo front page and catch up with the boodle, much less read the new kit. Oh yeah... and work.

Yes... L.A. Lurker... we made it home OK. Thanks again for the fun evening in Pasadena. Make sure you let us know when the Pinkberry opens!

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

That's one for the ages. I half expected Dodd to say, "You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Because Dodd's point is so glaringly obvious. The indignation had nothing to do with tasteless imagery and all about partisan ideology.

Further, dare to imagine what would happen if someone sifted through the entire voluminous record of the Achenblog.

(Okay. Let me wait a minute while you recover.)

Anyway, I am sure that a rather unflattering collection of mean-spirited and nonsensical posts could be located. Would one want the whole blog, and Joel himself, to be characterized by these?

Good golly I hope not.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Bill "I-have-my-fingers-in-my-ears-I-can't-hear-you-cuz-I'm-incapable-of-rational-discussion-LALALALALALALALA" O'Reilly is good for comic relief only.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

O'Reilly makes hot air balloons swoon in admiration.

Manufactured umbrage, plain and simple.

I imagine if one were to comb through the posts on his site (not to mention the transcripts of his shows), one would find a significant amount of hateful and distasteful comments.

Mr. Pot: Please keep your comments about Mr. Kettle to yourself.

I just thank God we've got Keith Olbermann.

Posted by: martooni | August 3, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Why, oh why, would anyone - even Chris Dodd - want to waste time in an argument with Bill O'Reilly? It's pointless. It's precious minutes squandered bickering with an adolescent whose retort to everything is, "I know you are, but what am I?" I'd have responded with equally ludicrous humor: "Well, you see Bill, this picture shows Joe Lieberman admiring the president's shiny new brass zipper. You probably didn't know this, but the president is proud of his large collection of brass, and some nickel, pants zippers. They're really remarkable!"

Posted by: CowTown | August 3, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Today's wildlife report.
While walking out to the garden I nearly stepped on a 4 foot timber rattlesnake. It had just eaten something and was paying no attention to me. Probably a chipmunk or a mouse, now if I could just get in interested in eating a coon or two, I would be alright.

Despite them being poisonous, they are quite beautiful creatures!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 3, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

RD, I don't know if this question gets asked enough of people.


Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

martooni - I thought it went without saying that some of these would be from me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

There are places in the ethenet that are hateful. I can't, however think of a televised newscast that holds a candle to the partisanship and insulting way that some of the hosts on the Fox network payroll treat their guests. The irony is that this kind of news magazine has a significant viewership that buy into many of the views and opinions offered by the hosts under the guise of objectivity. When other newscasters present altenative views, they are cast as unpatriotic weenies. I long for the day when journalists reveal the current administrations and practices for what they are in a way that catches the public's attention: they regularly circumvent the constitutional system of checks and balances; and in many cases, are of marginal legality. Moreover, members of congress need to stop sitting on their hands and use the system to break the administration's stranglehold on information and bring the administration to heel. Bruce Fein was interviewed on Moyers' PBS program and was mentioned in the boodle a while back. It's worth reading the transcript.

Posted by: jack | August 3, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' greenwithenvy some steel boots*

*no, not steel-toed, STEEL boots*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Jeffrey N. Shane's quote is great. It really shows the hidden costs of things. It's like the I first time I learned how much electricity I was wasting by not using compact fluorescents.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

RD... to quote Gregg Allman: "I'm No Angel"

Posted by: martooni | August 3, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else bothered by this story?

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/07/18/christian.watchers.ap/index.html

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

...bayyybeee snayayayakes...live in a hole hole hole hole in the growound...that is usually empty *usually empty*...

Posted by: jack | August 3, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

And I know we'll be bothered by THIS story...

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/08/03/superior.puzzle.ap/index.html

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And pardon the BoodleHogging, but frankly this is also one for the "bothered" file...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/17_kids;_ylt=Am9NCZiIYkCJ7uwUAh19lo5saMYA

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Snuke isn't it obvious? The dropping lake level is due to God's wrath over the inadequate sentencing of drug dealers in Kentucky.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

>Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle, who said, "Some judges probably feel they are there to intimidate him. If the judge is intimidated, that's his fault."

Well, if it's OK with Cletus...

Actually there are a lot of groups who do some kind of oversight like this, liberal as well as wing-nut. It's one of those deals where it's public space and issues various people do care about. You'd probably be just as likely finding a homeless advocate in another area.

You hope the judges wouldn't be intimidated by any group... but there's certainly a lot of potential for it when it comes to a straight-laced small town.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 3, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

O'Reilly sets his umbragetron at 11 every morning before coming to work. I haven't been able to listen to him more than 6.8 sec. One day I hope to top 10 sec. but I ain't there yet.
Well, big sucessfull cities are congested. It is a sign of economic success. Should more money be plowed back into infrastructures? Absolutely, but I'm not ready to start hyperventilating about LA lawyers wasting hours in their S-class Mercedes on some sun drenched seaside highway. There are worst fate.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 3, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I've read about Duggars. They subscribe, I'm scared to say, to the philosophical notion that it is the duty of righteous folk to reproduce as much as they can to prevent the heathens from overrunning the earth.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I thought the dropping lake level was due to making all the formula for those 17 kids over the years...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I swear to heavens, my first instinct when I read '10.5 years pregnant' was to cross my legs. Except that I think they did the math is wrong. It's more like 12.75 years for 17 kids. 10.5 years is 14 kids.

I'm assuming the standard 9 months though.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

That's a real transcript?

Weren't there a couple of movies titled "Kill Bill"? In this case, how about "Mute Bill--He's Screaming"? Poor Dodd. He should have come in with some big cards with appropriate sentences to wave at the camera while Bill rants. One might read "I Can't Get a Word in Edgewise."

Congestion gets into metropolitan sprawl. Witold Rybczynski's recent book, "Last Harvest" evidently explains rather well why Americans are moving to the fringes of urban areas.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/03/AR2007050302215_pf.html

Perhaps the best deal (for now) would be to build expressways in rural counties near urban areas as development magnets. Easier to build them before development than after. That seems to be exactly what's happened with Orlando's new beltway, which has inordinately high tolls.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 3, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the article failed to mention that, RDP...

*rolling my eyes* *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Fun Film Factoid- Sean Connery entered the 1953 Mr. Universe contest and took third place. If you are a fan of the Seanster (and I am), seek out "The Hill" from 1965. Gritty B&W film about a North African British Army camp in WWII where bad soldiers are "retrained" by brutal NCOs. Also stars Harry Andrews, Ossie Davis, Ian Bannen, and Michael Redgrave and features Connery's first "topless" film appearance- he had been wearing a rug in the Bond films ("Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" were enormous hits of the time) and it definitely took some guts to let the truth shine through, as it were.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 3, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

If you have just read the third news item linked by Scottynuke (at 1:03 PM), about the family with 17 children, then I know what you're thinking. According to Snopes.com, Groucho never said it.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | August 3, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Both those articles scare the heck out of me.Thank goodness I live in West by god, although not too far from Kintucky.

Thanks for the boots Scotty, I will make sure I don't go wading or kayaking with them on.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 3, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

StoryTim, I'm too flabbergasted to be thinking much of anything about that article. What non-Groucho quote?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There are two sets of twins right. But then the numbers still come out wrong: 8.4 months per birth.

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

dr, I think some of those pregnancies resulted in twins, which would shave off a couple of months.

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Correction: Actually I live closer to Pennslytucky then Kintucky.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 3, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: The story about the Christian court watchers in Kentucky. I'm no kind of Christian, but I have read the Bible and it seems to me that the world would be a better place if the Old Testament had never been written. Asking how many second chances one should get doesn't exactly sound like Jesus to me. Guess I don't remember the part where JC threw up his hands and said, "Lock 'em up and throw away the key!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 3, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Duggar said she started feeling contractions Wednesday night and went to the hospital at about 5 a.m. Thursday. "It actually went fast," she said.
Well of course it did dear, you've been permanently dilated 6 centimeters since 1998!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 3, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The Duggar family includes two sets of twins, so a mere 15 pregnancies. If each one were a tad short (8.4 months), that would explain the accounting that has dr concerned.

The Snopes article about Groucho mentions a different exchange involving a girl who was one of 17 offspring, but for some reason, I can't seem to clip the text. It's at the bottom of the page: http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/grouchocigar.asp

Posted by: StorytellerTim | August 3, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I've caught a few snippets of the Duggars' show. It scared me.

Posted by: Moose | August 3, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

A prominent liberal Jewish scholar, Samuel Sandmel started his textbook on the Hebrew Scriptures with the prophet Amos, on the logic that opposition to injustice and greed is at the very center of the Scriptures.

Given this background, I'm still puzzled as to how Louis XIV came up with the Divine Right of Kings. The English had the good sense to behead their divine-right King.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 3, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"I long for the day when journalists reveal the current administration's practices for what they are in a way that catches the public's attention: they regularly circumvent the constitutional system of checks and balances; and in many cases, are of marginal legality."

jack... that day is here, but the show is called The Daily Show.


I remember years ago when the story du jour was about some horrible parents who abandoned their kids by the side of some highway or something, and the press was all over the fact that they had books about witchcraft in their house or something like that. No mention of how many books WEREN'T about witchcraft, of course.

Yikes. If someone looked through the books we have in our house we'd probably be accused of all sort of things. Probably hundreds of things, judging by the many different subjects our books represent.

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd say oh good.

A few years ago, ok, let me rephrase, some 25 years ago at a family gathering I was sitting listening to my aunts talk, and they were discussing children. There was not a single one of them who would have had more than 3 kids had they had a choice. They were deeply enthusiastic about the idea that it was a choice. To a woman they are all decently devout Catholics, but they felt the pope was wrong. They had some specific and very strong opinions on how the pope should bear the children.

In a lot of ways, that choice has been the most significant thing that happened in the lives of women worldwide in the last 50 years.

I guess whatever this families beliefs are, well, whatever, but they darn well better be taking good care of those kids.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen a Bill O'Reilly.
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one!

Truly, I've never seen or heard O'Reilly or read his website. From reports like this, I know he would offend me, as much by his demeanor as by his views. Life is too short to waste it on such foolishness. I've never seen or heard Rush Limbaugh either.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

tbg: That's one of the shows that I don't watch because I don't make the time. I'm more likely filling my head with information from Dog the Bounty Hunter, or Overhaulin', y'know, educational TV. Did you have any stays in Vegas moments???

I was cleaning the kitchen and putting some pots away when our artificial insemination tools fell out of the cabinet. Whoops. Good thing we didn't have hoseguests.

Posted by: jack | August 3, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We used to have an organization in Oklahoma called Court Watch, but they were a victim's rights group. At one point they were really angry with our Court because the average affirmance rate runs about 97%. They thought that was too low. I think they would have been satisfied if the Court never granted relief in any case for any reason.

There is another group here that "watches" business-related decisions, and castigates judges they think aren't "business-friendly."

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

whoops...houseguests

Posted by: jack | August 3, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of watching the courts, I guess you all saw that the "pants" judge is, indeed, going to lose his job...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/08/first_pants_man_loses_case_nex.html

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I redid the math and 15 pregnancies comes to 570 weeks, which is 10.96 years, which is close to the 10.5 in the article, but 0.46 years is 24 weeks. So if 6 babies were a month premature, or 3 babies 2 months premature or 2 babies 3 months premature...all this math is giving me a headache.

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Haha, here ya go StorytellerTim:

GROUCHO: "Why do you have so many children? That's a big responsibility and a big burden."

MRS. STORY: "Well, because I love my children and I think that's our purpose here on Earth, and I love my husband."

GROUCHO: "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's the daughter:

Groucho: How does your father feel about this rather startling turn of events? Is he happy or just dazed?

Daughter: Oh, my daddy loves children.

Groucho: Well, I like pancakes, but I haven't got closetsful of them

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

There was a talk show host named Bill
Who seemed filled with anger to the gill
Many wrote of him quite poorly
He replied was (said quite sorely):
My mouth is mightier than any quill

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 3, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Major storm it looks like brewing out around Leesburg, and headed this way (this way being DC).

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's a bit of a curve ball (pun intended) for today's quiz:

http://encarta.msn-ppe.com/encnet/departments/education_1/?page=quiz202&Quizid=202

5/10 -- Struck myself out.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 3, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

5/10 here as well.

And that storm is fast moving.

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

6/10 I am utterly thrilled I got even 1/10.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Its the Friday before a long weekend. A lot of people are 'sick' today', and the boss said "I have to go cut my lawn before it rains'. SoC, Yoki, suspiciously high absentee rates at your offices. Shrieking? Boko?

I'm here. Yeah, I'm boodling but that's like my other job.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I keep trying to compose a post about those 17 kids but my fingers boggle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the Civic Holiday weekend if you're lucky enaough to celebrate the day off. Me, I'll be here on Monday. Tchau.

Posted by: omni | August 3, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yup dr. Not a phone ringing, and I noticed that most of the reserved parking spots (which decodes as partners' parking spots) in our garage are empty today.

That is OK with me. I've got a hair appointment at 2:30!

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wait - are you referring to some kind of Canadian-type holiday when Canadian-type people stay home.

And plot.

'scuse me while I go make a few phone calls.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Plot? Us?

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I got 5/10. Does that make me "average?"

Posted by: CowTown | August 3, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I got 4/10, and was very very proud. And those four were guesses, just as all my wrong answers were.

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

5/10. I am so proud.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 3, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

You did better than me, CowTown, I guessed 4/10 but then sports aren't my thing.

Posted by: Slyness | August 3, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Said the mother on birth number seven and ten
on explaining her maternity yen
"We initially hoped for a 'team'-
now a long forgotten dream-
for now we've three lines, a coach and GM"

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 3, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

6/10 here, too. I got the Baby Ruth question right, but didn't like their explanation--much too ambiguous.

Joel the Jeffrey Shane quote on the cost of lost productivity being $170 billion makes me nervous. I run into those kinds of numbers about lost productivity, etc., in my line of work from time to time, and I don't like them because I don't know how they are guesstimated. What I am afraid of is they take an otherwise acceptable estimate of hours spent sitting in traffic, and then blindly apply an average cost figure per hour, and boom, out comes $17 billion as the answer. If that's how it's done, I have a serious problem with it. I know that if I get stuck in traffic, as often happens, and I come in half an hour late to work, then I have to stay half an hour, or else only put 7.5 hours on my timesheet, or whatever. In my case and the case of all my colleagues, there is *no* lost productivity. We get paid for what we work, or make up the time, or use leave time, or whatever--but the net "cost" is zero. Likewise, if I'm stuck in traffic going home, the cost is zero--because I'm not on anybody's clock and there's no productivity factor to be lost. Sure, it's irritating as he11 to be stuck--but by my reckoning the "lost time" is zero on homebound commuting, and only some smaller frqaction on inbound, because many people punch a clock or use a timesheet, or otherwise adjust (because those are their company work rules). Not everybody who comes in late makes the "company" pay for that time. What the proportion is I have no idea -- but we all know how people (especially beancounters) can lie with statistics (speaking as someone who frequently edits gummint beancounters for a living).

I recently edited a document (which I can't talk about) that contained two similar kinds of numbers. I left them go, but I added a note to the writer saying I thought those two numbers were bogus, or at least not credible. The writer, a lower level person of my own approximate rank (and also a hired gun contractor like me) replied, "Yeah, I feel your pain. But they [the high muckety-mucks and panjarams] gave me these numbers and I have to use them."

I have on occasion tried to make the point with non-writerly type that when you use a non-credible number, it hurts the piece rather than helps it. Even when the number turns out to be correct, if it jars the reader or stops him in his tracks, there is something wrong. If a number is out of whack with expectations, you've got to find a way of explaining it. But you can't just let it sit out there all alone. Of course, they never listen. This is because they are high muckety-mucks and panjarams, and everyone knows they never make mistakes.

scotty, all three of those links gave me the shivers, too.

BTW, if anyone hadn't noticed, Bill O'Reilly is a big doo-doo head†

† Big Doo-Doo Head is a wholly owned, copyrighted and trademarked service mark of R.D. Padouk Enterprises, Inc., LLP. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

5/10 on the test, but I do have a quibble with the last answer. If the company itself publicly attributed its product name to one source, then is one not justified in relying on that attribution?

This is what law school does to one.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think the "lost productivity" cost may refer to the ephemeral "cost" the company incurred because you weren't at your desk working because of the half-hour commute delay. That is, it may refer to the productivity lost to the company by your absence, not any actual dollar amount you were paid.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

That was exactly my problem with it, too, Ivansmom. Like you guys say in law school, "ipse locitur novum mandamus." Or, like, maybe, "res [something something] tutti fandango." Anyway, something like that.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I got 5/10 on the sports quiz. But why is it false to say that the Baby Ruth was named after Cleveland's daughter? The company that made the candy bar SAID it was. Since when does Conventional Wisdom = Truth?

That was like the grammar question that assumed the kid WASN'T the coolest kid in school (I think he really was!)

Another bone to pick with the MSN quizzes.. They just plain don't work in Safari (I can take the quiz, I just can't see the answers). If Microshaft thinks I'm going to use Explorer they're wrong. There's always Firefox.

Why don't we Americans get a long weekend? I just returned from vacation; I could certainly use one.

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I think it's public domain by now.

And I agree, quantifying "lost productivity" is tricky. It assumes a lack of elasticity (is that the term?) in productivity. That is, it is based on the questionable assumption that everyone is working at peak productivity each and every day. (Naturally I am. I meant, you know, other people.)

The reality is for most people the loss of even a full day just means you need to work extra hard for the next few days.

That said, time still has some intrinsic value. And fuel certainly does.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

But that's kind of my point, Ivansmom: there was no lost productivity. It doesn't matter a whit to the company or the gummint whether I'm on time or not. I put in my 8 hours, and whether its from 8:30 to 5, or 9 to 5:30 makes no earthly difference. There are lots of jobs where that might be true, like where sales might be lost, or somebody has to fill in for you, or some widget didn't get made on time--but mine isn't one of them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Your plea has touched my heart, TBG. So, I am going to let all my American friends take Monday off. Oh, and did I say how happy I am to have you back?

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Mudge. My work is divided into projects. I get a project done or I don't. I happen to get paid by the hour, so I'm really way more productive for my company.

I think very few of us works a job where we spend 8 hours a day doing one thing anymore a la a production line. If I'm supposed to be labeling 100 widgets per hour and I miss an hour, I guess the company isn't getting those 100 widgets labeled when they wanted them. But they're also probably not paying me either, so who loses?

I think even fewer of us are still getting paid while we're stuck in traffic.

More production is certainly lost when we're doing other things besides working when we're at our desks. But maybe we don't want to point that out.

That's not really a study the Washington Post wants to publish, does it Joel?

DOES IT?

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Mudge, that it doesn't make sense. Res ipanema.

Thanks, Yoki, for the Monday dispensation. We have our housesitter ready to go and I will be on vacation Monday at any rate, but it is nice to know I don't have to take the annual leave that day. I'll be sure and quote you on my time sheet.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Public safety is one of those areas where it does matter to be on time, I suppose. At least in this town, a firefighter doesn't go off duty till relieved by his/her replacement, so someone who is chronically late is a very unpopular person.

I used to be called on to calculate the cost of response to a particular incident, but that's kinda silly. The firefighters get paid whether or not they are responding to an emergency. However, when the courts asked, we always gave them a figure.

Posted by: Slyness | August 3, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yoki in 2008!

I like her "Declare More Monday Holidays" platform.

Posted by: dbG | August 3, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I like to think I'm a fairly brave, intellectually curious guy...but there's just no way I'm gonna ask TBG or L.A. Lurker what the devil a Pinkberry is. Not gonna do it. Sometimes ya get a feeling you're just not supposed to know.

What's the Monday holiday up there in Canuckistan?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Declare More Monday Holidays? HA! When I am elected I will abolish all holidays, but change the names of the days of the week. The new week will consist of Saturday #!, Saturday #2, Saturday #3, Saturday #4, Sunday, Thursday, Friday. I thank you all in advance for your support.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 3, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

My Filofax says August 6 is a bank holiday in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, so I'm interested to hear what gives in Canada.

Posted by: Slyness | August 3, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I could find only 3 provinces and territories where it is actually a legislated holiday, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories and BC.

Its really not a holiday anywhere but there, not a statutory holiday. No one works, businesses are closed and so it must be a defacto civic holiday. But I'd be willing to bet that few have actually declared it as one.

It that leaves me to believe that its a holiday because no one shows up to work, and employers are smart enough not to push it. Maybe it falls under our tradition of common law. However it began, I would defy anyone to take it away. You guys really should try it. Just don't go to work. Its simple.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

On the commute versus productivity - traffic here has gotten so bad it takes me a half hour longer, on average, to get to work than it used to (about an hour in total). Or to get home. Therefore, I am crankier and overtired and less productive. I'm working from home now 2 days a week to avoid the commute. Many years ago I changed to a 4 day, 10 hour per day work week to avoid 1 day of commuting. But as the work day plus the commute means a longer and longer day (and as rush hour also elongates), I can't do it anymore.

Not sure how to quantify that!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 3, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm working from home on Monday, but will be as non-productive as possible in solidarity with my Canadian friends (imaginary).

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 3, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

So...it really isn't a holiday after all, just something like "Senior Week" when nobody shows up even though they're s'possed to?

Hmm. Interesting.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

See it begins. We Canukistanis are so sneaky about our plan to take over RD, that we do it in the open.

Mostly, make sure you check out Yarn Harlot today. I almost cried for laughing.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Strangely enough, my friend in Zambia told me today that Monday is a holiday there, too. Wonder whazzup?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 3, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, the first Monday in August was a holiday in Alberta, but it was changed to February to make a long weekend in that month for a new holiday created a few years ago - "Family Day".

So I'm not really sure why we're getting Monday off.

Sssshhh!

There is a movement afoot in Canada to make it a human rights day, based on the connection that on August 1, 1834 slavery was abolished in the Empire.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 3, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

But slavery was abolished in England in 1807. And if memory serves, you guys have some tenuous connection to Old Blighty, doncha?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So they abolished slavery on the home island in 1807, but let it continue in the colonies and commonwealths until 1834? Interesting.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The thing about hours as a metric (sorry Mudge) of productivity is that it assumes all hours are equal. For some this may be true. But consider those in creative fields like, say, Joel. If he is exceptionally brilliant for the three hours he spends on a kit doesn't that mean he is now eligible for a few hours of lax time? Goodness knows he has earned it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 3, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know that they were trying to make it a human rights day, but I'd vacation a day for that. Interestingly this morning, very, very in the a.m., I saw a biography on an interesting woman. Rose Fortune

http://www.history.ca/ontv/titledetails.aspx?titleid=15382

What the blurb doesn't say is that she deeply admired Harriet Tubman, and was, in her career as a baggage handler, also a conductor of people on the Annapolis Royal end of the underground railway.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Now there is a neat site. The history of BlackLoyalists in Nova Scotia.

http://museum.gov.ns.ca/blackloyalists/index.htm

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Reductio ad absurdem, Mudge: Have you lost something if stuck in traffic a full 5 hours? No conceivable justified monetary value can be placed on it?

Posted by: Jumper | August 3, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, the issue of Canadian slavery has a number of aspects, much like in the colonies that became the United States--according to this Wiki link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Canada

There was slavery of indigenous people (much like the U.S. colonies), slaves held by the French and later British aristocracy, and a repatriation movement of Canadian slaves to Africa. Certainly, I should think, Canada's abolition of slavery in 1833 helped with the activities of the northern states' Underground Railroad bringing slaves by enabling slaves to reach "safe" Upper Canada, and most likely helped to fuel the formation of U.S. anti-slavery societies. Correct me if I'm wrong, Canadian Boodlers.

A brief summary of abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies in the 19th century and a general timeline of slavery and abolition here:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_hist1.htm

Posted by: Loomis | August 3, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks - I went off for further reading. The ban in trade seems to be 1807, abolition in 1833, and emancipation in 1834. The 1834 date loses its impact when one reads that even then, slaves were apparently made indentured "apprentices" until 1838.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 3, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

SCC: bringing slaves...transporting slaves

Posted by: Loomis | August 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm hearing Monday called "Heritage Day" on the radio. So maybe we should all head to the nearest local history museum that day. Or, we could sleep in and have a barbeque later. Either way.

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

9/10 and would have been 10/10 if they hadn't botched the answer to the last question. Now I am off to buy lottery tickets because I didn't even read the questions.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 3, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I think that was what they called it when we had a possible 2 new holidays, and ended up with the official February holiday.

Its 5 oclock and I'm going knitting. Or maybe making a cmapfire and burning hot dogs. We'll see.

Posted by: dr | August 3, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'd have to agree that yes, you lose something when you get stuck on traffic, but I'd then have to say no, you can't put any kind of meaningful dollar value on it--at least one that a gummint agency could then plug into an equation and then turn around and call that "lost productivity." To me productivity necessarily implies a number or quantity of commercial/industry product or work or service that doesn't get done--kind of like "opportunity cost."

Yes, my time has value, but how do we figure out what it is? I know what my own income is; let's say $X per hour. So that's one figure we could use. But after I've already worked an 8-hour day, if I'm on the bus on the way home, do we still use that number? Because the economy and the gross national product, etc., have already gotten their pound of flesh out of me. So is it reasonable to "charge" my lost time to that when in fact I'd have made no contribution to it one way or the other?

Next, my tax rate is about a third of my income, more or less. So is the true cost of my time $X time 2/3? Is it 2/3 to me and one third to state and local governments, which now aren't getting their third of my income I wouldn't be making anyway?

I'm also a gummint contractor. That means the gummint is paying my firm something like 50% or 75% OVER my known income to fill my job slot (and I don't even know what that number is. I know how much I get paid, but I don't know what my company charges the government.) So is the "lost" cost of my time really $X times 1.50 or $X times 1.75, or whatever the magic multiplier is? Because that's the number the gummint would be paying if I was working.

In the case of myself as one lone individual it doesn't matter. But contractors make up an overwhelming majority of the gummint work force (a number the gummint likes to pretend doesn't exist, just like they like to pretend we have 140,000 troops in Iraq, or whatever the current number is, when in fact we actually have 140,000 troops and 180,000 contractors, many, many of whom are serving in quasi-military or fully military role as security people, convoy guards and drivers, etc.--jobs that could and IMHO should be uniformed.)

There are about 4 million federal gummint employees--but 10.6 million additional contractors. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/05/AR2006100501782.html) So Bush likes to tell you there are 4 million feds, when in fact there are effectively 14.6 million--and the number is growing, not shrinking.

So, doing the equation, what lost productivity cost do you apply to us 10.6 million contractors? Cuz there's a huge difference between what our incomes are versus what the gummint is paying out.

Admittedly, this problem only applies to 10.6 million workers--but you can see the problem and how it is bound to distort any type of equation. And I don't have a clue how ol' Jeffrey's beancounters did it. (Probably neither does anybody else.) But he says $170 billion, and we have to trust him.

How are you at trusting Arbusto Admin. numbers? Cuz I sorta have a problem with that. Let's just say I have trust issues.

Maybe the numbers on all the rest of the work force are OK, I dunno. But until I see the methodology addendum, I'm not a happy camper.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown to cut short a vacation to Dorset to deal with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease near London.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-britain-cattle.html

Why vaccines for foot and mouth disease are problematic:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-britain-cattle.html

The American efforts to wipe out foot and mouth disease in Mexico in 1948 are fascinating, if you don't know the story. Sometime later perhaps.

Pizza and George Clooney's "The Good German" tonight. A haunting film on DVD last night, "Perfume" with Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman. Ebert so loved it I actually looked up his review of it today online.

Posted by: Loomis | August 3, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Took my eyes off the admin's hubris and perfidy to read the local rag, published 2x a week. This week's crime report included:

Careless Boating Citation-Just before 6AM callers reported a nuisance boat driving in circles in the middle of the lake. Deputies arrived to find the man had fallen out of his boat and had been dragged around in a circle for awhile before being able to free himself. The man had been drinking and had ventured out to the lake to "watch the sunrise" the sheriff said.

Explosion-A cabin owner was startled awake by an explosion. The owner discovered his outhouse had exploded after a candle was left burning inside. The outhouse was destroyed and the fire had been extinguished by the time deputies arrived.

I wish they'd added "terrorism is not suspected."

Good points Mudge. I fear that time "lost" is not taken from productivity but from home, happiness, and boodling. I spent Tuesday morning and early afternoon in bed with a magnificent migraine like I haven't suffered in years (except for one last fall) but was productivity lost? No, it was just shifted to evenings all this week and very early this morning.

It makes more sense to just talk in terms of "time lost" or a yet to be defined "delay index." Then it doesn't matter whether the time would have been spent working or in a jacuzzi with a formerly kilt clad cutie. I suppose it would be even harder to get funding for transportation solutions if the powers that be thought we all just wanted more time to have a life instead of to be more productive.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 3, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Loomis-your two links were identical. I wanted to read about the vaccine.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 3, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, frosti.. that outhouse sounds like a perfect terrorist target.

Posted by: TBG | August 3, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I saw a tape of the confrontation. Dodd revealed himself to be a creep. I wonder how he will react to a similar picture of himself bending over to recieve a reward from Kos himself?

Posted by: doufree | August 3, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

7/10 and I guessed all of them. Today is my lucky day. I should go buy lottery or something. But that can be difficult cuz there's no legal gambling outlet in this country.

Posted by: rain forest | August 3, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Home page?

Posted by: Yoki | August 3, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

if you dare -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkberry

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 3, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The Pinkberry Wiki page has some scary data:

"According to the nutritional information on the Pinkberry website: The 13-ounce large size has 16 teaspoons of sugar (65 grams). That's 1/3 cup of sugar in just the yogurt. The 8-ounce medium size has 10 teaspoons of sugar (40 grams). Toppings can add more sugar and fat.

"Originally marketed as frozen yogurt, Pinkberry has recently faced complaints that their product does not meet the California Department of Food and Agriculture's definition of frozen yogurt because it does not contain the necessary amount of bacterial cultures per ounce. The company may be forced to reveal its recipe. [13] Meanwhile, Pinkberry has removed all references to frozen yogurt from its website and marketing materials. The health benefits that were previously posted on the walls of Pinkberry (e.g., cures colon cancer, fights yeast infections) have also been removed."

16 teaspoons of sugar? I'm going into diabetic coma just reading about it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 3, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I was reading the article about the tennis tournament in DC, and here is what Andy Roddick did while he had some time off:

"I thought about steak for a large part of the afternoon," he said. "I cruised around Georgetown. Went to Starbucks. I played this golf course in Rock Creek Park, though the first hole didn't have a green. It had a flag with chalk around it. . . . I felt like I was back in Texas -- like back on the farm. I had to hit one shot from under a cow that was grazing in the fairway."

Sounds familiar, no?

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 3, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Something interesting for the foodies and gardeners-ghost peppers.

http://accidentalblogger.typepad.com/accidental_blogger/2007/08/the-ghost-peppe.html

Posted by: frostbitten | August 3, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Joel, sorry. Some things just make the whole idea a non-starter:

The Center for Public Integrity has criticized Dodd for "being the leading advocate in the Senate on behalf of the accounting industry."

I got that from Wikipedia so I know it is true. I mean, the guy is practically sleeping with accountants? He probably is in tow of the actuaries too.

I can only imagine the skeletons in his closet!

Posted by: bill everything | August 3, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten,

My mistake because Loomispouse was just coming through the door with the pizza, which, once I opened the box, turned out to be the wrong order. So we had to call to tell Pizza Hut of the mistake, then wait for the second one to bake, he had to get back in the car, drive back to the store in the rain, and get the correct order--a long night.. Here's the link:

http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/03/28/disease.vaccination/index.html

Posted by: Loomis | August 3, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Loomis.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 3, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I think there's far more sugar than that in a latte from Starbucks.

Yeah, second me for the coma, too.

Frostie, I used to have an extremely high chili tolerance, but habaneros made my eyes water, they're definitely a couple notches hotter than thai chilies.
Habernos are so pretty though-- they look almost like candy pumpkins with that beautiful orange. Yet, I think I'd rather grow thai chilies instead of habernos, never mind "ghost pepper".

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 4, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Okay, nobody will ever be able to tell me the internet is not great.

2:30 a.m. my daughter comes in from her night out clubbing, wakes me up, says, "Mom, the car door won't close."

The car door was injured a while ago when my husband wanted to back the car up just a little, so he left the door open and rolled the car back...there was a pile of rocks--long, stupid story, but anyway, the door hinge was bent so the door was hard to close, that was about a month ago. We've been making do; it was difficult but not impossible to close. But all of a sudden tonight it was impossible. I looked at it, worked on it, wiggled the parts, tried everything I could. Gave up, decided to let the Guilty Party take care of it in the morning.

But on my way back to bed I passed the computer, sat down, googled "car door won't close." The first answer:

***
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

door latch is jammed get a screwdriver look at the latch pull the handle insert the screwdriver where the strike lever closes and slide it open then try the door, should work

***

I got a screwdriver, did what they said, and the door closed. As my dad would say, "Woo-la!"

I really love the internet. I admit that the boodle was my first thought, but this time of the morning I wasn't likely to get an immediate answer here. Still, you guys are here for me to tell the story to, eventually--Hey, not only can I waste your time at work, I can do it on the weekend, too. What's the difference, in terms of "lost productivity?"

Good night, all.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 4, 2007 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Bill O'Reilly's half-truth was that he advocated terrorism on an American City on his _RADIO SHOW_, not 'technically' on his _TV SHOW_. MediaMatters has the audio and the transcript of Bill O'Reilly condemning an American City to being blown up,

BILL O'REILLY: "[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you [San Francisco, California] up, we're not going to do anything about it. ... You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."

http://mediamatters.org/items/200511100008

The reason thug O'Reilly hates Media Matters is because http://mediamatters.org has the ACTUAL AUDIO AND VIDEO documenting O'Reilly's murderous outbursts.

The question to O'Reilly, his network, it's owners, and his watchers, is "why do you hate America?"

Posted by: Patriot | August 4, 2007 3:33 AM | Report abuse

The hottest chilli we have here is the chilli padi. For the ethnic Chinese, they just slice them up, add soy sauce in them and use it as dip. The Malays use them to make sambal (a mixture of mashed chilli, garlic, shallots, salt, vinegar, sugar and dried shrimps). A nasi lemak (coconut suntan rice) breakfast without sambal is not considered nasi lemak. The most common type of chilli used in cooking is the non-pungent type.

I have a very low tolerance for chilli. When I do use them I take out the white pith and the seeds. I just dice them up and sauté them with other vegetables.

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 4:41 AM | Report abuse

*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080302296.html?hpid=topnews

:-(

Morning, everyone! *subdued Grover waves so as to not attract warrantless attention*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 4, 2007 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. It is Saturday, and the steak I had for dinner yesterday is giving me much grief this morning. I don't usually eat beef, but tried the rib eye, not good. Should have stuck with the potato and the salad.

I do not watch Bill O'Reilly. If I tried to watch that show or some of the others like it, I would stay in the shower trying to clean myself. These folks act like pit vipers on television, and for me, it is inconceivable that someone pays them money to do that. And there only claim to fame is that they don't allow their guests to talk. They are rude and obnoxious people, and they glory in that. Hateful, would be a better word. A rational person according to my definition, and I could be wrong here, is one that listens to both sides of the story because it is seldom just one way.

I see Eddie Murphy has admitted paternity of the Spice Girl's baby. I can imagine he did that under pain, but I'll bet the barn it was a career move. I am always in awe of men that pretend to shock when a woman announces she is pregnant when they know they've been sleeping with these folks in more ways than they would ever admit to. They lie with a straight face, and probably feel a tingle where we can't see.

Slyness, the sermon was beautiful. Thank you for thinking of me. And all of it so true.

Friday was the last day, and I was so glad to get home. It was sad in a way, but the body was tired, and so was the mind. The program will have a party closer to the school date, and hand out school supplies and book bags. That's always fun.

I've watched the bridge accident on the news, and am amazed that more people did not die, but thankful, oh so thankful. I do not like crossing bridges or riding on them, and nothing about this helps that can of worms.

Now for the vacation. One should be able to go somewhere and rest, just do nothing. I can see the "do nothing", but cannot see going anywhere to do that but here. I hope I can go see my grandsons. I would love to just pop-up and catch them by surprise. We will see.

Have a great weekend, folks. Try to give God some of your time. Scotty, I so wish there was a transcript of your thing I could read.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 4, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse


Cheer up, Scottynuke--

http://bp3.blogger.com/_sbQa5Ipn9co/RrRrx5tOVaI/AAAAAAAAAEs/hLh1FoI1o_s/s400/Rhymes_with_Orange+by+Hilary+Price+8-4-07.gif


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Posted by: kbertocci | August 4, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

G'morning all. I am taking today "off" to do lawn and garden things. To my mind work just gets in the way of this type of true productivity. You could put a $ amount on it if you assigned the going rate for pyschiatric treatment-which is what I avoid by toiling in the garden. Harvested basil last night and gorged on pesto since Mr. F and Frostdottir weren't here to share. Sorry, not one faxable fragment left.

Amazing how few people appear to have died in the 35W bridge collapse. In true MN fashion people are already saying "Could've been worse."

Posted by: frostbitten | August 4, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, check your email.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 4, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Back from two and one half days at Ocean City, the Fenwick Island piece: Rather sane slice of the brave island spit. Oh, the humanity! And the tatooed middle-aged mommies. Never ceases to amaze! Managed to walk nearly everywhere, somewhat to teen-boys' chagrin. At 139th, is a great used book store, three miniature golf courses, a non-chain pizza place, and a diner called Leo's. Seven-11 serves proletarian coffee. I note the addition since, say, 2005, of an adult bookstore/toy "shoppe" at said corner, but don't think the boys noticed since their eyes were fixed upon the Italian deli down three doors. Very nice to hear the surf while reading. Embarrassed said-boys with some nicely executed boogie boarding, if I do say so myself. Did you know that sunscreen now comes in SPF70? Did not lose glasses in surf.

Listened to HP on tape during the downtimes and managed to complete nine of 10 tapes. Again, said-boys were mesmerized despite critiquing this and that in the manner of "amphibians" just barely breaking the boy-man barrier.

I just now read through to the ending. And the answer is, as ever, love. LOVE! Who knew?

Will post something Martoonish in a link soon. Boodlers, beware, as you will covet your own version immediately. Boodle envy. Keeping up with the boodle. In this case, avarice is good. Indulge.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 4, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Scotty... I caught part of the debate regarding that surveillance bill on CSPAN yesterday. It was a good thing that Bean and Mrs. M weren't home because the words coming out of my mouth would have made even a 900+ years old sailor blush.

Maybe we should all pitch in and send back braces to the Democratic senators.

Today should be interesting -- we're off to my Dad's family's reunion this afternoon. In previous years this has been an occasion to look forward to, but as I'm trying to maintain my sobriety and that side of my family tree consists of almost nothing but drunks... well... I'm obviously not looking forward to it as much as I have in the past.

As they say, "this too shall pass".

Peace out...

[15]

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

This could be tough for you, Martooni. Do stay strong ....

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, rain forest... I figure I'll hang around the "old ladies table" with my Grandma and catch up on all the family gossip. She's a trip -- 85 years old going on 30 and still quite the social butterfly.

My uncles and cousins are the ones I have to be careful around. They're great guys and fun to be around, but you'll never see a single one of them in any picture without a beer in hand. Our family takes its German/Scotch/Irish roots seriously.

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Local op-ed this a.m.--about how Texas citizens are prohibited accessing state safety records of bridges if federal funds involved.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/stories/MYSA080407.01O.bridgewoe1ed.215e0d3.html

More disturbing is the newspaper's revelation [Friday] that average citizens are not allowed to view inspection reports of the state's bridges. This is because a restrictive interpretation of a law bans the reports from use in litigation involving bridges funded with federal transportation dollars.

The notion that citizens can't be allowed to view the inspection reports for bridges that they paid for defies any logical concept of open government.

From Friday's reporting by reporter John Tedesco:

Federal officials provide some facts about the reliability of bridges across the Unted States. The public can find out the latest inspection date of a bridge, its location, when it was built and whether it it is structurally sound.

But when it comes to finding out more details about Texas' 50,000 bridges, the public can't read actual inspection documents that might shed light on dangerous structures. ...

Sharon Alexander, a lawyer for the Texas Department of Transportation, said "there's a great debate" among tranportation officials across the nation about whether the law also applies to members of the public who aren't part of a lawsuit.

In Texas, the Transportation Department has decided to withhold the records from everyone--and the Texas attorney general agrees.

In past open-records decisions, the attorney general's office said the intention of the federal law is to "facilitate candor" of inspectors by keeping their reports private.

*So the law shields the inspectors? How crazy is that?

Posted by: Loomis | August 4, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey to all.

Bill Moyers said last night that next week's show (Bill Moyers Journal) will have "Part Two" of the impeachment conversation. Would that we could shut our eyes, click our heels and chant: *impeachment and impalement* three times (one for each of Bush, Cheney and Gonzo -- for starters) and 'twould be done.

Ah, well. Off to the farmers market for earthly delights.

cya

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 4, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

martooni, tell them you have a medical condition and can't drink. make up details as needed.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 4, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

'morning, Boodle! I can imagine everyone checking their e-mail and back-boodling before hitting the weekend full stride.

From this week's *New Yorker*, a little article entitled "Votescam." I hadn't been aware this change was in the works for NC and CA. Seems like every state needs to do it, or none. What do you think?

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2007/08/06/070806taco_talk_hertzberg

Posted by: dbG | August 4, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Also great articles by Kolbert on the mysterious decline of the honeybee and Toobin on the murder of an Assistant US Attorney and tie-in to the US Attorney firings.

www.newyorker.com

Posted by: dbG | August 4, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

LAL... that would actually be the truth. I was doing some research on something called tetrahydroisoquinolone (THIQ) which is a chemical formed in the brains of chronic alcoholics and heroin addicts. Apparently, this compound is more addictive than morphine. It latches itself onto endorphin receptors and never goes away, which explains why alcoholics and heroin addicts have to keep taking more and more alcohol/heroin to achieve the same level of effect, even if they've abstained for years.

Here's a link that explains it in better detail: http://www.recovery-world.com/The-THIQ-Hypothesis.html

Fascinating stuff.

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, it makes my day to see you incrementing your total! :-)

Posted by: dbG | August 4, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I have found that it doesn't work well to give someone a reason for why you say "no." It gives them something to chip away at, something to get you to make an incremental allowance -- "just one won't hurt you." When the time comes to say "no," you gotta just say "No!" Nancy Reagan may have been a nincompoop and a fan of astrology, but her scriptwriters got that one right.

Good luck, martooni. Stay strong.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 4, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

martooni, hang in there. when the going gets tough, have some words with those thiqs (fighting words that is).

kb, thanks for the links. my landlord's miniature schnauzer was just in here for his morning visit (and hilary p. was in my frosh dorm).

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 4, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Please do hang in there Martooni. Eat a lot,play with the kids, help with the cooking. Use the support of those that love you and want you to succeed.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 4, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

martooni,
During my Weight Watcher days, our marvelous group leader who drove from Modesto to Tracy to conduct meetings and who originally hailed from rural Arkansas, Bonnie--and who, by the way,told the funniest stories--had a medical condition, as L.A. lurker describes in her 10:40.

If Bonnie got in an argument in a restaurant (or a social situation) when they refused to cook her food as requested or accommodate her in any way, she would just exclaim that she had a rare medical condition: Putsfatonmytoesis (said rapidly). The restaurant, learning of her special needs, always complied with her requests.

I am certain that you can be just as clever.

Posted by: Loomis | August 4, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Second on the "no;" try an extremely loud "He11, no!" Louder than necessary.

My main problem with alcohol is that drinking makes me thirsty. Finally knowing this, I now step off the carousel after a few whirls instead of going around too long. Once, at the beach house, I decided to do something different, and didn't drink on my vacation. It drove my relatives nuts. I won most of the Boggle games, however.

More stuff at http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/

I bought a bottle of Dave's Insanity Sauce the other day. Today is taco day. Wish me well.

Posted by: Jumper | August 4, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the transcript, Kbert. Wonderful story about the car door.

Scotty, your work sounds so important, and so brillant.

I need Ben-Gay today, in a bad way. Every thing hurts, everything.

The sunflowers are beautiful. The drought hasn't killed them yet.

I think it is time for a nap. I am sleepy. And it is still so hot.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 4, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

O'Reilly, Coulter, Limbaugh, Hedgecock, Williams and numerous otherlockstep, rubber stamping brown shirt pundits are the Fifth Column of American Fascism. The MSM networks and the sponsors should come to their senses and stuff these barn burners into the dust bin of history.

Posted by: ghostcommander | August 4, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been able to find a complete transcript of Stephen Colbert's interview with Michael Behe, but here's a link to the video:

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/?ml_video=90952

(You have to sit through a highly annoying Burger King ad first.)

Here's my transcript of them talking about irreducible complexity:

COLBERT--I've heard about something called "irreducible complexity." What is that; that's things, some parts of us, are just too, too complex to have happened randomly.
BEHE--Well, it's not just complex, it's that you have a machine that needs a number of different parts to work and if one of the parts isn't there then the machine loses its, its function, and, and a simple example from our everyday lives is, is a mousetrap. You think of, visualize a mechanical mousetrap, if you take away the spring, or take away any of the parts, it doesn't work anymore. It turns out that these molecular machines, these little trucks and buses that go from one side of the cell to the other, the little gates that open and close when, when there's a signal coming by, they need a lot of parts to work too...
COLBERT--Yea, 'cause if you take, if you take away the parts of the mousetrap all you have is wood, a, a piece of metal, and a spring, and there's no other possible use for any of that stuff.
BEHE--You can use those...
(Interrupted by laughter)
BEHE--You can, you can use those for paperweights, you can use them...
COLBERT--Right
BEHE--...for other things, but none of that is getting you to a mousetrap. If you go into your garage and say to yourself "I'm going to take a piece of wood, and I'll put it down here, and then I'm going to get some other piece that's going to help it be a paperweight", you're not going to get yourself to a mousetrap.
COLBERT--Well, I don't, I don't want a paperweight.

Posted by: Dooley | August 4, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Bah, I have spent most of the morning *working* - no wonder I'm cranky (I've been so cranky with my boss lately I'm afraid he's not going to want me around no matter how productive I am).

Anyway, will check out the links later. The Toobin story sounds like it's about the Seattle US attorneys - Tom Wales was murdered several years ago and the killer has not been found. Scotty, I read the surveillance story last night and my reaction was the same as yours. Impeachment and impalement, indeed, ftb!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 4, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Been there, done that, martooni. As you are fond of saying, one day at a time.

ftb: Thanks for the post regarding part two of the impeachment discussion on the upcoming installment of Moyers' show. I pray that influential members of the congress tune in for the discussion and then take action. I also have a great piece of land, near Bay St. Louis, Ms., that one of them might to buy.

scotty: I'm with you. I saw the headline this morning when the home page changed near midnight. Our congress seems to be largely comprised of Cnidarians on both sides of the aisle.

Did you see the fall that the skateboarder took at the X-Games? Yikes!

Oh, and Pres. Arbusto visited Minnesota, promising the federal government would act quickly to help rectify the situation. Right. He made the same promise in New Orleans, IIRC. My daughter just took a mission trip with the church to Bay St. Louis and the pictures the group returned with made it look as if Katrina had struck a matter of weeks earlier. We were told that there are miles along I-10 going into New Orleans from BSt.L that have housing, small businesses and industrial parks that are abandoned. Such is the case when the President makes promises. Harumph. Karazi is visiting Camp David, possible this weekend, doubtless to exchange pleasantries with our fearless leader regarding the rebuilding effort they've indirectly supported for al-Qaida.

Posted by: jack | August 4, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The federal promises of aid here are backed by one very fortunate situation for Minnesotans. Congressman Jim Oberstar can write effective transportation legislation faster than the prez can say "You're doing a good job Brownie." Doesn't hurt that he's chairing the transportation committee either.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 4, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness, frosty. The pictures and stories my daughter broght back from Mississipi were heartbreaking.

Posted by: jack | August 4, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Daughter's home from camp. After four weeks. We picked her up and she spent the first half hour of the drive home quietly sobbing in the back seat.

Then she started talking, then she started babbling telling us all about camp and by the time we got home, she couldn't wait to get over to the neighborhood pool and see her friends.

Then she realized her brother is leaving for college in less than two weeks and started crying again.

Women.

Son of G is at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore. It's probably 100+ degrees there right now. Hope he's doing OK. WaPo is blogging live from there today...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/virgin-festival/


Posted by: TBG | August 4, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mousetraps don't reproduce -- they need to be designed and built. Even if the design may be improved over time, it's still external to the mousetrap, a thought in somebody's brain. How does someone get away with positing a mousetrap as an analogy for evolution?

Posted by: LTL-CA | August 4, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It turned hot here, and just in time. The checklist is being checked, the housesitter is ready to move in, we are thinking of packing -- it is vacation time. We leave tomorrow for the mountains. It is my habit not to visit anywhere hotter than Oklahoma in August, and my family puts up with this, even though we have no Internet access except at hotels on the way and cafes, etc. So I may be away from the Boodle for awhile. Martooni, I hope to see that progression of numbers grow when I get back -- just keep saying "no"!. Cssandra, enjoy your time off. Everyone else, you too. I'll be around today, then I'll have to just be secure in the knowledge that y'all are lifting the WaPo tone with civilized scintillating wit and foolishness.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 4, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Simpsons gloat alert. A friend from L.A. came in and brought us a real Squishee cup from a KwikEMart. Now that's a guy who knows us!

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

The mousetrap analogy was being used in an attempt to demonstrate irreducible complexity--the idea that biologic structures are made of parts that can only function in concert with other parts. If this is correct, then it implies that the structure could not have evolved by random processes, but must have been intentionally designed (like the mousetrap)--thus, "intelligent design".

The unstated assumption in irreducible complexity is that the component parts only have one possible function, and have had that single function for their entire history. As Colbert pointed out, though, that assumption is incorrect. Complex structures evolve by co-opting whatever parts are available to the organism.

For example, a bird's wing is an amazingly complex structure. But it clearly wasn't designed, it's just a hodge-podge of pre-existing parts (in this case the arm) modified for new functions. Anyone that eats chicken wings and knows any anatomy can see the relationship (almost dinner time-I wonder if there are any wings in the house.) The muscles used to pull the arms together for grasping prey become enlarged to give enough power for flapping. Feathers originally used for insulation become locked together to make an airfoil. The fingers are still there, but fused together for strength. The thumb and its associated muscles control a single feather on the front of the wing that's critical for manuevering at low flight speeds.

The adaption of pre-existing structures for new functions is a cornerstone of evolution, and was discussed at length by Darwin and numerous others. It actually even predates Darwin--it is the key feature of comparative anatomy developed by Cuvier almost 50 years before "Origin" was published.

Kudos to Colbert for recognizing the flaw in irreducible design.

Posted by: Dooley | August 4, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

OK. Shilling for fairy doors, THE boodle garden accessory for 2007! See my anemic gardening blog for pictures of my two custom fairy doors by the Handy Hippie.

http://minxterbloom.squarespace.com/

Click into the thumbnails for details.

(Hope this message gets through the filter as it sounds like, well, shilling!)

Posted by: College Parkian | August 4, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Good for Colbert!

I always thought the ridiculously strange sporophyte-gametophyte dance of seed plants was proof enough that they'd evolved from ferny things. No one who likes elegance in design would ever have invented something like that from scratch.

Thinking of evolution, looks like (hurricanes permitting) I may get to see silverswords. Charismatic megaflora!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 4, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Silverswords -- such a great word.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 4, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The fairy doors are awesome. I thought I'd seen a lot fewer fairies lately. Now I know where they've been going.

Posted by: TBG | August 4, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, boodle!

Just got home from a day spent with mo, mo's mom, and Artist Alice, on the waterways and beaches of sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

To start with, we left our house, southbound, and they left their hotel, northbound, about 10:15 a.m. We had arranged to meet "at the fountain" at Las Olas Riverfront. I was taking directions from Alice about how to get to the parking garage, and we were going slow while we "discussed" the location of the entrance. I looked behind and said, uh-oh, the woman behind us is waving her arms at us, we better hurry up--anyway, are you ahead of me here, it was mo!! We had arrived at our destination simultaneously! Good omen. The rest of the day was similarly serendipitous.

Details and photos to come...

Posted by: kbertocci | August 4, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

love the fairie doors.

ivansmom, one of the kwik-e marts is across the street from my car mechanic (about 2-3 miles away), where i always go for a coffee when i take my car in. i just found this out last week, and i'm afraid i've missed my chance for this cultural experience.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 4, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

KB -- Mo & Mom of Mo Meeting Morning!

Posted by: College Parkian | August 4, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dooley. I take your post as saying a mousetrap is a good analogy for a mousetrap or some other widget that is designed by an external intelligence with a basket of parts and also the tools to design new parts as needed -- like the engineers at Audi. But evolution works from what's already there.

I'm wondering about long long ago when organisms started to gain specialized parts like arms or fins or whatever. Do we have information about how that happened, analogous to the knowledge that fuzzy feathers became airfoil feathers? (Where did the first parts like feathers come from?) At some point I guess this is so far back that there's not much evidence.

Posted by: LTL-CA | August 4, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Feathers are tough, because they don't fossilize well. They've generally been thought to be modified scales, but I think that's now in question.

A really good example in the fossil record is the mammalian middle ear bones and lower jaw. Mammal lower jaws are made up of a single bone on each side (the dentaries), while reptile jaws have multiple bones. The three bones in mammal middle ears (without which we can't hear) are not found in reptiles, which hear in a different fashion. The mammalian ear bones are highly modified bones from the lower jaw.

This transition is well documented in the fossil record, with lots of intermediate steps spanning aLmost 100 million years (this one took awhile.)

A good diagram showing the last few stages of this transition:

http://blog.sciam.com/media/Yanoconodon(ear)big.gif

which comes from this article:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=527675D9-E7F2-99DF-3265F1A19B72042F

Posted by: Dooley | August 4, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Love the fairy doors!

Just back from vacation and like TBG trying to get caught up - this may take a while.

Part of our vacation was spent at the place Bush/Harper and the Mexican President will be meeting in a few weeks. We had an interesting chat with a local who drives a boat on the river for the resort. We asked what the security would be like during the visit, not much of what he said surprised me but I did take a look around and think it a little sad that such a beautiful peaceful place will be turned upside down for a few days.

Now back to trying to get caught up.

Posted by: dmd | August 4, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the plug, CP. Glad you're enjoying the doors.

btw... speaking of outhouses (and a shameless plug, to boot)... I made a "gnome outhouse" yesterday and listed it on that auction site that goes by the pig latin word for "be". Look for the seller "wood-n-goodies".

--

I survived the reunion with sobriety intact. It wasn't easy as almost everyone there over 21 had a cold Yuengling in their hand. The official reunion t-shirts also had "Relax and have a beer" printed on them. But I did enjoy myself -- ate tons of lamb and other foodness and it was good to see some of the more far-flung cousins (as well as the near-flung). Bean had a blast playing with all the kids and got to spend some time with my Dad.

All in all, not a bad day.

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, martooni, congratulations. That is wonderful. A day spent sober and happy amid extended family is beyond the reach of many at the best of times. Your self-control, surrounded by drinking loved ones, deserves lots of praise. Excellent job!

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 4, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

martooni... sounds like a fun time! Good for you.

I remember all those family parties when I was a kid, playing with cousins and kids I had no idea who they were or whether I'd ever see them again. It doesn't matter to a kid. And come to think of it, it doesn't matter to an adult, either, does it?

Of course it was at those parties that I got the idea that when you got old, you started speaking Greek all the time instead of English.

Apparently, that's not true. At least here in the U.S.

Posted by: TBG | August 4, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Urgently seeking boodle wisdom, last night we spent a very enjoyable evening getting caught up with dear friends outside Ottawa. It seemed like a great night to enjoyed the warm temps, unbelievable star filled sky and conversing with friends around a fire. It was fantastic but my legs are now covered in mosquito bites, anyone have any good anti-itch remedies? Stop itch is not working.

Posted by: dmd | August 4, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG... did I ever mention I used to play bass in a Greek band? Hopa! (that's the only Greek I know other than "yasoo")

Until then, I thought the Irish were the kings of the party animal kingdom.

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

CP-- lovely pictures on your new blog!

But where did the materials (wood, spring, etc.) for the mousetrap come from in the first place?

The problem with irreductible complexity is that people truly do not realize that those components are formed and evolve, too.

Cells wrap "strings" of proteins together to make springs, wood, pins, even the cheese. They will duplicate genes that are heavily used, and then those genes can evolve slightly differently without endangering the original function if that must be kept.

In fact, we have extensive gene families of various genes that serve major functions, as well as related but extensively mutated cousins that serve different functions.

Proteins self-fold according to amino acid sequence and other rules-- which can be encoded in the genes.

So once you have the modules to create springs, rods, strings, jaw/teeth, etc. it's not impossible to mix and match that to develop a very complex, irregular protein that could "act as a mousetrap" to capture, whack, and catalyze the breakdown of another protein.

The difference between a human and a chimpanzee is minor compared to how diverse our individual cells and proteins are within our bodies. And that all comes from one fertilized egg.


Posted by: Wilbrod | August 4, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

dmd... soak in an oatmeal bath, then a generous dressing of calamine lotion. Or was that for chicken pox? All I know is it helps itchies.

Posted by: martooni | August 4, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, Martooni! All of us have to exercise self-control and remember to exercise that self-control in a lot of situations. Yours was a really tough one and you passed. I congratulate you.

CP, those flowers are beautiful. I love those fairy doors.

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I'll second the oatmeal bath. Any drugstore or BigBoxStore will have colloidal oatmeal. Also look for Sarna steroid-free anti-itch lotion. It is unbelievably soothing and works for me even when calamine lotion doesn't.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 4, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

dmd... swallowing a good dose of Benadryl might help, too. It'll help you get to sleep tonight, too!

Posted by: TBG | August 4, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, this is for you on mosquito bites

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072702155.html

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I have a few remedies I use ,a fresh basil leaf usually works, scotch tape,toothpaste or clear nail polish.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Frostdottir claims my approach to itches is just exhibit one for her parental malpractice suit She: "Mom I have a bug bite and it itches." Me: "So scratch."

We know a little about mosquitoes up here and colloidal oatmeal works well if you have the patience to sit in the tub. Nivea makes a fine lotion with oatmeal. I often just scratch the bites until raw then dab with alcohol soaked cotton balls. Doesn't take away the itch for long, but the sting is welcome relief.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 4, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, I am laughing at the image of my legs completely covered in clear nail polish, which combined with frostbittens amusing post about scratching made me forget the itch temporarily. Add humour to the list.

Thanks everyone, as TBG says - this place is great!

Posted by: dmd | August 4, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Rain Forest-Thank you so much for the link. I now have an expert witness for my go ahead and scratch philosophy. Or as I told Mr. F when he was just Frostboyfriend on his first summer trip to MN- "Scratch till it bleeds, then it won't itch anymore."

From the WaPo story-
Option 3: Dig Deeper Remember that vicious cycle of scratching that Beers described?


Don't tell the kids, but that incessant scratching might eventually lead to some relief.

"If you keep going at it until you create an open lesion, [the bite] feels better because you've given the irritant a mode of exit," Beers explains. But, he adds, "I'm not sure I'd recommend that."

We'll just cut the witness off before he can say that last part.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 4, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I hear vodka works on jellyfish stings-- on the outside, not in the inside.

Calamine lotion is the traditional remedy, but antihistamine creams (or oral antihistamines) could help.

Martooni-- practice saying no in the mirror before you go. Good luck, and I would definitely talk about how messily your liver could 'splode if you took another drink.

I've heard/read the THIQ thing. It's an interesting aspect, but I'm not sure if it means an overactive MAO-I/MAO-II would put a person at risk if they also had weak aldehyde dehydrogenase.

MAO-I (monoamine oxidase) deficency is associated with unstable mood and violent impulses.

Ironically, excessive activity can relate to depression; MAO inhibitors were one of the earliest successful antidepressants, but it has lots of side effects.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

I found a study actually studying MAOs in alcoholics and they were found to be ineffective.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0978/is_n3_v15/ai_7966785

It might be that MAO function is actually low in alcoholics to start with, due to various factors, such as THIQ possibly binds to a specific receptor that feeds back to cut off further production to prevent toxicity (i.e. an "off" button being hit continually). Interesting, but still speculative. We simply don't have the full network worked out yet.

I think the protein kinase C connection between sugar metabolism, alcoholism, etc, is also worth studying, because that's also been implicated in mania-- it probably helps create the "buzz" felt-- it might be high protein kinase C activity helps drive production of THIQ, who knows?

/switching off pointy-sciency mode/

Just because something is correlated to a syndrome, doesn't mean that it causes the syndrome; but it's always worth investigating how THIQ occurs.

By the way, aldehyde occurs naturally in fruits, bread, and coffee. It's considered to be the chemical that causes hangovers.

I have very poor aldehyde dehydroganse-- I'll flush on less than 1/2 a glass of alcohol, and I once got a hangover by eating a dessert that had irish creme in it. Turns out it was alcoholic.

I don't enjoy the feeling of having a full-on sunburn all over my face and head (which is what that flush feels like), so I don't drink. I can't say that I get buzzed off booze, either, but hangovers? You betcha!

Now I know it's in tobacco, it does help and explain why I react so poorly to tobacco smoke, too.



Posted by: Wilbrod | August 4, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

dmd
I heard any nail polish will work,but I only have clear. That stuff works great for all sorts of things.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 4, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, your encounter with the slithery critter makes me shiver. Hope you have good, high boots!

Sounds like mo and kb had an excellent time.

martooni, glad the reunion went well. As a teenager I used to sneak drinks at family weddings, so I know how tempting that must have been. Love the doors.

I gazed at yarn today - needed a bit to finish up something for my sister (which I got, plus a little more). Also got a counter gadget to help with the afghan from h e l l.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 4, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, I often do what you do - scratch the bites until raw. I'm mosquitoes' favourite breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between snacks so I'm always scratching like a monkey.

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

dmd, oatmeal is good. I've also heard that soaking in water as hot as you can stand will shortcircuit the itching. Or try putting ice on the bites.

I'm glad to hear the excellent report, martooni! Aren't you glad you went and had such a good time?

When you said you were going and not looking forward to the presence of alcohol, my first thought was, drinking at a family reunion? That simply hasn't been a part of the culture I live in. Then I thought, wow, that's funny! It's not like everybody - and I mean *everybody* - in my family on both sides doesn't drink. We certainly do! Except for those events held in church fellowship halls, I don't know why the tradition requires sweet iced tea and soft drinks. But it does.

Posted by: Slyness | August 4, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Martooni! I bet you feel great. The first time is always the toughest. The doors are wonderful too.

We just had the best day. Went up to NH and ME. Stopped at an historic house in Portsmouth called the Jackson House. It was built in 1664 and when "S" was little, his parent knew the caretakers so he spent time there every summer. He was very excited to visit it again. The old chemical toilet that was used there when he was a child was still in the storage area which gave him quite a chuckle. We then had lunch at Newick's in Dover. Great seafood, burned my tongue on the chowder but it was delicious anyway. Raysmom was right about the ladies' room and "S" confirmed that the men's room had the same thoughtful t.p. holder placement.

Then we went to Fort McClary in Maine. It has been used in wars dating back to the Revolution and the buildings there now date from the mid 1800's. We were thrilled to realize that the Friends of Fort McClary were putting on a demonstration this weekend. They were dressed in period costumes and had set up tents and a camp area that looked much like I imagine it would have 150 to 200 years ago. Well, except for the propane tank semi-hidden in the cooking area. But the best part was that they had some replica cannons on site. A 3", 6" and a howitzer and they fired them all repeatedly. The noise was awesome and the concussion and the echoes that came back from over the Piscataqua River were fascinating. Not being an acoustical engineer I can't describe it terribly well but after one of the firings we could actually feel and hear the individual sound waves coming back. Another cannon firing produced a huge smoke ring, it was perfectly round. Another fellow had a musket and explained the steps involved in loading it and how the flint had to spark. He had a bit of trouble with it as it was very hot and humid and the powder clumped together, but he finally got it going right. A very interesting and entertaining time.

We then drove up to Nubble Lighthouse in York Maine. We sat on the rocks and watched the waves crash in a few feet in front of us. A beautiful sailboat went by and a monarch butterfly landed on a rock about 3 feet in front of me. We didn't want to leave.

On the way home in a cloud free sky we saw one strange white cloud (it looked like a cumulus but tall and relatively thin) on the horizon. For a moment we thought it might be smoke from a fire, it was that oddly shaped and solitary. We drove towards it all the way home and watched it turn pink from the setting sun. It finally started to lose it's distinctive shape just as we approached our exit and it faded away as the sky darkened.

We both agreed that we felt like we'd had an entire vacation in one day today. I feel blessed for the weather, good luck and great company.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 4, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay, we're about half packed and about to pack it in for the day. I'll check in when I can; otherwise, see y'all in about a week. I hope our housesitter is ready for the dogs.

Vaya con queso, all, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 4, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

What the devil has gotten into the Nationals? They just beat the Cardinals 12-1, yes, TWELVE to 1--AND it's their fifth straight win. FIVE! (I can't believe they scored 12 runs in one game; they've gone an entire month without scoring 12 runs.) They swept Cinncinati, and now they've swept St. Louis. There's 5 teams with worse records in the National League, and 3 in the American, and tied with Florida; that makes them tied for the the 10th worst team! And they are .500 at home, too.

dmd, the fact that it seems you only got bitten on the legs makes me a tad suspicious--are you sure they were mosquito bites and not chiggers? If they were chiggers, the only thing to do is paint each chigger bite with clear nail polish, as others have suggested. If you're certain they were mosquito bites, then yes, many of the above remedies should help: calamine, oatmeal bath, benedryl, etc. We always use ammonia on fresh mosquito bites; I don't know how it works a day later. The other thing that makes me suspicious is how long these bites have lasted; mosquito bites usually fade pretty fast, whereas chigger bites linger for days and days and drive you crazy. It's been 24 hours for you.

Were you aware at the time you were being bitten? (You should have noticed if they were mosquitos; you wouldn't have known if they were chiggers.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 4, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

dmd, welcome home! Salicylic acid (face wash or scrub), leave it on for a few minutes then wash it off with cold water and finish with Benadryl anti-itch spray. The acid seems to make it last longer.

Posted by: dbG | August 4, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Well Mudge I was wearing shorts, it was around 100 with the humidity yesterday so changing to long pants was not an option.

I have never heard of chiggers (are they like no seemums in Florida?), it was just after sunset 9:30-10:00, we were 10 feet from a corn field and bog in the other direction. I have bites elsewhere but it is the legs that are bothering me the most.

Thanks dgG

Posted by: dmd | August 4, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks... what a wonderful day. And your description of it makes me feel like I took a little vacation with you and 'S.'

Thanks for the ride!


Posted by: TBG | August 4, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

dbG I am sorry for the the typo!

Bad Sneaks I agree it sounds like a wonderful day.

Posted by: dmd | August 4, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I have a surefire remedy for you. Engage in a sufficiently distracting activity of your choice for the remainder of the evening. My experience has been if that you can leave the bites alone for about 12 hours, you won't itch tomorrow.

martooni, loved the gnome outhouse.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 4, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Have a wonderful vacation, Ivansmom.

Posted by: rain forest | August 4, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Martooni's gnomish outhouse is too funny.

Rain forest, did you see the rose that shares your name? Also on the blog a few entries back.

Good for you, Martooni, on being yourself in the family setting. Put double stars on your chart :).

Love the doors. Will nail them in on the morrow.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 4, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear that the reunion was a good time, martooni.

dmd: Google "Unker's" and you'll find access to a wonderful product that works on almost anything. It's an old timey salve. I don't know everyting that's in it, but it smells like Vaporub and cures whatever ails you in the way of headache, joint pain, insect bites. It sounds hokey, but it works. We have two jars of it in the house.

Here's a link to a story of an athlete that should be on a Wheaties box, the morning shows and everything. If any of you have been involved in competitive swimming, these feats are fantastic.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/01/AR2007080102538.html

Posted by: jack | August 4, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

To continue, a new record has been set in the 50 free.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/04/AR2007080400291.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: jack | August 4, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Good day, Martooni!

Have you posted those cute doors on etsy too? www.etsy.com

Posted by: dbG | August 4, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Cute outhouse and great description, a wee bit narrow for my waist, alas.


Posted by: Wilbrod | August 4, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

glad you had a good day martooni.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 4, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Jack thanks for the swimming link, that is indeed a great story.

To finally link somewhat to what Joel wrote, the bites that are bothering me the most are the ones on my ankles - almost as annoying as mosquito bites on your fingers.

Posted by: dmd | August 5, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Interesting article that will be published in the NYT magazine, and was also published here in the Globe. It is written by Michael Ignatieff, former Harvard Prof, failed contender for the Liberal Leadership and currently Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

In part he explains why his previous stance concerning Iraq was wrong, but he also has some interesting personal accounts on adjusting from achedemia to political life and on his perceived failings of GWB.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070804.wignatieffiraq0805/BNStory/National/home/?pageRequested=all

Back to try and sleep now that the itching is getting better.

Posted by: dmd | August 5, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

That's the life O'Reilly.

Posted by: Herman Krieger | August 5, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Nice article. A little heavy on the soul-searching, but nice.

Otherwise a carefully phrased slap on W. He'll never figure out that he's the type of leader being talked about.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 5, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

CP, I feel honoured to share a name with such a beautiful flower. I don't have green thumbs but I like looking at flowers. My sister, like you and some of the boodlers here, is crazy about flowers. My sister is eccentric in the sense that she has no patience for plants that either take a long time to flower or don't flower. If she happened to plant one, it doesn't stay very long in her garden.

Posted by: rain forest | August 5, 2007 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Way to go martooni!!!! *cartwheels and double Grover waves*

:-)

'Mudge, as consistent as the Nats' hitting has been, all they needed was a few good outings from the starters, and look what happens... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2007 5:12 AM | Report abuse

What was that noise in San Diego last night, anyway??

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2007 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Here's a laugh for your Sunday morning...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080301382.html?nav=hcmodule

I have a feeling adult beverages might have been involved... *L*

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

What are the odds that Barry doesn't play today?

I think it would be good if he hits 756 at home, Geesh can you imagine how many boats will be in McCovey Cove this week. Maybe even a couple of frogmen.

Posted by: Greenwithenvy | August 5, 2007 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey greenwithenvy...

Wouldn't be surprised to see a periscope or two... DHS, of course... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2007 5:54 AM | Report abuse

That is a riot Scotty, it kind of reminds me of the movie Chocolate.

Oh and Good Morning everyone!

"these cards are marked, they are a mess, a chocolate mess"

Posted by: Greenwithenvy | August 5, 2007 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that interview segment! I had no idea that Dodd was such a liberal Stalinist zealot and defender of extremist anti-Americans.

Posted by: ricard maxwell | August 5, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Marooni, nice job on both the reunion and the fairy doors!

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 5, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Just checking in from the road, but I have to get going again here momentarily. No time to catch up on the Boodle at the moment, unfortunately.

martooni, I was quite glad to see your item above, and that you're adjusting to things and are able to enjoy yourself without...

bc

bc

Posted by: bc | August 5, 2007 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Some of you are very early here.

Wow on Dara Torres. I am intrigued -- perhaps miffed -- about the size and range of her staff! Where is my massage therapist? etc.

Rain forest -- tell me about the flowers grown in gardens where you are. I bet Dave of C. will be interested. Do you have frangipani? I would like to see that sweet-smelling flower someday, in a natural setting. Isn't that a great word?

Posted by: College Parkian | August 5, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Uh...Stalinist zealot and defender of extremist anti-Americans...

Oh, right. I'm supposed to be nice to newcomers. How silly of me to have missed the obvious in the O'Reilly excerpt. I must have read it too fast or something. Stalinist zealotry is such a tricky thing--sometimes you can just glose right over it if you aren't paying close attention. Richard, many thanks for your insight and welcome to the Boodle. We hope you drop by often and share with us some of your other insights and wisdom.

*sneezing* Ah, ah, ah, glassbowl!

There, I feel better now. Must be the high pollen count.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 5, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

SCC: gloss.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 5, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting excerpt from John McQuaid's piece, "The Can't-Do Nation:
Is America Losing Its Knack for Getting Big Things Done?" in today's Outlook at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/02/AR2007080201752_2.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 that echoes something I was railing about earlier:

"Meanwhile, a much quieter revolution was brewing: The federal government outsourced more and more of its functions to private contractors, a shift driven partly by the free-market ideology of the Reagan era and partly by necessity. There were now too many tasks for agencies to do by themselves. As Paul C. Light of New York University has shown, the "federal government" we all know -- the superstructure of agencies and federal employees -- has shrunk while its actual size, including contract and grant employees and projects, is larger than ever.

"Here's the rub: Outsourcing eliminates incentives to perform well and shields contractors from accountability."

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

Rain forest, sounds like your sister should be named after a flower: Impatiens.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 5, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Mudge... gesundheit!

dbG... thanks for the tip on etsy.com -- cool site. I gave it a look-see and am about halfway through setting up a store there.

And thanks to everyone else for your encouraging words.

Major storms heading this way, so it looks like I won't be able to mow the lawn today. Oh darn. I guess I'll just *have* to go toil in the shop.

Peace...

[16]

Posted by: martooni | August 5, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

And here's another very, very wise Outlook piece, and as much as I grumble and vent about impeaching Arbusto and Torqueberto and Darth, I know it ain't the right tactic (not that they don't deserve it), and Michael Tomasky in The Dumbest Move the Dems Could Make" says why:

"The political case, though, is another question entirely. Impeachment is not merely a bad idea, but the single worst course of action that Democrats could possibly undertake -- the only thing they could do that might, in one stroke, convert Bush from the figure of contempt and mockery he is now into one of vague sympathy. Just as bad, it's the one move that would definitively alienate nonideological voters and, therefore, harm the Democrats' otherwise excellent chances for winning congressional seats and the White House in 2008. And that's just what impeachment would do to the Democrats. Even worse is what it would do to liberalism and to the country."

"You don't have to be as expert a nose counter as Lyndon B. Johnson to know that impeachment wouldn't succeed. You'd have to get both Bush and Cheney to make any difference, which makes it a heavier lift. Even if the articles of impeachment somehow got through the House -- a stretch, because 61 Democrats represent nominally "red" districts and thus may feel compelled to vote nay -- conviction would require 67 votes in the Senate. That means at least 18 Republicans would have to vote to remove a Republican president and vice president. (I'm assuming that Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent, would vote no.) Of course, new bombshells could change all that. But for now, impeachment advocates are urging Democrats to start a fight they'd lose.

...

Republicans would be far more adept at turning a failed impeachment effort to their advantage in 2008 than the Democrats were in 2000. ... Republicans, who aren't usually defensive and don't generally scamper, would make impeachment the issue, and by Election Day 2008, the GOP would have millions of Americans believing that -- get this -- the really merciless partisans of the Bush era were the Democrats.

"One of the Democrats' strongest arguments for 2008, regardless of their nominee, will be that it's time for the country to set aside rampant partisanship and ideologically driven government. Impeachment would take away that argument.

Here we sit, in the summer of 2007: For the first time since the advent of modern conservatism in the 1950s, average Americans have seen a conservative government fail them, and massively. This has created an opening for liberalism unlike any since the early 1960s. Middle-of-the-road nonideological voters are more willing than they have been in decades to give our side a look."

...

And at this precise moment of potential, if the impeachment forces have their way, we will show those voters not how we can pull the country together but that we also know a thing or two about pulling it apart.

Bush and Cheney -- and conservatism in general -- have wrecked our civic institutions and darkened our civic impulses. Nothing is beyond politicization: not the Justice Department; not the worst terrorist attacks on our soil; not the scientists and nonpartisan experts who've been silenced or demoted because they didn't toe the right line; for goodness sake, not the National Park Service, which, in a sop to biblical literalists, was forced to offer pamphlets for sale at the Grand Canyon gift shop putting forth the "different view" that the great chasm was cut 4,500 years ago by Noah's flood, not 6 million years ago, as is the case here on Earth.

...

But impeachment isn't the way to rebuild civic culture; indeed, it would do its own kind of harm. In that same poll in which 45 percent of Americans supported opening impeachment proceedings, 46 percent opposed doing so. Do we really want to drag the country through that? The thought of it -- months of rancor, name-calling and mud-slinging that would almost certainly end in defeat for the impeachers -- depresses me beyond words. It would damage liberalism's prospects in the long run because unlike conservatism, liberalism depends on and is predicated on civic trust. Maybe not next year, but sometime, in some way, the fact that we will have served as accomplices to that erosion will come back to bite us."

--
Hey, the man is dead right. This is most intelligent and cogent analysis of this topic I have yet read. Well done, Outlook.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 5, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

CP, my sister has frangipani in her garden - the pink ones. She planted it in a pot so that it won't grow too tall. In the olden days all funeral wreaths are made with white frangipanis and because of that ethnic Chinese don't like to plant them in their house. At least not the white ones. Nowadays funeral wreaths are made with different varieties of chrysanthemum of all colours except red and different shades of red.

I've tried googling for the names of some of the flowers that are grown here but was not successful. Some of the flower names that I do know are : birds of paradise, heliconia, anthurium, rhodophiala and bourgainvilla. My sister doesn't have those in her garden. She said they are not pretty enough. But she had morning glory, honey suckle, sunflower, dahlias, African violets and some others I don't know their names. She also has lots of orchids.

Mudge, I'll tell my sister you suggest she change her name. I've seen impatiens in her garden once but when I visited her again they were gone. I guessed she got impatient with the impatiens.

Posted by: rain forest | August 5, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm fairly sure that the Stalinist zealotry post was sarcasm.

Posted by: Tim | August 5, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

G'morning boodle.

frangipani-had to look that up, had never heard plumeria called by that name, though Wiki tells me frangipani is the "common name." Our across the street neighbor in Tampa has a pink flowered beauty.

Must make some fresh coffee to assuage my frenvy of fairie doors and a sister growing orchids.

Welcome Ricard, we are very short on Stalinist detectors here. I doubt even the intrepid Wilbrodog could sniff them out with so little to go on.

Speaking of which-around town the reaction to the outhouse exploding story in the paper is that the headline should have been "Outhouse Explodes, Sheriff Has Nothing to Go On."

Posted by: frostbitten | August 5, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Posting here from an undisclosed location in central New Jersey, finishing up an eye-opening Bloody Mary, and considering the idea of impachment (may need another Bloody Mary for that).

Going to head out to lunch shortly.. oh, but wait, my host wants to weigh in. Go ahead, dude.

Error Flynn here! Fair warning, we're hitting the road with attitude.(Granny get the dogs inside.)

Nah, we'll be good boys, just kidding. :-)

Cheers...
bc & Error Flynn

Posted by: bc | August 5, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

bc.. Error...

Have fun, boys! Sounds like you already are!

:-)

Posted by: TBG | August 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh! New kit!

Posted by: TBG | August 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Bill O'Reilly calles the Senator a propagandist!! Thats insane. Talk about hypocracy. That O'Reilly is responsible for more misled beliefs in this country than the President's own Press Secretary. Crazy.

Posted by: vivamericabrones | August 13, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: bmxev9ruak | August 14, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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