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Kucinich: Space Alien Enabler?

[Cross-posted from The Trail.]

When Dennis Kucinich was confronted last night with his alleged history as a flying saucer enthusiast -- wait, that sounds too harsh, so let's just say his history of hearing directions beamed into his brain from a UFO hovering silently over Shirley MacLaine's house (yes, that's what MacLaine says in her new book) -- he ritually sought political cover from Jimmy Carter. Carter famously saw a UFO in 1969 and, when he became president, asked his aides to open up any and all files on possible extraterrestrial visitors.

But Kucinich might have added another name to the discussion: Bill Clinton. His UFO enthusiasm is less well known.

First, let's review the tape from last night.

Tim Russert: The godmother of your daughter, Shirley MacLaine, writes in her new book that you sighted a UFO over her home in Washington state, that you found the encounter extremely moving, that it was a "triangular craft, silent and hovering," that you "felt a connection to your heart and heard directions in your mind." Now, did you see a UFO?

Kucinich: I did. And the rest of the account -- I didn't -- it was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's, like, it's unidentified. I saw something. Now, to answer your question, I'm moving my -- it's -- and I'm also going to move my campaign office to Roswell, New Mexico, and another one in Exeter, New Hampshire, OK? And also, you have to keep in mind that more -- that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush's presidency.

Good zinger at the end to add humor to the sudden eruption of weirdness.

We should parse the references. Roswell is, of course, a tourist destination for flying saucer enthusiasts. You probably know the backstory, but I'll summarize it by saying that, in the summer of 1947, just weeks after an initial report on flying saucers and amid a national uproar over the possibility that we were being buzzed by alien spacecraft, a balloon carrying a sensor (part of a military progam called Project Mogul, according to the Air Force) crashed on someone's ranch near Roswell. Cascading misapprehensions and media hype led some people to conclude that it was one of them dang saucers.

Soon the story evolved into a more elaborate tale involving actual alien bodies (or EBEs, for "extraterrestrial biological entities"), reverse engineering of the spacecraft, a secret war against the alien invaders, and so on. (When a documentary purported to show an autopsy of one of the aliens, many ufologists said it was clearly a hoax, since the alien on the slab had six fingers per hand and everyone knows the real Roswell aliens had only four fingers.)

Exeter, meanwhile, was where several people saw a UFO in September 1965. Kucinich's knowledge of this more obscure UFO event is a sign that he's familiar with the literature (excellent briefing work by the campaign staff!).

What never got much attention was Bill Clinton's UFO interest. After Clinton won the 1992 election, he told Webster Hubbell, his close friend and a newly appointed associate Attorney General, to find out two things when he went to work at the Justice Department: 'One, who killed JFK? And two, Are there UFOs?' "

Hubbell mentioned this in his memoir, "Friends in High Places," and discussed it with me in an interview when I reported my fabulously reviewed but worst-selling book "Captured By Aliens."

Presidents and presidential candidates are like everyone else: They know they live in a universe with billions of galaxies, and that there are funny lights in the sky, and it is perfectly reasonable to wonder if someone from way out yonder is checking us out.

Russert mentioned that 14 percent of Americans have reported seeing a UFO. What he didn't say is that fully 34 percent, according to a recent AP-Ipsos poll, "believe in UFOs," whatever that means. Single men are most likely to see a UFO.

But how many get "directions" from the UFO?

Follow-up question for candidate Kucinich from Achenbach: What kind of directions? Is this why you want to cut the Pentagon budget by 15 percent? TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM TO INVADE???

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 31, 2007; 5:07 PM ET
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Next: Kucinich UFO Identified!!!!! Plus How to Think, and Huckabee


First? Nice picture of what looks like a cloud on the Trail.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 31, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for letting us stay over here, Joel. Those Trail comments are harsh.

Omni.. I sent you an email, but it looks like K-guy gave you the right info, too.

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Joel's mini-stroll into historical presidents reminds me of a book I had way back in college on the american presidents, short specs outlining their more colorful aspects of presidencies and personal lives.

As the author said, "I found that every president we ever had were /at least as weird as Richard Nixon/."

On that note, I happen to think Kucnich is one hundred percent presidental material. Whether he'd be good presidental material is another matter.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 31, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Some friends and I saw a UFO one night, but we didn't start screaming like girlymen. We were each hardnosed young technocrats, skeptics all. It was simply because we were answering the question, "what the hell is that?" that we struck off as wrong a series of possibilities. Not planet, comet, meteor, cloud, bird, insect, airplane, helicopter, blimp, kite, or satellite. No one could think what to add to the list. It was none of them.

And then it was gone.

Posted by: Jumper | October 31, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Nor balloon.

Posted by: Jumper | October 31, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The reason I am experiencing horror during this campaign, from almost all directions, is that I think I see all the candidates, almost every one of them, failing to do what I consider a forehead-slappingly obvious first, serious step to take if they want to be President:

Picture yourself as president. Now, please.

This is hard to explain. I mean, if the candidate actually sees him or herself as president, I could see them that way, too. I want a candidate to illustrate their actual executive skills to me.

But they all act like fawning job applicants, and they're squabbling like kids fresh out of college thinking that's the way to act. It's not grown up. Does Obama have a large circle of allies to draw his cabinet from? Let's talk about that. Ask them all, consider their answers. Tell us now what you will tell congress when you get elected.

Because I suspect the one who actually IS presidential NOW, will be chosen as the president WHEN.

Posted by: Jumper | October 31, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Nth, from previous boodle:

ditto mudge (5:17) again...I'm just a little too used to Dems shredding eachother while that other party joins in the game.

What's for dinner? you ask...


I went with what I had: cube steak and baby yukon...

4 inch sq cube steak rubbed with garlic (threw the garlic into boiling water) and covered steak almost completely with black pepper cooked in non-stick skillet with lite olive oil. not that I need the oil, it's just that I can (it helps with all the pepper)...

Previously, I cut the yukons 1/4" by 1/2" and boiled in garlic water (garlic removed) till soft on the outside. These were then drained and tossed in another non-stick skillet with (an experiment) old thyme and tarragon heated in lite olive oil. These were cooked till crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Experiment: old thyme and tarragon were so old that they were basically spent. I thought what if they could be revitalized in hot oil. worse case no. but still they could add to the presentation. Worked like a charm.

Everything had a slight undertone of garlic.

The only thing missing: greens. But that's OK...I'm stuffed.

Best things:

1) I learned about revitalizing spent herbs (probably heard this somewhere, and not original, but I'll take it)

2) I figured out I probably can make a decent wine sauce in a non-stick skillet. Will report back on succes/failure when I try this...

and now for spideyman III

(ohh, and also thanks TBG)

Posted by: omni | October 31, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from previous Boodle:

"'fyi, I'm going to do a Trail item about UFOs...'

Good, Joel. Feel free to credit me with the idea for "Captured by Democrats" from 9:14 AM.

'The Search for Leadership and Truth in a Very Large Field of Candidates.'

[I initially wrote 'Candudates there. I kinda like it, FWIW.]"

I'd like to ask the Democratic nominees if they would grant Drivers' Licenses to the illegal Aliens driving that UFO Kucinich saw.


Posted by: bc | October 31, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Trick or treat!

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Very cool TBG, I am not wearing my glasses so to me that looks like an unidentified goblin :-)

Posted by: dmd | October 31, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Stand and deliver.

The lights are lit, the bait is laid, and I've got my Mr. Gumby gear on.

I've never done this before so I want to make sure I've got it right. Do I hit the parent with the baseball bat before or after snatching the kid?

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Boko... I think it works best with a cricket paddle.

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Boko just take the candy much less trouble than kids (just joking).

Posted by: dmd | October 31, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse


There, dmd... I put on my glasses. Can you see better now?

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I can see know but must soon put on my cloak of invisibilty as the summer like weather has brought out large crowds of children, my treat supply is dwindling.

Posted by: dmd | October 31, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Those are absolutely brilliant, TBG. Amazing.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Let me assure you that to the best of my knowledge the Federal Government is not hiding any space aliens. We put 'em right out there for folks to see.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

// "'One, who killed JFK? And two, Are there UFOs?' "

This just kills me. I want very, very much to believe that it is a misquote. Bill Clinton is not known for spouting nonsense, is he? He is an extremely intelligent person, isn't he? He's the guy who has thought about the question of what "is" is. He's my kind of guy, I thought (even though my political leanings are farther left than his). But "Are there UFO's" is a patently ridiculous question. My man Kucinich at least knows what the acronym stands for: Unidentified. Flying. Object. Is there something, in the sky, and you do not know exactly what it is? That's a UFO. OF COURSE they exist, by the thousands, by the millions. The question is, are there extraterrestrial creatures of some sort visiting Earth. That's what Clinton meant to say--I just can't believe he didn't articulate it more precisely than it was reported.

So, it happens I had a UFO-type experience just last week. I went out in the pre-dawn darkness ready for my morning jog. I looked up at the sky. The clouds were low and wispy and moving east to west. I consciously said to myself, the clouds are moving, but it looks like it's the stars that are moving, it's a strange sort of optical illusion. Then I continued to look, and the illusion just got stronger and stronger, I couldn't shake it. I became convinced that the stars were moving, which of course is impossible, so they must not be stars. My mind created this scenario where they were helicopters, very high up and moving in formation, like troop transport helicopters. Then I could hear the traffic on the expressway and I imagined that that was the faraway sound of the helicopters. Even as I knew that it wasn't true, I had to fight with my mind to convince myself that the lights were not moving. And I stayed there, looking up in the sky for several minutes. This is the kind of delusional thinking that gets people believing in extraterrestrial spacecraft. I had just rolled out of bed about ten minutes earlier, so the dreamworld was still nearby. I was all alone, so I couldn't compare my perceptions with anybody else's. It was weird.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 31, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry about the extra apostrophe. UFOs, I meant to say.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 31, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I may have to open the bunker. The Hillary boodle is getting a little...intense.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 31, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I was right. The frontpage link is a misdirection to twart those Hitlary wingnuts.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 31, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- I adore you with or without glasses. I need to know how to make those two cuticons.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 31, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Now, that's showing off, TBG!

Posted by: Kim | October 31, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joel -- I can explain, in part, why Captured by Aliens did so poorly: Borders insisted on filing it under Speculation, which seemed to miss the whole point. In any case, once it landed on that shelf, it never saw the light of day. For what it's worth, I bought a copy on the day it arrived and enjoyed it immensely. Now that I think about it, my favorite Paul Simon record is Hearts and Bones, which was his worst-selling album. This is not an encouraging trend...

Posted by: John Monroe | October 31, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I have it on good authority that a limited number of books are still available for the *right* kind of buyer.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Damn teenagers are fast.
I think I'm gonna need a bigger sack.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

my goodness, three active boodles, ufo sightings, and tbg's brought the aliens over for halloween.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 31, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I liked "Captured by Aliens", but it hardly mentioned canals at all and I think the only reference to George Washington had something to do with a university.
Other than those weaknesses 'CbA' is an excellent read.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

CP... I hate to admit this, but you can make them the same way I do: copy and paste.


Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

CBA is an excellent book. Not only did I purchase a copy, I donated one to the government agency that could benefit from it most. Because, more than anything else, CBA is an exploration of the existential challenge of being human. I recommend it highly.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

What does this mean?

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Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

And I must admit that I am profoundly depressed this evening. I think we are done with trick-or-treating around the Padouk household. An era has passed. From now on we will just be passive participants.

However, I do plan on taking up the slack by increasing the intensity of the seasonal decorations. I'm thinking really scary stuff next year. Like aliens, UFOs, and maybe even Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | October 31, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

ohmygod. You must read this. It succeeds brilliantly in detail what it lacks in authenticity.

Of course, thats what they *want* you to believe..

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

But RD, what does a Project REDLIGHT mean? Should I go slower?

Posted by: nellie | October 31, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

No, that's project YELLOWLIGHT.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

RD, that is how it goes. Once your kids are not little anymore, neither is the neighbourhood. So it goes. The great thing about it is, that when your wains move on, they open new doors for you to appreciate them in their next phase. Since #2 went to University, I've had to realize that I have no children (babes) anymore, just women-of-whom-I-am-the-mother. Lovely. Well done, me. Launched! (pace dr) It is a great thing. Just be kind, babies.

I like this John Munroe. Come back soon. I'll tell you a story about Canadian politics.

EL, you there?

You know who I don't like? by: |

Name yourself, sir or ma'am.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Frostdottir claims that the best part of having joined our family through adoption is that without that she would not be related to Sheriff George Wilcox of Roswell, NM who was sworn to secrecy about the UFO by some G-men. His nephew, Pa Frost-in-law, says Uncle George took his secrets to the grave. However, Pa F-i-l thinks the secrets were more extra ordinarily governmental in nature than extra terrestrial.

As of tonight Frostdottir is the proud owner of a 2008 Hyundai Accent. Florida boodlers beware.

Posted by: frosbitten | October 31, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

You're a caution.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Yay for Frostdottir! I hope she will enjoy and take good care of the new vehicle. Nothing like a new car when you're young and can have a good time with it.

Posted by: Slyness | October 31, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - wise words. I remember my father, tortured soul that he was, telling me the hardest thing was to realize that his children were now all grown up.

He needn't have worried.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 31, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm several boodles behind, but I have to say that bh seems earthquake proof! Loved his descriptions of the earthquakes he didn't feel. I've only been in a few - they have to be at least a 5 before I notice. The last one, a 6.8, definitely got my attention. My kiddo is not in San Francisco this week, so no eyewitness account from him.

kb, I've done the same thing, usually while camping and staring at the sky. I love the idea of UFOs. Not sure I'd want to encounter one myself.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 31, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

It happened again tonight...

I wanted to quote a boodle comment but was with nonboodle-aware friends. Sitting around with the neighbors in their "haunted woods" and I wanted to tell them what Boko asked about hitting before or after the grabbing.

Then I remembered: they don't know. And worse: they wouldn't understand.

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Yokes
This is me with a bag on my head.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 31, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

TBG-I've developed a little tic to cover my almost boodle comments to real people. As you wrote they wouldn't understand, and they would believe all these bright, witty, well read, imaginary people could be found in one place.

Slyness-thanks. I hope she enjoys it in moderation. Mr. F and I were really happy to have such an eager student of car shopping and finances. Her loan is with the Bank of Dad but she really did her homework and most surprisingly was willing to wait for a deal she could afford.

Three trick or treaters all night, a witch, a duck hunter and a deer hunter. Since everyone around here looks like a duck hunter or a deer hunter I'm not sure they could even count as costumes. Over bought on candy again. Rats!

Posted by: frostbitten | October 31, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC-and they wouldn't believe
not "would believe"

Posted by: frostbitten | October 31, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Haven't checked in for a week. Geez, Sneaks, in my good-natured joshing about Bullychuck, the spy who came in from the hooded sweatshirt, you sounded as humorless as your hero. I apologize for not getting the memo that sarcasm and hyperbole is no longer allowed here. I also did not realize that every spelling error is a tragic sin.

Good grief. It's just football. Lighten up. Oh, and go Colts, may they prevail against the Dark Side!

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

That is just fine, then, by: |. I see you now. Love you too.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! Who's a caution, Boko? I hate it when cautions come around. They make me nervous! They're like bankers.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I had a 30% off coupon from BigBoxOfBooks burning a hole in my pocket, so I went to the politics section to buy "Are Men Necessary?" by Her Dowdness. I figured once I found Molly Ivins I was close. They had "Bushworld" but not "AMN?", so I looked on their store directory and it was filed under Psychology - Self Help. Trust me, MoDo is not a inspirational speaker or a self-help guru.

The book is clearly categorized as Politics - Popular Culture right on the back of it. These bookstore chains are clueless.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 31, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

And this is me debagged.

Better dressing up as a hunter than as a deer at this time of year.
There's a property near here with plywood deer silohettes placed nicely around the swingset and sandbox. I laugh every time I drive by.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 31, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse


Or worse, lawyers.

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, that is great news (and information) about the frostdottir. Let Florida quake! She'll tear up the roads in her hot new car, having the fun we all wish for our young ones.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

guffaw! bill. I work with lawyers, so I forget how appalling they can be to civilians. But still not as bad as bankers.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

To know we are still above bankers and grave bandits (I think) gives me the courage to live another day!

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

And politicans. Ahem.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 31, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Above bankers and grave-bandits and... umm... ah... well... vivisectionists!

I actually love my lawyers.

Very intelligent, good Socratic arguers, type-A's (aside: 'Mudge -- I used to be an editor but I'm still confused about the use of an apostroph to indicate non-possessives. When I type "As" it looks too rude. Please to enlighten. Not that lawyers can't be As-like) even worse than me, generally well-behaved (except within the coven) and most usually deeply engaged in their communities. Lawyers do a *lot* of good work that goes unrecognized.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

And also, I need to say (frequently), it is better to call a lawyer first than last.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, an Ogden Nash poem about your friend, the banker:

Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer

This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
they don't need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
better go get the money from their wife's aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
the jackasses who go around saying that health and happi-
ness are everything and money isn't essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
to death so they can't go around any more sneering at good
old money, which is nothing short of providential.

Ogden Nash

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Maggie, have a great time in Ireland! One of my top places to visit, if I ever have the wherewithal. Keep yer eyes peeled for U2, horses, yarn. Not to mention elves.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 31, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry bill e, didn't mean to come off as a bore. Until this stupid spying thing, most of us around here idolized Belichick. It's obvious that his team still does feel that way but a lot of us are more than a bit disappointed in him and his arrogance. I do still believe that he is a tremendous coach who gets amazing results from his players, especially from those who aren't real Pro Bowl candidates. (See the first Superbowl team as a perfect example of people playing out of their heads.) He also is well known as someone who picks smart players, I believe the Pats have the highest graduation rate of any football team. He also doesn't allow individual egos to undermine the spirit of the team. All of these are admirable qualities and other pro teams in any sport could benefit from aspiring to the same.

All of the above comes after almost 40 years of Pats teams and coaches that were laughable at best and embarrassing at worst. A player going AWOL at halftime and getting into an auto accident out on route 1. A player getting stabbed by his wife, or was he just careless when slicing an apple? And a stadium built on the cheap with restroom facilities famous for failing to handle volume flushes.

Of course I must disagree with your characterization of them as the Dark Side, but the Colts are a great team too and Sunday will be very interesting. I have no idea who will win, altho' the Pat are favored, ;-)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 31, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

bill everything, thank you for that poem. Priceless.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I have already lined up some visits to some great training establishments. Horses indeed! Great literature and fabulous horses. How much better could it get? (Not to mention the beer and whisky.)

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

As a Baltimoron I cannot ever condone Indianapolis winning anything ever. Even if that means inflating Belichick's ego.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Russert's UFO question was simply the bloated ones' way of painting Kucinich as some far-out leftie nut.

This is the way Russert dealt with the serious statement by Kucinich on the urgency of beginning impeachment procedings in the House regarding Bush and Cheney.

It would have been enlightening for the electorate if Russert or the equally vacant Williams if they had followed up on this. Kucinich, if given an equal and fair amount of time, could have opened a lot of peoples' eyes.

But no. It was time for stupidity and misdirection by the totally unworthy anchor of "Meet the Press". He ain't no Lawrence Spivak.

Posted by: Arthur Brightman | October 31, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse


Seriously, no problem. Have there ever been two teams so obviously dominant?

Coach B just exudes being too good for the classroom he is in and resents the accusations that he peeked over at Mangini's test. His denial was worthy of something in the DC beltway.

Again, just football.

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news, cashier shot inside a Rockville Safeway (local DC metro news). A hot tip line is being set up, it didn't seem to be a robbery.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 31, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I am interested in your view. I didn't live here when the Mayflower trucks moved the team. Must have been really (x20) bad for B-more.

But didn't the Ravens win a Superbowl?

I don't know whether it was the elder Irsay's fault or the City's but what is the lingering anger? Why should our city feel any remorse?

Interested to hear your response.

Posted by: bill everything | October 31, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Odd news: dog shoots man.

I want to know, were those dogs trained using punitive methods? Could this have been payback time for all the e-collar shocks they got?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 31, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Though I'm not an American, I had a plan to make a big Kucinich campaign mural, with Kucinich leading his supporters out of the wilderness.

It seemed a little preachy, so I dropped some of the imagery, and then due to time constraints I cut down the number of supporters depicted, and then did so again. Finally, it was apparent it still needed more focus.

So in the end it was pretty much just a big picture of Elizabeth Kucinich.

But I found a wallet size photo, so I'm good now.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 31, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

bill e... The Colts *were* Baltimore. They were more than just a team. They represented the heart and soul of the city. They were a blue-collar team in a blue-collar city. They should have changed their name and their uniform when they made a new home in Indianapolis.

Baltimorons love their Ravens, but I think there's still a Baltimore Colts Marching Band.

If Irsay had tried to take them out any other way but in the dark of the night he never would have made out of the parking lot. (Of course, the city didn't trade up when they got Art Modell.)

Posted by: TBG | October 31, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

bill everything, didn't know if you'd read the item on the 10thcircle re. Football, cowritten by Boodlers LostInThought, greenwithenvy, myself, the late, great Error Flynn, and features the Colts and Ravens prominently:

Yes, that's a pic of the Mayflower truck moving the Colts back in the day.

If the Colts picked up and moved to, say, Chicago or Los Angeles, how would you feel?

TBG, I'm sure there is still a Baltimore Colts marching band.


Posted by: bc | November 1, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

seems odd they want to put down the man with all the right policy because he saw a ufo. More thought should be given to keeping a man who has all the wrong policy and wouldnt know an ufo if he saw one.

Posted by: george | November 1, 2007 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I heard Bush saw one and immediately assumed it was a WMD from Iraq.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 3:01 AM | Report abuse

What a non-story! Even if Kucinich grew little antennae on his head and started beeping, "Take me to your leader" he's still way saner than anybody in the bush administration.

Posted by: Jabba Hutt | November 1, 2007 3:40 AM | Report abuse

The real sports fans explained it better than I could. I'm an adopted Baltimoron, so I wasn't even around when the Mayflowers rolled.

My analogy is that even though you have a beautiful new wife (Ravens), you can hate guts of the b1tch (Colts) that walked out on you without even a goodbye note. And you are still allowed to fondly remember the good times before she went completely psycho.

Nobody is ever going to make a movie where someone's girlfriend has to pass an Indianapolis football quiz.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2007 6:08 AM | Report abuse


Spent another Halloween out in the garden waiting for the Great Pumpkin and got nuttin when I could have been Boodling about Kucinich and UFOs and stuff.

Triple darn dang.

My devil-horned pirate in a dress (couldn't find a mu-mu so settled for a prom dress) was a hit.

The tool belt loaded with a four pound engineer's hammer, backsaw, and sundry other tools worked well with the bow and lace.

I told the kids "You gets one or two or three or more, but don'ts ya take more than you deserve or the ghosts of pirates buried will turn ya into gravy" followed by a maniacal pirate laugh.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | November 1, 2007 6:38 AM | Report abuse

For the fashion police: my steel-toed boots matched my belt.

Posted by: martooni | November 1, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy All Hallows Day, everybody. I must see if I can find Rutter's Requiem on my iPod and listen to it today. Such a beautiful piece of music - the Pie Jesu always touches my soul.

No trick-or-treaters here, so I'm left with two bags of Hershey's cherry cordial kisses. That's probably just as well, because they would have had to run the gauntlet of the big circular saw and the fence posts and rails to get to the front porch.

Posted by: Slyness | November 1, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Have a ball, Maggie and Yoki.

Scotty, hope you're feeling real good this morning.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all.*waving*

I think it was very brave of Kucinich to talk about that experience, and I'll bet there was some there that knew exactly what he was talking about, but did not have the courage to own up to it. You think? I also think people are too quick to make an assessment(and not a good one) of this man because he speaks "his" mind regardless of what he thinks you're going to think.

I don't know many politicians that do that. Most of them say what they think you want to hear, and that can be so far from what they truly beleive.

This morning the g-girl and I were looking at the sky. Boy, was it bright this morning. There were so many stars and of course, some of the planets just twinkle big time. I wish I knew more about stars and planets so I can tell the g-girl what they are. She fastened on to the moon,kept pointing at it. I did tell her it was in the waning(sp?)phase, and it is bigger. She wasn't her perky self this morning. Didn't get enough sleep, hanging out with mommy last night for the trick or treat thing.

Have a good day, folks. I'm going back to bed, but need to do some stuff first, so that means I might not go back to bed.

Beautiful weather here, and I hope yours is the same.
Where is Ivansmom? Paging Ivansmom, paging Ivansmom. We're missing your witty and charming contribution.

The devil eggs were a hit.

If we could just keep this in mind, what a difference a day would make..........,
God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I didn't catch one kid last night so I don't think I've got this tricky treat thingy down yet.

Hi Cassandra, just a quick word. If it twinkles it's a star. If it doesn't twinkle it's a planet.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 1, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Cassandra, I AM feeling much better today! There's still a slight tang of petrochemicals in the air, but I think I can function properly...

*powered-by-the-inevitable-post-Halloween-sugar-rush hyper Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 1, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I am reeling from three kits, but we should note that the quality remains high!

Yes, a good All Saint's Day to everyone. If we were Mexican, we would have a picnic in the graveyard with all our beloveds.

God bless Error this day. Wonder what he would make of the view. He might be surprised at his sanctity but I am not. Aren't the best heroes ordinary ones quite unaware of their charisma?

I love the Day of the Dead papier mache skeletons in day-glo colors and the sugared skulls.

Viva la morte!

My favorite book to read this time of year is Muriel Sparks' _Memento Mori_

Posted by: College Parkian | November 1, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

The Today Show is doing a long interview with Heather Mills. She is coming across as a harpy and a whiner.She was giving me a headache so I turned the tv off. I am feeling sorry for Sir Paul. What ever happened to having real news on in the morning?

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 1, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Good All Saints Day or Day of the Dead to you, should you celebrate them.

Perhaps appropirate for today, I see the WaPo's article about Rummy's marketing of the War on Terra while he was in the WH:

60 of such 'flakes a day?
Sheesh, the man generated them like rabbit pellets.

And were probably worth as much.

Perhaps "snowflakes" was appropriate to a snow job (and from someone who could be considered somewhat flaky), but I suspect some in the WH referred to them as 's#!tflakes.'


Posted by: bc | November 1, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Yello's divorce:Baltimore Colts analogy seems to me the best description of the Colts' move to Indianapolis. I wasn't a big Colts fan since I had the old Charlie Brown disappointment thing going with the Vikings in the Fran Tarkenton era, but it taught me to loathe teams that move.

Substitute teaching a k-3 grade class with 4 children today. By the time I get home I'll be ready to rant against the teachers' union that keeps teachers who can't teach in the classroom. I know these kids. With a 1:4 ratio and a 3/4 time aide for the one child in SpEd they should all be on a track to get into Harvard. Today they'll probably be comatose from attending the local casino Halloween party for kids.

Grumble, grumble, off to get some coffee.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link bc. When potential cabinet members are vetted does it include a psych eval? A little medication for the Sec Def would have been a bargain vs. where his paranoia led us.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Frosti -- hero, you are, in the classroom with post-Halloween candy-spasm kidlings. What shall we fax you?

Our Mags and Yoks representing us on the Old Sod. What I wouldn't give to be with them. Shall we develop a movie treatment!

Da Duit -- go with God in Irisher parlance.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 1, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Modifying the machine to accept faxes of 2 Buck Chuck, red. Off I go. I'll have the fax on after 4:00 Eastern.

Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

We were ready. We had a lighted pumpkin. We had ghosts and a skeleton hanging from the tree. We had candy for at least 16 kids. We had 2 large dogs ready to bark their heads off. Nobody came. Not the one. Not the kid living across the road. Not the kids living 3 houses (ok, 800ft) down the street. Rats. We are in sugar for the next 3 months.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 1, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse


Why do I think the phrase "given complete control" in today's Post piece on "The Bee Movie" explains what appears to be a BIT of desperation in all of Seinfeld's ad mentions for the movie?


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 1, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, you're darn right about Seinfeld's desperation to make "Bee Movie" a hit.

I suspect that he's in a position where if he ever wants a career doing anything other than TV, HE HAS TO MAKE THIS WORK.

Comically (ahem), children can smell fear.

And why did he think *this* was a good idea? Do kids really need *another* CGI movie about insects that beehive, er, - behave - like people?

As original as 'Seinfeld' was on TV, it looks like he took the safe way through this movie, and my kids are not clamoring to see it.

Sadly, there's no buzz for "Bee Movie."
Plus, the kids don't get the joke, or, perhaps, the ironic meta-joke of the title.

Seinfeld's 'Ishtar,' or 'Waterworld?'

Oy, the money...


Posted by: bc | November 1, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

We only had one visit last night from a little group of 3 kids. That's actually 3 more than we've had the past couple of years. Up until recently, our neighborhood was as described above--a whole passel of empty-nesters who've raised all their kids and haven't yet moved to Sun City Wherever. A nacent influx of recent immigrants seems to be changing the demographics somewhat.

Hope to finally get the exterior plantings done by the end of the weekend. Last week's deluge helped soften the mortar the call dirt in our area so we should make good progress. OTOH, some jerk made off with 5 of the English Laurels we had bought a while back for this purpose. Took them right off the back patio! 20 bucks a pop, too.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 1, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

SCC: THEY call dirt..

Posted by: ebtnut | November 1, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I am days behind on this and other Boodles, but poking my head in before I catch up to say howdy. A packed weekend led to a three-day conference on tribal and State alliances, where I came down with some sort of cold, and then it was Halloween night. I couldn't face a computer till this morning.

Carry on.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The problem with the Colts move was that the Irsays kept the name and the uniforms when they moved, thereby giving the unitary digital salute to Baltimore every time they played in Indianapolis. When B-more stole the Browns from Cleveland, they changed the name to Ravens and this allowed Cleveland to eventually replace their departed team with another of the same name. Baltimore retained the rights to the Colt name for a few years after the departure and I always thought it would have been great if they could have gotten a team then and wrested the name away from the Irsays. Of course the league was not about to let that happen.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 1, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

My students are nuts today: Sugar effect.

Posted by: jack | November 1, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hang in there, frosti. It could always be worse.

Posted by: jack | November 1, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Baltimore Broncos. Word.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 1, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Baltimore stole the Canadian Football League Alouettes from Montreal in 94-95. The club was called the CFL Colts then the NFL sued and won. The B-club was then called the Baltimore Football Club, then they changed to the Stallions. They were the Stallions when they won the Grey cup in 95. Thier GM was Jim Popp, who is still the Alouettes GM. He named himself coach of the team as well. Given the team's performance he should fire himself as a coach. Then resign as a GM for being stupid enough to hire himself as a coach.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 1, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

bc - I assure you that rabbit pellets, in stark contrast to Rumsfeld 'flakes, which, incidentally, sounds like a deranged breakfast cereal, make a wonderful organic fertilizer.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 1, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday Curmudgeon said with reference to HRC-
"I think if somebody is 30 points ahead, it's time to say "game over" and then pull together for the good of the team. Also, the likelihood of destroying a 30-point lead simply by mindlessly attacking without decent grounds is just wasted effort. I'm not a Hillary fan, and I'm not defending her--but nobody is going to turn this train around just on the strength of her lousy Iraq vote. It's game over (at least in terms of pre-election maneuvering; the only thing that can turn it around now is actually voting results. Edwards and other critics are just repeating themselves.)"

First, I like to think that I live in a democracy and only when someone somewhere (preferably with 99% white people, lots of farm animals, and no urban areas) really casts a vote does any of this mean anything. Imagine if four years ago folks had said, "Game over. Dean's got it locked!"

Secondly, if you're going to start channeling Bill Paxton as Pvt. Hudson in "Aliens" and hollering "Game over, man, game over!" then we'll have to stage an intervention Ripley style with harsh words and challenges to your manhood. And believe me none of us wants that.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 1, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

To answer bh's question about Humboldt earthquakes.

When I was a student at HSU, I don't remember feeling a quake during any of my nonconsecutive four years there.

The Bakersfield quake of 1951, one with at least one fatality, IIRC, happened when I was just several months old. My mother said my crib rolled from side to side in the room. She grabbed me and ran outdoors, to the alley, between overhead telephone poles, so my dad had to grab her out of the alley and take her to a safer spot in the back yard.

I think I have Boodled about the strong quake that hit in the Bay Area when my husband and I were living in an apartment in Fremont--'84 or '85 timeframe. Middle of the night, we were wearing no clothes, and the decision had to be made--since the building was swaying and I bolted upright out of deep sleep at the rolling motion--to run out the door or get dressed first. The quake was over before we could decide.

As far as Loma Prieta, I was in Eau Claire, Wis., at Supercomputer System Inc.'s HQ, when that one hit. Our office in Livermore felt it and everyone ran outside, Loomispouse was working for Safeway in San Leandro and was impacted even more since he was closer to the epicenter. I couldn't reach him for several days. SSI's head of HR had a daughter who was a cub reporter for the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire. I wasn't in the quake, I was in the upper Midwest, but was interviewed by the HR guy's daughter and on TV! They made a duplicate tape of the interview for me and I still have it. Go figure!

At one time my mother-in-law was visting the Bay Area, and my husband took her to Pier 39, when an earthquake struck. It was midweek and I was at work. The quake scared her half to death.

Posted by: Loomis | November 1, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Okay, now I'm current on this Boodle and looking forward to the previous few. A nice mix of lunacy. Thanks for the kind words, Cassandra.

RD, I was profoundly relieved when the Boy stated he still wanted to dress up and trick or treat. he isn't really that interested in eating the candy, though he does like to acquire the loot. Lots of teenagers here still enjoy the costume and "party" aspects of the evening, so he may do this for a while yet. This year he was a sort of angel of death: artfully tattered black clothes with gray web-like cheesecloth streamers, a black belt, red hood with "faceless" black mesh, big black "feet" slippers with large claws, and black feathered wings.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 1, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

And all these years I thought my daughter was hiding her candy from her brother [she says, turning over the couch cushions and looking under the beds].

Posted by: TBG | November 1, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If I might ask, k-guy, could you explain the saying below? I didn't understand that.

"(preferably with 99% white people, lots of farm animals, and no urban areas)

Hope you're feeling better, Ivansmom. The boy outfits sounds like a blast. The g-girl doesn't eat the candy, but wants it. Loot, is the right word.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, The Boy's.....

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

But K-guy, four years no one (and certainly not me) said "Game over; Dean's got it locked." He didn't have it locked. And in Dean's case, he wasn't shredded by fellow Democracts during a fratricidal war; he shot himself in the foot. And he never had a campaign organization as large and as well-funded as Hillary's. The two campaigns aren't comparable, beyond the fact that both were/are front-runners.

And I think you glossed over the part where I said: "...the only thing that can turn it around now is actually voting results." Whereas you wrote: "only when someone somewhere ... really casts a vote does any of this mean anything." I see our two statements as being virtually identical.

(I have a sneaking suspicion that when it comes time for the actual voting, HRC isn't going to do nearly as well as predicted. I'm perfectly willing for her to get shot down by Dem voters. I'm NOT willing for her to get shot down by fellow candidates in what devolves into a party-destroying civil war. That's all.) (My point was also aimed toward the feasibility of it, rather than the desireability: I just didn't think it would work, but would just spill a lot of blood needlessly. If it accomplished something positive, then I might have a different view.)

Anyway, here's the next slow-burning outrage:

IG says he cannot afford to open probes in Iraq

By Dan Friedman
Congress Daily October 31, 2007

Embattled State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard is starting to defend himself against charges that he blocked investigations into department activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to spare the Bush administration bad news.

Employees in Krongard's office charge that he prevented investigators from traveling to Iraq and Afghanistan to look into contract fraud and blocked them from cooperating with the Justice Department in other sensitive investigations. The accusations are the subject of inquiries by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, a group of senior IGs and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has set a Nov. 14 hearing on the matter.

In an interview Tuesday night with CongressDaily, Krongard, citing legal advice, declined to comment specifically on the charges against him. He suggested his actions were generally guided by cost concerns.

With flat budgets and an investigative staff of a maximum of 22 employees based in the Washington area, Krongard said could not afford to pay for overseas travel where the likelihood of a successful investigation was low. Echoing statements Tuesday by his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Krongard said that 85 percent of the IG office's budget goes to personnel costs, with most of the remainder dedicated to a mandated inspection regime of overseas posts.

Without a budget increase and with rising travel costs, there is little left in his discretionary budget for open-ended investigations, said Krongard, a Bush appointee who was confirmed in 2005.

"When you have something really, really important you try to find a way to rob Peter to pay Paul. ... But the overall amount [discretionary money available] is very small," Krongard said. He added that each potential investigation requires close consideration of whether it is worth the cost. Such concerns applied especially to duplicative investigations or those that involve supporting other agencies' investigations, Krongard said.

His comments came in response to a Government Accountability Office report on the State Department IG's office that was a subject of a House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee hearing Wednesday afternoon. In testimony prepared for the hearing, Comptroller General David Walker, who heads GAO, questioned the independence of the State IG's office, but attributes the problem to longstanding issues with the organization of the office and rules that limit the IG's discretion.

"We continue to identify concerns regarding the independence of the State IG that are similar to concerns we reported almost three decades ago," Walker said in his prepared remarks. While State's budget swelled from $13.7 billion in fiscal 2001 to $24 billion in fiscal 2006, the IG's budget barely budged, increasing from $29 million to $31 million, Walker said. [To me this sentence is the most important one: $29 million to $31 million; Bush is clearly starving the IG's office]

GAO has recommended Krongard reduce use of career Foreign Service officers and State Department management staffers to fill positions in the office. Krongard in the interview and a written response, said he understood those recommendations but felt they went to too far. He accepted other GAO suggestions.

Walker said Krongard's responses "defend the status quo and indicate an inadequate concern and regard for the independence necessary to provide effective oversight of the department." Walker added that the effectiveness of the IG's office is limited by a lack of resources and a "lack of an appearance of independence," among other problems.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

JA wrote: "everyone knows the real Roswell aliens had only four fingers."

Everyone also knows that cartoon characters have only four fingers.

Therefore, the Roswell aliens can be tentatively identified as George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, and Jane his wife.

I'm certain that even a cursory search of the grounds around Roswell will uncover a debris field rich in pieces of Spacely Space Sprockets.

Posted by: byoolin (a day late and a dollar short) | November 1, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I think when K-guy wrote: "(preferably with 99% white people, lots of farm animals, and no urban areas)" he was referring to the Iowa vote -- and I think he was also being a bit ironic about how the Iowa demographics are not exactly very diversified or broadly representative. No umbrage need be taken.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mudge. I think the word that threw me was "preferably". So does that mean when Iowa votes, if Clinton gets the nod, she's a lock-in? I thought k-guy was referring to the national vote. You know, Mudge, it's not so much to take "umbrage" as it is to understand what is being said. Certainly, some things should not be said in public discourse or for that matter in private, but nothing beats understanding, seven days a week, and twice on Sunday. I heard somebody say that.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if HRC wins big in Iowa she's still a "lock," Cassandra, though it certainly doesn't hurt her any. My own view is that she's NOT going to do all that well...but we'll see. The first two primaries are always Iowa and New Hampshire, and I've never been convinced either one was very significant in the long run. It is true that the early primaries give the winners a slight bump, but that's about all-- though once in a while a dark horse comes out of nowhere. The really big primary event is Super Tuesday, which is some time in February when about 8 or 10 states all vote at once. The objection to Super Tuesday is that if a single candidate sweeps Super Tuesday, it really is "game over," and all the other primaries that follow "don't count" (because the issue has already been decided).

The primary system has been constantly evolving over the decades, although without getting any "better."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, it seems I've killed the boodle. Time to go. Have a great day, folks.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

just this before I go....

If Mrs. Clinton wins, and I for one thinks she has a fantastic chance of doing that, I suspect men here in this country will feel that somehow they've failed big time. It isn't that Mrs. Clinton would not make a great President, it is that her winning would make men feel like huge failures. And that, they will not abide. A woman, a female. No way. But fellas you need to wake up, this world is moving, and it is moving forward, not backwards. The glass ceiling, the covered head, the two steps backs, those days are erroding, so as Maureen Dowd says, man-up, it's good times ahead.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Joel, would you pass on a complaint to the editors of "The Trail" column? It's got an item headlined: "GOP Candidates Roil Calm Seas on Ocean Treaty." Then it has a photo of a "tall ship" called the Liberty, with a caption taken from AP, which says: "Freedom on the seas for this clipper, named Liberty.(AP)."

But here's the thing(s): The story has nothing whatsoever to do with that ship, or ships like her, or anything remotely close; it's about oceans, not ships, and then about GOP objections to international treaties. Somebody just dug up a random shot of a sailboat and threw it in there. Then they call the ship a "clipper," when she is in fact most definitely NOT a clipper. She is properly identified as a schooner. This particular one happens to belong to a company that does charters as well as educational training of kids on board. Which is all very nice--but has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. It'd be like throwing in a photo of the QEII on a story about trout fishing and conservation. Granted that AP wrote the caption; it is still wrong in detail and irrelevant to the story it purports to illustrate.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Gotta go attend a 3-hour "team-building" event. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Poor 'Mudge. We had a little management exercise yesterday that was supposed to make us more "approachable" by employees. Hee hee. Why would I want to be approachable? It is hard enough getting work done!

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I have always thought that it was absurd that Iowa and New Hampshire are first in the nation and set the tone for the selection of the presidential candidates. These two states have no major cities, no significant minorities, small populations (New Hampshire ranks 20th in population density among the states, Iowa 33rd) and little economic diversity. To avoid confusion, please set your smart-alec detectors in the medium\high range when reading what I write.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 1, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think 'Mudge would approach the event with a little more enthusiasm if they told him it was a "ship's crew-building" affair.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 1, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

A revisiting of the grog and flogging model of motivation perhaps?

Posted by: Boko999 | November 1, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Meeting advice: arrive later, after everyone else; write the word TEAM on the dry erase board; turn to everyone in the room and say: "there is no I in TEAM"; Then say: "so what do you get when you take 'ME' out of TEAM"; erase the M and the E; turn to everyone in the room and say "you get "TA"; as in "TA-TA"; then leave.

Pretty simple, huh...

Posted by: omni | November 1, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Is California a bellwether state? Clinton's popularity there:

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton - more than any other 2008 candidate for the White House - is seen through an intensely partisan lens by Californians, with about a third of the state's voters already having decided they wouldn't vote for her for president and another third decided they "definitely" would, a Field Poll released Thursday showed.

In California, keep your eyes on Mr. Car Alarm Issa, who is atempting to throw a monkeywrench into the electoral process:

A political consultant for Issa, David Gilliard, is managing the campaign to qualify the measure, which would divide California's Electoral College votes by congressional district, for the June 2008 election. Democrats have charged that the measure would be the equivalent of an electoral gift the size of Ohio to any Republican nominee.

Latest polling shows this [Issa's] Republican-backed ballot measure [shenanigans] not favored by voters--across the state.

This initiative is unique in as we rarely see such overwhelmingly united opposition to as issue in California, where the North and South agree as does Coastal and Inland California.

Posted by: Loomis | November 1, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's a twist on the trick-or-treat halloween story: Been living here for over ten years and have never had T-or-Ts. Not always cause I was out, either. Last night around 8 a quiet little tapping at my door. A neighbor girl and her two little siblings holding out plastic shopping bags. I was totally caught by surprise and unprepared. profuse apologies sent them on their way. Then I remembered I had several little super-balls. By some coincidence I grabbed four of them (not three). The next door they knocked on had a young boy answer. the neighbor girl proceeded to put some eyeliner or something under his eyes. presto: instant costume. So I walk over and hand each child a super-ball. The older two children were very happy. Next, back in my apartment I remembered that just last week I bought some dark chocolate kisses. So I grab that bag and, the kids are walking past my door just as I open it. I give each three kisses, and the boy says this is the best house ever (super-ball and candy). Just then another neighbor was heading out as another was coming in. More kisses all around.

So my Halloween story: A complete success.

And Spidey-boy ∃ was good.

Posted by: omni | November 1, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Did you eat him?!

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, I reset my password. I also remembered I have a Mac book, and it gave the same advice as K-guy (haven't checked e-mail yet (I'm home, and don't have work access)). But actual practice was different. Once you've rebooted and have the installer screen up you click on utilities on the menu bar and select reset password. I wrote it down this time.

And on my own I figured out how to tab one word at a time (usual windows practice goes begining or end of line). Give me another ten years or so on this thing and I'll be answering questions for the newbies...hehe

Posted by: omni | November 1, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, if your asking what I think your asking: no. MJ is more to my tastes

Oops, my mind is now in the gutter, and I'm going for a walk.

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

Sorry. I just saw you as the Prince of Salamanders and had a range of options on how a spider could be "good."

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse


In my case setting the "smart-alec detectors" in the medium/high range might not suffice. I'm so dense, I may need an explaination, but if that's a problem, I won't bother, and I assumed, (bad for me), that I could get the best one(explaination) from the person that wrote the comment. Silly me.

As I've said many times here, you folks are smart, witty, and charming, I'm definitely out of my league, but for me it's a learning experience. I ask questions when I don't understand. I'm very much a student in that respect.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You may be on to something, Loomis. Sen. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that if she is the Democratic nominee people that may have sat out the past couple of elections, plus the anti-clinton faction, may be enough to keep the White House in the Red no matter who the Republican nominee is.

Posted by: jack | November 1, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, those of us who sit in the back row of the classroom, pass notes, make rude noises with our armpits, whisper and smirk, salute you for asking the questions we avoid to maintain the illusion of being "cool".

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 1, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I used to do meetings in a previous life and hated every one of them.

My favorite way to crash a meeting was to say "well, duh!... why not DO something instead of just talking about it?".

That always rattled the pointy-haired types.

I could never understand why a dozen people had to sit down to discuss the obvious. If something's broke, you fix it or replace it. If something's not broke, leave it alone. If the something is no longer necessary, throw it in the trash.

I was called a maverick back then (which is much better than some of the *other* names i've been called recently).

Side note... just fixed the "engine light" problem on our Windstar. Mrs. M was all upset that it was lit so I checked the mileage (due for a "dealership" visit)... unplugged the battery with the key on, let it sit for a few minutes, then hooked it back up. No more engine light.

I did check all the fluids and topped a few off, but it was kinda like how you fix Microsoft's Windows. Control-Alt-Delete.

Posted by: martooni | November 1, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

For you lawyer types, a very unusual trial. (warning :it's a long read) A pair of bad lawyers go away from this awful trial with boatloads of money provided by the good people of Ontario and the good lawyers (judge and prosecutors) have to do with their gunmint salaries and much needed time away from the awful Mr. Gills.
Gills got a guilty verdict with a life sentence assorted with minimum 25 years provision and, of course, is now filing his appeal. He killed his girlfriend and stuffed her in a plastic garbage can i.e. an . The coroners, 4 months later had to do an autopsy on every forensic pathologist's favorite; the liquefied body resulting from anaerobic decomposition.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 1, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, good synopsis. However, let us emphasize the bizarrely narcissistic character of Wills. I feel really sorry for every member of the justice system who had to deal with him.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Canadian courts allows obscenity in court?

I'm looking forward to the lawyerly input on this from both sides of the border. This sounds rather bizaare.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I suppose if it was down to enduring his cussing, the lawyers probably did earn that money, but the constant firing impeded the trial, and there are no curbs for that behavior?

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge commented:
". . .I have a sneaking suspicion that when it comes time for the actual voting, HRC [Sen. Clinton] isn't going to do nearly as well as predicted. . . . "

This chart shows that people making bets think the nomination race is over. Time for me to bet on Obama.

My own guess is that a million or so Americans might think about moving to Alberta if Hillary becomes president. Or at least to northern Idaho.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 1, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Feel like William Wallace talking to Al Gore, aka Robert the Bruce. "If you would only LEAD - they would follow you. And so would I."

Posted by: Jumper | November 1, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I am reminded that Eskimos would just quietly take sociopaths hunting and then shoot them on the ice.

Not that I'm in favor of the death penalty per se, but had I been on the jury, I'd have been itching to vote him guilty with all due speed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Like many other boodlers, I was also faced with a derth of trick-or-treaters, and scads of leftover candy. Being diabetic, I dare not even consider any for myself. So, what to do with it? Melt the chocolate down into bunnies for Easter? Give it to the panhandlers on the street? Feed the adjacent-forest critters? (Psst, Bambi, wanna score some good $%&^?)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | November 1, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Geez, shrieking d, it was frustrating just to read that article. I can't imagine living that trial!

I'm not a lawyer, but the hubby is and I remember during the OJ trial that he was aggravated by the impression that John Q Public was left with regarding the criminal justice system. He felt that the judge in that case had completely lost control of the courtroom and that the entire trial had turned into a farce... I don't know anything about Canadian jurisprudence, but could that have been part of the problem with this case? Of course, like Yoki, I feel sorry for anyone who had to deal with this miscreant. Just wonderin'...

Posted by: Kim | November 1, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, an ex-Cop in a maximum security facility - not all that far off the Eskimo scenario.

Posted by: dmd | November 1, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

You know, next Halloween we should have a BPH for all of *us* adult aged kids to go trick or treating in neighborhoods where the actual children aren't pulling their weight.

If they can't handle it, by gum, we *will*!


Posted by: bc | November 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, the man was using all his considerable bag of tricks to get a mistrial or gain traction for a successful appeal. Th judge and the prosecutors kept their cool and thus maximised the probability of a verdict that will stick.

dmd, Mr. Gill will get the "Clifford Olson" treatment no doubt and survive into his old age. He will be aging, as ungracefully as possible I hope, with this other narcissistic b@stard.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 1, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-"I am reminded that Eskimos would just quietly take sociopaths hunting and then shoot them on the ice." Seek out "White Dawn" with Timothy Bottoms, Lou Gossett, Jr. and Warren Oates to see the Inuit way of dealing with those who present a threat to the survival of the group. Well worth a look if you can find it (Netflix has it). The flick is 30+ years old, but Gossett and Oates are never bad.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | November 1, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the film recommend; I'll look for it. I see that it's based on "the White Dawn: an eskimo saga" by James Houston.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel, please tell the copy desk (and presumably the dead tree copy desk, too), that there's a major error in the Paul Tibbets obit. The reporter, Adam Rubenstein, has the name of the second A-bomb, used on Nagasaki, as "Fat Boy." It should be "Fat Man."


Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Not Rubenstein but Bernstein. At least I'm quicker making a correction than he is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Last flash of summer STOP This just in STOP Breaking news:

ONE Moonflower remains on the vine.

RDP -- any left on your plant?

Any other moonflower reports?

I am astonished, but this fall was unseasonably warm.

Summer 06: Mr. Stripey
Summer 07: Moonflowers

What will summer of 08 bring?

Posted by: College Parkian | November 1, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Fat boy(s)" would be those of us with all that Holloween candy left.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | November 1, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC. My brain is "Hollow", the eve is "Hallow"

Posted by: Don from I-270 | November 1, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

To complicate the issue, the initial design for the plutonium bomb was called "Thin Man." But the design was not useable. "Fat Man" replaced "Thin Man."

Posted by: Jumper | November 1, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse


(almost forgot)

Posted by: Jumper | November 1, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Sidney is in top form.
I'm a little wary of some of his connections in this article but it's very suggestive and I'm a sucker for suggestive stuff.
I think the last few lines of the quote from the CIA guy sums up the whole administation.

The sad decline of Michael Mukasey

"These guys don't like the mainstream CIA. In fact, they hate it," the CIA official explained. "They don't like information unless it fits what they want to hear. They hate the CIA because the CIA tells them what they don't want to hear. They want assessments that prove ideological points. They are looking for simplistic answers to complicated issues. They inhabit a make-believe world of moving up into perceived areas of expertise. It's the same guys; they all resurface when Republicans are back in power. It's the same group. It's a system. The similarities are amazing in all these wars we've been dragged into."

Posted by: Boko999 | November 1, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

If the true explanation of the "Roswell Incident" is as simple and straight-forward as you say (Project Mogul ballon, etc.), how come the government was so paranoid about it, and put out at least 5 different explanations of what happened and threatened people with dire consequences if they talked about what they saw and heard?
I'm an alien agnostic, not about whether they exist somewhere, but about whether they are, or have been "here", but I am not agnostic about the fact that our government would rather keep us in the dark about anything out-of-the-ordinary than shed light on it.

Posted by: William | November 1, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It was a secret military project, William. That's the most logical explanation. Maybe aliens were involved, maybe they weren't.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

PSA: National Novel Writing Month kicks off today.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

jack writes at 1:19:
You may be on to something, Loomis. Sen. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that if she is the Democratic nominee people that may have sat out the past couple of elections, plus the anti-clinton faction, may be enough to keep the White House in the Red no matter who the Republican nominee is.

Jack, I'm not "on" to anything. Just passing along some polling data. Clinton may be polarizing, but I don't know if I agree with your theory that the White House will be won by and held by Republicans in '08. There's a lotta water yet to pass under the bridge.

Anyone know why the Rumsfeld memos are given the term "snowflake?"

Former CNN legal analyst and author Jeff Toobin will precede Carl Bernstein in the House Chamber on Sunday. He may diss some robes, but don't think he'll disrobe. He'll be in th flesh, too, but haven't made up my mind yet if his insight on the Supremes will be a draw for me.

Posted by: Loomis | November 1, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty disdainful of NaNoWriMo. Not much good can come out of something written in just 30 days. On the other hand, I am participating in National Blog Posting Month where I post on my blog every day.

And despite the flurry we had earlier this week, it appears Joel isn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Why was Kyoto spared the atomic bomb?

Well, there's this explanation--Florence Denton, Langdon Warner, Henry Stimson:,+Japan+

Posted by: Loomis | November 1, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

mudge is as always correct. The boy was little.

Posted by: omni | November 1, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Tom Ferebee, the bombardier on Enola Gay, grew up the community where Mr. T was born. He and Mr. T's dad were buddies in their high school years. I never met him, as he moved to Florida after the war, but his brother and sister-in-law were good friends of Mr. T's mother. He died six or seven years ago, IIRC. We were intrigued with his memories of the flight, as taped by the Smithsonian and exhibited at the Air and Space Museum. Of course, seeing Enola Gay at the Udvar Hazy facility is a moving experience.

Posted by: Slyness | November 1, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I have returned from the Orchid Isle (home of the Madonna Astronomy Center, as I call it based on its external appearance: ). I have a question: is it wrong (i.e., legally actionable) for government employees to post a YouTube video that was created outside of work hours, using footage and images that were collected during work hours, assuming all identifiable persons personally agree to it? I am a minor participant in the creation of a parody song and accompanying music video, and we need to decide whether the universe is ready to see this excellent work.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 1, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Yellojkt. Agatha Christie wrote her books in just 10-15 days each on average.

If only she had taken longer and worked at her craft, she could have been a famous literary writer that nobody reads anymore.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

dr, are you able to check your work email at this time? I've just sent you a groveling message. I've run into a time crunch and am begging your indulgence.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why Rumsfeld memos were named snowflakes, seems awfully close to snow job if you ask me. Here's a link to a wonkette post on the last one:

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, k-guy.

I'm back. I had a terrific time at the Center today. We did spelling words. And they got all of them right. The
g-girl and I were the only ones at the church, so we did alphabets. We're getting there, but it's slow.

I haven't made up my mind who I will vote for if I'm still breathing, but I saw an interview on ABC tonight of Obama, and I must say I like the man. For me, he's like a fresh breath of air. Of course, I'm still looking and listening (odd for a deaf person, for me impossible) or rather reading.

My bed is calling me, so I'm going to say good night, boodle. It has been an interesting day, and as always, good to talk to all of you.

I think I will still cast my vote for, Error.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 1, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I remember reading about "snowflakes" in the Post. Here it is, from the horse's mouth:

"Rumsfeld Declares End to Memo 'Blizzard'

The Associated Press
Friday, December 15, 2006; 4:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- After six years of dashing off short memos, dubbed "snowflakes," to prod the Pentagon bureaucracy, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued one final missive on Friday, his last full workday.

Addressed to all Pentagon personnel, the memo's subject line said, "'Snowflakes' _ the Blizzard is Over."

"This is my final snowflake _ as secretary of defense," he wrote.

"Over the past six years, thousands of these memos have fallen _ sometimes in blizzards and flurries and sometimes in cold and lonely isolation. Yet _ as surprising as this may seem to those who may have been buried in the deluge _ there are many people in the department who have never received a snowflake.

"A few souls have even requested one. This snowflake is especially for them."

On the day he was lauded at a public farewell ceremony by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rumsfeld used his final memo to thank all Pentagon employees.

And he injected a note of humor, saying he would not forget those who had failed to respond to earlier memos.

"Nonetheless, in the spirit of the season, as my last official act as secretary of defense, I hereby grant a general amnesty for any outstanding snowflakes. The blizzard is over! Thank you for all you have done for our wonderful country. Well done!"

Also while I'm at it, Loomis, Richard Rhodes' excellent "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" discusses Stimson's decision not to bomb Kyoto in a good bit of detail, although without mentioning Florence Denton or Langdon Warner, though they may well have influenced him. Be that as it may, Stimson's reasons are outlined fairly well in the book. The citation you linked to was written in 1975; Rhodes' book in 1986. However, in Rhodes' bibliography he lists an article by Otis Cary (your author) in the same journal from 1979. So Rhodes was almost certainly familiar with Denton and Warner, but chose not to mention them in his book. A short summary is that Stimson was generally appalled by the firebombing of cities, though he knew it had to be done, and as Secretary of War was pretty much responsible for ordering or allowing it. When Gen. Groves put together his list of targets, Kyoto was number one on the list. Final approval was supposed to go to Gen. Marshall, chief of staff, but Stimson had Groves in his office. Groves said his report on targets was back in the office at the Pentagon across the river. Stimson handed Groves a telephone and told him to get that report over here right now. Groves had no choice but to follow orders. The report arrived 15 to 20 minutes later. Stimson put his foot down and told Groves he was going to decide, not Marshall, and that he was the "kingpin" decisionmaker. [He was indeed Marshall's superior.] He told Groves he didn't want Kyoto bombed because of its historical nature (it was the old capital), cultural importance, etc. Stimson also felt strongly the target should have a higher military importance, not just be a large city.

None of this contradicts anything that Denton and Warner might have contributed. But let me ask, why is this particular question important? Seems to me it's only an interesting footnote.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I think it was because he released these tiny little pieces of thought (according to the story) so frequently (more than twice a day, as I read it). They weren't fully argued memos, and mostly they weren't even on real physical paper, but you get the idea of showers of small white bits; thus, a snowstorm.

I was actually amazed at how much *not* a snow-job they were, at least to his staff; he really let everyone in on his thinking from minute to minute; how could you get a snowstorm of the boss' thoughts *and* have them carefully edited? That is why they are so damning. Certainly he wanted to snow the citizens, but these documents seem to me to be remarkably (and damnably) candid, and yet another proof (as though one were needed!) that political calculation in the right wing has triumphed over governance and the commonweal.

And I will be the first to say that is not confined to your country's hard right parties. Ours, too, are revealed as doing the same thing, over and over again. So sad. Whither democracy?

And, sadly, in my Canada at least, it is being revealed that the lefties are just as cynical as those who lean right, they just don't have the perpetual God-argument to lean on, so they manipulate us the other way.

Perhaps I'll have to leave the Liberal Party of Canada (and Alberta) after all these years for the Greens, even though that splits the leftist vote and the Green Party cannot even take a seat in Parliament, much less govern. Arughghggh!

Posted by: YOki | November 1, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I'm not a lawyer, but my vote is for post it. Looking forward to it. And post pics of Madonna too. And any others of Orchid Isle you may have.

Oops, tinytown is back on...

Posted by: omni | November 1, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

More on snowflakes:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Thought you were off in Ireland, Yoki, or I'd have responded to your question sooner than this. The plural of letters *do* take an apostrophe: A's, B's, C's, etc. However, according to the AP Style Manual, numbers do *not* get apostrophes: 1920s, size 34s, etc. If you need a nmemonic aide, think of all those lawyers you work for, diligently crossing their t's and dotting their i's. Without the apostrophe, they'd be "dotting their is." Which is obviously a problem. The letters "a" and "u" present similar problems: as and As, and us and Us. Plus some abbreviations: is it m's or ms? [manuscript]

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 1, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-I should have said I don't know why Rumsfeld chose to call them snowflakes, because it is so close to snow job, and self deprecating humor as in "sending blizzards of them" doesn't seem his style. That last one he sent was in the Wonkette post I linked.

Actually I find one he wrote back in '03 particularly frustrating
TO:Gen. Dick Myers; Paul Wolfowitz; Gen. Pete Pace; Doug Feith
"...Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the
global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading
more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical
clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?..."

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse


Some guy you know from the internet who claims to be a lawyer in a different country says it's fine, subject to the following questions:

External issues first:
1. Are you committing a crime in the video? Are there any minors? Are you inciting a revolt? Could this video be used to make a derogatory point about your department by a television personality?

Internal issues:
Did you have to pause when considering any of the above questions?

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 1, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

∞ ≠ n/0

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

hahahaha! Mr. Curmudgeon and I were taking a lot of the Boodle's time for our rants, at exactly the same time! I'm amused and appalled by that.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

hello by: |

I get on the plane to [Heathrow-Dublin] on Tuesday morning. And I must finish my gigantic Proposal and my Budget for submission by the end of tomorrow. Sigh.

I guess I would caution *Tim* to consult his legal department; or just release the vid. It is easier to repent than to seek permission. And I'd really reely like to see that video-spot.

Posted by: Yoki | November 1, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

That doesn't look like TBG.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 1, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

>dotting their is

Depends on the meaning of "is"

I'm giddy. One more day.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Boko... it's most certainly not me.


Posted by: TBG | November 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I like Obama too - have since I first saw him, giving the keynote speech at the Democratic Convention. If I get a chance, I'll vote for him, I think. I have no idea when our state primary is, or if we're doing caucuses or whatever. Probably won't matter. I like Edwards a lot too. I think it will be interesting to see how Hillary does when people actually vote.

Bill Clinton is in Seattle today. Talked at a mayors' conference, and is signing books tonight. People started lining up at 8 ayem. Good interview:

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Some wisenheimer posted the following comment to that Wonkette snowflake article.

"Drop the O's from FOUO and you get a truer meaning. I'm trying to think what would qualify as For Unofficial Use. Rummy brand toilet paper? I'm sure that's what a lot of the snowflakes already get used for."

If your video inspires one slack jawed YouTube surfer to pay attention in science class it would be worth it. Go for it.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 1, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, y'all should wear Groucho disguises so nobody'll recognize you.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the legal commentary. I have indeed paused and am pondering one of SonOfCarl's questions: "Could this video be used to make a derogatory point about your department by a television personality?" The answer is "Yes", because anything that implies one is not deadly serious about every moment of the government's work, can be taken to indicate that one is not of serious purpose. If a commentator is so inclined. This video shows civil servants (not me -- I'm a contractor) and is funny.

There is no point in running it past a legal department. The answer always is "no", because it always is safer for an organization to do nothing than to take even a tiny risk and to do something.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 1, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Very funny wisenheimer, I mean yello.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 1, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge writes at 8:06:
None of this contradicts anything that Denton and Warner might have contributed. But let me ask, why is this particular question important? Seems to me it's only an interesting footnote.

Thanks, Mudge. I have Rhodes--should have checked this source. I just wondered how many versions of this nit of history are out there. Yes, there is a family angle.

Do you remember when I was pondering if there is or was a U.S. Information Agency, after I read about about Henry Loomis, Alfred Lee's son, in Weiner's recent book about the CIA. Turns out there was such a government bureau, as I posted, and I had to eat my own words that evening about a month ago.

In the epilogue of Jennet Conant's 2002 book, "Tuxedo Park: Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of WWII," she writes the following about Henry Loomis:

"During World War II, when Stimson and Groves were trying to decide which Japanese cities to bomb, a chance visit by Henry [Loomis, Stimson's great-nephew], who had studied Japanese history at Harvard and had raved about the glorious art treasures in Kyoto, helped persuade Stimson to spare the ancient city."

So a Harvard history class--and a family connection--spared Kyoto? Denton and Warner may have had some influence as well.

Posted by: Loomis | November 1, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Hi, *Tim!
Welcome home.

Personally, I'd love to see that video but I understand, sir.

Now, off to bed.
I wonder if Rummy would consider the Boodle a snowdrift of flakes?

Oh, never mind. I wouldn't want to know.


Posted by: bc | November 1, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

SciTim: next time you consider posting a YouTube video, do it all in Bush Administration masks.

That way commentators will have to focus on who's really not being serious and all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 1, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Seems all our late-night and West Coast friends must have gone to bed early last night.

Pretty good Gene Robinson column on Giuliani fact cherry-picking. I can't bring myself to click on Krauthammer's piece about Hillary. Just can't do it.

Onward and upward.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 2, 2007 5:57 AM | Report abuse

I will choose to believe that the blog software died, rather than that the boodle actually went dormant.

I will post a new kit later today. Trying to finish a story about Iowa.

Did anyone see this Esquire piece on Kucinich? Well done. The detail about the silver tongue stud is one I have a hard time putting out of my mind.

Posted by: Achenbach | November 2, 2007 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Good heavens, Boss, you're up early. And what a week you've given us - three kits in five days? What will 2008 and a real campaign do for us? The mind boggles!

G'morning, everybody. Hey, Cassandra. Two days till the latest Charlotte BPH.

Posted by: Slyness | November 2, 2007 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Man, that Kucinich is a paradigm breaker. For conventional wisdom has it that your first wife should have the silver tongue stud - not your third.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Joel is up early because it is probably the only time he can check out "Esquire" in peace.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

RD, what makes you think the Boss has Esquire in the house? Of course, it would be better than having Playboy or Hustler around.

Posted by: Slyness | November 2, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse


Government-funded footage is automatically public domain, unless classified, nicht wahr? You're cool as long as the parody was produced in the off-hours.

*Happy-Friday-with-minimal-residual-fumes Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Now THIS is a trick-or-treat story!!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Slyness - I refer to the link Joel supplied in his 6:51 post. Which, while providing an insightful look into a fascinating presidential candidate, also provided a few other insightful looks.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

CP - My moonflowers stopped producing in Mid-September. I did get a beautiful final flourish from the morning-glories, but now they are all just memories.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

And here's a shocker: The move to expand Daylight Savings Time (and all the attendant confusion) has a less-that-reliable base of statistical support:

*rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

And in my opinion, Snuke, the expanded DST totally messed up Halloween.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I'd noticed Kucinich's wife standing with him at a few events, but did not consider the idea that any of her ornamental piercings were pertinent to her husband's suitability to be President.

Having said that, I appreciate the fact that Dennis still looks over his head. He spotted a UFO, his wife, and has his eye on the Dem Presidential nomination. Good on 'im.

Scottynuke, that's a good story about Varitek.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Esquire quit counting as risque about the time they stopped running Vargas girls. I had a subscription briefly in the 80s and I called it "Playboy for guys who really do read the articles" since the women are always tastefully draped in something. I can't remember the last time I saw an exposed nipple in its pages. With Maxim and its clones out there, you have no reason to hide an Esquire if your mother-in-law drops in.

And I'm pretty sure the extend DST scam is the result of some parent that got tired to trick or treaters coming around too early because it just got dark. WaPo did an article about how everybody has to take a half day off on Halloween just to get home in time.

Another stealth holiday in the making. Much like the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) and the day after St. Patricks Day (aka Hangover Sickout Day).

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey, don't diss Esquire. They have some good articles, if you don't pass out from the fumes of the perfume ads.

I was on the verge of recommending the Kucinich article several times this week. The web version doesn't include all the photos; there were some classics. One where he was posed with a football team--he looks more like the mascot than a team member, he's so much smaller than the others. And one when he was mayor of Cleveland, he looks like a high school student. I think he doesn't fit America's version of what "Presidential" looks like. But he is an admirable character. This is the kind of thing I like to hear public servants say:

"And because I remembered where I came from, I said no to the sale. I can't be bullied, I can't be bossed, I can't be intimidated, and I can't be tricked. I'm there on behalf of your families -- I'm there on behalf of your jobs. I'm there -- the same person who as a child listened to his parents count the pennies at the table -- "

Posted by: kbertocci | November 2, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Random morning thoughts:
My husband likes to start the day by pointing out all the bad news in section A of the Miami Herald, using it to justify his gloomy view of our economic prospects and the future of the world in general. I think a wise editor would plan the layout so that there would be at least one article on page A01 that doesn't make people want to slash their wrists. I think, hey, maybe that's why the WaPo editors have decided to give Joel some front page ink. He can be -- well, you know, Scott Adams calls his web newsletter a "little ray of bitter sunshine" -- Joel's articles are something between that and actual sunshine. I wish he were on the front page of the Herald. Today we were 100% negative there. (Not only is our economy going down the toilet, but racism is on the rise and our sports teams are all losing. We need some Achenbach here.)

Posted by: kbertocci | November 2, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It's kind of funny that both Robinson at the WaPo and Krugman at the NYT both assail Hizzoner for saying patently false things about the perils of "socialized" medicine for those who suffer of prostate cancer. They should have looked at the stats of another "socialized" medecine state, Canada, as well. The mortality rate due to prostate cancer is about 14 per 100 000, quite a bit less than the 25/100 000 reported for the US and the UK. Apparently one man in 8 eventually gets it but only 1/27 dies from it.,3182,3172_14471_371299_langId-en,00.html

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 2, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Or at least drag Barry of out retirement. He must be tired of lighting cigars with "Dave's World" royalty checks by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse


That reminds me. I'm at least a year overdue for my next poking. But I have to lose some weight before I go back to my doctor. He's such a nag.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I, too, want to defend Esquire, which has had some great journalism and some great writing over the years. And there was a time when its annual "Why Is This Man Smiling?" issue was the single most anticipated magazine of the year (except for the SI swimsuit issue, of course; we have to be realistic about this).

Esquire used to have a fiction editor who was legendary: the great L. Rust Hills, who published writers such as John Barth, Saul Bellow, Thomas Louis Berger, Vance Nye Bourjaily, Kay Boyle, R.V. Cassill, John Cheever, Stanley Lawrence Elkin, George Paul Elliott, Paul Hamilton Engle, Frederick Exley, Leslie Aaron Fiedler, Herbert Gold, Mark Harris, William Humphrey, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Arthur Miller, Jay Neugeboren, Philip Roth, James Salter, Irwin Shaw, William Styron, Harvey Swados, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Williams, and Richard Yates. (List taken from Lilly Library manuscript dept. which houses the Hills correspondence, etc.) Not too shabby, I'd say.

And uh, yeah, occasionally some photos of women who were in fact mostly clothed but always somehow seemed not to be. In many of them it was actually possible to admire the artistry of the photographer without, ya know, being bothered by the staple-in-the-navel foldout thing, or having to tilt the magazine sideways.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 2, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

If you here strange sounds eminating from north of the border it is manufacturers across this country gasping, our dollar up 2 cents this morning to 1.07 Cdn to 1.00 US - Yikes.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I prefer to think of that sound as the screaming of the American buck freefalling as the international community gets the heebie jeebies over our ability to repay our war debts.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Yellow, do not, repeat not, procrastinate on your visit to madam glove and her five daughters. You don't have to smile about it, but do "take it like a man" and just get it over with.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | November 2, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Loomis, have you seen this, re: snowflakes?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 2, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that "Esquire" is a most excellent and respectable publication. It's just when I clicked on the link Joel supplied I was a bit surprised by the sidebar advertising. I couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, in a house full of ladies this might not be a link Joel would explore with a lot of eyes over his shoulder. Hence my attempt at alleged humor.

No imputation of the literary qualities of this august periodical, which I am sure my own wife would welcome enthusiastically to our mailbox, was intended.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. The dollar is going just a wee bit too far, isn't it. Too high is no good, to low is no good. The healthiest thing for our ecomony is traditionally about 80 cents. That amount covers the extra cost of employing people in Canada.

Yoki, check your email. Its fine, and we can reschedule. We'll get that BPH yet, never fear.

Yesterday was a pretty good day all in all. Some things are 'clean as a whistle', and I now can face my mom again.

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

dr, I hope you enjoyed a good meal after, glad all went well.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

For the fisheads out there, Science magazine has a rapturous review of "The Most Important Fish in the Sea", the humble menhaden, which was historically very important along the Atlantic seaboard.

The book was written by an English professor at Rutgers, praised by Daniel Pauly at the Fisheries Centre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

I don't know anything about fisheries biology, but I get the impression that UBC is a big fish place.

Wal-Mart had a mini Black Friday this morning.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 2, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I can't refute your research since my work internet service blocks for "nudism". I dare say that probably confirms your point.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Mudge... I agree wit' ya on Esquire. I was once a subscriber to the mag, but since I've given up neckties I gave up the subscription.

Mudge2... have you thought of changing your name to Wikimudgeon? You're like a bottomless pool of facts (not a bad thing).

On the dollar thing... I remember shopping in Toronto and all the stores had signs saying something to the effect of "30% Discount for US Dollars". I also remember using an ATM machine there and punching in $100 and getting $130 back (in Canucky money) and being amazed by the efficiency and magic of the computerized financial world.

Right now, my only problem with the dollar is that I need more of them.

Speaking of which, I need to get my butt out to the shop and get busy (been delaying because it's so darn cold).

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | November 2, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Hi all...

According to an email from my library, today is Write Your Own Epitaph Day...

Here lies TBG
Loving mother,
wife, sister, friend,

Posted by: TBG | November 2, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh... I forgot the image I want on the top of my tombstone...


Posted by: TBG | November 2, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Here Lies RD Padouk

If this headstone does not have an eternal flame next to it, please complain to my children who promised me one.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

jack of all trades
ace of none

Posted by: jack | November 2, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Here lies bc

[And I can't decide on one, so here's a few ideas]

1. Dammit, I *knew* I shouldn't have done that.

2. Well, *that* was fun.

3. Well, *that* sucked.

4. If I died doing something stupid, are you surprised?

5. When you join me on This Side of the Headstone, meet me at the Hellbar. I'll buy the first round.

6. Hey, where are my pants?


Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Here lies Scottynuke
Do Not Disturb
For 10,000 Years


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. kbertocci
Now she finally *does* know everything.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 2, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

(I won't really have a tombstone, but if I did, it would have italics, by gum.)

Posted by: kbertocci | November 2, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Did someone see a comet or something?

Posted by: Boko999 | November 2, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Here Lies Poor Curmudgeon

░*░*░*░ ‹{^!^}› ░*░*░*░

Died in a Senseless Conveyor Belt Tragedy

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 2, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey, where'd everybody go? Oh, new kit...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 2, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Kucinich, Carter, and Clinton are not the only politicians to openly express an open mind or towards the belief in UFO's. Barry Goldwater once stated in an interview with Larry King that he believed aliens had made contact with earth and that the Air Force was conducting secret UFO investigations; and both Robert Kennedy and Gerald Ford stated that some reports of UFO sightings might have substinance.
I'm not saying that proves that UFO's exist, I thought it would just be something worhty being mentioned, given the topic of the entry.

Posted by: Johnny | November 6, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

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