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The Long Road to Super Tuesday

There's a tendency to turn the American people into statistics, into interest groups, into cohorts and voting blocs. But they're quirkier than that. They're an interesting bunch of folks when you spend a little time with them. I'm going to post some photos I took of various Americans in all parts of the country. Also will probably throw in a building or two, and some candidates. I've been on the road for 21 days in the past month. Visited 7 states, not counting that stretch of I-95 in Georgia on my way from Florida to South Carolina.

If you haven't already, you might also want to read my story on Arizona that ran Saturday (with, as of this morning, 513 reader comments -- yikes), and the one that ran today about Boston. See also the story on Hope, Arkansas, and the one on presidential politics coming to Utah finally after all these years.


Bell Road, Phoenix: This is Joseph Lachcik, who pockets 7 dollars an hour as a human advertisement for a tax-prep firm called Liberty Tax Service. He got the job through a legal day-labor company, and was somewhat alarmed to hear that 7 dollars is actually slightly below minimum wage. No doubt a little bit is taken out in FICA -- still the most regressive tax in America. Lachcik can't vote in the primary because, he said, "I have a felony charge."


Tom Jenney is an Arizona Republican who supports Ron Paul. He was one of about a thousand Republicans at a GOP convention in Glendale. Very few of them expressed any liking for John McCain.


Rob Haney is a leader of the anti-McCain forces in the Arizona GOP. The yellow buttons have "McCain 2008" in a circle with a slash through it.


Sami Hussein and "John" (he wouldn't give his real name) are Palestinians who run a convenience store on Bell Road, catering to a heavily Hispanic clientele. John said he feels kinship with the immigrants: "We feel the same -- we're not accepted anywhere." As we were talking, a shirtless man came in to buy a beer. His entire back was covered with an elaborate tattoo. "It's a Viking raiding an English castle," the man said, and then complained about the poor workmanship on the Viking's sword.


Lou Borland protests outside a day labor center every morning.


This place is south of Phoenix. A long way from this place:


That last pic was taken by my daughter Paris in Henniker, NH. That's her friend Amanda Nooter walking toward the bridge. Some other pics Paris took in NH:

Paris pictures on campaign trail 118.jpg

Paris pictures on campaign trail 141.jpg

Paris pictures on campaign trail 155.jpg

Now some scenes down South:

restaurant in charleston.jpg

Rained on me in Charleston. Rained on me everywhere.


Rained on me in Arkansas. This is Little Rock, near the Clinton Library.


The former president may soon be working at the cash register here.


Actually, it didn't rain in Utah. It blizzarded. Barely visible somewhere between the Tabernacle and the Temple is the Utah state capitol.


Delisa Gallego, 18, from Los Angeles, was sitting under a big screen TV in the BYU student center. On the screen, Teddy Kennedy was endorsing Barack Obama. "It's the least politically active school in the nation," she said of BYU. She said she'd probably vote for Obama.


Alyssa Donnelly, in Boston, says she'll vote for Clinton, who she thinks is more supportive of the working class.


Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain.


Rob Newman, shown here at the Playwright, a South Boston pub, says he's the only Republican in Southie. He'll vote for Romney. As governor, Romney "accomplished as much as he could, given the circumstances. Not as conservative as I would like."


Jim Reilly and Scott Lizotte are blade sharpeners at the Gillette factory in Boston. They were having a beer after work at Amrheins. Reilly says he'll definitely vote for McCain; Lizotte heard that and said, "Oh boy. I would say Clinton, because she has experience."


Obamamania in Brookline.


This guy refused to talk to me.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 4, 2008; 10:23 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Catch That Replaces "The Catch"
Next: Super Tuesday Map In The Brain


Great travelogue, Joel. Course I'm sure the womenfolk at home might have some other adjectives to use in that context.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 4, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse


Great pics!

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and FWIW, you can see some of those same goofy Liberty Tax sign wavers on Georgia Avenue just north of downtown Silver Spring most days of the week.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 4, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little miffed, Joel. You went to Boston and didn't go to see Kurosawachick in Cambridge. She could have designed you a new house, or a new haircut, or something. You could have told her about Princeton. She's applying to arch grad school there.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 4, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

That so many Republicans so desperately hate McCain is about the most ringing endorsement he can get.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the pictures that go along with the stories, boss, thanks for sharing!

America. What a wonderful place. In spite of the problems.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea that Peter Scolari changed his name, moved to Arizona, and became a fellow Ron Paul supporter. At least he doesn't wear a dress anymore.

Posted by: Pop Socket | February 4, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

joel, you missed a great bunch of places by not getting off that stretch of 95 in georgia. should have stopped in brunswick, jekyll island, darien, savannah....if you had the time, i'm sure

Posted by: IMGoph | February 4, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Yay! A Kit I can actually read! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I'm going to click on that.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

soooo sorry 'snuke!! but i DID tell you didn't i??? you just refused to listen (tho i have to admit - like many others - i was sure it was over for the gmen when the pats made their last td)
Thanks for the hospitality and putting up with "chatty cathy" mo and mo's mom! now you know where i get it from! and yes, i'm totally sold on HD - we got home to watch the part of the game i had tivo'd and mom said my tv sucked - no where NEAR as clear as yours!
bc - i can't believe you got me to eat VENISON! sheesh!

baby bush isn't like a guy with ED - he's like a guy with a um... *ahem* very very small appendage who thinks he's great in bed!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures, Joel. I like to travel around and talk to people. My dad taught me (by example) that you can have a personal connection with almost everyone, and everyone has an interesting story. One doesn't always have time, of course, to sit there until a person gets to the interesting part of their story, but the principle holds.

I don't envy you last month's travel schedule but, from my viewpoint of vicarious living, it was time well spent.

m_ragan: spam or merely enthusiasm? No need to shout.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Achenbach | February 4, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Zap, Joel. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What? Not a single picture of Romney--or Hillary--or Ron Paul--or Mike Huckabee: those still in the race?

And no mention of Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani or Bill Richardson or John Edwards or Chris Dodd or Joe Biden or Duncan Hunter or Dennis Kucinich?

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

At least they're doing their job at getting their reporting grammatically correct, rn_ragan.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

You know, I still don't know who Duncan Hunter is. I couldn't pick him out from a box of cake mix.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Home Page Alert! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Fellow citizens of the United States:

Please do not vote for McCain, he is no different than Bush, and personally we have all had enough of Bush. McCain has no morals or integrity research his role in Keating Five. McCain has no clue about the economy, and has admitted it himself. He falls back to all his circle of friends, lol... McCain will allow illegals to infest our country, and give them amnesty, he also wants to take away your freedom of speech and right to protest (1st Amendment). McCain would initiate a draft, and increase taxes as would Hillary. If you are torn between Romney and McCain, think again, think about the only Republican (Ron Paul) who has always voted using our Constitution, not much has been said about him, except lies and smear propaganda, and that he can't win. The media has forever called him a long shot, and that he doesn't have a chance, do you believe the media? Ron Paul outraised all the other Republicans for campaign donations during the 4th quarter, and did not create campaign debt as did McCain and Romney. I listened to the media for a long time, and then I woke up, and started doing the research. What our country needs right now in order to boost our economy is to stop the spending overseas, we must bring that money home, and also cut our taxes, that would stimulate our economy in a very short time.

With the warmongering and foreign spending that Bush has burdened us with we are broke, and yes we are in a recession. McCain and Romney would continue this, as would Hillary and Obama. We have to stop this before we are totally owned by China, which I might add we are very far in debt to China already because of this war and spending.

Before you vote please do yourself a favor and go to Ron Paul's web site, educate yourselves, and stop listening to the media, do not let the media lie to you anymore. Ron Paul is the real deal in order to get this country back on it's feet again. We must stop the war spending first, we must secure our borders & stop amnesty, we must maintain a strong military defense here at home, we must have a President that will abide by our Constitution, and restore the laws of our land again. We must put responsibility back to the Governors of each State, and let them govern. As it stands now, most State Governors want our Federal Government to do their jobs for them, and that must stop now, we cannot expect a President to make decisions for the States. Please learn the role and responsibilities of the Federal government and the President before you vote. Ron Paul knows what will make our economy thrive again, he understands economics more than any of the other candidates both Dems & Repubs. Help to make our country whole again, please consider Ron Paul, please consider our Constitution. I am ex-military, and I support Ron Paul for the right reasons, it's called integrity and principles. I love my country and our people, but I do not support the current foreign policies of Bush, we as a nation cannot afford it, nor can our soldiers and their families. We need to bring those dollars back home for the good of the people in the United States, that one change alone could stop this country from an economical collapse, which should scare you more than terrorists, if that happens, yes indeed the terrorists and Bin Ladens of this world have won. I am very Patriotic, but do not believe in the Patriot Act, it has totally taken rights away from the American people, some of you just don't know it. Stop being so scared of so called terrorist threats, there are none, the only threat we have right now is coming from south of the border with drug lords, and gang members, and our government openly allowing this by not securing the borders and kicking out all the illegals. Knowledge is power, and fear is silencing, stop letting them scare you and start learning. Wake up America, and stop wasting your tax dollars and mine. Voting for anyone other than Ron Paul will get you exactly what you have been getting from Bush, so vote smart people.

For you McCain fans, if I have said something about your candidate that is incorrect, please disprove me, and give me the references so that I may decide for myself. I live in California and the endorsement from Arnold is no different than a Liberal minded Democratic endorsement. Also McCain does this big sad story of a soldier whose mother is illegal, give me a break as well as my pocketbook, don't ask me to support her with my tax dollars, social security, or government funding, I can barely feed my own family the way the economy is, I cannot afford to support illegals as well. Last time I checked it was against our laws to be an illegal immigrant, and requires immediate deportation no matter who your child is. If her child wants his illegal mother to live in the states she can be deported and processed through LEGAL IMMIGRATION, and the military son or daughter can pay for it, we can still be humane about it, but we are not responsible for illegals. WE THE PEOPLE should not have to foot the bill. By the way I am a Hispanic but my family migrated to this country LEGALLY generations ago.

Thank you for reading.
Tess, Central California

Posted by: Tess | February 4, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

As I said, Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Pop Socket, did you call your friends over to play?

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Joel's takes on the political scene are great; diatribes by unknown persons with obvious biases, not so much.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I don't think Pop Socket would even acknowledge this as an enemy!

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Not "Norm!", TBG and Boko. It's "Nawm!"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Energy is an issue in this 2008 race, and I'm not referring here to the fact that John MccCain would turn 72 on Inauguration Day if he is elected.

Reporter McIntire on the weekend was not the first to write about Obama and Exelon, far from it. If Exelon hopes to install a nuclear power plant in Texas near Houston, near the coast, but its head honcho promises he won't do it until the problem or challenge of storing spent nuclear waste is solved, what exactly does that mean? Hillary and Obama both came out strngly againt Yucca Mountain when they both were campaigning in Las Vegas before the January caucuses. Does that mean that the problem of Yucca Mountain will be solved by establishing regional nuclear storage facilities?

Erin Neff wrote in May 2007 about various (some former) candidates' stances on Yucca Mountain, including McCain's, Edwards's, and Kerry's.:

When he was in Las Vegas in March for a health care forum, Obama told The Associated Press he opposed the repository and would look to regional storage as a solution. Surely that could not have meant keeping the stuff in Illinois, where much of the nation's commercial nuclear waste is generated.

On June 30, 2006, Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wrote a letter to Sen. Pete Domenici, D-N.M., who at the time chaired a key energy subcommittee.

"Senator Obama and I want to make it clear to the chairman that any plan to create regional nuclear waste sites without any local veto power is unacceptable," Durbin said at the time. "Illinois must not become a dumping ground -- even a temporary one -- for nuclear waste brought in from other states." ...

But Obama's Yucca problems don't end with his parochial view of the dump. He's also hip-deep in financial ties that McCain or Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney will be able to exploit. [How prescient back in May 2007...]

Obama has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nation's largest nuclear power operator. Exelon Corp. is the second-largest contributor to Obama's presidential campaign, after financial services company UBS, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. [Are these numbers any different nine months later?]

From the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times fact checker:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is a powerful opponent. Both Clinton and Obama have urged that the project be shelved.

A prominent supporter of Yucca Mountain, though, is Exelon Corp., an electric utility based in Chicago.

Exelon operates the largest nuclear fleet (17 reactors) in the United States and the third-largest commercial nuclear fleet in the world, according to Exelon's Web site.

In a speech to nuclear energy executives in May 2007, Exelon CEO John Rowe said permanent disposal at Yucca Mountain or a similar facility remains "a long-term imperative" for the industry, even while he acknowledged it would not happen soon.

We asked a spokesman for Exelon if they've spent "millions" promoting Yucca Mountain. We were told they don't track their spending by project. Public records, though, indicate the company has spent more than $10-million on lobbyists between 2002 and 2007, with Yucca Mountain listed among its top issues. That doesn't count previous years; the Yucca Mountain project has been debated for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, campaign finance records confirm Exelon is one of Obama's top contributors. The Center for Responsive Politics found that Exelon employees were his sixth-largest corporate donor group. (No. 1 was Goldman Sachs.)

The Obama campaign points to several mitigating factors: Obama opposes Yucca Mountain. Exelon is one of the largest companies and employers in Obama's hometown of Chicago. Obama has sponsored legislation specifically targeting Exelon after unplanned waste releases in Illinois. Obama has not accepted any money from Exelon lobbyists or Exelon's political action committee; rather, the contributions are from people who work at Exelon.

Of all these points, it's the last we find most compelling. Obama is not taking money from Exelon as a corporate entity or PAC, rather he's accepting contributions from Exelon executives and employees. (Clinton, by contrast, accepts federal PAC money, though she hasn't accepted any from Exelon.) It's a small but real difference, so we rate her claim on Obama's ties to Exelon to be Mostly True.

Since only three links are allowed per post, I'll come back with two more with how other reporters write about how Washington works in terms of Exelon.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

hahahaha. That might be a record.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to miss it when Ron Paul drops out on Wednesday. Any chance of George Soros secretly funding an independent PaulCharge?

Speaking of partisanship, Weingarten's poll for tomorrow is running 6-1 with "lean Democrat" and they are going overwhelmingly for Obama.

Posted by: Pop Socket | February 4, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse


No obfuscation zone.

I work with a whole bunch of illegally present Mexicans. None complain about the crappiness of their status. The sense of foreboding and doom that must be everpresent. Then again, they could have just stayed home and without jobs, remained unemployed peones. And those dudes who spent a lot of time in LA aren't welcome where I work. They just don't fit in. However, the guys who remain fall into two categories as I see it. Those who wish to aspire no higher than the who-gives-a-hoot anglos who think about 15 seconds ahead max, and then there are the guys who can read blueprints, visualize how things are going to be built before they are built, and do things right. The guys who we really, to be honest, can't do without. Not because of low wages; because of brains, natural skill, and the energy level of the young and hungry. All those things. I don't even think they want citizenship. I think they just want a danged green card.

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

*quietly tip-toeing toward the bunker, and laying in a supply of drinking water, soda, snack food, playing cards, flashlight batteries, etc., just in case*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

That sounded like my company hires those guys. Not so. I just run into them in my course of duties.

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers
Laying in the fields.

Love, Reign o'er me, rain on me

Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high

On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah yello... and Obama beats Romney in the "Leans Republican" poll. Interesting.

I wish Weingarten had broken down more choices like

"I'm for Obama but I'm not sure" etc

The way it is now there's no way of knowing which "very sure" votes were for which candidates.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

15% of Canadians would rather vote in US.
I was invited to by that nice lady who gave the Democratic response to the SOTU speech. She said, "If you're watching this you are an American." I was watching, I remember distictly. How'd I know otherwise, eh? That's logic.
I can tell by the pie on your tie
You're an American
Well, so am I
Hey Bub
Hi Bub
How do you do
And while we're on the subject
And while we're on the subject
And while we're on the subject
How's your old Wazoo.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The following comes from a Progressive website, but the material is actually a reprint of an article published in the Los Angeles Times, April 2007, "Obama's Refusal of Lobbyists' Money Has its Limits," by reporter Dan Morain:

While refusing money directly from federal lobbyists, who get their income from clients, Obama takes money from those clients. In the first quarter of 2007, he accepted a combined $170,000 from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, two financial services giants that have numerous issues pending in Washington and spent a total of $4.6 million on lobbying in 2006.

Power provider's largess

Obama's biggest single source of corporate money - $160,000 - came from executives at Exelon Corp., the nation's largest nuclear power provider, and its subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, an Illinois utility.

Exelon spent $500,000 to influence policy in Washington last year. Although Obama took no money from Exelon's Washington lobbyists, he accepted $1,000 checks from lobbyists John P. Novak and James Monk of Springfield. In Springfield, Novak represents Exelon., and Monk is president of the Illinois Energy Assn., a trade group that represents Commonwealth Edison.

Monk and Novak said they do not lobby in Washington. But their clients care about federal issues, including where to store nuclear waste and what restrictions to place on coal-fired plants.

Far more recently--just over a week ago, on Jan. 25--the Baltimore Sun weighed in on the issue of Obama and Exelon (is this what influenced NYT reporter McIntire to write his article in this week's New York Times?) The article was written by reporter by Jay Hancock.:,0,4656523.column

Pay no attention to whether Sen. Barack Obama's ties to Exelon Corp. might make him sympathetic to storing nuclear waste in Nevada. That argument, aired before that state's Democratic caucuses last week, is a sideshow.

A bigger question is how Obama's Exelon links might influence his broader electricity policy at the most critical period for U.S. electricity since the 1930s. Exelon, the Illinois version of Baltimore's Constellation Energy, is one of the country's biggest megawatt producers, the largest nuclear plant operator and a huge Obama backer through its executives and employees.

But the Exelon-Obama link is especially strong. Exelon employees and others close to the company have given almost $195,000 to Obama, according to the latest records. Exelon is surpassed among corporate Obama donors by only Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers and a couple of other companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

One of Obama's biggest fundraising "bundlers," packaging money from multiple individuals, is Frank M. Clark, chairman of Commonwealth Edison, the big Illinois utility owned by Exelon. Exelon director John W. Rogers Jr., chief of mutual fund company Ariel Capital Management, also has given thousands to Obama. ...

Part of Obama's Exelon connection may demonstrate old-fashioned ethnic politics as much as corporate connections. Rogers and Clark are part of Illinois' black elite and would probably back Obama no matter what their business interests.

But the connections are there. The money is on the table, and the stakes are enormous. FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission], which regulates wholesale electricity, has repeatedly ignored allegations of price manipulation by Exelon and other generating companies, leaving states to do what they can.

Last year Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan accused Exelon and another company of overpricing electricity to achieve "a massive transfer of money" from consumers. Exelon agreed to pay an $800 million settlement.

"Five million Illinois residents are unnecessarily paying electricity prices that are double the actual cost of generating electricity and 40 percent higher than electricity prices in the wholesale electricity markets," Madigan complained. "Our investigation turned up disturbing evidence of price manipulation."

It's hard to imagine an Obama FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]including anybody like Lisa Madigan.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Refused to talk to you?

Pictures do not talk.

Just as well, you might not like what you hear.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | February 4, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC please insert question marks as needed.
The pome was Firesign Theatre.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

They didn't ask questions like that back in 1776, Boko!

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Part of Obama's Exelon connection may demonstrate old-fashioned ethnic politics as much as corporate connections. Rogers and Clark are part of Illinois' black elite and would probably back Obama no matter what their business interests."

Is that that the new NOW line?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

pj. I forgot to thank you for your response to my gitbox query.

Thank You

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Boko, that line in Loomis' post stood out for me, too. And not in a good way.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

There is the cost of generation, and the cost of delivery. I have no idea if that is relevant.

I liked the Firesign poem.

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, Boko. I saw a picture of the guitar Campbell was playing and you were right - they were both six-string necks. He played the bottom neck on one song and the top neck on the next song.

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, are you quoting that article? If so, the reporter didn't do his homework. Corporations do not contribute to federal elections. If they did, there'd be a big ole fine. Much bigger than the contribution itself, and *every* federal candidate knows this. There are about a dozen other things wrong (or at least extremely misleading) with the article, but I've got a guest coming over. If you're interested, this might be a good primer on financing of federal campaigns.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

pj, Boko, I assume that those twin six-strings that Campbell was playing were either tuned to different keys and/or had different hardware - pickups & etc. - for different sounds.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I love the internet. And Lostinthought for the definitive link.

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

My guess is the latter, bc. I can't imagine that Tom Petty uses a lot of unusual tunings. It's possible Campbell have one neck strung higher or lower to make his lead lines easier but I think it is more likely that it's to get different sounds.

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse


Would you consider marking your quoted materials with really obvious signs, like the

// insert interesting stuff from others //
(Slash slash to open; slash slash to close)

move that might be emerging as a marker in digital forums?

I have a hard time keeping your text and the text of others separate.

Granted, we move quickly here; but that is the nature of the digital world.

What do you think?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

BC and PJ

In the background at ChezCePe is Neil Young's "Rocking in the Free World," but done by CPBoy....I love my life.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting pictures and intelligent comments here. Why does "Loomis" post such long quotes? In other blogs this would get him banned. It is considered very bad form and possibly illegal. Links are the proper thing to post.

Posted by: Jacob66 | February 4, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Nobody make any sudden moves. We don't want to scare this one away.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

A question for Loomis on this whole Excelon / Obama / Election contribution / how Washington Works thing:

Is this all about Excelon wanting to put a plant in Texas?

Seems to me that the discussion has gotten somewhat far afield if that's what the original concern was...

LiT, thanks for that link. That's good stuff, and I love reading Government Policy documentation.

Of course, I love reading sports and auto racing rulebooks, too.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

NASA's attempt to make the Beatles the next big thing in space...

CP: Have you listened to NY's Greendale?

Posted by: jack | February 4, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

lifting text from sources, as long as they're cited properly (and preferrably linked), is probably OK.

loomis, let me also join cp in recommending that you mark your cited text much more clearly than you do. i get so confused between your words and other sources that i often skip your posts.

i agree with mudge's gripe about the bylines that misrepresent the substance of articles. because of my general cynicism, i tend to think that some are intentional to increase readership. my other pet peeve is when the names of articles are changed so that you end up opening them more than once because you don't know whether you read them. also gimmicky, and unfortunately, not beneath the wapo.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 4, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Boko and bc, another possibility is that Campbell has one neck set up to play slide. That would also make a lot of sense. (Okay, I'll stop with the guitar talk.)

As far as the campaign funding article goes, I think the article is sloppily written, as LIT suggested. I think most reporters know by now that corporate and union contributions are prohibited. Now they just use it as a kind of shorthand. Some don't seem to distinguish as clearly as they could about PACs and individual contributions and bundling, which is sloppy reporting but not a hanging offense. Since the individual contribution limits increased recently, I think there's more money to be made (so to speak) in bundling and so reporters and watchdog groups focus on that.

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Sad News (for his fans anyway). Andrew Cohen over at Bench Conference is leaving.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll second L.A.lurker's plea to Loomis about marking cited material. I seldom read those posts. It is of little interest to find you have been reading, not Loomis's remarks, but something else -- and that "something else" is then linked to itself in the original article. Makes your head spin.

Posted by: nellie | February 4, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

hey mudge - batten down the hatches, we may be in for a rocky time!

scoot over and give me some room in the bunker!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"Loomis's posts are more often skimm'd than devour'd." I would guess that, anyway. And I've never had problems using plain 'ol Mrs. McGee-taught methods for quoting materials, though others have insisted she is no longer relevant in the modern world.[space][space][backspace]

Boko moves to a clear +3 on the Bonfleur scale; but do hoi polloi of the web set Achenblog standards?

To be successful politicians have to gather money. I'm not so sure that $200K contributed to a campaign that could easily spend $20 million this month is especially alarming.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | February 4, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Loomis is on to something, though. Why not use's servers to store those millions and millions of words she finds so fascinating? It is much less expensive than, say, buying a bunch of external hard drives or, gasp, a server of her own. And archiving and search functions are all laid on, again at no cost to Loomis, so that it is easy for her to find all those articles she copies whenever she wants.

If the company objects to that use of the site, it can always shut down the long posts. So far so good, obviously.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

There's always room for you in the bunker, mo. *lights candles, opens bottle of wine, puts Sinatra on the record player...*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Right back atcha, mo!

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... mo... don't forget your box of books!

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

loomis - one of the crops used to discourage poppy in afghanistan is pomegrantes. unfortunately, they don't have the same dollar value as poppy.

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki. Things settling down for you out there?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see you back, mo. Time away from the boodle has done nothing to dull your sense of humour.

Posted by: jack | February 4, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Everybody, please form an orderly line to the left when entering the bunker and prepare to pass the raisin test so the bunny gatekeepers will admit you.

Also, the hug-o' war event is scheduled in a hour, with our resident champ taking on all newcomers.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

About 28 hours from now, a fog of Super Duper humiliation will be descending on huddled masses of pollsters and pundits as unanticipated primary results pour in. But they'll get over it quick.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 4, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, no. The new job is *fabulous* but incredibly time-consuming. I spend all day attending meetings and talking to my team members, and all night actually producing deliverables. And that is why they pay me the big bucks (!).

I've been flying somewhere every week since early December, too. This week, Montreal on Thursday and Friday.

And then the stupid stupid provincial government called an election today; somehow I agreed to volunteer on the campaign of one of the liberal candidates. Fortunately, even though that was not in my own best interests, I don't have to go into the office, only write approved communications from wherever I happen to be. So that is OK, I hope.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The caucus will be a family event, apparently. What should I bring?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Good luck with the election Yoki, now a Liberal election in Alberta there would be an upset - I remember when it was a near impossible dream here took 37 years but it happened.

Hi Mo!

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

survivorman just ate a live scorpion!


Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

hey moe/dmd!

*HUGZ* - yes, the resident hug-champion is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Success comes with its price, Yoki. Glad you're enjoying it, and we won't forget you, so feel free to drive-by and say hi when you have the time.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Again with the hugging...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

of course again with the hugging!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

...and you know I wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey mo! *hugshugshugs*

Mudge, I got dibs on the cheese tray and Chardonney. (After all, *I* cleaned the bathrooms in the bunker this afternoon. And what a fun job that was!)

Boko, re your 6:18 ROTFLMAO

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

No, no, of course not, Mudge, it's still on the shelf by the shampoo. I did take the liberty of dunking it in my bleach water to get the soap scum off. You my thank me later.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, how great it is to see Yoki and mo in here this evening.

Yoki, you *will* remember us when you've become one of those movers and shakers in Ottawa, won't ya?


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC: may *sigh*

Welcome, Jacob66! Stick around and enjoy the fun and madness here!

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, we appreciate you cleaning those bathrooms after the Super Bowl party.

I expect it wasn't that easy to get the lime Grain-o out of the bathtubs.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

sheesh - is anyone watching anything good tonite? all i've got is survivorman back to back - they are repeats and he keeps eating gross stuff!!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Be careful when you go in there, bc, lest the smell of chlorine overcome you. It was a tough job and I had to bring out the heavy stuff. But they *do* look much better.

I hope you guys like the new dotted swiss ruffled curtains in there.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mo!
MoF. What the heck is a Bonfleur scale?
(He asked warily.)

Posted by: LumpenProl999 | February 4, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki

Yes it's true. Election called today in Alberta. And the election will be held on March 3. Of this year! I'm eagerly awaiting the results of the Medicine Hat primary. And of course, the decisive "Moderately Important Wednesday".

Of course, we don't have an actual "democracy" or anything like that. The current party has held power since 1971, with a succession of premiers within the same party. The party before that (Social Credit) held power from 1935 to 1971. Before that was the flash in the pan United Farmers of Alberta (1921-1935), and before that the Liberal Party (1905-1921). Before that there was no Alberta, so as you can tell we change our parties about as often as people change their luggage. All true:

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a spontaneous outburst of support for our dear leader that I must attend.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 4, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I was planning to watch discovery health, Mo... but medical shows are even more gross than Les in the desert, be warned. I see plenty else on cable, depends on if you want documentaries, reruns of Star Trek: enterprise, sitcoms, sports, etc.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Changing the subject only totally, Bobby Knight resigned as the Chief Chair Chucker of the Red Raiders of Texas Tech:

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jacob66 was Boko's evil twin that only speaks in Esperanto. Think about it: "66bacoj"

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 4, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Do you see any listings for Carnivale, Wilbrod?

Gosh, tomorrow is Mardi Gras! That's two big parties in three days. The bunker is going to be trashed again.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever taken the (admittedly great) trouble to go through Ron Paul's many proposals for reducing the federal government and figured out- how many jobs would be eliminated at the national, state, and local level and in government related industries, how much money would really be saved, how much local and state taxes would have to be increased to make up the shortfall in revenue,and where this would have the biggest effect? My guess would be- a lot,not enough, a lot, and in the red states. Of course Congress would never agree to the things he proposes, but his fans don't seem to be too reality-based in their thinking anyway, do they?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 4, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez. Hi Yoki. Sorry, I didn't see you, I've been investigating Bonfleurs.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Saw that about Knight. Glad to see him gone, to be honest. But I wonder why?

I also see that his son succeeds him. It was in the son's contract. Maybe that's my answer.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, they probably figure Congress will balk at 3/4 of all proposed changes anyway, so the more extreme, the more the president balances congress.

That's if they're thinking about that at all. I personally suspect half of Ron Paul supporters are pot farmers in Montana, but that's supposition, not evidence.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

mo, I watched Bill Maher at 8, and now I'm watching the first of two back-to-back segments of "In Treatment." I really like this show; you might give it a try. You can drop in anywhere, although there are some back stories building up. The writing, casting and acting are quite good.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Careful MacCarl. He doesn't like being referred to as a "that".

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Story here about Ron Paul possibly winning the Rep caucuses, based on his fund raising:

The R's are also picking half their delegates from the primary vote on the 19th. I think this has to be the weirdest primary of all 50 states...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The license plate on that hearse in Little Rock says NECRO.

Posted by: OD | February 4, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how many Paulites are protest voters? I mean, when you look at the mainstream candidates--jeepers creepers.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Yoki! Howdy Mo! Welcome, Jacob66. And good eye, OD - I noticed the NECRO plate too but thought perhaps we were all being too polite to mention it.

What's this about eating a scorpion? Live?

And MedallionofFerret, what is the Bonfleur scale? And where's my bridge?

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I just love the Boodle.

bc, when I'm in Ottawa as a Liberal policy wonk I'll remember you. I'll, um, well, I'll remember you. I hope. I fear I may well be old enough to be demented before we have a majority gov't again.

dmd, you don't really think we'll get a Liberal gov't here, do you? We'll be happy if we win a couple more ridings.

SonofCarl rocks. "Moderately Important Wednesday" indeed!

Boko, you should put that Bonfleur out before you go to bed.

I am not going to be volunteering on Election Day, March 3. Because that is my birthday (the one at which I finally catch up to TBG!) and I plan to stay in bed and sob quietly to myself.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I am now beseeching the good folk of
Alberta to give Yoki the birthday she deserves - a Liberal victory March 3 - frantically waving my magic wand to make the near impossible happen.

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness a judge had the common sense to ban the Holocaust float in the Rio Carnival parade:

Geting ready at the top of the hour to see on HBO the film "Smokin' Aces" about the mob at Tahoe casinos. Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Alicia Keyes, Jeremy Piven star.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom - you wouldn't believe what Les will eat! tho i have to admit - him shipwrecked on a tropical island wasn't gross at all. good show.

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I love Jeremy Piven. His Ari Gold is one of the best characters ever on TV.

And Yoki... believe me... things look great on this side! C'mon over!

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

jeremy pivens is HOT - tho i'm not crazy bout the hair piece - i think bald is sexy.

i didn't know alicia keys was in this movie! she's soooo incredible - no queen latifa but still...

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, Jacob66! (too sudden a move, Boko?) Y'all come back now, y'hear?

In response to a query, I've been getting a lot of 2AM calls and beeps, projects upon which the survival of the world depends :-) and picking out/up curtains for the living room to bracket the wood blinds which I installed last fall prior to the Philadelphia BPH. Thus, mostly lurking (sorry, mostly).

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ok - why do i watch animal planet? i always end up a wheepy emotional mess!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Jacob66, you've posted before, if memory serves?

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's some high brow humour for your delectation.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Off to bed, strange weather here, pouring rain and thunder and lightning.

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Check your e-mail for some smiles, Mo. I do agree with you re Animal Planet.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Loomis-- I don't think you or mo is gonna like "Smokin' Aces" very much. Probably one of the most gratuitously violent movies I've ever seen (short of the horror/slashies).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

i actually meant animal precinct - some of the things ppl can do to animals absolutely breaks my heart!

Posted by: mo | February 4, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, haven't boodled for a couple of days and then Boko's 6:18 made me laugh so hard that my sides ached. Then, SofC's Moderately Important Wednesday made me start laughing all over again.

Loomis - Good luck with Smokin' Aces, I didn't even last for half an hour. It looked funny in the commercials, but whoa, just way too much for me.

We have tons of Liberty Tax statues of liberty and uncle sam's on most every corner down here. So many that it seems unbelievable to me that it can be profitable to hire them.

I just finished "Miss Austen Regrets" (thanks to DVR-YEA!!!) and I liked it. I agree that Greta Scaachi was miscast, although you can see why they did it because Olivia Williams and she resemble each other. So far, I've enjoyed all of the presentations except "Mansfield Park" and of course, my very favorite starts this Sunday. Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

Posted by: Kim | February 4, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

No time to do the boodle justice but I wanted to share one of my favorite Rick Mercer bits in case Yoki hasn't already seen it.

"Alberta, 38 years of 1 party rule, that's longer than Angola. Hang around 3 more years and you'll beat East Germany." You can see the whole bit here:
scroll down to the Jan. 15, 2008 episode and click on Congrats Mr. Stelmach.

Taking Mr. F back to the Duluth airport early tomorrow so toodles and fondue.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 4, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I liked the Miss Austen Regrets too, although I haven't studied her much, so don't have a well-formed image of her. Heck, I liked Becoming Jane. And yes, looking forward to P&P. I love Jennifer Ehle - she expresses so much with her eyes - and reminds me of a favorite cousin of mine in that role. I think it's in 3 parts, no?

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Is this Miss Austen Regrets some underhanded way to embarrass people who ignore RSVP invitations?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 5, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

I adored the Ehle-Firth rendition as well.

As to Yellojkt's point that the Bennets have furnishing just as nice as the Bingleys... in the book it is clear the Bingeleys are merely renting a house for the summer, while the Bennets have lived there for decades, so it would make sense that the decorations are going to be nicer.
Mrs Bennet came with a certain dowry and income, which will be sadly insufficent to marry off 4 daughters, especially with the loss of the estate upon Mr. Bennet's death due to its being entailed to their cousin instead. So yes, it makes sense to me.
Also, they would have their best out for the Bingleys, to show they weren't that shabby status/taste-wise.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse



Cassandra!! (where you at??) *HUGSSSSSSSSS*

Today's results will be interesting, that's for sure. Not that I'm going to watch them live or anything. *L*

*almost-back-to-normal Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 5:16 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle and Scotty. Yes, today is going to be an historic day, all right, and by this time tomorrow the world is gonna look a little different, with major pieces of the campaign cemented in place. (Though I'm one who doesn't think there will be clear winners in either party; I think McCain will do well, but fall just short of sewing it up.) Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne both have pieces that are basically helpful to Obama and bad for Hillary.

The piece on Rush Limberger versus McCain is by Howard Kurtz, and is pretty good. (Always love to see GOP suicidal infighting.)

Glad to see Yoki and mo back among the fold. Missed you guys!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's a well-written column about a sad situation:

Posted by: kbertocci | February 5, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

For Super Tuesday, I've put together a collection candidate tune cooties. Click at your own risk.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Hi Kim,

I like Greta Saachi, but not cast as Cassandra, here with Olivia Williams as Jane. Greta is beautiful and real, isn't she?

Jane Austen lovers -- and dabblers -- might like Barbara Pym's books. Philip Larkin thought her the most underrated writer in Britain in one hundred years:

Shall I try to be on kit? Yes. Montana is a super Tuesday state that politicians tend not to visit. Idaho, yes; Montana, no.

Yoki and Mo! At once, such a feast.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 5, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip on Pym, CP. I've never read her books, which sound intriguing.

I read the Kurtz and Milbank pieces on McCain and Limbaugh and talk radio. My, Rush is certainly all about Rush, isn't he? As the hubby says, the uber right wing crowd cannot abide anyone that isn't a kool-aid drinker. They all just sound mean and small to me.

Love the kit pictures, JA. What a month!

Posted by: Kim | February 5, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy Super Fat Tuesday, everyone!

Welcome to the Boodle Bunker.
Fasten your seatbelts, buckle your chinstraps, gird your loins, put your seatbacks up, the tray tables in the upright and locked positions, and be ready to Duck and Cover with your heads down 'twixt your knees [note to self: move the laptop to the Costanza Room on the floor under my desk], should you note the flash of any primary or caucus election results predicting a winner, and don't forget to check your Exposure Tags after the polls close to determine if you need to seek treatment.

Today's Boodle is Code Purple until further notice, or until High Admiral Curmudgeon, Chief Engineer Scottynuke, or Den Mother TGB say it's safe to come out and play or to kiss our patooties goodbye (Boodler's choice as to kissing your own or someone else's).

And remember, no matter what:

We're all voting in Error in '08!


Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC, already: "TBG"

Oy vey, I'm sorry about that.

Moveable Type started acting up, and I submitted in panic without spell checking it.


Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Mardi Gras! Laissez le bon temps rouler, as they say in Nouvelle Orléans.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Mardi Gras, already? I've just recovered from the Winter Solstice. That means St Patricks Day is just around the corner and then it's Cinquo DeMayo. Ay caramba!

We got plenty of tylenol and Bloddy Mary mix in the bunker?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Just remember the cover of the Hitchhiker's Guide, bc...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

After reading Robinson's, Dionne's and Cohen's op-eds this morning, a reader would come to believe that Obama's candidacy is the second coming of [pick your favorite prophetic figure].

How different the tone was about Obama at the end of June last year when Washinton Post reporters Alec MacGillis (I know he contributes frequently to the blog The Trail) and Steven Mufson wrote an article--that ran front-page about another energy issue--titled, "Coal Fuels a Debate Over Obama: Democrat Stuck Between Industry and Environment."

More broadly, Obama's contortions on coal point to the limits of the role he likes to assume, that of a unifier who can appeal across traditional lines and employ a "new kind of politics" to solve problems. In reaching out to the coal industry, some observers say, he may have been trying to show that he is a different sort of Democrat, but the gesture had the look of old-style politicking and put him in a corner, where he wound up alienating some on both sides of the issue.

"He was trying to throw a bone to the southern Illinois coal interests . . . and was surprised when people started saying, 'What the heck are you doing?' " said Frank O'Donnell, president of the environmental group Clean Air Watch. "That's a rookie mistake for a presidential candidate, to think you can get in the middle of a controversial issue and no one will notice."

Interesting on-air comment by Lou Dobbs last night (I had flipped on the TV since problems at work put my husband home later than he promised to be)--that there have been about 30 debates between the Republicans and Democrats fields of candidates thus far and nowhere near the level of substantive debate about substantive issues necessary to inform voters as they head to the polls today.

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams, 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Howdy and a good Super Fat All Powerful Tuesday to you all! What a great day. We're still in a contested race on both sides and may well be going into the later primaries. Democrats have two intelligent, engaging, qualified candidates from which to choose, either of whom could be president and one of whom probably will. There are such significant differences between the parties this year (on the war, health care and the economy) that the Republican candidate who does best will provide a stark foil for the Democrat who gets the eventual nomination. It is all good. If you're a registered voter, get out there and vote! If you're eligible but not registered, shame on you. Better fix that before the presidential election in November!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, the Mr. & Mrs T's tanker just left, and we're full. The Stoli tanker should be here momentarily.

Scottynuke, I don't have my copy of Hitchhiker's with the cover upon me at the moment. I forgot my towel somewhere, and there was an Incident I had to resolve by ripping the covers off of the book and using them. To avert further issues, I have ordered 10 cases of Charmin Ultra Soft and a box of 200 grit sandpaper for the Bunker.

Loomis, seems to me that Dobbs is stating the obvious. The candidates need to play nice within their respective parties in order to get enough support and delegates for the nomination. Coming off as divisive at this point would do them no good - note the concilatory tone of the last Dem debate for a good example. On the other hand, Romney went after McCain (as a Hail Mary) the last GOP debate, and I 'spect that'll backfire on him today.


Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Interesting science news at the NYT to brighten your day--discovery of an ancient altar site in Greece:

After reviewing the findings of pottery experts, geologists and other archaeologists, David Gilman Romano of the University of Pennsylvania concluded that material at the Lykaion altar "suggests that the tradition of devotion to some divinity on that spot is very ancient" and "very likely predates the introduction of Zeus in the Greek world."

As Dr. Romano remarked, quoting a quip by a friend, "We went from B.C. to B.Z., before Zeus."

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I am also going to post an interesting science article, bc, RD other physics/magnet experts - any credibility?

Posted by: dmd | February 5, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Our Internet service has been acting very weird here at work, so this is imply a test of the Early Warning System: test, test, test.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

**high-pitched wailing feedback sound**

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

A tune for Super Duper Fat Tuesday:

Down south in New Orleans,
The prettiest girls I've ever seen.
Sparkling eyes, lips so sweet,
we make love to the Rumba beat.
Ship's at anchor, my suitcase packed,
Got a one way ticket, ain't comin' back.
Life's a pleasure, love's no dream,
Down south in New Orleans.

My dark eyed baby, I'm on my way,
Back into your arms to stay.
I'm tired of work, I wanna play.
I'll make sweet love to you night and day.

Down south in New Orleans,
The prettiest girls I've ever seen.
Sparkling eyes, lips so sweet,
we make love to the Rumba beat.
Ship's at anchor, my suitcase packed,
Got a one way ticket, ain't comin' back.
Life's a pleasure, love's no dream,
Down south in New Orleans.

I want to get too loose, on Toulose Street,
I wanna kiss all the Creole girls I see.
Drink all day, dance all night.
Do it wrong, 'til I do it right.

Down south in New Orleans,
The prettiest girls I've ever seen.
Sparkling eyes, lips so sweet,
we make love to the Rumba beat.
Ship's at anchor, my suitcase packed,
Got a one way ticket, ain't comin' back.
Life's a pleasure, love's no dream,
Down south in New Orleans.

BTW, shrimp dip awaits in the bunker.

Posted by: jack | February 5, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Shrimp dip, yum, jack.

I can tell already this will be quite the evening in the bunker. Good thing we cleaned it up yesterday.

Posted by: Slyness | February 5, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Slyness: I hope your friend weathers the political storm created around the Mackey thing well. That's a mess that won't be cleaned up anytime soon. Are you still on the mountain?

Posted by: jack | February 5, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tune, jack. That song was one of the fun bits in The Band's "Last Waltz." They gave an especially enthusiastic reading to the line "Do it wrong, 'til I do it right." Maybe that's not quite as good a motto for Mardi Gras as "Let the Good Times Roll" but it ain't bad.

Posted by: pj | February 5, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I teased this (journalistically speaking), so figure this morning is as good a time as any to deliver. Besides, who knows what the Republican race will look like tomorrow morning. A graf (p. 317) from the book that Jonathan Yardley recommended, "What Hath God Wrought," as I mentioned about the history of the U.S. from 1815 to 1848 (getting a lot of mileage from this recent book lately).:

In February 1833, the prophet received his famous revelation, "the Word of Wisdom," which came to him after his wife had complained about men smoking and spitting tobacco juice in their house.

It enjoined abstinence from "wine or strong drink," from tobacco, and from "hot drinks" (interpreted to mean coffee and tea). Meat and poultry should be used only "sparingly."

The advice was typical of contemporary dietary reform and temperance, but the revelation couched it in poetic biblical eloquence. Saints who followed the rule were promised "health in their navel and marrow in their bones" [interpret that as you will]. They "shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass them by, as the children of Israel, and not slay them."

Originally considered advisory, keeping the Word of Wisdom became mandatory in the twentieth century for Latter-day Saints.

Gee, no wonder Mitt Romney looks so handsome and terrific at age 60!

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Sort of oddly, alcohol (beer, watered-down wine) and boiled water (tea, coffee) were historically vital because they reduced water-borne disease. Arguably, 18th century Europeans and Americans went about their lives in a mild perpetual stupor (with maybe some antioxidant plant chemicals and/or assorted nutrients in beer) while East Asians had a mild tea buzz, not to mention all those antioxidant plant chemicals.

On the other hand, distilled spirits were a public health disaster for 18th century London. The Hogarth painting showing the evils of gin was on-message.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 5, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My Mardi Gras musings. My wife and I and oldest daughter, then 3 moved to Slidell, La. in 1979. My youngest daughter was born there in 1980. In the N.O. suburbs, Mardi Gras was a strictly family affair, not the debauchery of the big city. It was kinda like a mix of all of the secular holidays; a time for quiet, orderly local parades that threw out lots of beads and throws, candy and prizes to eager little outstreched hands. The phrase, "Throw me something, mister!!" rang out at every turn of the neighborhood parades.

Moving to the DC suburbs in 1984, my kids awaited the local 4th of July parade with all of the excitement and anticipation borne of their Louisiana experience. They were bitterly dissapointed and disgusted with the poor performance of parade organizers up here. At best, only one or two wagons tossed out a paltry handful of penny candy or gum. The cries of "Throw me something!!" were met with blank stares.

My kids were heartbroken and forelorn at the thought of not being in N.O. at Mardi Gras. Although healed from their severe dissapointment, they remember fondly their childhood experiences in Louisiana.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 5, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse


That article really pegs my skepticism meter, particularly since it seems to imply the field from a stationary magnet induces action in a motor. YMMV.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"health in their navel and marrow in their bones" They "shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass them by, as the children of Israel, and not slay them."

Yep, with a healthy navel, God on your side, and $250 million in the bank, a man can go a long way.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 5, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I know Scotty, but I am intrigued, I have read some articles by that journalist and am curious.

Posted by: dmd | February 5, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I wrote a comment that appears to be lost between Moveable Type dimensions, but the long and short of it was that I'm with Scottynuke on being skeptical of such claims.

It seems that every so often we hear of some non-mainstream scientist or engineer claiming to have invented an Impossibly Better Mousetrap, only to find out that the results are not reproduceable (see Cold Fusion) or were flat-out hoaxes (see human cloning).

I am still waiting for my own personal alchemy, where I can turn Boodling into money.

I 'spect that this case has something to do with an odd reverse natural alternator resonance effect between the machine and the magnets, but my specualtion is nearly baseless conjecture. I'd like to see if the guy can build another one or tell someone else how to. If they can reproduce it, and it can clearly be proven to provide perpetual motion with zero energy input, than I'm listening.


Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the pic of McCain in NYC on the WaPo home page, all I could think of was "The star attraction of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was a giant inflated balloon in the likeness of John McCain."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 5, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"own personal alchemy"???

At least you're not living in your own Private Idaho, bc...

Apologies for the tune cootie, sorta...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

k-guy, I'm waiting for someone to do a mashup of Coke's "Macy's balloon" commercial, replacing the characters with candidates and the Coke bottle with a ballot.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mormon humor website--this from actual bloopers in the chuch bulletin:

Weight Watchers will meet a 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Thursday at 5:00 PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mother's Club. All ladies wishing to become "Little Mothers" will meet with the Pastor in his study.

This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

Thursday night--Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

The preacher will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth With Joy."

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Well I am a believer in accidental inventions - where would the world be without post-it notes? :-)

Posted by: dmd | February 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

good afternoon, friends. scotty, couldn't get on this morning. it kept giving me a blank page, and before i could access the blog, had to give id and all that. just getting connected.

i had to laugh at the six something comment by somebody called j and the numbers. i mean, that was funny, and boko, your comment just sent me right over the top. i've laughed so, i'm hurting.

read eugene robinson's take on bill, as hillary clinton's baggage. good op-ed piece.

JA, the pictures are so good, but can we can get some diversity in there? I hope this isn't offensive to you.

anyone care to read my letter to the editor in this morning's local paper, pull up Richmond County Daily Journal. I can't do links. I can barely get on here! In North Carolina, of course.

Need to downsize my comments, too.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 5, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

bc, Martin Fleischmann and Pons, of cold fusion fame, were mainline scientists. I have to say that the response of some nuclear physicists to the publication of their paper sounded Limbaughesque to us electrochemists at the time. MF was a professor at Southampton, a very big uni in electrochemistry and Pons, a former student of his, was also a tenured professor albeit a young one in a lesser department. I have met Fleishmann a couple of time, before the controversy, as he was a friend of a professor of my department. He was (I think he still works, not sure) a great experimentalist and provided me with great insights into what I was working at the time. He also refereed a paper I co-wrote about my MS thesis and his (copious!) comments helped us make a much better paper. I still wish I had his comments before submitted my thesis. At one point I was supposed to work with him to continue his work on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy but a second kid went online and I decided to get out of the academic life and start earning real money...
He continued working on the insertion of H(D) in Pt-metals matrices after the "cold fusion" incident but was thereafter very particular about avoiding the CF label.

But this Heins and is PM machine sounds and looks like the cuckoos who were proposing to install gen-sets on electric cars back when I was working in the battery field. And he is from Ottawa for crying out loud, he may even BE one of those cuckoos.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I've only been to New Orleans once and that was for Mardi Gras twenty years ago. I blogged about it two years ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

My son hasn't forgiven me for not naming his Zeus.

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

TBG, it's never too late to name his Zeus.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

dmd, the article about the crazy Canukie's generator leaves out too much of the information necessary to clearly understand the process and/or the equipment. That said, however, it looks to me like a phenomenon that we experience in the maritime industry with no small occasion: motorizing a generator.

A generator will develop an internal defect, usually a short, or a ground. Suddenly, it becomes a motor, and starts to act just like what has been portrayed. It quits being a generator, and sucks juice from other generators, rather than feeding it into the grid. No perpetual motion, here, folks. Move along, nothing here to see. Except, of course, the overspeeding of the armature, which results in some kind of severe damage to something.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

cassabdra's letter

Posted by: CB | February 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse


Anonymous, your post at 11:48 was at once pithy, eloquent in a minimalist sort of way, to the point, yet expansive in its breadth and tour d'horizon.

Please come back and post again.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG... this is a HUGE SCC: Not naming HIM Zeus.

Please forgive me. Where's the wordy dird filter when you need it?

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Good letter, Cassandra.

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm still laughing at 'Moderately Important Wednesday'.

This is how I feel about politics. I think it comes from growing up in Saskatchewan on the farm. Saskatchewan has had liberals, ndp, conservatives and some new formulation of somebody. The bottom line is, it has never made a difference in the lives of most people there who was in power, the cows still needed milking the grain still had to be harvested. What did make a difference was who sat in Ottawa (think PET and NEP, I know, cause I'm one of his victims.) and far, far more importantly who was sitting in the chair at of the US Federal Reserve.

Posted by: dr | February 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Cassandra! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

you all have me chuckling. and boko's comment really was a classic.

well, i'm off to vote at the synagogue. i'm pleased that my local polling station is not a garage again. hope i waited out the morning rush, but we'll see.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 5, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, CB, for posting the link to Cassandra's letter. I like it, Cassandra. You used very powerful imagery and made a good point - why should businesses relocate to a culture of death (or violent crime, for that matter). It is sad and embarrassing that the routine murders of young people isn't enough to make the community as a whole take steps; but, if it takes more, you've given them a good new way to view the problem.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

G'day, eh?
The names Fleischmann and Pons always evokes a mental image of a lady smearing margarine on her face. I hope that's just me.

The excitement of Super Fat Tuesday almost made me forget that today is my sister's birthday. I have to treat that woman with kid gloves, she has my medical power of attorney.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article, dmd. There was another man, Marc van Roosmalen, profiled in this month's Smithsonian magazine. Some would consider him aat least eccentric, others obsedded, like the perpetual motin machine man. Interesting read when you have the time.

Posted by: jack | February 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if this is the same invention I saw on TV, but I see no mention of additional generators. Shrieking.

... "holds a permanent magnet a few centimetres away from the driveshaft of an electric motor, and the magnetic field it creates causes the motor to accelerate. It went well."

What I saw consisted of magnets and some circuitry, using a very small initial charge (an AA battery) that yielded a surprising amount of work output for a very long period of time.

I'm still waiting to find out the trick to it, of course. It's worth seeing, maybe it's the greatest magical trick ever, maybe he's on a way to transfer electricity through magnetic fields.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks boko, now I need to buy lunch, again.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this the beginning of a new smear campaign?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if I'd call it new, Maggie, but a variation on the "she's a cold, heartless political robot" theme.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

thanks, guys, for the nice comments. and thanks, cb, for providing the link. one day i'm going to know how to do that!

Posted by: cassandra s | February 5, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Cassandra.

By my count, major figures, not small heads in the background:

Twelve men and one cardboard cutout man.

Five women. Hey, don't we comprise about 51 percnet of the population?

Of the men, 9 Anglos and a cardboard cutout man, 2 Palestinians, and one biracial candidate.

Of the women, two African-Americans (not sure here, exactly, applying the one drop of b1ood rule--interesting article on the genealogy of a new group of prominent blacks whose roots were unearthed--some from Hollywood, at the NYT today), two Anglos and one Hispanic.

Five landscapes and two quasi--landscapes with a cardboard cutout man and a brewer's logo. You would think that "drinking" might be a candidate.

One landscape with a temple, tabernacle, and a state capitol standing in for the handsome Mormon Republican candidate.

One picture of a museum with a lame gender joke standing in for the first woman, a Democrat, to run for the office of President of the United States.

I don't know if the omission of the last two were sins of omission or sins of commission. Who decides reporters' trails--not to mention the slant of the trail?

Posted by: Loomis | February 5, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry; need to test again.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what a Zeus is, but if I had one I would name it Jupiter. Or maybe Tinia. hehe

Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If you're testing, Mudge, I get an 8/10.

Posted by: dbG | February 5, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see the point of applying a quota system to JA's photos unless one has knowledge of how many pics he had to choose from, what their technical and aesthetic quality was, etc. If you know that he took 90% of his pictures in sports bars in hotels, then he showed remarkable diversity in his selection. Maybe his camera broke and these are all he has and the hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful shots of kitties and flowers and Clinton supporters were lost in a digital cataclysm of Biblical proportions. As it is, you are implying something about his photo selection based upon zero knowledge. If this were anything but (pardon me Joel) a seat of the pants amateur operation, if it were a book or magazine or other publication where professional photographers, editors, etc. were involved, then you might have a legitimate point. But as it is, nah.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 5, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

11:48 was refresh test

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

k-guy, I'm dyin' here.

Thanks for that, it's going to take me a little while to stop laughing.

Loomis, if you don't like the pics, there's a big wide Internet out there. I'm sure you can find the pics *you* like and post them... wherever you store your digital information.

Happy Trails!

TBG, I meant to tell you how much I giggled over "his Zeus." Thanks for that, too.


PS. I would *not* do a Google search on "Happy Trail" if I were at work. Or even not.

Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jack thanks for the link. I think those that truly push the envelope need a dose of "madness" why else would someone devote their lives to something just about everyone scoffs at. I find that trait fascinating, sadly I am sure only a very minor few ever see their success or succeed at all. The city of Manaus is one of those places that remind me of my Dad, he looked the place one time after seeing the name and being unfamiliar with it - he then shared the story of the city in the Amazon with me.

Posted by: dmd | February 5, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten linked to the Richard Cohen column today that portrays Hillary as a calculating triangulist by sponsoring a flag burning amendment just to defuse to possibility of it being as a campaign issue:

I sent Weingarten this question that did not get used:

MoDo, Mo:
What is Hillary Clinton's core value? What principle would she not sacrifice if it stood in the way of her being elected president?

According to the Brooks column, that answer is universal health care.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 5, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Someone may have already posted this, but I think it's a cool site...

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

TBG, isn't it amazing how much alike schools everywhere look? That cafegymetorium looks oddly familiar.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 5, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon boodle.

Trouble at Chez Frostbitten-Frostcat#1 was to have dental work done today but some pre-anasthesia tests of kidney function indicate he's not a good candidate. He is at least 16 years old, perhaps as old as 18, so the start of the long decline is upon us. #4 (Kuching) is in post-op from her spay surgery and right as rain. She led us on a merry chase this morning, including a leap from the second floor office loft onto the kitchen counter, before Mr. F and I could get her in the carrier.

Tonight I will caucus for universal health care as my issue. A geriatric cat shouldn't have a better shot at having chronic kidney disease treated than the millions of humans without adequate health insurance.

Off to back boodle. I've missed so much.

Good letter Cassandra! Welcome Jacob.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 5, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Moving around a lot growing up put me in five different elementary schools. The only discernable difference: The name; the principal; the address; and the bus route.

Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

And how many of the five were named for dead presidents, omni?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 5, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

sd, I seemed to remember that before there were Fleischmann and Pons there were others making claims.

I checked Wikipedia (FWIW), and found that Paneth, Peters, and Tandberg had made claims in the early 20th century...

I note that some folks continue to pursue it...


Posted by: bc | February 5, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

bc.. forgot to thank you for pointing out that McCain Macy parade baloon. Hilarious. My daughter (home sick) and I laughed heartily together over that one.

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Daughter (home sick) is not to be confused with Son (homesick). Ha ha ha.

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

One was Harrison Hill (3rd-5th, part of 6th), so that may qualify. Another was named Skyles Test (rest of 6th).

The others were 1st and 2nd grade and for the life of I me can't remember (A google search reveals that 2nd grade might have been Village Park, but it's not ringing any bells.

Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Or his Zeus (just plain sick).

Posted by: TBG | February 5, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Currently 72 degrees with a nice breeze, so I had no excuse not to go outside and work in the yard. Picked a plastic bag full of chickweed, pulled the tiger lily stalks, snipped last year's ugly leaves off the lenten roses, cut dead branches out of the rhododendron. I even have a couple of windows open. The early February thaw will be gone tomorrow, so it's carpe diem now.

Posted by: Slyness | February 5, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Aha! Do I deduce that I am *not* the only person having serious "refresh" problems today?

And omni, where's our quiz? The Boodle can't wait around all day, you know.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

78 in our corner of Florida.

Slyness, I kinda miss the hellebores of Portland, Oregon. Expensive to buy but they eventually got big, had leaves all year, odd-looking flowers in the winter, and utterly low maintenance to boot.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 5, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd >I think those that truly push the envelope need a dose of "madness" why else would someone devote their lives to something just about everyone scoffs at.

dmd, that's a pretty big category. I myself get scoffed at so often I'm considering adding "scofflaw" as a practice area.

On other matters, I think is well known that Zeus was ruler of the pant-theon.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmm... The WV GOP e-i-e-i-o primary/caucuses/convention (various news services can't make up their mind) is already over, apparently.


*checking the clock*

And the Traveling Theocracy Roadshow won.


*checking for Rod Serling in the next cubicle*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Help! I have a grammar question to ask all our uber editors.

Which is correct?

"I strongly urge that Hector attain U.S. citizenship..."


"I strongly urge that Hector attains U.S. citizenship..."

Please feel free to rewrite any way you wish.

I think I've (my brain, that is) been retired to a long, long time.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 5, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

bc, the research continues although at a slow pace. The thermal excursion intially observed by F&P was actually reproduced many times but remains largely unexplained. Basically, F&P were savaged by the general and physics press for no reason but their optimistic cold fusion claim. But those were interesting time in electrochemistry labs all over the world. I was too busy torturing batteries electrochemically so, to my chagrine, I couldn't dip Pd electrodes like the rest of them...
omni, k-guy, I can count 7 St-this and Ste-that schools in my often-moving past. So many of them I can't remember which saint to associate with each grade. Some of them may not even have been saints anymore as Concile Vatican I and II gave the pink slip to quite a number of saints that couln't be documented or whose family had simply purchased a sainthood. So much for the separation of church and state back then, obviously.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 5, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

re quiz. I couldn't wait. 3/5 on things in my pocketses.

Speaking of which, mostlylurking, were you the Pan's Labyrinth fan? Del Toro is apparently going to direct The Hobbit.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 5, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

A quiz Weingarten would love:


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I hear you SoC, I unfortunately am missing the genius part of the equation and am therefore honestly scoffed at.

Posted by: dmd | February 5, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

That article on the pre-Zeus dig was interesting and sent me on a little god-errand to find Poseidon.

Zeus is considered a variation on Deus (Theos in greek, Dyaus in Sanskrit). The root word= sky, shine. It is a throughly Indo-european word, but other languages and religions have similar concepts.

Poseidon seems to derive from the Greek for "Lord/husband" (Posis), possible cognate to Sanskrit "Pati= lord, husband, also used to refer to Gods).

This may be reinforced by the tradition in nearby lands of referring to especially powerful gods as Baal ("Lord") in Mesopotamia/Egypt by diverse peoples and cultures. (Posis + adon, adonai=lord?).

Proto-greek is dated only back to 2000 BC, so we have no idea which god Poseidon originally refers to. Poseidon's name occurs more often than Zeus's in linear B tablets (c. 1100-1600 B.C.), so it suggests that Poseidon was considered especially important, as befitting his moniker. (also see entry on Hadad--Hades, Etruscan aita?).

The Roman equalivent of Posedon is an non-Indo-european name (Neptune) lifted from the Etruscan god "Nethuns" and the two are not quite identical at all, but both ARE identified with horses and tridents. Only one other god, though, is known to have the trident symbol-- Shiva, with symbols of tridents, bulls, the river ganges, swallowing poison from the ocean, and snakes, and "conch-like" braided hair.

Nethuns (Neptune) may be cognate with Celtic "Nechtan" (god of wells) and/or Sanskrit "Apam Napat"-- god of fresh water (apam=waters; napat= grandson which is cognate to "nepot"-- nephew).

Neptuns also may be related to greek Naphtha, since Apam Napat is sometimes described as a fire god living in fresh water in the Rigveda.

If true, this would imply that Etruscan had IE-origin words in its language, perhaps from the p-Celts. (Irish is a k-Celtic language)

But on the Sanskrit side, there is no clear connection between Shiva and Apam Napat at all. The name is mentioned briefly in the Rigveda, an poem around 1800 BC.
Tridents (gigs) are often used to spear fish, and this may be the reason for it as a symbolic weapon of water or river-gods..

So the mysteries deepen.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

We're expecting a thunderstorm here tomorrow. A ThunderStorm in February for crying out loud...

Today's quiz is one we've done before, but if you insist:

10/10 Ha I remembered something for a change

Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Lord, JA, did not mean any harm in the suggestion about the photos. Really did not. Jesus.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 5, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Most glorious of immortals, Zeus
The many named, almighty evermore,
Nature's great Sovereign, ruling all by law
Hail to thee! On thee 'tis meet and right

That mortals everywhere should call.
From thee was our begetting; ours alone
Of all that live and move upon the earth
The lot to bear God's likeness.
Thee will I ever chant, thy power praise!

For thee this whole vast cosmos, wheeling round
The earth, obeys, and where thou leadest
It follows, ruled willingly by thee.
In thy unconquerable hands thou holdest fast,
Ready prepared, that two-timed flaming blast,
The ever-living thunderbolt:
Nature's own stroke brings all things to their end.
By it thou guidest aright the sense instinct
Which spreads through all things, mingled even
With stars in heaven, the great and small-
Thou who art King supreme for evermore!

Naught upon earth is wrought in thy despite, 0 God.
Nor in the ethereal sphere aloft which ever winds
About its pole, nor in the sea-save only what
The wicked work, in their strange madness,
Yet even so, thou knowest to make the crooked straight.
Prune all excess, give order to the orderless,
For unto thee the unloved still is lovely-
And thus in one all things are harmonized,
The evil with the good, that so one Word
Should be in all things everlastingly.

One Word-which evermore the wicked flee!
Ill-fated, hungering to possess the good
They have no vision of God's universal law,
Nor will they hear, though if obedient in mind
They might obtain a noble life, true wealth.
Instead they rush unthinking after ill:
Some with a shameless zeal for fame,
Others pursuing gain, disorderly;
Still others folly, or pleasures of the flesh.
[But evils are their lot] and other times
Bring other harvests, all unsought-
For all their great desire, its opposite!

But, Zeus, thou giver of every gift,
Who dwellest within the dark clouds, wielding still
The flashing stroke of lightning, save, we pray,
Thy children from this boundless misery.
Scatter, 0 Father, the darkness from their souls,
Grant them to find true understanding
On which relying thou justly rulest all-
While we, thus honoured, in turn will honour thee,
Hymning thy works forever, as is meet
For mortals while no greater right
Belongs even to the gods than evermore
Justly to praise the universal law!

Posted by: Boko999 | February 5, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse


"attain" would be the correct usage, but I'm not certian if you're saying Hector should take the actions to become a citizen, or that the government should recognize the actions Hector has already taken.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

SCC add:
(Stobaeus, 'Eclogae,'I, 1, 12)

Cleanthes of Assos (331-233 B.C.) was the disciple and successor of Zeno as head of the Stoic school. He was the real founder of Stoic theology.

Translation by Frederick C. Grant, in his Hellenistic Religions (New York, 1953), PP. 152-4

Posted by: Boko999 | February 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

9/10 on the medical test (9 years as a medical photog)
10/10 on the critters (2 family member biology Ph.D's)

If half the rumors from the 1960 election were true, what occurs in West Virginia is not a caucus or an election, but an auction.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. I thought it was 'attain,' but I wasn't sure. Now to rework that sentence to clarify the murkiness that you note.

It's a "to whom it may concern' letter to the court to urge them not to deport him. He's a wonderful 16-year old kid to will be an incredible asset to our country.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 5, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

GOP had a caucus today, Dems have a primary 5/13.

Posted by: omni | February 5, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Hold up a second, Maggie. It can go either way. (Took me the last 20 minutes to uss it out, but I did.)

1) "that he attains" is OK, because it is pure indicative mood, present tense, and that takes the plural verb form (he goes, he does, he rides).

2) However, the very same construction can also be considered subjunctive mood, in which case "he attain" without the "s" is OK. (I insisted he go to the doctor. I insisted he ride his bike..." etc.)

So it's basically a coin flip. To my ear, I think I actually prefer the subjunctive, because the "that" clause clearly implies a conditional action that may or may not happen.

Garner gives six cases where subjunctive mood applies; your example appears to be the fourth, "demands and commands."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "uss" should be "suss."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mudge. I had no idea it was so complicated. I appreciate you (your) ? taking the time to research the problem. I've rewritten the sentence.

"I strongly urge that you help H. attain U.S. citizenship..."

You'd think that after 12 years of Catholic school, I'd have a better grip on grammar. That's about all we learned in school.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse


How about "I strongly urge that Hector be given the opportunity to earn U.S. citizenship" as an alternative?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

7/10 on the medical quiz. My knowledge of mind altering substances is lacking.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Boko says, // Cleanthes of Assos (331-233 B.C.) was the disciple and successor of Zeno...//

I donno, I've had some bosses who were from there, and they were no Cleantheses.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Or to use the active voice...

"I strongly urge you give Hector the opportunity..."


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Moose | February 5, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Any time, Maggie. I actually felt there was nothing wrong with "he attain"; I just had to find the relevant explanation for why.

And, oh, what the hey, boys and girls, why don't we *all* recite the six contexts where the subjunctive is used:

1) counterfactuals (if I were king...)
2) suppositions (which sound like counterfactuals, but aren't exactly) (if I were to go)
3) wishes (I wish that I were married to Evangeline Lilly)
4) the aforesaid demands and commands
5) suggestions and proposals (I suggest that she think about it...)
6) statements of necessity (it's necessary that you be there...)

Plus a few leftover oddments: Long live the Queen, as it were, be that as it may, would that it were true..., be it ever so humble..., and statements of fear or anxiety using combing the word "lest": lest you be worried that..."

This has been another dazzlingly fascinating discourse from Mr. Language Curmudgeon. U kin proseed on yer weigh now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I've posted a new kit, fyi.

On the photo selection, I tried to put up pictures that were in focus. That's a very small percentage of my photo collection.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 5, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Attain= it's a dependent clause and takes the subjunctive mood, methinks. Mudge can vent forth on the subject.

But note:

It is imperative /that Hector attain/ his goal before he can be admitted.

This can be rewritten as /for Hector to attain/.

Either way, attain never attains a -s.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge beat me to it! And Joel kitted under me as well. Man, I gotta refresh faster.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Scotty Nuke and Mudge, I knew I could count on your help. It's a much cleaner, stronger letter now.


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