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Who's the Underdog?


[Barack Obama, Baltimore, Feb. 11. Photo by J.A.]

[Cross-posted from The Trail.]

Is Hillary Clinton now the underdog? So says her husband.

"It is now in some ways the underdog campaign, even though it has received hundreds of thousands more popular votes," Bill Clinton, referring to his wife's campaign, said last night in front of about 4,000 people at George Mason University here.

Maybe that was just some freelance spin from an irrepressible spouse. Or maybe it's the next logical argument from campaign headquarters. Everyone loves an underdog. Just a week ago today, Obama was casting himself as an underdog as he awaited returns on Super Tuesday. (And last month he said, "When your name is Barack Obama, you're always an underdog in political races.")

One phrase you hear in the news media is that Sen. Clinton is a "February underdog," which hedges the spin. (Good news: It's the shortest month of the year. Bad news: There's going to be a Leap Day!) The senator herself still sounds confident as all get-out: "We had a great night on Super Tuesday; I'm still ahead in popular votes and in delegates."

But this is certainly a down moment for the Clinton camp. You have to loan yourself millions of dollars, you get swept in a bunch of caucus states over the weekend, you sack your campaign manager, and now the Potomac Primary comes along with little hope for anything but more bad news. So maybe it's not a bad idea to play the underdog for a while. It worked once before, in New Hampshire.

Clinton has shown an ability to get voters to rally to her cause when she looks down and out. We'll say it again: Politics isn't a fully rational enterprise. Things like loyalty, empathy and outrage could give Clinton a boost if the numbers keep going against her. Never mind Obama's soaring rhetoric and proven ability to inspire: A lot of voters who vote with their heart may yet go for Clinton.

There's more than a little irony in that, since Clinton is not viewed as emotional herself, and is, to the very core, a policy wonk and pragmatist. She can talk all day long about the various levers and toggles of government. And Bill Clinton last night at GMU reminded us that policy really runs in the family, as he offered a three-part policy prescription for every conceivable issue from health care to the mortgage crisis.

Obama, meanwhile, is doing some initial framing of what would be the general election battle against John McCain. Not that he's sounding overconfident or getting ahead of himself. But he brought up McCain yesterday afternoon in front of 15,000 people in Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena. He said that Sen. Clinton is telling audiences that he wouldn't be able to withstand the Republican attack machine in the fall.

"I have to explain to people, I'm skinny but I'm tough. Skinny -- I'm wiry! Don't mess with me! Let 'em bring it on. Who they got, John McCain?" [See video here -- worth a look.]

The mention of McCain's name brought a smattering of boos. Obama quickly offered praise for the presumptive GOP nominee, saying he's a genuine American hero, and has been through experiences that most people can't imagine.

"He deserves applause. He deserves respect."

Sure enough, an arena full of Democrats clapped for McCain.

"But he is on the wrong side of history right now," Obama said. "We are the party of tomorrow, he's the party of yesterday."

Which has a familiar ring to it. For Obama and his strategists, McCain and Clinton are somewhat interchangeable.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 12, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
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Next: Bat News Roundup


Looking forward to the pictures. In the meantime,

Posted by: kbertocci | February 12, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton tag team has been pushing the "underdog" line for several weeks now, starting in South Carolina where they did lose big. It showed up in a Dowd column on January 23:

And Hillary my be the underdog, but Bill is The Big Dog.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 12, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Now that is an Underdog. He ranks right next to Chicken Man in my books.

Posted by: dr | February 12, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Chickennnnnn Mannnnnnnnn! He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Last year's Underdog movie must have been a dud.

But I can't imagine a politician comparing herself to the more successful Remy the Rat.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 12, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

But Underdog STILL couldn't get the Coke bottle away from Stewie...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 12, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near for
Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
Speed of lightning! Roar of thunder!
Fighting all who rob or plunder!
Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

Posted by: Raysmom | February 12, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

RDP, ST and bc, good job on the 10th .
I badly needed you about 15 years ago when I drafted a reply letter to a member of the public who wrote in suggesting we built a conventional submarine's hull out of beryllium. Thankfully my boss was quite the wordsmith, the ironic tone turned out well couched in polite terms.
Note that at the time Canada had decided again building steel subs and was on the market for gently-used underwater vehicles.
Hillary first tried the juggernaut approach of Inevitable Hillary now she's trying the Worthy of the Presidency but Underdog Hillary. All within a few short weeks. Man they are good.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 12, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, bc, SciTim and RD.

Speaking of Stewie, he may not be what you think he is. He looks benign, but is secretly subversive and wants to take over. Its seems obvious that Stewie is a Haute Mainer.

7/10 on the VP quiz.

No milk bags in Alberta. When we were in Calgary, and parts south, you could get milk bags, but up here, nada.

Posted by: dr | February 12, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, thanks for the kind words on the 10thcircle piece, everybody.

RD and *Tim are smart, funny guys. I'd feel a little inadequate around them if I didn't feel that I made up for it in other ways...

Underdog is fine, but I've always been a Super Chicken guy myself (don't make me sing it...). And not just because of the Super Sauce.


Posted by: bc | February 12, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Giants were the underdogs.

So was this guy. He never gave up, and he had a big ole corporation helping him out (he repaid the favor by having their logo everywhere).

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

Milk bags are the least expensive way to get milk here. The basic 4l (1.06 us gal.)container of milk is made up of 3 inner plastic film bags of 1.333 liters in an outer plastic film bag. I believe they also facilitated a profitable transition to the metric system as the old bags of 3x1 imp. quart (1.51 liter) were replaced by the smaller metric ones.
My mother so hated the smaller bags when they came out. I think us 5 kids were drinking 10 gallons of milk per week at the time.
There were a few bag explosion at first but I haven't seen a ruptured bag in more than 25 years.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 12, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The sign of quality and speedy delivery.


Posted by: bc | February 12, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I ruptured a bag yesterday while working in the garden. You never saw so many cats pour out!

Posted by: Gomer | February 12, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

If you were sitting next to me, you'd be cracking up at all the milk bag jokes I'm making here.

"I ruptured a bag yesterday while working in the garden." Gomer, sounds like you needs to see a doctor.


Posted by: bc | February 12, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

There is a comedic side to milk bags. You sometime see furrinners carefully pulling the bag out of its pitcher to add a few drops in their coffee then putting the bag back in the pitcher. They eventually get it. See the bag in the pitcher:

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 12, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Ya just HAD to say that, dincha LiT??? :-P *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 12, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The HillBillys (you can call them Hill and Bill, or Billary, but I prefer Hillbillys) have been underdogs for much of their lives.

I think of the one story stucco shell on West Sixth Street noted for its creaky wooden floors and peeled walls and dusty interior that was the Austin headquarters for the McGovern campaign when Bill Clinton and Taylor Branch arrived to head up the McGovern campaign in '72. Bill Clinton, with long curly hair and sometimes in cutoffs, working there, late into the night, leaning back in his chair with his feet up on the desk, jabbering on the phone, occasionally chomping on an unlit cigar, a junior politican acting like a senior politician.

McGovern not wanting to run without Johnson's endorsement. A week before the Miami Beach Democratic convention, the disastrous withdrawal of Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton as McGovern's running mate because of Eagleton's past use of electric shock therapy to treat depression.

The quick substitution of Sargent Shriver of Chicago as McGovern's running mate and word of Shriver's imminent trip to Texas. Meetings were held by Clinton and Branch shortly thereafter with antiwar liberals, Chicanos, blacks, women and labor, culminating in a rally at the airport. The trip to Austin for the rally and aerial hop to LBJ's ranch marked the first time that McGovern and Shriver campaigned together.

Texans didn't delude themselves about McGovern's chances in the Lone Star State, the maximum votes McGovern could hope to get believed to top out at 40 percent. The national staff promised the candidates that Texas would be regarded as a key battleground state. The plan was for McGovern and Shriver to make frequent visits and to target the state with at least $1 million in campaign funds. Was Texas to be a lost cause? Ignoring Texas would amount to surrender, one of eight states that McGovern would have to carry to win the election.

Then there was the meeting to arrange between McGovern and Johnson at the former preident's ranch in Johnson City. After being flown there in a small plane, McGovern and Shriver were met by LBJ and Lady Bird, who were driving golf carts. They dined outside, under the large oaks near the house, on small dinner steaks, LBJ dressed in a flannel shirt, khakis, and with shoulder-length hair, death soon to knock on his door. A week before the meeting, Johnson had issued a one-page endorsement of McGovern, driving it downtown to a longtime newspaper friend in Fredericksburg, who passed it along to the rest of the press. Shortly thereafter, Johnson proteges defected from the Democratic party, including former governor John Connolly. Those who stayed to wage the Democratic battle became Clinton friends, including Garry Mauro, a former Aggie yell leader at Texas A&M.

Hillary was in San Antonio that summer and fall working on a voter registration drive. She spent about half her time in Austin, sometimes basking at the edge of the natural limestone pool at Barton Springs with her friend from Alpine, Texas, Betsey Wright. Sometimes they'd be at the airport on the other south side of Austin waiting for a plane to come in and a campaign official to meet. Many times their topic of discussion was about the need for more women in politics.

Who wears the mantle of underdog today in the race btween Obama and Clinton? You decide. What I do is that the Clintons are political fighters--always have been, always will be.

And the part of the story I don't know is if Hillary ever kissed Sally Quinn's ring once the Hillbillys reached Washington, D.C. I do know that Cuz Sally certainly wanted her to.

I will be at Hillary's rally, scheduled for tomorrow night at St. Mary's at 5:30 p.m. I figure that I won't be able to get to a author presentation tomorrow night to listen to a woman, a shrimper, talk about the pollution at the coast at Seadrift, Texas. And on Valentine's Day morning, I have an appointment with an opthalmologist, who I hope will determine if there is any way possible under the sun to restore any (even a crumb) of reading vision in my left eye.

*thanks, Maraniss*

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Never heard of milk bags. I thought they were called milk cans or fun bags. Or bikini stuffers. Or melons. Or sweater puppies. Or pool toys.

{Jane Curtin whispers to me.}


Never mind.

(my second SNL shout-out of the day)

Posted by: yellojkt | February 12, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel, the ex-president is mistaken (kind interpretation) in saying that Hillary has won more popular votes than Obama. Check out Obama has the clear lead in elected delegates and actual votes cast.

Posted by: David | February 12, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Supercow kind of guy myself, because of my kids' age mostly. And it links the superhero thread to the milk bag thread nicely. I kind of remember that bc and Mudge milked the udder thread extensively not so long ago. They could give it a rest. Or not.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 12, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

But who would win: Underdog or Krypto?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 12, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"jugs" yello, that's the word you're looking for.

Reminds me of my favorite response to both the unenlightened men who would describe women, admiringly or not, as pieces of anatomy and the women who make a bit too big a deal about it.

-insert anatomical perjorative here-
"Ah, but with this (or these as appropriate) I can get all of those I want." A pointedly lowered, and withering, gaze adds a nice finish.

I'm afraid I've strayed terribly from my point-milk bags, I'm for 'em.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Frosty... you just made me spew hot green tea all over the place.

Posted by: martooni | February 12, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so who do you think is the Real Underdog in this nomination process?

Ron Paul?

Bill Clinton's pulling a page from the Joe Gibbs playbook by making his wife an Underdog (Gibbs used to do that all the time to motivate his teams, even when they were favored). They may be trailing by three at the half but the Clinton Team's made some Halftime Adjustments and we'll see how the second half plays out...

Sorry for the sports metaphors, folks.


Posted by: bc | February 12, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse


If Obama wins the nomination without the gators and wolverines included, his nomination and presidency will be seen as illegitimate as the man currently in office- his name not worthy of mention here.

You can't have a caucus because Obama does well there. You can'thave a primary because Clinton did well there.

The only way to settle this is to send every gator and wolverine an absentee ballot to be returned 60 days before the DNC convention.

I will vote for whomever rises to the top.


If all the if Florida and Michigan are not counted, even if Hillary wins without it, I will vote for McCain.

Posted by: daniel | February 12, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

see: cutting off nose to spite face

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The most sexist disgusting word I ever heard for milk bags uttered by a real redneck jerk: udder. What a complete Dunce.

Posted by: omni | February 12, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Pa Frostinlaw sent a clipping from the _Livestock Market Digest_ which reminds that "agribusiness" is no more monolithic a lobbying group/voting bloc than any other. Herein ranchers square off against corn producers (and Canadians, sigh). I like this piece because it gives a cattle business eye view of ethanol and ends in support of grass fed beef.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play music in women's breast implants.

The iBreast will cost £499 to £599.

This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them

Posted by: omni | February 12, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Underdog - Mike Gravel. He is still in the race, isn't he? Perhaps his secret plan is to pick up the pieces at the Dem convention. Maybe he's counting on Daniel and his ilk. They can vote for him with a clear conscience since he wouldn't have had any delegates from Michigan or Florida. Or anywhere else.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 12, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

(Flashing open trenchcoat to reveal various machine parts, all glowing strangely)
"Pssst, Shriek. You wan' a submarine? I getta you a submarine. Fo you, goood price, low mileage, very quiet. Never been sunk, much."

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 12, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

For the boodler-knitters: search for knitted

Posted by: omni | February 12, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Don you temptor.
My former employer ended up buying the UK's U class (Upholder, Ursula, Unseen and Unicorn). We had a great time finding new U-names for them. Unfortunately, they are named for cities, the same as were the last two classes of tin-cans.
The U-class seemed to have come with an electronic and electric package by Lucas Electric, an engine by British Leyland and the reliability of a mid-70's vintage Jaguar produced by unionized drunks in the People's Large Car Plant no.1.
Maybe Don was offering a better deal.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 12, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

So, Omni, how do you sync that puppy up to your playlist? Do I want to know what it plugs into?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 12, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Omni you are positively wicked today.

By the way, I believe Suicidal Squirrels is available as a boodle handle, but I don't recommend it.

Posted by: CowTown | February 12, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Florida and Michigan knew what they were doing when they scheduled their primaries too early. They even lost in court, if I remember correctly.

And is it true that Obama wasn't even on the Michigan ballot?

My Dem ballot (screen?) in Virginia had all sorts of names on it. I must say that Obama's was at the top; Hillary's was mixed in somewhere in the middle.

Spent the whole day (6:30 am to 2:00 pm) at Daughter's school, doing various Drama Mama duties. I don't know how the kids do it; I'm completely exhausted. In a nice bit of coincidence, it's also my polling place, so I was able to wear my "I voted" sticker all day.

At around 11 I passed by the election table and asked about the turnout. They said it was at 17% already. Even that number is amazing for a primary here.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"So, hey, Vinny, is that a U-boat?"

"No, Francious, that's notta my boat"

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 12, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Good article to share, Frostbitten. I've been hearing major concerns regarding corn ethanol for a while.
Personally I think garbage, used oil, even water treatment plants are better sources for making electricity than using up food corn. There's a TV show "Invention Nation" about going green which uses a van that runs on used fryer oil.
The nice thing is they show how many farmers have managed to convert cattle..."output" into methane and electricity to power their farms and have a bit extra to sell as well. Wind energy, solar power, etc.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

When the boodle slows I head on over to the sun and explore. I just love me some British humor. Or should I say humour?

Posted by: omni | February 12, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Set the controls for the heart of the sun, omni???


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 12, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

At 10:45 am we voted at Vale Precient. My estimate was 360 democratic ballots cast vs 158 republican ballots at that time. If it hadn't been so cold and flurrying, we could have walked to our polling place. Thanks to all the devoted volunteers who work the polls.

I don't think we have any underdogs in this race. No mighty mouse, either.

I've never seen milk bags. Whole Foods still carries milk in bottles, with a small cash deposit, but only for whole milk. However, brace yourselves because this is a WWII rememberance: my brother and I remember food rationing and butter was not plentiful. My mother bought margarine (or maybe it was really lard) in a clear, rubberized bag from the A&P. The stuff was white with a yellow food color dot in the middle and if you pressed the dot and squeezed the bag you could eventually color the margarine. The trick was not to puncture the bag while coloring.

Simple chores that delighted children too young to really understand how difficult those time were for our families.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 12, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't "Suicidal Squirrels" a punk/new-wave band from the 80's? I seem to remember a song by them called "Nuts on Fire".

All this election talk has me pining for March when Ohio gets to decide which way to swing. Of course, the swinging will be an intraparty event, kinda like kissing cousins -- practice for November when we get to go to the big dance.

btw... I am not responsible for anything I type here this afternoon. Lacquer and lacquer thinner in a somewhat enclosed work environment and all that.

Off to make copper hinges and other bits...

Posted by: martooni | February 12, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-heard a bit on MPR today about how Fargo has put in methane pumps at the landfill and now uses it to generate electricity for use in solid waste dept. buildings and to sell. Here's a cool link to how much energy they're producing via wind, solar and methane in the last 15 minutes, 24 hours, etc.

This page has a link to a pdf diagram of the methane collection system-

I'd be interested in your thoughts, if you've thought of it, on the Koochiching County plans for plasma gasification of their garbage (and imported waste from other counties I suppose).

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

VintageLady, as a young woman during WWII my mom did the same thing with the oleo bags. She told me about it when I was talking about margarine color once.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 12, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I haven't thought about it as I haven't heard about it before. I found the story:

I think it is an excellent idea, although I'd prefer to know more about this technology and whether it would be designed just like japanese plants, or what.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

And heaven knows we don't want any Helotes fires up here from excess garbage or leaf-fill, either.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

WE had those colour packets in margarine right up till the 70's IIRC. Mom bought the uncoloured margarine for baking and the first thing she did was dispose of the colour packets. She didn't leave things like that to chance after the one time.

Seems to me a naughty young person who shall remain nameless once got some all over the kitchen, and herself and probably some younger siblings too.

Posted by: dr | February 12, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

My mother talks about the mixing of the coloring and the margarine constantly. She thinks it was a rule planted by the dairy industry to make sure people didn't confuse the two.

Nowadays I use butter because I can leave it on the counter for days on end without it turning into a vegetable oil puddle.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 12, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I see Froomkin echoing my comments re: The timing of the Gitmo trials. Got 9/10 on the VP quiz. Missed the nobel prize one. Not sure what it is doing outside my window--looks like it might be icing. Not a good thing.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 12, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I have a bone to pick with the young'uns over at the Weingarten chat and their acceptance of the term "pimping out."

I understand the meaning they are using. But David Shuster was not saying that he thought Hillary Clinton was dressing her daughter up real nice.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow... judging by that picture at the top of the Kit now and the picture Joel took yesterday afternoon, JA must have once heck of a telephoto lens on his camera.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, go out of town for a weekend and the place was rockin'.

I can report that my polling place was busier than usual first thing this a.m. Wonder what it all means.

I will attempt to be on kit by posting this link. Our beagle looks very much like this beagle...except Rusty, the faithful beagle has cuter freckles. And Rusty will joyfully take a take a flying leap at a peanut butter cookie. I can't even imagine what he'd do if filet mignon was brandished about!

Posted by: Kim | February 12, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I hiked down to the press riser.

I also had some pictures of bill clinton but unfortunately they came out really dark. The auto function didn't bail me out.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 12, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Dang. I don't know what I did wrong, but if you are so inclined, you have to go to the 4th pic to see what the faithful beagle looks like. Sigh.

jack - glad to hear that your mil is doing better.

Posted by: Kim | February 12, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I think my family switched to butter after I wrote home from basic training reporting that the Army used real butter and the breakfasts were great. What can I say? It doesn't take much to please my large appetite.

Posted by: Bean | February 12, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, TBG. The thing that most offended me about that phrase was that a news(paper)man used it. I don't really care of the young'uns are densensitized to the meaning, journalists should know better and should be at least articulate enough to come up with an alternative.

Of *course* he meant what he said, despite what Eugene Robinson said in his chat today.

Posted by: Yoki | February 12, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Yoki, I agree, but think that Sen. Clinton ought to leave it alone. Point made. Otherwise, I'm afraid she does come off as looking hopelessly out of touch with young people.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 12, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kim. I hope that she recovers quickly. We need it.

Nuts on fire. iBreast. This is why I like the boodle.

"That man's nuts! Grab 'em!

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I like the pic of the woman in the cage with the otterhound. Like owner, like dog, down to the gloomy looks.

I don't think I could get Wilbrodog to go on wood chips and plastic hydrants, though. Overmark, sure.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

BTW... Hi Bean!

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Just got this warning from Fairfax County...

Severe Traffic Alert-Ramps on I-395 Ramps are closed while VDOT Treats them. Use caution as many roads have spots of Ice, numerous accidents are being reported throughout the area including I-495/I-95 and I-66.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

For sure, for sure, "butter is better", agree with you all 100%, especially for baking cookies ;). In an effort to cut down on fats, I tried Earth Balance, a vegan spread, which tastes pretty good, but like yellojkt said, at room temp it's just a puddle of oil. So, now, most of the time it's extra virgin olive oil we use with our bread, even baking the nut/banana bread and on the popcorn. Not bad, really.

This boodle talks about everything, huh?

Posted by: VintageLady | February 12, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I like olive oil for baking far more than any kind of margaine, although butter is fine.

And now for a homage to Lincoln: musings on the English Language.;_ylt=AirvvL_6BDo7q3XvZxEVzN0e6sgF;_ylt=AhGdeGWwtDbFLe5KphLzMpG7e8UF

I want to know if Mudge would agree with Kilpatrick on all instances, BTW. I would use the possessive in most cases.

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

Why Hillary Will Lose The Democratic Nomination- loved but no longer feared.

500 years ago Machiavelli advised it was better to be feared than loved. In her bid for the Democratic nomination Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) will lose because while her core of supporters love her, the super delegates no longer fear her. For sake of brevity let us assume her money situation keeps her competitive, racial and gender number do not drastically shift, and her negative numbers remain historically in the mid 30 percent range. I would suggest none of that will impact the eventual outcome. Let us further assume that Mr. Obama and HRC roughly split delegates between now and the convention and neither has enough delegates to declare victory. What happens next? We are told the nomination will be decided by super delegates, individuals who hold public office or are part of the Democratic structure. If HRC was already in the Oval Office she could push and pull the levers of power and fear in a way that would strongly influence how super delegates would vote. Most of us would expect any incumbent sitting in the Oval Office to employ a similar strategy. However, HRC is not sitting in the Oval Office. She is simply a New York senator who is married to a former president. Close but not quite the same. Super delegates may be party hacks but they are also political hacks and they are probably beginning to realize Mr. Obama is pulling ahead. No need to put your finger in the wind when the wind is so strong you can barely stand. Some super delegates may not care but most super delegates will not want the press back home to learn that even though Mr. Obama carried their state they voted for HRC. Further there will be a tipping point when the super delegates begin to realize if enough of them get behind Mr. Obama they have nothing to fear from HRC. Once the super delegates lose the fear of HRC it is only logical they will throw their support to Mr. Obama. Indeed, in our personal lives we all hope we are loved rather than feared but in the backrooms of the Democratic nomination process the fear of HRC is subsiding, the tipping point is nearing, and the natural beneficiary of this phenomena will be Mr. Obama.

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

Ring Kissing 101, or the top of the iceberg:

But Quinn reveals her truly witchy ways when she talks about the first lady. She paints Hillary Clinton as a sad case, trapped in a lousy marriage, "floundering around in the last couple of years to try to find some project for herself."

Actually, it could be said that Sally Quinn has been floundering around for the last couple of decades, when she failed first as a journalist, then as a novelist, before emerging as a hostess in a Washington society that even she admits is in its death throes. Which brings us to a central question: Who appointed Quinn as the mouthpiece for the permanent Washington establishment, if there is such an animal? A peek into Quinn's motives reveals a hidden political agenda and the venom of a hostess scorned, and ultimately, an aging semi-journalist propped up by a cadre of media buddies, carping at the Clintons because they wouldn't kiss her ring.

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"..ultimately, an aging semi-journalist propped up..."

Are you Sally Quinn, Loomis?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

NYT. URL says it al:

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the Westminster pictures, Kim. I was glued to the TV watching it last night, and will be flipping between election results and the pups tonight.

My favorites last night: Otterhound, Norweigan Elkhound, PBGV, Scottish Deerhound, Wheaten Terrier. OK, all the ones with fuzzy faces.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 12, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr. Just got home. Traffic in DC is a mess, and so is the weather--freezing rain and sleet. Had to scrape my windshield when I got to the park-and-ride lot, then went and voted in the Obamarama McCainsaloosahpalooza (not telling you how I voted, however; you'll just have to guess). Turnout was heavy, they said at my precinct.

Wilbrod, I agree with Kilpatrick on about two-thirds or maybe three-quarters of those examples. When editing, I will NOT allow "Everyone will lose their head" but pluralize it to "heads"; however, I'm flexible on "everyone" being a plural if necessary (contrary to most rules). I agree with the fems that "him" is not acceptable, but neither is changing it to "their" to avoid it unless everything is pluraized to agree with "their." I'll rewrite the entire d@mn sentence if I have to. Won't ever allow "him/her," which is also an abomination.

I agree with TBG and Weingarten: that "pimp" thing was inexcusable. The "young people" who tolerate are likely the ones who also tolerate "b1tches and ho's" kind of speech, too. Not acceptable.

Gotta go try to round up some dinner. Stay warm, safe and dry peeps. Back in a bit.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 12, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Jack, I'm happy to hear your MIL is home. VL, I remember my mom telling me about the oleo that had to be mixed, she said she kneaded it. At Christmas I bake with butter, the rest of the year, except for pie dough, I use margarine. Of course, now that "S" and I are dieting, there will be no baking. One question regarding diets. How come men can lose 5 pounds in a couple of days when it takes me two weeks (if I starve)?

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 12, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks... my husband once lost 20 pounds by eating only two sandwiches for lunch instead of three. Go figure.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Well TBG, I guess I can answer my own question - they eat a lot more than we do so they don't have to cut out as much in order to acheive results. It still makes me mad tho.'

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 12, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

So, "Everyone has their opinion" is now acceptable in the editing books?

What about "All are welcome to their opinion?"

I so hate the gender pronoun wars; I have been using his/her because I just simply don't always feel that "their" is appropriate.

I'm half-ready to promote the definite and indefinite pronouns instead to fill the void.

"Everyone has an opinion."

(or as Poirot would say--)

"Everyone has the opinion, non?"

In ASL the issue doesn't even come up, and the Romance languages are fairly genderist but consistent.

Also, the romance language doesn't overuse personal possesive pronouns as much as English does.

"Employees must wash their hands"

Los Empleandos deben lavarse las manos (They must wash (the) hands).

In English you can certainly say
"Employees must wash hands," but this could lead to customers waiting around for an employee to come and wash their hands.

Apparently according to our rules, "all hands" may be implied in this English construction.

In Spanish, this problem is neatly dodged by using the definite pronoun (la, el, los, las) for both subject and object.

Of course, in German the rules are so crazy that you just match the pronoun with the case and gender of the noun thus replaced.
This may be where we got the heavy personal pronoun dependence in English.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Polls are closed in Virginia! Let the speculatin' end!

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Wowee zowee... from the WaPo home page...

DEVELOPING | Obama Defeats Clinton to Win Virginia Primary, Networks Say

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the WaPo front page gives BO the win, with zero votes counted and o precints reporting. Gotta love it.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 12, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

TBG, but here in True Blue MD, the polls don't close till 8 pm to allow the poor downtrodden workers of the world to vote after work.

Did you hear Buchanan call Arlington and Alexandria the Marxist capital of VA? Priceless!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 12, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I know! I took a screen shot of the page, it was so amazing. Now there's, like, 72 votes or something.

In the meantime... our dead-end street is now closed at the top of the hill and my daughter is at school at rehearsal until 9:00.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

yello... have you seen this?

And the resulting...$40154

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

This just in.

Polls open in Maryland until 9:30 pm because of icy weather.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 12, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll stop boodle hogging now, but I just had to draw your attention to this article in Salon about the misogynistic MSNBC.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 12, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

My sister and her family are sitting behind the UVa bench tonight at the Carolina game. Her daughter bought the "coach's seats" at a charity auction.

Just turned the game on but haven't seen them yet. I hope there's lots of tension and many shots of the home team's bench.

And then I hope UVa loses. (Sorry 'Hoos)

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Very nasty indeed out there. Watch your footing.

Looks like a really big night for Obama. I'm off for Texas tomorrow, will blog from there.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 12, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

You all with icy weather, be careful out there!

We're in the middle of a rain storm, no complaints here.


About 2:30 this afternoon, an SUV hit a power pole and downed it, oh, three quarters of a mile from where I'm sitting. Mr. T emailed me to ask if we had power. At 3:20, we did.

The power went off at 4:15 and came back on at 5:00. We went out to supper and Costco; the power went out again around 6ish and was off till 7:50. We rode around the neighborhood, and the power was on close to the wreck site but not here. Go figure. I'm just glad it's back on.

Posted by: Slyness | February 12, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. Joel's going to Texas.

And yes, it's definitely an Obamarama! 8 wins in a row, methinks, since he'll sweep tonight.

Wilbrod, you might have misunderstood me: my view is that the word following "their" ought to be plural in most general usages (unless the "they" in question is a solidarity, such as a married couple getting into their car.) Drivers should start their cars.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 12, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

just got back in, no ice, but plenty of rain, and so much wind. the rain is good.

going to check out the stats on television concerning the political scene, then off to bed.

good night, boodle. sweet dreams. and please be careful out there. you too, JA.


are you complaining about the 25 dollars a week for an allowance? Where I live, that's a whole lot of money. if someone had a gun to my head, i would not be able to find five dollars in my purse. and that's the truth. be thankful, loomis, you're better off than a lot of people. and some of them live here in america.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 12, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse


clap clap clap clap clap clap!

Posted by: Slyness | February 12, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Can I get a spotlight up there please? Yep, up two posts. Standing O.

Posted by: LostInThoughts | February 12, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

A miniature pinscher and a giant schnauzer, both from Mims, Florida, won best-of-breed at Westminster. Mims is west of the Kennedy Space Center and is mostly known for being a rather wide spot along US 1.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 12, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 12, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Hello back. We're here. Speak, o anonymous one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 12, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

It took me two hours to get home from work tonight and I only live 12 miles from the office.

Luckily I voted this morning. At about 8:30 this morning there were 140 Democratic votes and 30 Republican ones. The total number is close to the number we'd have for a general election in my precinct at that time of day.

Posted by: pj | February 12, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Thing 1 told me there wasn't a line when he went to vote. He voted shortly after he got up.

Around noon.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 12, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

LiT, doncha just hate it when something like that refutes the early to bed, early to rise aphorism?

Posted by: Slyness | February 12, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Really a very historic night. How exciting. Finally! It is so nice not to cringe when listening to a speech or rebuttal.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I confess. It were* I who posted at 9:something. I was boodle hogging, and so, I turned people away. I am mortified, so mortified that I am about to perform Mortifications of the Flesh, which a friend of mine mentioned today would be a great rock group name. (boodle name: not so great.

*The subjunctive is correct here, right?)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 12, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, a politician making a speech I can listen to without wanting to throw things at the TV or swear like a sailor. Obama is very inspiring. McCain is speaking now and his voice is very soothing, I could tape his speech and nap to it. I am so ready for Change!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 12, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Slyness, it could frost my cupcakes from time to time. Especially when a good night's sleep for me seems to be just out of reach. But then I remember that he's young, he's an overall great kid, and in a few weeks he joins the ranks of the gainfully employed (he finished up college in Dec).

Posted by: LostInThought | February 12, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Dearest Morticia O'D, no need for mortification. You haven't been Boodle-hogging.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 12, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers,

Agree, McCain's speech was comforting. His resolve is refreshing and real. But in this day and age Obama has it all. I say November will bring at least a 3-1 victory for Obama, maybe more. Billary is out.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting outcome of the Potomac Primaries. Obama sweeps. But I am also interested in the voter numbers in Democratic vs the Republican. Something exciting happened and people are voting. Good for the democracy.

Posted by: daiwanlan | February 12, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I think you misunderstood me eidrib, I was joking about McCain. The contrast of his speech and Obama's was just too striking. I voted for Obama and hope I will get the opportunity to do so again in November.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 12, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers,

Not really. Going to sleep to a soothing voice is comforting. But don't worry, I got your gist. Go Obama.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

eidrib.... are you birdie? backwards birdie?

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link for the Virginia State Board of Elections - tonight's results.

If you are interested in your District you can get the vote count for the two races.

I'm pleased that Obama has done so well in the Commonwealth, but in looking at my district, the 11th, less than 12% of registered voters turned out for the democrats and even less, 3.7% or so, for the republicans.

I had hoped for more voter participation in this primary. What DOES it take to GOTV?

Posted by: VintageLady | February 12, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse


I fly backwards occasionally. But it gets tiring.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I didn't get it in by the bell but I had submitted a comment similar to the following to the Weingarten chat:

"Shuster was using the pimp metaphor in the 'trading sexual favors for political favors' context, not the 'excessively accessorized' meaning."

The statute of limitations on sexual metaphors is very muddy and phrases such as "turn in the barrel", "money shot" ("money quote" is a favorite of Andrew Sullivan), and "that sucks" all have very obscene antecedents. A lot is a matter of context. "This sucks" was popularized by the Simpsons but is still too risque for the funny papers.

Conceding that Shuster's remark was in poor taste and inappropriate for a news show, a lot of the umbrage over the event is fanned by Media Matters which is in a feud with MSNBC. The latest round started when they took on Chris Matthew for his perpetual shooting off of his mouth. They don't publish them on the web, but the action alerts Media Matters send out are designed to start an astroturf campaign to cow MSNBC and its parent company from opinions critical of the Clintons. Accusations of sexism is their frequently played trump card.

I know this sounds a little wingnutty, but Media Matters has close ties to the Clintons. While their stated aim to counter right wing bias, they have a hidden agenda to silence dissent and critics of the Clintons tend to get special attention. Joel was briefly on their enemies list for his run-in with them, but has since been excised.

Fear the people that like to nibble at free speech around the edges. They keep taking bigger bites.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 12, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the good wishes, 'sneaks. My MIL has been so stationary over the past few months, that her muscles have degenerated; osteoporosis is a complicating factor as well. Thus, the chemo has been put off until a time when her broken arm mends and she has a regimen of PT in an attempt to get her more normally mobile. I've tried to put this and all of the rest of the daily stress aside to watch the WKC show on the telly. The Havanese did pretty well inn the toy group and, excepting the presence of the ever winning toy poodle, had a good shot for BIS. The Akita looks pretty strong. We will see directly. Meanwhile, Obama is really on a roll now. The Michigan/Florida conundrum is likely to dominate the political headlines between now and the Ohio/Texas primaries. I'm betting that fight is going to get ugly.

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

G'night boodle. Daughter got home safe and sound. Not as bad out there as I'd feared.

I will leave you with this picture. Soothing.... voice?

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting video and link, TBG. From the angles, this was taken in front of the Maryland Science Center, an area the Chamber of Commerce types would like to keep clear of skater punks and other riff-raff. The cop was clearly ineffective if he had to resort to physical force. He should have called for back-up if the kids were a real menace.

There is a David Brin story that was incorporated into his "Earth" novel where all the senior citizens in a park wear glasses-mounted cameras so as to catch miscreants and all the young folk carry cameras to guard against harassment. Yet another case of life imitating art.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 12, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. one more thing... thanks VintageLady for posting the link to the election results page. I always have a hard time finding it for each election... and each time it seems different.

But I see that nearly 23% of voters showed up in the 11th District (also mine) for the Dems and about 9.5% for the Repubs. Am I missing something (quite likely) or have they perhaps updated numbers since you last looked?

I do think the 2-to-1 numbers bode well for Gerry Connolly, no? (Let's turn Virginia blue!)

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Those kids hardly look menacing yello. He was just pissed the one kid kept calling him "dude." I guess he didn't like The Big Lebowski.

Posted by: TBG | February 12, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

My Dear Mo Mo Do,

//The latest round started when they took on Chris Matthew for his perpetual shooting off of his mouth.// as you said earlier.

I had never heard of Media Matters until mentioned on Salon (I think). I took umbrage with MSNBC when I first started watching their primary coverage. I was outraged by Chris Matthews over his interview with Elizabeth Edwards and others, and I commented on his misogynistic, male chauvinist piggie-ism on the boodle.

I don't think that the Media Matter's campaign is without merit. MSNBC's behavior is truly over the top and unbelievable in the 21st century.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 12, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Maggie O,D,

I agree with you regarding MSNBC and male chauvinism. But Mathew did point out at one time that there will not be any women candidates of Hillary's stature for quite sometime. Unfortunately. Too bad she has Bill baggage. Women leaders...unite!

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

But is it the entire network or just Chris Matthews the male chauvinist piggie? And I do agree totally. Pimping out and other sexualized metaphors have no place in this national dialogue.

Print journalists are very aware that they are printed in a medium that children may read and get their vocabulary vs expanded inappropriately.

On TV, it seems to be now the general assumption that you shouldn't allow kids to watch anything you don't want them to. Which apparently, thanks to oinkers like Chris Matthews, now should include any coverage of the national presidental campaign, the local news, etc.

It's probably just as well that my generation and younger are already getting most of the news from the internet anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 12, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes! The numbers have been updated a lot... much better. Thanks. Dunno about Connolly at this point. Mark Warner for US Senate for sure.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 12, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Watching that video was a drag, TBG. The kid was listening to his iPod. Oy.

The beagle wins BIS at Westminster!

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse


Go's about time! They are adorable puppies and have been man's best friend (people's best friend?...nah) for a long,long time.

My vote is for the beagle. Repubs and Dems be damned. :-)

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I find Chris Matthews entertaining and his clueless patronizing of women is mildly ridiculous but hardly misogynistic on the level of any given Faux News pundit. Part of his endearing charm is that he tries to toe the line but has no idea how offensive he inadvertently is.

Part of the insidious nature of Media Matters is that they advertise heavily on liberal blogs and any of their fatwas tend to get echoed very rapidly, often without any real accreditation back to them. They are also very adept at bandwagon jumping.

I also spend a lot of time on the web in places a lot crasser than MSNBC, so my tolerence level is a lot higher. But then again, when it comes to accusations of sexism, I have testicles, so my opinion is suspect. We can agree to disagree on this and I defer to your higher awareness of the issue.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 12, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the Obama and McCain speeches on MSNBC and the commentary that followed, made by the males. John McCain "caught the tailhook" in the Virginia primary. Olberman said something about "taking or storming the beachhead," then acknowledged that he was using military metaphors. I'm not sure who their dialogue is skewing toward, but it certainly isn't female. The frat club is right.

Obama does have the oratorical gift, as was evident when McCain's speech followed his. Both are now framing their words in terms of a race against the other. I noticed a lot of his stump speech in Obama's address to the Wisconsin folks tonight.

And Obama intends to change culture? How? How many hours does the average American or American child watch TV in a day? How many millions of dollars are spent on video games and parphernalia? Good luck, Barack.

I think Mario Cuomo got it about right when he either wrote or was quoted in the New Republic: "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose."

Thanks for the link to the Salon article, Maggie. Reminds me of something from Carl Bernstein's brain:

"We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal."

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

JA...can you get me Obama's autograph when you're in Texas...PLEEEEAAAESE?????

OK, no more.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

If the younger generation is getting their political information from the web, they are being exposed to vitriol much stronger than Matthew's codgerly leering. There is a lot of very caustic stuff out there that will never be ready for prime time.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 12, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

eidrib: That dog showed very well. Very poised and confident thanks to the handler. I thought the Akita looked good, but the last run around the ring sealed it for the Beagle, assuming the judge hadn't made up his mind at that point.

This is a disturbing turn of events in the torture debate. Someone needs to step to the plate and take the folks who say its legal to task.

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, Loomis. Can you be any more positive? Me thinks you fear the unknown.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Now for a beagle boom?

Tonight's margins, and even more the turnouts, are impressive.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 12, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Anti-beagle bias banished at last!

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse


I'm happy you're happy. Beagles rule.

Posted by: eibrid | February 12, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Since Pat Buchanan is a commentator on MSNBC, why don't we examine some of the gynephobic remarks he has made in the past.

PR: The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer.

LL: Gee, do you think poor ol' Pat does the weekly shopping for the family, loads and unloads the dishwasher, does the family laundry, and takes food out of the freezer or puts leftovers in--and cooks or prepares three meals a day?

PR: Rail as they will against discrimination, women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measure of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of capitalism...The mama bird builds the nest.

LL: And Pat Robertson has the cojones to comment on the Obama and Clinton campaigns on MSNBC with that type of worldview? And MSNBC HIRED him? And they PAY him?

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse


Good line!

Posted by: eibird | February 12, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse


Right on. Mathews should be banned. Jerk. But he speaks his mind, alright.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Dave: The Forsythia is flowering here. Spring is creeping northward. Forsythia is such a weed.

Posted by: jack | February 12, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh how I dream of blooming Forsythia. Not for months where I live. Snow, snow and more snow...although in incremental amounts in the lower altitudes. Can't keep the car clean.

Posted by: Jack | February 12, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

birdie or whatever your handle is,

I suggest you stop speculating about my state of mind. Even the MSNBC crew said that Obama's got to start getting a lot more specific about his policies and positions.

I'd like to see Obama's plan for getting kids working or volunteering in veterans' hospitals. You'll need another layer of bureacracy just to administer the VA program, before that free college tuition is handed out. And what about GPAs? Where will those figure in in the greater scheme of things?

And what about Obama's paying teachers better salaries. On tenure or on merit? We had a big article in the paper here lately about teachers locally who are in the failing schools don't even have majors or minors in the subject matter they're teaching. Who said something to the effect that violence is getting six years of education out of 12 years in school?

Strange thing about McCain is that he's starting to ape the message of hope.

And birdie, why aren't you thinking about the practical side of what Obama is saying, or are you caught up in sweep of Obamamania?

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Jack--that 11:50 PM was me. I better stop boodling!

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Those quotes are from Pat Robertson, not Chris Matthews.

Night all.

Posted by: Loomis | February 12, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks eidrib.

Chris Mathews reminds me of the pretty harmless, but endlessly irritating, guys of a certain age you have to take crud from when you have a cruddy job (waiting tables comes to mind). It's easy enough to have the deflating come back for every stupid thing they say, but it affects how you treat the next guy who probably doesn't deserve to be despised. Mathews owes it to all with testicles to clean up his act (assuming he shares that anatomical feature).

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse


OK, as usual, you have a point and I must do more research on the issues. But...we are still in exciting times. The more we as individuals speak out the better. Go boodlers.

Posted by: eidrib | February 12, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Eliot Spitzer confirms boodle speculation, tells Stephen Colbert that super delegates get a cape and leotard.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 12, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse


Agree. This is historic not only for blacks but for women. Give us the respect we deserve, Mathews.

I face this all the time at my job. Such a delicate balance for women. I especially despise little ol' Rush whatshisname who apparently said 'do we want to watch a woman age for the next four years' or something like that. Totally outrageous. But I digress. This is not a rant blog.

Listening to McCain again. He is pretty monosyllabic if that's a word. Too tired to look it up.

Posted by: eidrib | February 13, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I know... but text creates a distance, and I didn't mean reading blogs, Yellojkt.
I find that I'm always aware of the news before my dad sees it on TV by just spotting the news headlines and reading further.
Pat Robertson is a real crackpot, although as he hates the Bush family, he's not completely evil. Just close to 99%, maybe.

But he has a point about the washer-dryer. It was serious manual labor, Loomis.

I've tried manual washing a few times-- with blankets and sheets it's MURDER how much they weigh once gotten out. A load of laundry can weigh over 50 pounds soaking wet, easily.

My grandma didn't have a washing machine for a long time after marriage, so my mom was expected to wear everything three times in between loads, and she had better not get her clothes dirty either.

Then again, she also grew up on a farm and worked all day. She had to drop out of school in 8th grade to take care of her brother's kids, which she never forgave her mother for. She got her GED when she was 50 and worked as a nurse and nursing assistant.

During WWII, women entered the workforce. My other grandma was working riveting ships and such manual labor. She wanted to be working in car factories, but those jobs were promised to returning GIs so she worked in a sugar factory for 50 years, and had plenty of time to carry on an active social life.

She hated housekeeping and was a medicore cook, but she had to do laundry and such too. I'm sure she'd also agree that not wasting a whole day doing laundry by hand was a blessing.

Pat Robertson may well be old enough to remember his mother doing laundry manually, come to think of it.

The point is not whether running a modern household takes work (it does), but whether it would be sustainable to work 9-5 and do all those household tasks manually? I think Pat's right.

I read my grandmother's diaries of how she'd help her mom cook 20 PIES for lunch every day during harvest, and how they'd eke out money during the Depression by serving as a temp inn or serving meals to travellers. they had no money but they had a farm and they grew everything and butchered their own animals. This was in western Canada, where temperatures get to -60 at night. When my grandma was 12, she was left to babysit her younger siblings in a wooden house with kerosene lamps. Had a fire started, it was a 2 mile walk to the nearest neighbors' in winter.

Pat's old enough, if not to remember all this, to hear the stories from his parents, grandparents, uncles, everybody he grew up with about how hard life was back then.

If by this he means that women in third world countries can't be freed or gain rights, I do disagree. But don't kid yourself that you have anything in common with the daily labor of a housewife in India just because you put your laundry in your machines yourself.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 13, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle. Time to gather up the frostcats and call it a night. Will be interesting to read tomorrow's Potomac Primary punditry.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 13, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Finished talking on the phone with a friend, then started watching a little PBS when there was a knock at my kitchen window.

To make a long story short, my brother and I spent the next couple of hours getting this young man's pickup unstuck from the icy road and getting him on his way. I didn't finish the things I wanted to complete tonight, but I'm glad I was able to to help a stranger in need.

Now I'm tired, goodnight everybody.

Oh, and Cassandra, I think you earned your Boodle wings tonight with your 8:21 comment(an "It's a Wonderful Life," reference for those not familiar with that movie).


Posted by: bc | February 13, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

"In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man's affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger."

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | February 13, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

The metaphor governing this nation for the last seven years:

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | February 13, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Kim, congratulations by osmosis on the beagle boy's win! Daisy, in your photo link yesterday, was adorable with that frisbee on her head. I've often thought that when I need to move down sizewise from labs that a beagle would be great.

Labs won't win until people stop calling them "golden" labrador retrievers instead of "yellow" labrador retrievers. For shame, WaPo caption writer!

Posted by: dbG | February 13, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning, friends. Where are you, Scotty, Mudge? Time to get cracking guys, no dragging this morning. It's a great day! Hey, my fingers aren't too big this morning.

I see Obama won, and McCain did too. Time for speculations and seers.

Have a busy day as always on Wednesday. Hope to check in later.

Slyness, Mudge, Scotty, Martooni, what's up folks? *waving*

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 13, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

'morning Cassandra. 4in. of fresh snow on the ground and more to come. Yeah!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 13, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

As if she were reading the Boodle, today's Dowd column talks about racism and sexism and quotes an offensive joke making the rounds of the internet.

My blog post includes the full video with Penn Jillette putting the joke in context. He even discussed the Shuster situation. As a professional comedian, Penn has a lot more latitude with the edginess of his material, but he says the audience reaction is more telling than the joke itself. It kills. At least metaphorically.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 13, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Cassandra! I rose on time but I'm not shining. Too wet for a walk this morning, with the possibility of more, so I'll defer till this afternoon.

Good morning, all. Glad that folks are pleased with the outcome of primaries yesterday. It's starting to look like a real race, isn't it?

Posted by: Slyness | February 13, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, everyone.

Very cold here in CNY. Plus all night we had a combination of sleet-snow-sleet-snow so that we now have several layers of gunk. Oh, just looked outside - we now have "icy rain". Lovely.

I'm thrilled with Obama's victories and hope he just keeps going. Mr. F was still afraid that too many people just wouldn't vote for a black man until I pointed out the percentages of white people doing just that, and in all corners of the country to boot. That argument just never held water with me anyway; however, I am sometimes way too optimistic about people's better natures!

I was terribly confused about one of Loomis's posts last night - are you talking about Pat Buchanan or Pat Robertson? Pat BUCHANAN is an analyst for MSNBC and Pat ROBERTSON is an evangelical minister who I have (infrequently) seen as a guest on MSNBC. So who are those quotes about women attributed to? My guess would be Robertson altho Buchanan is also pretty conservative - I *have* heard him say some good things about Hillary, tho.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: TLF | February 13, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

Another snow day for the kids here. Little Bean is freaking out because this makes three days of school cancellations in a row. I swear she'd go to school on weekends if they'd open the place.

Speaking of snow, how 'bout the amount that got dumped on Hillary yesterday? I didn't follow the minute-by-minute last night, but when I saw the totals this morning... wow! Obama simply crushed her.

I have a feeling he'll crush McCain just as readily in November -- assuming the Clinton machine puts the Dem party and the country ahead of their personal needs.

Time for another pot of coffee and then break out the snow shovel. We have several inches of snow, ice, snow, ice and then more snow that needs to be cleared away this morning.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | February 13, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

Woohoo! Frosti's 11:36 was right. Finally, beagles (and their masters?) get some respect. I had no idea that Rusty and his family felt so downtrodden until Uno's funny win. We don't really even watch the show, just kind of keep tabs on it year to year. We cracked up to see that jaunty trot that we know so well! Thanks, dbG, the beagle boygle got a Pupperoni this a.m. to celebrate.

Big win for Obama. I hope that it doesn't get really nasty through these next primaries. I feel good about the Dem's chances, but not confident. I don't think a particularly nasty slog will help.

I still like MSNBC, but I do have a hard time with Matthews. I don't watch hardball at all, for crying out loud, he's such a blowhard. I do like his Sunday a.m. show because I like almost all of his panelists.
As far as Shuster goes, I've always liked him but he deserved to be suspended. Unbelievably stupid of him to say that. I do think that, regrettably, that the pimp reference has entered the lexicon, but it doesn't matter. We have to expect more out of these guys.

Pouring rain here in Tidewater, but my daffodils are blooming and the forsythia have burst! Yea!

Posted by: Kim | February 13, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm also quite happy that the beagle won last night. Nothing against poodles, but the elaborate 'hairdo's' on those dogs makes it hard for me to take them seriously.

Kim, I couldn't agree more with your feelings about Matthews and Shuster. I watch MSNBC for Olbermann and often for news. CNN is ok, but Wolf is dumb as a box of rocks. I have never been crazy about Hillary but my feelings are far short of hatred. I find her campaign to be mostly old fashioned politics and that is a turn off. I also sort of wish she could leave Bill at home, I don't think he's helping her gain support. I'm afraid if she gets the nomination the election just might go to McCain, and I don't want that to happen.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 13, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Ice ice, baby

Obamamania, however substantial you may consider the candidate or the rising tide of momentum, is in fact real, and the Clinton campaign has begun facing that fact as the recent changes to her campaign management indicate.

I believe it was LiT who pointed to the New York Football Giants when the topic of underdogs came up, and she has a good point about momentum. The Giants started the season slowly - with some calling for the Head Coach's resignation early on - but as the season progressed, the team built on successes and improved to the point where that intangible, momentum, fell in behind them. Even though they lost to the Pats in the last game of the regular season, they played well, and carried that momentum through the playoffs - all road games for them - to a Super Bowl victory over those same Patriots in the end.

Momentum and peaking at the right time - as the Giants did - can be more important to winning the Final Battle than being the pre-season favorite playing a conservative game. Obama's building momentum, and might be peaking at the right time. It will be very interesting to see how the Ohio, Texas, and PA primaries play out. I think Obama may do better than many suggest, or in some cases, hope.

Ice everywhere this morning, about 1/2" thick. Schools closed. Working (ahem) from home this AM, we'll see how much melts by lunchtime.

Clemens and McNamee (sp?) to testify on the Hill today; this should be interesting.


Posted by: bc | February 13, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Those forsythias are probably mostly trimmed to be ball-shaped. Much better to cut branches at the base and let the plant take its own shape.

The spring-flowering fringe-tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is native this far south. I think they were popular in the Washington area maybe 20 years ago. The Japanese equivalent (Chionanthus retusus) grows somewhat larger and can be pretty spectacular.

Since Darwin's birthday was earlier this week, it's worth mentioning that one of Darwin's friends-by-correspondence was botanist Asa Gray of Harvard, who was fascinated by the large number of Asian temperate-zone plants similar (but not at all identical) to those of North America.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 13, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Yay! for beagles!

When I told our beagle, Joe, that his "cousin" had won BIS, he merely yawned widely and said "of course" - then went back to snapping at imaginary bugs.

What a dog.

Posted by: TLF | February 13, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

A new syndrome has been named, CIS. *l*

Before I give the link, I just wanted to recall a statement by Chris Matthews following the recent Democratic debate from the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. Matthews said that it looked like Clinton was wearing a snake around her neck. The day Matthews knows about beads of Persian turquoise, the apex of turquoise, in the necklace that Clinton wore that night, I'll fall over dead.

From the media reporter at the NYT this morning:

No matter how political Mrs. Clinton's umbrage, there is no question that she has a point: MSNBC has a vein of bratty, adolescent insensitivity, especially toward women, that keeps popping out. MSNBC, after all, was the cable news network that used to simulcast Don Imus's radio show and had to fire him after his demeaning description of a women's college basketball team. ...

On a slower news day, MSNBC's anchors show signs of Cable Insecurity Syndrome, trying to outshout their rivals at the better-rated Fox News. In this middle school melodrama, Fox News gives MSNBC wedgies and steals its lunch money, and MSNBC tries to act even tougher. (CNN is the National Merit Scholar who does the work, stays out of trouble, and is reliable but somewhat dull.)

LL: Ya just gotta love Cable Insecurity Syndrome!

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that little Austin, Texas beagle dog took top honors.

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

DoCounties! I am always sad for the ball-shaped bushes yearning to be something else.

Up the street blooming now, is a winter jasmine, with such pale yellow flowers. However, the squat ball shape dutifully trimmed into submission ruins the effect the plant -- and I -- would prefer.

And the owner INSISTS that this is forsythia.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 13, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Another yay for Uno the Beagle! He beat not one, but two, Poodles too! jack, the Havanese was my favorite in the Toy group. dbG, ever wonder why there are three Cocker Spaniel varieties based on color, but only one Lab?

Ice everywhere, so the walk got cut short this morning. When The Puppy is slipping and sliding, you know you're in trouble.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 13, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

TLF, I'm glad you didn't mention Joe doing any self-congratulatory licking.

Before anyone suggests that this may have been an inappropriate comment, remember that we *are* talking about *dogs* here.

[Also note that I didn't suggest that TLF scoop, er, *harvest*, the back yard to construct a 'cake' for service at at a neighborhood Westminster-show viewing dog party. Don't forget the candles to celebrate the Beagle BIS! I can hear them howling in appreciation now...]


Posted by: bc | February 13, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Good job Uno! Happy to one real hound winning. My first dog was (mostly) a beagle. She was a great little tireless dog. One thing to check is their hatred of rodents and rabbits. That dog would chase a groudhog or a rabbit to the end of the world. Rabbits would normally escape but more than one groundhog saw its days sadly shortened.
Next WDS should feature Dogue de Bordeaux for the first time. It will be many years before we see one in the finals.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 13, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

By my latest count of the Potomac Primaries:

Obama: 99
Clinton: 43
As yet unnasigned: 26

Go Obama!

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

So far in Feb the del cccount is:

Obama: 217
Clinton: 107

bc has that momentum thing exactly right.

121 del up next Tue. Hawaii and Wisconsin.

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Baltimore law enforcement: "dude" is what a visitor unfamiliar to ranch life is called, not the people that work at the ranch.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 13, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sleepy waves good morning. Grumpy does too, but I'm working on putting her back int he box as soon as she has her coffee.

6 inches of fresh new snow here, light fluffy, the kind you would enjoy if you were 6. It isn't snowman snow, but it is perfect angel snow.

Posted by: dr | February 13, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Eugene Robinson summarizes the reasons why the '08 Democratic convention could be an acrimonious as the '68 convention. It's worth the read. IMHO, the only thing that will help to maintain unity, in a way to defeat the Republican nominee, is some heavy duty arbitration regarding the fate of the Michigan and Florida delegates.

Posted by: jack | February 13, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, my day had a great start today, looked out to see fresh snow, and a mesh of snow on the driveway. Choose to sit and have a coffee before thinking about snow removal. Next thing I know I see clouds of white powder going past the window, the next door neighbour had decided to clean our driveway with his snow blower. THANK YOU.

I too saw the contrast in the speeches last night, McCain looked like he mail in his effort in comparison, also appeared to be reading from a prompter?

Posted by: dmd | February 13, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, two hours' delay was just about right, considering the need to salt the sidewalk, de-ice the vehicle, and avoid the yahoos who don't understand "winter" driving. Back to the considerable grind.

*floppy-beagle-eared Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 13, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I see that Def Sec Gates fell on the ice and broke his shoulder, while at nearly the same time President Arbusto was grumping to the media that Congress should indefintiely extend the telcomm co's immunity from prosecution for turning data over to the Gov't without a warrant.

A sign?



Posted by: bc | February 13, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The man claiming to be JFK's son has agreed to a photo, not sure I see the resemblance though. Strange story.

Posted by: dmd | February 13, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

bc, unfortunately, I will have to "harvest" the front yard as our back door was frozen shut for two days and all bizness was done directly in front of the porch steps. Anyway, our dear beagle prefers to celebrate with cat poo.

sd, oddly enough, our beagle will ignore not only rabbit tracks but the rabbit itself (and any other rodents i.e. squirrels). However, he goes on a mean tear when he sniffs our neighbor's black lab tracks who purposely messes with him by leaving his "mark" everywhere possible. He also likes to come over and stay just out of reach of Joe's chain and enjoys watching Joe hop up and down on all fours while baying loud enough to hear in the next county.

Posted by: TLF | February 13, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

G'morning boodle.

The Penn Jillette joke in Mo MoDo's 7:04 is both funny, and ok, so say I anyway. Why is it ok? I contend it is in part because it is an equal opportunity offender. Attributing Obama's rise to Black History Month draws attention to how having such an observation just trivializes the accomplishments of great people who would be better studied in context (except thanks to W kids aren't studying dead white men either). Then, as already pointed out, Jillette is given latitude because he is expected to push limits. Finally, the use of the word bltch appears to be pointing not just to Clinton's gender but to specific things she's done and ways she's treated people.

I refuse to be dragged into an argument about how men doing the same things would be admired and promoted for it. Perhaps, but I think the bigger issue is that there isn't an easy one word descriptor for men who behave that way. "Jerk" is close, especially when followed by "off." But I don't see where sexualizing the language used to describe men behaving badly makes things better for women.

It seems to me Clinton should take an opportunity to show a little self deprecating sense of humor. "Yeah, they call me a bltch, but they dropped the emasculating when I won my Senate seat." (I know it needs work, but you see where I'm going?)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 13, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Mo MoDo,
There was this gem of a graf in the Maureen Dowd op-ed that you missed:

As a possible first Madame President, Hillary is a flawed science experiment because you can't take Bill out of the equation. Her story is wrapped up in her marriage, and her marriage is wrapped up in a series of unappetizing compromises, arrangements and dependencies.

LL: Maureen Dowd has never been married!!! My marriage is also a series of some unappetizing compromises, arrangements, dependencies. It must be extremely difficult for Dowd to write about matrimony if she's never entered into that state.

A very good primer about Texas politics for Joel--from the Huffington Post. TV news this ayem says that Hillary will be knocking on doors in Latino neighborhoods this morning, similar to her role in campaigning for McGovern in 72 in San Antonio. Since she will be in the Rio Grande Valley this morning, from what I've read, I don't know if she'll canvass a neighborhood in a city to our south or here in Alamo City.

Huffington Post link:

The state that gave the planet George W. Bush is poised to play a historic role in the selection of the Democratic presidential candidate. Oh irony of ironies. We always manage to stumble into destiny's crossroads and force detours. March 4th, a date that wasn't supposed to mean much in the Democratic primary process, may give Texas further undue influence over this nation's democracy.

Before I indulge in further analytical posturing, I need to point out that I was not born here and therefore I am not a true Texan. You have to have entered the world over this sacred soil to be considered a Texan. I was not, but I have been writing and reporting on politics in Texas since 1975 and I was here when Jimmy Carter tried out his non-Tex-Mex Spanish in the Rio Grande Valley and I was here when the Bushes wrongly decided they were fit to lead. He11, I even bought a cowboy hat to wear in a jacket cover photo for "Bush's Brain," a complete marketing ploy to sell cowboy politics.

Even though I am not a Texan, except by choice, I know something about how things both work and fail under the Lone Star skies. And they often fail. We are historically 49th in categories like Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, and any kind of social service. An estimated 5 million people, almost a quarter of the population, are without health insurance. Our unofficial state motto is "Thank God for Mississippi."

So fate gives us political power again in the Democratic primary? Perfectly understandable, eh? Let me make one of my consistently inaccurate predictions on the outcome. ...

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a Kennedy to me.

Posted by: Bean | February 13, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Mo MoDo didn't point out today at the NYT an oped that counterbalances Maureen Dowd, titled, "A Calumny a Day Keeps the Clintons Away."

Calumny defined as "a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something." Brilliant analysis, including one mention of MSNBC:

Hey, has anyone thought about Obama's statement last night about Big Oil?

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I am reeling with the flu. Yet miles to go before I sleep. A blown headgasket must be dealt with.

I downloaded the 9-11 Commission Report the other day. I searched it for "anthrax." There was one (1) use of the word.

Did anyone ever look for the people who sent the anthrax to all those liberals in fall 2001? What's up with that?

Posted by: Jumper | February 13, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

TLF, beagle do have have a nice baying voice do they? You're lucky your Joe isn't maniacally chasing rodents, it's not the most endearing trait of the breed. Unless you have a severe groundhog problem, as our dearly departed friend had.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 13, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

In Global Warming Wednesday news, Lake Mead may run out of water by 2021. Every cloud has a silver lining - Arizona may have a significantly smaller immigration issue when Phoenix dries up.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 13, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Evidentially, CroMagnon man died off as a result of his food supplies dissapearing as a result of global cooling. So as we see our own world becomming more inhospitable as a result of global warming, we get to experience a cosmic version of what goes around eventually comes around.

Posted by: Bean | February 13, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The ice covering everything in my world today is incredibly beautiful... and a pain in the neck. While I did get to my dentist's office for my semi-annual scraping (his office is about 1/3 mile from my house) I sat in traffic for 15 minutes going nowhere once I left his parking lot and headed to the office.

So I turned around and came home. If I'm going to sit for an hour, it might as well be in my kitchen with a bagel and nice cup of tea. The office will see me later.. if at all.

I chaperoned with a new friend yesterday at school who said pretty much what I was thinking when I cast my ballot in the morning... "If I knew in my heart that she would win, I want Hillary to be my next president. But I don't think she can beat McCain."

It's a shame, too. Because Matthews is right that there isn't another woman who will get this close for a while.

My husband told me why he cast his ballot for Hillary yesterday... "Because all my life women have taken care of me. This country needs a woman in the White House."

Now is that incredibly sexist or incredibly feminist? I don't really know. I'm just glad I married him.

Posted by: TBG | February 13, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Not exactly underdogs, but so, so incredibly cute:

Be sure to page down and click on slideshow

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Another cool pic:

O Cristo Redentor struck by lighnting

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Today is Steve Yzerman Day in Michigan

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

In honor of Uno the Wonder Beagle:



Posted by: Scottynuke | February 13, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

10/10 on the dog quiz. I know you are all shocked.

Posted by: Yoki | February 13, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll bet you didn't even guess on one of them, Yoki!


Posted by: Slyness | February 13, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Casting a vote in favor of optimism:

Don't imagine that Hillary is the only woman who has a chance of being elected President...18 months ago did you know who Barack Obama was? 2 months ago did you think he would win the Virginia primary? The one thing we don't know about is the future. Women are more than half the population and they are making inroads in every area -- in business, education, politics. Anything could happen.

I wouldn't count Hillary out yet, either. She could still be elected President of our benighted country.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 13, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

8/10 Flunked the Nixon and sled questions.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 13, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey, omni -- nice to celebrate Steve Yzerman today (or any day) -- especially in light of the fact that the Red Wings have lost 4 straight after burning up the ice (so to speak) since the season began. Ah, well, better to have a slump now rather than during the playoffs, eh?

I will admit that I am completely split down the middle about Clinton-Obama. I voted for her yesterday, but I know *a lot* of people professionally, for whom I have tons of love and respect, and they appear to be all in his corner. I would vote proudly for either one of them in November.

I hate the way MSNBC and other media are demonizing Hillary (and Chelsea) -- and we know it's because they're women. *sigh*

Even in the 21st century it sometimes feels like the 12th. I spoke with my friend in Zambia just now, and he doesn't get it either (even though he's over the moon about Obama). I suggested to him that I think Americans will vote for a black man before they vote for a woman. *another sigh*

So, I'm split. Does that mean that next time I get to vote twice? Even if I'm not in Chicago?

Gotta go boost the economy. Or something.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 13, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Interesting first hour of the Diane Rehm show this morning--Rehm and five male panelists--one from the Columbus Dispatch, one from the Houston Chron, one from the Washington Times, an academic from American University, and the Washington Post's Chris Cilliza, who writes "The Fix."

Cillizza said that as the Republican and Democratic fields narrow, readers will probably see more accountability journalism.

Chris, why are we not seeing and reading more accountability journalism NOW? Do you really consider that feeble attempt by the Post yesterday to explain differences (done in a very superficial way with four photos) between Clinton and Obama on four issues as "accountability journalism"? The public wants more; the public expects more.

Very surprising to learn that Cilliza hails from Connecticut. Apparently "The Fix" does too, From a Nov. 29, 2006 chat:

Anonymous: Re: Bredeson

A fake Southerner from Connecticut?

That sounds vaguely familiar. Perhaps that could work? Your opinion?

Chris Cillizza: Remember that Mark Warner had Connecticut ties too....

And that The Fix is from Connecticut and bears fierce loyalty to his home state.

LL: A woman from Wisconsin who called into the Diane Rehm show had an interesting observation. If Obama is so against the war, why did he campaign about two years ago for Democrat (Independent) Joe Lieberman from Connecticut, rather than the outspoken Democratic antiwar candidate Ned Lamont? IIRC, it was Cillizza who answered that Lieberman had formed such a nice mentoring relationship with Obama, that Obama felt know the rest of the story.

The last caller was from Old Saybrook, Conn. Her--or his, I'm not certain here-- question was filled with such bigotry against Hillary. The men who comprised today's panel responded. Diane then followed with a question, taken from the caller's comment, about gender roles. Not one of the men would venture a statement addressing Rehm's follow-up query. How sad.

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

You're right, kbertocci! On all counts. Thanks for making me feel better.


Posted by: TBG | February 13, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

ftb, I so hope that's not true, that Americans will vote for a black man before a woman. Sad state of things if it is.

10/10 on the dog quiz.

TBG, you've got a keeper for sure.

frosti, kbert and others--I think you'd be proud of Raysdad. The SIL made a comment during a phone conversation about waterboarding not being so bad. First, he suggested that she and his brother do some research on what it really is. That was enough to change the brother's mind. Then Raysdad wrote an email to the SIL explaining why it is a deplorable practice (including that if we stoop to such tactics, then we're no better than "they" are), followed by a very convincing phone call. For my sweetie to have shifted a couple of dittoheads' thinking on this is no small feat.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 13, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

8/10 on the quiz. Missed the white dog question and Arbusto's dog's name. I don't get around the former enough to recognize one large white dog from another and don't really care about the latter.

Posted by: jack | February 13, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

jack, I didn't his name either. But my logic was: What would be the stupidest, most simplistic name you could give that dog?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 13, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

New Kit! Bats!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 13, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

So where IS Joel? Is he in McAllen in Hidalgo County playing chalupa?

Or in Corpus Christi by now? Has he heard anyone yell the slogan yet, as they did last night in El Paso: ""Que viven las mujeres! Si senor!" "Long live women! Yes sir!"

Will we both be at the same rally tonight at St. Mary's? If I see him, with his reporter's gear and digital camera, should I invite him someplace, post-rally, for a tall marguerita, offer him some jalpeno poppers? If I spiced him out, would he fail to meet some press deadline? If he ate too many habaneros, should we call him "Hot Lips Achenbach"?

I'm pretty sure I'd recognize him if I saw him. Is he on some press bus or plane? If we talked to each other, would it be like two people interviewing each other? Would we hug? Shake hands? He has a photo of me that I sent taken at the Texas Book Festival. Would he recognize me? Or would he hang with the press pack? Is Dave Barry in town, too?

Posted by: Loomis | February 13, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Raysdad!

Posted by: frostbitten | February 13, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

YAY for Raysdad!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 13, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

6/10 on the quiz --and that with the help of two lucky guesses. "Big white dog" wasn't an option on one of the ones I got wrong.

I think it is a completely false proposition to assume people "will vote for a black man before a woman." There's no evidence whatsoever this is going on. It falsely assumes that is the main reason (or worse, sole reason) why people are voting for Obama and not Hillary.

Of *course* many, many blacks are voting for the black candidate; that's hardly remarkable. And of *course* many women are voting for Hillary. Those two aspects are "givens." But the theory now requires that all the rest of the Dem voters must be racist or sexist, and completely ignores many, many other things, such as:

(1) We know for a fact many Dems say things like they'd vote for either one in the general, whoever wins the primary race. So they are split--but clearly NEITHER sexist or racist, if they'll vote for either one.

(2) Everyone *knows* Hillary is carrying a ton of baggages around with her--all the Clinton stuff, Bill back in the White House, yadda yadda. There are planty of good reasons NOT to vote for Hillary that have nothing to do with sexism. Her vote on the war, not being liberal enough for the liberal wing, the list goes on.

(3) There are lots of good reasons to vote for Obama: his charisma, the whole "change" thing, being somewhat more liberal than Hillary, etc.

This sexism/racism thing is crap. And not only is it crap, indulging in speculating about it while ignoring many other factors isn't helping either candidate.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 13, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

After one of the worst presidents for civil rights and disability rights, I took a careful look at the frontrunner's record on disability rights.

I looked at how they voted and what they have in mind for special education and health care reform as well.

I found Obama to be strikingly interested in environmental causes of health issues such as lead poisoning, and to have demanded the EPA pass guidelines to help make it clearer and easier for homeowners to remove lead from homes, and to give tax credits to those who do such from residences housing pregnant women and young children.

He also wants to do built environment reviews to see if health standards can be improved.

This is of major concern to urban environments AND to the thousands if not millions of americans who suffer every year from allergies, asthma, sick building syndrome, and possible chemical exposures. Many of them are so disabled that they cannot participate in daily life as a direct result of environmental conditions.

I'm still waiting to find concrete evidence that will allow me to believe Clinton would be a better president for disability and civil rights than Obama would be. From what it appears, Obama did more as an senator in less time than Hillary did, and he has a lot more innovative ideas about accessiblity, including captioning all his videos.

It's actually this simple to me.

The plan Hillary has for a center for helping businesses get accomodation equipment, is interesting, but to me, will just make opportunity better (and basically be a give-away to businesses who already employ disabled employees, which tend to be bigger businesses to start with)... but not expand opportunity.

Because many disabled people start their own small businesses due to inability to be employed 9-5 (health or employer prejudice), I also want to see a sense that small businesses are important, not large corporate interests, and why I am looking hard at health insurance since this is one of the biggest cost burdens a small business has whenever it considers hiring new employees.

I don't consider Obama's agenda to be light at all. However you are free to look at the facts and make up your own mind and rebut me with new facts.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 13, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

And I second Mudge. Our backgrounds may influence our views, but they do NOT make our views inevitable.

At bottom, it is our character and willingness to listen to others and learn that transforms our view and approach to life above and beyond the limited backgrounds every one of us has in some fashion.

It is also what we DO that helps lift ourselves. Out of the ruins of yesterday's mistakes, we build tomorrow's wisdom.

If they were "just" their backgrounds, McCain, Clinton, and Obama, would not now be grasping for the presidency with such widespread support.

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

I donated over $500 to this campaign because I worry about my children's future. Please discuss this if possible.
"Community Organizer for President"

He was a community organizer in an inner city Chicago. Then he wrote a book. Then he ran unopposed for the local state senate. Then he ran unopposed for a vacant Illinois state senate. And now he wants to be the president of the United States of America

The country is drifting from its historic path to an uncharted territory. Eight more years of experimentations and ill-conceived judgments even with good intentions could find our beloved United States unrecognizable and hard to correct. He said that he can not manage the nation but will hire good people.

In these times of the whole world is competing for our economy, jobs and livelihood it is very critical to methodically evaluate your choices and have the vision for future consequences. You must have the sound judgment and experience or we will find our selves in the richest third world country. With experience and competence come good judgment not just contents. But he will hire good people around him he said.

In the last few weeks the United States Navy had a close encounters with Russians fighter jets and Iranian navy boats in the Strait of Hormuz. One can restart the cold war with a nuclear nation and the other could stop the flow of most of the world's petroleum that could send the world into an economic recession and ciaos. Do you want a community organizer that can hire good people to navigate this?

The president we elect have to decide between differing consultants. He or she has to make a decision that the future of our nation and our children depends on. We need a president who will make the correct choices and keep this country prosperous and free and great as it always been. Please don't make us choose between an inexperienced community organizer and an opponent who supports the wrong war.

Lets take our country back and keep it the way it has always been, Great, Prosperous, Free, Strong and the beacon for freedom and democracy. I recommend you support Hillary Clinton now to lead the United States of America.

Thank You

Posted by: toraad | February 14, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mardi Grand

The day after Governor Meter Omni (All Things to All People, According to the Applause Meter) announced his withdrawal from contention for the Richbuttlican presidential nomination, your correspondent caught up with him. Actually, your correspondent ran into the former Governor at a Boston fish market.

Correspondent: "Fancy meeting you here, Governor!"

Omni: "Edwin Oldman! What brings you here, strictly speaking?"

C: "I came to get Scrod."

O: "Ah, I know all about it. I got scrod last Tuesday."

C: "You did?"

O: "Ha ha. I was talking about my disappointing showing on Mardi Grand."

C: "Mardi Grand? Oh, Super Tuesday? Governor, I believe the French just call it Super Mardi".

O: "Shows how little they know."

C: "So, Governor, what are your plans now that you're out of the running?"

O: "Well, Ed, you know I am a conservative. So, right now, I am working on conserving - what's left of my capital. We have a free market and a free press, but darn it - our campaigns are far from free. I had to pay through the nose."

C: "I mean, what are your plans until 2012?"

O: "Perhaps go back to investment banking. Make money. There is a lot to be said for behaving like a real capitalist. After all, Karl Marx would have been a lot happier if, instead of writing about Das Kapital, he had focused on accumulating some."

C: "Do you plan to run again for the 2012 nomination? "

O: "Yes, of course. I believe in staying the course. It's just that I need enough resources for my own surge."

C: "Do you think you are up to the stress and strain of another campaign?"

O: "Oh, sure. Especially if I don't have the pains in the side I had this time."

C: "Pains? In the side?"

O: "You know, Senator McGain was a constant thorn in my left side, and Reverend Huggable managed to land a few blows on my right side."

C: "So what makes you think it would be better for you in 2012?"

O: "Well, the Senator should be four years older by then, and less able to withstand the rigors of the campaign. Plus, he would have alienated even more people. As for the Reverend, one never knows when a scandal might erupt involving him."

C: "What scandal? What do you know that my readers don't?"

O: "Oh, I don't know anything, but the odds are in favor of a scandal. Just look at some other well known preachers - like Merry Swagger; or, look at other former governors of Arkansas, who may or may not have had sex with 'that woman', depending on your definition - of sex, had, and woman."

C: "Why do you think you failed to win big in the South, in spite of your conservative credentials?"

O: "It's you guys in the chattering classes. You keep harping on my Moreman faith, and worked against me in the South - especially with the lesser men you find there in abundance. They recognized the Reverend as one of their own, the SOBs."

C: "Excuse me!"

O: "You know, the people living South of Baltimore."

C: "It surprised many of us that you didn't seek the support of another prominent conservative, ex-Senator George Fallen in Virginia."

O: "I sought it all right, and even found it, but it wasn't what I expected it to be. Every time he tried to say 'Mike Huggable', it came out sounding too much like 'Macaca'. So I said, 'George, this isn't good news.' He replied, 'Good noose? Did I ever tell you about the good noose I had in my office?' Then I told him, 'George, I know you really want to help me. So why don't you campaign for one of the Democracks?' But he couldn't bring himself to do it; he has always been a Richbuttlican, as have I."

C: "You really asked Senator Fallen to campaign for a Democrack? Why?"

O: "If you know George, you would appreciate how much his support can mean - to the opponent of anyone he supports. But, if by some chance, he helped to turn 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into a Broad House or a Black House for the next four years, that would only set the stage for me to come storming back in 2012."

C: "How do you propose to convince the Richbuttlican base that you are conservative enough and, at the same time, convince the independents that you are centrist enough?"

O: "Ed, you're talking about appealing to the Middle. Exactly what McGain has done. Well, I believe in eliminating the Middle Man. So I would just explain the facts of life to our base."

C: "You don't mean the birds and the bees? Don't they already know that stuff?"

O: Oh, sure. That's why they have good reproductivity, even if their productivity is pretty low. What I mean is this - look, supporting Gay Marriage is a Pro Life position. Very few gay couples, unlike straight couples, go in for an abortion. I'm sure our base would support me once they understand that. Plus, my position helps to send more Democracks to hell."

C: "I see. Actually, I don't see."

O: "Let's take another issue - my faith. I will explain to people that I am nominally Moreman; but the real faith I practiced for many years, and now intend to practice for the next three years, is the Mammon faith. To turn this country around, we need to all worship Mammon instead of God - at least until we hit the age of Social Security eligibility. Then we should strictly worship God - because only He can save the Social Security fund."

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