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From the Right: The Mendacity of Hope

Obama says he wants to unite the country. Right-wing pundits say: Over our dead bodies.

Obama gave what this reporter thought was an honest, thoughtful, nuanced speech on one of America's most sensitive issues. And he did it right in the middle of sound-bite season. (I retract my statement of yesterday saying it was the best speech since Lincoln's Second Inaugural: It was actually the best since Henry V offered that excellent pep talk on Saint Crispen's Day before the Battle of Agincourt.)

But a number of pundits on the right really loathed the speech. They have called it dishonest and cynical. They basically say you can't believe a thing Obama says. No doubt they believe Obama's latest book should have been titled "The Mendacity of Hope."

Newt Gingrich told Hannity that the more he read the speech, "the phonier it got." On another Fox show, Gingrich said, "Look, I think it was a great speech, and I think he is a great speech maker. And I also think it was intellectually, fundamentally dishonest."

Phony? Dishonest? What it was, actually, was defining: It has helped Speaker Gingrich, for example, remind us that he remains, at core, the same ol' congressional back-bencher who loves to throw the verbal hand-grenade.

My guess is that there's nothing Obama could have said that would have satisfied some of these folks. Charles Krauthammer writes that the Obama speech was "brilliantly sophistic," which is a fancy way of saying that it was full of specious arguments, which is a fancy way of saying that it was dishonest.

Some on the right are even more vituperative. Faced with a candidate whocalls for Americans to stop believing the worst about their political opponents, they respond by asking voters to believe the worst about such a candidate.

The core of their argument is that Obama is a fraud, a charlatan, or at the very least a slippery character. He's Tricky Barry.

Here's Mona Charen: 'It's a mistake to try to pigeonhole Barack Obama. He is too smart and too agile to succumb to easy categorization. But the candidate's eloquence is often more of a curtain than a window to his soul -- and one is left to wonder where his heart truly lies. As George Burns said of acting, "Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made." '

Rich Lowry: "Swaddled in all the high-mindedness was rhetorical sleight of hand about the Rev. Wright." Lowry writes that Obama's base is "the media," which probably comes as a surprise to the tens of thousands of people who show up for his rallies.

Patrick Buchanan: 'What is wrong with Barack's prognosis and Barack's cure? Only this. It is the same old con, the same old shakedown that black hustlers have been running since the Kerner Commission blamed the riots in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and a hundred other cities on, as Nixon put it, "everybody but the rioters themselves." '


There are dissenters from this ideological line. Andrew Sullivan has an interesting analysis of a Wright sermon. See also Peggy Noonan's column (via Memeorandum).

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 21, 2008; 12:12 PM ET
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Happy peace sign anniversary everyone

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 21, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

second or not?

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I remember a time here at the Achenblog where there wasn't a race for first comment. Is there anybody here that remembers that?

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Once again it is time for people of races, creeds, colors, and faiths to meet up at twilight, light candles, link arms and sing that Avenue Q song that tells the truth about America:

Everyone's a little bit racist
Doesn't mean we go
Around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
No one's really color blind.
Maybe it's a fact
We all should face
Everyone makes judgments
Based on race.

All right!
Bigotry has never been
Exclusively white

If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
Even though we all know
That it's wrong,
Maybe it would help us
Get along.

Everyone's a little bit racist
It's true.
But everyone is just about
As racist as you!
If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
And everyone stopped being
Maybe we could live in -

Full lyrics here:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

IMO, the conservative element that is dissecting Sen. Obama's message are as believable as Glinda, when she tells the WWOTW that she better move along "...before a house falls on you!" The WWOTW falls for it and looks skyward, same as the segment of the public that takes everything stated by the conservative media as the gospel truth.

Posted by: jack | March 21, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This video satirizes the race for "First" as well as many other bad comment habits (NSFW for language and salacious ads):

I know blogs that delete comments that claim "first" just on general principle. I prefer to think that boodlers do it only in a meta-ironic self-referential satirical sort of way. But then I could be wrong.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me about the right wing reaction to the speech is that they say he is being dishonest by talking about race relations in general and not severing ties with the Reverend outright. But you can bet that, had he made a speech simply disavowing and ending the relationship with Rev. Wright, they would have called him dishonest for doing what was politically expedient to do. Unfortunately, there's a certain population that swallows the conservative pundits' comments whole and this won't occur to them.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 21, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

You know what's really bizarre, Joel? Both Gingrich and Buchanan were initially pretty laudatory about Obama's speech, right after he first gave it. My guess is they suddenly realized the enormity of that transgression, and have been furiously back-peddling ever since. Imagine the horror: saying something nice about the opposition. A$$hats. Pardon my French.

Hey, thanks for that link, DNA Girl. Even after all these years I never knew the history of the peace symbol, even though it first appeared here about the time I was in high school. Ya really do learn somethin' new every day around here. (Like, I never realized the deadly Gaboon Bungee was a member of the Cord Snake family. Or that some species of alligator came with white sidewalls.)

(Now that I think about it, I suspect Gingrich and Buchanan may be members of the Cord Snake family too.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 21, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

All I can think is that these folks believe that Sen.Obama's speech falls short when compared to the calm, frank, dispassionate, insightful speeches on this same topic made by Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain. Oh, what's that you say? There were no such speeches from his rivals? Never have been? Never mind.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 21, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"It's a mistake to try to pigeonhole Barack Obama. He is too smart and too agile to succumb to easy categorization. But the candidate's eloquence is often more of a curtain than a window to his soul -- and one is left to wonder where his heart truly lies."

What they want Obama to do is to disregard his parentage, and half of who he is, by taking sides. They want him to pick a completely white or black perspective, and by doing that side with one kind of bigotry over another. What the critics from the right don't get is that for every bi-racial child in America today, and there are oh so many more than ever before, there are aunties and uncles, grandparents and cousins, who had nothing to do with the choices the parents made and the love they felt for someone with skin unlike their own. Their entry into a multiracial family may have come as no surprise at all, a welcome opportunity, or a shock that nearly killed them-but circumstances have caused them to leave the old racial politics behind. Like explorers setting out across the unknown divide we don't know where we will land, but we know the same old way won't stand. Obama gets it.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

lest we remain on kit too long, a repost from the last boodle:

oooooeeeeewwww, French manicures look so trashy on women one can only imagine what kind of trailer park outside of Marseilles spawned them in the first place.

That should take care of the trolls who come by to complain of how PC we are, but I really do hate them-the manicures, that is. I'm pretty agnostic on the French and suppose tornadoes need somewhere to go thus trailer parks are at least necessary. French manicures on men, not so much.

Oh, and welcome Theresa. What bia said X 2. If we weren't all so darn serious, thoughtful, and concerned about the state of the world we wouldn't need the boodle. Lighten up and hang out a while.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that peace sign link DNA Girl.

And a double thanks to yellojkt for that hilarious video link.

In other news: I bought my first software package for my Mac mini. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements. $89.95. Whoohoo. This may interfere with movie night a little. Movie night may turn into movie morning.

Posted by: OMNI | March 21, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

See my rant from last kit. Still applies.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 21, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The problem the right winger have is that they cannot pin anything on Obama and they are pissed off that he is going to win the nomination and the Presidency leaving them huffing and puffing and fuming.

The see defeat staring in the face and that is what bothers them. Perhaps someone should tell them the reason people like Obama is because he comes accross is honest and sincere and people have had enough of right wingers lies, deceit, fraud, no bid contracts to their fat cats, their phoney religious leaders who keep going to jail for sexual crimes.

Posted by: Ajaz | March 21, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

First time I saw a French manicure I liked what I saw. I thought it was pretty. Now it seems like 90% of women who use nail polish opt for this and now I miss fire engine red a lot.

Then there are the variations on the theme like this:

Which looks stupid dumb and ugly.

Posted by: omni | March 21, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oops, didn't mean to shout my handle at 2:13. Somehow got caps lock on.

Posted by: omni | March 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I've seen something even worse: French pedicures.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 21, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

We don't speak of them Raysmom. Double ooooooeeeeeewwwww!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Inspired by CowTown and his concern over the tool Krauthammer and his dangerous influence on children:

Trouble, oh you got trouble,
Right there in Foggy Bottom!
With a capital "B"
That rhymes with "T"
And that stands for Tool,
That stands for tool.
You've surely got trouble!
Right there in Foggy Bottom,
Right there!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones away from Krauthammer!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...

PS email from T. Siskind: that's not funny.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 21, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

All right then, I'm reposting my rant. First time I've ever done that. ALERT: Like any good rant, almost no attention has been paid to elements of style pertaining to useage, grammar, sentence structure, paragraph structure, clarity, meaning, or a simple grasp of reality. As follows:


I just read Charles Krauthlamerwhatever's column in today's WaPo. He ends his diatribe with: "Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?"

I've read variations on this in other columns: How could you expose impressionalbe young people to the bad thoughts presented by Rev. Wright? Now they're "infected." How does that work? I remember my fourth grade nun solemnly informing us "impressionable" 10-year-olds that our Protestant (or other non-Catholic) friends could expect no greater reward than Limbo after they died. I knew right then that she was full of ##$%@^, and I didn't need some half-wit right wing pundit to tell me!

So, Obama's sin was in "supporting" the "infection" of impressionable youth! Next thing, they'll be playing POOL!


Posted by: CowTown | March 21, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I gave Krauthammer the honor of actually replying to his column.

"Why does the Washington Post keep giving you money to say such nasty things about people, Krauthammer? I must conclude this is an evil newspaper, because it supports you.

You should know better and be able to lead by example how to talk about such issues. Here's a clue.. ad hominem attacks are passe. Even Rev. Wright didn't attack any person specifically, and his jeremiad (look it up) has a long history in the prophets of the bible itself. "

Shmuck. I suppose he thinks Obama should have acted like he did (or so it's claimed) when a rabbi said something he disagreed with politically back in 2003:

I'm going with Cassandra... ignoring what he's said. But cripes, he raised a point here. Money=support for everything the person has ever said.

So, is the Washington Post, by sponsoring his sewer effluvia, backing his NeoCon ideas? I think most newspaper editors and such would say no, but wait a minute. This isn't the fly-by-night relationship you might think it is.

The Post is a national newspaper who has hired him for what, 20 years, helped feed him, pay his bills, and given him a constant forum for whatever he writes.

I call a dirty relationship here between the so-called "liberalism" and "objectivity" of the WaPo and the crazybat neocon ravings of Krauthammer.

I want to know where the editors were when Krauthammer turned this column in. I want to know where they were when he did all his morally offensive ranting labelled as "Opinion". This is the question we must ask.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

My wife keeps asking me if I ever want to go to her salon for a mani-pedi mini-party. As sexy as that sounds, I keep turning her down. If I do ever get my toenails done, I want them painted black or fungus green.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks yellojkt :-)
Next contest I'll strive for Last!
And wish for world peace

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 21, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My various and sundry female offspring (three daughters, and I forget how man granddaughters I have; five at last count, I think) are forever getting cutsey naily things done to them, including the painting of myriad objects and themes, totsies as well as fingers, very often at exorbitant prices (I have standing instructions that I am NOT to be told the dollar amounts; it is much safer for all concerned this way) (speaking of ignorance being bliss, pace Theresa). I fully expect to see Easter-Egg and lagomorph-themed cuticles this weekend. I figure it's the price I have to pay for being surrounded by such pulchritude.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 21, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

yello-Mr. F gets a pedicure now and again, though I fear he does not tip nearly well enough. We could not possibly afford what is honestly deserved after dealing with his runner's feet. I believe they use the same rasp on his heels that auto body shops use to rough shape putty after it's hardened.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer was once a insightful iconoclast, but he has ossified into a hack and a tool (h/t to SoC).I've been on thin ice before defending Chuckie K, but this column is beyond the pale. In his distasteful attack on Rev. Wright he fails to note that many right wing ministers were also blaming the WTC attack on America's moral turpitude. I don't see him taking any of them to task.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl,
There is nothing wrong with being first, only with exclusively proclaiming it.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that works in a nail salon needs to consider the effect that ketones have on humans. Personally, I prefer the handhewn, au naturel look.

Posted by: jack | March 21, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Ms. Evelyn Beatrice Hall:

I may think Krauthammer has lost the capacity for rational thought, but I'll defend to the death his right to make a complete and utter sphincter of himself.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 21, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. Has anybody noticed the URL for this kit&kaboodle?

A faked orgasm???

Posted by: omni | March 21, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

700 Club broadcast of September 13, 2001-

JERRY FALWELL: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say 'You helped this happen.'"

PAT ROBERTSON: "Well, I totally concur..."

Et tu, Krauthammer?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 21, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation..." K rants.
To give offering to church has nothing to do with the political view of the pastor.

Posted by: daiwanlan | March 21, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

For Buffy Fans:

Says Sarah auditioned for the role 11 times. I for one am glad she persisted.

Posted by: omni | March 21, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A critical review of the flawed reasoning in this column as one of the latest in a pattern of Krauthammery being winked at by the WaPo.

I long to see the Ombudsman say on World Poetry day (with shameless cribbing from Shakespeare)

"Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy;
And this fault we must admit indeed. Now we
Cry havoc and let pink slip Krauthammer
That his foul deed shall sell next to the thoughts
of column men, groaning at deadlines.
Forgiveness not censure, readers, we beseech you;
Preaches not the Post such scorn, for we were made
For reporting, alas, not for such contempt
Now, come apace to Op-Ed: there is more good
for readers of punditry than was offered by past trangressions."

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's official: Passportgate has become nonpartisan: morons at the State Dept. have looked at McCain's and Hillary's passports, too (also wrongly).

Those guys are giving us contractors a bad name. (Hey, at least we understand passing things up the chain-of-command, which seems to be missing from the Fed civil servant skill set.)

mo, get over there and kick some butt, wouldja?

I wonder if anyone at State has told Condi the Iraq War isn't going well, and that we haven't found any WMD yet. Or that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

In other matters, have any of you noticed that wherever McCain has been for the last week, Joe Lieberman has been faithfully three steps behind his right shoulder at every turn? I know they are good friends; maybe this week is just Lieberman's turn to watch John and follow him arounding whispering corrections in his ear. And I'm thinking maybe ol' John is signaling who his Vepp choice will be--wouldn't put it past Lieberman to finally switch to "Indy" and for McCain to pick him as VP nom, and make much huillaballoo about a Gop/Indy coalition going after the "great American middle" or some such. It would be hailed as another great presidential campaign "historic first" juxtaposed against "histopric first woman/first black" yadda yadda-- except it wouldn't be.

yello, I may have to disagree: Krauthammer was never just an "insightful iconoclast" in my memory. I recall him as being a jerk from Day One. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 21, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh S'nuke and Yellojkt, he can say whatever he wants. I'm pointing out his logical fallacy and insinuations can be turned right back on him. And I think it should be pointed out loud and clear.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, c'mon--Krauthammer's column is only representative the zeitgeist of The Village. Shower a little love on the myopic; Jesus suggested we do that, y'know. 'Ol Krautie has been a good customer--he's got shares in practically every bridge put up--and he doesn't kick his dog very often.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | March 21, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

When you learn how to use the magic lasso well enough, you'll have to teach me how to blur and blend.

That sounds really gay, doesn't it?

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Nicely drawn parallel between Obama's speech and King Hank's Lombardi-esque St. Crispin Day pregame, Joel.

As some pointed out, *of course* the Right is going to try to play this speech down.

Something tells me that they won't be able to.


Posted by: bc | March 21, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm the boodle's answer to "Home Improvement"'s character "Tim the Toolman". When my toenails need trimming, my trusty Binford 3000 four inch belt sander with a 60 grit belt works just fine, thank you very much.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 21, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I used to read Krauthammer to get insight into the conservative mindset. But now days he is clearly off his meds. It's like he is in some kind warped alternative universe, cause nothing he write is even remotely familiar to this one. I no longer read him, as it is a pain and a waste of time.

Posted by: omni | March 21, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

How about the chain-reaction reaction to the demand for Obama to clarify and reclarify what he said about his white grandmother's potential reaction to meeting an unfamiliar black man on the street?

As a white liberal hippie who really doesn't care what color you are, even if you are trying to rob me or otherwise be a jerk in my presence, I know the statistics and am not stupid. A black man approaching me in a dark parking lot doesn't raise any alarms for me, but if he's wearing a hoodie and has his hands in his pockets and his head is down... well... call me Obama's grandma -- I'm on the alert.

The same would apply if it was a white guy or a Puerto Rican or even a drunk leprechaun wearing that hoodie.

"Gangsta's" come in all colors, but statistically they trend away from pale skin and blonde hair. That's a whole other issue -- and one that needs addressed by the human community (as our friend Cassandra has been doing, as well as many others) -- but it factors into the core issue of fearing each other (and causing fear) for no good reason.

I think Obama hit the issue straight between the eyes and the reactions from both sides all come down to one thing:


Fear on *all* sides.

We fear each other for many different reasons, many imagined, many justified, and whether we like to admit it or not, even those of us who actively embrace diversity are still conditioned to "keep to our own", so to say, and to distrust those who aren't just like us.

Heck... in some neighborhoods, you can't just be "white" but have to be Italian or Polish or Irish or whatever and if you're not 100%... well... you got a problem.

Case in point, my grandparents had to marry three times -- literally. They eloped during WWII and dragged a Justice of the Peace out of bed to marry them the first time, but then they had to remarry in two different churches to please the Roman Catholic and Polish Orthodox Catholic branches of their families.

(and people wonder why I'm a Buddhist)

We also fear to offend each other, so potentially offensive discussions and confrontations are avoided and frowned on as much as the "n" word, even if those discussions might be meaningful and healing.

For example, I don't allow that word to be uttered in my house and will poke you in the eye if you do, but feel free to call me a Pollock or a Wop or a Hunkie or Kraut or Gnome or whatever (I'm obviously a mutt). I still may poke you in the eye after that, but I grew up with those names and they no longer carry the same punch they used to.

There's an elephant in the room that just squished the 800lb gorilla and Obama poked that bugger right in the eye. Repeatedly.

Whether he wins or not, this discussion has been a long time coming and whoever is left standing with the keys to the White House is going to *have* to continue it. Otherwise it's just more of the same old same old.

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Arent these the same right wing geniuses who opine about how much of a uniter Bush is. About how the war in Iraq was and is justified..regardless of reality. About how tax cuts for the rich will help everyone..hello..recession? The key to being right and honorable is to listen to these right wing kooks and then do exactly the opposite of what they say.

Posted by: markinsa | March 21, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll leave open the possibility that I have changed not Krauthammer. Either way, I no longer agree with much of what he says. He and Kristol (a far less talented writer) seem to have some secret contest between themselves to see who can be most wildly inaccurate about anything. I still have a secret crush on George Will, especially when he goes all history professor on us.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think you are right about the trajectory of Lieberman, Mudge. Imagine Secretary of State Lieberman. In fact, imagine the cabinet Obama will put together. And then think about the others.

I could pretty much support a long Senate career for Clinton. So long as somebody, you know, watches her.

I was one of those who was wowed by Obama's speech. And I like yello's contribution to the discussion by posting the above lyrics, too.

Not to mention, Obama knows how to pronounce "nuclear."

Posted by: Jumper | March 21, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I used to like french manicures but having had them for quite a while with artificial (ok, fake) nails they became a hassle and a form of torture and loud on the keyboard and expensive to maintain. Not to mention every third woman was wearing them. Since stopping this practice it has taken months for my real nails (the poor things) to recover.

Nevah again, she said, hand raised high.

Posted by: eidrib | March 21, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

In additional to the hypocrisy factor that K-guy so ably pointed out in his 3:00, there is the fact (and those are hard to come by) that the kinds of statements Rev. Wright made -- as represenible and wrong-headed as they may be -- that those remarks have been floating around the black community for 20 years or more. The whole "the white man invented AIDS to kill the black man" nonsense came about in the late 80s, as I recall, just a few years after AIDS itself came to be widely known. And while there was a small amount of hue-and-cry over it back then, the fact is this is old, old, old news. Some of the wingnuts are acting like they've never heard this before. And 20 years ago, that story was put into the context of the infamous Tuskegee experiments when "scientists" deliberately infected black people with syphillis to study its effects. So even though it is both wrong and somewhat silly, the AIDS thing certainly has some context and a lot of understandable notoriety to it.

The other thing that bugs me is that although Wringht may have uttered some of this nonsense from time to time, it's not like that was his favorite hobby-horse that he harangued his congregation with over and over again: hatred of whites, etc. It wasn't.

I wish I had a nickle for every time a friend or (worse) a relative of mine said something utterly idiotic and indefensible. You can't go around shunning everyone, especially if you are related to them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 21, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You posted while I was writing, Martooni, and I have a few thoughts on fear that I have been musing about for a few years. A funny thing about fear is how almost everybody wants to hide their fear. There seem to be good reasons for it, like "don't act like a victim" and advice on how to tame lions, or stay vicious dogs and such.

When I was throwing newspapers in the public housing area, I was often approached by folks, usually wanting to either just have conversation, or bum a smoke, or maybe sell me something they didn't know I didn't want. I just wanted to finish and go home and catch some zzzs. One day three guys came walking up to me and I just didn't like it, so I said loudly, "hey, back off." One guy says "why?" and the only thing I could think of is to say "you're scaring me." This amused them, but they stopped. Because I said a true thing. And the funny thing is, the instant I said it, I was empowered. I realized that when three guys approach you in the dark, I have a right to be a bit afraid. And what's more, I knew that they knew that. And the weirdest thing of all was that the instant I said that, I wasn't really afraid anymore at all.

Posted by: Jumper | March 21, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, my dad was holding out hope for an Edwards-Richardson ticket after Richardson didn't catch on.

I think Richardson is an asset to anybody's administration, period. I think he would be an excellent counterweight in the general election to claims that Obama's light on foreign policy.

I don't know how much of a primary campaign asset he is; it seemed nobody in the early primaries had any clue who he was and he dropped out before we had a chance to vote for him on Super Thursday.

It'd be interesting to see if, once elected, Obama not only announces his vice president but who would serve in some cabinet positions if he wins. I certainly have no doubt he's already thought about who he wants.

Clinton had problems putting together a cabinet in his first 100 days, and it may have hurt him the first couple years. Obama wouldn't get that kind of grace period.

McCain is going to be like... "Yeah, me, Leiberman. Maybe Dole. You know, old faces you can trust. To say any more would let the terrorists win."

Hillary: "We won't disclose our choices until after we win the election."

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

eidrib.... Never had a manicure, but I actually had a pedicure once. Won it on a radio call-in contest.

After the hazmat team left and the pedicurist was safely secured in her padded decontamination cell, I put my wool socksa and steel-toed boots back on and went back to work. Or the bar. Or something.

Leaping ninja toenail fungi are normal, right?

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

yello, I, too, read Will from time to time, and yes, he has sane moments (usually when he's talking about baseball, although I admit he does take a great sport that I love and somehow turn it into a lot of work). And I can read a few others once in a while (confession: I like a good bit of Andrew Sulivan's stuff; he is at least interesting and unpredictable. And once in a while, depending on the moon, Gingrich can occasionally wander into the logical). But I have no patience whatsoever with the Hammer, Novak, Colson, Coulter, Limberger, Hannity, Scarborough, et al. None. Zero. And what little I had for Gerson has been squandered away; he's officially now a no-read moron to me, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

More Krauthammer Ruminations:

1. One reason conservatives are loathe to join Obama on the "high road" approach to race relations is because race has been such a useful wedge issue for them. That's why Obama's message of unification is lost on them; their power comes largely from division.

2. The comments sections of every blog or column I read is full of (apparently) white people screaming "racism," as if racism pertains only to the exchange of bad words. To many white people, it seems the concept of racism has been stripped of its historical context as a vehicle of oppression of a particular class of people. Under this narrow perspective, black people can be "racist" even if they never passed sunset ordinances, recorded deed covenants restricting sales to African-Americans, or denied anyone a rental unit.

3. Rev. Wright's comments were over the top. But why wasn't I outraged, intimidated, insulted, or deeply offended by his statements, and other white people were. Is my skin really that thick? Or is all this outrage less personal and more political.

End of Ruminations. Out for now.

Posted by: CowTown | March 21, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain-Dole: Don't Trust Anyone Under Seventy

McCain-Lieberman: Red States Go Home

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "socksa"... you can tell St Paddy's day is over... I'm now speaking in broken Italian.

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh... and "Leaping ninja toenail fungi" was a Googlenope until Google does it's dance and indexes this kit.

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

DNA girl

I did not mean there is anything wrong with being first. I was just reminded of a time when we didn't seem to do first, that's all. Not criticizing. I was surprised that I made second.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

And why didn't I find this last week:

Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
Your digits are unending,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
No pattern are you sending.
You're three point one four one five nine,
And even more if we had time,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
For circle lengths unbending.

Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
You are a number very sweet,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
Your uses are so very neat.
There's 2 Pi r and Pi r squared,
A half a circle and you're there,
Oh, number Pi
Oh, number Pi
We know that Pi's a tasty treat.

(to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree")


Posted by: Raysmom | March 21, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

// "scientists" deliberately infected black people with syphillis to study its effects//

I just heard that same factoid about the Tuskegee study when I was in the airport in Charlotte, some nice man talking to his father on the phone, and so I guess it is officially a kind of virus or urban legend. The truth is terrible enough: what the researchers did was leave the disease untreated so they could study the effects, without even telling the subjects they had syphilis, much less that they were not being treated for it and that they were surely going to die. The reports I have read don't claim that the researchers deliberately infected the subjects, although it is reported that family members (who weren't being studied) became infected as an indirect result of the researchers' policies.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 21, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... I used to use the "Eddie Murphy" defense when confronted by potential hostiles... act like a lunatic.

I also tried the "dance like an Egyptian" thing The Bangles were promoting back in the 80's, but it never worked for me. Maybe I didn't get the eyeliner right.

I agree with your point on fear.

It's the "little killer" as Frank Herbert often said. Let it get a grip on you and you're doomed.

Another wise man once told us that it was the only thing to fear.

Myself... not much scares me except the fear that we will destroy ourselves and our children and our planet with us. Or that by accident or illness, my daughter will precede me in death.

And centipedes... I can't stand centipedes or their millipede cousins. If you ever want to see a long-haired leaping gnome leap a tall building in a single school-girl-screaming-bound, drop one of them buggers at my feet.

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to have fun watching the collective explosion of dozens of rightwing talking heads when Obama takes the Oath of Office.

Actually, one person you forgot to mention on the right was Huckabee - he liked the speech. As did (wierdly) Charles Murray, Mr. Bell Curve.

It was a great speech. Obama is going to be a great president. What I'm hoping is that Congress, which looks like it is going to be overwhelmingly Democratic - the Dems in the House of Representatives will increase by at least ten, and there might be 60 Democratic senators (bye bye Lieberman) won't shortchange him. Dems have a chance to make a difference, and they better do it, and ignore anythng said by the Washington Post/Fox News/Heritage/AEI pundits. Those people so don't matter.

Posted by: roger | March 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Invinci-Bean likes centipedes...


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 21, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, Jumper, and Mudge

Love your comments about race and Obama. Mudge, you are correct that African-Americans were infected with syphillis(?)as someone's science experience, and when this was brought before Congress, Ronald Reagan gave them a paltry offering. Correct me if I'm wrong, because I may have my facts about the money wrong, but not the situation itself.

And yes, fear is the biggie. We're afraid to be honest with each other, and we're afraid of offending. I know when I talk about race, I can get like Wright because of my history. I can offend. Yet I'm more than ready to apologize if what I say offends anyone, but let us have the conversation because this stuff needs to be aired. It's nasty when it's stifled.

And as for crime, criminals come in all colors. Stats may prove that some of us do more crime than others, but race is not necessarily the base of that field. A lot of stuff comes into play with that.

I think all of us at some point are clannish and draw to folks that look like us, and I guess that can be expected on both sides. It becomes a problem when we start to vilify people because of their skin color. My mom and dad came together and had me. I didn't get a chance at multiple choice in the executing of the finished product. Neither did my own children.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Not to go through my right wing punditry breakdown again, but:

Coulter is a performance artist deliberately being as ridiculous as possible. She and Malkin are eye candy (by right wing standards) that are to journalism what Clarence Thomas is to jurisprudence. Read that anyway you want.

Novak makes Sauron look cuddly, but he breaks and makes genuine news. Think: Scooter Libby would still have a law license if it weren't for the Prince of Darkness. Talk about your law of unintended consequences.

Gerson is a party hack and right wing water carrier. The last Republican mouthpiece to become a decent pundit was William Safire (bowing, and groveling, and chanting "I'm not worthy").

Dittohead, Scarface, Hammity and O'Really aren't conservatives, but they play them on television. Honestly, each of them is a scripted mannequin for Roger Ailes.

And Kristol is proving himself a hothouse flower unfit for the real world of ideas outside his echo chamber. His last NYT piece had a correction that essentially invalidated his entire column. There is one theory that the Gray Lady is deliberately handing him rope.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Brave man, Martooni.

Posted by: eidrib | March 21, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kbertocci, I was about to bring up that point as well. Let's get straight on our actual crimes against humanity.

Now, what our government DID actively do, was to intentionally expose prisoners and patients to plutonium:

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 21, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, watched "I Am Legend" last night--very good movie, especially the special effects... but a downer. I want nirvana. Yeah, right.

Posted by: eidrib | March 21, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I've been listening to the audio books by "Master and Commander" author Patrick O'Brien; I'm on number three of 21. His seafaring tales date from the late 1790's, and chronical all of the aspects of life aboard crowed, filthy, wooden ships of the era. Bugs of all varieties and various other vermin are given exquisite detail. Martooni would be leaping over the side in short order.

I also can't help but hear my mind's voice sound just like the narator when I read the boodle comments. Worse than a tune cootie.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 21, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The men in the Tuskegee study were lied to about the nature of their disease and given ineffective or no treatment for their illness, but they were not intentionally infected with syphilis. They were chosen for the study because they were already infected. Their families were never warned or treated and some of them became infected also. The truth is horrible enough.

Dr. Mengele! Paging Dr. Mengele!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 21, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Not every bigot is a right-winger, but every right-winger is a bigot. Bet the house on it.

Posted by: Lupo | March 21, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Not every bigot is a right-winger, but every right-winger is a bigot. Bet the house on it."

I could not agree less. Blanket characterizations serve no useful purpose. Plenty of folks I know hold opposing views without being bigots.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 21, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't know conservative pundits were so worked up. After the death of Buckley and the disaster of Bush, I think there's more than a few insecurity complexes parading as punditry out there...Obama's speech is also a reminder that they're incapable of such a level of debate right now...

Posted by: Jane Blevins | March 21, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Is Lupo Italian for LoneMule?

I dare anybody to find any part of the world where some group of people doesn't hate some other group for silly arbitrary reasons. Racism and bigotry transcend politics.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 21, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"I dare anybody to find any part of the world where some group of people doesn't hate some other group for silly arbitrary reasons."

My (non-dancer) daughter's 8th grade dancer friends can't stand the girls who dance at another studio. It's like even if it's not there, they've got to make it up.

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I can't watch these but I thought, "maybe the boodle would like to check 'em out."

"In the Wright Context
You'll likely NEVER see these extended clips on television because it would really undermine the week-long conniption fit that everyone has had over the remarks of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and make plenty of media-types look like jackasses.
It also requires patience, open-mindedness, self-reflection and pretty much everything our current culture rejects...

Take the five or so minutes each it takes to watch these clips, so you understand the context of the snips that the media has been shoving down your throat.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Lupo, I can't agree with you. I have some friends who are right-wingers. I think they're pretty much loopy, and I abhor their political notions, but I do not believe them to be bigots.

My hypothesis, subject to refutation, is that the problem with right-wingers is that they lack sufficient empathy to make common cause with persons who they do not know personally, or who do not look and act exactly like persons they know personally. Thus, conservatives are able to care deeply about someone, regardless of race or ethnic background, and can extend this to people who seem just like those that they know personally. If a conservative has never met anyone of your racial and ethnic background, however, then you're outta luck.

Case in point: Laura Bush expressed all kinds of empathy for the people of Burma/Myanmar, and Aung San Suu Kyi (sp?) -- but she and the media continually noted (justified) her compassion by citing a specific personal connection through Laura's cousin, who knows Suu Kyi personally. Without that connection, there's nothin'.

Case in point: George Will's son has Down's syndrome. Will is able to summon some humanity and speak eloquently of society's responsibilities towards those who are physically and mentally disabled. Have a problem that is unfamiliar to George, however, and you are a whiner who wants the nanny state to fix your boo-boos.

Case in point: Drug users deserve to do time and to be eliminated from public life, and it would be nice if they would just die, please. Unless they're rich right-wing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, then it is sad and tragic that foolish (dare I say liberal?) physicians enable the awful disease that uncontrollably grips these otherwise-moral giants and causes them to suck down the oxycontin. It's not a moral failing -- it's a sickness. Right, Rush? Except for crack. And drugs available to poor people. That's a moral failing.

One could continue to have such fun with Gerson, or Novak, or by posing conservative blowhard Arianna Huffington (1st edition) vs. liberal blowhard Arianna Huffington (2nd edition). The rule seems pretty much to apply to libertarians, too. But I grow weary of being so right, myself.

Posted by: Tim | March 21, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Tim.. that's been my theory for years.. Case in point.. McCain is against torture.. because he experienced it.

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

For the most racist and/or partisan in our society, Barack Obama did not settle the pastor Wright issue. However, for those who are open-mind, he did. Barack Obama's gave one of the most powerful political speech in recent politic history. The topic happened to be on the racial issues. The speech was inspirational, described in details the modern racial issues from an historical perspective, and will help unit more americans: not all americans, but more. He laid a big step in the good direction. I would like to hear this type of speech (inspirational, historical and unifier) more often from politicians. I think that Obama would be a great president. He has already a positive impact on America and elsewhere in the world, serving as role model for many people, independently from the race, gender and religion.

Posted by: Logan | March 21, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Tim...right on!

Um, have a wonderful spring, favoite season!

Posted by: eidrib | March 21, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm not sure I would want *too many* more politicians to be quite so inspiring as Obama. After all (major rhetorical danger territory here!)... a number of very evil leaders of the 20th century were extremely inspirational. We need a nice balance of inspiration vs. respected and respectable foot-soldiers who can moderate the inspiration and get the necessary work done. That's why I like the notion of a powerful de facto leader in the Senate -- Hillary Clinton, I'm look at you! -- who is not real chummy with the extremely inspirational Obama, so she can be a speed-bump on the road of history. They have the same goals, but conflicting ambitions. We'll still get where we're going, but we can slow down a little so we don't skid off the road. The Republicans might not have messed up so badly, except that they efficiently removed all speed-bumps from their own path. A little intra-mural disagreement might have forced them to make responsible decisions, instead of what they actually came up with for the first 6 years of the Bush administration.

Posted by: Tim | March 21, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Et-tu Joel?

I thought you were smarter than that.

Obama's actions speak louder than words.

He gives great speeches.

So did some of the most infamous political leaders in history.

Look at deeds, not words.

You like to think of yourself as a scientist.

Be one.

Posted by: svreader | March 21, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, raysmom, omni, pleeeese don't tell my family, my friends or my employer that I'm trailer park trash, K? I've got them all fooled into thinking I am a mature, competent, educated adult with good values and some expertise to offer.

Posted by: Yoki | March 21, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of the French manicure and your secret will be safe Yoki.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Am about to pull weed for an hour or so, the first weeds of the season. This makes me very happy. Alert: pull your weeds now, in the metro area. DO NOT; DO NOT, dig to plant anything. Thou h shall reap a gumbo of soil, which is not a good thing 'tall.

Agree mostly with CitizenTim for the last two posts. A good strategy is to read ideas first, then check the bone fides of the writer. You can be very surprised. Surprise is a reason to keep living! Andrew Sullivan, an early blogger, is a clear thinker. I don't always agree with his conclusions but he is an example of thinking trumps the party or stripe line.

To ebnut earlier, the tapas at College Perk are very reasonably priced More on that as April approaches. AstroTIm, keep us informed about the April 20 event.

If you were wondering what I crave for Easter, it would be the rhubarb hammentaschen linked to a few kits ago. Thank you, CB, and me, sans any rhubarb stash.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 21, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Please be careful folks during the holiday if you're driving or traveling. Be safe.

Got to check on the g-girl. I think she's feeling better. We finally got the medicine. And of course, Spongebob is going full blast. I think I've seen every episode of Spongebob, and still there is more.

For those interested, this place looks the same. Somebody took my spunk, and I want it back. Right now!

If any of you want to expand your knowledge of the right wing, try reading the local paper here. Boy does it open up the nostrils early in the morning. They're still praising Bush for the war, and saying there were WMD in Iraq. That would be Richmond County Daily Journal, Rockingham, NC.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki and Cassandra posts back to back! Two of my faves. I will think on you both whist weeding.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 21, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. Another partisan pundits criticizing other partisan pundits for doing the same things he does.

Is there a single liberal pundit who is not a flaming hypocrite?

Posted by: Mike | March 21, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

*faxing spunk to cassandra*

Hey, cassandra... I forgot the name of the radio station that carries your broadcasts. Can you post it here again?

Yoki.. you are an elegant woman full of class. Who doesn't think so.. show of hands?

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

And Frosti, too, a trifecta of the wondrous ladies of the boodle. Such a good way to close the day. Frosti, a garden impression report soon. Oh, the sap and energies rise, again, which is the ongoing miracle of it all.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 21, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

And TBG! Oh my stars. Shall I not weed?

Posted by: College Parkian | March 21, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I've been pulling weeds for WEEKS, CP. :-) Chickweed is my enemy, and I spend lots of time dealing with it. If I'm lucky, there will be a little less next year. That's always what I tell myself.

I never cease to marvel at the conservative mindset. Some weeks ago, my brother the Republican forwarded me an email purporting to say that Clinton would abolish property rights. I told him our father would be ashamed of him not analyzing a topic in depth. He hasn't done that again, I'm glad to say. Not that I changed his mind or anything.

Posted by: slyness | March 21, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Slynesss! The ladies of the boodle converge. The laddies must be at Home Depot or some such place.

Re chickweed, you are just ahead of us and good for you on the premature eradication of the weeds.

And, tis forgiven to use some chemicals like Round-up. I shall fax you a dispensation shortly.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'd LOVE to weed. That would be very nice. However, THERE'S SNOW ALL OVER THE PLACE. Yesterday, the ground was this nice shredded wheat color, with an occasional patch of "White Stuff." Now, it's all covered. With. Snow. Bah!

Posted by: CowTown | March 21, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

We are a good piece away from weeding here in the intermittently frozen north. "Break up" has begun with road restrictions keeping the logging trucks home lest they make all our pavement unpassable. The willows are deep gold and dogwood twigs even redder than they appeared against fresh snow (Cornus sericea, not the lovely cornus florida of VA state tree fame). Popple, aka quaking aspen, are swelling at the tips as if the leaves are trying to break out of a cocoon.

Maple syrup time will be upon us as soon as we have some 40 degree days to make the sap run. Birch syrup is gaining some popularity, but it takes gallons more sap to make birch syrup than maple, and IIRC it takes 50 gallons of maple sap to make a gallon of syrup.

I have decided to do a controlled burn of my lower meadow as soon as the snow melts. Even if I don't have time to put in a vegetable garden in a sunny corner it will bring a bounty of wildflowers.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting me one of these bad boys this spring-

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

CP.. go weed!

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

My 43 points gives me a current ranking in the WaPo Brackets of 1529 (74%).

I've lost Georgia and Connecticut from my Sweet 16.

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. John Cale wrote a song called "Fear is a Man's Best Friend." But he's a fringe character who wrote weird and dark songs. But I got the point.

Posted by: Jumper | March 21, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, as long as you've got Carolina going all the way, you're in good shape. *knocking wood violently*

And on a completely different topic:

We just got our first wedding present! And the invitations haven't even gone out yet! I guess we've got to go through with it now. Because I wouldn't want to have to return the gift and lose the new-found ability to serve more than three people on matching dishes.

Posted by: bia | March 21, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

bia.. If I hadn't picked the Heels to win it all I would have to move out of this house, that's for sure.

When is your wedding? I hope you share some of the details and maybe some pictures with us. We can even help you pick your china pattern, although it sounds like you already have!

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The wedding is in July. Short sweet ceremony followed by food and lots of dancing. My guy and I dance ballroom and salsa together, and he's friends with the band, so that should work out well. Registry-wise, all we've got left to pick are towels -- too many choices! On my carrot-list for dissertation progress (carrots and get the idea) is a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to feel the towels. And the carrot for my next writing goal is ordering a lovely new pair of dance shoes for the occasion.

Posted by: bia | March 21, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

TBG, would you believe Mr. T has Kansas over Carolina? I was astounded, but there it is. He is trying to be realistic. OTOH, he will be ESTATIC if Carolina goes all the way.

K-guy, had to laugh at your quote from the Apostle Paul. It was incomplete as you had it, however. Here is the rest of the thought:

"At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see reality whole and face to face! At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me! In this life we have three great lasting qualities - faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love."
I Cor 13: 9-12

Posted by: slyness | March 21, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse


The station is WKDX 1250 AM in Hamlet, NC. I don't have the link, but if you do a search it is there with a live feed, I think. Thanks for the spunk, I'm in desperate need. The g-girl has gone sick on me again. I think she has a fever and when the fever goes down she feels better, and vice versa. I've given her the medication, and Mom will be here soon.
She just feels lousy.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 21, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, bia, I read "weeding" present because of the previous comments. A thousand apologies, I am old.

Spring is my favorite season too - full of hope and promise and surprises - I forget where I've planted bulbs, or figure they've died out. Summer is a close second - all too fleeting here, so it has to be savored.

One of the things that the right-wingers used to caricature John Kerry was that he had "French nails".

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 21, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bia! Our second Boodle bride! I look forward to hearing about your plans.

What is it about the Boodle and student brides? I suppose we are an educated demographic.

TBG, what's your take on Mount St. Mary? I'm seeing lots of pluck...

Posted by: slyness | March 21, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Ha, mostly, that's funny. Maybe I should register for one of frosti's torches.

Posted by: bia | March 21, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and a Good Friday to you all. I second Joel's assessment of Obama's speech in political importance and effect. He understands how the whole issue of race has mutated or evolved. This was a great way to point that out and invite others to notice too. Those pundits are just nuts.

Weeding, hah! I want a Fire Dragon too, Frosti. I finally broke down and took allergy pills to get through the services this week, but today's just wore off and I've had a sneezing fit already. Just in time to go sing the evening Good Friday service, too. Bah. I'd love to spend time outside in this lovely but extremely windy weather, but whenever I go out there I sneeze.

Thanks for the BPH pictures and reports. Thanks for the Pi Day book too!

I've had two manicures. The nail polish lasted for 17 whole hours before starting to chip. One day I'll have a life suitable to manicured nails, perhaps. Or not.

Cassandra, I hope your g-girl gets better. It is too late in the day now to find that energy; just try again tomorrow.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 21, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I started skimming the comments to the K'hammer's article for some zeitgeist feel. Wow. I know this is unfair but, since it stood out as a separate paragraph I thought it fair to excerpt one comment:

"He has benefited from the affirmative actions. has not he?"

Who knew W posted?

Posted by: bill everything | March 21, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 72.
In other words, you got 100% correct.

Woo hoo! My results from the face-recognition test Weingarten linked to.

Now, on to the test on famous faces. If it includes all those blonde starlets famous these days I'm in big trouble.

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Missed one of the celebrities. Bad picture, I say.

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Bigotry and toenails. Politics and weeding. The ridiculous and the rarely sublime.

Backboodling through triva is tiresome. I wonder how Joel endures.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 21, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

In a bad mood tonight, Shiloh?

Posted by: bia | March 21, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh... I'll share the secret word: "Scrollbar."

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, bia, my inability to gladly suffer fools invariably surfaces. But this site has redeeming social value in certain postings. Weeding is a tiresome part of cultivating a garden.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 21, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

bia - yea! I love weddings. Keep us posted about your wedding plans. Are you going to wow your guests with some ballroom or salsa dancing? I tried to talk the hubby into taking some dancing lessons before our wedding but he wasn't having any of that. Now he admits it was a mistake not to do it. I have his solemn promise that we are going to take lessons before our daughter gets married.

Slyness - the hubby got his undergrad degree from Mt. St. Mary's...he has enjoyed their run this year, although I don't think he has allowed himself to get invested in their game tonight. He is still very grumpy about Maryland's year. I can't believe UConn bit the dust!

I got 93% on the facial recoginition, TBG...although I knew I hit the wrong key immediately on one.

Posted by: Kim | March 21, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Florida plants, by and large, thrive on being flame-broiled.

bia, best wishes in the runup to July. My study is painted a passable imitation of Carolina blue, at least when it's in sunlight.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 21, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Kim, I thought Mount St. Mary's did a good job, considering they were, ahem, rather out of their league. In spite of it all, they played hard till the very end. Good sportsmanship is a virtue.

Posted by: slyness | March 21, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo Peeps winners are online!

Posted by: TBG | March 21, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten - I didn't have a chance to express my appreciation earlier, but I thought that your comment this afternoon -

[ ... Like explorers setting out across the unknown divide we don't know where we will land, but we know the same old way won't stand. Obama gets it. -- Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 02:04 PM ] -

was quite beautifully put. I refer, of course, not just to this little excerpt but to the entire comment.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 21, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

DotC-that's why the flamethrower I want has 500,000BTUs of weed crisping power. Supposed to incinerate seeds as well.

G'night boodle. I leave you with this word from phenologists-spring is coming eight hours earlier each year.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting your blog entry, Mr. Furious. I can't get the videos up and working. Youtube works better for me.

Transcripts would be even better, but that's life.

I had to laugh at the comment by Toast about hearing worse sentiments from rap music. Word, dude.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you Bob S.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 21, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I apologize for my earlier pedicure post, especially the bit about "leaping ninja toenail fungi", since I would just *hate* to sound trivial to anyone afflicted with "constricted arse syndrome".

"Constricted Arse Syndrome" is available, btw, as a Boodle handle, though it would not be a very good name for a rock band -- unless, of course, you're planning on playing the Republican Convention or Cheney's birthday party.

And I apologize in advance for my reference to "constricted arse syndrome", since it will surely cause further constriction and complaints from those who are constricted and think every freaking word posted here should be done so in a serious manner and with great solemnity and possibly a blood sacrifice.

On a side note (and to further irritate the "constricted" with further trivialities) I will add that back in the day, I won a copy of Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit and Three Other Plays" from my English professor for writing the longest grammatically correct sentence that actually made sense within a two-minute window and clocked in at 208 words.

Kinda like some of my posts here. ;-)

I'm verbose and I'm sorry.

Now what was the topic?

Posted by: martooni | March 21, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

This is funny. Thanks Mr. Froomkin,0,3696831.story

Sorry those links didn't work Wilbrod. I didn't watch them because of this stupid, slow dial-up connection what makes me so mad I think I need a brain transplant.

Posted by: Mr. Furious999 | March 21, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Tim, before facilely comparing great orators to dictators, consider the following points:

1) How many of them made their great speeches in the English language?

I'm waiting.

2) Churchill, the greatest orator of the English language in the 20th century, and a honorary American (Mum was American-born)-- was the greatest foe of Nazism.

And he wasn't listened to at first.

Chamberlain thought Hitler would go away if appeased or ignored. It took the real threat of England becoming extinct as a free nation for Churchill to be listened to. And he told his countrymen the painful truth. Blood, sweat, and tears. He also promised a clear course of action. He also got a powerful ally-- America. America didn't want to fight the Germans at first, just the Japanese. It could have gone very differently for England. Churchill worked hard to be sure America was able to coordinate with the Allies on the Western front. He made unpopular political choices (especially with his own generals) to get that.

Later on, he was concerned about Russia, but nobody seemed to listen to him... until later.

And that is the best orator of the 20th century. A man who had to fight to be heard, who was almost never universally popular, who held England together in its worst hour even as he fought with his depressions.

3) English is not the language to brainwash anybody into doing anything they won't do of their own free will.

We simply do not have the cultural and linguistic context to compel obedience by appealing to rigid cultural values that deny freedom of the individual over the greater good.

Bush did try, though. Homeland security. Patriot act. THOSE are the "noble" words of dictatorship.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, have we even established that it was a French manicure you have? There's the American manicure too. :-)

French, bright white. American, soft white with a transparent shade over it, often pink-shaded.

PSA re: nails. By now you're all thinking *secret vice.* Well, yes, but I American manicure myself. So relaxing, the polish lasts for a few days, then I get to relax and do it again.

How to avoid false nails? Barielle nail strengthener is incredible and even helps grow your real nails back after you've had acrylics (as my sister calls hers) on.

Posted by: dbG | March 21, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 1) how many of them dictators....

Whoops. "How many of those orator-dictators..."

The very fact that people can argue this issue obviously shows that people are perfectly capable of withstanding the impact of oratory and sustaining their capacity for irrational thought.

Bully for the English language. The greatest evils done in America have never been done with fiery words, but with the so-called prose of policies. Relocation of Indians. Eugenics laws.

Yes, the Nazis got the idea from US. Sterilizing mentally ill, unfit, the poor, drunks, all for the good of society. They just took it one step further and faster-- killing people as well.

In fact, a considerable bit of British aristocracy were sympathetic to eugenics before WWII. How's that for bone-chillingly scary? Nobody was making speeches about purifying England or America. They just did it all in prose, over cigars and scotches.

I'll take my chances with politicans who make EVERY major policy idea a matter of public discourse, thank you very much.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the LA times link, Boko.

Gotta love that McCain expert quote. I bet he got hugged a lot over there in Iraq when he paid a visit just now, don't you?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 21, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The French team took the World Ice Dance title. They used sign language throughout their free dance to tell the story, which was set to music from The Piano. Pretty interesting. And the Canadian team took silver.

Now to go take the face recognition test. I predict I will do badly. I think Leo DiCaprio and Matt Damon look identical, especially in hats.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Did Tim say all great orators were/are dictators? Shame on him.
At least we know Tim couldn't have been brainwashed into believing that. Him being a fluent English speaking/writing/storytelling kind of dude.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

McCarthyism & the KKK, Wilbrod.

I liked Tim's post.

Posted by: dbG | March 22, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse


Choose towels from LandsEnd,

Ultimate Zip Dry Egyptian Towels.

Very, very nice.

Posted by: nellie | March 22, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

It's a beautiful night here, a full moon on snow hard enough to walk on. Buddy and I took a tour of the bush beside our place and it was so nice I had half a mind to grab the mummy bag and sleep outside until the other half a mind slapped me upside the head.
And so to bed. Inside.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful moon here too, but thankfully, no snow. Springtime is on its way. Keep hope alive!

Huey Long, Bill Clinton (Slick Willie), The Music Man (what was the character's name, all I remember is Robert Preston), Jimmy Swaggart...

Got 80% on both face recognition tests. But in real life I don't stare at people's faces and try to memorize them. I'm terrible!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Never heard or read any of their speeches, dbG. I think I will take your word for it, since Bush did something similar with poor oratory skills and whipping up fear of the other.

However, I strongly suspect much of it wasn't high poetry.

Hopping on to happier subjects, here's welcome ancestral news for the Easter bunny.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 22, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

well, i've had a day. my department at work had an email system meltdown of biblical proportions. my outlook calendar is blank and inbox and email folders empty. as in zippo. nothing left of nine months of email. it's so over the top it's funny, besides being a royal pain in the arse.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

L. A. lurker, sorry to hear about your system meltdown. Hope your systems person would be able to retrieve some of your emails.

CP & TBG, thanks for the pi day booklet.

Frostbitten, that dragon torch is really what I need for my front yard which has a big tree with 3 big red ant nests in it. If I get near the tree, I'd have red ants rained on me. Plus, my yard is full of prickly sensitive plants.

Posted by: rainforest | March 22, 2008 4:46 AM | Report abuse

hi rainforest, raining ants is not something i'd like to experience. you might, however, burn down the tree down frosti's weed torch.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Since I didn't see any Front Page Alerts, it would seem JA's been noticed out in the blogosphere de la droite... Not understood, just noticed.

And from the Open Market of Ideas (Not)...

It's shaping up to be a busy weekend, but in a good way. Good luck to all the bracketologists who still have recognizable brackets left. ;-)

*off-to-the-usual-jogging-and-chores Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' L.A. lurker the super-secret backup drives*

This too shall pass, I hope... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

And of course, Weingarten forgot the Boodle in his perusing of the pundisphere...

But I think that's a good thing, don't you?


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Scotty.
PZ Myers blogged about this story right after he got chucked out so I knew about it while the movie was still being shown.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Boko - The Pharyngula blog has some fun stuff. I was pretty amused by this comment from the entry at your link:
- - -
[T]he controversy is not between evolution and ID. It is lying to our kids or not. I don't think it is admirable to promote the controversy. It is also not good journalism to promote the controversy.
When a pigeon drops in on a chess game and knocks over the pieces and craps on the board you don't include that move in your next chess lesson to your child. You also don't report on the news that pigeons are shaking up the chess world with ground breaking moves

Posted by: CleveDan | December 2, 2007 8:54 PM
- - -

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, I read the Weingarten story before backbooling; it's a keeper.
Ties in nicely with the Cerf&Navasky summary.
Two days of mild temperature and rain followed by 2 days of cold temperature have transformed the 4 feet of snow into 3 feet of what the innus call concrete glistening in the sun. Two one hundred lbs dogs can walk side by side without going through the crust. A 200lbs boodler gets through once in a while but rarely.
I can't wait for the real Spring, with crocuses, daffodils and other springy stuff.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 22, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of flowers, here's the flowering desert:,0,3627655.story

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 22, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

shrieking... thanks for posting that. Beautiful. I saw that area for the first time last summer and would love to see it in its spring glory.

Maybe next year.

Good morning, folks. The FiOS guy is coming today. Tonight's NCAA games will be in high def. Woo hoo.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

This Kit was linked to the front page, in the "Talk" section, but is no longer.

I see that Gene will be hosting a discussion of his Sense Deprivation experiment on Monday, unfortunatley scheduled at the same time as a discusssion of Extrasolar planets with Marc Kaufmann (Dag!).

I don't think Gene forgot the Boodle, I just think that we're not far enough out there to make for a good story about experiencing the wilds of the PundoSphere.

I'm off to help a friend with some race car work this AM, then to finish some prep for my family's Easter celebrations tomorrow, and then dinner with some friends.

A busy weekend; busy but good.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The most perceptive part of the Weingarten article is the Limbaugh/O'Reilly comparison. Rush can be funny and early in his career he actually put some effort into producing parodies and bits. Then he got lazy and realized that just throwing red meat at the audience was enough.

I no longer listen to talk radio because I download podcasts to my iPod. The iPod doesn't have 25 minutes of advertising per broadcast hour. If I were Gene, it's the constant barrage of ads for medications ranging from the newly invented to the completely useless that would drive me batty in the first two hours.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The fossil lagomorph link led me to the "newly discovered human gait" discovered by human and robotic researchers. This led to a frustrating search for videos, I suspect I tried this just as researchers were removing them from the linked pages. Maddening. However, I found a video I believe is a "pendular walk" labeled "Groucho walking" which pretty much tells the tale. Seems walking like Groucho is pretty efficent a means of locomotion. Heh. "loco motion." Now do I get a Ministry job?

Posted by: Jumper | March 22, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Jumper... if I could walk that way I wouldn't need the talcum powder.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning, friends. I'm late to the discussion, and have no earthly idea what the discussion is for that matter. Gene somebody and his what? Anyway, going to try and be perky today. Not starting out real good, but thinking I'm going to make a "comeback". Doesn't "comeback" mean you've been there before? And I have not had the coffee yet. You can tell, right?

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, what's up? Morning to all. *waving*

Scotty, I see you man. Shiloh, hello and long time no see. Hope your sun shines today.

I read Colbert King this morning, and found his opinion quite inspiring. I agree one should not give up their church to appease the masses. I've been going to the same church for quite awhile now, and hope to continue. If the only thing one can find wrong with a person is that they go to church, that's not much. Of course, content is important, we're talking real church here, not idol worship. King gives some history with his piece which is good.

Enjoy, enjoy, your weekend and your Easter vacation. I found out my grandsons aren't out until next week. And the g-girl is with mommy and daddy, still complaining that the stomach hurts. Will call and check on her this morning.

I also read the story on the front of the Post about the lady that lost her house. A very sad story. Very sad. She was taken advantage of in a big way. She's now living in an apartment, and very depressed. Greed is a killer. And its victims the walking dead.

I'm about to make a move, and hopefully this will be the move of all moves. Work. and more work. Maybe I should study my Sunday school lesson before I start. I'll be so tired if I do it after working, and probably fall asleep.

Good morning, DNA girl. Where are you? Pay me no mind. Most folks don't.

Hi, Ivansmom, tell Ivansdad, and the Boy hello for me. I wondered what happened to you yesterday, but saw your post later, but too sleepy to comment. Think I'm making any progress here?

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about Obama's speech and the threads here. Had this not been spring break for the high school, I would have partly eavesdropped on what the excellent band mothers, all black save two of us, would be saying. We may have had time to chat, given whatever duties the band director (Emperor of Notes and Dynamics, in a good way) may have assigned.

But, spring break, sigh -- wonder if the occasion will seem natural next week and next? I have to ideas that come from teaching composition and rhetoric, and from living a majority black county.

The role of the black church carries a weight that many white people do not really experience and understand. This, coming from me and I show up to Mass! But, I know my experience is different. Having said this, I think the legitimate fuss about Wright's sermons might have two scenario conditions worth exploration:

1) the rhetorical presence of many black pulpits, with flourish, alliteration, colorful language, strategic exaggerations, gestures, spirit, storytelling and many other adjectives getting at expressivity, may not make sense to all of us. (I do not justify hate speech, but commenting on the rhetorical situation.)

2) audience is very important here. I think the tapes viraling on the web make for an eavesdropping or overhearer situation. The sermons were first directed at an audience of insiders, with a special language and style (see no.1) and a shared history of injustice, injury, lost opportunity, and pain. (triumph too!)

Having said this all, by way of understanding context, I will continue to say that the content of Wright's speech made me feel very sad. I also felt that such speech can slide into isms about me, as a white woman. However, the ism tendency in all of us means that thinking about each other with the shorthand of stereotypes is very human. We need to work hard to see people and situations against a backdrop of setting and history, and not solely through a lens clouded --and sometimes obscured -- by history.

Despite feeling sad about this all, I want to say that sunshine and transparency are helpful here. Let's keep the national conversation alive. One hopeful reflection I offer is that we are speaking about history. But, I do not think we are defined over-much by the sad history. What I mean to say is this: if you look at language in communities torn by ism-violence -- Balkans, Northern Ireland, Middle East -- people speak of past injuries in the present tense. The events of ten years, fifty years, and more distant, appear in the minds, hearts, and voices of the speakers AS IF THEY WERE NOW.

I am reluctant to post this, since it is so incomplete. And, yes, some of these events continue. But I hope my comments are taken in the spirit of dialogue and ongoing conversation.

And, about the Obama speech, I am betting this will become part of the American canon of texts marked by clear thinking, and delivered well and authentically by a great man of good will.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Great Weingarten article because it's true even if you don't immerse yourself completely the way he did. I have suggested to "S" that we get a bunch of Nerf balls to throw at the TV whenever someone starts spouting nonsense.

Speaking of TV, let me know how you like FiOS TBG, it will be available here next year, so they say, and I'd love to get rid of Comcast as we already have Verizon for everything but TV. Of course we have no HD sets yet so that part doesn't matter.

Busy day in the kitchen. Need to bake two types of muffins and prep a trifle for daughter's brunch tomorrow. Of course I have to go back to the store as I forgot a few ingedients.

Got a great compliment from daughter #2 this morning. She called to tell me she had given a friend the same type of advice that I would have given. Gee, that sort of makes my day!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 22, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse


I think your comments are insightful, and they sound as if they come from the heart. Always good when it comes from the heart.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle!

Cassandra-thanks for pointing out Colbert King's piece. When we lived in NoVA I always read his columns but have lost the habit online.

I can only imagine the pain Weingarten felt after all that time with the "pundustry." Our postmaster always has conservative AM talk radio tuned in at the Post Office. -Perhaps that's the only station he can get with a clear signal in the building with its notoriously bad plumbing and unreliable electricity. I'd rather blame the building than the postmaster. He's the swnice guy you wouldn't want dredged up in a political campaign for fear his nutcase views would be seen as your own because you've been chatting with him 6 days a week for years.- But I digress. The few minutes a day that I get treated to Rush or Dr. Laura can trigger migraines and I know make me a less competent driver for at least a few miles.

Won't be driving much today though, woke up with a very sore throat and fear the creeping crud that has gripped our fair city has finally found me. Luckily I have no particular need to be around people for the next few days so perhaps the contagion will stop here.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC-of course she meant the postmaster is the "nice guy" not "swnice." Swnice is what you get when a mad woman takes a swipe at a nice cat who just wants to nap on a warm keyboard.

Posted by: frostcat#1 | March 22, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Cassandra,
I'm around, on'n'off; thanks for caring.

This is for you:

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 22, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama backed out of plans to have reverend Jeremiah Wright speak at his Feb. 10, 2007, presidential announcement. He knew that reverend Wright's anti-America and racist sermons would hurt his run for president. He misled the American people and with the help of the news media concealed this information.

Why didn't we (the American people) learn about Sen. Obama's close relationship with reverend Jeremiah Wright months earlier? Why didn't we learn about this before the first caucus in Iowa? Why weren't we informed of this relationship by the major networks, newspapers, and magazines?

If we had known about reverend Wright would Sen. Obama have won in Iowa and so many other primaries? Perhaps Sen. Clinton would be ahead in the delegate count. The March 20 national Gallop poll taken March 14th to March 18th has Sen. Clinton at 49% to Sen. Obama's 42%. Prior to the revelations about reverend Wright, the national polls, after the Iowa caucus, always had Sen. Obama leading Sen. Clinton.

I can't help but feel that I and many others have been manipulated by the major news networks, newspapers and magazines. If the American people are told only good things about Sen. Obama then aren't they manipulating us into supporting him? Where is the journalistic impartiality and objective reporting? Sen. Obama is running for president. His past must be investigated and reported to the American people. This information cannot be hidden or concealed.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse


An MP3 player does wonders for keeping the world at bay at appropriate moments... ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I see 10:57 certainly feels SOME information must be hidden... *raised eyebrow*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

And of course, a great deal of Obama's history, negative included, has been reported quite a bit. Perhaps 10:57 missed the earlier printed references to Wright and Rescko (sp?) and nuclear legislation (of which I shall say no more).


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd will be on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" momentarily. (88.5 FM locally, also available online)

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

True enough s'nuke but I already tread a fine line between being unaware of social cues and honestly anti-social. I have worked hard to be sure to at least exchange pleasantries and can finally pass as a friendly person. I do wear my i-pod when running. It's the universal signal for "I'm doing this on purpose, not because my car broke down" and keeps everyone from stopping to ask if I want a ride.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, DNA girl!

I've found some of my spunk. I'm in the middle of the bathroom. Please don't allow me to hang around this computer or else there goes the spunk.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

10:57 apparently didn't watch the earlier link that placed Rev. Wright's sound bites in context. To paraphrase Justice Holmes: A little misinformation is a dangerous thing.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Awww... I'll cut 10:57 some slack. It's a legitimate observation, submitted in perfectly civil terms. There's no doubt that knowledge of Wright has ruffled many feathers, and (had the same info been floating around earlier) might have changed the dynamics of the race.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse


Your 11:21 had me laughing hard. A good thing because that mop had drained me of any laughter.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

i was curious about obama's church over a year ago and simply looked at the church's website.

i recommend reading the mission statement, the "about us" page including the videos, and this page:

i always knew that the afrocentric focus of the church would become an issue, i just figured it would be in the general election. i like liberation theology, but i have questions about connecting christian identity to racial, national, ethnic, gender or some other form of identity. i don't think, or am not aware, that african american churches (like baptist or cogic) make african (or african-american) identity part of the mission statement. if it is, i think it's usually more of a general acknowledgement of serving and empowering the black community.

i'd be interested to hear cassandra's views on this (after she's finished her work goals, of course :-).

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

For anonymous @ 10:57 a.m. -- I'll make the observation that Wright (and his views, and his relationships with Obama, Farrakhan, and others) has been covered fairly steadily over the past few years by respected outlets in the "black" and "Jewish" press, if nowhere else. The info was certainly available for those who were interested.

I suspect that the answer to your question - "Why didn't we (the American people) learn about Sen. Obama's close relationship with reverend Jeremiah Wright months earlier?" - is that most "major" news outlets don't consider "religious" or "black" issues to be newsworthy unless they've got lots of folks talking far beyond the church or the black community. I am generally skeptical of insinuations of conspiracy amongst "the media". Complacency, THAT I'll buy!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If the Rev. Jeremiah Wright were really anti-white, his church wouldn't be part of a nearly all-white denomination, the United Church of Christ. Nor would the church be visited regularly by religious scholar Martin Marty

What bothers me about Rev. Wright is that he endorsed some popular counterfactual (or at least improbable) notions that needed to be challenged. Or if challenge was not advisable (pastors can stick their necks out only so far), then at least left unmentioned.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Christian Identity describes a religion that is fundamentally racist and anti-Semetic." "Christian Identity" groups in the USA are identified in the "The Year In Hate" feature of the *Intelligence Report* -Spring 2008 edition published by The Southern Poverty Law Center. Christian Identity groups are primarily Aryan, white supremacist cults.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse


The bathroom is so clean, I could probably cook in there, but I won't. As for the rest of my goals, let us not be hasty here.

As to the goals of the church for African-Americans I think we try to bring those goals in line with Christianity, at least I do personally. Yes, this is difficult, and yes, the lines do blur sometimes. But in the Christian church, Christ is the goal. And in Scripture, God declares he is not a respecter of persons. We would do well to remember this and live it. Of course, we know we don't. Christ is the object of our love and His life the example we should lead. Christ was a good teacher among other traits, because He not only taught, but lived that He taught. Love your enemies, be good to them, and leave the rest to me(Christ). I lose nothing by loving those that hate me. None of us do, if we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour. I'm a Baptist. Not affiliated with the national organization of most White Baptist churches. And see there is still separation even in this. We have a long way to go. We haven't even scratched the surface. Eleven o'clock in America on Sunday morning is the most racist hour of the week, at least here in the South. And my, oh, my, does that speak volumes about those of us that profess to be Christians, myself included.

Hope that answers some of your question. I know I probably didn't get to exactly what you wanted, but that's my take on it. The church so much of the time is a beacon, a place of rest for those of us that struggle with race or just daily living. We all know that two different realities exist in America, and can you imagine the stress and weight that places on peoples' lives? People pretending that the playing field is even and it's not.We go to church to seek solace and peace from this existence so much of the time. And we don't get that peace by bad mouthing people. We get peace from Christ that died for us. Christ is our peace, our love, our life, and He should be because He gave His life for our Life.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Hi L.A. Lurker, the most useful and authentic understanding of liberation theology is that we must work for societies that permit and encourage the greatest range of possibility for each person. Sometimes this is called the 5th way in L.T., since the focus is more on human development rather than politics per se. Of course, reforming society will take political change.

The most practical proviso out of L.T. is that, because of systematic injustice, we acknowledge that justice means a preferential option for the poor.

But, the expanded notion of choice for all, seems something valued by neoclassical economists and is at the heart of many conservative agendas.

My L.T. hero was (is) Ignacio Ellacuria, one of the Jesuits killed in 1989. I took a class from him in 1981-82.

I will stop with my Holy Saturday theology lesson.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, if your post is in response to L.A. lurker's, you read her post very differently than I did. I took her reference to "Christian identity" to be general, referring to people's sense of themselves as Christian, rather than to any particular group who has chosen "Christian Identity" as their label. This reading seems clear, since she parallels it with "racial, national, ethnic, gender or some other form of identity." (And I thought she had a very interesting point, btw, but I don't have anything particular to add to it.) Given that context, what is the relevance of the organization that you brought up?

Posted by: bia | March 22, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The very idea that a preacher could lose it over continued U.S. mass-murder of civilians... what a traitor. Murder of civilians is in the name of the lord, and the only patriotic thing to do. Darn that crazy man!

Posted by: Cramptongue | March 22, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If the unnecessary bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is among the "popular counterfactual notions" of Rev. Wright, I offer the following citation:

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower, Newsweek, 11/11/63

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I'll refrain from holding myself out as an expert on the organization of Baptist churches, but I expect that you'd find that there's not really any such animal as "the national organization of most White Baptist churches."

Unlike any number of other denominations (Catholics, Lutherans, Latter Day Saints, ...) Baptists have traditionally been a rather individualist bunch o' folk.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

bia: I took L A Lurker's comment about Christian identity (generic) in context, but wished to offer a counterpoint to the naive notion that racism is not part of the Christian Identify (specific) movement within the greater context of the 888 identified hate groups in the U.S.A.

Cramptongue (in cheek) said it all.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I may be wrong... but...

You know... that "racist" hour on Sunday morning may not really be racist at all. So what that we want to spend a little time with our "own"?

I was just telling kbert the other day that although I am not religious, I do like once in a while going to a Greek Orthodox Church because I like the fact that the folks in the room are "just like me."

Those of us in that room come from different homes, in different parts of the city, state, world; we look different; we speak different languages maybe; but there's something we share: our Greek heritage, our Orthodox baptism... whatever it is, it's a shared culture and identity. It goes back farther than just me or them. Our grandparents, great-grandparents etc stood in similar churches on different shores.

I don't really see anything wrong with that. It's not a civic or educational gathering. It's church. Why not spend that hour with the folks who make you feel comfortable? Who may just accept you for who you are?

Now.. that said, it's not a place for inflammatory speech or hate-mongering. Anyone should be welcome and made to feel welcome.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

thanks cassandra and cp for your thoughts.

and i was using the word "identity" in a generic way, as in personal identity, of which race, gender, religion, etc. are components.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- I was thinking along the same lines. Not all groups are formed by exclusion. We sometimes choose groups based on something shared, like perhaps, ethnicity.

When I first moved here I was taken aback by the whiteness of Mass in many places, but in that whiteness is lots of stuff:

Spanish and Latino

California is quite mixed brown and white in many places with pews.

At Mass here in the Metro DC area, now, lots of brown and white. Not so much black that is African-American. But, I know several people who sit in the pews with me who are black with recent African heritage from countries that have a French layer of history. Also, many Nigerians in this country are black. Haitians, too, with their French history.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

You Fools! Don't you realize that this Rev. Wright contoversy is a diversion to cover up the fact that Obama is a Muslim?
Here are just some of things that the 'Landover Baptist Department for the Study of Inferior Cultures' has discovered.

-He was born in Hawaii, which is still (to many True Christiansâ„¢) a foreign country with questionable leanings. Creation Scientists classify Hawaii as: Japanese Miami.
-He spent most of his youth in Muslim countries and received his early education in schools run by the Nation of Islam. As True Christiansâ„¢ we believe that everything you really ever need to learn is taught in kindergarten - and in Obama's case - this fact should send shivers down that long rubbery bone that is called your spine!
-His original name was "Baraka," which is not an African name. It's an Arabic word meaning "blessed" and comes directly from the Koran. The Koran is a so-called "Holy Muslim Book," the soft pages of which every God-fearing Republican secretly uses as toilet paper due to the sensitive nature of our conservative hineys.
-He was involved in several developing communities projects in Chicago which assisted poor Muslim families who have no business in our country other than to make everyone nervous.
-He has visited several Muslim countries in search of his demonic mixed-race roots.
-He is often seen eating at Middle Eastern restaurants and appears suspiciously fond of foods that normal people are unable to pronounce, such as tabouli
-In his college days, he would take his laundry to a Muslim owned laundry mat, and would often ask people who looked like they were Muslim to change his paper money for coins, which he would then feed to machines in a ritualistic fashion.
-He brags about being an excellent poker player, hinting at the fact that he is good at bluffing when it comes to his religious heritage.
-He is opposed to the war on Terror - an act so brazen he may as well have whipped out a laminated "Islamic Extremist Membership" card on national TV.
-He frequents shops at businesses where Muslim men and women also may be shopping or know about.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, okay, thanks for the clarification, Shiloh.

Posted by: bia | March 22, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.: The Southern Baptist Convention claims over 16 million members in more than 44,000 churches in the USA. It is second in membership only to Roman Catholics. Member churches have local autonomy, but adhere to a common creed.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Happy Holy Saturday to you all. Bob S., sure there's a national organization of white Baptist churches. It's called the Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptist denomination is mostly white and hugely important all across the Bible belt, including Oklahoma. The affiliation is not as strict as a Catholic or Episcopalian bishop/diocese model, but it is real and binding in many things. Southern Baptists tend to be meticulous interpreters of the Bible, if not downright evangelical (a fine line). Women can't be preachers, abortion is wrong, they tend to frown on sex ed in schools (and often have high teen birth rates). As a whole the group is moving toward an active anti-global warming stance and a concern for the environment, stemming from the stewardship texts of the Bible. At least around here, most of the black Baptist churches are not Southern Baptist and are stand-alone, though they're in contact with one another and often speak together on important social issues.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 22, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse


Many Nigerians are R. catholic. Wow. Enough typing. Back to the cooking, and fest-prep for me.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

See why it's important to sign our posts around here? Just knowing that Boko had posted the 1:14 made me read it differently.

If it had been made anonymously.. not so sure how to take it, to be honest.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

as you can see, i'm often doing too many things at once and as a result respond slowly and boodle out of order.

just a thought in response to tbg's comment - for someone is religious, going to church is a transformative experience that above all is supposed to bring you and others closer to christ. attending church to be with others similar to you, if that is the only motivation, is making church into a religious or cultural club, which it is not what it's supposed to be, imo.

there are historical reasons that churches are predominantly one group or another, but take the orthodox church for example - it is actually a major concern that orthodox churches are not united in the u.s. (russian, greek, oca, etc.) many within the orthodox church itself think that there should be one country, one church, and see the u.s. situation as a shortcoming.

i think the church is supposed to transcend gender, nationality, race, etc., and if it succeeds, it draws people of all different backgrounds. hence, the litmus test i mentioned - i choose to attend churches that are diverse because, especially in a diverse city, it is a good indicator of a church that transcends and transforms.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll certainly concede that the SBC is the big gorilla, but it probably represents fewer than 60% of "white" Baptist congregations, although perhaps closer to 75% of the individual members.

But I guess my broader point was that even the SBC doesn't have the level of central authority over its member churches that many other organizations' central offices have. The Baptist church just isn't organized in that manner. I don't believe that the Southern Baptist Convention controls the training or ordination of its member clergy, the curricula in schools run by member churches, or much of anything, really. It's more a voluntary association of like-minded organizations than a single organization.

There are lots of associations of Baptist congregrations, and a mighty number of unassociated congregations. Here's a small sampling:

Southern Baptist Convention - Over 16 million members, more than 42,000 churches.
National Baptist Convention USA - Approximately 7.5 million members, over 30,000 churches.
Conservative Baptist Association of America - 200,000 members, 1200 churches.
American Baptist Churches USA - 1.5 million members, 6,000 churches.
American Baptist Association - 250,000 members and approximately 2,000 churches
Progressive National Baptist Convention - 2,500,000 members, 2,000 churches
The Alliance of Baptists in the U.S.A. - 65,0000 members, 125 churches

I took these figures (which probably have varying degrees of accuracy) from a variety of sources. If it's the sort of subject which interests you, the Association of Religious Data Archives ( ) has some interesting stuff.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Despite the Landover Baptist Church findings about Barack Obama, the democratic caucus in Freehold, Iowa overwhelming voted for Obama by a 76% majority. The citizens of Freehold say they can identify members of the LBC easily because they won't speak to you in a liquor store, apparently wishing themselves invisible.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh - :-D !!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

For them what ain't in on Shiloh's joke -

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG & others - I'll let Cassandra explain what she actually meant, but I took it to mean not that folks often self-segregate during worship, but that unkind & fearful sentiments are often expressed while clothed in words of faith.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The Landover Baptist site will not be to everyone's taste, some might be offended ,so be warned.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Boko. I should have pointed that out myself.


Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama came to our small town in Southern Oregon this morning for a town meeting. It's being held in the gym of a Kid's Unlimited facility. Only seats 1500. It was to start at 9:30 but he was twenty minutes late. Now the local TV satation cut him off at the start of the Duke-WV game. He was close to finifhing taking question. Not everyone was disappointed in the TV changing to the game. Medford has a native son on the team.

The tickets for the town hall meeting were all given out by the local Obama campaign before it was announced he was coming here.

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The thearda link was illuminating. Thank you Bob S. The vast majority of religious affiliations in places I have lived, including over 70% in my present county, are "unclaimed" - a designation which presumably includes the Church of the FSM.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

bh - Medford? Medford? I LOVE Medford! A sprightly young lady once did me a great kindness in Medford.

(No, it's none of your business!)

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I think some of us as I said earlier do go to our churches for comfort and solace. In doing that, we may seek folks that look like us and share our history, as African-Americans often do. But at the church I attend we often have folks from other walks of life joining us for service, and they are more than welcomed to do that. We encourage that, and I think most church do.

Thanks Ivansmom for clearing that up. That is what I was trying to say, although I could never come up to your level to say it.

And yes, we do express our hurt and our struggle with race and other things through our faith some times. We use that faith to ease those hurts and calm those fears. When one attends church on Sunday morning it is to get that food that is required for the week ahead. As the body needs nutrients, so does the spirit. We need to hear God's word, and we need to know His plan of salvation for mankind. We need to know that God is Holy and that there is no other God before Him. We need to know how to love, because we are sorely lacking in this department, and we need to know the problems we face, mankind has wrestled with these same things from day one. Oh, folks, we have a God that loves us so much more than we can imagine, and that love is shown through the giving of His Son for us. Christ Jesus.

Oh, what a cold, hateful world it would be without love. God is love.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Cassandra. God is love. It is man that manipulates God as hate. And it is some churches that capitalize on manipulating God's message to suit their distorted purposes. Religion is like nuclear energy, with both beneficial and destructive potential.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Cassandra. For me, church is all that and my home community, the place where I go for support and friendship and love.

I have observed that religious politics are about the worst that exist. The Southern Baptist Convention has moved rightward for several decades and finally told my church, and others like it, that we were not welcome any more. The worst part was the damage done to the convention infrastructure. The conservative takeover of the seminaries destroyed good scholarship and the careers of many professors with high integrity. Fortunately, new seminaries have been established but the wounds are deep. The meeting Jimmy Carter had in Atlanta a couple of months ago was an attempt to bring together those Baptists outside the SBC for a new beginning. I hope it will work.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to imply that inspirational speaking ability is inherently a bad thing. I meant to state that it is not inherently a good thing. History is replete with great speakers who were poor leaders. I like having both in one package, which appears to be the case with Obama.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! Whoa! I didn't say what I meant! I meant "I like having both good leadership ability and inspirational speaking ability in one package." As opposed to, you know, speaking ability and poor leadership.

Arrgh. This talking good stuff is be hard.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification, Tim.
Reading on prevented my fit of apoplexy.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It's quiet here! I hope that most of us are out doing something pleasant. For a slight change of direction, I was doubly interested in a story in today's Post ( ) about the display of the Confederate flag in Cumberland, Maryland. Doubly interested because Cumberland was one of the first postings of one of my Methodist minister relatives (I was the ring bearer when he married my mother's sister) and because I remember my thoughts about the controversy surrounding the removal of the Confederate flag portion from the Georgia state flag in 2001.

I'm fortunate enough to be just young enough that legal segregation was (more or less) gone when I first grew up in Georgia (1961-1969) and was completely gone when I last lived in Georgia (1976-1980). That's not at all the same as saying that things were rosy & cozy! But I do remember thinking (from the safe distance of Northern California in the 1980's) that the uproar over the presence of the Confederate flag symbol on the state flag ( ) was rather silly, because it was undoubtedly part of the history of the region and of the state.

That attitude lasted about..., well it died the very moment that I researched the history of the state flag and realized that it was adopted in 1956 as a/an "F... You!" gesture in the wake of Brown-v-BOE Topeka & other civil rights engagements.

Hey, I'm all for the acknowledgment of history, and have little patience or empathy for the professionally aggrieved who seem to thrive upon picking loudly at perceived slights. But when the only likely outcome of public display is creating resentment and making folks feel put-upon and marginalized, then I'd say that it's time to seriously consider retiring the historical symbols to museums where they can be appreciated by those are positively moved by such things.

[As an aside, this is what REALLY pisses me off about much of the Obama-Clinton ping-pong match lately. What is with these people? Do they not understand that weak whiners who are offended by everything do not inspire confidence?]

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Well.. my bracket sure is messed up now.. but I'm not complaining! And in HD, no less!

Wonderful, nice, helpful and patient Verizon installer today just left only after making sure everything between the TiVo HD and the FiOS cable cards were working properly. Just in time to see WVa beat Duke!

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Huh? We're talking about Obama's package now? Let this information remain hidden I say! Poor New Yorkers have had enough of their leaders' package deals already!

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 22, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

On speech, Tim, I think the demagoguery of G W Bush, "you're either with us or against us" is more insidious than that of M L King, "We shall overcome" and that neither rises to that of Hitler or other demagogues. I agree with your proposition, but argue that the speeches of Obama rise to the best of what is in us, rather than to our prejudices. I think we are in agreement on that.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl - pleased to see you, you trenchant, clever commenter, you!

TBG - pleased for you, you trenchant, clever FiOS subscriber, you! You do understand that some of us have required numerous visits (many of which were not... ummm... consummated) before actual working TV's were achieved?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Bob.. that's why I was so impressed with the installer. He wouldn't leave until it worked property. And of course, until we watched the end of the Duke game.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Follow up story from the Medford "Mail Tribune on why Obama was a half hour last to the town hall meeting. Note the by line at the bottome of the article. Joel, "what no photo?"
March 22, 2008
Update, 11 a.m.
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama kicked off his town hall meeting in Medford just half an hour late, after working crowds inside and out of the Kids Unlimited building where the event was held.

A stir rippled through the crowd gathered on Medford's Edwards Street at about 9:50 a.m., then turned to a cheer that grew louder as Barack Obama came into view walking west on Edwards.

Accompanied by campaign aides and Secret Service men, the candidate talked with a reporter as he walked. A slight man with a million-watt smile, Obama shook hands, working the crowd, smiling and looking people in the eyes as he headed down the line.

Gideon Rayburn, 28, who has lived in a house on the north side of Edwards for 15 years, left the porch to disappear into the crowd, then returned saying, "He shook my hand."

Richard Fowler, 52, Rayburn's father, shook his head. He said that's something you don't see every day. "Especially on this street."

"I was really surprised that he went into the back to see the people who couldn't get in to see his speech," said Loma Claus, a Central Point woman who was waiting behind the police barricade but got to see Obama.

Donavon Clark, who moved to White City from Pass Christian, Miss., in September 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, was glad to be able to see the candidate outside the venue, too.

Born in 1965 he said he could remember black people facing serious struggles. "We still are," he added. "But to see someone with his background so close to becoming president is touching. It's just phenomenal."

The crowd also included protesters -- Ron Paul supporters, anti-abortion advocates and lone Ralph Nader supporter.

Campaign volunteer Denise Cyr introduced the senator, then retired Gen. Tony McPeak offered opening remarks shortly after 10 a.m.

The stump speech lasted about 40 minutes before the candidate started taking questions from the audience.

Outside, crowds dwindled, perhaps limiting the money-making opportunity for enterprising businesses and neighbors who were charging supporters to use bathrooms. One neighboring lot was offering parking for $10.

-- Bill Varble, Anita Burke, Paris Achen

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

working late nights for the weekend,so just getting up.

Glad to see West by god knock off the dukies, Heck belmont should have won that first game anyway.

So easy to root against Duke,Just like the Yankees or Cowboys.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 22, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The ice cream truck just pulled into my little court. That's cool but creepy, right? I mean, it just seems like Christmas decorations in October, somehow.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

green... - It's odd, but you're right. There's no particularly good reason for this, but when I'm not actually hanging out with any of my friends who deeply care about Duke, then I find myself quietly pleased when they stumble. Not a very attractive facet of my personality, I think.

Schadenfreude, ja?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Raunchy as usual but Red State update is in fine form re: Rev. Wright

and Spitzer

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

For pity's sake, it is snowing. Will this winter never end?

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, frostbitten, I love those Red State links, dirty words and all.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Bad, bad, bad! (chuckling here)


Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Bob... in the G house, a Dook loss is almost as good as a Tarheel victory.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Same here, TBG, as well you know.

The rivalry is intense and rather illogical, but there it is. Who said these things had to be logical, anyway?

Sports are such a wonderful substitute for war, and basketball is especially good.

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

i love the political satire of red state update, although some of the other humor is a bit over the top for my taste.

i almost saw those guys when they filmed the episode the night of the last harry potter book release. friends and i had dinner at the farmer's market/the grove (mall) and were headed to the car after 11pm. i actually saw a van of a what appeared to be a low budget film crew parked outside of barnes and noble and thought it was odd.

when i saw the red state update episode, i was like hey wait a minute, i thought those guys were out of tennessee but that mall is totally the grove. (there aren't many open shopping malls with cable car tracks through 'em.) well, the red state update guys do in fact operate out of l.a.

more silliness:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 22, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, frostbitten, this unending winter is the winter of our discontent and it may end in November. Climate change and political change are on a tide in the affairs of man.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Getting ready to leave for Easter vigil soon. You are all in my prayers. Here is a bit of nature, embedded in a ancient ritual that will happen tonight. The ritual signifies the connection between Christian liturgy and Jewish history.

Lit tonight, outside the church, from a bonfire will be the paschal candle "Paschal" comes from the "pesach," Hebrew meaning Passover. The tall white candle signifies the Divine pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that lead the Israelites in their exodus out of Egypt.

The long prayer blessing the candle before we all enter the nave, in total darkness,, acknowledges the lowly and essential bee. Bee excerpt:

"...For it is fed by the melting wax,
which the mother bee brought forth
to make this precious candle.
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!..."

Spring gladdens the heart, doesn't it, whatever our codes. I think this Latin phrase applies to it all.

Sursum Corda, which is
Lift up your hearts.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"Let him Easter in us..." -Gerard Manley Hopkins. That is a message to all my friends of the Christian faith on this eve of belief.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 22, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"I am become life, the redeemer of worlds!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Paris Achen? (at the end of bh's comment about the Obama visit) Is that a coincidence or what?

The last time Obama was here, it was difficult to find out the particulars till the last minute. Usually the campaign donors, volunteers, activists are the first to get the word. I get emails all the time from them for donations - not sure if I did for the rally - if I did, it was not with much notice. He did the same thing, talked with people who couldn't get in. I remember the same was true for Bill Clinton's rallies here. You had to have a ticket from the Dem party to get within a few blocks. Big donors got to have breakfast and a photo with him.

Colbert King had a good column on the church question today:

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

mostly - Colby King is a treasure. Washington is lucky to have a few local columnists who would be great no matter where they plied their trade.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you Bob S. (for your 4:52).
And your 7:06 brings us back full circle (re: first post for this kit).

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 22, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I am missing the Holy week celebrations up here, so thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. Is it a Tenebrae service? I like those so much.

Flurries for Easter here.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 22, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl - I was pretty sure that someone would appreciate that one!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Even with the dropped close quote mark.


Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

L.A.l-Travis and Jonathan (aka Dunlap and Jackie but don't ask me which is which) are originally from Tennessee. Here's a story on them from the Nashville Scene.

Shiloh-I'm sure every day will seem sunnier and warmer, and not merely in a global warming way, come January of '09.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Just as a point of clarification, the National Baptist Convention is predominantly African American. The American Baptist Churches (which is much smaller than Southern Baptists) were the remnants of the Baptist association after the Southern Baptists broke away over the issue of slavery.

One of the funniest bits I ever heard was a Christian rock group do a rapid fire listing of the various Baptist denominations, organizations, and schisms. Delving too deep into Baptist organization and lack thereof will make your head hurt in a hurry. That is why I am remaining a Bokononist.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't run across this before - the little girl in the "3:00 A.M. phone call" ads doesn't approve. Silly, but kind of amusing.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Frostbitten, every day has already seemed warmer since February 4. It's reassuring to know some things will be better come January of '09, even in the worst-case scenario (although I'm still waiting to see who the GOP VP will be.)

It's now less than 10 months to go...

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 22, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

As much as I despise and hate Duke, my conference loyalties force me to support them in the NCAA. My bracket had Duke winning the whole thing, so I am glued and tattooed. I would shift my attention to the Women's tournament but Iowa State eliminated the Lady Jackets.

I'm just going to have to find something else to do for the next three weeks. Perhaps pay attention to my wife. She's not used to that in March.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Retired Gen. Tony McPeak that offered opening remarks to the Obama Medford town meeting hails from Grants Pass, OR. A fighter pilot, Thunder Bird and once member of the Joint Cheifs of Staff read a statment made by Bill Clinton yesterday from a thing in North Carolina that Gen McPeak said had no place in this campaign. Obama remarked that he relying on Gen. McPeak for foreign policy advice.

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I caught the Maureen Dowd appearance on Wait Wait. She recycled some quips from recent columns and revealed that Ronald Reagan had the hots for Maggie Thatcher. Try to bleach that mental image away.

Unfortunately, her knowledge of Arthur C. Clarke is abysmal. She went one for three on the quiz. My son, who hasn't even read any Clarke, ran the table. Good thing she has a day job to fall back on.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | March 22, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

yello - As we speak, I'm wearing my Georgia Tech sweatshirt. But I wasn't rooting for Duke. Wasn't rooting strongly against them, but definitely not particularly for them. I guess I'm just not an all-ACC kinda guy.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Happy Easter to all Christians, myself included.

Posted by: eidrib | March 22, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and despite having been born at Emory University hospital, I wasn't rooting particularly for or against UGa, either. Yup, it's my home state, but rooting for the 'Dawgs don't come easy for an old Engineer like me!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good model re-enactment of Chuck Yeager's first supersonic flight.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

eidrib - Indeed. My hopes for a glorious Easter, and a rebirth of the spirit within each of us.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Aero pron indeed Tim.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

It's green and white as I gaze out my backyard windows. Spring snow landing on and off all day. It will mostly be gone by tomorrow. But relaxing to watch as it looks like white rain streaming down. No wind.

Feet up, reading a good book, the fireplace warming my toes. Hubby and dog nearby. The puffy birds fly to the feeders and rest in the trees.

Posted by: eidrib | March 22, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey martooni, Back boodling, around here the africa-american, italian, polish, asian populations don't make it into the bottom 10% but lots of people of the Jones ancestry that settled this area are in hoodies sticking up banks and knocking over keno/lottery parlors on a fairly regular basis.
On the down side of no diversity of population there aren't many places to get good food around here.

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Tim - Very cool video. I helped a friend build, and sometimes to control, a ducted fan SR-71. It was huge (nearly 10' long) and frighteningly fast (well upwards of 100 knots). Quite a thing to witness, I wish I had some video.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

bh - Gosh, you don't like Jello salad & cream of mushroom soup?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I've done two rooms, now all that's left is two more. I'm pooped. My back is hurting some kind of awful.

I'm turning in. I hope to attend Sunrise service in the morning at six o'clock. I don't want to oversleep, but as tired as I am, that is a distinct possibility.

Scotty, how I wish you could give me a wake-up call in the morning.

Have a good evening, and a very Happy Easter Sunday. Give God some of your time, and tell your family you love them.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams. And I forgot to say I really enjoyed the conversations today about religion, the churches, and Obama. Very interesting.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 22, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

We tried some Chinese places but the watitress' were all named Jones and I think the chow mein came fron Chung King. A new hip pizza palor with a bar opened and we went to try it out. We ordered a camparri with soda and it came back with a strange color. I asked the young lady what she put in it and she said "Coke". She said said "you said soda and Coke is soda."
This is what you expect where "W" came and stayed twice over night and had dinner. First when the Biscuit fire burned thousands of acres and then to follow up on Kerry's campaign visit. Hard to believe such a small area and population gets so much attention.

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Our little convenience/grocery store is stuck in this era when it comes to Chinese food:

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

last fall a Sonic drive opened and the cars backed up a quarter of a mile on to the I-5 freeway off ramp and the highway patrol had to come to tell the cars to move along. The feild behind the Sonic looked like maye there was a circus was in town. Later when the county fair opened near the same freeway exit there were lots of complaits in the local paper that service was too slow at the Sonic. Still wirh a couple hundred cars trying to get into the parking lot.

Posted by: bh | March 22, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Pulling for Georgia under any circumstances would be a heinous crime in my eyes. I cross the street just to kick bulldogs. Ironically, my wife's alma mater's mascot is the Running Bulldogs with black and red as school colors. Fortunately, she isn't as devoted an alumnus as I am.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Yello, my in-laws are Atlantans. I am proud to say I have eaten at the Varsity near Tech. This, to me, should shut up any UGA fans:

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Sleep well, Cassandra, two rooms done is a major accomplishment! Monday will come soon enough, then you can think about the others.

We're back down the mountain, as Mr. T decided he would rather come tonight if the alternative was getting up in time to leave at 7:30, to be to Sunday School somewhat on time. Works for me!

May the peace and joy of Easter be with all my friends here!

Posted by: slyness | March 22, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, Tim.

That scale RC B-29 looks like it's a little more forgiving to fly than the real thing.

Bob, a ducted-fan SR-71? Cool. (Where's RD to ask about an DF A-12?)

Chruches and religions - and people's spiritual beliefs - are far too complex to capture in newspaper articles, IMO.

Not that we shouldn't try, mind you, since it aids discussions, but the feelings of shared human emotional experience and spirituality just don't translate well into media.

For this reason, I've made it a point to not get too wrapped up in Rev. Wright's comments. I wasn't there, didn't hear and feel those words in their proper context (that of the church, and his speaking from the pulpit).

I cannot say that I completely agree with the Rev's words as they've been presented to us thorugh the media, but I understand the idea that, "Hey, ya had to be there..."

Human experience is Relative to each individual Observer, as Einstein and so many others point out. Personally, I don't believe my experience is any more valid than anyone else's.

The big question, of course, is how I behave relative to others.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

That was meant for Bob S.

Part of the charm of the metro DC area is the dining options in the area. As part of my bribery to get the family to go see Happy Birthday, Wanda June, we went to Jaleo in Crystal City for tapas before the show. My review of the play here:

My wife mentioned she overheard two coworkers talking about what brand of boxed rice they liked best. My son chimed in that he didn't know rice could come in boxes. We buy the twenty-five pound bags, which then lasts us six months or so. My running joke whenever the pantry container gets low is to scream "We're out of rice." It turns out that the last time I cried wolf, it was true.

I have no idea what the name of our brand is, but it has two goldfish on the bag. I bought the wrong bag once and it was a big mistake. Since we were out of rice at home and in Arlington anyways, we crossed over to Falls Church to stock up. And Eden Market always means bánh mì sandwiches and bubble tea.

I don't think we could live where there wasn't bulk rice and pho places.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm 20/20 on the basketball quiz. Where do I apply for the transfer credit?

I had a statistics prof that used this as an example:

"Suppose [UGA star basketball player] has a 10% chance of passing a course. Hey, he hasn't done it yet, but it could happen. If he is taking five courses, what is the chance he passes at least one?"

Said star player was caught up in the Jan Kemp remedial English scandal and never played again.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

What I really liked about the kit was the use of the word "mendacity." That has a real southern feel, especially because of its extensive use in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

K-Hammer and his ilk are really desperate. Joel nailed this perfectly. They know Obama will crush McCain.

If Obama doesn't become president, we are a troubled nation.

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

yello - Once, I had the guilty fun of listening to a woman (with whom I was vaguely acquainted) go on a riff about how superior Asian-grown rice was to American rice. [Wait, the fun is coming!] This took place in a restaurant/bar in Sacramento (one of the most productive rice-growing areas of the U.S.) in the presence of two gentlemen visiting from [wait, wait, you're gonna love this!] Taipei and Tokyo, whom I'd met the previous week, and with whom I'd become somewhat friendly.

She looked at them for affirmation, they looked at me, and I asked, "So, how much rice are you taking back?" The answers ("10 kilos"; "5 kilos") came quietly, simultaneously, and somewhat shamefacedly/humbly, because they did not wish to embarrass her.

Just like wine, beer, cheese, and any number of other products: The best of American rice is generally conceded to be pretty darned good, if not among the best in the world, and is often considered a bargain by those international buyers who have the opportunity to purchase it. But like local consumers the world over, we don't always buy the best for ourselves.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Wait, I think I know this one!

.9 * .9 * .9 * .9 * .9 = 0.59049
1 - 0.59049 = 0.40951

Heck, he's got a 40% chance of passing!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

i am happy to report that my work email has been restored. only missing the last two days worth of email. i can live with that.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 23, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

That math makes all kinds of unlikely assumptions about the independence of the variables. Not very sound, I suspect.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

L.A. Lurker - Because I suspected that it might be a problem, I refrained from sending you any messages for the past few days!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer 'used the services of high-priced call girls' while in Florida."

Same Roger Stone that was earlier reported as making threatening phone calls to Spitzer's father.

Memo to self: avoid high-priced call girls if ever elected to office as a Democrat.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Back from picking up CPBoy from a rec room meet-up of Halo players who fit a good session in after the Easter vigil, which was nearly two hours.

I flung myself forward across two rows to prevent a hair-singe event. The 8-year old was stunned but her parent were grateful. I watched in horror years ago when CPDot2's hair singed and frizzled in front of us all. That was a bad hair day!

Chicken pickings off a carcass in the crock-pot overnight, for tomorrow we shall have pot pie. Raysmom's crust hint: Betty Crocker oil version, rather than lard-butter creamed production.

Take care, y'll. Nippy tonight but the moon is very full and Orion will be leaving the skydome, since winter is waning; spring on the move.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Particularly if you're even remotely involved with political operatives like Roger Stone, or Eliot Spitzer's father!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

C-Park - Wow! That's either a very intense Halo session, or an extraordinarily exuberant celebration of the Easter vigil. Either way, I gotta party with you folks!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, rather to my chagrin, I was 19/20 on the basketball quiz. Somehow, it doesn't hurt my feelings that I didn't know the name of the assistant coach. It DOES hurt my feelings that I knew so many of the others!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Submitted simply to break up the current Achenblog monologue.

Posted by: Suzie Creamcheez | March 23, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow, CP. I'll say that's a heroic act since *your* hair could be singed. Glad that didn't happened.

Betty Crocker oil in pie dough - Does that mean the pastry would melt in your mouth? In that case, I can use ghee as substitute since I won't be able to find Betty Crocker oil here. I once use ghee instead of butter to make cookie. The cookie literary melted in my mouth - really nice and zero calorie.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, night shift aka Bob S.

That rice story is funny indeed. I love jasmine rice, and I believe that USDA researchers had a hand in its creation.

Basmati rice is considered to be the king of rice, but I must confess, I consider jasmine to be superior for most dishes.

It is challenging to grow in the USA but our agricultural scientists are on it.

Needless to say, this idea isn't received with enthusiasm by Thai farmers. They complain that US farmers are subsidized (for rice?) which allows them to sell the rice cheaply, which brings the market down.

However, Jasmine rice AS IS cannot be grown in the USA except for Florida. What will be cultivated in the USA to compare to thai jasmine rice will be a rather different strain of rice, taking years to develop to try and meet all the components that make jasmine rice so excellent.

In the process perhaps they'll develop a different-tasting but still excellent jasmine-quality rice. For all we know, Cuba has already developed something similar; Cuba has invested heavily in agrotech.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Ghee is a good butter substitute, rainforest. Many of the best cookie recipes use butter. Pie dough normally uses vegetable shortening, butter, that kind of thing. It can be made with olive oil, but a little sugar has to be added to help stabilize the dough and get that flakiness in.

I made chicken pot pie with an olive-oil pie crust recipe that I found and I really liked that crust a lot.

An ideal pie dough is never overkneaded more than necessary, and kept cool throughout the kneading and rolling, so when baked so it comes out very light and flaky in layers.

Your ghee idea might work for that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, Suzie Creamcheez. You're funny. Do post a cream cheese recipe if you're so inclined. I can get Philadelphia Cream Cheese here so I can try making something with cream cheese in it.

All types of rice here is imported. The most common, imported from Thailand, and eaten by the general population is fragrant rice, though I don't smell anything. There's also glutinous rice and Thai white rice which is a lower grade than fragrant rice. They all come in 10 kg bags and they are all subsidized.

Thanks for the pie dough tip, Wilbrod.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Suzie Cream - Thanks for breaking up the monologue. I was getting weary (and wary!) of reading my own comments!

Wilbrod - Tread lightly when discussing kneading and rolling and butter and layers. I made croissants once. They came out quite pretty darned tasty, but never, never, never again! [Roll, butter, refrigerate. Fold, roll, butter, refrigerate. Repeat endlessly.] The trauma is still fresh! It turns out that there are very good reasons that most folks purchase most of their fancier baked goods from professionals.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Jasmine rice is what you'd call fragnant rice.

I do smell a difference between it and regular rice of similar size and texture, it's subtle, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Pie crust doesn't need that level of crossiant-ness.

One round is enough. During the depression, my grandma grew up helping her mom make up to 20 pies a day (yes you read that right) for a family of 15 + men helping with harvest and any lodgers.
Her pie crust is pretty good; she always has pie whenever we sup with her.

I asked her how to do it, since my friend claims she had the perfect pie crust.

She said "don't knead it too much, keep it cold, and get it rolled out." Ideally they take even less kneading than cookie dough would, I suspect.

And that's how to make pie crusts as easy as pie. Don't oversweat the crust.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow! In a fit of self-indulgence I just read back over my recent comments. My overuse of exclamation points is discomfiting.

Yikes! No more! Never again! Good night!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, the fragrant rice here has no fragrant. They lied! Don't know who lied but somebody did.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Happy Easter everyone.

Another late night working,hopefully the last for awhile.It is quite pretty out tonight,but cold.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 23, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I see the Peeps are back

A few of my favorites are

Full sugar coating
Peeps attacks(just watched Mars attacks tonight)
Plumbing Peep
The peeps next door
Peeps first Kiss(awwwwwww)
Trouble with tribbles
and finally Michelangelo's Sisten chapel

On another note,Did the really remove the Awakenings from Haines point?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 23, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' cassandra a chorus of bird calls for a wake-up call* :-)

Congrats on the WV win, GWE!

*continuing to backBoodle*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

*fully backBoodled and caffeinated*

Yep, GWE, "Awakening" is now over at the National Harbor complex just south of the WW Bridge. And I really enjoyed "Apeepening." *L*

It's a glorious clear sunrise here. Methinks many appropriately bundled folks outside at this point will greatly appreciate the setting.

*tossing-Peeps-and-Reese's-eggs-hither-and-you Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

SCC: *hither-and-yon* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Here is what is on the bag of our new bag of rice:
{line of Thai script I can't read}
{line of Vietnamese I can't pronounce}
{line drawing in yellow of two goldfish with a ® symbol. The fish are flanked by vertical lines of Chinese characters on each side}

While I am certain that America produces many fine brands and varieties of rice, this brand came highly recommended from my mother-in-law and is sold in the Vietnamese grocery stores in both Falls Church and Wheaton.

When in Vietnam a few years back, I learned that Vietnam is a net exporter of rice, but that most of it is sold in Africa and the Middle East for arcane trade and political reasons.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, and Happy Easter to those celebrating the Rising.

I like the Peep-o-ramas, but I'm more of a Dove Dark Chocolate bunny guy myself.
Well, OK, I'm good with the Cadbury Creme Eggs, too.

Going to have a big late lunch/early dinner later - leg of lamb (a mushroom cream sauce rather than mint jelly for me), ham, garlic mashed potatoes, parmesan asparagus and Italian-style green beans.

Have a good day, everyone.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Bc, I think we are all going to come over your house for our Easter feast,sounds Yummy.

I was going to have the family out to west by God for Easter/spring birthdays(Mom 85,oldest bro 63,niece 43.But my Mom is going in for surgery tomorrow and we are going to celebrate in a couple of weeks.

It was a beautiful ride home this morning, big moon setting in the west, Big orange sun rising in the east, frost in the valleys. I am off for a bit of sleep,then visit some friends and maybe a bonfire later this evening.

Have a Pleasant day everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 23, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Happy Easter, everybody!

bc, can I come and bring my family?

Actually, we are having ham, how original of me. Plus squash casserole, as that is required by elder daughter and third daughter. It's a family joke that we had squash every night the first summer third daughter lived with us. (I was growing it at the time.) I don't know what the other vegetable and dessert will be, that was their assignment. ;-)

It's a lovely cool day, and I am really looking forward to this morning's worship service. We get to hear our new organ for the first time!

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Happy Easter boodlers! Glad to see Rainforest was in the house last night.

A little extra special coffee for everyone-

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. Happy Easter, or Happy March 23... whichever one you are celebrating today.

Slyness... I hope third daughter is doing well. Nice to hear the babes are still "cooking."

Rainforest.. Betty Crocker is the cookbook, not the kind of oil. But the recipe calls for oil, rather than shortening--which usually comes to mind.

Yello... you could have stuck with conference loyalties and picked Carolina to win. Sheesh. Dook?

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I have converted to MacIsm. Thanks, Omni, TBG, and DoC, for advice.

I shall tell the CProgeny that love is encrusted in the chicken pot pie, according to friends. I may or may not say BOOdle.

Dreamed last night of TBG, KB, and me in a red El Dorado convertible. We wore Hepburn-scarves and Jackie-O glasses. We drove to a Metro stop and picked up Maggie O Day (aka Helen Mirren) and then picked up Raysmom and Mo. Permit me this interpretation, being Easter and all:

Thanks Error, for driving. Send a postcard, you know the kind, a "Wish you were here" sort, complete with cheesy pic from the Jersey shore.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

*Of course* everyone's welcome for Easter dinner (at my Mom's house, though the kids and I are doing our parts), and I'll even pull out the mint jelly for those that prefer it with the lamb.

We'll have some fun hiding eggs for the kids' Hunt later.

CP - not a lavender Caddy on Easter?

greenie, that *was* a heckuva moon last night, wasn't it? (And a heckuva basketball game between Marquette and Stanford, too).


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Happy Easter to all those celebrating. We will be off shortly to daughter #1's house for brunch. Gathering muffins, trifle, camera, gift bags of clothes for granddaughters, stencils daughter wants to borrow and hope I don't forget anything else.

I don't follow basketball or even know who's playing, but I hope all your teams win (even tho' I know that's not possible).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 23, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I have a still simmering hatred for Dean Smith, so it will be a long time before I root for any Carolina blue. Sorry Tarheel boodlers, some things are beyond logic and reason.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Happy Easter, you Easter-y folks, and happy March 23rd otherwise. The eggs have been hid (or at least placed cleverly in foliage) by me, and hunted by the Boy. The Easter basket has been admired (chocolate bunny and stuffed elephant, as well as giant floppy stuffed rabbit). The Easter table has scared Ivansdad (basket surrounded by stuffed rabbits, ducks, squirrels and a stray manta ray, with ancient yellow Peeps for accent). Soon we'll be off to Easter service, where the Boy will carry the incense boat. BoatBoy, that's his job. Then it is off to a relaxing afternoon with friends, big Easter food, more eggs to hunt. Then (shudder) a little homework we forgot over Spring Break.

Y'all have a splendid day.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

From overnight:

Yellojkt, you'd be happy here. We have a large Vietnamese community, a giant Asian supermarket with a whole aisle of bags of rice, and lots of good pho.

Wilbrod, as a general rule never knead cookie dough. Even if you roll it out.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

BC -- a lavender caddy is perfect for the parade, but we gals will change to bonnets and white gloves. However, we will not accept a Mary Kay pink caddie.

But dreams come as they do, this one in candy-apple, slick red, like ladies' lipsticks of the 50s.

My darlings are descending and Dot2 is making scones. WITHOUT ME ASKING, the idea of bike ride is being batted about. Sunny, too. I will grade five more papers and then drink coffee with the scones. Enjoy the day.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I would rethink kneading pie dough at all, Wilbrod. Kneading refers to a specific push/pull/pound method of making bread dough.

Piecrust would take cutting in and mixing lightly.

Posted by: CC | March 23, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, we can swing wide to Okla-land to get you. I bet your Easter finery is good-enough for our company. Hey, I wanted to tell you about the music last night: most students are home so we had the all-comers, earnest group. I love this even more because they are so real and sweet and authentic and non-perfect. However, the music in Catholic-land within one Mass goes from sublime AND EASY TO SING, like chanted responses to the faux-folkie and un-singable "new" music.

CPBoy winces at the poorly executed delayed triplets!!! Why are we even asking pew-sitters to sing leaping ranges and odd rhythms...! Rant done. pardon me, all others.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

All this talk of pie crust has me pining for rhubarb. I'd make some light flaky buttermilk biscuits to slather with strawberry preserves, and soothe the longing, but in a bit I am off to brunch with friends. Then again, it is a local restaurant we'll be going to and a little pre-eating of good food is never a bad idea. If you like everything deep fried to a uniformly golden hue this would the the place for you.

Can't wait for Mr. F to report to his assignment in St. Paul where the neighborhoods are colorful and the food flavorful.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

That's right, CC. No kneading pie or cookie dough - you can mix cookie dough with a spoon or mixer but pie dough just gets cut as delicately as possible (think Wicked Witch of the West).

College Parkian, I liked your dream. I may forego an Easter bonnet (no use in the choir loft) but wear frilly pink gloves, if only to embarrass the BoatBoy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm thrilled to be part of your red-caddy journey, CP, but I can't help but think of the movie "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"

(My apologies to CP, KB, Maggie O'D, Raysmom, mo and Ivansmom.)

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

TBG -- I love that bizarre movie. I hope that Patrick Swayze is feeling hopeful today and sharing good food with people he loves.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse


You know bc and 'Mudge and I would be happy to keep the "Wong Foo" theme going for the trip.

Although bc and I would probably have to do rock/paper/scissors to decide who gets the Swayze part and who gets the Snipes part. You have to admit 'Mudge is just a natural for the Leguizamo part.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

y'all make me laugh. i miss mudge on the weekends - i'm sure he'd have something funny to say about this.

happy easter and happy sunday, everyone!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 23, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

One of the best selling products at the departure terminal at the San Francisco airport is bags of Califorina rice.

Posted by: bh | March 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Happy Easter, friends. Just getting in from church. I went to two sunrise services this morning. On time for both.

I'm so sleepy can hardly hold the eyes open. I think it calls for a nap.

I lost my bank card last night. I only had a little bit of money in the bank. Will I have to pay back money if someone uses my card, and they probably will if they find it? This is the end of the month and this is causing a major hardship. I didn't realize I had lost it until I left church. My daughter called the lost card number. I don't want to agonize over this, but I am.

I'm so forgetful and careless. I could kick my own __________, and you can fill in the blank.

Don't eat too much, and enjoy the rest of your day. If I fall asleep, I'll avoid some of this trauma.

Slyness, Martooni, Mudge, and Scotty, thanks for the wake-up call.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 23, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Happy Easter to all. I believe I WILL have some more devilled eggs, thank you.

I think I need a big heavy flat piecrust stone, to keep in the fridge and even stick in the freezer a few minutes before doing the rolling. Another apricot pie must surely be coming soon. The cold stone keeps the buttery nodules (or - uh - shortening) from softening and mixing into the rest of the crust.

Ah, the mystery of cream cheese. After years of homemade yogurt making, I tried it with half-and-half, and the result was an excellent sour cream. Next time I bought some "heavy cream" and introduced the magical bacillii into that, and the result was a very good cream cheese.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yum, Jumper, can I have some?

Cassandra, go to your bank's website, look up the customer service number, call. They will cancel the card immediately and send you a new one. No loss! Just the inconvenience of being without it for several days. So sorry to hear that happened to you, what a pain in the ____, as you say. Shouldn't be anything more than an inconvenience, though.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

CC et al who have scolded me soundly for using the word "knead" in relation to pie crust...

I was saying, don't do it! Just mix it and get it to the correct consistency and then roll out as quickly as possible.

And um, Wilbrodog's dog "cookie" dough called for a lot of kneading. I don't mind telling you I hated it, even if it broke up the gluten and made it stronger and firmer.

I've never kneaded any other cookie dough. I SWEAR, even gingerbread cookies.

What I did do was to pick up the leftover dough, mush a little, and then re-roll it so all the dough got used up. You don't want to fiddle around with pie crust dough to even that extent if possible.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... is your Year of No Cheese already over?

I would like the recipe for making the cream cheese, nonetheless. Sounds really good.

Rachel Ray this morning made a spread for toast by mixing together ricotta cheese, honey, rosemary chopped fine and some fresh-ground pepper. Sounds delish.

We thought a trip to Wegmans would be nice for our non-Easter Sunday. The parking garage wasn't as full, but the store certainly looked like it does on any other Sunday afternoon. But now a yummy veggie-meat "slurry" is cooking and the house smells great.

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke and bc, playing Vida (Swayze) and Noxeema (Snipes)? Sounds like you two are planning to be duller than usual.

That said, S'nuke= Vida, Bc= Noxeema. That glittery gold dress just screams BC.

(No doubt bc has already written Armani to suggest he start a line of gladiator outfits, with lots of gold.)

Anyway, I'm glad CP wasn't dreaming a Thelma and Louise-type of road trip.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The Year Without Cheese is turning into a travesty. I've violated the rules too many times. I can say I brought grocery store cheese into the house only twice.

But here's the deal with the homemade yogurt, and all its variations:

The trick is to achieve about 105 degrees Fahrenheit for maybe 10 hours. I don't think 24 hours would hurt anything, the yogurt bacilli are pretty aggressive in killing off the competition. I once had an oven that would maintain that on "low" but you can't count on one to do that. If you go over 110 or 115 you will kill the yogurt organisms. Being a cheapskate, I have bought an aquarium heater and get some water baby-bottle warm in a big pot, and stick the aquarium heater over the side, and go with that.

I normally use dried milk powder for regular yogurt making. I make the mix about one and a quarter cups of powdered milk, where the recipe for milk only calls for one cup. Makes a firmer yogurt. I use boiled water to make the reconstituted powdered milk. Make sure it, too, has cooled to baby-bottle temperature. (Yes, I sprinkle a bit on my wrist. Works well.) Then I mix in a spoon of yogurt with active cultures. I then seal my mason jar(s) tightly and immerse them in my water pot. The aquarium heater would take forever to heat that water, but I START with water warm enough, and the little aquarium heater can keep up with the heat loss easily. It's ready to leave overnight at that point. Next day I just turn off the aquarium heater, drain my impromptu yogurt maker pot, stow it away on a shelf, and put the unopened sealed jars in the fridge.

As I mentioned, you can use half-and-half to make a sour cream, and heavy cream to make a cream cheese. The neat thing is you can duplicate the "low fat" or "no fat" products sold at the grocery store by thickening the powdered milk recipes and phasing out the cream. A really thick powdered milk mix - much more powdered milk than making regular milk - will make the exact duplicate of "no fat cream cheese" and a slightly less thick mix will end up like a "no fat sour cream."

I should add these homemade products do not taste anything like the "powdered milk" taste that many dislike. The active cultures truly turn it into yogurt, etc.

For precise water / milk / cream ratios I can't tell you much except if you play it by ear you will end up with pretty much what you are after. My first attempt came out halfway between cream cheese and sour cream, but I knew it would be great on a baked potato, and it was! I'm guessing here becauwse I haven't done it in a while, but I think I'm pretty close:
1.25 X thicker (than powdered-milk's milk recipe)for yogurt
2.25 X thicker for sour cream
3.25 X thicker for cream cheese

If you want "half the fat" cream cheese, just make some 3.25 x milk and some heavy cream, and mix them. Etc.

If you end up with something simply too runny to be appropriately used, one can strain it a bit in a coffee filter, the whey will run through but the rest will become thicker. :)

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Homemade buttermilk is also achievable by this, but I never made it. (I don't drink buttermilk) I have used my plain yogurt, though, thinned with a bit of milk, to make "buttermilk" biscuits, & pancakes.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Jumper.. thanks! I think I 'inherited' a yogurt-maker a few years ago. I'll have to see if I can dig it up.

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

No Cheese became a nonstarter when the new Ikea in Orlando had a few kinds of Swedish cheese, and even more so when a much-missed cheese place reopened.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 23, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of yogurt and I can't have any today :-(mine's not set yet)-:

If you ever end up with slightly sour yoghurt and want to try something different (maybe not for you?), here's a recipe for shrikhand (Indian):

Tie up the (thick) curds in muslin cloth and drain o/n (try with ~ 500 gms)
Next day mix into a lumpless paste with sugar (~ 300 gms?)
Add in some saffron (mixed in a tsp of warm milk), ground cardamom (to taste), and, if you like nuts, some pistachios and/or almonds (crushed).
Chill a bit before serving.

I like mine sweet 'n' quite sour, but if you don't you can try it with less sour curds.

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 23, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The Everglades Agricultural Area produces rice between sugar cane crops. While the rice crop itself isn't worth much, secondary benefits from crayfish production, improving water quality, and getting the sugar cane off to a good start make it worthwhile.

There have been efforts to breed Thai-style Jasmine rice for Florida (our winters are too cold for Thai varieties), but I don't know whether anything came of it.

Rice hulls are used as packing material for caladium bulbs!

Puerto Rico seems to have a thriving rice industry. Essentially every supermarket in our area sells Arroz Rico. I suppose Cuba could, too.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 23, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I've been eating at an Indian place and after I wrote all the above, started drooling for some jazzed up raita. I'm hip, thanks for the tip.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Dave, Cuba buys a lot of rice from the U.S. but they've been stepping up their agricultural capacities in recent years. Maybe a streak of good hurricane-free years, maybe it's biotech.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

We just finished our great big pagan-holiday meal. The bunny pooped out his hard-boiled eggs, which have now been dyed. I made Hungarian Vegetable Soup, Moroccan Stew, and Pumpkin Rolls from the "New Recipes from Moosewood" cookbook, along with store-bought pumpernickel and a salad that we are saving for later, when our tummies have regained some space. Chocolate bunnies. Chocolate bugs and bees. Cookies. Beer. Wine (an inexpensive locally-produced blush wine). All-in-all, a good day.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | March 23, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.
We enjoyed a fine dinner and a fine day over at the House of c. Easter Egg hunts and Jousting Peeps, silliness and solemnity, phoning relatives and drying silverware. Food and family.

Miss St. vs Memphis, pretty good game with 6 minutes left (Georgetown's loss *wrecks* my bracket, though. Oy.).

The yogurt sounds good, but I'm feelin' a little full at the moment...


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow that Moosewood cookbook sent me to vegetarian heaven! Thanks CulinaryTim.

This one is for you:-)

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 23, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. The best thing about a communal Easter feast - or any other kind, really - is that everyone always brings a little extra something, just in case. We had 22 people this afternoon and plenty of leftovers . Very tasty. Babies, children, dogs - even leftover champagne- wotta nafternoon.

Now I've sorted the Easter candy into bowls so everything can be put away. The rhythm of the day, such as it is, will resume until (I hope) an early bedtime.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 23, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse


Will I be responsible for the card if they use it? Guess what? I'm just waking up. I don't know what I'm going to do tonight. I was really tired. Thanks for the information.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 23, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

At the Easter gatherings at my parents' house, we often had more than 30 people... a kids table, a Boomer table and a Geezer table.

Much hilarity ensued.

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra... if you report it missing, you won't be responsible for charges made.

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Achenblog,
So many comments! Do you really have so many readers?

Your link to that WSJ article recently was spot on.

Let us pray.

God damn Craphummer. Hallelujahfallujah. God damn Craphummer.

Posted by: Betty Bowers | March 23, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG.

I'm looking at the Princess Bride. I can never get enough of looking at that movie. As the grandfather in the movie says about the book, it's got everything.

Have a good evening, folks. Night boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 23, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Make that call before you go to bed, Cassandra! There are people on the other end, waiting for you to call so you can cancel the card, no need to wait till tomorrow.

Happiness reigns at this house. The Carolina/Arkansas matchup was not much of a game. Mr. T is pleased, and younger dottir even called from Chapel Hill to talk to him about it.

Posted by: slyness | March 23, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add earlier; I'm definitely the Snipes/Noxeema character in the Boodle production of "Wong Foo."


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I wish I looked as good in a dress as John Leguizamo.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Nah, you said 'ideal pie dough is never overkneaded more than necessary'. People have been taken to task here for writing less precise terms than that. Knead refers to a precise action.

If you can't stand the heat, watch your own peas and cukes.

Posted by: CC | March 23, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

They are REPUBLICANS. Were Jesus Christ to come back and run for president they would call him a dishonest liberal, etc. etc. etc...

They have to attack both Obama and Hillary because they can read the ostracoi and count the totals. They get the next sixteen years to tell Democratic Presidents how to try to be good Republicans, when, of course, even if they were good Republicans the gliberatti wouldn't recognize, vote for, or ever actually approve of them.

Why any Democrat would even read them any more is beyond me. They say nothing new, say it in exactly the same old way, and even George Will can't find any good historical, sports, or trivial hook to hang his columns on any more. They are to punditry what jerry Lewis is to comedy or Jerry Lee Lewis is to rock.

Old. Boring. Trite.


Posted by: | March 23, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Duly noted, CC.

*Musing on my salad days when I was young and green. Little did I know what would turnip one day...*

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 23, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

While in London we saw the stage production of "The Lord Of The Rings". The best actor in it was the spider. In order to get the taste out of our mouth, we watched the directors cut of "Return Of The King". It's four hours long with no less than five endings. There are also four commentary tracks and two more discs of bonus features. You could make watching "Lord of the Rings" a part-time job.

Glad you had a good Pagan Spring Fertility Ritual Day, C-Tim. There's a great passage in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" where all the forgotten pagan gods compliment Eostre on making a successful transition to the new paradigm, but she is a little sad that the kids hunting for eggs really don't understand her true meaning.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so it's don't make pie on a fry-your-eggs-on-the-pavement day. Don't knead pie or cookie dough because of Wicked Witch of the West. I got it. Thanks, Ivansmom & CC for the tip.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Man (boy?), on John Adams tonight they got the war over in less time than the sean with 'Ole Ben in the tub with a french lady playing footse and chess.

Posted by: bh | March 23, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Frosti spelled J Legume's name right. 100 points for her. Sad about spring break ending. Where is Easter Monday when you need it?

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I make plain yogurt fairly often in a coffee mug. It's an unprofessional way of doing it, but it works for me.

Scoop10 tablespoons of full-cream milk powder (more then 10 is too creamy for me) into a coffee mug. Dissolve the powder by adding water till 2/3s of the mug. Make sure the milk powder is all dissolved and there are no lumps. Then add boiling water. I forgot what temperature it should be so I just stick my finger into the milk. If the milk temperature is high enough that it stings your finger a little, that's the right temperature. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of culture into the milk (curds will form almost immediately) and just leave it in a quiet corner (Note: the more culture you put into the milk the more sour the yogurt would be). I usually make it in the evening and by the next morning, it's set. My night time temperature is in the 70s.

I'd try to remember not to finish off all the yogurt but leave a teaspoon for a new batch. If I forget, I'll go to an Indian restaurant and buy a tiny cup of yogurt from them. I have not tried using store bought plain yogurt for culture. Don't know if it works.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC : THAN not then. And maybe there are others.

Posted by: rainforest | March 23, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Feeling a little cranky there, I don't mind. Anybody who can use 'ostracoi' in a blog posting is OK in my accounts.

Next week: 'strategoi.'

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 23, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Feel good story of the day:,1,2792966.story

I gotta like it when dogs know how to mind their humans on leash!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | March 23, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Not just from the must not have been reading the blogs.

I,as a lifelong moderate Democrat, agree Obama gave a great speech. It is the reason for it that gives me pause. If he had done this years ago as part of the trans formative leadership he now promises to America then great. But as a speech to save his candidacy, I say this is manipulation and I resent it. The more I find out about Obama, the more I realize his life as been, in large part, a life of expediency. Read the two articles listed below and by all means provide more for us to read. We all need to learn much, much more about this man, good and bad. If he is to be our nominee, then for Pete's sake give us some reasons to vote for him in November.

Posted by: cj | March 24, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

College Parkian...loved you dream. You ladies drive out to Colorado when it warms up and stay with me for a day or two. I'll show you the high country.

Girls gone wild.

A fun thought, anyway.

Posted by: eidrib | March 24, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Isn't ostracon pluralized as ostraca , not ostracoi?
Time to call the Greek Squad. TBG?

Strategoi is right-- plural of Strategos, "army leader".

And to riff from Lewis Carroll with a twist, just because my mind is sick this way.
I switched around the last 2 stanzas just because.

And all the wee ostraca stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," Obama said,
"To talk of many lies:
Of oil--and ships--and strategos--
of weapons and spies--
And why our allies are now foes--
And whether Bush was wise."

"Apologize," they ostracized,
"Before truth you do coerce;
For some of us fear you are worse,
And we just hate converse!"

"No hurry!" said Ms. Hillary.
They praised her much for that.

"A loaf of hope," Obama said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and change besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, America,
I can begin to lead."

"Not for us!" they ostracized,
Turning even more red.
"Such open-mindness! Hope would be
A dismal thing for us!"

"Hmm, thought is good," Obama said.
"Do you fear I'm ahead?
It was so kind of you to come!
And.. nice smear campaign!"

Ms. Hillary said nothing but
"Give us another reign:
I wish y'all were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," Obama said,
"To deepen frustration
After Bush's brought us into a war,
And stolen our nation!"

Miz Hillary said nothing but
"The poetry's too thick!"

"I hope for you," Obama said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With speech in hand he sorted out
Issues of the largest size,
Grasping his lion-tamer's guide;
Facing what underlies.

Then the news yell'd doom and chaos--
Which was normal mudslinging:
Pundits are cussed sons-of-sows.

"America," rejoiced Hillary
"You hate Obama now!
Shall Bill and I come home again?'

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Cj, Has Newsweek done a story on Hillary Rodham/ Hillary Rodham Clinton / Hillary Clinton and how she did it out of "expediency" and an "infirm sense of identity?"

Did they do a story on the identity crisis John Sidney McCain must feel having such a vanilla name as well as big-shot father and grandfather to live up to. How he must have acted out when he finished close to the bottom at the Naval Academy, and so on?

Has anybody called McCain a politican of "expediency" because he's been kissing up to everybody in the Republican party, even Bush who smear-campaigned him like crazy, just so he could get the nomination?

That newsweeks story is fluff. Which is welcome here, of course, but don't take it as a serious perspective, which you should base your vote on.

Check this out, it's short.

Not satisfied? He has a lot of meat and gravy to what he wants to do at his website.

The people he worked with as an community organizer speak very well of him. It's not a job anybody takes because it's "expedient." As he says himself, he went in thinking he'd learn more about people as a writer, he got really involved in his job, and he came to feel he had to be a lawyer to really help people. So he became a civil rights attorney, when he could have been clerking at a federal circuit court, maybe even to the Supreme Court. Check this story out about his first job as a lawyer:

Then he thought about politics.

I invite you to learn more about his policy ideas, his approach to solving problems, and how they differ from Hillary's. You don't have to like him, but don't base your decision on a biased piece of fluff.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

And yet another surprise (not) from the campaign trail...

*waiting-for-the-overflow-chocolate-and-Peep-bounty-at-work-and-knowing-I'll-need-the-extra-sugar Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 5:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Scotty, I saw that, but did not read it. By the time the media gets through shredding Obama and whoever else they decide to shred, they will have nothing left. They will have to find new meat, as they say in prison.

I went to sleep on my favorite movie. When I woke up this morning, the television was on something else. Evidently, I was really tired.

Slyness, my daughter called the number for me yesterday. I did not understand the message. Thank you for the information.

Mudge, Martooni, up, guys, and get moving.Time to hide eggs, and good morning to all.*waving*

The g-girl said her Easter speech yesterday, but grandma missed it. I had work in the back. My daughter was there, and she said she did good, all the kids did. We had plenty of kids yesterday, and they were all dressed up so pretty. One little girl had her Easter basket with her. God is good.

Do we get to hide eggs today? I want to. Whose going to hide the eggs? Mudge, Martooni, Ivansmom, I'll bet you guys are real good at this.

Have a great day, folks. And I hope you're not too tired from yesterday. I'm going to start back on the cleaning campaign after I talk to the folks at the bank. I need a truck backed up to the front door to haul this stuff off, but to where I have no idea. Maybe the dump. Most of it is not mine, but belongs to my daughter, and she doesn't have anywhere to put it.

Hope those of you still with the white stuff see some thawing. It's slightly chilly here, but sunshiny.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 24, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, Cassandra, happy Easter Monday. I understand the too-much-stuff issue, I'm trying to deal with it myself.

Today's the day I work on the writing project I've been avoiding for weeks. I've done all I can do without thinking, now I just have to sit down and do that part. I have a deadline, so no more putting it off.

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

slyness and Cassandra!

Best wishes for the day, my friends!!!

slyness, I spent much of yesterday staring at my electronic piece of paper. I just developed a headache. Gave up and just cooked a couple of meals.

Tell me that Monday will be good?!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 24, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. May this past Easter week-end be one that goes in your memory because of at least one event which was so positive that you cannot erase it.

I finally have an opinion piece link I like well enough to share:

It is by David Broder & he calls it The Real Value of Obama's speech.

I call it worthwhile,

maybe b/c he & I are of the same generation, although he may have a year or two on me. :-)

It's about the "H" word (honesty)

Posted by: VintageLady | March 24, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

VL, excellent piece by Broder. It acts as a counterpoint to the second line of Joel's kit. I am sick to death of the whole conversation about Obama's pastor. If people can't get the concept of hate the sin, love the sinner, then I give up. Enough already, let's move on to the issues that are affecting all of us - gas prices, the war, the economy, etc. Sorry if I'm a bit testy this morning, haven't been feeling well lately and frustrated about the possible cause. Have a great day everyone.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 24, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Before this boodle ends, I am submitting a recipe for Good Living. It is an oral recipe given by three southern ladies whose collective ages were about 240 years, at the time they put it together. Two of these dear ones are still with our family.

Be cheerful in the morning.

Get dressed and make up the bed first thing.

Eat a healthy breakfast - fresh fruit, whole grain cereal, low-fat milk and only one cup of coffee.

Use sunscreen.

Put family first.

Drink water.

Never pig out.

Sterilize mousetraps between uses.

Appreciate nature; learn the names of common wild flowers like 'Joe Pie'.

Be nice to Tom, (or whatever your husband's name is).

Melt Crisco with water in microwave to make an easy and delicious piecrust.


A 15-minute nap after lunch is a good thing.

Be cheerful in the afternoon.

Exercise the mind by playing bridge or doing crossword puzzles.

When an ailment such as a bladder infection or shingles strike, use an ice pack and keep going.

Waste not.

Walk after dinner.

Be cheerful at night.

Keep faith and spirits up.

Put a good reading lamp beside the bed and read before going to sleep.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 24, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Sneakers, glad we are in agreement re: article and issues. Hope you feel better, fastly.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 24, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for that list Vintage Lady! A wonderful way to begin a new week.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady

The list is impressive, although I don't know if I need sun screen? As to Broder op-ed piece, I think he was reaching for the higher ground, Broder that is. Obama's speech will never impress those that see this country divisive and want to continue it that way. And there are some that never want to have this conversation because they feel why change something that works for us.

Hope you feel better, Bad Sneakers.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 24, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

You know, I was thinking about this the weekend while trying to pull myself together to begin cleaning this apartment.

When I was a child, I worked in my neighbor's homes, cleaning their homes. And the neighbors I'm talking about were White. Many of these folks got out of their beds in the morning and did not give them a second glance until they came back to them that night. And they fully expected them to be made and ready for them. I've worked in people's homes wherein the lady of the house stepped out of her particulars and left them laying right there for me.

That's my experience. How do I view the world today? Do I use that lens of time for everything in this world? I cannot. If I did that, it would deprive me of so much of life's wonders and the good that is found hidden sometimes in the lives of my neighbors and friends.

Should I blame my mother that took me along with her to do this work? No, I cannot. She was trying to help me. She wanted me to know this, and she needed the help. How can I use this experience? To help someone else, and make lemonade as they say.

Am I angry about this experience? Only when it is denied by those that created this situation. Never for the experience itself because I was with mother. And I loved her so much.

That's just a little part of me. Just a tiny sliver as they say. Nothing to write home about.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 24, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Fabulous list, VintageLady, wonderful words to live by. Thanks for sharing.

Cassandra, I think we all need to use sunscreen, to keep the wrinkles away.

I grew up in a home without servants, so I was required at an early age to do my part to keep the place livable. When I was in the third grade, my mother gave me a choice: wash dishes or make up my bed every morning. I've been making the bed ever since. I'm also grateful for the dishwasher!

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! With pics!

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

sorry i'm late. mr. obama gave the most important speech since MLK's 'dream'. and he is now pilloried by the republicans. could it be that they have to criticize him because there is NO ONE in their entire organization who has half of mr. obama's ability to think and communicate?

and what was so wrong about what mr. obama said--just this: he asked us to try to understand each other, rather than pre-judge each other. imagine that.

and re the issue of despots being good orators, it has always seemed to me that hitler would have done well in the red states.

Posted by: butlerguy | March 24, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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