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'A Bridge to the 20th Century'

This weekend, a senior Democratic party figure told me that the presidential election isn't shaping up well for Obama. Two problems persist, he said: Obama hasn't clearly defined himself, and there remains a great deal of latent racism in the country.

Now let's look at the printouts I took to lunch, of stories saying very much the same thing.

Jake Weisberg, in Slate, points out recent evidence that many white voters simply will not vote for a black man. Racial prejudice could cost Obama the election, he writes. Jake (famous as an A-blog hiking partner) has some strong language on what a McCain victory would mean:

"Choosing John McCain, in particular, would herald the construction of a bridge to the 20th century--and not necessarily the last part of it, either....

"You may or may not agree with Obama's policy prescriptions, but they are, by and large, serious attempts to deal with the biggest issues we face: a failing health care system, oil dependency, income stagnation, and climate change. To the rest of the world, a rejection of the promise he represents wouldn't just be an odd choice by the United States. It would be taken for what it would be: sign and symptom of a nation's historical decline."

On to the next story: A long "liberal's lament" in Newsweek, by Sean Wilentz, on what's wrong with Obama's campaign so far. Wilentz says Obama hasn't defined himself, hasn't been sufficiently specific, has been dodgy on such matters as the Rev. Wright relationship, and has benefited from sycophancy among liberal intellectuals. Until Obama gets beyond stirring words, Wilentz writes, "Obama will remain the most unformed candidate in the modern history of presidential politics." (You know, you get the feeling Wilentz doesn't much like the guy.)

Onward: Some of you may say, hey, you're only linking to pieces from publications that are owned by the The Washington Post Company. That is a scurrilous slander. I always am willing to link to non-Post-owned publications, so long as the author is a long-time close personal friend. Thus I commend to you David Von Drehle's think-profile of Obama in Time magazine:

"...his rhetorical style and his ingrained disposition tend to obscure rather than reveal. This is how Obama remains enigmatic no matter how much we see of him."


More to read:

The New Republic compiles the best campaign coverage of the 2008 election.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 25, 2008; 1:17 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Biden: The unCheney
Next: High Drama in Denver


What front page alert?

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like a lot of different folks parroting set talking points...

Posted by: Jennifer Ouellette | August 25, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The front page alert to the previous kit appears to be a red herring for the McCain trolls.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, Joel. WE only link to other WaPo stories. Except when David Brooks endorses Biden or omni has a quiz for everyone to take or some other shiny object attracts our attention.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 25, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, look --

Jennifer Oullette!!! *waving*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 25, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted on the previous kit:

Cheney and Biden were both chosen to shore up inexperienced candidates.

Biden = Cheney

Posted by: buddyjimmy | August 25, 2008 2:04 PM

I feel a Mudge-like fit of pique coming on.

Posted by: Wheezy | August 25, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't get why Obama is enigmatic. He's a thoughtful, intelligent, pragmatic Democrat without a lot of baggage - what more do you need? I knew I'd be voting for him the first chance I had from hearing his keynote speech in 2004. And I did, and I will. Have donated money to his campaign too. The only other candidate I have ever donated to was John Edwards...Bah!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 25, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

And Wheezy - hi, Wheezy!

(I thought Joe Biden was CowTown - very confused.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 25, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

And another happy belated BD wish to our resident berzerker cusp baby (that's you shrieker)

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh look, a shiny object!

"The most massive cluster of galaxies known in the distant Universe"

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 25, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, I think, omni and all other well-wisher.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 25, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Ouellette, are you not on the GOP and Dem Sunday Night Talking Points distribution lists?


Posted by: bc | August 25, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Von Drehle's profile of Obama reminds me of this line from Carl Jung's, The Undiscovered Self:

"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself."

That has always struck me as a life of purpose in itself.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

And it now appears that hyperlinks in IE appear only in the kit, and not in the boodle. Back to Firefox.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to greenwithenvy and L.A.Lurker.

Hi wheezy and jennifer oullette.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 25, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A galaxy a thousand times the size of the Milky Way located 7.7 billions light years away...
This is a REALLY BIG universe.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 25, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

sd, I saw a piece about that the supermassive cluster of galaxies in another forum, as possible evidence for dark energy.

I believe that as the cosmos is infused with negative pressure (the anti-gravitational force dark energy is purported to be) on large scales and cosmic expansion/inflation of the unvierse itself, clusters of galaxies like this are less and less possible.

When the the Heat Death of the unvierse comes, and we're riding out eternity in the the thin cold, grey soup of nothingess - no time, no matter, nothing at all - don't forget that I Told You So.

Interestingly, I think the Talking Heads sang, "Heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens."

Sorry for the Cosmo-Philisophical sidebar, all.


Posted by: bc | August 25, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

At a temp of 100 degrees Kelvin, bc, it sounds like the supercluster of galaxies IS the Heat Death.

Just one more thing to worry about.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

don't think to hard now

resident berzerker is shrieking denizen spelt backwards is all

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It does put global warming in perspective.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is "enigmatic", it's only fair to say that McCain is "enematic".

Posted by: martooni | August 25, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that's 100 million degrees kelvin.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree, martooni, that McCain probably suffers from chronic intellectual constipation and requires assistance to express a fundamental idea.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Really, how many Americans truly know who presidential candidates are? Truthfully, I hadn't heard of Bill Clinton before he became the nominee. I didn't know who George HW Bush was when he was nominated. I didn't know Gary Hart, Michael Dukakis, John Edwards, nor Al Gore (although I had heard of Tipper thanks to the Ode to Tipper Gore song) when they came to the stage. I was a typical American who didn't pay much attention to politics and only knew the names of nominees because they were splashed in front of me all day, everyday during the months before the elections. So, Obama being an unknown, unproven - how's that any different to most Americans than anyone that's come before?

Posted by: Aloha | August 25, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Aloha has a point there. The nomination is often when apathetic voters start to realize, hey it's two choices now.

This is the first year I ever voted in a Democratic primary, and I've been eligible for a couple electoral seasons now.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 25, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Aloha, that little is changed from when Thoreau wrote:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

And yes, the voters always get the government they deserve.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Nine times out of ten when I hear someone say, "Who *is* Obama, really? And what does he stand for?" I respond by saying, "Tell me five of McCain's policies." They usually mutter something vague about Iraq and that's it. Nobody knows anything about him, either.

(Similarly, when people complain about the government, I ask them to name their representatives. Nine of of ten can't. Actually, the figure is more like ten out of ten.)

Why we are still having this "who is Obama" debate is a jaw-dropping mystery to me. It's as strange as when Kerry, a decorated vet, was discredited while Bush, a pampered stay-at-home, was hailed as a hero.

Why can't the Dems pull that kind of rabbit out of their hat?

Posted by: KPage | August 25, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

That Andrew Sullivan quote from Hillary in the last kit was very enigmatic. I've begun calling Hillary's rather lukewarm passive-aggressive support the Subtle Sabotage Strategy. She doesn't want to make him lose, but she sure would hate to see him win.

And in the briar-patch politics department, Sully also linked to this rather disingenuous advice from Bill Kristol:

He would like to see the delegates spontaneously nominate Hillary for VP and watch the chaos that would ensue.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 25, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Without bothering to fact-check, I think Maryland governor Spiro Agnew's nomination for vice president at the 1968 Republican convention was contested. Rebellious delegates nominated George Romney. The Delaware delegation voted for Romney.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 25, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

My preference for the VP selection would have been an open convention, as when Adlai Stevenson let the delegates choose and they selected Estes Kefauver over Jack Kennedy. Ike and Nixon won that year.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

7.7 billions years ago is a long time. Whatcha think is going on out there "now", if such a temporally useless concept is even applicable?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 25, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't get where this refrain of "we don't know who he is" and "we don't know what he stands for" and "all we get is rhetoric" about Obama. He's laid out an energy policy, he's talked at length about what to do in Iraq, he's talked about social programs, education, medical care. He's introduced his family, he's talked about his background (a lot more than anyone else), we know about his education and he's got a record in Chicago and state politics. What isn't to know, for cryin' out loud?

It's some sort of secret American code for "we aren't listening to him because he's [insert pejorative of your choice here]," isn't it?

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has for decades had a complex and fully formed language of racism in the south. Now this code-speak is being explored by democrats who wish to allow Hillary Clinton to run for president in 4 years.

To suggest that a man who defines success and who is the embodiment of the american dream lacks definition, is simply a way of saying: "we can't find anything on this guy, so let's act as if he's not got anything."

Posted by: surson | August 25, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

As a measure of distance, yello, it's probably too far away to think about, unless, to paraphrase Pogo, them then is us now. As in that old expression, what goes around, comes around.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, regarding your 2:21 and that post by Buddyjimmy, I think his point has roots in this piece in Froomkin's column today, which I'll post here in its entirety (only two grafs):

"Karl Rove Watch

"Wayne Slater blogged for the Dallas Morning News on Saturday: "Karl Rove weighed in this morning on Democratic vice presidential pick Joe Biden, saying his long experience in the Senate only reminds voters that Barack Obama doesn't have much. It was classic Rove: Attack an opponent's strength, make it a weakness.

"But Karl found himself in deep water when a FoxNews interviewer asked: Wasn't Dick Cheney picked to be George W. Bush's veep to balance the Texas governor's lack of experience? Did Cheney boost the ticket or just remind people of Bush's inexperience? Totally different, said Rove. Totally different."

So Buddyjimmy was just stealing an idea Froomkin picked up from Slater, who picked it up from Fox, which had actually managed to catch Rove in one of his characteristically baldfaced hypocrisies.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 25, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Well said, surson. And, Yoki, as Von Drehle said, the Obama website has enough definitive policy positions to fill a volume of the Congressional Record. But very few are going to read all that.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

You hit the nail on the head Yoki.

Posted by: Aloha | August 25, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

If they don't read about Obama - how are they supposed to "know who he is", I understand that voters often look to the voting record in the house/senate but since many of your bills contain riders that may influence the vote - is that really accurate.

Another confused Canuck.

Posted by: dmd | August 25, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Yoki, that "we don't know who he is" line is a load of crap -- and it also contradicts what is going to be another GOP theme: that Obama is a wild-eyed, bleeding-heart tax-and-spend liberal. But they can't have it both ways: they can't claim to label him as one thing, and turn around and say he's an enigma and they don't know what he satnds for. They know damn well what he stands for.

Of course, they will try to claim both anyway, consistency or logic not being an essential requirment.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 25, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Shiloh: +1

Posted by: dirrtysw | August 25, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, thanks all. I feel better to have that cleared up, but more frightened for Obama than I ever have before.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Even I know who Obama is. Not Bush. You would think that would be enough.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The earthquake analysis is really quite hope inspiring.

Posted by: rookery | August 25, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Campaigns are not won by clutching at earthquakes or polls; they are won by organization, volunteers, money and hard work.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, I would point to the 2000 US Presidential election results as an excellent example of what you're saying here.


Posted by: bc | August 25, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Just try singing this to the yellow rose of texas


 My life closed twice before its close;
        It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
        A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
       As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
       And all we need of hell.

One of Emily's more chilling poems

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

and Speaking of Neil Gaiman, he wrote the B5 episode 'Day of the Dead'

Whereby I come to my knowledge of the Emily - Yellow Rose sing along compatability

Posted by: moni | August 25, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If Obama loses there will be no shortage of pundits telling us why. One or two might actually be correct, but there will be no way to really know for sure.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 25, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's clutching at earthquakes here. Did you even read the commentary?

Posted by: Rook | August 25, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

So, that's a hopeful sign if true - Obama's got a great organization. And plenty of money, at least up till now.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 25, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a marginally less caustic interpretation of "we don't know who he is": we don't have a simplistic one-sentence tag line that tells us everything we care to know.

John McCain: Former POW and current political maverick.
Hillary Clinton: Former embattled First Lady.
John Kerry: Husband of rich women and devotee of elitist recreational activities.
Bill Clinton: skirt-chasing empathizer.
George W. Bush: regular guy and manly Texas oilman.
Dick Cheney: political shemer.
Karl Rove: political schemer of limitless inventiveness and bottomless depths to which he will sink to Win One for His Team.
Antonin Scalia: the justice who agrees it's not torture if we say it's not torture.
Clarence Thomas -- the justice who has nothing to say.

The fact that most of these sobriquets do not have enough substance even to qualify as scratching the surface is not relevant. They constitute a mnemonic to remind you of the person who you think goes with that name. They provide a fantasy of a framework in which you can interpret all actions and anticipate future decisions. The only one who is really that easy is Scalia, and his puppet (Silent Clarence), who really does not function as an independent individual. I have not yet heard of a single Supreme Court case in which I could not predict Scalia's response in advance. 100% predictability is, to me, a sign of a man who is not thinking. The only thing he does that surprises me is his inventiveness in finding ever more odious and preposterous twists of Constitutional interpretation to agree with his foregone conclusions.

What, then, is Barack Obama's sobriquet? Being "a thoughtful, rational person who thinks through issues and provides nuanced solutions that synthesize multiple strains of political thought" does not make for a very mnemonic memory device to let you imagine you have his character summarized and categorized. Until we have a facile label, he will continue to be "someone we don't really know."

Posted by: PlainTim | August 25, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

There's a deep failure in making predictions from past trends, in that just about every trend goes belly up at a certain time and no one can predict when. Remember the "zero year curse?" And Kerry and Gore being taller than Shrub? All (well, the last two) fair predictors of the voters' will. Okay, 2000 Gore "won." Well, the Kerry thing anyway. Unless Ohio was

Oh never mind.

Posted by: Jumper | August 25, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I got a sobriquet: "Constitutional scholar and political comet Obama."

I want habeas restored!

Posted by: Jumper | August 25, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Calling Ivansmom! Calling Ivansmom! I need a "there, there" from a fellow atty. I'm almost done reading and analyzing the opposition to our summary judgment motion, and my brain is alternately laughing and screaming in intellectual pain. Man, we don't call him Bevis for nothing! He also cross-moved for partial summary judgment, yet never seems to get around to delineating that request. Nope, not him. Nor did he have the energy to set forth any legal standard for even partial summary disposition.

Amazing. And he's not 12 years old, either. But, say, he is in Arizona. . . .okay, *never mind*.


As you were. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 25, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I've been pondering this conversation with a coworker, a rabid Clinton supporter, since Friday. My coworker stated that she just couldn't bring herself to support Obama because, to paraphrase, he's too slick; I don't know where he stands. Then my coworker said: "Not that I'm racist, but he's black and playing it to the hilt". That says it all. *sighhhh*
For me, the election is about choosing someone with the capability to put together a team that will begin to undo the damage done in the realm of foreign policy, the economy, and just plain obeying the constitution and the law. Unfortunately, I haven't heard much in the way of policies that would correct the latter from either candidate. It needs to be addressed. I'm putting my trust in the earthquake scenario.

Posted by: jack | August 25, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

howdy all
Thanks for all the well wishes,it has been a fun lazy day and I even got a nap. The fish are still biting well and the river felt great. Off to a neighbors for a bite to eat.

maybe catch some of the convention online later,well maybe watch MNF instead.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 25, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

four and a half hours and only three or so of us have gone off kit...

where's mo and TBG...

Oh, and TBG, can you tell that Foxfire trick for Safari?

For now I highlight the text and right click, but would be so much easier to skip the highlight step... (highlighting often misses the 'h' in 'http' - such a pain)

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Playing it to the hilt? Please! It's not like he's a former POW or anything. Now that is some serious hilt playing.

I resent the implication that you have to have been tortured to like ABBA.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

gwe -im so jelus

Lazy day



boating on a river

All I got is an ancient antique Penn fishing rod in the closet of my city efficiency

sighob (that's a sigh and a sob

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Just getting here. It has been a busy day, and a busy day with the g-girl. She didn't go to school today. Thursday is her day, so grandma had her all day long. I'm tired, double tired.

As for the kit, the only thing that comes to mind is something my dad says all the time, and that is, African-Americans don't know racist behaviour when they see or hear it. After all, they've only endured such behaviour all their lives, why would they recognize it when it raises its ugly head? And this is said with a sneer.

Some will come right out and say it's because of race, others will find something they think is so many degrees from race, which it isn't, and hang on to that. All of it is crazy, and Yoki said it much better.

Slyness, it is raining here. Shower after shower.

Time for me to turn in. Have a good evening. I'm going to attempt to watch Michelle Obama's speech. I hope I don't fall asleep, and the captioning works. I really want to hear(see) it.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 25, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse


We read "Sam and the Tigers" last night. I didn't know where the book was, but the g-girl scooped it out from some hidden corner, and insisted I read it. We both love that book. And I am not ashamed to say I really like the pictures. She keeps telling me no one reads to her at home. Thanks again.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 25, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

ooh, I just love this interview with Summer Glau

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra -- reading to children is the best way for them to learn more deeply the language skills they're still building on. It increases their vocabulary, for one thing. And just listening to the words and the stories tingles their imagination and flexes their brains to make them stronger intellectually and creatively. Read to your g-girl as often as you can, and she will thank you for it in one way or another.

I'm going to try to stay awake for Michelle Obama's speech, too.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 25, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Rook, I was away when you responded at 5:34, with a tone of umbrage, a not too infrequent tremor hereabouts. I had read the earthquake piece beforehand - at least most of it before I decided it was a waste of time, sort of like not stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk when we were kids. I'm sure every political campaign has fault lines and gaffes that produce seismic headlines that are earth-shattering to ideologues and chauvinists (in the original, classic sense of that word), but I would not predict or stake the chances of winning a campaign on a geological methodology. Jack, at 5:54, has elected to embrace the earthquake scenario, because it has an appearance of sanity that a rabid coworker is without (that kind of mindless chauvinism is what I meant earlier) and who probably thinks that he or she is unanimous in that opinion, despite Jack's protests. And bc and mostlylurking have the right idea, but I would beware of complacency. You never know exactly when an earthquake will strike.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse


I do read to her as often as I can. I wish my grandsons were closer, and we could all get together for stories. Of course, with the grandsons, I would have to take those games, and that could very well put me on their list. They don't think they can live without the "games".

Posted by: cassandra s | August 25, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My eyes also glazed over on the earthquake story in the dead trees edition and then twice online. I couldn't muster enough interest to give it serious attention. I don't care how solid the math is, all models can be tweaked to have 20/20 hindsight. It's the tested predictions that make or break the theory.

Stock prices, hemlines, All Star games, wooly caterpillars. All our meaningless. As they say in more frivolous endeavors, that's why they make them play the games.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 25, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read the earthquake story - I suppose I should, as I live in earthquake country (haven't felt one since early 2001, though - I suppose that means we're due for a humdinger). I'm not complacent at all - I go from utter terror at the thought of a McCain presidency to confidence that it won't happen, can't happen, please, please, please!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 25, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

You forgot groundhog day, yello, how close election day is to a full moon, and that the betting market claims to have been wrong only once in 116 years (1906).

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Algernon's flowers

McCain's mind is...I forget

Bridges to bushes

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

take that you on kit/topic boodlers

In other news: Joel chopped down a tree today

Posted by: omni | August 25, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

omni, have you been swimming in the Yuengling again? What tree?

I think that in keeping with the spirit of this kit, we need to hear yet one more wise, seasoned political voice, whose column I repost here in its pithy entirety:

Dave Barry: The DNC's on, let the drama begin
The Democratic party has gathered in Denver for what will be without
question one of the most exciting political conventions in decades.

Granted, this is like saying that Moe was without question one of the
smartest Stooges. The political conventions have been pointless and
boring for years, culminating in 2004, when MSNBC, during its
prime-time coverage of the Republican convention, broadcast 38 straight
minutes of Chris Matthews snoring and drooling into his lap. (This got
by far the highest ratings.)

But this year will be different. This year there is high drama in the
Mile High City as the Democrats gather under their official 2008
convention slogan: ``A Unified Party, United in Unity Together As One,

Already there has been sporadic gunfire between the Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton delegates. Political observers see this as indication
that there is still some underlying tension between the two sides. Yes,
Clinton has been making speeches urging her supporters to work for
Obama; but at the same time she has also been using what one Obama
adviser described as ``a lot of air quotes.''

It's hard to blame Sen. Clinton for being bitter. Here she is, the
smartest human ever, PLUS she spent all those years standing loyally
behind Bill Clinton wearing uncomfortable pantyhose (I mean Hillary
was, not Bill) (although there are rumors), PLUS she went to the
trouble and expense of acquiring a legal residence in New York State so
she could be a senator from there, PLUS she assembled a team of
nuclear-physicist-grade genius political advisors, PLUS she spent years
going around to every dirtbag community in America explaining in detail
her 23-point policy solutions for every single problem facing the
nation including soybean blight. And after all that, she loses the
nomination to a guy who has roughly the same amount of executive
governmental experience as Hannah Montana. Hillary is like: ``Are you

Sen. Clinton is scheduled to address the convention Tuesday night, when
she will either call on her supporters to unite behind Obama, or
attempt to snatch the nomination and escape with it by helicopter to a
secret mountain fortress. ''We are fully confident that Sen. Clinton
will do the right thing,'' stated a Democratic party official, adding,
``but we have a net.''

The Obama-Clinton tension is only one of the dramatic storylines
developing in Denver. Another one is Obama's choice of running mate.
Following days of feverish media speculation over a list of names that
at one point included the late Hubert Humphrey and a probably fictional
congressperson named ''Chet Edwards,'' Obama, in a bold move, went with
the one name guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity
through the spinal cord of American politics: Joe Biden.

This choice not only virtually locks up Delaware's electoral vote
(which it shares with Wyoming) but it also buttresses the Obama team
with one of the Senate's most vocal voices. Sen. Biden is scheduled to
address the convention Wednesday night from 8:48 p.m. until dawn.

But in the end, the focus of this convention will be on Barack Obama,
who on Thursday night will receive the nomination in long-overdue
recognition of a distinguished career of seeking the nomination. His
goal, in his acceptance speech, will be to win over the undecided
voters -- the people who are unsure of what he really stands for, or
who have received emailed rumors that he is a Muslim, or a socialist,
or a vampire, or a lesbian. His goal will be to show, with no
disrespect to the Muslim socialist vampire lesbian community, that he
is a regular person just like you, except he has Vision and Leadership.
After that, he will lay out his specific policies for building a
brighter future. Then he will turn into a bat.

No, he won't, although that would make this the most fun convention
EVER. But it still promises to be interesting. I'll be on hand to
report all the convention-news developments to you from Denver as I
think them up. Then next week I'll head to Minnesota or possibly
Wisconsin and do the same from the Republican convention. Back-to-back
party conventions! It's an exciting time to be a political ``junkie.''

Please, shoot me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 25, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, anybody out there?

Caroline Kennedy now speaking.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 25, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi, watching on PC, good reception, although feed has occasional glitches.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy b-day to all accordingly. GWE--your fishing expedition sounded like so much fun.

Wilbrod--enjoyed the birding observations immensely.

DNC-- very long day for me but, as a first time to declare myself a real democrat, it was great. My grandmother on my father's side would be proud. She was quite the rebel.

It was fun wearing my Obama pin on light rail (our metro). Cops were everywhere and there were some demonstrations on the 16th Street mall--pro/con abortion,,, natch.

Denver was sunny and hot. The atmosphere was kind of quiet in the beginning but picked up after lunch. I was proud to be a part of it. I also found it interesting to see so many boomer women present (self included). And today's young women seem to really let it all hang out...but somehow pull it off professionally.

Katie Couric was in the security line behind me and Senator Dachel (sp?) was in a photo/video session nearby. I would have spoken to him but my son called me right when the senator passed by...about his school loan no less. The senator is much smaller in real life.

I'm supposed to return on Thursday but may pass. Volunteers are overflowing.

Job is still pending...I need yoga.

Posted by: eidrib | August 25, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I took a few Yuenglings with me fishing today,but I only had a few. I prefer wine,but a can of beer fits much better in my little fishing cooler then a bottle of wine.

Omni your more then welcome to join me sometime,I only live a couple of hours from the big city.

Thanks for the laugh Mudge

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 25, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

hi all. Boodling from the boardwalk on my iPhone. Beautiful night. We did catch Obama's sister's speech. Made us all teary.

Omni, there's no plugin for safari. Gotta do the right click thing. (Wasn't that a Spike Lee movie?)

Posted by: TBG | August 25, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Missed Caroline but am watching Sen. Ted Kennedy speaking now.

Posted by: Aloha | August 25, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Happy B-day to all the August baby boodlers.

Am a philistine and and not watching the convention; just burned out on two weeks of Olympic TV. Thanks to all for the summary and commentary.

Eidrib -- good stories and good luck with that job.

Planning to buy a bike soon, BikeTim and YJ. Am visiting CityBikes to do business for the first time every. College Park Bikes/Mt. Airy Bikes aka Bikes123 have been very good to me but I am looking at something that CB is willing to do for me concerning customization. Lovely that we have so many good bike shops around. I hope to have this bike in time to participate in the MegaBPH event. I want to meet Frosti at several places on the Army 10-Miler route for strategic cheering and the handing over of honey-sticks, motivational tracts, rhubarb-barley water, etc. On Sat and Sun, bikes are very easy to take on the Metro. Perhaps other local peeps may want to Bike-to-BPH that day.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 25, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

CP-how very wonderful of you to hatch such a plan! I ran 6 miles this evening, slowly ("slow as mud" is what I believe swimmers call this pace)but effortlessly as I imagined myself running to the BPH. A strange visualization considering the Army 10 Miler is the next day, but whatever gets you through a long run does not need to be questioned.

Great to see Teddy alive, looking good (all things considered), and sounding better. "The dream lives on..." I hope he lives to see a real national health care system-here in the US I mean.

Posted by: frostibitten | August 25, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

But how will they get home?

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Big props for Aloha and Yoki for articulating the reasons "we don't know Obama" is such a crock. If we don't know the dirt by now, that he hasn't already disclosed, it can't be because the rep's weren't trying to find it.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 25, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, do you mean the biking people? We can take bikes on the Metro. We, depending on distance, can also simply bike in the AM, head home, and then return all cleaned up to the BPH afternoon/evening.

The Army 10-miler is in the early morning. For me, I live close enough to the DC to bike down to the race, toodle around following Frosti, and then bike back home. I have biked to cheer on some Marathoners, to good effect. So, I get to support dear brave Frosti AND get my exercise also.

Paging event committee: tell us what is happening as it emerges so we can synch-up these events.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 25, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

g'night boodle. I am going to try to stay awake for Michelle Obama's speech but not sure I'll make it.

Before I go-In off topic news, I have 2 orange tomatoes! Good thing too because we had frost warnings last night and I don't want to get stuck making green tomato jelly or chutney. I'd much rather gorge on the brief bounty of vine ripeness.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 25, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"Barack Obama? I must be dreaming!" Loved it.

Posted by: Jumper | August 25, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

And thanks Joel for the link & lesson on water use required for fraccing gas wells.

Posted by: Jumper | August 25, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Isn't the BPH on Saturday? The run is Sunday morning so I had planned to have the excuse of "carb loading" for over-eating and moderate beer drinking on Sat. evening.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 25, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I got a picture of Senator Daschle when he was on This Week With George Snuffleupagus.

That gives us each one degree of separation to former senators from South Dakota.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 25, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Shame that Evan Bayh didn't get the Veep nomination, because I have a picture of him too.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 25, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the confusion, Frosti. I will wait until the Boodle-Prom-Poms - Chess Club peeps tell us what is happening.

I do plan, however, to be at your race by bike that morning. Let's hope that it does not rain. October is typically our best month weather-wise.

i'll be useful and mash up a map of your race and bike routes this week....and post a link.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 25, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"There are lips in pistol
And mist in times,
Cats in crystal,
And mice in chimes."

Bend, dine, bid, bin, dib, den, neb, nib, die, id.

Posted by: Jumper | August 25, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Re. the earthquake thing - I always read Vedantam's stuff, and I typically find something interesting about his works, but this one didn't, er, *resonate* with me either.

I found Carville's observation on CNN that the DNC isn't utilizing the convention coverage airtime well to get their message across. Gotta say that I see James' point - lotta eyeballs on the first night of the convnention, is this the best use of the airtime?

On the other hand, a backup running back (behind the amazing Landanian Tomlinson) #25 - Sproles, I believe his name is - looked very good in the San Diego offense tonight.

OK, here's Michelle Obama...


Posted by: bc | August 25, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

yeah, bc. Carville was fit to be tied about a 1/2 hour ago. This better be the set up for taking the administration to task.

Posted by: jack | August 25, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

CP, don't forget Proteus Bicycles up the road from College Park Cycles on Rt. 1. They have taken the route of specializing in fitting the people that middle-of-the-male-bell-curve marketing ignores: wimmin and shorter males. I like the atmosphere a lot.

Posted by: BicycleTim | August 25, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking, CP, that some of the BPHers might have, when we say our goodbyes, drink taken. I didn't want them biking home in the dark o' morn along a lonely lane absent all their wits.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama did a fine job delivering her speech.

Not sure if it was the right speech for the convention at this point in time, but she nailed it.

Now I'm off to bed with a glass of port and a good book - g'night, Boodle.


Posted by: bc | August 25, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Mo Modo--it's a small world after all... :-)

Posted by: eidrib | August 25, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

So, to continue the discourse on the reemergence of all but overt racism in American politics, here's the new lexicon of the election:

"America doesn't know who Barack Obama really is" = "He's black. WTF do you want me to say, I don't know any black people."

"We don't really know what Obama's politics are" = He's black. Isn't he all about some affirmative action stuff? I'm sure he's not good for my white lillies.

"He's just not that experienced" = He's black. Do you think that's not enough. Of course we let a Bubba and a Dubya in there because they got the ol' boy network propping them up. But who's going to help Barack? Not my cronies.

"So many Americans are simply not ready to vote for an African American" = He's African and he's black. If you think you're biggoted for not voting for him, don't worry you're not alone.

Posted by: surson | August 25, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Michelle was great, I said to myself, "she would make a good president, too." And it was a pleasure to watch the direct live HDTV feed on my PC without ads or talking heads.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, surson. You spoke good sense earlier, but now you're sounding a little dogmatic. Overly offended. Touchy.

Maybe even bitter.

"But are you bitter?" (old joke to old Canadians).

Come back and argue your point without putting words in other people's mouths. You'll be welcome here. Very welcome indeed!

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

And that is Michelle tragedy, isn't it?

I thought the same of Hillary Rodham in 1992. She would make (would have made)a fine president of the united states of america, but society is not prepared to have a woman taking her place without a male cover.

Posted by: Yoki | August 25, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Here is rural North Florida, surson, my white neighbors say it directly, "He's black." But in the fifteen years I've lived in this redneck, 94% white, community we have elected a black mayor three times, because people really do sometimes vote on the basis of character over color.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

surson, you're right, and yet... if you go for a frontal assault, you just harden people into their attitudes, finding new labels for the same old whine/wine, because nobody likes to be told that he's a fool and a scumbag. You need to find a way to get folks to persuade themselves that voting for him is a positive affirmation of their most deeply cherished values.

Posted by: PlainTim | August 25, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

All but bitter, all but touchy. Like you a simple foreigner amazed by America's complex simplicity. Not sure if the presidential election process is what defines it as the smallest great nation of all time, or the greatest small nation of all time. In any event, I think my somewhat cynical view of the way the language is shaping up is well supported by history of the use of raciallly divisive language in the US.
From old Hickory on, the south has been won by pitting poor whites against even poorer blacks (and back then "redskins"). Right now this is playing out on a national stage. If we don't see this escalating as in issue in the following weeks, I will very gladly apologize.

Posted by: surson | August 25, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Thought Michelle's speech and delivery was great - tears running down my face. I don't think she had political ambitions - it may be Hillary's tragedy, not Michelle's. I thought the speech was just right - she needed to come off as not scary - she shouldn't be attacking McCain, Bush,etc - not directly anyway. I watched on C-SPAN - the networks are just yak, yak,yak. Now I must go turn off Pat Buchanan (he and James Carville need to go somewhere quiet).

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 25, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The tactic of division has changed somewhat, surson. My local county weekly newspaper (there are no local daily newspapers here) has a right-wing Republican slant and features two black syndicated columnists* (with pictures) on its editorial page. The sub-text message is "see, even blacks don't like Obama and democratic politics."

*Both Thomas Sowell and Michell Malkin write for Creators Syndicate.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 25, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

*&%$@&^%$#@ Nodded off in my chair, missed all of Michelle's speech, just now woke up. Judging from reaction here and on MSNBC, she nailed it.

To answer CP and Yoki's question, the MegaBPH is Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. (and later), more details to follow. On Sunday you guys are free to do whatever, althoiugh I 'spect there will be some gathering and mingling, though we have nothing formal planned. Also a "usual" PBH on Friday starting about 5 at McCormick & Schmicks, for the early crowd and whoever's in town and available.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

text here, Mudge.;_ylt=AoCLqYZcEZKI8VjLeUEzNHph24cA

Video to come soon at but I'm sure there are some available elsewhere.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 26, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

thanks again for all the birthday wishes.

loved the dave barry piece.

i don't have a tv, so i'll catch the important dnc bits later.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 26, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC has Michelle Obama's speech video on it's front page. She did great, as did Malia and Sasha.

Posted by: Aloha | August 26, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

It's only marginally related to anything we're discussing here, but I'm always amused when I'm told that "white folks don't understand racism."

Ummm, they [we] seem to know at least a little bit about it!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 26, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Of course, my previous remark is so provincial that I have to chuckle at myself. As Joan would say... "Can we generalize?"
- - -
I'm always amused when aliens accuse xenophobes of being unfamiliar with xenophobia.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 26, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

surson, not every person unwilling to vote for Obama is racist, although some are. Not every person who didn't vote for Clinton was misognyist, although some were; not every person who likes McCain is stupid, although everyone who likes the shrub is.

While some of your points about rhetoric are well-taken, they're not necessarily applicable to all of today's America. As in the financial markets, past performance is not an indicator of the future.

Posted by: dbG | August 26, 2008 4:13 AM | Report abuse


Michelle Malkin is Filipina, not black. She was born in the US to immigrants. And I didn't really believe any newspaper actually published her column. Now I know.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 26, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Man, did Gene Robinson ever nail it big time in his column this morning: . This is what has been driving me nuts about many Dems over the last few months, including my best friend and his wife, who suffer from exactly what Gene is talking about. It's no wonder Repubs don't trust Dems on issues like national security--they think a lot of Dems are wimps and wusses. And the reason they think that is a lot of Dems are wimps and wusses in exactly the way Robinson is talking about.

In its own way, Dana Milbank's Sketch column is equally distressing: , not so much because he's talking about the grudges and feuds, but just because of the general background of all the "new age" psychobabble around the fringes of the party. A lot of the people Milbank is writing about are the same ones Robinson is writing about, though neither side is aware of it.

No time to listen to Michelle's speech this morning; that'll have to wait until I get to work.

OK, gang, let's get 'em moving.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 26, 2008 5:44 AM | Report abuse

mudge, my 8:38 last night was a joke on the second para in the kit

Posted by: omni | August 26, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

CP, what kind of bike customizations are you talking about?

Posted by: omni | August 26, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. I'm up and ready for whatever sorie the dawn patrol is assigned to.

Cassandra, hope you didn't wash away last night. We had nice showers. This is the pleasant part of hurricanes. More rain predicted for today, yay!

I'll go back and read the op-ed pieces. Like mostly (wasn't it mostly?), I go from being optimistic to being scared out of my wits about this election.

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. I, too, Mudge, missed Michelle Obama's speech. Just could not hold the eyes open any longer. When I woke up it was all over. The body needs what it needs. I did not read Robinson this morning, but going back and do that.

Slyness, it is wet here, even with lightening, and I suspect thunder, although I can't hear it.

Scotty, Martooni, where are you guys? Morning to all.*waving*

A lot work to do today, and need to get started. Have a great day, folks. I think it's going to rain here probably all day. My plants are going to drown. Too much water, maybe?

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 26, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Hi Omni -- sort of a road bike/beach bike conformation. Not a huge technical problem, however doing this violates some bike gearhead notions of appropriateness. It is just that the work will be pricey on top of upgraded parts. I get a special deal because when my bike was stolen about a year ago -- off the back of my car when I was idling at a light -- the story made the rounds of the bike world. The bike was about thirty years old and quite a special little bike. (My brothers helped me buy the bike in 1979; they strong armed me but twere a force for good.) I was made a very generous offer about getting a bit whole again. The contact also wrote several letters to my insurance company testifying to the value of the bike who initially offered me $45.

BikeTim -- Proteus is great. Can you believe my great good fortune to live flanked by College Park Cycles, Proteus, AND now Arrow Bikes in Hyattsville? Larry's crew -- they have cared for my bike since 1983 when I moved here for graduate school -- sent me with their blessing. I road a Bianchi Milano from Proteus last week. Very cool lines and a drop bar that would accommodates my skirt when needed. But not nimble enough and pricey for a beach/commuter set-up. And, I keep a bike for a long time, taking good care of it. So, need fabulous fixings. In the bike world, sometimes hard to get simply high quality, long-lasting fittings at a moderate price. You end up paying for some performance aspects. I am not hard on bikes, though I rack up the miles. But may settle on a Specialized Dolce with some handlebar customization that may take some time and care, as in try it, ride it, as to have it fixed. My rib injury has complicated the process. Jack, are you better, dude? BE HEALED!

Posted by: College Parkian | August 26, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse


We're swimming, getting lots of rain, and it is all good. No complaint here.


I went back and read Robinson, and he is right on target. We don't need to hear the whiners. The race for the President is not going to be easy, but it can be done. We can win, but we have to work. And a positive attitude is the way to go. Even this(moi) pessimist(?)knows that.

Where are the folks that are suppose to have their ear to the ground. Don't you hear the thumping. It's bad out here. In every way. People are tired. They want better. They want to sleep at night without worrying so much about food, gas, their houses going the way of foreclosure. They want their old United States back. The country that look every hurdle in the eye and stepped forward, not backwards. The country that embraced and loved diversity. The country that created what the world needed and loved. The country that led the world in every aspect of living, and doing it well. The country that didn't shrink from change, that embraced the concept, and ran with it, being a powerful leader. The United States of America. Change, we can believe in.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 26, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodlers.
Yesterday was too busy to keep up with the Boodle.

This morning spotted the Evil One. He will be going to Georgia to visit his gangster protege. Then he will stirr more trouble. The Arbusto admin is creating a three ring disaster. Biden, with all his foreign affairs experience doesn't seem to be much better than McCain--scary stuff.

Posted by: Brag | August 26, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks CP. I'm more of a 'is it the right height' kind of bike guy

I have two bikes:

A Specialized Crossroads that needs a tune-up

And an antique German 3-speed girls bike believe it or not.

I ride the Crossroads and hide the Pegasus

Posted by: omni | August 26, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I had no ability to sleep last night, so finished up a project using wire closet shelving and a bit of scavenged material to create vertical storage for framed prints. I have more than will fit the walls at any one time. I was surprised that a couple were still in plastic bags from the 2004 hurricane season.

The newspaper in New York has a great story on citrus "greening", which is threatening the industry. As if flooding in the grapefruit groves weren't a serious problem right now.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 26, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

*quick-like-a-bunny-due-to-lots-of-bothersome-work-dangitall Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 26, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Howdy, all.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 26, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Omni -- would love to see the Pegasus bike. Would you ride it to be Frosti's team support?

Posted by: College Parkian | August 26, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

CP, that sounds like a great idea. Though it has been in hiding so long the tires maybe shot for standing without air.

I await the map...

And although it is ancient, I may have exaggerated it antique-iness ( I suspect it's vintage is 70s but more likely to be 80s)

and speaking of 80s, a blast from the past for all the Birthday Boodlers:

I know I've posted a link to that song before, but I'm just taken by Clare Grogan's ability to smile and look so happy while singing.

I also learned today that Altered Images got their Big Break by sending a demo tape to Siouxsie and the Banshees
Man do I love Siouxsie

Posted by: omni | August 26, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle and toodles. Wow that was a lot to catch up on for someone who overslept by an hour. An hour! I'll never get to St. Paul by dark at this rate.

Thanks for the Robinson link Mudge, I don't always read him and he was spot on this morning.

Heard a snippet of McCain's performance on Leno last night. I think he's caught Rudy's Disease, but for him it manifests as "noun, verb, POW." I hate to see McCain get a pass on how he ended his first marriage. Post POW hijinks, my patootie. I've seen the 40ish military officer mid-life crisis play out so many times. McCain is just a slimy cliche with an interesting back story.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 26, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

All the fringies hanging out in Denver are a side-effect of a culture on inclusion. Unfortunately, it certainly can create the illusion that the Democratic party is no place for serious thinking.

Of course, just wait until you see some of the groups that show up when the Republicans host their big show.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 26, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. I did watch last night on PBS, where the talking heads didn't talk until the actual speakers were finished doing their own talking. I thought Michelle Obama was fabulous and the girls were adorable. They seemed, for their ages (especially the younger one), very poised. Very cute. And they, after all, are the future. Hard to compete with that.

Almost time for a conference call, so I gotta bug out.


One more thing -- Mudge, is the Mega BPH still on October 4th at a place still to be determined?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 26, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

CP, I have a 30+ year old metalflake blue Schwinn Stingray that I'm going to restore one of these days...

It even has the old original slick tire on the back.


Posted by: bc | August 26, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse



The International Mega Boodle Porching Hour (IMBPH) will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2008, at Buffalo Billiards at 1330 19th Street in NW Washington, DC.

We'll be in the Victorian Room from 5-8 p.m. (at least that's the formal part of the event), with food and drink service available.

More news to follow, including a regular BPH on Friday evening at the normal BPH location (McCormack & Schmicks, 1652 K Street downtown, a few blocks from the Mega BPH location, and the Washington Post's main offices), guests (if any actually accept our invitations), other activities (if anyone isn't too full of food and drink), and clothing options (bc is considering the 'all leather, but as little as possible' option).

Lurkers are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Yr Hmbl Int’l Mega BPH Planning Committee

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Rain here, blessed rain; slow and steady just like we need. The cable internet guy is here, so of course it refuses to perform its intermittant failure for him. This is the third time a serviceman has been here. It went out for at least 5 hrs yesterday. But I can boodle now while luck will have it. A great one-man contest to see how long I can boodle. A great boodle-off.

Check out the new looming hurricane-in-waiting at

I will read Mudge's links momentarily. Penn Gillette, the normal blowhard, had me laughing at his mockery of the Dem claims to be having the "greenest convention ever." He suggested that 19th century conventions, pre-industrial era, may have actually been substantially "greener."

However, in a contest to see if the Dem wack jobs are worse than the rep wack jobs, a contest I would call "the big.." well, never mind. In any case the dem lunatic fringe is less toxic by an order of magnitude than the reps.

Posted by: Jumper | August 26, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: dbG | August 26, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd | August 26, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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