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A Political Browser

Huge news -- a major personal career breakthrough -- I got tapped to contribute to this new "Political Browser" thing on dot.com. Scroll down for a list of what I was reading last night on the iconic porch.

Here's my list:

1. NY Observer: Sharp insight on the Temperament Issue, accelerated to Warp 8 by the brilliant Drew Friedman illustration of Obama/Spock and McCain/Kirk.

2. Obama infomercial: Super-fab, soon-to-depart HuffPo media critic Rachel Sklar eyeballs Obama's infomercial - why can't we hire her here???

3. Greenberg memo: Via Memeorandum, a strangely compelling memo from Dem pollster Stan Greenberg.

4. Shafer on liberals: Crackling with attitude as always, media critic/raging Libertarian Jack Shafer says conservative opinionators should do more journalistic grunt work like the liberals.

5. Montana: Sometimes on my blog I post photos but remind me someday to ask Michael Williamson how to take a picture. [See also the article/poetry by Wil Haygood.]

--

Here's an AP story on the mortgage crisis, with Vegas prominently mentioned. This tracks what I reported: Many places are much worse off than others. That makes a one-size-fits-all solution by the government problematic.

--

Frank Wilczek, the Nobel Laureate in physics and author of "The Lightness of Being," was in D.C. on Wednesday night and gave a fascinating talk for hapless non-scientists like me at Reiter's bookstore. I'm now chewing on this Nobel Prize lecture.

--

This came over the transom this morning from Richard Glover, a hilarious piece on Spring in Sydney:

Outside, cockroaches the size of small dogs are lurking around the barbecue, hoping for a dropped sausage. The larger ones bring a couple of slices of bread and their own bottle of tomato sauce. The magpies are the size of small fighter jets. The mosquitoes sit behind a screen of bushes, checking their watches, rolling their large eyes, as they remark on how long it is to dusk. "Frankly, I'm starving," says one, staring at a juicy section of your thigh. "Just wait until five," says his companion. "You don't want to start drinking at lunchtime."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 31, 2008; 8:25 AM ET
 
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Comments

Booooo
Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 31, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Great news, Joel. I will be sure to check out that "Political Browser" thingie.

Those Michael Williamson pictures are spectacular. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the first words of advice he might give you are to sell your car and use the proceeds to buy a better camera.

That is a great list of articles, and that Spock/Kirk pic is a keeper. (Although I wonder if the alien women would be as fond of McCain as they were of Shatner.)

Thanks also for alerting me to Memeorandum. It is a great place to browse if you want some insight into the political blogosphere. The way the conservative bloggers all pick up and reflect the same stories seems a classic example of the "echo effect."

And speaking of great writing, I hope more people check out thelunaticexpress. Hoffman's writing is crossing the boundary from prose to pure poetry.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 31, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

hey slyness, jack, cassandra... I guess you've seen these ads from your Senate campaign...

Excellent Kay Hagan response...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k76tRXq0ZC0

... to this awful Dole ad...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lf2vDk-4Ag

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, TBG, the Dole ad is over the top. Frustration and desperation, I suppose. I just got a robocall from the Chamber of Commerce commending Dole for her stance on healthcare for elders in the state. Really?

Hagan has filed suit to stop the Dole ad. I don't blame her.

Can you guess who I voted for?

Posted by: slyness | October 31, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, TBG, the Dole ad is over the top. Frustration and desperation, I suppose. I just got a robocall from the Chamber of Commerce commending Dole for her stance on healthcare for elders in the state. Really?

Hagan has filed suit to stop the Dole ad. I don't blame her.

Can you guess who I voted for?

Posted by: slyness | October 31, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised Lawrence Eagleburger's comments on Palin's unreadiness haven't gotten more press.

In any case, I now expect him to be thrown under the wheels of the bus--looks like Fiorina was and her statements were pretty much equivalent.

I am now taking the rest of the day off from politics. No fivethirtyeight, no Huffpo, politico, dailybeast, pollster, galluppoll. Yeah, I don't believe it either.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 31, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Great pictures from Williamson and hilarious article from Glover; made my day, thanks.
That and the fact that three kids asked to be excused from class Monday to help get out the vote in other states.
And that no scientists I know of are pulling any punches in their description of Ms. Palin. PZ Myers' rant is popular in the ether:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/10/sarah_palin_ignorant_and_antis.php

The comments are similarly harsh, but some are sillyfunny :-)

Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | October 24, 2008 11:19 PM
Fruit flies. IOW, gay flies - queer faggosexual flies!
And in France of all ungodly places.
Yet so-called scientists defend this perverted use of Americans'! Taxpayer!! Dollars!!!
Won't somebody please think of the children?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 31, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh no... slyness... you didn't vote for the Godless American, did you?

:-)

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Great pictures from Williamson and hilarious article from Glover; made my day, thanks.
That and the fact that three kids asked to be excused from class Monday to help get out the vote in other states.
And that no scientists I know of are pulling any punches in their description of Ms. Palin. PZ Myers' rant is popular in the ether:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/10/sarah_palin_ignorant_and_antis.php

The comments are similarly harsh, but some are sillyfunny :-)

Posted by: Pierce R. Butler | October 24, 2008 11:19 PM
Fruit flies. IOW, gay flies - queer faggosexual flies!
And in France of all ungodly places.
Yet so-called scientists defend this perverted use of Americans'! Taxpayer!! Dollars!!!
Won't somebody please think of the children?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 31, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl... glad you're excusing kids from class. We're hosting a couple of Columbia U law students arriving late tonight and staying through the election.

Kim.... do you have your Obamateers yet?

Son of G's new employer emailed the entire staff and told them to take as much time as they need on election day.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What IS it with the blog software? I clicked submit and it took FOREVER and then posted twice.

Yeah, TBG, I did. Never been impressed with Ms. Dole.

Posted by: slyness | October 31, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I bet slyness voted for Pat Paulsen... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 31, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Slyness I have been hitting submit and then refresh and it usually only shows up once....although I probably won't work this time.

I sent my nephew(in the AFA) and email this morning,about when he was a little boy around halloween.Everytime he would see one of those orange bags filled with leaves he would say"Pumpkin Bag Pumpkin Bag" I told him he has to pass that along to his entire squad or do 100 pushups,he opted for the pushups.

So is everyone dresed up for work? I think it would be really neat to have a custome BPH sometime in the future!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 31, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to replug my Yellojkt Voter's Guide at the top of a boodle that may or may not get a front page alert:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2008/10/foma-central-election-special.html

Every statement I make in the post has been personally verified to be on the internet.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. I have the headache of all headaches, but that small piece by Glover in the kit had me laughing so hard I nearly fell out the chair. I mean the room started spinning. That is one funny piece, JA. Can we get the whole thingie? Who is this guy? He sounds like he might be funnier than Richard Pryor.

Slyness, my dad told me about the ad that Dole ran, but I haven't seen it on television. I don't really want to either. And no, I did not vote for Dole either. She's had more jobs than Carter has liver pills, and has never been good at any of them. Does she even live in North Carolina?

It's still cold here. Very cold, and no, I don't have the heat on yet. Just wrapped up. I was tempted this morning to turn it on.

Mudge, Martooni, Scotty, and everyone, good, good, morning.*waving*

My neighbor, when I used to live in the mobile home, has passed. I went to visit her during the summer, and she was sick then. She had lost her leg. Her son lived with her, but he is disable. I don't know what is going to happen to him. He has two sisters. I hope they will care for him, and not put him in a home.

A young man up the street from me has returned from Iraq, and he came last night with his favorite fixings. He wants me to cook for him before he returns to Iraq. He's not a soldier, but a fireman working over there. I was so happy to see him. He hugged me, and put the bag in my hand. I'm going to get busy with that. I don't feel like it, but I didn't have the heart to say no.

Have a great day, folks. Enjoy your Halloween, and give lots of candy. The sun is bright and feels good, just the air is cold. I'm going to get dress and take in some of those rays.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 31, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, here in North Carolina the filth is flying. The depths these people sink to simply fuels my resolve, and they really don't know what they are in for. I am ready to devote the rest of my life to the absolute destruction of the Republican Party. I will be a Terminator; the fly in their ointment, the monkey in the wrench. May the Creator have mercy on their sick, shriveled souls. I won't.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 31, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Liddy Dole's ad really disappointed me. I thought she was classier than that.

And reason to stay away from the Chuckie K column today: He says that since neither Obama or McCain have any clue about the economy, you might as well stick with the angry warmongering geezer since he's less conservative than he acts. Oh, and Obama is a liberal.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Jumper

Wow, you sound determined, and ready.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 31, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

With the hope that you'll understand it was intended with tongue firmly in cheek, and love in my heart, I'll re-post here a comment that I left on "The Fix" blog:

- - - -

All of you (black, white, boy, girl, liberal or conservative) ought to try hitting the "submit" button just once. Not twice, not thrice, not every time you're so impatient to see your own fascinating words that you're afraid that you're going to pee all over yourselves.

Just once.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 31, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

With the hope that you'll understand it was intended with tongue firmly in cheek, and love in my heart, I'll re-post here a comment that I left on "The Fix" blog:

- - - -

All of you (black, white, boy, girl, liberal or conservative) ought to try hitting the "submit" button just once. Not twice, not thrice, not every time you're so impatient to see your own fascinating words that you're afraid that you're going to pee all over yourselves.

Just once.

Posted by: bobsewell | October 31, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

BobS,

Don't blame the victim.

I never hit "submit" more than once and have double posted. I've also had a few comments get eaten. At least one that I'm glad it did.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 31, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh really Bob......D'oh

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 31, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

*snort*

My tiny perfect boss just gave me the day off (may have been because I sent him a big, big rush job for him between 4:00 and 12:00 last night and when he called to leave me a message at 6:30 I was already at my desk :) so I'm off to enjoy an unexpected treat. Shopping, coffee with #2, pick up something delicious for dinner.

Have a happy halloween, Boodle buddies.

Cassandra, you are doing that young man a world of good by cooking for him. Such a kind woman.

Posted by: Yoki | October 31, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

yelljct voter's guide? Is that the same ylljct that voted for Bush? I'll pass, thank you.

Posted by: davemarks | October 31, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, again, all.

Hi Cassandra! It's very nice of you to consider the young man's request, even though you're not feeling up to it. I'm sure he'll appreciate it, and who knows the last time he had a good home cooked meal? Or when he'll have the next one...?

The Kirk/Spock metaphor doesn't work for me. It's true that McCain seems emotional while Obama logical, but the Kirk/Spock story is compelling because of the interpersonal dynamics of their working together and their friendship despite their differences.

Somehow, I don't Obama or McCain bringing the other into their Cabinets.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

If yellojkt voted for Bush last time, that makes his analysis all the more interesting for me this go around. We all have the capacity to learn.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It's true, so true. There's really no certain prophylactic for this disease, is there? I suppose my hubris made it certain that it would happen to me on that particular comment!

:-D

Posted by: bobsewell | October 31, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It's true, so true. There's really no certain prophylactic for this disease, is there? I suppose my hubris made it certain that it would happen to me on that particular comment! I am duly chastened.

:-D

Posted by: bobsewell | October 31, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the irony, Bob.

Read the Shafer and Greenburg pieces. Didn't much care for Shafer (never did, actually). The Greenburg was OK.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 31, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I seem to have luck this way (I'm sure this time it'll be different)...

When I click submit, the screen I see next says something like "Safari can't open the page."

I hit the Back button (not Refresh) and see my post has posted.

The next time I click the Sign In link, my old post is in the box. I just delete and blather away.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Bob - that your own post showed up twice is indication that darker forces are at work.

Again, the very awkward (and not foolproof) workaround is as follows:

1) Hit submit.
2) Wait a second or two
3) Kill your browser
4) Wait a minute and restart the browser
5) Further wait for up to several minutes to see if your post shows up.

Posted by: benfnov | October 31, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

And sign in properly first...hint hint.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 31, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Chastened and laughing, Bob S?

McCain's no Kiiiirrrrrk. As all trekkies who saw the franchise to its bitter end know, there is at least one alien that's nearly the spit and image of him--

Shran, the Andorian (a violent, warlike, and very blue-faced race.)

And they've warred with the Vulcans, and formed peace and an uneasy coalition as part of the United Federation of Planets.

Shran was irresistably nicknamed "Shran McCain" on Televisionwithoutpity.com

And Andorian marriages require four people, and remarriages seem common, unlike with Vulcans who are monogamous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shran

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Thy%27lek_Shran

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 31, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Tricky Bob S spice
twice as nice as sugar treats
and two root canals

Posted by: Achaiku | October 31, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

About the comments malfunctions:

Honestly they are doing their best to fix this. It's frustrating, but all the powers that be understand what's going on. I appreciate your continued patience.

Posted by: JoelAchenbach | October 31, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm tellin' ya, somebody went and fused the dilithium crystals.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 31, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all and happy Halloween. Very nice, Joel. Perhaps after the election is over you can invite all these politico-types to join a "Science Browser" thing. Or "humor browser". Ah, the versatility.

We never have trick-or-treaters. Usually the Boy is deliriously happy to go out to somewhere with actual houses and ask for candy, but this year we'll be headed to a fencing tournament. Thanks to dschalton for the pumpkin-carving party idea. I think as the Boy gets older I may institute one of those as an addition to or substitution for trick or treat trips. I really like carving pumpkins.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 31, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I only they had someone at WaPo.com who, say... moderated the comments or something. Hmmm....

:-)


Posted by: -TBG- | October 31, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Your hired tbg, I think you would make a wonderful blog commentor moderater....geesh try saying that 3 times fast....or maybe twice would be appropiate for today!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 31, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate to do this while some of you are eating lunch, but if you wanna read a truly sick, sick, disgusting piece of filth, read this latest James Dobson "letter from 2012" about Obama's first four years in office. http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2008/10/dobsons_obama_scare_tactics.html

This guy has been blathering long enough: it's time serious and reasonable clergy learned how to grow some balls and stand up to this guy and denounce him for the a$$hat he is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | October 31, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd2 | October 31, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, while we're in our Journey Through the Jeffires Tube to the .com Warp Core, I'm going to put up a sign:

'Warning: Dilithium Crystals are not rock candy. Do not eat.'

Oh, they're fused all right. The recovery efforts are getting to be a real pain in the a$$. Forunately, not mine.

Mudge, get those out of you mouth!

That portable parts washer was a great last minute idea. And I'm glad we brought extra solvent, too.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | October 31, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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