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Free Rod Blagojevich

Some call it extortion, but I see the governor of Illinois showing a healthy respect for tradition. Rod Blagojevich is the keeper of the flame of Chicago politics, which just happens to emanate from a burn bag.

This is a place in which, historically, all voters are created equal, even those who are technically deceased. In Chicago, if you're not under indictment, being wiretapped, or already in prison, then you're not really trying.

They call him Hot Rod and it seems he wasn't afraid, like some of our modern-day meritocrats, to play the game the way it was meant to be played -- brass knuckles, pistols at dawn, a little keel-hauling here and there. Some people have "staffers," but the real men of Chicago have what are known as "heavies." This is old school. This is the kind of thing that makes the Soprano family look like characters out of Dennis the Menace. I'm just saying I admire anyone who leaves it all out there on the field, including his soul.

As always, we see a sudden eruption of sanctimony from people who say it is -- and here I'm making air quotes with my fingers -- "wrong" to sell favors to the highest bidder and turn the governorship into a vast criminal enterprise whose sole purpose is personal enrichment. Gosh, it must be nice to live in a dreamworld like that.

This man saw that he had vast power, and he merely decided to monetize it. You call it corruption, I call it a business model. The Obama people seemed to think that the governor would appoint Valerie Jarrett to the Senate for free. Wha??? Hello, people. This is politics, which is for Mature Audiences Only. Can I see some ID? We're all trying to get by in this era of economic hardship. We've all got mouths to feed, even those of us who only have goldfish, or only our own, personal, individual mouth, the feeding of which is hampered by the existing bolus of Doritos filling the aperture.

Note that the governor did not merely think of enriching himself; he thought of enriching his wife, too. Where's the alleged selfishness in that? The more I type, the more I wonder what exactly he did wrong. Help me here. And how about a little lettuce in the hat on the way out.


Via fishbowldc, here's a great list of boneheaded predictions from Foreign Policy. Here's my favorite:

"Peter writes: 'Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there?' No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out. ... Bear Stearns is not in trouble. I mean, if anything they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear! That's just being silly! Don't be silly!" --Jim Cramer, responding to a viewer's e-mail on CNBC's Mad Money, March 11, 2008 [Bear Stearns collapsed 6 days later.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 10, 2008; 9:17 AM ET
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"You call it corruption, I call it a business model."

And they give Weingarten the Pulitzer. For shame.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 10, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Very funny Joel! There have been times when I wish that someone would offer me kickbacks or some other kinds of inducements in return for favors arising from my position in the government. Not saying I would do this, I hasten to add. But gosh, it would be nice to be asked.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

We need to honor the hero that perfected "honest graft", George Washington Plunkitt.

If only American icons like him were still around.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

He shoulda gone the Palin Way and put it up for bid on eBay. ;-)

Back to the workshop... so much to do, so little of me...

Peace out...

(oh... and "Happy Hump Day" everybody)

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

But Joel. How on earth could you be expected to understand such things? You come from Florida.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"But gosh, it would be nice to be asked."

That's what I always said about being offered "anything" in exchange for a good grade in physics. Except I was a TA and could tweak a grade by only so much, even were I so inclined. Plus, it was a school not especially known for its visual enticements (not that the student body is hideous, or any such thing -- it's just that visual beauty was not a particular selection criterion for the undergrad body. As it were).

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

'xactly right Science Tim. I feller likes to be reminded every now and again that his ethics are worthy of corruption. I mean, we're only human.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Corruption has always been an odd thing to me. I'm not surprised when people are venal, but I am constantly stunned at how low their price is. It seems to me that everyone has a threshold at which, once it is overstepped, the temptation to betray must be strong. And yet, that threshold is often laughably low.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Thats a great insight Yoki. I guess I would suggest that many people susceptible to corruption tend to have low self esteem to begin with. That is, it might not be the material reward that is important, but rather the sense of power and importance that comes from knowing that you are worthy of being bribed.

This is sometimes what motivates treason as well. It usually isn't about the money, but rather the ego stroking that comes from knowing that an individual has something of value to sell.

Really, that's what I was joking about before. The sadness that comes from being so unimportant that nobody would consider corrupting me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Either your scruples or your standards are way too high. In the scheme of things, what does an extra 10 points on a homework assignment even mean? At least you would have had a tale to write a men's magazine about.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, I wouldn't be so sure of that.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we need to call Elliott Ness

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

A woman dies in Vietnam and a total stranger to her sits on her sofa in Fairfax, Va, and cries about it. Is this Boodle a wonderful place or what?

Perhaps someone will find something worth corrupting me at my new job, RD. I'll tell you now that my price for a 3-mile commute was very low. Anyone who lives in the DC area knows that can be worth a lot of money.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not surprised when people are venal, but I am constantly stunned at how low their price is." I concur, Yoki; I'm never surprised at venality, either (having cut my teeth as a cub reporter on politics in Philadelphia's City Hall). What surprises me is almost always how stupid and careless the perps are: how they let themselves be taped or wiretapped or filmed, about how they make their pitch so obvious, etc. In a way it's like the old saying that police aren't really smart; it's just that most criminals are so stpuid. And it's true.

As for me, I'm still waiting for someone to offer me a bribe if I omit the serial comma. I suspect I'm gonna have a long wait.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think we're missing the message of hope in this. I never believed that our leaders weren't corrupt, I just believed their price was out of my league. Now I know I don't have to hire a K St. firm, I can just shove grubby used notes into an envelope and finally start getting my way.

Posted by: crunchyfrog | December 10, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC: not only are criminals stpuid, they often can't tpye.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A prosecutor friend of a friend tells a story of listening to a tape of mob guys going on about how unrealistic the movie "Donnie Brasco" was, since they'd never let themselves be taped like that.

Posted by: -bia- | December 10, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Joel has the right idea here, I think. The main problem with corruption as a business model on the gummint level these days is that it is increasingly less successful. Sure, you might pick up a freezer of cash or a house full of furniture, but alas, this is no longer accepted as a perk of public service. Eventually someone talks and there you are explaining to a jury that it's not your chair, or you were just funnin' because you meant to take that Senate seat for yourself all along.

I like both Yoki's insight about the low price for venality, and crunchyfrog's recognition of the silver lining therein. And I sympathize with RD. I too have spent most of my career in gummint service and nobody has ever felt I was important enough to even hint at a bribe. They were right, too.

Yello, thank you for posting the link (in the last Boodle, go to to your tribute to your sister-in-law.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 10, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns sixty today

Posted by: omnigood | December 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

And she's still a total babe, omni.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Flailing to backBoodle, and failing miserably. [Try saying that 10 times fast, Mr. Fox-in-Sox, sir.].

Wasn't it Simon Cameron who said that "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

Ah, the Internet Age - we can see the text of the complaint and the transcripts of conversations so quickly that Blagojevich's hair will blow around in the infosonic boom of air inrushing and imploding where his political career used to be. Suddenly - poof! Gone.

And we forgot about Ted Stevens pretty quickly there, didn't we?

Speaking of memories (from the previous Kit), I remember keeping certain liquids quite cool under raised computer room flooring. Good on ya, RD.

And any and all of you are welcome to the party, just tell the Computer Room operator you're with me. We cleared some space out behind the tape racks and the Big Number Cruncher, turned off the main lighting and just have the emergency lights on, set up a table (I remembered a tablecloth), and brought some hot plates and power strips to keep the food warm (sorry, no open flames back there - candles or sterno).


Posted by: -bc- | December 10, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Does the boodle agree that Rod is wearing a substantial hairpiece? I'm sorry, this is so trivial... but really, it just begs the question.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 10, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

When I TA'ed I quickly realized if I *were* going to change a grade, influence would be far subtler (undetectable) than brute force--changing the grades on a program or two would have impacted the final grade enough. Yello's right.

Not that I did it, but I thought about it in 1 case.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart joked last night that "Hot Rod" had nothing to hide except whatever is written on his forehead.

Laughed out loud and squirted my milk out my nose.

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 10, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to make you cry, TBG. Now you're making me.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

As bia notes, the other think I find so stunning about this, and much other corruption, is the sheer breadth of arrogance surrounding it. Blagojevitch surely knew his administration was under investigation and had been for - what? five years? - a long time. Shoot, I knew it and I just read the newspapers. Granted, up to now the investigation has focused on items of state interest, so the rest of the country hasn't paid attention. Here he was faced with a gubernatorial duty of national interest, which would be closely watched. How invincible must he have felt, to offer the Senate post for sale, under what he should have known was heightened scrutiny?

But then, Elliot Spitzer had reason to know that law enforcement paid close attention to just the kind of financial transactions he used in paying that young woman. And Gary Hart dared journalists to follow him before cavorting on that yacht. For that matter, OJ must have known he was on every officer's watch list when he got involved in the robbery plans. The list of people who should have known better but felt they could get away with it is long.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 10, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Some kibble in mouth
To share with fine editors who
...skip serial commas?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Begin and Sadat share a Nobel Peace Prize awarded thirty years ago today.

Still no peace in the Middle East...sigh

Posted by: omnigood | December 10, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

LOL. I'd be happy sit down with you and break kibble any time, Wilbrodog.

Don't know if anyone's seen it yet, but there's a really excellent (and actually pretty informative) piece in Newsweek (its cover story, actually), on why the Bible and religion in general ought to support gay marriage instead of oppose it. It's here at (And it ought to spark a couple hundred thousand heated arguments, which troublemakers like me are always happy to see.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

mr. joel: "lettuce in the hat"? that's a new one for me, but i like it a lot. always something to be learned at the achenblog.

and that bloyovich guy has the worst haircut seen this year ceptin gene keady (former head b-ball coach at purdue). i am sure the governor will be able to get a haircut at marion.

Posted by: butlerguy | December 10, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

With a name like Curmudgeon, troublemaking must come naturally.

Regarding Rod's hair... yes, it's a tacky-do, but my town (Youngstown) still holds the title of "Worst Hair on The Hill" -- ex-representative Jim Traficant. The scariest thing about Jim's "hair" is that his wife is a beautician and she let him out of the house with that faux wild squirrel on his head.


Back to sawdust land...

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

whoa, Martooni, that is quite the bad hair... scary...

Posted by: MissToronto | December 10, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, MissToronto, quite bad.

But he *was* a good Congressman. Got dozens of millions for our fair city for building projects, including a new federal courthouse (oh, the irony), a new federal government office building, a new state government office building, and a new 6,000-seat indoor sports arena slash convention center slash concert venue.

And they sent him to jail for some improperly funded home improvements.

Not that our current reps aren't doing a good job, but Jim knew how to bring home the bacon.

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Imaginary lunch? dbG? TBG, 'mudge, Ivansmom, Cassandra, CP, gwe, RD, Wilbrod, butlerguy, DonfromI-something, anybody?

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm here Yoki! Just babysitting the machines and eating some wonderful pumpkin crunch cake.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Bringing home the bacon" was always what Sen. Stevens of Alaska was good at, like Trafficante.

As a nation we are extremely hypocritical over this "bring home the bacon" concept. It is almost universally thought to be a good thing by the voters in any given district; they *want* their Rep. or Sen. to bring home as much as they can. It is only everybody else's rep they want to to NOT bring home their bacon elsewhere.

This was at the heart of McCain's campaign and his objection to earmarks. Every other senator was earmarking like crazy on behalf of his or her own district -- except McCain (more or less, but let's not clutter this up too much). So the question remains, who is a "good" senator or congressman, the one who brings home the bacon, or the one who prissily refuses to do so, thereby shorting his own district and his own people?

Well, in a way we already know the answer to that. I want MY district to get the bacon, but I don't want YOUR district to get any, you wastrel spendthrifts, you.

Pure and simple hypocrisy, and on a grand scale. (And of course it is just a subset of an even bigger-scale hypocrisy, which is we all want the budget to be slashed to the bone and taxes lowered--but we don't want to lose any programs, and in fact we want to add a few. Madness, madness, madness.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Save some appetite for imaginary lunch, RD. Though that does sound delicious.

I've got a dilled chicken casserole warming up, and several bottles of cold Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge. Everybody should head on over at your convenience.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, absolutely, Yoki! Where shall we have it? By the lake? At the beach?

After my dinner at Fogo de Chao the other night, I've just got to bring a big slab of that smoked salmon they had. And that bowl of crumbled parmesan reggiano.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It had better be a big chunk, because I am not to be held responsible for my actions around smoked salmon. I've got lemon and capers and shallots, so we're good to go on that front.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Well said Mudge. And besides, earmarks are a but a tiny fraction of government spending.

Yoki - Sounds good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

In Italian families, graft is a time-honored tradition. When we're little, playing make-believe, and they see us offering $10 in monopoly money for hush-money, they stop us, call us a baccala, tell us to start by offering $5. We learn about graft to see an opportunity for it, how to get more (or pay less), so that when we're adults, we know how to turn a nice little mom-and-pop shop into a multi-million dollar international corporation.

We get tripped up because we're too diligent. There's the blue ledgers you show the IRS, and the green ones where you record everything. (Two things we can't seem to remember...don't put anything in writing you don't want to see on the front page of the WaPo, and color-blindness runs in families.)

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Capers! I love capers. There, um, caperlicious!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: They're The pumpkin is clouding my mind.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I love capers too. What could be better than something pickled that has a lemony goodness to it?

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know pumpkin had psychotropic effects. Interesting... Maybe that's why teenagers love Halloween so much.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Capers are one of the two secret ingredients in my killer string bean dish (the other is white zinfindel).

Love capers on lox and bagels/w cream cheese (lox being the Jewish variant of smoked salmon, in which the salmon is brined rather than smoked).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Imaginary lunch? Great! I'll bring the bacon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 10, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

While I was in DC I had some extremely well-prepared carpaccio that had fried capers on it. Wonderful!

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

LiT's right.

In the Families, we learn that everything is Relative - one cousin's crime is another's business transcation - and tha everything is negotiable - graft *and* sentencing.

Blago's clearly not from the Families.

I wonder if we'll see that hair at a Carpet Shop During a Grand and Final Closeout and Going Out of Business Sale to pay for legal fees. And if we do, we'll know it's *not* magic. Or lucky, like a rabbit's foot.


Posted by: -bc- | December 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Well i could bring the green beans folks.

Off to work *sigh*

Everyone have a Great day!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Green beans from your garden, gwe? Then all would be forgiven.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I am in a foul mood over this Illinois cretin. I am ready and eager for something truly ugly and very public to happen to his corpse.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 10, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I have capers around all the time for this and that.

My kids are constantly amused my the many and varied uses I've discovered for them.

Some of them for food.

Speaking of Pumpkin, Faryab in Bethesda (omni's city of employment, bordering Wash DC in the NW) has some terrifc Kadu, if you like Middle Eastern cusine (and I pretty much like *all* cusine).

I hadn't considered the psychotropic effects in considering my affection for it, but that might explain a few things.


Posted by: -bc- | December 10, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

LiT... your graft comment made me spew coffee -- and it was *Irish* coffee, so you owe me a shot, too.

Talk of Families has me waxing nostalgic about my youth. This region was a kind of Grand Central Station back in the day -- smack dab in the middle of Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City. All the goods headed anywhere went through here and the Families all got their cut off the top.

I wasn't around for the heyday, but the Business was still going strong around here when I was a kid. And still is, I expect, just not as visible.

Of course, there was a lot of bad guano that went with it. Exploding cars outnumbered fenderbenders. Lots of people went "fishing" whether they wanted to or not. In fact, my home town, New Castle, was called the "Best Place to Murder Someone" because convictions were as rare as unicorns.

I kinda miss the cheap goods that "fell off the train", but I think I prefer things nice and quiet and peaceful.

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Mr. Mudge... you're positive.

I think it'll be a boy. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, martooni...tho' a bit embarrassing at my age.

Actually a couple of Boodlers are having access problems and it seems the Achenblog and some other blogs appear to be down for some people.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

*wrapping up the smoked salmon and other lunch comestibles and putting them in the cooler until Yoki, bc, and slyness, among others, can retun to the picnic*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Am I too late for lunch? I'll bring the bread and a couple of bottles of spiced German wine.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear. I don't want anyone left out.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Memo to food writers, as well as to copy editors who write headlines for food articles: stop using the &^$# word "decadent," fa cryin' out loud. Enuf! If the damned recipe calls for more than a tablespoon of butter some moron will call it "decadent." Jeez. (See front page hed about holiday cookies.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

People do stupid things for small amounts of money. A former boss had to resign a $75000/year job, about 12-13 years ago, over his creative travel expenses claims. He was barely qualified for that job, it is very unlikely he ever found something as good as this. But he couldn't resist the low hanging fruit and got caught in a regular audit. Bye Bye.

I don't know the Blagster personally but I know a couple of Serbs with the full head of dark hair that don't seem to turn grey or white until the guy (or gal) turns 60. Think about the Serbian doctor in ER, he was the main stud muffin for quite a few seasons.

So Blago-something may well have plastic hair, but the real stuff is a strong possibility. I assume he is Serb from his name, of course, I don't know him.

I can't say I was offered graft, but a couple of organization and companies sure want me on their sides. It's a lot more like lobbying than anything else more sinister. I had a couple of attempt at intimidation too. That is profoundly stupid to attempt to intimidate a regulator, but still it happens once in a while. We're in for the long haul and we have good corporate memories and there are 2 things we really do not like as a class of gunmint workers: being ignored and being intimidated. Both behaviours incite to full scrutiny. The company's ducks are better be in a very straight equidistant row before attempting intimidation because the tape measure and square edge will come out for sure.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Is the Boodle working?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of gummint workers and full scrutiny.... Dr G overheard this the other day in his gov't/military office...

""We need to look at this in a real scrutinous manner."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Help! I looking for a simple recipe for a layered fillet of sole and crab meat dish. I used to make it and like it was simple because that's they only kind I make. I copied it from a book but have lost it. I googled sole/crab/capers and got 33,000 hits but none of the first 3 pages looked like it.
I'm 71 and remember lots of details about things but not in the same order or always on subject.
I remember the recipe was for two layers of sole and crab meat with capers and maybe chopped mushrooms and lemon baked in a 9 x 12 dish. Very simple and leftovers good the next day. Can't remember what the liquid was poured over and around before going in the oven and the temperature.
Now that crab season is open here and the catch is good, crab meat pieces are reasonable cost. The last couple of years local fresh crab was out of site so I didn't consider it. Now I have a hankering. Any suggestions for something simple?
Thanks in advance.

Posted by: bh71 | December 10, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

*testing testing*

Posted by: LALurker | December 10, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Candidate No 5 has been leaked. Denials all around.

Realistically we'd believe this following:

"Hey, can my guy take Obama's seat?"

"Give me a Blag job first, and buff up my butt after."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder that we're having a BPH on Friday night this week to welcome Windy3/Eidrib/Birdie/Random Commenter to DC...

McCormick & Schmick's
1652 K St, NW
5:00 pm... ?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, BH71, describe the liquid: clear? Yellow (chicken stock?) Fish stock? Creamy?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

:-) I'll be there...all of me.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 10, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Could it have been clarified butter?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 10, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I also had trouble accessing the blog about 2 hours ago. Then I left to have my nails done. :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | December 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm back, I think. Can anybody see me?

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are there.
If it makes any sense.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I see you Yoki. I'm happy now.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Boy, I couldn't agree more with this earnest, honest sentiment. That's why I've started, the movement that is going to return this man to his rightful place at the top of Illinois and America.

Posted by: risingstarz | December 10, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, you bring back such great memories. Those goods that fell off the train made for some interesting Christmas mornings, no?

You also speak like someone who knows being called a baccala can accompany either a good thwack at the base of the skull or a twisting cheek pinch (using the second knuckle of the first and second fingers). And that either can be a display of affection.

(Cheek pinching is such a great art...getting the curve of the hand just right, getting the flesh of the face *right* on the cheek bone where it's tightest, being able to twist deftly either clockwise or counter with the same firm grip, mastering that barely-audible-yet-clearly-there laugh in your I'm getting nostalgic. Aaah, families).

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Love your site, risingstarz.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

How is the governor of Illinois any different from the executives at AIG. Surprise we just found another $10B to write off that we didn't tell you about, suckers.

Posted by: repudar711 | December 10, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And I guess NPR's not doing so well, either:

Posted by: seasea | December 10, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I have another comment hung up - will try again, with a thousand apologies in advance if this appears multiple times.

I missed Jesse Jackson, Jr live on CNN because I had to take a call from work, but here's what WaPo has to say:
Love the last lines -
"It is not yet clear whether Fitzgerald was aware of the global significance of the day he chose to arrest Illinois's chief executive. Turns out that Dec. 9 was designated by the United Nations in 2003 as International Anti-Corruption Day."

risingstarz, I agree with TBG - funny site.

Posted by: seasea | December 10, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that's one of the main details that I can't remember. I'm pretty sure it wasn't melted butter. My wife doesn't allow melted butter in the house for me. She only allows 'can't believe'.

Been off preparing bacon, potatoes and onion for potato soup.
Casandra, I took your suggestion to make it in a crock pot so I don't have to scrape the bottom of the pot after the third re-heat. Works great. But still have to do all the prep in the cast iron pot to do the browning. That comes clean with the red wine deglasing.

Maybe all the boodle problems are related to the @#%& windows upgrade the downloaded last night. When I got up this morning my computer was stuck on 'Windows Shutting down'. Thought funny I didn't ask it to shut down. Finally had to hard crash it to get it to do something. Then when it finally started up I got a nice message the windows had downloaded a nice update to make it work better. NOT! Been slow and stopped off and on all day.

Posted by: bh71 | December 10, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

No butter, but bacon is okay? Is there also a 'no beer, but scotch is okay' rule?

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

We can’t compete with the Illinois governor, but we do have our own little scandal going on here in MA.

I’m always amazed by the arrogance of people who think the laws don’t apply to them. The state legislator involved in our scandal has had a very spotty past, tax evasion, ethics violations, and all this over the course of ten years or more. Hello, don’t you eventually realize that you can’t stay under the radar with a reputation like that? And, I sincerely hope they throw the book at Blagojevich and he goes away for a very long time.

We put up the tree last night. I’d forgotten how nice a real tree smells. I think we may just get a real one every year from now on. Work is still insane and it’s almost as busy here at home. Gotta love Christmastime, all the prep for one day that always goes by way too fast.

Funny site, Risingstarz!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 10, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy too, TBG, to be back within this fellowship.

LiT, I'm pretty sure there is a no beer, but scotch is OK rule. Also, Irish Whiskey is OK, and bacon too! Whatever you please.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

risingstarz, that is hilarious!

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

LiT... yeah. ;-)

One of my uncles (rest his soul) used to drive a pickup truck along the railroad tracks when the train slowed down (another relative drove the train). A buddy of his would jump on the train and start tossing whatever was in the boxcars into the truck.

One time they scored a bunch of Fender bass guitars. Being a family of musicians, this was a good thing. On another "freight liberation" trip, they happened upon a car full of potatoes. That made my Grandma happy (100% Polish and a master of 1001 ways to cook spuds), but nobody else.

Yes, my family roots are a little dirty. But we clean up nice.

As for the cheek pinching and thwacks to the back of the head... we had all that plus the wooden spoons, spatulas, fly swatters, brooms and countless other implements of keeping children in line. I learned a trick, though, when a wooden spoon is aimed at you. Flip quickly and put up your knee. The spoon then breaks, nobody gets hurt, and the person weilding it feels so bad about whacking you with it (and thinking they whacked too hard) that you get ice cream and a quarter.

I was averaging $20 a week back in 1971. Not bad money for a four-year-old.

Back to the shop now...

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

one bourbon,one scotch and one beer

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

It used to be no beer but scotch was ok. But last spring the doc said no more hard stuff. Red wine only now. A pound of bacon now only once every other month during the cold weather for potato soup.

Posted by: bh71 | December 10, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Aahhh... the intellectuals are heading to Washington in full force, I see...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

gwe... I called in to request that song today on the local classic rock station -- and they played it.

Have I ever mentioned that dancing with power tools is probably not a good thing? They *call* it a jigsaw, but...

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant silvery white moon rising in a light blue sky that turned pinkish and now blue gray as I waited 15 ten minutes for the WaPo to refresh.

Posted by: bh71 | December 10, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

That's cool Tooni, one of my favorite GT songs.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge,
Still in the market for a camera?

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 10, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Supreme Court Overturns Bush v. Gore

December 9, 2008 | Issue 44•50

WASHINGTON—In an unexpected judicial turnaround, the Supreme Court this week reversed its 2000 ruling in the landmark case of Bush v. Gore, stripping George W. Bush of his earlier political victory, and declaring Albert Arnold Gore the 43rd president of the United States of America...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Is there such a thing as a bad GT song? That dood just rawks. So does Buddy Guy. And Muddy Waters. And Leadbelly. And, and, and...

Speaking of which, have you ever wished your car stereo's volume knob went up to like 1000? I was making my "antifreeze run" today to Ye Olde Shoppe O'Liquor when U2's "Beautiful Day" came across the car's wireless on the FM band. I nearly drummed the steering wheel off our minivan. I should also mention it's very difficult to play air guitar while driving. That song just gets me. Kinda like "Baba O'Riley". Very primal.

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rickoshea/Maggie O'D! how're you doing tonight?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

'toon, gwe, that is a sort of hard song, but do either of you remember GT singing 'Nadine?'


Honey, is that you ooooh ?

My great loss is that I didn't preserve that vinyl.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Trouble logging in today. Missed lunch. But, have a tray of midnight snackies appropriate to the holiday eve:

1) deviled crab in shells, Maryland-style (light on the filler and generous with the backfin deliciousness;

2) shrimp in saddles, meaning wrapped in rashers, the thick cut kind, drained and pressed. RASHERS IS IRISH FOR BACON; BACON FOR ITALIANS PANCETTA, which I am afraid to admit, I ate once raw, thinking it was a cold cut. Pardon me, I thought it was a new type of mortadella.

On the table is a nice merlot made by my friend CC, who is Italian and pays his bills with rolls of cash. Hundreds being his sacred denomination. He makes wine and gives it away for the joy of it.

Martooni -- CPBoy has two basses and the favorite is the Fender.

TBG -- me too, tearing up at a death of woman I do not know in far but close Vietnam. May the internet yield such moments. That most of the internet carried PRON saddens me and numbs us all.

Back to grading salt mines. Do not pity me as some students are surging forth with really good stuff. I am happy to help them do well. Others are treading water but only because I threw in the pool and stand over them with a whip. Me: angel or dominatrix. Depends on who you ask.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 10, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

No Yoki, I never heard that,I guess it isn't a song about drinking eh?

How are things up in those cold Canadian Rockies?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

CqP... the Fender "Jazzmaster" is probably the best dang bass ever made. Other than an upright, of course. But then the instrument is only as good as the hands working it.

Your mention of "free wine" got me thinking about my Grandpa and his buddies and dandelion wine and recycled bottles (particularly the ones shaped like a chicken with a woven basket bottom). They all made wine and traded it freely. Me and Grandpa used to hide out in his basement workshop while the rest of the family congregated around the kitchen table and we'd sip deeply from those bottles.

Which reminds me... need to call Grandpa. He's the coolest old fart you could ever meet.

Posted by: martooni | December 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

GentlemanGWE, gentle man greenwithenvy, no. It is not. It is a song about true love.

Getting very cold. Today we had a chinook, which must made everything wet and messy, but will not last long enough to dry the roads.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, is said to be going down to -20, -25, -30 for the foreseeable future. So happy to be Canadian (not!)

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC: just, not must

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

CP! *hugs*

So very, very glad to see you posting here, dear friend.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Glad that you are enjoying students' thoughts, CQP.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Cereal: the serial killer at breakfast?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your kind words.

But true love could me anything, example:my true love of nature,so maybe it was George's true love of drink.or not

Anyways,please keep the cold weather up there in the north. we have had enough

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 10, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I cross my heart and hope (well, not to die! but at least to keep the Alberta clippers up here where they belong).

I think your true love of all the wide world and all who sail in 'er is more genuine and healthy than GT's love of drink.

But what do I know? I'm of the black-hearted Irish school!

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

One comic for Joel and other lonely newspaper reporters.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yahoo says that page is no longer available, Wilbrod. What's a lonely newspaper reporter to do?


An ink-stained wretch

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 10, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, Dr. Curmugeon!

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Winter is catching up with you Yoki? It was bound to happen. I wasted and hour and a half on snow clearing last night and almost as much time today as well. The official total of 30cm (12in.) of snow feels like a low ball estimate to me. Oh well, skiers are happy.
Nadine was a Chuck Berry original, but George T. made it his own. I've never seen GT in a show but I've seen Chuck doing Nadine in Montreal, ages ago.

I've got to say I'm in a bit of a foul mood as I cut myself with a utility knife unpacking a large Christmas gift, being the careless twit that I am. I do that so often I should know better. At least it was outside, so I didn't left a bloody trail all over the place like last time I've done it. My blood doesn't coagulate easily, so it gets messy... Luckily vampires and werewolves are pretty rare in the neighborhood, so I shouldn't find strange critters licking the snow around the garage when I'll walk the dogs.

Speaking of werewolves the moon is beautiful, an almost perfect discus of mother-of-pearl. Very nice.

yello, I don't pray, so fair sailing to your sil's soul.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Rod was doing the right thing, just the wrong way.

He should offered the seat to the person with the biggest contribution to his "library"; or the person with the biggest check for Rod's "charity" or "foundation".

He should have studied the Clintons. $110 million in 8 short years and all they had to sell was America.

Rod is the perfect example of political Darwinism in action; only the most evolved "clever" crooks survive to move on to the next level.

Posted by: krankyman | December 10, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

You caught that pitch, shrieking_denizon! Loved the CB, but love the GT more.

So sorry you cut yourself. I cut myself often with kitchen knives, and burn myself even more on the stove.

What do we say Chez Yoki? "Don't Bleed on the Rug!"

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Krankybaby, how much did W collected for his library? Ooops, that's right nobody knows.

Having W and library in the same sentence doesn't feel right.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse


Good night Boodle.

Cassandra, you really could sleep in past 3:00 AYE EM.

Just sayin'

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I do the burns too. No carpets chez the Denizens because of (my, mostly) allergies. The rule is: do not bleed on the furniture, the dogs can take care of the hard surfaces.

I bleed like a pig, Witch no 2 almost fainted a couple of years ago when I "shaved" a bit of the side of the palm of my hand. (Don't ask) All others had a good laugh. I get no respect I'm telling you.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Story of my life, shriek. No respect.

(don't really blame them because I am a goof and clumsy, OOPs! meant to say that my fine motor skilz require some refinement.)

So sad, reely.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Greetings, ink-stained wretch:
Keep reading; mate-- Always more
Pages on the press.

-(and by the way, it's WilbroDOG. Ahem.)-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Good night Yoki.
Time for bed, I used a "coagulate" for clotting. I knew something was wrong.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

krankyman, good to see you! When did they let you out?

Hi, all. I'll try to make imaginary lunch today. Can we have it someplace warm? I'll bring a flourless chocolate torte garnished with whipped cream and toasted pecans, I really will post the recipe this weekend.

For anyone passing through, know that the understaffed Phila. Police have yielded responsibility for the highways to the very excellent State Police--whose multitude and variety of unmarked cars is staggering, not that their marked cars are chopped liver. I've seen more people pulled over in the past few weeks than I have in the past 7 years. Be careful out there.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 11, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

hey dbG I'm up late too,but hitting the hay in a moment.I hope you had a lovely evening.

Sounds wonderful,but does it go with Green Beans? Have a pleasant night my friend.

Slumber time for me

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 11, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

hi, all. haven't been able to keep up with the boodle much for a couple of weeks. only here and there, mostly on weekends.

yello, sorry to hear about your sil.

Posted by: LALurker | December 11, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Hi, LALurker.

Long time ago, my brother worked in the Ministry of Defence in Singapore. A military jet had crashed and he tested the parts of the jet retrieved from the crashed site. The manufacturer of the jet offered my brother a couple of houses for a “good” report. He told my father about it. My father didn’t approve of such practice. Later my sisters learned about it. They told my brother that he had been very silly to have turned down such a great offer. A couple of houses would have taken care of our family’s financial worries.

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 11, 2008 3:40 AM | Report abuse

hi, rainforest. good for your father.

my only comment on the blagojevich scandal is that i'm *very* happy to see patrick fitzgerald on the case, who will kick some serious a$$.

Posted by: LALurker | December 11, 2008 4:11 AM | Report abuse

It's exams week, and thus far I've heard tell of only one student taken out of the library in an ambulance....not one of those taking my Biochem exam today, thankfully. They should know a bit better what excesses of caffeine, sugar, high stress, and lack of sleep do to their bodies.

Hmmm....I should know that too. Lurking helps dissipate stress, thanks.

This Blago stuff has been a great diversion. Wonder when he'll come out with a book...

Throwing a Rod
Chicago Shake Down
The Hairsprayman

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 11, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Wow, Obama puts another brainiac in the Cabinet. A Ph.D. in physics in the Cabinet, the non-sense doesn't stop.

Clear skies for the dawn patrol, but it's a 2-scarves morning.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

Glad to see shrieking_denizen reporting for duty, bc's hard at it getting the engines ready, but where are our leaders?

Had good conversation with a friend last night, so am set for a fine day.

I might have time to read Liz Kelly's chat live -- first time since early September. The approaching holidays (not to mention a recession) have slowed things down in the shop.

Have a wonderful day, dear Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

It's dead Jim.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Yoki, I'm so tired I want to go back to bed. I had the g-girl yesterday after school, and still doing what I do on Wednesday. By the time I got home, and got her fed, off to sleep. We got up early this morning, but had to do the bath and breakfast gig. I forgot how early school starts. I haven't done the walking, and may not get a chance to do that. It's raining.

Every time I look at the news, the governor of Illnois is looking more like a dummy than a real criminal. And, JA, your kit made me laugh. At least he wasn't being real selfish, he wanted to get enough to give his wife. Yet the amount was paltry considering the risks involved. President-elect Obama is suppose to have a news conference this afternoon to address this issue. The Repubs calling for transparency in government. And I know the new President promised that, but coming out of Repubs' mouths, it almost sounds nasty.

And Joe the Plumber said after being on the campaign trail with McCain and Palin, he felt dirty or nasty. And Lord knows, if any of you can tell me why, I would love to hear your answers? Did they not give him enough money to make up for that feeling? I can only think of one line of work that causes such feelings, anyone want to hazard a guess? And I mean other than politics.

Ivansmom, do you think the governor at some point while talking on the phone and laying out his plans, the idea didn't cross his mind that just maybe someone might be listening? Or do you think he knew what he was doing was wrong, but didn't believe anyone else knew that? I'm sure there are complications in just about any dealings we have with each other, especially folks that work in government and the public interest, but gee, this really reeks. But perhaps it is the reality of politics. I don't know.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni(love the train story)Yoki, and all the boodlers, good morning.*waving*

Have a great day, folks. It is very wet here, and more on the way.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Everybody is stuck in traffic. 1 hr 10 min to do 12 km. Grrr.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Blaine Harden's story on an escapee from North Korea's Camp 14 is impressive. Will someone sponsor an English-language edition of the camp survivor's book (which has gone unread in South Korea)?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, you rock.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Almost forgot....

Yello--- I did what you asked.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... have a meeting this morning at my new job! I officially start on Monday but this morning's event is a good chance to meet some important folks.

I had to go out yesterday and buy some new clothes. It's been a long time since I wore anything but t-shirts and jeans to work. Not sure if I'm ready for this. :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Of course you are! Go look in the mirror again. See that woman? She's the new Communications Director and She Rocks! And the snazzy new duds look great!

Posted by: LostInThought | December 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra... you are right about DNA Girl. And you rock, too!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse


You're more than ready. This is just the first step to a path that's going to take you right to the top. These folks are lucky you agreed to take the job. You're more than qualified. And if you have doubts, check out the cheering squad on the boodle. We got your back!

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

You are totally ready (and remarkable, and fabulous) and they won't know what they ever did without you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Boodle!

Had trouble signing in.

Great Kit by JA

I'm gonna take my chair and put a sign up: Senate Seat and have a sidewalk sale--Waiting for weather to clear, hate to see such valuable asset get wet.


Posted by: Braguine | December 11, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh.. I'm ready for the JOB... I'm just wondering if I'm ready to do it looking FABULOUS!

Thanks to all for your wonderful words of encouragement. I love this place! How am I going to explain all these friends to my new co-workers? Should be interesting.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

TBG--congratahoochies on the new job.

Posted by: Braguine | December 11, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. My computer won't connect to the Boodle or the WaPo, but I can still connect from my work computer. I know there are other non-DC-area Boodlers also having problems. Some server thing? Boodle broked. Boodle broked. Boodle broked. meep meep.

And what a time for it! Such Boodle-worthy news. A physicist as Secretary of Energy, and Chuck Colson gets a Presidential Medal of Honor. I'm sorry. I don't care how much good he's done (assuming he has) or how well he's reinvented himself. I can't forgive him for Watergate.

I'm puzzled about Blagojevitch's arrogance, Cassandra. I'm sure he knew what he was saying - that is, what he intended to do based on what we know he said - was wrong. I believe he didn't care that it was wrong. I just don't understand how he could have such misplaced, overwhelming confidence that he could say (and intend to do) such things without any consequences. I suppose that's why I'm a lawyer and not a criminal. I have a keen sense of consequences and no confidence they won't apply to me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"clean power and clean technology are going to be a currency of geopolitical and military power, every bit as much as tanks, planes and nuclear missiles have been. In a world that’s hot, flat and crowded, clean tech has to be the next great global industry. Therefore, the country that takes the lead in clean power and clean tech is going to be by definition an economic and strategic leader in the 21st century."

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I'm working from home today, so got to sleep in this morning for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long. My wife woke me as usual at 5, and I realized I didn't have to get up, so I said let me sleep until 6 and wake me up then. Which she did. And I intended to get up, but, well... next thing I knew, it was 8:30.

TBG, just tell your new bosses that when they hired you, they also hired an entire universe of imaginary assistants, at no extra charge.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 11, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Colson's getting a Pres. Medal of Honor!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????? I'm turning purple. I'm outraged. That SOB ought to still be in jail.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Who is Chuck Colson?

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hee hee. I knew that would get Mudge. Ivansdad and I had the same reaction. I am particularly outraged given my ongoing obsession with Watergate and Nixon. One of my most shocking realizations was that W was a worse president than Nixon. However, I'm big enough to admit it.

Yoki, Chuck Colson was one of The President's Men, Nixon's White House minions. A lawyer (or "mouthpiece") and general errand boy, he was thrown to the wolves fairly early and took part of the fall for the Watergate break-in coverup. He served prison time. In the thirty years since his release he's put together one of the nation's largest prison ministries. If I were unkind I'd say he was one of the few inmates who found God in prison and made it pay. Oops. Guess I'm unkind.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the bells are ringing louder now.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

G. Gordon Liddy can't be far behind.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I was just going to say that even GWB doesn't have sufficiently bad judgement for that, yello.

Then I slapped my forehead and wondered what I was thinking.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This "pay for play" is just fascinating stuff, and it makes one wonder just how pervasive the practice is around the country, and not just in Illinois, and not just because Gov. Blah-goya-vitch got his fingers caught in the eavesdropped cookie jar.

I just can't shake from my mind, an editorial, titled "Feds have changed the bidding game" by business columnist Dave Hendricks, printed in our local paper on Saturday, Dec. 6, a sob story, really, over the fact that San Antonio didn't get the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility nod.

Hendricks writes:

Regardless of whether San Antonio can challenge the decision to award a federal lab to Manhattan, Kan. — it’s a long shot — the lengthy bidding process was a game-changer with profound implications for future economic development.

It’s not just private companies that seek local and state incentives when searching for project sites. The federal government expects it now, too.

San Antonio lost its highly developed bid for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility mainly because Kansas offered more dollars.

That’s new. In the past, federal projects were awarded for various reasons, mainly practicality, but not based on incentives. ...

The auction was on. “Auction” was the word used by the Texas Research and Technology Foundation leaders after Kansas became the recommended site this week. They could have used another term: open bribery. ...

From now on, the federal government can be expected to pit local taxpayers in different regions against each other to subsidize federal projects. ...

In Washington, money talks more than ever.

How soon we forget. Did Texas not offer one billion *bleeping* [doing my best Patrick Fitzgerald imitation] dollars to lure the Superconducting Supercollider to the Lone Star State about 20 years ago? High pricetag for a *bleeping* hole in the ground. But at least Hendricks has got the last sentence of his editorial right.

And really, one would think that the Texas legislature, Texas being such a really big state and all, would meet more than once every year. If you read the story, you'll see that Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered $56 million that didn't really exist, not technically: vapor dollars.

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

my mother has been involved in prison ministry for decades, a large part of that time working with colson's organization. you can think what you want about the guy, but prison fellowship ministries has helped a lot of people. i mean half a million children of inmates get christmas presents on behalf of their incarcerated parents each year, just speaking of the angel tree program. (my mother used to help coordinate that program for an entire state, back in the day. she does it now only for a small city.)

Posted by: LALurker | December 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm not disparaging prison fellowship ministries, LALurker. They do good work. Colson himself is my focus. As I say, he may have sincerely repented and spent the past thirty years genuinely building up what is a perfectly good ministry program. I'll even give him credit for it and for good works generally. I'm just not prepared to forgive him for his role in Watergate and I don't believe his subsequent actions outweigh that criminal involvement - which caused a constitutional crisis and led to the initial waning of the office of the presidency - to the point that he deserves a presidential medal of honor.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 11, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

People are just suckers for a good redemption story. The further they have fallen, the more uplifting the recovery. Us guys that just muddle along on the moral middle ground never stand an chance.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Do we dare suspect GWB is thinking of his next career track?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! I'm now on Day 2 of trying to shake some kinda nasty Sleeping Sickness bug. All I want to do is sleep or lay on the couch in a semi-catatonic state. BPH tomorrow night is not looking so good.

My virtual lunch offering today is going to be anything in the fridge that I can retrieve and heat before the couch beckons again. Ooh! Here's some leftover chicken parmesan! No, no, evil sofa! Mpphhh...zzzzz....

Posted by: Raysmom | December 11, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, the bug you described has been out here, too. Combination of stomach and semi-comatose. Hard to shake but it will dissapate. Hey, that rhymns.

I was hoping to meet you...hope you get better soon!

TGB...major congrats on the new job. Boodle babes on the move!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 11, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

re: Colson's Pres. Med. Hon. - Funny, I can't find anything about a recent 180-degree-change in the meaning of the word "Honor."

Perhaps, in the words of Inigo Montoya, that word does not mean what he thinks it means (cf. "torture," "fundamentals of the economy are strong," "good job," "swear to... protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." ).

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 11, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, St. Augustine's Confessions was a bestseller, Yellojkt, and Jesus didn't preach about the Good stay-at-home son.

There IS a price to be paid for being "interesting," though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"He" in the previous sentence being GWB. (That bat-rastard.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 11, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Chuck Colson is not one of my favorite people, but he's still miles about Liddy, who doesn't think he did anything wrong.

Posted by: -pj- | December 11, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

BPH on the 12th???

Posted by: omnigood | December 11, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Question for you editors and HR types out there. On a resume, when putting location of a job, would you put a comma between the town and state, or not? The comma looks more formal to me, but unnecessary, and now I've gone back and forth so often that I can't see it properly.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

CNN reporting a meter reader found a bag with a skull in it that belongs to a child. All this near the home of little Caylee Anthony. Authorities thinking this is the body of that little girl. What a nightmare.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

My friends in Chicago are telling me that Rod is certifiable. He has been described as 'narcissistic, sociopathic, and delusional by people quoted in the mainstream press. Me, I just think he's a jerk, and a stupid one at that.

Anyone except Pat Fitz will be tainted whichever process they use to select Obama's successor.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 11, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oops, according to Tribune columnist John Kass (aka Jack (k) Ass), Blago isn't crazy after all! He's a Chicago Pol!,0,301469.column

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 11, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Not an editor or an HR type, and it's been fifteen years since I've done a resume (That will soon change though), but all the resumes I've ever done (only my own) and seen (examples) have a comma after the city

Posted by: omnigood | December 11, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

You always put a comma between the city and state, Yoki.

If you don't... the world will come crashing down in flames and there will be a mass suicide of postal workers.

Not to put pressure on you or anything, naturally.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you all. I really knew that, but became unsure.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody! I'm in, finally! There was a Windows update yesterday and it obviously broke Explorer. So I'm going to use Firefox from here on out.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Check out WaPo's online front page story about the guy who escaped from a North Korean prison camp. He's my new hero.

Screw Kim Jong-Il. May his stroke make half his hair lay down.

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 11, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Slyness! Hurrah, you're here. Now we can be happy.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

That's quite curse, Gomer. Made me snort coffee.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Did RD ever report back on the techie party?

Posted by: Raysmom | December 11, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Any major fire or explosion in a federal building yesterday? They were getting the refreshments out last time RD posted.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nice piece.

Posted by: kristopher1 | December 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Glad you're here, Slyness.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I believe the Techie Party is still going strong.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Kass is also the guy that coined "Obambi", a name later picked up by a certain red-headed NY Times columnist.

And I would have to think that being a sociopath and a Chicago politician are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | December 11, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Further to RD's little quip yesterday, and here to give renewed hope to all geeks and nerds, I present:

Advisory: This science story discusses male fertility and intelligence, and may, but only if one is exceptionally prudish, cause some small consternation. For the rest of us, I *knew* it all along!

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The tech party went well into the night, although I bailed out near my usual time. When I left the lab director and assistant director were about to sing "I Got You Babe" so I figgered it was a good time to depart

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - I can think of absolutely no proper response to that article.

Improper responses, of course, I have many.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Christmas parade is today, and of course, it's raining to beat the band. Time to go.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sperm and brain cells rely on many of the same genes. Cells with flagella, axons, or dendrites require a considerable amount of scaffolding.

Likewise, any dysregulation in sperm motility may also show up in dysregulation of neural firing and response patterns.

I'll be happy when they can prove that smart women are indeed sexier and healthier.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

We could do a survey-type study, Wilbrod, and answer that question to at least our own satisfaction.

I'm already persuaded I know the answer.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

RD, I cannot imagine you ever saying anything improper. You are a model of grace and poise.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Back when I was allowed to notice such things I encountered many extremely intelligent women that I found painfully attractive - in part because of their brainpower.

Of course, I very rarely got anywhere with them because, you know, they were smart.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Alas, the average man sees better than he thinks.

However, I definitely have known guys who are out for women's brains, not just lucking out by looking at this:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

(* Caveat: the above statement is not intended to imply any male boodlers are "average" in anything.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, *I* think Achenbloggers, male and female, will score high on the intelligence/health scale. But that's just me.

Raining elephants and giraffes here. Cassandra, I think the organizers should delay the Christmas parade for a while.

You noted that Richmond County beat Independence in football last weekend. That's a rivalry that spans several years. It's the first time in almost a decade that Independence hasn't been in the state high school football championship game. I hope Richmond wins the title.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

That's so depressing, Wilbrod, for those of us who have had to rely on our intelligence for self-esteem! If the cute girls are smarter, too, it stings.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, it doesn't say cute, it says hip vs waist ratio (which declines with age or endocrinological issues).

Many women manage to stay within that ratio even as their weight increases upwards, while some skinny women never quite achieve that ratio.

And I refuse to believe that you ever had to depend on your intelligence alone in life, Yoki ;). I'm 100% certain you look far cuter on a horse at any age than I do.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Likewise, any dysregulation in sperm motility may also show up in dysregulation of neural firing and response patterns."
That explains a lot, shortly after being vasectomized I turned 40. Since then it has been neural duds and response patterns that look like Jackson Pollock's best effort, if any response at all.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's a song by Richard Thompson about a man's admiration for a woman with brains:

Posted by: -pj- | December 11, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I can assure you, Wilbrod, that there is nothing cute about me, never has been.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

By the way, the difference found is quite small. Still, praise thy thunder thighs if you got 'em.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh for heavens sake, Yoki, I think you're lovely!

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

One of the hardest thing to accept is that there is no personal Karma. Someone can be attractive and smart and nice. And, sadly, the inverse can also be true. That whole "random genetics" business really can be kind of a bummer.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Yoki. I have seen pictures of you from the BPH.
So, now you have me in a quandary on whether to flatly contradict you or to trust your harsh self-evaluation.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

As Walt Whitman said, "do I contradict Yoki? Well then, I contradict Yoki."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Yoki, Yoki. None of that. Don't gonna play that game. Some of us who have been blessed with time in your presence know better.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why, I was not fishing for compliments, and landed some big ones anyway! How nice. Thank you all.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, enough about me. Let's talk about something else.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG, how did your meeting go? You looked fabulous, you know.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Man Smart (Woman Smarter)
Lyrics By: Norman Span
Music By: Norman Span

Let us put men and women together
See which one is smarter
Some say men, but I say no
The women got the men like a puppet show

Believe me, it's the people that say
That the men are leading the women astray
But I say that the women today
Are smarter than the men in every way

That's right, the women are smarter
That's right, the women are smarter
That's right, the women are smarter
The women are smarter than the men today

Little boy sit on the corner and cry
Big man come and he ask him why
Says I can't do what the big boys do
Man sat down and he cried too

It ain't me, but the people who say
That the men are leading the women astray
But I say that the women today
Are smarter than the men in every way

Ever since the world began
Women been imitating the ways of men
But listen cause I've got a plan
Give it up, just don't try to understand

Posted by: -jack- | December 11, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I think you're cute, Yoki.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It went GREAT, Yoki... thanks for asking! I think I'm really going to like the job... the people are nice, the atmosphere is lovely and the bathrooms are marble with the toilet paper folded into points.

I guess the next best thing to being rich is hanging out where the rich folks do.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The real risk here is equating waist to hip ratio with "curvy" (which I hitherto had thought had become the preferred euphemism for "full-figured" which was a euphemism for something else as well). For all I know Callista Flockhart and Oprah Winfrey have the same WHR.

As for sperm motility versus intelligence, I sired one child purely as a proof of concept and quit since further research into the topic would only muddy the waters. I have no idea whether that confirms or refutes any hypothesis.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The Rich Guy Hangout sure seems like a good place to meet a Sugar Daddy. If I were Mr.G, I'd be keeping track of your whereabouts a little closer from here on out.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

But TBG are those lovely folder toilet paper holders at the correct height?

Glad the first meeting went well.

Hi All.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 11, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, is it real toilet paper? You know, the classy soft stuff with perforated lines for easy tear-off.
Our landlord went for the Perpetual Toilet Paper Roll (PTPR) a couple of years. The PTPR being a foot in diameter and weighing in at at least 5 pounds perforated line are out of the question if one hopes to rotate the behemoth around its axle without tearing it away. So us ginmint drones are offered (it's still free, for the time being) high tensile strength unperforated TP. Progress in action.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

It's proper toilet paper, folded over the proper way (sorry Gene W), folded into a point. I imagine there's someone going in throughout the day to tidy up and make sure the paper is always folded nicely.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

We really do discuss only the most important topics here.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are a lovely person in every way.

And glad everything went well, TBG. Oh, bathroom paper folded, that's a new one on me. That's sounds like a lot of effort considering what the paper is used for.

Thanks, Slyness. I hope they win, too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

My father once paid me a very nice compliment on the quality of our TP in the dmdhousehold - somethings are just worth the extra few cents, if you can.

Curvey isn't good?

Posted by: dmd2 | December 11, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Why do I have an intuition that bobsewell might make positive contributions to any discussion of toilet paper? Pity he's never on line at this time of day.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Curvy is fine. From my exhaustive data-mining of Playmate stat sheets, a waist to hip ratio of 0.7 would be about ideal. And mean people are turn-offs.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

is this thing working now?

yummmmmm smoked salmon
yummmmmm capers!


Posted by: mortii | December 11, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Speakin' of cute curves --- it's mo!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

All I know about toilet paper is that if my daughter steals the spare roll from my bathroom without telling me one more time I am sending her to a nunnery.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Does she do that? Is it easier than getting a fresh supply of her own?

I think #2 was 17 and had been reminded 6000 times before she would reliably replace an exhausted roll. That was fine in the 'girls' bathroom' but drove me nuts when it happened in the main floor powder room that guests use.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

That's going too easy on her for a crime so heinous, RD.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 11, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad your meeting went so well, TBG. And the bathrooms! I sometimes think I should take up residence in hotel bathrooms, with all the little bottles of stuff that smell good, fresh towels laid on, the good life in microcsm.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. I actually do know how to spell microcosm, and I know what it means, too.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why is this blog asking me to register again. Jeepers. I am tempted to use even stronger language than that.

Anyway I have posted a new kit of sorts...

-- Achenbach

Posted by: joelache | December 11, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

You rock Yoki

Posted by: dmd2 | December 11, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

rest in peace Bettie

Posted by: omnigood | December 12, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

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