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Inventing the Future

That Seattle trip I took a while back: It was to write this piece for my alumni magazine, on Nathan Myhrvold, the former Microsoft executive who has started an outfit called Intellectual Ventures. Here's the top of the piece:

By J.A.

Nathan Myhrvold *83 has one of the premier résumés of the digital age. He didn't merely work in software; he founded Microsoft Research and spent 13 years as an all-purpose sage and eccentric genius at the side of Bill Gates.

He didn't merely study physics and math; he studied them at Princeton, where the physics and math faculties are among the best in the world -- and then he flew off to Cambridge for some tutelage at the feet of Stephen Hawking.

He doesn't merely like to cook: He's a master chef (and has worked in one of Seattle's best restaurants) who once won a barbecue contest in Memphis. He doesn't just take pictures: He's an award-winning wildlife photographer. As for his well-known interest in paleontology, he's no ordinary bone collector. He has enough fossils to stock a small museum. Put it this way: He has a T. rex -- the whole thing! -- in his living room. It's 17 feet tall and 45 feet long. ("It gets your attention," he says. "My kids grew up thinking it was normal.")

Myhrvold, 49, is such a Renaissance Man that he might as well stencil those words on his business card. He's someone who, if his cash flow got dicey, probably could make a pile of money just letting people listen to him brainstorm about the future of technology. He granted PAW an interview that lasted an hour and 45 minutes and barely skimmed the surface of his many ideas and interests.

But it's a bit tricky pinpointing precisely who and what Myhrvold is. Most adults have jobs that don't require elaboration explication. Not so Myhrvold. What would he put on a form under "Occupation"?

"For a long time I didn't know what to call myself," he says. "For a long time I would say 'physicist.' These days I put 'inventor.' "

He actually is something more complicated than that. He's an innovation maestro, an inventor slash promoter slash entrepreneur. Among his most important inventions, he says, is the business model of the company he founded, Intellectual Ventures, or IV, an investment fund that's similar to a venture-capital outfit -- except that, rather than investing in startup companies, it buys patents.

A standard venture capitalist gives money to people who've already demonstrated a marketable concept. Myhrvold is jumping one step ahead of that game, snapping up ideas fresh from someone's mind. Some of them will prove commercially viable, others won't. Intellectual Ventures owns 20,000 patents and patent-related assets, having paid out, according to a company spokeswoman, $300 million to inventors so far. The company then leases the patents, sometimes in bundles, to other companies. So far, IV has pulled in $1 billion in licensing fees, the spokeswoman said. The fund has $5 billion under management, with investors who include some of the world's best-known tech tycoons -- Bill Gates among them. Gates and others have engaged in IV-sponsored meetings in which everyone takes turns tossing inspirations against the wall to see what sticks.

Myhrvold sees his fund as providing liquidity in the world of innovation. I suggest to him that his role is akin to that of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy up mortgages and provide liquidity in the housing market. He does not warm to that comparison.

This is a controversial business. Critics call Myhrvold a "patent troll," which, as you can imagine, is not a compliment. Although IV has never sued anyone for patent infringement, that possibility hovers over the business model.

Myhrvold notes that IV has its own laboratory, and is actively inventing things as we speak -- like blood filters, lasers, and a new way to create nuclear power -- in addition to patrolling the broader world for ideas up for grabs. He has dozens of patents in his own name -- check the patent office Web site and you'll see such Myhrvold creations as "Plasmon switch," "Photonic diode," and the inscrutable "Intensity detector circuitry having plural gain elements in a cascade with plural threshold values."

Invention has long been something people do as a hobby, but for Myhrvold it is a billion-dollar business, not to mention a means for changing the world. He's taking risks, and indulging flights of imagination, but he's also making a plausible bet that his portfolio of inventions will alter the way we live, and that, as he put it when accepting Princeton's James Madison Medal in 2005: "The economies of the 21st century are going to be driven by the magic of invention."

Whatever the future turns out to be, Myhrvold intends to own a piece of it.

Click here to keep reading. FYI, I'm the chair of the advisory board of the magazine.


Warning: Once you start, it may be hard to stop reading this very long story on "What Do Women Want?"

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 3, 2009; 11:59 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Smashing Super Bowl
Next: Hard Times at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


Doesn't everyone write using crayons?

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

'What do women want?' ... going there now... but we all know the answer to that already no?

Posted by: MissToronto | February 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

super hero

Posted by: MissToronto | February 3, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I liked these grafs in a piece by Greg Downey on the "What do Women Want?" story on the Neuroanthropology blog

"One can imagine an article with the title, ‘What do diners want?’, which bemoaned the fickleness and impenetrable complexity of culinary preferences: Sometimes they want steak, and sometimes just a salad. Sometimes they put extra salt on the meal, and sometimes they ask for ketchup. One orders fish, another chicken, another ham and eggs. One day a guy ordered tuna fish salad on rye, and the next, the same guy ordered a tandoori chicken wrap, hold the onions! My God, man, they’re insane! Who can ever come up with a unified theory of food preferences?! Food preferences are a giant forest, too complex for comprehension. What do diners want?!

You get my drift. The line of questioning is rhetorically time-tested (can we say clichéd even?) but objectively and empirically nonsensical. So many of these experiments seem to be testing a series of different, related, but ultimately distinct questions: With whom do women mate? With whom do women have sex? With whom do women say they would have sex? What causes women’s bodies’ automatic arousal responses (and under what conditions)? What type of guys do women like in soft porn stories? What type of guys do women like in photographs? Do certain women get aroused by a particular type of porn movies? Does a particular woman realize or acknowledge that she is getting aroused by a particular stimulus? What affects women’s self-reported sense of sexual identity as it changes over time in women who say they are lesbian, bisexual or not sure? They’re all good questions, some better than others, and they’re all about ‘sex,’ but they are testing a whole range of different things. Can they all be glossed as, ‘What do women want?’ Yeah, sort of, but you’re going to get a hopeless answer."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

agreed frosty!

also, we should consider 'want' versus 'need'... most of us are able to manage our impulses just long enough to figure that one out.

Posted by: MissToronto | February 3, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I read that whole article, every last word, and didn't see my name once.

I'd say the research is flawed...

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

So.. how come Microsoft products suck?

uh, sorry. Going now to read the WDWW piece, knowing that no good can possibly come of it.

Yoki, here's the beef stew, piping hot and still in the crock pot. Do you need help setting everything out? Want me to uncork and pour the wine? Set the table? Light the candles?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Slow down, Frosti, slow down. I'm taking notes and writing as fast as I can...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I could offer Nathan a suggestion about a very necessary step in one of his pursuits...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey 'Mudge, if you could open the wine, I'll finish setting the table. Oh, and you could bring more hangars from the guest room to the front hall closet.

Everybody, come on over! Curmudgeon's stew smells fantastic.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"...the females give a kind of pleasure grin and make chirpy sounds..."

I wish I had a nickel...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

All I can contribute to lunch are the 4 yellow perch I caught 5 am.ish yesterday. Unfortunately they're frozen.
Fishicle anyone?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Now my mind is blown. See this at Twisted Physics

That was great, frosti.

Sometimes cut&paste is a burden. I had to set it down here before I went off somewhere else.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

NPR announced Daschle withdrawing from HHS nomination.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if ol Doc Mhyrvold holds the patent to the plethysmograph. Gotta get me one of them things. Wonder if there's any on eBay.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It's up on the front page too, frosti...

Dangit. :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember posting at length on this before, as it is a topic in which I have some experience, so let me just inflict a few basic observations.

It isn't enough to just push cool technology out, you have to identify needs and then identify promising solutions.

Just money won't bring about great advances in technology, neither will genius. Sometimes it just requires serendipity and perseverance.

Finally, if too many fundamental patents are tied up it really can suppress creativity. People won't bother to put in the effort needed to bring an idea to fruition because they know all they will be facing is a nasty law suit.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I saw that piece on WDWW on the weekend. All I have to say is stay away from my bonobos.

Posted by: engelmann | February 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, is your 1:11 directed at the Myrhvold piece, or the sexology piece?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

As to what women want? I think that women want to be the person the believe themselves to be deep inside. They want to bring their reality in alignment with this inner ideal.

If a man respect this, he is likely to be cherished. If a man is disdainful of this, he is likely to find himself alone.

But, of course, what the heck do I know.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh my Mudge. I haven't even read the other piece yet. I hope it isn't *that* applicable.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

A graceful take on "sustainable". I've always wondered whether enthusiasts of sustainability aren't really thinking in terms of stagnation.

I knew Princeton has super-enthusiastic alumni, but having a weekly alum magazine seems utterly, totally unique. Achenbach being involved in the enterprise is super-neat.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So who wants to be in charge of health care reform? Hope the White House has some good people already on file.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That was pretty good, RD_Padouk. You're doing fine.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki!

As to what men want? Well this man wants to start with less typos.

Hey, he's gotta dream.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I fell asleep about half way through the sexology article. Is that a little too typically male of me?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Dave: "Weekly" is a historical artifact. I think it comes out 16 times a year or something to that effect. (Does the Atlantic Monthly still come out monthly? Or the Washington Monthly? Does Women's Wear Daily come out every day?)

Anyway...I'm wondering if Daschle pulled out because of the NYTimes and other papers saying he should withdraw or if there's another shoe that was about to drop.

Posted by: joelache | February 3, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, everybody knows what men want...

A Bacon Explosion, of course. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why Joel had to go all the way to Seattle to interview a Princeton alum. He could have just crossed the newsroom and talked to Marc Fisher.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Why are you so disappointed, S'nuke? Other than the loss of political capital on the part of Obama, what does Daschle's withdrawal cost the administration? Would his connectedness help push through the health care reform or would his industry entanglements steer it some other direction? He's a fat cat populist that has gone native on K Street and I don't see what he brought to the table.

And all those questions aren't rhetorical. I don't know the answers and would honestly like to.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If weekly is historical then monthly must be anciently so.
Poor Mudge.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 3, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Because who else could manage to wear such funky glasses with panache and elan, yello?


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes you can just see 'em comin'--right company, wrong guy:

Seattle or Bellevue? Neal Stephenson at Intellectual Ventures? Perhaps Roland Hanson at the Branding Foundry in Kirkland, perhaps Hanson more of a marketing guru? Connections to these two still point back to Gates, though.

Posted by: laloomis | December 2, 2008 1:02 PM

You might want to check out Chuck Todd's MSNBC comments during Andrea Mitchell's program about the optics of it all: the optics of having two cabinet appointees who are men with tax problems, and one woman with a tax problem, the woman who first (as far as breaking news...who knows which resignation letter landed first on Obama's desk?) tenders her resignation (gender issue). The optics of Obama vocally shaming the CEOS of Wall Street last Friday about tax-funded bonuses but staying mute about the tax-evaders within his circle of administration picks. Consult Todd for more optics.

In my opinion, most ridiculous and overused words used repeatedly by Robert Gibbs in the last 10 days: "honest mistake."

Posted by: laloomis | February 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Shortly after reading Kingsley Amis' "Jake's Thing", the story of a man and his dysfunctional John Thomas, I was clambering over an attractive sexologist's bookshelves at the local insne asylum when...
Oh well, you know, the usual stuff.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 3, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

1. fewer typos
2. free coffee

I'd say men and women aren't so far apart in what they want.

Not exactly another shoe dropping, but I think attention was ready to turn from taxes Daschle didn't pay to just how much he was "earning" and from whom. Mr. F called to tell me the news (how romantic, really, he thought I might be away from computer and radio) and that was his suggestion.

Think it takes guts for men of a certain age to go fashion forward with the eye wear, but maybe now they can fill HHS with someone hot.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Turns out that NYT article, despite the unfortunate title and the misleading cliche of "what women want," was pretty durn interesting after all. And lots to mull over.

I'd say one clear theme emerging from it is that yes, men and women *are* pretty different, operationally.

I don't care how much Obama begs me, I'm NOT taking a job in his administration. No sir. (Just the merest whiff of suggestion of a background check would get me reeling.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Interesting 8-minute interview with Updike from October.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

today's online wapo crossword puzzle has a three letter word for butt as an answer


Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Omni, was it GWB?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 3, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Haha, I didn't even think of that. But, um no, the other one

Posted by: omnigood | February 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

*Very* nice, Weed. And fast.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

russianthisle made me laugh. Good one.

Sounds like Mr. F's theory is pretty plausible to me, frosti. I'm sorry to see Daschle go, although I think it's the right thing for the administration. I do think his ties to Congress and his knowledge of the mechanics of legislating would have been beneficial, not to mention he seems to have been deep in the weeds of understanding what is needed/possible for health care reform. Plus, he just struck me as a reasonable, pragmatic person...we need a few more of those around. I've always been a fan of his, but he had to go.
But that's just me.

Mercy! That NYT piece was something!

Posted by: Kim1 | February 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think that article was less what women want and more how women tick. Of course, all women are not alike. Thankfully.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I can see at least one basic flaw in the research (beyond the one that frosti explained so aptly at 12:41). The subjects they were using were women who were willing to be hooked up to those gizmos. Which would have had to skewed the results.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I've known some ticked women but none of them ticked.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Which would had to have skewed the results."

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If you are presented with a woman who is obviously ticked, immediate application of chocolate is very likely in order.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Be interesting to see what the plethysmograph shows when chocolate is administered simultaneously.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom-a great, and easily overlooked point. I can think of a million different ways a researcher could request such participation but the only answer that comes to mind is "I think not."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I very much think that Mr. F's theory of Daschle's withdrawal is correct. Reporters proffered up nosy stuff this morning, and there was that fierce NYT editorial.

The non-weekly Weekly makes sense. The very monthly Carolina Alumni Review just showed up. Based on a quick look, the story on the palatial old library doesn't say the building needs to be rebuilt. That's good. I remember finding an important early 19th century botany book in the stacks (which were open, back then), checking it out, and schlepping to the departmental library where it belonged under lock and key.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The sexology article was just a long-winded, arguably scientifically based report that confirms what us married men already know: Women are so complex, they don't even know for themselves what they really want. No surprise here.

Posted by: Mako2 | February 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree w/ yello on this one. Daschle was not thrilling me. I hope Obama's a chess player.

To me there's a big difference between declaring income and not getting around to paying it, and not declaring it at all.

And for the love of Mike, is there a link to the NYT that doesn't require login?

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I am inclined to think that the tax problems encountered by these candidates are coming to light simply because that's the kind of thing you find in guys working at this level of income and social status.

For Geithner, at least, I am willing to buy the idea that he simply messed up in understanding how to properly file his taxes. Many years ago, I was instructed clearly and unequivocally (I asked for repeats and clarification), by a representative of the IRS, to deal with my graduate student tuition reimbursement by claiming it as income and then drawing a line through a deduction for moving expenses on the Form 1040 schedule for itemized deductions and writing-in my own description of the tuition reimbursement as a deductible educational expense. This was in a year in which the IRS had suddenly decided that its own regulations made it ambiguous whether tuition-reimbursed grad students should claim our tuition as income, the tax on which would have exceeded my stipend. Reports at the time showed that information provided by the IRS to tax payers was accurate no more than 50% of the time. Perhaps they have improved since then.

I rely entirely upon TurboTax to tell me how to file my taxes correctly; all I do is find the pieces of paper and type in the numbers. When every "Important Tax-Related Document" has made its contribution to the database, then I believe I must be done. It's no surprise to me that entire giant classes of income could be overlooked, classes of income that are bizarre and outré to us, but normal for the rich. A tax error by me looks big to me but looks tiny to guys who make a couple-million per year, whereas their tax errors could consume multiple years of salary for us sorta-normal folk.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of people who take "free" labor for granted and never question whether they should be paying for it, or how much -- just exactly how did Sam Gamgee make a living? Frodo never paid him any wages, and there seemed to be no set job description. Yet, it always was understood that Sam would be there for Frodo. Personally, I think Sam should have raised this issue before the final march up to, and into, Mt. Doom. Maybe threaten a work stoppage.

Laborers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I get slapped back every time I make untoward references to the sexual habits of hobbits, but perhaps Sam is taking his salary out in trade. Or food.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Daschle apparently was short $148,000 of tax on an income of about $5.2 million. That means he owed an additional 2.8% of his income in taxes, compared to whatever he actually paid. State and Federal combined taxes are about 1/3rd of income for me -- since I know that rich guys benefit from regressive (or at least, insufficiently progressive) tax rates, I would estimate that he would owe on the order of 25% of income in taxes, in the absence of tax shelters, etc. Even if he has tax shelters, etc., the amount of money that they are "protecting" would have to be on the order of 25-33% of his gross income. That means that his supposed wicked attempt to defraud the government was on the order of 10% of his tax bill. That puts it in the category of book-keeping errors for someone with complex financial arrangements, which seems likely for a person who mysteriously manages to get paid $5.2 million for two years' worth of ambiguous "work."

Unless more issues come to light, I really do believe that this is an honest mistake brought on by ludicrously complex and obfuscatory tax regulations combined with overly aggressive financial advisors who failed to understand that Daschle's reputation is worth far more to him than a paltry couple-hundred thou. I think there is a real problem here, in that it's *possible* for a former legislator to cash in on his reputation to this extent. I think the tax problem, however, is a trivial distraction from matters of genuine substance.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out where a woman's plethysmo is located. Ya spend the first few years of post-puberty beating your brains out rtying to figure out where all this stuff is and how to use, and just when you think you got it pretty much figured out (and when you could have used some of this knowledge a bit earlier), WHAM! they got a new piece of anatomy to figure out.

I had enough trouble back when there were only four bases (three bases and homeplate, technically speaking; you gotta remember, I was an umpire for 17 years). No, it's like there are 27 whole other bases they added. A guy's gotta ask himself, gee, I wonder if she'll let me get to 23rd base tonight...if I can figure out where the hell it is.

And then Raysmom and Frosti are no dang help, suggesting that self-selection has somehow screwed the results.

Yeah, that's what *I* was tryin' to do, too!

*walks away mumbling and grumbling about the plethysmo probably being some tantric thing that Sting came up with*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe in a few years I can go to Broadway and go see a play called "The Plethysmo Monologs."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

As near as I could figure out from the NYT article, a plethysmograph is sorta like a Stimulus Package with a miner's light on it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The common denominator in all these nominations seems to be the unnecessarily complex and arcane tax laws. If the guys that write these laws can't follow them, what hope do we have?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Are we talking about Fellini again??

*perplexed look*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Finally logged in to NYT and read the article. Firstly, I strongly suspect selection did skew the results. But maybe not so much to invalidate all the data. I will say that evaluating all this in our culture is very difficult. Lots of taboos, multiple layers of them. The final part about meanings of words such as narcissism and domination, etc. was most relevant.

I'm just composing a song about bonobos, myself.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And why does a guy pulling down 2-3 large a year need to give it up to become a civil servant? What is the incremental value added delta to being both a former Senator AND a former HHS Secretary? There must be some ROI on the opportunity cost of a few years at a mere six-figure income.

In the 70s my parents knew a neurosurgeon in the Air Force that quit with fifteen years of service. His accountant convinced him that five years of private practice more than covered the net present worth of the entire lifetime military retirement package.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

You ain't the only one, Scotty.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

What do women want? Less s*x. It’s a taboo subject, unlike self-love and monkey love, so you’ve gotta pour a lotta wine down a gal’s throat to get her to discuss it. But buried deep in women’s brains, down under the Lobe of Nurturing and next to the section that makes them want everyone to get along, is the Corpus Getoffmeum.

You’d never know it by reading anything in the press these days. Not too long ago you could hardly open a newspaper or magazine without reading about those folks who urge us to do the nasty every single day for a year. Can. You. Imagine. “It brings couples to a new level of intimacy,” they piped. Yeah, well so does holding your partner’s head while they vomit beer and chicken wings out the car window. At least that activity has the benefit of hilarious story-telling in your sunset years.

Then there were all those (male) preachers extolling the virtue of constant congress. It’s a world gone mad, in my opinion, when the Word begins with an F.

Of course there’s the tyranny of fashion mags, chock-full of photos of expensive and uncomfortable duds designed to make women look smokin' hot. In a journalistic lapse I have yet to hear discussed on “On The Media,” none of these rags contain any kind of warning that women should only wear that stuff when they wanna git some.

Which is not never. Just less often. A crestfallen pal recently sighed over the state of his marriage (which is rock-solid, by the way). He told his wife that he wanted to do something special, just the two of him. “Oh!” she gushed, “Let’s watch two whole DVDs of ‘Lost’ right in a row!”

I bet I can guess what they did when they switched off the TV. Maybe there were monkeys on those episodes.


--signed, the former KPage

Posted by: KBoom | February 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I've got nothing new to say on Daschle's taxes, but OMG: when did he start wearing the Sally Jessy Raphael glasses?

I think yello's question about his health care industry ties raises more potential flags for me than his taxes. Yanno, the fox:henhouse thing.

But then, try to find anyone on Capitol Hill that *doesn't* have some sort of financial connection to the health care industry.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I have a *major* financial connection to the health care industry: they've taken all my money, and plan to take a lot more.

And I'm still too short.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually, K-Fled, that article *did* kinda say women wanted less sex.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

mako2: //The sexology article was just a long-winded, arguably scientifically based report that confirms what us married men already know: Women are so complex, they don't even know for themselves what they really want. No surprise here.//

Pretty condescending, mako2. Also untrue.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Speak for yourself, kboom!

It's becoming clearer. While "what women want" is approachable, mileage may vary by woman on specific topics.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, I gotta tell ya, I just exploded in laughter at KBoom's post -- very, very funny and oh, so true!

I also agree with you all about Daschle. I'm sure our cool President is muttering expletives, but he'll find someone else and life will go on.

One of my friends who moved up to Pennsylvania (close to Philadelphia) and I just chatted. She told me that she and all other employees got an email from the CEO saying that because of the economy, there would be no further matching funds for the 401(k)s and no salary raises for the foreseeable future. The CEO then proceeded to talk about what a wonderful time he had at some high-level management meeting in St. Nevis. Uh-huh. Un-you-know-ef fing-believable. . . .Tin ears all around, yanno?

Mudge, you are a hoot!

And, dear Yoki -- I'm glad you're settling in, but when you asked Mudge to help you transfer some hangars to your closet, what I was wondering was if you wanted him to bring the jumbo jets along, too. . . . (think about it, my dear).

Okay, enough playing. Gonna go back and do some work. Dang!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Oops, ftb. RD_Padouk isn't the only one who needs fewer typos.

That isn't as bad as the email I once sent to lots of people in my firm, talking about the anals of company history.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Your 12:58. I missed it, too.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Lunch waas terrific today, BTW. Love the apartment, love what you've done with it.

If only it were in Washington.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 3, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a real bummer when spellcheck doesn't catch those typos, isn't it, Yoki? They make good stories, though.

Personally, I leave spellcheck on but grammar check drives me nuts, so it's always off.

Amen, KBoom, amen.

Yeah, shame about Daschle. I always liked him.

I'm going to the accountant on Monday. If there are mistakes in my taxes, it's all his fault. And, given the losses my investments incurred in 2008, if I have to pay any taxes this year, I'm gonna be mad as he11.

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Curmudgeon. Do you know, I've actually thought about that? Wondered whether Skadden Arps or another big firm needs a BD guru in DC? The actual plan is to move to our Toronto office in about a year, and at least then it is just a cheap 1-hour flight to see you all.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

My 4:42 was directed and KBoom, not ftb. This is *so* not my experience, I'm with dbG on this topic.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh puh-leez. There's enough men who also don't know what they want to make it a universal of the human condition. They think they do.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 3, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, let's concede that naked men in rut aren't things of poetry. Which is why poetry and all that other stuff was invented, basically.

I think the research confounds arousal with desire. Not to be indelicate, but how many people actively lust for their hands or spare socks and so on?

And here's the plain point: the cost of desire is far, far greater than the cost of momentary arousal for women.

Hence, KBoom's "corpus getoffmeum" is far larger than in men (if it exists).

In men, it's almost the opposite.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's build a fort, Yoki.

Just imagine the membership rules! :-)

I believe many people, men and women, don't know what they want. But a lot do.

And maybe even more would if they had the grace of sleeping well for a week, the luxury of enough cash to not worry a whole lot about it and time to reflect, without guilt, on where they really want to be and who they really are. It's all unique to every individual, although there are broad themes which encompass all humanity.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Jumper. There's too much superficial stereotyping about this subject. Now, I kinda wish I hadn't said anything.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hard conversation to have in open cyperspace. Indeed, hard conversation to have in real life complete with all nuance channels open.

Here is a sciencey-NASA thingie about innovation and stifling-ness of some cultures. Tis on Wayne Hale's blog. He ran the Shuttle programs for years. Scroll down in view the "Law and Order" spoof made by young NASA employees. I hope they keep their jobs.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 3, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes. I concur, CP.

Reading those articles almost felt like being vivisected and then being told the key to it all lies within your spleen.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most fun music videos I've seen in a long time. Don't know if the music is any good.

Warning for RD: redheads lurk within...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

CP, in less than ten minutes that video summarized my entire career at the fire department. I sooo identify with those kids! I may have even had it worse, because my organization was military in background!

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't really understand your 5:15, Wilbrod. But except to say nthat I thought that article was interesting, I haven't made a to-be-taken-seriously comment on it yet. So far have just been riffing and trying out jokes.

I also concur with CP that it isn't something we can or should openly discuss truthfully and frankly here.

Somewhat seriously, I think I did detect one small nugget of gold in it that really did answer the question, "What do women want?" According to one of the researchers, the answer seems to be: "To be desired." That was the common thread that ran throughnone section and seemed to span all ranges and categories.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 3, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, heck. I was just trying to be funny. I mean, doesn't anyone else get a laugh out of the amount of sex we're bombarded with every day? It's ca-razy!

Posted by: KBoom | February 3, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

yes, to be desired... and also humoured... nothing like a good laugh to turn a woman on :)... seriously!!!

Posted by: MissToronto | February 3, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Evening, Boodle. Hope everybody is happy safe and warm.

I declare that I am officially settled in. I know this because I cooking a real supper, something I haven't had time, materials or inclination for during the most hectic days.

Himself, bless his heart, brought the van down and took away all the empty moving boxes, so I now have a living room I can live in ):

I miss #2 and the dogs (though not the drifts of dog hair) a lot.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

EYE knew it was a joke, KBoom!

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, Mudge. Lucky for romantic guys, isn't it?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Yoki
I am sure pretty soon you'll have the nicest apartment in your building,at least the one with the nicest smell coming out of it.

Saw some strange anaimal sights on my way to work, a cow outside of a fence,eating a cedar tree,standing on 2 legs,it must have been hungry. a flock of geese, flying not in formation. 2 hawks in trees along the highway,both with yellow feet?

Something came by and took the oranges I threw out in the yard last week,but i didn't see any elephant tracks.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

All these things sound like portents of great change, greenwithenvy!

And thank you for the congratulations. I don't think the very old people in the building think the cooking I do smells good. They think it is "exotic," and in their book this is not a good thing. You know, onions and garlic and ginger and cardomom!

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Onions and garlic can be a bit whiffy, true, although savory--but who could complain about cardamom?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess you will just have to have the neighbors over for dinner and drinks.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Vodka martinis with curried cocktail onions, cardamom tea, ginger-lime rickeys, and garlic canapes...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, one of my neighbours is 100 years old. If she didn't eat it in her childhood, it is exotic. And therefore undesirable. And cardomom falls within this category.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Ah, you're already finding who the fussbudgets are, Yoki. I just hope she does not own a wee yappy dog.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I wondered if Joel came here to talk to Nathan...I didn't post anything because I couldn't spell Myrhvold (probably still can't). Wonder if he needs any minions to sort letters into piles or something?

I'm trying to figure out if I can do my own taxes again after going to an accountant for a few years. If I screw them up, how long before the IRS would notice? Probably a New York minute.

Posted by: seasea | February 3, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I met Tom Daschle between segments when I went to the Newseum to stalk, er, see Maureen Dowd on This Week. Daschle and Evan Bayh were on the early segment and I got their pictures while they were waiting for the elevator. When the camera came out they turned on the smiles.

They both just oozed Politician.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | February 3, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

gwe -- the worst kind! Stealth elephants!

Posted by: nellie4 | February 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, yes that is good music. The song is as entrancing and captivating as the video. It is a beautiful combination.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 3, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Just catching up, Yoki glad you are settling in well - did I read correctly a potential TO future! So exciting.

KBoom - I laughed at your post - well done.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 3, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope & trust that Americans will continue to find excuses for the corruption of those who are thought to hold political opinions similar to there own. It's only those other guys!

Posted by: Nebreklaw01 | February 3, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

A person who's 100 should be indulged a little, but for good food? Oh well, she doesn't have to eat it if it's exotic. Even I try new things, unless they involve organ meat...but if I live to be 100, I'll eat what I d@mn well please.

I'm glad things are going well, Yoki. You'll soon adjust to a new routine and have everything fall into place. Won't it be nice when the dottir visits?

Do you plan to have pets? Are they allowed? *Sigh* The constant hair removal is one reason I've never pushed to have a dog in my present home.

Posted by: slyness | February 3, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

KBoom's expose of the world's worst kept secret reminded me of this classic SNL commercial for Vi@gr@:

(tinyurl to avoid spam filter)

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, one word: poodles. They really do not shed. Not, "shed a little" or "shed seasonally." They. Do. Not. Shed.

And the one we have acquired is the smartest and sweetest dog I have ever known.

Posted by: nellie4 | February 3, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Except for Bernese Mountain Dogs, nellie.

Berners shed a lot (a lot!), but it is worth it, for the sweetness.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Some genetic tweaks,
And I could be a member
Of the no-shed club...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the Lord who
knighted me "Sir Sheds-a-lot,"
I'm a fur errant
Now and furever roaming
the winds, or carried on sleeves...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 3, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Just got an invitation to a big ski day from a major accounting firm. Louise. -10C, 143 cm of base, 56 cm of new snow in the last week, 10 cm of new powder in the last 24 hours. Eight high-speed quad chairs, three mountainsides. I am *so* going.

Hey, it's work! I'm obliged, reely.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I believe I read an article not too long ago about Myhrvold's IV invention forums, where he invites a bunch of really smart people to get together for awhile and just talk about a problem, but lets the conversations and ideas go wherever they may. As I believe I recall from that piece, he has a person who just records the conversations and the ideas that pop out of them, and then harvests the best for follow-up and possible patent application. Some might call it mercenary, but apparrently, it's effective.

Yoki, glad to hear you're settling in well and enjoying life in your new digs. No doubt the neighbors will soon find excuses to drop by around dinner time, and hope for an invitation...

Jumper, read Ms. Ouellette's bit (if you're reading this - hi Jen!) about 11 dimensions, branching timelines, and watched the video - interestingly, it reminded me somewhat of that Kit I wrote for Joel last year...

As far as the "What Do Women Want?" article goes, I've been reading it (and I'll probably pick it back up again tomorrow afternoon after some Very Important Meetings I'm hosting tomorrow morning). I've long wondered - as a friend mentioned to me this very evening - *who* volunteers for these kinds of studies? I'm glad that people feel a swelling spirit of volunteerism, a love of science and are open to experimentation, but even *I* would not be comfortable subjected to those kinds of experiments. I wonder if those volunteering for such studies perhaps skew the results somewhat because of their personalities. Perhaps I'm wrong, too. I wasn't there, didn't undergo the testing myself, witness anything, and did not talk to the volunteers, so I can't really speak to that with any real knowledge, but still it seems - curious to me.

On a tax note - I don't blame people for weird tax problems. I'm a small fish, and I have weird tax problems from time to time - it's tough to figure out and get right, IMO. I'd expect folks with lots of money and professional resources to have troubles, too. The flippin' Federal tax codes are pretty complex and difficult to get right, and the more money you have the harder it would be, I'd think.

Personally, I understand why Daschle and Killefer had to withdraw, but I also understand that they had professionals do their taxes, and even *they* didn't get it right.




Posted by: -bc- | February 3, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

That was in the New Yorker, wasn't it, bc?

Thanks, truly, for the good wishes.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Evening all
Tonight's ride was much prettier then last nights.Half of a moon setting to the west.When you have moonshine off of the snow shine it is quite a beautiful sight.The potomac was lit up by both and i even saw a 3 headlight train rolling down the valley. It was quite nice. Also some rockin tunes. the who's "slip kit" Steeley Dans "no static" amd a rockin song called rockbottom by somebody....very nice.

Hey how about the Caps, beating Detroit,Ottawa and New Jersey.I'd say that is a pretty good week.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Worry the bottle mamma,
it's grapefruit wine
Kick off your high heel sneakers,
it's party time
The girls don't seem to care
what's on
As long as it plays till dawn
Nothin but blues and elvis
And somebody else's
favorite song

Give her some funked up music,
she treats you nice
Feed her some hungry reggae,
she'll love you twice
The girls don't seem to care
As long as the mood is right

FM - no static at all

Started the "what women want" article, got lost. I think Steely Dan had it figured out.

As for the taxes, the one that bugs me the most is Geithner.
"Last month, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner survived his tax controversy -- not paying taxes on income earned while he worked at the International Monetary Fund, despite receiving written notification saying he needed to."
Seems like it was made very clear to him what he needed to do, tax-wise, and he still got it wrong, and then, when the error was pointed out, he didn't amend his previous years' returns right away. He's going to oversee the IRS! Bah.

Posted by: seasea | February 4, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Very early dawn patrol starting up here. I've set up the timer on the coffeepot and hot water for tea. There's bread rising in the oven, eggs and all the fixings for Bacon Explosion Benedict in the fridge.

Why is the texture of low-sodium V-8 different (and not in a good way) than regular V-8?

Posted by: -dbG- | February 4, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

We're not really set up to do that kind of groundbreaking research here, dbG. I suggest you don't make waves.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 4, 2009 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Morning. Just as well that I herded the orchids, some little palms, a begonia, and the new little jaboticaba tree into the garage. Isn't freezing this morning, but probably will tonight.

greenwithenvy's report reminds me of the classic "Pink Moon" commercial from VW.

I had a snow failure a decade ago, when I was living in Portland, Oregon. Didn't leave work and scurry to the Japanese Garden on a day when snow fell and the Garden likely stayed open, at least for a bit.

Yesterday, an HD radio arrived. After some fiddling around with the antenna, it did indeed pick up the alternative programming of the local public radio station. Why do I have the same feeling as I did when buying a bargain HDDVD player?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 4, 2009 5:40 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. We have the "white stuff". It's called snow. It seems to be just a little bit, but won't really know until light. My car is covered, so that doesn't look good.

Yoki, glad you're settling in. I can imagine there will be delicious aromas flowing from your place.

I did not read the article, what women want, but enjoyed frosti's take on the whole matter. I suspect there may be some issues or variables that may skew up the outcome on that.

As for the kit, it sounds like this person wants everybody's dreams, and then, he'll sell them to the highest bidder? There may be a saving grace in that, like better this or that, yet it has a strong scent of something else. I'm reminded of "owning the world" when I read the kit. As with many things, this is certainly out of my league.

Loomis, how are you? I'm not a gambling woman in the sense of taking risk with money, but I'm kind of thinking, President Obama isn't going to please you in anything he does?

Mudge, Martooni, Scotty, and all, have a great day, folks.*waving*

Slyness, how's the weather?

This is usually the busy day, but don't know if I'll be able to ride today. Just might have to postpone stuff, and become a snow wimp.

Time for coffee.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 4, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Many thanks for the prep, dbG; the coffee smells good. No, I don't like low-sodium V-8 either. My wife buys some for me from time to time in the belief she's doing me a favor. I prefer the high-octane V-8. (Do you put lemon in yours, like iced tea? I do. If you don't, try it some time. Ditto tomato juice. Changes it ever so subtly.)

Yoki, it was NYT. Link is at the bottom of Joel's kit.

I don't think it's intellectually very useful to start questioning the motivations of the people who were recruited for those studies (said a former lab rat who was recruited for three years in a diabetes study at Georgetown). Offhand, I'd guess their motivations were roughly the same as those of the thousands and thousands of people Masters & Johnson studied (and photographed), and that Kinsey studied.

On the front page, Obama is taking a bullet for his picks. Let's see, the guy's been in office two weeks and he admits he made mistakes. George Bush was in office eight years and made nary an error. Interesting.

OK, time to get going. Later, dudes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 4, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

For NYCphiles etc.:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 4, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

And I forgot to send this earlier for Coffeephiles:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 4, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

I've procrastinated long enough. Time to shovel.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Is it morning yet?

We have white stuff on the ground, so no walk for me. I'll happily stay in the ready room with all the goodies and warmth.

Mr. T went out for the paper and came back empty-handed. He said there were lots of wrecks on black ice, so I'm going to call in a few to make sure he got to work okay.

Cassandra, stay in and stay warm!

Good morning, DNA Girl! Nice to see you up so early.

Posted by: slyness | February 4, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Braguine | February 4, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

It's cold outside the chateau.

I'm still fighting with the laptop. Vista has a way of disorganizing a gobbling up transfered files. AAARRRGGGHHH.

Posted by: Braguine | February 4, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

bc, I noted yesterday's Reliable Source quoted a Super Bowl producer as saying both JH and FH lip-synced.

I also note that, although we've gone over the issue with a fine-tooth comb, WaPo takes another look at the octuplets:

I also note that prolonged snow showers (perhaps you could call them a snow squall) elicit much the same regional response as a legitimate icing event. *SIGH*







*counting-the-days-until-my-skiing-vacation-with-NukeSpawn-and-desparately-seeking-more-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Re: Daschle (and this is a serious question), why is it an embarrassment for Obama? The guy looked like a good pick, on paper. Was Obama supposed to do a tax audit first? Was he suppposed to know Daschle had this car deal going? I just don't know.

Posted by: KBoom | February 4, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

Scotty, I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to torment you.

This is my last day off work, and I'm pleased at how much I have got done.

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

KBoom - I'm not sure were the embarrassment comes in either. That Obama didn't immediately force the guy to withdraw his nomination when the controversy started speaks, to me, well of the President. Maybe he is just trying to be a leader and taking responsibility for all the things that happen in his watch, not just the good ones.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Been meaning to post this item, so here goes:

Search on "Marc Edwards" in WaPo and read the series of articles over the last ten days that reveal shocking actions about lead in water coverups.

Those who live here know that the issue has been simmering. Edwards, a 2007 MacArthur "genius" is emerging as a hero.

Off to teach in the lovely and huge snowflakes. Watch out for slipping-slidey moments here.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 4, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Of course not, Yoki, it's just the juxtaposition of being teased by snow squalls as I read of your Louisian luxury...

*weeping quietly in the corner* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - just take solace in your coming skiing adventure. Some of us realize that any activity involving that many kinetic degrees of freedom is, in the interest of public safety, forever beyond our reach.

But I can do a mean snow-tube.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Of this I have no doubt, RD_P. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Another day, another 50 cents. Before taxes.

Speaking of taxes and expanding on bc's post last night, it seems to me that a couple of things have not been mentioned. First, the people we're talking about here are quarterly filers, not annual. Their filings never get a pass...someone at the IRS looks over each and every filing. Different analysts want different incomes on different forms. And you don't get the same analyst twice. Besides that, any IRS problem solved in 5 months is, in my book, record time. Something along the lines of "an honest mistake." I think it's important to note that sometimes the honest mistake is made on the part of the IRS, not the filer.

As The Tims pointed out yesterday, the dollar figures involved here are not substantial *to that filer*, especially when those quarterly filings require figures that are estimated.

Have a great day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

KBoom, I think the "embarrassed" word was used mostly by the media.... buzz word of the day. Obama (or his people who did the vetting) *should* have been given the tax information by the candidates up front. If no line appeared on the candidate information form, a perfect fit line, you see, the candidate could have written it in, or his/her accoountant/tax specialist. It's the transparency thing, again & again.

In my view, Daschle should never have accepted the nomination if he was not clean & clear. I'm beginning to wonder just how many squeeky clean politicians we really do have in our government.

I saw the clip in which Obama said he was a little angry, but he's so cool I saw no evidence of anger. He *is* gravely serious, the weight of the world he has taken on, not to be shrugged off.

The surprise visit to the elementary schoolers yesterday was touching. If the President is having a bad day in the White House, 'tis good to see the children who he is working for, for their future, a reminder of why he took the job.

BTW, Sharon Bulova won, hooray. Nice pun by Mudge in previous link on the *watch*.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 4, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Wilbon makes takes a stand.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "makes takes?" Okay, this one I am sorta blaming on the software. I overran the buffer.

VL - I was alarmed by the low turnout. I mean, in many ways these local elections affect our lives in more salient ways than do the national ones. Well, at least we didn't have to stand in a long line.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

He takes a stand on a shaky premise, RD_P.

Was the party in the middle of the street? Was the hit taken in front of a bay window with no curtains?

Yes, Phelps screwed up -- not in exercising his right to be stupid, but in thinking he has any privacy. But I have trouble criticizing him because some other shmuck documented a moment that has nothing to do with why he's a role model. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

RD, about 16% of registered voters, don't be alarmed. Just think of the power you have b/c you took the time to vote. :-)

WaPo front page article pointed out that only about 100,000 more Fairfax voters turned out last year for the full board election PLUS the whole state general assembly.

The low voter turn-out issue is supposed to be being addressed now as a state bill to eliminate reasons for voting absentee. In other words, if it passes, voters can vote absentee when it is convenience for them, no reason required. Dunno if it really will up the percentages, but it *should*.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 4, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon's is but one opinion. The folks that will determine whether his endorsement deals should continue are the ones holding the contracts. *They* determine whether they want to continue with him. And, like it or not, those folks decide based, in large part, on public opinion. And thus public so far has issued a collective shrug.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "And thus far the public has issued a collective shrug."

Jeezy peezy, I even previewed.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 4, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. From the commentary I've read and heard it does seem that Mr. F caught the mood-Daschle was just getting paid too much, by companies too close to the issues he'd be handling. Having this '86 commercial resurface didn't help
(It was on the Daily Show last night)

Buried in the stim package is a proposal to benefit military homeowners who have to move on official orders and can't sell their homes without taking a big loss. (Similar to a program they use under the base closure process.) Looks interesting. If passed, and the frostfam decided to participate, we'd have to eat up to a 10% loss on the Tampa house. Soldiers who bought after Jan. '06 would not be eligible, the reasoning being that by then they should have seen that inflated prices were on their way down.

-27F (ing) degrees here this morning. I am going to enjoy my second mocha while I take a second look at that fine coffee artwork DNA girl linked.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

But just think of all the extra endorsement money Phelps could make from snack foods:

"When I have the munchies, I reach for a bag of Duh-Ritos. After I put down the bong."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

SCC: not ONLY in exercising...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I liked Wilbon's column. I don't give a rat's patootie if Michael Phelps does any number of unsavory things, but claiming youthful indiscretion at 23 and expecting an apology and "won't do it again" promise to wipe the slate clean is laughable. Normally I loathe the trotting out of this particular military comparison, but a 23yo Lieutenant would be leading our sons and daughters, held to a much higher standard of conduct, and paid far less. I don't bring this up to say the Lt. should get the endorsements, or be considered a hero, but to show that even in extreme circumstances a 23yo can and should be a grown up.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 4, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 4, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I happened to catch "The View" the other day and they were discussing the Phelps thing. Of course, the only one who had a real problem with it was whats-her-name (Elizabeth?) the conservative. Even Barbara Walters didn't think it was a big deal. Whoopie pretty much nailed it with "he's just a kid being a kid... how many people here tried pot when they were kids?"

Personally, I think anyone who's never tried it should. Maybe then they'll be able to chill out and reflect long enough to realize they probably had a few youthful indiscretions of their own that might be a bit embarassing if they were to surface.

I'm no equestrian, but I'm thinking the saddles on those high horses must be very uncomfortable on the knees to make them jerk so quickly.

Peace out... :-)

(and please pass the dutchie my way... I could use a chill that doesn't involve shivering)

Posted by: martooni | February 4, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I just want to go on record to any potential sponsors that for $100,000,000 I guarantee no pictures of me, present or past, taking a bong hit will appear.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 4, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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