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That Obama Op-Ed

Although I'm thrilled that President Obama is now writing for our Op-Ed page, this was not his finest literary hour. My favorite line was the italic thing at the end saying, "The writer is president of the United States." It was just too talking-points-ish.

He should call me next time and I'll coach 'im up, give him some tips on how to write something really great that's not overly burdened by having a "point."

He needs, for one thing, to tell us more about what it's like to sit on his new, big-arse porch. Does he fire up a stoge? Nurse a fine pinot? Have imaginary conversations with TJ in his distant rotunda?

But no: He's gotta bend our ear about this stim-, excuse me, "recovery" bill. I'm sorry to tell you this, Mr. President, but even in a hideous recession, economics is boring. Come on: What was your Super Bowl party like? Work with us, here. You'll do better I'm sure in next week's column. (By the way, Mr. President: Can you also do a web video? A blog item for PostPartisan?)


I read this excellent David Corn column just now, and once again became aware of my own uncanny and unnatural blogtriloquism.

Corn: "President Barack Obama needs to get outside the Beltway...Obama has the communication skills of Reagan plus communications technologies that the Gipper could not have dreamed of. But he is only now beginning to ramp up."

Achenblog : "Don't go wonky. Keep making speeches to adoring throngs. Just because you finally have a real, executive-type job, and 2.6 million employees under your particular branch of government, doesn't mean you should stop doing what you do better than just about anyone, which is campaign -- or, more precisely, inspire people. You got the biggest megaphone in the world, so don't hesitate to use it. And the Republicans don't have to sign off on any of your speechifying."


I liked this comment in the boodle yesterday by Butlerguy -- it was on topic for the kit, among other marvels -- but after I quote it I want to disagree with one element:

Butlerguy: "seems to me that nobody 'forgets' to pay their taxes,especially when the amount 'forgotten' requires six figures. and nobody i know 'forgets' their household 'help'. maybe that's because i live among the unwashed whose only household 'help' is themselves. these people are crooks, plain and simple, and should be labeled as such, tossed out on their behinds, and prosecuted if necessary.

"i have been paying my own taxes since 1966, and i have never, ever fudged on anything. paying taxes is how this thing called democracy works. it's part of the deal. it's not stupid and it's not just for the foolish. it's your duty. people like to think that cheating on taxes is ok because there is waste in government. i would suggest that cheating on taxes means there isn't enough body armor for the kids in Iraq, or enough funding to maintain walter reed, etc. etc. (i'll stop ranting now, before i kill the boodle. but isn't it obvious that if everyone cheats and does their best to pay as little as possible instead of their fair share that the whole thing will fall apart?)"

Dear Butlerguy: I share your taxes philosophy. But on Daschle: He didn't do anything criminal or even close to it. First, although his timing was off a bit, he flagged the car and driver. Had he said nothing, no one would have been the wiser. This has been somewhat lost in the shuffle of the news. The transition team flagged some undocumented charitable contributions (but no one has suggested that they weren't real contributions -- and he gave quite a lot of money to charity) and a payment that he didn't report that everyone seems to agree was the result of a clerical error. But Daschle turned himself in on the car and driver, and that's where the real eye-popping back taxes came from -- the "imputed" income of the car service, when calculated at an exorbitant retail rate (how he now wishes he'd called a cab!). The real problem (as I understand it) was that he didn't register the car service as being all that unusual. You or I would surely have realized that this was a taxable perk, but Daschle had been driven around for years. He had campaigned as the guy who still drove a beater, but he soared so high in the political firmament that he forgot that normal people drive their own vehicles. [Insert obligatory Icarus simile.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 5, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hard Times at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Next: Creeping Surrealism Part 397



Posted by: Gomer144 | February 5, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If Daschle is Icarus, does that make Obama the sun?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This is really an excellent Kit. Thank you Joel.

Hi, everybody! *Grover waves* Just surfacing for a moment. The baby lawyers are in fine form, very funny and lively. Much fun is being had by all.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

And I'm glad I don't watch the morning infotainment shows...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! *return Grover waves*

Have the cygnetories molted their first robes yet?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice kit, Joel, but if we get a front-page link, I just know we're gonna get those "How dare you criticize..." blah-blah-blah drive-bys.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse


Speaking of the front page, we gotta talk to the headline writers:

"Solis Senate Session Postponed"

I mean really, the obvious verb is "Sidetracked," yanno?

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, yes, good point!

Posted by: russianthistle | February 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I repeat myself here but the taxes were as much the issue for Daschle as for old AlCapone. Getting a cool $5M in the past couple of years as the quintessential Warshington insider was the real problem.

Now, what would be the colour for a garage door; boring light beige, boring dark beige or boring greyish beige?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I believe I have already whined interminably about the WaPo online copy desk (as opposed to the print desk, which is much better and also located in the main building, not in Arlington).

But yes. And about taxes. Jeez, Louise.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

And not even HER taxes! *shaking my head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

And now we know what color to choose when we repaint the bunker...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Quickly converting my backgrounds on my laptop to red - wishful thinking that the typos will improve!

Posted by: dmd2 | February 5, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Shriek, comparing Daschle's tax problems to Al Capone's isn't exactly fair.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Scotty, no...please tell me we're not re-painting the bunker.

Don't you remember the last couple of times...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

At this rate, there isn't going to be anybody qualified to take the jobs. Time to rethink the tax code, scary thought though that is.

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

A chuckle, a joke, and a wink-- that's how Reagan did it.

Okay, how many of us REALLY want another Reagan in office right now?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Part of the arcane nature of the tax structure is to make everyone ineligible for political posts because nobody is completely untarnished. The people they want in have transgressions overlooked and the ones they don't undergo the proctoscope. Then it just becomes a game of gotcha.

Chris Buckley in 'Supreme Courtship' has a segment where two highly qualified nominees are rejected on extremely nit-picky ancient issues that no reasonable person would find disqualifying, but the opposition politicians find a way to make hay of it.

It's much funnier in the book.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I think Joel was referring to communication style, not political philosophy;)

Posted by: Raysmom | February 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What I meant is the tax issue is the pretext in both cases. The issue for Tom is that he is the classic Washington revolving-door insider Obama said he would avoid like the plage (although the type is very useful in making the law-making wheel turn). And of course Al was a murderous violent thug, he must have been the only one sent to Alcatraz for tax evasion.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC pretense

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

A client of ours painted their windowless underground bunker a baby blue because it is supposed to be soothing and relaxing. The place looks like a day care center now.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Sad news about Ginsberg. Hope maybe they caught it in time. This may well be Obama's first SC seat to fill. I guess we'll see how bi-partisanship is really going to work if we have a nomination hearing coming up soon.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 5, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree with that analysis 100%. If you can't get them on the real objection, call in the accountants.

And WaPo will get a lot of grief for being in the tank for Barack by publishing Obama's editorial. I would counter that they would have printed anything Dubya submitted but the crayon crumbs kept jamming the scanner.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

hahaha, good one, yello.

I'm thinking that I will never stop laughing at GWB-as-nincompoop jokes. (well, the good ones anyway) Do you think that's a failure in me? Do I need to move on?

Posted by: Kim1 | February 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how the sacred language washes off on the layman's. "Unworthiness to inherit" (a poor translation of "indignité successorale") is a cool legal concept; you can't inherit from the one you kill.
I like the French better, the accused is declared "unworthy/indigne".
Engelmann, see Attorney General of Canada and Treasury Board of Canada v. Constance St-Hilaire

The poor cow killed her alcoholic husband in a drunken argument and lost his pension. Drats.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Obama wrote the op-ed. I just wish it were picked up and carried by other papers, including red-state ones. Ivansdad says Obama is sounding pretty mad today - said he went over some of the programs people were carping at and then asked "Who ARE these people?" Good for him.

Yoki, I'm glad the baby lawyers are perky. Remember, though, they're still young. Don't tell them the whole truth!

Regarding the question about Madoff from last Boodle, entenmann - I mean Engelmann - had it right, and put it very sweetly too. Thanks!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

And from last boodle, I finally watched 'Sicko', which had been clogging my NetFlix list for weeks, just so I could return it. I came away a convert to single-payer health care. I just don't know how to get to there from here.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki and Mudge, many sharks are viviparous. They give birth to fully grown "pups" from sacks the mother hatches.
AS wiki says other viviparians incorporates " this behavior, such as in scorpions, some sharks, some snakes, and velvet worms."

Sharks, snakes, scorpions and velvet worms. Good company.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse


Always good to hear from you, but I'm wondering, and I don't know if I should ask, why are you covered in Crisco?

I read President Obama's editorial, and I, too, like the ending, the writer is the President of the United States. I think it's a good editorial, and it hits all the main points. My dad thinks President Obama should get really, really, angry, and tell these folks to take a flying leap. Of course, he doesn't quite express it that way.

Just getting back in, and need to warm up. Have a good evening, and keep warm.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 5, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cassandra -- is your dad interested in joining the boodle? I think he'd be fun to have around. And of course, we love you to pieces.

I also think Obama should get mad and start pushing back, as apparently he is doing. And not a moment too soon.

A single payor health system is really the only way to go. Good grief, if Congress and all the other gummint workers can take advantage of the dreaded "socialized medicine" why the expletive can't we??? We're the ones who pay for their health care, after all. May I see a show of hands in agreement?


I'm going to try even harder to recruit new boodle members among my vast network of irreverent and funny friends and colleagues (what? you thought I only hang around with scowling, unfunny people? Nah -- I avoid such creatures assiduously (one of my favorite words, btw, along with "propitious").

Time to fix some dinner, methinks.

Enjoy your evening, jointly and severally.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 5, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Just remember that I should only be enjoyed in moderation, and in combination with a healthy lifestyle.

SD, here's your case courtesy the wonderful Canlii website:

Posted by: engelmann | February 5, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama may write a mean op ed, but does *he* have a 'boodle?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann: when you must be immoderate.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I'm dead certain the WaPo put Obama's op-ed out in its WaPo Syndicate wire. I'll bet, too, the White House sent it out to everybody. (Whether some of the rightwing newspapers will print it remainsto be seen.)

Nothing like a perky fee urchin to put a bounce in your step.

These two gigunda prehistoric whales are lying on the beach in the moonlight, smoking cigarettes. The boy whale turns to the girl whale and asks, "So...was it good for you, too? Or was it just a fluke?"

That's all I got. Time to go scrounge some dinner. Leftover chili, methinks: excellent on a bitter cold evening like this.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 5, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I have a huge favour to ask: my nephew and one of his classmates are en route to DC, as I write (they're in Pa, about three four hrs. out), to do some research for their sr. thesis to meet the requirements for their degrees. They need lodging for a couple of nights. Any suggestions?

Posted by: -jack- | February 5, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It's Daschle's timing, folks.

This has probably been beaten to death, but Tom Daschle did a lot more than screw up. He found out about his tax problems seven months ago. Instead of saying "gee whiz, I'm not caught up", he waited till he knew who won the election. Then he paid up a lot of money. This is not some political naif who got caught up in the tax code. If you believe that it was anything other than a willful decision, I've got a bridge in Alaska to sell you.

Roger Simon at

Tim Geithner, our new secretary of the treasury, knew he had evaded paying taxes for years, but he didn’t pay up until Obama appointed him to the Cabinet.

Tom Daschle knew he owed taxes on the round-the-clock limousine and chauffeur he got from a wealthy financier for two years, but he didn’t pay up until he was appointed to the Cabinet. He now admits he was “naive”?

These "oversights" call into question not only the "thorough" vetting done by the transition team, but also the transparency of the Obama administration in informing the American public about them.

And, OBVIOUSLY, the politics of governing is far more complex than the politics of campaigning. And have we not shifted from the politics of HOPE (I see street artist Shepard Fairey is in some trouble for having lifted Obama's image from an AP photo for use in his iconic poster) to the politics of FEAR, as expressed in the op-ed? And a stimulus item such as expensive ice cutter is supposed to give me hope?

I understand that Obama is now scheduled to address the nation Monday night during prime time.

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

You know loomis, even if voters thought they were merely voting for the lesser of two evils back in November, by far the biggest gripe against McCain in the home stretch was his lack of vetting with regard to his running mate. In the annals of poor vetting, even Old Yeller comes out ahead of that one.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 5, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, may I remind you your man McCain just voted against extending medicare coverage to 11 million kids provided in the schips law?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I voted not to be screwed over in the name of selfishness.

I back a decent stimulus plan, even if some pork gets attached to it.

The GOP are nobody to talk about when it comes to pork-- they got all of it last time and we only got the squeal.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Jack -- College Park is on the Green Line of the Metro and much less than a DC or NoVA motel.....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Everywhere, wolves howl
There's magic in those darn mutts--
Black is back in style


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC: -Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the club Wil.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 5, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What saddens me is that Obama really does seem to be trying to reach out to his opponents and honestly wants to run a transparent administration. His lack of cynicism is refreshing.

But the woods are full of vindictive wolves. Individuals who will never yield an inch to the President. Perhaps they believe their rigid opposition is because of deep principles. But to me it looks an awful lot like spite.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 5, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

It is spite, RD. What principles do they have other than self-interest?

Yes, I call on them to PROVE it-- and not with party talking points.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

That would be an interesting conversation, wouldn't it, Wilbrod? Not to say refreshing and productive. We only wish...

I thought Meyerson was on point today:

Posted by: slyness | February 5, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

CP: So I should guide my nephew to the green line...I sought clarification via msn. Check your messages.

Posted by: -jack- | February 5, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse


wy is this no wo rking

Posted by: omnigood | February 5, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Er, it's not like olive oil is like "corking the bat," is it? And it's not a substance banned by the IOC? (Having said that, apparrenly M. Phelps' recent appearance on the Bong Show as a Glaucoma Test Pilot isn't going to get him in trouble with the IOC, so why should OO?)

I may repost my assessment of Obama's OpEd from the previous Boodle - later.

Right about now, I could use a room with red *and* blue walls. Purple is nice, but I need the stronger doses, rather than the blend.


Posted by: -bc- | February 5, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know, Wilbrod & RD, is what are the superior alternative plans of all these principled opponents? We're getting a lot of complaints that this or that single item or set of programs is "pork", isn't a true stimulus, won't take effect immediately - but where are the alternatives? So far we've got advice to cut taxes, and remove specific line items in the package. These are not positive alternatives. We've already seen the poor longt-term results of successive tax cuts. Also, I note that many of this principled opposition oppose some of the tax cuts in the stimulus bill, those going to less-advantaged people.

I'd like to see the principles and see how they plan to implement those principles for the good of the whole country. So far, nothing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I just want to check -- wouldn't a program that spends government money on small businesses that employ lots of relatively low-wage workers be, in fact, an effective stimulus? Including, perhaps, landscapers employed to re-sod the whole Mall? Re-sodding the Mall is not like spending a couple mil to redecorate one's office (which our Republican colleagues have suddenly discovered that they oppose), in which the money goes to a very limited cadre of boutique suppliers, while the benefit goes to just one person. The National Mall is a public accommodation (if I understand that term correctly, though I probably don't) and providing for its maintenance injects a chunk of money that preferentially goes to the least financially robust communities because landscaping takes a lot of relatively unskilled muscle power. Isn't that sort of thing EXACTLY what you want in an economic stimulus, public spending that provides for a tangible public benefit, and that spreads the money into the community by natural pathways?

Of course, that's just the part about grass for the Mall. I'm sure that every OTHER objection leveled by our Republican representatives and Senators is principled and oozing with the juicy goodness of integrity.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 5, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I think you understand that term just fine, ScienceTim, as well as the idea behind effective economic stimulus under our circumstances. I'm also deeply grateful to you for airing your fine and logical example, as I was afraid I kilt the Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

No, you just wounded the boodle with a sporran, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 5, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's go back to the Dark Ages and have a do-over. Oops, I forgot irony is dead.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 5, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we could auction off portions of the Mall to businesses that could plant topiary in the form of their corporate logos provided that they also re-sod their portion of the grass.

I would love to see the ATT Death Star mowed into a pattern that could be seen from space.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 5, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

So both sides vet poorly? And...
Voters rejected the McCain/Palin ticket, so they had their say about the vetting process. Voters have no say over Cabinet-level picks. Remember that Obama set the height of his own bar.

Anyone see the video clip of the dustup between ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during today's press briefing about the transparency of the Obama administration and whether or not Tapper's question about it was "pertinent?" Gibbs lost his cool.

denizen, again, like others here, you misrepresent me. *sigh*

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of history, former presidents submitted op-eds to the Washington Post, from

When was the last time a president submitted an op-ed to the Washington Post? I asked Fred Hiatt, editor of the editorial page. Here's what he found:

On May 24, 1983, the Post published an oped from Ronald Reagan entitled "The MX: A Key to Arms Reduction."

And on October 7, 1990, in the Outlook section, the Post published a piece by George Bush called "George and the Oval Office Do-Si-Do" about how much he liked country music.

On Jan. 17, 1993, the Post published a syndicated column Bill Clinton had written called "Clinton Country" about Arkansas.

Posted by: laloomis | February 5, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

This irony is not dead, Jumper, it's just restin'. Pining for the fjords.

Or else bored into a stupor by the tedious flood of words, words, words...

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I heart Steve Pearlstein:

Posted by: seasea | February 6, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

This summer, why not plant the Mall to corn, beans, squash [inclusive of pumpkins], tomatoes, peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, and sunflowers?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 6, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Dave, the Jerusalem Artichokes would have to be planted in three separate rows.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, nice simple post about the grass on the mall. That's what we should presume. There is also the public good factor. We should spend money to "stimulate" the economy in areas that helps public good and/or has a multiplying effect on other spending.

This is all pump priming with perfume.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Ottawa police have arrested a man who checked into a motel with burns over 90% of his body. The cops want to ask him about the 5 multi alarm fires that broke out in the city last night. I believe they suspect there's more than coinkydink happening here.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 6, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Another really cold one--only 19 degrees here now.

Dave, as nice and benign as the notion of planting corn and beans and tomatoes on the mall sounds, it is a bad idea in the long run.

Yes, Pearlstein's column is really excellent. We need to hear Obama repeating this stuff.

OK, TGIF and let's gwet 'em launched.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 6, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Details are red
Concepts are blue
I'm with bc on bunker paints
They color me and you

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We have some pretty snow this morning. Very fetching in the glow of burning shopping centers.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 6, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Mudge, it's still cold here too. I'm trying to work up the nerves to get out there in it. Probably need two pair of pants this morning.

Rush Limbaugh said he wanted President Obama to fail. And not one Republican voted for the stimulus bill in the House. Is Rush their leader now? It would seem so. For eight years, the Republicans spent taxpayers money as they pleased, even to bankrupting the country, and now all of sudden they have concern for the poor taxpayer. I don't believe it. If they had concern, they would not want to see the suffering that so many are going through. It seems it was okay to spend taxpayers dollars on killing and building another palace in Iraq, but when it comes to shoring up things here, well, they have enormous concern. Even if the stimulus is pork, and I don't understand that concept too much, it's money being spent on taxpayers. The folks that are going to have to pay back the money anyway. So much of that spent the last eight years got away and some of it we might never find.

Here in North Carolina, there is a 1.2 billion dollar shortfall in the State's pension plan for retirees and seniors. Back in June it needed 300 million to keep it afloat, now that figure is way more. Now that's not just money, that's people. And my father is one of them. He talked about it yesterday. And he's worried crazy. I asked him would he consider a room mate, and he said that would be a last resort.

When Bush was bankrupting the country, we didn't hear a peep from folks. Now they're talking all over themselves. But it's not talk that will help the country. It's to keep the country divided and not working on the problems facing us. I'm beginning to believe that the forces at play will not rest until they see the country in flames. And let us not forget the world is watching too. We know we have enemies, they really don't need our help.

Yoki, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, and all, have a great day. *waving*

I want to rest today, don't know if that is possible. We'll see how it plays out. The man that froze to death in his house donated $600,000 dollars to a hospital. That's in the news this morning.

Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 6, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday, all. Looks like I have to walk too, Cassandra. The temperature is above 20 degrees, so I need to get moving.

I will appreciate you Haute Mainers keeping us up-to-date on the fires and the guy with burns over 90% of his body. I hope they get the truth before he dies. That kind of thermal injury tends to be fatal after a while. I assume it's not second or third degree, or he'll be dead sooner. Yeouch.

Cassandra, I've got lots to do also - gotta get tax stuff together to go to the accountant Monday. I think I have it all, just have to get it in order.

Have a pleasant Friday, everybody.

Posted by: slyness | February 6, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone besides me think that Rush Limbaugh will be seen in history as one of the worst men of our time? Do any of you ever listen to him? I do, now and again, just to hear what bile he's spewing. He is poisonous.

Oh, and a drug abuser.

Posted by: KBoom | February 6, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Backboodling over several days. In 1/2 hour. What a trip.

I laughed. I cried. I nearly died.

Hi everyone.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse


I was skimming along and did a double take... I was wondering why you wanted us to have Pheasant today? Dyslexia strikes in funny ways... At first I thought maybe it was my pigeon joke from yesterday.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning all. Busy day here.

I think SD was simply pointing out that all this carping about Obama gets old given the alternative. And if the source of this carping is really still resentment over Hillary, why not focus that indignation into support for the Secretary of State? Goodness knows she has a tough job ahead of her.

Off to the Laboratory of Darkness.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

KBoom, I think, in a way, that's why Keith Olbermann refers to Rush as "comedian." Rush doesn't even rate an article--just comedian.

I have a hard time dealing with the thought that so many people can pay attention to someone who has so few personal charitable feelings for others. What I have heard from the man makes me think "bully."

I know it has been around for a billion years at this point, but the book by Al Franken about Rush is absolutely hysterical.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I like the cut of this feller's jib:

Makes me ashamed of my Blockbuster card.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

RD, is it dank in the Laboratory of Darkness or just pretty dark?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

KBoom, I suspect that history will forget about Rush Limbaugh within a year or so of his death or retirement. I think he is a reflection more than an original creature. We'll remember what he is reflecting (childish rants of "Mine! Mine! Mine!"), but we won't remember the mirror.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

DNA-Girl = Evelyn Woods? Who knew? :-)

KBoom, Limburger is an anti-entertainer -- his single gift is knowing exactly what to say to rile people up, good or bad.

Only took a blowtorch to get the chocks loose this morning, as opposed to yesterday's flamethrower. I'm so disappointed.

TGIF already? Amazing how a week can fly by, not that I mind.

*happy-to-be-in-the-company-of-such-excellent-friends-and-of-course-off-to-seek-more-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

RD, great op-ed! Thanks. Paul Krugman has been making this case about our tax rates for a long while. (as have so many folks like Buffet and Gates).

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Speedy summary of S'nuke posts:

Icarus fell, hopes Dashled
Glory postponed, nay sidetracked
He ignored a critical rule
Flights of fancy are red
Details are blue

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

D'oh! I got my colors mixed up.
Story of my life.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"Besides, half of a giant compensation package is still pretty huge, and most of our motivation is the sheer challenge of the job anyway." Exactly! Thanks for the link RD.

Good morning boodle. Mudge- 19 degrees here this morning too, but it feels a lot warmer to us. We may hit 40 today, but then it's back to a high in the low 20s tomorrow. Ah well, I've cleared the decks for some outdoor work like chipping ice off the front walk and taking a month's worth of recycling to the transfer station. We'll take the after-school program kids cross country skiing today. We don't take them outside if it's dark, or below 10. That means they barely get outside at all in Dec., and Jan. was a wash because of cold weather.

Wouldn't even know Rush was still on the radio if he didn't receive so much media attention. Even Pa Frost-in-law has quit listening. Isn't Rush about at the point where he'll have to do something outrageous to keep the career going? I suppose posing nude is out, I hope.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I, too, heart Pearlstein. He makes so much sense. I'm going to have Raysdad read today's column. He came home from his business trip having drunk the Fox News Kool-Aid. He needs an antidote.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Good pom, DNA

Good morning, Boodle.
Fights with new laptop been hampering my boodling, backboodling etc. Good Kit.

Rush Limbaugh and the other foaming at the mouth extremist radio-barkers will only be remembered as ugly static,


Posted by: Braguine | February 6, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

RT - Ironically, the problem we are having in the Lab of Darkness (which really is quite dark) is dryness, not dankness. It is far too easy to work up nasty static charges that could, potentially, muck up the electronic difference machines. We are actually installing a humidifier. So now one of my jobs will be to monitor the water level in this device.

For this I went to graduate school.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ha, Weed! You startled me at first, I thought I'd made a major mistake there.

Pearlstein makes perfect sense today, but then he makes perfect sense all days. When do the Republicans figure out economics?

Hookay, I've put it off long enough. On to getting ready for the accountant!

Posted by: slyness | February 6, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I would love a link to that arsonist story for No Duh News.

Rush had a sub on the radio yesterday and he used a term for the stimulus package that is making the red meat right wing blogs, The Porkulus Bill. Because no Republicans have been feeding at the trough for the past eight years. It's good to see them get that old time fiscal restraint religion at exactly the wrong time.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Yello, you peaked my interest in that story but I got sidetracked on a special in the Ottawa Citizen on Karsh - famous portrait photographer in Ottawa.

This might be of interest to any photo buffs, for CP and others the collection is a great bit of history on clothing styles. Not quite Owen Mills but interesting :-)

Sorry but the only relevance I can bring to this kit is thinking how nice it would be to sit on the upper balcony of the white house and then wondering for security reasons could the members of the first family even do that. Could they still stroll the grounds - have a family game of football on the lawn.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh c'mon, RD_P...

Put a shag carpet in the doorway and have people charge up your UPS thusly!


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

dmd- Halfway through the wedding pics and I'm powerless to resist.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I seem to have echoed Cassandra's much more eloquent diatribe.

Rush Limbaugh is the Father Coughlin of our era. He has been too influential to not be recalled in the future as a major force in society. To say anymore would risk invoking Goodwin's Law.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad someone is discussing Metro's situation realisticaly...

Even if someone isn't willing to stand up publicly. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Even if Al Franken becomes Minnesota's junior senator, he may not be our funniest. Amy Klobuchar claims she wrote most of her own jokes for the Washington Press Club Foundation do.
Some of her bit-
"I'd like to make this as short as Bill Richardson's tenure as Commerce Secretary," she opened. "I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends — true story! I know that is the record in the Senate, but in the house it's held by Barney Frank." Roars of laughter, even from Frank.

Then she turned to the "great reporters? in this room — all of whom got scooped on the John Edwards story by the National Enquirer." She promised not to be too rough with them, though, since "I'm all about protecting endangered species." Perhaps best of all: "Typically a Republican and a Democrat speak at this -- you could have saved a lot of money by asking Joe Lieberman."

Follow the link if you really want to read the lame stuff delivered from the other side of the aisle. Wasn't there a study recently that found conservatives have the best sense of humor? They didn't study this stuff.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

SCC- should read "Some of her bit via the Star Tribune and Politico"

I'd also like to add that the campaign contributions from ex-boyfriends bit, sans the reference to Frank, is part of her stump speech. Klobuchar wrapped it into a conversation of how she can work well with others including Republicans. I always thought it needed a punch line.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey Frostbitten, speaking of Franken and Minnesota I remember you had an election for a senator back in November 08? Any chance of getting an official result before the mosquito season?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 6, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Many pundits are claiming that the extended negotiations over the stimulus plan indicates a weakness in Obama. To my mind, this is clearly not the case.

It is easy to forget that a President is not a dictator. This is especially true after 8 years of Bush, when this notion was oddly comforting because it meant all we had to do was get rid of him and everything would be perfect.

But America is a republic. Laws should emerge from the dynamic and free debate between people of good will. And I am not cynical enough to believe that all the Republicans are just mean-spirited obstructionists. (Although certainly some are.)

There are legitimate discussions to be had about earmarks and tax cuts and the like. That this President has created an environment in which such debates can freely occur is, to me, a success. The biggest danger under Bush was, in my view, the potential destruction of the system of checks and balances.

So yes, I want the President to get what he wants in a stimulus bill. But even more important in many ways is that the process of democracy, messy ugly and imperfect as it is, is revitalized. So anyone who criticizes Obama for facilitating this process, even at the risk of appearing "weak" is missing the bigger picture.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Da system, she's a-working againnnnnn

Well said, RD.

I'm not terribly worried at the messy fact of sausage being made on Sausage Hill.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Since the Boodle appears to be napping, I'll post this thought just for my friend Maggie: If, millions of years ago, whales had legs, just think of what kind of kneee problems they had.

And how did they bend over to put on their socks?

OK, you may all return to your comas.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Not that I disagree at all, but Sally Quinn and almost all the commenters are really beating up on the Octuplet Mom in the "On Faith" blog. The woman was interviewd by Ann Curry on the Today Show this morning, but I missed it. Anybody see it?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

There's reportage here and there on the "Today" appearance, 'Mudge. I shall keep my opinions to mahsef.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So, Mudge. You think the Nats are gonna get any decent pitching this year?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

sd-the chances of us having our full quota of senators by mosquito time seems to depend more on when spring weather arrives than on the determination of who the senator will be.

If you want to keep track of the action yourself, watch it live here-

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Scarlett Johansson. Brilliant or merely bouncy?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Haven't followed the winter tradindes, Padouk. But I doubt it.

Saw the Ann Curry interview. The woman is nuts.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the decision by Kelloggs to drop Phelps might actually backfire. Cause, you know, those who gots the munchies might just choose General Mills.

'k I'm done.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, I guess that woman need not worry about her children suffering the dysfunction of being an only child.

I expect they will have all sorts of entirely different dysfunctions to look forward to.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I did see the Ann Curry interview this morning. What I find fascinating is that the Today Show regularly brings on a family from Arkansas only to announce that the mother is pregnant yet again (I think they're up to 20-some children now) -- and on maybe a regular 10 or 11-month basis. And that's supposed to be just fine. This family justifies this non-stop breeding as basically God's wish. Kinda makes me think that God is a p o r n addict, but besides that issue, why is that family not (as far as we know) getting all the hostility that the current mother is getting? Because she's a single mother?

Today also has a family on once a year now to see how the sextuplets (give or take -- I've forgotten) are growing up. That, too, was a fertility-drug induced package of kidlets, who were all born with various degrees of brain damage (not all of them, btw) as God's will. This family got tons of attention at the time, and tons of free goodies like diapers and such. Ann Curry's favorite family, it would appear.

Later on in the Today broadcast, I was able to witness what I would call extreme malpractice on the part of Today's regular doctor (Nancy Snyderman) and its regular psychiatrist. Now, mind you, neither of these women, to the best of our knowledge, has either met or examined this mother *ever*, yet they seemed perfectly comfortable to pathologize her and her choices. My mouth dropped open at the utter stupidity and inappropriateness of their comments.

Yes, there are likely to be problems in such a massive state of child rearing. Yes, she will undoubtably need help. And I hope she gets it.

I'm not in any way justifying this woman's choices. I wish her and the children well. Unless people want to help her, I suggest they put a sock in it.

*rant over*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 6, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Probably the most ironic thing is the woman says she wants to go back to college next year to get her degree to become a counselor. This is a woman who wants to give advice to others?

And she thinks being a single parent of 14 isn't hard enough, she thinks she'll have enough time to go to school, too? And then to work a fulltime job? So her ambition is to become a latchkey mom to a mob.

We learn today that the bio father is the bio father of all 14 kids, not just the last 8. And that he is a friend of hers, who says he is "overwhelmed" at what has happened. Ya think?

And she says she hopes that someday he will play a part in their lives. Yeah, right.

Her funding has come from a $160,000 insurance settlement from when she was hit by a car.

She's hoping her friends and her church will "step up" and helpt her out.

Delusional. Utterly and completely narcuisistic and delusional.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I'll give that woman a pass, she obviousky had her own issue. But the state should sue the IVF clinic for the cost of caring for those preemies. Past, current and future costs. Some of them were well below the minimum "healthy" weight, so the state should expect a number of disabled kids out of the brood. What a mess.
Here in Canada a 60 yo woman couldn't get an IVF clinic to impregnate her. A quick trip to India and (Voilà!) the 60 yo couple are now the proud parents of twin boys.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 6, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks for the photo link. Like frosti, I loved the wedding photos. A couple dresses (4,64) were right up my alley. A couple (36,62) were pretty risque for their day.

*applauding RD for his 10:25*

Octoplet Woman seems to have issues. (Does that qualify me for the Duh Comment of the Day?) And I'm with Shriek on the state suing the IVF clinic. But shouldn't there be some kind of regulation on the number they can implant? Yanno, the number that can be reasonably carried to the point where they have a chance at a healthy existence?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

No more baby talk
Even if eight is enough for gossip
My mind smells diapers...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, hit by a car... you know, I am reminded by folks who get hit by lightening and then no longer feel any affects of the extreme cold and walk around outside in near zero weather in a t-shirt. Sure, you can do it, but why let people see you and then get them talking!?

Posted by: russianthistle | February 6, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I think people would be just about as upset if she weren't single, but still living in the circumstances she is, depending on public and private aid to raise all the children she felt she had to have. 8 at once? On top of 6 already, including one autistic child. How is that responsible?

The Duggars, etc.? I think they're nuts. We've discussed them here before, I think a lot of people do. At least that family had them in small numbers at a time.

If this mother weren't seeking multimillion dollar media contracts, fine, but she's putting herself out there. She doesn't want people to look away or put a sock in it.

It's definitely her choice to make, but her reasoning sounds a lot like the teenage girl who gets pregnant because she wants someone to love her. And startlingly like the excesses and irresponsibility of Wall Street--think of the future? Why? Somebody else will take care of it.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'll hold her baby, one of them anyway. I'll betcha they're cute!

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | February 6, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

KBoom - I wholeheartedly agree that Limbaugh's half-life is destined to be pretty short. How many folks now remember that charming Canadian import, Father Coughlin? He was a pretty big deal in his day.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Rant over.

See what you started again, Mudge? :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Glad you enjoyed them Frosti and Raysmom, I have a book that was my grandfathers of Karsh's more famous photos - Churchill, Kennedy, etc. It was nice to see the every day photos he took. I have always loved black and white portraits - I have one of my grandfather with the then Gov. Gen sitting both are seated in a bay window, in a wood paneled library (not sure the location) with a large potted fern in between - reminds me of the type of photo Karsh would do but I do not know the photographer.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 6, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, Octo-Mom's own mother, the GrandMom-of-14 (GMo14) has been reported in WaPo coverage to have said that her daughter is obsessed with being a Mom, and says that her daughter has a problem. This, in fact, exactly matches my original concern that excited so much back-and-forth the other day: a woman with 6 children, all of whom result from in-vitro fertilization, chooses IVF and fertility treatments again, because 6 children does not satisfy her need to have babies. It sounds like pet-collecting, which happens when nice people become obsessed with "helping" the world by getting one pet after another until they have vastly more than they can handle, and inadvertently cause those pets to suffer due to the inability to meet so many needs. I never called and do not call this woman bad or evil, but she has a problem. It's not an innocuous problem, because her problem puts others at risk of emotional and physical harm -- her older children, who have been more-or-less told that they are so inadequate that she had to take major steps to get more babies; the octuplets, who were born very prematurely and can expect ongoing health and developmental problems resulting from it; her father, who is working in Iraq to earn enough money to support his daughter and grandchildren.

I shall be so bold, even, as to venture into criticizing the parenting of a woman that I have never met. OctoMom sought IVF in order to have more babies at such a rate that in addition to her twins, some of her children are "Irish twins". Although her GMo14 described her as "obsessed with being a mom", it sounds like it is more accurate to say that she is "obsessed with being pregnant." Once she is not pregnant, she is no longer getting what she needs. That doesn't bode well for her ability to raise children post-partum, which requires a lot of work and dedication, with the rewards doled out sparingly and rather subtly. Nothing like the hormonal high of pregnancy (as the ScienceSpouse has described the experience to me). If she is going to effectively raise 14 children of whom all are within 7 years of each other, she is going to need some help -- help for her own personal problem, and a lot of help in child-rearing.

On the other hand, I do condemn the doctors who implanted so many embryos. It sounds like a breach of the Hippocratic Oath. The widespread comment from other reproductive physicians has been that there's no way that she should have faced any choice involving so many viable embryos. I can see why she couldn't make the choice to have any selectively aborted. But, she shouldn't have been in such a position in the first place.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

There you go, Mudge: you provoke, I respond.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Oops! I skimmed right by yello's earlier mention of ol' Father Chuck.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really blaming Mudge.

I take responsibility for my own actions (as I'm sure *Tim does too). :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Somebody on the Celebritology blog inadvertently coined the term "octopuplets". I LIKE it!

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

bob, I had never heard of Fr. Couglin so I looked him up in Wiki - unbelievable.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 6, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I won't offer a wager on how long it takes OctoMom to follow Gov. Palin down the "blame the media for my troubles" path.

But I could.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

dmd-you give me hope! I think the days when people will have to consult Wiki to know who Rush was will happen before he is a "was." I'm thinking it will be one of those "Oh, I thought he was already dead" and "I can't believe people were so stupid" things.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

hi, folks. having trouble keeping up. have only read this boodle so far.

i loved it a few nights ago when jon stewart started his show with a message to those who wanted to bring hope and change to washington: "pay your effing taxes"
see the first 10 seconds of this clip:

i'd say (i may have said this before) that all of the appointees with tax issues are fully to blame and knew better. it's unfortunate that the obama team has handed the republicans the talking point that democrats are in favor of raising taxes because they don't pay them. very unfortunate.

as for obama and the republicans - i never believed the rhetoric that obama could just pull everyone together and make people play nice, so nothing about the current situation is surprising to me. and he's only been in office for what, 3 weeks?

the question is to what degree obama can persevere to improve the cooperation over the long run. obama's going to have to maintain his positive stance over a significant period of time regardless of whether it's producing tangible results. the question is whether others will have patience for this.

Posted by: LALurker | February 6, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, please sit down before reading this, don't want you overexerting yourself:

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

frosti, in the future when the young ones are wiking(?) Rush let's hope they have the same feeling of revulsion I felt reading about Fr. Coughlin.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 6, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Scotty, Scotty, Scotty. Jeez did I need that warning! I've very nearly split a gut laughing at that story.

whew *wiping brow, trying to compose self*

And didja cath this one graf? "One savvy Republican also noted that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's health problems create the possibility that there could be a Supreme Court opening some time in the near future and that would likely require an RNC running at full strength to make the case against Obama's pick."

Ya catch the point? No matter WHO Obama picks, it infers, the GOP is gonna oppose him/her/it. Obama could pick John Effing Marhsall, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Perry Mason all rolled into one, and the GOp would still oppose him. And this is supposedly from a "savy" Republican (whichI now propose is an oxymoron).

I actually have to commend Steele for this move. I think it's actually brilliant. Seriously. I didn't think he had it in him. And what a message he's sending!

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Noticed your dinner choice last night Mudge.
The term "leftover chili" caught my eye and had me musing. Leftover chili, leftover chili. Nope, I have no idea what that is. How does it even happen?

I said most of what I wanted to say about the California baby machine, except maybe I told you so. There is just no arguing with "Ahhhh! But the babies are SO cute! What does it matter where they came from or what will become of them?"

Agreed that the doctor(s) and the clinic should be sued for malpractice and child support. Baby daddy, as he is not anonymous, had better watch out too. The Great State of California, which doesn't have two nickels to rub together now, may come after him for some support also.

You betcha!


Posted by: DLDx | February 6, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I always have your best interests at heart, 'Mudge. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that shouldn't just be a Cilizza "Fix" item: it deserves to be an independent news story with various reaction, high up on the front page: "Steele Fires Entire RNC Staff."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I feel better! I just went to the Kellogg's website and let them know what I thought of their public announcement that they won't renew Michael Phelps' contract. For the record, I think they were just going for publicity and the opportunity to portray a squeaky clean image.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I know you do, Scotty. Thanks.

DLD, I'm laughing. I was just this moment faux-complaining to my officemate about the chili, which I'm now eating for lunch. You ask how such a thing could happen, and the answer is: "With careful planning and attention to extreme security measures." My wife made this humongus pot of it on Wednesday night, so that's what I had for dinner. Then I put the leftovers into two huge tupperwares, and put them in the refrigerator/freezer in the garage, which is locked from the kids. That's basically the answer to how such a thing as leftover chili happens.

Last night I had some for dinner, and put some in a small tupperware to bring to work today. I expect I'll be eating it over the weekend as well: four, maybe five days in a row (which is what I was faux-complaining about).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I have no sympathy for Phelps. If he was willing to take the $, he needed to live up to his part of the bargain. If he didn't think maintaining a squeaky clean image was part of the deal he was smoking something when he signed the contracts.

Was his transgression minor, sure, but I'd have a lot more respect for him if instead of apologizing he'd said "Sure I did it, I'd do it again, and I think it should be legal."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a concept I must explore. Leftover chili, who knew?

Oh, beans or no?


Posted by: DLDx | February 6, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Re. the story on prehistoric whales with legs, I have but one word:

Ok, more than one word, those must have been some *serious* FMPs those females were wearing.

"Helloooo-o, ladies," I said in my malewhale preincarnate life 47.5 million years ago, at the sight of a couple of them walking across the beach (and wishing that my arms were long enough to reach my head so I could tip my hat).

I'm a little confused today - Republicans in Congress are not supporting the President and conservative radio gasbags are wishing for him to fail? And this is different from all of the criticism we and the media heaped on G.W. Bush over the past 8 long, long years, and the level of support he recieved from Democrats in Congress (particularly when it became apparrent that what Extreme Dems were saying about Bush As President may have been largely true)? I seem to vaguely remember GWB extending olive branches to the Dems and media early on, only to be rebuffed in the anger and vitriol of the 2000 Elections.

Seems to me that every President comes into office wanting to be a uniter, asking that partisan politcs be put aside so he can pursue the Mandate he believes was given him by the People.

I think historians seem to rarely consider what a US President did over the first 100 days in office (but there are notable exceptions), but his performance and results over the next 1360. Or the next 2820, if he was lucky and productive and willing to endure it that much longer.

Having said that, I expect that Obama will have to deal with all of the same types of criticisms, undermining, kvetching and obstuctions that any President would have to deal with, only the partisanship and roles are reversed from what they've been for the past 8 long long years. All that jazz comes with the territory and the job, I think.

And Obama's tasks are made more difficult by the evolution of MicroMedia over the past decade, where every word, every move, every decision is recorded and scrutinized and checked against all of the data and information available on the 'net for use for *and* against his him and his Administration.

I think he's doing about as well as anyone possibly could in his job, given the conditions and circumstances. Yes, he's making some mistakes, but I believe he's learning from them, unlike some previous POTII I can think of.


Posted by: -bc- | February 6, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

From today's WaPo review of "He's Just Not That Into You":

///Anna, by the way, is played by Scarlett Johansson, whose predatory voluptuousness takes over every scene she's in, as if a Macy's Thanksgiving Day float constructed entirely of lips, breasts and hips had suddenly barged into the frame.///

I am going to endeavor to fit the phrase "predatory voluptuousness" into every conversation I can.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the whole phelps thing is not about the morality of taking a bong hit per se. it's about recognizing the reality of managing your brand image. he was stupid. he messed up his brand. i think kellogs has every right to let him go because they're promoting to kids. phelps should have known what he was signing up for with those endorsements deals. you don't get to do whatever you want if you earn 10s of millions of dollars in endorsements. or at least you don't get to do whatever you want in environments in front of people you don't know with cameras. stupid stupid stupid.

i know some of you think differently on this, but this is the reality of being a sports celebrity. you get a lot of privilege and money. if you don't want to be above approach, well don't expect to make a zillion dollars promoting this and that to kids and families. it's your choice and act accordingly.

Posted by: LALurker | February 6, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Morni-- oh... Afternoon all...

I would have made Dawn Patrol this morning, but when I woke up and saw it was still 0F and the news was still jabbering about what constitutes "stimulus"... well, I decided it just wasn't worth it and pulled the covers back over my head instead.

As for the octopuplet mother... the cats are already out of the bag, so to speak. What are we supposed to do? Make her put them back? All that's left now is the handwringing by the punditry and rushed legislation to try to prevent it from happening again, which will result in more hurdles for sane women trying to have babies.

As for "bipartisanship"... I think Obama has a better chance of finding a unicorn on the Hill that farts rainbows. Should he and his team have seen this coming? Duh. I'm just hoping they've learned their lesson and won't let Pelosi & Co. draft any more big bills for them or we'll never get anything useful passed.

We're almost at the freezing mark here now, so I'm running out of excuses to get busy in the shop.

Peace out and happy TGIF... :-)

Posted by: martooni | February 6, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Scarlett Johansson as predatory volupturaptor.

Maybe I WILL have to see this movie!


Posted by: DLDx | February 6, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any particular sympathy for Phelps who has, after all, been reasonably well compensated already for what is (adding up all of his Olympic medal times, and tossing in the 2007 World Championships for good measure) less than an hour's work.

But in these unsettling and artificial times, do we really want to encourage corporate disapproval of natural herbal remedies?

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, red beans. In our house we tend to prefer fairly straight-forward, fundamentalist chili, nothing fancy or outre. Just ground hamburger, none of this five-meat, six-meat nonsense.

My wife made so-called "white chili" a couple of times, and it was "OK." But it wasn't the "real thing," if ya know what I mean.

DLD, if you intend to pursue this course of action, you must look into issues such as secure storage, use of locks, padlocks, motion-sensor devices, round-the-clock staffing, etc. (The hours from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. are especially prone to intruder alerts, though you also have to think about broad daylight issues when you are at work but Somebody is at home.)

(Hint: many intruder incidents turn out to be inside jobs. Misappropriation of chili is very seldom a result of home invasion or theft by strangers. In almost all cases, the perp is known to the victim.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The same holds for leftover lasagna. The last time we had some it didn't make it past breakfast the next day.
So now it begs the question, what is the best breakfast Valpolicella?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 6, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is right. Red kidney beans, ground beef, tomatoes. EYE had a taco salad Wednesday with leftover chili, leftover salad, and grated cheddar. It was wonderful. I too have to work for leftovers, which means I hide them from Mr. T. Ice cream has no chance of being left over in this household.

Had lunch with the Third Dottir and twins. They can feed themselves, but what a mess! I didn't remember messes on such an epic scale, but then I recalled that we had a dog. I simply cannot imagine trying to take care of eight babies, all at the same time. It can't be done, by fewer than four adults.

Posted by: slyness | February 6, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Back to the drawing board. . .

Dbg, you make some very good points, so I shall step back from some of the points I raised (see, see, it doesn't really hurt when that happens. . .). I think what has bothered me is the media coverage.

That being said, I am 100% behind putting that fertility clinic out of business after it forks up an adequate amount of money for the well being of the new puppies. And the sperm donor also has to step up. What did he think his sperm would be used for, anyway?

I still do not like the way the Today show fawns all over some multi-birth families, which may very well provide an incentive for octo-mommy to do what she did.

And, now, I shall stick my nose into a treatise on trademark law, where it more rightfully belongs.

*suitably and rightfully chastened, yet still adamant about her other views ... so far*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

As feared and predicted, Bill Kristol has been spotted on the WaPo Post Partisan blog:

His first piece of advice is for Republicans to be obstructionist on Obama's stimulus package by offering their own much more modest plan. Then, he says, they can blame Obama for not taking their plan when they oppose his.

As anyone told Bill that his guys lost the election?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I would say No. 9 or No. 10 spaghetti, Shriek. But that's just me.

(sauce and meatballs, of course.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mentioning chili is like the Bat Signal for me. I see things are livening up here today. We have octopuplets and a neologism ("wikiing")

I'm nonpartisan, the "independent" voter. Although the last 8 years has pretty much destroyed what remaining impartiality I had about that. And I see the tax issues of the recent cabinet candidates as merely somewhat worrisome - a bump in the road, requiring some explanation but not a horror.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

As a long lost son of Texas, I say that beans have no place in chili.

I used to frequent a Texas-style restaurant that below the menu item for chili used to say:

"Ruined with beans: no extra charge."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Beans in chili - thumbs up. A combo of red kidney beans and "navy" beans is good. I find the recent fad of black beans a bit overdone: "look, they're BLACK!" Yeah, but how do they TASTE? Answer: unable to stand up to the chili. Yes, you need a sturdy bean with plenty of moxy to stand up to those spices. (I do love some black beans with grits. The delicate flavor of the beans is perfect for the grits.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Were leggy whales known for predateory voluptuousness?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I have noted that Wikipedia is most effervescent in the articles containing some controversy. "Chile con carne"
serves as a good indicator that Wikipedia is slowly getting itself together.

As always, check out the "talk" section to see the sparks fly.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

No beans in chili, please. Makes me fart for days straight. And not the little innocuous stinkers that you can get away with, either. I'm talking gut-deflating, room-clearing, blame-it-on-the-dog rancid outpourings of toxicity. You could cut 'em with a steak knife.

As far as the sperm donor stepping up to help raise OctoMom's brood, no way he has to. From all that I have read, he was a friend of hers, not a lover or partner. She can't find a mate (wonder why) to impregnate her, so she gets a friend to offer up some baby-batter. He thinks he's doing a friend a favor, but when she's got the juice, his contribution is over. I have seen no evidence that he was consulted about the number or timing of her births. As nice as it would be for him to step up to the plate, I submit that she made the bed, she should lie in it.

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If we all pull together this way, we can elicit a new kit.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Just don't feed the leggy whales any chili beans or they will end up predatorially voluptuous. And especially don't allow them excessive IVF treatments.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

jumper... maybe if we feed Gomer some chili with beans Joel will *have* to post a new kit.

Posted by: martooni | February 6, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, whales with chili and beans could balance the scales in the battle of man vs. beast that has so far been decidedly one-sided against the beasts. Rocket-propelled whales blasting their way out of the water and skipping across the waves at high speed would make them challenging to harpoon. Plus, they have the booby-trapped gut that can detonate within the hold of those giant factory "whale-research" vessels. Just like the Federation starship Constellation in the mouth of the planet-killer. Night of the Farting Whales. The Cetaceans' Revenge. Fast & Fartiest (starring Vin Diesel).

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I think bc was seriously mistaken in the notion that leggy whales wore FMPs on the beach. Even notwithstanding the weight issue, you really can't walk in FMPs in sand, much less try to wade in and out of the water with them. I think if they weren't in fact barefluked, then they had to be wearing some sort of Jurassic flip-flops, or maybe water shoes. But no, nothing dressy.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Did OctoDad (actually, Donor-of-14) make separate donations each time, which would demand that he accept some responsibility; or, did he donate at the beginning and his wigglies have been preserved in liquid nitrogen all this time? Or did they produce the viable embryos at the beginning and those have been sitting in LN2 for seven years or so?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Uh, SciTim, unless I am much mistaken, that wasn't a Federation starship but rather a Romulan Bird of Prey (with cloaking capability) that transported those whales (and the non-predatorily voluptuous Catherine Hicks) in Night of the Farting Whales: The Cetaceans' Revenge.

(Does this qualify me at long last to join the Geek Squad here? O Joy! I'm almost always so out-of-the-loop on these sci-fi things.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This week's meals have included combination of beans and rice, or beans and pasta. It feels like a 21:1 compression ratio. Even the dogs' eyes have been weepy.

Posted by: -jack- | February 6, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

*singing softly to self, "Darling you know just what I'm here for/So you're scared and you're thinking/That maybe we ain't that young anymore..."

All this talk of chili, beans and farts has got me singing "Thunder Road" to myself.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - quite right you are. That was the one where they had to get the high-energy particles from the nuclear wessels.

But I have to go lie down now. For on this very website I just saw an advert that promises that the wares from a floral supply firm will, and I quote, "Make her Thorny."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I actually saw that Star Trek movie.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 6, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge- I think you were loosely referencing Star Trek IV, in which the crew went back in time to the "present", which was mid-80s San Fran. Sorry, sir, but 25-year-old references, while humorous, are not exactly in-the-loop.

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 6, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Dammit, RD, "wessels" made me spew.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Fujii Capesta, oh man, my eyes are burning!"

Posted by: Boko999 | February 6, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was kinda afraid of that, Gomer.


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, mudge, but there is one last bit of arcana you must know before full membership into Geek Squad: In NOTFW:TCR, what were the names of the titular farting cetaceans?

Hint: Say goodnight.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't everything looped in time travel? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't even have a clue what NOTFW:TCR means. And while I've identified Fujii (or Fuji, or Fuchi) Capesta as early Cheech and Chong, I have no clue what that means, either. But I think Boko wins this week's Dennis Miller obscure reference award.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 6, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

George and Gracie of course.

Come on. ST-IV, being an even-numbered Trek movie was one of the good uns. I remember it like it was yesterday. Which scares me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Flatulence-powered interstellar space flight among aquatic mammals is a very intriguing idea.

Perhaps the original title to the fourth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy was "So Long And Thanks For The Legumes".

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

I may be mixing references. George and Gracie were the whales in STIV (The Voyage Home). I have no idea what NOTFW:TCR means.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Night Of The Farting Whales: The Cetaceans' Revenge

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 6, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

mudge (the memory is the first to go) and RD:

Never confuse 'Night of the Farting Whales: The Cetaceans Revenge' with the much inferior prequel 'NOTFW: The Silent-But-Deadly Menace'.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I thought THGTTG proved interstellar space and cetaceans don't mix.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

And I prefer to call ST-IV "The One Where Spock Wears Olivia Newton-John's Headband The Whole Movie.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, you guys are totally geeking me out.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 6, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I feel the franchise redeemed itself after "NOTFW: TSBDM" with the unapologetically rip-roaring adventure of "Night of the Farting Whales: Bubbling Death."

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers. I feel so bummed out I missed that particular bit of cinematic magic.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 6, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Should the canon include or exclude the oft-maligned Christmas special "Night of the Farting Whales: Santa's Magic Whale Ride"?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I am too slow to figure out THGTTG.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Angel hair pasta.

Beans and rice.

Now, I greatly prefer my chili sans beans but I think that those disdain the mighty protein globule are ignoring the history of chili. In the early days meat did not come from Von's or Piggly Wiggly, it was sometimes scare and expensive (unlike today :-( .) Beans being very cheap, available, and a great source of protein, would have been used just as they are today, as an extender. If they had grown rice like they grow beans in the region, we would be seeing the great chili with rice vs. chili sans debate.

So I will eat my chili with or without beans or rice. Please,can I have some more?

Okay, one more on OctoDad+6: States vary widely, of course, but many, due to the burgeoning social services budgets, have taken to extracting blood from stones. Michigan, the only state with which I have any experience, will cross state lines and tag you with child support if your DNA matches. It does not matter how that DNA got there. So if you donate sperm to a bank, you want to be known as SD4815162342 on the donor forms.

FTB, were you addressing me in your 2:01pm, vice Dbg?


Posted by: DLDx | February 6, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I wanna know what kinds of beans whales eat to make them fart in the first place.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 6, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The Hitchiker's Guide to The Galaxy. What am I, keeper of the abbreviations?

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 6, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

They eat navy beans, of course.

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 6, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of fresh meat available on cattle drives.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh! Hitchhiker's Guide. Oh, well, that makes sense, then.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

That's whales, petunias, and revenge, S'nuke. Not so much interstellar space per se...

And all hail Lord Gomer, keeper of abbreviations, heir to the sacred rings of initalisms, and holder of the chalice of words!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Reading Pearlstein's column this morning on the novel theory of Republicans that "government spending" and "government economic stimulus" are entirely disjoint concepts, put me in mind of Oolon Calluphid's philosophical blockbuster in which Man, after causing God to disappear in a puff of logic, proves that black is white and promptly gets himself killed at the next zebra crossing. Gentlemen and gentlewomen, we are at a zebra crossing.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Moby Dick ate human beans, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the support there, Gomer.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 6, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

All: My point about Phelps was not that he didn't deserve to lose the Kellogg's contract. My point was that Kellogg's could have just let the contract expire. But they had to score PR points for themselves by making an announcement.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Since Kellogg's was founded by a health nut with extreme ideas about how to be healthy, it seems consistent with their founding principles to spurn Michael Phelps as quickly as possible.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 6, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

And just to stir the chili pot, I like my chili with bean. But not kidney beans (aka the Source of Giant Farts). Black or small white or Great Northern. Much less firepower.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... For eating straight from the bowl, I'm a bean man. But for chili dogs, without, I think.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Saw your point in your first comment Raysmom, but any mention of it just brings out the rant in me. Apologies if my comment made you think yours was not clear, as I was muddling things up. Yes, a simple failure to renew the contract would have been quite enough.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

In Hawaii chili usually has beans AND is eaten with rice. Love it! Drat, this discussion brought on a Zippys craving. MotP, fire up the fax!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What in the Tarnation is Going On Here?

An animated discussion on the relative merits of beans in chili. Flatulent whales. Archaic Star Trek references.

The world is going to hell in a handbasket! The Stimulus Bill is stuck in bc's laundry chute!

I leave you guys alone for a day and you just let the world spin out of control!

Get back in focus! The world is counting on Boodlers to solve its problems. None of the other comment sections to any other blog in the galaxy has as more than two people who can string together a coherent sentence.

The real talent is HERE! RIGHT HERE!

Come on! Get back to work!

Beans, indeed.

Posted by: jp1954 | February 6, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I note that the front page informs us that "Raccoons [Are] Still at Large Near White House".

Reminds me of the great beaver hunt in 1999, when the enterprising rodents were attempting to dam the Tidal Basin right around Cherry Blossom Festival time.
[Here's one of the stories at the time: ]

It prompted a great letter to the editor in the WaPo. I wish I could find the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

"Are we oppressing his right to be a beaver in the name of the almighty tourist dollar?" Melissa Shaw wrote the Washington Post. "Is this beaver doing anything more than he was put on this earth to do? Nay, he is chasing the American dream. We can't deny him his rights in the very city that symbolizes our freedom. He should build, revel in his success, and be proud of the beaver that he can become, because this is America."

Posted by: bobsewell | February 6, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"None of the other comment sections to any other blog in the galaxy has as more than two people who can string together a coherent sentence."

Um, it occurs to me that this sentence is incoherent. Proving that irony is alive and well.

Thank you for your kind attention.


Posted by: jp1954 | February 6, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Made perfect sense to me, CowTown.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 6, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Speechify. Good word. I like that. I'll think of that the next time I have to get on my mom-stump and say "the mid-term is tomorrow, go to the library"

I've been wondering if Obama will put up a tent like Arnold S. and have his smokes out there? He says the cold in D.C. is nothing compared to Chicago. He could invite his opponents/colleagues and maybe more business would get accomplished just to get in out of the cold. I'll bet he goes gone to bed at night at couple times, and thought if only grandma could come visit and sleep in the Lincoln room and 'sit a speil.

A blog is a speech of sorts. Has to be short and to the point, or nobody reads past the first couple lines. Mine are fictional and usually humorous to hopefully, get past that.. Yours, Joel, are never boring, and although serious in nature, only rarely fail to make me laugh.

I wonder though. Got any thoughts on how politicians do all that handshaking? Is it a limp finger touch more than a handshake? I know the Queen has a special wave to keep her hand/wrist/arm in good shape for signing things later.

Terrific post. Thanks.

Posted by: lisaholdren | February 6, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

String beans altogether make more coherent farts.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

good one, dna_g

that's what the world needs more of, coherent farting...

Posted by: LALurker | February 6, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CowTown. Trying to keep this crowd in order is like herding - well, predatorily voluptuous gaseous whales wearing FMPs and armed with chili & beans.

I love the Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 6, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi, CowTown! I understood your incoherent sentence perfectly. Not sure what to make of that - except you always make me laugh.

I was horrified when I realized that chili in Texas had no beans. At this point, I would just as soon not have meat in chili. But when I was a kid, I refused to eat the beans. So there you are.

Posted by: seasea | February 6, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

DLD, I think my remarks were directed in the direction of Dbg, but, frankly, I don't think it matters. My point was that (in the second posting) I have learned from the Boodle and sit corrected, mostly.

I remember hearing Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the radio when I was in law school in the late 1970s - early 1980s. I loved it, and I don't think I ever want to see it played out on the "screen" -- the radio is the perfect medium (to rare) for it.

So, after tomorrow's errands at my farmers market and other places, I get to settle down and work my veritables off, finish up my tax prep work for my accountant and then see what other mischief I can get into. Yeah, right.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 6, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The only time in my life that I have had chili without beans on Tommy's chili burgers (the only kind of burgers they serve). The chili has special properties that convert a common hamburger and bun into a gooey mush within exactly three minutes. Therefore, you have about 2 1/2 minutes to devour the hamburger before it simply oozes between your fingers.

The older Tommys' (all are in Los Angeles) have no chairs, only a counter that wraps around the plain white stucco building. There are paper towel dispensers mounted on the wall on each side. So you stand and eat quickly. The burger disintegration syndrome makes dinnertime conversation impossible save for an occasional grunted utterance while one's mouth is still full.

It's not really fine dining. But it's really good, somewhat diarrhetic food.

Posted by: jp1954 | February 6, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Alright, my prior post is missing an "is" and isn't signed "CowTown."

And this always-having-to-sign-in nonsense is REALLY annoying.

Thank you for your kind attention.


Posted by: jp1954 | February 6, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmm, Tommy's chili burgers! Every trip home from Zuma, sunburned,salty and tired, meant a stop at Tommy's for 2 chili burgers. It amazes me that I could eat 2 of them. And no ill effects! I'm sure they would do a number on me now.

You could always see a number of folks in the same condition Michael Phelps must have been in after that infamous picture of him was taken. Not me, of course.

Posted by: Kim1 | February 6, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

My most humblest apologies, Cowtown. I fear 'twas I who started the chili and leggy whale threads, though I had nothing whatsoever to do with starting the fart filament that sprung from the above twinly braided threads. I fought desperately to keep the Boodle on track and on a high moral and intellectual plain, but ultimately I was outgunned and overwhelmed by a Boodle run amok. I suspect it was Boodlers from Mianus who did it.

I'm so ashamed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 6, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

'twouldst appear we have a compromise Stimulus Bill in the works. Good.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 6, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Good: Octopus tots
were iced. Now puck up, boodle--
Hockey night is here!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Strange discussion here, but that’s nothing new. I lived a sheltered life and didn’t have chili until I was an adult. I didn’t know there was such a thing as chili without beans. What exactly defines chili, the seasonings?

I wish they’d pass the stimulus bill so I could stop having to listen to all the pontificating. Is there anyone less colorful than Harry Reid? And does Leiberman have the most annoying voice? And that's just the Democrats! Don't get me started on the other side.

Thanks to dmd for posting the link to those Karsh photos. those wedding dresses were complex creations.

Glad it’s the weekend. #2 noticed a rash yesterday. Turns out she’s become allergic to penicillin so her IV treatment has ended nine days early. I told her she should be on a two-hour episode of ‘House’ - just one thing after another. She’s fine and celebrating her new freedom from medical gizmos.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 6, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear correctly? Does the stimulus bill have funds for an emissions control system for Mianus?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 6, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it's a noisemaker stuck in a strategic position, Raysmom.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 6, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Space: the Final Frontier... Oh let's not go there. It is a smelly sort of place.

I was going to add to that, but it was a little low-brow, even for here.

Posted by: Kerric | February 6, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

OK but after reading Wilbrod's 8:25 I have to. It just lined up too perfect.

This news just in - As-tronauts from Mianus Experiment in Brown Noise!


Posted by: Kerric | February 6, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Boodle! For pity's sake, I turn my back for a few hours and you get up to all sorts of shenanigans!

Had a good day at the retreat, seemed to have a contribution to make, but am I beat after sitting in one room with the same people all day, actually paying attention. And we still have group dinner to go tonight. At least there will be booze.

It is just beautiful here, it began to snow mid-afternoon and now it is well, you know, just like a Christmas card.

Tomorrow is our last full day, and I have foolishly offered to lead an unprogrammed session in the afternoon. When I really should be napping.

Still, the baby lawyers are having lots of fun and learning more, and that's the point. Much as I tease them, they are a fine intelligent bunch with a certain wit, and that goes a long way with me.

Sort of the like the Boodle, you know?

Happy evening, everyone. Cassandra, check in with us before you go to sleep.

Posted by: Yoki | February 6, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I say let the force be with Mianus, as long as the emissions are not aimed in my general direction.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

DNA_G, that requires we know your general direction. Send your coordinates to the shop steward and hope for the best.

Posted by: slyness | February 6, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I wouldn't mess around with DNA_Girl; she's a pal. We have corresponded.

Yoki, glad to checked in. I was about to begin pining for you. Have fun with the bar fry.

Now, I need to hear from CP to know that all's right with the world. CqP, you out there?

Unfortunately, I must leave my warm, comfy abode for a minute and go get some gas in my truck. My neighbor is borrowing Bluebelle first thing in the morning, and I can't leave him literally high and dry.

Hey, I just discovered something. The Pro Bowl is Sunday. I thought they already had it. Whaddya know. D'oh!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 6, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

In space, no one can hear...

Oh, never mind.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 6, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

But didn't we just identify a source of gas in space?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | February 6, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I think it was the planet Beantune, DNA.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 6, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

We all just saw Coraline. It is very good. The Boy and I had enjoyed the book,and they made the movie from it very well. The story gets scary but all ends well, which is most refreshing. It is amazing to watch because it is the most complex stop-motion work I've ever seen. Balls roll, flowers bloom, water falls - all stop-motion. Amazing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 6, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a review of Coraline:

Did you see it in 3D?

Posted by: seasea | February 6, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Diddy?daughter dance on one end of town tonight, and Momma/son dance at the other end of town. OUr hamburger dinner had all of the accoutrements, including a hefty portion of beans. I'm forever blowing bubbles...

Posted by: -jack- | February 6, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams. Must call Ma Frostbitten tomorrow to get the full text of a poem she used to recite to wee frostkids. Something about "a dinner of beans, and a Finnish bubble bath."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 6, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

ftb, truly, truly sorry you felt corrected. I write my own, humble opinion, I don't generally feel the need to be right--just heard. Please do not downplay your adamant beliefs on my behalf and I will not downplay mine for you. :-)

If I've read you correctly, we both dislike the media's fascination with large multi-births. I wonder if some of that fascination comes from their previous rarity and if future occurrences may be treated with as much disdain as this one has.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 6, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

howdy, folks. reporting for the lobster shift.

it's raining cats and dogs, but i've been keeping track with this nifty web page i found today:

Posted by: LALurker | February 7, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Crayfish shift now punching out.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 7, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, you pine for me when I'm gone? *Happy vaporish sighs* *with hands clasped under chin on the diagonal and batting of eyelashes and a maidenly blush*

Posted by: Yoki | February 7, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I may not make the weekday Dawn Patrol roll call lately, but for some odd reason I'm wide awake at 4 ayem and ready to go this Saturday morning when I could be sleeping in.

ivansmom... wasn't Tim Burton behind "Coraline"? If so, I wouldn't be surprised by anything -- technically or creatively. That man is a mad genius. One of my favorite movies of all time is his "Nightmare Before Christmas" (even with all the singing).

Completely off Kit and off topic and everything, but have any of you tried to buy "normal" sandpaper lately? I typically buy the "job packs" of 9"x11" stuff for the shop, but instead of the $11 packs of "normal" sandpaper, all I can find anymore at the Big-Boxes-O-Hardware are some newfangled alternatives that cost $16 a pack and have nothing like sand on them (unless you live on a plastic blue beach). They're supposed to last three times as long as the regular stuff, but I've tried them and they don't. At least not for the work I need them for.

And to add insult to injury, they just raised the price of the little carpet tacks I use from $0.99 per package to $1.24.

I think I now know why Home Depot recently had to lay off 7000 employees -- they've decided to make suckage part of their business plan.

Peace out... :-)

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


You sure you didn't go to sleep with some sandpaper in your nightshirt? That'd wake a man up...

And isn't it just like you people to visit Mianus without telling me?

*still-waking-up-with-a-cuppa-joe-before-taking-NukeSpouse-to-work-and-getting-started-on-the-day's-chores Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 7, 2009 5:37 AM | Report abuse

You have no idea how, uh, flustered your 1:37 got me.

Suckage has been part of Home Depot's plan for a long time. The Onion's reaction to the Home Depot layoffs was "Wait? People work at Home Depot? I just find what I need and use the self-pay scanners. You must have it confused with some other store."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 7, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Yoki, I was so tired by the time I got back in yesterday afternoon, I actually took a nap. And later, the g-girl was here, and all bets are off when she shows up. We read, eat ice cream, and of course, the BOB, Spongebob that is. I've tried to reach my grandsons all week, but no one is picking up. I'll try again today.

Gomer, your two something comment made me laugh. You guys can't talk about chili without talking about the stuff that goes with the chili.

Badsneakers, glad your daughter is on the mend. She's had it rough.

Mudge, Martooni, Scotty, Slyness, and all the gang, good, good, morning. *waving*

It's suppose to warm up today, and the sun is promised, just a good day to be outside. I hope to take advantage in a big way. I have work I need to do, but will still try to get out. I do hope it's a nice day where all of you are. Get outside and enjoy the sun.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 7, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse


Your comment was on spot concerning democracy yesterday at ten something. I believe it's a great system, and it works. When we start manipulating the system, therein lies the problem.

Mudge, I think that mother got hit with a desk or something during an uprising on the job. She had back injuries. With fourteen children, how does one go back to school, and all that? I'm wondering how would one get a bath? I'll bet that hospital bill is in the gazillions? And isn't California broke?

Did anyone read the story yesterday about Bill Gates? He released a container of mosquitoes in a room of people. And after doing so, he said there's no reason just "poor" people should have malaria. I thought, get out of here. Gates, hardcore.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 7, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. No way it's going to go up to 5C as advertised, it's -13C and covered.

Yello, the Duh news:
"All three fires are being treated as suspicious and are being investigated by the arson unit. Ottawa Paramedics said they took a man with third-degree burns to 90 per cent of his body to hospital from a hotel in the west end Friday morning. Police were notdrawing any link between the unidentified man and the fires."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 7, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

And the last fire to be started (the shopping mall) was in the west end...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 7, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle, Cassandra.

LOL shrieking denizen Keep us posted.

Sorry yellojkt, I'll try not to do it again.

It may be Saturday for some of you, but for me it is just Friday Part II, as we work all day. I'm hoping one of the partners who are in Banff from Calgary will give me ride back to town this afternoon after the official proceedings end; tonight is just a riotous party, and I'm too old for that. If that doesn't work, I'm stuck here until the bus arrives tomorrow morning.

Hope today brings you all many good things and lots of fun. Think of me in a conference room (with sympathy, please).

Posted by: Yoki | February 7, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, sd. I think this case will be easy to crack.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 7, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Re-mornin' all...

The only problem with being wide awake at 4am is that you have to be vewy vewy kwyette. In other words, no power tools and no making of chili (or any combination of the two). So I went back to bed and finally fell asleep just as everyone else was waking up.

Apparently, the rule about being vewy vewy kwyette only applies to me. Everyone else is allowed to make as much noise as they want and go out of their way to do so.

yello... that Onion bit was very much on the mark. There was one cashier (she was closing out her register), one person at the paint-mixing station, and a lady signing people up for credit cards with a free gift. I ended up using the self checkout.

Cassandra... I'm looking at a day of "Da Bob" myself here. Little Bean is addicted to SpongeBob and nothing I do will tear her away from watching an episode she's seen so many times she's memorized each character's dialog. I could handle it if it weren't for "Da Bob's" irritating laugh. It's like fingernails on chalkboard to me. (then again, it's better than having to sit through "iCarly" and "Drake & Josh" [her other two favorites]).

I'm hoping I can sneak out to the shop. Otherwise, I may need coaxing down from the roof.

Posted by: martooni | February 7, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, getting from Banf to Calagary is easy. Just stand by the side of the road aand stick out your thumb.
Try batting your eyelashes.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 7, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle!

Yoki, having done hard time in a conference room, my thoughts are with you.

Be strong.

Cassandra- the brilliantly nasty thing about that mosquito stunt is that Bill Gates waited a moment before pointing out the the skitters didn't actually carry malaria.

Have a great day everyone.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I am beginning to regret my 1:37 :)

That is quite a funny image, though, Boko, an old woman in a formal overcoat, schlepping a wheelie suitcase, laptop and briefcase, hitchhiking by the side of the TransCanada Highway.

Posted by: Yoki | February 7, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I could do without 'Josh And Drake' but don't go knocking 'iCarly.' That show is awesomely kewl. And Little Bean's next favorite show is bound to be "Sonny With a Chance."

According to the article it pays homage to/rips off Belushi-era Saturday Night Live. Methinks the kinds would miss the "buzz off" meaning in the original.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 7, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, third degree burns over 90 percent of his body? I'm amazed that that he lived long ehough to check into a motel. He would be in some serious pain. Of course, shock and infection are generally what does burn patients in. Hope that they get to the bottom of all this before he dies.

So I was taking a shower last night, and the water stopped before I got soap on me. Yup, frozen pipes again...Mr. T got out the manual that came with the heater he put under the house and discovered that in the auto mode, it doesn't come on unless it senses movement in the area. Sooo...he changed the mode and at 0500 hours, there was water again. Ah, the joys of a mountain cottage in the winter.

Martooni, your beef with Home Depot is precisely why I prefer Lowe's.

Cassandra, love him or hate him, Bill Gates is one of the greatest philanthropists in the history of the world. God bless his work.

Posted by: slyness | February 7, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for providing a link to the fire story SD. All I got were radio reports and couldn't find a story that included mention of the guy confusing a hotel with a hospital.

Do any of the other Canajun boodler's dogs enjoy "The Littlest Hobo"? Watching Buddy's antics while it's on is worth the effort of wiping the nose prints off'n the TV.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 7, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "kids" as in "the kids are alright"

Posted by: yellojkt | February 7, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Not any of the incumbent dogs, Boko, but Yeoman used to be fascinated, as did cat Jessie, with Top Dog, the Canadian show that covers agility trials. They'd sit next to each other right in front of the TV and track the dogs with their eyes. I used to turn it on just for them!

Posted by: Yoki | February 7, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge, long swim meet today and I am in charge of the timers: three per lane times seven lanes plus two roving back up timers.

Saw Benjamin Button last night and was stunned at how lost and aimless and utterly ridiculous. The sets and costume are lush but a movie must have a narrative arc other than people age, whether forward or backward. The Katrina hurricane thread is bizarre, contrived, and, even, clodlike against the suffering there. Some unexplored and false ease about race relations of the time. And, a female "magic Negro" role that is acted beautifully but the movie frames poorly.

Roger Ebert agrees with me. As does Ann Hornaday. But the number of sycophant-reviews is astonishing. And, my students adore the movie. I am trying to understand this. The movie is frothy and visually gorgeous in an understated way: peeling paint, faded and worn wallpapers, threadbare carpets....But it is NOT
American Magical Realism NOR
a fantastic fable NOR
a cautionary tale NOR
plotted in any psychologically realistic way.

Amelie worked as a fantasticized movie, so did, Chocalat. But this is a very long, long, self indulgent, unedited personal mythology.

The story bears no relation to Scotty Fitzgerald's story, other than the reverse aging conceit. That the director's willful narcissism gave us this is the only touchstone with F.S. Scotty was notoriously self-absorbed.

Wow. I just ranted.

Re chile: I grew up with the charming and exacting suffixes of
1) con carne
2) sin carne

I interpreted "sin carne" as the sin of meat as in that chili was not meant for Friday consumption, which I realized later, was perfect for meatless Fridays.

I think that beans by themselves are cowboy beans or ranch beans. Ask Ivansmom and other other Texas-adjacents re "Ranch Beans."

So chili is with or without (con or sin) beans. You choose. The chili powder makes it chili, as in "chili is chili." Fine. Pronouced 'fee - nay '

Looking for a 3-D theater for Coraline.....

take care all. And Yoki,faxing two aspirins to take against the young'ens.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 7, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A busy day yesterday, and an equally busy - but better - day with my daughters today.

We're planning on an seeing "Coraline" today and dinner out afterwards - hey, a Neil Gaiman story with design and animation from the folks that worked with Burton on "Nightmare," what's not to like?
[Martooni, I'm with ya - "Nighmare" is an absolute classic, IMO.]

I'm very much interested in where the ax is going to fall on what's in and out of the Stim package, since it's likely to affect what I do with the rest of my life to a greater or lesser extent. From what I see on this morning, money's being cut from education, health care, and tax credits for domestic new car purchases (I think Congress found out that the allmighty world-saving magnificent Chevy Volt will be built in ... Mexico).

Compromises to the Republicans, from the sound of it.


Posted by: -bc- | February 7, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Howdy! We didn't see Coraline in 3-D; it ran in surprisingly few theaters here yesterday; I think probably only one of them was 3-D and it was not convenient for us last night. It is very good in regular vision. Tim Burton is not involved but the guy who directed Nightmare Before Christmas (a favorite here too) did this one. I look forward to hearing what other Boodlers think of it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 7, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

Posted by: CLR57 | February 7, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

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