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Jon Stewart Thwaps Jim Cramer

In exposing Jim Cramer last night, Jon Stewart precisely summarized -- better than anyone I've heard before -- the dark heart of the financial calamity: There was a fake market and a real market. The market we thought we were investing in was a facade for the real market created by, and for the direct benefit of, the money manipulators.

At what point does it become theft? Where are the prosecutions?

The Bernie Madoff case is not truly representative of Wall Street shenanigans (to use Cramer's word), because it was so over the top and outrageous. There was a discussion on the Times site about whether Madoff is the greatest villain in Wall Street history. No: The greatest villain won't get caught. There may not even be a single greatest villain, but rather many people who devoted their intelligence not to helping investors but simply to helping themselves, at whatever downstream cost to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. And I don't want to bail those folks out.

Sure, I think lots of ordinary people got themselves overleveraged and bought too much house and took excessively fancy vacations, etc., but most of them weren't trying to game the system.

It's not clear to me, in principle, why people on Wall Street should make far more money than, say, teachers or nurses. If the answer is they make a lot because they understand finance so well and finance is critical to our economy's health, then it seems they deserve a massive pay cut, if not necessarily, at this point, incarceration.

I was one of the suckers who adherred to the belief that if you worked hard, socked away about 14 percent of your gross income in a 401k, bought and held a few blue-chip stocks well recommended by experts, listened to a financial advisor and put your savings in 529 college accounts, and so on, that over time this conservative and prudent financial plan would reap great rewards. Now I wish I had saved my cash to burn it in my hearth and reduce my heating bills.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 13, 2009; 9:31 AM ET
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Good morning everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 13, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I did exactly the same thing and am feeling exactly the same frustration. A lot of people are.

That the market is not a reflection of true earnings, but just a mechanism for financial chicanery, is, perhaps, something we should have all learned back in 2001. But some of us were too busy with life to fully absorb this. Instead we relied on professionals, like we do with other aspects of life in which we are not experts. That these professionals let us down is disillusioning in the extreme.

We thought we were investing in the future, but we were really just subsidizing those who knew how to game the system.

And this is just wrong.

Now, of course, eventually real earnings should start to drive up stock values in a real way. But the return of another bubble market will just lead to even greater fiduciary heartache in the future.

We need some grownups to regulate this. And if this means that there are fewer millionaires out there but greater market stability, well, I can live with this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Greater Market Stability would be the Scarlett Johansson that I could live with, all be it wearing librarean style glasses.


Posted by: DLDx | March 13, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Your remarks are spot on. Like you I have seen decades of savings vanish into the pockets of the greedy "geniuses" lurking on Wall Street. I reminds me of the time when I walked out of the unemployment office in 1970 with my unemployment benefits, cash in those day, only to have my pocket picked. The same sort of people rule Wall Street. Jon Stewart deserves a Pulitzer, good on him, shame on the media.

Posted by: DavidinLosAngeles | March 13, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Blue chip stocks have long been a problem. I think it was Peter Drucker who commented on how conservative stocks for "widows and orphans" such as the Pennsylvania Railroad were invariably aging companies about to succumb to their own rigidity.

I assume that fewer of this year's graduating undergrads at Princeton will be financial engineers. Maybe financial toxic waste specialists?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

(This is a copy of a post I made on the Daily Show's own forum - it says a lot of the same things the author of the above blog says)

The show was excellent in many ways. The only shortcoming was that it was too short.

Mr. Cramer was obviously nervous, he seemed to know his goose was being cooked. I did feel a bit sorry for him in that he (by his own doing) became the face of journalistic dishonesty. He's not nearly the worst of them - many "commentators" will be called on as a result of tonight's show, and I'm sure most of Cramer's work at CNBC has been ethical (though his show has a weird way of presenting stock tips). But to his credit, Mr. Cramer did not try to fire back - I think he understood Mr. Stewart's arguments and was finally compelled, at the end, to agree with them.

Mr. Stewart however was, no doubt, in top form. He did his homework, found "smoking gun" clips that not only looked bad on Mr. Cramer, but shed light on the "dark side" of market trading - the "backroom" manipulations of stock prices. This side of trading, which to the people involved seems like a game not only borders on illegal, but has been affecting your life and mine.

Take, for example, the video clip that Stewart played where Cramer talked about spreading false rumors about Apple to lower its stock price. Most of us buy or sell Apple based on our view of their products and their actual financials. If my 401K drops because of false rumors, I have to ask the question - do I really want to get into the market at all? Can I trust this "free" market system?

While Stewart's show is normally billed as comedy, it needs to be talked about in many "serious" circles, especially whoever makes "rules" for market trading. Between the Madoff scandal, the suspicious bailouts (and questionable behavior with bailout money), and the revelations in tonight's "Daily Show", there will be a strong need to instill trust and confidence in the basic institutions that comprise our economic system.

John Stewart, you have performed a valuable service. Thank you!

Posted by: arotnemer | March 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Listen folks, President Bush told us for years that he wanted to create an "ownership society." He just forgot to mention that we were the ones who were going to be "owned."

And on a related topic, just imagine (if you dare) how we'd feel if the plan to privatize Social Security had gone forward.

Last night's Daily Show Cramerpalooza ranks right up there with the night Stewart went on "Crossfire" and told Tucker Carlson that he was a dick.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 13, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert, BTW. And this topic deserves the front-page mention.

I think Joel's lement about his conservative/prudent financial behavior exactly demonstrates Stewart's overall point last night: that John Q. Public taxpayer was follwoing not only what was thought to be "good" advice, but actually beyond that: rock-bottom sound advice that "everybody" was giving out, that the system itself was generating. And that inside Wall Street, a bunch of masters of the universe were diddling the system recklessly (on the one hand) while continuing to deceive said John Q. Public (on the other). So there were really two basic "crimes" going on, not just the one.

To me, this entire thing has a massively existential and even religious quality to it. Joel's Lament is that if you can't trust what is agreed to be "sound, prudent, conservative" investment advice, where can you turn? The unpleasant answer is, there is no place. Thus Man is thrust from a reasonably sane, rational comfortable world where he believes he is protected, into a world with no rules, into a world filled with predators and chaos. So sure, this is more than a wee bit disconcerting.

It has parallels in philosophy and religion, of course: the existential dilemma of how is a person supposed to behave when s/he suddenly realized s/he is alone in an unfriendly universe, that God Is Dead (or at least functionally inoperative, either dead, not present, indifferent, never existed in the first place, or whatever your preference might be).

So, yup, Wall Street has cast us into the world of Kierkegaarde and existential dread. Thanks, fellahs. The unthinkable has happened, the tsunami has arrived, the earth has moved under our feet, and all the usual comfortable notions have been upset. It's just this particular event happens to be financial and economic, rather than say, tectonic, or caused by Mother Nature.

All crises of faith have similar problems and similar patterns. This crisis of faith just happens to fall in the economic realm rather than, say, the religious/philosophical. But yes, it is a crisis of faith in a monumental instituion, which has failed us. Doesn't matter if it is Rome or Wall Street.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Joel, it's folks with your background who did this to us. Not you, but your younger (sorry) "best and brightest" counterparts. They attended the Ivies, MIT, etc, and were recruited by Wall Street and Greenwich. And, no, they were not exclusively Republican, by any means. Ahem, let's see: Chelsea Clinton, Joe Biden's kid, the new FDA Chief's husband, Rahm Emanuel, ad nauseam, all hedge funders and i-bankers. And, yes, Bush wholeheartedly both sold tax cuts and further deregulation, but Clinton, Dodd, Frank, Schumer, and Pelosi wholeheartedly participated in this process. Whether "free marketers" or "neoliberals" they advocated financial anarchy, while selling the regular folks like us 401ks instead of pensions and all the overpriced housing you could want.

Joel, I sit and cry each night looking at my depleted college funds for four wonderful, bright kids. I don't mind working till I'm 80, but this same crew engineered the loss of job security, the "progressive" need for "young ideas" (under which age discrimination is thriving) and married it with the neocon Robber Barons.

Even today, Obama has hardly dropped devotion to globalism, seems uncommitted to hiking taxes on the superrich, and feeds just as much on donor dollars as Bush.

While I think his words are sincere, I don't see a lot of commitment to equity.

But I do think you are committed to right, to science, to journalism, and to the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

It just doesn't pay, does it?

Posted by: 2a583gh3rw934939210fdj223230agjew24 | March 13, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I feel robbed too; not I had had much riding in the market but still.

Was I the only one slightly disturbed by the picture of the sheep head, hooves and brain breakfast soup cycling on WaPo's the homepage this morning?
If it were goat soup and the guy weren't smoking a joint over it that would have been ok but barely so.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

As I was watching last night and again as I watched this morning the uncensored long form interview on the Daily Show site, I was struck by the clips of Cramer explaining how to game the system. THIS should have been the reporting that CNBC did instead of kissing up to the CEOs and swindlers. Expose the behind the curtains 'shenanigans', manipulation that went on and is still going on.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | March 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Now, I know the arguments.

I know that the averaged value of stocks averaged over a multi-year window has continued to increase. But mean value over mean time is not an indication of personal risk.

First of all, mean value doesn't represent mean personal profits because everyone doesn't sell at the same time. And even mean personal profits doesn't mean reasonable distribution of profits.

A world where the existence of millions of people who lose thousands is balanced out by thousands of people who make millions is, to me, not satisfactory.

And *even if* the mean potential profits increase for everyone when averaged over a broad time window (say five years) the truly useful statistic is standard deviation - or "volatility." This is the statistic that better represents risk.

The higher the volatility the greater the odds that the market will bite just when a particular individual needs the money best. Because not everyone can average the needs of their family.

And volatility is going up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Imaginary lunch anyone? I just made an imaginary pot of sheep's heads, brains and hooves soup. We can have a quick toke then have it for lunch with glass or 2 of sweet wine.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

In response to Joel’s question yesterday on the Space Station debris encounter, the answer is yes. We keep tracking these objects after the event and once we have a good track we can extrapolate back and determine how close the debris got to the ISS. We are currently undertaking a post encounter analysis and should have an estimate at some point. I have not heard any results yet. BTW, that was one of the better articles on the enounter that I've read today Joel.

Posted by: Radz | March 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I just thought the tape Stewart kept playing in which Cramer discusses how to game the Apple stock was incredible. Howard Kurtz, in today's Media Notes here on the seems to indicate that Stewart is unfair to say that Cramer, or CNBC, or journalism in general should have seen this crisis coming. That misses the point, as the tape of Cramer so clearly indicates. The issue isn't that Cramer or CNBC failed to predict calamity. Rather, it is that the financial media did not fail to predict the shenanigans precisely because they were directly involved in the games.

This doesn't mean that the financial media are responsible for the meltdowns at Lehman or Bear. Instead, it means that places like Lehman and Bear got into trouble because members of the media like Cramer were not thinking objectively about the impact one shenanigan or another would have on the overall system. When one manager shorts one stock, it has a small impact, but when thousands of managers short thousands of stocks day in and day out, and that is not part of the reporting, then we are not viewing a realistic, factual portrait of the economy.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 13, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Joel's comparison on teacher and banker salary is telling since, as he points out, it goes to the very heart of the system. Years ago I was a graduate student in Soviet Studies during its waning years. Of course, we did not then realize it was in its waning years. Almost all of the analysis we read characterized the dilemma the Soviet leaders in being that they could not reform the system without admitting that its founding ideology was fundamentally flawed.

How is that so different here? I, like many, grew up hearing that the wealthy were wealthy because they produced value and assumed more risk than the rest of us. Doesn't that sound kind of of funny now?

The mantra of those trying to "redistribute" a little more income down to teachers has been merit pay, a theme Obama took up this week. Pay-for-performance. Save raises for those teachers whose charges measure up on standardized tests. Well let's take the teacher-banker analogy. What Wall Street has done to our economy would be akin to a teacher taking a class of teen-agers and triggering a reversion to grade school math and reading levels.

What is so gauling is that capitalism is supposed to be centered on personal responsibility. The standard response of all the guilty parties calls to mind one of my favorite scenes from Monty Python. Remember when the Pythonite shows up and slaughters all the guests for a wedding, then the unscrupulous king, seeing a chance to grab land by marrying the Pythonite to the ugly bride-to-be stands up among the stunned survivors and says, "Now, we stand around and argue about who killed who, but..." I'm not as ready to put this behind me as Mr. Cramer seems to be.

Posted by: Cossackathon | March 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Best commentary on the web I have read about the Stewart/Cramer event. Wow. In a few words you summarized it, and the frustration and anger of regular folks, quite well.

Posted by: jowc123 | March 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

In about October I began plugging the phrase: FBI mortgage
into Google News occasionally. To summarize for all, there are and have been many investigtions into this wrongdoing. I want to see jail time for some of the traders (apparently LOTS of the traders) and also the bankers and insurers and more. I want fines and punitive damages assessed as well. As others have said, this is a type of intangible action that lends faith back into the United States's market system, faith that is sorely needed. But my pessimism is not buoyed by things such as the story that Madoff (and yes, I understand the case that it's technically a different type of malfeasance)is not required to assist in the determination of where all his loot went. In short, I have a funny feeling that stolen money is going to buy a lot of people freedom from jail time.

It's easy to nail down CNBC, and I'm glad Jon Stewart did so. Other news orgs are also failures in this matter.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This Cramer thing goes pretty far back on the Daily Show, with a good high point last Monday as well, when Stewart and the DF folks called all those MSCBC "experts" out.

I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my DVR at home.

I hope.

Having said all that, one has to wonder how this affects the public's perception of "the media." Why is there not more hue and cry over the loss of newspapers and other news outlets as well as reductions in staffing and re$ource$ for those that continue operations?

I think Stewart's aim here is good and I am a big fan. He does single out MSNBC, but in the larger context, though, does it undermine public perception in the trustworthiness of the traditional news media and vehicles such as newspapers (which took some pretty good hits over the runup to the Iraq war)? If there's a perception that the traditonal news organizations and related analysis/punditry aren't getting it right on big items, will they want to propagate it by being willing to pay for it?

I don't know, but I am thinking about it.

More later.


Posted by: -bc- | March 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Is there still a chair for me at the imaginary lunch table?

I'll have grilled cheese rather than brain and hooves soup. But I thought that photo was *hilarious,* shriek.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The issue was and is the role CNBC played(s) in pimping for the Wall Street and the traders. Stewart did a fabulous job but it only emphasizes what a sorry state journalism and our nation are in that this did not happen with a major reporter or network news anchor but rather on the comedy channel.

Posted by: BobSanderson | March 13, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, let's not drag the French into this!

I think it's "galling".

Posted by: bobsewell | March 13, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That note was for Cossack.

Posted by: bobsewell | March 13, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I thought the show was hilarious and sobering at the same time. Cramer has always been a blowhard, and I tune him out consistently. Jon Stewart, on the other hand, is glorious. If not for him. . . .where on earth would we get our news. So to speak.

And, Mudge, were you aware that the translation from Danish of Kierkegaard is "cemetery"? I've always thought that to be incredibly "layers of the onion" funny. You know, considering. . . .

Time to make some lunch (without -- please! -- brains and hooves): salad, cheese on knäckebröd (crisp bread of the Wasa variety) with perhaps a little kimchee added on top, and an apple. Then a huge ginormous mug of tea.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing that I forgot in my other post -- I cannot abide Suze Orman. Her whole demeanor (very whiny and controlling) makes me cringe. That's what the mute button and, in fact, reading good books, are for.

Now I'm going to prepare lunch. So there!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 13, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Joel! As a teacher, I'd love to have a Wall-Street-size salary, but I fear if I did, my problems would be much bigger. If I actually HAD any money, it would probably be tied up in stocks and 401k by now. I'd probably have a bigger house that I wouldn't be able to afford right now. But, as it stands, my $3K in savings is still there, my nonexistant stock portfolio and 401k haven't changed in value in the least, and I can still afford the modest home that my meager salary allowed me to purchase in the first place. Now, I just hope my students don't bomb their standardized test and get me laid off, or disqualified from some new "merit pay" boondoggle.

Aaaahhhh, to have my career, my livlihood, my ability to make the payments hinged upon the abilities (or more often the desire)of pre-adolescent test-takers.

Ain't life grand?

Posted by: Gomer144 | March 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Watching the clips of Mr. Cramer explain, so calmly and rationally, how he games the system by manipulating stock prices to his advantage, it dawned on me--oh so belatedly--that if Mr. Cramer did this for a living in the past, there is no reason to assume that he's stopped doing it in the present. I think Mr. Stewart showed terrific restraint by *not* accusing Mr. Cramer of using his show as a larger and louder platform for planting rumors and manipulating stock prices for the benefit of himself and others. And that, I believe, answers many of the questions posed by Mr. Stewart, vis-a-vis why didn't Mr. Cramer--and his colleagues in the industry--"warn" his viewers about overleveraging in the market and the wider economy. The answer is that there was nothing in it for him. How many want to take bets that Mr. Cramer was, in actuality, shorting Bear Stearns?

Posted by: dr_dan | March 13, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Cramer seemed to be on the brink of tears at times. That was the best cross-examination since A Few Good Men.

Times like these make me feel glad that rather than saving money only to see it magically shrink I have wantonly thrown the money I've earned (and some money I have yet to earn)away on places I've visited and meals I've eaten and books I've read (and some I have yet to read). Travis McGee was onto something.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, shriek, but I think I'm gonna pass on the sheep brain soup, delicious as it sounds (he said, with his head hovering over a trash can just in case).

No, ftb, had no idea of the "cemetery" translation. But it's really chilling, isn't it? Brrrr.

A few points:

1) I have to say I was impressed with Cramer for showing up and taking his public thrashing. He didn't have to, and I believe he knew it was coming, and that he deserved it, and it was a kind of mea culpa. I was reminded on Henry II at the end of "Becket" where he goes to the cathedral to receive his penance/whipping. He knew he done bad, and he knew he had to get a public scouring for it. Ditto Cramer.

2) I suspect (and hope) the Great Smackdown leads to a larger discussion of the media's failure to adequately cover Wall Street, in the same way we had that large (inconclusive) discussion about the media's failure to cover Bush and the Iraq war properly during the buildup phase. I think the parallels are quite striking: in both cases, "we shoulda seen this coming." The media should have been asking tougher, harder questions. The media should have been analyzing the data at hand (per Stewart saying "at what point isn't a 30-to-1 leverage position not insane?").

3) There has been a fair amount of talk about one of the big problems is that "we need to restore confidence" in Wall Street, the stock market, the banks, all our financial institutions, etc., and that without this confidence no one is going to invest, i.e., no one is going to do exactly what Joel did. And I agree, confidence needs to be restored.

Except. And here we hit what I view as the great unsolvable conundrum: how do we restore confidence in a system that people like me believe we shouldn't have any confidence in, in the first place? Aren't we essentially trying to rebuild confidence in a God Who Has Failed and Deserved to Fail?

And it gets worse: "rebuilding" Wall Street, the market, our financial institutions, etc. (in addition to being a fool's errand, in my view) is not a national problem but a global one. Wall Street's greed and willful incompetence has taken down the global economy, as several Post headlines have said.

What's the point of rebuilding the existing financial structure if it was inherently dysfunctional in the first place?

Worse, how do we do any of these things "quickly," so as to ameliorate the damage and suffering as quickly as possible?

Which is why flaming crypto-anarchist semi-socialists like me think the world is going to hell in a hand basket, with no solutions in sight (not feasible ones, anyway, since they won't allow firings squads on the floor of the Stock Exchange).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's an example of the stuff that normally blows right by me. I have a vague thought that I hope someone with some sense is overseeing it all. Of course, they aren't. And then it fades from consciousness.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Even Google Ads seems to have a limit on how much Wall Street it can take, judging by the last item:

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Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, that's why this thing has such religious/existential overtones.

There is No One overseeing it all.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The difference between financial pundits and other pundits is that financial pundits actually influence our personal actions.

Look, if a trusted pundit says something bad about US policy towards North Korea it isn't going to make us run out and actually do anything except maybe vote for somebody different in the next election.

But when a pundit says, buy more stocks instead of bonds this can result in immediate action. Therefore, one should demand great caution and humility from financial pundits.

Except, of course, we don't really want that. Cramer is right in that his strong views are why people watch him. He is like Limbaugh. Certainty appeals to insecure people.

But all of this is really a sideshow. This financial disaster is a direct result of the system breaking down. There are supposed to be regulations, laws, and sober institutions designed to buffer us from the excesses of capitalism.

People whose job it is to make money will do what they can to make money. Ranting against greed, as much fun as it is (and gosh it is fun) misses the point. A well-modulated system should not rely on the goodness of heart of individuals. It should rely on the rule of law and a set of internal checks and balances.

So I think this financial mess really is like the Iraq war. It is fun to blame a small cadre of powerful people for foisting evil upon us, but the system should never allow a cadre to become that powerful in the first place.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 13, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

C'est vrai! Right you are, bobsewell. I'm glad that was my only typo you caught.

Posted by: Cossackathon | March 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

CNBC Gunfight On Comedy Channel
(Gunfight at the Ok Coral, Frankie Lane)

Sing along link:

Comedy Channel, Comedy Channel
there Cramer and the CNBC band made their final stand
Comedy Channel
Oh poor Jim Cramer got poked in both eyes
Lay down you CNBC bums we'll take a chance on losing you forever
Journalistic duty never called
Now Stewart's got your backs against the wall
have you no intelligent words to say
before the Nielson ratings ride away
Your love you love
Wall Street greed
you love
Keep the sexy anchor dames, let the rest burn
until the asset bubbles return
from the gunfight at the Comedy Channel
if the lord of satiric comedy is my friend
They'll meet once again
Of the gunfight at Comedy Channel
Comedy Channel
Boot hill Boot hill
so cold so still
There they lay side by side
the CNBC shlock jocks that died
in the gunfight on Comedy Channel
Comedy Channel

Posted by: williambanzai7 | March 13, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

No thanks on the sheep brain stew. It's not something I wanted to read about at the breakfast table, let alone actually eat.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Twitter is a microblogging service where all messages are limited to 140 characters, including, in length. The key feature is that you can 'subscribe' to the friends and relatives you want to 'follow' and read all their 'tweets'. You can even 'retweet' messages you want the people that subscribe to your Twitter feed to read. I have a Twitter account that I don't use much.

I also just joined where I can play songs from the internet on my computer and let other people listen. I don't even need to own the song. For example, who would like some Afternoon Delight?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Re: your belief about working hard, socking away 14% in a 401K etc., did you believe that at every point in time your investment would be worth more than it was the day before or even when you bought it? If so, you weren't intelligent enough to have been investing and should have kept all of your money in the mattress. One guarantee about markets is that they will fluctuate, sometimes wildly. Another is that, barring a restructuring of our economy, they will grow over time. It's an old axiom that one shouldn't have money in the market if it is needed in the next five years. The current tumble was un-predicted and probably un-predictable. It should not have been unexpected, however, since the people who run it are out to make money for themselves (and you, too - why do you think your 401K and housing value were growing so fast?) and will push every envelope they can to do so. Thus it always was and thus it shall always be as long as the market is free. And people like you and me will cheer them on as long as we're getting a piece of the action. And we'll turn a blind eye to their shenanigans. Then when it all falls apart, as it always does, we'll get indignant and rail at someone for not protecting us. Ah, the foibles of human nature....

Posted by: gitman | March 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

*being a good Boodler and biting my tongue on providing Cossackthon the correct MPATHG quote* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

for some years now i have been hearing people of a certain party say: trust the market. the market knows. the market will tell us the truth.

here's what i see in the market: lying, greed, theft, hubris.

and yet we bail them out.

certain people should be getting their behinds kicked all the way to edge of the cliff and then given a helpful shove. or maybe it's just me....

Posted by: butlerguy | March 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to see that, as much as we all like to castigate the press, we all seem to assume that the public's first line defense against corruption and greed is the fourth estate. Little is made of the implicit complicity (say implicit complicity three times fast) of the regulatory agencies and policy makers. Eight years of Shrubbery have exhausted our capacity for outrage and even cynicism and left us numb.

Oh well. It's almost April. Think about how much simpler tax preparation will be with fewer assets and less income.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's the SVB link:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Butlerguy, I believe we did give them a shove. At lunch, I was wondering, in an idle way, what Dubya is doing now that he's retired.

Posted by: slyness | March 13, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No scrapie for me, thanks. I'm having MRSA casserole (ham) instead.

Mudge is right. I'm plowing through some stuff such as
and finding that the $60 trillion mortgage default swap business is STILL unregulated by anyone anywhere. I think I heard that before. But not lately.
I guess it's not "news" if the torture is just, you know, continuing?

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but all I can think about at this juncture is Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.'s "The Cycles of American History."

Andrew Dexter, Jr. anyone? His story told by Jane Kamensky in her book, "The Exchange Artist." One of the banks that he bilked was the Berkshire Bank, the neat little banking house becoming, after housing a series of other, subsequent banks, the Berkshire Athenaeum, where I sat and researched for an afternoon during my May 2004 trip to Connecticut and Massachusetts. I made this discovery only recently; I highly recommend Kamensky's book, though the history of the city of Pittsfield is elsewhere.

Or my more recent research involving my Rogers branch out of old Scituate, they having moved to Chesterfield, Mass. for three generations before moving in 1838 to the Connecticut Western Reserve in Ohio--this just following the Panic of 1837. If I could only answer the question of why they upended their lives in western Massachusetts.

Or my own parents, older parents, who lived throught the Great Depression and lived *every day of their lives* as though they were still stuck in 1929 and the decade after?

Sorry, but really, everything old is new again. Now, this first decade of the 21st century, will Cramer stop offering financial p0rn? I listened to his show last fall only to learn if he would put his old friend, the new head of Wachovia, on the wall of fame or the wall of shame. Our local JCC offered an evening program very recently featuring Cramer; I couldn't budge myself to attend.

Posted by: laloomis | March 13, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with this blog, but I must say that this Cramer/Stewart thing can be viewed in a different way too. Yes, Cramer is one of the worst Wall Street guys on TV. Actually, if you short his long recommendations about 1-2 days after he gives the recommendations, its much more likely that you'll make money.

But besides all of this, I think Stewart and Cramer are best buddies and just knew this head-to-head meeting would attract many viewers; would possibly increase both of their fans' loyalty and 'allegiance', which equally benefits both; and (call me anything you want) they can go at it more bluntly (which could be more entertaining for many) as both are jewish, which means they can say bad things about each other without worrying about being called Nazis or anti-semites. Good job Stewart and Cramer ... good job!

Posted by: kharkosse44 | March 13, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Did some Danish families really start calling themselves 'Mr. and Mrs. Cemetery'? Mighn't 'Churchyard' or 'Churchlands' be a fairer translation? The land round a medieval church would often include a graveyard but also a glebe where the priest would grow food crops.
Francis Bacon's phrase 'idol of the marketplace' comes to mind for the failed god and protector. In our existential crisis we are being forced back on the ultimate repository of this-worldly faith, that is the state or sovereign, regarded over the millennia as the link between heaven and earth. This had better not fail, I think.

Posted by: MHughes976 | March 13, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

gitman, it is the unprecedented volatility of the last decade that is the problem. Extreme volatility favors short-term investors who buy and sell a lot, while increasing risk for those who buy and hold. So professionals get rich, while those who are just saving for retirement can easily end up in bad shape if their timing is unlucky. That this volatility is being encouraged, if only by incompetence, is not the way it needs to be.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"short his long recommendations about 1-2 days after he gives the(m)" (Cramer's)

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Mr Stewart asked the question we all wanted to hear and nobody has asked yet.

WTF is going on here?And is all we can do is sit back and take it? Or should somebody start asking many question and investigate this?

off to work

I hope everyone has a greay day!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 13, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, yes indeed, MHughes976 -- the literal translation is "church yard" or "church garden". In my explorations of and around various churches in Scandinavia, virtually all the "gardens" are, um, really cemeteries. Most of them are very well tended. I tended to roam through them while waiting for various people, but I enjoyed seeing the really old ones with dates (if they could still be deciphered) from the 16 and 16 hundreds. Oh, and the names -- the old Swedish, Norwegian and Danish names which are simply not seen anymore, or very, very seldom. Frithjof (which is Norwegian) comes to mind.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC (*groan*) -- 16 and 17 hundreds! *grump*

And on that note, GWE, I promise to have a greay day, too. *hehehehe*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 13, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

OK. I'll have cold sheep's brain soup all by myself.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Sure is a grey day here.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 13, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Welcome all new posters!

Time for some sinfests don'tcha think?

Blast from the past...

Blast from the present...

And the classic...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The entire stock market debacle has been an enormous application of the Greater Fool Theory. The individual investors and the retirement fund contributors were pegged as marks to be sold the goods that couldn't be pawned off on others. Joel is right to feel lied to and ripped off. He was. We all wore.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the average American has lost 18% of their total wealth in 2008. That includes home equity, retirement funds, stock holdings, Beanie Babies, coins stuck in couch cushions, everything.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I have been fighting a personal Kierkegaard action for years.


Posted by: -bc- | March 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

And finally a sharp jab...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

SCC: We were all ripped off.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wake up, Canada! Now's yer chance!

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: the 1:22 p.m. post. You certainly does have to wonder if last night's "performance" and dressing down wasn't a ratings ploy for both?

Posted by: laloomis | March 13, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Anybody traveling downtown beware. Somebody got hit by a train near McPherson Square, Blue and Orange lines blocked. (Good thing there's no BPH tonight; I'd have to go through there.)

Remember, dearest Canuckis, no throwing shoes, please.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Even if the intent was nothing but performance art for the sake of ratings, the effect on the viewer was very real. Fake violence can still be unsettling.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 13, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

What projectile would you suggest?

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Poutine, of course! Silly Yoki... *hehehehehe*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well being Canadians I would suggest, hockey pucks, hockey skates, or perhaps Poutine.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 13, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, welcome to the many new folks. I hope that you haven’t just driven by and disappeared. Your posts are unusually well thought out and very articulate. Please hang around and join the regulars.

Most of the time, Joel publishes stuff that doesn’t cause as much wailing and gnashing of teeth. So, we tend to get a little inbred and cliquish, geeky even. We are not flibbertigibbets, either. The collective brainpower of the boodle is a force of nature. Nonetheless, the watchwords of the day are always: respect, consideration, and concern for each other. In short, there is a great bunch of folks here, and it looks like you’d fit right in and have a good ol’ time.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | March 13, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Moose doo.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

So why, exactly, is Obama going to Santa Ana next week?

To visit data provider First American LoanPerformance, that informs us, via Bloomberg News, that in California, the state with the most foreclosure filings, the share of underwater owners will rise to a third of all mortgage holders by the end of the year?

Or to stop in at First American CoreLogic, a real estate information firm based there, whose data show, thanks to a Wall Street Journal blog, that because home prices continue to drop across most of the country, the mortgage debt on about 20% of all U.S. single-family homes exceeded the estimated current value of those properties as of Dec. 31. That proportion will rise to 25% of single-family homes if prices fall another 5%, the firm said.

Or to tout the earmarks, totaling $121,261,264, for the inland region? Among the largest chunks of money are $14 million to pay for work along the Santa Ana River, $5 million for a regional water-recycling project and $45 million to expand a line on the Metrolink.

Posted by: laloomis | March 13, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course they do, Wilbrod. How else do we get all those mooselets?

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Plus a few glasses of wine, candlelight, and soft moosic (with a lot of muted trumpets, dreamy saxaphones, a few trombones-- the hornier the better where moose-wooing is concerned).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to WilliamBanzai7 at 12.52 pm for the inspiration:

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Rollin', rollin', rollin'


Money rollin', rollin', rollin',

Though our bags are swollen,

Keep them greenbacks rollin', rawhide

Through war and peace, any weather,

Hell bent for leather,

With the media by my side

All the while I'm pissin',

on good folks with money missin',

Taking all the lumps from our ride

Move 'em out, hit 'em up,

Hit 'em up, move 'em on

Move 'em on, hit 'em up,


Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,

Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,

Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,


Movin' money movin',

Though some are disapprovin',

Keep them fooled and movin', rawhide

Don't try to understand 'em,

Just squeeze an' effin' dry 'em

Soon we'll be living high and wide

My heart's calculatin',

My Swiss account is waitin'

Waitin' at the end of my ride

Move 'em out, hit 'em up,

Hit 'em up, move 'em on,

Move 'em on, hit 'em up,


Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,

Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,

Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,


Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Rollin', rollin', rollin'


Rollin', rollin', rollin'


Rollin', rollin', rollin'




Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yello you're welcome.

In case anybody missed, yello was thanking me for posting some links to Alice Peacock.


If you want to back track to get a Tori Amos video it's in the Updike Boodle @ 9:45AM.

Posted by: omnigood | March 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Only on the Boodle could we have a conversation in which the phrase, "Boy, look at the rack on that guy" might crop up.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Don, inbred?

Let's not get genealogical here, please with sugar and cream on top.

Otherwise, what he said-- we ain't bloodsuckers, just high-voltage worker bees loafing on the Achenblog.

Welcome. Behave yourself and you will be assimilated into the hive. Your resistance will be measured in ohms.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh and the Youtube link for Rawhide:

OK, back to begging for some crumbs from the stimulatin' pot o' gold.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Ah, omni, my friend. That Alice Peacock sure is a handsome person, and sure can sing. Too bad she's married. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The moose jokes always mae me laugh.

Posted by: Moose13 | March 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

That's what they're there for, Moose. :-) *LTNS Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

SCC: make

Darn it

Posted by: Moose13 | March 13, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, DNA Girl! I assume you watched the show in syndication, unlike Mudge and I, who watched it in prime time as youth...

Posted by: slyness | March 13, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't have it any other way, Moose.

Always nice to know you're out there, lurking quietly in the tall grass...with only your antlers visible above the waves of grain.

Which is kind of a weird image when you think about it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm lurking here amongst the tax returns. Can't wait for April 16th.


Posted by: Moose13 | March 13, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Last night's show was clearly good for Stewart. Who knows of it will be good long term for Cramer's ratings. Once these blowhard hosts get discredited, the fall can be quick and catastrophic. Anybody seen Morton Downey Jr. anywhere lately?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Rowdy Yates! Wishbone! Gil Favor! Hey Soos (now, how racist/politically incorrect is THAT, fer cryin' out loud--and it's a twofer). Sheb Wooley! John Ireland (always liked John Ireland, FYI a Canucki). Claude Akins. Burgess Meredith ("Hannibal Plew," a name even I might have trouble inventing). Lovable J. Pat O'Malley (from Spin and Marty).

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone's having a nice Friday the 13th. I assert that it is only a coincidence that I just received two simultaneous phone calls, one from my co-worker who had reached home and discovered she left her garage door opener on her desk and one from my husband, who had locked his keys in the car at the aquatic center. It's not because it's an especially unlucky day.

Stay positive, y'all, and have a great Friday night and weekend. With or without our 401K's we boodlers (and the kitmeister)are among the most privileged and pampered humans on this planet. Let's keep the gratitude in our attitude...

Peace out. (sending good vibes to martooni)

Posted by: kbertocci | March 13, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I was more of a Bonanza fan, but I remember liking Rawhide. We also watched Gunsmoke.

Posted by: slyness | March 13, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The IRS needs to come up with a Form 1040M. For Moose.

Or 1040MS, for... (Scotty? Here's your cue...)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

We're playing billiards now? What??? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I keep forgetting to mention that The Daily Show is available on for a week or so after the air date. Just in case somebody doesn't know that...

I've been in the habit lately of watching the whole week's worth of shows on Friday night. This week I got ahead of myself and watched Mon-Wed last night. Paul Rudd (last night's guest) is awfully cute. If you think so, too, you should see him with Michelle Pfeiffer in "I Could Never Be Your Woman."

Posted by: kbertocci | March 13, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I mean, Rudd was on Wednesday night. As of last night, that was the most recent show available. I will be watching the Cramerfest in its entirety tonight--my life's a little timewarped, I guess.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 13, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Moose and Sqvirrel, Scotty, Moose and Sqvirrel. Gotta do all the work around her myself. Punchlines, dialects, the whole megillah. *sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you could do a fine Magilla Gorilla too, 'Mudge. :-)

*running for the train*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 13, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Nice, DNA Girl. I always preferred Rawhide to Death Valley Days anyway.

Whenever I use the expression "LOL," no matter if apt or true, I feel like the designated flibbertigibbet. So be it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Sqvirrel, the blood thirsty svedish rodent?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 13, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dats de vun.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Rocky, watch me pull a Wall Street bail-out out of my hat."

"Aw, Bullwinkle, that trick never works."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, my friends. I am among the living, although I've been missing for two days. So nice to read all the comments by visitors, and the kit is good too, albeit, very sad. I can't say that I know exactly how most of you feel because living on a fixed income does not allow investment, yet I am sorry that so many have been experienced such loss.

Not knowing much about financial matters, and how Wall Street functions, I can't really add to this conversation in depth, but it does sound to me like the fox in the hen house. You supposedly have the best and the brightest working in finance, but then, these folks end up stealing everything except the building. And I really think Paulson needs to be brought back and questioned concerning the first bailout while being held to fire or a set of pliers, whatever works best.

It is wet, cold, messy, and gray here. Just a lovely day for sleeping and wrapping up in the covers. Enjoy your evening, and sweet dreams boodlers.

And to all the newcomers, welcome and stick around. We so enjoy company.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"yet I am sorry so many have experienced such loss."

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It's Friday!!!!!!!! Running for the bus!!!!! *kicking heels in the air*

Everybody have a good weekend.

Except you, Karl Rove.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 13, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a depressing afternoon. And it is not like me to be down, so I've come here for some diversion. Divert me, somebody, please.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Nudge from wet black nose
Diverts hand to itchy ears
Ahhh that's the ticket!

- Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Nose kisses to sad cheeks
furry lean-in to body
Now scratch my butt, please!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Adroit cook Yoki
Could do superb biscuit ball
with meat, to toss out?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Shake hands then high five,
Bounce at heel, eyeing good cheese
bring dinner bowl.. hint?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Now that is diverting, dog friend! Many thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Stylish shark wrangler
Needs to go paint town red(dish)
Moping is bad luck...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Best friend wriggles through
intertubes across vast lands;
borders can't bar love

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwww. Do I know where to turn for solace, or what? Thanks all. I feel *much* better.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwww, Yoki. I'm sorry you're feeling down. *Faxing an abundance of good, clean (mostly) karma to you*

My eyes are not happy with all the pollen that's breaking through. Nope, not happy at all. I love Spring flowers and the new growth on the trees, but my body is indeed rebelling at it all. Puh!

Cassandra, be advised that Wall Street really doesn't "function" and has never really done so. It's always been a house of cards, and the big bad wind of reality (such as it might be) came and blew it all down. Of course, the collapse was helped by the lack of a sound foundation, in the form, perhaps, of good solid regulation which would allow the function to function and would keep the dysfunction from devouring all the money. No wonder the guys with all the cards didn't want (and still don't want) regulation.

I have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to take a friend to Dulles for her flight to Hawaii via Atlanta. And then pick her up some 10 days later (but somewhat later in the morning, thankfully). So I think I'm gonna go make some dinner and then settle in for a couple of hours reading the rest of the paper. And then, my dears, I hope to konk out. But not before setting the alarm!


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, thing about something yummy to make for pi/pastry day.

or,I know this sounds crazy,but i always listen to the blues to cheer myself up.

or geese flying upriver.......honk

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 13, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Colleague's spouse is a science teacher. Said teacher advises that the proper greeting for pi day is to hold up three fingers to the forehead and say "high pi".

Best to leave your lunch money at home when doing so, unless in the company of fellow Boodlers.

I'm thinking bumbleberry this year.

Posted by: engelmann | March 13, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

My first thought on SoC's post:
"Ooh and the remaining two fingers can make a circle; how cute!"
How geeky...*sigh*

And I was saving this pretty story for Pi day, but boodler geeks are always a step ahead:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Moose! We'll have to do moose jokes more often to get your attention.

Hi, kb. I had a system crash 3 times today, but no, it couldn't be a Friday the 13th thing, no, no.

And I know we are still rich, relatively. But as one of those losing my job because of these idiots, it really irks me. Yes, I'll be fine, I hope, but much less financially secure (if there is such a thing) than before. Had I known, I would have paid off my house. Now, if I take the money from my 401K to do that, it's maybe I'll do that in a year or two when my income is not so much...Bah. It's feeling like we were suckered that is so irritating...and why Jon Stewart is my hero right now...

On a brighter note, I have a daffodil open in my yard, and seedlings sprouting inside. Huzzah! And it's Friday and my work cell phone is on ignore. Double Huzzah.

Posted by: seasea | March 13, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Happy Friday everybody...

Sorry for being AWOL for the Dawn Patrol (and in general, lately), but it appears you've all done just fine without me. Many many things going on here, both good and bad which have kept me preoccupied and otherwise distracted (to say the least).

EXCELLENT kit, Joel. I saw the interview and pretty much agree with the observations here. Cramer had to have cajones for going on the show knowing Stewart would give them a severe but much deserved kicking. If only Jon could get the rest of the know-it-alls on his show. Or the "real" newscasters would ask similarly pointed and direct questions.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and confirm that I'm still alive and mostly well.

Peace out, my friends... enjoy some green beer and a shot or three of the Irish this weekend.


Posted by: martooni | March 13, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Its the full moon, yoki. Take a hot bath and read a good book. Austen comes to mind, because we know she has happy endings for the good ones, and sorry endings for the bad ones. Or watch a really sappy movie, one with only happy ending and lots of singing. A Fred and Ginger movie would be right if you are feeling down. Or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or some such.

I remember being appalled when I first came to understand how the futures markets worked for agricultural produce. And the for other commodities and companies, its worse.

This whole economic system is based on false value, false worth. So are most currencies. Scares the living daylights out of me, that everything in our ecomony is based on such falsehood.

I used to think I was silly when in times of severe stress, I used to go out and buy cupboards full of legumes. I'm not so sure it is silly anymore.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Quick drive by, after spending the day chasing grant money. Private foundations are still giving, but the purse strings have tightened and if I got paid for doing the grant proposals, meetings, follow-ups,etc. etc., Our Fair City and my favorite community nonprofit could not afford to ask for money.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 13, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Austen is a first-rate recommendation, dr! And, perhaps, either a Cary Grant romcom with witty repartee and fabulous clothes, or Woody Allen's Everybody Says I Love You, a favourite of mine.

Perhaps a chat with a dear friend later.

I'm on the path to recovery.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse


Mr. T and I have reinstalled the printer, which we took to conference after I swore mightily in the attempt to uninstall it. Something about the computer armoire in the alcove with a TV on top made the process difficult.

We also discovered why the DVD player has never been hooked up. The cord to connect said player to TV isn't long enough. Oh well, will have to look for one...

Posted by: slyness | March 13, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Great Kit Joel. I thought Stewart was brilliant last night. I can’t find the word I want to describe Cramer, squirmy, clueless, still acting the character he plays on TV with his sleeves rolled up for pete’s sake. Stewart is a heck of a lot smarter than a lot of the people he interviews and always much sharper and quicker. I guess you could say that I’m a fan.

Ah Rawhide, I had a mad crush on Rowdy Yates. And Moose and Squirrel have been my favorite cartoon characters since the original show was on.

So happy for the weekend. Hey Scotty, my boss was at your conference this past week. He said it was great; he made a lot of business contacts.

Yoki, hope you’re feeling better, a nice nap and a good book work for me.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 13, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I hope you're feeling better. If not (or even if so) my #s in your mail.

I experienced a little retail therapy today. I'd found some lamps I really liked, but was unwilling to spend that much. I found some other lamps I really liked @ Ikea for much, much less today. They resemble the first ones in no way other than by providing light. But their different shape and overall aspect totally changes the rooms in a way the originals wouldn't have. Serendipity? The road less travelled? Whichever, it works.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 13, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Yoki "To Catch a Thief" and my treasured copies of "Flashman at the Charge" and "Confess, Fletch."

And just in case, "The Big Lebowski," for nothing if not the wonderful toss-the-ashes-into-the-Pacific scene.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 13, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeehaa The Blue Tarps win again......impressive to see them out rebounded the much larger wake forrest team......vazquez close to another triple double.......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 13, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yoki -- Shakespeare, on video, perhaps. I am watching Michael York in The Taming of the Shew. My goodness he is young. And Lizzie Taylor is a shrewbettina-crazy....the comedies, yes. For this pensive and wee-bit downcast mood.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Teachers throw the wildest parties. That's all I can say. Coherently.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Some good bits from the "On TV" chat with Lisa de Moraes today-

Memphis, Tenn.: I stumbled across the Daily Show before going to bed last night and did some serious eye-rolling. Does Jon Stewart suddenly think of him self as Mike Wallace or something? I can't stand "Mad Money," but I felt sorry for Jim Crammer last night.

Lisa de Moraes: Why, because Cramer was using his girlie voice and being all Uriah Heep-ish, and Stewart was grilling him? You're just not used to it because so few TV journalists ask tough questions.

DC: Wait, back up... "only about 277,000 people watch his CNBC show " Really? Seriously? Before this whole kerfuffle, wasn't he already more famous than he deserved to be then? Why are we paying so much attention to this man?

On the other hand, I think it means there are more sane people in America than I thought.

Lisa de Moraes: bingo..

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I got some blueberries you can have. I was looking for cranberries, but I don't think blueberries are an adequate substitute.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I just realized I have enough rhubarb in the freezer to make a pie tomorrow. Sweet. Better still, Mr. F is still at Ft. Lewis. More for me!! and to be faxed to my imaginary friends of course.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 13, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't take much to be the biggest star on CNBC. It is CNBC after all.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 13, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh gosh! I had *such* a thing for the young Michael York, when I was young. I loved his odd eyes. And the odd chin/nose combo.

Now we're both old and *so* over each other.

But Shakespeare endures. Perhaps better Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor?

Or just the text, third folio.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to watch poor Anne Boleyn get beheaded tonight...will not help depression, trust me. Looking forward to getting Season 2 of Arrested Development from the library tomorrow. I never could follow it when it was on TV originally, but when I can watch it all together, it makes more sense...or at least is quite funny. I can hardly wait for Bob Loblaw to make an appearance.

Posted by: seasea | March 13, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

WVU/SU, nip and tuck. Are you watching, gwe?

Posted by: -jack- | March 13, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

This is justice? ...

Tejano singer Emilio Navaira pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge this morning and was sentenced to two years' probation for the crash of his tour bus on a Houston freeway almost a year ago. ...

The investigation found that Navaira had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 — more than twice the legal limit - and did not have the proper driver's license to operate the bus. ...

At the time of the wreck, Navaira had a pending DWI charge in Bexar County stemming from a January 2005 arrest. He also was convicted of DWI in 2000, which he acknowledged to the judge today.

After his second DWI arrest, Navaira signed an affidavit saying he did not own an automobile.

That spared him from having to equip his vehicle with an alcohol-detection device, a standard condition of bail when facing a second DWI charge.

Posted by: laloomis | March 13, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Just for gp's: ZZ Top, before all of the fuzzy guitars, simply a blues band.

Posted by: -jack- | March 13, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

OT. Again. One can only take so much stress.

Posted by: -jack- | March 13, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that, Jack. Friday the 13th is almost done... tomorrow, pie day!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 13, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Most excellent video, jack. Love your links.

I don't know who is the youtube maven. gwe? jack? omni? me? Time will tell.

We should have a youtube challenge, much like pi-day, only timed.

Feeling quite a bit happier now.

Good night, dear Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | March 13, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you and Wilbrodog survived the blizzard, Wilbrod. My world is right tonight. SU wins. C'mon Baby, Let's Go Downtown...

Posted by: -jack- | March 14, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I was heading back to Baltimore when it went into overtime.Congrats to the Orange,what a tournament for them.I am really pulling for them against Louisville.

And we(MD) get to play Duke in round 3.I hate Duke almost as much as I hate the Yankees(sorry Mo).Beating them would be sweet.

And I love ZZ Top and their blues,love "just back from Baby's""nationwide" heard it on the X,I could go on and on.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

That blizzard was a poodle-drowner, Jack.

Thank goodness for trained primates with snow shovels, or I wouldn't have seen daylight until spring thaw.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Great kit, Joel.

When the Dow is on top of the world, everything seemed to be working fine and looking great on the outside, nobody will pay attention to the market faults even if the media does point them out.

Wall Street had a lot of freedom to do what it wants because Congress and Alan Greenspan felt that these companies don’t need to be regulated. The past decades of deregulation clipped the wings of the regulatory agencies like the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and others. In the case of Brooksley Born of the CFTC, she was told to back off when she wanted to look closer into derivatives.

Regulatory agencies are the policemen of the financial world. Without sufficient budget and manpower, they can’t do their job and be effective. The SEC investigated a lot of companies including Madoff and Allen Stanford but never saw them through because they didn’t have the manpower to do it.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 14, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

MARTOOONI!!!!!!!!! *extra-gnomish Grover waves* :-)

Sneaks, why didn't you tell da Boss to say hello to your imaginary friend??? I'm crushed!!! *L*

Yoki, do you recall that little itch on the side of your nose last night? That was me faxin' a few dust motes to distract you from your ill-deserved funk. :-)

DNA_Girl, very interesting piece on that crop circle, and kudos to whoever worked it out on the ground.

And you knew this was coming...


*almost-caffeinated-on-the-way-to-the-supermarket-and-a-nice-jog-later Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 14, 2009 5:45 AM | Report abuse


Got up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 this morning (although, when I know I have to get up at ungodly hours, I'm always peeking at the clock at least an hour before that) to take a friend to Dulles airport. She gets to go to Hawaii, and I? I get to stay here!

Anyhow, I was quite awake for the trip (thankfully) back and forth and the traffic was appropriately light under the early circumstances. And now that I'm in front of the computer, I'm nodding off. Appropriately, that, too.

Gonna try some breakfast before I fling myself carefully (you know I've got knee issues) on the sofa for a bit.

Anyhow, I just want to say to TOONS that I'm thrilled that he checked in to let us know that he's still around. Hope the not-so-good-stuff gets sorted out in due course.

And, now *yawn* -- back to bed.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 14, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all!

rainforest - as always you grace us with a wonderfully insightful post. I loved the phrase about being the financial policeman.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 14, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I didn’t know how to explain imaginary friends to my boss, after all, I need this job! Please don’t take it personally ;-) He did call from the airport to ask if I wanted any Obama memorabilia (he's not a fan).

ftb, I’ll be doing that this coming week when #2 comes home at midnight and I get to pick her up. I am going to take a personal day to make up for the lost sleep.

Posted by: badsneakers | March 14, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle.

Some years ago I was outraged when I heard that after you have made a deal with a lender, this lender, without your permission, consent or even knowledge, could sell the loan to a third party.

That's when I started stuffing my small mattres.

Now the crooks have ripped off, bilked, swindled millions of people.

I may issue some shares to form a gallows manufacturing company. I think there is a market for that.

Today I'm exploring how to use public transport to take me to the mountains.

Have a happy weekend, everyone. :-)


Posted by: Braguine | March 14, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. So great to see rainforest here!

My spirits are fully restored thanks to all the Boodle mojo. And today brings many good things, foremost #2 to spend the afternoon and night with me! She has managed to fit her old Mum into her busy social calendar. We are considering a trip to the theatre, if we can get tickets.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | March 14, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, lovely morning here, sunny and just a little cold but will warm up for a nice spring day.

Yoki, glad your spirits were lifted and enjoy your time with #2.

Finished my painting project, one week of removing wallpaper, prepping and painting and we now how a childrens bedroom the colour of the sky on a hot summer day with soft white trim and a freshly painted ceiling. I am exhausted but happy. Younger child has hugged me several times and expressed such joy that I have been repaid for my effort many times over.

Hockey tournament for both the older ones this weekend so lots of running around, in town tournament so no great travel and it is much better than the last year when the snowstorm we had was so bad they had to cancel the tournament part way through.

Enjoy the day everyone.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 14, 2009 9:01 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, it's good you're feeling better, enjoy number two and your outing.

Martooni, it was good to hear from you. I've been worried about you, but glad you're okay. Hope everything works out for the good.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all the gang, have a great day. *waving*

Still looking dreary here, and a little chilly. I think I'll stay in and read. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 14, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! A belated thanks to kb for the reminder of how good things still are. She's much more inspiring than Minnesotans, we just say "could be worse."

Perhaps I'm too sanguine about it, but I think the dollar cost averagers, including JA, will be better off in the end than if they'd stuffed their mattresses. Not as well off as we could have been, or even should have been after doing all the "right" things, but better.

On a committee yesterday working on an RFP for a county-wide transportation study and was struck by the optimism (pessimists don't volunteer for committees so it is a skewed sample). Memories of $4 gas as an opportunity to change how we drive and live, not a reason to turn more corn or logging waste into fuel? Who'd a thunk it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Happy Pi Day and Einstein's Birthday, all. [Or should I say, Al?]

A busy day here at the house of c, looks like I'm going to need to move at c in order to accomplish everything I'd like to get done today.

I jumped out of bed and have been doing housework for couple of hours; now I've sat down to Boodle and have confronted the idea that perhaps I should be wearing clothing.

A good point about financial regulation and resources, rainforest (as RD notes). A signficant problem, as the speed of business on Wall Street and other large financial markets - driven by the amount of money behind it - provides huge motiviation for all involved to evolve and seek new avenues of business quickly, all the time.

I've pondered for years the an idea that there could be a system to fund finanicial regulation (Federal or otherwise) of Wall Street and other financial markets which is paid for by the transactions themselves. In other words, for every sale, trade, or transaction a certain percentage of the value of that transaction would go to the regulators to fund their operations.

Additionally, it may be worth considering the idea that some staffing for said regulators could come from the trading firms themselves, either in the form of pro bono work (as in the legal profession) or paid service by individuals and forms in order to have an individual license or franchise (issued by the regulators working in conjunction with the NYSE, etc.)to trade in a given market.

A little blue sky thinking to break uop te work this, AM, kids.

Have a good day, all.

Now, back to work.

But first, pants.


Posted by: -bc- | March 14, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I topped off Shrew with Kiss Me, Kate!

Rainforest -- hello you dear creature across the water. I think of the jewel-toned tiny and darling frogs when I read your name.

How about a round of Brush Up You Shakespeare?
The girls today in society
Go for classical poetry,
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides.
But the poet of them all
Who will start 'em simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The bard of Stratford-on-Avon.

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Just declaim a few lines from "Othella"
And they think you're a heckuva fella.
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer,
And if still, to be shocked, she pretends well,
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Enjoy the rest here from the 2001 revival on Broadway:

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 14, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse


An earlier Boodle comment I posted telling Martooni that I was glad he was back and feeling better (as he'd had a bunch of people about to turn blue), as well as a few other salutaions (glad the Boodle mojo worked for you, Yoki) has disappeared into the Aether.

Odd, that.


Posted by: -bc- | March 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all and Al too! A dreary, cold, rainy day in the Carolinas, it's definitely March...

bc, when you're done at your house, will you come to mine? I managed to mop the nasty kitchen floor yesterday but the carpets need to be vacuumed and the bathrooms cleaned. I hope I find the energy today.

FTB, I was awake about the same time you got up, took my Levoxyl, lay back down, and the next thing I knew, it was 7:55. But I don't regret sleeping in, I needed that rest. And I did get up and go to the grocery store before it got crowded.

Hope everyone has a cozy and warm day! Spring is less than a week away...

Posted by: slyness | March 14, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hi Al... Slyness... you call 7:55 sleeping in? After two weeks of getting up in the wee hours for one thing or another, I slept until 10 am. Of course, having a cold didn't help me jump out of bed earlier either.

Shrieking... wish I could have joined you for the sheeps head soup. We make a similar soup for Easter every year. Here is a typical recipe (well.. the instructions) although I use half a boneless lamb roast for the meat and forget about all the other innards...

Note: If using the lamb's head, wash it, then soak it in cold water for 3 hours.

Drain. Cut the head in half, using a sharp knife, and tie with a clean string.

If using the lamb's feet and tripe, prepare as follows: If tripe is not parially cooked, cut open with a sharp knife and clean the inside thoroughly under running water.

Put in a pan with cold salted water to cover and soak for 30 minutes, then drain and wash with cold water.

Cut into small pieces and put in a large soup pot with the lamb's feet.

Cover with cold water, and simmer until tender, adding salt to taste during the last minutes of cooking.

Cube the tripe, remove the meat of the feet from the bones, and add to the mageritsa at the same time as the cut-up intestines, adjusting the liquid by adding more water.

Clean the intestines thoroughly by turning them inside out, using a long skewer or stick (this turning will be quicker if the intestines are first cut into 2-foot lengths), then wash under cold running water until clean.

Rub the intestines with salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon, rinse again in cold water and drain.

Braid the intestines or tie the ends together with clean string.

Put in a large soup pot with the lamb's head, if using, and cove with cold water.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, skim, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the intestines, drain them, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces with the scissors and set aside to add to the soup later.

(Use the remaining portion of the head for another dish.)

Bring the soup stock to a boil and add the scallions, parsley, dill, and celery leaves.

Cut the heart, lungs, and liver into small bite-sized cubes, and add them to the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes.

End of Part I

Posted by: -TBG- | March 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Part II

Add the rice, cut-up intestines, aniseed, salt and pepper to taste and continue simmering until the rice is tender, approximately 15 minutes, adding more water as needed and the brains during the last few minutes of cooking.

Half an hour before serving, bring the soup to a boil, then remove from the heat and prepare the avgolemono: Beat the eggs for 2 minutes.

Continue to beat, gradually add the remaining lemon juice.

Then 1 to 2 cups of the hot soup by droplets, beating steadily, until all has been added.

Add the avgolemono to the soup.

Stir over minimum heat until thickened.

Serve warm but avoid boiling the soup after adding the avgolemono.

A richer Mageritsa can be made by sautéing the scallions in 3 tablespoons butter or oil before adding to the soup.

I think my favorite part is "(Use the remaining portion of the head for another dish.)"

Posted by: -TBG- | March 14, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh.. and I've had a crush on Paul Rudd since the first time I saw "200 Cigarettes" he did with Courtney Love. There's just something about a cute guy who's not afraid to look ridiculous. (I guess that's why I love the Boodle Men, too!)

Posted by: -TBG- | March 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Last evening while we were preparing dinner we watched two young grey foxes out scavenging seed we put out for the quail in the driveway. They seemed unconcerned about us watching them. We were watching through the kitchen window and were backlighted by the TV in the front room so I'm sure they saw us. We saw one of them last week while it was still pretty light out. They must be hungary or have spotted an easy mark for their evening rounds. We don't mind them much except they insist on living their calling cards every night which I have to pickup everyday before I take the pup down to get the mail so she won't eat them.

Last week when I was up watching Morning Joe & Mika (they come on at 3:00 AM here) I noticed the motion activated driveway light come on. I looked out and didn't see anything at first but then a moment later out of the shadow from the front lawn came a big grey fox trotting along through the light and up the hill proudly carrying a gopher in his jaws.

Posted by: bh72 | March 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Odd how you never see such a recipe for a cow's head, TBG-- probably due to their sheer size.

And thanks for helping me control my appetite today with that thought.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

That reminds me of the menu item in some Korean restaurants: cow bungus.

Posted by: Yoki | March 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Where is Mudge? We need someone to shout at the WaPo front page non-editors, who have substituted "formally" for "formerly" in the article on Poland.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 14, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Back from Game 1 of today, older child played the girls from Steeltown, and like there towns reputation - they were tough and slightly dirty (a number of penalties) but the end result was a 0-0 tie, quite a victory for us as our goalies faced a lot of shots but was outstanding.

Also at the game someone brought their 13 week old Bermese Mountain Dog pup - SO CUTE.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 14, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the warm welcome back. Yinz are just the bestest bunch of imaginary friends a guy could ever want. :-)

There's a very good possibility I may be coming to the DC area this summer (can't go into details, but it's one of the "good" things going on). I'll do my best to time it to coincide with a BPH. The excuses to make the drive keep piling up.

btw... I'm assuming you're all sitting down, but if not, you might want to:

I cut off my long hair *and* my beard (kept a goatee though). I'm sportin' a fresh new "Bono/U2" look. Four years of hair, two years of beard, all gone in minutes. ZZ Top will just have to find another backup guitarist.

(and the foot of hair that was salvaged is going off to Locks of Love)

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Martooni... you don't seem to understand... trips to town don't coincide with BPHs... the BPH ALWAYS coincides with the trip to town.

In other words... if you're here, we're there. Got it? Just give us a little notice and we'll pull it together.

What does the Bean think of your new look? And Mrs. M? What kind of leapin' gnome are you now?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 14, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Another very good perspective on the Stewart vs. Cramer interview.

Posted by: dmd2 | March 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, 'Toon!!! *applause*

TBG, at least I've got the ridiculous part down... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Martooni, did anyone in your family recognize you? Was it Bean's idea? Details, man we want details!

Good for you to send the shearing to Locks of Love. The Geekdottir has done that a couple of times...

Posted by: slyness | March 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Juyst got here, Nellie. Good afternoon, Boodle. I'll tell ya, Nellie, I'm a lot more steamed at the lede headline than I am at the merely stupid formally/formerly problem you caught. The hed is "Obama's new Strategy: Blaming Bush for the 'Mess,'" and it's got me seeing red. First, I simply don't like the entire connotation it suggest, that by "blaming Bush" Obama is somehow telling a lie, or dodging the issue, or whatever, when in fact he's telling the truth. That *really* pisses me off.

Second, the hed is simply factually inaccurate on a couple of levels. First, it isn't "new." Even the story itself in the lede says Obama has bveen citing the economy crisis as something he's inherited for more than a month. (Actually, it's been much longer than that, moron.) But without the word "new" in it we don't have a story or a headline on a slow news weekend.

Next, Obama citing Bush as the father of the problem isn't a "strategy." Wilson, the idiot who wrote this thing, doesn't even call it a strategy, or anything close. So yes, we've got the "B" team copy desk on weekend duty writing heds and decks, and doing one royally crummy job of it.

Fourth, Wilson's piece isn't even "news"; it's a thumbsucker, a "think piece" or analysis or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't a real "news" story and it shouldn't be leading the paper.

Fifth, even the deck notes that the GOP has ramped up criticism of O's handling of the economy, and it is pretty clear that Obama's remarks are *in response* (I damn near put that in all-caps, I'm so pissed) to the GOP. Yet one gets no sense whatsoever that Obama's rhetoric, for good or ill, is not an offensive tactice the White House has adopted, but rather a defensive and reactive one. That's a HUGE difference in connotation.

The basic "news" buried in the story -- assuming this is even "news" per se -- is that Obama has chosen to open up his rhetoric a little bit from his previous polite rhetoric where he refrained from pointing fingers and doing the blame game. But now the GOP has escalated the rhetoric, and Obama responds-- and gets blamed for it. It's like what happens in football: two guys get in a fight, and the refs flag the guy who threw the second punch, not the guy who started it. In the heat of football games, refs can make mistakes like this. But in political commentary from the leading newspaper in this country, there IS no excuse for this crap, Saturday morning "B" team or not.

Man, am I steamed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 14, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

So it's now a fuzzyheaded, goateed leaping gnome. Still very gnomish, 'Tooni :).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clearing that up, TBG. ;-)

I kinda figured that's how it works.

Little Bean had a lot of fun with the "shearing". She helped on the beard and we took pictures.

Here's the "before" (me with "crap" the bunny):

Here's Bean with my beard:

And here's the "after":

The reactions around here have been hysterical. People who have known me for years don't recognize me and when they finally put 2 and 2 together they all say "Oh. My. Gawd." Let's just say I've been having fun with it (especially since the ladies seem to like it).

I won't go into Mrs. M's "non-reaction" about it all except to say we cohabit a house.

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC: oops on the links.

Should have been:

Maybe there were some brain cells I needed in that hair.

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I can't read the news without first having to correct the news! Now the article on food safety has two verbs --- pick the one you like.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 14, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you were really starting to look as long-haired as a Sikh, Tooni.

I'm sure Mrs M. will get used to the strange guy in her house.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Good thing you had this brainstorm in March, Martooni, I wouldn' want you to be cold throughout the winter.


Posted by: slyness | March 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Looks good, martooni. You still have way more hair than Bono. Mr seasea shaved his beard off long ago. I begged him never to do that again - he has no chin - not a good look for him.

The trash guys knew! Why didn't they tell us? Or why didn't we ask them? Instead of the Dow Jones, we need a landfill meter:
25,000 tons of toothbrushes...

Posted by: seasea | March 14, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Toonie -- I could only see the picture of little Bean. The other two (before and after shots of you) didn't exist, according to my browser (Mozilla Firefox).

I guess I'll have to wait until the summer, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Martooni - you look good. Very respectable but with just a hint of outlaw. Sharp.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 14, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

ftb... I posted the correct links in my SCC follow-up. The incorrect ones had "toon" instead of "toons" in the url.

As much as I thought I'd miss all that hair, I'm glad I did it. Much lighter, nothing to get snagged in the router, and everyone tells me I look ten years younger. The only part I'm having trouble adjusting to is having to shave. It's been so long since I took a razor to my face that I almost forgot how to do it. And now I have to remember to do it regularly.

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

ftb - look at the second post from martooni. The links work there.

And speakin' of work. Earlier today I managed to fix an electrical problem in my Ion all by myself. (Granted I did get some guidance from the internet.)

So the ratio of repairs in which I actually improved things just shifted oh-so-slightly in my favor.

'bout time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 14, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RD (and everybody). I was hoping for a little more outlaw, but this'll do for now. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Martooni -- really pleased to see you have a chin! I worked for seven years with a guy with a beard. He then shaved it off --- his kids wanted to see what he looked like. And he looked like he needed to grow the beard back fast!

You, on the other hand, look good.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 14, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Wowie-Zowie! After looks pretty dang good, Toons. Before also has its incipient sweetness, I must say. But "after" is very nice.

Well, the Black Tea with Ginger and Peach (Chinese) tasted awfully good (really terrific), but the caffeine hasn't hit the brain yet.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 14, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Aw shucks.... {*blushing*}

Posted by: martooni | March 14, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Do you think there'll be any pie?

-- Hugh Neutron

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 14, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Here doth gnome's beard lie
Cut off like a piece of pie
Locks of Love filling

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Felt too guilty to use the last of the rhubarb for a pie to eat solo so instead I have an oatmeal walnut coffeecake in the oven-round pan of course.

Martooni-your after picture looks like Wolfman Jack in American Graffiti.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Damn economists,
all their magical pie charts
are just hienie farts

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Madoff pies
made of money, stuffed with lies;
evil in disguise

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I saw this article-- interesting.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Huge Jon Stewart fan but I think he has missed the mark here. Yes CNBC could have done better questining the bubble and should temper the advice they give viewers. but where was the mainstream media (such as the Washington Post) as things started to unravel. When iconic corporations such as Citigroup received major investments from foreign countries and the Washington Post failed to cover it for several days I knew I needed to get my busines coverage else where -- CNBC and the Wall Street Journal helped me understand what was going on. The Washington Post, which one has to assume is read by most government regulators, not so much.

Posted by: psand1 | March 14, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly enough, the Washington Post does not advertise itself as financial news.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 14, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The Scottish play! Excellent, Jumper.

Such a good day; had lunch out, #2 and I did a little shopping (skinny jeans for her, bright purple Converse high-tops for me, plus a pair of black super-high-top Converses that look sort of like combat boots, also for me). Coffee at Starbucks. Bought a few beers, and are back home in time to chill them.

Maybe a movie tonight, couldn't get tickets to the theatre.

The fun just never stops.

Hope you are all having an equally good day.

Posted by: Yoki | March 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

In case you're not catching the breaking news on the homepage this early evening, this past week AIG rewarded its top managers with millions in bonuse--after having received, over the course of the last six months or so, billions in bailouts from the taxpayers/government. Rather makes the b1ood boil, doesn't it?

*drumming fingers on tabletop* Gee, whom do you think Jon Stewart should take on next?

Posted by: laloomis | March 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC: bonuses...given by boneheads

Posted by: laloomis | March 14, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Please someone put those AIG people in jail NOW.

Found this in Vanity Fair on Iceland's long strange trip into darkness.

The scary part to me so far is when the man from the IMF "has to find it on a map."

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 14, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

One of the most satisfying things we've done lately is cancel our car insurance with AIG. Which had changed its name to 21st Century or some such thing, as if they could fool us...again.

Posted by: seasea | March 14, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

That's a fairly well-written article, although it does presuppose the reader knows basic stock terms such as shorting, futures, etc.

I liked the bit about turning cod into Ph.D.s.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Fairly well written?! I find your praise too faint Wilbrod. Lewis had me on the edge of my seat.

The boss linked to his also fantastic article on Shane Battier last month in the NYT mag

Spoiler on that one though-after reading it I found that the soulful bit about Battier's experiences of not fitting in were covered in an Sports Illustrated article back in '01. Battier is so well practiced at keeping reporters at arm's length he did it and Lewis didn't even realize it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it made this sound historically equal to or even greater than the Holland Tulip mania.
The non-financial details were even better, though.

The scary thing is 300,000 residents in Iceland is probably equalivalent to a good chunk of the Northwoods of MN... (with considerable viking heritage present, too.)

I was on the edge of my seat, but probably for different reasons.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of scary goings on in the Northwoods of MN, here's the first video coverage of today's St. Urho's parade in Our Fair City

The float at :41-:50 will please most boodlers.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Frightening, indeed. That must be the entire town right there.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

It was half the town, the other half was either sitting on snowmobiles watching or taking video/pictures.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

SCC-that float is actually at :38-:42

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 14, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

You rock, frosti! So funny.

Posted by: Yoki | March 14, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

AIG execs get bonuses. Outrageous.

Posted by: -jack- | March 14, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Cod, Piled high and Deep
Now codpieces may not save
Ice-sons from -dottirs

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

-sons' cod in fillets
As -dottirs haddock in for bris;
cockiness iced

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Castles built on ice
Shorted, shattered in a trice;
smoked fish anyone?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

With roast foie de gras
Chianti, fava beans and bib?
Yes, thank you muchly

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 14, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Imagine a feast...
Our banker guests served humble
pie a la crow

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 14, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Evening all, did I make in time to at least have a post on Pi day? My internet wasn't working in Baltimore and I drove home as fast as I could to say
Happy PI Day!!!

And the big news is(drumroll please) I saw a frog happily jumping in the rain in the road on the way home.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 14, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether to be happy for frog or covet his legs. I think I will be happy for him.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Let's start a flash mob and go over to the AIG exec's residences and take matters in our own hands.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Martooni. Like your new look better than your old.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 15, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

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

Have a blessed day, my friends. The weather is still gray and wet, but I shall venture out to God's house. Hope you can too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 15, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, good morning! And to Al of you, as well!

I feel like you have blessed my day to the market. However, I wish that Joel the reporter would find out what is behind this little coffee vendor not being able to give away brewed coffee for free in any sized cup.

I swear that there must be some Shenanigans there, as well. Bless DC.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 15, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I saw a boat with a blue bottom at 1:38 in that parade.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhhhhh, Sunday. Particularly after a delightful Pi Day celebration hosted by the decidedly non-pie-shaped bc. His concept for playing "pin the moustache on the Einstein" to win Moon Pies was a stroke of genius, in my opinion. As were the multiple blue-ribbon pies, savory and sweet, provided by several Boodlers.

I must admit a significant personal failure, however -- I fergot mah camera!! *hangin' head* I believe another Boodler may have picked up the slack.

There must be something in the Rockville water:

But hopefully the opposite is true at the A&S Museum:

And appparently Friedman hasn't hung around the fusion crowd long enough to realize we've been *this* close to acheiving "energy gain" from laser-based fusion for at least a decade:

Heck, I reported on similar research from the Princeton (ahem) facility seven or so years ago.

Too damp for a jog today, but of course there's plenty to do around the house. *scheming-up-a-hopefully-edible-dinner-for-this-afternoon Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 15, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, gloomy weather and all.

I had a wonderful time at the pi-day party graciously hosted by bc. It was like a BPH, but with more carbohydrates.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 15, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Fusion energy has been just around the corner at least as long as Popular Science's transcontinental luxury dirigibles. Not holding my breath.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Al.

Glad to hear that 3.14 was celebrated in pigh style.

Beware the ides, however.

I can report that the day brings nothing but good things, a happy morning and breakfast out with #2, a concert with physics-boy this afternoon. I guess I should fit some house-cleaning in there somewhere, but it seems less compelling than the other plans.

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Mapping out a leisurely morning before hitting the cleaning hard. Too early for the full spring ritual, but it will be warm enough to get the kitchen windows cleaned inside and out. We just might break 50 today.

Time for some coffee. NPR is interviewing the reporters from the Smithsonian asbestos story s'nuke linked.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh man. Is it the Ides of March already? Every year I think I am going to have enough time to do it up right. You know, with the traditional "Et Tu" greeting cards and such. And every year it just sneaks up on me like a knife wielding assassin.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 15, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all... (and Al)

It's looking like a beeyooteeful day here today -- a much welcome change. And we have a St. Patty's parade to go to in a few hours. Little Bean is bouncing off the walls more than usual because she can't wait. Me, not so much -- it's still a little on the chilly side and open containers of "antifreeze" in public are generally frowned upon by the authorities.

At least I don't have to attend the Chuck E. Cheese party she's going to after the parade. I'll leave that to her mother.

Peace out... :-)

oh... and thank you, rainforest :-)

Posted by: martooni | March 15, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, RD_P, you WERE distracted last night...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 15, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! Today is the day I WILL prepare the family tax returns but first I have stopped by to report an interesting occurrence from my morning jog.

As I was proceeding at a leisurely lope down a neighborhood street, I saw two large, white animals cross at an intersection up ahead and disappear into a side street. I tried to make myself believe they were dogs--big dogs--but reason rebelled. One of them had a tail like a horse, I was sure of it. So I detoured from my normal route to follow them down the street. Not dogs: a goat and a pony. A large goat and a small pony, both white, and about the same size. They were moving along through front yards; I couldn't think of any useful thing I could do, so I returned to my route and finished my jog. When I got home I grabbed my camera and biked around the neighborhood in hopes of seeing them again, but in vain.

I have no idea why a goat and a pony would be wandering my neighborhood. This is an urban area, not the suburbs, certainly not the country.

As surreal as it was, I can't say I'm completely amazed by this. It's been only a couple of weeks since my peacock sighting. I know several of my neighbors keep chickens.

Wildlife is more common; I see foxes and raccoons regularly. Only last week I saw a fox and he saw me, actually stopped and looked at me for a while before ducking under the fence to the wildlife preserve. That was the first morning of daylight savings time, and I imagined he was wondering why I was out there so early.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 15, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Tsk, tsk, Jumper. I'm disappointed in you (re: AIG). Mob violence is never the answer. Letting a bunch of crazed people loose on the AIG execs just leads to chaos, mindless violence, and potential destruction of property having nothing to do with AIG.

No, much better to use highly trained one-man and two-man teams to kidnap the malefactors, strap them down, attach electrical wires to various places, and slowly torture them a bit. THEN the firing squads.

The problem with mobs is getting permits (even in DC, more difficult than you'd expect), adequate parking, ensuring enough port-a-potties onsite, first aid stations staffed by volunteer EMS people, food vendors, etc. And like Sonny Liston boxing matches, all too often mob violence is over much too quickly, sometimes just seconds. Then you've got a bunch of disgruntled people wandering around with no more victims to tear apart, and the TV stations stop covering it, you can't get advertisers, etc.

No, mob violence is not the way to go.

Yes, the bc Pi Day BPH was very nice -- all except the part where bc made me wear my football tiara. God help anyone who posts any photos of that event.

Running down to the Rivah House to pick up a few things, so back in a couple hours.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Now, here's a comment that is on-topic. I read this article in the Wall Street Journal about what they are calling the "underground" economy. It made me so angry that I couldn't even rant. I was reminded of the article I read in Bicycling Magazine about the "invisible bicyclists" -- the poor people who ride bicycles for transportation, as opposed to the readership of Bicycling Magazine who ride for fun and as an excuse to buy stuff.

The reporting in both these articles revealed more about the blindness of the writers and editors than about the reality of the world.

The Wall Street Journal is dedicated to the idea that the financial sector of the economy is somehow valuable, even indispensible, while what I know as the "real economy" is merely the prop that holds up the stock prices. For the WSJ, the stock prices are essential. I feel like smacking someone upside of the head. These people just do. not. get. it.

Here was my red flag in the article:

Having a big underground economy "is not something to be cheerful about," says Nancy Birdsall, an economist at the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank. "When everybody is selling apples to each other, you're not creating new wealth -- it's not a sign that things are OK."

"Creating new wealth?" Really, Nancy? I guess that "creating new wealth" is what we were doing when we all participated in the mass delusion that was the real estate bubble. I bought a house for $75,000 and five years later it was assessed at $215,000. Voila! Lots of new wealth! (Not.)

The real problem is that the "best and the brightest" are so clueless they don't understand that selling apples to each other is the most important function of the economy. Remember King Midas? He wanted to create wealth. He just had to learn the hard way that gold is a means to an end and your life is really crappy if gold is all you have.

Our economy does not exist for the purpose of "creating wealth." The purpose of the economy is to distribute goods and services so that we can all get what we need.

Here's the article that got me so steamed:

Now I'm off to do the taxes. Really.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 15, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

That was an entirely servicable rant, kbert... *golf clap* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 15, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else having trouble with the online Post Magazine? I get last week's mag, even if I click through from the main page.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning All
Definately a greay day here today,foggy,drizzle and cold.

A few notes from yesterdays sports world.I thought the MD/Duke game was a nice fight,but it sure looked like the Terps got tired in the 2nd half.Hopefully the was enough for entrance into the big dance.

Nice to see Martin Broduer tie Patrick Roy as the all time wins leader and to do it in Montreal was great as the Candian fans are the most classy and appreciative fans in the NHL.

Funny to see the us/Puerto rico game end in the Mercy rule.I thought that was only for little leaguers.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Good grief -- it's past noon already!

To CqP in particular, I was at IKEA (in your neighborhood) this morning and waved. I'm sure you saw it. Just had to fill up on Swedish food delectables. I figure that it's cheaper than to travel every quarter or so to Scandihovia, not that I wouldn't enjoy being back there or anything.

Kbert -- you are completely and irrevocably spot-on with your rant. How much of "you can't take it with you" don't they understand?

Lunchtime! Yippee!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, kbert, I thought that was an excellent article. /ducks/ I'd seen it already, but went back and reread after your post.

The quote you cited, taken out of context, is indeed rant-provoking, but is totally understandable when read as part of the paragraph which contains it. The "wealth" includes health benefits, pensions, innovation, government (presumably including services) and a higher standard of living for many.

In actuality, the financial sector of the economy *is* valuable--as are many other sectors of the economy. Mistakes have been made and compounded. No doubt. A great deal of deserved anger has been pointed at it and it'll take a long time to sort out. The same is true of other sectors--health care, agriculture, education, government.

While there are undoubtedly financial "experts" who don't get it, others do. Jack Welch recently spoke to that: "On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world," [Jack] Welch told the FT. "Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy…Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products."

Short of a global (not financial) catastrophe, we're not going back to pre-Industrial Revolution times--that is the reality of the world.

You wouldn't be typing on your keyboard and surfing the 'Net if companies hadn't gotten together to build infrastructure, computers, protocols to make it all work. (Although as we all know, there are days I hate technology.) It takes selling IBM-compatibles as well as Apples to each other other to enable us to get what we need.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 15, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

My 11.53 last night had nothing to do with the BPiePH.

Unless y'all were scarfing bonus slices of pie.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | March 15, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You had me going for a while, Mudge. I confess I am not the man for the job when it comes to organizing a mob. I recognize that quality in others, however. There is a certain type who can take command in the middle of a riot / demonstration and organize a flipping-a-car-over team on the spot. I do not have that talent. Reminds me of a friend who once led a charge on some police. "Let's get 'em" he shouted or something similar. And charge he did. At the last minute he looked over his shoulder and saw that not a one of the angry crowd was behind him. He looked forward right in time to meet a spritz of mace right in the face.

Another time I DID meet a fellow with that elusive quality of charisma. I had brought a traffic cone to UF's 1975 Big Streak, organized to make the previous weekend's world record streak by the competition at FSU look puny in comparison. This magic rabble rouser was perched atop a palm tree which curved gently over the water at the edge of a pond on campus, and he called to me to throw him that megaphone, and with the bright orange cone and his commanding position, he began exhorting the crowd, saying things like "It's now of never!" and "If you aren't ready to drop trou, get out of the way!" and the crowd roared, disrobed and began a huge run around campus, breaking the record, all without any indecent incident except in the mass act itself.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

kb, my first thought about the strange animals was "Unicorns!". I think they had time to switch back to their disguises as "normal" animals by the time you caught up with them.

Posted by: seasea | March 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Good day, Al! Slept until 11:20 this morning. Yikes. The cold is slightly better, but it may be I found the right combination of drugs.

dbG... I like Welch's analysis of shareholder value. Thanks for posting that.

Well... Daughter is anxious for me to get started on the pot o' chili I plan to make today.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 15, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What's that football tiara picture worth to you? Not that it's for sale. Just curious.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

A more salient question might be, how much is that picture worth on the open market?

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

In Our Fair City many people live at the margin of the informal and formal economies. I've seen that the informal economy can be both safety net and snare. My problem with the WSJ article is the same old, same old-the assumption that growth is the only possible successful model, and that it can continue forever. Even a million years is not forever.

Here we are buffeted on all sides. The left, spurred by the Progressive Caucus in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor), insists on prevailing wage and benefit contracts for virtually everything. On its face a good thing, but it makes every single project anyone undertakes so expensive that a. outsiders with deep pockets for cash flow get the job and b. they bring workers with them. On the other side the Reps, led by T-Paw and his ironclad no tax pledge, say they encourage small business growth. But, to overcome the drop in revenues they have increased fees and instituted new fees for just about everything related to running a business. This kills the smallest businesses and sends them underground.

Only half listening, but I just heard Milton Friedman in a '94 interview on C-Span saying US Savings Bonds are not a good investment. Want to tear my hair out. One of the things that is keeping me sane right now is the $100 a month, every month, since May of 1981 that has been used to purchase a savings bond for the frostfam. Never touched, not one.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I should add that I'm happy to have lived long enough to see Friedman discredited, even though he didn't.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Whatever else the article was, I have to agree strongly with Kbert. That is the most important part of the process.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

*fastening telescopic sight to sniper rifle. Checking windage, Making adjustment to account for light drizzle. Checking ammo clip. Adjusting forsythia branch attached to gilly suit. Creeping into position in shrubbery somewhere in Maryland near Ellicott City...*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Back from the St. Patty's parade and it was fun. Beautiful weather (for a change) and much candy collected. They were tossing beads, too, and me being the very modest and respectable person I am, I bared my chest and got tons of them. I was very tempted to moon some of the participants, but really didn't want to spend such a fine afternoon in a jail cell.

Saw lots of politicians, though, and every vehicle in our local police departments' and fire departments' pools.

Would have been a great day to rob a bank. Or burn one down after robbing it.

Gots to get rid of the evidence, y'know.

Posted by: martooni | March 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Anybody want any Junk?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

How come I suddenly feel like Charles De Gaulle in Day Of The Jackal?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I've been meaning to mention that I love the word "thwap". Also thwack and thump...and thud and thunk. And thrum.

Article about the Amish heaters. I thought they were a scam, but I have seen something that resembles them in my dentist's office and in a yarn shop...

Posted by: seasea | March 15, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I think those heaters are a bit exploitative because electric (resistance) heat is the most expensive. The real irony is that when I drilled gas wells in Amish country I found out a lot more Amish use natural gas heat than electric anything.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, yello, why?

Such a nasty, rainy, cold day here, definitely March. I had the whole crowd for lunch after church, all three of the dottirs, Third's husband, and boy babies. W can stand up and walk, when he feels like it. P will stand and walk if you hold his hands, but he still can move mighty fast on all fours. Hard to believe that they will be a year old in three and a half weeks.

Posted by: slyness | March 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, go ahead and post the photos, yello. I don't mind. And besides, haven't I always defended freedom of the press?

*looking at clouds innocently, whistling tunelessly, as I oil the plunger mechanism to make sure it is moving smoothly. Cutting back insulation from end of wires and attaching them to terminals on box while plunger is in raised position. Putting safety glasses and sound-dampening earmuffs on...*

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

See, I knew mudge was a good sport.

I've even highlighted mudge's finger gesture just in case anybody missed his delight at receiving the tiara. Plus there is photographic evidence of mrsyellojkt at a boodle function. My Achendiction is now fully out of the closet.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

the guitar was pretty too

A cheerful little ditty (I think that is what she said at the end

even if you all aren't country fans you should give it a listen

Posted by: omnigood | March 15, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Boom Goes The Dynamite

You worry too much, mudge. Usually only about a hundred boodlers and lurkers bother to look at my BPH pictures.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Miss a couple or three days and all kinds of stuff happens. Martooni, I'm glad you checked in and like the new look. Glad Yoki got cheered up. Good to see the new posters. Happy belated pi day to all and like the pictures, yello. Frosti, great parade.

Thanks to the Jon Stewart link, Joel, and effusive praise for your own take on it. The good discussion has already passed me by, really, so just appreciation to all.

The Ides are a great day for me; I feel better than I have for about ten days. I got a lot of sleep last night and my brain is finally working again. We were at a Houston fencing tournament. The Boy fenced well, we wandered around the Galleria and made a nostalgic trip to Rice (boy, they built a lot of buildings in the last twenty-odd - or odd twenty- years). All very nice. I got back last night in time to placate the rabbit and the dog, and now I'm off to sing again. I'll check in later, if only to see whether Mudge tries for a second shot.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 15, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

An important question was asked yesterday; perhaps the collective mind of the boodle can answer definitively...

Is mahogany dust a hallucinogenic?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope not, TBG.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If it was hallucinogenic, TBG, you'd see a lot of heavily licked magohany furniture and guitar backs.

...Perhaps Martooni can say for sure.

What you PUT on mahogany (glue, finishes, etc.) is another story, tho'.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 15, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Since I sand mahogany all the time I would have to say no. And the pink fuzzy spiders agree.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 15, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

My son and I saw "Watchmen" this afternoon, and I have to agree with bc and ScottyNuke. A bit too much. The editor needed to dial the violence and sex dial back from 11.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 15, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Who was that masked parking-lot hero?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 15, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So I can stop licking toads and move on to furniture and guitar backs?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

You can get high indoors now!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 15, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This was a concern in my business. Specific to mahogany, I dunno. I noticed that Australian cypress is irritating especially.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Whaddaya mean, "now"??

If you work with mahogany sawdust all day long and get it on your face, it will tend to numb your lips. But it isn't harmful or hallucinogenic.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

...any more than any other kind of dust or sawdust, anyway. If you're around that much dust for that long a time, you should be wearing a dust mask.

And don't bogart the Chippendale armoir.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Maryland is going dancing out west!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Al,
I just joined the Army!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | March 15, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Uh, whose army? Details please.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 15, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

With your knees, Maggie? I'm impressed...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 15, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

That might have been a bit mileading: I did join the army, but it is The Army of Women, which enlists women (a men's auxillary to be announced) to help Dr. Susan Love and the Avon Foundation's research on breast cancer. They're looking for a million women around the world -- women of all persuasions, white, black, Latina, Indian, Chinese, etc, with/without breast cancer to be a data base.

I hope you'll join me. As a pacifist, I had misgivings, but having had that pesky disease, I thought I'd do my part. What could it hurt?

Posted by: rickoshea0 | March 15, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I *could* make it easier if I provided the web site....

Posted by: rickoshea0 | March 15, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm delighted that you have joined that effort, ro's. But my goodness, I deeply dislike the military metaphor in the context.

And I'll be the first to admit that I still invoke such images, and have to work against myself. When I first started looking for my successor to my job (on my first day, of course), I spoke about lieutenants! I've since started calling these people first violins to my conductor, or Chef-de-cuisine to my Executive Chef. The militaristic has its place in the world, but not *my* world.

Of course I am not frowning at You, lovely rickoshea, only the people who can't be more careful in their allusiveness.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The Breasty of Women?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 15, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I know exactly how you feel. My visceral reaction was that I didn't want to join any army, under any circumstances. But, I had to put aside my dislike for the term in order to be a part of something that might help millions of women and men.

As I understand Susan Love from the interview I heard, she believes that they have a real chance of building a data base that will really help to advance understanding of the disease at a fundamental biological and treatment level.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | March 15, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, we finally got the space shuttle off. So far so good. Launch was 11 minutes after sunset. Made for a beautiful sight.

Posted by: Radz | March 15, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

In honour of the day:

Posted by: slyness | March 15, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

If I think about an opposite to the Army of Women, I can't help but bring up a certain former congressman and House Majority Leader from Texas.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 15, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting bit about language preservation:
(I'm skipping the economic and political news, especially anything with "Cheney" in the headline.)

This is a nice meditation on green:

Posted by: seasea | March 15, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

And green is the color of love. Hence Greensleeves, which was clothing designating prostitutes.

See what a liberal arts education will do for a person?

Posted by: slyness | March 15, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

seasea-Did you see "The Linquists" on PBS?
Well worth watching.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC-that would be Linguists.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I take some,but very little exception to this comment on Green "But: Being green with envy, or a greenhorn, or queasy green, can never be good." In my mind green is good,green moss,evergreens,my green house makes winter a little less drab.

I cleaned and cleaned today,threw away some junk and though the house looks better,I am sure the real estate agent will ask for me to do much more cleaning and painting and such.But it is a start.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

And that is why you are an artist, greenwithenvy.

And remember, a start is the place to begin.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

A busy day today; visited with an old friend and tooled around the local roads in his latest project.

I'm glad that the shuttle lifted off this evening, and that MD made the Big Dance.

And that I have several boxes of Girl Scout cookies and a referigerator full of beer to enjoy March Madness (or at least the first couple of days' worth of it...).

Mahogany dust may not be a hallucinogen, but I have some concerns about dust bunnies.


Posted by: -bc- | March 15, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

All around my hat, I will wear the green willow
All around my hat, for a twelve-month and a day
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearing it
It's all for my true love, who's far far away.

-- Steeleye Span

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 15, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Ha, bc!

They make my nose stop up and give me a sinus headache. Does that count?

Posted by: slyness | March 15, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to think that my junior-high shop teacher might not have been a totally accurate source of information about hallucinogens...

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 15, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki, I appreciate it.

Has it gotten any warmer there up north?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 15, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I challenge on the "green sleeves = prostitution" equation. Where did this belief come from?

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 15, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

And there you have it! I and russianthistle talked about Matty Prior, and then jack (?) did steeleye span, and now, against all odds, everything comes together in *tim's post. All Around My Hat is my favourite Steeleye Span song, ever.

Posted by: Yoki | March 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Color-blind scarlet women, Jumper?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 15, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Calling CqP, and other fashion mavens, a blog devoted to MO's style. Sure it's complete hagiography, but well written and has great pics and thorough research.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi Murrland for my mil's 80th birthday party where a good time was had by alL. She is the best of mother-in-law's so I was happy to host the party at my sister's house.

Haven't been checking my usual internets haunts for days because of party prep...but I thought the fashion peeps of the the A-blog might like this link...

Kinda silly but fun!

Posted by: Kim1 | March 15, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Kim-that was fun.

I've been hooked by this web series "Leaving Bliss"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 15, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

gwe, I completely glossed over that "bad green" reference - a thousand apologies! I never knew that about Greensleeves, either.

frosti, I haven't heard about that PBS program - will have to check it out, thanks. I have had the Mrs O website bookmarked for awhile.

I watched the Shuttle lift off, too. Did you hear about the bat?
"The only other oddity was a fruit bat on the back of Discovery's fuel tank that posed no debris threat to the shuttle and almost certainly perished."
Poor guy.

Posted by: seasea | March 16, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

But on the other wing, he went out big, seasea....

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 16, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, innit a ghillie suit?

And yello, wouldn't "Boom-Boom, Out Go The Lights" have been a little more appropriate?

seasea, perhaps the late bat thought the tank was a REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELY big orange. *shrug*

Well, off to another wacky work week, but not before spending a few minutes with the crockpot to try out a whole chicken cooked with white chicken chili spices... I think I'll put the bird in breast-side down to help keep it together when we pull it out. Wish me luck!!!

*on-the-way-to-Dawn-Patrol-while-still-waiting-for-de-dang-lottery-folks-to-pick-the-right-numbers Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 16, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Watching for Scotty's patrol overhead, with my feet firmly planted on the ground, but not too far from Dulles.

I received email from good ole' RU that they are in the tournament! So I went to the Brackets in the WaPo and sure enough there they are, #16 (South), playing, who else(?) # 1 NC. Will explore further regarding time/date of said game. I know they may not advance, but still, I'm proud of my alma mater for getting there!

Go Radford!!

Posted by: VintageLady | March 16, 2009 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Hi Scotty!

Been up since 4, but just making it through my morning "rounds" and got back to the homestead.

Something tells me that I should make a pot of coffee and warm up again.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 16, 2009 5:18 AM | Report abuse

As for booms, I am aware of all internet traditions. Nonetheless, I do love some Pat Travers:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 16, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

It is possible that I am getting too old to pull a spontaneous all-nighter. Of course, as an astronomer, I have to pull a bunch of all-nighters each year. Usually I have some warning and can take a few days to shift to a night-time schedule.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 16, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

What? Someone doubts CP upon a question of medieval costumery? Are you mad? Were Milady here herself, she would answer from memory what I can only quote from Wikipedia:

"There is a persistent belief that Greensleeves was composed by Henry VIII for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. Anne rejected Henry's attempts to seduce her and this rejection is apparently referred to in the song, when the writer's love "cast me off discourteously." However, Henry did not write "Greensleeves," which is probably Elizabethan in origin and is based on an Italian style of composition that did not reach England until after his death."


"One possible interpretation of the lyrics is that Lady Green Sleeves was a promiscuous young woman and perhaps a prostitute. At the time, the word "green" had sexual connotations, most notably in the phrase "a green gown", a reference to the way that grass stains might be seen on a lady's dress if she had made love outside."

"An alternative explanation is that Lady Green Sleeves was, as a result of her attire, incorrectly assumed to be immoral. Her "discourteous" rejection of the singer's advances supports the contention that she is not."

"In Nevill Coghill's translation of The Canterbury Tales, he explains that "green [for Chaucer’s age] was the color of lightness in love. This is echoed in 'Greensleeves is my delight' and elsewhere."


SCC: ghillie suit. Wiki: "The name was derived from ghillie, the Gaelic for "servant", in English especially used to refer to those assisting in deer hunting or fly fishing expeditions in the Scottish Highlands. A Ghillie Dhu-Scots "Ghillie Dubh"-Irish, meaning 'Dark Servant', is a faerie, a guardian spirit of the trees."

So much for old business. Is there any new business? Hearing none, the chairman adjourns the meeting and asks the Dawn Patrol to meet in the Ready Room for coffee.

Meanwhile, RIP veteran actor and political activist Ron Silver, late of "The West Wing" among many other roles, 62 (throat cancer).

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | March 16, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Ron Silver was one of the great That Guys of television and film. I just loved seeing him in anything. So it goes.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 16, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

For that explanation, Mudge, you may have an extra ham biscuit! I heard it from my Shakespeare professor, who was truly an expert in the field.

Weighty stuff to be discussing on a Monday morning.

More rain today. I hope I can squeeze a walk in between showers. And I feel a bit more energetic this morning. Only five days to get over the stress and exhaustion of Mr. T's conference last week. I am old.

Posted by: slyness | March 16, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, Boodle!

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Myne was great. I took a bus deep into the Andes. Enjoyed the awesome scenery, which included a view of Volcan San Hose. Also had some bood mineral bathing in Banos Morales.


Posted by: Braguine | March 16, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Suddenly that whole "green M&Ms" business starts to make sense.

Today I get to play teacher with a group of incoming techies. I try to teach them to think like a scientist.

Fortunately, we have good course materials.

Cheers, y'all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 16, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

In the deep thud department, last evening's shuttle launch was perfectly timed for the contrail to stand out in sunset color, except for the very top, which slowly faded to white.

I was fairly far south, at Bonsteel Beach north of Sebastian Inlet.

Brag, how soon will you get to Mendoza?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 16, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. You all are very Boodly this morning.

Colder again, but not the deep freeze of the last while, thank goodness. The wee car may keep running.

Brag, I have taken a similar weekend outing in the past. Given my familiarity with the Rockies and the Alps, I am not easy to impress, mountain-wise. The Andes managed it handily. And flying over them between Santiago and Sao Paulo was unforgettable.

Have a fine day, everyone. I am off to pine in my windowless office as the sun rises.

Posted by: Yoki | March 16, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

So, let's see, that means that red (at least with respect to lights) is a mark of prostitution (not to mention its close cousin scarlet as a mark of adultery), as is green. So, men who are red-green colorblind will be just fine at locating prostitutes -- at least, the prostitutes that are traditionalists. Women of less-easy, more-expensive, virtue may wear blue or black, I suppose. I'm not clear on the relevant sartorial options for men who are in The Life. What does this say about Mr. Greenjeans?

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 16, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua... has colored the menu bar to match an ad... *rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 16, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was me... I even was going to see if I could find an archived page, but didn't think that the current format had been around long enough.

Posted by: russianthistle | March 16, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

One learns to appreciate the beauty and elegance of the song Greensleeves when one realizes that the modern country-and-western remake of the song would be "I Wonder How My Girlfriend Got Those Grass Stains on Her Butt."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 16, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Interesting discussion on green. I have to say Wiki is contradictory in that the article on sumptuary laws notes striped hoods as the garb dictated for prostitutes, not green. Not that sumptuary laws were much followed anyway. Tudor livery was green and white, and Henry VIII ordered lots of green velvet for his own wear. Surprisingly little is known about the clothing of women, of any station, relative to men anyway. Men writing accounts of the weddings of important personages would go on and on about the groom's attire and say not a word about the bride's. At any rate, a green velvet outfit worn in 1553 by Lady Jane Grey was described by Baptist Spinola and green seems not to have been avoided by anyone. Dyes to make green would have been available to all classes.

It's not exactly a riveting read, but _Tudor Costume and Fashion_ (Norris, 1997)is a good scholarly treatment.

38 degrees this morning! Doubt we'll hit 60, but we could. If we do it will be 3 weeks earlier than last year.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 16, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of mountains, I was familiar with Wyoming's Teton, Absaroka, and Big Horn Ranges when I first got to see Mt Rainier. I was dazzled. So big. Glaciers.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 16, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

They'll be lots of 'hos wearing green in the street tomorrow. And please don't kiss me and hold the green beer; I'm not frigging Irish.

Perfect weather for the maple sap to run today, -5C at night and then up to +5 to+8C. Have a great Spring day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 16, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The bright yellow tabs or subject headers at the top of the home page were immediately obvious this morning. Just about any gimmick to increase the incoming revenue stream will fly, eh?

Editor and Publisher has just come out with its "State of the News Media Report" and the reporting isn't rosy. First sevral grafs below--not really new news:

The business of journalism is quickly running of out time to transform its model, a new study from the Project in Excellence in Journalism found.

The State of the News Media Report -- the foundation's sixth edition -- is also the "bleakest" confirming massive job losses, plunging advertising revenue and a drop in profit margins.

The authors of the report said that newspaper advertising revenue fell 23% in the last two years, accounting for the major job cuts in the industry. Nearly one out every five journalist working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone and that this year "may be the worst yet" for layoffs.

The severe recession has only hastened the decline. The report estimated the downturn "at least doubled the revenue losses in the news industry in 2008" and "it swamped most of the efforts at finding new sources of revenue.

Posted by: laloomis | March 16, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, I LOVE that book. At the time you say, the green-signal of lasciviousness for hire would have been long gone. We think that the green signal was rather weak, in terms of dyed fabric sleeves. We have so little record of this, etc. However, the green smuts on the petticoats were a signal of rolling in the hay. And, hay rolling if known in the community rendered the maid less suitable for a marriage contract. This quality meant that you might find yourself without bread and board by say 23. And then, you would keep yourself as you could. We have a long history of working gals, sigh upon that. In cowboy times, these ladies who found themselves without food and protection were known as sportin' gals.

Also important here is that clothes for women were modular. The dress as we know it in one piece, did not exist. The bodice was the basic two-piece torso garment. Sleeves were either attached by laces or made by the long sleeved undershirt garment. Skirts were typically in two layers with both called petticoats. To have sleeves meant some means, because fabric was very, very, very costly. The only color we have documentation on is those purple shades (expensive) limited to royal rank.

To be called Lady Greensleeves might mean mostly that the lady had green sleeves attached to her bodice, rather than just the underneath sleeves formed by a chemise garment. This would be a bit like calling someone

cap boy or
track suit gal or
man in the fedora or
blue suede shoes gal or
scarf woman or
gladiator-guy (bc)
vest-man (sartorialTim) or
FMP (insert your favorite shoe-boodler)...

I love costume talk in the morning...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

SD, you mean to tell me no one will be tearfully singing that old Irish-Quebecois classic, "Oh, Shrieky Boy, the pipes, the pipes are call-all-ing..."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I have just learned a few minutes ago that "Danny Boy," that quintessentially Irish tune, was written by an English lawyer. That has to be ironic on at least two levels.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | March 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming momentarily

Posted by: joelache | March 16, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

CP-I'm always fascinated by what we "know" about clothes, and anything else in the past not particularly associated with famous persons, places, or dates.

On another note-My belief in the rule of law is being sorely tested by successive reports about AIG this morning. As for those who would be deprived of their contractually obligated bonuses I feel like saying-let 'em sue. If a health insurance company can contract to pay people when they get sick, then find a reason not to, surely we have some gummint types smart enough to find reasons not to pay bonuses.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Mudge -- the tune is Irisher, from the northern counties and is called Londonderry Air by most. Try these words, which I heard in my home along with Danny Boy:

In my house, were song the Irish songs with our names in them. So, we knew:

Kevin Barry
Owen, Fine He Be
The Battle of Brian Boru
Oh Mavoureen
Danny Boy/Mary Dear
St. Patrick's Breastplate

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 16, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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