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Clinton to the Rescue!

There are many enduring images from the last 24 hours of high-stakes diplomacy: Two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, embracing their families (including one adorable four-year-old girl who hadn't seen her Mommy since March); Bill Clinton and Al Gore, arm in arm again, as though it were the Summer of '92 and all the painful moments and estrangement since had never happened; and Clinton sitting so stiffly in a chair next to the noted Stalinist Kim Jong Il as they posed for what looked to be a very awkward group photo.

But the most enduring image may be the one conjured by Ling in her statement at the airport. She said that she and Lee had no inkling that they were about to be freed. They were simply led to a room. There, waiting for them, was ...

President Clinton.

They were shocked. Of all people -- in North Korea! And yet they instantly knew, in that moment, that they were going to be free. The thing that really tipped them off was that Clinton -- and this has not yet been widely reported -- was wearing tights and a cape.

He had a big C on his chest. In case they were too dazed to get the point, he said, in a sing-song voice, "Here I come to save the daaaaayyyyy...."

Clinton's new role as International Rescuer is sure to put a new zip in his step. The North Korea adventure was full of hazards and difficulties, not least of which was the protracted meeting with Kim, who is known to be what might politely be called eccentric. At one point Kim announced that he would levitate, and when that failed to happen, he ordered a trusted aide sent to a hard labor camp. Kim told Clinton that North Korea is not building a missile for hostile actions against the U.S., but instead plans to colonize Pluto. Kim tried to get Clinton to stick around for a movie and then a public execution, but the former president demurred, claiming fatigue.

Kim: Did you know that I have X-ray vision?

Clinton: Wow. I always wanted that.

Kim: There is no end to the wonders that come from a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Clinton: Like that spiffy outfit you're wearing.

Kim: Yes, I wore it to the Brezhnev funeral. I still can't believe Leonid's gone!!

What drama. Time was of the essence, for Clinton knew that with the deal to free the journalists might fall through. He just barely had time to squeeze in a little clubbing.

It's a heart-warming story and a great victory for American diplomacy, even if it makes John Bolton all knotted up with angst. It's thrilling to see that Clinton is a player again. Sure, Jimmy Carter has been doing this stuff for years, but Carter would have merely succeeded in getting the two journalists transferred to a prison in Cuba.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 5, 2009; 10:56 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What Things Cost
Next: Senators From Nowhere


Rockin' good news!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what I find striking is that the Repubs conveniently forget that negotiating with (and even sending military supplies to) Iran way back in the Reagan and Ollie North day got hostages outta there. Holes in the head maybe?

Okay, Mudge, I'll send it to TBG (and hope it goes through to her) and good luck to her sending it to you.

Man, technology just isn't cutting me a break nowadays. But I still love my Mac. Just sayin'

Posted by: -ftb- | August 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert. Man, that was quick!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

That made me laugh and tear one...

As Mudge used to say in his sailor-scribe days.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 5, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't having John Bolton all knotted up in angst just make the story that much better.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

*wondering if Clinton had the little battery-operated record player to lip-sync with Mighty Mouse...* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's quite true, dmd. And I'm sure pretty much *any* American diplomatic success achieved by *any* Dem/Obama administration, and/or *any* initiative starring the despised Bill Clinton, just makes the Conservs and NeoCons just get all crazed and knicker-knotted. Just like "how DARE Cash for Clunkers be popular," and "how DARE the economy slowly start turning around."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Two birds, one stone: howzabout we use that little battery-operated record player upside John "STFU, John" Bolton's head?

(I'm not sure why I'm feeling so crabby today, but this sure is good news out of NK. And STFU, Bolton, you pathetic lickspittle.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | August 5, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and best line: "I wore it to the Brezhnev funeral." Made me do a yokisnort.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Dealing with a former president may have allowed Kim Jong Il to seem powerful while still poking a finger in the eye of the United States Government.

And although there are dangers inherent in letting people without a formal role in government serve as defacto diplomats, it is hardly without precedent.

As Joel points out, Carter has done it for years, with mixed results. And some suggest that the industrialist Armand Hammer was crucial in our dealings with Khruschev during the Kennedy Administration.

The overarching lesson, it seems to me, is that diplomacy with dictators is still driven by a unique understanding of the personalities involved. You can't shoehorn the behavior of such individuals, who are frequently eccentric and extremely volatile, into simple ideological models.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 5, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Is NK backwards enough to still have phonebooths for Super Willy to change outfits in? If not, what would be an appropriate substitute?

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, but this will, I fear, make Bill just a tad smug. I can just imagine him sitting at the dinner table with Hillary and asking, "So, how was *your* day?"

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@Sou'wester: Doesn't NK have an Iron Maiden on every streetcorner? You know, for any impromptu interrogations...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Meyerson is pretty good today:

He includes this rather startling stat:
77 percent of Americans, according to one recent poll, believe that Obama was born in the USA, but only 42 percent of Republicans do.

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@S'nuke: That sounds like a good possibility, but I think ol' Bill likes his maidens a little softer.

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from previous Boodling:

"Good morning, all.

I was watching some of that disembarking and family reunion.

When I wrote (in even more previous Boodling - bc) about returning from 1994 I wasn't thinking about seeing Bill Clinton and Al Gore standing behind some Americans just released from imprisonment in North Korea (much less discussion of North Korean nuclear weapons programs), but here we are.

Talk about a time warp.

Interestingly, I used to fuss about the GW Bush Administration wanting to take the country back to 1950, but all of a sudden I'm starting to have flashbacks to the Roaring Ninetys. Time to break out the flannel shirts, I suppose.

On a final note, I thought Bolton's piece was a remarkable miscalculation of logic versus emotion. Bill Clinton is certainly emotional but he's a very smart man - is anyone going to give him a hard time when they see pictures of those women reunited with their families? Throw in some adorable little children, and poof - Bolton's arguments melt away in a sea of joyful tears and hugs.

Orchestrated to some degree - of course - but hey, this country can use all the happy endings it can get right now.


PS. I see S'nuke and Mudge snickering in the back of the room -- and I'm just going to ignore it.


Posted by: -bc- | August 5, 2009 11:05 AM"

Posted by: -bc- | August 5, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

mudge, i agree with your comments in general, but i'd give the women credit for pursuing a story that aimed to expose nk.

the so-called hikers in iraq, however, i believe may actually be spies (as iran claims). haven't followed the story closely, but no one in their right would go to iraq for a hiking trip, and no one already in the country would willy-nilly go hiking near the border. that just doesn't make sense.

Posted by: LALurker | August 5, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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

Afternoon, friends. I suspect if the Republicans keep telling the lie that the President wasn't born in America, someone will believe it. Why stop something that generally works for them? According to your numbers there, it seems to be working.

Good job by former President Clinton. And I agree, RD, the conversation at dinner may be a little strained, if not totally smug. President Clinton did look a tad uncomfortable in that photo, but I suspect Kim Jong throws off all kind of negative impulses or vibes. He certainly doesn't look as if he's comfortable in his own body. Of course, the reason for that could be his illness.

Hot, hot, hot, here, and thunderstorms in the forecast. Muggy hot, which is almost unbearable.

Have a good day, everyone, and try to stay cool.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 5, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope it's nothing Freudian, but when I saw Muggy hot, I first read Mudgy hot, which transposed into Hot Mudgie.

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is Hot :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | August 5, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Damn tootin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, I tend to think that the hikers were just that...a couple are from the Northwest, after all, and the border's not marked. But you have to watch out for those language students...

And apparently there is an "Iraqi Kurd tourism boom" - who knew?

Posted by: seasea1 | August 5, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

As far as the Repubs are concerned, this administration (or any Democratic administration) cannot do anything right, and they will spin it whichever way they want it to sound. Leave the ladies hanging in a North Korean gulag, and they're heartless monsters. Figure out a way to get them released and they're monsterous appeasers. Economy not doing well - see, told ya so. Economy turning around - what took you so long to do anything? We need jobs back in the auto industry - What are you doing? Oh, Cash for Clunkers is wildly successful? Why are you still bailing out the auto industry? And on it goes.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton swooping in to save damsels in distress.

He's just never going to get beyond that irony, except with hard-core Ds.

Posted by: DagnyT | August 5, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone up for a Philly BPH?


Posted by: -dbG- | August 5, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I've read some of the buzz that the Iran hikers were CIA, and some of the counter-buzz, too. I think the best argument that they were NOT spies is that they were caught too darn easily, and I'd hope the CIA was a bit more competent than that. One would like to think that whatever their alleged spy mission, we'd at least be able to launch them into the field OK, even if they got caught later during some more difficult phase. But crossing borders ought to be child's play for experienced field operatives. And if they weren't experienced field operatives...then what the hell were they doing there?

Meanwhile, Iran claiming they were spies has approximately zero credibility, simply because they'd say that no matter who they caught. And of course the CIA would deny it, no matter what, so they have no credibility on that front, either.

So you sort of have to fall back on common sense. Would the CIA send three operatives in whose cover story was that they HAD no cover story? Because they are apparently who they say they are, went to Cal-Berkley, etc., and bloggers are giving out details of their personal lives and careers. I don't think that would happen if they were bona fide field agents. (Only Dick Cheney and Karl Rove give out the names of *real* CIA agents.)

They camped out last Thursday night at/near the border, and searchers found their campsite, tent, camping gear, notebooks, and a bottle of booze. To me this does NOT sound like a CIA base camp used to launch three people (one a 30-year-old woman not wearing a burqa or other "blend-in" clothing) on a secret mission. And there was a fourth person with them, but who stayed back at the hotel that day because he had a cold. I would have thought spooks were made of sterner stuff.

Nope, the spy thing just doesn't hold up.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, dbG, one of the three Iran hikers was raised in Elkins Park (Philly suburb where I was last weekend).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

RIP "Mouthpiece Theater"...

Where do we send flowers, JA?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Nuts and Boltons, grow up! Diplomacy over war-mongering is always the better choice, as Bill Clinton saves the day...thank you, former President Clinton!!!

Posted by: dangerosa | August 5, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

This is good news too:

Posted by: seasea1 | August 5, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea how that ST exhibit escaped my scanners. I smell road trip. Besides I need some Tony Luke's in bad way. I just have to find a way to sell my wife on boldly going where no non-geek would want to go.

The lesson here is that what is perfectly fine for Amy Poehler to say at midnight on NBC is way different from what can be done in a WaPo webcast. Yes, there are multiple standards and a fair amount of faux-umbrage, but that is part of the price.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

yello, if/when you go to the Franklin Institute, stop out front and take a look at the Budd BB-1 Pioneer seaplane (photo and details at My great grandfather helped build it. He was some sort of sheet metal worker at the Budd Company (on Red Lion Road) plant that built railroad passenger cars.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

well, maybe they are real hikers, but then they are nuts, imo.

Posted by: LALurker | August 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Clinton and two young women on a private plane, and Hillary out of the country. I wonder if there was any cigar activity on the way home.

Posted by: primegrop | August 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

50+ years ago, my father oversaw a CIA program to infiltrate Soviet Russia. The effort proved to be a failure, but it wasn't because the agents were unprepared or poorly equipped. Each man had a thoroughly researched and well rehearsed cover story (legend in spook speak), the most detailed maps possible, and easily concealed survival equipment (including cyanide capsules). The CIA has changed tremendously since the old man's day, but I can't believe they would send out anyone as unprepared as these hikers appear to be. If they are spies, our intelligence service as become completely inept.

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Just in case the momentum picks up, please remind me: do I turn left or right at the Decoy Porch?

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Sou'wester: Yes.

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

@S'nuke: I always get lost on the way to the bunker.

Posted by: Southwester | August 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

To cheer Bill Clinton while denigrating John Bolton is par for the course for tody's liberal. Bolton has more guts and more knowledge of geopolitics than all liberals in government combined. It is also typical for Obama to sanction as his 'ambassador' to N. Korea the despicable Bill Clinton whose character is worse than horrific. I am glad the two journalists are free, but no one has mentioned at what cost. Kim Jung Il has played the U.S. government like a fiddle for years. I agree with Bolton: This was all choreographed in Washington. Slick Willie was not about to fly to N. Korea and return empty-handed. The tyrant, the terrorists' game is to kidnap or capture, then coerce and blackmail the U.S. Why hasn't any of the bloggers mentioned concessions to Kim?. Yes, get the ladies back, period. It's a shame and a disgrace that it involved camera-hungry Clinton and, once again, obsequious bowing to N. Korea. This abhorent behavior by Kim will never change unless pancreatic cancer or the U.S. stops it. Bolton would have been perfect for us at the U.N., for he would have stood up for the U.S. against that gang of U.S.-hating group of socialist/Marixt idiots. Thanks to people like Joe Biden, that was not to be. I do not know which is worse: The U.N. or the Obama administration. There is one thing that we can count on: People like Clinton and Obama will never stop apologizing to those creatures of this world that should be apologizing to us!

Posted by: david-mckenzie | August 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Follow the trail of doilies.

Meanwhile, this just in:

"Salon's handy-dandy guide to refuting the Birthers Now you, too, can silence the annoying Birther in your life -- and in just eight easy steps!"

By Alex Koppelman

Aug. 05, 2009 |

"There are, sadly, a lot of Birthers out there. A recent poll showed that 11 percent of Americans -- including 28 percent of Republicans -- don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S. Another 12 percent aren't sure.

"So, at some point, you're likely to find out that a friend or relative is a Birther. Your Uncle Floyd will forward you a chain e-mail that says Obama was actually born in Kenya and there's a Kenyan birth certificate that proves it and hundreds of government officials and reporters are in on a conspiracy to hide the truth of his ineligibility for the presidency from the public. And you will wonder: How can I possibly deal with all the falsehoods in this e-mail without disappearing down a rabbit hole?

"Well, wonder no more. In the spirit of public service, Salon has compiled this list of the most popular Birther myths, along with all the debunking you could ever ask for. Now you can just  e-mail this list to Uncle Floyd and get on with your life.

"Unfortunately, there is some small print involved in this offer. We can't promise this article will convince Uncle Floyd that Obama was born in the U.S. and is the legitimate president. In fact, we can just about guarantee that it won't have much effect at all. That's just the way conspiracy theories work : Believers are unlikely to change their minds, no matter how much evidence you present.

"Still, it's worth a try."


There follows the 8 major myths.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* Nope, I won't. But jeez.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Concessions, Mr. McKenzie? Seems you didn't mention any either.

The despot gets a photo op with someone who's been out of political office for what, more than eight years? Obsequious bowing?

@Sou'wester: Just follow the trail of tomato seeds...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

From seasea's link:

"Kimberly-Clark officials said they aren't planning to switch to 100 percent recycled fiber for toilet paper, because that produces paper that is too coarse for many American consumers."

I assume that goes for their feminine hygiene products as well.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

So let's see. We had 3 options:

1) Cut our losses and let the two young women rot in a North Korean prison.

2) Nuke the whole freakin' nation. The women would die, but the opportunity to take out an adversary would be worth the collateral damage.

3) Let Bill Clinton provide a pre-negotiated photo op for that whack-job Kim Jong Il, the women are released, and tensions between the two nations are reduced such that diplomacy and talks involving nuclear threats possibly can be resumed.

Gee. I don't know. Tough call.

Of course, if you subscribe to the conventional right wing philosophy, it's choice #1. If you are a far right extremist, obviously #2 is the way to go. By no means choose #3, because that would create the impression that the Obama Administration did something right, and we certainly cannot allow that to happen.

Posted by: labman57 | August 5, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

On kit! Here's one person's idea of what went on yesterday...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Is this only me or the Marine painting in the background of the picture of "Bubba and Kim the Second taking a difficult dump" making other seasick?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Just to be contrarian, on the Iran thing, if your aim is to observe something within Iran but say within 10k of the border, I think the bumbling hiker is exactly the cover you would choose. Your cover would include a campsite, maybe somebody who had to stay behind. I’d carry a hand drawn map with the border in the wrong place for an “explanation”. The last thing you would want in your possession would be spy stuff like cyanide pills or the like. Not saying they were, but the facts to date are neutral.

I don’t know how close the two journalists were to NK. Given that the North Koreans have abducted people off beaches in Japan I don’t think they would have many second thoughts about a patrol crossing over to get a couple people obviously snooping. However, I do find it odd that China, not exactly lax on security, should be so silent on this whole thing.

Posted by: engelmann | August 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I probably shouldn't start an argument here, but didn't Bolton INSIST on The Daily Show that Lincoln did not have a cabinet that included opposition party members, and Jon Stewart put Doris Kearns on his show to call out Bolton on his obvious lack of historical knowledge?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | August 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The logic behind "is they spies or is they not spies" is this:

If you are ashamed of your, or your country's actions, and subsequent world opinion, and you have many secrets to keep so as not to further erode world opinion, then:

EVERYONE is a spy.


Posted by: DLDx | August 5, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You'll get no argument here, JohnDinHouston. And yes, you're right. I had forgotten that!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

TBG! Very good.

More intertubes problems for me. I needed the laugh!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann, I believe the relationship between the Chinese leaders and the North Korean leaders is beyond Western comprehension. They've been at it for a thousand year. It's a multi branching, multi-layered animal of a relationsip.

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

E-mann, your theory assumes the CIA would know the outcome of the mission. But not even the CIA would risk the lives of three agents (who instead of merely being captured)just to reconnoiter an area observable by binoculars from across the border (let alone observable by various and sundry unmanned surveillance aircraft). These three "agents" might never come back. And they are subject to torture/interrogation, etc.

No, although the wandering hiker cover has some appeal, the game isn't worth the candle. There's no kind of mission that could be carried out by three onstensible wandering/lost hikers that couldn't be accomplished some better/safer/saner way. The wandering hiker tactic pretty much *requires* high confidence that they will be released very shortly and in good condition. The tactic also assumes that whatever their mission is, they can accomplish it with zero equipment going in, whatever they do or did remains undected (assuming accomplishment), and that after the objective is gained, whatever they learned can be carried in their heads, and requires that they not have to carry anything person or object out with them. In other words, it requires they wander in as well as out without any physical evidence, because there's no guarantee at what point they might be caught.

Such a mission also requires the CIA to have thought about what price it/the U.S. would have to pay to get them back, i.e., are we willing to pony up x dollars, or x number of missiles to get them back if something goes wrong.

So you have to envision a mission easily accomplished by three wandering amateurs with no equipment or support yet which is highly vital and important enough to risk their lives and/or significant tribute money, diplomatic effort, etc., AND which cannot be accomplished some other, better way.

The wandering hiker scenario requires that if you're caught, your lost/wandering cover story stands up pretty well and they benignly let you go after a day or two. In short, it requires an enemy which is pretty friendly and reasonable, and which is NOT as hostile as Iran.

Iran's track record is the last time they captured Americans, they held them for 444 days, beat the living crap out of the CIA guy repeatedly, and demanded and got 1,000 TOW missiles to let them go.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 5, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

So, maybe, they ran out of missiles?


Posted by: DLDx | August 5, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The White House negotiation started months ago and the hang up was Kim wanted Obama to come himself!! He wouldn't! So he pimped out Clinton, and Kim got the second fiddle!!

Kim won all of this mess!!

Posted by: hotdad14 | August 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

All spies know that if they should decide to accept the mission and any member of their team is caught or killed the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of their actions. They get that warning right before the reel to reel tape self-destructs.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

No, hotdad14, win or lose wasn't the question. The fact is that two women are free who were not free day before yesterday. That is what's important. The other stuff, who cares?

Interesting that the two were working for Al Gore's media company.

Posted by: slyness | August 5, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The best part is they are free. The second best part is that we might actually begin a dialogue with N. Korea. The third best part is the knotted up angst of John Bolton!

Posted by: ChicagoJim | August 5, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Having now almost finished my third Monday in a row, I am ready to meet the BPHers tomorrow late afternoon. We're still on, right?

TBG did you get my email to you today?

*starting to feel like that guy in Lil Abner who always had a thunderbolt dark sky immediately over his head*

BTW, I'm having one H of a time getting my scanner to work with my Mac. It'll scan, but the file essentially goes where the moon don't shine, whether I scan it into a file on my desktop or as an attachment to Entourage. This is beginning to remind me of the bad old days.

As I said, it's the third Monday in a row.

*grump* although I'm thrilled for the women who got out of NK. Yes, folks, they are called "women" -- not ladies, and not girls (FCOL).


Posted by: -ftb- | August 5, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The '79 hostages had political value from their status as being associated with the embassy. Currently these three have no such value, other than being Americans.

I wouldn’t say that knowing the outcome is a necessary assumption. As with all such things, there certainly would be a risk/reward assessment.

I don’t find it hard to imagine a scenario that might warrant the risk. I have no idea how good satellite and airborne is actually these days, but historically the image interpreters’ problem was at only being able to guess what was under cover. Sometimes the Mark I eyeball is the best asset. It would be remarkably poor timing right now to have a shot-down drone paraded through Tehran. Also, if the issue was important enough, somebody might decide it had to be a national and not a local. Finally, obviously they weren’t planning on getting caught.

Didn’t we have a discussion about cross-border stuff in Iran some time ago? I’m getting déjà vu all over again.

Posted by: engelmann | August 5, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Engelmann, this crowd tends to go other the same stuff again and again, but we do it at such distance that we've forgotten previous discussions. At least some of us do.

Posted by: slyness | August 5, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The cash for clunkers program might reduce teen driving deaths by taking used SUVs off the market.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the wailing of Limbaugh's Lemmings when something goes right.

John Bolton is a gift from our Heavenly Father who hates talking to our enemies as do a couple of adolescents in a school yard spat. We should all pray for Obama's failure right now like the night in Colorado when our Lord's Messenger Brother Dobson led us to pray for God to make it rain on Obama's parade.

We're the "Real Americans" and Christians in the Country and God is only on the side of our "people of faith." He's gonna getcha - all you illegal-immigrant-Clinton-applauding-bed-wetting-gay-commie-Marxist-socialists. you betcha He will. The Bible says it. It's in Leviticus.

Posted by: coloradodog | August 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

For yellojkt in particular: Cliff Mass on humidity -

We're back to typical weather now - cool and cloudy. Still waiting for rain.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 5, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What a day. Finally got ahold of the dognappers who will send my old puppy home. They say.

At least the gazpacho is good. A friend told me about "tomato pie" which uses up lots of tomatoes. Pie shell, lots of tomatoes, various Italian seasonings, and choice of cheese baked on top. This is not a recipe so much as a concept. This would be a sort of bastard pizza except the volume of actual tomatoes to include is much higher. Sooner or later I'm going to try this.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Dewpoint 68 here now. This is typical, not a "wave" in NC

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

It may read like a story - but it was true. And we all have that power if we want to use it. Just be at the right place at the right time. You can be a hero, too.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 5, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"All spies know that if they should decide to accept the mission and any member of their team is caught or killed the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of their actions. They get that warning right before the reel to reel tape self-destructs."

The whole concept died with reel to reel.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 5, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

mudge, my aunt worked at that Budd plant as a secretary for many, many years. Her excellent pension lasted as long as she did, definitely something to be envied.

yello, maybe a side trip to Bucks County for shopping? A Coach outlet? Spend part of the day @ the Reading Terminal Market? Franklin Mills? Longwood Gardens, always good.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 5, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I just love that. Clinton got his personal physician within smelling distance of King Kong Il while the whole western world is speculating about Il's health.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 5, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay. I just read the link. The money quote was from the New York Post headline, "Bubba gets the Chicks."


Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 5, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'm thinking sprinkle over those tomatoes in that pie shell a little finely chopped onion, then cover with shredded mozzerella or provolone. Pre-sprinkled with basil and oregano, of course.

dbG, shopping in Bucks County? I assume you're talking about Lahoska? Then a quick hop up the road a piece to New Hope, and maybe a stroll across the bridge to Lambertville? Dinner is problematic: too many choices. A cozy, candlelit little bistro along the river or canal? Or if you want to trade ambiance for good comfort food, I recommend the New Hope Dinner on 202, or even better, Lancer's across the street from the south end of Willow Grove Naval Air Station on Rt. 611.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 5, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, whaddaya think? Drizzle a little balsamic over the tomatoes first?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 5, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't think the tomatoes would need any balsamic vinegar. We used to get tomato pie in the lowlands of SC, at a place called the Tomato Shed.

I can't find their recipe, but here's Paula Deen's...


* 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
* 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped green onion
* 1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
* 1 cup grated mozzarella
* 1 cup grated cheddar
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

A little dijon mustard on the bottom, cheese, tomatoes, then oil with the spices? I like olives on top. With olives and mustard: no vinegar. W/O: a drizzle.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 5, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I often try to get by without seeding the tomatoes but I think I would in this case. (Have to skin them first too.) And it would be a big mistake to leave out the parmesan or some pecorino romano. If one was inclined to add some partially cooked sauteed portos, that might work too. There's no way I'm putting sausage or anything like that in there.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Mayonnaise? We could have the mayonnaise/Miracle whip discussion again...

Jumper, your dog was dognapped?

Posted by: seasea1 | August 5, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Mudge, you are bringing back memories. My oldest brother and his family lived in Bucks County in the mid-sixties. We used to visit and make the walk over the bridge from New Hope to Lambertville. And Rice's Sale - the flea market. Now there was a cultural experience!

Posted by: slyness | August 5, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BOBSTERII | August 5, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Another dew point convert.

We're actually fond of Wayne. Cute little Main Line town with a nice downtown with a train station and some nice restaurants.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a cable commercial for vacationing in Lancaster County. I tried to talk my wife into a little Intercourse.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 5, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but I was being hyperbolic. The woman who works up the street lets my dog into their office and feeds her treats and coos over her. The woman seems a little loony, however, and once locked my dog in their office overnight which did me no good although my dog was asleep the next morning (a Saturday)when I called the lady and she came down to free my pup. Anyway, it all happened again today except they had not left for the evening. And of course I worry that one day the lady will simply convince herself my dog would be better off in her hands. Luckily, she says she lives in an apartment.

Did I say hyperbolic?

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

NeoCon sour grapes aside, this is an AWESOME victory for the United States and for international diplomacy (something thats been lacking for about 8 years)!

Bill Clinton ROCKS!

I hear Cheney is doing about 2,500 RPM in that casket of his!


Posted by: free-donny | August 5, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I used to go by dewpoints when calculating the redox potential of furnace atmospheres.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Dewpoints sing "Under the Boardwalk?"

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Feels like we just got up here, and already it's nearly time to go get dinner. It's steak night, tonight.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 5, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

*Tim... Still have that webcam we can use to watch you work?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

if former president Clinton was willing to fly to NK (probably no frequent flyer miles involved) and bail these ladies out, how can that be the BIG MISTAKE that John Bolton and neocon friends seem to perceive it to be? mr. Bolton's oped was so good that when i came back the next day with time to read it, it was nowhere to be found. I assume the WaPo must have a contractual obligation to print whatever this guy says. but not how long it will remain available.

my only hope is that bubba gave Il Jong a hearty slap on the back as he was leaving, and planted a homing device in that outfit that he always seems to wear. something a Predator could lock on to...

Posted by: jtacoustic | August 5, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Look at the Right work themselves into a frenzy. Let's look at the track record, shall we? Ever since Georgie boy got in office, he has made these countries more defiant. Iran, North Korea and don't forget George's favorite dictator, Hugo Chavez. From what I see, a little diplomacy goes a long way. And what would the Right want us to do? Let those poor women suffer brutality in a foriegn land? Yeah, that's what they would rather do. Dirt-bags.

Posted by: mackiejw | August 5, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse


I know Rene a little bit. He's a real nice guy and a good family man.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 5, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm so happy I read this piece. Now I know that President Clinton wears tights, and a cape, with a letter "C" on his shirt.

Of course, this is how he secured the release of these two women in Korea. It all makes sense now.

But I'd like to see Dear Blogger, Mr. Achinblog, in a follow-up critique, treat this matter in a lighter vein. Yes, with humor. This is obviously a story of great, though abstruse, mirth.

So lighten up Dear Blogger Achinblog! The world is not so dismal as this story suggests.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | August 5, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the Drifters sang "Under the Boardwalk," with Johnny Moore singing lead. The Dewpoints, from Claymount, Delaware, sang "Better Things Through Chemistry and Your Kisses," "(Blow Out Those) Refinery Lights," "(My Baby Got the) Route 1 Blues," "Take the Lewes Ferry to My Heart," "Wilmington on My Mind," and of course, "Don't Need No Ice Cream, She's All the Dairy Queen I Need."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | August 5, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

No webcam at this facility.

I've always wondered how people can make spelling errors like this: "Dear Blogger, Mr. Achinblog..." when the correct spelling is right there at the top of the window. It's right there!

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 5, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Not sure which is better, Under the Boardwalk, or the outfits in this original video.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 5, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but Tim... at least he was consistent. Spelled it wrong the same way twice!

Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I like those b1tch'n dance moves almost as much as the outfits dmd. Hope WaPo doesn't reject this comment, hear they don't like the b word. Glad to see Mouthpiece Theatre gone though, it was criminally unfunny. Surprisingly so with the talent behind it.

I have joined ftb in the week with multiple Mondays category. On the bright side, I get to leave for St. Paul early Friday morning. Need to get out of this open air loony bin for a few days. Let me tell you, "outside the beltway" does not have the market cornered on common sense.

Glad to see Bill doing good work. We used to find propaganda leaflets from NK all the time when I was stationed in SK in the mid '80s. They were so incredibly fake they made Godzilla movies look like documentaries.

yello-are you counting the days until the Glee season premiere? Sept. 9!

SYTYCD boodlers- Jeanine, without a doubt. Am I right?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 5, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

hummm....consistency is the sludge that tapioca becomes as it cools. Not a pleasant thing to squeeze between your fingers, but certainly good goo going down the esophagus.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | August 5, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I may have to take a peek at SYTYCD, as I have no DVD's to watch. Finished the first season of The Wire, and it will be a few weeks till I get season 2 from the library.

Fatuous gardening report - Casa Blanca lilies are in full bloom - their scent is intoxicating. Tiger lily and a dark pink oriental lily are flowering, too. Some zinnias have flowered, finally. Still no moonflower buds, but the morning glories are doing great. Picked one small red tomato! Planted more lettuce.

DotC, I am very frenvious of your heliconias and heliotrope.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 5, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Little Hanna Lee has her mommy back! Right now, nothing else matters-especially all the Repub-neo-con heartless sarcasm. It is a universal rule that hatred and greed will drive love and compassion from the human heart.

Posted by: BBear1 | August 5, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Forgot earlier tonight driving home after picking up my daughter saw the full moon beginning to rise - lovely.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 5, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

dmd... you mean it wasn't cloudy and/or raining?


Posted by: -TBG- | August 5, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Lets send G.W. and Limbaugh and Hannity to Iran to get those hikers home. Maybe throw in Bolton and Coulter to get some excitement going. Problem is then Bill will have to go over and beg to get all of them out after they screw things up.

Posted by: leonvang | August 5, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Well, I suppose it has been, but 'tis a Bella Luna in all her glory this hot summer's eve, meaning that - at least for me - a long night on the move. Nearly impossible to remember, yet unforgettable; sheer sensory symphonic cacophany. Prey and pursuit, passions indulged and quenched, remorseless joyful bloody living and howling my story for moon and the Earth to hear...

[OK, and marking my world here and there along the way...]

Tonight, I run wild ... but not as just man or animal; both and neither. Happy to just be alive, to live, to love and live for the short time I can.

And when I tire and the sun arrives, I will curl up in a safe warm wonderful place and sleep soundly and happily. The bruises and scratches will silently tell me my story in the morning, and I will smile at them -- signs of life and love.

I ate a big dinner and trimmed my hair, so perhaps I won't make such a big mess of things when the lycanthropic tide washes me out -- and back.

Now I hope that housebreaking training holds...


Posted by: -bc- | August 5, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

BC, are you watching too much 'True Blood.' There's an app for that...

Posted by: rickoshea0 | August 5, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama is such a third string player when compared to Big Bill.

Thanks MSM...

Posted by: holdencaulfield | August 5, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

bc, I thought of you on the car ride as when I pointed out the rising full moon to my daughter she asked if the werewolves would be howling because of the moon - I just laughed.

TBG, clear this evening and actually been sunny for days, a few brief thundershowers last evening but not too much rain and none till next week - finally. Older daughter went to the beach today with a friend as perfect a day for that as you can imagine, clear skies (and views no smog), calm water, warm temps and soft breezes.

Which reminds me of one of the benefits of this recession/changing economy one of the two major steel plants across the water has been shut down, I have lived around here my entire life and have never seen so many clear views across the water without signs of pollution - really incredible. I am sure the cooler weather and rains have helped with this but the difference is just amazing.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 5, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

A few more comments, then it's time to Run.

As much as the story arc about Bill Clinton's mission to Korea for the weekend while the Secretary of State is in Africa sounds like the opening of a joke, ya gotta hand it to the man for Making it Happen. He delivered -- period.

The other day, I acquired some fresh Buffalo Mozzarella flown in from Italy - heaven in a bag of water. Over the weekend I shared it with a friend -- cut some tomatoes fresh off of the vine, drizzled it with a nice olive oil and some balsamic vinegar, finished it with basil leaves and some salt and pepper.

Simple, but delicious.

Speaking of which, it's nearly midnight, and I definitely need a shave again. And these nails are getting out of control....grrrrr....


Ar-, er, where was I? Heck, where *am* I?

Oh, dear, here it comes another wave...OooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....!


Posted by: -bc- | August 5, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, rickoshea0, I don't watch 'True Blood' - and I'm a little embarassed to admit I am not familiar with it at all.



Posted by: -bc- | August 5, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Boodle dear.

Today, tonight, was instructive. Hard days, hard times, good result.


Posted by: Yoki | August 5, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The moon is just popping over the mountain now and looks oh so good.

You have fun out there in the wilds tonight bc!!!

One of these full moons will find me on the river fishing by moonlight.But I am planning a long paddle tomorrow and really want to get to sleep like a normal person. Well maybe another glass of wine and enjoy the sounds and sights of the woods in moonlight.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 5, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Okay they kept you in spite of Froomklin?...

This confirms that there was a conspiracy to have Dan fired!

Neo-cons hold grudges. Once Haitt (Rupert boy) came over Dan was no more. Someone was still holding a grudge against Dan because he was the only one that told it like it is with Bush corruption...


Posted by: danson1 | August 5, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

danson1 is a master of irony.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 5, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

That was certainly emphatic!

Posted by: Yoki | August 6, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad that Mr. Clinton was able to return from NK with the two reporters. If a wheel in the Republican party had accomplished the same, that person would be welcomed back as a conquering hero. IMO, Mr. Clinton did what he does best, and talked reasonably enough to gain the reporter's freedom. NK saved face, and by my reckoning, didn't gain anything. Well done. Down to carpentry punch out and some relatively light interior work. Took a break from a string of 12 hour days, and didn't get that much done. Life is good.

Just because this features David Bromberg and Jorma...

Posted by: -jack- | August 6, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Aw, and Joel was shooting for "Dumb and Dumber blogs", too. gotta try harder, man. Maybe it's time to do illegal drugs to pump up your game.

Yes I'm talking.../stoning/.

I'm sure Danson will be happy to be a weed coach for you should you chose to add that to your writing lifestyle.

I sense a man with profound knowledge on brands, growing, and how to cheese it before the cops come.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Well, step up to the plate, danson. No need to yell.

Posted by: -jack- | August 6, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I love spell checkers. By replacing copy editors, they lower the cost of production, which leads to massive profits for the newspaper or web site.

From WaPo photo gallery of Anderson, IN after the departure of GM: "Paul McConnell, the sole remaining GM employee in Anderson, oversees all of the city's former GM plant properties. He stands in the parking lot of GM Plant 16, where tools and dyes were once manufactured."

Homonym errors are so incredibly common, including by WaPo writers doing chats one would expect to know better. I understand typos, but getting the wrong word is another matter. Is written language going to be totally replaced by the spoken version? Or did people always get them wrong 20% of the time, depending on the copy editor to make the correction?


Posted by: Jim19 | August 6, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Clinton Rescues Ling & Lee…

Now it seems we have a White Knight CZAR... to add to the other 40 CZARS that are working "behind the scenes" and "unfettered" by Congressional Meddling.

Ling and Lee thought they might get a story and instead became a story. The story being 2 clueless gen x's think it might be cool to poke and taunt the Dragon. They get caught and cause a minor international incident. The Moral of the Story... Yes Virginia their really are bad people in the world.

The 2nd Lesson in the Story... Chauvinistic Communists would rather deal with a Popular ex-President than with that personage they called a "School Girl" our Esteemed Secretary of State. Possibly that part of the world considered Politically Correct for an instant and then just said... Naaaaa we want Bill. He's a lot more fun and doesn't lecture us.

Nice that the girls are home. Now how about another nice little hike maybe in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Posted by: singmysong4444 | August 6, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Popping back in from the aether. Haven't seen a newspaper, don't have time to backboodle. Heard some radio (mostly right-wing) but have played in that sandbox enough to glean a thing or two about the situation at hand and ole Billy-boy...

You got a problem...a big one for those involved, but not so big when you look at the wider picture. So you send some guy...well respected in the international community, world-renowned man of letters, admired by men yet not lacking female admirers, someone foreign leaders are thrilled to entertain and can't say no to yet has no official power in the matter of the moment, the go-to guy when diplomacy and international handholding is called for but reality says there are bigger fish in that very same lake to fry....remind you of anyone? Maybe someone whose name starts with Ben and ends with Franklin?

Off to pack...another day, another road trip. But tomorrow's is in all fun and relaxation, in pursuit of some rapids (but only for a day, even though it will be a long one)....

I'm sure when I'm kicking back relaxing in the calm spots between rapids, I'll think some more about the parallels between Billy-boy and Benny-babe...because I find that stuff interesting.

Glad everyone's home all safe and sound (though I suspect dentist visits and prescription vitamin supplements will dominate the coming weeks for these two women the same way hugs and kisses and parties will). Have a happy night, and a happy day tomorrow....

Posted by: LostInThought | August 6, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Right, mudge, although I prefer Peddler's Village if I really plan on shopping.

Chinatown for dinner?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 6, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree with what mudge said about the 2 journalist and other idiots in the previous boodle.

Whatever you do, please don’t bomb NK cuz none of the countries this region have the resources to deal with the millions of refugees that will be fleeing the country. Yeah, the countries all gained a little experience with refuges during the fall of Vietnam, but they don’t want to gain anymore experience even though it might look good on their resume.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 6, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I’m not surprised that NK rejected Al Gore. I’m sure they read what Gore did during the Pacific Rim summit hosted by Malaysia in 1998. At that time, the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir had thrown his ex-deputy PM into a detention camp (imprisonment without trial) without substantiated charges.

Other leaders had voiced their concern privately in a one-on-one session with the host regarding the imprisonment of his deputy, but Al Gore broke protocol deliberately and avoided a one-on-one session with the APEC host, Dr Mahathir. Al Gore spoke out in public during the summit praising anti-government protesters seeking Mahathir's ouster.

While the protesters applauded Gore, Mahathir was thumping his chest. Unfortunately, not hard enough. He had 1 or maybe 2 heart surgeries since. Unfortunately, they were successful. He is still around.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 6, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

A high school classmate of mine was on The Daily Show last night. He was the NYU anthropologist with the really short mohawk picking a beef with the guy from Pitt who claimed that orangutans are closer relatives to humans than chimps.

Me? I'm Team Bonobo.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 6, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

The full episode:

They don't have individual segments posted yet.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 6, 2009 5:29 AM | Report abuse

The chimp/orangutan smackdown starts at 8:26.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 6, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. As promised, fresh ham biscuits on the ready room table this morning, coffee is perked, hot water available for tea, OJ in the fridge. Enjoy!

I'm still glad the two journalists are home. Thank heavens for Bill's willingness to go. Didja see that they wanted Obama to come but were persuaded to accept Clinton?

Much to do today, starting with a baby fix. I haven't seen my favorite twin boys in a couple of weeks, so we're having lunch. It will be fun!

Posted by: slyness | August 6, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Before backBoodling, I just have to say I couldn't even finish reading this article:

Why? Because it's so reminiscent of the tactics I have to deal with at work -- ignore rational conversation and just shout scary things as often as possible. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I am really hoping that Charlton gets it this time. (oh, are you talking about something else?)

Posted by: russianthistle | August 6, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

bc, Trader Vic's called... You just HAD to tell them I was a pina colada mix supplier, hm?


This time of year makes for tough Dawn Patrolling, I tellya... Took 15 minutes to dry the wings off with one of those industrial-strength hair dryers.

*off-to-find-the-morning-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah... Jefferson was convicted.

I can't even summon enough ennui to do the "shocked" thing. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Nuke, I am sitting here with my coffee watching last night's Olbermann and summoning some "etui"

Posted by: russianthistle | August 6, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! Once more into the fray, then on to St. Paul for some R&R. A little oral surgery tomorrow then Cirque du Soleil on Sat. (their tent is just a few blocks from the Hip Urban Loft). Is it wrong to look forward to having a tooth pulled for the opportunity to recline in the middle of the day then have an excuse to nap the rest of the afternoon away?

The town hall meeting disruptions are enormously troubling. We've had two shouting episodes in Our Fair City's council meetings in the 31 months 6 days I've been in office. They not only take attention away from the matter at hand during the meeting but cause an enormous amount of needless work afterwords. Of course our controversy was much more emotionally charged-ditch mowing raises hackles a lot higher than health care.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 6, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Gesundheit, Weed...

Oh, and I've been meaning to mention this for awhile: I think I've found a good word to use during Front Page Alerts.

Over at the Bad Astronomy blog ( the folks often have to deal with reality-challenged visitors, such as those who feel we never landed on the moon. The BA crowd refers to the visitors' point of view as "woo."

So now we know that trolls spew woo.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh that silly bc...

How am I going to discreetly fit a 55-gallon drum of Resolve, worm pills AND a cone-collar remover into the fax???

I think he'll be able to resolve all that by 5 p.m., though.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Shouting down townhouse meetings, that's democracy in action for you.

The darn birdfeeder raiding bear is back. I got all snarky last year at my neighbour's birdfeeder poll made with 2" pipe. Well, this ursine thief bent the 1" pipe riser I put in last year to replace the aluminium tubing that I used before. And it broke the corroded fence post the pipe was inserted in as well. So I think I'll end up with an anaesthetic 2NPS structure as well. Unlike last year, at least none of the birdfeeders were broken. !*#@! bear.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

sd-They hate us, and mock us.

The Chez Frostbitten raccoons have settled in as if they own the place. It's war I tell ya.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 6, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

So...what will become of the phrase "pitching woo," Scotty?

Today in Aviation and Drug Paraphernalia History

Aug. 6, 1945: Col. Paul Tibbetts and his crew aboard the B-29 Enola Gay drop the world’s first (non-test) nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan; estimates vary but about 140,000 were killed.
On the same day, Maj. Richard Bong, a Medal-of-Honor winner and America’s leading ace of World War II (and all-time leading American ace) with 40 victories, is killed while flight-testing a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, the first operational jet fighter, at Lockheed's famed "Skunk Works" in Burbank, Calif.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

May I take a bird feeder news interlude to provide these fun facts (lifted directly from this very electronic paper):

"Among the states, Ohio had the biggest increase in claims, with 891, followed by Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska. State data lags behind initial claims data by one week.

"North Carolina had the largest drop in claims, with 9,809, which it said was due to fewer layoffs in the textile, furniture, rubber and plastics, and industrial machinery industries. Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Alabama had the next largest declines."

I am pondering the states going up and the states going down.

The fact is that 550K is A LOT of folks. We are pretty deep into this "thang" and we are still running at a heated clip, layoff wise.

I have suggested to friends that we may have experienced a "false bottom" a while back. Our companies are ratcheting downwards to maintain their profits or limit the losses for the shareholders/owners.

I have written elsewhere that I thought we should change the corporate tax structure to give a temporary reward to corporations who get hit with a loss and do not cut their staffs.

The one quarter loss is tough for a company, but it seems to be used to cover a whole number of "sins" that have stacked up on and off the books. If a company manages to work along without cutting staff during tougher times say 2 or 3 quarters, then that should be rewarded.

Of course, nothing brings pressures to bare better than a loss, so I don't want to encourage bad management.

The flipside argument is that, we have corporations encouraging large officer bonuses even while poor schmoes at the bottom of the corporate ladder are losing their jobs.

Of course, I am a bit scattered on this, but maybe someone would want to chime in. The curiosity here is that the 500K, though a large historical number is a part of a percent of our workforce. The real change is the savings rate. Something we did without for about a decade. Now Americans are saving money and the result is that it is throwing a wet blanket on the economy.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 6, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think context will help us keep our woo straight, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, frosti -- you may be right about Jeanine in SYTYCD. It's definitely between her and Brandon. There was a WaPo article about the show yesterday and Brandon wasn't even mentioned -- at all! Un-you know-believable! Either one of them would be fine by me. I was for Twitch last season and was disappointed that he didn't win, but the top 4 always seem to do well after the show. Evan's gonna be on Broadway, no doubt about that. Kayla is excellent, but Jeanine has a spark to her dancing that is unmistakable and memorable. Kayla is a bit too ethereal for me, even though I enjoy watching her dance. It's just that I don't remember it much afterwards. Should be a good show tonight.

Posted by: -ftb- | August 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Scotty. I am much relieved to hear it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and yes, camera is in-hand for this evening... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse


Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of 'On the Waterfront'

By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Budd Schulberg, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter who wrote about corrosive ambition and power in "On the Waterfront" and "A Face in the Crowd" and in best-selling books such as "What Makes Sammy Run?," died Aug. 5 at his home in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. He was 95. No cause of death was given....

He wrote the memorable speech that included the line "I coulda been a contender," spoken by actor Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront" (1954).

Besides Mr. Schulberg's Oscar for best story and screenplay, the film won for best picture, best director (Elia Kazan), best actor (Brando) and best supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint).

Obit excerpts:

Mr. Schulberg's next project, "A Face in the Crowd" (1957), skewered the television industry and became a lasting favorite of critics and moviemakers. The film, again directed by Kazan, featured Andy Griffith in what many regard as his best role. Griffith played "Lonesome" Rhodes, a cracker-barrel prophet who self-destructs after he lands a national television show.

"Face" was an underrated gem, a perceptive look at the future of television and politics...

Legendary boxer Gene Tunney rated Mr. Schulberg's 1947 novel "The Harder They Fall" among the best fictional accounts of boxing. A film version followed in 1956, with Humphrey Bogart as a sports reporter turned boxing promoter who sells out his good name for big money.

During World War II, Mr. Schulberg served under film director John Ford at the Office of Strategic Services' photography unit. He collected photographic evidence to use against war criminals at the postwar Nuremberg trials.

Re On the Waterfront: Few studios were convinced of its promise. "Who's going to give a damn about a bunch of sweaty longshoremen?" 20th Century-Fox executive Darryl Zanuck reportedly told Kazan.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... looking forward to seeing many of you tonight--and meeting Southwester.

Today's "feel-good" story...

Fighting the Tide of City Life:
For 13th Year, D.C. Bar Owner Gives Neighborhood Kids a Beach Break

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

TBG! yes. Great story. People at that place have always been great.


is this the 8/4 mtg? now 8/6?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 6, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning Boodle,
Sounds like Kit Bond sees the writing on the wall. Heard him on the radio this morning soberly citing all the good reasons why he's going to vote to confirm Sotomayor (though he didn't mention the elephant in the room). I'm still amazed at how few Republicans seem to have figured out what this means to American Hispanics. Despite recent polling, I think no-on-Sonia votes could spell real trouble for a lot of incumbent GOP senators.

Posted by: Southwester | August 6, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Please excuse my lack of subtlety, but it is at 5, right?

Posted by: Southwester | August 6, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Subtlety be damned, SW, it's whenever you get there. But yes, usually Scotty and bc have established the beachhead of tables at 5 or earlier.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

No need for subtlety, SWer! Yes... 5 is the usual time... look for folks gathered near the front window in the bar. You should be able to spot your fellow boodlers pretty easily... nice, handsome bunch laughing a lot.

I'll see y'all closer to 6:15 or 6:30. This darn working all day is killing me.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 6, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I suppose it would be imprudent to bring the Gigantic Dog. He would surely enjoy an evening of knocking over tables and stealing food.

Posted by: Southwester | August 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I believe Wilbrodog is the only canine ever to have attended a Washington-based M&S BPH, and I suspect he would severely protest if "just any" other canine was allowed to attend. (He's pretty thin-pelted that way.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Although we certainly keep Wilbrodog's best interests at heart, 'Mudge, I think there's another canine we'd need to worry about this evening...

*wondering if that cone-collar remover made it through the fax* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 6, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I somehow suspect that it would take quite a handsome bribe to get the Gigantic Dog through the door, considering he has roughly the same size and appearance as an immature polar bear.

Posted by: Southwester | August 6, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse do I.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 6, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It is an "Elizabethan collar," Scotty. (Really, ask my vet.)

Posted by: nellie4 | August 6, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I was working then:
Didn't have any martinis
(cheeseburger takeout).


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

Restaurants ban pets;
Yet waiters like petting me.
Ahem, mixed message there?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | August 6, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Southwester | August 6, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, slight oversight in today's aviation history...

The P-80 (aka F-80) was the first *American* operational jet fighter. The German Messerschmidt Me 262 was the *first* operational jet fighter, coming into service in April 1944, predating the P-80 by about half a year.

Posted by: tomsing | August 6, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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