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Government, Pro and Con

[Late afternoon bulletin: Taking a shower is dangerous. I knew it! I don't trust water in general. Emanates deadly humours and whatnot.]

I have a follow-up question for those who answered the Post-ABC News poll on Obama's health care plan: Do you know what you're talking about?

I don't mean that in a hostile way. But I suspect that most people haven't exactly gotten granular on the proposals -- and are probably fuzzy on the status quo as well.

Which is probably how it should be: We elect people to lead on issues like this, to put together a team of smart people to work out solutions to complex problems. It's not my job to fix health care. It's my job to fix the bare spots in my lawn. (Actually it's my job to get the various health forms from the pediatrician to meet various school requirements -- remind me why I can't do all this electronically?) My guess is that a large chunk of the people expressing opinions about the health care reform are simply expressing a more general ideological position. If you remove the public option, for instance, the health care reform has a margin of approval almost exactly equal to Obama's margin over McCain last fall.

The latest poll shows a narrowing passion gap on the issue. Certainly, as we saw Saturday, there remains a lot of passion against expanded government involvement in health care. But what struck me about the march on Saturday was how few people I interviewed said anything about the public option. A lot of those folks don't like government, period. They're still fighting the New Deal. You could strip the public option and every other element out of HR 3200 and take it out back and beat it with a shovel and they wouldn't be satisfied. I'm not sure if some of them even approve of air traffic controllers.

Overshadowed in the Joe Wilson kerfuffle the other day was Obama's rhetorical reframing of government's role in American lives. He acknowledged that we're historically a nation of rugged individualists. But we're not just that, he said. I thought it was the strongest part of his speech:

"That large-heartedness -- that concern and regard for the plight of others -- is not a partisan feeling. It's not a Republican or a Democratic feeling. It, too, is part of the American character -- our ability to stand in other people's shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together, and when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand; a belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgment that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.

"This has always been the history of our progress. In 1935, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism, but the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it. In 1965, when some argued that Medicare represented a government takeover of health care, members of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- did not back down. They joined together so that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.

"You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem. They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom. But they also understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, the vulnerable can be exploited. And they knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter -- that at that point we don't merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves."

[Update: Andrew Sullivan is encouraged that the tea-partiers don't lean too heavily on such cultural issues as gay marriage. This is because they skew heavily libertarian. They're likely to vote Republican but a lot of them on Saturday were trashing Republicans and Democrats alike. "Throw 'em all out," one tea-partier told me.]


Tragic story at Yale. Yalie Daily has had excellent coverage of a big-time whodunit.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 14, 2009; 11:41 AM ET
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Next: "The Good Soldiers"



Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That's the thing, really, isn't it. It has less to do with specific issues and more to do with tribalism and a sense of cultural power. And so the challenge for anyone advocating bipartisan solutions is how to convince the right that is is acceptable to agree with the President on anything. Good luck with that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Political Equation of the Day:

(government act that benefits a lot of people) = (good for party in power) = X

Where Party A = party in power, X = yes


All other parties, X = HECK NO!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That Yale story is such a heartbreaker. Some people are not worth of the title "human".

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope they quickly identify the perpetrator. This takes me back to the murder of the UNC student body president last year...sad, sad, sad.

Posted by: slyness | September 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's been a bit weird watching formerly moderate states like West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas going to the far right. All of them would really benefit from universal health care. Wonder whether Gov. Perry will really try to nullify whatever Congress enacts. If so, would the current Supreme Court discover a long-hidden states' right to nullify? 5-4? I suspect Clarence Thomas might bail out.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 14, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

It may seem that the protestors were by and large ignorant of the public option issue of health care insurance reform, but isn't it at least possible that wasn't really why they were there? Maybe they all are of one mind on something else...their candidate didn't win and they want to make it difficult for the one who did, regardless of the subject matter at hand. (Of one mind as in agreement, not that they're all sharing one brain. Probably.)

It's creepy that the protestors in one pic look pretty much like the protestors in all the other pics. Unless you're at an Elvis convention or setting up at an Amish market, it's generally not a good sign when everyone looks the same.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 14, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we should not be underestimating the draw of Glenn Beck. In the airport magazine shop, on the rack that holds the twenty books they bother to stock were not one but two Glenn Beck books. One had a really large font and lots of pictures. The other was rather skinny and the last chapter had been ghostwritten by some wingnut called Thomas Paine. As in 'bring the pain'. What a lame pseudonym.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all!
I slept right thru a whole new kit.Sleep has been at a premium all summer long.But last night I went to bed before midnight and today slept past noon.Feeling super relaxed and rested now.

Snuke I am sure you are aware of this but if not,I know your love for Boston sports

Yesterday I was 10-4 without the spread and 8-6 against the spread,plus tonight I have the Pats and Bolts in their MNF games.

Warm here today in west by god,I managed very many fish yesterday afternoon,ended up running out of worms before it got dark.The river is very low,but still warm enough for swimming.I now know why the fawn is hanging around my house,it has been enjoying the saltlick that I have.

Well, off to do a few chores,then back to the city.

Have a Great day everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 14, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Dave, if there were any intent to kill health care with the 10th Amendment, it would have alreday been used to slay Medicare. Of course, if anyone were THAT concerned about the constitution, one would think that they would start with illegal search and seizure with the invasion of communications privacy without any probable cause or warrant.

Unfortunately, the problem with those that use the specific wording don't mention that Health Insurance is inter-state commerce and that is specifically covered as an area regulated by Congress.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Remind me why I can't do this electronically?

Uh, Joel, there are an estimated 170,000,000 botnet computers out there churning out trojans. 18 million Americans suffered ID theft last year.

And Obama is pouring billions into "greater broadband access" and electronic healthrecords. Despite some slight advantages, this is essentially just speeding up the spam and worms and loading your Personally Identifiable Info, health records, and financial info onto servers in Eastern Europe.

Along with enriching politically connected vendors.

So, are you sure you want to go online with your kids SSANs?

Try Googling your nicknames and find all the photos and juicy stuff your Boodle has loaded forever on the Net. Nice stretch pants, Mudge, is all I say. Eeewwwwww.

My personal story: both my doctor and my dog's vet have been hacked and lost tens of thousands. Wonder where all that "mother's maiden name, insurance numbers, Social Security numbers" went? Out the door. Clicking is easy. Information security is hard.

Just ask Obama and McCain-BOTH lost all their email to foreign hackers. But the media is wrapped up in "You lie" and Kayne West Gone Wild.

Meanwhile, industry says, of every regulatory rule, "the proposed agency would impose another layer of government regulation and would increase costs, stifle innovation and curtail choices for consumers."

The last 25 years of Administrations have been all for "innovation." "Innovative financing" is the buzzword for that Toll Road that has long been paid for and sends your toll money to Spain.

Instead of raising taxes.

Your "consumer choice" is a crowded highway crawling between lights or paying off a private contractor to do government's work.

So, ask your doctor how much information security training his staff has had lately. Or if he knows who the IT provider is. He won't know.

But God knows we should plug in every record electronically.

It'll be "an innovation" alright.

The cybercriminals in the Ukraine, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Phillipines will love you for it.

But, at least I know when I get a credit card offer in my dog's name i know where it came from.

Posted by: 3492105833811128884833 | September 14, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The populist movements always skew libertarian. Reagan's people understood this. It's too bad the Dems don't. Except in Austin Texas, whose example may provide as good a role model for modern progressives as any other... A libertarian would say that private airlines ought to pay for the air traffic controllers, and I could nod "yes" to that myself. I don't like paying for the subsidized air travel biz myself, and I don't like subsidizing pollution and global warming engendered by the industry either. But the libertarians run right off the edge of the cliff, such as Greenspan saying laws against fraud are not necessary. Maybe his nest egg is untouched.

I got Mudged; I won't repost. Suffice it to say my comment was weird and witty.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"A lot of those folks don't like government, period. They're still fighting the New Deal."

The opposite is true of supporters, though, too. Look at Pres. Obama arguing that it's imperative that Americans get behind ... whatever health-reform legislation makes it out of Congress. Plenty of people are supporting "health care reform," whatever that may turn out to be, simply because the President supports it. That's fine, but it's not any more reasoned than the opposition.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@russianthistle, there has been talk, mostly by Republicans, about allowing people to cross state lines to get healthcare. There is concern that attempts to implement this approach might trigger a 10th amendment showdown. I'm not a lawyer or constitutional scholar so this is not an opinion I'm even qualified to evaluate, but I think that would be different than medicare relative to the commerce clause. Any less ignorant than I who can address this?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 14, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Clarence would right the concurring opinion.

Don't go down the "they all look alike" road. Even if they do.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Consider my use of a homonym a clever play on words.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

For the science-philes among us:

Book of new Paul Dirac biography

Last paragraph:

Farmelo handles such scenes with a refreshing, cleareyed understanding of how complicated the world actually is. Dirac did not — probably could not — know what the Soviet Union really was; he also could not know who his father really was, and his father could not really know him. These complexities and unresolvably cubist perspectives make, paradoxically, for the most satisfying and memorable biography I have read in years.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Lost the word 'review' above.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking of a trip to Mexico for eye care. In this country, the purveyors of eyeglasses want about $300 for a decent pair of glasses, if not more. Here in North Carolina they caught a politician taking bribes for legislation favorable to the optometry industry. They put him in jail but curiously left the skeevy legislation untouched! And the plastic they use for the normal glasses' lenses is softer than the plastic they used in the '70s: it's easier for them to grind and they want them to wear out soon anyway. You can't really get $10 worth of gold plating on your frames either. You can't even get $3 worth of gold on there. They will charge you maybe $30 extra and plate maybe $1 worth of gold on there. It will all wear through and the underlying base metal corrode soon enough.

A ticket to Mexico (on our subsidized air travel system) costs maybe $90 if I find a deal, and a high-quality pair of glasses I'm pretty sure I could get for $40 or less...

Is this the future of health care overall?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 14, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I have a copy of Anathem buried somewhere in the to-read pile. But I still have two volumes of The System Of The World to plow through.

I did see the Real Pirates exhibit at the Field Museum, so I may now have enough background to tackle Volume II.

And supposedly Anathem is somewhere in complexity between Gravity's Rainbow and Ulysses.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

34, I don't wear stretch pants, so bite me. And you're babbling. And you're a Luddite.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's true to say that people are being asked to get behind whatever health-care legislation passes Congress. I think people are being asked to get behind the fundamental recognition that we need health-care reform, and the strategic goal of achieving health-care reform that is pragmatic and socially just. These are broad principles. Everything else is details. If people get behind the broad principles, then they are in a better position to push and prod their Congressmen in a way that reflects their values in fulfilling those principles. In metaphoric terms, I think Obama is fertilizing the grass roots rather than covering with Astro-Turf™ or (end metaphor here) attempting to rule by fiat like Some Presidents.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

This whole pro-government versus anti-government thing seems to go back at least as far as Rousseau and Hobbes. Maybe back to Calvin and Hobbes. Or even Pogo. "We have met the enemy..." and all that.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I would prefer there be a public option but at this point I’d settle for just ‘something’ that includes insuring pre-existing conditions, not allowing insurance companies to drop you if you get sick and doing away with the yearly or lifetime cap on cost for care. I think President Obama miscalculated the extent to which the nutcases at Faux and their friends would whip the sheep into a lather. I’m hoping that once we get some sort of ‘reform’ we can build on it, but I could be wrong about this.

My internist keeps records the old way - paper in a manila folder. My gynecologist keeps all records in computer files. If I ever have a serious accident or illness, I hope I get treated at a facility that has those computerized records as they are a lot more detailed and would probably assure me of more informed and therefore better care.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 14, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I am vastly enjoying the notion that, back in the Dear Old 60s of Now-Despised Baby Boomer Fame, people who were anti-government, didn't believe in gummint regulation or interference, disdained political parties of both stripes, hated the president, hated Congress, didn't trust a single word the government said, etc., were called...well... let us not shy away from it: commie pinko anarchists, off-campus peace creeps, destroyers of the American Way of Life, and should move to Russia or someplace if they didn't like it here. Mark Rudd: Teabagger Extraordinaire. Abbie Hoffman, the Thinking Man's Glenn Beck. Bernadette Dorn, the Michelle Malkin of her Day.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised that identity theft is being brought up as a shibboleth against health care reform. Talk about grasping at straws. Or strawmen for that matter. Seems like that fear is a given no matter what happens.

The coverage for illegal immigrants is a red herring as well. And the exact venn diagram of tea baggers, anti-reformers and birthers still perplexes me a little. Are there pro-health care reform birthers or are they solely a subspecies of wingnut?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

yello, he was just babbling incoherently. Ignore him. (And try and hold your tongue while saying "shibboleth shibboleth shiboleth." It's fun!)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember two different Ross Perot supporters on two different days in two different locations. One said that Ross would support the death penalty for all drug users, period. The other said Ross would stop putting people in jail for stupid reasons like pot possession.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

They are Pluggers, yello!

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

WaPo caption: "The SAT, more than anything else, shows how well you take the SAT," says Edward Carroll, who analyzes tests for a living."

Coulda told him that 40 years ago.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think the thing to glean from 34's post is that s/he was checking out your body.

I'm not sure I like the idea of someone treating you as if you were just another beef-cake. A tasty morsel, if you will, there for the choosing.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 14, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan Turley, the GWU law professor who teaches a Constitutional Law and a Republican, spoke to this topic last week vis-a-vis claiming that health care is a state right.

He also mentioned the point about Medicare.

Not sure of what you speak as far as crossing state lines for health care. States, of course, can provide health care systems that exceed those provisions of the Federal Govt.

BTW, I didn't hear the President discuss anything about the Government getting more involved in health care, I only heard him address insurance--in availability, comprehensive nature and cost.

Affordable health insurance is the root of the problem. Why we don't have that is probably because it is businesses have no motivation to be not for profit. AND, this isn't a new thing, as we have seen this problem for decades.

Other than that, I don't know what the issue might be other than we tend to send a disproportionate amount of money to the very states who have such severe issues about our national concern about the moral issue of affordable health insurance.

I would think that the more appropriate answer that they should learn is "Thank you."

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice and interesting article in The Atlantic recently, "How American Health Care Killed My Father". Argues among other things that our problems, and this bill, are not about health care, but about the insurance industry. Precious little about 'health' in the parts of the bill that I've read, whole heaps about how insurance deals with us and how we pay those insurance companies....

Posted by: lese1 | September 14, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just sounds like a nascent talking point. Especially if you can conflate illegal immigrants with identity theft.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mudge, when I took the SAT 40 years ago (literally!), I didn't think the test bore any relation to reality, and it still doesn't. A waste of time and money.

Posted by: slyness | September 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hope I'm not being tacky regarding this tragedy (which I only just heard about here) but mention of the Yale Daily News reminded me of a story once in that paper about GW Bush.

The fraternity he ran, DKE, had just been fined by the university council for hazing that included "physically and mentally degrading acts," including branding people with red-hot coat hangers. There was a picture with the article showing a red D burned into a student's skin.

Bush was unbowed, calling the university "haughty". The story got into the national news, and Bush gave an interview to the NY Times. He defended the bradings, saying they were "no worse than cigarette burns". It's odd the story isn't cited more often.

Posted by: Bud0 | September 14, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse


" ... prod their Congressmen in a way that reflects their values in fulfilling those principles" is best done with donations of 50K or more.

seriously, your point is, as always, well made. The "against" argument is so often framed that the system is great right now. That is a point of utter ignorance. Individuals and families are fine up to the point where they are not fine.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's one way to reduce health care costs -- stop pulling planes!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Bud, the take-away from that story is that DKE failed to get the proper cover memo from John Yoo before proceeding.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

In 1987 segregationist former Georgia governor Lester Maddox was in the vicinity of a major protest against Hosea Williams' marches in northern Georgia. Maddox had lots of excuses about why he was around if not explicitly supporting the white supremacists attacking the marchers.

Just sayin', Warren Miller.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I feel uncomfortable...

I, of course, have strong feelings about many of these issues that we are facing today, but, at the same time, I am seeing so many things that I find very very funny.

Can somebody tell me that it is OK?

I mean, I know that I might not be OK, but it is, per se, OK.

It is important to me. It.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Saw that the home page is cycling the story about Jay Leno's new show:

T'other day, I listened to the podcast of "Real Time with Bill Maher" on which Leno was one of his panelists. Of the three folks in the panel (a Democratic Congresswoman and a somewhat rightie journalist) and the author of a book about the situation in Afghanistan (IIRC), Leno was by far the most thoughtful and coherent. He clearly knew a lot about the relevant issues and was able to assess them pragmatically and ethically, without concerning himself over whether his "team" won a favorable view. It was an impressive performance. Franken isn't the only one who can do it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I had to check. Warren Miller is NOT my Maryland state delegate. I live in the blue half of the county.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And Stewart and Colbert, of course.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I keep forgetting -- do blue and red refer to facial color, or what?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Getting back to the overview: do mark my words, Culture War is the greatest overall treason committed against the republic since Secession. Perpetrated in very much the same spirit, with similar goals and methods, while tapping an identical thread in the national psyche. It is a deliberate, manipulative scheme to demolish America's enlightenment methods of deliberated problem solving. It has nothing whatsoever to do with safeguarding markets, capitalism or freedom. Indeed, those things can only survive by defeating it."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Think Red Menace, only the opposite.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing at the image of "whipping sheep into a lather" - I know what you mean, Sneaks, but the image is funny to my warped, sheep-and-horse-loving mind (no, not that kind of love!)

I had to go take a reading comprehension test at a community college this morning. I got a 96 - was hoping for 100. I nearly cited my SAT scores to the sweet young thing who is demanding proof that I'm clever enough to take a course, but I can't remember exactly what they were, and I don't have a copy anymore. Probably threw them out when I cleaned out my dad's house.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle, it is more than OK. De rigeur, almost.

Posted by: Yoki | September 14, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, I realize I am, indeed, a tasty morsel, LiT, in a roguish Robert Redford kinda way. And it's frankly a burden I've had to carry all my life. It's just that there are almost no photos of me on the Internet save for a few BPH picks, none of which show me standing or in any way identify what kind of pants I'm wearing, so 34 is basically full of crap. I may be the poster boy for a lot of things, but having my visage on the Internet isn't one of them. (As Ivansmom once pointed out, I'm the guy in the blue shirt. Go nuts, identity thieves, I hope that narrows it down for ya.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

You were wearing pants?

Posted by: Yoki | September 14, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

David Brin uses the word "clade". I thought that was an obscure technical term used by cladists, systematists who thought they could reconstruct phylogenies. (With dna data available, cladistic methods are doing wonders. But my grad-student reaction to the enterprise was that it might work for freshwater fish, but probably not much else).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 14, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I was wearing my Black Watch kilt over my Depends.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, have you seen Robert Redford lately? The miles are starting to show.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps 34etc was mistaking me for you, mudge. As I grow older, I seem to have more and more slacks with discrete elastic sections over the hips. I find them very comfortable, particularly when traveling.

The downside to this theory is that I have never, ever been compared to Robert Redford except in the negative ("You're no Robert Redford, but..."). For you, on the other hand, the resemblance is so uncanny I'm shocked you don't crash that film festival every year just for the food, booze, and groupies.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The elastic sections of the waistbands are both discrete and discreet. I am having a heckuva time with the hole homonym thing today.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

You're doing better than most, yello. I had an email from a friend this afternoon, a seminary graduate, who used incite when she meant insight. It made me cringe, not that I shouldn't be used to that kind of thing...

Posted by: slyness | September 14, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And apropos of Joel's inline update, shower heads (and hot water systems in general) have long been known as a vector for legionella. Much more so than dirty hotel cooling towers. The key is that most hot water systems are not hot enough to kill bacteria but just warm enough to promote rapid bacterial colony growth.

So in short, yes, showers can be a killer. Although I'm not sure communal hot tubs in hospitals and nursing homes is the answer.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly glad I went to college before the SAT was invented. Probably couldn't have gotten in. Plus in those days California was the envy of the US as far as education systems went. Two years free + books at a community college living at home working part time for the county engineering office. Next two years free at Fresno State. Books and$15 for a student body card that got one into all the game free plus the cost of boarding out . No dorms were there then. Part time job working for a couple Dane civil engineers that had surveyed most every parcel in Fresno and adjoining counties years ago so requests confirming location of lot lines and building placement was mostly plowing through files of pervious surveys (divorce cases mostly). Got a great practical education from from the 30 something Korean vets that made up half the engineering classes. Especially how to drink beer when they came over to our bachelor pad to get away from the kids to study. Also about how divide and conquer works.
Alas somehow Regeanites took over the California government.

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Movie stars never used to wear sunscreen when filming their oaters. That's why they were called Butch Casualty and the SkinCancer Kid.

Too soon?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

bh72, as they say, "the rest is history." I guess you get what you pay for and also what you don't pay for.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! Thanks. It romps around.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Twittersphere abuzz with news that Carter's press secretary, Jody Powell, has died.

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 14, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I have been rejoicing in the mild virus the Boy so generously shared with me over the weekend, but it looks to be getting better by tomorrow.

I have also heard that "health care isn't in the Constitution" argument. I find it vastly amusing. Leave aside the likelihood that the speaker hasn't recently read the Constitution (I have, and carried a handy pocket copy for years because I'm like that). Leave aside the "general welfare" clause, which covers a lotta stuff, or as Weed notes, the interstate commerce clause which covers most health insurance.

Here's the point: so it isn't in the Constitution. So what? Neither is police protection. Neither is fire protection. Neither are roads or bridges or waterways. Neither is public education. Neither is the national banking system. Any public safety measure, so popular after 911? Not in there. Popular national regulatory functions? Nope. Utilities aren't in there either - gas, water, electricity - why, not even trash pickup!! Quick, think of your favorite gummint services. C'mon, something you depend on without thinking about it. Okay, now look in the Constitution. Guess what? It probably isn't there!

Does that make all these things illegitimate? Of course not. It underscores the obvious fact that most national government ventures, or those of state governments, are not found in their constitutions. We unthinkingly accept as government duties and responsibilities things which are not specified in the constitution. That document (and the corresponding state documents) is not an itemized list of what gummint has to do. It is a broad statement of what gummint may and may not do, what it must and shall not attempt. It changes over time but those changes seldom are highly specific. When Prohibition was repealed, the constitution didn't tell states how to sell liquor, or even require them to do so. When the vote was given to everyone through the 14th Amendment, it didn't say how that should occur in each district, in each election.

This "in the Constitution" stuff is just silly nonsense. I suspect people raising this point are trying, feebly, to suggest that health care reform or insurance reform or whatever they object to is prohibited by the Constitution. That one's easy, too - it isn't in there, and it isn't prohibited either. Sorry.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 14, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

They probably want to go back to the days when slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person, Ivansmom.

With all that implies.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 14, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

That's okay, Wilbrod. Slaves were 3/5 of a person, but women weren't people at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 14, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom, great point. I guess our country shouldn't invest in the national electric grid... since that must be a state responsibility. I guess, since Ben was there for the original constitution, maybe we should get Texas and South Carolina some kites with keys so they can go fly them during electrical storms.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm in a bit of an ackward moment, dinner wise. I've got fish chowder for 5 on the stove top yet the Fungi works 12:00-21:00, Mrs D's still in the land of the exploding pipeline, Witch no 1 has a course until 20:30 and W2 called to say she's watchinh a new TV show with a couple of her friends. Basically, I'm bonding with the dogs. I've got to recalibrate that meal-for-5 thing.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I think the SAT is a diversion. Millions of kids sweat over it and foolishly use it to decide which colleges to apply to, when it turns out that admissions officials look at grades, family connections, band, football, community service, etc. The kids with splendid SATs end up shocked to find that they've been rejected.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 14, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You know my fax number, shriek.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 14, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Shriek! How long do you think that chowder will "hold" on a simmer?

Hey, I have my own challange. I have to be ultra financially conservative for a good part of the week and have been running down food store, to boot.

I'm thinking I will get a pork butt roast and create a number of dishes ... cheap pork dishes from differing ethnic cuisines, what a taste tour!

"I will survive!"

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Russian Thistle - listen to the theme song for the Brit show New Tricks. They started using the Travelin Wilbury's "End of the Line" that I linked to yesterday morning. After a few shows we noticed that they had their own theme, and the refrain goes "It's alright, it's OK, doesn't really matter if you're old and gray, it's alright, it's OK, listen to what I say." Sometimes I play it just to cheer me up.

Re: getting what you pay for, there's always Somewhere Along the Line by Billy Joel - "When the fun falls through and the rent comes due, somewhere along the line". The anti-anthem for bubble mania (

Posted by: km2bar | September 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Rickoshea-- "Dirac did not — probably could not — know what the Soviet Union really was; he also could not know who his father really was, and his father could not really know him. "

Why does this make me think of the entire plot of the original Star Wars Triology all of a sudden?

"No, I am your father." -- Darth Vader.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 14, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The fish isn't in the soup yet, it will hold indefinitely if I hold up and eat sommething else. I'm a little annoyed though to find all those notes taped to the fridge & countertop. Wished I knew before.

IT'S RAINING! After 4 weeks or so of excellent dry weather, it's nice.

Immatures cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches are making quite the show. Even the blue jay was impressed.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Shriek, you're makin' chowdah! I'll be there in a minute. But first, I must state that *yet again* Ivansmom comes through. Excellente!

I think when I'm finished with the Mitfords (about 200 pages left), I'm going to graze in a couple of other books on my nightstand, then get into some Shakespeare (been too long a time for him) and THEN perhaps look at the Constitution again (been entirely much too long for that (except when writing a brief on copyright protection, and comparing with patent and trademark protection for the judge (not to mention opposing counsel who, for all his claim to fame as a copyright expert couldn't quite seem to come up with the goods)).

Hey Yoki! How's it being home finally?

Posted by: -ftb- | September 14, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Russian thistle bought a pork roast yesterday and made pulled pork. For maybe the first time ever my kids chose leftover over anything else.

Can make a roast go a long way.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 14, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Shriek has rain? We are getting close to really need some, but after this summer I am almost afraid to ask, think the end of the week is our best case scenario for rain.

Really has been gorgeous though, last few days close to 80.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 14, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Wibrod, what I know about Stars is approximately zero. (I know only the names of the characters.)

Is anyone watching the tennis? After a rocky start, Del Porto (sp?) is suddenly playing well.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey! A shout to me at the U.S. Open. The announcer just said, 'nice rickoshea!'

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

There's not that much to the plot, Rickoshea. No worries.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 14, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm watching the tennis. Missed the rickoshea call though! I'd like to see Federer win, but he needs to pick it up.

Mr seasea is back from one night of camping. The worst windstorm in 10 years went through the Columbia Gorge last night, he got no sleep, so he came home. Not his summer for getaways.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 14, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and to be on Kit for once, I thought the last part of Obama's speech, which Joel quoted, was the best part. Too bad no one's talking about it, though.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 14, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I love that part. It really sums up why government exists.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 14, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse


Thanks... don't get me wrong. I have decided to live on what comes in from my small company's earnings for software development and the money that I had in the account seems to have been removed by partner for a trip to GB without notice. So, I guess I am a monk until payday.

Some folks know it here, but I spend time working at a large grocery chain store in meat department to learn to be a butcher.

The interest stems out of my ultimate goal to run a restaurant/shop. I enjoy working in the kitchen and food in general. Of course, what I am have learned the most of are tractor trailers filled with groceries and perishables and power jacks.

I mention this only because eating inexpensively and well is an art. I have gotten to know a lot of people ranging from the homeless to the very well off and everyone in between.

In fact, what these sales in the large chains have done is actually widen what people eat. The problem is 'prep.' So, we have to lend a hand with ideas and guidelines. I am in Bethesda, MD and know many of the good chefs in the area, and I am not shy to ask for advice. For instance, two months ago, we were almost giving away beef blade steaks and roasts, but, other than a few foodie write ups, I had no clue and neither did most customers. The owner of Grapeseed gave me a great explanation of the cut's properties and a bunch of preparation ideas. Best results would be found not by the quick throw it on the grill approach, but to braise it. AND, that offered up new avenues for our customers, especially the younger folks.

So, km, for me, spending the amount of money that one might spend on 3 large bags of potato chips to eat for three days is more of a challenge and even enjoyable. It is like a game show, in a way.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I haven't felt really well all day either, Ivansmom. Maybe I have what you have, or maybe I picked up a bug at the doctor's office on Friday, or it could be a side effect of the antibiotic I'm on. I need to feel better so I can resume painting like a crazy person.

I too liked the end of Obama's speech. He was calling out to our higher nature. Unfortunately, some people don't have a higher nature.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 14, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, Here is a link to Samuelson's opinion piece called Give It to Us Straight ...

I am not sure that I totally agree with the basis of some of his comments, but well worth reading.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Oooooh, the throwback uniforms on MNF!! Cool!! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Even the refs have throwbacks! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Very fetching those safety orange stripes. If I were to marry I would consider a dinner jacket in that pattern for the occasion.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The tennis final is just great tennis. We now go to the fifth set.

I may never get to eat dinner tonight.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I should have mentioned that it's approaching 4 hours. The last time this happened was 10 years ago. This may be the beginning of the slow end to Federer's reign.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm boring you. I'll stop now.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

In profile, Del Potro looks a bit like Bjorn Borg. Maybe it's just the big schnozz.

Posted by: -pj- | September 14, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Well then. Del Potro wins. So there.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 14, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... My monthly houseguest is here... NO--not that one! My out-of-town friend who works one week a month in DC and stays with us when she does.

She brought a big pot of delicious chili and some chocolate cake... and you wonder why we let her stay with us so often.

I really wish Obama had pointed out last week in his Healthcare address about all the government services we in this country depend on. He touched on the idea of public vs private colleges.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 14, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh my gosh! Kanye West just grabbed the mike from Del Potro and yelled that Beyonce should have won!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 14, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

*snort* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Ha, TBG! Yep, Federer wasn't serving worth a darn today, and Del Potro played really well. I'm sure Federer will be around for awhile.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 14, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Swayze has passed away:
He was the same age as I am. Hadn't realized that.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Snuke, you still sitting under the trees?

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Damn... R.I.P., Patrick.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Del Potro was getting all sorts of depth on his ground strokes, not to mention that he was hitting a very heavy shot.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Little dark, Weed, and the HDTV cables aren't that long...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

And Jody Powell, R.I.P.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Both Hamilton Jordan and Jody Powell are gone. When I think about it, Jimmy Carter was sort of a white(r) version of Obama.

Healing the country... or that seems to be the intent.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Ya just never bet against Tom Brady. Never.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | September 14, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Scotty!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 14, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

OK, I can breathe now. Somebody throw some cold water on Scotty.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | September 14, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know. looks too much like hollywood finish. I think the Bills will have a new kickoff returner tomorrow.

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"Luke, I am your father."

"No, really. I am. No, I'm not kidding. Look, dammit, will you just accept it?"

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I see the old 49er scrambler is back in the saddle again in philly.

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I had someone tell me, the other day, that we "libs" are sheep because we just do whatever Obama tells us. I pointed out that the majority voted for Obama because of what WE want HIM to do. Another fellow cleverly rejoined that there's no requirement that a President live up to any mandate from the people and that his only real mandate is "to protect and defend" (apparently, this rebuts the notion that people elect a President out of policy preference).

However, that is the mandate of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Of course, the oath of office requires protecting and defending the *Constitution*, but that seems to have fallen out of favor during the past Administration, in any case.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 14, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Science Tim.

The Raiders score first!

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

There is some football on tonight. Who would have thunk?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Any comments on the Ref's uniforms?

looks like whom ever holds on the ball the most wins.

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

San Diego score and the sunggie and booklight are back

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Tim, that protect and defend is a comeback talking point of the conservatives (of course, they will suggest that Cheney was doing so).

There is a common counterpart point that one has to deal with which is that Iraq had to be attacked because everyone agreed that there were WMD in Iraq.

With those sorts, the simple no and no seem not to work. In one instance I mentioned Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson and also the fact of the Downing Street Memos,etc, but that wasn't any evidence that everyone agreed that there were WMD in Iraq. Preemptive attack meant nothing because the President has to protect and defend (sic) the nation.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 14, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

What a chicken call

Posted by: bh72 | September 14, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Not a touchdown? That was a strange call.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 14, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Boodle dear. I had a great evening having dinner with a friend and colleague who was in town from Montreal; even caught the last set of the US Open. My, wasn't that tennis?

Tomorrow night I'm off to the Flames' first pre-season hockey game. Hockey!!

Sleep well, all.

Posted by: Yoki | September 15, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Where was the coverage on that 4th and 15 play? Glad Da Raiders are playing so well.

I understand Brady pulled off some magic in the first game as well.A very entertaining start to the NFL season.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 15, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Again, I don't know. 4th and 15, the hurt QB throws a 57 TD pass to a rookie with two minutes left.

Posted by: bh72 | September 15, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

And that quickly the bolts go 89 yards in 2 minutes for the win,good old prevent defense works eveytime......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 15, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

hi, boodle. been busy, busy.

i've also been following the story about the yale grad student. i hope they bring the perpetrator to justice. aside from the horrible nature of the crime, i think you'd have to be insane to do something like that in such a secure building. makes me wonder if the perpetrator is from another country and just was not aware how many people and resources would be dedicated to solving the crime. that they would in fact review the footage of all 76 security cameras, bring in the blood hounds, building blue prints, etc. i'd say that the person whodunnit is toast, especially if there is dna evidence.

Posted by: LALurker | September 15, 2009 4:46 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, LALurker, but criminals are not typically the best at thinking things like that through. Which is good for investigators.

Morning, all, and happy Tuesday. Hey Cassandra, are you okay? We're thinking about you, and worrying that you're not around.

Another busy day ahead. In fact, all my days are looking pretty busy. I suppose that's a good thing.

We are coming up on an anniversary around here, the 20th since Hurricane Hugo roared through and decimated the city. The Observer is publishing people's memories and it's really interesting. What a mess it was! Literally as well as figuratively. I hope I never have to go through something like that again.

Posted by: slyness | September 15, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

"makes me wonder if the perpetrator is from another country and just was not aware how many people and resources would be dedicated to solving the crime."


Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 15, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm.. Wha? *rubbing head* Man, I forgot how much effort that long-range telekinesis stuff takes... Did it work? Last I remember there were about 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter...

And why am I all wet?

*starting-a-search-pattern-for-Cassandra Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 15, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

And that new Mercedes ad with the "safe following distance" thingy is annoying...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 15, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I share DNAGirls bafflement. I can't pronounce most of the names on the office doors in NIH buildings, and these are some of the smartest people in the world. Our foreign born grad students and post-docs can watch CSI with the best of them. And I doubt it was the FOB custodian either. The police have already hinted that it wasn't a random act. Someone knew what they were doing. We just don't know who or why yet.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 15, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Something tells me whoever it was is going to say something totally stupid like "I loved her."

Posted by: LostInThought | September 15, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

LiT, the police have said her fiance was not a suspect and has cooperated with them, but you never know...

You okay this morning, Scotty?

Posted by: slyness | September 15, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking creepy co-worker, ex-boyfriend, maybe even stalker type she didn't know she had.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 15, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This case has a lot of similarities to one at Hopkins a few years back when a pre-med student (and coincidentally also Vietnamese-American) was killed in her apartment by a guy who turned out to be the boyfriend of one of her sorority sisters.,1,7378246.story?page=1

He had a history of petty theft and surprised Linda Trinh while robbing her apartment.

In another bizarre Hopkins case, back in 1996, the newly elected chairman of the Young Republicans club was shot by the former club chairman president in a vendetta that was fueled by an unrequited crush.,,20141677,00.html

People kill people for all sorts of bizarre reasons.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 15, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm with LiT on this one. This will turn out to be someone that was determined to stop her wedding at any cost. Pure speculation on my part, but it adds up.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 15, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everybody.

Please allow me to channel Mudge for a moment while I greet the Boodle with a fulmination about the front page of the dead tree edition of the WaPo. Above the fold is an article about bicycles with a picture of one of two women couriers. Buried within the first section (and thankfully not in the Style section nearby the comics) is an article about President Obama's speech to Wall Street.

*scratching head while blowing a gasket*

I think it may be my turn to call the so-called Ombudsman and give him a good rant of my mind.

And on other news -- oh, Yoki, I am *so* frenvious of your outing to see pre-season hockey. HOCKEY!!!!!!!!

Toodley doodley boodley everyone!

Posted by: -ftb- | September 15, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It was keeping with a theme. The headline on the bike messenger story was "In Washington, a Two-Tire Industry Goes Flat". Below the fold was an article about the tariffs on Chinese tires. See, it all fits together.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 15, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The New Haven cops have a suspect, a student who failed a lie detector test and who also had defensive wounds and scratches on his chest. They haven't arrested him yet, but it appears they know enough to keep an eye on him while the pyhsical evidence is processed. They may need time to get a warrant, get a DNA swab, etc., and time to process that DNA test, which, contrary to what one sees on TV, actually takes longer than 45 seconds to process. So there's no pint in arresting him and holding him, because they can only hold him for a little while and the DNA results won't be back yet. (Doesn't matter if it's his DNA on her, or her DNA (blood) on him.)

So whether the student actually knew her nad hit on her and got rejected and went crazy is unknown at this time. Or perhaps he knew her well enough to know she was about to be married, etc.

So fundamentally, the case is "solved," but it will take the one thing almost nobody has any more to wind it up: patience. Unless the kids breaks and confesses, which so far he has shown no sign of doing. I suspect confessions tend to happen pretty much right away or else not at all. But the kid went through a lie detector test and questioning without breaking, so it appears he's not likely to crumble. He also demonstrated a good deal of presence of mind by finding a way to hide the body, so this doesn't look like a spontaneous crime of passion but something thought out by someone who doesn't panic. So no, this kid won't break.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 15, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
It's too early for hockey, there are regular season's games left in the CANADIAN football league. Despite the fact that it has been all Heatley all the time in the past few weeks in Ottawa...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 15, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm fine, slyness, just being my silly self.

In between putting out fires at work, that is. *SIGH*

And in between missing NukeSpouse for a few more days... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 15, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Breaking news story adds: "ABC News, WNBC-TV, The New Haven Register and the New Haven Independent cited anonymous sources in their reports. The Register and WNBC-TV also identify the possible suspect as a lab technician."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 15, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle from beautiful St. Paul! Here long enough to drop Mr. F off at the airport then on to make a robotics presentation this afternoon, then finally Chez Frostbitten and the frostcats. Mr. F is signing the final paperwork for his military retirement, but it must be done at Ft. Carson, CO not here.

The trip to VA was a good reminder to not wait for difficult circumstances to prompt a visit.

Wapo Bean Counters-I have in my carry on bag the dead tree Sunday edition of your paper. If you published in a few largish American cities, say Mpls/St. P and Tampa you could sell out.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 15, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know about the first of those cases that you cited, yello. There was another one, some years back (after my time) in which a JHU grad student was bludgeoned to death in her university-owned apartment by someone apparently known to her, based on no forced entry and other details that I don't recall right now. At first glance, I had been hoping that was the one you were citing -- at the time, I recall no indications that there were any solid suspects. I had been hoping it had been solved. Instead, it looks like these events are all too common.

Some folks speak of their fear of random acts of violence. Actually, I feel like I have some comprehension of random violence. It's the non-random violence that really scares me.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 15, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The great opening sentence of Louis Bayard's review of the new Dan Brown novel:

"Welcome to the least relevant review you will read all year."

(FYI, the new novel doesn't feature anything as silly as the villain being a giant self-flagellating albino monk. Hell, no. The villain in this new one is a giant bronzed tattooed monk. It's called "stretching your craft," I think.)

(I never realized the Catholic Church had so many sociopathic killer monks in its ranks. You would have thought divinity school would have weeded them out. Now, if some mystery writer could merge homicidal killer monks with pederastic parish priests...)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 15, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Awareness... People are "losing faith" with Obama and the economy?

Only 38% of Republicans blame Bush for the economic collapse? WOW!!!!

You have eyes, but you cannot see.

Was I not here with you when then President Bush basically "left town" with the clock running? Sure they were lame ducks, but they had their hands all over the pie, so to speak.

I would hope that the falsehood that Republicans are better wards of the economy and budgets and trade had finally ended. What's more, they are terrible minority partners to boot.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to send a text message to Eric Cantor about the latest tactic that I dreamed up!

Posted by: russianthistle | September 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

There was an assault a couple of years ago at dmd's alma mater. It happened in the building I worked in many years ago. She got broken physically and mentally, but survived. The security has been greatly improved after that.
In my days in that department people were coming and going at all hours. We had to bolt down the electronic scales to the lab benches as those items were popular with thieves involved in the commerce of small quantities of "stuff".

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 15, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I used to attend a Catholic church called "St. John of the Curious Behavior."

Isn't that why they have different orders? To categorize?

Posted by: russianthistle | September 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd3 | September 15, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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